5 Silly Ways That Advertising Agencies Waste A Bunch Of Time

In an article we published earlier this year, we talked about some of the ways that marketing and advertising types waste valuable time and energy when we’re on the job. You can check it out here.

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In this article, we take a look at the ways that advertising agencies burn up time and energy – and why it makes sense to throw all of these behaviors out the window, today. Let’s get right to it:

Failure to get out of our own way.

We get annoyed when clients want to overthink everything to death. But honestly, we can be just as bad. Examples of wasting time standing in our own way can be found in just about all aspects of agency life – especially when it comes to the practice of “re-working for the sake of re-working” creative.

How many times, after the dust settled from a pitch or a client presentation, have you looked back and wondered “Did we really need to present 7 concepts? Maybe 4 would have done just as well? Did the first two ideas really need to be re-worked 10 times? I kind of think we had it on Round 2.”

In almost every instance, there is more than viable way to slice up a marketing or advertising pie. Or in other words: For every campaign, there are probably a dozen equally valid ideas that can get the job done. Overthinking traps us into a time-wasting debates about copy and colors instead of keeping our eye on the main game of strategy development and execution.

Workin’ the cool.

Yes, it’s important to differentiate your shop. Show off your USP. Impress the pants off of clients and prospects with your groove. But sometimes we expend so much energy figuring out how to look cool during pitches (or at the next awards ceremony ) that we don’t have enough left over for actual work. You know, that thing that clients hire us to do.

Remember, cool only carries you so far- and with savvy clients, it won’t carry you far at all before they start asking about your actual results.

Fighting the War of the Posers.

Egos and misplaced pride in an agency setting can result in points of view that burn up time and energy like no one’s business. Here are a few examples:

“Everyone is going home before 10 p.m. and it’s a big deadline week. They must not be working very hard – or we must be missing something. I’m going to make them stay longer.” (Why? Maybe going home at a decent hour means that everyone’s working efficiently.)

“I can’t let that A/E’s good idea find its way into our concepts. That would interfere with my most cherished belief, which is that salespeople don’t know how to do creative or strategy.” (Really? A good idea is a good idea, no matter where it came from – and a good idea in hand is one less idea you have to spend time developing.)

“If I don’t always send back proofs with tons of edits they’ll figure out I’m a fraud – or think I’m a pushover.” (Wrong. If you only speak up with changes that make sense, your colleagues will be more inclined to respect your point of view than if you constantly waste time asking for changes just for the sake of asking for changes.)

Burning out talent.

This last point related to an article we published a while back about the perils of putting advertising and marketing talent into pigeonholes (You can read it here). Failure to give people a break by rotating them on and off projects or failure to allow them to stretch their wings may seem like agency management issues. They are, but they are also time wasters, too. Burned out people work slower than their enthusiastic counterparts – and eventually, they have a way of taking off and causing agencies to scramble and burn up time trying to replace them.

Related Articles:
“The 5 Secrets of Awesome Agency-Client Relationships”
“The 5 Worst Kinds of Marketers”
“Get Involved – It Pays”
“The Perils of Marketing Pigeon Holes”

When you’re ready to stop wasting time, start by contacting our Austin advertising agency.