How to Resolve Creative Conflict

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Photo by Chris Sabor on Unsplash

As creative marketers, we demand the space to launch campaigns on our own terms. Experience has taught us what will work (helping us drive leads and generate sales) and what will simply add to our costs and make us look bad. Despite this, marketing departments are constantly under pressure to launch campaigns influenced by clients, business owners, or senior managers who have little or no experience in the marketing arena.

I recently had a conversation with a marketer at a Content Marketing seminar I was hosting. He was completely sold on my approach to combining the power of content, email, and social media marketing but was having difficulty selling the concept to one of his clients.

While his client appreciated his ideas, they preferred their own (flawed) approach and dictated every move which ultimately blocked his more creative and agile ideas. As a professional marketer, he felt obliged to conform to his client's wishes. It pained him to know that his campaigns were not optimized and ultimately his relationship with the client would suffer.

It is not good business practice to argue with clients (or managers) about creative ideas and strategies. There is only one answer to creative conflict: Testing.

Testing allows you to quickly and cheaply target a small group of people with a new campaign idea and then compare and contrast the results with existing marketing campaigns and strategies. If the test results are positive, it would be much easier to persuade a client to change their ideas and steer a new course of action. If test results are poor, you can move on to the next idea.

Remember: A test cannot be considered a failure if you learn from the results (even if they are negative).

So next time a client tries to block your more creative ideas, instead of arguing with them, suggest you’d like to run some tests alongside their campaigns and try not to gloat when you prove them wrong.

This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.

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Marketing Strategist, Author of #BecomingTHEExpert, Content Marketing Trainer, and Cyclist. Check out my author profile:

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