Any client who starts a creative conversation with his or her agency by saying how much or how little funding they have to work with, is ddamn fool. Planning – really effective planning – needs to be driven by objectives and audience. It should not have any prerequisites or disclaimers included. Your marketing team should be free (early in the process) to give your needs and problems their best thinking, dollars notwithstanding. If you are lucky, you may find that cost will not be an issue. On the other hand, if it is an issue, there are things you can do collectively to minimize the pain. For example, look at extending your timeframe, consider what can be done both in and outside the company, and finally, look at all the tactics in the plan and which ones must be done versus which ones could be deferred – at least until you start to see a return on your investment.
I have been in new business presentations where the senior person on the other side of the table has cleared his or her throat and asked if the people in our company are creative. That is a tough question to answer objectively. My best stab at it has been, and I suspect will continue to be, “I don’t know.” What I do know after 45+ years in marketing and communication is that I have worked with a lot of very bright people who, when you get them in a room with other very bright people, seem to develop some exciting, fun, powerful, and effective ideas that translate well into creative business executions. Repeatedly, I see where the group product always trumps what any individual can do. So while I cannot say I am creative, I can say I’ve been a part of or a contributor to many creative processes and it has been a whole lot of fun. More often than not, we have exceeded our objectives.