Creativity: The answer to successful end-to-end marketing

Dave Yeates

Marketing needs to be considered end-to-end. Not just science and data, CRM’s and segmentations, but customer touch points, buying triggers and pure, unadulterated creativity.

To break through the cacophony of content that the digital world has enabled, stories must be incredibly well crafted. They must be remarkable…

…marketing needs a broader set of talents under its umbrella. Art and Copy are still necessary, but not sufficient. Art and copy must be augmented by code and data…

…this kaleidoscopic fabric of code and data is now the tapestry into which marketing is woven.

 

Three lines that I haven’t been able to shake in over a week. Scott Brinker’s ‘A New Brand of Marketing’ expertly summarises the convergence of technology and modern marketing.

The chapter that has stayed with me however, is simply titled: ‘From Art & Copy to Code & Data’.  It’s not that it’s thrown me, the concepts are sound and proven, and not at all unfamiliar, it’s that it rings so true it’s like having that Aha! moment all over again.

Which is why I think it’s worth sharing. But allow me to rewind a little.

When I mention ‘In the Air Tonight’ by Phil Collins, where does your mind go?

Off to a distant nostalgic moment?

A trip down memory lane?

Or do you think about chocolate? And a glass-and-a-half full of joy.

For me, I didn’t grow up with Phil Collins, so I think of the Gorilla every time.

Which is important, because science tells me my demographic is better at consuming chocolate bars than Phil Collins’ generation.

Whether we are considering Cadbury’s branding position to stand for ‘a glass and a half full of joy’ or an advertising decision which would ultimately win Cadbury ‘Ad of the Year, 2007’, we have to understand that marketing is as much an art as it is a science.

In 2013, with the help of Clemenger BBDO, the Association for Data-driven Marketing & Advertising (ADMA) compiled a report on the link between creativity and effectiveness. Amongst the 20 findings were the following (paraphrased):

  • Creativity’s most important lever is its ability to create brand ‘fame’ and leverage viral media
  • Creativity drives effectiveness strongly over the longer term, but the advantage takes time to develop (typically 6 months).
  • The more creative the outcome, the greater the shortfall in short-term efficacy. This is remedied,however, by a greater the long-term boost to effectiveness.
  • Creativity has a strong efficacy on pricing sensitivity. Allowing brands to allowing brands to harden pricing and boost profits.

So why Gorillas?

In Cadbury’s case, a Gorilla raised revenues on Chocolate bars by 5% in the year following the ad, but given the value of creativity outlined by ADMA, the real value is in the long-tail of this campaign. The 300+ viral spin-offs; parody being the highest form of flattery. Then countless PR articles, analysis, and millions and millions of YouTube hits to date.

Cadbury’s approach wasn’t without its science, though. The ad was premiered during the UK’s BigBrother finale and then promoted in varying length TV spots for a focused two months to carefully calculated demographics with an overall campaign spend of £6.2 million.

During its first fortnight, a long-form version of the ad, for die-hard fans, was available on their website where it made 58,000 hits along with anchoring Cadbury’s ‘a glass and a half full productions’ which went on to make $4.19 in revenue for every $1 spent.

Herein lies the challenge for business today.

Silos are converging

Brand, Marketing, Sales, even Operations in some circumstances are becoming more difficult to separate. The same is with media; bought, owned and earned media are converging. Where does Cadbury’s video sit? They bought the airtime. They earned the PR.  They hosted the long-form. It’s all three. Marketing departments are under increasing pressure to be accountable for their ROI, whilst also being as creative and personal as possible.

Some advice.

So what about you? Creativity leading converged marketing creates end-to-end marketing success. How do you stretch your creativity and better converge your marketing?

Try and foster a culture of creativity.

I had a colleague once describe creativity to me as nothing more than a shy kid.

It’s easy enough to bully him into submission, or even beat him up if you want to, but give him space, let him say what he needs to, let him speak his mind and you might find there’s a lot to be said.

So give yourself freedom to entertain the ideas you wouldn’t normally give daylight to. Just like Alice’s rabbit hole, you might just find yourself a wonderland full of ideas, iterations and creative growth. Alternatively, get around creative people, think tank, spend time talking through your dream scenarios and exercise your shared creativity so it’s fit enough to be used when you really need it.

End-to-end marketing needs to deliver on data, segmentation, strategy and all the sciences of why things work. But it’s nothing without the creativity of delivering a story that untethers a customer decision.  Delivering creative that creates buying triggers that drives an experience leaves someone with a lasting impression.

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