Bringing Method to Madness
To plan and build a successful advertising or promotion program, launch it properly and keep it on course, a broad perspective is needed, and a blend of diverse skills and talents unattainable by any one individual. It also means mastering the methods of collaboration: among members of the creative team, and with the client. By applying these principles to our clients' needs, we’ve rarely met a marketing problem we couldn’t lick, or a client we couldn't work with. And here’s how we go about it:
While we've found that more momentum is usually gained through cultivating long-term client partnerships, we're not afraid to tackle "a la carte" creative challenges as well.
At Cardwell Creative, we deliver a custom product. Our service can’t just be “added to your cart”. That’s why we believe in forming strong client relationships. Regardless of the client’s geographic location, this process starts with listening - and testing the chemistry - to see if our team feels right. (Not every match is made in heaven, and we must communicate well with our clients if we are to communicate well with their customers.) If the chemistry is there, we start asking questions ...to gain as much knowledge of the client’s product or service as we need to understand the challenge.
Present a diagnosis; propose a solution
After obtaining the client’s input and determining available budgets, we head home to assess the marketing problem, then return with our initial insights and observations. Next, we submit a proposal outlining the work we would do and the tools we would use to achieve the client’s goals.
Plan the attack
In this step, an overall strategy is developed in light of budgetary and scheduling considerations. This typically includes preparing written timelines, media schedules, etc. These become the road map(s) for the campaign, and establish the criteria by which we measure success.
Brainstorm; propose creative direction
Armed with a clear understanding of objectives and the media to be employed, we go to work dreaming up dynamic creative solutions. We then present preliminary materials to the client that are conceptual in nature. For a tv campaign, these might take the form of a few key frames from a storyboard and sample voiceover copy; for a web site, a "look and feel" document showing how individual site features would be styled.
Moving right along
After approval of creative direction, we prepare comprehensive layouts (or "comps") for each execution needed, such as ads, brochures, etc. From these, final client sign-offs on art and copy are obtained. (It’s our policy to keep clients integrally involved in the development process. No surprises.)
Production and quality control
Without tight quality control, and knowledge of appropriate production techniques and resources, a sharp idea can lose its edge, and the finished product can fall short of its promise. But we don’t let that happen. Through the expertise of seasoned specialists and qualified vendors whose abilities we know we can count on, we make it our business to assure that the reality measures up to the creative vision, and produces measurable results.
So how'd we do? A crucial final step in our method is evaluating the success of our efforts. While no agency can make miracles, and some valuable forms of marketing tend to yield more intangible results than others, we know that our clients expect and deserve a return on their investment ...and they tend to get it.