When comparing anything you want to make sure that you are comparing the items equally, hence the phrase “comparing apples to apples”. It only makes sense to ensure that the products being looked at offer all the same qualities, right?
Unfortunately, in the world of marketing and design, that doesn’t always happen. Agencies often get asked to offer quotes and pricing with very little information provided or vague descriptions of the final product. This is because the client is unsure of what exactly it is that they need or want. Agencies base their prices and suggestions on what they believe is the best option for the clients’ needs, when they are unsure of what they are looking for, rather than the least expensive.
The client will likely end up with a product that they are satisfied with, however it may not be the best option for their needs and goals. I have a saying that I tell participants in my marketing seminars, “If you don’t know what you want you will likely never get it”. As a client, when you approach an agency for marketing for a project, let’s use websites for example, it’s because you are not a professional in that field. It is absolutely crucial to do some research and find out what options are available, look online or call the agencies you are quoting before hand and ask about the different types of websites, why certain features are important, what will fit within your budget and what makes one website better quality than the next. Agency A may give you a great price for what appears to be the same thing as agency B that has a much higher price. Well of course as a client you would look at that and go with the cheaper price… who wouldn’t! What you don’t know is that agency A is offering you a template that looks just like hundreds of other websites that will put you at the very bottom of a Google search and has never been tested to see which features get the most clicks. While agency B is offering you a completely custom programmed and designed site that is a content management system, is search engine optimized and tested through and through to give you the optimal amount of exposure online. These are two drastically different options.
Agencies don’t always operate in the same fashion as one another, and services, pricing and competency can range substantially from one to the next. Like any product or service, “you get what you pay for” and buyer beware for those seemingly “great deals”.
If the decision when comparing quotes is based entirely on price, you are likely not choosing the agency that is best suited for the service you are having quoted. Asking the right questions is critical in obtaining the desired results when it comes to marketing. As the business owner paying for these services, the best advice I can give you is to make sure you are comparing apples to apples when selecting your marketing agency and don’t get fooled by the bad apples with the shiny exterior.