Part of the reason we write these blogs is to give our existing clients and potential clients some insight and a deeper understanding into the processes which drive the way we do what we do.
One of the the things that everyone in the communications industry has to deal with on a fairly regular basis is justifying costs to their clients. It’s generally safe to assume, at least from our experience, that most clients tend to feel they are paying too much for the services they are getting, even though the result of investing in these services is something that, more often that not, builds their business, enhances their corporate identity and provides an excellent ROI.
A Little Knowledge Can Be A Dangerous Thing
When it comes to developing any sort of creative communications, there are all kinds of ways to go about it and there are a number of different levels of cost that can be incurred.
However, it’s a good thing to understand that the adage ‘you get what you pay for’, is very much in force here, as you will invariably find that the people who charge unbelievably low prices for their work, generally do this because the quality of their work is on par with their low prices. It’s also often the case that what you’re buying is really nothing more than a ‘cookie cutter’ solution of some sort. This is most prevalent in the web development area where there are literally tons of companies offering web sites at ridiculously low prices. These sites are generally nothing more than paint-by-numbers templates, which force clients to adapt their identity to fit the template, as opposed to having a site custom built around a well thought out and totally integrated corporate identity.
Invest In People Not Processes
Like any investment in services, the intrinsic value that will be realized has more to do with the relationship between the company you choose and your company. And this is really all about people, experience and chemistry. Certainly costs play a role here, because there are as many companies that charge very high rates as those who charge unbelievably low rates.
Clients who have the attitude that creative development and execution are nothing more than commodities, fall into the category of ‘price shoppers’. And while some are more enlightened in their approach than others, at the end of the day for them, it will always come down to price. And they will invariably, as was stated previously, get what they pay for.
But the clients who treat their communications services as investments in people and experience will do so on the basis of chemistry first. That’s because these clients understand that to get the very best out of their chosen suppliers, it’s important to establish a true working partnership based on mutual respect and trust, like any partnership in life.
Clients who work this way, generally have a solid intuitive understanding of the creative process and why things cost what they do. They will understand:
- That good creative people are thinking all the time and that they are, more often than not, getting the benefit of many more hours than those which are actually being billed.
- That good creative people always do their best work for clients they feel are appreciative of their efforts.
- That good creative people are fanatical about making sure their clients’ businesses are healthy and growing and especially so for clients they truly like and respect.
Chemistry vs Cost
The most important part of ‘getting what you pay for’ has to do with what your perception of what good value represents.
It also has to do with the undertanding that, while technology has improved the way in which creative is developed, it has not really affected the processes of developing a good strategy and creating ideas that solidly support that strategy. These are people processes and they tend to form the basis of how we estimate costs for our work.
At Rapport we pride ourselves on a number of things but highest among them is our ability to partner effectively and beneficially with our clients. Because nothing we know of has more of a positive impact on the cost issue than the success factor that good work can generate.