This checklist is divided into four sections: strategy, message development, creative input, and execution. Each section is interrelated and serves as a springboard to the next set of questions.
When answering these questions keep in mind the following criteria:
- Be honest: This checklist is a tool that is intended to help you develop more effective advertising campaigns. As a result, the quality of the end product will depend on the quality of your answers.
- Remember your target audience: The goal of a strong advertising campaign shouldn’t be to make management or your agency happy. It is to communicate to your various target audience in a manner that is meaningful.
- Base your answers on the facts: Your campaign must be based on fact, not spin.
1. What actual customer needs or wants does your product or service satisfy?
2. What are your prospects currently using or doing something to satisfy these needs?
3. Does your product or service give consumers a real advantage to the way they currently satisfy these needs? If so, what is this advantage?
4. What specific traits (not just demographics) characterize your target audience?
5. What do your prospects think about the vertical, the competition, and yourself?
6. Can your product or service make your prospects feel better? If so, how? If not, why not, and what can you do to change this?
7. Will your product or service improve the actual customer experience? If so, how?
8. Can your product or service satisfy an unmet need in its vertical?
9. Is there a customer segment within the vertical, or outside of it, that has not been targeted by your competition?
10. If your product or service is similar to your competition, what does your brand offer to help create a brand preference?
1. What actual information about your product or service do prospects need?
2. Does your brand promise clearly explain the benefit(s) of your product or service?
3. From a consumer perspective, are these benefit(s) unique to my product or service or could it easily be copied by the competition?
4. Are there additional benefit(s) that would increase the appeal of your product or service from a consumer’s perspective?
5. Does the benefit(s) of your product or service coincide with the consumer’s motivations?
6. Does the prospect clearly understand why your product or service can deliver these benefit(s)?
7. Do the different benefit(s) communicated in your campaign feed into and confirm your brand position?
1. What positioning platform for you going to utilize?
2. How can you accurately describe the advertising idea of your message in one sentence?
3. Is the advertising message relevant and meaningful to potential customers? If so, how? If not, what can be done to make it meaningful?
4. Does your single most important message increase the relevance and appeal of your product and service beyond just describing its benefits? If so, how?
5. Would your product or service be perceived as being more appealing if it were associated with a different emotion, belief, attitude, or experience that characterized your potential customers?
1. Does the creative execution of your campaign reflect and fit your branding platform? If so, how?
2. Does the creative execution of your campaign convey a tone that fits into and builds upon your brand character?
3. Does the creative execution of your campaign establish the brand and product or service in a manner different from your competition? If so, how?
4. Does the creative execution of your campaign challenge the conventions of your vertical in a meaningful and relevant manner? Of so, how?
5. Is your advertising interesting and visually pleasing? Is it memorable?
Keep in mind that weaknesses in any of these four area indicate a missed opportunity in increasing the persuasiveness of your campaign message. However, it is also important to note that this checklist is a guide, a framework for strategic thinking. It should not replace common sense, experience, or an annual strategic planning process.