Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Different types of Creativity in Marketing

For one of our final group projects for the Master of Marketing, we were given the chance to not only design a marketing campaign but also the actual product we wish to bring to market with our campaign. I mentioned about this in the post about A visit to Smart. This project was very exciting for me because I can finally find the connection between marketing and design. Yay!!!

In preparing for the project, we had countless group meetings, research briefs and brain-storming sessions, as well as useful guest speakers to open our eyes to the possibilities of creating a great campaign for a product we came up with. Three weeks after we handed in our brief we had an intensive concept generation session with 5 creative directors. Three of them were from Smart and they were all very helpful from different perspectives.

They shared experiences about everything, but they all stressed on the method of presentation. How well we can express our ideas and sell our product. But our focus at the time was to come up with the product first.

Our product was a bike sharing system and slightly controversial due to the helmet laws and geographical limitations in Sydney (that being very hilly). After sorting that out (well the helmet issue kind of sorted itself out and we decided to use the Audi concept bike designed by Arish Karimi to combat the hills of Sydney.) we had to decide the art directions of the campaign, the budget and sponsorship allocations, and finally what advertising mediums to use. Our final poster (print is a mandatory medium for this project) is in line with current fashion trends as you can see below, and we placed a heavy emphasis on social media because our single minded proposition is ‘Share your ride”.

Our final campaign poster
Finally we had to put together the presentation. This was the most frustrating part as all the fun for me was in designing the product and the marketing campaign, but it HAD to be done and done well, otherwise all our hard work and creativity will not be seen. This perhaps took us the longest to do because we came up with this product and campaign, so we have countless things to say about it. How to put it into a 20 minute presentation with equal emphasis on the main areas and to cover every aspect was the most difficult part.

Our postcard/coaster/sticker concept
In doing this project for the Master of Marketing program, we not only understood the importance of creativity in the field of marketing, but also how to express this creativity in a form that the audience can comprehend. The collaboration of various forms of creativity is also very important for us as creativity in presentation methods is something I lack, and luckily someone else in the group is able to fill me in.

Successful campaigns are usually the memorable ones such as those I have mentioned in my previous blog posts. And I think our project is far from being comparable with those, but it was an extremely memorable experience for us and a great piece of work to put in our portfolio.

We’re letting people try the service for $1 to generate buzz and increase awareness
So if anyone is interested in knowing more about this project please do not hesitate to contact me. Also I will be in China for the next three weeks for Christmas and New Year. So I’ll keep my eye out for any interesting marketing tricks while I’m there. Till next time, happy holidays, be well and stay lovely!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Partnering with not for profit organisations – Should we give free head hours for good publicity?

For most businesses, the biggest objective is to make money. Marketing as the Master of Marketing program puts it, does it’s bit by letting people know about the product, how well it does its job and most importantly, tell them they need it, and why.

For not-for-profit organisations, the more exposure they have, the higher chances they will get donations. Surely their marketing budget is much smaller than international corporations, but somehow we see the “Salvos” everywhere. That’s because not all the work is being paid for.

The Salvation Army has always been one of the most influential charities in Australia and the large amount of marketing and promotional materials they put out plays a major part of it. For our integrated marketing communications subject in the Master of Marketing, we had the honor of speaking to the marketing agency working with the Salvation Army.

They put in a lot more head hours then they got paid for and create extremely effective campaigns. But there are issues associated with that. First of all the Salvo’s is a Christian charity so the team assigned to work with them within the Agency has to be comfortable with that. Secondly, a charity will never say no to sponsorships. A local print shop might offer to do 200 of their posters and the Salvos will ask the agency to print 200 copies less. And because a lot of the ad spaces are donated, it is hard to determine who will see the ad, and therefore had to produce campaigns that are targeting specific markets.

There were also cases where the agency has launched the new campaign, and because some advertising spaces were donated at the last minute with no time to print out the new material, the Salvos decided to put up the old one just so the opportunity isn’t wasted. This type of inconsistency in the message they send out could be counterproductive, but like all things brand equity related, is difficult to determine.

So is going through all these difficulties as well as putting in free head hours worth the good publicity? The agency think so. At the end of the day, they are proud of their work and it is a campaign that will be perhaps more memorable because of the association with the Salvation Army. We as Master of Marketing students are taught an important lesson, we must be ready to make compromises for the good of the organisation. Just think about the damage it could do to the Salvos brand if they rejected donation of free ad spot just because the new campaign posters are not ready. One of the rules of the Salvation Army is to accept all types of donations, no matter how small.

This marks the end of the post. Have you ever worked for any not-for-profit organisation? Feel free to leave me your feedback.