Archives for posts with tag: clients


The marketing world is filled with words like fans, followers, likes, fans, loyalty, engagement, commitment, participation, community, and so on and on and on and on, giving every marketer the false hope and idea what marketing should be about.

It would be beneficial for all stakeholders (clients, agencies and customers) to start with the assumption that nobody cares about what we do. This might make us feel depressed, less important and kind of useless. Still, at least we’re starting from the right point and it helps us focus on our work in the right way.

Don’t be sad: Nobody cares what anybody does.

Nobody cares about the 500+ TV channels, the thousands of magazines and radio stations, the millions of podcasts and gazillions of websites. There’s so much stuff out there, we don’t even have a tiny chance to consume 0,0001% of it. All this media is like the Atlantic, engulfing people with content wave after wave, competing with anything else that’s interesting, useful, or entertaining. With so many temptations surrounding us, seeping out of millions of screens, we should never assume anybody will notice anything we do. Oh, and don’t even assume anybody does care. Don’t kid yourself.

It gets worse: People don’t care about brands.

As a brand, you don’t want people to think about your brand too much. A strong brand will help people make quick, easy and gut-driven purchase decisions. If you’re an Apple fanboy, you don’t think about Dell or HP. It’s going to be Apple, no matter what. Strong brands solve problems. When your favorite beer is Guiness, you don’t have a beer problem. When Acura is your car brand, you don’t have a car problem. No thinking required, no decisions. No worries about price, quality or reviews.

The myth of brand loyalists

Another marketing myth is that the ultimate goal is to create brand loyalists and permanent relationships. People might ‘like’ your brand but they ‘like’ their dog 10,000 times more. For sure, people don’t love brands. They love their favorite pillow 10 million times more than your brand. Using the language of deep human emotions for brands trivializes those feelings. Brands are desperately looking for those lovers, those special ones. If you base your brand on loyalists, you will have a small party in a studio apartment in Manhattan. Brands are built by millions of light customers who buy the brand once in a while.

It’s easy to market to people who actively seek you out and use your product/services frequently. It’s hard to market to people who don’t know you, who don’t care about you, see you frequently. And, don’t get me started with the new buzzword “audience”. An audience goes to a Coldplay concert or watches the latest Spiderman movie. Advertising doesn’t have an audience, waiting for the show to start.

It gets worse.

The vast majority of advertising produced is horrendous. Go to some sad cable channel and try to stick around for the commercial breaks. Try not to change the channel within seconds. Good luck. It’s mental and creative pollution. Another proof point for people not to care about advertising.

That’s a good starting point.

At the bottom of enmity between strangers lies indifference – Soren Kierkegaard.

It’s easy to be loved, even easier to be hated. But it’s really hard to overcome indifference. You can get 1% of potential customers engaged and create participatory communities for them. It doesn’t help you when it comes to the bottom line. The real goal should be to engage the remaining 99% and that means fighting indifference.

The majority of efforts on social platforms is now limited to activating the 1% and going to church afterwards, praying the 1% will spread and amplify the word. It’s good, but not good enough. It’ll earn you brownie points but doesn’t improve business results. Unless you’re happy talking to a minority, we need to focus mainly on the 99%.

You will be judged how you engage the indifferent masses, the ones that don’t care. It starts with answering the most important questions: Why should they care more about you than all the other gazillion options they have? What’s the point? What’s in it for them?


So, you’re the brightest agency in the world. You work with the best clients. You sit in meetings and get the client exited about all these new projects. The client sign off on the strategy and the final work is not what you had in mind and visualized for the client.


People love to get excited about new projects and innovative ideas. But when it comes to the execution, things start to look rather risky and the revert back to the generic ways of doing things.

When you can feel that excitement in the room, you need to capture that feeling and keep it alive. You need to keep the momentum. The more momentum you keep, the more real the project becomes. And the more likely to be what you envisioned when you got your clients excited.

Keep the initiative.

Next time you feel that excitement in the room, get an agreement from everybody to make something. It could be a research project, a brainstorming session, a workshop – anything that keeps people engaged and connect with the initial excitement. Make sure to keep everybody active or you’ll have the doubts creeping in, the fizzling will begin and you end up with something mediocre and safe.

Agencies are idea factories. They’re nicer and cleaner and less noisy, they’re still factories. Keep the engine running and churn out ideas that go beyond a vision and cheap talk.

Make things.

Or, in other words: Always ship.

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I recommended blogging to a corporate client 5 years ago and he just looked at me and said “I don’t know anyone who reads blogs.” Nowadays, he blogs religiously each and every day.

I recommended tweeting to a client 3 years ago and encountered blank stares. Client has now more than 100,000 engaged followers.

I could rationalize these case studies as wins. But, they are not. They came around to blogging and tweeting not because of me. I recommended the right thing but I didn’t convince them. I didn’t have the right arguments. Stats. My pitch wasn’t good enough. Whatever.

There’s a difference between understanding what has to be done and convincing others. I knew what had to be done. But I lacked in my abilities to convince them. Don’t blame your clients when they don’t follow your advice. Blame yourself.