Sunday, 6 July 2014

Social Media and how agencies charge non profit clients

I have spoken out on how small business clients are brutalised over Social Media costs and how agencies charge them.

For the first time, I have had a potential client that has objected to our charging structure. This post may or may not attract comments, either way and whether the comments are positive or not, I'm feeling an urge to reach out to my industry. Our charges are really transparent. SO here goes.

The client is an established non-profit organisation. They have minuscule funds to cover their digital costs. We engaged in an extensive discovery process - too much time in fact prior to instruction, but it was important to us that we had the issues well tied down. So how did we tackle their needs?

Loosely broken down we placed a strategy on the table. Firstly to rebuild their archaic and poorly optimised website, then to set up their social media channels (four in particular) and socially bookmark and manage them.

We also placed our services for corporate grant applications for digital marketing purposes in the strategy and the work involved was offered pro bono. However the management of the resulting Adwords and online marketing accounts will be charged at 20% of the budget with an agreed ceiling.

Essentially the client would enjoy a new fully responsive website with social media integration and monthly management including content creation for just over seventy thousand Rand for the year.The maximum cost for Adwords and online marketing would come to two hundred thousand Rand (not including the budget).  Thats means we charge two hundred and seventy seven thousand rand for a years inclusive services (about $27 000)

This organisation will receive more than eight times the costs in digital grant funding alone. Based on previous experience, our track record  and current strategies they are expected receive five to nine million Rand in fundraising.

I consulted with marketing managers of two other agencies, who cannot see how they can refuse the proposal, but they still appear to have.

The biggest single issue that I have is that in the normal scheme of things we would just charge a flat rate consultancy and agency fee. But these folks don't have the money, so our payment will be performance based and after all we are a business so we need to make a profit and our staff need to make a living. In this case the risk is spread and we are being rather generous.

I can't fathom why when we know based on what we're offering in terms of SM management and fundraising marketing, we're being accused of daylight robbery.



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