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Strategy > Creative > Meaningful Results

Developing a creative campaign to tell the story of your brand, initiative or product can be an exciting and transformational process for your organization. When executed the right way, you maximize your opportunities at experiencing success and a real return on investment.

However, there are several opportunities where you can unintentionally go wrong.

Fast forward to the initial presentation of your creative concepts to the primary decision makers of the organization. You proudly share the creative team’s work. Your audience pauses for a moment, then immediately gives their personal first reaction and quickly points out what they might tweak. This leads to more significant feedback – with more opinions from the room – on what else should change.

Before you know it, the soul of what you have created has vanished.

When it comes to analyzing creative, we, as humans, have a natural tendency to first respond with our personal feedback and feelings, instead of how the intended target audience might react. It’s a classic outcome if strategy is not leading creative and communicated to decision makers.

Put simply, strategy should be foundation of all creative development. It brings your brand, story or message to life in more ways than just “pretty” and “cool.” More specifically, strategy defines the “why,” which sets the table for concepts that are built to achieve or contribute to your business goals and objectives (in addition to looking pretty cool).

In other words, with strategy leading the way, you set yourself up for performance-based creative.

When building an effective creative strategy, marketers should remain focused on three components:

  • Goal: what are we trying to achieve? Your goal may be generating or converting leads, or something more aspirational, such as building brand awareness. Regardless, find a goal that will inform the strategy and can be measured.
  • Target Audience: who are we trying to influence, what problems are they trying to solve and what motivates them to act? It’s important to prioritize and be as specific as possible. Gender, age, location and profession are just a few qualifiers to consider, in addition to identifying their current perceptions about the marketplace. The more targeted you are, the better.
  • Your Single Most Important Message: what differentiates us or our product? Again, being succinct is critical, as no creative endeavor can tell an entire story. Pick your one point of differentiation or benefit that is most attractive to your target audience and run with it.

Now that your strategy and creative concepts are appropriately built, let’s come back to presentation day. Before facilitating the big reveal, marketers should carefully preface the creative strategy so that the evaluation committee is properly educated and set up to provide the right feedback.

This can help mitigate personal opinions knocking your team off course, so that when the reveal happens, you can foster productive discussions on questions such as: “is our single point of differentiation clear?” or “do we feel this will resonate with our target audience?”

There’s no doubt that creative is a topic that will garner interest and feedback from everybody involved, as it can deliver a new sense of personality and pride to your organization. However, if not channeled correctly, this dialogue can turn counterproductive quickly.

With the right strategy and approach, you’re on your way to transforming a vision into creative that delivers meaningful results. Let us help you make it a reality.

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