Traditionally, when people think of Marketing they think creativity. And, for those of us who lack the confidence in our own creativity, the concept of Marketing can feel slightly out of reach. However, in the past 10 years or more, there has been a shift in the development of marketing campaigns. It’s no longer just about generating a clever idea or executing before the competition. There is an underlying foundation that helps produce these extraordinary campaigns: standard process. Now, I will not go as far as to say there is a formula for creating successful marketing campaigns, but I will say that with an outlined process and proper documentation, success can be created and replicated.
The Pillars of Standardization
There are two pillars of standardization that are necessary to building repeatable process.
Consistent Reporting: Data is a central component of successful marketing campaigns, making marketing more attainable to us non-creatives. The right data can tell a story and guide creativity down a certain path. It can offer suggestions for creativity based on the feedback and results you see from your reports.
Consistent Documentation: With data, comes documentation. It’s fine and dandy to pull reports here and there, but if you don’t document this data in a consistent format it will be difficult to extract trends. But often in our marketing haste, we don’t take the time to apply the data that we pull or we don’t document results for future learnings. Thus, creating repeatable processes becomes quite difficult.
Building Repeatable Standard Process
By utilizing reporting and documentation consistently, Marketers can better visualize the right path to take each time. Depending on what type of marketing campaign you are building the source of data and documentation may change, but the process should not.
- Analyze historical persona and channel marketing data
- Analyze current industry trends (from both internal sources and market research firms)
- Ideate new creative that will resonate with your persona
These three steps have worked well for me in the past, but just as you need to test creative, you need to test process. You need to monitor your standard process to make sure that it is helping you get to your goal. If it is, then you have successfully standardized your job and made it easier to replicate success for the future. The result of this success: more efficient and effective marketing teams or marketing agencies.
Amplifying Creativity with Standardization
So, can standard process be the foundation of powerful marketing creative? Yes. I’m not saying that you can have zero creativity and still launch a high-return marketing campaign. I’m saying that data, documentation, and process are the foundation to build better creative.
Just as I don’t want non-creatives to feel intimidated by creative creation, I don’t want creatives to feel intimidated and constrained by data, process and documentation. Therefore, I will continue to share all of my resources with you in hopes that it can facilitate standardization for you.
I believe that we are headed towards more standardization. And, I also believe that this standardization will amplify creativity.