Two Ways Agencies Can Make Their Clients' Lives Easier

Ensure Your Creatives Are Sticklers for Deadlines and Are Great Presenters

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During Advertising Week, much of the content on panels is theoretical -- execs ponder compensation models and what mobile advertising's share of market will be in five years.

Michael Sprague
Michael Sprague
But in a rare moment, one panel today delivered some practical, actionable advice from senior marketers.

The theme of the session, which featured three top marketers from Kia, Pepsi and Unilever, was the afterlife of a great idea: the pressure that CMOs feel for an idea, and the work that goes into gaining support and funding for it.

The trio agreed that anytime they have really struck gold with a campaign idea beloved by consumers that also affected sales, it was a concept that was way out-of -the-box, and initially marketers felt uncomfortable. And it was also work that wasn't just designed to sell products -- it was entertaining or emotional.

However, the best bit came toward the end of the session. That's when the host, Jason Harris, the president-CEO of Mekanism, asked how agencies might help to make clients' lives easier.

Michael Sprague, the exec VP-marketing and communications at Kia, said he is a big-time planner and very organized, so it drives him crazy when things come in at the last minute. Historically he's found himself asking the questions about when the creative brief will be done, or when a rough cut will be finished, and he wishes that agencies might be able to create schedules and stick to them. For industries like auto, where there are several campaigns going out the door each year, and brand work and dealer work, even getting a bit behind can be detrimental.

For Josh Dean, the senior brand manager at Unilever for Axe, it's more about being polished and confident. He said he values a strong creative director who is not just great at eliciting the best ideas from the creative team, it's also about being able to properly communicate those ideas to the client. His advice is to work on being competent when it comes to presentation skills in order to keep everyone on the same page.

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