Why You Can’t Afford to Ignore Creative, Even in a Data-Dominated Marketing World

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It’s no secret that the best marketing organizations are transitioning into analytically-based operations that make empirical decisions based on meticulously gathered data. But if you’re growing into a digitally-oriented, data-driven organization at the expense of your marketing creative, you’re setting yourself up for long-term mediocrity.

With the growing popularity and capabilities of marketing analytics, data and creative are often seen as being at odds. It’s easy to guess why: how many clever ad headlines have been killed because “they didn’t test well?” How many designers’ artistic masterpieces have been butchered because the analytics indicate the target audience “prefers a simpler color pallet?” Hard evidence and greater accountability are forcing creatives everywhere to rethink their approach–fast.

A strong data infrastructure and effective marketing analytics staffing provide incredibly valuable new insights to businesses of all kinds–and often that new knowledge contradicts traditional notions of what consumers want. When this happens often enough, business leaders are rightfully drawn to rely more and more heavily on their analytics to make all of their marketing decisions. After all, if you can reliably get a robot to spit out an answer with a high confidence rating, why even introduce an element of potential human error into the mix?

In reality, the growing prominence of well-established best practices, scientific testing, and highly sophisticated analytics has made exceptional creative talent more important, not less. The additional rigor that data offers has served to weed out mediocre creatives and call out ineffective practices that have been in place for decades. It’s forcing organizations to undergo new creative marketing executive searches to find leaders who can adapt to an analytics age, and drastically increased the value of creative marketing staffing that can quickly update their mindset, fluently comprehend data, and can use analytics to enhance–not obstruct–their work.

Outstanding creative talent is still critical to your brand’s market resilience and flexibility. Here are some big-picture ways it will continue being relevant to your organization even as you move to a more and more heavily analytical business:

Standing out from the Crowd

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Excellent analytics provides you with incredibly valuable information: what kind of messages resonate most with your audience, how to maximize your media spending, which offers drive the most conversions, etc. All organizations should be using this to optimize their marketing across the board in a comprehensive effort to improve ROI.

But consider this; data is now available in unimaginable volumes. Most businesses struggle with having too much of it. As you gather more data and process it into insights, rest assured that your competition is doing the same. Ultimately, you’ll probably start drawing similar conclusions from that data. Over time, if everyone is following the same trends and best practices and modifying their strategies in the same way, you’ll all begin to look and sound the same to your consumers. Advanced, robust marketing analytics staffing can give you an edge, but in many cases it will simply be guiding you to do what everyone else is doing—just a little bit better.

That’s where the fruits of your creative marketing recruitment come in. Once industry standards are established in your marketing space, it will be up to the creative department to innovative ways to differentiate your brand from everyone else who’s using a similar playbook.

Pushing the Envelope

Exceptional analytics can often give you good understanding of what’s worked in the past, what to expect from your current campaigns, and can pave a path to future success. But they’ll rarely be able to identify game-changing, disruptive opportunities that will provide breakthrough market growth and catch your competition off guard.

As powerful as marketing analytics staffing and tools can be, they’re limited by the data they have available. Instead, clever visionaries in your creative staffing and leadership will often be the ones who produce unconventional, pioneering ideas. And when an incredible opportunity for a groundbreaking campaign or split-second marketing decision comes along, you won’t always be able to rely on analytics to know when to pull the trigger. You’ll have to rely on the instincts of your marketing leadership as a whole and your creative directors in particular to determine which risks are worth taking.

Adapting to Change

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Exceptional data science can help you predict the future and anticipate change, but relying too much on the data you have available can make you blind to unexpected factors that are difficult to measure and quantify. That’s why, in a creative marketing executive search, it’s especially important to look for professionals that are constantly keeping their eyes out for incoming changes.

Exceptional creative leadership helps you detect incoming factors that could require you to evolve your strategy to stay on top of the food chain. And when the time comes to shift gears and change tactics, you need data-minded creative staffing who can work with your analytics team to test alternative strategies and establish new best practices.

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