Who Gets "It"? Most Agencies Don't

The division of left brain / right brain in marketing, sales and advertising is dead.

Clients no longer appreciate, nor respect, the inability of agencies to follow traditional business practices, and be beholden unto "the creative process" - which means the agency will deliver the goods when they're good and ready.

They expect process, accountability AND creative, all in one finely wrapped package. On time, and on strategy - strategy that sells, not strategy that looks pretty and people will remember for its "story." (What I call "voodoo creative" where the creative overwhelms the message.)

Clients are also demanding that their partners know more about what's going on in the entire world of marketing and communications than just what the agency, or agency management, sees through its limited prism. And excellent example of this can be found in this article:

http://www.brandweek.com/bw/esearch/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003808085

I say this with confidence because my agency (www.sfamarketing.com) has recently won several pieces of business because we treat marketing as a discipline, and have been rewarded in kind.

Net net: the smarter you approach your client's business and satisfying their specific business-focused needs through defined, strategic processes, the better your creative output, and your overall relationship, will be.

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3 Comments

  • Alder Crocker

    I agree Ben, wholeheartedly, especially with respect to the fact that while many businesses are indeed process oriented, many can't see the forest through the trees. Going back to brand calibration, many also don't know how to visualize, and then produce, new products and services that further define the value they can bring as a company to their audiences, current and prospective.

    And Michael, thank you for your thoughts, but you just reinforced my point better than I could ever have written. Established processes and proven tactics? please, I've worked with a range of large and small agencies and if there were proven process, then why the all-nighters before a pitch? or the expensive yet still garbage ads and programs out there that do nothing to make me want to buy a product or service - business or consumer? take a look at salesforce.com, or Oracle, or IBM, or even BP - nothing innovative there except a process driven focus on giving the current and potential customer...what they want: facts that drive a reaction.

  • Ben Murphy

    Alder - I think you're right on the money. And, I would argue, this has application far beyond the creative sector. It's a rule that's quickly becoming very real in any business. Broad thinkers who "get it" and can execute in a win-win way for everyone involved are what we need in business. Those folks are few and far between (15% is awfully generous)...

  • Michael McGrath-Sing

    Congratulations on your success. However, building your business on well-established processes and proven tactics that agencies have created over time does not give you the right to bash our creative process. It just means neither you nor your client require innovative strategies at this point in time.