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What value should you attach to a Digital Agency?

August 2, 2018 - Chanelle Preston

Having sat at both sides of the table in a creative pitch it’s interesting to see how your digital agency ‘unique approach’ can already be replicated by multiple other industry players.

It leaves you wondering if there was a ‘mole’ or if they’d managed to get hold of one of your proposals! But, the truth is, we’re all so obsessed with basing our approach on how long things take or how many tools we use that we’ve all come to the same conclusion around what it will take from our internal teams to deliver.

It’s left an eco-system sporting like for like offerings merely dressed in different packaging. Digital agency proposals may come in various formats, styles and sizes; but what their all saying is exactly the same…

‘We’re different, we focus on your audience and their needs’

Now it’s probably not a lie to say at some point throughout your proposal there’s a line similar to this one. You look at projects in ‘a different way’ or, your approach has been ‘carefully crafted’ using ‘data’ and ‘analytics’. It leaves me often wondering what the decision maker could possibly do when reading 3, 6 or even 10 of the same proposals.

Obviously if supermarkets were all selling the exact same loaf of bread, but for different prices; you’d waste no time in choosing the cheapest. You might even be savvy enough to work out if the second presents more value because of how close its location is to you. Needless to say, these are often the responses you’ll get from clients; ‘you were just too expensive’ or ‘another agency were just down the road’.

Now imagine that instead of that loaf of bread being there on the shelf when you arrived, pre-baked and pre-packaged. That the baker at the counter couldn’t possibly give you a loaf of bread until they’d found out more information about you. Information about what you like, what you don’t, what the bread would be used for and the entire reasoning behind you buying that loaf. What if the baker had to then take those answers and craft a unique recipe; and once you were happy –  that specific loaf was available to you and only you…

How a Digital Agency should work.

It shouldn’t be a possibility to ring an agency for a ‘quick ballpark’ with little to no background information. Practicing a ‘pre-meditated approach’ without looking at some in-depth analytics, or even sending a ‘proposal’ across without a face to face meeting first. It’s impossible to know what ingredients should go into that loaf without investigating who will be selling it, or even more importantly – who’ll be eating it.

Now, metaphors aside the businesses looking for a digital agency all have exactly the same dilemmas. The only way to overcome the tireless search for an agency that ‘fits’ is to attach a value to the piece of work you’ve credited and look at who represents this value best.

Say if you wanted to take your business’s turnover from £100,000 to £1,000,000; you wouldn’t expect an investment of £3000 to return that difference,  so why is it that a £3000 website can sometimes be treated like the answer to similar business situations?

All too often we hear ‘Well three other agencies have said they can do it for £3000, why is your quote triple?’ – It’s triple because it’s attached to the ‘value’ of what you hope to get from the project. It’s triple because it’s the difference between buying a Lamborghini body for your Fiat 500 or upgrading your car altogether. It’s triple because it’s been based on how much effort will be put in to achieve the £1,000,000 turnover and not based on another project we did from an un-related client. And that’s the value you should attach to your investment in a digital agency.

Of course, budgets need to be taken into consideration but, like with any investment the return also needs to be considered. Whether that’s monetary, brand awareness, bigger clientele or just a better representation about who you are as a business. The return can be from a multitude of places and benefit you in countless ways.

So the next time you’re putting a project out to tender or scheduling a day for creative pitches, pay attention to who’s going to bring the best ‘value’ to your business and not who’s simply presenting you with the cheapest solution.

‘Short term pain, for long term gain’.

You may also be wondering whether to keep your design, website development or digital marketing efforts in house or to go to an agency. Read more on our blog “In-House VS Outsourced Digital Marketing”

Chanelle Preston

Chanelle Preston

Client Services Manager

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