February 12, 2016

How to Produce a Stronger Campaign: Allow More Creative Control

As a business owner, you take pride in the brand you have carefully created, attending meeting after meeting to refine the brand, until you have the perfect visual representation of your business and now it’s time to put the brand to work. So what’s the best way to do this? With the assistance of your marketing agency. The client communicates their marketing objectives to their agency and in return, the agency comes back with a campaign to fulfil those objectives. The agency’s team will create the campaign deliverables, puts the necessary steps in place and the client is asked their input at every stage.

If you have ever been involved in this type of process you know that it can be a painstaking and drawn out experience. Redesigns, reshoots and revisions can plague the campaign’s progress; potentially extending the production stage and pushing back the official launch date. If you ask a business familiar with this process they will most likely state that they know their own brands better than anyone else, so why shouldn’t they have the final say?

However, the client may be an expert in regards to their own brand but they did hire their marketing agency for a reason. The marketing agencies are experts at marketing. Marketing agencies specialize in creating creative campaigns, with fluid and interesting content, designed to perform. Their expertise should be recognized.

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If you hire an architect to build your house, you may find yourself offering suggestions and feedback to ensure the design is right for you but if the architect tells you positioning your house so close to that cliff is a bad idea, you’ll probably listen to them, right? You trust their expertise because you know it will be a bad idea if you don’t heed their advice.

Whether the client and the marketing agency are talking the merits of one carefully selected word versus another or this topic is more appropriate as opposed to this one, the outcome is often the same; the marketers creativity and voice are lost in brand guidelines and inflexible standards, which robs the campaign of its potentially unique and engaging content.

So, we’re here to say it’s time to let it go. Find an agency you can trust and believe in. Chances are, with the right team and without interruption, you will receive exactly what you asked for and maybe more.

Here are 2 quick tips to make sure your campaign runs as smoothly as possible:

1.    Get everyone onboard

Ensure your internal creative, administration and management departments understand that they are no longer in charge of the marketing. Explain that you have taken this approach because it’s best for the business and it’s not a reflection of any previous work, it’s a step forward in the right direction. When everyone is on the same page, you will provide a unified vision to the marketing agency, giving a clear view of your expectations and avoid any confusion.

2.    Know what you want going in

If you are not going to be hovering over the shoulder of your marketing team providing constant feedback and changes, you will need to be very clear about the direction of the project in the very beginning. You must clearly explain your brand, your audience and the kind of campaign you are looking for.

When you give freedom to creative people they automatically find themselves living and breathing your campaign, rather than an oppressive approach, which limits the creativity. From personal day-to-day experiences working with all different types of creative people and clients, I can honestly say I have seen the incredible results produced by an effective marketing team when they are given the flexibility to create the content for the campaign.