You are no longer the Creative Director, the Art Director, Writer, Designer
You have a new hat. It is embroidered, "Problem Solver." And advertising is just one of the tools you use.
Here's the deal. Clients come to you because they think they need advertising campaigns, brochures or websites. But what they really need are solutions ... creative solutions to problems like these:
- Sign-up more customers.
- Get a new product off to a great start.
- Polish the corporate brand, or put a shine on a tarnished reputation.
- Get more business from the customers they have.
- Lure customers away from competitors.
So identify your client's "real problems." (Yes, she has several.) Then explore unconventional solutions to those problems beyond traditional media. Like these:
Rice and Spice.
The traditional approach to media selection is to identify a target audience, then find the most cost effective media options to reach that audience. For many advertisers traditional media - such as TV and websites - still deliver the best ROI. For others, the addition of a social media presence on say Facebook and YouTube gets the clicks.
A creative approach to media is not so simple, and can involve some of the following:
- Identify both the current digital and traditional media consumed by your audience.
- Identify trends within your audience, such as trending apps, events, broadcast, web or digital media preferences.
- Identify unconventional media opportunities, such as outdoor / ambient or live action flash entertainment.
- Identify information that your audience would find useful, that your audience would search for - or respond to - if presented to them in the right place at the right time. One such example would be a doctor's office or medical practice that produces 30 or 60 second videos that address common concerns and questions such as seasonal allergies.
- Identify ways to attract your audience with entertaining or amusing content. One example would be a YouTube channel or a website that introduces new bands or singers - or uses satire and humor to have fun with politicians or celebrities in the news.
- Identify places to reach prospects who currently do business with your competitors.
Below you'll find a few specific examples.
Jack has a Burger Truck, above, and a party truck, the Munchie Mobile.
Explore new ways for customers to experience the product or service.
- A stock brokerage firm might open an Investment Cafe.
- A cosmetics company might modify a van into a product demonstration and sales vehicle. It could travel to malls, public fairs, even schools.
Make a list of compelling content ideas paired with appropriate mediums.
- Consider content that is focused on useful, helpful or how to information.
- A local pediatrician produces short videos on topic of interest to parents of young children. Topics range from pertussis / whooping cough prevention to safety around pets. Those videos are used as TV commercials, on a YouTube channel and on the doctor's website.
- Consider content that is entertaining, amusing or casually interesting.
- ROVER is an Internet business that helps dog owners find and book local dog sitters and walkers. They publish an email newsletter that is packed with amusing information about man's best friend such as ways to test a dog's intelligence or what makes some dogs more expensive than other dogs.
- Albums of the world's best outdoor, guerrilla and unconventional media campaigns.
- Gigs of contemporary advertising examples in traditional, digital and social media.
- Plus, right now you get instant access with a free online account.
- Click here for details.
Identify ways to use existing channels of customer communications.
Start by identifying all the ways the company currently interacts with customers and prospects: website, through their billing department, the sales and customer service staff, product packaging - everything.
Then consider ways to use these existing channels to turn current customers into better customers. To get referrals from them. Or strengthen loyalty.
- Include inserts promoting the full range of products - other products that might be interesting to customers.
- Provide sales people with communication tools such as emails featuring special offers.
- Perhaps the billing department could promote a customer referral program with statement inserts. And the customer service department could do the same when talking to customers on the phone.
Explore different media to deliver your message.
- Slideshows and video can be published on the web and distributed via CDs and USB Flash drives.
Sponsor events as a paid advertiser, but participate in creative ways.
- "We're here at the Star Trek Convention to demonstrate our advanced online banking services."
- A company that sells bottled mango juice ran a promo with a large distributor of fresh mangoes. They placed a small sticker on each mango sold through retail stores. "Bottled version available from Juicy Juices."
Explore ways to reach prospects with free samples, useful information, or even an educational class or seminar.
- Law firms and investment advisors offer classes in everything from patent and copyright protection to estate planning.
- Ad agencies and design firms deliver presentations within their area of expertise for business and professional groups.
- A pet store takes animals - fish to ferrets - to elementary schools to educate kids about different kinds of pets.
If you have a product that solves a problem, explore ways and places to demonstrate the solution.
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