how do you deal with people who aren't creative telling you how to do your job? for example dissecting design work or copy despite having zero experience in creative. said people are above my position so can't exactly tell them to get on their bikes.

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Ask them what their intention / purpose is for the change? Then ask if you can provide a creative solution to said purpose. Every root can yield different branches. It’s a delicate game of politics.

likesmarthelpful

Yep! This is the go-to strategy for me anytime someone is suggesting things on a topic/area they don’t know anything about. Happens a TON for me with our social media strategy (“this needs to go viral!” 🙄) Sometimes their bad ideas have good nuggets you can pull from. Then they feel like they’ve been heard and you don’t have to use their totally dumb idea or risk getting reprimanded from a higher up.

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For me, it’s always a good moment to understand the why better. Which usually ends up building a better relationship which means building respect, trust and curiosity for other POVs. Also a good moment to check my own ego about the work.

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^ This

75mg of CBD oil. Then peeping my bank accounts to calculate the day I can be financially free.

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You'd be financially free sooner without the CBD oil.

“Let me think about that.”

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Realize their butts are the ones on the line, if they insist on a change, they are ultimately responsible for the results. Then put the good version you designed in your portfolio.

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This literally bleeds animosity. You’re trying to build a relationship as well as relate work you’re proud of.

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Urgh welcome to in-house.

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Yup. Telling an SME their video idea sucks is a very tedious issue.

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Echo other's advice asking the why or trying to understand the root cause. Typically request like these come in because the person reqursting thinks it will solve an issue from their POV. Of course I once received a very bald, honest request: "The client has childhood issues with the color purple."

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The movie?

I have always found it an interesting part of marketing that we are kind of the one function that others feel they can offer advice on. I don’t go to accounting and say “you should think about doing your books this way.” I think asking what it is about their direction/suggestion that they like or how it will make it better. Have they seen competitors or other industries do it? It is also a good opportunity to think strategically about your own choices. Can you answer soundly why you’re making the choices you do? It can also be helpful to watch for any particular pet peeves they have. I had a director early in my career who hated “floating” products in ads or products - he liked to see a bottom shadow or something to ground it. It never bothered me but i quickly realized it was an easy thing for him to be happy about and made the rest of the approval process easy.

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Was the director me? Lol. Can’t stand floating products unless the product is literally floating.

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This is currently the biggest stressor in my life, although people both above and below me.

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I just change it to their satisfaction. Getting approval is more difficult. Good taste is relative. You live to fight another day.

likesmart

Now quadruple that experience. That's in-house in higher education. My strategy is to ask a lot of questions. Why do they feel that way? What goal do they have? How would they do it? Sometimes if you start digging, there's gold. Other times, you can use their responses as fodder for illustrating why they are off base in their feedback.

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Ask them to tell you the problem not the solution

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I’d most likely tell you the problem and my solution.

I agree with VPM 1. You didn’t mention if there was a brief? If there is, try to understand how they think the work isn’t meeting the objectives in the brief. Good briefs always have this. It’s the marketer’s job to articulate the business / communication objective, not to be the art director and solve “how” to do it.

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Once I worked with an executive who took full responsibility and admitted his brilliant idea derailed a project. Once.

I had the same issue, it's just part of in-house work, it's like when in agency they tell you you need to have ticker skin

haha! my comment wasn't finished and got published! I was saying that I had the same issue, it's just part of in-house work, it's like when in agency they tell you you need to have thicker skin. I tried asking the problem, and offer other solutions but some of them just can't see your skills as an actual skill, they think what we do is just dictated by opinions so they think they can have theirs. But some will respect your experience so I would try. My other issue was that sometimes you don't feel like you can push back on comments if you are not senior enough. There, you just have to be lucky to have a boss that values you. And the way to get there is to point most of these issues out to your boss and what you were suggesting as a solution, so you will get their trust and they will let you act on your own. Anyway, I did definitely sit in meetings with people a lot more senior than me and telling them why their new solution wasn't going to work, but you need to be very careful of how you tell them. Just make sure they feel like their concerns are heard and you are taking their solutions into account but even looking for a better one. To be honest, all these reasons plus the lack of creativity in the work itself made me want to consider going back to the agency. Where I am sure I will find a new set of issues :)

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