7 min read
Updated: December 22, 2021

The Hidden Costs of Inexpensive Marketing (Don’t Let This Happen to You)

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch” or, “you get what you pay for.”

There is real wisdom in these old sayings and they are applicable to just about anything in life, including your marketing efforts.

We have spent more than 12 years building a stellar reputation and relationship with our clients because we deliver results and treat them like true business partners. But we also understand that we are not the cheapest agency out there, and that means that sometimes, some clients will decide to leave us for a different agency due to their lower cost.

Ultimately, the pattern is always the same: after a few months, or maybe even a year or two, these clients return to Comrade. And they admit that they should have listened when we warned against hiring low-cost marketing agencies simply because they’re cheaper.

We don’t want to be right. We just know this business really well. We know how much digital marketing services cost. And we know that the most efficient marketing strategies simply cannot be executed for pennies on the dollar.

Other agencies can certainly seem great, especially when their prices are way lower, than say, what a digital marketing agency like ours charges. It’s important to be forewarned that often, lower-cost agencies will assure you they can do “everything the more expensive guys do” but just for a “half the price.”

When clients tell us this, we start to probe, asking if the other agency will actually do very specific tasks, to which they reply “we don’t know.”

Beware of agencies that speak in generalities. They are banking on prospective clients’ marketing naivete to sell them lies like marketing campaigns, including SEO and PPC, are created equal.

The best marketing strategies are based on hard data, years of industry experience, and a team of experts who know how to implement high-performance solutions. All SEO is not created equal.

The thing is, it’s hard for a prospective client to know what the difference is. If an agency says they do SEO and PPC and XYZ, and that they can do it for way less money, there’s no reason for a person outside the marketing world to doubt what they’re being told.

But one thing you can hold fast to is that old adage, “you get what you pay for.” And when you pay too little you get what’s called very ineffective marketing.

The hidden cost of ineffective marketing

Hidden marketing cost

When you actually compare the apples to apples, you find out that the price of a low-cost agency is not so low-cost at all. In fact, they cost you a tremendous amount more in the long run.

Sometimes, our returning clients compare our performance to the previous vendor’s and note how mind-blowingly different the results are. Consider that an experienced agency could generate $1 – $5 million more in revenue (for example) than a low-cost agency could.

Whenever you’re making a decision between a less expensive agency and a more expensive one, always talk to both and really try to understand why there is such a disparity in marketing cost.

Usually, you will find that the reason one agency is cheaper is because what they deliver in terms of results is much less as well. Marketing is all about the outcome so it’s not worth the investment unless you can be assured of the outcome you need.

Always think of the opportunity cost at stake because the money that you might be saving up front could come at such a devastating cost to your business.

We are proud of the work we do, of our transparency, and that we partner with our clients as if we are in business together. We have a vested interest. If we don’t deliver stellar results for you, we all lose. So believe us when we say that we’re not just interested in saying “told you so.”

We don’t want to say “told ya” to anyone. We want you to listen, to probe the agencies you’re considering hiring and really do a side by side comparison of the services (with specific breakdowns) you’ll be paying for.

Digital marketing team

Give us a specific list of tasks you’ll be engaged in to help us accomplish your goals, and compare it with the other agency.

If there’s something you don’t understand, ask questions until your answer is fully satisfied. This way you will know that you’re not making a huge mistake by saving like a couple thousand dollars a month and missing out on hundreds of thousands of millions of dollars in revenue. Make sure that you do that and you can thank me later.

It’s crucial to note that working with a high-performance agency is a better investment because the opportunity cost (cost of loss revenue opportunities) associated with cheaper agencies, is huge.

Consider that an experienced agency could generate $1 – $5 million in revenue (for example) more than a low-cost agency could.

If you want to get quality marketing services, contact us and schedule a consultation to discuss all your business needs.

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About the Author
Sasha Berson
Sasha serves as Managing Partner and VP of Client Solutions for Comrade Digital Marketing, a Chicago-based marketing agency dedicated to solving client’s most pressing digital challenges.
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