Remembering this will help you get them from “I don’t like it” to “I love it!”
The initial meetings with the client went well, and you had a very clear idea of the goal. You did your research, poured your creative soul into the work, and then submitted a brilliant ad to your client. The client responded, “Hmm. I don’t know,” followed by “It’s not exactly what we had in mind.”
Moving the project from “I don’t like it” to “I love it” involves keeping track of what clients know and more importantly, what they don’t know.
Here are two very simple things clients rarely consider when evaluating your work:
- Many clients do not evaluate ads as a combination of dynamic elements. They look at them as whole unchangeable pieces.
- All advertising content consists of two kinds of elements:
- Image elements
- Information elements
No. 2 includes all ads, all media. All broadcast, print, and web ads consist of: image elements to get the audience to like the brand and information elements to get the audience to purchase.
Your business card is an ad, and it’s a great example. Let’s analyze the elements of your business card:
- Image: logo, colors, paper size + texture, and other graphics, etc.
- Information: name, position, phone number, email, website, list of products, etc.
You can analyze any ad and gain better understanding of its strategy by identifying the image and information elements. How does this help when the client doesn’t “like” the ad you’ve presented? Obviously, you have to find out what they don’t like and why.
When a client says they don’t “like” an ad, it sounds like they are passing judgment on the entire ad. Yet, in most cases, they are simply uncomfortable with a few elements.
Remember, they don’t break the ad into elements, and they don’t know there are two basic kinds of elements – information and image. “I don’t like it” can simply mean some of the information is incorrect. Perhaps, the client has changed their mind or simply didn’t think it through in the initial meeting. Often clients want more information in the ad. In this case, “I don’t like it” could mean “we have to say more.”
The information might be perfect, but they are not comfortable with the “style” of the ad. The music is wrong, the message isn’t “catchy,” or the colors aren’t right.
Ask the right questions and you will get the right answers – faster.
When discussing ad content with a client, try and frame your questions beyond “what don’t you like about it.” Break your questions into information or image questions.
- Is the product listing correct and in the right order of priority?
- Is there anything we have left out of the ad?
- Is any of the information going to change in the near future?
- Does this picture work for you and your company?
- How do you feel about these colors?
Clients generally won’t dissect ads, so you have to do it for them. This will give you a better idea of what they truly don’t “like.” And once you know what they truly don’t “like,” you can move forward.
Peter Radd is a nationally acclaimed jingle producer. Locally, he is most famous for the jingles he wrote and produced for the Glen Lerner and UNLV Tickets commercials.