How Marketers and Creative Can Find the Love

Steve Lance

Marketers and creative directors don’t speak the same language. How do we fix that?

Multiple Emmy Award winner and the former Creative Director at NBC Steve LanceĀ says the friction between the two groups won’t improve until they speak the same language.

“Defining process is critical,” said Lance, speaking at an Albany Ad Club event in upstate New York. As Lance puts it, creative people don’t like process…. until they see it work for them.

Lance says giving creative people clear direction on what is needed, rather than trying to dictate to them how to do their work, will produce more positive results. Just because creatives are free spirits, that doesn’t mean they don’t want clarity. As the late Ogilvy and Mather legend Norman Berry often said, “Give me the freedom of a tightly-defined strategy.”

Lance says marketers need to reach customers “in an emotional place” and the creative people must be aligned with that effort. He emphasizes “actionable research” that’s relevant and digestible and having a specific strategy document that leads to measurement everyone can understand.

One more tip for bringing the two groups together, “Have pizza at the meeting. It’s a cue it won’t be about the blame game.”

Mark Grimm is a former TV anchor who runs a message strategy and speaking coaching business. Don’t hesitate to contact him for help.