3 Reasons (Quality) Marketing Creative Is Worth Paying For
Throughout history, creative geniuses were artists praised as great thinkers and innovators. (Leonardo Da Vinci, anyone?) As society has evolved, the value placed on artistry, creative-thinking and innovation – especially within marketing and advertising – has virtually vanished.
The biggest factor at play? Technology. Innovative advancements have leveled the playing field by giving people easy access to tools that were once used exclusively by members of the creative trade.
Marketing Creative is Commoditized.
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 everyone can execute creative tactics these days.
Today’s technology makes it easy for people to write and publish blogs, take and edit videos, download templates and create websites, share and promote their work online … The hobbyist-turned-entrepreneur has made nickel-and-diming for creative execution a regular occurrence.
Quality Versus Quantity
The only way to break through all of the noise is to focus marketing on quality versus quantity.
Sounds simple enough, right?
In my past 15 years as a professional designer, I’ve learned that quality creative is not easy to come by. It’s born from “Leonardo Da Vincis” of the world who not only have the education, training and experience, but also the knowledge and experience to make strategic marketing that drives results.
Quality creative is an investment. The value isn’t solely in the creative execution itself, but in the creative thinking that drives it. Here are three reasons why it’s worth every penny.
1. Creative is Way More than Pictures and Words
If you ask 100 different marketers what “creative” means to them, you’ll get 100 different answers. We know this from firsthand experience.
Our team is made up of a diverse group of people with experience in everything from startups and software development to digital and traditional marketing. We all have a different definition of creativity … at least, we use to.
To get everyone on the same page, 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 so much more than clean typography, arresting imagery and catchy headlines by designers and writers. Thanks to methodologies such as Design Thinking and the evolution of marketing to a digital medium, creative marketing is now inventive problem-solving.
Today’s Creative Team now includes strategists, planners, user-centered designers, UX architects, programmers, developers, technologists … big thinkers who are given the power to “figure stuff out” and discover new, inventive ways to solve modern marketing challenges.
2. Creating Emotional Connections is an Artform
More often than not, when marketers think about “creative,” they associate it and place value solely on the creative tactics and execution, like a final print ad in a magazine. But that’s narrow-sighted.
Creativity is a mindset, talent and skill. It’s a process of combining artistry, experience and drive to take completely disparate information, tools and mediums and make 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’s personality, Amazon created the “Alexa Personality Team,” made up of musicians, poets, playwrights and authors – creative individuals who understand the human condition.
Creatives have a deep passion for capturing and expressing human feelings. Whether it’s through humorous wordplay, heart-wrenching photography or even a familiar and trustworthy voice coming from a device sitting on the kitchen counter, their goal is to help brands connect with people.
This emotionally driven, user-centered approach to design is the real value of a Creative Team. As technology continues to evolve, Creatives will continue to explore and expand ways to create significant customers experiences for marketers.
3. It Takes a Team to Foster Great Ideas
During my time at Parsons, I had the great privilege of learning from some well-known creative geniuses, including Ji Lee (current Creative Strategist at Facebook and Instagram) and Stella Bugbee (current Editor-In-Chief of New York Magazine’s “The Cut”).
The most important takeaway from that period of my life that has stuck with me throughout my career is that great ideas don’t come from working in a vacuum.
How can you expect great, compelling marketing campaigns that people pay attention to without first understanding what is happening in someone’s world? You can’t. If you want creative marketing solutions that are relevant, you must understand what the people you’re talking to care about most.
That means hiring an experienced team, including a strategic planner and user-experience architect, with the ability to tease out audience insights. From there, the creative team can draw inspiration from the same areas of life as the audience, including trends in society, culture, art, technology, economics, politics and so on.
Without the important insights that come from a full-team collaboration, it’s impossible to design creative that connects. 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 where more marketers are recognizing the true value and role that creative plays in marketing. Creative is not a commodity. When done right, creative marketing provides tremendous value that solves problems and delivers results, which is well worth the investment.