Choosing a Marketing Agency? Ask Yourself…How Cheap Is Your Love?

Choosing a Marketing Agency? Ask Yourself…How Cheap Is Your Love?

This blog post is by Scott Graham, Creative Studio Manager at AVC Immedia. AVC Immedia is an Aberdeen-based agency that provides a range of creative services including web and graphic design, audiovisual, app and 3D animation.

Are you choosing a marketing agency because they’re cheap?

If I asked you to give me £500 to damage your brand in front of potential customers would you do it?

Well, plenty of you are.

The recent downturn resulted in everyone is trying to get their marketing and promotion as cheap as possible. I saw a video the other day. It looked like it was filmed by a man with one leg shorter than the other – squint, no tripod, no lighting, in and out of focus, ambient audio. This was broadcast on social media as an ‘insight’ into that company.

In choosing a marketing agency, someone at that company was delighted to have saved a few quid by paying the cheapest supplier possible. What they actually did was pay someone to damage their brand then show it to the world.

We are living in a world of fools. Breaking us down.

Instead of paying people to represent your company poorly, invest a little more time & money and get a better result. Your love for your brand will shine through to clients and you’ll come to value the difference between a cost and an investment.

But hey, it’s not me you need to show…

Here are 3 questions to help you to distinguish between cheap and good value when choosing a marketing agency:


1: Can your marketing agency scale up with you?

Every time you switch marketing companies, you have to spend some time with them to ensure they have a firm understanding of your brand. If you have to switch, each time your company’s needs grow, it costs you money. To avoid this, don’t assume the company with the lowest rates and lowest overheads is the cheapest. Find a partner, not a supplier.

2: Have they done this before?

Ask for case studies and examples that resonate with the objectives you have for your own business. If they don’t have any, then be aware that you are the one that is paying for them to build skills in that area.

3: Do you trust them?

Great ideas come from relaxed conversation. If you can’t establish a relationship of trust & mutual respect with your marketing supplier, then you’ll never get to the place where great ideas come from. You’ll tell them what you want, they’ll give you that, nothing more and nothing less. Eventually you will find that limiting and have to move on. Think about these issues when looking at your marketing provision and I promise you won’t waste your time living in a world of fools.

A version of this post was published on LinkedIn on 22 Oct 2015.


Photo credit: | Photo for editorial use only
2 Things Cool Brands Do To Make You Feel Good

2 Things Cool Brands Do To Make You Feel Good

Can you think of any cool brands?

Apple, Google and Virgin come to mind.

What makes you feel cool? I feel cool when I have something others want. Exclusive privileges makes me feel cool too. Like being in business class on a long haul flight. That’s pretty cool.

A while ago, I started researching what key ingredients cool brands have in common. There’s a great article in Esquire, “Small things that make you feel cool (that really shouldn’t)”

The article lists some fleeting moments in life that make us feel cool. Here, I use some examples of those moments to show the feelings that any brand can strive to stimulate for a cool customer experience:

1. Ordering cocktail without consulting the menu

We feel: Knowledgeable and skilful

2. Strolling confidently away from a shop counter after handing over the exact change. No need to wait around – you know it’s right

We feel: Knowledgeable, proactive and bold

3. Withdrawing more than £100 at a cash machine

We feel: Prestigious and privileged

4. Using a complicated sequence of keyboard shortcuts

We feel: Expert and skilful

5. Being recognised by an attractive person on the street in the company of your friends

We feel: Good-looking and recognised

6. Pulling out a copy of The Times on the tube while everyone else is scanning The Metro

We feel: Exclusivity and prestigious

7. Answering any request from your boss with ‘I sent you that last week’

We feel: Smart and proactive

8. Buying the non-sale item in a place with an end-of-season sale on

We feel: Prestigious, cutting-edge, contemporary

9. Passing through the gates of the tube without breaking your stride

We feel: Focused and forward-thinking

10. Cracking an egg with one hand

We feel: Skilful and bold

And so on – you get the idea.

It boils down to two things: Cool brands make customers feel


e.g. good-looking, contemporary, bold



e.g. knowledgeable, skilful, expert

Your tone of voice, content you share, how you engage and even your chosen sales channels are all key aspects of a cool brand.

To be successfully cool, ensure your product or service makes the customer experience journey a joy for the customer. Don’t be tempted to make your brand the hero. Remember it is your customer that is the hero.

Now, go make a cool brand.

Photo credit: Flickr user Eric.Ray “Cool”, Creative Common License

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