Sunday, November 25, 2007

Creative Strategy Form

So you say you want a brochure? Or an ad? Or a radio spot?

Okay, but…have you filled out your “Creative Strategy Form” first?

Welcome to another edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

It’s not just a matter of looking at a blank piece of paper – or screen – and saying to yourself, okay, I want a new brochure and here’s how it will look: I’ll put a picture here, put the logo there, and just write down whatever comes into my head and place it all on the inside…

Not that that may not have a chance to succeed vis-à-vis what your competitors have floating out there in the marketplace. But the better chance is when initial thought and discipline goes into the recipe, you’ll be cooking up something far more flavorful and nutritional…if nutrition be a metaphor here for substance and a meaningful message.

Here’s what I prescribe to my clients before we embark on the vehicle itself – whether it’s a brochure, ad, radio/TV spot, billboard, even to an extent a logo design. They need to fill out a single sheet of paper, a questionnaire I call the “Creative Strategy Form.”

Here’s what it asks:

* How would you describe your product/service?

* What/who is your target audience?

* What are your business’s (cosmetic) features – are you bigger, smaller, prettier, older, younger, in the city, in the suburbs, etc.?

* What are the benefits to your clients (as opposed to “features,” what are the elements to your product/service that can actually help them)?

* Who is your competition?

* What do they have that you don’t?

* What do YOU have that THEY don’t?

* Do you have a “call to action,” such as a coupon, a giveaway, a website?

* Do you have samples of marketing materials done by your competitors – or even in another industry – that you like, or particularly impresses you?

* If your audience could derive one main, focused (important word!) thought out of this piece, what would it be?

And there you have it. If you can answer these questions…or even if you can’t, and it prompts you to think further about how to “explain” your business…you’ll be that much more ahead of the game when it comes to developing your message, your theme, even your artwork that puts a graphic “face” on the materials.

And it certainly takes the guessing game out of how to fill that blank piece of paper, or screen.

Joel Kweskin

No comments: