"What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form."
This observation by the late, great advertising guru David Ogilvy, still holds true today.
The content of any ‘advertising’ space must capture the attention of, and engage with your target audience, otherwise it’s really a waste of time having it in the first place!
Despite this, there still seems to be an imbalance between the amount of time and effort invested in media and the content that goes in it.
Today, there's an endless supply of content and advertising vying for people’s attention. This makes creativity in marketing especially important. Finding an original, unusual or different way of tapping into the needs, wants and motivations of target audiences is critical in helping brands stand out and get results.
5 reasons why creativity is so important in marketing:
Creativity is crucial in helping differentiate your brand, product or service so that it stand out from the crowd.
Original content is much more likely to capture the attention of potential customers. New creative, content when rooted in the needs, wants and motivations of the target audience, helps brands, products or services stand out and gives a competitive advantage.
It is also much more likely to be remembered, meaning that customers will remember brands and their marketing messages for much longer (particularly important where a considered, rather than spontaneous, purchase is being made).
2. Creating an emotional connection with customers
Brands, products or services that find new, different ways of engaging with customers positively on an emotional level, will stand out in the minds of consumers and have a competitive edge.
Emotions play an important part in persuading customers to make a purchasing decision and in building a connection with a company and its brand:
- Bruce Buchanan the CEO of ROKT, in an article in the Harvard Business Review, identified companies with strong brands (organisations that have good emotional connections with their customers) outperform weaker brands in the same industry by 3:1 in terms of customer acquisition costs.
- Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman identified that 95% of purchasing decisions are subconscious and that when marketing a product to a consumer, it's most effective to target the subconscious mind.
3. It builds brand awareness
Being 'creative' - tapping into the needs, wants and motivations of customers in a new, different or unusual way - helps to build brand awareness. This is important because numerous studies have shown that brand awareness leads to more customers and more sales.
David A Aaker, a leading authority on branding, recognises in his book Managing Brand Equity, that the most important assets of any business are intangible, including the company name, brands, symbols and slogans and their underlying association. He contends that these assets are a primary source of competitive advantage and future earnings.
The new, different, and interesting is much more likely to get the attention of customers. It will help your company, product or service stand out in their minds, differentiate you from competitors and help develop a successful, enduring brand.
4. It improves your Return On Investment (ROI)
Investing in good creative ensures that you get the best value from your ‘advertising’ space, and that you engage with your target audience in a way that will help them decide to buy from you.
Creative quality was determined to be the most important factor driving sales in a recent study by Nielsen Catalina Solutions on advertising effectiveness. 47% of people said that the quality of the advertising copy and 'creative' was the most important factor when choosing to engage with a brand’s advertising.
An added bonus is that good content is much more likely to be shared and spread organically.
Many people are happy to share brand content when it’s engaging, innovative, or informative. This is especially true when it comes to social media marketing - a relatively small investment in creative content can see it spread far and wide. An added advantage of this is, that according to a study by Sprout Social, 9 in 10 consumers who follow a brand on social media purchase products and services from that brand.
5. It helps you reach, and engage with, your target market
The media being used for any marketing activity gives you ‘statistical’ reach. The content being used in it gives you ‘emotional’ reach.
Building an emotional connection with your audience, when it stands out from competitors, and taps into their needs, wants and motivations, will pay dividends.
Relevant, engaging content can win the hearts and minds of customers and get you to the top of their shopping list.
According to research carried out by Adlucent, consumers want an advertising experience personalised to their interests. 71% of respondents in their study preferred ads tailored to interests and shopping habits. It also found that personalised ads improve engagement, with people almost twice as likely to clickthrough for an ad featuring an unknown brand if the ad was tailored to their preferences.
Combining unique and creative messages, that really engage with your target audience, with personalisation, helps give brands a competitive edge.
The channels used to target potential customers can often preoccupy marketers and businesses. The need to run a Google Ads or Pay Per Click advertising campaign, be on ‘social media’, use email marketing or other media types tends to be foremost in our minds.
All of us at some point will have witnessed the cry that we need to use a specific channel, for example Facebook advertising, Google Ads etc for our business to be successful.
Not many of us will have heard the call to find an original, unusual or different way of tapping into the needs, wants and motivations of our target audiences.
If what really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of our advertising, not its form, then surely we should be devoting more time and effort to the creativity that goes into it?