Agency Secret: The Rush Project

You know that rush project you gave your agency? . . . the one you apologized for?  . . .  thanks. No, I’m not being sarcastic. Last minute projects are often the best projects.

They are a headache for the business as it makes it hard to forecast  resources and they burn out employees. But the secret is, they are the most profitable.

Projects with short deadlines often get assigned to the most efficient and productive teams. They don’t get bogged down by layers of creative or project management. Since the team doesn’t have a lot of time, they have to trust their instinct and use the research available to them. There is no time for over thinking.

You may lose the bells and whistles and final polish that sometimes makes a good campaign great. Usually those bells and whistles fall into the category of diminishing returns. They look great and win awards, but they may not help you move the bar.

When a client gives us a project on a short timeframe, the agency can dictate how much feedback the client can provide. They get a chance to control the review cycles. That means there is a much lower chance that the random VP will jump in and make all kinds of changes. Rush projects don’t suffer from design by committee or scope creep. The two things that bust budgets and ruin the concept on many projects.

So should you feel bad about sending your agency a rush project? Yes, as a little empathy for the team working through the weekend will always pay dividends. But at the end of the day that rush project is likely to be the one that comes the furthest under budget and has the greatest ROI.

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