Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Ten Commandments For Digital Clients

When all else fails, break the tablets on the client's head!

It feels nice to be giving commandments to our clients, rather than being on the receiving end of them. Even if it’s only on the blog.

So here goes…ten commandments for digital clients, derived from my experiences at Linteractive thus far. (Excuse the slightly irritated tone.)

  1. Thou shalt not ask for digital unless thou wilt do it. Yes, digital is the new 360-degree. But, just as a fat woman can’t pull off a tight top, not every client can pull off digital. First decide if you can pull off digital. Don’t make us work if you’re going to turn around and say, “We’re not going digital this year.” I could’ve spent more time with my wife instead of working on your never-to-be-released campaign.
  2. Thou shalt not brief without knowing what thy seek. If you go without knowing where you’re going, you will get very lost. Be very clear about what you want it to do for you, what your desired ROI will be. It’ll help us understand your needs better, and develop a campaign that truly kicks some ass.
  3. Thou shalt not keep secrets from thy digital agency. If you’re doing an offline campaign, tell us about it!!! Don’t make us crack a contest idea, develop the micro-site and all communication elements, and then change it the day before we were due to launch – just because it’s not in sync with an offline campaign we didn’t know of.
  4. Thou shalt not argue unreasonably thy digital agency’s timelines. Give us the same amount of time you’d give your mainline agency. Just because a website loads in 30 seconds doesn’t mean it takes just a week to make. Great creative and flawless coding need time. And we’d like to get it right the first time around.
  5. Thou shalt not be parsimonious. Open your wallet. Digital isn’t as expensive as making a TV commercial. But it ain’t cheap either. Not if you want something really good. What’s that old adage? Good, fast and cheap…we can give you two out of three.
  6. Thou shalt not covet thy competitor’s technology. Digital’s a medium where it’s easy to get carried away by technology. Just because you saw some brand do some great augmented reality work doesn’t mean you should too…unless you have a better reason than, “My wife and I really like this stuff.” Evaluate the idea, not the technology behind it.
  7. Thou shalt not disappear. If you like a concept, and you tell us to flesh it out, we do, and we give you three scripts, don’t disappear for two weeks. And tell us who you’re getting to execute the idea we’ve cracked. And don’t resurface a month later demanding the finished product in three days.
  8. Thou shalt not hide from thy agency thy level of commitment. If you’re commitment-phobic, stay away from social media. Everyone loves knowing which Friends character they are. But unless you’re willing to pay for a dedicated writer to update your Facebook Fan Page, Twitter profile and blog, don’t get into it. Social media is a long-term strategy, and not for everybody. If you can’t handle it, tell us in advance. We’ll do something just as creative, but use some other channels.
  9. Thou shalt not make wrongful use of digital.Digital is an engaging, interactive, user-driven medium. You need to do what’s right. Aim to do what your brand needs – get your fundamentals right before you move ahead. There’s no point doing a brilliant contest if what you need to do first is revamp your website.
  10. Thou shalt not be boring. The most important commandment of them all.


  1. Hey...glad you liked it. I hope you'll keep reading my blog. For easy access, just subscribe to my RSS feed.



  2. This was fun. Need to send this to clients. But my guess is that they know this already. And yet....