Does creativity matter anymore in marketing?

I like data. I actually enjoy looking through statistics, studies, surveys, reviews, all the numbers that give us an idea of where the world is going and what the world is thinking.

However, as a copywriter, Creative Director and Professor of Marketing who teaches copywriting, I don’t live by data.

I think of all those numbers as ingredients in a recipe. Individually they each bring a specific flavor to a dish. But blended together the taste and appeal becomes something special, a mixture of sweet and sour, spicy and smooth, ying and yang for the taste buds.

What I have found is that so many marketing approaches currently appear to be one taste fits all. If data shows that influencers are popular, everyone uses influencers. If statistics reveal that one media form is overwhelmingly favored by a certain demographic, everyone marketing to that demographic jumps on to that media and ignores everything else.

While this makes sense from a business perspective it also leads to similarity (if not downright duplication) of messages and a media clutter that will be avoided by consumers.

Then there is the messaging itself. I don’t want to sound like an old and complaining codger but there was a time when creativity in marketing messages was valued and sought-after. The reason being that breakthrough creative was found to result in what every client and business I have ever dealt with demanded and expected — sales increases. I have never, ever met a business who doesn’t want their marketing dollars to deliver a strong ROI.

I’m not advocating a return to the “good old days” because there was a plentitude of lousy advertising back then. What I am urging is for creative thinking to extend beyond technology.

Let’s make every media form a platform of creative excellence. Let’s use all the media available to us marketers as a place where consumers can go to satisfy their appetite for new-exciting-breakthrough-need fulfilling products and services.

This will take much more than the latest statistics and data. Remember these are just ingredients. What will you do with these ingredients to create marketing dishes that go beyond simply filling you up but bringing a smile to your face and keep you coming back for more and more and more.

Will this be easy? Of course not, creativity that delivers never is simple to achieve. It takes knowing the product, knowing the market, knowing exactly what you want to say, and then letting the ideas flow. Whether it’s through testimonials, demonstrations, comparisons, or facts, creative messaging can persuade and motivate.

Think of how delicious that bowl of statistical, survey and test data can be when it all comes together in one amazing Big Idea.


About nhbrownlee

Advertising copywriter, Creative Director and state of New York college professor. I love true stories. Who doesn't?
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