PUTTING CREATIVITY BACK INTO MARKETING.
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Mark Ritson, marketing consultant and professor, recently wrote about creative marketing. This is the current ‘trend’ for marketers to invest time, energy and money into adding a dose of creativity into their professional roles:
“The idea that marketers need to be creative is baloney … Creativity is an amazingly powerful and important element in marketing success. It’s just not something that we marketers should be doing ourselves.”
Mark’s comments about creative marketing have been sparked by the ongoing debate about how to satisfy today’s audiences. Of course, he is not negating the need for creativity. But, he is saying that it doesn’t sit with the marketer who is primarily responsible for research and strategy.
Strength in numbers
There’s no denying that data has been overshadowing the creative in recent years. That’s because we have all been adjusting to the ever-changing demands of the marketing mix. Hands up who has a love/hate relationship with the Twitter character count? But, all tactics – creative or otherwise – have to be supported by a robust strategy and informed numbers to achieve reach KPIs.
The most obvious thorn in this debate is that some teams do not have a person for each individual strand of marketing. Many teams – both in-house and outsourced – will have people who look after various aspects of the marketing process. But this doesn’t weaken their ability. In fact, some people can have that broad range of skills. In fact, their experiences at the coalface of creativity can help to inform research and strategy. They may know more than most what works with their audiences and what doesn’t. Data is a gift but it is a gift which can be shared across a marketing department.
Cheryl Calverley, CMO at mattress brand Eve, puts it very well: “My job is to take creativity and turn it into pounds and pence. Monetising the creative is what we do as marketers.”
That business success means beating your competition by consistently sailing straight past them in the sales race. That demands creative in order to develop an engaging message. That message also needs to resonate with your target audience in a memorable way which is constant across all touch points. So, deep impact is essential – and impact rests on creativity.
There’s some reasons – and plenty of excuses – why some companies still shy away from creativity. Yet, those limitations imposed upon us in digital marketing can actually force us to reconsider the creative. Use social media for social good. Try out those old-age platforms in new ways for your brand. Take some risks to reap the benefits instead of sticking to the same old stuff. In other words, be creative.
Take content marketing, for example. This is nothing new – although it remains the most obvious example of creativity in consumer communications. But, there’s no point writing a blog for your company’s website if it isn’t backed up with keyword analysis, SEO and a plan on when, where and how to share it. Writers need data to be creative and vice versa.
In summary, creativity and marketing are intrinsically and undeniably linked – and thank goodness for that. It takes numbers, words and pictures working well together for a company to make a name for itself in today’s incredibly competitive marketplace. Although Mark Ritson is right that those looking after research and strategy shouldn’t get bogged down with the creative, it doesn’t mean that they don’t all play their part together. They can compliment each other with insight, ideas and tactics based on knowledge and experiences within their spheres of expertise.
Here at Theme, we have the know-how to inform content, create it and deliver it in the most effective way for your business. Whether its digital or traditional marketing you’re looking for, we can produce it to the highest quality and the theory to support it too. Contact us to find out more.