Spend Money On The Product, Not The "What Ifs"

It never fails. Great client, great ideas and a feeble budget meet. As much as any company doesn't want to work within the parameters of a small budget there are times when "the wants" kill the product. Where I always see money get torn apart in is up front, with rounds and rounds of revisions trying to make everyone in the corporation from the mail room up happy. Stop, making it your life's goal to have everyone approve every pixel. Second are endless rounds of revisions, but now it's after you've seen it for the first time. A peer of mine calls this period "post visualization" (BTW: this is where scope-creep runs ramped so AE's need to be very mindful here) and not matter how much you all thought you were on the same page that concept will never be exactly what you thought.

I once told columnist that "the day I complete a project that is the exact match to what I had originally envisioned, is the day I will quit this business."

Spend money on:

  • Great Concepts – (then let the ideas happen; if your agency is stellar they can explain why it's not what you had initially imagined)
  • Great Media – Vivid Photography, well composed, shot and edited video and don't forget the audio!
  • A Great Story – artfully crafted, the best messaging to marry the chosen visuals
  • Testing – Take time to make sure that once it's live, it's correct
  • Technology – Support your campaign with the right social media, mobile or alternate applications
  • Post-Launch Optimization (if online) – Look for ways to make what you put up better and more effective using analytics and measurement

This post was inspired by the following YouTube clip that shows just how little thought was put into the quality of voice-over talent for video games.

Addendum: After reading this post, I started to think that everyone in this industry will say "well it's easier said than done Justice." And while yes, it's easy for me to stand here and make it sound simple, it's your job as a great agency to get the client to understand these truths – and make them simple. Don't let great ideas get dumbed down to a shell of their once former self. And clients, trust your decisions and don't be lead by the "what ifs."

Posted on November 12, 2009 and filed under Advertising, Business, Management, Soapbox.