The RISE Process for Creating Wow Campaigns


How do campaigns come to life? You might think this is the black box of the agency world or the secret sauce recipe that only a few elite people ever get to experience. I used to think there were magical brainstorms and off-sites where uber-creative people got together to dream up amazing ideas. Sadly, those scenarios are very rare, especially for the 98% of our clients who don’t have the budget or time to invest in that process but still require great results.

I’m currently teaching the pilot program of the CREW Strategy Summer School and our latest topic was campaign development. There’s a formula that any business can use to create great campaigns or at least get them started down the right path.

RISE => Research = Insights = Strategy = Evaluate

Research: It is imperative to start with research. In some cases, your everyday experiences, analysis of sales and customer data and interactions within your industry constitutes as research. Other times, you’ll need to conduct more formal quantitative or qualitative research in order to understand the target audience and the business in general. For example, your research tells you that sales are down among young adults in urban areas.

Insights: Pulling out new information about your audience from the research which could lead to new sales is what insights are all about. It goes a layer deeper than statistical research to uncover behavioural patterns. For example, your research tells you sales are down among young adults and the insight is that young adults view your product as dated and something only for their parents. This insight is the basis for the Creative Brief.

Strategy: The strategy solves the problem that has surfaced from the insight. How do you re-position your product to a young adult market and increase sales? The strategy should explore ways to be creative with the 4 P’s of marketing as a starting place.

  1. Can the Product be tweaked? For example, can you make colour adjustments or utilize new printing techniques such as Coke printing first names on their bottles.
  2. Can the Price be altered? For example, is there a bundle pack opportunity targeted to young adults? Can you create cross-promotional opportunities?
  3. Can you use Place and distribution more effectively? Can you sell the product at events, kiosks, or use new in-store merchandising strategies through existing channels in order to appeal to young adults?
  4. Finally, the Promotional strategy kicks in. What is the overarching idea or theme? What design style and communication will resonate? Is it truly memorable? Are there endorsements to use? What channels are the best to communicate the idea? The brainstorms and ideas usually come to life in this section.

Evaluate: After you have a number of different campaign ideas and scenarios on the board, take a step back and evaluate them based on the following criteria.

  • Originality: Will it break new ground and/or get noticed in a cluttered environment?
  •  Equity: Can it become synonymous with the brand and build the business?
  •  Memorable: Will the Target Audience remember it and actually change behaviour and perception based on it?
  • Longevity: Can it last for years if needed?

There are numerous ways and methods to create a campaign that wows. This formula can help set a framework to organize your thoughts and enable you to move forward quickly. Good process allows good ideas to RISE.
Have a great day!