Starting with Good Objectives

Copywriters and designers are talented and creative, but they’re rarely telepathic. They can’t create marketing materials that meet specific objectives if their instructions don’t include what they’re expected to accomplish.

So who is supposed to define the objective, set the strategy, and steer the creative process? Well, get ready, because that task falls to the person responsible for marketing, which is probably, well, you.

Defining what you want to accomplish

You can hit your marketing target almost every time if you take careful aim. Consider the following examples of creative instructions and note the differences:

Example 1: “We need to build sales. Let’s run some ads.”

Example 2: “We need a campaign to convince teenagers that by shopping after school on weekdays they’ll enjoy our best prices in a club atmosphere because we feature live music, two-for-one café specials, and weekday-only student discounts.”

Example 1 forces those creating the ad to guess what message to project — and toward whom. It’ll likely lead to round after round of revisions as the creative team makes best guesses about the target market, promotional offer, and creative approach.

Example 2 tells the ad creators precisely which consumers to target, what message and offer to project, and what action to prompt. It guides the project toward an appropriate concept and media plan — probably on the first try.

As the chief marketer for your business, it’s your job to give those ...

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