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There’s no escape from the self-proclaimed experts


We’ve all sat in large group meetings and just wished the day (or the world) to end. But meetings like this aren’t just boring, they’re often counterproductive, in my experience. What happens is that management decides to get people from around the company to the table …and then asks them to make group decisions on subjects where only one or two people are experts. The higher up the company you go, the more this happens. I’ve sat in meetings where the financial director has explained his profits and losses and cashflows and goodness knows what else – and then asked if I agree with his assessment. I’VE NO IDEA. I’M A TECHNICAL WRITER.

At least I’ll probably say “I don’t know” or “It sounds alright to me”, and everyone will be happy. When it comes to marketing, there’s no such escape. Everyone wants to have their say. The financial director, who’ll glaze over when the tech guys are presenting their 4-20mA Blue Widget connectivity strategies, will become David Ogilvy or Leo Burnett when the new advertising campaign is unveiled. You’ll want to describe why you’re prioritising on remarketing over the Display Network, and he’ll be asking for the logo to be made bigger, or even lobbing in grenades like: “I don’t think we should be advertising on the internet, do you?”

I think that’s why we’ve got some pretty good relationships with clients in medium sized companies. We absolutely understand that while getting the most enquiries for your money ought to be everyone’s priority, there are always other factors in play. Many are quite irrational. We’re quite happy to have a quiet giggle with our clients when we both know that advertising against a certain search may not be a good idea, but if the MD just seems to know it’s right, let’s just do it and move on.

And on that note, here’s an old article about surviving meetings which has never stopped making me smile.

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