Is ‘measurement culture’ killing creativity?

Is ‘measurement culture’ killing creativity? Colm is the editor of MarketingTech, with a mission to bring the most important developments in technology to both businesses and consumers.

Data has redefined the marketing game in the last decade. Before, marketers would pump content out to their chosen medium and judge its success based on any increase in sales. Now, they sit on top of a pile of data that can tell them exactly how their campaigns are performing.

But is this ocean of data putting the focus of modern marketing too heavily on analysis, measurement and insight at the cost of creativity?

This seems to be a common view, according to a survey of 250 marketing decision-makers, with 72% saying that a ‘measurement culture’ is killing creativity. 64% said that the focus on measurable results meant that senior management were unwilling to support brand-building.

Creativity is, however, still an essential ingredient in successful marketing. 32% said that ‘structured creative thinking’ is the main process in campaign preparation, more than analysis of previous campaigns (26%) and data (25%).

So, what is the first move when you receive a project brief? Do you go and crunch the numbers to find out who you are targeting or do you start with great ideas and work from there? Unsuprisingly, there is a clear split between these two strategies, with 26% starting with creative and 25% with demographics and data.

Balancing act

“It’s alarming to see so many in-house marketers concerned with a lack of balance between measurement, data and creativity in their organisations,” Rebecca Manville, Managing Director, Dotted said. “This underlines the importance of finding a repeatable method for insight and creativity to meet – in a way which works for the whole team and allows instincts to be explored.

“Finding the right process will allow marketing departments to consistently negotiate this balance and correctly prioritise activity. It also helps efficiency because everybody will know where they stand, and previously difficult decisions – such as when analysis hands over to creative – are simplified.”

The solution could come from trying to create marketing teams that are capable of judging creative endeavours with both data insights and wider organisational objectives. 29% of respondents reported looking for more staff with a footing in general business understanding over strict marketing data analysis, with 27% highlighting problem solving as their key recruitment priority. 24% said that they look for management degrees when hiring for junior positions.

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