You can have it done right, cheap, or quick. Pick two
Fortunately, it’s very rare that we ever get a client who doesn’t understand that you can’t have all three at once. Yet it’s still something that a lot of agencies come up against. But perhaps these problems wouldn’t arise if we marketers explained ourselves properly.
All our clients are lovely, but Doug and Stan could tell you some stories from the days before Velocity that would make you sleep with the light on for a month. There are plenty of reasons for this. Your contact at the client company has a boss that makes Pol Pot look like a fluffy bunny and is in constant fear of being fired. Or they’re a recent addition to the company and are out to prove their worth. Or they really are being squeezed on all sides. Or they’re just an arse.
Or, more likely, it’s a mismatch between expectations and delivery. There are reasons why we can’t do right, cheap, and quick all at the same time, and it’s not because we’re sitting around drinking soya lattes and doing tantric navel-gazing.
So what do you actually do all day?
We spend a long time researching and getting to know our clients. We talk to their friends, their partners, the lady who makes the tea… And we listen. We even take notes. Then we go away and produce websites, e-books, identities, white papers, videos, interviews, site tours, and all kinds of other content marketing goodies.
We’re also perfectionists. ‘Good enough’ just isn’t good enough. We want to do the best job we can: because it’s a matter of pride, and because we like our clients and want them to succeed. So doing a thorough job and keeping our clients happy takes time. Perhaps we ought to get over ourselves a bit, but we take pride in doing a good job and (out of selfishness, arguably) we don’t want to have our name on some poor work.
And because all this takes time and we work hard, it tends not to be cheap. We do aim to be value for money though, and generally subscribe to the ‘under-promise and over-deliver’ model of project management. That way people usually have a bit more than they thought they were getting, which makes everyone feel good.
Occasionally of course, you do get that magic combination of good, quick, and, if not cheap, excellent value for money. Without wanting to brag too much, it’s something we’ve managed every now and again at Velocity.
Original photo from Frihedsmuseets fotoarkiv; Frihedsmuseet, Copenhagen, Denmark. Image is in the public domain under the Danish Consolidated Act on Copyright 2003.