On a Friday afternoon a few weeks back, our creative department gathered in our conference room to watch Art & Copy, the Emmy-winning Doug Pray documentary about the advertising business. In one scene, one of the old timers—Lee Clow, maybe?—says something about how he wanted to inspire clients to be more than they thought they could be.
I think it’s a pretty common feeling among the advertising people I know and respect most. Sure, we’re in business to make money. But that’s not what drives us. We’re actually driven by the thought that our work can help our clients be great. We want to inspire them to be amazing, to change the world, and to let us help them tell their story in a way that truly reaches people.
It’s not so rare to find clients whose work inspires you. Given the opportunity, a good copywriter can find the uniqueness and beauty in just about anything, and write about it passionately and persuasively.
But it’s exceptionally rare to find a client that makes you think about your own business and how you’re helping your employees grow and succeed—at work and in life.
MJ Insurance is that kind of client.
When we started working with MJ last year, I spent scores of hours talking with company executives and associates, clients and ex-clients, and other industry professionals. We talked a lot about MJ’s services.
But we talked even more about MJ’s culture. What made them unique? Why should anyone want to do business with MJ?
The answer took shape early: Because they actually care about their clients, their employees, and even the people who decide not to hire them.
Time and time again, MJ employees and clients told me that they felt respected in ways they’d never experienced before in their industry. Employees told me stories about how they’d been encouraged to grow, learn, and take stock of their lives—even if it meant deciding that MJ was not the right place for them. Clients told me they actually looked forward to visits from their insurance guy. Can you imagine?
It was clear that MJ had an approach to business that went well beyond selling insurance and employee benefits. They actually cared about the success of the companies they worked for and the personal well-being of their clients and employees. They wanted their people and their clients to be great, and they were willing to invest in the tools it took to make that desire a reality.
And that’s pretty inspiring.
So we’ve changed some things at Well Done. We’ve asked every one of our employees to seek out and take advantage of professional development opportunities; in fact, we’ve made it part of their jobs. As a result, we’ve attended conferences and seminars all over the country. We’ve done more things like get together to watch Art & Copy. We talk more about advertising and marketing and how we can help our clients do the next smart thing.
And we’re more intentional about telling clients what we believe: namely, that we can actually help them change the world.
Maybe we’d be doing these things anyway. But I give our relationship with MJ a lot of the credit. They changed the way I look at our company and our potential. We’re so much better today than we were when we met them. I’m not sure I could pay a client a higher compliment.
Oh—and we just launched a new website for them. Hope you’ll take a look.