Marketing as comodity

4. 2. 2019

“I’ll take ten grams of PPC and throw in some Facebook as well”


Ever feel like that in the marketing service market? Commodity. Everybody does it. This agency can make PPC campaigns for just 14,900 CZK per month. And this one does it for two thousand less, and includes social in the package. Social is social. What a great deal!

I’ll tell you a short story…

A few years ago, we participated with Blueberry in a tender for a Czech bank. You know the deal. PPC, SEO, RTB, … We really wanted it. A lot. We did not have a big bank in our portfolio at that time, and it could open the door to more clients.

And so we put ourselves into it — tens to hundreds of hours of presale activities, analyses, account audits… We did some honest and hard work and got to the final round. Only one agency was standing in the way. And then it came…

An auction! Yes, you read that correctly. An auction for marketing services.

Remuneration was purely set on the basis of the goals we met, so we spent the whole day in separate meeting rooms, sweating, offering a lower reward for a click, a lead, a conversion, … Ten cents less here. And here we can shave off a crown…

After 8 hours, the opponent gave up. They weren’t willing to go lower. We won! We have a bank!

A reality check? The biggest f*ckup that nearly cost us our business. Later on, we envied the “losing” agency, which had more sense than we did and left the madness in time. We ended our cooperation after a few months with hundreds of thousands of crowns in losses, a demotivated team, and exhausted. What’s even worse? The client was not much better off. By forcing unsustainable terms on the supplier, they buried the whole project.

Moral of the story?

Marketing is an investment, not a cost. The client’s goal shouldn’t be primarily to cut the price and thereby lose out on really good people, experiences, and attitudes — the goal is to have more business at the end of the day. ROI — that’s the only functional definition of a successful marketing collaboration. Period.

You buy results, not services. Leave getting them up to the agency. In the end, it doesn’t matter if a person finds your business via social networks or through a mobile app and associated campaigns. That’s why your digital partner should be a team that asks you in-depth questions about your business plan, not one that presents you with the latest trends in Google Ads.

Lukáš Kmínek

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