Charging More for Good Ideas than Bad Ones

Clients paying for usage instead of time is a better way for talented marketing problem solvers to be compensated for value created, and a better way for marketers to pay for value received.

In the marketing world, because the creative services business is still mired in the hourly billing model, it’s an unfortunate fact that bad ideas cost the same as good ideas. Advertising agencies count up their time and charge their clients the same for a game-changing campaign as for a poorly-crafted series of messages destined to be ignored.

It’s time to change that.

Looking to Hollywood, some of the biggest stars take the biggest risks when it comes to compensation by taking a percentage of the box-office earnings. A good film makes more than a bad film, and the leading actors get paid accordingly.

In the world of professional photography, a good photograph earns more than a bad photograph. Because the photographer owns the rights, the more the photo gets used, the more the photographer earns. The iconic Maxell photo showing a man in a chair “blown away” by the sound of Maxell audiotape is still earning royalties more than 25 years later.

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