By Ralph Roberts
What is the most important target market an agency can aim for?
It isn’t millennials, Gen X or baby boomers.
It’s your client.
I worked with a very experienced account guy who, when the agency assessments were done, was consistently rated by clients as, ‘the most important person on my business’. How did he do it?
He had a small piece of paper taped to the wall next to his phone. On it was a list of his most important and influential clients. On a regular basis he would ring them one by one and say something like, “hey I was just thinking about your business and wouldn’t it be a good idea if ….. ”.
I doubt whether more than 10% of his ideas ever saw the light of day. But that’s not the point.
Clients loved it. Here was a guy who really cared about their business. It made it a lot easier for him sell the next campaign.
One of my favourite clients was a large, international airline. I loved working for them because their Marketing Director appreciated what advertising could do for his brand and business. His attitude infused the entire marketing department. So sometimes I did ads for them that they haven’t asked for just to see if we could find new ways of communicating what a great airline they were.
Most clients get feedback from customers. Good and bad. Its often stuff you just cannot make up and it can be a great source of ideas.
I once found a heartbreaking email from a passenger. He was in Holland when he got a call from a hospital in Melbourne. The voice on the end of the line told him that his wife had been involved in a serious accident and it would be for the best if he came home immediately. He contacted his airline, our client, explained his situation and asked could they help? They moved earth and I suspect a small piece of heaven to get him home in time. Unfortunately his wife died before he arrived.
The email was a thank you to the airline for being human.
I produced a layout. The headline said, ‘Sometimes being the best airline in the world isn’t enough.’ It was never intended to run. The target was the marketing department sitting opposite me in the boardroom. Its purpose was to remind them what a great company they worked for.
One of the most important reasons for agency management to exist is to help create an environment where dedicated, talented people can do their best work. This is one way you can do it.