Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

When the economy tanked a new synergy was born in the office. Controllers and accountants smiled as marketing cut down and integrated with other business office processes.

First, let me be clear: Marketing has to prove its worth in a business environment. Whatever metrics a business uses to qualify success has to be embraced by marketing as well. A direct correlation has to be made between a program or strategy and what impact it makes on the balance sheet.

But, the methods employed to get to the impact can’t be boxed in. Offices are great for regimented tasks, which are the backbones of businesses, however, marketing is not a regimented task. Ideas may strike at any time and an environment that encourages them should be striven for. Considering there are always deadlines, the constant flow of ideas should be of paramount importance. Professionals know how to cultivate the space in their head and still touch base with their immediate superior.

Just because the CMO is attending more meetings involving financing and IT infrastructure doesn’t mean that everyone in marketing should be handcuffed to a desk and fluorescent lighting. That’s what labor hierarchies are for. The CMO is depending on the marketing manager who is in turn depending on project managers. While these people are creative, they have to look at bigger pictures and provide direction. Any of these will provide valuable insight at a spitball meeting to hash out details. At some point it will fall to someone to actually make something though and that person needs the freedom to bring their A game.

It’s possible to have it both ways in marketing. Creative and business accountability, (Which can actually bring about more freedom if used correctly in proving wins for the department) it just may mean management does a little extra juggling.

To give you an idea of what the most creative people sometimes go through to produce works that have been proclaimed genius, take a look at this:


The big turnaround in the marketing industry in the last couple of years has been to make it a legit business application. It has to justify its existence by directly attributing how much money it brings in vs. the amount spent. The idea was that marketing was being phased out because nobody could quantify it before.

Well, guess what; now marketing can be phased out becuase it can be quantified too much. Marketing has a big load to carry and part of it is not quantifiable. How does Brand enter into the picture? It’s not the sort of thing that you can pin exact dollars brought in by. But, in turn, do you dare ignore it because you can’t? (That’s a rhetorical question to those not already in marketing. YOU CANNOT IGNORE BUILDING A BRAND AND MAINTAINING IT.)

What about the crazy out-of-the-box thinking that we always hear marketing has? How many people can an extraordinary campaign bring in? What makes an extraordinary campaign? This is in that 50/50 part of marketing. There is a time and place for out-of-the-box thinking and there is not. That’s what the CMO is to ascertain. Market research is then what validates a campaign. (See Wendy’s ‘red wig’ commercials to see an example of what happens when the wrong decisions are made on all phases of this.)

Marketing has room to be more like the other departments of business, and it should, but it also has to never lose sight of why it was needed in the first place. Creativity. You can ROI that right out of the picture and when you do you can see the marketing department follow suit soon after.