Will Burns Consulting

Will Burns Consulting

1 employee
12 years in business

About this pro

Anyone who has worked with me these three decades knows that I love nothing more than either coming up with, or witnessing the birth of, a great marketing idea. Seriously, I get the chills. So it’s no surprise, I suppose, that I'm consulting with brands now about their “brand ideas"--coming up with one, bringing one to market or helping employees channel the brand idea into everything they do. When your company has a brand idea, marketing becomes easy, decisions are more easily made, and you avoid what I call "random acts of marketing."

I have worked with some of the most creative and famous ad agencies in the world--Wieden & Kennedy, Goodby, Arnold and Mullen. It was at these great places that my love for advertising was nourished and my ability find unique and potent truths about companies that could be turned into big brand ideas was established.

I can help you develop a brand idea, communications plan, think through a new promotion or campaign, even help you rethink the agencies you currently use for your advertising.

Bio: https://www.williamoburns.com/bio

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South Hamilton, MA 01982
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What is your typical process for working with a new customer?

Starts with a one-page proposal outlining clearly what I plan to do for the client--a scope of work--and for what fee. Once that's approved, we begin.

Starts with immersion. I need to understand your company, the marketing problem(s) you're facing, your competition, your key audiences, everything. Sometimes this immersion involves interviewing key constituencies at your company, your customers, etc. Sometimes it's just a phone call.

Once I understand the company and problem, we can get to work. To keep costs down we can work virtually for most, if not all, of the assignment. But I'm also happy to get together at key intervals, in person.

I believe in the power of ideas, and lots of them. So regardless of the project expect that there will periods where I will work independently and come back to you with lots of ideas to react to. Sometimes it's impossible to know what you want until you see it.

If the project is to develop a brand idea, expect lots of tag lines and then a manifesto written to bring an approved tag line to life. If the project is a communications plan, expect to see report not only with the media your brand can use, but how each medium's role is different from the others. For example, Twitter and Facebook are both social media channels, but that doesn't mean they both have to serve the same roll for each campaign.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

30 years in the advertising business, trained at some of world's greatest ad agencies: Wieden & Kennedy, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Arnold Worldwide, Mullen.

I won over $1 billion in new billings while head of new business at Arnold, one being the largest account win in New England history (RadioShack at $250 million). I worked with Paul McCartney to land Fidelity as a sponsor/brand partner, leading to the "This is Paul" advertising campaign.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your services? If so, please share the details here.

I will provide you with a proposal that outlines the entire scope of work, the number of days I anticipate it will take for each piece of the scope, and then a day rate that factors into the total fee.

My day rates range from $1500 for multiple day projects to $2500 for single day events/meetings/sessions.

How did you get started in this business?

I was in Economics class in 10th grade. I wrote a report on a fascinating study where researchers tested three different laundry detergents - one in a yellow box, one in a red box and one in a blue box. The women testing the detergents consistently said the yellow detergent wasn't strong enough, the red detergent was too harsh on the clothes and the blue box was just right. Thing is...it was the same detergent in each box. It was only the color of the packaging that made the subjects believe the results were different. After this report in 10th grade I was hooked. Got my first job working on the Titleist Golf account at a Boston agency one week after graduating Hamilton College.

What types of customers have you worked with?

All kinds. My specialty is marketing/advertising and every kind of client needs it.

What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a pro in your area of expertise?

Find someone who is excited about advertising and ideas. If they love what they do, they will love working on your marketing/business problem.

What questions should customers think through before talking to pros about their needs?

1. Is better marketing really going to solve the problem?

2. Do I at least understand fully the problem I'm trying to solve by using marketing?

3. I would ask prospective pros for immediate ideas and see how they are on their feet. If you've explained the problem and get blank stares, run.