A series of articles written to help you save money and get the most out of your collaboration with Plan 9 Design.

Somebody is Going To Wreck Your Marketing Plan

He's Out There

No one's ever seen him, but at certain points in the process of working with a designer, clients get the feeling he's lurking close by, watching.


He's usually referred to as "Somebody". But who is he? It depends. Sometimes he is unimaginably zealous in his PC fundamentalism, outraged at any fun-poking, over-the-top, or racy image or verbal wordplay. Sometimes he is a complete dolt, an adult with the intelligence of a 3 year old who somehow functions independently in the world.


One might be inclined to underestimate Somebody, but know this: he can singlehandedly wipe out effective marketing ideas. If he can't achieve total annihilation, he will do his best to mutilate, inoculate, or sedate any idea into complete ineffectiveness.


Somebody's Modus Operandi

You're presented with a great idea from your designer, or, through collaboration, have come up with a great concept for a logo, print ad, direct mail piece, illustration, etc. You know it's good on a gut level because it made you laugh, or get excited, or a voice inside quietly said "Yes."



Somebody can smell that. That's when he slithers into action. "Hmmm, it's a little off-color, I think I'm deeply offended," he says. Or, "I don't get it, and neither will anyone else because everyone is a dolt like me."


You wonder if he may be right, so you begin to ask a group of folks what they think. Somebody sees this and wets his pants with glee. He is Chairman of the Board of The Group and glares at them until they declare, "Indeed, it is not safe, Somebody might get offended, Somebody might not get it." And the idea is thus incinerated.


Fairy Tales

Obviously this guy isn't real. There are probably individuals that might vaguely fit his profile but I'm guessing you aren't marketing to them anyway. When you alter your marketing plan out of fear of, or to please Somebody, you may lose everybody else.


No marketing effort gets anywhere without catching people's interest. In order to do that, it has to be at least a little different, or risky, kooky, funny, exciting. Sure some ideas are inappropriate or are too left field. But trust YOUR, and your designer's instincts, not the prejudices of an imaginary Somebody.