Getting The Most From

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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.

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  • Getting The Most From

    1. 1. Beyond the Obvious: Getting the Most from a Creative Audit Guy Arceneaux DMFA Luncheon April 26 th 2007
    2. 2. Topics I plan to cover: <ul><li>Why creative audits are important </li></ul><ul><li>How you can get more from the process </li></ul><ul><li>Vital steps to implementation </li></ul>
    3. 3. Reasons to perform a creative audit <ul><li>Clients unhappy with current creative </li></ul><ul><li>A package is under-performing </li></ul><ul><li>Retention is poor </li></ul><ul><li>Desire to strengthen brand equity </li></ul>
    4. 4. What creative audits are: <ul><li>A useful objective tool </li></ul><ul><li>Team communications forum </li></ul><ul><li>Lens for strategy and brand focus </li></ul><ul><li>Chance to evaluate current industry-wide practices </li></ul>
    5. 5. What creative audits are not: <ul><li>Not a forum to vent frustrations </li></ul><ul><li>Not meant to foster change for change’s sake </li></ul><ul><li>Not the end of the discussion </li></ul>
    6. 6. The process and what to expect: <ul><li>Usually led by an outside consultant </li></ul><ul><li>Very useful as an eye-opener </li></ul><ul><li>Every consultant has their own process </li></ul><ul><li>Are you expecting to be shown the way forward? </li></ul>
    7. 7. Watch for these Pitfalls: <ul><li>Process often involves the wrong people </li></ul><ul><li>Very often no follow-up internally </li></ul><ul><li>Great ideas shelved for another time </li></ul><ul><li>No guts, no glory syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>Revelation of the obvious </li></ul>
    8. 8. Preparing for a creative review with an Outside Consultant: <ul><li>Do your own internal creative review </li></ul><ul><li>Document your findings </li></ul><ul><li>State expectations in writing when communicating with consultants </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic direction and tactical maneuver </li></ul>
    9. 9. What is your objective? <ul><li>Identify themes and branding opportunities to use in the coming year </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate the tone and manner, look and feel of the creative </li></ul><ul><li>Generate a file of creative ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Build an insight and new alignment with the client based on the creative strategy </li></ul>
    10. 10. How do I begin?: <ul><li>Who should own the process? </li></ul><ul><li>When is the best time for an audit? </li></ul><ul><li>What should we audit? </li></ul><ul><li>Who should we get involved? </li></ul>
    11. 11. Best practices: <ul><li>Include creative staff, strategy directors, account managers, the client and production managers </li></ul><ul><li>Ask your creative team to own and run this process </li></ul><ul><li>Devote adequate time to the process, allow for discussion and brainstorming </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze a segment of your campaigns </li></ul>
    12. 12. How should an internal creative audit be structured? <ul><li>Design it to encourage a free exchange of ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Use a variety of activities to engage the participants </li></ul><ul><li>Allow time to explore a variety of creative variables </li></ul>
    13. 13. Suggested Agenda: <ul><li>Open and Review Agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Campaign Creative Review </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive Review </li></ul><ul><li>Working Lunch </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorming activity— break into groups </li></ul><ul><li>Campaign Creative Review </li></ul><ul><li>Wrap-up next steps </li></ul>
    14. 14. The package audit: <ul><li>The creative should be mounted on a board for the audit. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide the results from the campaign. </li></ul><ul><li>Creative should lead a discussion centered on copy tone, visual appeal, message and offer </li></ul>
    15. 15. Competitive Review: <ul><li>Spend time analyzing competitive samples collected for this review </li></ul><ul><li>The concept here is to glean new ideas from other packages </li></ul><ul><li>Make an effort not to “censor” or self- edit ideas out your comfort zone </li></ul>
    16. 16. Brainstorming Activity <ul><li>Brainstorming at the Speed of Light: the idea is to generate as many ideas in a set amount of time as possible </li></ul><ul><li>No editing, leave the nattering nabobs of negativity in the hall. </li></ul>
    17. 17. Materials Needed: <ul><li>Multi-colored Post-Its Felt Tip Pens A large pad on an easel </li></ul><ul><li>Stop watch (or timekeeper) </li></ul>
    18. 18. How do you start? <ul><li>Break into two groups </li></ul><ul><li>Set a limit to amount of time to be devoted to the following: package format, copy theme, visual appeal, message/offer. </li></ul><ul><li>Team members wrote the ideas on Post-It notes, color coded by theme. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Ground Rules for Speed of Light <ul><li>Think fast like Einstein </li></ul><ul><li>Every idea has validity </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t shoot ideas down </li></ul><ul><li>Keep pushing the limit </li></ul><ul><li>Be fearless </li></ul><ul><li>Let yourself have fun </li></ul>
    20. 20. Then what? <ul><li>As a group, review and share them with the other team. </li></ul><ul><li>Document the ideas for later use. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
    21. 21. Reviewing the results <ul><li>We took turns presenting our results to the other team </li></ul><ul><li>There was a real personality to the each team’s approach </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the ideas were very practical and some were capable of generating the “aha” moment! </li></ul>
    22. 22. The Test Packages Review <ul><li>The test packages were mounted on boards according to themes: </li></ul><ul><li>Audience tests </li></ul><ul><li>Message Tests </li></ul><ul><li>Creative Tests </li></ul><ul><li>We discussed what worked and what didn’t work in terms of results. </li></ul>
    23. 23. The Outcome <ul><li>• We agreed that more time for reviewing the creative packages in detail would have been more productive. </li></ul><ul><li>• The clients felt the time was well spent and felt a two-day session would have been worth exploring for next time. </li></ul><ul><li>• The consensus was that a quarterly review would be useful and more manageable </li></ul>
    24. 24. What would I do differently? <ul><li>Allow more time for specific topics: Ask strategies, audience messaging, rational versus emotional messaging, other nonprofits’ creative strategies, branding opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>Follow up on the content we generated sooner. </li></ul><ul><li>Plan for thought-leadership momentum to continue to next event. </li></ul>
    25. 25. 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.

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