Business Advice / Questions (for you)

Who are you really working for?


When it’s time to ship, who are you working for?

I’ll wager that we all start projects and campaigns in much the same way. We get a brief, provide a response, get the job, have a well-earned coffee and biscuit then roll up our sleeves and get cracking.

And I’ll bet that we all finish them the same way with a mixture of joy and trepidation as the campaign sucks in its first lungful, knowing that we’ve done all we can to give it the best start in life.

But who are we working for?

In the beginning, we’re working for the client. They hold the brief, the purse. And we want both. So we work to please them.

Then, we start working for the great buying public. We start imagining why they should want to get involved with whatever the client wants them to. Why they should buy, listen or react. We put ourselves in their over-exposed, media-weary, too-busy-to-notice-anything-but-the-execptional states and understand why their lives will be better with whatever it is that we’re selling at the time.

By the time we reach the end of the brief, in the moments before it’s due to go live, who are we working for then?

Is it the client once more, now that the brief cycle has come to fruition? As soon as the campaign is launched, we’ll be monitoring and measuring and taking the metrics back to the client’s boardroom so that they can evaluate how well we’ve done on their behalf. We need to do this work for them – and it begins the moment the campaign is live.

Is it the public? We care about the public – we’ve thought about them, segmented them, given them group personalities and have decided that we’re marketing to Bet and Dave Smith rather than Angelica and Timothy Albaston-Smythe (the 2nd). We want them to have better lives, more fulfilled lives – and we know that they need our product to attain that. We care about them deeply.

Is it the brief or campaign itself
– after all, we’ve lived and breathed it for so long that it’s become a living entity. We don’t talk in terms of the product any more – we anthropomorphise. We love it, we’ve probably dreamed about it. It’s our friend and we want it to grow, doing everything that we can to support it.

Or are we working for ourselves? In those last moments before the launch, when we’re checking and cross-checking, stressing that the sky is just the wrong shade of blue for the outdoor launch shots, when we’re at our most exposed (because, after all, we’ve brought this beast into being) – is this the moment that we start working for ourselves?

And if we change who we’re working for, how long does that last?

Share your thoughts below – I would love to hear them…

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