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Nicole Meissner of Hogarth: five ways to get more from ad production in 2017

Advertising production is one of the most expensive parts of the advertising cycle, so it’s always useful to revisit how you’re doing against agreed budgets.

1. Who do you want to get to?
Target audiences – who do you really want and need to get to? Sounds quite simple, but you’d be surprised how many still get this part wrong.

Why? Mainly because there’s an automatic assumption that we need to target anyone and everyone who could possibly be interested in our product, service or platform, all without drilling down to those that really matter. Digital has also disrupted this process. As we’re in an ‘online’ world, there’s a tendency to widen the target net further and feel we should be across every platform. In reality, target audiences tend to be a lot smaller or they should at least start this way and grow as your campaign does.

Generally, you can narrow down your targets audience with a process of elimination through insight before you have perfectly defined your audience. In my experience, a campaign is more successful and targeted once you home in on who it should be aimed at. It will not only make it more successful (of course dependent on other elements), but you’ll find that this will help keep ad budgets and spend in line with what you originally set out. The more you focus, the better the outcome and the more targeted your campaign.

Quick tip: Think about who you want to get to and why. Break it down. Then break it down again!

2. Make the most of your assets.

Every time you build a new campaign, it doesn’t mean that you have to create new assets to run alongside it. Why does something need to be brand spanking new?


Re-using content and existing materials is a great way of keeping ad production budgets to a minimum. And if you’re worried that the content will look the same, there are many ways to adapt and tweak things so it doesn’t. Always think ahead as there will be elements and ideas you can easily use again – but in a different way. Try doing things from one central point. It’s all about centralising production to get the best outcome. And for brand consistency you may top and tail with the same look and feel, but it’ll be the content in between that changes. If you have a good production facility, they’ll be able to take multiple variations and blend content in a way that will look like new.

Quick tip: think long-term. What’s likely to change versus what isn’t for a while? Build around that. If you’re a smaller company, this will help you keep budgets to a minimum.

3. Think tech.

So what’s next? It’s time to think about how you’ll build your campaign and what you’ll use to get you there. Whether social media content, TV spots, print ads or banner campaigns, you should use a technology platform that allows you to reach audiences on different platforms – and preferably in one go. Often people think about the individual elements of a campaign and how it is displayed without thinking about how elements can be dynamically generated. There are a digital asset management (DAM) and ad-building platforms such as Double Click, Flash Talking and Sizmek, which offer an integrated, future-proof solution. The key is to think about smart production methods.

Quick tip: take a step back and think about what it is that you’re trying to achieve and make sure it aligns well with your chosen platform.

4. Be creative.

Being creative poses a challenge as one idea may work well in one territory, but not so well in another. Then factor in the sheer nature of the campaign – the target audience, the outcomes, the mechanics, and how it will eventually look and be perceived – and it can often mean any creativity tends to go out the window. As dynamic and personalised content begins to take precedence, creativity will become more important.

Quick tip: make sure your creative ideas are carried through the whole campaign so that nothing gets left behind. At key points, check back and remember to marry the creative with the technology!

5. Stay focused.

Above all, stay focused. It may sound blindingly obvious but we’ve all been guilty straying from initial plans. With so many variants, audiences, technology, engagements and interactions to think about, it’s easy to veer off track.

Final tip: always take time to remeber where you want to get to – and most importantly – who you want to get to. Good luck for 2017!

unnamed-3Nicole Meissner (left) is chief digital officer, Hogarth Worldwide

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