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Minimizing the Risk of New Marketing Strategies

Marketers want new ideas, but they want only want to pull the trigger on initiatives that are sure to be a success. I recall a low-cost, engaging idea our firm presented to a CPG client years ago that would engage the younger audience they were seeking. The SVP of marketing put a hiatus on the whole thing, though, because he had never heard of our proposed channel…something called YouTube. He’s no longer with the company.

The truth is that it’s easy for agencies to be willing to be the first one out there doing something new—they’re not spending their own money to do so. The agency gets the credit if it’s a hit, and if the idea tanks, well, the agency just shoves it under the “learning” rug. Doing something new not only requires innovative execution, but in this day and age it also requires innovative financing.

Warren Douglas has developed project partnerships for several clients that not only allow us to stick our toe in the water before diving into a new initiative, but projects that also take the edge off the front-ended cash investment for the client. Marketers (the clients) have to also be willing to view the agency as a true partner in their business, rather than viewing them as a disposable commodity that will be tossed after next year’s budget review. To make something new work well, both parties have to commit to a relationship in which both parties make meaningful investments and share in meaningful rewards.


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