You should get more for your money. It’s a novel idea, but it’s a concept few brands or services adhere to. For us at Kicks Digital Marketing, the notion of “get more for less” guides nearly all of our decision-making. The Indianapolis digital marketing scene is crowded. There is so much noise. Every agency brands, designs, develops, “does SEO”, and so forth. How do you stand out from the rest? What makes you different? Why do people choose you? Furthermore, why do people continue to choose you when there are others vying for your customers' attention? Our industry is no different from yours. We struggle with the same internal process challenges, go to market strategies and financial dilemmas as our clients. It’s a valuable shared perspective.
As a company, when we decide to invest in something it has to have met the following criteria:
1. It’s an organizational priority.
2. It must solve a true business need.
3. It must make life easier for us or our clients.
4. We must be able to afford it. Or, we can’t afford NOT to.
Assuming all things check out, we’re a go for launch! We will make a decision- and swiftly when those things are in alignment with our impending purchase. For other reasons entirely, it’s very important as a business and a buyer that you practice and consume how you’d like your prospects and customers to practice and consume. For simplicity’s sake, let’s call it the golden rule. As a growing business, we wish more products and services in the marketplace behaved this way. As a business, we’d consume more if they did.
In the past, we’ve charged more for the work that we’ve done. Was the work itself any more complicated or time-consuming? No. The truth about pricing is that there are two major factors to consider: how much something costs to produce and how much someone is willing to pay for it. These are independent of one another. As a salesperson, you can help your prospect acknowledge and fear their ‘pain’ so greatly they’ll feel more compelled to write a bigger check. Or, you can be the type of buyer that loves something because it’s expensive and therefore, it must be better.
People consume differently, but what we’ve come to know is that most people, businesses, and organizations, just want you to shoot them straight. That thirst for honesty is why we choose to be transparent about our pricing model. We have nothing to hide. Our terms and deliverables are straightforward. We avoid the red tape and make it as easy as possible for someone to choose to work with us.
Now, it’s one thing to be ambitious and say, “I want to keep costs low for my customers.” It’s a whole other ballgame to identify a lower price point that is sustainable and still offers a comfortable margin for your business. After all, time is money. People don’t scale well. They’re very expensive (and entirely worth the cost) as a business “expense”. However, HOW you utilize staff time is critical.
Are you leveraging all that you can be to make the most of your employee time? Chances are there is always some area of inefficiency or time suck that you can make more efficient. Pay attention and don’t ignore the opportunity cost.
Efficiency matters. As business leaders and owners- do the math. You must! Dealing with math, facts, data and other figures doesn't excite me, but building a successful business does! It’s because we pay attention to the math we’re able to grow our business effectively. How well we utilize our time and talents ultimately impacts our pricing model. When we’re able to keep our costs lower, we’re able to pass those savings along, which lowers the barrier to entry- making us an easier choice for business owners to allocate their funds. Cause and effect…
We use automation and technology creatively. More specifically, we track everything that we can. We aren’t afraid to build or buy something that makes life easier. We’re aware of our break even points with projects. We know what each employees time is worth and if a task fits with a specific employee’s “hourly-rate”. Because we’re technically inclined, we must regularly decide if something is worth buying or building. To date, when it’s core to our business, we’ve decided to build. When it’s something more administratively focused, we’ve decided to purchase. And finally, we’re constantly reassessing if what we’re purchasing or building makes sense.
Two major internal efficiencies make us sharper than our competitors. First, we built our own platform that sits on top of WordPress. That platform allows us to create completely custom websites, lots faster. Second, we’re rolling out a client portal to help streamline communication with our clients. This Client Portal will allow us to share things like invoices and payment history, quarterly reports and analytics, as well as pending and completed project work. In order to stay affordable, we must always be sharpening our tools in the toolbox. When you’re choosing a digital marketing partner - - ask them, what are you doing to run more efficiently? If they don’t know the answer, chances are you’re in for an unreasonably priced first date.