Creating impact. But what does impact mean?
A series of thoughts about the inevitable client let-down.
Working at a marketing agency, whether it is digital-led or focused on traditional media, whether you have rather big companies as clients or small businesses, one thing you will come through your way at some point — a brief for you to "create impact."
I've been working in marketing for four years, with different scopes and clientele in several marketing agencies. So many times, a client came in with their brief and enthusiasm through the roof. "Let's do something amazing!" they ask, and we always answer in cheer.
The cheer is real, I might say. You can get very excited with advertising because it offers so much potential for creativity to blossom and for your mind to feast on fresh ideas and points of view. Especially in the content strategy field, where everything sort of begins, you can offer a route — the path that the brand will follow to establish its character, speak to its audience, and eventually be loved.
But, what happens when you, an energetic and excited professional, have your hands tragically tied? The timeline of events is familiar to so many of us. We begin with the excitement of creation, and eventually, day by day, Zoom call by Zoom call, we stumble upon the client who has "an issue." That issue is always something based on a budget cut or even a debrief, which ends up being a new brief.
Calling it a scourge might be bold, but at least in the Greek market, a client who is always afraid and cowardly is a scourge. Why? Because no matter how many times you'll explain to them that you want what's best for them, you always end up trying to persuade them for the reasons they have to trust your professionalism.
I might sound disappointed, and that is because I am. It's a learning process since being professionals means that we always need to adapt. Fortunately, we learn to do so every day. And it is not just a lesson for a client's particular case; it is a process that teaches us to find ways to create this "impact" that we are expected to invent in new norms.
It is also an acceptance process. We learn to accept that the correct thing is not always the proper thing to do by patience and virtue. A time for impact will come eventually, I’m sure.
However, maybe impact is what happens in the process of getting there.