Interesting chat with creative Lance Dooley today - talking about a few ad folks who seem to have tremendous potential but have taken no steps to reach it because they approach everything with either blame or disdain. Rather than leveraging the resources of the agency to improve their skills, they're just increasingly put off by every project, interaction, client, etc.
Lance's take: People with that kind of attitude will never improve their skills because it gives them a Teflon coating that says, "it wasn't my fault."
He went on to say: I once saw an interview with Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, and John Elway and they said the reason they became the best ever in their respective fields is because they always blamed themselves. That people that exercise "blame-shifting" were people that would never improve their game.
Something to think about ... there's a little bit of "that guy" in most of us.
Incredibly funny audio clip straight from ad hell: a creative presentation via conference call and PDF. Oh, and with a budget on the back page. Ouch.
If the creative credits were not on the page, I would swear this was written by Blogger Wrightoff. But, nonetheless, I'm sure this and many similar calls are followed up with a scenario like his brilliantly written, Death by a Thousand Cuts.
Back-to-back auto spots at Advergirl. This one is much better - a fun take on an old cliche and a very memorable execution. Some of the "choreography" seems a little messy or off in some way, but overall a great spot by Crispin, Porter & Bogusky:
Ok, humans can't fly. So, not a great example. We can get in machines that fly, but nothing like the freedom Da Vinci imagined. Unless, of course, you consider gliding flying, which would be a little silly, but, ok ...
So, thanks to BP, we will apparently be subjected to an endless number of these inane brand ads that gloss up the general environmental shittiness of their current products by saying "we're working on it." Super.
Clients always want potential agencies to demonstrate knowledge of their industry - do you have experience with my PRODUCTS? But, an equally valid measure of competence might be - do you have experience with my PROBLEMS?
Many, many B2B marketers seem to share the same struggles - and figuring out how to talk about their products generally isn't one of them. Much more challenging issues tend to grow from the battle between sales and marketing - for dollars, leadership and trust.
PROBLEMS to understand for marketers in traditional B2B sales organizations:
Teaching an army of sales guy to understand how marketing works / what to expect from it
Convincing leaders who grew up in sales to invest in marketing
Mining deeper information about the customer base - or, really anything beyond name, company, projection
And - in lieu of the budget to do lots of research - pushing the limits of the shared corporate assumptions about who those customers are
Successfully communicating the difference between branding, marketing and lead gen
Facing the unrealistic expectations for results with the ridiculously small budget challenge
Tracking results / getting information back from the sales team
More often than not - being the only woman at the table
Controlling the message in the field
Attendees at DMA's DM Days identified these shared troubles:
Eighty-seven percent of B2B marketers have little confidence in their customer data
Fifty-four percent of B2B companies surveyed indicated that the lack of sales and marketing collaboration is their most important challenge.
Fifty-two percent of companies surveyed claimed to have integration between their sales and marketing systems.
Thirty-nine percent of respondents indicated that data-related issues were the next challenge facing their marketing efforts.
The agency I work for has a tough competitor in town for staff and reputation - a pharma ad giant that seems to sign a $30 million deal for every $3 million win of our own. My boss always kids that we wouldn't like working there anyway - too easy. Here's the value proposition for every product: you hurt. We can make you stop hurting. Bang, you're done.
Every time it makes me laugh. And, reading this article in NYT today really brought it to mind:
An anti-addiction pill. Already have a propensity to solve your problems with a drug? Gotten out of hand? Ok, here's one to counteract it. Bam. Sold. Were it not for the legal nightmares, who wouldn't want an account like that?