Delivering Value and Getting Paid For It

By: Douglas White / VP Innovation & Growth

Every brand since the beginning of time has sought to receive great value from their chosen partners and vendors, but it’s not always been easy for businesses to define and measure value. In this post, I seek to provide a few insights gathered over my 20+ year career in sales and marketing to help you better define and deliver measurable value and get paid for doing it.

Don’t believe brands struggle on defining measurable value, just ask a client, “How will you measure the value of your investment in this project?” You might be very surprised at the answers that follow.  

So, for the purpose of this post, let’s assume that in order to have measurable value, one must tie the measurement back to these two universal standards. 

Time and Money

If we can define and measure how much time or money we generated or saved, we can provide a standard measurement of the impact our business solutions have delivered (or what I like to simply call value). Measurements such as increased sales/conversions, revenue/quarter or, perhaps, savings of time or money are easier to identify. 

Today’s modern marketing environment has made measurement easier, more detailed and faster than ever before. Along with these amazing advances in performance tracking has come greater control and efficiency and a greater level of expectation and pressure to deliver meaningful, measurable business value.   

This shift is happening across all business segments. At &Barr, it’s no exception. We are continually challenged by our clients to move beyond great creative ideas and campaign generation, to providing more comprehensive, creative business solutions and strategies that drive measurable value.  

This modern look at value measurement has shifted our clients to desire not only creative concepts, production and campaign execution but also higher perceived value services. These services could include insights, comprehensive business strategy and optimizations. I call this a shift to the top of the Value Index.

So we’ve established that brands’ desire and need for value is at an all-time high. We’ve also defined how to better measure value, and now we need to determine how best to get paid for delivering it. 

Easier said than done. I know. 

Traditionally, advertising agencies have included simple insights and loose strategy as part of the concept pitch process and are paid for the production, execution, and tracking of the campaign. Under the continually evolving value structure of today, this approach no longer works for brands. The growing fragmentation of media channels, new technologies and increasing  performance expectations have driven brands to need more from their agency partners.  

Agencies need to come armed with more robust consumer research that can extends the value of the brands increasing proprietary customer profiles. They want and need comprehensive business solutions that extend beyond the brief. Agencies now need to identify how they will charge for these new services and measure the value they deliver. Start by defining the answers to these important questions. 

• What is your work worth?  
• What value are you providing?
• What price should you charge?

New service offerings (such as research and consulting) bring opportunities for new revenue models. Agencies need to take a closer look at how they position their solutions, and perhaps consider a departure from creating detailed solutions in isolation from the brand, and then delivering an in-depth custom presentation, and move to more consultative sales process where they present recent client case examples on how they solved similar challenges and drove significant measurable business value. Then once awarded the work (based on past performance), craft a strategy in partnership with the brand while getting paid for the entire engagement.