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Intelligence Briefs

Focus on the bigger picture or your brand is sunk

Industry Contributor

Brett Dawson, CEO

14 October 2019 2min read

Too many companies in our industry are paying attention to self-serving vanity metrics and in doing so missing the bigger picture. Who cares what the cost per click is – what really matters is the impact of our efforts on our client’s businesses, right?

Key points:

Industry legend Dave Trott tells us a story about when the Titanic set sail in 1912. Second Officer David Blair held the only set of keys to the case where the ship’s binoculars were kept, but arriving in Southhampton, he was replaced by a more senior officer and forgot to hand over the key effectively leaving the ship blind.

  • The imperative had been to keep the binoculars safe but by focusing on this specific task, not the safety of the ship overall, 1,522 passengers lost their lives
  • As Trott points out, “That sort of thing often happens when people get their priorities wrong. They prioritise their part of the job over everything else”
  • Trott’s point is that in our industry, or any other for that matter, focusing on the minutiae can stop us from seeing the bigger picture. And for advertising to make an impact, we need to pull back and consider the big picture

My Takeout

We’ve come a long way from 1912 and the tragedy of the Titanic but are we still making the same mistakes as the crew behind the ill-fated ship? Dave Trott seems to think so and I tend to agree.

The advertising and media world is so obsessed with minutiae and factions protecting their own turf. 
Too many people are bogged down in vanity metrics that are just inputs – CPCs, CTRs, CPMs, TARPs, insert vanity metric here. Awards even! None of that matters. What matters is whether the work has changed our client’s business for the better and delivered the growth their shareholder's demand.

Agencies aren’t the only ones guilty of this. How often do we see the focus and budget of a client’s marketing department invested in filling brand social feeds and YouTube channels rather than delivering tangible growth?

As campaigns and marketing efforts become increasingly integrated with cross-agency teams working hand-in-hand with marketing departments, shouldn’t we all be focused on the singular goal of growth? 
If we all unite behind this big-picture objective, everything else – CX, UX, PR, activation, media, creative – will line up behind it. 

Let’s go. What do you think?

Industry Contributor

Brett Dawson, CEO

An eternal optimist, Brett is Bohemia’s co-founder and CEO. His focus is on turning good into great with an infectious passion to make Bohemia the best it can possibly be.
He has more than 19 years’ experience in building media agencies and leading some of the country’s biggest brands in a career that has spanned media strategy, planning, buying and agency management.
Having been recognised locally and internationally for his work, Brett continues to obsess over the best work in the country in his role on the board of The Media Federation of Australia.
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