In a marketing environment where big data, advanced analytics and automation are the buzzwords on everyone’s tongues, it can be easy to lose sight of one of the less flashy—yet no less essential—parts of your marketing; great creative.
In reality, exceptional creative marketing is more important than ever as markets fragment and channels become increasingly crowded. No amount of powerful technology will help your marketing if your messages aren’t compelling and aren’t presented in a way that will still draw attention in a crowded, noisy space. You’ll still rely on your designers, writers, developers, cinematographers and more to stand out.
It’s important to stay on top of the latest trends and take advantage of emerging tools to take your marketing to the next level and maintain your competitive edge. But don’t neglect the meat and potatoes of your marketing efforts. When establishing your creative staffing and recruitment strategy for the coming year, make sure your stable of creative talent has the right skills and capabilities to carry you to success through 2015 and beyond.
Content Creators First
The sheer overabundance of media to choose from has completely changed the way consumers approach them. If you don’t immediately provide them some kind of tangible or informational value, it’s never been easier to change the channel, turn the page or click away to someone else who does.
So your advertising and marketing strategy must shift from messages that sell, sell, and sell to messages that entertain, educate, and delight. When your creatives craft compelling video, apps, art, copy, assets and more you build up trust and have consumers not only coming back for more but sharing it with their networks.
A Head for Cross-Channel Digital Integration
With every marketing project they execute, great creatives will always consider ways to make the most of their output. They’re always asking themselves, “How will this look on mobile?” “Is this social-sharing friendly?” “What can I do to optimize this for search engines?”
Your message could be viewed on many different screens and outlets and spread in unexpected ways. It’s important to adjust your marketing strategy in a way that makes it translate well to as many media and channels as possible.
Digital integration is even important in marketing on traditional media. If you’re not complimenting your TV ads with YouTube or aren’t offering direct mail recipients an opportunity to engage with you right away online, you’re missing out on huge opportunities. Innovative creatives see opportunities for integration everywhere and take advantage of them.
Basic Coding Ability
Almost all of your creatives, from your executive managers to contractors brought in through creative staffing agencies, will need basic understanding of code to succeed in the future. You’ll still be relying on developers and programmers to shoulder the bulk of your coding needs. But all great creatives need to be able to roll up their sleeves and at least make minor modifications to existing code or troubleshoot likely causes of uncooperative pages and apps.
“all great creatives need to be able to roll up their sleeves and at least make minor modifications to existing code”
This increases their agility—they’re able to make small adjustments on the fly to respond to a mercurial marketplace rather than run to their developer every time they need a headline updated or a graphic’s color changed. With more tools and premade scripts ready to use than ever, it’s never been easier for someone with a basic understanding of web coding to do a lot with a little.
Just as importantly, they need to be able to speak “digital” and communicate their vision with their developer counterparts. If creative and programmers can’t understand each other’s goals and capabilities, your marketing will suffer from it.
This has always been a trait of great marketers, but it’s more important than ever that everyone in your marketing team be on the constant look out for new channels and technologies that could lead to your next big breakthrough. Creatives may see opportunities that no one else in your organization would ever even consider.
Media get crowded very quickly now. Being one of the first entities in your industry to establish a presence and figure out what works can give you a lasting edge over latecomers to the party.
Active networking on social media and elsewhere is now more of a requirement than a luxury for marketing creatives. They need to follow thought leaders, keep their fingers on the pulse of their field, see what others are doing, and more. Additionally, staying active on social gives them a better idea of how to enhance your marketing with social.