Larry Miller article advertising agency in-house creative freelancer retail

Uh Oh!

There is often a
gulch, gully, gulf, gutter, gap, chasm, abyss

between retail hard–sell culture and advertising agency culture.

Your job vs. your ad agency's job.

An extreme view perhaps:
The ad agency's job is to win awards.
Yours is to build b&m or online traffic now.

The ad agency's job is to run long-term campaigns.
Your job is short– and long–term effectiveness.

The ad agency's job is creativity.
Your job is keeping them focused.

The ad agency's job is profitable repeatable media insertions.
Your job is profitable quarterly reports.

It could be even worse.

If you have both an ad agency and an in-house creative or desktop capability, you also have problems that keep you from building sales.

Do agency and in-house duplicate each other‘s work?
Do they neutralize each other's work one going left while the other goes right?
Do they try to share artwork and computer files?
Do they need separate, time–consuming meetings?

Life should be simpler.
Fees should be more manageable.
Advertising should be more effective.
Time should be saved.

Retailers know that image ads are no substitute for ads that build foot traffic
this weekend.

What an ad agency
should do:

Be retained for broadcast creative, radio, Web, and TV.
For major four-color work.
Or for online creative.

What freelancers
should do:

Be hired for special talents like photography, hand-lettering, illustration, typography, technical writing, retouching, to fine-tune HTML. Or to fill in for a sick staffer and when there's a crunch.

What you the ad executive
should do:

Your real job.
Not have to coordinate meeting after meeting with agency, in-house creatives, freelancers.
Not have to hold their hands.
Not have to keep vendor siblings from sibling rivalry.
Not have to baby-sit creative egos.

A way to solve this problem.

Retain Listen, Write, Design, .
To coordinate your in-house creative staff.
To coordinate agency with in-house staff.
To coordinate both units with freelancers.
To coordinate them with your merch people.

Tough love and persistence, experience and persistence, mutual respect and persistence, fun and persistence, are our tools. (Plus a sense of humor, nuts and raisins, black coffee.)

What makes us effective is, while our loyalty is with you, our emotional sympathies are with the creative people.
—They will sense it.
A mite mutinous, but we all end up the better for it.

Wouldn't that
make things easier
and more productive
for you?!?

To coordinate means
your creative groups share a common design language. They build on shared concepts. It means they work to meet common business goals. They share the same computer database of SKUs, prices, logos, photo scans, artwork, standing catalog copy. (Your in-house IT and database and Excel or FileMaker geniuses will need to assist.)

To coordinate means
your advertising design, brochure design, Web design, style of copywriting — and people — all work together.

Fragmented they cripple your message.
Together they reinforce your message.

A turnkey creative solution.
As a part-time consultant.

We coordinate it all.
We report to you.
Everyone else reports to us.

We become your Consulting Creative Director.

Listen, Write, Design, makes sure creative work is high quality, designed to meet timely business objectives like weekend or holiday sales.

We may run the numbers to see if you are better off with staffers or freelancers. (Our CPA may powwow with your CPA.)

We may tie in to your in–house creatives via communication software that lets us work on and share their screen from ours. Your ad agency also reports to us some of the time. (They won't always be cheerful about it but don't worry — we do value their focus on creativity and have worked in ad agencies.)

We make sure the work is properly prepared for printing so you don't get nasty last–minute surprises. (Your production honcho will consult with us.) We make sure it's properly proofread (many creatives don't know the difference between its and it's, between criterion and criteria, or where the period goes when you use parentheses near the end of a sentence).

It's a turnkey system. Clean. Efficient. Fun.

Listen Write Design logo
Phone 980.245.2323