Have you ever stayed in one of those low budget hotels in an effort to spend as little money as you can? I think it’s safe to assume that we all have, at one time or another, and for one reason or another. They are usually highly accessible, provide bare bones amenities, and typically have vacancies. Many are easy to spot from miles away with flashy Las Vegas-style signs luring you in like a fly to the back-porch bug zapper. There is no valet service, but you have been driving for hours and you just want somewhere to lay your head. You check in with an underpaid, over-worked desk clerk that shares with you how frustrating her boyfriend is and how he is spending all of her paycheck… as you are handing over your credit card and ID. Relief fills you as she finally finishes checking you in and you make a quick escape, only to realize that when you get to your room, the key hasn’t been properly coded. Dread… now you have to return to the front desk. Key properly working now, you enter the room to find an 8×8 space, decorated in all the modern shades of brown, filled with a bed and a single chair, a press-board cabinet and a TV with a busted remote. There is no soft, gooey bedside cookie or the refreshing chocolate mint as a nightcap, so you just go to bed. The next morning you wonder why you had bad dreams about giant insects and make a mental note that next time it’s worth driving an extra mile to stay in a hotel with higher standards. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for a cheap room, but what I want you to focus on here is the expectation associated with the price you are paying. If you are looking for cheap, don’t expect all the extras. Likewise, if you are staying at a five-star property, then the expected price would be much higher along with the amenities and all those little extras, like turndown service and the chocolate mint perfectly placed in the middle of your pillow. What’s the point of all this, you ask? This comparison can also be made to how you view your media buying agency. When negotiating agency fees, are you looking for the cheapest room or are you looking at the value of the full package? Agencies bring expertise and technology under one roof to develop and execute media strategies for a CMO that is under pressure to deliver results to stakeholders – yesterday. The agency also manages the multitude of relationships to bring other valued partners into the mix, as well as stay on top of the latest trends and tools for optimal results. As brands are becoming more educated, they are seeking more accessibility and transparency into those technologies, relationships and talent. Agencies are being pushed to take on more and more responsibility, adapt quickly, while at the same time reducing fees. It is becoming more commonplace for purchasing to be involved in negotiations, but as they look at the bottom line, are they pricing out all the extras? There is an expectation by both parties of value, experience, results and, yes, compensation. If your agency is being forced to undercut their fees, are you able to trust them with your media budget? If your agency has a five-star fee structure, then I sincerely hope they are providing the full luxury experience. So, do you value your agency? Is their work worthy of your dollar and meeting your expectations? Likewise, are you meeting their expectations with fair compensation for the expertise and results they bring to the table? Or are you expecting a room at the Ritz for $29.95? You probably won’t get a room at the Ritz for that price, or the bedside cookie, but you will get what you pay for… At Media Two, we work hard for your dollar. Through experience and expertise, we look to surpass your expectations. If you are looking for the best value and ROI for your campaign, at a fair price, contact us!