“How do you advise your clients when it comes to budgeting creative services for a project?”
Developing a creative budget for a project is often a difficult task to undertake. Part of the reason is because we are being tasked to create something that is “unique,” and the cost is usually determined by the amount of hours we believe it will take to produce. Unlike the hardware aspect of a project, the deliverable for us is not something tangible, meaning a client can’t necessarily touch it or hold on to it,and that presents a challenge. It’s important to keep in mind that the creative budget will often surpass the cost for hardware and installation… the simple reason… there’s more value to the creative than hardware!
We start by asking the client four questions:
- What is the goal for the project? (Drive sales? Enhance Brand Equity? Education?)
- What assets do you have to support the creative? (Do you have hi-res imagery, videos, data?)
- What do you see happening a month after launch? (The reality is that most content has a shelf life, unless it’s dynamic or data-driven)
- What is your budget? (Don’t be afraid to ask this. It’s an important question! If they don’t know, help them define a threshold. For example, let’s start at $50K and work backwards on what could be accomplished within that range)
Once we take them through that exercise, we can begin to craft a strategy to address the issues and outline what is achievable within their budget threshold. As an agency, is it our responsibility to help our clients through this process by leveraging our experience and knowing the questions to ask them to help them see value from this investment. The goal of any budget should be to help the client achieve their desired results, and at times, be “creative” on how we structure it for them.