What’s Standing in the Way of More Creative Marketing Output?

October 4, 2022

This article is included in these additional categories:

Advertising Trends | Business of Marketing | Content Marketing | Creative & Formats | Cross-Media & Traditional | Staffing

Marketers have sometimes put analytics and creativity in opposition, but an emphasis on data and analytics isn’t a key factor holding back creativity in marketing output, according to research from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA).

Based on a survey of 640 senior client-side marketers in 34 markets, the results indicate that the most-cited barrier to boosting the creativity of marketing output is a risk-averse culture (51%). This brings to mind recent research from Phrasee, in which 92% of marketers surveyed said they were “playing it safe” with their content marketing language for fear of getting it wrong.

Other oft-cited barriers by client-side marketers surveyed by the WFA included short-term focus (48%), having too many decision-makers (44%) and budget cuts (40%).

By comparison, fewer said that an over-emphasis on data analytics (21%) is a barrier to improving their creative output, and fewer still blamed investment in digital channels (17%).

In fact, digital transformation initiatives have led to the generation of more digital content and creative output, per a recent study. Scaling up creative capacity can pay off for firms, with enterprise companies saying this is their top way to improve return on ad spend, an understandable position given that creative quality has the biggest impact on ad effectiveness.

Meanwhile, relatively few marketers point to industry talent (29%) or the talent within their own client-side organizations (23%) as reasons for difficulties boosting the creativity of their marketing output. Another study from WFA likewise finds that creative ranks low on the list of areas for which there is a media talent crisis.

In other results from the survey:

  • 82% say that creativity is marketing’s most powerful weapon, though just 28% say it’s critical to the success of their business.
  • Respondents coming from “growing” businesses were more likely to say that creativity is critical than those coming from businesses said to be “maintaining,” “recovering,” or “declining.”
  • 51% report that an improved understanding of the customer is what would help make them more creative.

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