How To Make Cost-Savvy Choices When Working With Agencies?
It might sometimes be challenging for marketers and business owners to choose the right agency to work with. The first question will of course always be “can this agency help me”, but budget considerations will also very quickly come at play.
Just like any other service provider, agencies are charging a fee for what they do for you. And just like many other service providers – think of legal advisors or real-estate agents – it is not always easy to assess whether the amount they charge is reasonable. How to make cost-savvy choices when the value of service is hard to evaluate?
Do not confuse cost-savvy and cheap
There are plethora of digital agencies in Indonesia, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and elsewhere. And you will always find one that can offer cheaper rates. But the truth is, a cheap agency can cost you a lot of money at the end of the journey!
The “You give peanuts you get monkeys” old adage should resonate when it comes to hiring someone or selecting an agency partner. What matters is not what you pay but what you get in return. And unfortunately price and quality are always closely correlated: the more qualified service you want, the more you will need to pay. You just have to find the best price-quality ratio that suits both your wallet and return expectations.
Would you prefer to pay $1.000 to an agency that brings you no new customers and let competitors grab them to their advantage? Or pay $10.000 to an agency that helps you get a strong position in the market and attract new customers consistently, generating 150% returns over time? The cheap choice is the first one. The cost-savvy choice is the second one.
Inform and discuss before betting on returns
A posteriori, of course you would choose the agency that brings you the highest return on investment (ROI). But how could you know in advance which ROI to expect? There is no exact science and no agency can guarantee you a specific numerical outcome. With this in mind, try to determine whether the agency is worth the bet: ensure your needs and goals are clearly understood, ask for credentials, meet the team, and set budget limits (of course there are some!). This will help you make a conscious choice that you feel confident with.
Think of the long-term value of partnership
Another aspect to take into consideration is the hidden cost of working with several short-term partners. Labor time spent in introduction meetings and briefings, risks of losing brand image consistency, project management integration difficulties – these are only a few of the hidden costs. Building a long-term relationship with your agency gives you the comfort of trust, the luxury of free time to focus on other things, and the confidence to remain consistent with your brand strategy.
In short, making cost-savvy choices when working with agencies involves a great deal of strategic thinking: focusing on ROI rather than costs, and considering long-term collaboration before short-term execution. Approaching agencies as business partners can save you a lot of money down the line!