To Ad Agencies: If it was your money would you approve this campaign?

stanrappOne of the most notable Gurus in the direct marketing world, Stan Rapp, recently described the current economic environment to me as “The Great Disruption”.  He went on to say: “The crash of 2008 marked the end of an era and the start of a new one…. Web-based mass networking. There’s a whole new paradigm emerging. You take the data-driven ROI of direct response, and slam it together with the networking capacity of Web 2.0. The result is an ability to reach your target consumer, create a trackable connection, and build on it. You are buying more than just awareness. Clients can cut two dollars of mass media and get more results investing one dollar in iDirect”.

Stan has deep history in direct and is often very critical of the world of brand advertising. He has however over the years consistently been ahead of the pack predicting changes and trends that have impacted the whole industry. Therefore, I have no reason to believe that he wrong now.

Never before has there been such a focus on the use of data leading to actionable insights, the interrelationship between direct and digital, the need to track and measure results, and ultimately to make more efficient use of our clients marketing dollars.

My suggestion for all agency leadership is to consider asking this one question before you send your team out the door to present the agency’s ideas to either a current or prospective client.

If you were in their shoes on the client side and it was your money, would you go ahead and approve this campaign?

Please give it you’re considered thought before just blurting out that of course you would. Your agency came up with it so why wouldn’t you? Here are some basic support questions that may help you decide on your final answer:

  • Is the work innovative within the parameters that apply to this opportunity?
  • Is the idea/concept based on actionable insights?
  • Are you addressing and solving the business problem?
  • Have you done adequate research and due diligence to minimize the risk of failure?
  • Have you estimated the expected results and outcome based on your research and experience?
  • How do your estimates line up with client expectations or sales targets etc?
  • Do the metrics make sense related to cost versus outcome?
  • Can you execute it flawlessly within the time period and within the budget?
  • Have you defined how to track and measure the results or sales?
  • Are you proud of the work and do you believe it will achieve the required impact/results?

If you can answer all or most of the 10 questions with a positive response you can be confident that your team will have a high possibility of selling the work. If you cannot, why not call the client, tell them that upon review you are not happy with the work and ask for an extension. While they may be a little angry and frustrated by the call, you may ultimately save their career and your agency’s relationship with the client.


One Response to To Ad Agencies: If it was your money would you approve this campaign?

  1. Jim Gilbert says:

    Well now that you have said it, we can all go home. I’ve been looking for a way to say exactly what you did so succinctly.

    Jim Gilbert

    PS. You can guest on my blog any time.

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