Creativity No Longer Center Stage

If the characters from Man Men were thrown into the modern advertising world, how would they survive? Better yet, would they survive? The Internet revolution has changed modern marketing so much that it’s a completely different playing field. Two accredited Google partners told Stuff.co.nz that creativity is now only of relative importance in marketing. Enter stage left data-driven results.

Rachel Crockett and Rachel Alexander have witnessed the change first hand. Since starting her business in 1996, Alexander doesn’t see her job being in the creative industry anymore. “I think I’m in an information-based data industry,” she said.

What do these two think is vital in this information age? Google Adwords. Alexander tells clients the average click-through rate for Adwords is 1.5 per cent – so getting an ad noticed on Google searches is a “volume game”. And it’s not just digital traffic that Google Adwords generates. Google proves it delivers offline traffic too!

Ten years ago the industry was heavily design based; designed logos, corporate stationary and branding. But now it’s digital and data driven. The working day is spent optimising for Google Adwords and Facebook searches. All of this is thanks to Google’s controversial cookie tracking. This tracking allows Google to create a profile on you. Google has surpassed Sherlock’s deduction skills, and has a profile of your gender, approximate age and your interests.

What happened to the public relations professionals? They’ve been replaced by content writers. What about marketing strategists? Shunned by digital strategists? But surely print graphic designers still linger? They were trashed by the new and shiny web developers. Even the CMO of tomorrow is data driven and automated.

There still is a place for creativity. Afterall, incredibly creative ads, such as Skittle’s candy man mockumetary, get millions of views and click throughs. But even this is driven by the digital medium. Perhaps to be successful in marketing in the future, you need to be a digital data navigator who still shows a creative flare. 

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  • Rachel

    Hi Jo. Rachel Alexander from the article mentioned. I wasn’t sure about the headline the journalist put, about creativity giving way to the data-driven age. What I meant was that online, people really want information, not swanky TV ads and we’ve found that in Adwords, anything with colourful copy doesn’t perform as well as those that have a solid comparative point of difference or specific benefit. We are still being creative, but more with strategy than spending hours coming up with analogies! ANd of course, we still like to do things in a stylish manner – esp web sites. But more time as you say is spent on tracking results since we can be accountable!

    • jodavis11

      Hi Rachel,
      Thanks for taking the time to read my article! After re-reading the Stuff article I can see how saying creativity isn’t needed anymore is a bit of a stretch. Even though marketing has become more data driven (with people really wanting information as you said) creativity still has a place in modern marketing. Just not so much as when swanky TV ads were big hits!
      Thanks for your input! I’ve changed the article heading so that it shows that data hasn’t fully replaced creativity.