Marketing creative is a blanket term for all of the messaging & visuals a marketing team uses to promote a product or service. It's the written copy & images in a print ad or direct mail piece, the audio in a radio ad, the video in a commercial, infomercial, etc. Sometimes it's a standalone creation- a one-shot effort at driving a prospect to immediate action. Other times, it is only a role player in a larger promotional effort or campaign.

When companies find their marketing footing they usually settle into a few favored ways to promote their offerings. For example, a company might lean heavily on television commercials or email marketing or postcard mailings and so on, typically going with what seems most suitable for their particular kinds of offerings.

Applying the Science Side of Marketing To Efficiently Grow Your Business

Many higher-performing companies embrace applying the science side of marketing in how they determine their marketing budget, upcoming promotional thrusts and so on. One of the key concepts in good marketing science is measuring the impact of marketing creative as effectively as possible. For example, if you execute a direct response (hereafter DR) campaign (typically a standalone promotional effort that seeks a specific action- like "buy now"- from the recipients of the creative) you can always measure the results of each piece of DR creative with great accuracy.

Fresh marketing creative is fundamental to grabbing a bigger slice of the pieAll those unsolicited offers in your mailbox are a form of direct response so let's use that to illustrate a few concepts. Let's suppose you open your mail box and find a promotion for a credit card. You've probably seen more than a few of these in the last year. The one you found today motivates you to actually get the card it offered. Your buying action may have been coincidence (perhaps you just decided you needed a credit card and this was the first offer that came along). But whatever the cause, this one worked for you when many other credit card offers did not.

The credit card company tracks how many people they mailed actually takes each offer. The response rate (the number of people who favorably responded to an offer) is measured against established creative known as a "control" piece (an existing promotional piece that has the best response rate in the marketer's DR arsenal). If the control piece typically gets .5% of recipients to take the offer but this new one yields .7%, the latter is likely to become the new control. Further testing that shows it is indeed a stronger performer will cement it as the new control promotion.

Since this new offer clearly drove the most customer conversions shouldn't the credit card company use it forever? No, they should use it only until the next piece of new creative outperforms and becomes the next control piece. Good DR marketing will always test new creative against their control diligently searching for better response rates. Why?

One reason is that all marketing creative eventually tires, meaning prospect conversions begin trailing off. In the case of the credit card offer, it did really well this time (so well it became the new control). However, a few mailings from now, it probably won't perform as well. If the company kept using it anyway they would eventually see response rates decline toward zero. The promotion itself doesn't change; it's the prospects that change. Perhaps the promotion pushes some hot button of interest to one segment of the market. Before that segment has been completely sold the company must find another hot button to push (to keep the sales momentum rolling). New creative is always testing other angles, hot button benefits, etc.

Fresh Marketing Creative Is Essential To Business Growth

As should be obvious, the need for fresh marketing creative is ongoing (not just in DR marketing but in all forms). You may occasionally see TV commercials or print ads from yesteryear. At one time they may have been the best promotion their respective companies had. But all creative eventually tires. The prospects have seen that pitch, heard that particular angle or watched that commercial. A tired marketing piece always loses effectiveness.

Fresh marketing creative is fundamental to grabbing a bigger slice of the pie. Clinging to an old ad- even one that performed well- leads to loss of buyer interest

No prospect is interested in watching the same commercial over and over again- no matter how much they might like it the first time they see, hear or read it. To move them to buy, you have to be original, showing them something new and different than what you've shown them before. If it's fresh, more will take a look (and others will take a second look). If it's tired, you're wasting your money and your prospect's time. This truth is why this year's big budget super bowl commercials won't be exactly the same ones used next year... nor were they recycled from last year.

Many companies with only in-house marketing talent can find it increasingly difficult to get good ROIs on their marketing budget. Why? All creative marketers have a fixed range of style & ability, a limited scope of creativity. They can only come up with so many variations in how to pitch your offerings before their overall creative capacity tires. Marketing needs fresh infusions of creativity to help your company come up with new ways of showcasing your offerings. A great way to do this is to engage fresh marketing talent- like ours- to help your company hatch new promotional ideas. It can be very powerful to refresh your pool of creative marketers with some "new blood..." even that of a temporary nature like our consultants or contractors.

A great way to select that talent is by engaging them for fresh creative to test against your current control. This is a common practice in companies wanting to grow their business. Outside talent creative is objectively tested against in-house control and the results drive the option to expand the relationship. BI has very deep resources in just about all marketing mediums. We welcome- even encourage- prospective clients to test us with an engagement for some marketing creative to compete against their established control. We've developed a great deal of creative in various mediums that became control. Try us and see for yourself.

What if you are just getting started or don't really have marketing you consider your control? No problem, we can help you efficiently develop a couple of strong promotional candidates then use cost-efficient methods to test them head-to-head. We measure results for you and the best performer will becomes your initial control. Then, we can tap more resources to develop some challengers for your first control and your "survival of the fittest" marketing model is born. The big benefit in this is increasing your marketing budget ROIs which directly contributes to growing sales & profits.

Contact us for a free consultation. We would welcome the chance to deliver your new control creative or help you enhance your model with concepts like those shared above.

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