Creativity: it can solve almost any problem and is often the most important contributor to a brand’s success. It is an empowerment mechanism, possessing the ability to push people towards an innate capacity for innovation. Businesses know the immense value of creativity within the workplace. Yet, as ongoing economic challenges continue to tighten budgets and strengthen external pressures, enabling creativity has become a back-burner priority. Marketing leaders are charged with strategizing the business case for integrated and intentional creativity, aligning seemingly contradictory imperatives and bringing new customers into the fold.
On Wednesday 7th September, Monday.com in partnership with Connect Media, hosted an executive gathering of marketing leaders from a diverse cross-section of industries. This Roundtable provided a platform for candid discussion, where attendees confronted the challenges and opportunities underlining creative management within business.
The decision to outsource or invest in-house is one that weighs heavily on marketing agendas. It is a constant negotiation of short-term advantages against long-term value, guided by ROI as the determining precedent.
We know that creative power is what defines us in the context of artificial intelligence and automation. Consumer demands of content reflect this in our world of fast-paced, short-form media. Businesses are keenly aware that consumers gravitate towards brands that provide honest critiques and authentic messaging, selling ideas rather than overt product promotion. This desire to resonate is reshaping the dimensions of trust between brand and consumer, challenging teams to creatively respond to the customer with an ad hoc, empathetic approach.
“We want to think like a brand that takes an emotional place in someone’s life,” remarked an attendee.
“So, therefore, what is the expertise we need to hold-in house versus seeking external? What are the things we are always going to know and might be experts in versus what are the things we need counsel on?”
In a digital environment, the objective is simple: marketing teams need to be responsive, quickly. They need to meet to behavioural changes instantly and capitalise with first-mover advantage. The sign-offs attached to outsourcing often stunt this opportunity for brands to be quick to respond when immediate change occurs.
“In marketing, there is still a need for one-off decisions that are sometimes slightly crazy”.
This argument starts to waver however, when brands choose respond through a medium outside their internal skillset. The pursuit of differentiation is a motivator of these decision, rendering outsourcing creative development a necessary avenue.
Regardless of the content’s origins, one collective sentiment continued to be emphasised: consistency is crucial. Delivering content at scale and across multiple channels requires a deep, intrinsic knowledge of a brand’s personality and mission, and is vital in securing end-to-end value for a consumer.
Branded creativity previously operated within contracted silos, designated only to those with the skill or the service required. The events of the last few years have forced a change to this way of thinking. The ability to be nimble in a constantly changing media world has proven to be more of a vital asset than once accounted for, prompting leaders to extend an organisation’s creative capacity beyond its traditional silos and into wider teams.
“There are benefits in educating broader parts of your business in the skills that are required for creative problem-solving… The more people you bring on that journey and the more you apply that to everyday scenarios, the more effective you can be at getting sign-offs on the things that you want to do…”
There is known risk associated with extending creativity beyond its designated proprietors. However, there is a surmountable amount of wastage across many work systems, and it is essential that employees are given this time back to be considerate, thoughtful and focus on their craft. Solidifying reasonable parameters around creativity will encourage true innovation to occur, serving as protective ‘guardrails’ to support company reputation and guide employee imagination. Opening up opportunities for the wider business to actively and creatively problem-solve will move employees from being “unconscious, to conscious members”, strengthening empowerment and purpose within the broader business culture.
Attaining user data has a history of being a contended process. Privacy concerns have amplified over the last twelve months, influencing regulatory reform and extensive red-tape hurdles. To be able to respond swiftly market changes and tap into new audiences, marketing leaders need to consider the alternate data opportunities available to them.
Leaders emphasised that the reliance on third-party data partnerships with big tech generators can no longer be a business’s primary avenue for insight, instead expressing a desired movement towards second-party data sharing:
“We’ve been talking about little data gardens and the advantage of knowing your customers from a behavioural perspective… It is in the interest of big tech companies to reduce your transparency if you band together with likeminded companies.”
As businesses continue to grow in their creative capacity, data influx is magnified to a larger scale, requiring greater collaboration and coordination. Amid calls for more equitable access to data, marketing leaders are relying on aggregated workflow platforms, such as Monday.com, as foundational aids in streamlining informational access and transparency. These platforms offer embedded ecosystem, facilitating readily available data and resources in a centralised space, allowing leaders to manage multiple teams, priorities and connection points.
As humans, we have a tremendous ability to create. The challenge for leaders is to make sure the spirit of that ability does not lie dormant, nor continues to be pushed aside in times when needed most.
Monday.com is dedicated to enabling this pursuit, making it their mission to give back the time to be creative by driving an enlightened way of working – not by overengineering a complex problem, but by removing all the noise and all the friction that cloud work operations. As workspaces and technology continue evolve, the value and resources we assign to the business of creativity will be what ultimately defines our competitive distinction.