Direct Selling: Creative Makeovers
It seems that every three to four years, a flurry of activity occurs within a marketing department, and you hear the battle cry for a creative makeover. Dutifully, creative directors present the battle plan based on what someone from the executive team has deemed wrong with the existing presentation. Often, they will point to another brand and say, "Why can't we look more like them?" This is not a healthy start.
Do you really need a creative makeover? Most of the time we are our own worst enemy, and we hear ourselves saying, "It's getting stale." That may be true to your internal team, but is the creative stale to customers? Are you still getting the intended results? Never change for the sake of change alone. Change for a reason, and understand what that reason is!
The truth is your creative presentation should always evolve. As you learn more about your product, your results and your customers, your creative efforts should evolve to reflect that knowledge. With every piece, your team should scrutinize your creative efforts and ask, "How can we do better?" If you are diligent in regularly applying a critique process to your work, a makeover is never necessary.
However, let's assume that you haven't been critiquing your efforts, and results show that a makeover is necessary. What are the reasons for the lackluster results? Consider the four simple roles of direct marketing creative: 1) grab attention, 2) present your brand, 3) efficiently explain your offer and 4) create an easy selling process. It doesn't matter if you are creating an e-mail, catalog, solo package or Web site; the rules are the same. We all know these four activities are loaded with rules and complexities. Let's review each one, and, as you read, grade your own creative efforts to determine if you are in need of a new battle plan.