Like any investment in services, when you hire a strategic communications firm, 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. And then, of course, there are those in between. We fall into this category – believing in value for service and measurable value for the client.
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:
A) 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.
B) That good creative people always do their best work for clients they feel are appreciative of their efforts – regardless of budget.
C) That like all professionals they like to see their skills and expertise achieve the best possible results. This can only happen when there is mutual respect, teaming with the client and when everyone is able to do what they do best.
D) That good strategic creative people are fanatical about making sure their clients’ businesses are healthy and growing .
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 understanding 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 The Ink Tank 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 great work and great relationships can generate.