Like every other good or service available today, marketing is being asked to do more, more, more — for less, less, less. As marketers, this constant pricing model pressure often leads to self-pitying complaints about becoming “just another commodity” where our pricing overshadows our creativity, our results, and even our value as advisors.

However, our clients might suggest we are as guilty of the reverse psychology – refusing to acknowledge that marketing is NOT a “one-size-fits-all” service either. If it were, there would be no need for VistaPrint, or for BBDO, for that matter.  If it were, then John Smith dba John’s Big Idea Company would be able to pay the same for a website and SEO as Reebok does. 

So, here are the three myths we have uncovered our clients and ourselves unwittingly subscribing to in regards to low-cost marketing, and the truth that will set us free from them – allowing productive marketing to flourish at new heights of success:

MYTH 1: Somebody Can Do This for $X. Well, okay, you caught us. That’s not really the myth, because if you have decided you need a newsletter 6 times a year, as well as 12 direct mails, and you have budget of $2000 for writing, design and printing of 400 of each of those, you might just find someone to do it.  Hope that works out for you.

TRUTH: Successful marketing is driven by budget and GOALS, not budget and TACTICS.  So, if you are finding yourself asking “Can you do this for $X?” ask yourself this question instead, “If I only have $X to spend to accomplish this, what approach will give me the greatest return? (thus building momentum for re-investment and growth.)”


MYTH 2: I Know What This Costs. Everyone has an idea what a website, email, postcard, video and ad spot ought to cost. Interestingly, a recent, informal poll indicates that the guesses are too high about 20% of the time, and too low the other 80%.  

TRUTH: There is no industry standard for what a particular deliverable should cost. In most instances you pay more for the following items:

  1. Customization
  2. Consultation / Strategy
  3. Expertise / Track Record
  4. Turnkey Approach
  5. Complexity
  6. Scale
  7. And, often, but not always, quality


MYTH 2: You Get What You Pay For. Agencies – including ours, occasionally – are often guilty of perpetuating this myth. It’s true, there is a real value agencies provide through their creativity, strategic approach, expertise, extensive resources, and high quality product.   But not everyone can afford that approach – at least, not yet.

TRUTH: Marketing is an investment. There is no single right solution. Investing a percentage of the return you hope to see with a trusted partner is the surest way to succeed.