Some years ago a friend and one-time colleague from my advertising agency days left to start a marketing consultancy. He was called Johnny Wright. Neither he nor I were particularly keen on marketing consultants, but he planned to offer a very specialized service. It struck me then that he had a really good idea. And it still does. Put simply, Johnny’s idea was to offer advice to companies on how to get the best out of their advertising agency.
I have long thought that understanding as much as possible about what you are buying leads to the happiest outcomes, whether it’s a house, an investment, or the 3.30 at Newmarket; or a video. Of course you can never have the skills or the knowledge of the specialists you hire – presumably you wouldn’t need to hire them otherwise. But it has to make sense to understand enough about their work to be able to provide all the information and materials they need to do the job properly, give them a sensible amount of time to deliver the best solution, and judge what is a good price. There are also less tangible issues, like motivation and loyalty. As a manager you wouldn’t think twice about the need to motivate your staff and win their trust to get the best out of them; well funnily enough the same applies to most your suppliers.
Now you’d think the marketing people in companies whose primary way of communicating with customers is mainstream consumer advertising would have a pretty good idea of how the process of creating and buying advertising works. But even so Johnny found that he was able to teach them all sorts of tips and methods to improve their effectiveness, and the quality of the advertising produced.
And that’s what I hope to do in some of the pieces that I post here. Over the years I have worked for many different clients, ranging from those who had never before had anything to do with media as a communications tool and were happy to profess their ignorance, to those who had been closely involved with media throughout their career. I hope that I can offer all of these some useful thoughts about getting the most out of media production, and some insights into the work of a media producer. I make no apologies for these articles being totally subjective. The views expressed will be my own, based on my own experience. Other opinions are available.
If any of my observations stimulate the urge to respond, in agreement or otherwise, please do add your own thoughts.
Watch this space.