Murmurs that data is hurting creativity are constant these days, but they may grow louder as other trends force the point.
“One of the most pressing issues we are facing as an industry is the death of true creativity,” said Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing & public relations officer at Ally Bank. Marketers’ scramble to hit key performance indicators means data drives every decision, she said, “while cost-cutting forces more creative work in-house at brands and out of the hands of agencies.”
It is too tempting to fixate on data, agreed Morgan Flatley, CMO at McDonald’s U.S. “Unprecedented channel proliferation and a myriad of ways to sort consumer information are means to an end, but it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of that,” Ms. Flatley said. “At the heart of our efforts is the aspiration to make consumers feel something, to create a bond between our brand and our guests—and that requires what’s always been at the heart of all successful marketing programs, creativity and authentic human insight.”
Marketers could help themselves by identifying the correct data to follow and figuring out how it can support great creative, said Dino Bernacchi, CMO for Mazda North American Operations. Using valid performance indicators to uphold accountability won’t kill creativity, Mr. Bernacchi said. “But only the right and accurate data can help identify relevancy.”
From Jesse Derris, chief executive at Derris, a brand consultancy with clients such as Warby Parker, Everlane and Harry’s, “The most valuable piece of these brands is the direct relationships they build with consumers. Traditional brands can’t replicate those relationships and therefore have a nearly impossible job orienting around consumer need. We are at the beginning of this era, not the end.”
Source: Ives, N. (2019, January 9). How to Stay Creative, and Other Challenges Facing Marketers in 2019. WSJ
Editor’s Note: Marketers comment on the importance of Creative (and more).