Before we get in too deep, let’s define the term "graphic designer". Most small to medium sized companies use the term “graphic designer” as a catch-all term that covers all aspects of marketing. Print designer, web designer, illustrator, animator, social media manager, app designer, CX producer, UX producer, creative director, photographer, videographer, video editor, content manager, art director, and often marketing manager are all often covered under the umbrella of “graphic designer".
Each one of those titles are independent jobs with many skilled people who excel in their field. Yet many companies look for one employee to fill all of those rolls. Read that list again and ask yourself, does that even seem possible?
There are many designers who have cross discipline skills; i.e. graphic/web designer, illustrator/animator, CX/UX producer, and they may have a few skills in other application like basic coding or video editing. But the ability to do it all?
But a creative agency is expensive right? IS it? Let’s do a basic breakdown of costs. A full time “graphic designer” with the experience you need will on average cost about $60,000 dollars annually in just salary. But after you add insurance, paid time off, and other costs, you could be spending at least another $7,500. So, in a conservative estimate, one full time “graphic designer” can cost a company about $67,500 a year. But again, you may have to pay for additional contractors to fill in the gaps such as a professional photographer, videographer, etc. and your costs will continue to grow. With each additional individual you hire you risk getting someone who is not what they seem. A photographer that isn’t that good, a videographer that never finishes their project, a media contractor that doesn’t bring a return on investment. And as costs continue to grow; it's no wonder many companies see marketing as a black hole.
So, why use a creative agency? Instead of hiring an individual to fill in as many rolls as possible and using contractors to fill in the gaps, you hire an entire team of professionals who collaborate together. So when you need your website updated, a web designer will work on it, if you need video, a highly skilled videographer, producer, and editor will make the best video, and when you need photography you will get a real photographer with all the skills and equipment needed, not someone with an iPhone. And a creative agency's team members will all communicate with each other to make sure that your company's work is cohesive, from photography, to web design to your branding. By using a creative agency, a company saves on healthcare costs, sick days, paid time off, vacations. A good creative agency will track all marketing endeavors with analytics to judge their effectiveness and ROI.
So, I think now the question is can you afford NOT to use a creative agency?
By: Kevin Gallagher: Kevin is the content manager for Unify Creative Agency, a company that helps companies be seen heard and understood.