For better or worse, it's an online world now. The pandemic underscored and accelerated that truth, which means businesses of nearly every stripe must accept that their online presence is their primary presence.
And that means the greatest risk to your business is now its greatest opportunity. So, whatever your online presence, don't be boring.
Even when vaccines ease us back into a return to normal, the need for businesses to excel in their digital experience will only intensify. They will need engaging and effective content that resonates with a digital audience.
It's simple: If a business is not creative, its brand will suffer.
Creativity in marketing can elevate your business and products:
- It can capture the attention of clients, employees, and investors, and also affect them on an emotional level.
- It can turn adversity and constraint into new opportunities, or a better way of doing things.
- It can make for a happier and more interesting workplace while bringing a return on investment.
The value of the creative professional in today's business environment isn't like the difference between chicken and chicken cordon bleu. The gap separating the mundane from engaging content is much wider. It's more like the difference between white toast and saffron risotto with chanterelles.
Sure, it's all food. But which dish would have you yearning for more?
Creativity in marketing improves the digital customer experience
I could cite experts who say users leave a webpage within 10 to 20 seconds, but you know that already. You have a smartphone, and you have only so much patience for blocks of text, PDFs, and static graphics. Boring!
Interactive content, on the other hand, is just that: It compels us to interact. It's engaging. Digital audiences want to be part of the brand experience, whether they recognize that or not.
Great visual storytelling through interactive content reflects great design. And great design brings us in and makes us feel something: Our experience becomes deeper than passive consumption.
"There are so many possible emotional and intellectual responses to a given design that it is hard to disentangle them," graphic designer Sean Adams says in his new book, How Design Makes Us Think, as excerpted in Fast Company.
Humans don't stop being humans when you give them a keyboard or a screen to look at. Experience matters. We make decisions based on logic and feelings, and how you feel is going to be informed by what you experience.
That is why the role of creativity in marketing is so vital.
Successful creatives demand their businesses be bold and push boundaries in experiential content. They combine interactions, animations, embedded media, and storytelling to create immersive experiences. Successful businesses heed that call.
Don't be boring.
Yes, that requires trying new things. Swinging and sometimes missing. But if your focus is solely on ROI, your digital experience will be dead on arrival.
The benefits (many) and the costs (not as high as you think) of creativity in marketing may surprise you.
The right software doesn't discourage creativity in marketing—it inspires it
The top reasons for not having interactive content are lack of budget, lack of in-house skills, and lack of support from company leadership, our research indicates.
The right software can overcome each of those hurdles. Such software solutions let organizations design and publish interactive content online without the endless back-and-forth among developers, coding engineers, and outside agencies that can waste time and trample creative vision.
Furthermore, the information you can glean from how users interact with your online experiences far surpasses anything you can get from other media. What insights can you get on how your audience interacts with a PDF or other form of static content? None.
Creativity in marketing isn't just about money (though it's profitable)
In a larger sense, embracing and encouraging creativity in marketing and in online experiences can foster a culture of creativity in the workplace—and creativity can drive business results.
Companies that foster creativity achieve revenue growth above their peers, enjoy a greater market share, and win recognition as a best place to work, a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Adobe indicated.
The creative professional also adds practical value during uncertain times. Businesses have never faced this type of adversity—a global pandemic, economic upheaval, civil unrest, political chaos—and constraints in the marketplace. But the gauntlet was thrown into the right hands. We had no playbook to get through the past year, so creative professionals found a way with new ideas, new approaches, and new methods to save money, do more with less, and still be effective.
ROI from that innovation might not be evident now, but it will be in the months and years to come.
Creative professionals aren't always focused on economic value. Creativity in marketing is about bringing things into the world because doing so makes the world happier, more interesting, and diverse. The process of creation is an incredibly powerful force.
If you can make yourself and other people happy and make money by being creative, and you use that money to fuel even more innovations... well, that's the ultimate goal.
The creative professional is the voice that tells you the right thing to do. Over time, that choice of ensuring the role of creativity in marketing will build far greater value than the cost of producing it in the first place.
More Resources on the Role of Creativity in Marketing
You may like these other MarketingProfs articles related to Marketing Strategy:
- Maximizing Your B2B Marketing Budget—Recession Strategies and Tips: Lindsay Boyajian Hagan on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]
- The Pros and Cons of Printed Marketing Materials
- Customer Marketing: The Key to Surviving the Economic Downturn
- Industry Foresight: Forecasting the Future of Your Market
- First-Party Data Isn't Enough: You'll Need the Right Data Infrastructure to Derive Value From Your Marketing Data
- The Attention Economy—How Time Affects Your B2B Marketing Efforts: Doug Binder on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]