Creative: Conduct a Creative Symphony
Remember when Macs were supposed to make our lives easier? The world of rubber cement, dull blades, plugged up Rapidographs, and cut-and-paste was gone. Voilá! With a computer we could print out a single sheet of paper and a whole catalog page was “camera-ready.” In a few weeks, a new catalog was ready to mail.
Fast-forward to the present, and advertising can be created and placed in front of our customers literally minutes after being finalized — all done electronically without a single sheet of paper. But has life gotten any easier?
Although we’ve become accustomed to creating art more easily, technology provides opportunities to do things in more complicated ways. Now all of us have to manage a “multichannel” world. To compete, we must be where consumers seek us. Their expectations are that we’re everywhere, and are but one entity, not three: print, retail, e-commerce. To do this effectively, we must be consistent in our message, whether it’s branding or promotion.
So how do we keep it all connected?
HAVE a plan. As we dive into the creation of marketing material, we become so absorbed in the “doing” that we’re vulnerable to striking a dissonant chord. This can happen when working without a good plan, a schedule to follow or when deadlines aren’t honored. Start by answering some key questions:
- What are we putting in front of consumers and when?
- Did they get an e-mail today after they received a catalog yesterday?
- Will they be visiting our Web site tomorrow?
- What are they seeing?
- Is there consistency in each channel’s message?
- Are we reinforcing our efforts or diluting them?
Having a clear and simple grid that outlines the contact strategy helps manage this process. Keep this as simple as possible; it’s a snapshot of how the orchestra needs to play. Columns across can represent weeks in the year. Each row can represent a separate channel. With a single page view, we can easily understand and manage the marketing events and accompanying messages and visuals for each project.