I often refer to PR as an ‘Eat Your Greens’ service. It's a business mindset…
When we speak of creativity in business and marketing – what exactly do we mean by that?
We often associate creativity with a talent – writing, art or design. It also applies to innovation or solutions. It can also mean the way we create campaigns to attract our audience’s attention to drive action.
There are lots of ways to tap into creativity. However, coming up with ideas isn’t the only challenge. Despite the creative agency perception of bean bags and games rooms, a lot more goes on behind the process.
Business owners need ideas that are also strategic and impactful. It’s here that data can be used to drive innovation.
What’s Data Got To Do With It?
Without insights and data, we neglect to see what will truly resonate with our audience. More importantly, we won’t include this in our strategy and messaging to appeal to them.
Some business owners I speak with try to launch without even doing their hard research or testing first.
Established companies and well-known brand names will do consumer research and testing to find what appeals to their customer – before developing or launching a product. The marketing campaign and messaging are based on this research, designed to appeal to their triggers to convert sales.
Look how laundry detergent is promoted. There are different aspects which will appeal to different customers and their purchasing choice. One particular brand might promote the tough cleaning action, one on longer lasting fresh smell, another on softness. They knew what their customer wanted.
This is far more cost effective rather than working backwards – spending hundreds of thousands, if not millions, creating and promoting a product that doesn’t sell.
Understanding The Market
There are various ways to better understand your customer and their needs. Large brands can afford to undertake consumer focus groups about what’s important to their customers. There are also reports available on consumer and business trends. For a substantial budget, you can commission your own report.
There are more cost-effective ways for smaller companies to do their research. Facebook groups where your audience is active can be particularly effective. Quora is a platform where you can ask questions or view threads around the subject matters that are relevant for your customers or clients.
For those with a limited budget don’t forget to tap into one vital resource – your own clients and potential customers including friends and family. Also, ask clients for feedback as to what works and what doesn’t is also crucial to see what elements you may be missing in your own services.
This can provide you with insights on how you can better serve your clients and customers but also what their pain points are and how your product or service can help.
How Data Drives Creativity In Marketing Campaigns
It is data and insights provided by the client that help provide agencies with material to help develop a creative comms campaign. It provides a solid base or truth – marketing can be the creative way of communicating that truth.
Think about the message you want to promote and all the ways you can drive the ‘talkability’ factor. If media coverage is required then the campaign needs to stand up to scrutiny. Media require expert opinion, case studies, data or insights to back up any claims made.
Surveys are a popular way for brands to convey the thoughts of the public to help piggyback a company’s message. Next time you read a headline on what the nation think or do, read further to see the company who’s commenting. Note their relevance to the news and how they’re promoting their products and services on the back of these findings.
Survey results can break down differences of opinion or behaviours across the country, by age, by gender. These provide more data and angles to pitch to relevant media and drive further coverage.
Do note, however, whilst surveys can be highly effective – be critical in whether it will actually deliver a response. The results need to show interesting or new insights that the media can use. I was freelancing for a company who spent thousands commissioning a survey. Only they didn’t really think about the headline they wanted to promote – a ‘no sh*t Sherlock’ angle. Clearly a direct plug for the product, with no real insights or news, it was unusable by media.
Case Study – Will The Real Mr Darcy Please Stand Up
One of the most impactful campaigns I’ve seen in recent years was by Taylor Herring PR and UKTV to promote the forthcoming Jane Austen season. As much as we may love them, watching classics isn’t particularly newsworthy or groundbreaking for media to cover.
The team tapped into one of the key emotional aspects of Austen fans and one of her most beloved books and characters – Mr Darcy.
Using key findings from academic research, plus two leading academics to help an illustrator reveal a historically accurate portrait of the real Mr Darcy
A great classic, it was dripping wet Colin Firth walking back from the lake which caused a generation of women to swoon. Needless to say, the illustration was nothing like the character often fantasised about and depicted on-screen. This revelation certainly caused a stir and made an impact in the news and across social media – both in the UK and around the world.
The campaign was both strategic and tactical, including key messages and details of the season which resulted in UKTV’s highest ever day for Drama viewership. Well played!
Want to learn more about how you can make an impact in your marketing campaign? Book in a call here.