Size Doesn’t Always Matter

Unfortunately, the past few years have shown us that the size of consumers’ wallets don’t always seem to match the size of their desires or needs.  Those of us in the research, marketing, and communications industries have been bearing the brunt of this, too, and can attest that more and more these days do consumers and clients alike want to get more for less.  

However, what some of us might not be as quick to admit is that we are just as guilty of this, too.

It’s true.  Look around.  Requests for proposals often require bidding companies to carry highly expensive bonds which are often unobtainable by companies under a certain size.  Companies flaunt their number of CATI stations or focus group rooms as if that alone determined credibility.  Even the much touted Honomichl Top 50 Report of U.S. Marketing Research Firms gauges who is at "the top" based up annual revenues, which can often be misleading.

But do large amounts of insurance, endless rows of cubicles, and inflated dollar signs represent the only true criteria for selecting the market research or PR firm you use for your next project?  Sure, sometimes.  But not always.

Sometimes the big and bad are just bad, or at least, not right for you.  I can recall when, years ago, we were shopping around for a company to help us develop our new website.  I called one of the larger, local shops in the area to try and get a full range of bids from various types of companies.  However when I called, they asked me a few questions about our company and then simply told me we wouldn’t be interested in their services, nor they in our business.  Shocked, I of course asked why.  Again it was explained matter -of -factly that they “don’t do small businesses”, so our small business could not elicit their services. 

Granted, not all large companies treat others this way.  For every large company that treats you like a number or whose clients get lost in the crowd, there are other large companies who are just great, too.  But the point is to learn more about each company, large or small, before deciding on the right vendor for you and your needs.  Check out their website, follow them on Twitter, give them a call, or even better - meet with them face to face.  A good vibe can seal a deal better than a pretty capabilities statement covered with stock photography.  And a bad vibe can save you from wasting lots of time and funds on a vendor whose website might be flashy and sales collateral impressive, but who is just not right for you.

Even though we are in business we are still consumers.  And as business consumers you may want more, and of course you want the best, but that doesn’t always mean you want, or need, bigger.

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