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"I Hate It, But It'll Work"

Updated: Jan 14, 2022

These words still ring in my head, three years on.

The situation? A pitch for an upcoming campaign for a well-known and loved savoury spread.

My team - after spending weeks conceptualising and finalising a content and media strategy - sit in silence, not sure if we've done our jobs properly or should be laughed out of the boardroom (remember when those were a thing?).

The individual who made the comment was the marketing manager at the time who I'm certain had no idea how pivotal those six words were to be in the formation of my view of marketing success.

It has to do with projection.

The key to a campaign's success is how well it connects with the end user/viewer - a simple truth, often overlooked by agencies and marketers throughout the industry. Many opt for presenting a campaign idea which wins over the internal brand team instead of doing the hard graft of delving deep into the market insights and exploring every avenue that the target consumer might experience this campaign within.

As human beings, it's in our nature to assume the way we see the world is the same as everyone around us and this very much extends to our experiences as well.

Thankfully, there is a very simple cure for projection.

Once you've completed campaign ideation, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Am I assessing the merits of this idea on how well it would be received by the target consumer rather than basing the assessment on my personal preferences?

  2. Have I done enough research to motivate the rationale behind this campaign? Have I gathered thoughts from individuals outside of the pitch team for differing perspectives?

  3. Is the data aligned with my thinking? Have I exhausted all the information available?

While not fool proof, if you can confidently answer 'Yes' to these questions, you're well on your way to launching a successful campaign!


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