6 must-haves for a creative strategy
Running a marketing team without a creative marketing strategy is like attempting to drive without knowing the destination, travel time, or direction of travel.
Developing an effective strategy ensures each member of your creative team understands their role, resources are used wisely, assets are created in order to fulfill your marketing goals.
In this post, we’ll cover the ins and outs of creating a creative strategy, and how it informs our content marketing work and long-term business growth at monday.com.
What is a creative strategy?
A creative strategy is an intentional and strategic approach a company takes in developing and implementing steps that will ensure and support your long-term business growth. Your creative strategy serves as a call to action for teams and provides the guiding principles for developing the content.
In it, you will outline each aspect of what you’ll need to do, from the messaging and creative assets to relevant channels and estimated budget. It also defines your target audience and how and when to reach them.
Developing a successful creative marketing strategy
Marketing teams don’t have time or budget to waste. To achieve success, considerable thought must be put into what and how you do it. We suggest you heed this advice:
- Make it goal-oriented and focused. Your creative strategy should answer the why, what, and how you will achieve a defined goal.
- Be mindful of time. Include a timeline in your strategy so each team member stays on track and avoids any last-minute problems.
- Share it with relevant stakeholders. Achieving your marketing goal requires a high level of collaboration, which means each stakeholder must see and understand how it aligns with their work, such as brand strategy.
Remember, your creative strategy is your map or blueprint, but it shouldn’t dictate every detail. Substantial wiggle room should be built-in so your team can adapt to unexpected changes.
6 must-haves for your creative strategy
Now that you have a solid idea of what your creative strategy will help you achieve, let’s dive into what it should include, and how to execute it.
1. Clearly define your goals
Understanding what you are trying to achieve is fundamental to writing an effective strategy.
Before diving into action, take some time to write down what your main goals are. This will inform all of the subsequent steps you’ll take, including budget and resource allocation, and messaging.
For example, if your goal is to increase online engagement with customers, your strategy will look very different than if your goal is to boost lead generation by 20%.
Share these goals with everyone who will be involved in bringing them to life. Complete team comprehension and alignment are crucial here.
2. Write a creative strategy statement
A creative strategy statement is one or two statements that describe the purpose of your initiative or campaign, the value proposition, and the target audience.
The statement should answer the question, “How can we get customers to buy our products or services over those of a competitor?”
3. Choose your KPIs
Choosing the right key performance indicators an important step in developing your creative strategy, as they will indicate success or failure.
Again, your KPIs will depend on what your goals are. For example, if your goal is to increase online engagement with your customers, some of your KPIs might be the number of impressions for social media posts, the number of likes/comments, and how many mentions you receive in customers’ posts.
You will also need to determine how to measure each of these. Do you want to reach a certain number of impressions by the time the quarter ends, or do you want to increase the number of impressions each week by a certain percentage?
4. Determine on your messaging and marketing channels
In this step, you need to decide what you are going to say, how you want to say it, how you will position it within the greater context of your brand.
Other considerations include what the content will look like, and where it will appear (i.e. what channels you will use). The length, tone, and style of your messaging should be consistent with your overall goal, and make sense for the target audience.
5. Set a budget
Creating an accurate budget is an integral part of your creative strategy.
To do this, you must first understand the scope of your initiative, including:
- What kinds of deliverables you will produce
- How much you will rely on paid marketing vs. organic marketing
- The cost of paid services (including running online ads, paying vendors, and possibly buying new software)
- The length of time you will need such services
6. Create a timeline
A timeline helps you build a realistic budget, as well as enabling stakeholder alignment.
When each contributing team member understands key deadlines and milestones, you can make sure the project moves forward smoothly.
Creative strategy example: monday.com
We know turning conceptual tips into action can be difficult. To help, here’s a look into our own creative strategy at monday.com.
Goal: Our main goal is to distinguish monday.com as the premier platform for managing workflows, projects, and teams of any size with ease.
We want to show prospects and current users that monday.com eliminates the need to chase co-collaborators for updates on projects, prevents duplicative efforts, and ensures work never falls through the cracks.
Creative strategy statement: “We aim to distinguish monday.com as the choice platform for managing workflows, projects, and teams of any size with ease. Our campaigns demonstrate how flexible, intuitive, and visual the platform is, making it easy to use and elevating teamwork to the next level. Our target audience is managers who lead teams of 10+, but we also pay attention to individual employees, who can use our free trial and then recommend the platform to their manager.”
- Brand uplift: we conduct localized surveys and measure website visits to understand how interest in our brand is growing over time.
- Virality: we measure engagement on social media, such as how many people share, like, and comment on our ads.
Messaging and marketing channels: our messaging changes to fit each of our campaigns, but we always speak to our users’ individual pains in clear and simple language. The tone is cheeky, casual, and light.
In addition to online digital marketing channels, we run campaigns on billboards, metro ads, radio stations, and online streaming platforms, such as podcasts.
Timeline and budget: this is dependant on the specific campaign we are working on.
Bring your creative strategy to life
By focusing on the key components we’ve outlined above, you can construct a creative strategy that helps ensure you are spending your team’s budget, time, and energy wisely.
Part of carrying out your creative strategy effectively is ensuring your team is equipped to fulfill their roles with the right tools. By empowering each team member to collaborate and stay on top of their work, you can execute your creative strategy while staying on track.