The rapid changes in media, technology, and consumer behavior have all come together to completely change what marketing creativity looks like now when compared to just a few years ago. Customers now want to consume content differently, preferring native advertising over traditional paid ads and purchasing more through their smartphone, which means they expect websites to load rapidly.
Businesses have to find new ways to adapt to these changes, or risk failure. Marketers also now need to find different ways to promote products and services instead of being left behind using old traditional marketing models that simply don’t reach as many customers as they used to. Fail to adapt, and the result will be a drop in sales and profits.
So how does creativity in your marketing strategy help you stay ahead of the curve?
Why is Creativity Important in Marketing?
Certain aspects of marketing indeed follow a fairly standard structure, or at least they used to. You don’t need to make constant adjustments once you have set up a sales funnel or email sequence. But that’s not where the true creativity in marketing lies anyway. Creativity relies on original ideas that help your business to stand out from the crowd. Creativity also allows for rapid adjustments to the ways your customers consume your content, so that you can always offer what they’re looking for.
Finding unique and different ways to promote your products or services does take time, and those bolts of inspiration might strike when you least expect them. Try to plan ahead so that you’re not feeling under pressure to come up with a unique idea half an hour before you’re due to send that email or upload a new post.
To allow for more time to develop new ideas, consider automating some of those other daily yet non-creative tasks, like invoicing, replying to easy customer queries, and your inventory management.
Marketing Channels are Changing
As the way users in both the B2C and B2B markets consume content changes, your marketing strategies across different channels needs to change so you don’t get left behind.
As privacy laws around third-party cookies are tightened, many marketing departments are looking to move back towards email marketing as a viable alternative. The benefit of this method is that you’re in charge of the data rather than relying on the policies and algorithms of a third party.
Email marketing might be a traditional marketing method, but with an ROI of $42 for every dollar spent, it’s one of the most successful strategies out there. Developing and implementing a creative and unique email marketing strategy is definitely worth the time and investment. Make sure to optimize your campaign for mobile devices, consider
Marketing on social media allows you to create truly unique content that gives a real sense of your brand’s values. Word of mouth is also a great way to increase brand awareness, and social media is the perfect platform for viral content. It’s important to decide which platforms your target audience spends the most time on and focus your energies there.
A good strategy for social media is to create consistent tried and tested content mixed in with the occasional fresh post that your customers might not be expecting. This is a great way to test what works, and if a new post style performs far better than expected, you might want to consider including more of those within your content calendar.
As traditional paid advertising starts to become less effective, influencer marketing is beginning to take its place. Unlike conventional paid ads designed to interrupt the user experience, influencers can play an important role in introducing your brand to potential customers and building credibility and trust.
With word-of-mouth recommendations influencing 20-50% of purchases, influencer reviews have the potential to drive a significant number of sales. As influencers establish a relationship with their followers, their connection to your products is likely to be longer-term than just a one-off purchase. With different influencers using a range of creative ideas to review and promote products and services, this is one area where there are many opportunities to connect with potential customers where you don’t have to come up with the creative ideas yourself.
Creating high-quality and relevant content has always been a key part of a content marketing strategy, but the type of content and how it’s being delivered is starting to change. As more users turn to the internet of things (IoT), content now goes far beyond the traditional blog and vlog posts and encompasses content delivered via smartwatches, speakers, and more.
It now makes sense to think of Content as a Service (CaaS) and find ways to store your content as efficiently as possible to deliver it via different apps, websites, and devices. Making your content as flexible as possible and considering the best ways to deliver that content across multiple channels means that you can stay as connected as possible to your customers, no matter where they are or what device they’re using.
Different Sectors Face Different Challenges
While the push towards unique marketing content is necessary no matter the industry, specific challenges affect some sectors more than others.
The end-to-end retail experience is now more important than ever. Don’t forget your customers as soon as they’ve made their purchase, but remember that their journey continues after delivery, especially if they need to return or exchange an item. Ensure that your delivery and returns policies are clearly stated, bearing in mind that 79% of consumers expect free return shipping, and 67% will check the returns policy before making their purchase.
Things like contactless ordering are now the rule rather than the exception, in specific locations at least. Restaurant guests want to enjoy a safe dining experience, with research showing that 82% of customers feel safer if they can use contactless payments, and 81% prefer using contactless ordering. Make sure that your marketing materials show that these options are available at your establishment and if they’re not, look at implementing them as soon as possible.
Marketing to other businesses can look very different compared to targeting individual consumers. That means your B2B marketing strategy needs to look very different. Your target market will be focused on efficiency and ROI rather than fun deals or entertaining content.
Educational content can be more critical here, as you’ll need to clearly demonstrate how your product or service can solve a problem. Once again, email marketing is a crucial tool here, although many B2B companies underutilize it.
59% of B2B companies fail to use email marketing; even though, as we’ve already established, it’s one of the most effective marketing strategies out there. So stand out from the competition by utilizing the power of this technique. For B2B companies that do use email marketing, the average is one email every 25 days. Compared to the B2C market, that’s not much that, according to the DMA’s annual report, typically sits at around 2-3 emails sent per month.
Creativity Creates Success
As the ways customers consume content continue to change rapidly, being able to devise a creative marketing campaign across a broad range of different channels will help keep those sales and profits as high as possible.
Marketing departments need to think outside the box and combine unique content with measurable ways to define your ROI. If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to change it up. Adapt to the new normal, or risk getting left behind.