As a creative director, my goal is to provide a single, clear vision that unites all the project’s key contributors.
It’s a vital role in digital marketing where brands need to speak appropriately across multiple channels to different target audiences at the variety of touch points where brand and customer meet through the sales funnel.
It’s challenging and very satisfying to wield a team of creatives in a way that allows each person to do their best work. A work philosophy that has proven its value to me repeatedly is: give a detailed brief, set clear expectations and then get out of the way. I also believe in participating in the production process – in my case as the lead writer – because it is the best way to stay close to the work that is actually being delivered.
Part of being a good creative director is developing the creative team. Finding out how to get the best performance out of an individual and then seeing them be delighted and thrilled by their own work is the most satisfying part of leading a team.
While holding the vision steady is critical, I don’t believe that it requires shutting down the interpretations of the team. I think multiple viewpoints can only enrich the vision, as long as the creative director keeps hold of the compass. I do believe that the creative director is the ultimate brand guardian on any project and should be the final word and ultimate quality controller of the content’s voice, tone, look and feel
From 2009 to 2016, I deepened my experience and skills as a creative director, crafting original, tactical branded content with teams ranging from 6 to 26 contributors. In purely digital marketing terms, my work as Go2Africa’s creative director focused on delivering the primary conversion goals of sales leads (request a quote) and opt-in’s (growing the brand’s owned audience or subscribers).
Year-on-year, my key performance metrics demonstrated steady upward trends, staying stable through 2014’s ebola crisis. My 2015 results included:
• 323% growth in owned audience (subscribers)
• 58% increase in daily website traffic
• 82% increase in enquiries, year-on-year.
I achieved these results on a stripped-down budget because my team and I delivered consistent, high quality content to potential customers in the exact moments that impacted their decision making. We also delivered excellent growth in website traffic from key markets, demonstrating the power of a tight focus on clearly defined targets:
• Australia traffic went up 79%
• UK up 46%
• Canada up 27%
In 2015, I conceptualised and launched Go To Africa, the brand’s digital glossy travel magazine, produced entirely in-house with no additional marketing spend. After just three editions the magazine boasted a conversion rate (downloads) of 45%.