How much should a website cost? 27 August 2015
A story. The CEO of a large, bluechip, business sat opposite me. He looked at me from across his desk and asked "you are asking 'how much' to design and build our website for us?".
I looked back at him, scanning the desk between us. There in pride of place was a photo of him standing next to a rather expensive looking car.
"Nice car", I replied.
"Yes, it is. I like Aston Martin's, driven them for years"
"How much do they cost", I asked.
"That one, about £200,000*"
I pondered on this for a moment.
"and, what is your organisation's turnover?", I continued.
"So, if you are happy to pay £200,000 for a car - how much are you happy to pay for the digital shopfront of your £300m company?"
He fell silent.
I can't remember who told me this story but what it really highlighted for me was the difficulty some CEO's (and others) have in putting a value to what is one of the most important promotional channels for their businesses.
I realise the story might seem a little simplistic. After all its probably not the CEO you are sitting opposite.
Yes, you can pay a few thousand (or a few hundred even) pounds for a new corporate website, or you can pay in the hundred's of thousands. You could even use one of those 'do-it-yourself' website-building sites you see advertised on TV. But, what will you get as a result.
We all want to get the best-price we can from our suppliers, including our digital agencies. But, the important thing to consider is "will my website truly represent me and create the value I want to achieve for my business?" and "will my chosen creative agency help me achieve this?"
So often have we come across clients who want a Rolls Royce for the price of a Skoda (*other brands are available), or have rejected us for a cheaper agency only to return some time later complaining that their finished site didn't deliver on the promises they were given by their cheaper choice.
"But", I hear you say, "you represent an agency, you are bound to say this as you want to maximise the fees you receive". And, yes, to some extent I agree. I do want to make a profit for our agency - after all that is why we are all in business - but, if we didn't consistently deliver value for our clients then we wouldn't remain in business for very long. Reputation is as important as revenue.
What I am asking is that the next time you want a new website - don't just dismiss agency fees as too expensive. By all means challenge us as to why we want to charge the stated amount, but also weigh it up against what you want to achieve - what you want your site to deliver. How much value it will bring?
What is often cheap at the outset, quite often turns out to be expensive in the long term - not only in cost but in benefit as well.
As in all things, you get what you pay for.
Price is what you pay.
Value is what you get.
Group Marketing Director
*Cost of an Aston Martin Vanquish Volante in 2013 according to http://www.evo.co.uk/aston-martin/vanquish