Creative Director Grant Sanders
This post appears with permission by our favorite Creative Director Grant Sanders and is one of many on his blog. Grant's views are his own and we're looking forward to occasionally sharing posts that ignite conversation and illustrate our approach.
Yeah, I know it’s not fair to have favorites. But we are all human and there are some people with whom it is far more enjoyable and rewarding to partner. I’m not going to name any names here. But some of my previous and current clients may recognize themselves in these descriptions.
I’ve worked with hundreds of clients over the last couple of decades. Here are the ones who stand out for me.
The smart clients. After I left the agency I founded and became a free agent word monkey, I had the pleasure of working, for over a decade, with a young VP of marketing for a good sized consumer product company. He was a Harvard B-school grad and one of the most demanding clients I’ve ever worked with, but it was also a pleasure because the guy was so damn smart. I learned a lot.
The ones who have been there. I love clients with an agency background because they understand the agency life and the pressures under which we have to work at times. It doesn’t necessarily make the work any less challenging, but it helps to have a kindred soul in the foxhole next to you.
The ones who bring us challenging work. When I was on my own, I loved the clients who thought of me whenever they had a really juicy and difficult marketing goal to achieve. I still like being that go-to provider and I truly appreciate being appreciated for our ability to solve hard problems.
The ones who paid quickly. Back when I had two small kids at home and was working for myself, I would walk over hot coals for the clients who paid within 30 days. Some clients paid in two weeks and to this day, there is not a thing I wouldn’t do for them, including help them move, pick them up at the airport or cook them dinner. (I love you guys.)
The ones who offer an adventure. Some clients call and say, “I need some ad ideas by next week.” Which is great. I’m in. Others call and say, “I need you in São Paulo a week from this Tuesday. Here’s a plane ticket.” Which is amazing! I love an adventure. I was in Texas several years back working with a half dozen people, and after dinner one night my client said (in complete seriousness), “Let’s all get tattoos!” That was a fun trip.
The ones who care deeply about their customers. Some clients are in it for the profit. Which is completely understandable. Business is business. Some clients are in it because they care. The latter are especially gratifying to work with. Because business is also personal.
The ones who appreciate what we do. I don’t need to get positive feedback every hour on the hour to love what I do, but when we almost kill ourselves to make a deadline or solve a mammoth marketing problem, a note of thanks from a client can make my decade.
The ones who don’t leave us guessing. I have to say, I love clients who have all the answers. Budget figures. Research. Intelligence about their competition. Channel info. Product technical details. Clients who can arm us with all of the information we need just naturally get better work.
The genuine clients. I like working with people who are likeable. It’s a people-driven business and working with good souls takes the work out of even the most difficult job.
At some point I may also write a blog post about my least favorite clients. I’ll try much harder to hide people’s identities in that post. I think our lawyers may insist upon it.
Grant Sanders is the Creative Director at Mintz + Hoke in Avon, CT. His favorite client is the one he’s working on right now. His favorite person is his wife. Followed by his dog. His favorite place is Nantucket, MA where he lives when he’s not doing his favorite activity, directing creative.
Keep me posted
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