The time has come. Your company has approved the annual marketing budget. And against all odds, money was actually set aside for video marketing! You and your team are thrilled and itching to jump head-first into creating a masterpiece. But many teams don't know what to expect from the video production process. Like any project, if the process isn't well defined from the beginning, you may find that the final product doesn’t meet your expectations.
As a veteran project manager, I'm sharing five things that you need to succeed in your video project. And hey - it’s not to say I'm perfect but I have learned from my mistakes.
The Creative Brief. The most sacred of documents. At CatCow, we always start with a creative brief. The client will mull it over and fill it out in their own time but we always circle back together to review and clarify any muddy aspects. The more work we put into defining the expectations, goals, and audience, among other things, the better the outcome will be.
As a writer and producer, I'm always coming back to the creative brief to ensure alignment at each phase checkpoint.
Calendar. Before you even start putting pencil to paper, map out a calendar with an estimated timeline for deliverables. It's important to set a deadline that is realistic - this means taking into account production time as well as holidays, vacation and client approval time.
Share this calendar and seek approval with not only everyone on your team but with the client as well.
Deliverables. At CatCow, we work in phases and assign a deliverable for each one. For example, at the end of phase 2, we deliver a final, approved script. The client knows exactly what to expect and has something to show for the money they have invested.
Approvals. I’ve seen a good project go bad because the client hadn’t signed off on the design before starting animation. And believe me, that was a costly setback. For that reason, we are so insistent on getting the client’s written final approval before moving on to the next phase. And we’re not afraid to make changes to ensure that we get to a place where we are both happy. It’s better to change and tweak now, than re-do later.
The Right People. If you’re building a house, you don’t ask the architect to paint the walls too. Make sure that the team you’ve hired are experts in their specific field. If the animator is writing the script too, that would throw up a red flag for me. At CatCow, we work with writers, illustrators, animators, motion designers and sound designers that specialize in what they do and do it well.
Bonus! Click here to download and use our creative brief for your next project.