Monday, October 20, 2008

Managing the Creative Side of Marketing

Someone once said to me that you can't argue opinion. Everyone has one, and everyone is right in their own estimation. Certainly in today's politcal and election drama we see this to be true, except each candidate and party likes to weave their version of the facts into the mix, attempting to make their opinions sound more credible.

I see this happen all the time when it comes to marketing creative. I've recently heard statements using keywords like "industry standard" and "design conventions" in an attempt to justify an opinion. I keep asking, though, where are those standards and conventions written down? No one has been able to show me yet.

Sure, there are many places I've been told to go (pun intended), but for the most part those sources have just turned out to be more opinions citing these so-called conventions and standards. I think what happens is that we hear these phrases enough by people we think should know better, and begin to believe them ourselves. Or, worse yet, we see it one place and assume that is the only and right way to do it.

When it comes to managing the creative side of marketing, I've found two things to be true. HiPPO usually wins out (that's the Highest Paid Person's Opinion). When that doesn't happen, and common sense rules the day, then creative is judged on the following criteria:

1. How will our target audience interpret the creative?
2. How well does this creative enhance our ability to get our target audience to think, feel, and then act in the way we want them to?
3. Does the creative fit into the brand perception and associations our audience has of us?
4. How much are the answers to the previous questions colluded by our own personal preference or opinion?

Creative isn't about us. It's about the target audience. It's about relevance. It's about importance. It's about making sure we move forward, not just stand still or go backwards.

-- David Kinard, PCM

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