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RANT: Charging an Arm and a Leg for Marketing Services

By Debi Katsmar

Posted in News, Marketing Plan, General Business Info, Marketing Matters

Price versus value is an age-old business conundrum, but why or why do some people think they shouldn't have to pay the price for your services?

arm and leg

Every now and then, I have to rant and this is one of those times. I belong to a business group for women comprised of well-established businesses, struggling businesses, start-ups and some trying to make the move from employed to self-employed. This in itself is great, the stories, the information being passed from woman to woman in most cases is awesome. There are two things that irk me and the reason for the rant:

1. The number of people who ask for specific services without reading previous posts, and when they ask never comment or respond back to the answers (but that's an article for another day); and,

2. Those who constantly ask for services whether it be marketing services, consulting services, whatever -- that want it for nothing. Grrrr! 

What Are Your Services Worth?

Apparently in this group too many believe that because their business is new or they are struggling to make it work, the services of marketing businesses, consultants, coaches and mentors should be at little cost to the individual. If I had a $1 for every time someone asked for a logo design, a name for a business or the big one a 'cheap but awesome' website I wouldn't have to work.... 

Why would someone think I would discount my services out of the goodness of my heart? Honestly, by asking for 'cheap', or for a service that 'doesn't cost that much' is it really going to help their struggling business? In reality, if this is their mindset, they are probably doing more harm to their business than good. 

You Get What You Pay For! 

I get not everyone can afford the big names in marketing and coaching. I also get that in the marketing industry prices range from extremely low to quite high (however those charging those high prices have probably earned the reputation and produce the results to warrant the high price). Buying marketing services is no different than buying any other product or service -- you buy within your means. 

If you were looking to buy a new car, would you walk into a Mercedes dealership and ask them to discount the car to the price of a plain-Jane Chev with the reasoning - you want a Mercedes but can't afford it. Of course you wouldn't! If you really wanted a Mercedes, you would look at buying an older model used and probably privately to get that Mercedes, or you would set a goal to achieve that purchase in 2 years or 5 years. But you would never ask or expect to get it just because you can't afford it.. 

So why on earth would one ask for marketing services whether branding, social or digital marketing or for a website and expect that the marketing company is going to give their best work for the peanuts being offered toward the project? 

Marketing Isn't an Expense. It is an Investment!

The fact that you are asking for assistance from marketing companies, consultants or coaches means you recognize that you need help in these areas. But asking for cheap help? Really?

If your product is custom jewellery - a custom piece regularly sells for $999 - and if I walked in and asked you to sell it to me cheap because my business was struggling, or new to business, would you do it? Of course you wouldn't. You would explain to me how much time, creativity and materials went into your creation and the fact that you need to make a living too and then -- if you were smart maybe try to sell me something I could afford, or show me the door and tell me to come back when I had money. 

anyone can build a website, but will it workIf you truly value the service you are asking for, it is worth paying for and you will find the money it takes to do it. 

Your teenage daughter probably has the technical ability to build you a website - but will it work? Does it have what it needs to sell for you and have your business found online? Probably not. 

For 15 years, I did the marketing for my husband's car dealership - the majority of that time he was a Saturn dealer and while I can't lay claim to the branding, I did love their marketing. 

No haggle, no hassle, no fear! 

It was that simple. 

It boiled down to the price is the price, what you paid for you received and Saturn's money back guarantee took the fear away. This one brand had people flocking to them in droves to get away from that fearful 'care salesperson' - the one you always believed was trying to trick you into buying something you didn't want. 

As much as marketers, consultants and coaches love to help people succeed, the fact is -- this is our business, it is how we earn a living and put food on the table for our families. Just because we offer a service versus a tangible product doesn't mean it is worth less, or that we can discount our services just to help. We have invested in our training, our business and have earned the right to charge what we charge. We have to eat too! 

Is there room for negotiation -- of course there is! But negotiating value for service vs asking for the world for nothing are two different things!  

... if you have a marketing question, you can always Ask Me, I do offer this 'free' service to help people succeed. Why? Because I do love to help!


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