What role should creativity play in driving business growth?
Creativity is fundamental to business growth. People forget that a new business idea is more often a creative act. Maintaining that idea and driving its success requires creativity to be at the heart of the business. Think what Apple would have been have like without the driving force of the late Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive? Just don’t be afraid of creativity. It’s an ally.
Are creative and marketing industries at risk of losing out to tech companies and digital media giants? How should the industry address the potential talent gap?
Brands today are populated by many marketing people who don’t understand the basics of marketing. They are in thrall to technology not ideas. Technology enables opportunity; creativity creates value.
This has got to be the best time ever to be in marketing yet we’re seeing very little that captures the consumer’s imagination. Big brand-driving ideas are few and far between. Constant change seems to be the dominating force, yet value is created by consistency and a desire to refresh that consistency, making it constantly relevant.
Mark Ritson recently wrote that marketers are increasingly focusing on tactics rather than strategy – do you think there is too much work being created without the growth agenda in mind?
A great client is one who sets out a clear strategy, adheres to that and encourages all the teams that work on that brand to produce the best they can, making sure that all ideas clearly articulate the brand idea, building success. I think Mark Ritson is absolutely right.
We write a lot about ‘the modern marketer’ and the role that data plays, how have marketers changed over your time in the industry?
Data has always been important to a marketer. However the belief that data solely drives your business decisions is dangerous. We call this ‘wind tunnel’ marketing. Why? Everyone will have access to the same data [leading to] the same conclusions, meaning brands will look the same. The purpose of a brand is to offer difference. Without that there’s no competition. That’s fairly fundamental.
Sir John Hegarty is speaking at the Creative Business Symposium at SohoCreate in partnership with Creative Review, which takes place on 8 June. Click here for more information.