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The most crucial role on any ecommerce creative team isn’t the strategist, it’s the Creative Operations Manager. So why do so few ecommerce brands and agencies have this role? On this episode, Taylor and Richard discuss the importance of this role, how we deploy creative ops at CTC, and what characteristics to look for in a Creative Ops Manager.

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[00:00:00] Richard Gaffin: Hey folks, Richard here. If you've been listening to the podcast for a while, you know that generating profit is the name of the game right now, but doing that reliably is hard, and knowing how to actually grow profitably is even harder. That's where CTC's profit system comes in. It's our growth strategy service, specifically designed for e-commerce brands generating between 10 and a hundred million dollars in revenue this year.

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[00:01:14] Richard Gaffin: hey folks. Welcome to the e-Commerce Playbook podcast. I'm your host, Richard Gaffin, Director of Digital Product Strategy here at Common Thread Collective.

And joining me live from stage at his one-man play. It's uh, it's Mr. Taylor Holiday, the godfather of growth himself. Taylor, how you doing?

[00:01:31] Taylor Holiday: Well, you know, we're always working on this setup here. We've got Richard and I were able to coordinate matching blue shirts on my black background, so I'm kind of just dissolving. We've gotta work on the contrast a little bit. The only contrast is how bright my face is shining. So, we're gonna work on all of this.

It's all improving. And just in case this pops up, my, I have water drops on me. It's raining here in California, so I don't, I don't have a stained shirt. I have some water on it, but I'm excited to talk about this topic.

[00:01:55] Richard Gaffin: That's right. Yeah. Yeah. Getting, getting water on your shirt is, is a shocking, shocking occurrence down in

[00:02:00] Taylor Holiday: Not planned for. Yeah.

[00:02:01] Richard Gaffin: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. All right, so this week what we're talking about is actually, I guess like what I could frame it this up as, this is another kind of, we're gonna dig into Taylor's Twitter.

And we're going to kind of, parse out this one tweet that you, this was it back in the 26th where you talk about CTC has been responsible for delivering tens of thousands of ads a year for over a decade. And then what you lay out is our creative strategy process. And really what this culminate culminates in is the idea that the most important player.

The creative strategy game, or in the creative production game is actually a creative ops manager, not necessarily a creative strategist. And for many years, like we've been, I guess guilty of this, we've sort of put forward the idea that the creative strategist, the I Ideator, the person who comes up with the ideas, that's kind of the golden goose, right?

When in fact what we are sort of discovering in the last couple of years is that creative production in the world of e-commerce advertising is all about making sure that the operational system. Is set up perfectly. So Taylor, why don't you give us a little bit of background to maybe the specific tweet thread and then also kind of your thoughts in terms of this Ops for strategist conversation.

[00:03:07] Taylor Holiday: So when I say that one is. More valuable than the other. What I mean is relative to the current market narrative, I want us to think about this a lot. Like we think about the marketing department and the operations team in an e-commerce business, where it's not to say that either is more important than the other, but it is to say that marketing, if they don't have product to sell, doesn't matter.

Right. And so the relationship between the demand planning, what are we buying? How much of it are we buying? When does it need to be here? What's the go live date is the architecture that marketing can support? And without it, if I'm a marketer, and I watch this happen all the time, where it's like, when's the product going live?

When's the inventory gonna be here? How much inventory do we have? Without all those critical pieces of information, the marketer can't do their job. Right. And so in the same way, what I see inside of organizations is that the creative strategist is actually second in the chain of great creative execution, and they are actually completely lost without an underlying operating structure on which to work.

And that operating structure answers some really important, important questions about how many ads do we need, therefore, how many ideas do we need to produce? When do those things need to be completed by? And what is the timeline of production that goes into it such that we ensure that we have things delivered on time at the right cost to accomplish the objective that we need.

And my number one experience when clients come to us is that they are either. Have a massive library of creative that's underutilized and have way too little stuff or way too much stuff relative to the tasks that they want, or they have no assets relative to the problem that they're trying to solve, and they're way under-resourced in the problem.

And so ideation doesn't matter. The underlying architecture of the operational process of creative production isn't thoughtfully connected to the financial plan and budgeting. And so that's, that to me is the, is the underlying trellis that the creative strategist can even succeed on. And without it, they're untethered and floating away into an arena where they can have all the ideas in the world, but if it can't get made and they don't know how much they're trying to make, it's a lost cause.

[00:05:21] Richard Gaffin: So let's, for, for those of us who are maybe, or listeners who are just joining us for the first time, we've talked about this many times, so it give us like a very brief step-by-step summary of what our creative structure is, just to give everybody a sense.

[00:05:32] Taylor Holiday: That's right. So we move from financial objective of the organization, which is built out of two things. An existing customer retention model and a spend in a MER model and the spend in a ME model spend and a MER model, which determines new customer revenue, sets the budget. This is the first input in the creative process.

What is the budget? How much money do I need to spend next month in channels X, Y, and Z? Okay. Without that answer, you cannot determine how much creative, ideation or creative strategy you need to do. So right there, you cannot work without this number. Once that budget exists. The next problem to solve for is how much spend do I already have allocated to things that are currently running?

Okay? This is what we call the previous concept log, where you are starting the month of February. Today's February 5th, we're recording this. It'll go live in a week, but when you start the month of February, it's not like you started your ad account with zero campaigns on. That's almost never the case. So there's some amount of ad creative that's coming with you into the month.

That is projected for some amount of spend, okay? That's the next step of that budget. How much of it is already accounted for? Now, the remaining delta between the thing, your budget, and the things you already have live is the problem to be solved. Now, I know I have a million dollar budget. I have $500,000 worth of campaigns live.

I have a $500,000 creative production problem. That's how much I need to spend. Right. So now that we've identified the problem to be solved, we have to break that spend down to into its component parts. So in other words, how much spend is going to occur on every ad that I produce? When are they gonna be produced, and what then do I need to develop creatively?

And the next step here is to move into the obligated creative stories. Okay. This is really, people jump to the evergreen hamster wheel too fast. Again, evergreen is this idea that I'm just coming up with a bunch of i I ideas, or I'm iterating on the existing ones. No, no, no. The next step is the marketing calendar, the obligated creative stories.

What's an obligated creative story? A product launch that has been planned for, for a long time and is going live on February 20th. You have to develop ads for that. So we have to answer how many ads, how much projected spend on that moment. Big promotion. I have a sale going live on the third for Valentine's Day.

It's a couple's package, blah, blah, whatever. Those two things have to occur. They're time sensitive, calendar based, organization wide efforts. They take up the next tranche of spend, and in many cases, that's all of it. That's the entire thing. But whatever the delta is between those things, the existing campaigns, the obligated marketing stories now is when the creative strategist steps in and goes, okay, what evergreen ideas, what problems to be solved?

But what you'll notice is that in many cases, and this is, this is actually a good thing, is that the marketing calendar actually dictates the breadth of stories Now. I get it. There's work to be done around, what do you say about this angle and what does the ad look like for this promotion or product launch?

Sure. There's definitely creative work to be done there, but it's done, generally done at a, at a more organizational level by a brand leader or a marketing leader that tells the across every channel, here's how we're promoting this product.

[00:08:56] Richard Gaffin: Right. So I was gonna say like, so let's get into the that ideation piece. 'cause I think like again, in this entire operations conversation, what is missing is the idea of like, well, okay, if the biggest factor. The biggest variable in an ad's success is the quality of the creative or whether or not the creative is hitting or it makes sense or connects to the audience, blah, blah, blah, whatever.

Though that problem seems like it's solved by creative ideation, right? The person coming up with fan, the fantastic idea. You put it in the ad and it works. Now obviously what you're saying is that like, if you don't have the system to execute anything, it doesn't matter how many great ideas.

You come up with because they won't be the right ones and they won't even be able to be produced in the first place. But maybe let's talk a little bit about the place of ideation in this system. How important is it?

[00:09:40] Taylor Holiday: It is. An idea has an assignable value. Okay? This is another like novel concept that's really important to this process is that each idea has some expected value. What do I mean by that? Every time you launch an ad and you can go back and what I would encourage you to do, I, I share this tweet that's a, a piece of data that ev we're building this into stat.

This is, every brand should see this. Of all the ads you've launched in the history of the ad account, what is the mean media and modal spend value? How much on average do your ads spend? And you can look at that historically. You could look at that in the last 30 days. You could look at that last February versus this February to get an expectation of what each ad that you're going to create is going to generate for you in value.

And what I would encourage you do is do not assume the 90th percentile outcome. Assume the 50th percentile outcome, assume the mean or the median outcome, and assign that as an expected per idea value. Okay. And what we do, you've heard me use this phrase before, $2 of ideas for every dollar of spend required, and, and what that is, is just simply an attempt to do what I'm talking about, which is that gap after our existing campaigns, after the, the creative backlog, I've got a hundred thousand dollars to spend and I know that each I idea, on average, it produces about $1,500 of spend.

Okay? I need then, therefore, whatever that math is, 40 ads. Right. 70 ads, whatever the math is. That Now again, we're getting to the frame of the problem. Okay. We're getting to clarity of the task at hand, and this is, this is for a creative strategist. Ideas are. Very different in their complexity to generate relative to their volume.

Okay? In other words, if I say I need one ad idea, you could spend five hours on that and produce it, and that could be worthwhile. If you need 500 ad ideas, the structure through which you solve that problem is very different because you cannot a allocate five hours to each ad idea. And so you have to develop a framework for quickly ideating, and that becomes part of your process.

So each month you begin to get a sense for, am I solving for hundreds of ideas or am I solving for like one idea? And that relationship then informs the next step, which is what is the structure through which you do ideation? And I would really encourage you not to have like an open-ended. Process for coming up with creative ideas.

And Richard, this is something you and I have talked about a lot, but my experience is that constraints breed creativity. That defining the structure through which we ideate actually enables more free flowing ideation because you've created some boundaries on it. And so that I think is how we get to what is our structure of offer angle audience to actually get to the ideas.

But the first step is how many ideas. Then we create a framework for doing it, and then we get to the specific output of each idea.

[00:12:32] Richard Gaffin: Right. I think an analogy that you used kind of before we hit record that I think is a really good one when it comes to talking about creative restraint is the idea of comparing the creative strategist not to. Like a Van Gogh style artist, but to a chef whose restraints are very obvious. Like you can, you know, I only have a gas stove or whatever, and I only have these pans.

And then also I only have these five ingredients, sort of like a, the top chef or a chopped challenge or whatever. That's a, that's really essentially what the, what the creative strategist is doing. You have this set of tools and it's a limited set of tools and you have this exact need. I need to serve 200 plates by seven o'clock tonight, whatever.

It's real, very, very similar in terms of that. So, yeah. So I don't know, maybe unpack that a little bit more like how you think about that.

[00:13:13] Taylor Holiday: Yeah, that, that, that's a great, that's great setup there. So let's just keep down this train to say that we've got 50 ads to solve for and for the sake of defining these terms, I think in CTC land we've created definitions for these terms. And I wanna be clear, these are our definitions. There is no like definitive definition, but what we've had to do is we've actually had to connect.

The phrase add to like units in the ad account and campaigns that are live so that we can think about the allocation of budget. 'cause allocation of budget happens at the campaign level. So the question is, how many campaigns are we going live with, right? And so in our world, one concept which includes a unique offer, angle and audience equals a Facebook campaign.

And that campaign contains three different ads. Those ads all reflect the same offer, audience and angle, but they could be a video, a still a carousel. They could have different hooks, they could have different color background, like they could be variations of the offer, audience and angle three different kind of, ideally as diverse as we can in terms of format and concept or, and, and styling, et cetera.

So one concept equals three ads equals six. We would call them variations, nine by 16 and one by one. So every ad has two of those sizing variations. So you end up with every campaign contains three ads and contains six assets that get delivered and built in the account. And so that gives us a common language.

In design, there's this system, we're talking about redesigning some stuff in STAs right now, and our designer, Paul, was referencing what he calls A CDL, which is a common design language, right, which is a set of usually UI assets, buttons, sliders, fonts, et cetera, that become the tooling for the execution of creative design and inspiration that you can give to a designer they can build with.

These kinds of things. Definitions of terms, structures, campaign styling. They're all the CDL of creative production, right? Like they become the common language that allows you to build a system. And when these terms are undefined, the system doesn't exist either. And so a lot of times we notice this because in our conversation with our clients, what we noticed in for many years is that we said, Hey, we're gonna make you three ads.

And then we would come back with. Three versions of the same concept, and they'd be like, oh, I thought I was getting three completely different concepts. Or we'd say, Hey, we're gonna make 50 ads, and we'd make 20 iterations of a big sale moment. And they'd be like, oh, no, no, no. I thought I was getting 20 very or 50 very different ad concepts because the language wasn't shared.

And so in order to build a system that people operate in, you have to define and create that structure. And that's part of what a creative ops leader does, is they just define the system. So all of that allows us to get to now only when that architecture is built. Can we get to now let's, let's think of some ideas.

And the way that we do that is that we insert. Offer audience angle as the structure for ideation. So the offer is what you're selling. You have to know the end purchase opportunity. Now that doesn't necessarily have to be, people hear the word offer and they think promotion, like that's those, those things are kind of used some or exchangeable in our world.

We don't mean that. We just mean what you're intending to sell. Then there's an audience. This is another thing in Meta World. Broad, the phrase broad targeting has deceived a lot of people into thinking that what, what we mean creatively is it's for everyone. We don't mean that at all. We have a specific customer that we're designing for in our mind, and then the angle is the why.

What's the value proposition to them? And the beauty is you can try to treat this like a slot machine where you can hold any one of those constant and solve for the other two. And it's a great structure for coming up with a lot of ideas. So let's say. And in my thread, I use the example of like ultimate mini kit.

Okay. We're trying to sell the ultimate mini kit. Now we're gonna go through three different customers, women over 60. I think I did like conservative women in their forties. And then I did like, millennia or like, early twenties you know, moving outta college, buying their first home, whatever. Like you can come up with it, whatever you want.

It's the same offer. Different audiences, therefore different value propositions. Now you can get to a bunch of ad ideas really quickly.

[00:17:13] Richard Gaffin: Yeah. Well, I was gonna say, yeah, for, for any of the creative strategists or creative people who are listening to this and are horrified by the idea of having to crank out 500 ideas, I think like this is where the, the offer angle audience system. System for ideation, operational system for ideation comes into play and becomes and makes things so much easier because if you have those three questions answered, what's the offer?

What's the angle, what's the audience? And you've already sort of brainstormed a pool of those three things and, and the offer's usually pretty clear. You probably have some understanding what your audiences are and what the angle might be. Then it's just a matter of combining them in different, different combinations.

So it becomes less, you sitting there trying to come up with a great idea and more, almost like a, like a game, like Mad Libs or whatever, right? Where you're, it's all about combination and recombination and out of that comes great ideas, but you have so much more material to work with rather than just any old idea or, yeah, just something kind of up in the ether that you have to pull out and create a great hat out of.

So I, I kinda want to segue,

[00:18:10] Taylor Holiday: give you a, I'll give you, because you, you hit on like the, the, the fear tends to be like the amount of. Output that you need. And I'll give you an example where like you can use this framework. So we worked with a client once that sold like a print on demand pet product. Okay. And one of the things that we would do for every campaign is once we had an offer for the specific product that existed, we would take the audience and say, okay, the variant here is going to be, we're gonna look.

The, the audience variant is going to be owners of every different breed of dog. So you go from like, you could do this in broad categories. You could say big dogs and small dogs. You could do this in literally German Shepherds Huskies, Beadles, and you could change the image on every one of them such that the audience becomes a different owner that you're trying to connect to, and that very quickly could get you to like a hundred variations of the same concept of the same offer.

Right now that. Is just one example where just holding one constant and then you can change the audience a million times. Alternatively, you can do the same thing, which is like if I'm Travis Matthew and I say, my audience is country club, or like attending men, well now I can go through shorts, t-shirts, polos bundles.

You know, like I can change the offer a bunch of times as well, or I can go to all the different value propositions of a single offer. Like there's just infinite, exponential ways to mix and match the ingredients. And the more that you get clear on all the different offers that we wanna run this month.

All the different audience personas that we care about, all the different angles of our product that matters, you can start building them together really, really quickly.

[00:19:47] Richard Gaffin: I think one phrase that we used to use in in ad philosophy, which is a, a course Taylor and I taught together many years ago is that great information equals great inspiration. Like the more, if you have the right materials, then the kind of ideas that come to you are going to be the right ideas as opposed to not really understanding what the information is or what you need to know, then your inspiration's gonna be all over the place.

And I think this is a great example of restricting that inspiration to a point where when you're coming up with ideas, they're gonna be the right ideas. I, I was gonna. Maybe touch briefly on like one of the, the tweets in this thread is I found many people that are good at coming up with ideas, but very few people who are good at building a system to consistently deliver them.

Now we've talked about that second half, but I think it's interesting and maybe worth talking about that first half of the fact that like, great ad ideas kind of come from all over the place. Come from brand owners who have like a lot of experience with the brand. So maybe talk a little bit about, about that experience.

[00:20:39] Taylor Holiday: Yeah, so creative. Is not one of those things that's, it's hard as a profession because everybody has some claim to the creative process in that, like anybody and everybody has ideas about ads, right? It, it's not a thing. Like, let's say somebody who does manufacturing as their core job and they have a point of view on which manufacturers you can use.

Well, the person in customer service, I promise you, doesn't have a lot of ideas about which vendor you should choose for manufacturing, but I'm willing to bet that person in customer service has ideas about what the ad copy should be because they interact with customers all day long and they have a viewpoint and we're all consumers and so everybody has it and, and it's easy to just sort of dismiss people, as that is saying, leave it to the professionals.

But I've found that like. Diversity of thought. This is one of those areas where because we all see the world from different angles, there's actually merit and value to adding more voices in the room because they see the thing from the di. Often we see it from our own perspective. And so the more perspectives you add, there's actually value in increasing the people that contribute to the process versus encapsulating it in one person.

And I think that requires then the system for the space to exist where. It's a small space that a lot of people can feed into, and now maybe a creative strategist is actually responsible for organizing those things into specific thoughts, but. I, I really believe that creative inside of a brand, especially if you have people that are like really committed to the brand and they, they live it, they're users of the brand, they're all and, and again, the more diversity that exists, the more impactful this can become.

I just think about like a classic example is to think about an experience like the holidays at Christmas. Well. There's all sorts of spectrums under which, through which the experience of the holidays is different. Right. And we used to talk about this from the difference of just someone across different various religious backgrounds, right?

In terms of what they are, what they're experiencing in that moment, and how to message to them in those spaces. And having people who understand. What goes on at Hanukkah versus a Christmas, you know, versus a different, like there are all ways in which you can speak to and understand your product through more impactful audiences, right?

So I think that that's, that's the interesting part, is that everybody has a claim to creative in a way that's valuable versus some of these other jobs that are more disciplined in the individual Now. If there are skills, behavioral psychology, understanding, direct response copywriting that do require expertise and someone can become authoritative on and should be entrusted with that process, but I don't think that that means that making them the sole provider of ideas is the best way to go.

[00:23:15] Richard Gaffin: Right. Well, I love that idea of, of the creative strategist becoming more of a, an organizational or like a quarterbacking role. So more so than like the idea generator. They field the ideas, discard the ones that don't make sense, keep the ones that do or whatever, and kind of, organize it that way. So let's, let's then.

Segue back into this conversation about, we've talked about creative strategy quite a bit here, back into this idea of the creative ops leader. So one kind of exercise we were thinking we might wanna do on this episode is let's put together a job description for this creative ops person. So I'll throw it to you, Taylor, like what, what are the characteristics that we're looking for in this particular individual?

[00:23:52] Taylor Holiday: One of the phrases in the creative world is a producer. Okay? So a producer is generally responsible for things like budgets and timelines. Okay? Now, budgets and timelines. If you've worked in creative production, so like in other words, you do shoots in a studio or on location, they tend to be big timelines and larger amounts of money, and it's a managing vendors ensuring things, and you're the voice of, no, we can't.

Run that shot again because we've already utilized this much time for the person here, and if we keep them an extra hour, we're gonna go over budget and not gonna make it. So that's the shot. You know, that's generally the role of producer. They create constraints on the creative process for the sake of the budget and the timeline Now.

So I think that's a starting point, is somebody, that's the core skill here is they, they think about things not through creative quality. I think that that job, although they care about that and they have a sense of it, they're not dismissive of it, but they understand that their primary role is budget and timeline.

So that's, that's the first thing. The second thing I would say though is that like, I don't actually think, what's hard about this job is that if you bring someone out of creative production, they're not used to necessarily the tempo and the constraints that are built into this process. That is to say, this person needs to understand things like.

Revenue per ad spend, per ad. Understanding the needs of the ad account, relationships with media buyers and what they want, how the campaign structure informs how we run ads. Just like each business sort of sets up campaigns differently. They do different systems. So I have to understand the media buying portion.

And then the third thing I would contend is I would actually want my creative ops person to understand inventory as well, because one of the things that I wanna be able to hold in the process is to say, we need to sell x. One of the things that I watch creative teams do is because if their primary incentive is some performance metrics, ROAS ad spend or volume, they will tend to just move towards the freest flowing river, which is the thing that is like working the best, but that is often disassociated in some ways from what the brand needs to sell.

So if you run off and run out of inventory on a SKU because you made a bunch of ads for that sku, but you ignored making any ads for this thing that you have a ton of inventory for, that's a business problem. And so the creative ops leader, I think, has to hold a point of view on the offers that we're running this month.

They would ensure the marketing calendar's fully filled out. They may not be responsible for what goes on the calendar. That to me, is more of a marketing leader, but they make sure it's filled out. They understand the inventory positions of the business so they know what we need to sell this month and what the expectations are.

They understand the budgets, they understand the number of campaigns, and they have a point of view on how many ads we're gonna run. That's what this person needs to be able to do.

[00:26:25] Richard Gaffin: Gotcha. So it's sounds like it's a pretty right wide ranging set of characteristics. This needs to be a person who understands, let's, let's say, creative production who understands the tempo of e-commerce, who has some creative sense, some understanding of what quality of creative is, and then finally, also has some, some understanding of inventory and ops.

So where do you feel like you're most likely to find this person? What, what previous job did they have that would translate best into this one?

[00:26:53] Taylor Holiday: It's a great question, and this is part of why I feel like the thing, this is not to too my own horn, but I think the process that we've built is so novel in the world is because we, of all the people, we have been sitting at the center of this problem for a decade, and I'll tell you, it is a really hard problem.

And so it does combine a unique set of skills. I do think that if you had. A creative who had managed ads what they're gonna understand is like how much stuff you need and the flow of ads into the ad account. But what they often struggle with is the other parts around timelines of production and constraint.

Like it's really hard to manage creative product, like, like a creative process workflow, understanding how many rounds of feedback exist, understanding how many different people are in the process, where it gets hung up. And there's a very human component, which is like. Dealing with people saying they don't like things and overcoming that objection.

And so like, I, I, I really don't know that I can point to a single job that I'm like, that thing. Is it, I think it's like if you could find someone who had worked in creative production as a producer and then had somehow made their way into. Media buying in some capacity. I don't know. It's a hard, it's a hard thing to chase down and this is why I think it's such a, a deficit.

I don't actually think the creative strategies is the problem in many of these cases. It really is that there's nobody that's building a system to actually bring this stuff to life.

[00:28:09] Richard Gaffin: And maybe it's a matter of just like once the system is in place. There's people with maybe certain character characteristics. So the characteristics of say like a creative production person, that ability to hold several things in your head at once to be a great like, like a project manager. Again, all characteristics I do not have.

You find this person, you put them within a system that's set up in this way and like have them sort of shaped the system and be shaped by the system. Maybe is like the only shot. 'cause you're not gonna find somebody who has all these characteristics already.

[00:28:37] Taylor Holiday: That's right. Yeah. I, I think that's a good way to describe it, is it really is a a personality of managing things to completion on time in a way that understands, and it's curious, I think too, because I, I think that the challenge tends to become, and you even said it, is that like you are not that person.

Well, creatives exist in this, in my experience, and this is a little bit of a generalization, but I think there's, there's some truths here in this way in which they resist the thing that serves them. What do I mean by that? Is that like they bristle at the construct of measurement and you have to make this many ads and volume of production, and it has to be done on this time, but those things are actually like the things that necessitate bringing out the best in them.

And so there's this very human part of this thing, which is to say, I recognize who creatives are and I actually value it. And I don't, I don't diminish the, the challenge of it, but I'm here to serve you in creating constraints and hard conversations and to say, yeah. I'm sorry. This does need to be here on this time, and I'm gonna create the space to make sure it exists and you ha you feel good about it.

Or to recognize that sometimes the feeling that someone has about their work might not be the best indication of its impact and, and to to work through that anyways. And so I think there's a piece of, of that experiential interaction with people in the creative world that can blow you about if the person's just like.

Really not liking what they're doing. My experience is that creatives don't actually like the process of creative. Sometimes it's like almost messy until it's out, and then even then it's like they may head, it's, it's just, it's, it's hard to, to work off of the, the emotional component of it is a real factor.

[00:30:11] Richard Gaffin: Yeah, totally. Well, I think describing creatives is as people for whom the thing that serves them most is the thing they also hate. Like I feel, I feel very seen by that because that's definitely like, that kind of encapsulates what the creative experience is to a lot of, a lot of people. And I think like one, one thing that came to mind while you were talking is like, there's a, I can't remember which author it is, but she talks about.

She's one of the great novelists. Oh, Jim is her name. She's a great novelist. And she describes writing a book, like it takes her about a year and a half to write a novel. She calls writing a novel as like, I felt like I was sick for a year and a half, basically. And it's like, it's a terrible experience for her and she hates it.

So you have to like understand that. The, the creative people doing the be the thing that they're the best at may also be an emotionally difficult experience for them that they may not actually like. And so one thing I really like about the set of restraints that we've put in place with Offer Angle audience is that it eases a lot of the creative decision making parts that make creative so difficult and sort of emotionally.

Challenging for people, I think. So there's like, I think a lot of the times the restrictions placed on creatives in the past have been, Hey, just make 500 ads and I don't care how you do it, we just need 'em tomorrow. But when it becomes something different, which is like, Hey, here's, here's some information to work with, here's some material to work with.

We need this many ads, but we know exactly when we need them and they need to be, and they, they fit a framework that kind of already exists, then I think it becomes a lot easier. Anyway. I'm

[00:31:32] Taylor Holiday: Yeah, and,

[00:31:33] Richard Gaffin: creatives everywhere that it works

[00:31:34] Taylor Holiday: and look, I, I think it would be incorrect to say that that's exclusively an attributed creatives. I, we have this process at CTC where we ask the media buyers to provide. Daily, we call them map notes, what's going on in your growth map? And I would say they all resist it and hate it because it feels like a roadblock to the core work that they need to do, which is to go work in the ad account.

And the communication flow actually feels like it takes them out of the thing that is most impactful, but they're not recognizing in that initial resistance how much. The process of developing trust in their work and clarity of understanding for the person on the other side actually frees them up to not be micromanaged to do the work that they wanna do.

And so there's all these ways in which true for all of us, like CRE, constraints are a very healthy part of becoming the thing that we wanna become. And absent them, we all. Tend to, to get distracted or move in directions that aren't always as useful as they could be. So the person building those con constraints and serving the people in it and being empathetic while also being operationally excellent, it's just a hard thing to be, and so that's why I think it's the creative ops person that's the unicorn.

Not as much the creative

[00:32:41] Richard Gaffin: Right. Makes sense. Cool. Well, I think, is there anything else you wanna hit on this?

[00:32:45] Taylor Holiday: No, I would just say that the questions to ask yourself. Inside your organization as you walk away from this episode is how many ads do, am I clear on how many ads I need to make this month? Am I clear on the cost of making each of those ads, and do I have a plan that I'm confident we'll deliver them on time?

If, if you answer no to any of those questions, I don't know how much they cost. I don't know when they're going live and I don't know how many I need. If, if any of those is no, I would stop. And take a step back and figure out how could we create more clarity on the task at hand. 'cause it's likely that there's financial waste in that lack of clarity.

And that's what I would leave you

[00:33:20] Richard Gaffin: Gotcha. Cool. All right folks, well, thanks again for joining us for another week and of course, if any of you want us to build this system for you, we are always open to that. Of course. Come hit us up at Common Thread Code. Dot com, click the high risk button. We would love to have a further conversation with you about how we can start putting this creative system in into place for you as well.

But yeah, we will we'll see everybody next week. Take care. Bye-Bye.