Last week I landed on Bud's thoughts for surviving change. It's definitely worth the read if you didn't get to it. One thing in particular stood out to me though as it is something I've seen over and over from several digital agencies and new "don't-call-us-an-agency" agencies. That "thing" is railing against the way things are being and have been done in an effort to promote a new "better" way of doing things.
I'm sure you've seen examples of it too. "Television advertising is dead." "Buying TV spots is a waste of money." "Traditional advertising must die." "So and so's business is screwed if they don't start doing things differently." Etcetera, etcetera. You see things like this show up in posts and tweets and comments everywhere. Even some of the industry publications get in on the attack from time to time. Sometimes these comments are justified, but often they are not. They're just hot, angry rants.
The worst part of it is that this attitude often permeates the halls and conference rooms of the agencies that espouse this point of view. After a presentation where new ways of doing things were presented and then kindly not accepted by the client, the agency teams come back to the office and complain about how stupid the clients are for "not getting it" and/or not being courageous. Or they talk about how screwed the client is because they're so stuck in the past. Not only does this talk create a miserable culture, but it's also self defeating in the long run.
The thing is, it's highly likely that the agency never gave the clients a good enough reason to buy the new way forward. Sure they put a lot of flash and spectacle into the presentation and carefully crafted the design/creative presented. But at the end of it all, they were unable to show how doing things this way would produce results the client could believe in and care about. All they could show was "how cool" this idea would be if the client did it.
So, what should they do instead? The answer lies in Bud' post:
"No one is going to help you dismantle the business that’s paying for their mortgage or their kids’ college education – but they will help you build something that they believe can offer them even more advantages."
The last bit of Bud's sentence is the key. If you want to help your clients start doing things in new and better ways, your best approach isn't going to be attacking the way they have been doing things. Your best approach is going to be showing clients how a new way of doing things will offer them advantages that take them beyond what they're currently getting. You make it about additive construction, not massive destruction.
If you can get a client believe your new ideas will do this for their business, you won't have any problems getting them approved. You may have a problem getting them produced fast enough, but not with them being accepted.