Can marketing be creative? Is it more imagination or numbers? Can a marketer be an artist? Historically, the term “marketing creative” has been associated with someone who would produce visuals that would go on marketing collateral and ad campaigns. But with time, marketing has become much more complex and rigorous.
Today, a good marketer needs to master data analytics, customer experience, knowledge of the changing market, product design and the target audience. Does this make his job more right-brained or left-brained? Or does this allow a little bit of involvement from both sides for maximum efficiency?
This article attempts to give you a broader understanding and answer these questions. Let’s dive in to understand what it means to be a creative marketer today.
1. Give the customer end-to-end solutions
Every marketer knows how important customer experience is for a positive brand image. However, most marketers focus only on parts of that experience that are under their control. A creative marketer looks at this experience from a broader lens and pays attention to entire end-to-end customer experience. This refers to holding the user’s hand when he is still a potential customer and taking him through the buying process, providing after-support and nurturing customer relations over time.
Doing this takes time and resources but most importantly, it requires thinking differently and bringing creative thinking to unfamiliar problems.
2. Work with the customer, not for them
One of the most famous terms in the world of marketing is being “customer-centric”. Your customers are not just consumers; they are creators. They are actively creating and developing content and ideas. They are thinking differently, better engaging with brands and encountering challenges right along with you. Effective marketing is about working with your customers right from the beginning to weave their experience with your efforts to build a better connection with them.
3. Bring creativity to numbers
Numbers help us understand exactly what’s working and what’s not. With social media being on the front seat, certain metrics helps us understand what’s resonating with the public and what isn’t. This gives marketing a chance to measure and manage itself in new ways. Back in the day, awards and sticking to budgets was enough to prove the effectiveness of the marketing strategy. Today, the freedom to measure data and tweak strategies in real-time enables marketing to prove its value to the business in an entirely unique way.
4. Make customers your advocate
In a highly fragmented and social landscape, marketers struggle to reach their awareness goals just through paid media and PR. Your strongest channel of media is your people. The best way to amplify impact is by inspiring creativity in everything you do. For instance, something as simple as a domain name can be made creative. If you are planning a launch campaign you can have a microsite that talks about the new product and the domain name of the website could be www.newproduct.fun. Similarly, if it’s a tech-related product you could use .TECH as the domain extension.
New domain extensions such as .STORE, .SPACE, .PRESS, .ONLINE, .SITE give you the chance to have a more brandable and brand-focused domain name. This added layer of creativity makes you stand out in the sea of contenders and gives you the much-needed word-of-mouth.
5. Think and act like a startup
Historically, marketers needed to be efficient managers, setting strict goals in advance and working with a fixed budget to achieve these goals. But today, marketers need to think more like entrepreneurs, adopting and adapting to changes and making changes to their approaches and strategies in real time. Moreover, with new channels coming in every day, it is important to quickly adapt for them and communicate with users effectively.
In a nutshell…
The constant changes happening in technology, media, and consumer behavior are redefining the nature of creativity in marketing. Marketing is no longer measured in the success of the input (whether that’s a blog post or a full-fledged ad campaign), but rather in the value of the output (which could be additional sales, more eyeballs, brand loyalty, and advocacy). Marketers have to go beyond thinking like artists and promoters. They have to wear the newer shoes of entrepreneurs and innovators—giving customers a holistic experience, using data to better understand trends and make the most of it and measuring effectiveness based on business results.