May 03, 2017 @ 12:00am

The effect of digital marketing on creative advertising

That crashing sound you hear coming from advertising agencies across the country is the sound of walls coming down.


What used to be neatly parceled and labeled—Account Services, Production, Creative, etc.—is fast becoming an open room, with copywriters and social media experts collaborating with designers and account execs, everyone trying to beat the ticking clock of the almost constant need to produce new content. Digital, and its many offshoots in social media, is quickly becoming king.

At the same time, creative departments are facing a huge transition: Digital allows for an unprecedented amount of tracking and data collection, enabling almost instant testing and measurement. KPI, CPC, CTR and the almighty ROI are as much a part of today’s advertising as concepts like “creativity” and “storytelling.”

Add that many of today’s Creative Directors still have wax under their nails from having to paste up layouts and you have the perfect environment for conflict. Creatives can’t simply rely on “hunches” and “experience” when faced with the sheer amount of available measurables: One side is supposed to shake its fist and say, “Keep your twitter off my lawn,” while the other sneaks in at night to toilet paper the oldster’s trees with reams of conversion rate data.

This “data vs. creativity” debate is not new, but has perhaps reached flood stage with digital. With all those walls crashing down, creative departments, account execs and media teams are working together earlier and more often. The result? The internet is filled with boldly worded headlines declaring the “Death of Creativity” due to data driven marketing.

We see it differently. Out of the friction between “creativity” and “data,” we’ve found new ways to exercise our talents. This has taken the form of everything from a personalized direct mail piece that plays video as soon as the recipient opens it, to crafting a branded, friendly Facebook space for our friend, a feathered doctor. These things wouldn’t be possible without innovation—the marriage between traditional and new media—and they’re really, really fun to build.

Creative friction makes sparks, and that’s always what we’re looking for in our concepts. If it doesn’t make us—and our clients—a little uncomfortable, then we aren’t working hard enough.

About the author: IanM

Micah Riecker has been 6AM Marketing's Copy Jedi and Chief Wordsmith since June of 2016. A graduate of Knox College, the University of Illinois and Madison College, he specializes in using copy to wake up tired advertising concepts.

Post tags:creative

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