Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Working with Clients

Client Work.

What an exciting yet frustrating experience. Over the course of the semester we learned about setting objectives, forming strategies, implementing tactics, and of course evaluating how successful everything is. All of this culminated in the Integrated Marketing Communications plan (IMC plan for short). Essentially, the idea was to prepare an IMC plan for an organization, real or fictional. Easy enough, right? Well, I decided that I would make an IMC plan for a real life client, who also happened to be my brother.

A few month back, my brother and his friend decided to launch a new business called Cal Bar Interlocking and Concrete. So being the wonderful older brother I am I asked them if they wanted me to develop an IMC plan for them. Unsurprisingly, they did not have a clue what I was talking about. After explaining to them what exactly an IMC plan was and getting a better idea of what they needed from me, we were all business.

Now, of course everybody has their own ideas about how to best do things, in this case marketing/advertising their company, and I get that, but trying to tell someone why their idea perhaps isn’t the best and why yours may be better, especially when you are related to that person, is a tricky thing to do.  When making a plan for a fictional company you can use all of your ideas because there’s nobody to oppose you, or question you. With a client, that’s not the case. You have to fight for the ideas you think are best, you have to make compromises, and sometimes you have to scrap an idea altogether if it’s not what the client wants, because at the end of the day it’s their company and money. The whole process can be summed up quite well in one picture and one word.

 But, the whole collaborative effort, the rejection, and the compromises are all worth it when you present them with an idea, whether that be a cool tactic or an interesting strategy, that they love. There’s this sense of triumph that you feel that you don’t get when you make up a fictional plan. Your work is being validated by other people who have a much larger investment in its outcome than you do. There’s something significant and rewarding about creating something that people like and is real. It’s also a slightly scary thought that this plan you put together has to be carried out and create something tangible. Funnily enough, I think that that’s the most rewarding part too. I mean, you started off with a goal set by the clients and slowly – oh so ever slowly – you build it up into this detailed plan, and then you execute it and real people get to see your work, on top of benefiting the client.

It really doesn’t get much better than that.

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