How to Assemble the Ultimate Creative Team and Unlock Your Marketing Potential
Developed from the ProThink Learning Course Effective Marketing: Methods, Models, and Processes to Ensure Success
Now that you’ve established the Who, What, When, Where, and Why of your marketing message, it’s time to determine the How: How do we communicate our message to our market? Solving this question will take a variety of skilled people to help you develop your promotions. But how do you know who the right people are?
Marketing today, versus twenty years ago, takes a larger team of people with a wide variety of very specialized skills. Therefore, you will need to build relationships with a diverse talent pool to make sure you are fully communicating to your market. Whether you decide to hire internal staff or outsource to other specialists your creative marketing team will need to consist of the following elements:
· Website Talent
· Graphic Artists
Let’s take some time to look at each of these roles, determining what qualities make a team member effective in each role and how you can identify those traits.
A publicist’s job is to generate and manage publicity around a company, brand, or product. Many publicists do this by relying on press releases, which can work great if you have a top news story of the day — but unfortunately, you probably don’t. A good publicist knows that to dig your company out of the mountain of press releases sent out each day they have to pick up the phone and persuade reporters directly.
People are wired to follow the path of least resistance. So, it’s tempting for publicists to skip the rejection that comes with calling reporters. Who could blame them? Reporters and producers aren’t sitting around hoping someone calls them with a story idea — most of the time they are deluged with them. But like successful salespeople, good publicists know that the only route to a yes is through many nos.
I’ve always said that the way to tell if a publicist is any good is to check their phone records. If they make a lot of calls, they are likely getting the company and its products the coverage they deserve. If your PR firm is selling you on fancy press release packages in place of calling don’t expect much coverage.
When choosing your team to design, redesign, or add to your website you will need to consider these four aspects:
· Strategy: You can’t provide good strategy if you don’t know the structure and terms of marketing. That’s probably the biggest danger when selecting your website talent — hiring people who have the technical knowledge and design skill but know little about marketing.
· Website Property Management: Another mistake you might make is not having anyone to manage your website day to day. You will need to hire a website property manager that will perform many of the same job duties as the manager of a brick-and-mortar location, such as decorating for the season, promoting special offers, giving out samples, and overseeing promotions that drive and direct traffic, not to mention fix and freshen the site as needed. So make sure you budget for the expense of regular management of the site.
· Web Technical: It’s hard to be sure you are hiring a good web technical person unless you happen to be smarter at technology than they are, which isn’t likely. Here’s what you can do:
o Look for nice, kind-hearted people who tell you they have the technical skills.
o Put them to work and see if the sites they design function properly and problems get solved quickly. If so, you’ve got a keeper.
· Website Design: Your website’s artists either need to have technical skill, or they need to sit right next to the person who does. Artistic talent and technical skills rarely appear in the same person. They need to be shoulder to shoulder to collaborate, so try organizing your internet staff like they’re sitting at a kitchen counter.
Some people are gifted writers, but most aren’t. Fortunately, for you, you can quickly identify if someone you are considering hiring is a good writer or not. All you need to do is read what they’ve written, and you’ll know.
There are many different types of writing, so it’s good to have access to a team of writers. When it comes to marketing, writers fall into two categories:
· Factual: Some writers are more comfortable making their case using facts. They like to build their story in a logical, sequential order that doesn’t require inserting their opinion. This works well for business-to-business products, and products scrutinized by agencies such as the FDA or SEC.
· Emotional: Other writers excel in a more persuasive style. They play loose with the facts and place a greater emphasis on feelings and emotions. Examples of businesses that are a nice fit for this style are hunting and fishing gear and leisure travel.
You’ll often find that writers can’t switch back and forth between these two categories, even if they say they can. It’s like they are hardwired as either one or the other, so determine what kind of writer your promotions need and hire accordingly.
Your spokespeople are those who speak on behalf of your company and its products. The effectiveness of what they say largely depends on their ability to stay on point. It doesn’t matter how presentable they look or how polished their speech is if their message isn’t grounded in your core message.
Let’s look at a couple examples:
· Salespeople: Communicate one-on-one with individuals and can drill down to the specific need of the individual they are talking to
· CEOs and Owners: Establish your brand’s personality but can cause problems if they don’t take direction from anyone or their employees are too intimidated to give advice
· Key Opinion Leaders: Trusted advisors in our lives, consisting of professionals or experts in related subject areas, that act like a messenger and can add value to the product because they are respected by the market
No matter how fast you read, you will always be able to ingest information through a picture faster, hence the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.” So having good images that reflect your message is imperative.
Make sure your graphic designers, photographers, videographers, and website designers are given clear direction when handing them an assignment. They will find and create better images if they have a clear understanding of all your marketing prep work. Also, be sure to give them enough time. Everyone understands that it takes time to write and edit good copy. It also takes time to find or create good images.
A good way to evaluate design is to remove the copy or turn down the volume and look at the images by themselves. What story do they tell? Do they support your Primary Message Themes and Positioning? It’s amazing the story some graphic designers and artists can tell without using a single word.
Finding the Dream Team
Developing effective promotions that resonate with your market will require you to work with all of these creative elements. So it’s important that you take the time to understand how each of them work and are able to recognize what a good team member looks like in each role.