The Marketing Client. Where Would We be Without Them?
So many marketing people forget who is paying their salary. Good Lord, client disrespect was rampant in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and oh yeah, the 90’s and the 00’s. Agencies treated them like a necessary evil. “Oh man, the marketing client really messed this up. “The marketing client this, the marketing client that”. Looking back, it was remarkable that ad agencies held on to business at all…well actually they didn’t…that’s how the pitch was invented. “Let he who has not sinned…”
Okay, I’ll give you my favorite client dis. We had one gentleman who would not leave the cameraman alone during a film shoot. So, we took a Styrofoam cup, poked a hole in it, covered it with Saran Wrap, tied a string around it, and told him to look through the cup…that it was the same as the camera. It was tough to keep a straight face. I mean the poor guy walked around all day looking through a cup.
Then there was the time one of my clients ate a $2,000.00 color-corrected salami during the lunch break at a still photo shoot. We’re lucky he didn’t die, but we almost did…laughing.
Okay, so those are two strange experiences, but in my career, I came to appreciate the agency/marketing client relationship. At the more successful agencies, we were schooled to team up with our clients and learn the business together. Share the knowledge and share the success. If the marketing client wanted credit for a successful campaign, so be it. It was his money. As I matured, I realized we all wanted the same thing, a positive outcome. Teamwork is what makes the relationship fun. After a World Series win, you seldom see a player jumping up and down by himself.
It’s fun to jump up and down with a marketing client, particularly when you win.