Great Creative Takes Time
My clients who are new to marketing (and even some who are not) often want to dramatically accelerate their agencies’ timelines for producing creative whether it’s something like a banner ad, a website or even packaging.
This simple but brilliant video was created by the Hungarian marketing communications magazine, Kreatív. It’s been a great tool to help my clients understand the creative process and why better work requires time. Needless to say, our agency partners love it too!
Three Research Pointers for Beginners
Earlier this year I wrote a three-part series on the Top Ten Entrepreneurial Research Mistakes. One of my favorite market research professionals, wrote to me and suggested adding three additional points:
1) Don’t assume you know how to ask the right questions. Get a book on research questioning or find a friend in the field. That is the greatest skill mastered after years of research and is not easy for a novice. There are great books out there with this focus. In more than few instances I have been mortified by research designed by non-researchers. For many of the reasons you point out in your article, but also because most people are not smart enough to translate what you say about question asking to action on their end.
Some well-rated books on research questions include:
Asking Questions: The Definitive Guide to Questionnaire Design — For Market Research, Political Polls, and Social and Health Questionnaires by Bradburn, Sudman and Wansink
Designing and Conducting Survey Research: A Comprehensive Guide by Louis M. Rea and Richard A. Parker
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Favorite Tools: Breakthrough Marketing Plans
While I have little patience for business books, I frequently refer to Breakthrough Marketing Plans, by Kellogg Professor Tim Calkins, and I often suggest that my clients purchase a copy (or two). Both Tim and I spent 10 years at Kraft Foods in brand management, and Tim’s book essentially teaches the Kraft methodology that we learned there for creating strategic marketing plans.
Now a wildly popular professor at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Tim has perfected terrific, step-by-step directions for developing thorough, practical, usable marketing plans. Along the way he also does a tremendous job of distilling the best practices of how some of the country’s best marketing companies develop their brand plans.
The Twenty Strategic Initiatives chapter deserves a special shout-out for its examples of strategic initiatives, related tactics and measurement suggestions. It’s a great standalone resource and it is especially helpful for marketers who sometimes struggle with the differences between strategies and tactics.
The book is a great introduction for people who want to learn about marketing and it is also a terrific refresher for more experienced marketers.