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13 years Ago By / AJ Ross Staff

You Get What You Pay For

You get what you pay for. That old adage has been truer than right now, and especially if you’re talking about marketing and advertising.

Everybody wants a dollar to go further, but at what moment does that stretched dollar finally snap? When does spending less mean getting less? It may be hard for some people to believe, but putting a little more time, effort and money into a project, remember, I said “a little more,” can make a substantial difference in the quality of a communication and the impact it can have on customers, both existing and potential.

Lately we’ve been faced with some advertising people who claim they can offer a client a lot more for a lot less than what he or she is paying now. You have to be careful when falling for this pitch. The space costs in local and national the newspapers are not that negotiable, air time is still going to cost what air time costs, and we all know what it takes to send a 5 lb package via Federal Express. So, the question is, if somebody is going to save you money on advertising, where will those savings ultimately come from? Take a wild guess.

Advertising and marketing is a service business. And service does not come from computers or androids, at least, not yet. It comes from people. That’s why the first thing a newly suckered client invariably notices is that nearly every call made to the “agency” is forwarded to an answering machine. And how about that creative team? You know, the one that’s not old enough to vote and is only available on Tuesday afternoons. Production? Fuggetabout it. Anybody who can make a home video can shoot your spot, right? And what’s so wrong about your account guy’s cousin showing up to read your Radio spot.

Nobody wants to pay through the nose for an off-the-top expense like advertising, and, frankly, any ad company that attempts to do that today will be out of business faster than you can say Saddam Hussein. But smart spending never goes out of style. Finding a quality organization with quality people and paying a reasonable fee for those services is never wrong. Getting expert advice and listening to it, then following it up with quality work is what matters, regardless of how big or small the budget is.

Bottom line is to know what fair price really is. Any reputable ad/marketing agency will be happy to give you those numbers along with a proposal so you can make relevant comparisons and the right decisions Watch out for bids that seem suspiciously low. Ask yourself what’s the least you can spend for the best work, not what’s the lowest amount you can possibly spend –– period. You get what you pay for. And that may be exactly what you don’t want.

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