What I Do
HOW I DO IT
Nothing is a straight line. Accept a straight line.
Every project I have worked on, every campaign throws up different challenges. And different opportunities. Commercial projects are different to arts projects. Fundraising campaigns are different to recording projects.
In some teams I am the expert. In some teams I am the novice.
My strength is I have high standards for delivery, and realistically evaluate the resources and skills available to me. In the arts and not for profit sectors you never have enough money, you are always networking and looking for the best people at the lowest prices.
Commercial projects have their own challenges, like strict branding guidelines, high commercial stakes, brutal deadlines.
I work collaboratively and I work hard. I am agile and creative. This is how I do it.
Getting it Made. Getting it Out.
To get anything made right we have to know what we are making and for who. That’s why I always start with understanding my team, and understanding my clients. What outcomes do they hope for? What are their expectations? Can they show me examples of what they want or expect? What experiences, if any, have they had with this type of project before? What are everyone’s strengths and skills? Who is the project for? What is the budget? How is the budget best allocated based on objectives? When should it be delivered? How do we measure it’s success?
Whether the project or team is big or small this is where I start. Connecting. Listening. Documenting.
Getting Stuck In
Failing to plan is planning to fail right? Plans don’t need to be complicated or time consuming. But they need to BE. I don’t use any specific project management software opting for google sheets as I find tasks, dates and responsibilities can be easily shared remotely, and almost everyone I have worked with can interact with these. Booking a tour has a very different tasks and milestones to delivering a testimonial video so there is no template. Just good process, attention to detail and clear communication.
Then I focus on staying connected and tracking. Does the photographer have all the visual references from the client? Has the client given us their logos and branding guidelines? Has the digital marketing team got access to the clients socials? The trick I have learnt is that once you’re stuck in, stay stuck in. Keep tracking. Keep communicating.
Rolling it Out
Pressing the GO button on a campaign or release is like standing in front of a judgmental magnifying glass. Suddenly the typo or missing graphics that you missed at sign off leap off the page. You wonder if you hit the mark with the images used. Are the key messages right? But everything is lined up and ready to go.
How agile one can be at this stage is really down to budget. But I truly believe that the better the planning the better the roll out. And part of that is planning to be agile, and to keep enough in the tank (time and money) to do last minute revisions, or redirect.
Special mention here to the intrinsic flexibility of digital campaign roll outs that often test while rolling out. This area of digital marketing fascinates me. I am looking to work on as many projects as I can to understand the science and art behind digital marketing mechanics better.
Keeping It Real
Did we really land on the moon?
This is up to the jury. And it is a jury, made up of the client, the delivery team, and the audience. The videographer may think they made the best, most moving testimonial ever seen, but the client has had barely any click throughs. The digital team may have designed the best channel plan they ever dreamt of but are just not getting the engagement they hoped for.
Some of the campaigns I liked the most didn’t yield the sign ups, ticket sales, purchases or donations I would have liked. But why? And what do we do about it?
First I like to stand back and check the tone of the creative and key messaging against similar products, brands or causes. Did we hit the mark? If the answer is yes, then did we market to the wrong audience?
This hard edge of the wedge of metric analysis of campaigns is where I am only beginning my journey. I am hoping to work with more technical digital marketing specialists to help my clients get better outcomes, and understand what to change when they don’t.
Part of keeping it real for me is really staying connected. Even when things don’t go perfectly I like to wrap projects by celebrating the wins as well as documenting the learnings.