Who Deserves The Credit?

Marketing communications people are inherently good at promoting things, including their work and themselves. They’re seldom shy to claim more than their fair share of credit when things go well.

Even a loose association to success -- without overt claim -- creates an aura of self-attribution. Consider case study presentations given by executives and experts, or the appearance of successful brand logos on agency and vendor websites. What really was their role?

In an industry as competitive as marketing, claiming success when things go well is part of the game. This isn’t a bad thing, yet the result is a lot of stakeholders who claim credit for the exact same outcomes. We’ve all heard it from client-side people, agency-side people, CEOs, CMOs, brand managers, media directors, marketing strategists, digital people, creative people, consultants and more.

The reality: Rarely is one person or one supporting entity singly or disproportionately responsible for a magnificent outcome. Great success usually is the result of a bunch of people, often serendipitously connected, who work hard together toward a single purpose, and experience some luck along the way.

Do you want to claim credit for work well done? That’s fine, but remember that success claims are more compelling when you accurately describe how your specific contribution -- in context of other deserving contributors -- supported the larger outcome.

Of course, credit for magnificent success is more compelling when it comes from others in the first place.



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