Sunday, April 12, 2009

Beware of Awards

Some of my friends in the creative world may not like what I'm about to say. That's okay, I've had this discussion with some of them and many ultimately agree. If they don't agree with what I'm about to tell you, don't hire them to create your advertising campaign.

As a business owner, do you want your advertising to be creative or effective? You can only choose one right now.

If you choose creative, then you'll get an ad campaign that your ad agency's creative department will love. They will pour their heart and soul into special effects, story lines, a wildly dramatic production, maybe some humor and maybe some drama. The resulting campaign however maybe totally ineffective for your business.

Try this. Can you substitute your competitors name into your ad campaign? If so, the campaign isn't about you. It's about awards. And which matters most to you.. your advertising campaign wins awards, or your advertising campaign is effective at retaining current customers and bringing in new customers?

An award winning campaign can result in financial disaster and the loss of jobs, (yours and all the folks that work for you), if you are not careful.

Careful with what you ask?

Careful to stay on track with your advertising and marketing so that you place effectiveness as a higher priority than creativity.

Sometimes we need creativity to stand out in a world where we are now exposed to thousands of advertising messages everyday. However, the creativity in your marketing needs to be focused on why someone should do business with you. The folks putting together your message need to understand what makes you unique and desirable to your current customers and future customers. This requires digging deep into the heart of soul of your business and a passion to communicate that effectively.

I have friends who are musicians and composers and artists and do fantastic work. I appreciate their creativity. But just because it is creative, doesn't make it right for an ad campaign. I know from my own experience, starting out in the creative side of this business, that creativity is fun and exciting. But if it doesn't work, my clients would cancel or not renew.

I appreciate ad campaigns that can do both: Creative & Effective. You deserve to get your moneys worth so make sure your award winning campaign is also positively effective for your bottom line.

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