Some people are locked into the belief that technology is destroying creativity, particularly in the marketing department. This probably goes back some way; you could imagine a caveman looking at a paintbrush, tutting and wondering what these kids will come up with next.
More often than not, people are reluctant to adapt to change.
For this reason, new tools always cause an issue - whether it's poor adoption rates, or tools being used incorrectly. But the thing is, these tools also often end up finding their place and we wonder how we ever accomplished tasks without them. Data driven marketing and automation are no exceptions. Here's why.
When data driven marketing and automation works, it can be brilliant. Identifying the right up-selling prospects because of the right analytics saves time and improves profitability as a result. Your competition puts a lot of its own data out in the public domain through social media, and all of this information can be utilized to your advantage, helping you to identify and build a group of independent endorsements for your goods or services as a result of marketing to competitors' customers.
The use of data-driven marketing and automation has certainly added a strategic and scientific element to the process, but creativity can be established through other methods - such as content marketing. This is a strategy that's growing across marketing departments everywhere - 76% of marketers are increasing investment in content marketing. Creativity can be showcased through blogs, infographics, whitepapers and Slideshares for example.
These creative elements can then attract people to your company and offerings. For example a computer company, instead of putting a lot of information about their own offerings up, might look to offer technical tips instead, or advice on work/life balance in a continually connected world, motivating people start visiting the website more regularly rather than just when they need something. In this way, companies and their content will be top-of-mind when customer need arises. For companies who don't have the capacity to create content in-house, there are alternatives such as outsourcing that can help you stay one step ahead of competitors.
However you choose to be creative, authenticity is key. Any outsourcing partner must understand your brand values, tone and content.
Combining content and data
Creativity can pave the way for data-driven marketing and automation. By creating quality content, whether through your company's blog or even through social media platforms, you can gather important information about prospects, customers and advocates. Not only will you be able to identify where those people are and how to target them, but by encouraging them to sign up for future updates, you can capture essential lead details that'll help you create sales.
Creativity is a great way to capture interest and thus, ever more important data. Marketing shouldn't be driven by one or the other, but should be informed by both creativity and data. By creating quality pieces that attract prospects and customers in the first place, you can analyze the data. This data can then be used to inform the next round of content creation - making sure your creativity is even more influential next time. And that's how marketers can use marketing automation and creativity in conjunction. You really can have your cake and eat it.
- Creativity should be central to your marketing strategy as it'll attract prospects and customers.
- More content can generate more contacts which will provide you with more data. This can be automated to help you with targeting and pushing prospects through from Marketing to Sales.
- The data you garner can be used to inform the next round of creative content creation, making your marketing more influential.
- Marketers can have their cake and eat it - using both creativity and marketing automation.