Closing the Creativity Gap

Creativity is the last remaining source of competitive advantage. “It’s a marketing superpower,” says Conrad Persons, Global Strategist & B2B Lead, WPP.

As technology becomes more democratized, there is a lack of difference.

Companies with more creative capital had 2.4X more growth. In a world where difference is diminishing, creativity is the lever for growth.

There is a creativity gap: B2B brands are suffering; there’s less differentiation and less growth. And we’ve lost focus. There’s a confusion that data and technology will replace creativity. Viewing them separately is a false choice.

We need creative storytelling and creative uses of data. Creativity is an enabler of growth. To close that gap, we’re going to talk about a range of approaches. How can we be more innovative with technology, be more dynamic?

Standout creativity

B2B brands need to leverage more emotion and take risks to stand out from the crowded marketplace.

Marketers are in the business of creating meaningful differences for brands, but we need to stand out. Some B2B winners are leading consumer brands (Heinz, Heineken) because they know how to tell an emotional story.

But others are traditional B2B brands. They’ve used humor and celebrities to massive success. Workday, an enterprise software company, has a great recent example of using humor. They got Ozzy Osbourne and other legendary real rockstars to poke fun at corporations overusing the term “rock stars.” Creativity is scary often because there’s risk involved.

Finding ways to integrate something physical is a great way of storytelling. For instance, SAS, a leader in analytics, created the Batting Lab to inspire children to learn about data. The custom AI-powered batting cage collected more than 50,000 data points and turned player data into real-time coaching instruction.

Meanwhile, Flock Freight used humor, some profanity, and lingo from the industry to get attention and spark conversation. They called it their “no BS vision.”

But it’s not just about coming up with a great idea. You need to measure whether it will be effective by assessing whether the idea is relevant, will it move people into action, is it solving a problem and can the campaign be measured.

It’s all about going from a functional rational message to something emotionally engaging. Something that you can buy into and something in the end that will help you stand out.