Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
May 26, 201111:05 PM

The Creative Imperative

How important is creativity in Marketing?

It's not a loaded question. Some may say that the creativity can't stand on its own as it needs the strategy behind it that will drive the creative output. I think that's a mistake. If the strategy isn't developed using creativity, all is lost. My point? Creativity is not just the visual part of it. Creativity needs to be expressed at every part of the marketing food chain.

This isn't just about how smart you are as a Marketer.

Arianna Huffington gave the opening keynote address today at the CMA National Convention. Optically, you may not be impressed by the design and usability of The Huffington Post. How you feel about it creativity doesn't matter. The editors at HuffPo know it works. They test it, they leverage analytics and they watch how their linking strategy moves across the Web like a hawk. They iterate, tweak and fix the experience on the fly. It's everything that traditional newspapers and magazines don't do. Putting that aside as a creative act (both strategically and visually), you have to be impressed with everything that Arianna and her team did prior to launching this new form of journalism, news and cultural expression in 2005. The Huffington Post got creative with how they thought about everything from publishing and journalism to pushing the medium into newer forms of sharing and collaborating.

"Self-expression is the new entertainment." 

That was only one of the very tweetable things that Arianna told the audience of Marketers today. She's right. It's much more fun for people to tweet or update their Facebook status than it is to watch a TV show. It's also more creative when people can create things in text, images, audio and video and share it instantly for free to the world. That initial spark of content then becomes something that other people can add on top of (creating their own layer of creativity).

Many people think they're not creative. They are wrong.

  • When you Blog, you're being creative.
  • When you're problem solving at work, you're being creative.
  • When you have the urge to tweet on Twitter, you're being creative.
  • When you leave an original comment on a Blog post, you're being creative.
  • When you structure your Facebook page, you're being creative.
  • When you develop your LinkedIn profile, you're being creative.
  • When you take a picture with Instagram, you're being creative.

Being creative is imperative to your personal and professional development.

Marketing is all about how many people from many different disciplines come together to creatively solve a brand challenge. This is the reason why so many marketing agencies use words like "creativity," "ideas" and "inspiration" in their vision and mission statements. Marketing is all about the creative imperative. Pushing this idea even further, business is also about the creative imperative too.

I'd argue that creativity is core to everything in Marketing. How do you think this plays out?

By Mitch Joel