A lot is made about the creative process in an advertising agency. Look no further than AMC Network’s “The Pitch” to witness the glamour, drama and excitement of brainstorming sessions and late nights grinding out ideas in search of the “big idea.” Sometimes within the show, it seems that the only input into the project is from the client and an occasional Google search.
While it makes for great TV and showcases the very real magic of the creative process, agencies also spend a great deal of time educating creative, interactive, media and other teams about the consumer, the market and the competition. More than ever, the “left-brain” side of marketing is being leveraged by the “right-brain” creative side of ad agencies to produce more targeted, relevant and impactful work. Effective advertising resonates with the consumer because the people creating it know the consumer better than ever before. The result? More clients are seeing the value of the investment they put into research because it helps generate more effective campaigns.
While agencies have always had research at their disposal (some of the first advertising research was done at the turn of the century to help ad sales at the Saturday Evening Post), today’s arsenal of research has helped to drive an even better understanding of the consumer. From how they use media, to their purchase behaviors, to how they are influenced through social channels, the data available through primary and secondary channels is endless. Successful agencies know how to mine this data to find more reliable information for their creative teams.
Research is many things. It is a benchmark to gauge progress within a campaign. It’s a view into the life of the people that buy your product. It’s a validation or correction of internal assumptions. At its best, it’s a reliable tool that ultimately drives ROI through educated decisions and more effective creative work.
Director of Strategic Marketing Services