Marketing and communication in 2011. How to cut through the crap. #1

SO HERE WE ARE IN 2011. Never has there been a more competitive time to be in the business of marketing. There have never been more ways of spending budgets. There has never been more pressure on budgets. Or, come to that, more theories about what you should and shouldn’t be doing. What is clear is that whilst many are waffling on about this trend and that development, some are simply getting on with doing things that get results. We are some of those people. And this is some of how we do it.


Marketing has never been more sophisticated than it is today.

As marketers, we have the ability to instantly track results and gauge responses.

Marketing is no longer a dark art practised by individuals, going on instinct alone.

Today’s marketers are smarter, have more tools at their disposal, and more effort goes into finding the right strategy and approach than ever before.

So why, when almost all marketing is produced in this professional and exacting way, does so much fall flat, or not meet expectations, or fail to inspire?

Well, people have never been bombarded with more messages, communication and conversations than they are today.

Today’s consumers are so attuned to it that they are far more adept at filtering information, communication and messages, regardless of channel or platform, than any generation before them.

And it’s as true for newer conversational or interactive media as it is in conventional broadcast media.

The answer to this problem is as old as the hills, but more relevant and crucial than ever before.

Simply, creativity and the craft skills of writing, art direction, design, typography and direction, are the vital ingredients that make the difference between the easily missable and the compelling.

Between the whatever and the astounding. The unsuccessful and the successful. Between a campaign that doesn’t meet its targets and one that massively exceeds them.

Creativity and craft are the key things that can make two campaigns that have very similar, very robust strategies perform very differently.

Why one captures the imagination, communicates, involves, stimulates, entertains, excites, whilst the other fails to do so.

The difference is how that robust, well thought-through strategy is brought to life.

That’s why, even in an era when marketing is so thoroughly planned and interrogated, creativity and craft is more important than ever to business.

Because even if what you are doing is spot-on,
it will live or die,
fail or succeed,
by the way you do it.

It's strange to think how creativity and craft appear to have become slowly marginalized within the industry.

Agencies these days tend to talk up their technological prowess, their command of emerging media, and their strategic processes.

Yet it's in creative ideas - and the craft that brings them to life and connects with the audience - where still the greatest value is added for our clients.


  1. great post. i think the advertising shares a lot of problems with the movie industry. tons of work and research at the front end to guarantee success, but the reality is execution is what really matters at the end of the day. it was ever thus.

  2. Thanks Vinny. You're right, it feels like 'twas ever thus. But I do remember a time when ideas and craft were accepted as the valuable product of ad agencies. I seems a looong time ago, but I remember it.


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