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Category : Thinking

Growth isn’t work. It’s life.

Here’s a quick dispatch from the intersection of personal, creative and business growth:

Some folks turn off at the phrase “personal growth” because it sounds like a lot of work. “Hey, I’m OK just as I am!”

But growth is as natural as breathing. It’s what we’re meant to do. Only sometimes we block what’s natural for us, and that takes a lot more work and energy.

Like staying in a job for “security” when we know we’re stultified. Like choosing the “safe” campaign rather than the right one. Like picking colleagues or partners who won’t challenge you.

The Founder CEO, A Marketer’s Orientation.

I love working for and with Founder/CEOs.

No doubt, this makes me an eccentric marketer and an odder ad guy, and casts extreme suspicion on my membership in the creative community.

Marketers are supposed to want to run their own empires – otherwise why spend all that money on a Harvard MBA and all that energy climbing the corporate ladder? Creative directors think the ideal client listens to their presentations, and then applauds. Ad agencies think their job is to please the target audience no matter what the client might think.

Suddenly, Everyone’s Apologizing.

Is it the era of the mea culpa for marketers? Could it be that, forced to start a conversation, some marketers have learned that they have some apologizing to do?

In rapid succession, McDonalds, American Express Open and J.C. Penney have all joined the mea culpa trend.

Here’s the story, and a few thoughts on where, when, how and how not to apologize.

J.C. Penney just launched this video on Facebook, under the theme JCP Listens.

It was a good idea to start the conversation, a good idea to listen, and a very, very bad idea to go beyond the first couple of lines of this treacly video.

To Have And To Hold.

MadMen Season 6, Episode 4: Theme – Agency Conflicts.

Well, not exactly. Episode 4 is all about infidelity and the various ways the characters prostitute themselves or remain true. Mostly, they cheat.

Don is having an affair with his wife’s friend who also happens to be the wife of his only male friend. Nice guy.

But where he pays for his infidelity is back at the agency.

Don’s Heinz client brings in the prestigious ketchup brand leader to meet the agency, but then tells the Sterling Cooper Draper Price folks that under no circumstances are they to pitch or work for the peacock, who it turns out is his arch rival.

Now, hold on. Yes, clients sometimes have unreasonable or at least eccentric reasons for considering certain agency commitments to be “conflicts.” In this case, working for another division of the same company is off limits.

Two Tracks, Simultaneously.

Clients shouldn’t have to wait months to see returns from an agency engagement.

We often deliver incremental revenue in the first 30 days. And we don’t sacrifice future success to do it either.

We call it Two-Track Planning.

You’ll find this works in most situations: