As part of our continuing series on burned out clients, (previously weâ€™ve discussed social media marketing and reputations) today weâ€™d like to talk about bigger and better. In most things, bigger is better and usually when you pay a lot more, youâ€™re going to get better quality.
This isnâ€™t always the case in marketing though. Not too long ago I was working on a film project as a producer. Producers do a variety of things on film projects, one of those being to figure out if money is being spent effectively. As we began looking at website design and marketing, one of my partners knew the perfect company to get us exactly what we needed for the project. I wanted to at least get competing offers from my own partner, JV Media Design even though everyone seemed already sold on our partnerâ€™s decision.
When the proposals came in, we were all surprised at the difference between the two. The other companyâ€™s proposal was five times that of JV Mediaâ€™s. Being the only person in the group who understood marketing speak, I looked over the proposals very carefully to see what each company was offering. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that JV Media was offering almost double the work for less price. Obviously, this made the decision easyâ€¦right?
Â Not necessarily. The other partner insisted that because JV Mediaâ€™s numbers came in so low, there was no possible way that the work could be of a high caliber. The quality must be lower because they were charging a lesser price.
Â This surprised me. I understand bigger is better and I get that usually when you pay a larger amount, the item you purchase is going to be of a higher quality, but this isnâ€™t always the case when considering service based companies.
The other company was based in a huge metro area. They were offering us a rate commensurate with their location. But a website is universal. The same website will be seen in Kentucky, Oklahoma, LA and NY. So that doesnâ€™t matter.Â
What does matter is the marketing companyâ€™s operating expenses. A company based out of New York City has a massive overhead when compared to a company based out of a small office in Oregon. The quality of the work could be exactly the same or even better from the smaller office. The larger company needs to cover their massive operating expenses and they share that cost with you.Â
When considering a web design company, here are a few things to keep in mind.Â
- Get competing proposals from a variety of locations. Web design does not necessarily have to be completed by someone in your local area. The internet has provided numerous ways for instant communication. (Skype, email, teleconference and document sharing to mention a few.) With these at your disposal, there isnâ€™t always a need for a face to face meeting.
- Look at what theyâ€™re offering. Is it just a template that theyâ€™ll plug your design into or are they going to create completely new website designs for you? Will there be ongoing support after the website goes live? What sort of updating do they offer?
- See what theyâ€™ve done for previous clients. Do you like their work? And even if you do, will their work match your companyâ€™s business?
- Get references from previous clients. Find out what they were like to work with. Even if their design is fantastic, their customer service may not be.
When it comes to marketing, PR or web design, be a wise shopper. If you wouldnâ€™t go into a store and automatically go to the most expensive rack of clothing first, then donâ€™t do the same with your web designer. Check the quality and be sure that it matches your price and budget.
Lori Twichell is the owner of Beyond the Buzz Marketing. She is also the Marketing Director for Christian Work at Home Moms and JV Media Design. In her spare time, Lori is co-owner of Radiant Lit and a professional book reviewer for Fiction Addict. Lori and her husband live in San Antonio, Texas with their three kids and two dogs.