How to be a better client.

There’s an old saying in this business that clients get the advertising they deserve. Here are some things they don’t teach in business school or discuss in marketing conferences that can increase the odds you’ll get your agency’s best efforts–and deserve them.

Don’t buy a dog and then bark for it. The reason you hire an ad agency is because their people can do things you can’t. Tell your agency team what your advertising needs to do, agree on how you’re going to measure it, then let them work. Telling advertising professionals how to do their job wastes their talents and your company’s money.

Value our Otherness. While an agency needs to understand its client’s culture, business model and products, they are not you. That difference is valuable. There’s already an expert on your company and its products and it’s you.

Be straight with us. All companies have politics. All employees have bosses. If either one is the reason you’re reluctant to embrace a good idea, tell us. We will respect you, empathize and work with you to deal with the problem. If you don’t tell us, we’ll have no choice but to think you don’t know a good idea when you see one.

Do not ask: Is there a better shot/take/word/phrase/layout? The creatives don’t think there is, or you would have already seen it.

Get out from behind the glass. You’re a successful young professional. Living someone else’s life, even for a few minutes, beats watching it every time. Go to a NASCAR race (not comped). Watch Fox. If you already watch Fox, listen to NPR. Walk around a neighborhood you don’t know. Eavesdrop, always. And whatever you do, when looking at the agency’s work…

Don’t think like a marketer. You were born with all the training you need to look at an ad and figure out if it’s good. Your humanity and your life experiences will steer you right. The minute you start analyzing, you’re in trouble.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: