It’s not glamorous, but the beginning of any project is the most important. It’s the planning stage. There are numerous sayings and clichés about planning and equally about planning poorly, but these quips aside, it is extremely important to get it right.
Planning comes in all shapes and sizes depending on project. Whether it is the preparation for a new website or the research and scheduling of a pay-per-click campaign, the higher the quality of planning, the better the results. This is the foundation of everything that we do.
As an agency who specialises in four areas (print, digital, campaigns and branding) our teams follow a very similar planning process as a basis. Planning is more than asking all of the normal questions that all good agencies should be asking. It’s proactively utilising all of the data, trends and information that we can. It’s predicting challenges before they happen. In essence, it’s about piecing together a picture. Not a picture, a masterpiece. Following on from the basics, then the expertise kicks in. Experience is priceless. A fundamental understanding of what works and what doesn’t streamlines our planning approach.
Planning Perfect Print
Print. It is an art. As one of our designers, Michelle says, print is a format that ‘offers a multi-sensory experience for the recipient which, whether subliminal to them or not, enhances the brand’ It is this thought and passion that goes into every print project that we work on. This mindset begins at the planning stage. Print is more than what it looks like, it’s about how it feels, the weight and quality of the paper, how you interact with it and even how it smells! How do you want the recipient to feel about your business when they engage with the print? It is the foundation that all of the future design decisions are built upon.
Brochures, leaflets, business cards, they don’t have to be just throwaway collateral. Whilst planning, our designers are looking typically for three finished products aimed at giving our clients choice. Each option is designed to achieve the objectives of the brief, but expressed in entirely different ways. That’s why you pick an agency like ib3. Creativity, expression and expertise.
If you don’t plan to produce perfect print, the outcome will be far from outstanding.
Constructing Creative Campaigns
Clients work with our campaigns team because they want results. Sales, awareness, downloads or subscriptions, whatever the end goal, the quality of results are correlated to the quality of the planning. Our campaign creation mindset is driven by over twenty years of media management. It’s a complex process of understanding the variables, setting deadlines and then getting creative. As technology and methods for delivering campaigns has changed, our planning process adapted. With new levels of analytics, ROI measurements and other performance data out there, planning has endless possibilities. The planning of a campaign starts with the review of previous projects.
It is the interpretation of data and the proceeding dynamic thinking that makes our project team strides ahead of agencies. Anyone can look at a report and implement. You don’t need to pay for that service. Ensure that value is added by your agency. It’s the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘so whats’ that create outstanding campaigns.
Branding is extremely subjective. No brand is the same. Our branding team are driven by producing options, not a scatter-gun approach, but a set of targeted, well constructed solutions that provides a client with choice. Agencies will all have differing approaches to branding projects and all will have differing results. We see branding as one of the most deep rooted and engaging services that we offer. Planning fundamentally starts with an all encompassing analysis of the business, it’s customers, the marketplace, the competition and the team within. The time taken at this stage is of enormous importance to to the final product. Our branding team then plot a number of design routes to achieve what the client wants. We are not afraid of taking the wild card route when necessary, if you don’t explore, you never know!
Drafting Digital Designs
Now this is a complex process and one that I’m not going to dig deeply into, I’ll save it for Steve and the development team. As mentioned, the same basic planning applies to web projects that applies to all projects undertaken. After that, the developers get involved! User experience (UX) search engine optimisation (SEO), frameworks, navigation, platforms and on and on. Our team meticulously analyse the details that enables them to produce outstanding websites. They look at all of the options and most importantly, find a solution. The solution that fits the clients needs. This is different every time. There is no one-size fits all approach at ib3. No off the shelf, try this for size service. We plan and then we deliver.
So, hopefully after reading this you can understand that when you work alongside ib3 you are preparing for success. A lot of the interaction and dialogue happens at the beginning of projects as it’s vital to start in the right direction. As projects develop, this communication will continue. Constant review and analysis helps to steer projects to their desired destination.
If you want an agency that churns work out quickly and cheaply (a ‘utility agency’ as one of our clients described them as) we might not be for you. But if you want the outstanding, get in touch to start planning alongside us.
Thanks for reading,