The Missing Link to Successful Direct Mail — the Creative Brief
The following is an excerpt from "Strategy & Tactics for Boosting Direct Mail Response," the new 122-page report from Direct Marketing IQ that features best practices from leading direct mail experts.
Nothing causes the creative team more stress than clients who never seem happy with the creative work. If you've worked in this business for a while, you know the story only too well.
In spite of brilliant execution and access to top creative talent, multiple revisions serve only to raise the temperature of the project. In the end, the creative process destroys trust and respect on both sides of the aisle.
Creative teams believe they have great ideas to resolve the problem, while other key players (such as the client) have their own ideas about what the problem is and their own vision on how to solve it.
How did things get to this point?
Without advance agreement on a well-prepared Creative Brief by both the creative group and the client, the creative team must work in a vacuum. This sets up the creative project for failure.
How can you avoid this nightmare? Prepare a written Creative Brief - the Missing Link for successful creative development.
Whose job is it to make sure there is a consensus on the assignment and that all parties have reasonable expectations of each other?
I believe that job falls primarily on the marketer and not the creative director. Of course, both the marketer and the creative team should collaborate on the written document.
But getting the client's approval and documenting the creative approach requires a holistic perspective combining the knowledge of the customer, the market environment and the offer itself into a unified creative implementation plan. The marketer or account manager enjoys a unique position for developing such a document.
Some creative people take exception to this disciplined approach in favor of relying 100 percent on their intuitive skills while spending little time learning more about the client, their customers and other seemingly extraneous information.