The name of the game is automation and with good reason. Automation is the Denzel Washington of digital marketing – the equalizer. If you can properly automate your marketing process, then you can scale into a higher level of outreach without the need for more people. You get a higher ROI with a cost-effective process that also futureproofs your company’s martech stack to a degree.

With all of the attention on marketing automation, creativity seems to be getting lost in the sauce. The truth is that automation is not a catchall solution. In the most recent cases of true marketing success, automation works alongside creative ideas to move a marketing program ahead more quickly. Garbage in, garbage out definitely does apply here – if you bring nothing to the table in terms of new content, not even the latest martech stack can save you.

Take a look at some of the most effective campaigns of the past year to see exactly what is working.

YouTube and Made for You

YouTube is owned by Google, which is basically the purpose of every martech stack in the world. Regardless of what tech you buy and what marketing campaign you create, it is (at least in part) trying to win Google’s favor. Why then would a company owned by Google care about being creative? Yet this is exactly what YouTube did with its Made for You campaign.

Instead of relying on metrics and money for its first cinema ad, YouTube found 18 of its best creators and basically let them run wild. Many experts use the Made for You campaign as a benchmark for creativity – it really was that good.

Even if you do not have the ad budget of a YouTube, you can still learn a lot from the SMBs who prioritize creative over automation.

Motion PR and Nut Year’s Resolution

The aptly named Small Business Online Marketing Contest, held annually by the Office of the Treasurer in Chicago, is one of the bellwether events of the year in terms of SMB marketing. One of the current winners, Motion PR, created a magnificent campaign for one of its clients, the International Tree Nut Council.
The combination of the silly name and a contest spread among three platforms won over more than 30,000 people on Facebook alone. More important than any of the tactics was the viral content filled with satirical humor for the family to enjoy.

Whether you are small time or internationally known, creative marketing will never go out of style. You get more ROI than you ever could strategizing mediocre content a few more likes than it deserves. Why spend all of that time on content that is not going to provide your brand some long term benefits?

Before you spend all of your money on keyword research and perfect ad placement, take the time to ensure the veracity of your content. More than production value, social media savvy, a huge budget or even backing from Google, creative marketing is the best investment that you can make in your company this year.

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