Conventional business thinking says that high-quality services cost more than their low-quality competitors. Our lexicon is full of references to this idea: “If you pay peanuts you get monkeys”, for example, or, “Do you want it right or do you want it cheap?” But the idea that good things take time and are, therefore, more expensive is now patently untrue.
The old ways of working with time, cost and quality no longer apply. Software allows services to be delivered better and cheaper than ever before. Xero provides a high-quality accounting experience 24/7 at a fraction of the cost of a CPA. Uber offers a better user experience than taxis both digitally and atomically, and it’s cheaper. AirBNB purveys an eclectic mix of places to stay that are more interesting than cookie-cutter hotels, and they’re very often cheaper.
Even within the tech-driven services sector the same forces are at work. It explains why Spotify and Netflix have each taken big bites out of Apple’s iTunes; they’re better and cheaper.
My partners and I are building a software business called Sendle which is doing a similar thing in small business logistics. With the power of technology, we can provide a significantly better logistics experience for less money.
In the marketing sector, services provided by the likes of Hubspot, Hootsuite, Invision, Canva, Salesforce, Squarespace, Wordpress and many others, deliver solutions for clients more accurately, more conveniently and at a fraction of the cost.
This is particularly challenging for marketers as ‘better and cheaper’ is not only possible, it’s become the expectation of clients and customers everywhere. If you’re not aiming to be better and see how you get on with the alternative, “We’re not as good, but we are more expensive.”
Craig Davis is the founder of Brandkarma and the former CCO of Publicis Mojo, Saatchi & Saatchi Asia and JWT Worldwide. He is on the board of Conscious Capitalism and blogs at craigdavisnow.com.