3 Reasons (Quality) Marketing Creative Is Worth Paying For
There have been many creative geniuses throughout history. These artists were praised as great thinkers and innovators. (Leonardo Da Vinci, anyone?) Today, the value of artistry, creative-thinking and innovation has nearly vanished. Especially when it comes to marketing and advertising design.
The biggest reason? Technology. Innovation has leveled the playing field. Everyone has easy access to tools that were used only by people in the creative trade.
Marketing Creative Has Lost its Value
Most people have a smartphone in their pocket. Not to mention, a laptop or tablet on their kitchen table. With little skill and effort, virtually anyone can execute creative tactics.
Today’s technology makes it easy for people to write and publish blogs. Or, take and edit videos. Even, download templates and create websites. What starts as a hobby, often becomes a side hustle or business. And those hobbyists don’t hesitate to execute creative for cheap.
Quality Versus Quantity
The only way to break through all the noise? Focus marketing design on quality versus quantity.
Sounds simple enough, right?
In my past 15 years as a designer, I’ve learned that quality creative is not easy to find. It’s born from the “Leonardo Da Vincis” of the world. People who have education and training. But they also have knowledge and experience to make strategic marketing that drives results.
Quality creative is an investment. The value goes beyond the creative tactics and execution. There’s value in the creative thinking itself. Here are three reasons why quality creative is worth every penny.
1. Creative is Way More than Pictures and Words
Ask 100 marketers what “creative” means to them and you’ll get 100 different answers. We know this from firsthand experience.
Our team includes a diverse group of people with a wide range of experience. Our backgrounds consist of everything from startups and software development to digital and traditional marketing. We all have a different definition of creativity … at least, we use to.
We needed to get everyone on the same page. That’s why we adopted the following definition from Linda Neiman, founder of Creativity at Work:
“Creativity is characterized by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions. Creativity involves two processes: thinking, then producing.”
Creative marketing is made up of more than clean typography, arresting imagery and catchy headlines. Thanks to approaches like Design Thinking and the evolution of digital media, creative marketing is inventive problem-solving.
Today’s Creative Team includes strategists, planners, user-centered designers, UX architects, programmers, developers and technologists. These big thinkers “figure stuff out.” They constantly discover new, inventive ways to solve modern marketing challenges.
2. Creating Emotional Connections is an Artform
When most marketers think about “creative,” they associate it with tactics. They focus on the end result, like a final print ad. But that’s narrow-sighted.
Creativity is a mindset, talent and skill. It combines artistry, experience and drive to find connections between completely unrelated things. Creativity makes something from nothing – a “something” that makes people “feel.”
A great example of creativity at work is Amazon’s Alexa Virtual Assistant. To develop Alexa, Amazon created the “Alexa Personality Team.” It’s made of musicians, poets, playwrights and authors – creative people who understand human emotion.
Creatives have a deep passion for capturing and expressing human feelings. Sometimes it’s through humorous wordplay and heart-wrenching photography. Other times, it’s a familiar and trustworthy voice coming from a device sitting on the kitchen counter. Whatever form it takes, the goal is to help brands connect with people.
This emotionally driven, user-centered approach to marketing design is the real value of a Creative Team. As technology continues to evolve, Creatives will continue to explore. We’ll discover new ways to create ideal customer experiences for advertisers and marketers.
3. It Takes a Team to Foster Great Ideas
During my time at Parsons, I had the privilege to learn from some well-known creative geniuses. This included Ji Lee, Creative Strategist at Facebook and Instagram. Plus, Stella Bugbee, Editor-In-Chief of New York Magazine’s “The Cut.”
There’s one key thing I learned from that period of my life. And it’s stuck with me throughout my career. It’s that great ideas don’t come from working alone.
How can you get people to pay attention to marketing campaigns if you don’t understand what’s happening in their world? You can’t. Relevant marketing solutions begin with understanding what your audience cares about most.
To understand your target audience, you must hire an experienced team. This includes a strategic planner and user-experience architect with the ability to tease out audience insights. From there, the creative team finds inspiration. They draw from the same areas of life as the audience. This includes trends in society, culture, art, technology, economics, politics and so on.
Without key insights from a full team, it’s impossible to design creative that makes a connection. And when creative doesn’t connect with your audience, it’s virtually impossible to convert to sales.
I believe we’re at a critical turning point. Marketers are beginning to recognize the true value of creative in marketing. Creative is not a commodity. When done right, creative marketing provides tremendous value. It solves problems and delivers results, which is well worth the investment.