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Creative Strategy

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by Randy Mitchell, Creative Director Clichés are the curse of B2B campaigns. If you don’t believe it, pick up an industry trade publication and flip through the glossy pages. Or visit a trade association website and check out the digital ads. Most of the approaches will seem blatantly obvious and sadly homogenous. Why does this happen? Because B2B topics are so difficult to explain and clichés offer an easy way out.  That fact hit home just one short year ago for the Boomm creative team. We were surveying the landscape before diving into a massive rebranding for an industrial client. Most of the B2B campaigns we saw featured the same four elements: Serious looking

by Randy Mitchell, Creative Director Here’s a promising sentiment for every creative out there: Your ideas can change the world. You simply have to share them with the right people. But where are the right people? Who can give your best ideas the stage they need? It would be natural to assume your best shot at creative immortality is to work on mega brands, like Coca-Cola, Nike, Major League Baseball or McDonald’s. I have a different perspective, because I worked on all of those accounts. It looks impressive on a resume, but in reality, I was merely one of the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.  Those brand behemoths had no idea who I

Keeping digital assets organized and available can be harder that you think. by Fred Gaede, Chief Creative Officer   “Can you send me that high resolution logo file again?” “But I emailed it to you only last week!” “I know, but I can’t find it and I don’t have time to search for it. Please, can you just send it to me again?”  Sound familiar? Probably. Whether it’s locating the correct logo for your PowerPoint, the correct photo for your blog post, or the latest PDF of your product brochure, managing digital assets can be not only a hassle, but also a headache. While many major corporations may have an IT or marketing department that controls

by Randy Mitchell, Creative Director It’s the day of your big creative presentation and you’re about to take center stage. Are you nervous? Please. Everything is iced. The strategy is inspired, the budget is on the penny and the creative is exceptional. You live for moments like this. Besides, the room is alive. The clients are geeked about the new program. In fact, their whole month has been leading up to this meeting. Then Darth Vader walks in. [caption id="attachment_6724" align="alignright" width="300"] Don't let Darth Vader throw you off your presentation game.[/caption] The chatter stops. Clients scramble madly for their chairs. Someone whispers, “I thought he was in China this week.” Darth Vader slashes his business card

by Gary Mattes, CEO When my lovely wife, Lisa, agreed to marry this guy, she took on all but one task in the wedding planning. Boy, did I get it wrong! (That’s my task, not my choice for a wife.) The one task assigned to me was arranging the music for the reception party. She knew that I had strong opinions on music and “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang was not being played at my wedding. It had been played at every friend’s wedding for years. I arranged to meet with a couple of event DJs. One DJ had great playlists. He was somewhat of a musical dopplegänger to me and seemed

by Randy Mitchell, Creative Director If you’re a sensitive creative, please skip over the next sentence because I am going to use a four-letter word. That offensive term is spec. Sorry. I’m blushing too. Spec creative is essentially speculative conceptual work that is intended to demonstrate how a prospective agency partner thinks. In this capacity, spec is occasionally required in the B2B marketing RFP process. The company issuing the RFP might challenge the agency to “show us some ideas” based on very limited input. Some people insist that spec creative is a necessary evil. I can’t agree with the necessary part. But evil is spot on. There are multiple reasons spec is unwelcome, and some

by Fred Gaede, Chief Creative Officer “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” You’ve likely heard this quote before. And while its origin may be under dispute, its underlying truth is not. Keeping your communications short and to the point takes effort and it takes additional time. This is true for copy as well as for design. While you may need to sacrifice a bit of style, keeping your messaging free from unnecessary distractions offers great benefits. According to one study, the average attention span of a modern human is about 8 seconds. When it comes to digital marketing and effective communication, I would say that it

by Randy Mitchell, Creative Director I am about to violate a sacred rule. I’m going to give you a look behind the curtain of the agency world. What is the clandestine topic that is such a taboo? B2B Marketing RFP development. Specifically, the candid opinions agency and industry insiders have about RFPs. First, a word of warning: Our insiders are not shy. They have pointed views on why some RFPs are truly effective and why others are destined to fail. So let’s get started with this inside story before the marketing police show up at my door.  Wrong first impression If someone put you on the spot, how would you describe your company? That’s often the

by Fred Gaede, Chief Creative Officer What’s your process for taking notes during a meeting? Do you use your smartphone or prefer a legal pad and pen? Maybe you would prefer to simply record the meeting and listen to it later. However you choose to go about it, proper note taking remains an important aspect of generating good creative. In marketing, a good creative solution has to be more than simply eye-catching or clever. It has to work! It not only must capture the audiences’ attention, it also must to deliver on the approved strategy and value proposition. This information is typically what is covered in a creative launch meeting.  Of course you

by Randy Mitchell, Creative Director If you were a student in my marketing class back in 2009, I am deeply sorry. Like a fool I stood in front of you and babbled on about strategy, concepting, workflows, tactics and social. And somewhere in that caffeinated wall of words, I devoted 30 seconds to the creative brief. Wait, what? It may provide little consolation now, but please know that I have learned my lesson. Over and over again. The creative brief is a topic that everyone wants to discuss in depth. In fact, it has become a focal point in every class I teach, from MBA level marketing down to creative basics. We debate it,