Creative agencies help their business clients to tell stories, represent their products in an innovative way, and gain an edge over their rivals in the market. But how to know which ad creative to pick for the campaign at hand? How to get direct consumer feedback before making decisions? Helsinki-based Wörks agency prefers knowing over guessing.
The scenes of Mad Men, the TV series set in the 60s in New York, paints a romanticized picture of advertising industry in an era long before the Internet. Today, the core characteristics have remained the same; constant rush, and need to deliver the best NOW. Clients’ expectations are always high, sometimes even unrealistic. The people behind the ad creatives and ideas are driven by the very same motives as their colleagues back in the 60s; desire to stun with unique designs and bring artistic expression into the work that is measured based on solid business metrics.
Creative Minds Meet Business Goals
“We simply cannot shoot in the dark and hope we hit the jackpot”, says Jaakko Veijola, The Founding Partner at Wörks. “Our creatives need and deserve enough time to ideate to deliver top quality. In the outrageously fast-paced environment we operate in, Crowst provides us with that time and assurance, backed up with real consumer view on the fly. This helps our people to focus on what they know and do the best, designing creatives.”
Having around 20 years of experience in the fields of graphic design, arts and marketing, Veijola knows what he is talking about. In 2002 he co-exhibited at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, on a project named Portraits of Finnish National Heroes. “Today, artistic expression is a genuinely inspiring component in our daily work. However, we need to integrate that with the product positioning of the client, and match the creatives to meet real consumer needs”, comments Veijola. “Crowst allows us to know consumer preferences as a quick pulse, empowering us to work and make decisions based on the pulse.”
In The “Know” With Real-Time Concept Testing
What colours work in the ad the best? Which visual creative supports the message the best? Which call-to-action yields the best impact among consumers? The difference between mediocre and great may depend on one word, or a use of a comma in the text. These are examples of typical questions creative people at agencies think about on a daily basis. Traditionally, agency Directors and client companies have trusted the word of an experienced designer. The Designer may have talked with colleagues in the office, asking for their opinions to help decide between the ad options. Naturally, colleagues share their views with their professional hat on, not through the eyes of an un-prompted consumer. Running a survey with authentic consumers on a browser-based survey tool is usually too time-consuming, and these tools usually do not offer an established pool of consumers to provide feedback.
“We need a quick pulse check that clearly shows us the consumer preference on the project at hand, results that allow us to act and make decisions immediately”
With Crowst, Wörks is able to get the consumer validation in minutes. Typically, the ad creative options and questions are set on the Crowst Dashboard the same morning when the business need has been identified. Within the first 15 – 60 minutes from go-live, the required responses have been received. Hundreds of consumers have given their view on what works, what doesn’t, and why. The results are ready for the team meeting right after lunch, and the decision is made.
“We don’t need thorough research projects that represent the population of Finland with +/-2 error margin. We need a quick pulse check that clearly shows us the consumer preference on the project at hand, results that allow us to act and make decisions immediately”, Veijola underlines.
Direct Consumer Feedback Means Smartphones
People commute, work and study, have lunches, and go to hobbies. They are constantly on the move, and they carry smartphones in their pockets. Smartphones move, computers don’t. Laptops and desktops tie people to a location, such as an office desk, making it difficult to reach them instantly. The Crowst service is created mobile by design, and people are reached with notifications arriving directly on their phone screens. Thus they are able to respond instantly, in a moment, wherever they happen to be. This shortens the response cycle radically, making it possible to proceed with the creative work faster than ever before. The view on the Crowst Dashboard reflects always the insights status in real-time.
“Many of our clients operate in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) business. They offer their products to fast-moving people. Thus we need fast-moving consumer insights, allowing us to make the right decisions and deliver on time”, Veijola comments, smiling. “Crowst has proven to be the on-demand insights provider for us, showing how the concept testing of tomorrow is carried out today.”