It happened again. Your company president just told you that he wants something "really creative." You stare at him blankly. Wasn't last month's Fat Tuesday event creative? Wasn't that terrific ad campaign last quarter completely off the charts? What more does he want from you? What on earth does he mean by "really creative marketing?"
Let's face it, the competition for consumer attention is fierce. People are bombarded by hundreds (some say thousands) of marketing messages every day. How do you get your brand to stand up and be heard?
It's not enough to pull out the Mardi Gras masks and offer King Cake at your events. It's important to use those fun props and themes to tell your brand story in a compelling way that makes your potential customers pay attention.
Here are five ways to boost your creative marketing strategies and make your boss sing your praises at company picnics.
1. Figure out what makes your customers "tick." You have to start with a question. Too many marketing managers are too concerned with pushing their brand message at people without ever really asking themselves why customers need their products or services. Or, they stop too soon. For example, a marketing manager at a dental practice might say, "Patients need to have a dentist to take care of their teeth to stay healthy." I might recommend they take that thought a step further and answer the question like this: "Patients want to stay healthy and look great because having a healthy smile makes them feel better and helps them engage with other people in a more friendly way." Or, a manufacturing marketing manager could say, "Joe Product Engineer needs our products because he likes quality." Instead, I might say this: "Joe Product Engineer enjoys looking efficient and intelligent in front of his colleagues. He likes our product because he knows that the quality is first-rate and the product gets to him on time every time."
2. Develop your brand story. Take what you've learned about the inner psyche of your customer base and create a story that impacts them on an emotional level. In the example above, if a dental practice wanted to attract young women to their practice, they could create a story about a bride on her wedding day. Don't just stop there, though. Figure out what her name is. Talk about why her smile is so important to her on her wedding day. Understand what the emotional impact could be to a young woman to have a beautiful smile on the day of her wedding. Then, add a twist. Take the young bride through her life's journey. Her smile is there for her young children and for her friends during "girls' weekends." Her smile carries her through her entire life journey and ends as an old woman celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary, smiling at her husband.
3. Determine a medium to deliver your brand story. Next, you need to decide how to deliver the story you've created for your brand. The best solution here is often to choose multiple mediums that will, ideally, direct traffic to your website where you can educate your prospects and convert them into paying customers. Depending on your goals, you may want to choose one or two social media platforms, blog content, pay-per-click advertising and even support it with print or digital advertising.
4. Stick to your story. Decide on a campaign length and stick it out. Keep promoting your message while always keeping in mind the end goals of your target audience. If the story starts to resonate, you'll know it. See point 5.
5. Measure, measure, measure. You'll know that your brand story is resonating with your target audience when you start to see measurable results. And I know, because you are a smart marketer, that you're using tools on your website to tell you if your campaigns are successful. You'll see interaction with your site pages, your calls-to-action and clicks on your email marketing campaigns.
Which brings us to the wrap-up.
You want to know how you can prove to your boss that you've done something "really creative?" The best way to prove your creative marketing has been a success is by showing REAL results from your edgy and oh-so-fabulous marketing campaigns.
Truly creative marketing efforts are bolstered by pre- and post-campaign activities. You won't know if a campaign is creative and, more important, successful, unless you can prove that you're generating leads. And then nurturing them. And then handing them over to the sales team for the close.
It doesn't take a genius to develop creative marketing campaigns that resonate with customers. It does take concerted effort and a willingness to work hard before, during and after launching a targeted campaign. Your ideas don't have to be over-the-top to be creative...they simply have to resonate with your customers and be supported by the numbers that will tell the story of your success.
Photos in post: freedigitalphotos.com