Clients Say the Funniest Things

So It's Up to Their Ad Agencies to Educate Them

By Published on .

Derek Walker
Derek Walker
Stop me if you've heard this one:

  • "We love the concept, it's great! But can we change the visual, rework the headline and adjust the copy. Other than that we love it!"

  • "We don't want 'friends' or for people to 'like' us. We want customers."

  • "In the marketing class I took in college, the instructor said you should mention your company's name at least seven times in a radio spot to be effective. Can we add 5 more mentions? That would make it great."

  • "We don't want to use emotions, we're talking to business people and they don't have them."

  • On social media: "I get it but I'm worried that people will start talking about our product without us."

  • After laughing hilariously for a couple of moments: "That's great! It does everything we want and it stands out. But seriously, let's see the real work."

  • "Everyone loved the concept, then I took it home and showed it to my wife who used to be an English teacher and she said the line isn't grammatically correct. Can you write a new headline?"

  • "We can't do this; it is nothing like what we've done in the past."

  • "Why talk to customers, can't we just tell them what we offer?"

  • "I don't understand why you put in so much effort. It's only a website. Couldn't we just throw up something and been done with it?"

  • "We want the visual to be ..., the headline needs to say ..., here are the copy points and the colors. Now go and wow us."

  • "None of our competitors are doing or saying anything like that. How do we know it will work?"

  • "We don't want to spend any money but we want everyone to know about us, we want to be everywhere our customers are."

  • "Do we really need to be creative? I mean, isn't our product great enough to attract attention?"

  • "I don't believe in advertising, we're only doing this because our competitors are."

  • "I sure miss the days when all we had to do was produce a calendar with tits and ass and everyone was happy."

And people wonder where all my gray hair comes from? These were actual client comments. I've tried not to embellish or alter them in any way. The quotes may not be totally accurate but they are so very close.

While entertaining, there's a lesson here: Our clients don't understand what we do or bring to the table. We need to do a better job of educating and communicating what we offer them. Advertising is only a part of what our clients have to deal with every day, but it is everything we do, all day. If clients don't understand what an agency brings to the table, then whose job is it to explain to them what we actually provide?

Or you can spend more time in the fetal position crying. Because it is only funny when they are no longer your client.

Derek Walker is the janitor, secretary and mailroom person for his tiny agency, brown and browner advertising based in Columbia, S.C.
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