I’ve spent time on both the marketing side as a product manager and on the creative side as a copywriter, and I must say that the pull between creative and marketing usually ends up on the side of marketing. I get it – marketing knows the objectives, the sales numbers, the competition, they know the industry data and they know the product or service being marketed. I think in most marketers’ eyes, the job of the creative team (the copywriters, the photographers, the graphic designers and art directors, etc.) is to understand the creative execution that the marketing team is thinking of and then to deliver it. This is not only false, but it’s also a slap in the face to a creative who has taken years to go to school and develop their craft.
Developing creative pieces should be a truly collaborative effort. First of all, anyone that you hire -especially your creative team- should be given a thorough understanding of your brand and your brand’s values. Any meeting that is held discussing brand goals and updates should include your creative team. They should be integrated enough into the business side of things so that they get it. This is fundamental to a better working relationship between your marketing team and your creative team.
Now for working on projects. Have a conversation with your creative team the goals of the piece that you are are developing. Show them what the competition is doing and present them with any other relevant data that may increase their total understanding of the project’s purpose. Discuss your must-haves and then hand them the baton and allow them to take all of the nuggets of information that you have provided to produce the creative. You should never just tell the creative team what to do and leave it at that. Having a true exchange will allow the creative team to express their thoughts, ideas, opinions, concerns, etc. And if for no other reason but to get the opinion of another person, I think you’ll find this exchange to be very helpful.
Creative people tend to see the world through a different lens. You’ll never know the levels to which you can take your marketing materials if you don’t allow your creative team to be well, creative. Of course you know what the ultimate goal is for the brand, but help them to understand that, too. The marketing team should also take the time to understand the creative process. This will help work flow tremendously so that marketing can understand how last-minute requests affect the creative team and make the necessary adjustments in their system. Once everyone is onboard and adopts the “one team, one dream attitude” the quality and innovation in work will improve and the work flow and project management will improve as well. The result will be better for the brand all around.
Do you ever notice a disconnect between the marketing and creative teams? How do you think it affects the brand?