It's that time of year again ... when marketers (and their agencies) are expected to conceive, develop, and launch new campaigns within just a few weeks. You know the drill: New work must begin circulating shortly after the first of the year -- or else.
At Mothers of Invention, we regularly help direct marketers with small windows of opportunity -- and legitimate reasons for operating under accelerated schedules.
Clients often ask us to promote events with fixed dates. We either get the stuff out very quickly or miss the chance to market at a profitable rate. Fair enough.
But then there are the marketers with arbitrary deadlines. Someone up the organization decides to launch a campaign in a fraction of the usual time -- without considering the advice of the people responsible for creating the campaign.
Very often, marketing managers behind these requests are responding to pressure from bosses. And usually the bosses of these bosses aren't paying the bills for the campaign. They're playing with someone else's money. That's why it's easy to choose speed over quality -- and ROI.
As a business owner, if an expert tells me a bit more time will significantly improve our odds of success, I'm going to ask the team to take more time. I'm not here to deliberately lose money.
The number one goal, of course, should never be to get something out ASAP. We're supposed to stack the deck in our favor, not cripple our chances. Unfortunately, many well-intentioned agency people feel they can't demand reasonable schedules. They don't want to risk losing the work.
But they always, always have an obligation to inform the client, in no uncertain terms, of the tradeoffs associated with each alternative -- and then let the client make the call.
By the way: Be careful on the road this weekend.