Um, I’m a… what I mean to say is I do, um….

Sometimes, when asked, I find it difficult to explain what I do. Working with creative agencies (as I occasionally do) I see a clear distinction between the proposition they offer and their client relationship. Me, I know what I am good at, but find it hard to explain to certain people (usually marketers) so that it makes sense as a defined offering.

That said, it doesn’t take long for me to forge a strong relationship with clients when we have passed that barrier. In fact, one of my favourite pieces of feedback (I’ve heard it twice from two separate people) is when I overheard myself being described…

Craig is great, he’s the only person I know who tells me not to spend money.

In reality, this is actually a key part of what I do and the main reason why I decided to ditch agency and do consultancy. Good marketing is about value for money. It’s about having a goal and getting as close as you can to it creatively. And, that doesn’t mean simply throwing lots of money at the challenge and crossing your fingers.

I get inspired not by big brand case studies, but hungry people that have seemingly stumbled upon a great idea that goes viral.

Spend (or save) and prosper

Still, on my travels, I come across loads of companies that want to spend far too much money on the wrong [digital] stuff and then wonder why it doesn’t work. I’m not sure if it’s the fault of the marketer, the pressure on the marketer from sales, or the blind leading the blind.

But, like I said, it’s a key part of my proposition – to help clients remain focused on a purpose, rather than create pretty things just for the sake of it.

Example of me killing the radio store

I just persuaded a client not to spend loads of money on a video shoot. I told him I’d come up with my video camera and shoot what he needs as the quality (for purpose) would be more than good enough for what we had strategically planned. It was, and it saved him a five-figure sum.

Currently, in production, “here’s two I made earlier”. Me, my video camera, a couple of hours in Final Cut Pro overlayed with a $20 music track from Audio Jungle.

Firstly, I interviewed Sam from Merit Group – the main sponsor for our Arkriders Cycle Ride. The video is on YouTube and Facebook.

Then, we’re onto beauty. Geared towards a specific market (with a specific purpose of selling a monthly offer) the video below had around 4,000 plays on Facebook and reached around 8,500 people using a combined mix of organic Facebook views and sponsoring the post at a cost of £16.00.

My point is this

Marketing needn’t be expensive. It just needs to have a purpose and stand out in the neighbourhood. But, all the while marketers follow each other around like sheep, using social media (because it’s free) the messages go unnoticed. (There’s also an argument for lack of ROI from social).

I guess my parting words are this: More time / money needs to be spent on ideas – “creating” rather than “producing” marketing campaigns.

It may seem intangible to some – paying for ideas – but it’s the very essence of creative marketing.