A public deadline can help stakeholders who wish to offer feedback do so in good time and without derailing the progress of the project. Visibility on the work that’s taking place within the project can also minimise feedback offered at the eleventh hour.
These first five lessons – which boil down to the importance of tracking and systematising your team’s work – should illuminate the processes your team uses. This will allow you to optimise processes by spotting sticking points and improving upon the way your colleagues already communicate. If a process is taking longer than it has done previously, for example, this will be much easier to spot if you already know how your team works on a day-to-day basis.
Tracking the work of your team will produce different data for every team, which is particularly important for global brands to recognise. A different creative process might be implemented in each office, as there is no value in trying to fit each distinct creative team into one framework.
These steps will shorten your time to market. Now we turn to how you can optimise your creative to have the most success in the market.
“The fact that you’re 18 to 35 years old with a college degree does not cause you to buy a product. It may be correlated with the decision, but it doesn’t cause it. We realised that the causal mechanism behind a purchase is, ‘Oh, I’ve got a job to be done.’ And it turns out that it’s really effective in allowing a company to build products that people want to buy”Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School Professor.
Basing your consumer profiles on demographics alone is a sure fire way to get them wrong. Being a certain age doesn’t dictate the ‘job’ for which you need to ‘hire’ a product or service, but your need state might.
Two people within the same demographic could buy one brand of cereal bar, as Mark explains, but for very different reasons; one buys it because they’re busy and need to skip lunch, one buys it for a protein hit after a workout. They have different need states.
Looking at the Jobs to be Done of your product will allow you to produce creative assets that speak to the psychographics of the target consumer, going much deeper than their age or gender, to the desires and attitudes that actually make them buy.
If you don’t know why your consumers buy your product, or products like yours, then you’re in the dark, and you can’t create successful marketing campaigns. The first input of consumer data in the creative process enables you to learn: what is the purpose of the campaign? Who is it for? What motivates them? And who else has done this well?
#7 – Validate with purpose
It’s little use asking “Do you prefer this or that image?”, as so much feedback is subjective. What you really need to know is whether the campaign is reaching the purpose you set out for it.
Are you creating an asset to improve clicks / sales / positioning / virality / education / awareness? These are all completely valid goals, but without clarity on which you’re aiming for you could be optimising your asset for the wrong reasons and jeopardising your success.
Structure your survey to produce data that directly correlates to the purpose you set out in the first place; questions assessing positioning will require more qualitative data than questions around whether or not a consumer is likely to click on your advert.
Associating the correct questions with the correct overall goals will allow you to validate whether your asset isn’t just nice, but whether it’s likely or unlikely to actually achieve its business purpose.
#8 – Use consumer insight to manage risks
While some virality is a good thing, you want to avoid being ‘that brand’ that has to apologise to the press for getting things horrendously wrong.
Be sure to test your assumptions with consumers, who might see your creatives in an entirely different light to your team or the business at large.
It’s possible to avoid the mistakes Dolce & Gabbana recently made in China, which practically forced them to exit the market entirely, by pre-testing creatives within the intended market. Those flawed D&G creatives will have passed through their own approvals process, highlighting the importance of including in your own process the opinions of the people for whom the creative is designed.
#9 – Measure your success
You’ve optimised your creative to reach a certain goal, now it’s time to assess whether you met it.
As Mark explains:
“If someone comes along and says, “Well, did that work?”, you can say “Yes, if you mean it raised awareness” or “Yes, if what you mean is that the market is more educated” and, crucially, “here’s the proof”.”
The key is to be as specific as possible, only then will you understand the changes you can make in order to shift the needle.
When you understand why things work, and what it is about your consumers that the creative resonated with, success becomes repeatable.
#10 – Repeat the cycle to keep growing
Learn about your consumers (on a deeper level than just their demographic details), validate your ideas with the purpose of the campaign in mind, and then measure the achievements so that you can repeat your success again and again.
Introducing consumer data into each stage will optimise your creative to resonate with the people for whom it’s intended, as well as streamlining your own process, mitigating risk and increasing the business returns tenfold.
Data is foundational in giving you control over your creative success. Whether that’s internal data (briefs, approval processes and tracking conversations), or consumer data (used to uncover what resonates with your target consumers and why), without knowing why you’ve had success in the past, you won’t be able to repeat it in the future.
Understanding your internal processes can highlight the areas to be streamlined, ease the pressures on your creative team, and free them up to do their best work without distractions.
The project management tools Bynder offer are perfectly suited to help streamline your creative processes, driving up productivity without sacrificing output quality.
Meanwhile, understanding what the consumer wants and needs can spark creativity, and optimise your assets to achieve your business purpose every time.
To discover more about how Attest can help you reach your target consumers at any stage of the creative development process, get in touch with us today.