Strategy pays for itself
Nick Carter

When I talk to other studio owners about points of friction when signing work, one thing seems nearly universal: in scope negotiations, strategic project phases are always among the first things on the chopping block.

A few common reasons:

- There isn’t time for it

- There isn’t budget for it

- We already did that with another partner

Research, discovery, interviews, vision setting: we regard these as foundational. It’s really hard to make great work without them. But too often, studios find themselves cutting back in order to win the work.

One way we’re trying to be better about this: making the case that strategy work pays for itself. Because strategic processes create clarity and alignment before creative work begins, we can usually find creative solutions more quickly.

That means fewer rounds of revision, less time spent aggregating, delivering, and deciphering feedback, and a very low likelihood that the project stalls out or needs to restart.

These are expensive trip-ups that cost clients time and money. Usually, more time and money than the strategic processes cost in the first place. That’s how strategy pays for itself.

For clients who have lived through those frustrating experiences, it’s a message that usually resonates.