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.