Putting your money where your mouth is

Would you be prepared to develop marketing strategy, devise creative and roll-out across media knowing that if the campaign failed, you’d get paid nothing? For most it’s a scary thought – the things that nightmares are made of. But think about it for a moment. Imagine an agency that said it was brilliant. It focussed on results. Had the clients objectives at the forefront of its thinking etc, how confident would it be in this rhetoric if the client turned round and said we’ll pay you if it succeeds? After all, you say you are brilliant, surely you’ll have nothing to fear? It would be at this point that the agency would probably shrink to the size of a mouse and squeak some inaudible excuse that, in retrospect, maybe it has slightly less knowledge in the clients sector than it first thought!

So is it possible for an agency to actually offer this as a service? In reality, it is already happening for certain media channels. Pay-per-click is exactly that, however even this has set-up fees to be paid for. For a fully integrated campaign to be on a pay-per-result basis, the strategy had better be good. So why don’t agencies who say they are good, offer it? I think it’s because a deal cannot be agreed with the client on the level of revenue which goes to the agency for a result. And of course that most agencies have not got the balls to offer it in the first place! Interestingly at Milton Bayer we are looking at affiliate marketing campaigns for clients and will for the first time offer a free set-up and planning service, free creative and free account management if the affiliate campaign does not yield results. The client was persuaded to run with affiliate marketing after the offer of a pay-per-result was offered. For them it’s the ultimate deal. No up-front-fee, no marketing speculation or gamble, just a fee per result. Obviously we have negotiated a deal whereby if the product sells in volume, we’ll earn far more for the campaign than if we simply charged a fee for the set-up work. It therefore works both ways.

I’ll let you know how it goes. Watch this space.

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Ray Wellington

Ray Wellington

Director of Strategy at Milton Bayer working across sectors on What If? propositions. My mantra - 'the answer's out there, you just need to look in the right place'.

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