Skip to main content

Something for marketers and designers to remember:
“You’re not an artist. You solve problems.”

At Fishman Marketing, we design lots of marketing campaigns and websites.  These days, most of the work, even the branding work, starts off as a website project.  Then we try to use the website as the hook to turn the website into a powerful marketing tool.

Often we find ourselves in a competition for the work against other marketing and web-development agencies.

“You’re not an artist, Peggy. You solve problems.”

There are 3 types of people who do this work.  

You can tell which category they’re in, what their background is, by how they dress, how they talk, and what they emphasize.  Here are the buckets:

1. Designers.  

Look for their socks and flashy ties.  They’re immaculately groomed, and wear designer suits in colors that lawyers would never wear. They are “Arteests.” They have art backgrounds, and probably have an MFA or other art degree.

They know the names of all the colors. They know the difference between fuchsia, coral, and blush. They’re more concerned with “pretty” than “effective.”

The danger with Designers is that they’re all about design integrity and brand consistency.  And that’s dangerous.  Because sometimes ugly sells.  Or consistency is needlessly expensive for no added benefit. Van Gogh was an artistic genius, but he never sold a painting in his life.  You don’t want to put him in charge of your marketing efforts.

2. Geeks.

They’re all about the technology. 

They’re going to talk bells and whistles, features and functionality.  They’re going to try to convince you that their technology is the best. After the third Geek, you’ll quickly realize that everyone’s technology works just fine, it’s 2022, we all offer the exact same features.  But don’t tell the Geeks that or you’ll hurt their feelings. They have degrees in computer science or engineering.  Their last job was in a start up, or other technology company that did something you don’t understand. Technology is a hammer, but it’s impossible to convince them that the world isn’t a nail.

3. Strategists.

That’s us.  We value design, but we’re not selfish purists.
Technology is a tool, not a goal. 

Our WordPress technology is awesome, but we’re not in love with it.  It’s just a way to accomplish a strategic objective.  Our goal is to use a strategic variety of tools, whether they’re design, or technology, or seminars or social media, or billboards or brochures.  They’re all just tools.

In “Mad Men” (one of the 10 best TV shows ever) when Peggy wants to do what’s beautiful, something she can be professionally proud of rather than a trashy approach that would be most effective, Don explains to her, perhaps a bit harshly, precisely what business she’s in.

“You’re not an artist, Peggy. You solve problems.”

Too many in advertising and marketing fancy themselves Artistes. Nope. Our job is to help SELL legal work.

Check out the 20-second Mad Men clip here, from the brilliant Season Three.



Need an effective new brand or ad for your own firm?

Contact Ross now at: ross [at] or +1.847.921.7677.

Download a free copy of his best-selling strategy and branding book, “We’re Smart. We’re Old. And We’re the Best at Everything.” here or buy an actual book on Amazon here.

Do your lawyers need marketing training or a dynamic speaker at a firm retreat, either live or via webinar? Ross is one of the legal profession’s most-popular marketing and CLE presenters. Here’s a link to a video of Ross in action.

Book Ross as a Speaker Now!