The seeds of hyper-intelligent, lightning-fast technology are scattering and germinating at an unprecedented rate. As the race to stand out gathers pace, what will keep the lights on at your business? Creativity.
After you open this article, I have limited time to win you over. My website has a mere 50 milliseconds to wow you with its lean, mean design. Once I’m over that hurdle, 43% of you are likely to skim-read my blog. Sure, 36% of people prefer list-based headlines, but it’s undeniable: a list alone won’t cut it. I need to get creative.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an accountant or a post-modern ceramicist: if you want to engage and delight your audience, you need to distinguish yourself fast or risk losing their hard-won attention. You need big, inventive ideas.
Even if you have the meatiest data set in town, it’s likely your competitors have pored over the exact same figures. Cold, hard numbers aren’t a proxy for smart, dynamic thinking. In an echo chamber that’s filled to capacity, daring ideation is a panacea for replication.
Still need convincing? Here are 6 reasons why creativity in marketing works…
1. It obliterates obstructions
When honing a marketing strategy, it’s important to read the room. As much as I love a florid metaphor, I wouldn’t use one to communicate the perks of pet insurance.
If you’re trying to package relatively dry information, by necessity your tonal palette will be pretty neutral. This can quickly feel restrictive when you’re trying to set yourself apart.
A diehard creative will take limits and whip them into possibilities. They’ll take the most beige services or products and find intriguing, surprising ways to set them alight, crafting infographics, video, illustrations, blogs and more. They’ll repurpose what is dull into something innovative and downright interesting.
As the advertising genius David Ogilvy said: “Tell the truth, but make the truth fascinating. You know you can’t bore people into buying your product, you can only interest them into buying it.”
2. It sells without selling
A whole host of hidden influences are at play each time we make a purchase: studies have shown that it’s a multi-sensory bonanza. It’s no mistake that lux chocolatiers encase their delicacies in shells of silver and gold foil: the tactile act of unwrapping elevates a glob of praline into an indulgent ritual.
We’re walking around with a full rainbow of preconceptions: 62-90% of any judgements we make regarding a product are formed by colour alone. The use of a signature colour can boost brand recognition by up to 80%, which is no surprise: our brains process visual information 60,000x faster than text.
Want to learn more about the link between colour and brand awareness? Click here.
Of course, branding yourself Coca-Cola red or Facebook blue won’t make you an overnight success. Neither will wrapping everything in foil. Cunning creatives will take subliminal insights such as these and turn them into attractive, actionable branding, packaging, graphic design and content that actually converts.
3. It has bags of personality
When you look and sound the same as the homogenous mass, it’s nearly impossible to find an edge. Think of it as putting your identity on mute.
If you’re at a roundtable event, who are you most likely to remember? The bland guy who spent the day regurgitating generic fluff or the intriguing dynamo who talked in a way that made the world feel exciting again?
Approaching your brand identity from a creative angle gives it a figurative Heimlich. It allows you to position yourself as a different kind of offering, one your audience finds refreshing and provocative.
Creativity is the magic bullet. It will help you carve out a strong visual identity people remember. It will help to shape your persona as a gripping storyteller who answers people’s questions but always leaves them wanting more.
4. It connects to hearts and minds
A strong brand calls for engaging storytelling. As technology becomes faster and smarter, our patience is dwindling, so, in order to stick around, we need to experience brands in ways that break with the formulaic, inspire and inform us.
We’ve been deploying creativity to elevate stories since our cave days. It’s still effective now because it enables us to place the consumer at the heart of the narrative, much like the immersive microcosm of social media. It lights up both the rational and emotional parts of the brain, tapping into our pain points and offering compelling solutions, shapeshifting into the most potent call to action.
Everyone’s cottoned on to the power of brand narrative – four in five sites include blogs, with 47% of consumers perusing 3-5 blog posts before committing to a purchase. In a bristling forest of SEO, video and filters, if you want your content to convert, it needs to have real appeal and value, so creative thinking is key.
62% of people reported an increased interest in an item or brand, upon seeing it featured in a Facebook Story, a visual narrative that can include photos and video. After reading bespoke content, 60% of consumers will feel connected to the brand in question. It’s evident: marketing that prioritises credible and creative storytelling wins hearts and minds.
5. It gives you bang for your buck
You could throw a truckload of money at brand identity and messaging, but if you lack a standout creative idea, rolling them out won’t deliver the landslide victory you’d hoped for.
Exceptional creative work is the gift that keeps giving. Yes, if you want to outsource, it will cost you – initially. But insightful, high-quality creative graft pays for itself, many times over.
Unlike a pair of Nikes, a beautiful, impactful logo doesn’t need replacing – Dickens was still alive and kicking when Heinz last shopped around for one. A small business with a blog will garner 126% more lead growth than a small business without one.
When you tackle marketing from a creative standpoint, the possibilities are infinite (and cost-saving). Struggling to generate sparkling content? Why not recycle old material, repurpose it from different angles, respond to industry news or talk about yourself?
Creativity dispenses with rigidity, the ultimate stranglehold on business growth.
6. The future is always creative
As communications become more deeply interconnected and digitised, no integrated marketing strategy worth its salt will take shape without creative input.
If you don’t throw creativity into the mix, forming an airtight digital marketing strategy remains an elusive chimera, as the game keeps being reset. Creativity is inherently adaptive, so, however many algorithm changes the mercurial team at Google effect, creatives will pivot and boldly harness shifting circumstances.
Haven’t heard about Google’s recent cookie cull? Click here.
A truly creative team takes a holistic approach. Designers and copywriters work shoulder to shoulder with developers and strategists. Roles overlap and intertwine, united by the end goal: to keep your brand relevant and keep consumers interacting with it.
If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.
It doesn’t matter what your racket is. Creativity is the sustainable, 100% renewable fuel powering any forward-thinking company. It’s marketing ambrosia, the intangible yet ever so powerful element your audience will connect with, time and time again.
More of a numbers person? Companies that promote creativity garner 1.5 times more market share. Prefer a quote? In the words of David Ogilvy: “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.”