Creative Direction / Concept Consultation
Client: "I Don't Think I Need Consultation..."
And most of our hundreds of clients never thought they needed any consultation either.
But if you follow the old saying "Hire a pro, and let them get on with it," then like our hundreds of other clients, you might agree it comes in as a big help.
Logically, if you're a seasoned Electrician, I wouldn't dream of touching those live wires because I think I know your job better than you. No sir. That's your expertise, and I leave that to you. However, I might indeed consult with you BEFORE I go messing around in the breaker box.
While the danger of electrocution is more pronounced in that analogy, still, poor graphic design in your promotional campaign from the lack of any professional Creative Direction, can be similarly costly, or just as devastating.
What we offer is about 25-40 years EACH of Creative Design experience, having completed over 2000 successful marketing campaign projects from soup to nuts, and having made our clients millions. NO exaggeration. We do careful research, and we know what to look for, and how to apply the many many basic and advanced principals of Creative Direction and impactful graphic design based on proven marketing techniques.
So, if you want a little consultation, we're here for your project and your success.
What's your Basic Concept? How is that Displayed?
“Great tasting hamburgers!” or “Amusement Park that's fun for the whole family!” or “Insurance that's affordable with peace of mind.” or “Lose weight fast and keep the weight off!” or perhaps “Cars that are built with safety in mind.”
Examples are many, but that needs to be identified and isolated into a clear and memorable marketing communication, both conceptually and visually---even audibly.
It's not limited to consistent eye-candy graphics and a catchy slogan...
A Creative Director (or Artistic Director) has a vital role in the product/service development process and marketing them effectively. He's a Designer---the lead Designer. And he does his research homework and designs based on certain criteria and testing, such that the company, the products and services are easily recognized, and buyers trust in the experience of buying and using those products or services. Guiding the “style” into established Style Guides, that are proven workable and sell well. That can and should include predictable human interaction and buyer preferences, adaptability and digital ergonomics, recognizable visual and graphics design, recognizable music, and all other senses.
McDonalds' golden arches, iPhone's Apple logo, VISA and MasterCard, RedBull, Lufthansa and Southwest Airlines, the list is infinite. All thought up and kept consistent by good Creative Directors.
With videos (and film), sure it's visual layout; But it's also brainstorming right from the conceptual inception, thru copy writing, and on down to packaging.
We believe a recognizable and appealing campaign makes for confidence of reliability in the eyes of the buyer.
What's your basic Concept? Let us show you our creativity and creative direction.
Why is Marketing Consultation Important?
Graphic Design should be based on sound marketing strategy and tabulated marketing survey.
Marketing, among small businesses, is one of the least understood subjects and often receives the least focus if any. Survey? What's that? Worse, the client is convinced he knows exactly what all his clients and prospects think and want. You might be surprised.
Even worse, typical small business owners don't feel marketing or promotion deserves much if any time or money investment. Beyond some dinky free website (with ugly template graphic design, and not at all SEO optimized) they trust that Facebook will do all their promotion for them, or that their limited word-of-mouth referrals is quite enough to keep the business solvent.
Not true. (Not unless you just DON'T WANT much business or revenue because you're too small.)
There are thousands of marketing methodologies out there. Some are good, but many are just slick suits selling their latest get-rich-quick-on-the-Internet scam booklet or software where “just one click” makes you a millionaire. Sure it's possible. But your more likely to get hit by lightening in the desert.
Your promotional campaign should be customized for you, and not some “one size fits all” approach to your unique needs.
Instead, contact us and let's work together to discover your particular scenario and your particular needs, and ONLY THEN can we start to formulate best strategy and solutions for your particular objectives.
How about a FREE Marketing Questionnaire?
Help us ask you just the right questions on your overall marketing strategy.
Sure! Who wouldn't want that? This FREE Questionnaire asks good questions such as:
- How do buyers find out about you? Do you ask?
- How can you attract more of just the right buyers?
- What steps do buyers take to buy from you? Are they clear and easy steps?
- Is buyer-requested information readily available on your promotion (including website and videos)?
- What is your Social Networking and PR strategy?
- Do you have any VIDEOS at all?
- Do you have adequate information about your company, its products and services, in VIDEO format, that is up, easily found, and in a professional format that buyers are compelled to actually buy from you?
- And MANY more essential questions are asked---all FREE, and if nothing else, certainly stimulate all new answers you may not have thought of as yet!
Sure, we'd like to do a video for you (and well we can)... But really that's just one piece of the entire promotional campaign and branding that is your public company image and your overall marketing message to your target public.
Remember; You only get one chance to make a first impression.
Contact us today for this valuable FREE Marketing Questionnaire and Interview.
Content and Video Script Writing
This is a huge subject, but let's cover a few important highlights for video production.
CONTENT is king:
We feel that Videos, websites, and other campaign promo pieces should be well-written, informative, inviting and truly answer buyer-requested inquiries with the expected results. The facts should be present, and arguments should be compelling and convincing. Buyers are very savvy these days, and they want to be accurately informed, fully advised of features/benefits and important differences, well informed of public Reviews, and inspired to take action with confidence. Hopefully also entertained in the process! Wouldn't you agree?
Hype and empty claims have no place in contemporary marketing. Further, one need not SHOCK buyers into buying. Marketing that attempts to frighten buyers into buying under duress, doesn’t make for repeat buyers and loyal consumers. Any success is short-lived.
So we endeavor to leave out the baloney, and get the real-deal facts, and captivate viewers with good info as well as good writing and truly nice graphics. This can include research, client interviews, presenting graphic visual aids such as chart, graphs and diagrams, and real-people giving real testimonials if at all possible.
Video vs the Written Word - "Your next Video could be worth 1000 Sales!"
Our intro video opens with this line:
Your next video could be worth 1000 Sales!
Why? Because people prefer video over text information (the written word). That's just a fact in today's marketing.
And no statement was more true when we first wrote it as it is today, and will be in the future, here on out.
And better sales/marketing/info videos are indeed the very best promotional method. Products, services, company, branding (ie. logo animation), people, testimonials, how-to instructions, commentary, news, etc., etc., etc.
Wouldn't you prefer to sit back and watch a video, rather than pages of dry text?
The Script Is the Foundation:
All videos in their final form, are preceded by a Script which is the foundation and first essential building block. Without it, the video production inevitably becomes double and triple work, and may indeed fall way short of the intended marketing message or fail to appeal to its targeted audience.
What's your ideas? We’ll flesh out the Script and verbiage.
Format is Essential:
We believe the Script, Narration and all surrounding Content materials that go into a better quality video should not only give good information about your products and services, but should follow a logical Format.
For “Explainer Videos” or most marketing/sales videos, it's important to write it in a correct sequence of enlightenment to your buyers that explains things in a logical way, step-by-step, and doesn't jump right to the price before all else (depending on the project of course). Give the overview, give the details, give the price, give the contact info. AND give them in a fun and entertaining way.
Specific Format examples include:
- Introduce and explain product/service benefits
- Report case studies of real-people applications and successes
- Interview format
- Question/Answer format
- Instructional/how-to format (and cover exact procedure steps for anything)
- Testimonials format
Which one or more of these (or many more formats) would be appropriate for your project?
The Script & Storyboard - Online:
As for the Script itself and the Storyboard, its layout is somewhat standardized. Not so old-school, we use a more modern online shared document in spreadsheet format that contains columns for Scene, Shot, Cue, Dialogue/Narration, Visuals, Sound/Music, and other Notes. Shared docs are a great way to go these days. In this way any and all parties to the project can share and view the document and contribute as applicable. Ever try to collaborate with even the guy in the next cubicle over without conveniently shared materials?
From the Script:
Once the Script itself is fleshed out, other tasks branch off such as a Shot List for the videographer, recorded Reading for the Narration, Graphics and visuals can be worked up, and Music can be chosen and will be edited according to the Scenes/Shots. And the project flows that way.
Content Gathering Always Takes The Most Time:
What's holding up the project???
Please note well, that the process of any promo piece, a website, and especially a video is not often a fast, overnight project, and that the preps---namely the gathering of raw Content Materials (text and images), writing of the Script, arranging for Narration Reading, etc.---are the things that are slow and take the most time (by far) of any project. Especially a video project, as we need FINAL CONTENT, not to be changed later. And we need these Content materials from YOU, the client and ultimately the best Content provider.
So please know this going in, help us get what we need, have patience, and allow for these prep tasks to take their course.
Content Assistance / Content Interview
CONTENT is king - But I'm not sure what to say...
Not a problem. We'll help you thru.
Desired Content; What info does your Target Audience want to discover about your products, services, company, methods, etc.? That's the main question we seek to answer with any promotional Content.
"Standard Content"?? Many times, just an abbreviated outline of the essential topics to cover, is enough to work up a decent body of Content for any promo piece, website or video. It's typically the same basic sections such as Intro or Homepage, About Us, Products and/or Services with descriptions, Contact info, and perhaps FAQ and Testimonials.
Zombie Content; Of course limited to that would make the Internet world a dull cookie-cutter graveyard of zombie promotion. But it's a good starting point, from which more detailed info can be brought to help fill out the missing details.
Plagiarism/Regurgitated Content; We could cheat, and copy some similar Content from other promo in your industry, tweak it a little so Google doesn't mind so much, and regurgitate/paste it to your project, calling it yours. But obviously that's not preferred and should indeed come from you. After all...
YOU'RE the Expert! The truth is that no one knows your business like you do. So ideally YOU should be the one to tell the world about it. The details and nuances of your products or services. About you. About your company. Etc.
Writer's Block; But I STILL don't know what to say!
Not a problem. We'll schedule you for a...
This is where we sit down (over the phone typically) and we'll ask you a good series of relevant questions, and generally get you talking about your business and the essential topics that need to be covered. This Content Interview takes about 15-30 minutes, and it's SO much easier than you taking the time to write it all out.
We then take all that raw info and organize it into a logical format that can be used for any promo, website or video.
Yes, that still leaves the photos, images, perhaps footage, and of course graphics visual aids such as charts, graphs and diagrams, etc., but the hard part is done for you.
What's your basic Content? We’ll flesh out the rest.