Have you ever seen a television commercial that you found really entertaining, but when you told someone about it later you couldn’t remember what brand or product the ad was promoting?
Developing a clever marketing campaign with an original message, eye-catching imagery, and perhaps a healthy dose of humor is partly what advertising creative is all about. But not at the cost of delivering a clear, strategic message. Don’t lose sight of your goals for the sake of creativity, because in the end, the purpose of your marketing creative is for it to resonate with your target audience, and motivate them to take some kind of action or think differently.
In this post, we offer five tips to help ensure that your advertising campaign is more than just creative, but creative and effective.
5 Tips to Make Sure You See a Return from Your Creative
1. Set a Budget—and Stick to It!
When you get carried away with your marketing creative, it can be easy to end up spending more than you budgeted. It’s important to factor in creative as part of your budgeting process when you begin planning your marketing campaign, to break down line items like production costs or strategic partnerships needed, and to stick to the numbers you set. Your budget should inform your creative, not the other way around.
2. Know Your Audience
We’ve mentioned on our blog before that your marketing is not about you—it’s about your customers. Marketing creative that you think is memorable, touching, funny, or on point is important—but only if your target audience will also view it that way. Spending money on great creative makes sense only if it delivers results, and getting results starts with research.
3. Get Specific with Your Goals
Every creative component of your campaign, whether for radio, TV, social media, digital, or billboards, should be tied to specific goals, with appropriate metrics to track effectiveness so you know what’s working and what’s not. Tracking both your goals and the channels used in your campaign helps you understand whether, for example, your overall creative concept was a flop or perhaps didn’t translate well on the particular medium. Maybe what worked well on radio does not perform as well on social media, or vice versa. In addition to gaining a better understanding of what’s working, this will help you avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater when what you really need is to use your creative on a different platform.
4. Stay Focused
The English proverb “Too many cooks spoil the broth” applies to marketing creative, as well. Brainstorming is important, but you can sometimes have too much of a good thing. Too many ideas or too much input can cause you to get sidetracked and lose focus on your goals. That’s because it’s easy to overthink your creative and allow personal preferences to cloud the process.
Also, it’s important to keep in mind that, while you are an expert in your line of work, creative professionals are experts in their line of work. They have the experience to understand what is likely to resonate with your target audience and whether an advertising idea will work best in a radio spot, in digital ads, or on social media. By trusting the experts to do their job in crafting an effective advertising campaign, your time is freed up to handle other marketing objectives.
5. Monitor Campaign Progress
Don’t wait until the end of your campaign to determine how your ads are performing. It’s important to set and monitor goals consistently so you can make adjustments if necessary. You don’t want to get to the end of your campaign only to realize that your creative is not having the impact you predicted or that you would have more effectively reached your target audience by using a different media channel.
Developing your creative can be both fun and exciting, something in which many members of your team may want to participate. However, achieving your goals (and positive marketing ROI) should be the focus, so follow these tips to ensure that your marketing creative delivers.