Thursday, January 12, 2017

How to Kill Good Creative with Bad Research

You may be familiar with the following scenario:

Your Creative Team has developed the ultimate campaign for your client. It’s right on to the approved creative blueprint, promotes the brand, can be produced within budget, and uniquely communicates the product attributes in an inviting and clever way.

The campaign is presented to the client who comments, “That’s really exciting and impactful.” He goes on to say that the dealer network “will love it!”

Then the client drops the bomb.

“Before we spend anything on production, we better get the concept in front of some consumers for feedback,” asserts the client. “I’m sure a quick and simple ‘disaster check’ won’t interfere with our production schedule.”

The concept quickly goes into research – consumers interested in the category are recruited and a focus group is held with the client, creative team and account management observing. It turns out that the focus group was the real disaster!

Several of the focus group participants took the illustrations literally and felt that the execution cheapened the brand. Others couldn’t relate to the actor/model that portrayed the user of the product. Another simply didn’t like the color scheme selected for the advertising. All-in-all, the concepts did not fare well with the group and the client decides that the creative team needed to go back to the drawing board.

This scenario points out a total misuse of qualitative creative research, and both the agency and the client is at fault in letting this happen.

Just this week we received a focus group request from a government entity in Ohio. The client was developing new brand logos and wanted to conduct two focus groups among the agency’s customers to select the winning logo.

Rather than making a small group of consumers “amateur art directors” for an hour or so, we submitted a research plan that would serve them and their agency well:
1. Conduct qualitative research prior to developing the creative blueprint.
2. Gain input on several positioning and messaging statements to determine what resonates highest among participants.
3. Also test personality and tone of the messaging – a great insight for the creative team.
4. Based on the research input, set mandatory metrics in terms of brand positioning, messaging, tone, and personality.
5. Use the research to support and justify your creative effort – a perfect mix of art and analytics.

When market research is used incorrectly, it only opens the door to creative criticism versus providing valuable input. No wonder many creative teams cringe when they hear market research is going to be used to test their concepts.

Avant Marketing Group has been supporting agency and client marketing communications for over 12 years. Our substantial experience as clients, as well as agency planners, provides us with a unique perspective. We know how to do research right – which means many times, developing methodology that is uniquely designed to meet your communications objectives.

And as market planners, we also have the expertise to assist your agency in expanding its client approach to include the entire marketing mix – specifically: channel management, pricing, and promotional strategies – all developed by gaining a true customer perspective through proper market research.

No comments:

Post a Comment