Marcelle Rockwell, VP, Account Director, Palio
Are you an only child who was raised on a desert island by wolves? No?
Then you’ve probably had to work with others over the course of your life to get things done. And, if you’re anything like the rest of us, you’ve had varying levels of success with the process. Sometimes it’s a joy. Sometimes it’s hard work. Most of the time, it’s somewhere in between.
In our professional world of creative marketing agencies and clients, we find that collaborative desires are fairly standard in many ways. Both sides have their ideal image of what collaboration would entail.
Clients would love to have ingenious ideas, perfectly complementary to corporate strategy, completely fleshed out with examples and practical details, falling well within the budget constraints, to be dropped in their lap ten minutes before they ask for them (and sometimes even before they ask).
Agencies would love to have clients who provide extensive detail into their broader brand strategies and long-term goals (which would be secure and unchanging), instant access to all of the stakeholders involved in the approval and execution processes, creative carte blanche unencumbered by regulatory requirements or legal stipulations, and unlimited budgets and flexible timelines to make their dreams reality.
Obviously, these scenarios are seldom the case. Which is why collaboration is key. Negotiation, compromise, diplomacy. And — you may begin to sense a theme across recent posts — communication.
If you can mutually communicate a realistic sense of what to expect before you begin your collaboration, your efforts forward will move that much more swiftly, smoothly, and successfully.
In any collaboration, though, you have to work around the constraints that a partnership poses:
- More than one opinion is at play, and while everyone is working towards the same goal for the brand, there can be vastly different visions about how to reach that goal. Remembering that everyone does have that mutual goal goes a long way toward solving those disagreements
- Your office is not Hogwarts, and no one you’re working with has magical powers. They will not always be able to instantly give you the answers you need; they will not always be able to remove the stumbling blocks that appear in your path; and they will, at some point or another, make a mistake. Being human does that to a person. Reflect, every now and then, on your shared humanity, and use it as an opportunity to build respect rather than frustration
- We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: collaboration requires frequent updates—from both sides. You can work more successfully together when you’re both working toward the same goal on the same activities at the same time. The closer you can stay in synch, the more efficiently you’ll work and the better your results will be
What’s your favorite part of collaboration – the creative brainstorming… the thrill of success… the Happy Hour celebration?
Palio is an advertising agency revolutionizing pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing to create experiences that will Never Be Forgotten.