How Strategy and Analytics make our creative work even more impactful
Depending on your organization—its maturity, its size—or your industry, the term strategy can suggest any number of disciplines or capabilities. More specifically, if your job title has the word strategy in it, you’re probably used to explaining what your job entails to curious friends, family members and even colleagues. As the SVP of Strategy at DCG ONE, making sure that my colleagues know how strategy supports our work, and that our clients know how strategy supports their business, are top priorities of mine, and a story I enjoy telling. Here goes.
Fundamentally, strategy operates on three levels: it is 1) at once a mindset, 2) an approach and 3) a distinct set of capabilities.
The strategic mindset is all about asking the bigger question. If a client comes to us with a specific request for a new website, a demand gen campaign, or a new logo for their brand, asking the bigger question is about understanding the what, why, and how behind their request. What goals are they trying to achieve? Whose behavior are they trying to change? How will the new experience lead to better business outcomes? Probing on questions such as these allows us to better frame the opportunity for our clients, and helps our creative teams create more impactful work.
The strategic approach we take at DCG ONE is to make sure that strategic thinking is a broadly shared responsibility. Asking the bigger question is not just up to a few of us; encouraging our account managers, project managers and creatives to ask why, for whom, or to what end is a significant part of my day.
Finally, the distinct capabilities we carry in our strategy and analytics toolbox are the skills that allow us to do this work efficiently and with the greatest impact. These capabilities fall into three categories, but before I elaborate on them, it’s important to restate the central role of strategy at DCG ONE, which is to support, elevate and make our creative experiences even more impactful.
To deliver on this, we rely on three categories of capabilities:
- Customer and market insights
- Measurement and analytics
- Contextual business analysis
Customer and market insights
Whenever possible, we like to inform our creative work with external truths. Central to this effort is a clear understanding of our clients’ target customers, their attitudes, behaviors and needs, and their perceptions of our clients and their products and services. Knowing our clients’ competitive set and context is also equally important to help them understand how they might create unique value for their customers. Whenever we can, we like to conduct primary research to answer these kinds of questions. Some of our tools include:
- Competitive audits
- Qualitative research
- Quantitative research
Measurement and analytics
Knowing how we’ll measure the success or impact of our work is a fundamental ingredient in all our project plans. Whether the ultimate goal is to improve brand perception, deepen content engagement, or even drive a sale, aligning on this at the outset helps our creative teams focus on the right design elements and user experiences. It also enables us to put measurement plans in place so we’re sourcing the right data on which to measure our impact. Supporting capabilities include:
- Developing measurement frameworks
- Full lifecycle data management
- Development of reporting dashboards
Contextual business analysis
From the size of our clients’ budgets to the size of the of their marketing teams, we want to make sure our solutions are in line with capabilities. An elaborate nurture campaign targeting six distinct audiences with numerous business rules might be too complex for a smaller marketing org. Similarly, knowing our client’s overall budget and allocation can help us right-size our efforts to give them the biggest bang for the buck. Key tools include:
- MarTech stack evaluation and recommendations
- Value stream mapping
At our core, The Agency at DCG ONE exists to deliver world-class Creative Experiences for our clients—experiences that drive brand affinity, preference, and loyalty. Strategy, in its supporting role at DCG ONE, is all about increasing the precision and efficiency of the work in helping our clients achieve their business goals.
Hear more about strategy, analytics, and creative on The Whole Idea Podcast with host Greg Oberst and guest Adam LaVasseur.