My fellow marketing professionals, I have been asked many, many times whether I am in full control of my career, my drinking, my faculties, my bowels, my mind and my car. And the answer to most of those is, 'Weeeelll, a bit. Sometimes. Or, not. Actually, no.'
However, I am in full, total, complete and unrelenting control of my professional life, thanks to a set of rules I pass on to my agencies - and expect them to follow to the letter.
I reveal some here. This will help you get the most from your agency. And if you're from an agency, it will help you retain your clients for longer.
Rule 1. Mouth is open. Should be shut.
The agency is talking. But the agency should be listening. So why is the agency talking? Probably because they want to expose you to 'ideas'. (You can see the next rule about that.) I like talking. And I like people I am paying to listen to me. Then I like people I am paying to agree with me, do what I want or laugh at my jokes. If you're not doing one of those three things, you must be talking. And as the rule states, 'Mouth is open. Should be shut.'
Rule 2. The ideas are MINE.
I know agencies are supposed to have ideas. But I have ideas. And I'm the one with the cash. So if you have an idea, and I have an idea, whose idea do you think I'll go for? That's right. My idea.
Of course, you may have a better idea. But seeing as I'm paying for your ideas, it's actually my idea. So however you look at it, the ideas are mine, mine, mine.
Rule 3. Do more, quicker, better, for less.
Someone else will. So why can't you?
Rule 4. Agency buys the beerz.
This was actually the 11th commandment, but they only ever seem to give you the first 10 in church. This rule is so set in stone, it's a fucking fossilised fossil. Break this rule and you will offend me more than if you were to fuck my dog to death.
Rule 5. My mother is nearly target audience.
So I run every ad past her. This is research with the (nearly) target audience and is essential to getting the ads right every time. The results speak for themselves: she makes changes to every single ad, which proves conclusively that they were wrong. How much clearer do you want it?
Rule 6. The minute your win my business, you start losing it.
Accept the fact that you are only one phone call away from being fired, having to make a load of people redundant, seeing the story in the press, looking stupid and possibly getting fired yourself. That call is mine to make, and it could be literally fucking anything that makes me pick up the phone. So make sure you don't annoy me, bore me, ignore me, forget me, insult me, get too chummy, be too distant, push your ideas too hard, leave it to me to have all the ideas or make me buy the beerz, and you might be okay. But you probably won't be.
Rule 7. It's your fault.
Something has gone wrong. What do you think will happen. A) I'll stand in front of my MD and say 'Sorry, boss. It was my fault the TV ads had no web address or logo on because I was pissed when we had the meeting about that stuff and told them we were going to 'Break the mould on this one!''? Or B) I'll stand in front of my MD and say, 'That cuntbucket of an agency - if I told them once I told them a million times to put a web address and logo in the ad! It's fucking common sense!'
That's right. It's B. If you stump up the cash to pay for your mistake, you'll keep my business. If you don't, you're dead. Also, I would like you to say, 'I'm so sorry we left the web address and logo off the ad, Dave' while I look you right in the eye without evening flinching or showing any sign of remorse so you can truly understand that I am the fucking boss.
There we go. That should do for now. Stick to that lot and depending on which side of the busines you're on, you'll have happy clients / be able to fuck your agency black and blue.
You'd be amazed how many agencies stick to the rules! And still get fired! HA HA! Ain't marketing just a fucking dream. Well, for me!
Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!