No to go all “memory lane” on you, but here’s a story with a moral. When I was an account supervisor at McCann Erickson on AT&T (the technology part, not the voice part), I developed a fact book containing all relevant and import business data — information needed to be conversant in this technical and important piece of business. Gathering and presenting the data was a great exercise for the AE and AAEs, who were pretty much mushrooms at the time; smart, but not seeing a lot of daylight. The book’s main purpose was to educate McCann’s president, should he be called to attend a meeting. It could easily be read in the hour it took to drive from NYC to Bridgewater, NJ.
A story appeared in today’s NY Times suggesting that daily quizzes in college improve student learning when compared to traditional midterm and final testing. My fact book was more like a midterm than a daily quiz…but better than nothing.
Chief level executives at agencies may know their craft (see yesterday’s post), but it’s unlikely they speak the language of the client. What my fact books did not possess was a section on key consumer and buyer insights. There was a target section, yet only am inch deep. C-levels who cannot speak the language of the client are simply passing through. Smart window dressing. They need more frequent quizzes on the businesses they own, not midterms. Or worse, finals. Finals are when they have to defend and re-pitch the business. Peace.