Why Price Doesn’t Always Equal Value When Choosing A Marketing Agency

Erik Huberman is founder and CEO of Hawke Media, a full-service outsourced CMO and marketing consultancy, and author of The Hawke Method.

When looking for a marketing agency, a lot of businesses seem to believe that a lower price equates to good value. It makes sense. Budgets are handed down for a reason, and you’ve got to find the most bang for your buck.

Unfortunately, that logic is often flawed, and it could prove devastating.

That mentality assumes that all marketing agencies are the same. It’s important to understand that a slight difference in price could considerably impact the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and results. In my experience, a modest increase in investment can translate into significant improvements in marketing performance and outcomes.

The Dangers Of Picking Based On Price Alone

Each agency has its unique strengths, weaknesses and methodologies. Choosing an agency simply because it’s the cheapest option could mean missing out on valuable expertise, strategic insight and, ultimately, better results.

Consider a company that partners with a content agency, lured by lower rates. It soon finds that cheaper turns out to be just that—cheap. Instead of impactful SEO keywords and content that could drive traffic and conversions, the company gets what is essentially filler content—words on a page with no coherent conversion strategy.

So the company switches to another agency that focuses not just on generating content, but also on creating a robust, tailored marketing strategy. Yes, its services are slightly more expensive, but the difference in results is staggering. By focusing on quality over cost, the agency is able to garner tens of millions of organic page views per year for this company. Paying a little more for quality can make a world of difference.

The Power Of Investing In Value

Rather than focusing solely on the price tag, consider the full range of services and benefits that an agency offers.

Does the agency leverage innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to enhance its services? Does it balance technology with a personalized human touch? Do you get a dedicated representative who acts as part of your team? These factors can significantly impact the cost. However, they also add immense value to the service, translating into better results for your business.

Don’t view the cost of marketing services as an expense, but rather as an investment in your business’s future. By focusing on value instead of price, you allow your business to access better-quality services, which can lead to improved outcomes and a higher return on investment.

In the next section, we’ll dive deeper into how to assess the value of a marketing agency’s services and make the most informed decision for your business. Remember, the goal isn’t to find the cheapest option, but the one that delivers the most value for your investment.

How Do You Measure Value In A Marketing Agency?

So what do you actually look for when evaluating a new agency? Look beyond the price and assess the overall quality and potential impact of its services. In particular, consider the following:

• Expertise and experience: An agency’s expertise and experience are invaluable assets. Agencies with a proven track record of success often charge more, but they also bring a wealth of knowledge and insight that can lead to superior results. They’ve been in the trenches, learned from mistakes and honed their strategies over time. Look for case studies on their site, research the CEO and ask your network what they’ve heard about the brand.

• Use of new technologies: The world of marketing is constantly evolving with new technologies that can make campaigns more effective and efficient. Agencies that invest in these latest marketing technologies may have higher rates, but they also offer cutting-edge solutions that can give your brand an edge. From advanced analytics tools to AI-powered content creation, these technologies can significantly enhance campaign performance, employee productivity and, ultimately, ROI.

• Good customer service: This goes beyond just being responsive. It involves understanding your brand’s unique needs and goals, developing custom strategies, and being proactive in communication. These qualities often differentiate average agencies from great ones. While agencies offering high-quality customer service might charge more, the personalized attention and peace of mind they provide are often well worth the additional cost.

There’s Probably Room In The Budget For Investment

I’ve been in the corporate world where you screen vendors and then make a case for funding. Of course, price is a factor, but the initial budget you were handed is almost never definitive. It’s a guideline, and if you can show value to your brand, executives may be able to find the money when they know it will equal revenue.

Pay attention to what comes with each price point. A small extra fee per month could make a world of difference in usefulness.


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