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Creative Marketing – What Does That Mean To you?
The term creative marketing can mean different things to different people. For many, the term relates to the communication elements of marketing such as graphic design and advertising.
Here, businesses look for “creatives” to differentiate their brand and brand communications from the competition while at the same time, attempting to deliver their strategic positioning.
This form of creative marketing is becoming more and more important but at the same time more challenging. More challenging because over time, as more innovative ideas are developed and executed, the harder it is to come up with something genuinely different, and the easier it is to be accused of imitation.
The wine industry is a great example here where the development of an innovative but strategically relevant label design is becoming increasingly difficult in a market that can boast a sea of labels.
The growing importance of creativity as a form of brand differentiation comes about as a result of the ‘information age’ where information-based strategy is becoming more and more homogenous as the same information is accessed by many to form the basis of marketing decisions.
However, the term creative marketing can also be applied on a broader or more strategic level where creative thinking can serve to help build a competitive advantage. New product development, for example, can benefit from a form of creative marketing that involves inspired innovative thinking to solve a problem that has never been addressed before or solves a problem better than ever before.
A more creative approach to other key aspects of marketing strategy such as promotions, pricing and distribution can also be captured under the term creative marketing.
As an Adelaide based creative marketing agency, Baker Marketing is involved in helping clients to improve their creative marketing at both a strategic and executional level, across a number of subcategories of marketing activity.
The pages below as designed to give you some practical insights as to how Adelaide’s leading creative marketing agency applies the concept of creative marketing to help SME’s grow their sales and profits.
Creative Marketing Communications
Creative marketing communications serve to underpin the success of digital marketing campaigns as much of digital marketing today relies on creative marketing content.
Creative marketing communications, particularly concerning digital marketing, usually involve one of two types of creative content, informational/educational (info-cational) and promotional.
Both kinds of creative marketing communications can include elements of entertainment, but it’s important, especially for promotional content, that the entertainment doesn’t get in the way of the message, but serves to reinforce or deliver it.
Creative promotional content, as its name suggests, is all about promoting goods and services. It’s about persuading the reader or viewer that your product or service is the best solution to their problem.
Really great promotional content involves the prospect and talks to their problems and answers the key question, “what’s in it for me?” in the form of benefits including deep benefits that focus on the transformation that will occur when a problem is solved.
The creative aspect of promotional content comes in the big idea that provides the vehicle for the delivery of the big promise. Creative marketing communications must first capture attention, then generate interest, deliver a clear, attractive message by way of important benefits, be memorable and ultimately lead to some form of action.
The memorable aspect of promotional content is often enhanced by creativity where for example, the use of humour, music, or some other emotional device is used to deliver a message that’s readily stored in the brain and easily accessed.
Creative marketing communications that take the form of infocational content involve a more indirect approach to gaining a sale. For infocational content to be taken seriously and hence be effective, it needs to focus on either solving or shedding light on a particular issue.
How well it does this will determine its perceived usefulness and therefore the likelihood of that content being shared or influencing the decision maker.
Infocational content can be entertaining and can also include “ a promotional message from its sponsor/creator”, however, this is usually done at the end of the content piece as a sign-off.
At Baker Marketing, we craft creative marketing communications on behalf of our clients covering both types of content depending on what level of the sales funnel our targeted prospect is situated. Importantly, we test and measure our online content using various analytical tools to ensure continuous improvement in all digital marketing campaigns.
Creative Graphic Design
Everybody loves creative graphic design. I would love a dollar for all the oohs and aahs coming from around our graphic designer’s computer screen, as team members walk past influential graphic design work evolving before their very eyes.
For a non-graphic designer, the process of creative graphic design development may seem straightforward, even fun, but powerful marketing communications in the form of graphic images don’t just come out of thin air. They start with a detailed graphic design brief. Actually, they start before then with a research-based strategy that forms the background for the creative brief, but let’s assume that work’s been done and we are ready to create the brief.
At Baker Marketing, we begin the creative design brief by painting an unambiguous picture of the person we are communicating to, our primary target audience. To help our graphic designers get inside the head of the primary target market, we will include a target audience persona or avatar. If you are interested in how to create a target market persona you might like to click here.
In a nutshell, the persona is expressed as though we are describing a real person, with a name that you would expect based on data such as demographics and socioeconomics. Meat is added to the persona framework in the form of family situation, hopes, fears, needs, wants, pressures, likes, dislikes, lifestyle preferences, shopping habits, media habits and so on. The persona is designed to help do what all great creative communicators should do, and that is to think and feel from the perspective of their target audience.
If we are creating graphic design on behalf of an existing brand, then it is instrumental to know what the primary target currently thinks about the brand and what we would like them actually to think about the brand. If there is a gap between desired brand perception and actual, then the objective of the creative graphic design may be to help bridge that gap.
Either way, it’s vital to ensure, utilising the brief, that the graphic designer knows the objective of the work regarding precisely what needs to be communicated. The creative graphic design work, like all forms of creative marketing communications, needs to clearly reflect the particular positioning strategy as defined for the brand.
These are the most important elements of the brief from a creative design perspective. The remaining elements include things like mandatories, both legal and non- legal, colour preferences and other client directives, timing, budgets etc.
The creative graphic design brief in its clear statement of specific objectives also plays an important role when assessing the results achieved by the graphic designer in that it helps reduce the level of undisciplined subjectivity that can creep into the assessment process.
Creative B2B Marketing
Some people might regard the words creative b2b copywriting a contradiction of terms, but not so. Yes, it’s true that b2b copywriting can be more features than benefits focused, especially for technical products for technical people, but creative marketing communication can certainly play a role in b2b marketing.
Creative content for b2b marketing can take many forms with some of the most popular being white papers and case studies. The reason for this lies in the target audiences that are involved, particularly for big-ticket business expense items such as new plant, equipment and IT systems.
Decision makers in this situation need the right kinds of information to help them make and justify their recommendations. As it’s their reputation ( and possibly career ) on the line, these people do not want to feel they are being ‘sold to”, but rather, helped.
Quite often in b2b marketing, there are many stakeholders or influencers to consider when creating b2b marketing content. Generally speaking though, there are two separate audiences to talk, and these audiences have quite different needs when it comes to tailoring effective b2b marketing materials.
Firstly, it is common to have a business administration person involved in the buying decision such as a purchasing officer.
The second type of key influencer in the purchasing process is a more technical person involved in operations such as a production manager or geologist.
Both will aim for a solution of best fit at the best price, but will come to their conclusions from very different angles as their respective roles in the organisation would suggest.
The business and technical people will speak a very different language from each other and what is highly important to one, may not be so high on the criteria list of the other.
Therefore, when it comes to content such as white papers, a separate white paper is often created to suit the needs of the two different parties, technical and business. Otherwise, a hybrid approach is taken where a white paper is written in two parts with separate audiences in mind.
Creative b2b marketing in this case generally applies to the way the information is presented rather than the way it’s written. For example, a creative approach to video may help tell the story in a more engaging manner, than if written words were used alone.
Creative graphic design can play a significant role in supplementing the written word with images and graphics that make the absorption of relevant data easier and create a more favourable impression in terms of the perceived quality of the content and its owner.
Baker Marketing takes great pride in bringing a creative approach to b2b marketing in order to give your b2b marketing content the very best chance of success.
Creative Email Marketing
Creative email marketing, despite myths to the contrary, is still the most effective form of marketing on the internet. The problem is that not many marketers know how to use email marketing effectively. They try unsuccessfully and then convince themselves and others that email marketing doesn’t work.
However, the fact is that email marketing is the fastest way of helping to move a customer through each stage of the buyer journey, from a complete stranger to customer to brand advocate to a promoter.
Baker Marketing strongly encourages its clients to build their email databases and carefully and respectfully use email marketing to build relationships and sales.
Creative email marketing involves a number of different types of emails and many different types of email promotions and campaigns. The objectives of email marketing campaigns can cover virtually any aspect of marketing including branding, referrals, customer retention, engagement, acquisition, reactivation, direct sales and traffic generation.
Once the objectives have been decided, the next critical aspect of creative email marketing involves planning. Planning usually takes the form of an email promotional calendar.
Promotional calendars have a number of benefits, the main ones being:
- You can ensure consistency of message, not just across your email campaigns, but across all of your creative marketing communications be they online or offline.
- By planning your email marketing activity, you can see when to expect sales growth and prepare for that when planning your cash flow.
- Promotional calendars are also a very convenient and practical way of communicating your planned activity across your team, so they can enjoy a helicopter view of what to expect over the months ahead.
Once the email marketing plans are in place, it’s time to execute those plans. Then it’s over to your analytics tools to help you measure the performance of your campaigns against predetermined targets and then make any necessary adjustments.
Reporting actual performance against goals is one of the main reasons why more and more businesses are moving media budgets away from traditional formats like TV and radio to database marketing.
Baker Marketing applies this approach to email marketing for all their clients and would be delighted to talk to you about how creative email marketing can help to grow your business and how we can help get you set up correctly.
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