We Are Not The Cheapest … 

I’m sure you have heard this before.  But, how often is being the ‘cheapest’ really important?

In B2B dealings, cost being the primary decision point often happens because the vendors fail to establish valuable differences.  Or the purchaser simply does not weigh the craftsmanship/talent involved and value the impact on their overall look, feel, performance (i.e., brand).

Spoiler alert!  GRM is not the cheapest solution for social media.

For many reasons.  Most importantly, talent matters.  It is why companies source to agencies – because they cannot attract or afford the expertise that seasoned creative and marketing talent offer.  

GRM supplements experienced talent to work with our permanent team. We hire people with proven experience and skill sets specific to our clients situations. Why do we take this approach?

It provides us the best of both worlds – senior talent as needed.  We refer to it as right resourcing – we match the experience and talent. Because we desire to only deliver “A” quality of work, talent and experience matter. Talented people that have previous experience in the type of work at hand means they are not learning at the expense of our clients.  And they know better how to impact business goals through creative work.

What that means for GRM clients – they get boutique agency pricing, yet the advantages of what a larger agency offers.  The largest accounts get the attention of senior people at larger agencies, but smaller accounts are usually shuffled to junior level or ‘B team’ people.   GRM intentionally set up our business model to provide A level work.   In doing this for 16 years, we have learned that we can deliver the work performance desired without a tradeoff in timing.  Our timelines are as good or better than the agencies we previously worked at.  At larger shops, projects get shuffled, and often a ‘high priority’ or rush project comes in. Which means other clients’ work gets shuffled back and delayed.  Having a ready bullpen of recurring talent allows us to assign projects where they are a priority for the team. 

The cheapest option is usually not the best.  

Some signals to look for that means they are cutting corners:

  • Strategic analysis and thought are not factored in. Does their idea of strategy consist primarily of a conversational ‘debrief’ by the client?  Are their questions more centered on executional desires than business outcomes?
  • Handing off the assignment to the staffer that has free time. The good talent is busy. For a reason.  GRM does not have overhead or extended staff to cover – we match the right skills and experience for the assignment.
  • Timelines move. Do they promise a very favorable deliverable, only to move the timelines once the project is underway?  Could mean your assignment is being pre-empted by another client.
  • A firm budget/estimate is quoted prior to agreeing on the conceptual direction. Often, this means the creative team has limited avenues for getting the ideas executed.  Wouldn’t you prefer to have a rough budget or budget range and see what the creative possibilities could be?  Great work doesn’t have to be costly, but how it is executed should not be assumed before any conceptual ideas are shared.

Another question to research:  does the work stick – is in on brand, scalable (lasting) and doesn’t require reworking in a short perod of time.  The simple execution often means you are back going through the same work again … and again.

One final point on why simply buying the name agency (“no one ever got fired for hiring IBM”) may not be in your interest.  Here’s why.