Earn Less to Survive Advertising Slump?

Earn Less to Survive Advertising Slump?

I avoid clients for whom advertising is only a marginal factor in their marketing mix. They have an awkward tendency to raid their advertising appropriations whenever they need cash for other purposes. ~ David Ogilvy

That’s certainly understandable. However, how many advertising agencies and design firms will actually do that right now?

Once upon a time,  there were many full-fledge advertising agencies where creative, media and production departments all fall under one roof. Now, these departments became self-sustainable companies with their own overheads and revenues to take care of.

Why? Because good clients who will  not “raid their advertising appropriations whenever they need cash for other purposes” are now a rare species.

Inflation is in. Everything you see in the market place has risen at least 20-30% over the past one year. With droughts and floods, wars and political tension in mineral rich and agricultural countries, prices are rising horrendously fast. Many businesses lamented that  higher operational cost is eating away their profit.  “Cut Cost” and “Minimize Wastage” are two words I hear very frequently these days.

With such a gloomy outlook, it is not surprising that many clients are much more careful with their marketing budget. They might still put out a big war chest for an advertising campaign. However, you can bet that many eyes had scrutinized every step and process that were proposed, and many questions must be satisfactorily answered before the dotted line is finally signed. Gone are the days when your client will slap his thigh and gallantly said “Good idea, let’s do it” immediately after you have made the first presentation. More often than not, they will look at you straight in the eyes and said soberly and slowly, “I like what I have seen, however, your price is too high”. Don’t bother to ask “Too high? Compared to what?”. Even if the price is reasonable, they are most likely to share with you their  challenges with upper management or their finance department on budget issues. The bottom line is, you cut your price if you want the job.

You have to make a choice between earning less and earning what you deserve.

And then, you’ll have to decide to be happy or unhappy after you opt to do it for less.

No wonder many creative talents – especially creative directors, art directors, and graphic designers decided to abandon their true passion – and turn to the teaching industry.

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