In Chapter 61 of his best-seller, The Wizard of Ads, Roy Williams recounts the story of a friend faced with saving a little money on services. His friend was flying a single-engine airplane into Mexico. When he radioed for a weather report prior to landing at a small airport, he was asked, “Do you want the 2-peso weather report or the 5-peso weather report?”
In the past week, I’ve read a couple of stories about the commoditization of copywriting and the outsourcing of journalism. I’ve also seen a company decide to write their copy in-house after interviewing a top-notch writer (a colleague of mine). Surely, these notions must make the publicly traded “management by quarter” crowd jubilant. We’re Saving Money!
Roy’s point with the weather report is that you should always negotiate the price of hard goods, but take great caution in negotiating the price of services. Your very existence could depend on the results.
Let’s say you saved over $2,000 on your copy, but your copywriter couldn’t connect with even 20% of your visitors. Have you really saved money?
So, how have you been saving money this quarter? What’s the true cost of your savings?