How do clients do it?

After spending a couple of weeks working at the lass glamorous end of FMCG I’ve found myself wondering how the average client stays motivated when they spend their working week worrying about cat food, toothpaste or vacuum cleaners.

Having pretty much always worked in an agency environment (where you work on several different clients and rarely stay on the same brand for more than 18 months) I can’t imagine spending my days exclusively concentrating on a brand of orange juice.

Although you’d inevitably very quickly become an expert on the subject I think I’d go bananas.  In fact a client of mine recently confessed that his most enjoyable role ever had been working on an innovation project where his team were given free rein to go off and find new products within (or even outside) the category to bring to market.

It’s also easy to forget that for most Brand Managers (and I imagine more than a few other clientside marketing roles), the actual marketing bit is a smallish part of their job.  It’s often more about budget spreadsheets and agreeing to whatever Tesco want in order to keep the listing.  So returning the umpteenth email from the agency that day might not be number one on their priority list.

The average client might not be an expert on TGI, a brilliant copywriter or techno-whizz – but that’s why they have an agency.  Perhaps we should cut them a bit of slack as I certainly know that I couldn’t do their job.

Has anyone out there made the leap from agency to clientside or the other way round and wants to report back?

by The Marketoonist Tom Fishburne

2 thoughts on “How do clients do it?

  1. I’ve made the move from clientside marketing to freelance consultant and I’m really enjoying the variety – so can see what you are saying. Saying that, what I miss about being clientside is the depth of knowledge that you inevitably gain about your product and market. What’s more, you say that the actual ‘marketing’ bit is a small part of the job – that, I think, depends on your definition of marketing. I choose a wide definition to include strategy development, sales, budgeting, distribution, pricing etc as well as the marketing communications side. So for me, the variety comes in the form of the different marketing activities rather than the different products.

    Enjoying your blog by the way!

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