Where we come in

Tom Tom had an interesting article from Sunday, which he allowed us to see things from the clients perspective. I agreed with everything he wrote and it got me thinking, and what I came up with is simple:

Clients aren't like normal people.

If clients were like normal people they wouldn't need us. They would create and market their products themselves and they would do both equally well. But the clients perspective has a flaw that prevents this from happening; they're too close to their products.

They know the ins the outs, the benefits, the prices, and many other selling points of their products and on many occasions they want those tangible benefits big, bold and right-up-front. They're too focused on what the product is as opposed to what the it means to the consumer.

And that's where we come in. We most likely have little knowledge of the product in relation to our client, but what we lack in product expertise we make up with having product understanding, which is the ability to to pick out the selling points that can be communicated to consumers in a palatable way. This mindset can turn a product into a brand.

Basically, we know people. We know how they think and in what ways they want to be talked to, I think if there is a common strenth among advertising creatives this would be it. That's our great selling point, we're cultural psychologists, we know people and culture better than anyone (except, possibly, for real cultural psychologists).

19 comments:

Todd W. said...

I admire your faith in the consumer-centricity of ad folk. Certainly the attitude you describe would be immensely helpful to a great variety of clients. But what I sense, instead, is that just as the client is too close to the product features, we are too close to OUR products. We advocate making the best TV spot/website/billboard possible, as if that were a self-contained end within itself. Everyone could use a little reminder of what the end benefit of our work is.

Johnny Lefthand said...

You make a good point. We can also be to close to our own creativity that we lose focus on what we're actually trying to do, which is to sell something.

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