Helping Teams Stay On Track While Creating For Clients

The phrase "Staying On Track" with a graphic of a lightbulb.

As students, creating for a client is uncharted territory. With it comes challenges, a major one being fulfilling the client's marketing objectives. Read on to discover how content creators and product managers can ask themselves a few key questions to help spark necessary dialogue and accomplish their goals.

Posted by Makenna Miner, Applied IMC, Spring 2023


As an executive team member in the WWU Marketing Program's Integrated Marketing Communications course, I have the opportunity to hear from product managers what their teams of content creators are succeeding at and what their teams are struggling with. I also get to analyze the products that teams create and promote and give feedback on how well these products align with teams' Creative Strategies, which are influenced by our client's Creative Brief. Some things I think about as I look at products and promotions are target market, brand elements, brand values, product strategy, and potential. As I consolidate my notes, I have pinpointed an integral part of the Creative Brief that many teams overlook: the marketing objectives.

What's The Holdup?


As I move through the quarter, this universal challenge for teams has persisted. Content creators have the tools and knowledge to create products for the client, yet the client's needs tend to get lost in translation as teams ideate and create their products.

Because we are all college students, we want to provide resources for other students and create content we would want to consume. Working with clients is new territory. Therefore, the difficulty of finding ways to achieve the client's objectives pushes us outside of our comfort zones and into a space where reverting to ideas we like and gravitate to is almost inevitable.

Grounding Questions To Ask Yourself While Creating a Product for a Client

For creators and managers who struggle with staying on track and creating content that fulfils the client's goals, there is a series of questions that I like to ask myself and teams to get ideas flowing. By asking ourselves these questions, we begin to brainstorm new ideas through the mind of the client. As we find answers to the following questions, we can get back on track toward meeting our objectives.

1. Is our product addressing the client's most pressing needs? This is the first and most important question to ask ourselves, and it can be solved by referencing our marketing objectives from the Potential section of our Creative Strategy. If our content is not working to achieve the client's main objectives, we need tweak our product idea or go back to the drawing board.

2. How do we signal to our audience that the content we distribute is related to our client? Creating our products to serve our clients is the biggest hurdle before we launch and promote it, but then we have to make sure our product is recognizable when we distribute it. Here, brand elements are our friends. Using the logos, colors and fonts from our Creative Strategy help our distribution and promotional efforts look cohesive with the client.

3. Is our content engaging to where our audience moves through the "funnel" and we achieve our communication objectives? 



If wehave objectives like achieving greater awareness and knowledge from our campaign, our products have to make it through the "funnel," starting with awareness. Because social media users consume a lot of media, we need to ensure our products and promotions catch their attention and relay information.

4. Does our product communicate our values and our client's values? Brand values are an important piece of the Creative Strategy and must be apparent in our content. For example, if our client values diversity and inclusivity, is our content accessible? Perhaps our social media content needs captions, alt text or an image description.

5. Is our target market too narrow? If our client's Creative Strategy defines multiple target markets, perhaps our product ideas can be expanded to resonate with more than one target market!

6. How might we further integrate all of our brand elements? Where can our logo go? Where should our tagline be placed? How can we use other brand associations to create relevant content? Our content needs to include the client's brand elements, but it also needs to be consistent throughout our different products, be engaging, and include all the necessary elements.

Integration examples

Above is an example of how we can take our functional idea and enhance it to integrate the many facets of our clients. The first image includes the client's brand colors and logo. The second includes the logo locked up with the tagline, the brand fonts, a "wavy" background image to lean into the client's brand "feel," and a relevant image that invokes a more emotional response than the first image.

7. Can we surpass informing and start creating connection? To gain and retain consumers of our products, we have to be able to build relationships with them. Writing copy in our well-defined tone, having a deep understanding of our customers, and creating content that keeps consumers coming back can help us achieve sustainable engagement.

As you take on the role of a content creator or manager producing products for clients, ask yourself these questions periodically. Check in with your Creative Strategy often. Adopt your client's point of view and engage in dialogue with your team. You might just stumble upon your best idea yet.💡