Technology Boosts, But Can't Replace, the Creative Element

April 19, 2017

A few decades ago, the channels through which marketers could spend their budgets were relatively limited: print, television, radio or direct mail. Pick one of these four, or any combination. Today, we have a nearly limitless choice of channels through which to market, and many organizations become distracted when picking the right mix of digital. While much has changed, one truth remains the same: it’s the creative element that dictates the success or failure of a marketing campaign.

A recent infographic produced by InMotionNow cited backup research that confirms the importance of the creative side of marketing. Among the most pertinent statistics:

  • 71 percent of U.S. consumers say they will choose a product or service over its competitors because of a good design (source: The State of Create Report, Adobe).
  • 57 percent will pay more for a product or service that has a good design (Adobe).
  • Businesses that invest in creative are 89 percent more likely to have satisfied customers than those that don’t (Adobe), and 85 percent more likely to be financially successful.

The benefits of investing in the creative are obvious, but not all companies seem to be making it a priority. The InMotionNow infographic also identified some troubling statistics:

  • 77 percent of marketing teams say there is increased pressure to be more productive than creative at work (source: Adobe)
  • Mental blocks caused by switching tasks incessantly due to interruptions or multitasking can reduce productivity by 40 percent (Multitasking Switching Costs, APA).
  • 85 percent of marketing teams are under more pressure to create more assets and deliver more campaigns quickly (Collaboration and Workflow, IDC).

These barriers to creative marketing content are counter-productive to the creation of good campaigns, which is ultimately counterproductive to business growth.

Image via InMotionNow

“Research shows that creative work, including good design, drives customer preference, loyalty, and a willingness to pay a premium. And those benefits translate into tangible revenues for brands,” wrote Laura Forer writing for MarketingProfs.

Technology can help with better productivity and efficiency, leaving creative teams more time to…well, be creative. Adobe’s State of Create report found that 71 percent of teams more easily express creative ideas using the right technologies, and 84 percent of teams said that technology gives more people the opportunity to be creative. Nearly two-thirds – 64 percent – of people surveyed for the Adobe report said that technology can help overcome creative limitations. Technology can also help creative teams target their content better thanks to actionable intelligence collected by “big data” processes. Big data alone, however, can never replace the creative element value.

“Data driven insights need to be used to guide creative teams, to show them what interests viewers and what does not, in order to help them to create the best content that is within the parameters dictated by the reactions of the audience,” wrote Andrew Bindelglass for Mad Marketer. “The key to marketing is not, then, data in and of itself, but rather the marriage of that data with creators who can develop content best suited for their audience.”

The creative process can be frustrating to manage. You can’t rush it, quantify it easily or replace it with software. You can, however, use technology to nurture it, collaborate it and realize it. 

Edited by Alicia Young

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