Six Simple Steps to Evaluating Creative

Everyone in the marketing arena must evaluate creative concepts from time to time. The agency places boards or layouts or ideas on the table and asks, “So, do you like it?” And the answer to that question is … it doesn’t matter if you like it. The only thing that matters is, will it work?Will it perform? Will it produce the desired result?

There are some objective measurements that can help predict a creative concept’s effectiveness. Just follow these six simple guidelines, you’ll know if you’ve got a winner.

1. Will it grab attention? The first order of business for any creative concept is to attract the attention of the reader (or viewer) and compel them to spend a few moments with your message. It helps if it’s original, and different from the other messages around it. It helps if it’s clever or emotional and engages the mind.

2. Is it directed at the target? Remember, you are not the target. Your potential buyer is the only one you need to think about. Does the concept resonate with the things the customer cares about and needs?

3. Is the concept on strategy? All advertising should be based on a sound marketing strategy. You should know what you’re trying to do, who you’re talking to, and what core message holds the best promise for success.

4. Is it benefit oriented? Is the creative built around what problem it can solve for the customer, or what advantage it can give them? Beware concepts that just tout a feature, without interpreting how that feature represents a benefit for the reader.

5. Does it support the brand? Most companies have an identity in the marketplace, contributing to a consistent image and perception among customers. Does the concept support the brand? Does it fit within the framework of the corporate personality? It doesn’t have to look exactly like everything else, but it should be compatible.

6. Is there a call to action? Does the ad or concept ultimately communicate what you want the reader to do? Are you asking for the sale? Are you asking for people to look at your company in a different way? What is the action or attitude shift you want to take place, and is the creative moving the reader towards that action?

Use these guidelines to take the guesswork out of evaluating creative concepts. And if all else fails … you can always consult your Magic 8-Ball!