As marketing automation and data-driven marketing become increasingly important, some marketers feel that creativity is being sacrificed. In this post we'll demonstrate how to get the perfect blend of both and why they should inform one another if you want to achieve real marketing success.
Some people are prone to believe that technology is destroying creativity, particularly within the marketing department. This probably goes back some way; you could imagine a caveman looking at a paintbrush, tutting and wondering what these kids will come up with next. More often than not, people are reluctant to adapt to change.
For this reason, new tools always cause an issue - whether it’s poor adoption rates, or tools being used incorrectly. The thing is, they often end up finding their place and we wonder how we ever accomplished tasks without them. Data driven marketing and automation are no exceptions.
When data driven marketing and automation works, it can be brilliant. Identifying the right upselling prospects because of the right analytics will save time and improve profitability as a result. Your competition puts a lot of its own data out in the public domain through social media. All of this information can be utilised to your advantage, as that data can help you to identify and build a group of independent endorsements for your goods or services as a result of marketing to competitors’ customers.
The use of data-driven marketing and automation has certainly added a strategic and scientific element to marketing, but creativity can be established via other methods - such as content marketing. This is a strategy that is largely increasing across marketing departments a a whole. According to the 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America report from the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, 76% of marketers are increasing investment in content marketing in 2016 year-over-year from 2015.
Creative content can manifest in blogs, infographics, white papers and SlideShares and more. This creativity will attract people to your company and product offerings. A computer company might - instead of putting a lot of information about their own offerings up - offer technical tips instead, or advice on work/life balance in a continually connected world – so people start to visit the website as a regular activity rather than just when they need something.
In this way, companies and their content will be top-of-mind when a customer need arises.
For companies who do not have the capacity to create content in-house, there are alternatives such as outsourcing that can help you to stay one step ahead of competitors. Any outsourcing partner must understand your brand values, tone and content.
However you choose to be creative, authenticity is key.
Combining content and data
Creativity can pave the way for data-driven marketing and automation. By creating quality content, whether that’s through your company’s blog or even through social media platforms, such as LinkedIn groups or Twitter, you can gather important information about prospects, customers and advocates. Not only will you be able to identify where those people are and how to target them, but by encouraging them to download contact via filling in forms, you can capture essential details that will help you to create sales.
Creativity is a great way to capture interest and thus, ever more important data. Marketing shouldn’t be driven by one or the other, but should be informed by both creativity and data. By creating quality pieces that attract prospects and customers in the first place, you can analyse the data. This data can then be used to inform the next round of content creation - making sure your creativity is even more influential next time. And that’s how marketers can use marketing automation and creativity. You really can have your cake and eat it.
Creativity should be central to your marketing strategy as it will attract prospects and customers.
More content can generate more contacts which will provide you with more data. This can be automated to help you with targeting and pushing prospects through from Marketing to Sales.
The data you garner can be used to inform the next round of creative content creation, making your marketing more influential.
Marketers can have their cake and eat - using both creativity and marketing automation.
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