Creativity or data in marketing: who dominates who?
It is a million-dollar question.
Ever since the inception of marketing, data and analytics have ruled the marketing domain, but in recent times, creativity has reigned supreme too. In the last few years, marketers have been engaging in a debate over and over again. This debate is about which element of marketing is the dominant trait, creativity, or data.
While one group of marketers says data is rising and providing much-needed insights, the other group debates the growing obsession with data-driven marketing is hurting the brand by taking focus out from creativity.
So, which factor is more important? It depends on company to company and brand to brand. Let’s see how.
The long-standing debate
Since marketing is the holy grail of doing any business, there has been a constant debate about the importance of creativity and data in the field.
The marketing world categorized into three categories. The ones who support data over creativity, the ones who support creativity over data, and the ones who think both are equally important.
Let’s see how this has taken form over time.
Does data take precedence over creativity in marketing?
Let’s begin this discussion with the most general question. Is data a priority for marketers?
A simple answer to this question is yes. We will see that throughout this discussion.
Data is, in fact, an essential component of all that constitutes marketing and brand success.
But does it take precedence over and above creativity?
Let’s first talk about why data is considered so incredibly important in the marketing arena.
What do data and analytics mean for marketing?
Data is information. Information to strategize in a better, effective, and efficient manner. Data is a collection of information that is processed, analyzed, and utilized for a brand’s advantage.
In marketing, data isn’t just specific to understanding the market and market place. It also entails finding and analyzing information that may prove useful for improving the product in its development stage, help in its promotion and sales, help set the pricing of the product or services, and also contribute to strategizing and standing over and above the competitors.
Why is data so necessary in marketing?
Since the inception of the marketing concept until today, data has indeed played a significant role in the success of many big global brands that we see today.
It is safe to say, the marketing world has long been ruled by data and analytics. It is no denying that data-driven marketing makes it possible for one to monitor performance regularly.
Moreover, in today’s world, where competition is cut-throat, and trends change by the second, its no denying that data is incredibly important. A brand can simply not afford not owing what its potential customers desire.
So how do they get to know what these customers desire? The answer is simple. Through extensive data and analysis. hence, it’s safe to say that data and analytics have increased importance in the marketing world.
This not just applies to developing and designing a product or service, but also for having a more targeted approach towards customers and generating conversions for the brand.
Why is data important in marketing?
A more personalized approach to customer interaction.
With the development of digital marketing and the evolution of marketing as a whole, customer interaction has become more and more imperative. These days, it’s all about creating experiences and products for customers to suit their persona, beliefs, and what they stand for.
Hence, it is essential to first understand what kind of products or services customers desire and then design those for them. This is where data and analytics come in.
With data, research, and analysis, a brand will design and create products and services that their customer will want.
Revealing what’s in and what’s out
There’s no denying that today’s world is more competitive than ever. Trends change every second, and it’s essential always to keep up because once you get left behind, it will be a hard ride to come back up.
Gathering, researching, and analyzing relevant and real-time data will help reveal what’s trending and what isn’t. It will help the company understand its customers and the market better.
Moreover, it will also give a brand a competitive edge over its competitors, which brings us to the next point, rising above the competitors.
Revealing the SWOT against competitors
Snowballing from the last point here, it’s already a given that data-driven marketing will give you a competitive edge over your competitors.
Let’s think of it objectively, suppose you have a product in place, now you want it to rise and shine, but you haven’t done the research. Your competitors have already been ruling the market with a better and cheaper version of the product.
What’s the result here? A failed plan and execution? Why? Simple, because you didn’t collect the data about your competitors and just winged it in the marketing world.
However, it doesn’t work like that, does it?
With data collection and analysis, you can understand how your competitors operate and use their weaknesses to your advantage.
Does creativity take precedence over data?
Now, the next million-dollar question is whether creativity takes precedence over data. It’s no denying that creativity has made its position felt, seen, and heard in recent years when it comes to marketing, but does it surpass data? Can creativity function without data?
Let’s see how creativity shapes all that is marketing with its growing importance.
What is creativity in marketing?
Simply put, Creativity in marketing involves many ideas and unique plans that make a brand stand out. With creativity in marketing, a deep imprint can be created in the consumer’s minds.
These ideas and plans are their original work and are used to communicate, interact, and send a message across in a stand apart way to the target customers.
It will not only help a brand create a rock-solid image in the customer’s mind but also help in getting sales and receiving conversions. So, it’s all the game of who does it in the most unique and otherworldly way that even customers can’t forget.
Let’s see here what creativity entails for marketing.
Creativity is the lifeblood of marketing.
It’s no denying that in today’s marketing world, creativity wins. Everyone is out there, and everyone wants to win. However, only the ad campaigns that create the most profound impact creatively and aesthetically will win. This is proof enough that marketing wins with creativity.
Moreover, with the onset and evolution of digital marketing, creativity has become an unavoidable aspect of every marketing plan of action.
With creativity, conversions rise, and with conversions, sale and brand recognition takes place. It is therefore vital to pay incredible attention to creativity when it comes to marketing.
Creativity gives a chance to brands to stand out.
Creativity is a vital part of the marketing world. In today’s digitalized world, competition is increasing intensively. Creativity and uniqueness will help the brand stand out from its competitors and make its mark.
Also, in the era of instant internet reviews, the brand needs to fight for every single customer because one scathing review is more impactful than ten good ones.
Moreover, with creativity, if the brand plays its cards right, it can even become a viral phenomenon and be remembered for years to come.
Creativity changes the mindset of potential customers.
A brand that wasn’t doing well in customers’ eyes can get its tables turned when the creative team takes over. With creative ad and campaign designs, they can revive an old failing product or launch a new product under the same brand name.
Hence, it’s proof enough that creativity creates various scope for brands. It not only creates a new, unique, and long-lasting experience for the customers; it has the power to potentially change a customer’s mind to switch to your brand.
Sounds pretty fantastic right?
Do creativity and data complement each other?
The long and short of it is yes. Many people have this misconception that only relying on data will give them the needed marketing plan and strategy. But that isn’t the case.
A brand cannot solely rely on data; they need creativity based on data to create a long-lasting impression.
Why are data and creativity stronger together?
Every marketer and every brand always has to remember that merely relying on data-driven marketing isn’t the answer.
Sure, information is an incredibly vital part of all that constitutes good marketing, but creativity has become the center of attention to what constitutes core marketing and advertising.
It’s a simple equation, data + creativity = success.
If you get the data right and you lack creativity, it’s all going to go to waste. Similarly, if you have all the creativity in the world and you haven’t done your research and analysis, it’s all going to go to waste.
You have to strive to be both analytical and creative. While creativity will send out the message, loud, clear, and in such a manner that it rings the strings of a customer’s mind and heart together; data will tell you which customers you need to ring those strings for.
Can you choose between creativity and data in marketing?
You can. But you shouldn’t for your own brand’s success. No matter how the world is debating about one’s importance over the other, there’s no denying that both are stronger together.
Neither is operating in its full potential without the other and operating at a sub-optimal level isn’t going to work out in today’s highly competitive world. So, you need the best of both worlds to create a lasting deep imprint in both consumers and the competitors’ minds alike, and for that, you need a healthy balance of both creativity and data.
How can making creativity and data work together come as an advantage for the brand?
Finding the data-driven opportunity
Every marketer should have a plan in place to make the best of both creativity and data. The inception of any marketing plan and strategy starts with data.
Data makes you aware of the opportunities. It tells you the right demographics to target and the understanding of what the competitors are doing. All of this is achieved via data collection and analysis.
Once you’ve understood what kind of opportunities are available in hand, you can then decide how much creativity needs to be put into action.
A dull account?
It’s a common belief that data collection, analysis, and research is a rather dull field to operate in, mention data to people and most will have a yawning reflex from just listening to that one word, but data present with itself incredible opportunities for a business to shine.
Without data, a brand will be directionless. Things will be in motion on the basis of hit and trial method, but hit and trial don’t work now.
One wrong move can cost you millions of dollars worth of time, money, and business. As a result, it is vital to be led by data and start the process of marketing planning and strategizing from that data-led arena. Once you’ve done that, you can move on to the creative aspect of marketing.
Creativity is the fuel that drives any marketing plans for success. Since creativity is a somewhat intangible aspect of the marketing world, it gets a little tricky to measure it.
You’ve to find ways to understand whether a particular creative element is reaping the desired results or not. It can be challenging, however, this is what makes creativity a fun and thrilling ride.
It always gets the wheels of your brains churning, and for those who are passionate about creativity led marketing, it’s the best part of their day.
Moreover, a creative marketing campaign that targets the right nerves of the customers can go on to become a global phenomenon and stay with potential customers for a long, long time.
How does it get any better than that?
Conclusion: balancing creativity and data see-saw in the marketing world.
So can you choose between creativity or data in marketing after all? The answer is no!
A healthy combination of both is preferred to generate the best leads and conversions and to create a lasting impact on the target customers’ minds.
Instead of debating on which takes dominance over which element of marketing, it’s better to let both compliments each other rather than competing with each other.
It’s undeniable in today’s ever-changing marketing world that it’s all hands on deck. Even the see-saw runs well when a healthy balance on both sides is established; otherwise, it gets stuck.
So why not smartly balance this unusual marketing see-saw and reap the benefits of both worlds? I’ll leave that to your imagination and understanding.