At Edge we just had a great training around creativity by the Thinkergy team. It broke down creativity into a clear sequential structure. It gave the whole team ideation tools, and best of all it focused everyone back again to what is important for us; creating great ideas for our clients.
I had the privilege of being the client to which each group had to pitch their ideas. Surprisingly, from this client perspective I learned a lot.
Agencies can appear arrogant
After giving the agencies a briefing I welcome all questions. Really, I want the input, I want to work with you to get to a clear understanding and get us all on one page. But darn you are an arrogant bunch.
Just because you have digital in your title doesn't give you the right to make me feel digitally small. A few highlights:
- Don't roll your eyes when I mention QR codes (or some other, in your opinion obsolete, tool). There's a reason I'm mentioning this. FIND OUT.
- If I come to you with a brief, and you come back saying it's not a digital brief. I will take it away from you and give it to someone that does want to work on it. I'm sure other digital agencies would.
- Don't tell me my brief is scattered, unfocused, too long, etc. My intern worked really hard preparing this and I had about 10 minutes to approve it before went out to you. DO help me clarify the brief, work with me to make it sharper. A partner in this part of the process can be a partner in the future. Briefing you is a small part of my job.
Classically we think that you as the agency know digital, and I as the client know the brand. But the reality is that there is a lot of overlap. The agency that understands that and works with me as a partner from the start has the best chance of continuing to work.
You are what you pitch
- If you are late, I will not work with you, and if by some miracle I do, my payments will be late
- If you are not structured and clear, I will not work with you
- If you do not seem to be committed to the pitch, you will not be committed to my work
If you are not organised during the pitch, you won't be organised with my work. Work on my pitch as if I am a million dollar client, and I will become, a million dollar client.
It's all about the insight
You can think of the fanciest campaign involving a 3d printed screen on a drone that livestreams crowdsourced videos of cats onto the world largest flashmob handing out coupons.
But if it is not based on a fundamental insight into my target market, I will not buy it.
My heart beats faster when you have an insight into the target market I did not know. It is exciting and I want to get started right away. All you then need to do is have an idea to leverages that.
Give me an insight, the rest will follow.
The most memorable agency, wins
I saw three pitches today. In my mind the ideas all overlapped. As the client I take this back to my colleagues and we have our own brainstorm, cutting bits and bobs up from every agencies pitch. We then come up with something that we think it’s the greatest thing in the world. Most likely, it’s horrible. A Frankenidea that might not work.
But we cannot do the same to an agency. I cannot take the strategist of one agency add the creative of another agency, etc. That is why:
The most memorable agency, wins.
I love to see you having chemistry with each other. I like to see you have fun with it (but still take my brand seriously). If you are having fun I can imagine working with you. We will have tough times, but I can see that we will be doing this together. You see, agencies are the best part of my job. Half the time I am staring at excel sheets and the other half I am making sure I keep my job.
When you walk in the door, I can have fun. I do not just want that in the pitch, I want that moving forward. Smile, joke around with me. But make sure it is with me, not about me.
Brand your work, make it easy for me to discuss it with my colleagues. It is easier to remember “The Floating Donkey” campaign than: “you know, that idea where the user has to send an sms and then redeem in store via the iPad installation.”
Which leads me into…
I am looking for a trusted advisor and partner
I know you do not have all the answers but I do expect you to be:
- Credible. Know what you are talking about. Tell me when you do not know, but figure it out with me.
- Reliable. Be there when you say you will. Deliver when you say you will. Inform me well in advance when you cannot. I also have (internal)clients to manage.
- Intimate. Have fun with me. Ask me about my personal interests. And yes, blatantly use it. I know you are using it. And when done with a wink, a smile, and actual interest. I love it.
- Don’t be so self oriented. I don’t care about your internal problems. I want you to care about the goals I need to achieve with my brand. Think a bit about me, but think more about what you can do to help us achieve our company targets. I don’t want to hear about your other clients, I want to be your one client. I don’t want to be compared. I know you have others, but when you are here with me. Make me believe that I’m the one.
- Be Passionate! Lot’s can be forgiven if I see you really care. Do you consume my product? Do you use my product even when I’m not there. If I catch you by surprise and you are using my product. You just won another six months of leeway. I won’t be disloyal if you won’t. Bug me, tell me your ideas, send me thoughts in short emails. Constantly be brainstorming with me.
What do you think client?