Advertising agencies have come a long way since the Mad Men era.
No one is smoking anymore, that’s for sure.
Unfortunately, for all the progress that’s been made, many agencies have become solely focused on transactions, losing any semblance of creativity.
In a creative field, how is this true? All agencies do is write, design, collaborate and draw! Right?
Well, not exactly.
In the digital world, everything can be measured. While that is often a good thing, it also can become a hindrance.
Unfortunately, more and more marketing departments have boxed themselves in with analytics and data. Marketers used to have time to just think. Now, creative work has simply become rote.
Where Did All the Creativity Go?
There’s so much seriousness in the world, but great marketing is an escape from that — it’s a way for marketers to connect, make an impact and incite action.
Many marketers entered this field for the love of the creative aspect — even the strategy had to be creative. A product placement in a movie? A billboard on the highway? What about a man in a clown suit walking through Times Square?
Consumption of messages used to be slower so the creative process had time to manifest. Brick and mortar stores were primarily where transactions took place, and reviews from others came from word of mouth. Therefore, marketers were able to create more slowly because the decision process of the end consumer took longer, allowing everyone a little bit more time to breathe.
Today, consumption is much faster. Consumers make rapid-fire decisions on the fly, bombarded at every turn with mixed-media messages. Consumers can shop for anything they want, almost anywhere in the world, as long as they have an internet connection. The ways marketers advertise to them has changed since marketing went digital, and every digital ad can be tracked, recorded and measured.
Unfortunately, this has buried agencies under a mountain of numbers. A marketer’s role has become so focused on tracking trends and statistics that the broader picture gets lost. Often, decisions are made solely to maximize some metric or another, forgetting that those metrics represent human behavior. Rarely do marketers sit down and just brainstorm because individuals are so caught up in rolling out a strategy for the next platform.
How to Put the Creative Juices Back Into Marketing
Analytics obviously have a role in advertising.
As long as digital is here to stay and the data is available, analytics will be necessary to incorporate into marketing. However, you need to find a balance between creative, big-picture thinking and data analysis. The best scenario for all is when outstanding creative is combined with precise analytics.
Agencies should make an effort to brainstorm more! When you let a creative team direct the brainstorming process, while involving clients in those sessions, magic happens. Everyone can bring their unique perspective to the table, throwing out ideas regardless if they are good or bad. There are little nuggets of gold to be excavated from the creative process, and in the end, everyone wins.
When onboarding a new client, take time to push analytics aside for a bit to have a purely creative conversation. Plan out your creative portfolio and tactics first during a brainstorming session, then tie in the analytics. You’ll find the process much more enjoyable, and will likely find yourself producing much better results.
Creative Agencies Can Help
Creating on your own is no fun. We all got into this industry because marketing is creative and challenging. Let’s not become stagnant under the pressure of meeting analytic targets. Analytics measure the result, they are not the result itself!
Let’s have some fun! Call or contact PPA to get started on the creative process for your next project.