Creative Strategy | The Marketing Network
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Creative Strategy

The Marketing Network will make sure that your Creative Strategy cuts through the clutter, attracts your prospects and blows away the competition.

Creative Strategy can be divided into 2 broad categories

1. What you say and How you say it (Copywriting) and
2. Presenting this content to the prospect in the most visually emotionally appealing manner (Design).

In marketing communications (most known of which is Advertising), different creative strategies are used in order to grab consumer attention and incite clients to purchase or use a specific product or service.

Marketers & Advertisers use different proven psychological principles of persuasion to create campaigns that capture consumer attention and prompt a favorable response. Creative strategies promote publicity, public relations, personal selling and sales promotions.

Being “creative” is important because it helps us sell your products and services!

Human beings are hard-wired to look for “the new.” The novelty of new focuses attention. And as the first job of any marketing communication is to get noticed (because only then will it be listened to), campaigns with truly original ideas have proved to be the best selling tools. Originality is the wow factor.
With thousands of commercial messages bombarding consumers every day, originality is the price of entry into people’s attention span. “What was effective one day, for that very reason, will not be effective the next, because it has lost the maximum impact of originality,” said Bill Bernbach, way back in the 1960s.


COPYWRITING:

Are sales important in your business? Copywriting is multiplied salesmanship.
“The principles of copywriting are the principles of salesmanship. Treat it as a salesman. Force it to justify itself. Compare it with other salesmen. It may appeal to thousands while the salesman talks to one, hence every ad should be a super-salesman. A salesman’s mistake may cost little. An advertiser’s mistake may cost a thousand times that much. A mediocre salesman may affect a small part of your business. Mediocre advertising affects all of your business.” – Claude Hopkins, “Scientific Advertising” 1923

Copywriting is the translation of marketing strategy into words.

Copywriting is based on scientifically established principles of psychology and communication to promote a person, business, opinion, or idea in order persuade the intended recipients of your message to ACT; usually to part with their hard earned money in exchange for your product or service!

No matter what business you are in, you can not afford bad copywriting:

  • Ineffective copywriting costs your business money in missed sales opportunities.
  • Bad copywriting creates a negative brand image for your business.
  • If your website, brochures, advertisements, catalogues, email, direct mail sales letters, whitepapers, videos are failing to persuade your prospects to buy then all the costs of producing and distributing these are wasted! The costs of reaching your customers with your message make up to 80% of all your marketing costs!

More than ever businesses need the services of professional copywriters.

In 2007, Yahoo predicted copywriting as one of the top 5 in demand professions. The explosion of online marketing communication such as websites copywriting and email copywriting has given birth to a much greater demand for copywriters. In today’s hyper competitive business environment what your customers think and feel about your business is one of the last sources of competitive advantage. Everything else can be easily copied. The positive perceptions your customers have about your business are created through effective communication. Communication that is clear and concise. In one word – COPYWRITING!

There are more books and websites about copywriting, more copywriting schools, more copywriting courses and more copywriters than ever before. Yet the general standard of copywriting, that is percentage of good copywriting as a proportion of total copywriting is worse than ever before – just look at the advertisements in your local paper, most industry based publications, your mailbox, and 90% of all websites! In many ways it seems that we have taken a step backwards not learning from the mistakes in the hard work of the great copywriters of the yesteryear.

“Experience has convinced me that the factors that work in mail order advertising work equally well in all advertising. But the vast majority of people who work in agencies, and almost all their clients, have never heard of these factors. That is why they skid hopelessly about on the greasy surface of irrelevant brilliance. They waste millions on bad advertising when good advertising could be selling 19 1/2 times as much.” – “Tested Advertising Methods”, John Caples, First published in 1932.

Much has changed since then – technology, media, the economy. Print was the only mass media vehicle. Attention spans were longer. Mass production was just beginning to bring the benefits of a higher standard of living to the population at large. Majority of products had real points of difference. However the principles established by the grandfathers of advertising, copywriters like John Caples and Claude Hopkins are even more relevant today than they were then. Consumers want their problems solved. They want to save time or effort, save money or make money, have peace of mind, feel good about themselves and have fun.

The Principles of Copywriting (advertising) are based on the understanding of human behaviour and the ability to translate marketing strategy into words (and images) that sell.

If you don’t have the right strategy (product / service) no amount of advertising expenditure or great copywriting will help – remember that good advertising kills bad products faster!

Good copywriting and sales results are a culmination of the right strategy – providing the right product or service to the right people at the right time.

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DESIGN:

The graphic designer’s job is to translate brand strategies and messages into visually appealing communication that connects with the intended target audience. Their creative efforts can make or break the communication. The best product, strategy, idea or copy can be ruined by bad design.

The grandfather of modern management Peter Drucker said that business was about 2 things and 2 things only; marketing and innovation. Graphic Designers have a vital role to play in both. Design is emerging as one of the most important factors in building business advantage. Amy ‘Fritz’ Fridlund from Research International states it perfectly: “Good design will inherently and intentionally incorporate insights and understandings from marketing.”

The design of a brand requires serious research and understanding of your customer and prospect needs, examination of what is being offered by your competitors and how those offers are being communicated.

Have you answered these questions and provided answers in an executable brief to your graphic designers? How many designers extract these questions from their clients? Not many, but our Creative Director, Chris Dobbin makes sure that The Marketing Network design team does this each and every time. this is an integral part of our process. We don’t cut corners, because you deserve the best possible return on your investment, otherwise your marketing will be just another expense which is unfortunately what it really is for most SME businesses. Likewise we expect that you deliver the best possible products and services to your customers!

The Marketing Network Solution:

The Marketing Network has a small internal design team headed up by Chris Dobbin. The team also works with a number of best of breed freelance designers.

Unlike the traditional agency structure that employs a number of designers in house, The Marketing Network can select the right designer for your job. Like other professions design has a number of segments and specialist areas; ranging from industrial and product design, through to packaging design, graphic (print) design, online and web design. Many designers also tend to favor or specialize in certain styles or product categories. The Marketing Network makes sure that our clients get the best design team for every job, every time.

DESIGN ADVICE FOR START-UPS AND NEW BUSINESSES:

For many small and medium size business owners, a graphic designer is the first port of call when it comes to marketing their business. A scenario we come across on a daily basis is one where the entrepreneur starting a business, realizes the need for a business name and basic business collateral; business card, letterhead, website, brochure, etc and they seek the services of a graphic designer. This hence becomes the critical point in the development of their business, not just their business image.

  • Do many graphic designers raise warning flags with their clients if their chosen brand name is unlikely to pass the trade mark application?
  • Do graphic designers explain that a properly ‘designed’ brand name can make an emotional connection with your audience, and help to build a brand that ignites the passions of your customers and propel itself through the world on its own, becoming a no-cost, self-sustaining PR vehicle?
  • Do graphic designers check that the brand name achieves its key objectives:

– Differentiation from competitors – Reinforcing a unique positioning platform – Creates a positive and lasting engagement with their target audience – Is unforgettable – Provides a deep well of marketing ideas and advertising images

  • Do graphic designers stop their clients and ask them for a Positioning Statement (a creative interpretation of the business USP – Unique Selling Proposition) which in most case should form part of the logo?

Of course these questions are not the expertise of most graphic designers or design studios and not really their job. It is the job of the clients’ marketing people (in a small business it is the owner) or their marketing agency or consultant. The Marketing Network’s truly integrated team of marketing communication specialists makes sure that the following questions are asked, checked, debated and agreed upon before developing the right solution for your business:

  • How can the design better communicate the personality of the brand?
  • How can the positioning of the brand be enhanced through visual communication or
  • How can the brand experience be enhanced in store or on the website using visual cues that make decision making easier?

You really do get what you pay for, so think twice before “ordering your logo and collateral online” or getting your cousin’s brother to do it for you. think about how you and your company will be perceived by your target audience and whether the design you get will give you an advantage over your competitors or will it make you look like a one man band!

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