Keep ’em satisfied
I have written previously about invisible quality–that quality that most (good) creative firms provide that makes invisible the effort and skill that goes into making top quality creative. Now, of course, the question comes to mind, if our efforts at delivering quality are aimed, at least partly, at making the very effort invisible, how do we keep clients (or bosses or management) happy, satisfied, and aware of our efforts?
The easy answer is, “it’s hard.” Because if we’re working to make something invisible, when we’re successful we’re also invisible. Is this why most Creative Directors always wear black? To stay as invisible as possible?
The hard answer is that we have to bring a certain awareness to a conscious level on the part of our clients, without appearing to be condescending or holier-than-thou. So, in large part, it seems to me, that our job for keeping customers satisfied is to bring their appreciation of the creative to a more conscious level. When we do things they like–and, inevitably, good creative appeals to people and clients, especially–our top job is to make them aware of why they like it, and to have them see that what goes into their liking it is purposeful, mindful, and not an accident.
This is why, I think, many advertising and marketing companies are accused of coming off like they think they’re smarter than their clients. Because doing this conciousness raising without appearing like we know more than they do is, perhaps, the hardest part of our jobs.
Personally, I think it’s the best and most rewarding part of what we do.