Due to popular request
I wanted to take the opportunity to walk everyone through the creative process that we at the MWG recommend using and will be following as we think about developing creative campaigns.
Please feel free to use this as a marketing primer as well as a guide that will help you better understand future Marketing Working Group posts. Also please note, this is far from comprehensive. Many of these roles and responsibilities go much much deeper than what is described here, but my hope is that there is a sense of understanding of where accountabilities and skillsets lie and how we should be holistically looking at marketing.
LET"S MAKE THIS BETTER TOGETHER
If you have questions, comments, edits or there is anything that needs clarification. Please ask either in the comments or by reaching out to me directly. I will continue to update this primer as feedback comes in to make it easier to understand and ensure it achieves it’s objective of educating the DAO as to the creative process.
This primer is broken into two parts:
- Typical roles in the marketing world
- The MWG’s recommended creative process
Part 1- Marketing Roles
Before we jump into the creative process, it is important to outline the typical marketing roles that exist within a larger marketing team. There are generally three categories of roles:
- Management Roles- typically called ‘client-side’ roles
- Creative Roles-
- Execution Roles-
Each of these roles play an important function in a marketing organization as they generally require very different skillsets, mindsets and approaches.
People in these roles are usually the ones who are responsible for building the wholistic marketing strategy for the entire brand. At the highest level, this means people who are managing this role are typically responsible for both driving revenue and managing costs to ensure that all marketing activity over the course of the year is being done either profitably or effectively against a stated set of goals. These managers are also accountable to manage the consistency of the brand, the channels of execution, the types of campaigns that are run and who they work with.
Since these people performing these roles hold ultimate accountability for the money being spent and the results they achieve, they usually have complete oversight over the entire creative process. In regards to the creative process, these people:
- Identify the opportunities for a creative campaign and messaging (called campaign windows or ‘heavy ups’)
- Manage the conversion/cross sell funnel (called always on)
- Trigger the creation of new campaigns by the development of a comprehensive and extensive brief.
- Selecting the necessary creative partners
- Providing feedback and oversights at key points of the creative process
These roles are typically not business oriented. Rather, people who fill these roles are usually experts in communication and human interaction. They do this via a mastery of videos and pictures (designers/editors), words (copywriters) or an understanding the underlying cultural trends that drive people to take action (strategists).
It usually requires a team of individuals from a variety of backgrounds working together to successfully fill these roles and build effective creative campaigns.
These roles are typically people who are very very good at getting things done. Execution based roles get sub-divided across many different channels from deciding which media platforms can allow a campaign to reach its desired audience (media planning), to purchasing media (media buying), to ensuring all advertisements that are created are properly sized and transferred to the right media partners (production), to printing signs/materials (printing), to handling all logistics and physically building out assets (also production), to handling contract negotiations (sponsorships and influencers), to reaching out to the media (PR).
I call this out, because I want to make sure that there is effective knowledge on how many people need to touch and be involved with the ideation and creation of effective campaigns. Each of these roles can obviously be expanded on much further.
Part 2- The creative campaign process
I have broken down the creative campaign process into 7 steps:
- Execution Team
- Creative Territories
- Creative Campaign
- Asset building
- Campaign Deployment
- Campaign Evaluation
Step 1- Execution Team
Generally, the management team, after determining the objective and the budget, decides on who the execution team is going to be. Sometimes, projects are put to tender where multiple execution teams are briefed and asked to do work for free with the strongest campaign winning the business, while other times single execution teams who know the brand and have a historial working knowledge are asked to be the single team working. It is also common for the execution team to be ‘in house’ or people who work directly for or with the company or organization.
Step 2- The Brief
The management team then gets together and builds a ‘brief’. The brief is the single most important document for the creative process as it gives the creative team not only the business context as to why a brief is being written, but also more context about the target audience, how they think, why they think that way and what type of messaging will appeal to them.
It also very clearly states the objectives of the campaign and provides the creative team something to always look back to and measure how their ideas are performing against what they are being asked to do.
Many times a brief is augmented by additional strategic research to even better understand the mindset of the target audience and potential insights that can be built off of.
Step 3- Creative Territories
Before we get to actual campaign ideas, the creative team goes back and thinks through creative territories. This is a very important part of the process as the territories help the management team and the creative team get aligned, but also helps to articulate ideal responses to customer insights.
Creative territories are not fully flushed out campaigns, but instead broad concepts that can help inspire creative ideas that answer the brief. They are thought of as ‘ways in’ or the early stages of tackling the creative challenges. They are not fully flushed out and are more about inspiring ideas for communication.
As a completely illustrative (not remotely real) example, let’s say we are building a campaign for say- coinbase.
Lets say the target audience was defined as a crypto-curious individual and the key insight would be that crypto-curious individuals are interested in high returns.
The creative territory would be the biggest returns you’ve ever seen, giving potential depositors a view at some of the biggest home runs in defi history.
If a second insight was that people were worried about the anonymity of crypto currencies, a creative territory could be the real people behind the biggest crypto projects.
Ideally in a brainstorm session a creative team would come up with tens or hundreds of creative territories, which it would merge, cull and distill down into 4-5 which would be presented to the management team.
The management team, in conjunction with the creative team would then select ideally 1, but no more than two creative territories to blow out into full campaigns.
Step 4- Campaign Development
At this point the campaign starts to come to life. In addition to creating a campaign platform or slogan, the creative team thinks about all the ways in which the campaign could come to life. How does it live on social media, in purchased media, with influencers, on owned websites. How are customers who are intrigued by the message engaged and ultimately converted.
Many of the physical assets for the campaign- that the end target actually engage with are not created yet, but the high level execution plan and ‘hero’ campaign concepts/storyboards/scripts are. This is again presented to the ‘management team’ who continually provides feedback as the campaigns are refined and ultimately a final campaign is decided.
Step 5- Asset Building
Finally the campaign is ready to come to life. All the assets and channel specific strategies need to be created. Whether that is negotiating with influencers, or building the series of digital ads, negotiating media contracts, or producing videos. This is the point where the production of the entire campaign comes together.
Step 6- Campaign Deployment
Finally at this stage the campaign is ready to go live. All the necessary assets are produced and are sent to their necessary parties and the campaign ‘goes live’ to the public.
Step 7- Campaign Evaluation
No campaign should ever be ‘set it and forget it’. There needs to be continual tracking on the performance of the campaign and small tweaks to messaging, media mix and assets need to be made to optimize performance.
Once the campaign has reached its finalized campaign window, a full post-mortem is completed to evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign and determine what to do better and what to consider in the future.
DON’T BE OVERWHELMED
Yes this seems like a lot, too big for something like PoolTogether to take on. But I promise you, if we want to start being effective, we need to apply some level of creative rigour to our campaign development. Additionally, anyone with a creative background in advertising will have experience working through some iteration of the creative process that I described.
After this document, the Marketing Working Group is going to post two creative briefs that it has developed (as the ‘client’). We will attempt to answer one of these creative briefs (Optimism Launch) via the new bounty system and see how it comes together. We already have ideas for answers to the second creative brief (Multi-delegator) which will follow via a governance post as well. Additionally, we have plans for some additional creative work that we see are fundamental and will share in due time.