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What Should You Pay For Creative?

I’m sure you’ve heard the old cliché “creative isn’t creative unless it sells.” While there is a lot of truth to that statement, the question remains the same ... how much are you willing to pay or invest to find out if the creative sells?

There are so many variables to consider such as media commission offsets, different mediums and branding versus product hero, to name a few, that there can’t be one universal answer. However, the question is still asked with every proposal or project request. Experienced creative, account and production managers will estimate based on historical data and this is the only way to establish a quote prior to commencing with the project.

I recently did a review of our pricing for creative and production services dating back to 1987. While I was well aware we hadn’t increased our rates in years, it was pretty surprising to learn we charged more for creative in 1987 than we do today.

Technology, which we take for granted today, had everything to do with this trend, and while it helps us to create and produce faster, it does nothing to reduce overhead costs like rent, payroll, healthcare and business insurance and taxes. Like all businesses and industries, costs keep spiraling up while competitive market pricing, especially for creative services, continue to decline.

The solution to this situation comes in the form of monthly retainer fees specifically for creative and production services. We’ve always told our clients that we’re an extension of their marketing department, filling voids as need be. Retainer fees now allow us to actually walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk. Clients have unlimited access to our senior creative strategists and have come to appreciate the anytime open access policy.

Clients are getting a lot more for their money today and while our profit margins may not be what they were in 1987, our relationships are stronger than ever before.
Posted: 10/1/2010 4:36:58 PM by Dave Scelba | with 1 comments
Filed under: creative, video, content


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Comments
George Mulligan
I have professionally direct marketed since 1988 & socially since 1969.

This audio video presentation of
integrated marketing was like reading a Dan Brown novel and with the twist of preclosing the sale to targeted potential viewers & audience.

Dan Brown's books used very short chapters, just like the video presentations.
Each chapter laid foundation for not just the next chapter,
but the weaving plot together.

This was a comprehensive sales pitch, where trial closes were
laced within the videos.

The read along script was not dissimilar to a pitch book.

At each point there were means to establish value and project value to cause the prospect to "want to buy," rather than to
be the object of pressure sales?

The art of sales is simple if one can project value superior to the cost?

What will it cost me?
What will it do for me?

This presentation reaches out to the old stand by ROI, (Return On Investment) whereas
everyone needs to make profits
on investments, associated with
sales, cash flow, profit margin,
and various credits.

Quietly value added is shown in
savings, by aggregating market
parsing to replace existing cost
with a superior program.

Value added is shown by the new
wave of marketing to huge masses
of target buyers, and showing the process in simple terms.

People buy for a variety of (hot
button) reasons, with cost as the primary objection.

However integrated marketing is
a discreet way to incorporate and embed tangential hot buttons
along the plot lines.

It was also clever to get me to
hit the more button and read as
Dave spoke (like a presentation book), where Dave's practiced
delivery flowed smoothly which
reinforced the text.

Dave no longer became the focus
on the scene, as the text and the audio rendering of the script became the focus.

There were a couple of preclose
teaser attempts, with take away
to the next and higher prices and the retainer program which
explains value and relative cost
in order to afford to give value
to the prospect.

Cost and value are relative.
If I gave you $ 1,000 would you
give me $ 50?
Of course!
If I showed you a credible way
to increase sales by millions
and profits by millions or by hundreds of thousands, would you
pay me $ 15,000 or $ 35,000 per
month?
Of course!

New wave integrated marketing
appears to have value especially
piggy backed with diverse proven
venues and emerging affiliated opportunities.

Excellent presentation with superb content.
5/6/2011 2:04:48 AM