There's an ongoing complaint from the marketing agency world along the lines of 'if clients would only leave agencies alone and give them space, they'd get amazing work.' No doubt sometimes true, but I have a strong suspicion that if all clients did it, then many would end up with the sorts of expensive viral campaigns that are only followed by their agency's employees and a load of those bots on Twitter that try to get you to click on links to porn. Sometimes a tight leash is a good thing.
With that in mind, here's my top ten signs that your client is actually fine and that while your enthusiasm should be applauded, you (or your agency) might really be the problem...
1. You, personally, have got more than two clients who you think are 'not adventurous enough'.
2. You're sure your client should increase their advertising budget, but you have no idea what their profit margin is.
3. The client won't do your idea because you've never tried it before and it's unproven.
Let's face it, they're not risk averse, you just haven't persuaded them that it's a good enough idea. Or worse, they think it is a good idea but they don't trust you not to screw it up.
4. The number of people who actually visit the microsite and follow the brand on Twitter might be small, but it doesn't matter because a mystical thing called 'word of mouth' means the campaign's reach will be huge. If you believe that, step this way - today only I've got a special offer on some amazing magic beans...
5. You've never heard a point of view on your client's marketing from any of their staff who work outside the marketing department.
6. You regularly announce that the world has changed.
7. 'It's all about online' but you can't explain with confidence how a Google Adwords auction works.
8. If you leave London, it's to go abroad. What would you want to go up North for? Everyone there commutes on the Tube and is 25-40 years old too, right?
9. Your client needs to build their brand. Of course they do! So why can't you concisely define what brand means?
10. You can't find at least ten points to back up your argument. Er, damn.