Cover Story: Retailing for Dummies
Developing Best Practice Creative for Integration and Response
With the pressure on to develop highly effective integrated marketing programs, powerful, targeted creative is an essential component of a successful campaign. This includes voice and messaging of the copy as well as design to accommodate both attention-getting and high-level comprehension.
Clients and agencies often perceive striking graphic design as the best creative, but actually it's rarely in your best interest to allow your campaign to become an exercise in graphic design. Creativity without a base of marketing strategy and a planned, measurable outcome is wasted effort that jeopardizes the rest of the work you're doing.
The Indispensable Creative Brief
Developing a thoughtful creative brief increases your chance for success and lessens the risk of untargeted rampant creative. The client writes this document, sometimes with help from account services who may have additional knowledge about the account.
A good creative brief is an investment in time. It's said that the success of the promotion correlates directly with the effort put into the brief. Why? Your creative team needs enough information to make educated and effective choices on your behalf, and you need to revisit the brief whenever creative is presented to judge if it's on track. The creative brief should include the following information:
- the product or service being promoted;
- who currently owns and is happy with this product/service;
- the market situation for your product (what challenges are you facing?);
- a specific, measurable marketing objective;
- how that objective will be measured;
- what you want to change about consumers thinking regarding your product;
- product/service cost;
- the perceived value of the product; and
- how profitable is the product (how many sales provide the necessary return on investment?).
A good creative brief will answer all of these points. It need not be long or complicated, but it must be specific enough for a creative team to really get the specific goals of the campaign. Sharing it with the creative team, and answering their questions, gives them a great foundation.
What are you working on right now in which creative is a component? If you didn't write a brief, it may not be too late to pull one together — and improve your project's outcome! — Carol Worthington-Levy is the founder and creative director of Worthington-Levy Creative, a multichannel marketing creative consulting firm. Carol can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.