You may have gathered from my last blog that decorating is underway chez Lanham-Day. The bedroom, which has been a long time in the planning and it feels like just about as long in the execution!
Not helped by what has turned out to be some ‘communication issues’ between me and my key trades – ie. the carpenter, the electrician and the decorator. Or they might say they have had communication issues with me! And before you say; ‘what’s that got to do with me?’, I believe there is a huge and important metaphor between what I’ve been going through and what I see, day-in-day-out, with business owners pulling together major marketing projects.
Surely it couldn’t be me?!
OK, I get that I am probably a ‘difficult’ client to work with; I 100% know what I am looking for in my new bedroom project and it’s all driven round a glorious painting with all the colours coming from its palette. Plus it’s all very contemporary with lots of unusual lighting effects – I’d show you a picture but it’s not finished yet!
However, we need to stay flexible because some of the detail just can’t be finalised until some other element is complete, meaning we are having to work ‘on the fly’ to some degree, in order to get the perfect finished result. It all comes back to that central vision.
Meaning that every day brings new questions and challenges.
I’ve really ‘helped’ this week by deciding on buying a new, bigger bed, meaning that some of the sockets need to be moved (after the decorating has been done too. Oops!). Then there was question about whether to have shelves or not – even though the chippy has already made them. Oh, and additional lights that I don’t think we now need. Plus changing the height of curtain pole – again, after the decorating.Double oops! And even changing one of the colours – that was only yesterday!
However, as far as I’m concerned, it just needs to be done because my central vision is absolute – no compromise is acceptable. It’s necessarily an evolving project and I’m delighted to have such a flexible and helpful team who have taken to just roiling their eyes and getting on with it – again! I find making the tea helps to keep them onside – as well as showing my appreciation for their support. 🙂
So, back to those marketing projects …
The problem for business owners is that they often don’t have an uber-compelling vision for their new and powerful website, or their marketing project. It’s often not the ‘be-all-and-end-all’ for them due to other work pressures, or often they don’t really fully understand the processes behind the project making that much more ‘disconnected’ from their experience.
They will then often allow key suppliers to be the ‘expert’ on defining what’s wanted – and how it’s wanted – on their behalf and allow them to apply ‘this is how we always do it’ thinking, always ensuring that the outcome is a spectacular compromise on what was really wanted or needed. There can only be one ‘master project manager’ and that has to be YOU.
Things like a web form that simply asks for ‘Name’ – well, which one? First? Last? Both? The inevitable result is a compromised database churning out ‘Dear Lanham-Day’ emails. Or a brochure printed on shoddy paper, ruining the whole direct mail experience. Or it going out second rather than first class, meaning you missed a critical Saturday delivery and had to settle for a damp-squib Tuesday instead. It matters – all of it. The Devil is in the detail as they so rightly say.
The fact is, the project has to mean a lot to you. And I mean – A LOT!
You can’t rely on a handful of disconnected creative suppliers collectively having more buy in to your vision than you have – it simply won’t happen. You have to be demanding – difficult even – and most certainly uncompromising in achieving your purpose. Techies will tell you that ‘doing it that way isn’t possible’ and it’s your job to tell them to ruddy well find a way because that’s the outcome you need. Oh, and by the way, the deadline is still the deadline!
Otherwise you’ll find yourself saying ‘that didn’t really work’ and you’ll lose heart for future projects. You have to stay focused on your purpose because your success well never be your suppliers’ number one priority I promise you.
I say this having ‘been there, seen it and done it’. Whenever I’ve totally committed to the outcome of a project – where I’ve really drilled it down to the finest detail – I’ve always had a massively better outcome. And you can too.
Any of you who attended my Killer Marketer sessions just over a year ago will know just what I mean. It was a massively successful campaign – we got nominated for ‘Best Campaign 2014’ in fact! – and we sold out in just over a week. That wasn’t a coincidence.
So, bon chance and sweet dreams!