It all goes back to the basics of marketing and consumer behavior. The messaging you create must distinguish the product in the minds of consumers in a way that is compelling and motivating to spark a curiosity to buy or learn more.
The challenge today, even for the most well-known brands, is that consumers are overwhelmed with countless ads each day — if the creative does not break through, the performance will struggle no matter how sophisticated your data tools are. It’s critical that design and messaging be tightly crafted in the presentation of the product benefits, so it’s clear how it solves or improves a consumer need or problem in a different way — otherwise, it will simply get lost. Further, in the digital world today, creative messaging is under more stress than ever; with unit sizes becoming smaller, we often have mere seconds to catch a consumer’s attention and make an impact in a highly cluttered environment.
But more than ever it feels like we are spending more time building plans on how to execute versus focusing on the strength of the idea that launches a well-designed and distinctive campaign that will build a brand for the future. If we put greater emphasis on the creative, it will be the greatest asset we have in driving media effectiveness — because smart creative that is distinctive to its brand and relevant in message is the most powerful tool at a marketer’s disposal.
At the same time, clients are more focused on the ROI of their media investments and are searching for ways to optimize and drive better performance behind their campaigns. However, at the first hint of a performance problem the knee-jerk reaction is to blame the media strategy, and the questions begin to fly... Are we reaching the right target? Do we have the right media mix? Should we add TikTok? Many times, the creative is not the focus of the issue because of the all the new shiny digital tools at center stage, so the “fix” shifts away from bad creative that is not performing, which no amount of data can turn around.
Today, marketers must live at the crossroads of creativity and data to succeed — balancing the critical need for a high-quality creative story that is compelling and relevant with a smart and insightful media strategy that delivers the product news to the right audience at the right time, all carefully guided by the strength of performance analytics.
In the end, inspired creative will win every time.