Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Blog 1 - Creativity's Bottom Line

Creativity's Bottom Line: How Winning Companies Turn Creativity Into Business Value and Growth (McKinsey & Company - Digital McKinsey)

In this article, McKinsey investigates connections between use of creativity in marketing and top-performing companies.  By developing the "Award Creativity Score", based on the Cannes Lions award index, McKinsey explored how the most creative companies also performed in business.  The results showed that the most creative companies outperformed their peers in two specific aspects of business:  financial and innovation.

As the investigation continued, McKinsey found that those top performing companies specifically did four things differently in practice: hardwiring creativity and innovation into daily business, customer understanding, quick decision-making, and leaning into adaptation.

While the article explores these four areas in relation to marketing in general, I believe these topics go hand-in-hand to how businesses must approach the digital realm of marketing.

  1. Hardwiring Creativity and Innovation
    • "...almost 60 percent of companies in the top ACS quartile self-identify as industry shapers or innovation leaders versus slightly more than one-third of their peers."  While it might seem obvious, it is easy for companies to lose sight of the important of innovation and creativity with the pressures of looming financial goals - but the article finds that the best companies view marketing spend as an important investment, with creativity shaping the decisions on where that money goes.  This is especially true at the moment when digital spend is on the rise and marketers are challenged with how to connect their campaigns across new digital platforms.  Are the best companies winning on these attempts because their creative can successfully appeal to the consumer across multiple platforms?
  2. Customer Driven
    • In class we explored the shift between previous ad-spend models (CPM) and the new-norm of performance-based spending.  The rise of digital marketing will continue to allow marketers and their business to understand the customer more so than we could have ever fathomed.  In reference to the best performing and most creative firms - "Creative firms also combine insights gained about customers’ needs with technologies and new business models to come up with white-space solutions and distinctive marketing campaigns."
  3. Quick Decision-Making
    • While digital has changed the marketing industry, it has also greatly transformed the consumer.  As consumers, we expect everything in our life to be lightening fast, making it unacceptable for digital marketing to fall behind.  The best performing companies stay on top of tracking results, but they also report "fast" decision-making in order for the campaigns to stay consumer-relevant; and digital seems like the perfect platform to allow flexibility in this area.
  4. Adaptation
    • "The top-performing companies recognize that launch is just the beginning of a process of obtaining marketplace feedback, which serves as the basis for ongoing evolution and improvement."  Digital not only allowed quick marketplace feedback, but a less-costly option for changes and improvement within a marketing campaign.  In class we discussed how companies commonly use one campaign but shape it for various mediums now, including digital.  It seems top-performing companies take advantage of the ability to transform their campaigns as necessary - and digital is an accommodating space to do so.

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