Our shop developed their most responsive direct marketing ever, and helped successfully launch a new product.
The business was run by extremely opinionated people who didn't appreciate dissenting views. We believe in telling clients what they need to hear, rather than simply what they want to hear, so we suspected the relationship would end sooner rather than later.
One day we received an email from the client asking us to participate in a conference call to talk about an important marketing season. They asked us to share fresh ideas.
I thought long and hard about their options and came up with a kick-ass list. When the meeting started our main client contact read off the plans they decided on for the season. They had absolutely no interest in other ideas. I tossed my list in the can.
Eventually they pushed aside everyone but the yes-men and yes-women. That turned out to be an extremely costly mistake.
They got greedy and were hammered in the press. It was one of those moves we would have warned them about the moment we heard about it. But I imagine all the suck-ups had to say was "Great idea!"
Smart people willing to share dissenting views are often the most important contributors in marketing. Why do you think so many executives push them away? And is there a way to keep this from happening?