Breaking Stuff Without Breaking the Bank

157999383We were in talks with a FORTUNE 1000 brand marketer recently, who described one of the challenges they’d faced with prior agencies: “It’s not that they didn’t come up with some great ideas; it’s just that all of those ideas seemed to come with a $100K+ price tag to execute.”

It’s not that a $100K+ idea (or million-dollar idea for that matter) can’t be awesome and effective, either; but it’s also true that the appetite for such initiatives is naturally small. There are only so many times you can convince a client to do such things. Because they tend to be elaborate they take a while to pull off (that’s an opportunity cost, right there). And in every case the price of failure is high; every project of this nature is born with a target on its back.

Gimme cheap and fast any day. Cheap, fast ideas can also be awesome and effective. They’re low-cost so you can do them far more often.  They are NOT low-risk, especially for a big brand with high exposure risks, but, there is far more forgiveness for breaking stuff if you didn’t also break the bank.


Posted on: February 18, 2013 at 9:24 am By Todd Defren
7 Responses to “Breaking Stuff Without Breaking the Bank”


  • Juan Jones says:

    I love the idea of cheap and making a good profit out of it. It seems like the only way us little people can make it to the top. Some people are born into money which is fine but most of us have to start from the ground on up. Nice post bud.

  • Mary flores says:

    I think most people would agree with this idea. Although everyone is hoping to come up with that next big idea the reality is that it’s the little things that are important. Small ideas like Facebook in the beginning are the ones that end up becoming the million dollar money makers.

  • Alyssa born says:

    Even as a public relations student it just makes more sense to me to do the cheap and easy campaigns. Spending all the money on one thing just doesn’t make sense especially when there is a chance for failure. Not to mention there are so many social media outlets that are free to use to generate awareness. In my public relations class we are working with a real client for our final project. All of our ideas are simple involving news releases, social media, and some target audience research. When executed properly, these things will work great. Like you said, big cost ideas can work, but low cost ideas are just as effective.

  • Katie Ryan says:

    A “million dollar idea” is a concept I don’t really get. Why spend a big budget on an idea that may or may not be fool proof. I think it can end up biting you in the butt in the worst way possible, not only breaking the bank, but breaking the company or client. I think a “cheap” or less expensive idea can be just as good if not better than one that costs someone a lot of money. Companies should look to use agencies outside their comfort levels. Using new agencies are more likely to be inexpensive and could give the brand a new look–a fresh, clean, new look. Any idea can be made with less money and look just as good. Just because it doesn’t cost as much doesn’t mean the outcome isn’t going to be just as good.

  • Lauren Bane says:

    I agree with your post. I like how you suggest that good ideas can come at a low cost. You don’t always have to have a good idea that will break the bank. You can always get very creative with your ideas to bring a low budget cost. Just thought I would mention Walt Disney. Walt had the idea for Disneyland back in the 1950s but everyone thought it was a horrible idea at a very hefty price tag. Walt never gave up and so received funding for his project. On July 17, 1955, Disneyland’s opening day was a huge success. Today the Disneyland Resort and theme park brings in millions of dollars in revenue a year. That idea may have seemed harmful to the company at the time, but it was a risk that proved to be successful. Today losing money can be a serious setback for a client or company so I agree with your statement. Cheap ideas can be very successful too without breaking the bank.

  • JesS KIM says:

    As a Public Relations student all of my campaigns have to be cost-friendly and I totally agree with you that cheap, fast ideas can also be effective and practical. I think utilizing social media and the online platform will definitely become more prominent especially for big brands and their campaigns. I think PR practitioners need to rely more on being budget-savvy rather because a well-planned and executed campaign will always result in positive ROI.

Leave a Reply

Show some social media love would ya?

RSS logo Subscribe by Email

RSS logo RSS Feed


PostRank Topblogs 2009 - #3 in PR

View Todd 

Defren's profile on LinkedIn