Marketing is a vast, often turbulent topic. It becomes even more daunting when you take out the analytical aspects and toss in words like “creative.” Nevertheless, creative marketing campaigns are the crux of your success. Without them, you lack the means to reach and engage with your audience.
What is creative marketing, though? How should your analytics strategy work in this regard? How do you get from having objective marketing data to ideating, strategizing, and then embarking on a creative marketing campaign? Quite often, it is something that is an afterthought, despite representing 80% of your campaign’s success.
It can be a massive challenge, and not everyone is up to it. It requires turning objective data into a story format that appeals to each consumer’s subjective viewpoint, by putting information through the filter of creativity to develop stories, emotion, and an entire campaign for your brand.
What kind of objective marketing data is there?
Perhaps the most important step here is to lay a strong foundation. To do that, it’s important to understand the types of objective marketing data that can and should be used. Of course, there are some obvious ones, including your market demographics and customer satisfaction information. However, there is much more to it than that.
Not only are there various types of objective marketing data, but there are multiple dimensions that must be understood and focused on. For example, various data points that paint the entire picture… like the length of video watched is an important metric, but you also need to focus on other dimensions, such as the version of the creative in question and the context of the creative itself.
The challenge facing organizations is this – too often, creative collateral is looked at as being one dimensional when the truth is that they have multiple dimensions that go far beyond mere “clicks.” A single video has storylines, characters, story arcs, reveals, reversals, CTAs, sound and produces emotions. All of these parameters affect and also hinge on the emotional state of the viewer.
Why are you still treating creative like a one-dimensional data point? It is not.
What is creative marketing?
It’s tempting to lump all marketing activities under the heading of “creative marketing,” but that’s inaccurate at best and foolish at worst. You cannot equate cold calling with an AR/VR experience, even though both are technically marketing forms.
So, what is creative marketing, then?
At the most basic, we can define it as a marketing initiative that involves a more complicated process than simple “plug and chug.” A good creative marketing campaign can communicate an organization’s message to potential customers in a novel way that overcomes barriers and ensures engagement, helping that organization stand out from the competition for the right reasons.
The key is to create the right user experience to pull out the insights or actions you want to achieve. It is, ultimately, all about the user.
From analytics to actionable marketing insights
Turning hard data into a flourishing, creative marketing initiative may seem like an oblique process from the outside. However, there are concrete steps that every creative marketing campaign needs to fulfill.
Collect your data
The first such step is to collect your data. This will form the bedrock on which all other decisions and actions are predicated. What sort of data must you have in hand? Who is your audience? What does your ideal customer want? How will they consume the creative information? The end product should be an executive brief that clearly outlines your business goals along with the gaps you currently have in getting there.
Develop a brand story
All creative marketing campaigns ultimately boil down to storytelling. You cannot do that if you lack a brand story. It’s essential that your business has a compelling story that speaks to why you do what you do and what sets you apart from competitors. Without one, you encounter numerous issues that will ultimately derail your efforts.
Without a compelling brand story, the CxO is left to lead the way making decisions based on faith in what they believe works, rather than factual information derived from analytics and an emotional framework to guide it. The strategy becomes derailed by so-called expert recommendations, new tools and capabilities that may not bear at all on your goals, and shiny objects, resulting in analytics strategies completely divorced from reality.
Ensure your brand story flows across mediums
Your brand story cannot afford to be medium-centric. It must be medium-agnostic. That is, it should flow smoothly across all mediums, from blog posts to social media interactions to video storytelling.
This flies in the face of the age-old advice to choose a medium and stick with it. True, some mediums may not offer value to you. However, that is not the case for all of them. A good creative strategy takes into account the various platforms that work for your organization, as well as your audience, and then builds across them all at once.
Why not start small? Simply put, when you’re building out a customer journey, your audience will require multiple touchpoints. It is best to create your story all at once, rather than piecemeal and waiting to see if it works. If you take that stance, it will fail. What makes it work is building the entire flow, not just a single piece.
By this point, you should have key pieces of information in hand. You know who you need to reach. You know how you intend to do that. You even know what story you want to tell. Now it’s time to think about how you intend to communicate your message.
With the decision on communication method made, it is time to execute. Once you have a great idea, you must bring it to life. Make sure that you’re budgeting for the creative talent that you need to execute your creative marketing campaign. For many creative writing campaigns, a production specialist, such as a video marketing expert or creative concept team, can be brought in to help bring your dream to life. Let’s be honest here. If you have not spent most of your career developing and crafting stories, you will need to hire the best talent you can afford.
Here is it what this looks like from a high level.
Develop a robust analytics strategy and pull actionable insights that inform your creative marketing efforts. Collect your data. Figure out what story you want to tell. Figure out how your story will flow, and then bring it all together and make it happen with the right talent to bring your organization’s story to life.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.
About The Author
Producer and Creative Director Allen Martinez founded Noble Digital agency and has been implementing creative branding and performance campaigns for B2B and B2C startups like: Plated, Fundrise and Telesign as well as larger corporations such as: Coca-Cola, In-Bev, Subway, Nestle, AT&T, Anheuser-Busch, Quest, Hilton Hotels, Burger King, Univision, Yamaha, Miller Lite, Proctor & Gamble, McDonald’s, Heineken, Orbitz and Wrigley. Martinez has used Noble Digital as a platform to implement what he has learned from years of helping Fortune 500s and has reverse-engineered these powerful frameworks to launch and scale funded startups and growing corporations.