It occurred to me just yesterday that most people don’t understand dual concepts such as that of marketing. Some may not even acknowledge that marketing is indeed ‘dual’ in its conceptualisation. Accepting that marketing is a multi-disciplined profession I would contend that ‘marketing’ is the meeting of two broad terms – strategic and creative – or ,if you, like the ‘head’ and the ‘heart’.
The difficulty is that these two very vital components, like body parts, are so far removed from each other as to require two entirely different personalities to drive them. Let’s face it, in the case of marketing, the qualities required to succeed in the vastly different disciplines of strategy development and creative thought are seldom found in one individual.
Agencies for years have simply refused to let strategists anywhere near their operations in case they throw the analytical ‘wet blanket’ over the creative’s ideas. They have always believed that a good idea, creatively executed and very loosely wrapped around a plan as potent as custard jelly, will achieve every bit as much as a solid stratagem with a harmonic idea. Hence agencies have helped to perpetrate the myth that creativity is the cap stone of good marketing and as a consequence many businesses believe that if you find something catchy; gimmicky; idiosyncratic; amusing; attention grabbing, that’s all you need.
I claim that’s a nonsense and the reason why most dated mundane agencies are grovelling in mediocrity. To remedy this they’ve brought out the big guns. They’re either calling on independent consultants to write their strategic plans or create new in-house strategy divisions where planners are situated far away enough from the creative team to do absolutely no harm, whatsoever. Harmless and ineffective, they can’t make it work because it requires a special formula. Yet, just ten minutes walk from the beach in a studio not too many metres from its town centre is a busy little agency that ten years ago committed to running strategists and creatives side by side, toe to toe. They ran the gauntlet of criticism, constantly told that it “would never work” they smashed through the pain barrier and by experiment after experiment they made it work.
It’s a unique culture based on intellectual understanding and respect. The ‘head’ and the ‘heart’ have come together to create meaningful campaigns and projects which meet expectations; predict success and best of all create a level of certainty. This magical, and very cute boutique studio, has grown and today Jack in the box of Busselton are a larger than life reality check for much bigger agencies. It’s no secret that they claim a high posture; a position of knowing, for they are a very different agency breed. The medals belong to the customers, the awards are written in their client’s success and it’s all because they turned away from the rules of the marketing game and went to a place where the impossible was never too much – just, not enough.
At ‘the box’ respect, flexibility, tolerance and a pluralism that accepts concession are the paramounts. ‘the box’ strategists, like me, honour and applaud the absolute involvement of our creatives – we acknowledge they are vital and our creatives have learned that accurate strategic guidance is a powerful enhancer, not a restriction. It’s the head and the heart melding to form a formidable body.
The result is something special, magical, it’s something that works for the client. It’s transparent, long term and measurable and it’s called ‘living the dream’. Open up ‘the box’ and you’ll find a head and a heart alive and pumping.