February 29, 2012 / By Travis Rexroad
The most valuable lesson that I’ve learned thus far as a marketer was not obtained from one of the many courses I completed as an undergraduate student. It wasn’t through an internship (though my internship at Taylor was comparable to none, ha!) and it wasn’t discovered through Steve Jobs’ biography. Rather, I learned this lesson while at a secluded ranch in northern California—JH Ranch to be exact.
JH Ranch is a high adventure, Christian leadership ranch—packed with whitewater trips, high ropes courses, 102-mile mountain biking treks and 14,179-foot Mt. Shasta climbs. Having worked on staff for three summers, the following philosophy became embedded in my mind and guided me, as well as the entire staff, in the way that we worked.
The difference between “good” and “great” is in the details.
Whether we were prepping our teams for a 3-day trek in the wilderness or completing the less-than-glamorous task of scrubbing down the boathouse, this was the attitude that our team tried to adopt each summer. It’s what we strived to live by. And it’s true.
Fast forward a few years later and I’m here at Taylor, arguably one of the most strategic and intentional agencies around, and now more than ever have I come to realize the weight of this truth.
We represent some of the most iconic brands in the world, and to develop “good” campaigns that “satisfy” business objectives on behalf of our client partners just isn’t good enough. Having been part of this agency for almost two years, I would argue that “good” is also not enough for my fellow colleagues—at least “good” is not what excites them. It’s not what drives them. And it’s not what drives me.
As professional communicators, we are detail-oriented by nature. We don’t simply identify a brand’s target audience(s), we dissect them (figuratively of course!)—What are their likes, dislikes, and why? And what kind of influence do they have on their friends, family and coworkers when it comes to their purchasing behaviors? The list goes on and on, and you haven’t even approached the specifics surrounding consumer/media landscape, digital and/or mobile penetration.
It’s the details that are the difference between a “good” and “great” campaign, and it’s attention to details that allow a team to exceed business objectives, rather than simply satisfy them.
So, in short, details are not an afterthought. They are essential for any campaign to go beyond “good”. And as marketing professionals, we should never ever settle for just “good.”