Hey Marketeers, don’t let time come and bite you in the arse!

Dog biting a marketer

In the thick of the working week there are times when in a marketing role you feel squeezed from all sides. The campaign plan is going out of the window, the printer and production companies are waiting and the management team seem to just want everything now. And guess who gets to feel the pressure? Yep the poor humble marketer.

Rightly so you may think. But it was management that laid down the strategy and the communications plan, influenced by the latest trends and the big ‘new idea’ in marketing. It might well turn out to be amazingly successful, but it’s you that’s stuck in the middle of it all trying to make it happen. This is where time can come and bite you on the arse.

There are so many pressures on the modern marketer - meetings, processes, sign offs, approvals, regulation, deadlines, interpretation etc. So much so that it is often the briefing process that suffers most. As it takes time to write a good brief and there’s always the temptation to cut and paste! (We’ve all done it). So you feel under pressure and not least because you have to brief an agency that holds themselves in very high esteem.

Yep that’s right we are a creative agency specialising in design and marketing having a gentle dig at other agencies. And here’s why …

Great big successful agencies, you know the ones with layers upon layers of Account Managers, Account Directors, Client Services Directors, feeding into Production Managers, Studio Managers, Creative Directors and ‘stylists’! The ones with brilliant processes designed to create disruption in your thinking or to drive rigorous detailed thought right through the heart of the creative. Those agencies that like to question each and every brief that you write because that’s what they are supposed to do, isn’t it?

Our experience and those of our customers shows us that there are times when this big agency schnizzle is needed. But not each and every time, sometimes you just need to get things done. You’ve got an urgent press deadline, or print needed turning around in less than 24 hours, content needed for a new web page etc. And now is not the time when you need your brief micro-analysed or challenged by your agency. And, of course, there are the times when you simply have a great idea yourself and you need it turning into a good piece of communication. But you’ve managed to insult the whole agency, particularly the Creative Director who has reacted like Marco Pierre white being asked for salt in one of his restaurants (One for those alive in the nineties). All because the way in which big agencies work is to have processes for everything, they focus on the big ideas not the little things that a client might need to happen when time and money are stretched.

There’s a well used adage that goes something like – you can have it fast but it won’t be cheap, or you can have it cheap but it won’t be fast! If an agency can smell your desperation then you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll add a zero to the costs.

Marketeers under pressure will of course scrimp on the time to write a crystal clear proposition and compelling brief, instead getting an instruction to an agency quickly and therefore getting that monkey off their desk. But hey they are the client and they pay the bills. However, it’s at times like this that the process exacerbates the situation. “We need to meet to discuss… our layers of people with lofty and good intentions want to ask lots of questions … our Creative Director doesn’t like this approach” (you know that moment when you think please just get on with it). Questions and processes that eat into your time even further. Can you feel the teeth about to sink in at this point…?

The process designed for award winning disruption or insightful led wonders, just can’t cope with getting stuff done fast, which at times when a marketer needs it most feels like wading through treacle. Compromises are made and it’s never a surprise that the outcome is never quite what it should be. But you have to go with it as you have no time left to change it or simply cannot afford the extra budget to revise those last few niggles. It’s that moment when, ouch, jaws clamped, teeth sink in and you realise that time has well and truly bitten you. You’re resigned to the pain and you grit your teeth but ‘ping’ wait, what’s this? Another urgent project from management! Surely not, they’re just sticking the boot in now.

It’s that moment when you wish there was another option. An agency that could simply deliver great ideas without all the fluff and the smoke and mirrors. Oh, and one that was pain free too!

Good Comms


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