Yesterday our agency finished the third branding workshop in two weeks. I don’t mind admitting we’re all a little ragged. There have been some long nights, long days, a lot of miles driven, and some working weekends to get it done.
We use these workshops as part of our discovery process that we call Ignite. When clients want to re-brand or launch a new ad campaign, we take them through Ignite. During Ignite, we conduct research and analyze our client’s brand, its strengths and weaknesses, the selling process, and every aspect of the client’s current marketing effort. There are one-on-one interviews with stakeholders, the rank and file team members, and even customers. Using all of these interviews, online surveys, the workshop, and other tools, we find out what our client does very well and where the effort falls short. Ignite becomes, for us, a crash course in our client’s branding, marketing, advertising, culture, and even certain aspects of their operations.
Ignite is a lot of hard work, but the insights and knowledge we gain help us form a meaningful strategy that leads to better creative and media that hits the mark. From the long hours and due diligence we put in at the beginning, we begin to form ideas for the refreshed branding or the new ad campaign. The process ends with a clearly spelled out strategy that maps a way forward for our happy client. And our clients are happy because during Ignite, our teams bond for a common purpose, and suddenly they have a group of marketing experts and specialists thinking about their problems. It’s a revealing and sometimes raw, emotional journey. Once Ignite is completed, we are working together.
I don’t believe in guess work. I do believe in process. Clients who want quick results to save the company or their own job are usually not willing to let us do our work the right way. They are interested in a quick fix. They are not willing to give us adequate time or budget to get to know their company, their team, culture, sales methods, and competitive challenges. We’ve tried, but this approach never works.
The better approach is through the Ignite process, which gives us a chance to learn who our clients are, why they’re different, what they do the best, how they eat, live, sleep and breathe as a brand. It’s not easy. It’s not fast. And it’s not cheap. But it’s the right way to produce the best creative solutions for their marketing challenges.
Many years ago, I realized there are two types of clients: those who are willing to roll up their sleeves and do the hard work necessary to accomplish great things, and those who are not. In the end advertising is about truth, and there are no shortcuts in uncovering the truth. A good ad agency leader will tell you the best clients are the ones who invest in affording you the time to understand their company and their unique challenges. These are the CMOs, the VPs of Sales, the Marketing Directors and even the CEOs or owners who will get in the trenches with you and grab a shovel. They will spend the time and the money to get your best work. They are the gold standard.
About Hallaron Advertising Agency
Mike Hallaron is principal partner and has served as director of accounts at Hallaron Advertising Agency in The Woodlands, Texas since 2003. The agency works closely with clients divining advertising strategy and implementing effective, award-winning campaigns. More than just an idea shop, Hallaron is a full-service agency focused on increasing client’s sales using TV, radio, mobile, Web, outdoor and social media.
2002 Timberloch Place, Suite 420
The Woodlands, Texas 77380