Article

Phil Livingstone
Phil Livingstone 21 June 2016

Digital Marketing - as Targeting Progresses, Has Creativity Been Left Behind?

Creativity, alive and well but sadly often overlooked in digital marketing.

We fight every day to grab people’s attention and engage them. We're all reported to be exposed to between 250 and 300 advertising messages per day and apparently we've got just 3 seconds to make an impact. Imagine how appealing mobile marketing needs to be given its delivered on a 5.5 inch screen.

Let’s face it we're a nation (and world) obsessed with smart phones. As I sit here on a train people gazing, as far as I can see there isn't a person without their eyes fixated on their phones.

We look at our phones 200 times a day. Hungry for breaking news, have an insatiable appetite for updates and a fear of missing out. A sad reality of the world today.

This captive audience is ‘snacking’ on media. Flicking up and down the screen. Searching and swiping. Short form content to attract, long form content to engage. Increasingly challenging to break through, make an impact, and resonate with audiences – unless you have cats, kids or more recently Chewbacca Mom (140m YouTube views in 3 days). As the old adage goes, right audience, right time with the right message still wins the day.

Digital marketing has grown at such pace we are almost guilty of bypassing creativity altogether.  One of the key advantages has always been measurement. If it can be measured, it is. We have killed direct response, done it to death. Advances in data, technology and targeting has given birth to the world of programmatic media buying. The promise of connecting audiences through the clever use of data and hey presto, the industry is reborn.   

We’ve improved audience targeting but what about creativity? It’s so easy to resort to ‘offline as brand’ and ‘digital as direct response’. Re-cutting and reusing the TV ad for digital creative. Slightly rose tinted view of the world but alas it still happens far too often. With all the talk of big data, first party this and third party that, little has been said of the creative side of things.

In my view, creativity is often ignored in the pursuit of sales. For too long we've been obsessed with direct response, CPA and traffic that we’re in danger of forgetting the basics. I blame the banner. We got lazy. We traded them in blocks of 1,000 impressions and bought them in their millions.

When I started in this industry we would get 22% CTR (click through rate) for banners, now we’re lucky to get 0.05% but in my view there's a good reason for that.

It’s forcing us to seek out and engage audiences in some many different (and more interesting) ways.

Creativity is alive and well. I think social media has to be given credit for this. It’s inspired a new generation to learn code, pick up a camera to create and be creative.  We’re getting back to 'being and feeling' human again and focussing more on the audience and thinking of technology as the enabler instead of the trigger. Casting a forgotten light on the art of storytelling.

We're also freeing ourselves up more – being more experimental, collaborative and "digital" in the way we think, feel and act.

Research shows, the benefits of 'being more creative' can ultimately increase conversion, drive traffic in-store (and to web), improve the level of customer engagement and brand advocacy and not to mention, generating higher return on investment. However, data and digital channels should not be a substitute for bold and brilliant creative ideas. It’s human artistry and creativity that truly engages. 

So the next time you pick up your phone, update your status, click on an ad or view a view, there’s human side of creativity that shouldn’t be forgotten. It's alive and well in a programmatic buying world. 

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
14 Amazing Examples Of Brands Killing It With Facebook Ads

14 Amazing Examples Of Brands Killing It With Facebook Ads

How do you design the perfect Facebook ad that converts? A lot of people will start throwing money at Facebook, but not see any success. This comes either because they don’t have a proper strategy for their Facebook ads or their ads are not well designed. But for those brands which have a good strategy and work hard to test and refine their advertising, Facebook ads can generate huge profits. And we’ve found 14 of such examples.

Luisana Cartay
Luisana Cartay 11 December 2017
Read more
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
Top 10 B2B Platforms to Help your Business Grow Worldwide

Top 10 B2B Platforms to Help your Business Grow Worldwide

Although the trend of a Business to Business portal is not new but the evolution of technology has indeed changed the way they function. Additional digital trading features and branding has taken the place of traditional outreach methods to get in touch with targeted buyers or sellers.Here are some of the best and fastest growing global B2B platforms that are helping thousands of businesses in the world to grow and reach their international and local clients.

Salman Sharif
Salman Sharif 7 July 2017
Read more
Collection Of The Best Email Testing Tools Online

Collection Of The Best Email Testing Tools Online

Don’t be afraid of email testing. There are many free or freemium tools online that can help you with testing your SPAM score, deliverability and even the rendering of your email. We feature 30 email testing tools in this article. Check out the complete list!

Roland Pokornyik
Roland Pokornyik 31 October 2016
Read more