SMEs BEWARE: doing it on the cheap can cost you in the long run

Every so often, we pitch for a new client and find out we’ve been unsuccessful in winning their business. Part and parcel of agency life. You win some, you lose some.

Then something interesting happens…

Many of the clients who’ve turned us down end up reconnecting. Usually they come back to us after they’ve tried to do their branding/website/design themselves – or they’ve gone with a cheaper provider and it hasn’t worked out.

There’s no win like a surprise win.

At first we thought this was a one-off, but now we’ve seen it happen numerous times. There’s definitely a pattern there! While this is fabulous news for us because clearly we made a good impression and obviously we love taking on new clients, the sad thing is that they’ve ended up spending more by trying to go down the cheap route.

In the spirit of true worth vs. false economy, here are 4 things worth considering before you bypass a marketing agency and DIY – or engage someone who promises the world for $20.


according to the late billionaire James Goldsmith. Not always true, but true enough to be cliché.

  • What are you trying to achieve?
    I know, I know… marketers always say that, but that’s because it seriously matters. Desired outcome is everything. If your objective is to develop a brand that’s a professional, up-to-date representation of your business and generates x number of leads each month, you need to ask yourself what that’s worth. If it’s worth a lot, then having an experienced team develop your brand is an investment.
  • What are your strengths?
    Do you have a passion for marketing and design? Is it in any way related to your business offering and what you’re good at? If so, great, but chances are it may not be your ‘thing’. The next question to ask is, is your time better spent focusing on what you are good at? If the answer is yes, it might be best to outsource.
  • Does it sound too good to be true?
    If you’ve had three quotes from marketing agencies and one is drastically cheaper than the others, find out why. It’s unlikely that someone offering 10% of the market rate will create something worthy of your business, or deliver what the other suppliers have promised. 
  • What do you stand to lose if it doesn’t work out?
    Be honest with yourself. It’s tempting to conclude that it’s only time you’ve invested, but really it’s more than that. It’s opportunity. Time that could have been spent generating more money doing what you’re good at. And that on top of paying the agency fees you balked at in the first place adds up. Not to mention all the time that your branding, website and digital presence spent out there not hitting the mark and not appealing to your target market. Again, more lost opportunity.

SMEs, one last thing: if you visit marketing agencies and their pricing is outside of your budget, why not tell them honestly what that budget is? You never know, you may be able to work something out.

Talk to us about bringing your marketing and design goals to life in a way that won’t break the budget.
Call 07 3352 6657.


In defence of quality content | #keepitreal

Oh for the love of content! Here’s our two cents on why you should never sacrifice quality content purely for the sake of SEO.

Inserting keywords and writing copy to appeal to an algorithm requires careful thought and creativity to keep your business’ tone of voice intact and to deliver quality content to your audience.

Don’t sell your business short by prioritising quantity over quality. Sub-par content can scare away potential customers and confuse existing ones. They can tell something’s a little ‘off’. Like when your Facebook is hacked and your friends get a message inviting them to a mysterious ‘Real Ray-Ban $$$ale 90% off!!!’. It’s pretty obvious it’s not really ‘you’ speaking.

What we’re dealing with

For anyone who appreciates elegant writing and a good story, reading churned-out content with no feeling (or sense) behind it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. It may get you to the top of search engine rankings, but at what cost?

You can spot poorly written, ill-advised content a mile off. Common signs are:

  • keyword stuffing
  • obvious repetition and
  • clearly talking about something just for the sake of it.

Here’s a taster:

quality content disasterSee what we mean? These tactics fool very few people. Least of all real, live customers who visit a website in search of information they can use.

Thoughtlessly pumped-out content seems to be everywhere – especially online, where businesses are told they must beef up their content regularly (even when they have nothing new to add).


The SME content dilemma


quality content dilemma

It’s not difficult to see how this proliferation of not-so-hot content makes its way onto the web.

There’s a global content obsession.

Just about every marketing agency, digital agency, business blog and marketing publication waxes lyrical about the power of content.

And for good reason.

What’s not often considered however is whether SMEs are in a position to produce quality content regularly.

Creating the good kind of content is a skill. It takes experience and it takes time.

SMEs, our little economy-driving champions, often have more pressing things to worry about – such as immediate operating costs, paying back the taxman for last quarter and growing their business next quarter.

They know they can’t afford to ignore content, though. They read all things marketing-related in good conscience to generate enquiries and (fingers crossed) convert. And, in the majority of cases, they are informed that content holds the key.

So they know they need to produce content. They know they have to produce it regularly. And they know their bank balance.

And here lies the reason for the abundance of super-average content online.

It’s the state of affairs that gives rise to the un-strategic, generally overseas $1.50 p/h copywriters and 10c social media posts.

What to do


quality content what to do

Understand your resources

Know what is and what isn’t achievable resource-wise when it comes to creating content. Even if you are using ‘cheaper’ providers, the content you receive will only be as good as your brief.

There’s no getting around the fact that you’re the expert at what you do. Not the content creator. You’re still going to have to share your knowledge and give them direction – and that takes time.

Resist the temptation to upload inferior fluff
One thing done well is far more powerful than a few things done ordinarily. If you feel something is beneath you, don’t post it.

Remember who you are | #keepitreal
Authenticity and genuine passion come through loud and clear in content and they sell better than anything. They cannot be faked. You take pride in what you do, so take pride in what you post.

When producing content, go back to the beginning and consider your business values. Does the content align with these? Does it benefit your customer? Is it an accurate representation of your business?

Very important because you never know who will read what you’re posting. If the content you’re producing sounds insincere, anyone (human) who reads it will be able to tell.

SMEs, we salute you!

Don’t forget to #keepitreal

quality content keep it real

Want quality content that’s worthy of your business and gets results? We can help.