In this post, I will mainly address the offers and quotes you will receive from web marketing agencies or various web experts, and how you should interpret them. If you have already requested quotes for a web project (creation/website redesign, web marketing campaign etc.) you’ve probably notice that everyone uses the same jargon, but they can be very different from each other (and yet we are still talking about the same project). If you have not read the previous two articles in the saga, I strongly encourage you to start from the beginning by reading “The underside of web marketing agencies Vol 1” and “The underside of web marketing agencies Vol 2“.
Comparing apples to apples
Not understanding everything that is on a quote when you receive it is one thing, but not asking for clarification is another. Indeed, many people immediately throw out quotes that seem too expensive and focus on those that seem to better match the price they had in mind (when they don’t directly choose the very cheapest quote).
Before you jump on the lowest price, I encourage you to read between the lines to make sure you really compare the two “identical” services. Many quotes may appear very competitive but if you scratch at the surface a little, you will notice that it’s actually a hollow shell (which makes this quote the most expensive since the service for which you pay will not live up to your expectations). You can save on your food costs, a car, a plane ticket or your Internet package; but it is much more risky to choose the lowest cost regarding your website or web marketing strategy!
I suggest you read the quotes you receive and ask the questions you need to so you can better understand what is included and what is not; this will help you make the right choice. If necessary, you can ask an external party (friend, acquaintance, consultant) to help you make your choice.
In web marketing it is the quality that costs the least
Keep in mind one simple thing: designing a website and building a web marketing strategy takes time, especially if you want quality work. Therefore, it is very easy to know if the web marketing agency or freelancer with whom you do business will take the time to get it right or not. If you receive some quotes at $3,000 and others at $1,500 (as it is often the case going from one web agency to another) you need to aske the question: why would a web agency charge me twice the price of another? Is it simply a matter of wanting larger profit margins? Most times the answer is: no!
We can never know what accounting margins are used by web marketing agencies or freelancers (they themselves don’t know until the project is complete). We can try to think logically about how an agency can do the same job for half the cost. To answer this question, several answers come up most often:
1 / They subcontract abroad (very common in web marketing).
2 / They entrust the work to freelancers who sell out for cheap (it is then appropriate to ask why they need to sell out their contracts).
3 / The work is not fully and wholly completed. As a non-expert, you do not have the skills to check their work (and the seller knows this).
4 / The “expert” implements a strategy starting with low prices to attract you and beat the competition. Then they make you pay for every add-on you thought was initially included in the original price (also a very common practice). Since you have already started the project and refused other agencies, you are obliged to continue with the same company.
So keep in mind that the lowest price is not always the best deal and ask for clarification on the reasons for price differences. You’ll be surprised at how imaginative web professionals can be, as they are often able to sell nonsense at a high price.