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Pricing in a Tough Economy

Pricing in a Tough Economy

A large part of our business is providing services to clients and them paying us for those services. Inevitably the conversation of pricing comes up. In the current global economic times, finances are much more of an issue than they were a couple years ago. Because of this, we need to model our pricing differently than in the past. The struggle for us is that some of our creative services are tough to price by the hour. We know going in to a project we need to devote X hours and generally speaking those hours are billed out at Y dollars per hour but in the end, creative services are not that cut and dry. Over the last year or so, rather than look at pricing that way, we have had to say “we need to deliver this result/product and it’s worth this amount of money.” If the hours work out to make an hourly rate, great, if not, maybe on the next one.

On the traditional pay by the hour services, we have definitely looked at our pricing. We normally look at pricing every 6-12 months to be sure we’re in line with what we provide and what the market will bear. It doesn’t matter if we offer a service that is worth $200 per hour, if someone can offer a similar service for $100 then we lose. Even if we believe the service is worth $200 per hour, if our clients don’t believe there’s value, then we won’t get a chance to show we’re worth it.

Most of our clients don’t even know we’re making some of these changes since they have received the benefit of it already. One of the misnomers of IDEAS pricing is “they are too expensive” – that is not a reality when you factor in our flexibility based on many factors – time of year, volume from the client, new ways to create the solution, etc. We believe this is smart business. Our goal is always to offer the best product at a fair price. We know the quality of work we provide will not change but the definition of fair will always change and we need to be on top of it to make sure we don’t lose clients. It’s not about saying the economy is bad so we need to charge less. It’s about making sure we’re offering a fair price for what the client needs based on understanding the scope and being a very creative place, we can be creative with our pricing as well.

John Lux
As COO of IDEAS, John manages the day-to-day operations of the company. He is a category expert in studio production and is responsible for bringing advanced digital media technology to IDEAS.