A creative strategy are guidelines that are used by the art directors and copy writers of any agency or a team withing your organisation to meet your marketing goals.
A good creative strategy will ensure that it is broad enough to be followed irrespective of the current goals of the organisation. It forms an integral part of your brand strategy.
A creative strategy covers three aspects and we will look at each one in detail
- Market Research
Knowing your customer is of utmost importance. Not only from a business viability point of view but also from a creative strategy point of view. Initial market research to understand the need and pain points of the customer, help in building the product or service. However, in order to make the product or service attractive to the customer we need to understand their psychographic profile and behavioural profile.
Knowing these details helps in creating the right persona while giving briefs to your creative team. These personas and their behaviours aid the creative team in creating advertising which appeals to them.
- Imagery and communication style
There are multiple imaging styles that an organisation can choose to go with. Depending on the brand image that one wants to present one can choose to go with one or multiple imaging styles. Some of the major imaging styles, include but are not limited to iconography, photography and illustrations.
Defining where to use which type of imaging will help your creative team to appropriate imagery.
Besides Imagery, one of the key components of your creative strategy must be your communication style. One needs to decide the tone that the brand will take through all its advertising. It isn’t necessary to stick to one style however it helps in building a more cohesive story if you stick to one type of tone. Some of the elements that you can use in your communication are humor, responsiveness, expert talk and having killer headline.
An example of humours communication is the quintessential Amul print ads. They use a current topic and add a twist to the topic usually using humor as their choice of communication tone. An example of responsiveness is Amazon, with its focus completely on customer service and adapting and adding new products based on customer needs.
An example of expert talk is any dental toothpaste brand, e.g. Colgate or Sensodyne, where they use doctors in their advertising to give a feeling of authority in their communication. An example of killer headlines would be Nike. Their tagline of Just Do It is used creatively in all their communication which usually varies around different themes.
Setting guidelines on what imagery and tone of communication to use in what medium is essential. The tone could vary depending on the audience and medium that the advertising is being used for.
- Channels for delivery
A good creative strategy clearly outlines the channels that would be used for communications. Depending on the core audience and business proposition one could select which channels one wants to use.
Earlier the channels were limited to print, audio and TV. However with the advent of the internet the availability of channels has expanded exponentially. Mentioning the type of creatives that need to go out on each channel is extremely helpful for the creative team.
For e.g. Instagram is a more visual medium and creatives that have a bold and loud imagery will stand to get more eyeballs vs LinkedIn which is more of a content driven channel.
One needs to specify which channels one wants to use for keeping the customers informed and which channels one wants to use to attract more customers. This helps as these channels usually overlap and a clear instruction to the team reduces chances of confusion.