[webproducers] Re: Agency rates

  • From: Ari Feldman <outdoorminer2002@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: webproducers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 19:40:10 -0700 (PDT)

--- "Alicia L.Cervini" <alicia@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> I'm an experienced PM who took a two year hiatus to go to grad
> school.   
> A lot has changed.  No need to be puzzled.

Good time to go to grad school as you were able to sit out much
of the bloodletting...

Yes, a lot has changed, namely many potential clients now do
their interactive work in-house (thus, negating the need to
outsource work), lots of former dot commers are now freelancers
or part of loose "virtual agencies" that share projects and
resources and the market has become very price conscious vs.
value conscious. The old premiums are dead. We're no longer in a
specialty industry. In many ways it's akin to being an ambulance
chasing lawyer. From the client's point of view, we can all do
the job but some will do it for less, which is good enough in an
era of tight corporate budgets.

> I'm looking for ball park figures.  Not interested in
> something as out  
> of date as 1996.

Agreed but it's at least a starting point for doing what you're
effectively try to do. Because of the glut of talent still on
the market, many of the 1996 rates mentioned in the book are
probably more realistic now than they were back then!

For ex: it's been a long time since I've seen an
intermediate-level programmer charge $150/hr in this neck of the

  Not interested in anything so specific as to
> threaten  
> or reveal anything about a particular agency.

Not saying that was you aim but rather that rates have always
been a competitive issue for ANY agency/interactive company and
thus, it would be hard (but not impossible) to have one give you

> You seem to be saying there are so many variables that there's
> no such  
> thing as a ball park figure for rates anymore, and I just find
> that  
> hard to believe.

Are there many variables to consider when developing a rate
chart? Absolutely! Is it impossible to derive ballpark figures?
Absolutely not. You just have to do your homework as well as
make some reasonable guestimates.

Feel free to put some numbers together. I'm sure your current
employer has some formula for developing their broadcast rates.
Why not start there? That data coupled with your understanding
that rates in most areas of the web industry are perhaps 33%-50%
less than what they were 2-3 years ago could form the basis for
your approach.

It used to be easy to develop a rate chart as the sky was the
limit. Web skills were once in demand and thus, companies were
able to charge top dollar for even the most incidental type of
interactive service. Well, that logic no longer applies. No you
really have to come up with rates that keep you price
competitive while allowing you to deliver value.

Clients have had 2+ years of exposure to a depressed interactive
services market and have gotten used to paying quite a bit less
than what they once did.

"I drank what??"

                     -- Socrates

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