Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Judging Creative

Participating in quite a few creative presentations and the subsequent review discussions of how good or bad the creative is, I observed that most marketers are not able to judge creative work in any meaningful manner. Either marketers are not at all able to even voice a judgment or marketers are quick to applaud or condemn creative work with nothing more than a personal taste preference. After witnessing so many round of creative presentations, I am suggesting a typology of marketers depending on how they judge and decide on creative programs:
  • The Intuitive: Here, it’s all about personal taste, about the impulsive reaction to creative work without too much reflection or analytical thinking. This marketer seems to know within a fraction of a second what works and what doesn’t. This marketer does not need any discussion, the decision is done.
  • The Discusser: This marketer likes to withhold any immediate judgment and rather waits if the participating group discussion creates a majority consensus. Within seconds of realizing the emerging consensus, this marketer will give a compelling speech and summary of rational reasons why the emerging creative favorite is the right solution.
  • The Researcher: This marketer will postpone any true feedback and decision until he has seen all the quantitative and qualitative research work. This marketer believes the truth lies in the research numbers, not in the minds of the participants.
  • The Destroyer: For this marketer no presented creative is ever good enough. The discussion following the creative presentation feels like a Simon Fuller like nightmare scenario without any chance of making any progress in any kind of creative direction. The decision which creative will be ultimately used will be done 2 days after the already three time postponed deadline without any rationale.

Unfortunately these outlined types of marketers demonstrate that most of them are not able to dissect creative programs in any helpful way. Worse, most marketers don’t have a filter or true decision criteria of how they could decide if the creative is good or bad. Too often they are either falling in one of the above categories or they are making up their own mix across all four types.

Only a marketer who combines his own personal “gut” experience (remember “Blink”), a clearly defined and applied strategic filter to dissect if the creative meets the defined business challenges, and insights from well executed quantitative and qualitative research, will have a long-term high batting average. Every other marketer just prays for a good day, and there are fewer than one might think.

3 Comments:

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