To write about my husband’s clients would be indiscreet and highly inappropriate and we certainly wouldn’t want that. So let’s just say that I know this certain guy (let’s call him “Bob”) who has a number of small business clients (let’s just call them “clients” because calling them Dumbo, although tempting, would be inappropriate).
In earlier times, “Bob” worked at a fairly major Chicago ad agency and so he understands the etiquette of how a marketing plan and its accompanying creative product are handled. He knows that there is a creative director through whom all creative product passes before going to the client. He knows that marketing is not the same as advertising, not all cost savings are a good thing, and you don’t “rebrand” your business by changing the logo.
But small business clients don’t always know this stuff and trying to get them to understand it is like trying to teach a pig to sing – it’s not only futile but it annoys the pig.
“Hey Bob, I know that you told me not to be passing your confidential marketing notes around the office because it’s just a rough draft and all, but I was so excited about the concept and so thrilled about the work I thought I should share it with just a couple of key people. Twelve people within the company (including an intern and the third-floor janitor) loved it but the lady who does my mother’s hair doesn’t like it and now I’ve decided that maybe we should rethink this whole thing.”
“You know that new logo that the professional graphic designer who specializes in creating logos designed for us? The one we spent two months, seven meetings, 56 phone calls and 1,146 emails about? Well, after I dropped it off at Bubba’s Auto Emporium on Monday to have it painted on the company vans, Bubba Jr. decided to take it to his high school art class and these kids have come up with something entirely different that is kind of cute.”
“Bob, you can take that professional film production money out of the budget because I met this retired welder at my cousin Blanche’s wedding last weekend. He just started a wedding video business and he’s going to shoot the whole package – the commercials and the training film – on his iPhone for a fraction of the cost. Can you have the script ready by Friday? We’re going to save even more money with the on-camera talent because Blanche offered to do it for free and she looks so nice now that she’s got most of the weight off.”
I’ll bet you think that I’m kidding. I’ll bet you think that I’m exaggerating. I will admit that these examples are a compilation of the kinds of things that several different clients have come up with over the past year. Nonetheless, this weekend “Bob” has to try to break the latest news to the art director. I’d tell you more, but that would be inappropriate.
Are we having fun yet?