24 Oct Creative Marketing Agency Concepts
As a creative marketing agency, Darkstar has been dismayed by the industry trying to ram hundreds of versions of the same content down consumers’ throats. How many top ten lists can you have for the same concept with the same ten items? The duplication of this content leads to a disconnect with our “Always-On” audiences.
We really have to focus on moving to a more sustainable (and more creative) model, and the key to that to achieve a level of understanding of the problem with our customers, small to mid-sized businesses.
Ted Karczewski wrote this for Content Standard – “Pressure“
With all of the changes taking place in the marketing industry, technology has taken center stage: more automation, less room for human error. Senior-level decision makers have begun to run their marketing departments like assembly lines, focusing on repetition and specificity over experimentation and agile processes … Marketers have found themselves in factory-like roles churning out new versions of the same ideas, and buyers aren’t lining up. It’s like some dystopian world where we’ve divided ourselves and lost sight of what great storytelling is all about: inspiration and entertainment; love and motivation; purpose and self-discovery. That was television’s early promise, what the web sought to reimagine, and what we lost along the way. So how do we get it back?
Breaking out of this mentality requires a shift in infrastructure and mind-set.
To some degree, enterprise brands already understand this concept. It’s exactly why the digital marketing industry has become so obsessed with creative thinking in recent years. Digital marketers know they have to change their steps, policies, infrastructures and overall mindsets in a more creative direction—away from typical cookie-cutter marketing and toward user/content experimentation and brand storytelling.
So how do we best inform our customers so that they are more successful with their customers and prospects?
Story-First Mentality For Marketing
To create real relationships with your prospects and customers, creative marketing agencies have to focus on the story of the brand rather than the brand itself. We have to generate a narrative that reaches out and grabs the audience’s attention, holds onto it, and keeps them returning for more.
Just telling about what our customers do isn’t enough. We have to tell the Why, as in Why does this company do what they do for their customers. We have to build an ongoing storyline to deliver content pieces to our prospects to define the brand as an authority in their products or services, and to create suspense. With the element of suspense, we keep them engaged within the story and also over time as we introduce new elements to the content.
This can’t be just on our side, as the creative marketing agency, it has to be holistic for the business. Your team needs to buy in to these stories and strategies and integrate them into how they interact with clients and prospects. When we start to live the story, it begins to define the business and how the business and its clients relate together.
Get The Right Team or Training In Place
Not every creative marketing agency or digital agency is in the right place for your business when it comes to correctly engaging the audience. Be sure to ask the right questions when you interview and choose an agency.
- What planning and strategy will be need to get started? Ongoing?
- What Key Performance Indicators does your team focus on and how will you report progress in those KPIs?
- Do you outsource content generation?
- What ideas do you have to tell the story of my products or services?
The right team is excited to work with you on this project. They need to be thinking creatively about how to engage, and need to work on defining your best customers so that they can generate creative content that best reaches those customers.
If you are thinking about doing this type of work in-house, be sure to get a mix of skills and styles on board. Your team needs to be able to think differently to be able to create the ongoing story of your brand. They also need to be able to handle all of the technical aspects of web design, social media management, search engine optimization and marketing.
Your team also needs to be able to focus on digital marketing for the right amount of time each month. If you are adding these responsibilities to your existing team, be sure they have enough bandwidth to dedicate at least twenty five to thirty hours each month solely to marketing.
Create An Organizational Culture
For Creative Thinking
Be sure to tout creative thinking throughout your entire organization, not just in marketing. Got that one manager that just doesn’t want to listen, even at the expense of his team or the business? Get them out the door to foster the right environment for creativity.
Encourage in person relationships over digital ones. If your team doesn’t really know each other well, they won’t be as open to put out the crazy ideas or less mainstream theories about how to make your business work better. They should sit down in small teams or duos to get the most done, and this will allow them to form stronger bonds, as well.
Have your team tap their non-company contacts for ideas, feedback, and connections. Family and friends are good sounding boards for your ideas, and also have the benefit of less filtered criticism and critique. Have them tell it like it is, and your team will gain the most from the interaction.
Have structured freedom with boundaries that keep them on task but don’t restrict creativity too much. Everything that they do needs to:
- Be true to the consumer/audience
- Deliver on your Brand promise
- Drive from a key base insight and tie back into your overall strategy
- Keep timing and deadlines in mind
- Be sure they know what they are trying to solve or what reaction they are reaching towards from their audience
- Know how to measure for those reactions.
Form small, nimble teams to avoid bureaucracy. Keep down the red tape and let the smaller teams run themselves. They should have their own structure of leadership, and will run much more efficiently and be that much more creative and powerful as a part of the entire fabric of your business.
There are a lot of things that we as a creative marketing agency or our customers can do to focus on more creative, story-first marketing for our brands. This doesn’t have to be in the realm of enterprise level businesses, as there are many parts of this strategy that can be adapted to all sizes of businesses.
As digital marketers, we have to focus on why the brand does what they do and why the audience will care and best be engaged. We can’t just put out the same keyword rich content and hope it works. We have to create content that is needed, wanted and delivers on your brand’s promise to your audience.