The most successful marketing campaigns aren't created in one day; there is a method behind this form of creative genius. To get a better understanding of how marketers are structuring their teams and capitalizing on creativity, we held a Twitter chat to learn more about the different approaches marketers are taking.
This last #SMTLive chat was called "The Creative Process of Launching a Marketing Campaign." We invited Allen Gannett, CEO of TrackMaven, to join us in the office and help cohost this live Twitter chat. After publishing his most recent book, The Creative Curve, Allen has a lot to say on the topic of creativity and its power in the workplace.
Here are the questions we asked:
- What does your creative process look like from start to finish?
- How do you spark creative thinking under brand guidelines?
- How much time and value do you put into creativity when launching a marketing campaign?
- What is the right mix of personality traits and skills to build the perfect marketing team?
- How do you balance the importance of meeting goals while still encouraging creativity?
- Which digital marketing channels do you put most of your creative energy into? And why?
- As we are increasingly focusing on automation, data and #AI, how do you see creativity playing a role in future marketing campaigns?
A marketer's creative process from start to finish.
We asked everyone to share what their creative process looked like from begining to end. For the most part, people listed out SMART marketing goals followed by strategic experimentation.
Step one typically involves establishing goals and objectives along with some market research. That may involve social listening, talking to customers, analyzing audience data, etc. Then came the brainstorming, experimentation and analysis loop.
Everyone had their own way of expressing this, but the general process appears to be the same for everyone -- do your initial research to understand your target audience, create SMART goals and then set aside time for brainstorming. Team collaboration is huge if you want to hear different perspectives and get quick feedback. Coffee helps as well.
Q1:— BlackDog Advertising (@BlackDogAd) June 26, 2018
-Determine target audience
-Brainstorm creative initiatives with the team.
-Drink lots of cafecito. ☕️#SMTLive
A1— Taylor J. Hall (@taylorjhall) June 26, 2018
1 Establish goals
2 Determine audience
3 Create message true to brand (story) targeting that audience
4 Track, perform, adjust#SMTLive
How do you spark creative thinking under brand guidelines?
Some worry brand guidelines will hinder their creativity, but really they help us focus our creative energy in the right direction. If you feel defeated by your brand guidelines, maybe you're working for the wrong brand.
We can all think of brand guidelines as simple parameters to prevent us from wandering off track and keep our goals in perspective. Brand guidelines are the foundational structure, and we marketers have the freedom to create as many variations of that space as we want.
A2: Brand guidelines aren't there to stop marketers from being creative. They're there to create a cohesive voice and tone. If anything, brand guidelines can help focus creativity. #SMTLive— Workful (@WorkfulApp) June 26, 2018
What makes the perfect marketing team?
Understanding how different personalities and skill sets can benefit each other is useful when assembling a marketing team. Knowing what you're good at and recognizing where you could use some help is so important in marketing (and business in general).
So what types of people make up a great marketing team?
A4: I think these days the perfect marketing team has four key things:— Allen Gannett (@Allen) June 26, 2018
Basic Data Knowledge#SMTLive
A4: Traits-— Nathan Kelly (@NathanK_TX) June 26, 2018
A4: Be curious, creative, ready to take action and set goals, and understand that you cannot do everything alone and need a competent, innovative team by your side. #SMTLive— MyCorporation (@MyCorporation) June 26, 2018
Almost everyone brought up "curiousity" as a personality trait that every marketer must have -- and it's so true.
I also really loved My Corporation's point about understanding you can't do everything yourself. Especially in today's world, so many people are trying to be the best at everything instead of owning their own craft. Know what you're good at and find someone you can collaborate with that compliments your strengths.
How do you balance the importance of meeting goals while still encouraging creativity?
Creativity and meeting goals are not mutually exclusive. Similar to the question above about brand guidelines, goals are meant to guide you and creativity is used to add color and life to the campaign. Creativity serves a very important purpose of producing engaging and relatable content for your audience, but without goals, you are shooting in the dark.
A5: I don't think that creativity and meeting goals are opposites. The reality is that part of succesfull commercial creativity is using your new and novel ideas to drive business value. The reality is you have to do both! #SMTLive— Allen Gannett (@Allen) June 26, 2018
A5: Without goals, marketing campaigns are aimless. How do you know if a campaign was successful if you're not sure what it was supposed to accomplish? Creativity helps meet goals. #SMTLive https://t.co/z03iMV4tmf— Workful (@WorkfulApp) June 26, 2018
Where are marketers putting most of their creative energy?
Q6 [Poll] - Which digital marketing channels do you put most of your creative energy into? And why? #SMTLive— Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) June 26, 2018
A6: Most people electively interact with your brand through social media. Social media is also more frequently used and changing versus any other outlets, therefore a brand has to be consistent and effective. It really takes up a lot of time!— Wingard (@WeAreWingard) June 26, 2018
I wasn't surprised to see most people say social media is where people are focusing a lot of their creative energy.
Once again, no, social media marketing is not just sitting on Twitter all day. Myth debunked.
As we are increasingly focusing on automation, data and #AI, how do you see creativity playing a role in future marketing campaigns?
There is a lot of potential with AI, but our own human creativity is one thing that cannot be replicated. It's time to master your creative skills.
I think Allen's tweet about sums it all up...
A7: I think creativity is the most important skill for the 21st century. We are getting to a world where all high skill, repeatable jobs will be automated. To future-proof yourself you must invest in your creativity. Don't let the robots win!! #SMTlive— Allen Gannett (@Allen) June 26, 2018
Thanks to everyone who showed up for this chat. Hope to see you all again soon! Check out our schedule for future #SMTLive Twitter chats!