Successfully using the framework involves three steps, Davis says. The first is quantity — gathering as much information as possible. The second is quality — whittling down to the most relevant and useful information. The third is strategic insights — using the framework to connect the dots and yield thought starters as you brainstorm your creative campaign.
“If you don’t uncover new insights, you’re coming up with executions that either have been done before, probably won’t work, or are definitely not high-level concepts,” Davis says. “The way to uncover insights is to exhaust the columns and look for the completely unexpected connections that emerge across categories because you’re looking at all the information in a new way.”
He adds, “I love this part because you can twist that Rubik’s Cube in a way that nobody else is twisting it.”
The final step is presenting your ideas to business leaders — and the Creative Strategy Framework helps you approach that conversation, too. The template for talking about creative work in the context of business objectives is based on the four columns:
“Based on [the target’s] need or behavior, let’s start a conversation centered around this [fact] or truth using this [feature or benefit] in any headline or copy to deliver this [message] or accomplish this [objective].”
Weaving strategy into your execution transforms you into a partner in driving business impact, Davis says. “As creatives, we aren’t just execution-focused. We’re also focused on solving the business problem. This is about creative business solutions — it’s bigger than just making things pretty.”
For more insights from Davis on creative strategy, check out our video series, The 5-Minute Creative Mentor. Watch Episode 1: The Creative Strategy Framework below, then explore Episode 2 on writing creative briefs and Episode 3 on perfecting creative pitches.