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Getting Paid For...Thinking?

Brain My friend Drew McLellan and I had this interesting discussion about what we get paid for:  "Doing" or "Thinking".

It's a common issue among first time advertising agency clients.

They often just don't see the value of...thinking.

When, in fact, that is most of what we do.  You see, we're in the business of advertising and marketing.  We're NOT making cars, boats, farm machinery, or cell phones.

While we could be, and folks who make that stuff would do well to listen to what we might suggest BEFORE they create something they "think" will appeal to the consumer. 

But some don't. 

And, frankly, that is the difference between success and failure.


Often first time users of advertising agencies see us as "creators" and not "thinkers".  The call comes in and the client says:

"We need a magazine ad for 'Do Dah Quarterly send it to Billy."

Any moron can do that.  Really!  In fact...many do.  I should know.  I once worked for a firm that not only SOLD the advertising space...but also "created" the ads.  At no extra charge!

And you know what the advertiser got?  An ad that was created without thinking. 

Thinking about the reader, the target audience, the message being sent, the effectiveness of the media, the cost of the ad, how it worked into branding the image of the company...

We were selling space...not ideas!  And, frankly the more time we spent on ideas the less time we had to sell space.

It's kind of like an accountant and tax time.  Anybody can slap numbers onto a tax form.  Anybody.  You don't have to think much to get that done....

" want me to make these numbers work for you?  Well, that will cost extra."

Sure we "do" but the real value is in the thinking...

What do you...think?

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications...where we think first and create a moment later.