I love mind-blowingly cool ideas as much as the next creative person — but for ad agencies, that’s only half the solution. Anyone in the advertising business who overlooks sales goals is asking for trouble. Clients need sales, and particularly in this economy, they’ll do whatever it takes to get more.
We need people to spend money, and not just on life’s basic necessities. We sell frivolity quite often in advertising; conspicuous consumption pushes the economy forward. Even something that feels like an “experience” more than a product is still something to sell — and one that not everyone can automatically afford. While we pursue great ideas, we have to keep an eye on the basics.
No matter the client or the idea, the traditional, interactive, and/or social media mix needs a path to purchase. Because clients will drop agencies that don’t think the sales process through and make it a significant part of a great idea. That doesn’t mean everything has to be a cheesy variation of “Get Yours Today.” It means that there needs to be action, not just conversation. I can hit the “Like” button pretty easily. The “Place your order” button is another matter altogether.
It’s the subject of my new column on Talent Zoo.