You might assume, as a member of an in-house agency, you might be afforded a measure of trust from your clients that is hard to come by for outside agency folk. After all, you are all on the same team and you are dedicated to the products and services of your company and none other.
In my experience, trust is almost never an automatic no matter how glittering your resume or substantial your trophy case or whether you are an insider or an outsider. It is, almost always, earned one meeting, one assignment, one discussion and one success at a time.
This is especially true in companies that are not particularly marketing driven. Nike, Apple and Proctor & Gamble are marketing driven, for instance. Others “market” or “advertise” more as a necessary evil than anything.
Even if the marketing/creative opportunity is enormous, it’s extremely difficult to convince senior executives of a non-marketing driven company to let go of the purse strings and “trust” you. “What is the ROI?” they will ask. “Where are the metrics?” they will inquire. “What if it all goes wrong?”
It’s a very wise course of action to come to any high level presentation armed with more than a few good ideas, even great ideas, and your “gut feeling” that this is a winner. Be prepared to be asked the tough question by skeptical senior executives, and have an intelligent answer. Working closely with your in-house client can prepare you for such questions, and even head a few off if you volunteer the answers before you are asked.
In my own experience, I found proprietary research almost non-existent in the in-house setting. Even major decisions involving naming, packaging, big product launches and more were made on one or a handful of people’s “instincts.” Often, these people were not even part of the marketing or communications team. Sometimes, even a small focus group of your target audience, is helpful in determining direction or discovering “red flags.” Or, you might suggest a small “test market” where the risk is small and failure or success easier to measure. Perhaps your social marketing team measures “chatter” and positive or negative feedback around your brand and products. People are pretty good at offering their opinions these days without you even asking.
Even if you don’t have proprietary research that helps you forecast results, you can often find a parallel success story (secondary research) with measured results you can refer to help bolster your case.
Get a success or two under your belt, and the trust will come. A rising tide, after all, lifts all boats. Including the one you are in.
This POV brought to you by a member of Boom Ideanet, the creative department of the future.” (Link: http://boomideanet.com/)
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