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Danskin Creative Communications

How Do Clients Influence Creative Execution? (Part II)

                                                                          Click here to read Part I.

If your creative partners, whether an ad agency or graphic design firm, have approached your marketing communication plan, advertising strategy, or other related project with due diligence, and you as a client have fulfilled your role in the process (see Part I), then when you get to the creative execution of a project, all that should be left to do is stand back and watch with an open mind as the creative takes shape.


One might say that I’m writing from a biased position. True. However, I’ve still spent most of my career on the other side of the fence…so I’ll take some license with my experience in this matter.


The reason I write this is because too often the client decides to communicate at precisely the wrong time. Of course, the account manager and creative director are responsible for making sure that the team of art directors, graphic designers, copywriters, media planners, photographers, videographers, PR pros, Web developers, etc. are all well-versed in the client’s business objectives and the resulting communication objectives and strategy. Yet, it still happens. And, it’s not always the client’s miscue. In fact, it is sometimes entirely circumstantial.


Since I like making lists, here is one that includes many of the reasons this latent input occurs:


  1. A previously uninvolved client member steps into the process after creative execution occurs.
  2. One of the approvers of the strategy has their opinion swayed by an outside contributor.
  3. The CEO suddenly takes interest in the project.
  4. The design firm was given inaccurate or incomplete information about the advertised product/service, which changes the premise of the strategy.
  5. Market conditions suddenly change.
  6. The design firm AE doesn’t ask thorough enough questions, or research properly. This sometimes occurs when an AE assumes the client knows what the creative group needs to know. Often times, the lack of information is addressed from within the creative group.
  7. The graphic design firm or ad agency fails to complete the creative execution efficiently, and loses momentum and enthusiasm of the client. This can cause the client to start questioning what has already been approved.


Other explanations for the interruption in progress exist, of course.


The key to avoiding these interruptions is always the same: communication, communication, and more communication. It is the responsibility of the creative team and the advertiser to make sure they are working on the same page. It is a relationship, after all.


Part I of this series addressed the beneficial influences that clients have on the creative process.

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