Google+ Great creative—the payoff to smart research

Great creative—the payoff to smart research

We used to say that the creative presentation was where the proverbial rubber meets the road. It’s when the research and strategy and insight and market definition and positioning combine into one wow moment. It’s also usually when our clients get that wonderfully calm look of total understanding. Finally, they get it.

Now I’ll admit that’s no easy task. But that’s why it’s best left to the experienced creatives and not to the faint of heart. After all, there are occasional instances when the brilliance of the creative solution – when presented to the client team – somehow not only failed to impress, but sometimes failed to elicit any response. Flag down on the play. That’s when we take a deep breath, step back and determine the cause. Most often, it’s simply a lack of understanding of the objectives and strategy for the initiative. Many times this happens when individuals are brought into the process late in the game and not fully grounded in the work-to-date. So we play a little catch-up, delve into rationale and long-term strategies and get everyone back on track.

Then the creative begins to sing again. Take a look at this recent campaign launch for AMC Institute. Extensive research and analysis, interviews and surveys led our team to a key observations for our initiative: despite significant public relations effort and expenditure, much of the marketplace lacked basic awareness for the AMC model. And there was significant misunderstanding among the remaining audience segments.

McKnight Kurland defined project parameters and challenges and summarized the most important market research outcomes related to the initiative. We then undertook a brand development process to refine brand messaging and key value propositions for both the AMC model and the AMC Institute. Next we developed and presented a comprehensive marketing plan. A lot of paper and a lot of words. All perfectly on-target, rational and actionable. But not quite emotional. Here’s the positioning in words:

AMCs, an abbreviation for association management companies, are for-profit businesses that do just what the name says – manage associations to help them grow and prosper. They offer the expertise, staffing and resources that allow professional societies, trade groups, not-for-profits and philanthropic organizations to effectively manage day-to-day operations and advance their long-term goals. AMCs deliver high levels of expertise and accountability so that associations can continue to increase their value and relevance to members. AMCs provide their clients with unparalleled flexibility, agility and financial advantages, which makes the AMC model a good alternative for managing many nonprofit organizations.

And here’s how we translated that to a creative visual:

Clear, simple clean, direct and memorable. And on-message. These are the solutions we love and why we have the best careers in the business!

by Frank Kurland

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