[this post originally appeared on the PARTNERS+simons blog]
The Ad Club hosted a breakfast this morning at which Fred Senn, co-founder of Fallon Worldwide and author of the upcoming new book Juicing the Orange, shared his experience in actively building creativity into the organizational culture (and equally important, how to get creativity into the business results column).
His talk was a timely one, as marketers are struggling to quantify their expenditures and verify ROI. Gone are the days when you simply need a brilliant creative concept to get attention. Today, creative must be smarter and must work harder; it must be strategically grounded and aligned with business goals.
Senn spoke at length about the notion of creative leverage, or the practice of using rigorous, defined creativity to solve a business problem (think return on imagination instead of return on investment). The idea is really grounded in traditional account planning; if you develop raw creativity that's not strategically grounded, it's probably not going to work. Likewise, a strategically sound concept needs brilliant execution to work. The strategy and the creative execution go hand-in-hand.
Senn outlines the seven key principles of creative leverage in his book, and shares case studies of accounts he's worked on over the years to illustrate each. In many ways it's a back-to-basics conversation, but the message is an important one that is well worth revisiting.