TL;DR (TooLong; Don’t Read): Creative on-demand workers, particularly those in the marketing sector, are in the business of selling stuff.
Context: marketing, advertising, entrepreneurship, marketing agency, digital marketing
Intention: There is nothing new in this post. I just intend putting things in perspective a bit and simplify the relationship between creativity, marketing and advertising. I will be getting to art very soon in the next posts.
By its very definition marketing is the discipline in charge of:
1. understanding customer’s needs, wants and dreams
2. proposing and selling the corresponding products
3. monitoring and keeping customers engaged
Many practices support the marketing endeavors one of them being advertising.
Nothing new until now.
The anatomy of business
The purpose of business is to create relevant value. (I’ll talk about this subject in another post). In order to continue creating value, the business must be able to sell their products/services. Marketing and more particularly advertising is in charge of this aspect. The cycle is very simple and complex at the same time. It’s not the best relevant value product that wins but the one best communicated.
For the customer a mediocre product is very often good-enough. Reasonable affordable and relevant products might revolutionize a market.
Remember the earthquake induced by Apple’s iPhone launch in the mobile telephony industry. See my post about Disruptive Innovation.
Zoom on the creative on-demand class
If you are being paid to create, most likely you are expected to produce value by your creative work, creative concepts, designs, campaign strategy, etc.
Tip: If you are working in advertising, good creative concepts sell stuff. Great creative concepts sell more stuff.
I have dozens of friends in the ad industry and this might come as an obvious surprise to most of them. Not because of the depth of the insight (dah!), but because most of them got siloed into a corner and lost the purpose of their work.
The end metric of an ad agency’s activities summary is how many products their client sold as a result of their marketing campaign.
So yes, you are in the business of selling stuff. Marketing and advertising should keep their eye on the ball and sell stuff. Ideally, valuable and relevant stuff. Understand client’s need, propose products to answer that need, reach the customer on their point of contact. Ensure the value advertised is real. Create client engagement.
Drucker on Leader to Leader: “Leaders in every single institution and in every single sector … have two responsibilities. They are responsible and accountable for the performance of their institutions, and that requires them and their institutions to be concentrated, focused, limited. They are responsible also, however, for the community as a whole.”
In conclusion, do your job, don’t be evil.