The client made me do it!

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People instinctively like consistency and predictability, it allows them to be comfortable, and make judgments without too much risk of being wrong because the status quo has been maintained.

Helping out with a competitive pitch recently I was shown a list of the things that had to be covered, a checklist for the expected content of the presentations, a list of largely irrelevant , administrative crap, and we had only 45 minutes.

With some trepidation, we threw out the list, and built a presentation that demonstrated that the agency I was working with had the experience, and capabilities  to break the challenges faced by the “pitchee” down into manageable chunks that could be addressed creatively, responsibly, and with a budget that was less than the one nominated, (which we knew was not gong to be forthcoming in any event)

We knew during the conversation that followed that the business had been won, despite the ignoring of the stated ground-rules. The sorts of comments that were made were that our approach had been “fresh” and “creative” and that we had “thought outside the box” all cliché’s, but nice nevertheless. However, what it really demonstrates is the we won because we were different.

Our competitors had followed the rules, and been boring as a result, we were not boring, had taken a risk that with hindsight was not a risk at all, so we won.

So, any time you hear something that sounds like “the client made me do it” translate it as “I did not have the balls or imagination to be original, different, and interesting”.

About strategyaudit

StrategyAudit is a boutique strategy and marketing consultancy concentrating on the challenges of the medium sized manufacturing businesses that make up the backbone of our economy. The particular focus is on their strategic and marketing development. as well as the business and operational efficiency improvements necessary for day to day commercial survival. We not only give advice, we go down "into the weeds" to ensure and enable implementation.
This entry was posted in Customers, Innovation, Marketing, Strategy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The client made me do it!

  1. strategyaudit says:

    Thanks Joyohana, glad it scratched your brain.
    I see way too much creativity being exercised to dream up excuses for all sorts of “dumbness”. If all that creativity was directedf towards implementing, being different, adding real value, and understanding the causes of problems, not just observing the symptoms, we would all be better off.

  2. joyohana says:

    Interesting article.

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