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BizReport : Advertising archives : October 31, 2008

Execs feel creative projects 'too safe'

Now is not the time to play it safe with creative projects, is the message being conveyed by a new study from executive staffing firm The Creative Group.

by Helen Leggatt

the creative group logo].jpgWhen The Creative Group interviewed marketing and advertising executives about the level of risk-taking associated with creative projects within their firms, most believed that not enough risks were taken.

"Companies tend to become more risk-averse in an uncertain economy," said Megan Slabinski, executive director of The Creative Group. "But when budgets are lean, it can be an opportune time for firms to try new or unproven promotional strategies and distinguish themselves from competitors."

Sixty-five percent of marketing executives and 45% of advertising executives said they took too little risks or played it too safe.

While half of advertising executives were satisfied with the level of risk-taking within their organization, just a third of marketing executives thought their firm took the 'right amount of risks', found the survey.

Key to driving creative risk-taking is the development of strong communication and business skills among creative leaders, said Slabinski, adding "Good ideas perish when there's no one to effectively champion them".

To build support for creative projects and encourage the championing of ideas within an organization, The Creative Group suggests the following:

- Take your ego out of the equation. Before going to bat for an idea, carefully consider whether it's a pet project that won't have a significant impact on the business or an initiative that could genuinely move your company forward.

- Get granular. Minor errors, such as a typo in a presentation or e-mail, can quickly erode credibility. Double-check all information for accuracy before you present it.

- Talk the talk. When pitching ideas, use the same terminology that your audience does and avoid creative jargon people might not understand.

- Step in their shoes. Similarly, try to view things from your audience's perspective. Understanding the challenges decision makers face and the pressures they are under will help you present the most relevant information.

- Give evidence. If possible, provide specific examples of firms that have achieved success using strategies similar to the one you're presenting.

Tags: advertising executives, creative, marketing executives, marketing strategy, risk, risk-taking, survey, The Creative Group

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