Creative marketing is an emerging field that finds its place between the creative and marketing worlds, both offline and online. Creative ideas are functional to marketing strategies because they provide the energy and inspiration needed to bring a successful campaign to life.
It must also be said that without the activities that characterize traditional marketing (data, research, and marketing know-how) some ideas could not be realized. Creativity is essential to achieve strategic marketing goals.
Creative marketing: what it is and why it is important
Creative marketing refers to all marketing activities that cannot be included in traditional marketing. Creative marketing does not interrupt consumers while they watch TV or inform themselves on the Internet but becomes a way of informing and entertaining.
It works if it succeeds in attracting attention and truly engages, so it is the audience that spreads the advertising. In short, it has to be extraordinary!
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Consumers today are increasingly resistant to advertising because they are constantly overexposed to stimuli from every channel to such an extent that they no longer pay attention to billboards, TV spots, and banners.
They feel under siege! Even the concept of the consumer is no longer the original one because, with the massive use of the internet, they have become users who play an active role (consumerist) in the creation of new fashions and are increasingly informed and on the hunt for information.
Therefore, no longer people who consume, but people who participate in the process of producing and disseminating products. Companies cannot remain indifferent to this unstoppable phenomenon and must face up to it by rethinking their way of marketing.
The strong push coming from the digital world is an opportunity to be seized to make the most of the infinite possibilities it offers, making digital marketing the main tool with which to approach the market and shift the needle from offline to online
You have to see marketing thinking creatively, that is the challenge!
That is why unconventional messages need to be created at the communication level that will amaze and this requires originality and creativity. Companies must attract the public’s attention by standing out from their competitors and then trigger word of mouth to their advantage.
A truly creative online marketing strategy must be based on ideas that work to achieve the set goals, it is the creative element that can make the difference against competitors. The creative process must generate an unexpected message, but always relevant to the product and the consumer/user.
The synergy between web marketing and creativity must lead to an unusual communication relevant to the context in which it is placed, otherwise, it would lose effectiveness. It may seem easy to create content that is original, but in order for a communication to achieve its objective, the condition of consistency and relevance with the context must be met.
To do this, one must not lose sight of the results of marketing analyses and studies, which remain the basis of the creative marketing process.
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The creative marketing team
To combine marketing and creativity, it is necessary to put together a team that goes in this direction. This applies to both traditional and web-based communication. The success of an idea is generally not the result of the work of a single person but is the result of the collaboration of several people who have different and varied skills.
It is the joint effort of the team that merges knowledge, skills, and professionalism following the strategic direction to pursue specific goals. The corporate online marketing structure must strike the right balance between research and creative expression.
The creative process must start with data and end with production, so creative talent must be open to continuous comparison and feedback. Creative work is born from a meeting of innovative ideas professionalism and relationships that generate an original and relevant result.
Let us look in more detail figures that must be present in the creative team for those who have decided to invest online. As we said, we cannot ignore the basic marketing activities, everything starts from there, so in our team, there will be women and men who study models, extract data, analyze the market, and read and interpret the results of a survey.
I will therefore explain what must be in the team:
The creative process is a modeling process, the digital marketing manager analyses key data and uses it to explain to the team why the product fits or does not fit a certain market, what the characteristics of the target market are, and why there is or is not more potential.
The creative team then shapes and molds the data into a meaningful, saleable, and accessible narrative. The process ends with the creation of the product, the data is transformed into a tangible offer that is ready to enter a communication channel and influence the market.
A key role among creatives is played by the copywriter, who has the task of interpreting the data and making them comprehensible to both the company’s business partners and the end consumers. It is he who turns numbers into a storyline. When his activity has created a coherent narrative, the ball passes to the next creative: the web designer.
The web designer must transform the plot into its aesthetic appearance and create an infographic that fits well with the web in its declinations and facilitates access to the target audience. He must take care to choose the most functional design according to the online communication channel that will be used.
In his work, he can be supported by video and animation experts to create material that will capture attention and be shared on social networks.
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The creative director becomes the creative digital strategist
Moving from traditional to digital marketing, the creative director “becomes” the creative digital strategist. This figure has the task of supervising the work of the creatives and must give clear indications on how the project should be carried out in order to maintain the right balance between care and efficiency and is the link between marketing data and creativity.
His work allows the design not to distort during its processing stages and to reach the consumer as it was intended. One follows the logic of a funnel in which one puts a lot of data at the beginning that is analyzed and interpreted to create a cohesive storyline.
The creative digital strategist studies qualitative and quantitative analyses with the aim of not letting the data lose its meaning during the process in which it is transformed into a plot. This is followed by a focus on a point of contact with the market represented by a specific design that is functional to the limitations or opportunities of the communication channel used.
Creative marketing in practice
How does creative marketing concrete? How does the work of the dedicated team reach the public?
We have said that the objective is to astonish, to attract attention so that it is the consumers who spread the messages. We need marketing techniques applied to the web that break the mold, such as guerrilla marketing and viral marketing.
Guerrilla marketing originated in 1984 by J. C. Levinson and bears many similarities to military strategies. Just as armies in inferior circumstances use the guerrilla technique by deploying quick, incisive, and unexpected actions that surprise the adversary, so too can companies do the same.
Indeed, if they find themselves in cases of partial saturation of communication tools, they can resort to unusual forms of interaction with their target audience. The objective of this communication strategy is to launch or disseminate a product using campaigns and events that strike the attention of the public that is now impervious to advertising stimuli and trigger strong capillary dissemination processes.
Companies film their actions and post them on social networks, sharing is guaranteed and the guerrilla continues online! A guerrilla marketing campaign requires only the breadth of reach created by constantly using multiple channels and a limited budget.
By way of example, some popular guerrilla marketing techniques:
- Stickering – this refers to the campaign of stickers that allows for good visibility and brand dissemination with modest costs. The stickers can be distributed free of charge in strategic places for the target group, or they can be the result of poster planning in precise areas so that the company can control the placement of the sticker;
- Oop Art – with the Out Of Place Artifact, particular objects are found in totally unexpected places in order to generate surprise and curiosity. For example, Carlsberg in the USA left a large number of passports similar to the original ones in streets, bars, hotels, and taxis; opening them, one found an invitation to drink a Carlsberg in the company and a small vocabulary used to ask for a beer in 35 different languages.
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The expression viral marketing was used in 1997 by S. Jurvetson and T. Draper to refer to the success of Hotmail. This form of communication encourages recipients to spread a message so that it can increase their notoriety and influence.
In this way, a large number of people can be contacted quickly and easily, and thanks to digital dissemination, user behavior on websites can be monitored. The principle behind it is no more and no less than that of spreading viruses: the message that a user finds interesting is spread by him to his contacts, triggering a word-of-mouth mechanism on the network.
For it to go viral, the content of the message to be spread must generate an emotion, so that spontaneous sharing can follow. The viral effect can also be triggered with the help of influencers who will be the first to share the campaign content on their social pages.
A recent example of viral marketing that we all remember is the Ice Bucket Challenge, a campaign launched by the ALS Association (the US Association against ALS) aimed at raising awareness about this disease and raising funds for research.
Videos went crazy on Facebook of celebrities and non-famous people throwing a bucket of ice water at each other and naming people they knew to take up the challenge and do the same.
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