Creative departments and agencies often won’t get it. In fact, you should assume they won’t. They’re wired to think abstractly, on the edge. And that’s why you hired them – to a point.
Sometimes the creative team can bully you into a certain design, certain copy, certain concept. They know what’s hip, what’s cutting edge (again, that’s why you hired them, right?). So while your gut might be telling you that a web banner with a skull and crossbones might not be the best choice for your new all-natural nutritional elixir, the lead designer can often sway you with talk of white space, font choice, primary colors and other stuff to make you second-guess yourself. They might even make you think that you’re being too cliché. Too old-fashioned. Not daring enough.
So here’s the point, Marketer: don’t allow your creatives to miss the forest for the trees (too cliché?). Don’t let their drive to be “creative” intimidate you away from making the project a business success. Don’t let their brainstorming turn into a natural disaster. And never let them convince you that they’re in charge. You are in charge of making the idea successful, and design is a piece of that puzzle. Albeit a very important piece, but a piece, nonetheless. If the piece they’re giving you doesn’t fit the puzzle you’re working on, get them to make you one that does.
A well-designed bad idea will be nominally successful at best. Focus on the idea. Focus on the end-goal. When the starting point and the ending point are clear, you can confidently lead all your supporters (esp. the creatives) toward that goal with ample latitude but with a resoluteness that is essential to anything substantial. And that’s what they’re looking for, Marketer.
p.s. The creatives are actually a big part of your success, so don’t completely ignore them. That’s another post, though.