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The true cost of marketing

At 42group, we’re a marketing and content agency that loves to do good work, but we still get asked the same things…


“Can’t you do this cheaper?”


 “Someone else has quoted me £100, can you do it for that?”


“How did you come up with that fee?”


Anyone who runs a business will recognise at least one of these questions. Most will have been asked all three.


It’s not very British to talk about money. Generally, people don’t like to do it. But we’re going to, because it’s a question that comes up so often in our industry and, at the end of the day, clients want to know that they’re getting the best value for their spend that they can.


Finding out how your agency has come up with the fee they’ve quoted you can sometimes feel like pulling teeth, but not with us. At 42group we are a small agency that attempts to deliver high quality work at a reasonable cost. If we quote you a price, we haven’t picked an amount out of nowhere. In fact it’s based upon the costs of running a business.


To save us some time explaining how we’ve come up with our quote, here’s what goes in to running a marketing agency business like 42group.




Everyone gets paid a fair wage for the work they do. Your work isn’t done by inexperienced (and unpaid) interns, it’s done by professionals with a proven track record. They are the best at what they do.


Nobody here is rich, but if they work for us, they won’t go home short changed either. We believe in treating people the way we’d like to be treated.


Time with clients


Every hour we spend doing a quote is one less hour we can bill. That’s the reality of running a business. We need to ensure that we have the resource in hand to allow us to quote properly, coming up with new ideas to help present your business or brand in the best possible way.


We spend a long time working on quotes and tenders, and in a number of cases we get nothing. No feedback, no response, no interest. And it’s not just us, most small businesses meet their fair share of these every year. It goes with the territory, but that doesn’t make it any easier.


As well as spending a long time coming up with the most unique and creative solutions for you to begin with, once we’ve got the job we also spend a lot of time above and beyond the actual work thinking about your project, sourcing the best people to work on your stuff, and keeping you updated on it. That comes with the job, but it takes time and people need to be paid for that time.


Office costs


We have a simple, but lovely office. It’s light, airy, practical and comes with free parking and an amazing on site café that’s perfect for meetings.


We could work in an old shipping container, or all work at home but we view our office as investment in our business and employees. It also means you can come here and meet us, and can get us at any time you need to.




Accountants need to be paid. We need insurance to cover us, and you, for any unforeseen issues that may arise. People need coffee and we sometimes need to print things, although we do avoid this as often as possible.


Equipment & Licenses


We don’t have the most expensive equipment, but we do invest in good quality computers and gear. Trust us, it’s worth it.


Licenses for software aren’t cheap, but we’re not prepared to cut corners. Everyone has access to properly licensed software for design, editing, productivity and social media.




We’re here to market you, but we also have to market ourselves. We’re good at it because it’s what we do, but it’s certainly not free. We need to keep doing this to keep going, and this is built into everything we do.


Why do we do it?


For us, it’s about producing high quality marketing, content and digital assets that work for our clients. It’s about being able to invest time in work that makes a difference. It’s about treating everyone who works with us fairly and running a business in the way it should be run.


So, the next time anyone gives you a quote for creative work, consider what goes into the work. The years of experience, the insight gained from thousands of hours spent improving their skills and knowledge and their need to pay their bills.


There will always be someone out there that’s cheaper, but the truth is, you get what you pay for.


We’re a simple marketing and content agency that believes in a good days work for a fair days pay. If you would like to discuss how we can support you, your business or your brand then contact us today.