All too rarely, a potential advertiser will ask the question, “Do you provide multiple solutions when presenting creative recommendations?” Actually, we find the infrequency of this question a bit surprising, considering what needs to take place when building effective communications.
Why shouldn’t clients be given conceptual choices in response to an agreed upon creative strategy? Isn’t that part of the definition of “problem solving”? First, you study the various details to identify the problem. Then you study the various related facts. Shouldn’t the next step be to look at various solutions? In our view, absolutely.
Communicating to your target audience almost always presents complex issues with more than one possible solution. Assuming you’ve started with a creative strategy that clearly defines the main idea, there are many ways to effectively communicate it. In fact, this is where the collaboration between an agency’s creative skills and the client’s customer and business knowledge can most effectively work together.
Analyzing different creative solutions is almost always productive, often uncovering new insight into the initial problem. If differences in judgment arise within the group on which direction to implement, these can usually be settled by submitting the work for testing with the target audience. This often leads to even further important insights.
Based on our extensive experience, we feel that offering multiple creative options demonstrates that the agency: (1) has an active problem solving process, (2) took the time to analyze various angles in developing viable alternatives and (3) respects the fact that, in most cases, clients know their business better than an outsider. As such, submitting just one solution seems overly presumptuous.