Collaboration is the big buzz word these days when it comes to business success, and one we take seriously here at Marketing In Color. While we’ve seen the power of collaboration firsthand countless times, more and more studies are supporting this reality such as this one by Nielson, “How Collaboration Drives Innovation Success,” which found:
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“…ideas developed by teams of three or more people have 156 percent greater appeal with consumers than those developed by teams where just one or two people have played a hands-on role.”
As we work to solve our clients’ problems, we find that collaboration is key in five different ways – or with five different “heads”: client, account manager, writer, artist, and consumer. Let’s take a look at how these five different heads come together to produce amazing results.
Client + Account Manager
MIC’s account managers collaborate directly with our clients to understand their objectives. Only by truly immersing ourselves into our clients’ businesses and understanding the unique issues that they face can we come up with strategies that effectively lead them to success. At every point of the process, it’s important that our account managers receive the vital information and feedback from our clients to ensure the strategy and direction are sound.
Account Manager + Writer + Artist
Once the strategy is set and approved by the client, it’s important that the account manager effectively collaborates with the creative team to make sure that they understand the strategy. (And in today’s environment, digital account managers are extremely important people in this process!) Whether through team meetings or a creative brief, this collaboration is essential to produce breakthrough ideas that are strategically on target. In fact, many a creative brief written by an account manager has held the nugget that inspires the next big idea. As Steve Jobs pointed out in a 2004 BusinessWeek interview, “Process makes you more efficient. But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. It’s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea.”
Writer + Artist
The writer and artist must work together to come up with the best creative solution, and sometimes it’s the artist writing the headline and the writer coming up with the visual idea. It doesn’t really matter how the magic happens, just that collaboration is at the heart of it. A writer can write the most amazing words known to man, but if there are too many words for the layout, the end result is not engaging and most likely won’t be read. And many times, the best visual solution may not always be feasible. For example, say the idea is a television spot with live bears coming out of hibernation and dancing happily in the top spring break destinations. While this idea would certainly break through the clutter, it could also break the client’s budget. It takes hard work to arrive at the best ideas – give and take; adjustment to feedback and budgets, space and time, and sometimes a few dozen other hurdles. But in the end, collaboration produces ideas that are on target, feasible, and seamlessly combine visuals and messaging to create an unforgettable experience that consumers respond to.
Consumer + Everyone
And that brings us to the consumer. Now more than ever, consumers are an important part of the collaboration process. After all, we are no longer simply advertising to consumers. We’re inviting them to start the conversation – and spread the word. And we’re building a lasting relationship with them. Collaboration turns customers into brand advocates. And brand advocates go a long way in today’s social media-based world. Much farther than a television commercial everyone is fast forwarding through.