I was reading Adverting Age last week and came across an article about the Groupon Super Bowl ad situation (http://adage.com/article/news/groupon-ceo-relied-agency-bowl-ads/149498/) that had an interesting line:
“The situation illustrates a classic tension in marketer-agency relationships: Clients say they want to take risks, but later realize they weren’t ready or can’t stomach the criticism associated with them.”
While this is true, it’s also the marketer’s job to feel out the client’s comfort level and if they are REALLY risk takers and if they are really ready. Now I’m not commenting on the Groupon situation here, I’m just making an observation in general. For all I know CP&B were given every indication that Groupon was indeed ready.
Many clients say they want “out of the box”, “innovative”, and sometimes even “jazzy” (it’s true) but quite often their idea of what this means and the marketer’s idea are not the same. It’s also something people say without understanding what that could mean long term. It’s our job as marketers to educate them and guide them. What this looks like from firm to firm is of course different, but at zag (Warning: shameless plug coming) it means working through well thought out strategic process tailored to the individual needs of each client.
By taking a collaborative strategic approach to marketing, some of the typical marketer-agency challenges can be mitigated. With an integrated strategy in place, the success of the marketing plan is not dependant on one campaign or one initiative. Everything becomes part of the bigger plan. Engaging in a strategic approach also means thinking the initiatives through to implementation and planning for feedback and reactions.