Posts Tagged ‘small town clients’

The Client/Vendor Relationship

February 16, 2010

Chances are very good you have this relationship with at least some of your clients. And if you do, send them to your competition.

Thank you Kathie, the best female announcer ever, for the find.

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Makin’ creative

January 11, 2010

We were a company of 12 at one time, and now we’re down to three, along with a team of brilliant freelancers who are at the ready. This is by my design. But every Monday morning, I look around and wonder …where’d I put that creative, anyway?

Big agencies have big teams to develop big ideas for big clients. But it’s all relative. Our small clients have much at stake: keep the doors open, sell stuff, make payroll, stay in business…just like “big” clients.  And, they expect us to deliver a solid message that brings warm bodies through the door. Maybe our role is even more vital since these small companies depend on repeat, long term customers. They battle Super-WalMart and other Big Box Stores daily. Small businesses look for their niche and a way to survive. They look to us to make their message meaningful and effective.

Example: I have a mom and pop furniture store who is open only one night a week, closed on Wednesday and Sunday, (yeah, I said closed Wednesday) and open only 8am-5pm the other days.  Yet, in spite of the way they force customers to conform to the way they do business, and with all the Big Box competition they have, they’ re still the ones to beat.  I must be a genius.

When you’re as small as we are, time is the valuable commodity. There’s not a lot of time to bounce ideas, experiment a little, write, re-write and re-write again…not a lot of time to savor the process of making the work. While I get bored and frustrated with that one (long-time) client who wants the same “show and tell”  TV, it works.

I got into the business over 27 years ago because of the creative process. I love being a real part of video projects, touching the many different aspects of making the work. But the “give and take”, “lets try this and if it doesn’t work lets try something else” days are long gone. In order to survive, we must churn out “new and different” as best we can because even in a small town, clients expect your best effort.

We’re open, but not on Wednesday or Sunday.

Only in Hooterville.

Starting the New Year Right

January 6, 2010

You can’t tell me that big agencies don’t deal with the same idiocy we deal with here. (We just wipe Pork Rind crumbs off the conference table.)Welcome to Day Three of the New Year at a little agency in the middle of nowhere but at the center of everything.

Email: How’s the web site coming? Well, we haven’t heard from you since mid-November. We need your product information and most importantly, APPROVAL on the revised proposal we sent.

We need to reshoot the open. My wife thinks my shirt makes me look like a porn star. (It doesn’t) but what’s wrong with that?

I know you handle our advertising but we let a company who specializes in web design do our new site. Uh, OK.  But they’re using the wrong logo.

We suggested adding a campaign oriented domain name to further drive their message… a natural move. Their marketing director said: Oh, No. We cant change the domain name. I’ve already placed all the yellow pages. What part of this does she not understand?

Acct Rep: They paid one of the invoices but not the other. OK, you’re mailing it to the wrong department. Send it here-we’ve told you this before. Can I fax it? No. Mail it. Can I email it? It would be quicker. No, they want a mailed invoice. Can I call him? NO, BITCH. MAIL THE BILL OR I’LL DRIVE UP AND CUT YOU.

There.  I feel better now.

Don, where are you when I need you?

A Year Later

December 27, 2009

This blog is one year old today.

164 posts. 13, 844 views. Connections made to people I’ve never met. Some I’d like to meet, some too frightening.

I’ve vented, observed, shared, learned, whined, been humbled, gained experience, found, lost, laughed, gotten confused, cried, gained perspective, cut-and-pasted, contributed, and a helluva lot more. It’s really been for me, but if you been here, then you’ve gotten a peek into a world waaaaaay far away from the Big Agency World.  Very different, but in many ways, very much the same. We fight the same client issues, develop work along the same methods, struggle with the same creative blocks, and enjoy the same streaks of inspiration.

In Hooterville, (as I affectionately call it) we know our audience and write and produce to reach them. Not so different, really.

Thanks for visiting the other side.

Careful there, you’re not the client

November 6, 2009

He called, wanted a meeting immediately, then bulldozed his way into our office.  He insisted something needed to be done and right away. He was losing money.  No, he wasn’t the final decision maker, but  he was a damned important strategic partner and they would listen to him. He liked a spot we did for the sister company. He hated the current marketing director of the company.  She was slow, unresponsive to his requests and should be be put back into the secretarial pool or fired. He’ll put his own money in to straighten things up, by God. He’d get us a meeting with the powers that be. And on the way out he said, you might “wear a low cut top” next time we meet.

We were certainly intrigued by this prospect. What if “this” and what if “that” began to float around. It could be a nice piece of business, but I resisted the urge to do any spec work-it didn’t feel right. (It wasn’t the low cut top comment, trust me.)

Anyway, good thing we didn’t spend a lot of time prepping a pitch. After raising every kind of hell, this important “strategic partner” was told flat out by the real decision makers this was none of his concern. Yes, they loved what adchicks team did for their sister company, but they are quite satisfied with their current mediocrity.

The moral of this story:  Never count your chickens before they’re hatched.

images-3

That’s one…

Turning on a dime

October 28, 2009

When you’re a small agency, you can do that. Turn on a dime. You can jump through a hoop and make it happen without inter-office bullshit, egos, protocols or hierarchy. So today when a client called and needed to change his commercial to push bananas at 39¢ a pound, we stopped everything else and did it.  In less than 3 hours, revision uploaded to the FTP. Boom. Done. I work with such cool people.

imagesDime turning.

It’s what we do.

It feels good.

They Said, I Thought

October 14, 2009

It’s really a wonder we have any clients left. The guys I work with just shake their heads. The older I get, the more impatient I become with clients. When I decide to waitress, I hope I can keep my mouth shut.

Our in-house designer?  Oh, she can do that.

If she could, then you wouldn’t be here…give it up.

We don’t know who the customer is, we’re hoping you can tell us.

If you don’t know, then I KNOW I don’t.

My wife is really artistic…these are some of her logo ideas.

Then you should hire her.

We did these ads.

Your children are ugly, oops, I mean these ads suck.

And I really have said this:  “With all due respect, what you are currently doing obviously isn’t working, or you wouldn’t be in my office.”

Welcome to small town advertising.

Oh yeah, advertising.

June 27, 2009

I’ve been so caught up in the interesting news du jour, I forgot I’m an AD chick, not a NEWS chick.  So, how about this for small town clients?   After years of good work, a seemingly solid relationship and positive results, the client calls me up and says, “We’re going in a different direction”.  I say, “So you’re firing me?” “Well, we’re just going in a different direction.”  Uh-Huh.  The PR Bitch in a MUCH larger market must have a tongue piercing…but I digress.  (Hey, I have SEEN her work – it sucks. Seriously average. Plus, we never got invited to compete with the new project and he let it go on for months, leaving us to wonder what the hell was up. Poorly handled, Mr. CEO)

So I move on.  Clients do come and go.   THEN, I get a Facebook Friend Request…from this guy.  Are you serious?

Yeah, I’m bitter.

imagesIf I get one, can I keep the business?