The Macro Problems of Micromanaging the Creative Process

We’ve all been there: Watching a CEO or high-level client rewrite copy or play art director. Don’t they have better things to do? Maybe not.

CEOs and other senior executives call the shots, are accountable to many audiences, and more often than not, take it all personally because of their egos. For many of them, micromanaging a project is easier than laying out a big vision and letting others work towards it. So marketing makes an easy target for their attention.

But bringing top-level management into the creative process at an early stage is becoming more and more popular with agencies looking to build trust with clients. Involving the executives is sometimes the best way to get something done. They feel a sense of ownership over the ideas and therefore champion them through the process. It’s risky, and only confident agencies make it work successfully. Because the clients can easily start believing they have more creative abilities than they do. Or perhaps they’ll see that their agency doesn’t have a magic formula — leaving the client to think they may no longer need outside help.

It’s the subject of my new column on Talent Zoo, which is on their home page today.



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.