In an increasingly data-driven world, what place does creativity have in marketing and advertising?

Computers are fantastic at gathering data and telling when, where and how often it is accessed. With ecommerce, we can know where the customer came from, what they looked at, what they bought, and how many times they come back.

All those data points make perfect sense to people that look for ROI (Return on Investment), a business performance measure. For them, the equation is simple. The price the customer pays minus the cost of doing business equals profit. While immediate profit is important, it is only one kind of success and one that lives in the short term.

Because business leans more toward the rational and analytical in the way it perceives and rewards itself, the way a company perceives how marketing should be done often mimics their other business processes.

As a result, the emotional side of connecting with customers can be quite alien to companies that have less experience with brand building than they do in closing a sale. This is because brand building involves making a human connection through emotions, persuasion and other less-quantifiable methods. Gaining a potential customer’s trust and loyalty requires time and a creative mindset, something a data-driven organization may be uncomfortable with.

Set Your Price

When you set up a business you set your price based on what the market will bear and you gain your first sales. You’re happy and your customers are happy.

Competition Undercuts You

Over time, your competitors may use discounts and sales to undercut your position in the market. You could lower your price to match or undercut them, but that’s a race to the bottom. Your business is unhappy, but customers will likely enjoy the reset to lower prices overall.

Hearts Minds Sales

It takes long-term marketing methods built on creativity to lift you out of the short-term sales cycle and its price volatility. Building trust and loyalty with your customers allows you to set your price while buyers return again and again as the years progress. You’ve earned their hearts and minds and they understand the value you bring to the market.

There comes a point in every company where data-driven sales funnel methods are maximized and can only deliver so many new prospects. Moving beyond the short-term, long-term brand marketing builds on the trust and loyalty you’ve earned to remind customers that what you offer is important to them. People will always remember how you made them feel more than any other benefit you can provide. Creativity is the key tool to reach people on that level.

Every national brand you know went through it at some point. They invested over time – because you don’t build a brand overnight – and built up a reputation that allowed them to command their own pricing and to weather market downturns because people still bought what they had to sell even when money was tight.

By it’s nature, long-term marketing requires a consistent investment over years. And getting started is not as daunting when you work with people who have been there and done that before.

Infinity Reef is a small, nimble agency that outperforms for its size and responds well to client engagement and collaboration. Contact us and we’ll be happy to have an unhurried, in-depth conversation with you.