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KNOW-HOW WITHOUT KNOW-WHAT

Buyers of creative and design services are often constrained by a lack of clarity on what they want to purchase.

It’s important for them to know-what and even know-why, before you can sell your know-how.

KNOW-WHAT -1 

“I was paying the ad agency AED 2,500/ – per month for SEO/Lead generation. And an additional amount for my website maintenance and updates. Now I have hired a full time person for AED 2,000/- per month for doing both the jobs.”

– A business  owner boasting about his smart move.

But will the employee who can be hired full-time for AED 2,000/- a month be able to deliver what the ad agency team was expected to deliver? This kind of comparison is made because many advertisers do not have a clear idea of what they are buying. That’s why they compare price tags without comparing the purchases.

KNOW-WHAT – 2

“I am looking for a workshop in Dubai that can design and produce very authentic and creative trophies. If anyone have come across please do message me their contacts.” 

 A post in social media by a Marketing Manager

The place the post is looking for and the person it’s expecting to find there, are not business-wise compatible.

A workshop for trophies is never expected to charge their customers for “creativity”. In their design department, they usually hire people with software skills. Over a period of time, the “graphic designer whose strength is software skills”, if intelligent and hardworking, will definitely acquire a level of experience required to advise customers and offer suggestions which can improve the design and the quality of the final delivery. But it would be unfair to expect that graphic designer to come up with conceptual designs.

A creative professional capable of generating original concepts will be a misfit in such an environment. Even if someone “creative” joins such a workshop, he or she will have very little opportunity for career growth. The workshop will also find very little justification for rewarding the person for his /her work because the customers will never agree to pay a penny extra for the person’s “creativity”. The workshop, because of its very nature of business will have to manage with “computer operators with software skills”. Even freshers with a creative bent of mind, if he or she ever joins such a production house, will find themselves a misfit in such a work environment and will soon leave the place.

KNOW-WHAT – 3 

We invest in the latest technologies and machinery as well as the brightest and most capable of individuals to provide top quality branding solutions”.

– From the brochure of an “advertising agency” 

All advertising businesses are not “ad agencies”. The majority of advertising businesses, are not engaged in advertising but in the production of advertising, merchandising and Point of Sale material.

To make the best use of “the latest technologies” you do need “the brightest and most capable of individuals.” But their brightness is not measured by their ability to generate concepts but by their proficiency in making the best use of “the latest technologies”.

Have you ever heard any of the world’s top ad agencies talking about their latest technologies? That’s simply because an ad agency’s output depends on people and not on technology and machinery.

Ad agencies invest in people capable of coming up with new  ideas which can then be brought to life by “latest technologies and machinery” operated by “the brightest and most capable of individuals” working at an advertising production house.

KNOW-WHAT – 4 

“ I am looking for an agency very good in social media but not expensive.”

– A Marketing Manager’s ask 

Good but inexpensive? Or good and cost competitive? Even when we buy vegetables, we compare prices and purchases. Then why creative services should be an exception?

The reasons are not hard to find. It’s simply because the buyers have no idea what they are buying and they don’t even know that they don’t know!