Its been a month of meetings, proposals and tendering. If i looked at the money in as opposed to effort out - it probably does not tally but we have added 2 new clients (welcome PGC and Dixons) and it feels better out there even if feelings don't pay the bills. Overall we are still up year on year so the team deserve a very nice blow out for the Xmas bash this year. But 4-5 more good weeks to go before any let up.
Anyway - in this process of meetings i have been able to see many other proposals from other agencies both traditional recruitment and digital specialists (non recruitment) and some interesting ways of making money seem to get slipped in to the deals. Most common listed below.
1. Campaign Management - these costs generally are far too high - either the agency is getting a bad deal from a 3rd party or they are trying to make the margin here. Reporting is incredibly important and a key part of any campaign we run but the costs need to be proportionate - i don't think there is any justification for 20% of media bills for this service - discuss....
2. Appalling media buying - again 2 possible reasons a)cant negotiate with media or more likely b) marking it up massively. Now in the interests of full disclosure - when we have achieved huge discount on certain deals i am sure on certain occasions we have kept part of it (with agreement from client) but its silly when you are trying to charge a big Monster 12 month deal out at 10% discount for instance.
3. Production charges. You absolutely need to charge a rate for work you do - but its silly to charge occasionally v high prices for 30 seconds work.
Interestingly - what i don't tend to see is proper charging out for the expertise involved in planning buying managing a digital campaign - that is the real value but the industry still seems shy to price accordingly.