It may seem counter-intuitive, but in B2B the best run service companies are never the cheapest. Creativity, quality and efficiency come at a cost, especially when delivering on promises.
Here’s why. Take video production as an example.
A one-person company with a camera and edit suite is never going to make a great business to business video. Great prices maybe, but they just don’t have a big enough skill set.
More than the ability to wield a camera is the need to write a compelling script. This requires four essential ingredients: industry insight, creative collaboration, words that work on video and, most of all, experience.
Your video scriptwriter needs to have been-there-done-that 100 times to really know what to say.
And without a great script, you can’t get a fluent storyboard. The images have to match the words, and to flow. This is what will keep a viewer’s full attention for more than 10-20 seconds (which is when many people’s attention starts drifting).
If most of your video never gets watched (and you can measure this), don’t persist with it, start again! You’ve hired the wrong person, even if they cost you 30% less.
And then there’s the filming. Business-to-business videos can be complex. The customer may need footage from several locations, or interviews with key people. These scenes often need to be shot from various angles to get variety and continuity.
For this, two cameras is best. It not only gives the editor more to work with, but saves shoot time and your money. Also, your interviewer needs to be able to get the most out of the subject.
Then there are editors, and great editors. People who have been specialists for a couple of decades and who have worked for the best companies to the highest standards.
Again, there’s no substitute for experience and specialist talent. Excellence has to be in every frame.
If you are comparing prices, first ask yourself – ‘What kind of team am I getting?’ If your video needs that special sparkle of creativity, that unerring aim at the target market and the leading-edge look and feel that all business audiences expect, the team you hire has to be able to deliver.
The more you talk to your potential providers, the more you’ll learn about their areas of expertise. Ask a lot of questions. It’s your money on the line. More importantly, it’s your reputation, and your company’s.
Talking to your video’s producer at length is good. As well as revealing what they know about your industry, you’ll get a perspective on their creativity and production processes and on how comfortable they are to work with. Good collaboration is essential to success.
So the bottom-line question for each supplier is not ‘How much will this cost me?’, but ‘How much can you give me?’ Their answer has to be ‘A lot more than you expect.’
The best companies in every industry always deliver more. In business-to-business video, cheapest is rarely best.