Why a Marketing Consultant Needs to Know Your BudgetRecently I went shopping for a new mattress. The sales person I spoke with was very helpful…and efficient with our time.

The first question he asked, before even showing me a mattress, was:

“How much are you looking to spend?”

There were dozens of mattresses to choose from, it wouldn’t have served either of us well to not narrow things down.

Not only that – what if I wanted a high end mattress set and was prepared to spend three or four thousand dollars…but he started by showing me their under $1000 collection?

I might have been turned off, assuming they only sold lower end mattresses, and cut my visit short.

The same could happen if I walked in with a maximum budget of $1000 and the sales person spent our time showing me $2000 mattress sets. Not very helpful.


I get it, and I understand. Discussing your budget feels like showing your cards in a game of poker. But, rest assured, we aren’t asking just so we can get your highest number then mark up our fees accordingly.

We ask so we can narrow down the options, figure out how best to serve you and deliver to your expectations.

Have we been helpful if you can’t afford to implement any of the solutions we recommend? And like wise – how highly would you regard our service if we under-delivered by offering a bare bones, low cost, low impact solution to a problem you were willing to invest significant resources into?

Another reason why a marketing consultant needs to know your budget? Budget is a good indicator of whether your company and that agency are a good fit.

Knowing from the get-go whether the consultant can provide the services you want, within the constraints of your budget, is a big time saver for everyone.


Why There Really Is No Good Reason to Not Have a Budget

I’ve received a large variety of explanations over the years from companies coming to the table without a budget to speak of, including:

  • “We have no idea what to expect and are looking for you to give us an idea.”
  • “We are exploring our options, once we have an idea of how much this will cost we’ll seek approval from the boss.”
  • “We’d just like to know a few possibilities and we’ll pick the one we like best.”

We used to accept this, and would spend significant time putting together a proposal. What we learned is that people always have a rough idea of what they expect to pay – knowing this amount helps us help you!

After all, you’ve come to us because you have a business challenge and want help. Knowing a palatable dollar amount when we create solutions together means you’re more likely to come away from the conversation satisfied.

A Note About Proposals

Speaking of proposals, at Big Fish Media we rarely (if ever) write proposals these days. The concept of “we’re going to go and figure out what you need, then tell you what that is, and how much it will cost” doesn’t sit right with us.

We prefer to collaborate with our clients – discussing the details together – then putting it in writing once we come to a verbal agreement that meets your needs.
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(Photo Source: Budget ahead -road sign)