Why great creative is more important than ever
In the age of martech and the "Engagement Economy," it's easy to put creativity on the back burner. Columnist Karen Steele explains why that's a mistake and why you need both art and science for effective marketing.
Every year we all have the opportunity to dive into the creative pool of Cannes Lions, the international festival celebrating creativity in communications, entertainment, design and tech. Like me, most people do it via the festival’s excellent website.
No matter; it’s still an exhilarating splash, and this year’s annual plunge has me convinced that, in the “Engagement Economy,” great creative is more important than ever. Let me explain.
I believe that Apple invented high-tech marketing back in the ’80s. And with Steve Jobs at the helm, it was all about creativity — in messages, design and production. In the early ’90s, I cut my marketing teeth working with Jobs at Next, and then rejoined Apple, where I was manager of consumer advertising.
Over the ensuing years, my faith in great creative to produce something valuable and inspiring has never flagged.
But the marketing game has changed considerably since then, specifically with the advent of online channels and the almost unlimited data that we marketers can now leverage.
In some quarters, this has led to creativity being sidelined, or at least being knocked askew on its pedestal, as the scientific side of marketing has grown in importance.
Bad mistake, because while you need both art and science in marketing, creativity is the killer ingredient that drives marketing effectiveness.
In today’s world of all things digital, the demands on people’s time are more intense than ever. As marketers, we can shout, loudly and often, and hope someone hears us over all the background noise.
Or we can capture people’s attention through truly creative work, and start engaging with them in a meaningful fashion by appealing to their hearts.