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A look at getting the most from creative audits of direct mail packages and a glimpse into some unique approaches to doing so.

A look at getting the most from creative audits of direct mail packages and a glimpse into some unique approaches to doing so.

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Getting The Most From Getting The Most From Presentation Transcript

  • Beyond the Obvious: Getting the Most from a Creative Audit Guy Arceneaux DMFA Luncheon April 26 th 2007
  • Topics I plan to cover:
    • Why creative audits are important
    • How you can get more from the process
    • Vital steps to implementation
  • Reasons to perform a creative audit
    • Clients unhappy with current creative
    • A package is under-performing
    • Retention is poor
    • Desire to strengthen brand equity
  • What creative audits are:
    • A useful objective tool
    • Team communications forum
    • Lens for strategy and brand focus
    • Chance to evaluate current industry-wide practices
  • What creative audits are not:
    • Not a forum to vent frustrations
    • Not meant to foster change for change’s sake
    • Not the end of the discussion
  • The process and what to expect:
    • Usually led by an outside consultant
    • Very useful as an eye-opener
    • Every consultant has their own process
    • Are you expecting to be shown the way forward?
  • Watch for these Pitfalls:
    • Process often involves the wrong people
    • Very often no follow-up internally
    • Great ideas shelved for another time
    • No guts, no glory syndrome
    • Revelation of the obvious
  • Preparing for a creative review with an Outside Consultant:
    • Do your own internal creative review
    • Document your findings
    • State expectations in writing when communicating with consultants
    • Strategic direction and tactical maneuver
  • What is your objective?
    • Identify themes and branding opportunities to use in the coming year
    • Evaluate the tone and manner, look and feel of the creative
    • Generate a file of creative ideas
    • Build an insight and new alignment with the client based on the creative strategy
  • How do I begin?:
    • Who should own the process?
    • When is the best time for an audit?
    • What should we audit?
    • Who should we get involved?
  • Best practices:
    • Include creative staff, strategy directors, account managers, the client and production managers
    • Ask your creative team to own and run this process
    • Devote adequate time to the process, allow for discussion and brainstorming
    • Analyze a segment of your campaigns
  • How should an internal creative audit be structured?
    • Design it to encourage a free exchange of ideas
    • Use a variety of activities to engage the participants
    • Allow time to explore a variety of creative variables
  • Suggested Agenda:
    • Open and Review Agenda
    • Campaign Creative Review
    • Competitive Review
    • Working Lunch
    • Brainstorming activity— break into groups
    • Campaign Creative Review
    • Wrap-up next steps
  • The package audit:
    • The creative should be mounted on a board for the audit.
    • Provide the results from the campaign.
    • Creative should lead a discussion centered on copy tone, visual appeal, message and offer
  • Competitive Review:
    • Spend time analyzing competitive samples collected for this review
    • The concept here is to glean new ideas from other packages
    • Make an effort not to “censor” or self- edit ideas out your comfort zone
  • Brainstorming Activity
    • Brainstorming at the Speed of Light: the idea is to generate as many ideas in a set amount of time as possible
    • No editing, leave the nattering nabobs of negativity in the hall.
  • Materials Needed:
    • Multi-colored Post-Its Felt Tip Pens A large pad on an easel
    • Stop watch (or timekeeper)
  • How do you start?
    • Break into two groups
    • Set a limit to amount of time to be devoted to the following: package format, copy theme, visual appeal, message/offer.
    • Team members wrote the ideas on Post-It notes, color coded by theme.
  • Ground Rules for Speed of Light
    • Think fast like Einstein
    • Every idea has validity
    • Don’t shoot ideas down
    • Keep pushing the limit
    • Be fearless
    • Let yourself have fun
  • Then what?
    • As a group, review and share them with the other team.
    • Document the ideas for later use.
    • What if you get stuck when concepting? Try to come up with a bad idea. The line between good and bad is often very slim.
  • Reviewing the results
    • We took turns presenting our results to the other team
    • There was a real personality to the each team’s approach
    • Most of the ideas were very practical and some were capable of generating the “aha” moment!
  • The Test Packages Review
    • The test packages were mounted on boards according to themes:
    • Audience tests
    • Message Tests
    • Creative Tests
    • We discussed what worked and what didn’t work in terms of results.
  • The Outcome
    • • We agreed that more time for reviewing the creative packages in detail would have been more productive.
    • • The clients felt the time was well spent and felt a two-day session would have been worth exploring for next time.
    • • The consensus was that a quarterly review would be useful and more manageable
  • What would I do differently?
    • Allow more time for specific topics: Ask strategies, audience messaging, rational versus emotional messaging, other nonprofits’ creative strategies, branding opportunities.
    • Follow up on the content we generated sooner.
    • Plan for thought-leadership momentum to continue to next event.
  • Thanks for your time. If you would like assistance in planning or staging a creative audit or a brainstorming session, contact me, Guy Arceneaux at Ext. 441.