In order to apply the strategies and decisions formulated in the initial phases of the communication research, they are applied in the context of business communication, particularly in group decision-making processes. In the final analysis report, the case study on the Creative Media team conflict is discussed, addressing the prevalent issues that bring about miscommunication within the team.
The case study on the Creative Media team situation has the following specifics: Gap Jeans, Inc. is planning to launch a new advertising campaign for its new product, called the Gap Washed Jeans, which features a denim-wash (faded look) feature for women, which will be available in hipster and flared styles. Gap is looking for a creative ad agency that will conceptualize and produce the ad campaign, although specific information about the nature of the ad campaign is not yet formulated. Thus, the whole advertising and marketing process, from conceptualization to production, will be the primary function of the chosen advertising agency.
After looking at the credentials of competent agencies in the advertising and marketing industry, Gap Inc. chose ABC Advertising and Marketing Solutions to produce the ad campaign for the company's new Gap jeans line. It is essential that an appropriate marketing plan will be conceptualized within the period indicated by the client, which is to produce the ad campaign within two months. Given the limited time frame, the head of the Creative Team assigned to do the Gap jeans project is pressured to deliver not only on time, but also effectively, by satisfying the client on the ability to entice and inform consumers about the company's new clothing product line.
However, despite the time constraint given by the client, the ABC creative team head encountered a difficult problem among his team members -- the team is divided into two groups who cannot agree with the media that will be used for the ad campaign. The two groups are in a disagreement over the usage of print or television ads to promote the new product. Because of the conflict among the members of the team, the conceptualization process stagnated. The creative team head is in a dilemma on what group to agree with. In order to speed up the ad campaign production, the team head must decide whether to take a television or print ad campaign objectively (without looking like the head is taking sides with one group over the other), and more importantly, reconcile the groups so that the project will be accomplished.
Thus, to solve the conflict between the two groups, the team head addresses the problem in one of the scheduled team meetings for the week. Face-to-face interactive communication is an effective channel in which the team head can discuss objectively the problem at hand, which are two-fold: the ad campaign project that needs to be finished and conflict among the members of the team. As the main source of the information that will be discussed in the meeting, the team leader addresses the team on an impersonal level, but on a 'strictly business,' objective tone. This is to insinuate among the team members the seriousness of the issues to be discussed in the meeting, which might be taken for granted because the team is acquainted with each other at an impersonal level. Thus, the source of the message, the team leader, must adopt a friendly but resolute and unbiased attitude during the meeting, which delegates respect from the team members. Furthermore, since the scenario is mainly in the workplace setting, objectivity must be attained, especially during team meetings about the Gap Jeans ad campaign project.
The bulk of the meeting talks about two issues: the rift between the TV and print group and the conceptualization process of the jeans ad campaign. The agenda of the meeting includes the following discussions: (1) enumeration of the causes and effects of the ineffective conceptualization decision-making within the group; (2) presenting the two sides of the argument, based on market research results; (3) presenting the TV and print groups' arguments for and against each medium; (4) proposal of solution on the ad campaign medium based on research and client's preferences; and (5) formulation of the solution on the conflict between the TV and print groups.
First off, the team head addresses the causes why the project is still not conceptualized properly and concretely. These causes are lack of marketing and advertising plan (primary problem) and no detailed objectives for the team to focus on, particularly on the marketing strategy that will be applied to the ad campaign. The team head solves the second problem, and provides a general objective for the team to focus on, which is subject to change if the team members have a better objective to suggest. But for the moment, and for the purpose of the meeting, the team's objective is, "to advertise and market the Gap Washed jeans clothing line to project an image of hip and sophistication by mixing classic and modern features that will cater to the women sector (market), particularly those belonging to the adult years (20s-40s)."
With the general objective formulated, the team head shares the result of market research on the effectiveness of print and television ads in advertising jeans products. This presentation aims to resolve the conflict between the two groups in the team, and to come up with an effective medium that will be used for the campaign. By presenting the market research, the team leader decides on the appropriate medium for the ad without compromising his/her working relationship with the team members (s/he might be accused of making biased decisions based on personal relations with other team members). Thus, to avoid personal conflict with the team, the head presents the vital considerations that must be looked at when conceptualizing the ad campaign: the nature of the product, target market, and budget for the ad campaign.
The Gap Washed jeans is a new clothing line that caters to women who are jeans wearers. An important feature of the product is that it has a faded denim look, coupled with a sexy fit because of its low-rise and flared design. The general objective focuses on a mix of hip and sophistication and classic and modern attributes of the produce because, indeed, jeans are timeless clothing products, and can be used for both formal and informal occasions. Furthermore, it can be worn by people of all ages, in this case, women who belong to the 20-40 age bracket. Sectors of the women market targeted by the ad are female students and professionals who are always on the go and needs comfortable clothing that will be appropriate and convenient to wear for their daily activities.
The team leader concludes that according to market research, print advertisements on jeans products are more effective than television ads. This is because print ads are more visual, which allows consumers to discern and look carefully at the product, which may not be possible when looking at a TV ad on the said product, which may last only for 15-30 minutes, barely enough time for viewers to process what they have just seen. In effect, print advertisements are more suitable when Gap Inc. wants its potential customers to look carefully at the product and be acquainted with its special features. In addition, print advertisements are accessible to consumers, what with the availability of newspapers and magazines everywhere. Because TV ads are based on specific airtimes, chances are people will not be able to view the ads at a particular time, limiting the reach of the Gap jeans ads to its target market despite the wide reach of broadcast capabilities of television. Lastly, print ads are more economical compared to TV ads, since television requires greater cost of production and distribution (TV ads…