When it comes to developing marketing campaigns, that early rush of concepts can quickly build up to a soupy sludge of terrible ideas. Before you know it, the production pipeline is mucked up to the point of total impasse. Brainstorm sessions run rampant, responsibility confusion befalls the team, executive leadership starts micromanaging, everyone despises the project.
That's because there's a lot of space for creative in a campaign, and creative represents a rather subjective thing that comes from an emotional part of our brains. There's vulnerability in expressing our imaginations. It's even more heightened in a group setting, where folks pile on judgement, opinions, expectation of ROI, etc. We hold on tightly to our ideas, and when we bring them to the table only to have to loosen our grip, it's extremely difficult.
So, how do you keep everyone involved, excited and unified? Set some basic ground rules from the outset. We use the following guiding points to provide structure and keep things flowing in one direction when building marketing campaigns. If need be, we pull them out at the beginning of each creative swap, progress report, update session, etc. They're a reminder that the campaign is bigger than one person's ego, and with everyone onboard, success will be greater.
Early in the process, map out various marketing campaign ideas before selecting a final direction. This is the metaphorical Petri dish phase. Consider different combinations of creative and delivery strategies, weighing the pros / cons of each. Don't be scared to brainstorm out loud and with an open mind. The best campaigns are a hybrid of a few original concepts.
Don't get hung up exclusively on your team's personal preferences. Rather, consider what will resonate with your target market(s). As a team, develop a customer persona, then craft a unique personality, look and message that will intrigue that person. Step outside of yourselves.
Set timelines. Allow space for fleshing out best steps forward, but don't succumb to analysis paralysis. Brainstorm with endpoints in mind and execute next moves at a clearly-defined time. Know that your marketing campaigns will – and should – evolve post launch. Don't delay advancement waiting on greatness. Instead, make bold progress forward in the project, anticipating change as the campaign gains steam.
Across the board, develop campaign assets that are cohesive and not overly-complicated to understand. They should be unified in visual, message, attitude and timing. The most effective campaigns are memorable, in-sync and easy to implement.