What is the future of creativity in Marketing?This is a series of 8 articles that talk about the Future of Marketing. If you have not read the first article start here.
6) Creativity is not Dead! (6 of 8 articles)
This is probably one of the most important points moving forward for marketing. We at the agency (Delos) were born digital, forward thinking and with a new approach to marketing. One of our new hypothesis like many up and coming digital marketing agencies is that we are more data driven concerning strategy and design. Given that premise, we have been hiring engineers, economist and statistician to help us run our digital marketing campaigns. However, we need to be extremely careful and not fall into the perils of fads or oversimplified thinking. If we just blindly take the approach of data-driven design as our strategy we will never create breakthrough campaigns and fall through the cracks of a standard -- not to say-- a mediocre agency.
Should we go against the design data-driven approach? The fastest and most annoying answer is, "it depends." The fallacies that occur with a pure data-driven design approach is the blindsided restrictions that mathematicians characterize between local maximum vs. global maximum. The idea behind this [in marketing] is that I can come up with an original landing page design and from this landing page layout, I can start testing the effectiveness of a certain feature such as the bottom color or a particular content piece. I then conduct A/B testing and optimize that landing page using the newly installed feature if it improved conversion. This optimization will yield results within the original constraints/framework of the design. In essence, this type of testing will only generate incremental improvements, until you reach the "local maximum." In other words, you achieve the maximum conversion rate for that initial design. How can you tell you reached the "local maximum"? When any other minor adjustments only forge diminishing returns.
How can you maximize your conversion? You need to have a unique design and then optimize from there. If with a radically different design you yield better conversions you can conclude that the other design was not the global maximum and there's still room for improving your conversion rate.
What's the right mix? Start by conducting A/B testing to optimize an already working design, tweaking layouts, messaging and design. Also, use this trial experience to understand better what your customers react to within your creative campaign.
If you want breakthrough changes, the type of A/B testing to take into consideration is taking bigger risks or evaluating a bolder hypothesis. Eric Ries author of the Lean Startup tells us that instead of testing between the effectiveness of a green button vs. a red bottom, the best A/B test are the ones that put "big Ideas to the test, how about a test where we completely change the value proposition on the landing page?” Another expert that touches upon this point is Joshua Porter, former User Experience (UX) Director at HubSpot when he writes: " To design through the local maximum we need a balance between the science-minded testing methodology and the intuitive sense designers use when making big changes. We need to intelligently alternate between innovation and optimization, as both are required to design great user experiences.”
To be more precise, there are two ultimate goals as a marketer; the first is to reposition the product with a stronger value proposition and the second is to pair that value proposition with the best audience.
So why did I go into A/B testing and statistics to talk about creativity? To put it in simpler terms, in the future we will have access to better, quicker, more relevant data and this data could help us figure out what copy/design is converting better. It can assist us in discarding creatives that are not working, point us in the right direction and even improve our creative campaigns incrementally. Nonetheless, if we want breakthrough campaigns, that produce 10X results, we still need to think outside the box and reach our customers in a new way. We tap into infinite intelligence when we are creative. Facebook, Instagram, Snap are ultimately distribution channels that are getting more a more crowded with advertisers, therefore more expensive and less effective.
We need to be creative in finding new channels, different ways of reaching our audiences in a fresh and creative manner. In a future of automation and optimization, ironically creativity and originality is something we will crave more and more. Why? Because creativity can be used to connect with our emotions much more than responses that feel mechanical and unnatural. Creativity is that surprising, unexpected twist at the end of a story, the humor that reminds us not to take everything so serious, the novelty of seeing something familiar in a different way. It is even something that is tragicomical which plays with the ironic notion of being humorous and tragical at the same time.
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