Creative thinking is valuable to solving business problems but if the creative talent is spent reformatting and doing grunt work, how can businesses adapt and grow quickly? The Drum and Celtra brought together leading Australian marketers, from Nura, Xero, Kogan and Adore Beauty, to see how they are tackling this issue.
The power of creative thinking to solve business challenges comes down to the connecting ability of people in the marketing and comms team, according to Rob Barnett, creative director, Xero.
“The role of creative in solving business problems is led by the dynamics within the marketing team of having more visibility across the business, what the problems are, and actually being a stakeholder in helping solve them. I see creatives as a conduit between all these departments and what we try and do is find a bit of a common thread that might be able to link different business problems together, to weave that into a single narrative. This is beyond a campaign and more about creative as a platform and a bigger story,” he says.
One of the biggest creative challenges brands is ad fatigue: customers are overwhelmed by the amount of messages brands send across all channels.
According to Raushida Vasaiwala, general manager, APAC at Celtra, marketers are treading a fine line between being too pushy and not meeting the expectations that customers have in terms of content.
Vasaiwala cites research that found 60% of Australians found remarketing communication pushy, while some 50% didn’t like it when they received no communication after a purchase had been made. She says there is a need from consumers to see more cultural diversity in advertising, adding another layer of complexity for creative teams, albeit one that makes more impactful ads.
According to Celtra, this means brands are having to create more content to be more relevant to consumers. With finite talent and budget resources, brands face a challenge called the ‘content gap’ in which brands are unable to produce the content they need to be successful..
Dan Ferguson, CMO, Adore Beauty, agrees that there was a line brands cross into being too pushy, but that content was one of the most important drivers of a brand. He adds that Adore Beauty invests in content as one of the key drivers of brand engagement. He gave the example of his brand’s podcast, which doesn’t directly sell products but has been well received by consumers. For Ferguson, the focus is on creating the most meaningful content for its audience.
“There's some sort of invisible line there, where a brand goes out to consumers too much. On the other hand, you have to ask, how much more relevant can you be? Nobody reads a newspaper and gets to page three and says, ‘this is too much, they're bombarding me’,” he says, “It’s about creative that is engaging beyond a response, it truly means something to your consumer.”
In addition to creating meaningful content, another way to combat ad fatigue is delivering fresh content at the right moment. Andrea Andric, head of digital marketing, Nura Headphones, says this does mean creating different formats to be most relevant on each platform.
“You have to serve something different, something new, at different stages. In terms of remarketing being too aggressive, I agree if it's not interesting again. For me, if a customer has seen a video, come to my website, not converted and gone away, why would I show you the same thing again, to try and get you to convert when it obviously didn't work the first time? Creative has a huge input on how to repackage things or angle things differently or have different assets for different platforms and placements. Creative output is really key, without good and solid creative and content, there's only so far you can go. Being relevant to your audience is probably the most important thing,” she says.
Relevance is also about understanding what your customers want from you as a brand. For Kogan, a retail brand that has a large online customer-base, the e-commerce customer wants a deal, according to Adam Kron, director of growth at Kogan. He says the brand mostly focuses on content about deals, which means “we're trying to surface from millions of options to a large group of people who already know us.”
Brands have vastly varying business challenges and different audiences to reach, but the unifying point is that all marketing departments want to free up talent to work on solving for their challenges.
For Xero’s Barnett, automation could be a tool to manage this, leaving the talent to make sure that there’s a human connection between customers and the brand.
“I like the idea of automating some of the grunt work so that we can be more efficient, to free us up to solve bigger problems and look at how we might be able to be more proactive and on the front foot in coming up with innovative ways to be able to face some of those challenges,” he adds.
Whether a brand finds relevance through deals, personalisation or podcasts, there is a need for teams to be spared the resource to capitalise on cultural and creative nuances. The promise that automation can take on the heavy lifting for brands is a conversation brands are keen to explore.