Oxford Road on Service

When I go to a restaurant, I want my beverages refilled without me having to ask.

When I call for a car, I’ll provide my destination, but I don’t want to be asked by the driver for directions on how to get there.

And so it should be with our service. We should learn early on where you were trying to go, and then it is incumbent on us to design plans and move you through such plans in order to get you to your destination in the best way.

We calibrate our services around client goals rather than chasing appeasement. This sometimes makes us less interesting to middle managers who are seeking job security or compliments rather than revolution.

Our client is always wrong. Overstatement. Tech clients are usually very smart and generally value learning over being right. But if you know more than we do, you should fire us. Either do it yourself or find an agency that knows better than you.

Brains are often the Achilles heel of tech marketers. They are generally very smart. Top of their class at a prestigious university. They know they are smart. They are often millennialist so their parents agree with them and tell them so. They’ve been met with early success in one area or another. Hubris abounds.

Now it’s time to move from the safer worlds of SEO, SEM, Facebook, to the murkier worlds of offline where everything is more expensive and you are guaranteed nothing but impressions. It’s more expensive. You won’t crack it with a $10k, 2 week test. Don’t poop your pants. Deal with it. Raise money if needed, but test properly. Most scalable channels will cost $100k+ to test well. If TV, more likely $300K+. There’s no right figure and it always depends. For us, we try to structure tests so they are as cheap as possible, but not so cheap that they cannot work.

If you come to us, I beg you, come with something to learn. Do not prescribe tactics to your agency. Do your homework. Make your reference calls. But if you do choose us, or anyone else for that matter, sign the check and let it go.

But what if it doesn’t work? That does happen. Even at our agency. I’d estimate that we survive the test and move to scale 80%+ of the time. But sometimes it does miss. Here are the questions used in an autopsy:

  1. Am I properly attributing response in my analytics?
  2. Was my media executed properly?
  3. Was my creative executed properly?
  4. Do I have a product problem?

Re 4, more often than operator error, we encounter misses because a marketer overestimated the value of his product in the marketplace. We are not spin doctors. Advertising should be a game of, “mirror mirror on the wall…”. If you don’t like the mirror’s answer, then take a closer look inside thyself.


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