Since Coalition Technologies is on its way back to Seattle, we have been doing a lot of competitive research on who are the major web design firms, who are the major web marketing agencies, who does the most reputation management, and who handles most of the social media marketing strategies.
We’ve been calling, talking with various representatives, getting quotes, talking to referrals and references, and examining their business models in depth. With all that research, we’ve been a little surprised by what we’ve found.
- Our first discovery is that there are a lot of large web design and search marketing firms with a lot of (needless) employees. At more than one place I contacted, I was first spoken to/handled/filtered by a receptionist before being passed onto an ‘account executive’ who really had no idea what the hell he was talking about. Personally, I love that these are the big guys- it means that they are overcharging somewhere. I mean, if you have two receptionists, full time, forty hours a week, fifty-two weeks a year, you’re talking about $50,000 thrown out the window! Not to mention the L&I and all the other stuff a business has to pay out to keep the employees. AND then, to have a useless, obvious sales staff, man, the numbers keep growing.
- Our second discovery was that a lot of these places were paying some very expensive leases on downtown real estate. C’mon, guys, its the internet, the world wide web- its supposed to connect us with everyone, without necessarily needing immediate proximity. I’m sure that the flash of being close to Pike’s Place helps, but it also means you have to bill for it. Your customer doesn’t get a better quality out of the deal.
- Thirdly, we found out that a lot of these so called high end firms really sub-contract out a lot of the work, or they are outsourcing it overseas. In large numbers, we found that the person who did the work wasn’t in the office (ever), and wasn’t ever available to speak with us. Yikes! Why pay the salary of a well educated, experienced, web designer to a firm like this, when the person is actually $2.00 an hour overseas?
- Lastly, we discovered that we have great prices. We were really pleased to see that for the actual deliverable product our costs were significantly larger than the major firms already in existence. That means we’re just as strategically placed as we were in Los Angeles, and we’ll be able to offer a better quality custom website or SEO campaign for a lower price. If that’s not a value proposition, I don’t know what is!
Hopefully we’ll be able to shake up the Seattle web design landscape just like we are shaking up the Los Angeles web design company that we are competing with in our headquarter city.
See you soon!