Creative Marketing; Why kicking in open doors is still difficult

Siebe Gerbranda

The Harvard Business Review just published an article on “What Creativity in Marketing Looks Like Today”.These type of articles always make me cringe; too many open doors, too much generic advice.

Unfortunately, the HBR “analysis” is no different. But it also made me wonder; why are we always talking about seemingly obvious insights? You would expect that every marketer is drenched in this by now and these are her/his first thoughts waking up in the morning. But apparently marketing is not that easy.

Apparently marketing is not that easy.

It is still too tempting to talk about yourself

Companies are like people. We all like to talk about ourselves, but real human relationships are built when we ask questions, rather than talk. Everyone knows this, but still companies keep talking about how great they are, rather than focusing on real interaction. In contrast with the HBR-opinion, I don’t think it is how marketing looks “today”; it has always been like that. Today users just have much more opportunity to voice their opinion. Brands can expect an instant, direct and ruthless response if an ad hasn’t been developed listening to users. Pepsi quickly found this out when they chose to have supermodels fight for justice and save the day with Pepsi.

Only the user can make your business money.

In the end the HBR article kicks in open doors, but these are the doors that we need to continue to kick in day-by-day to make marketing work.

So let’s wake up tomorrow morning and remember;

  • The user is the only one that counts. Your KPIs, your boss, your global vision, your business plan are all second. Only the user can make your business money.
  • Measure everything. Only if you become smarter you can stay ahead.
  • Be lean and agile. By the time you’ve made your yearly plan, your user and with that your opportunity, has moved on.
Siebe Gerbranda

Siebe Gerbranda

Agency Director Shanghai

Siebe is heading the Shanghai office and Asia operations. Prior to joining The George, Siebe was the Sub-Saharan Africa Lead for Google Business Development. He supported the commercial expansion across Sub-Saharan Africa, developing new operations in countries like Kenya and Nigeria. With cross-industry experience in multiple emerging markets he understands the challenges for global companies to develop digital propositions for a local audience.