by Karon Thackston © 2004 http://www.copywritingcourse.com
I have to admit, I was curious. When I saw previews of a new show called “The Apprentice,” it made me want to at least watch premiere to see what was going on. Immediately, I was hooked. The whole idea of candidates - from all walks of life, not just college grads fresh from their commencement ceremonies - vying for a position in one of Donald Trump’s organizations piqued my interest. What kept my interest were real-life advertising lessons every business owner needs to be reminded of.
Take, for instance, one episode where teams were challenged to create an ad campaign. I was, needless-to-say, on edge of my seat for entire show. One team immediately decided to phone client and setup an appointment to find out about product, end user, and other aspects that would make a big difference in creating campaign. (Smart move!)
The other team, however, said they didn’t have time to talk with client. They were running behind schedule. Meeting with client - in their opinion - would just waste an hour or two that could have been spent on more important tasks. (Excuse me?)
What happened? First of all, my husband came charging into living room asking, “Do you believe that? Even *I* know you have to talk to customer first!” Yes, he had been listening to me after all.
In end, campaign from team who did speak with client won challenge. Once losing team arrived in boardroom, project leader, Jason (Mr. “We Don’t Have Time To Talk With Client”), really got it from all sides.
Donald Trump’s assistants, George and Carolyn, made a point of bringing up fact that client was not contacted. Jason’s own teammates made a point of bringing up that client was never contacted. And Donald? To quote, Donald said, “That was a HUGE mistake… you’re fired!”
This was fairly early in show so you would have thought other contestants would have learned from Jason’s mistake. Not so. There was yet another episode where an Apprentice put what they wanted over what client wanted/needed.