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Posts Tagged ‘ego’

I know that you know what that means. It is EXACTLY how I feel today. WTF. As in WTF am I doing? Those of us who are brave enough to start our own businesses feel this on a regular basis. That sinking feeling like you haven’t done enough, reached out enough, applied yourself enough. What exactly is ENOUGH?

Enough currently for me is an account or two that help “keep bologna on the table” as an old boss of mine once said. I am not blowing the doors off anything, nor am I giving Doner or JWT a run for their money, but that is okay…its by design. So, why then, do I hit these spots of insecurity? I am trying to build a life OUTSIDE of my previous profession. As one who (in my mind) was so closely defined by that role, its hard to shake.

It manifests itself in unhealthy ways. Today I snarked at a friend who posted something online about small agencies. Its the second time in a couple weeks she has done that and left me out of the discussion. I replied with a ummm.ok…then she replied with a tag and said, “better”? I felt childish, because my response WAS childish. Either way, it was only my ego getting in the way. And, as a media professional, that was completely natural. 😉

ego

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With the news last week that P & G (Proctor and Gamble) was looking at its media buying and subsequent agency spending, it reminds me of the shifting sands that people in advertising work upon.

This statement can send a chain reaction down the hierarchy of any business quicker than high speed internet…in fact – it is most likely through the emails and digital files that most people will get this information. Spreadsheets are flying, you can bet on it.  Makes me shudder just to think of the poor sap at the end of that chain, the person who is performing the media buy as instructed by the layers upon layers of middle management.  That hard worker bee will most likely be the first one to go if the account drops its spending or leaves altogether.

The exact wording from Ad Age was: “The move to review comes as the packaged-goods giant aims to cut $500 million in agency fees and reduce the number of agencies it works with, according to comments from P&G Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller on the company’s recent earnings call. Though P&G doesn’t disclose its total spending on agency fees, executives close to the company have estimated them at around $1 billion.”

I worked closely with some people who bought and sold ads for P & G…they are not extravagant media spenders, truly they were downright penny pinchers.  Looking at that revenue they are cutting just shows me the bottom line margin is shrinking and they – like most big business – are looking at ways to keep the top echelon earning their ridiculous bonuses while afore mentioned media buyer makes 35K and is lucky to leave work at 1pm on Fridays during the summer.  Just for the record, Bloomberg reports that Jon Moeller (the guys looking for the cuts) made $7,017,862 in total compensation. Of this total $850,000 was received as a salary, $897,600 was received as a bonus, $1,295,683 was received in stock options, $3,908,749 was awarded as stock and $65,830 came from other types of compensation.  7 MILLION dollars…really? That’s not a salary, that is the GNP for some small country, and he is only the CFO.

This revenue is shrinking because of the internet, the same exact way poor media buyer found out it was REVIEW time and cancel your summer vacation because Jon Moelller is ready to lose his bonus. Broadcast and other mediums are gasping for air trying to compete with free content and relatively low costs on social media.  The moral of the story here is that nothing, but nothing is worth any more that someone is willing to pay for it…and with all of the ridiculous TV programming and sensationalistic radio (yes, Rush – I am talking to YOU), this is why things like the net neutrality (internet equality) are important.  Internet CONTENT and drop down ads are just the tip of the iceberg…think back to dial up…THAT is how slow your favorite small site will take to load if they draw lanes in the digital highway.  Before the media can figure out a way to gouge you for surfing, pay attention.  Your vacation depends on it.

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What ever happened to working as a team?  I still maintain there are team players out there, I just have run across any lately.  It seems that every where you turn, and a large majority of the “worker bees” I encounter are hell bent on making sure their name is in lights, their ideas (or not) are recognized as “theirs” and everyone is fighting for glory.

A company I recently worked with had several of these types, and every visit seemed like they were just there taking notes on our discussion so they could hurry and implement them before anyone else did.  Now, I would really like to think they were doing this to help the company, and if you asked, I am sure they would say it as such.  Bottom-line, they wanted the credit for it whether it was their idea or not.  Crudely put, I had a guy I used to work with that called it, “fighting for hind t*t”, and that is exactly what it seems like.

Another company is smaller, but the second in command likes to consistently tell me how to do my job and give me suggestions.  Now, I do not have any problem with that – if they know how to do what I do.  That being said, they hired me for a reason – because they couldn’t perform this particular function.  I like to collaborate, to brainstorm, this group, and this person in particular feels it is necessary to not give me information that would be helpful or information that is a direct result of something I was able to help them with.  Why?  To keep their power I guess.  Newsflash, I don’t want your job, I want to help your business.  There is a difference.

When I am at my most productive, and my most creative it is working with a team.  I don’t need or want individual credit unless it is truly something I created, executed and was successful at on my own – but in the business world, that is rare.  There are a lot of people involved to make a successful company.  So, the questions becomes this, have we created an environment of “I can do it alls?” or is it more if “I need to secure my place in this company”?  Perhaps it is a little of both.  Either way – its no good for business.Image

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It is that time of year again. With the sending of my July invoices to clients, I spend time reflecting on the first half of the year and what we have accomplished.

Has our campaign been effective? If not, what part of the project wasn’t up to par? How can we modify it for the second half of the year to boost visibility, revenue and branding?

A good example of this is a radio sponsorship we purchased. It was bought by the marketing manager in an effort to boost sales to a certain slice of the demographics-in this case, union workers. He listened to a morning show with two male personalities that straddled the border between Howard Stern and your 12 year old nephew. Highly rated in the weekly cum, it was worth a try. We made the effort to get these guys to embrace our product, medical supplies, but to no avail. Ideas like basket of “interesting” items, like adult diapers, ED devices, and such still didn’t crack these guys into embracing us and giving us any more than the standard, “this traffic update is brought to you by….”. Needless to say, it is time to cut bait.

When an advertiser has limited funds, it is imperative that you maximize spending with convergence marketing. In other words, don’t just throw money into commercials, get additional perks with your spending. Whether it is the form of “live reads” or appearances, anything to add texture to a straight advertising buy will give you more depth of budget. Don’t be afraid to ask for extras, remember; you can always go down, but rarely can you go back up.

Lesson #2, just because you listen, read or watch, doesn’t mean your potential or existing client does. Listen to your rep, read the trades, understand what you are buying. It all goes back to understanding who you are and what you do. Self evaluation is a necessary and key component of running a successful business.

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