Archive for September, 2017

September 14, 2017

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“Yes, I’ll have a TV spot, some VCM, 2 schedules of radio, a direct mail piece … oh, and refresh my web site with some new SEO.”

“Very good, sir. I’ll be right back.”

If an ad agency were a restaurant, it might go something like that.

But it’s not.

Forgive the restaurant metaphor, but it seems so appropriate. Clients shouldn’t be selecting from a menu, yet there are still agencies that attempt to sell “today’s special”. Isn’t every advertising problem unique?  Shouldn’t it be cooked to order?

While I have been in small market advertising all my life, surely the philosophy is the same no matter if you’re in a diner or a white tablecloth establishment. Clients need to trust that you are preparing exactly what they need. They should feel your passion, concern, interest, and enthusiasm. They deserve lavish communication and want direction!

Clients – and customers – are gold. They come first. Always. It should be the underlying philosophy that drives every agency action.   

And everyone in the agency needs to understand that. Before any programming, coding, writing, shooting, editing, or media placement begins, every creative person who touches the project needs to know the goal of the client. And, just because we have a special on lamb chops doesn’t mean we should serve them to everyone. If you’re trying to sell the thing that will be the most profitable for your agency, then you’re doing it wrong.

Finally, everyone likes to dabble in the kitchen, but there can be only one chef. That’s the Creative Director, who is responsible for serving up a final course that translates into client success.  Even if it’s something that is not on the menu.

 

 

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September 3, 2017

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“I’ve got 12 years on you … and I always will!!”

These words were emphatically spoken to a loud, mouthy, young radio salesgirl by her much wiser manager.

The mouthy sales girl was me. The manager was reminding me that she had more experience and I needed to listen. That woman has been my mentor ever since.

She found me tending bar and offered me a job in radio sales. I initially turned her down, but thankfully, she persisted. Six months later I was selling airtime and my career began. Her blunt observations, guidance, and belief in the abilities that I couldn’t see in myself made all the difference in my professional life.

No matter if you’re fresh out of school or you’ve been working for years, find someone with more experience, with a different perspective and a different approach, to be your mentor. This person doesn’t even have to be in your chosen field. They need to be someone you admire and can cultivate a relationship with.

Take them to coffee or lunch. Ask them for their insight. What did they do in their career that worked for them? What were their failures? Believe me, everyone wants to share what they know. They’ll be flattered as hell you asked and you’ll learn far more than you would have ever learned in a classroom or a book.

After selling radio, I went out on my own, started a little ad agency and spent 32 plus years doing what I loved. Through it all, my mentor has never been out of reach and I owe her more than I can ever repay. I’m still loud and mouthy, but at least I know I’m not the smartest person in the room … and my life is richer for it.

Thanks, Pam.