Creative Marketing Communications Top Creative Minds Reveal the Secrets of Powerful Marketing Communication Campaigns AUTHOR: CEO Speak PUBLISHER: Vision Books Pvt. Ltd. DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2005 NUMBER OF PAGES: 160 pages
<ul><li>Creative Marketing Communications brings together the wealth and experience of creative hot-shots from some of the world’s leading marketing, advertising, and public relations firm. In this book you will find the secrets of powerful marketing communications campaign as revealed by the top creative minds of industry today that are not available elsewhere. Each chapter presents a future-oriented look at the core contemporary issues for success in the changing landscape of marketing communications today and reveals the secrets that lend creative power and impact to it. Moreover, every contributor has been chosen for their proven business expertise so that readers may get real world lessons and advice that are suited to today’s communication challenges and opportunities: lessons and advice that you can readily apply and profit from. Above all, the thoughts, perspectives, and strategies these accomplished professionals share in this book will prove valuable not only to marketing communications professionals, but to marketing, advertising, and public relations professionals and entrepreneurs, too. </li></ul>THE BIG IDEA
The Changing Landscape of Marketing Communications <ul><li>Mainstream television is not as happening as it was once, and in a few years time it will get worse. For instance, a TiVo or personal video recorder allows television viewers to “time-shift” their favorite TV shows and fast-forward commercials. As a result, companies who buy a spot on a popular TV show, say Friends , will be getting about half of what they paid for. In that world, TV commercials would not serve their purpose at all. </li></ul><ul><li>In addition, traditional advertising is not as effective as it used to be. Many consumers today do not embrace a product or brand just because they are told about it. Rather, they would embrace a product or brand when they experience it. This has led many traditional advertising agencies scampering to reinvent themselves and push for “integrated advertising.” </li></ul>
<ul><li>Another interesting development in this field is the increasing fragmentation of media. Cable and satellite TV, multiple radio formats, newspapers and magazines, direct marketing, custom publications, and the Internet have made advertising more complex and more targeted. What’s more, fragmentation also brings on the creation of various kinds of messages as creatives produce more material for more different audience segments. </li></ul><ul><li>One other significant change in the industry today is with respect to advances in technology, particularly in the use of the computer as a design tool. Not only have computers made advertising and design more cost efficient, they have also made it easier for clients to see how their ad is going to look like. The downside to this, however, is that clients are now expecting work to be done instantaneously, which sometimes results in the suppression of creativity. </li></ul>The Changing Landscape of Marketing Communications
Inside the Creative Realm Success in the creative realm requires a combination of the skills of an artist and the brain of a strategist. This combination of craft – the ability to put words, images, and sounds together in an attractive, cohesive, persuasive fashion – and a strategic mindset is what is needed to succeed in commercial communications and advertising. Creatives must be able to generate genuinely new thoughts and ideas, or be able to combine existing thoughts, ideas, and images in a new and provoking way. Also, creatives need to understand the marketplace, the category in which they are competing against, what their brands stand for. Moreover, they need to come up with the best and most effective way of bringing their message to the consumers.
<ul><li>Aside from being artistic and having a strategic mindset, it is essential that creatives possess these other skills and characteristics: </li></ul><ul><li>Curiosity </li></ul><ul><li>The best creative people are the most curious. They must be able to dig for information and search for newer and better ways to present what they have found. They must also have a sense of naïveté that allows them to look at the world with a child’s eyes, so to speak. </li></ul><ul><li>Great Presentation Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Creatives definitely need to develop top notch presentation skills. This is important internally as well as with the client. A great idea is worthless if other people do not get to know about it. Creatives must be able to make people understand why an idea is good, and how it will get better once it is executed. </li></ul>Inside the Creative Realm
<ul><li>Self-confidence and Tenacity </li></ul><ul><li>Creative people need to have a great deal of confidence in their abilities, for they are the ones who have to present their work to the client. They must also be patient and resilient in the face of criticism and rejection of their work. </li></ul><ul><li>Perceptiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Creatives need to know how to read between the lines. They need to have insight into people and know how far they can go with their ideas. More importantly, they should learn to deal directly with the client and listen to their inputs. More often than not, clients will say something other than what the account people say. </li></ul><ul><li>Passion </li></ul><ul><li>The last thing a creative team needs is pure passion. They must be people who truly love advertising. </li></ul>Inside the Creative Realm
The Creative Process When selling an idea to a client, it is best to gather everything there is about potential competitors. Study their approaches and look for patterns in the way they do business. Successful ad campaigns are usually those that are able to put a stake on areas that no one else has claimed before. Finding this virgin territory and making it their own is a concerted effort by both the creatives and the strategic thinkers. The strategic thinkers, such as account planners and planners, help the creatives focus on what ground to explore and which direction to go. Indeed, creative vision is something that cannot be realized without discipline, hard work, the right background information, focused insight, and a strategic roadmap. Inside the Creative Realm
<ul><li>A Think Tank Approach to Creativity </li></ul><ul><li>T3, an integrated marketing solutions company based in Texas and New York, does things differently. The client does not articulate the problem through the traditional way: that is, from the account service staff to the research and planning department to the media and creative team. </li></ul><ul><li>Instead, they bring people from different disciplines to look at the problem early on. This way they get creative cues that may trigger a different set of ideas. Also, they include people at all levels in their company because different people look at a problem differently. </li></ul><ul><li>Moreover, they engage their clients early in the process. This way the idea ends up having more owners and more different points of input. The idea also gets tested in more ways. This makes it easier for the idea to gain support within the organization before it finally gets to the client organization. </li></ul>Inside the Creative Realm
How to Judge Effective Creative At McCann-Erickson WorldGroup, they ask six questions of every piece of creative: Question A: Can the Idea be Put into Words? The idea must always be put into words. Simply using pictures, references, and examples of what the idea might be runs a serious risk of being an executional solution, rather than a creative one. Question B: Is the Brand or Product Central to the Idea? It is important that the idea comes from the product or the brand. When it is, people will be able to recall and relate the ad to the brand or product. Question C: What is the Breakthrough Consumer Insight that Created the Idea? Consumer insight speaks to the relevance of the idea. When ideas are created from a vacuum, they tend to fall flat because they have no bearing to consumer desires, perceptions, feelings, or expectations.
How to Judge Effective Creative Question D: Is it Original and Relevant? Originality must go hand-in-hand with relevance. Creatives should not only strive for originality when coming up with an ad. They should also make it a point that an ad is able to strike home to the consumers. Question E: Is it an Idea or Just an Execution? A brand is like a person. It has its own personality, means of expression, and language. This is what makes people remember it. Using mere executional solutions to communicate an idea does not achieve grounding to consumer needs, to what the product has to offer, and to what the brand is all about. Question F: Does it Have Scope? An idea has to have scope in the sense that it is capable of being communicated across borders as well as disciplines. The concept should be universal enough, so that it will be understood and accepted in other countries and cultures. Also, its expression should not be restricted to just one medium.
Innovation: The Heart of Commercial Creativity <ul><li>Innovation is extremely important in advertising. It lies at the very center of commercial creativity, and like any other living thing, it needs an environment that would allow it to grow, thrive, and flourish. </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation comes from breaking free of traditional notions of what advertising, public relations, and marketing should be. It is being open to new things and possibilities, wherever they might come from or wherever they might lead. </li></ul><ul><li>An innovative and creative campaign is one that is strategically sound and is able to say something new and different from what others have already said. If an ad will only repeat what others have said, chances are that consumers will not pay attention to it. Ads have to impact people in a fresh and engaging manner, so that they will remember them. </li></ul><ul><li>The creative idea is something that touches virtually everyone. Some creatives use special effects and outrageous situations to accomplish this; others try to create a sense of familiarity with the product or service. It is easy to be unexpected; however, the ad has to be relevant too. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Encouraging Innovation </li></ul><ul><li>The first step to sparking innovation is to hire great people. They should be skilled enough to look at an idea and see what is good and bad about it. For instance, a lot of what creative directors do is help people find better ways of saying something that has been said before. </li></ul><ul><li>At Einson Freeman, Inc. for instance, they live by five core values that make innovation a daily possibility for them. These five core values are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Work in Concert – People accomplish more if they work together instead of on their own. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feel the Rush – Be passionate about every project, from those wonderful big budget assignments to those “blue-plate specials.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use All Your Crayons – Incorporate fun and interactive games, role playing, and challenges that are designed to generate as many ideas as possible. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nurture and Feed – In order to flourish, people need to continually grow and develop…as an individual and as a group. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be a Super Hero – Encourage everyone to participate, as much as possible, in brainstorming activities. After all, everyone is a consumer. </li></ul></ul>Innovation: The Heart of Commercial Creativity
<ul><ul><li>A good ad is one that is able to communicate its idea in the most interesting of manner. Here, the product benefits and what the client is selling blends so well with each other, all the while offering entertainment value. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Really good advertising is one that becomes part of pop culture. People get reminded of a particular product without the client buying a spot on TV or on print media anymore. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversely, bad advertising is one that seems to be devoid of emotion. It just focuses on the product and does not even attempt to reach out to the consumers. Ads like this can be quite annoying, not to mention insulting to people because they do not try to entertain them even for a little while. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ironically though, makers of bad advertising would say that it is effective. It gets to mention the product or client many times and it is able to convey to people every benefit of the product. Even if that is the case, unfortunately, people do not react so fondly to such ads. When an ad’s only intention is to sell, sell, and sell, it would be hurtful to the client and in the long run people would lose interest in the product. </li></ul></ul>Good and Bad Advertising
<ul><ul><li>Brands exist to create repeat business. They motivate people to keep using a particular product or service. Also, it gives that product or service a certain sense of legitimacy, which is always important. This way people know that they are getting their money’s worth. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brands should also stand for clear product proposition. This enables brands to establish a strong position in the market, making them more than a “me too” brand. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Additionally, brands should establish a strong connection between product proposition and consumer needs. It is simply not worth it to be very good at something that no one wants or needs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The “DNA of Brands” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some brands are able to present themselves in a consistent way to the consuming public. With these kinds of brands, customers know what to expect from both the company and its products. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To keep a brand fresh, it is vital to introduce innovations that would not contradict the brand’s DNA or its original personality. Once creatives abandon that band’s DNA, people would have trouble recognizing it, and that is a big problem. </li></ul></ul>Successful Branding
<ul><ul><li>Historically, marketers used mass advertising to capture the attention of consumers and make them think of a particular brand more, as well as create a preference that would result in a purchase the next time these people are shopping. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>However, marketers have found this way to be no longer economical. They have realized that thinking about a brand in an experiential way is more effective in getting consumers to buy and use their products. This is what brand experience does. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brand experience refers to the ability of an ad to deliver an experience of real value or entertainment to consumers. It allows customers to experience a brand, thus giving them a sense of what it is like to own one, before they actually buy it. Brands that are able to do this are more likely to earn consumer preference and loyalty; hence, putting consumers in the mood to buy more of the brand’s stuff more often. </li></ul></ul>Experiencing the Brand
<ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Imagine for instance that scene in Steven Spielberg’s “Minority Report,” where billboards are spraying Tom Cruise’s character with cologne based on the scent that he gives off as he walks past it. Or imagine ad companies taking advantage of the latest technology to send individual consumers with customized messaging. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Commercials should be like personalized invitations. This way of reaching out to consumers, this experiential creative process of delivering “the moment,” is what creativity in communication is and will be about in the foreseeable future. Whether it is online, a television commercial, direct mail, or a telephone conversation, brand experience shortens the buy cycle. In other words, it is the fastest route to motivate consumers to buy. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Broadband internet is regarded by most creatives as the best medium to deliver a cost-effective brand-proving experience that would matter to real people and build preference and loyalty. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>Experiencing the Brand
BusinessSummaries.com is a business book Summaries service. Every week, it sends out to subscribers a 9- to 12-page summary of a best-selling business book chosen from among the hundreds of books printed out in the United States. For more information, please go to http://www.bizsum.com. ABOUT BUSINESSSUMMARIES