If you’re like me, there are days it’s hard enough to give much thought to what’s happening in an hour much less six months from now. But as a marketing professional, looking ahead is imperative to your company’s success. With your time in mind, here are a few key points to ponder as you jump into the next cycle of your marketing plan. Execution Question: As you wrote your 12-month plan, did you consider who’s actually going to execute these brilliant ideas? While creating the actual 12-month plan could be considered a remarkable feat in and of itself, the real power comes in the execution of its contents. You may have a team to support your plan, but take a moment to step back and think about how you can enhance the outcome of your plan by putting the right partners in place. PLAY is founded on the idea of working as an extension of our client’s team. We can help implement select campaigns, free your team to work on other tasks like design or content development, and provide insight that can elevate the impact of your marketing efforts. Focus on core strengths Question: Is your marketing team functioning at [...]
Timelines, budgets, goals. Every project has them. And as every client, and every project varies, consistency becomes our lifeline. We’ve all complained about process and the tediousness of dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s. But at the end of the day, it’s a detailed, well planned process that gets you the best result. Through a clearly defined process, we can promise a quality product. This order of events helps our team meet client goals and satisfy our passion for marrying measurable goals to outstanding creative. With this in mind, our standard project timeline includes twelve days for planning and fifteen days for production. This builds in time for thinking, exploring, building and finalizing ideas. We often plan for 2-3 weeks for printing and coding can take 30 days or more, depending on the project. The graphic above illustrates our process. Further adding to the quality of our work, our internal proofing process includes three points of contact before client review. This saves our clients time by assuring them a quality product the first time they see it, and it helps our team be accountable for the work we provide. We also work toward turning around revisions/proofing changes within [...]
Think about your high school or even college days for a minute. Not so much the extra curricular activity part but sitting in class as your teacher droned on about rocks or some philosopher from way back when. If you’re anything like our designers, you were doodling. Your notes were overtaken by sketches. Animals. Aliens. You name it. They were drawing it. And they still are. When we talk about building handcrafted campaigns, we mean it. Most of our work begins with paper and pen. Whether it’s phrases or images we’re doodling, many of our meetings involve holding up a notebook to share what we’ve drawn. It’s this collaborative spirit that drives our creativity, and it’s very much a part of the PLAY culture. When an idea has staying power, it’s transformed into marketing pieces that seamlessly marry creative thinking with marketing strategy.
This may sound cliché, but it’s certainly true: Most marketing directors have a few too many irons in the fire. Through our partnerships with several credit unions, we’ve discovered this statement is especially true of their marketing staff. Much of their time is spent prioritizing projects for the CEO and sales team — all while maintaining the organization’s website and general marketing materials. The job can become overwhelming if one of those projects slips through the cracks. Whether you feel as though you’ve got a fist full of hot irons or you’re juggling a dozen balls, there is relief. And it comes in the form of a team of talented professionals that understand your challenges, know your industry, and can execute creative solutions that support your goals. When we partner with a business, we become an extension of their team. Our role varies to best accommodate our client’s needs. We can deliver creative solutions your internal team executes. We can deliver strategic recommendations and leave the heavy hitting up to your staff. Or we can do it all, from strategy to design to execution. We have the know-how to help guide your fully integrated campaigns or simply manage day-to-day needs [...]
Two heads are better than one. It takes a village. Regardless of how you say it, collaboration is king at PLAY. And it begins with our first conversation. Our creative process begins with discovery. Sure, the first phase of our process is really getting to the nuts and bolts of our client, their needs and wants. But as we’re digesting that information, ideas are already forming. As we move from Discovery to Brainstorm, we often utilize two walls in our office that are floor-to-ceiling dry erase boards. Our concepts are written on these walls, key benefits are outlined, and even visual ideas are often displayed or sketched. This method of concepting encourages our entire team to get involved and strengthen our ideas. It also allows us to more effectively discuss, pose questions, edit and expand our ideas — ultimately helping the best ones take flight. Our creative process involves all aspects of each project, from initial strategy to tactical recommendations to creative execution. Learn more about our process.
Striking a balance between the stability of consistent branding and the need for innovative ads is a constant marketing challenge. Re-thinking elements as rudimentary as the name of a service can be crucial to a successful campaign. This year Credit Union of America (CUA) asked PLAY Creative to rethink a stock service of the financial industry: checking accounts, and to give it a fresh message. Our task began with campaign development. The PLAY team met with CUA marketing experts to understand precisely whom they were trying to reach and explore questions such as: is the smart phone the new wallet? The brainstorming process was collaborative and centered on the premise that actually writing a check appealed to an aging consumer demographic. With a joint decision to forefront smart phones in the graphic imagery, and to use both print and video advertisements, the teams landed on the tagline, "It’s for you." This tagline seamlessly ties the account to phone use— "it’s for you," we say, as we hand our brother the telephone—while highlighting new checking services and adaptability for younger demographics. CUA Checking isn’t your grandmother’s check-centric service. To develop the campaign we worked from the ground up and traveled to CUA [...]
Creating meaningful connections between our clients and their audiences is what drives the PLAY team. Watch as Tom Henning; Chairman, President and CEO of Assurity Life Insurance Company describes his experience working with our team to launch the company’s "125 Years of AMAZING!" campaign, celebrating their 125th anniversary. If you missed our features on the campaign, check them out now! > Everyday Heroes Take Campaign Above And Beyond > Assurity Life's Heroes Have Landed! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91LG0pRizg0&feature=youtu.be
Walk through our doors on any given day and you’ll hear words like “dielines” and “folds” and “mock-up” more than once. Okay, you’ll probably hear at least one of them more than a dozen times. Words like these have become terms of endearment around here. These folds and dielines are part of a unique design, complete with engaging copy, to help our clients tell the story of their brand. But to do this well, we look for ways to improve how we present our ideas and demonstrate our expertise with dynamic print campaigns. Ready to add another word to your vocabulary? Plotter. The plotter is our go-to for creating clean, professional-looking mock-ups to present to our clients. It takes an idea beyond a hand-sketch to a more accurate, more realistic product. Using the plotter, we’re able to create a mock-up that our clients can see and engage with to help them fully understand the concept and future execution of a handcrafted print piece. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEN6wAxHLY8 Here’s how it works: We use a computer and the plotter with an ink pen attachment to draw out, in detail, the parts and pieces of a concept. Using the dielines we create in Adobe [...]
There’s a process to everything. Think about it…when you make a sandwich for lunch, you follow a process. Bread first then, layer the mayo, meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato. Finally, you add that last slice of bread. It doesn’t seem like much, but chances are that if you change course part way through, that sandwich won’t taste the same. Plus there’s a good chance you may have forgotten an ingredient. The same is true for building handcrafted dynamic print pieces. There’s a certain process, a series of steps we take, to make sure the end product leads to results for our clients. No matter if we’re reviewing a list of ideas or proofing the finished product at a print shop, we check every nook and cranny to make sure it’s done right. Our quality assurance process consists of both internal and external review. Internally, we work as a team creating a checks and balances system that ensures our ideas reflect our clients’ goals and continue to do so through the execution. Copy is proofread multiple times. Our die lines and folds are reviewed to make sure the message is delivered in a dynamic, easy-to-understand way. Through every round of review, [...]
As we've gone through our previous episodes of Press Relief, we've covered how to create eye-catching print pieces. For our fifth episode, we're going to detail about how we zero-in on the ideal campaign message and audience, and how we find out exactly how many eyes we've caught with our campaigns. In this episode, PLAY CEO Aaron Petersen walks you through our audience-specific messaging and the number of ways we can implement campaign tracking into our print campaigns. From unique urls to custom phone numbers, we can show you how successful your campaign can be when you work with us. You can watch the entire series of videos on our YouTube page.