After leaving ad:tech/Chicago this week, I found myself asking myself the question, 'is it any wonder?'
Is it any wonder that clients keep asking us for spec work?
Is it any wonder that procurement keeps asking us to lower our hourly rates and pricing?
Is it any wonder that clients send out RFP's to 10-agencies and expect ideas from all of them?
Is it any wonder that our ideas get watered down most of the time?
Is it any wonder that marketing is the red-headed stepchild or after thought in many client organizations? If you don't agree, how many CMO's become CEO's?
The reason I kept asking myself this question was because we continue to air our dirty laundry with our clients in the room. If we are going to hold an event like ad:tech, clients should not be invited. You know, like those District 9 movie posters that tell humans to keep out, we should have those on the front doors of our industry events, keeping clients out.
In front of our clients, we are arguing, debating and pontificating our craft. And let me stress the word, pontificating, because there is much pontificating to go around for everyone. We can't agree on anything - we can't agree on measurement, we can't agree on social media's role, we can't agree on how brands are built in this new digital age, we can't agree on what coffee to serve - well, you get the picture.
Do you think that our clients' lawyers, accountants, financiers or other core business function consultants get together and debate? And, more importantly when they do get together and set policy and hammer out those details - do they do that with the clients in the room?! I don't think so.
I think that the associations and governing bodies need to step in and help us help ourselves. the 4A's, the ANA, The AMA, someone - please help. Bring us together so we can hold hands, agree on at least a general direction and then set us loose into the world to compete.