Inspiration, Stories

Never give up improving your marketing communications

It’s easy to say you will never give up improving your marketing communications. But, unless you have processes in place you will be stuck in place. Throughout my career, I have sought out successful individuals who have mastered their processes. Below is one of my favorite ways to improve — one that we employ on a daily basis at the advertising agency.

It was getting late, and I was exhausted. The AE from the advertising agency was spacing out. The client was getting edgy. The crew was wondering why they chose this career path. Needless to say, long and stressful days can come standard with $50k+ photoshoots.

The photographer’s resolve to continue was what struck me in this moment of white flag waving. I was rather confident we had what we needed. Let’s try this, she said. We worked that idea. Now, push that over a bit and strike that light. We worked that idea. On and on we went. “Somebody stop her,” I thought at the time.

Later, after all the material closing dates were met, the ad ran. And yes, everyone was thrilled with the final outcome. I called her to thank her for all the hard work. I have always been interested in the creative process, so I brought up her tenacity to keep shooting on the set long after the rest of us thought we had the shot.

She said she had recently returned from a seminar titled (something like), “How to Create the Ultimate Image.” The photographer giving the seminar was super hot at the time and thought highly of himself.  I mean, he was super confident in his talent. And, why not? He could turn any idea given to him into a brilliant piece of communication.

She told me that the seminar was peppered with details on how to plan, organize and schedule your shoot. Break-out sessions on retouching, models, and contracts. Talks about self-promotion, pricing, and rights. Even how to give yourself plenty of time for error, etc., etc.

But what she remembered the most (and what I still carry with me at the advertising agency today) was this: The seminar photographer said shoot all day and all night and straight through the next day and the next night. Shoot until your fingers cramp from the shutter button. Until your voice is raw from directing the crew. Until your eyes are bloodshot. Until every angle, every lighting option is exhausted. Shoot until every aperture setting and frame rate is spent. Shoot until you get exactly what you wanted.

AND THEN… and only then!

Can you actually begin the shoot!

It has stuck with me all those years. Pretty powerful stuff!

We have always tried to hold true to this philosophy. Just because you have what you came for doesn’t mean that’s where you stop, whether it means taking one more look at the body copy or second-guessing a marketing strategy at the last minute. We try to remind ourselves we always have time to make it better. We never give up improving our marketing communications.

But of course, with all of that said, it is still essential to watch your budgets, your client’s patience and your employee’s stamina!

Photo Credit: ©2018 Crobar | Creative Leverage • Location: Atlanta, GA • Purpose: Product shoot for a floor covering manufacturer, editorial outtake : )

Todd Kinley

J. Todd Kinley

Founder | Executive Creative Director: Crobar Creative Leverage. Husband, Father, and Moose owner. Lover of art, photography, golf, and strategy. Follow me: