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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Creativity Is Essential to a Campaign, Not Just an Extra | Sandra Stahl, Advertising Age

Take Risks to Find the Most Effective and Most Talked-About Solutions

Stahl begins by explaining that a multinational company recently asked her firm to delete creativity from a tool to measure communications campaigns. The reason:
[C]reativity is not a "must have" for an effective campaign that meets business objectives.
Huh? Stahl wonders the same thing:
Wow. Is creativity now just a "nice to have?" Is that how little it is valued?
Defending the value of creativity, Stahl writes:
Creativity takes work. It requires risk taking and a concerted effort to identify and think through a new idea, make it work and sell it up the line. ...
Creativity breaks molds, takes us to places we didn't think possible. Creativity is exciting. It is often why marketers got into their profession in the first place. ...
A CEO with a reputation for creativity can lead a company out of a difficult period. ...
She notes a survey that shows creativity is still important. It topped the list of "quality that clients look for in media agencies" but was closely followed by data and analytics, and efficient business processes. She writes:
While creativity is at the top, these numbers reveal the tightrope that marketers are walking between a desire for innovation and the determination to win.
Stahl makes four suggestions "to keep the creative juices flowing,"
including:
Demand creativity, creative thinking, and creative solutions of your teams and from your agencies.
Find a balance of creativity and business objectives within your overall brand strategies.
She concludes:
There are many ways to win in marketing or beat the competition. Market research, analytics and a tight strategy all have their places as "must haves" -- alongside creativity.
For more information, check out Garbl's Creativity Resources Online. It's an annotated directory of websites that provide advice for increasing creativity and innovation in your writing, in your personal life, on the job, in school, in the arts and elsewhere. 

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