It’s Time to Simplify
Every aspect of our lives seems to get more complex with each passing day. This is especially true for our working lives. Digital technology provides the opportunity to know more and do more than ever before. Every day brings a new way to segment data, personalize more and get better results. The only answer to the complexity is to learn how to simplify to save our collective sanities and deliver the best results possible. Here are some techniques that we have found work best.
- Planning: one campaign brief to rule them all. If you want separate pieces of the process to work harmoniously, you need to plan it that way. We utilize a single brief produced by our digital strategist. The purpose of the brief is twofold. One, to communicate the overarching brand idea and tone of voice that will flow through every piece of creative. Two, to create a complete map of the customer’s journey and strategize how our touchpoints (messaging and content) will move them through it. We typically review the brief as a team twice, once for input and the second time to refine it to something manageable and realistic based on the budget.
- Creativity: comes from many sources and takes time. This means multiple teams that bring different points of view, where everyone is equipped with the latest consumer insights, pop culture knowledge and technology developments in order to make the most creative media possible. Our strong preference is to present creative in person, as it facilitates the most productive discussion with the client and the team and allows us to address client feedback. Everything is interconnected. As with our planning process, the creative review process is iterative. First, we evaluate the campaign ideas in a limited number of forms, essentially starting off broad, not deep, with the goal being to eliminate, combine, get to fewer, then finally go deeper as a team.
- Measurement: constantly and consistently. The reason we market is to influence consumers to take actions that will move them towards purchasing. Identifying actions we want a consumer to take and measuring if we are efficiently achieving those actions is the only way to ensure we accomplish them. CPG has always struggled with a lack of connection between marketing and sales. Marketing mix modeling is expensive, and attribution can be inaccurate, but media vendors and measurement partners (such as IRI, Nielsen and Salesforce) are working closer with each other than ever before to connect the dots, so there is always something new to try.
- Environment: support and reward risk-taking. For any of this to work, you need the best functioning team possible. Respect and assuming the best intentions is critical. Find your change cadence. Always be testing. Take chances, make choices, encourage, support each other and always learn from failures. One last thing, don’t discount the importance of getting together in person or having a conversation over the phone. We’re people first, marketers second.