The research process begins long before you start your campaign. During your time in the program, begin to build your own personal marketing and creative aesthetics.
1. Archive marketing campaigns that resonate with you to an Evernote notebook.
2. Follow thought leaders in the marketing field.
3. Monitor industry trends.
Manage Your Time.
Start the campaign early. Have the branding for your agency established and ready to go before week one commences.
4. Do not procrastinate on any section of the campaign.
5. Try the Pomodoro Technique to manage your time.
6. Make goals and deadlines for yourself that you can easily check off.
7. If you get stuck on one section, build time in your schedule to come back to it.
8. Take breaks.
Prepare to Write, Revise, Rationalize, and Design.
How will you bring your campaign findings to life? Will you rely on writing, design, or a combination of both to engage the client?
9. Think visually. If you can get the point across with a graphic treatment, the client would be more inclined to easily recall the information you are trying to present.
10. Place extra emphasis on the areas that would be of the utmost importance to the client. This would be areas that would show off your specific expertise.
11. To help keep the reader engaged, introduce each of your campaign sections.
12. Add external quotes from thought leaders to add relevancy and credibility to your work.
13. Think of the needs of your audience. Have you taught them something new? Clients want to pay for cutting edge concepts.
Plan Your Media.
If terms like programmatic buying, advertising impressions, advertorials, or CPM (i.e. cost per mile) are not part of your vocabulary, you should begin to brush up on the art of media buying.
14. Expand your professional network and befriend a Media Buyer.
15. Follow the latest media buying trends.
Composition Is Important.
As you put together your campaign, the following elements are important to consider: typography, color, hierarchy, and placement of graphics.
16. A sans serif font (e.g. Arial) is better for body copy because it is more readable and legible.
17. Limit your color palette (too many colors within a campaign is distracting)
18. White space is your friend. Let your copy have room to breathe.
19. Make graphic elements out of important statements.
20. Use one font family and vary the weights to create hierarchy within your content.
21. Use display fonts sparingly.
22. Break up large blocks of text with images, charts, or quotes.
23. Think of your entire composition as a grid filled with different elements.
24. Make sure everything is visually consistent from the cover page to back cover.
Use Templates/Resources Wisely.
It is never too early to start to build your familiarity with all available design resources.
25. Typeform.com is a beautiful online survey and form builder.
26. Fotolia.com has economically priced royalty free stock photos.
27. Fiverr.com is a creative marketplace for finding designers. The cost, to hire a designer, is only five dollars per execution.
28. Font Squirrel.com has 100% free commercial use fonts.
29. Logopond.com has a gallery of well-designed logos to help inspire you.
30. Adobe Color CC generates color schemes.
31. Small PDF is a tool to reduce the size of your PDF.
32. Graphic River – Stock Graphic Files.
33. Grammarly – Free editing plugin for Chrome.
34. Hemingway Editor – Editor application for Mac and PC.
35. Buzzsumo.com – is a search tool that identifies online key influencers and trending content.
Presentation Is Everything.
The last step, before printing out your final campaign, is to account for all of the print production nuances.
36. Paper Weight – Be sure to ask for a house paper that has enough weight for printing double sided. You do not want the graphics to oversaturate the paper.
37. Binding Types – Perfect Bound, Wire-O Binding, and Comb Binding are the most universally used.
38. Orientation – Will you be presenting your project horizontally or vertically? Can your printer accommodate a non-traditional size?
39. Bleed – Most printers will not be able to account for graphics bleeding off the page. Build a white border around your pages so that the edges look consistent when printed.
40. Back Cover – Will you include a blank page in your document after your references section? Will the back page match your cover?
Graduates, please add any other helpful tips that you found useful to this list!
Congratulations to the Fall 2014 Capstone class on completing the WVU IMC program! Best of luck to the Spring 2015 Capstone class!