New Beginnings: The Expert

There’s are inherent consequences when one writes a blog on marketing and advertising. He or she can be rapidly exposed as lacking any real knowledge on these disciplines. Or, the blog writer may be considered as an expert on the subject. I don’t know which is worse. I have given opinions on marketing and on advertising using a blog, and it resulted in a telephone call or e-mail from someone seeking advice. Unfortunately, it’s always free advice.

Although I’d like to be accommodating and responsive, I’m in business to make money. In other words, at some point, an acumen in marketing and advertising manifested — largely from experience — and some consequential to sitting in a classroom. But, small business owners need to know how to get their products before the public. The issue for them is costs. They say.

Most business owners (unless they have stockpiled a marketing department with clones of David Ogilvy) lack the time or technical know-how required to successfully develop, execute and manage marketing or advertising campaigns. Often, when called, depending on my mood I let on that the campaign need not be five years — but should be conducted over an appreciable time where results can be measured. Sadly, the point is missed.

Here is why I say this. Every operator of an ad agency, no matter the size of it, has encountered the bozo that’s operating as either a marketing officer or, chief operating officer who really believes whatever he does can exceed the efforts of a professional advertising agency. I’m sorry, that’s just delusional. CDM Digital had a client who boldly said: “I used to work at (he named a big-name Fortune 500 company) as regional sales manager. I averaged (some voluminous amount – pick a figure) per year for three years. My response was simple: “Sir, the operative word is that you are a FORMER head of regional sales. Former means you either retired or got canned. Since you’re what –? forty-six, they dispatched you to the unemployment line.” It happens.

On the other hand, since our purpose is to refine what we do, we do will be beneficial for a company. My late brother used this approach often to say: “Look,Chump. Sit your ass down. I got this.”

Although we are not in business to offer snappy retorts, we must defend our territory. We are a small agency, so our defenses are like storming the palace at Westeros where it is encircled by quicksand, a fiery lake, spikes, and a very ugly, smirking woman and her vertically challenged brother. (Sorry for my Game of Thrones reference). Defensiveness no way to run an advertising agency.

The better approach is to educate clients on the benefits of whatever modality we’re using to develop their advertising and marketing plan. Our plan of execution must be upon their consent and not be couched in mystery. Methodology must be transparent while not exposing “trade secrets.” Without agency education they have no clue of how to write an effective ad, attach appropriate graphics, and place it with media. More importantly, the “whys” come into clarity.

This is not rocket science — but a process of application of what’s been learned regarding what’s proven to be effective, expansive and dichotomous speaking, targeted.

The landscape of advertising and its execution has changed. It continues to change everyday. Sometimes it’s better for a company to make a small investment and pay for a campaign or advice that’ll help grow its revenue.

I don’t know if I’m an expert. I’m good at what I do. However, advice cannot be freely given because getting paid is how I buy groceries.

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