Creative strategy

From CEOpedia | Management online

Creative strategy is the execution element and communication strategies used to bridge the gap between what marketers want to say and what consumers want to hear (Ashley et al., 2015).

Incorporate creative strategy development into your company's traditional approach to strategy development to redefine its traditional approach. This procedure allows them to constantly develop alternative, bold and new strategies, even though it requires companies to ask management to question their assumptions and challenge the status quo. The right questions must be constantly asked to rethink or shape the business model.

In digital competition, social media marketing requires the presence of marketing content. Social media marketers have created a new concept of creative strategy in the marketing world through different types of messages (Hoffman & Fodor, 2010). In fact, creative strategies are built and implemented to increase the effectiveness of communicated messages.

Literature review

As MacInnis, Moorman and Jaworski (1991) argued, creative strategies can improve the recipient's motivation, skills, and/or ability to process information from the advertisement. Brand marketers are very interested in creative strategies because they are essential for promoting results. The creative strategy involves both the content and delivery of the message. It involves designing the communication to increase the likelihood that it will produce the desired effect on the target group (Laskey, Day, & Crask, 1989).

Based on Aaker and Norris' research (1982), emotional/transformational and functional/informational creative strategies were distinguished (Aaker & Norris, 1982). When developing a creative strategy, it is essential to distinguish between rational and emotional information. A brand's creative strategy could focus on the benefits that are unique to it (unique selling proposition), superior to it (pre-emptive, comparative), or undifferentiated from its competitors (generic). Chandy, Tellis, MacInnis, and Thaivanich (2001) proposed that advertisement cues can affect consumer behaviour depending on whether the market is new or old. Their study found superior effectiveness of comparative strategies in new markets over old markets, while emotional messages performed better in old markets than new ones. Many factors can influence the effectiveness of specific creative strategies, such as target audience characteristics, creative execution, market characteristics, and environmental trends.

Importance of Creative Strategies in companies

This article examines how a number of leading companies are gaining a competitive advantage by applying creative strategies and building new business models.

These companies do not try to analyse what went wrong with last year's strategy plan. Instead, these organisations recognise that dynamic environments offer valuable opportunities for those who can shape, lead, or at least anticipate and respond to change in their industry. Some companies' researches found that incumbent industry players had difficulty shifting their mental framework and creating some key concepts in a new and unique way. For instance:

  • The Mental Model of Questions: it is hard to question the thinking that makes an organisation successful. Organisations that challenge analytical uniformity rethink traditional assumptions and constantly challenge the status quo to create creative strategies for new business models.
  • Challenge Assumption: traditional approaches and tools should not be abandoned by organizations. What is important is the underlying mentality managers adopt when analysing and applying them. Questioning the framework of if mental framework assumptions do not change, the strategy will not change either.
  • Encourage openness to new ideas: the final element for developing creative strategies relates to when an organisation has access to new strategies and business.

Traditional strategies are built with a top-down approach but developing creative strategies and identifying new business models fosters ideas and challenges from anywhere inside or outside the organisation. This requires top managers to be open, share a vision, and encourage conflicting views. It is important to welcome those who challenge conventional economic progress, as they present an alternative viewpoint that the mainstream ignores.

As creative strategy becomes more critical in the development of companies, more specialised roles, such as creative strategists, are emerging. Agile, digital, and ready for new challenges, these individuals consider the stories people tell, create brand stories that resonate, and use those stories for clients to connect with brands. In addition, they reflect and act positively on cultural change, social issues, and the importance of branding. This new mandate will consist of new professionally trained people to generate new ideas in a strategic environment, provided with cultural curiosity and deep confidence in ideas as powerful cultural assets. Confluence culture is led by creative strategists who understand all aspects of the advertising process and use their creative skills to solve brand problems. Agencies that adopt a creative and strategic approach are prepared to deliver superior messages to clients, protect themselves from the recession when clients embrace the value of such messages and find innovative ways to communicate.

Creative strategies' conclusion

Formal planning is an important and effective management activity, but the process often becomes routine, reinforcing an organisation's existing strategies and failing to build new business models. It is important for businesses to be aware of rapidly changing customer preferences and emerging market spaces, respond creatively and devise innovative business models to meet these changing expectations. Organisations that challenge their mental models, look beyond logic, and encourage openness to innovative ideas can develop new and creative strategies and new business models. Companies that approach strategy creatively are among the smartest.

Examples of Creative strategy

  • Storytelling: Storytelling is a great way to communicate a brand’s message and values to consumers. Companies can create stories around their products and services that connect with their audience and make them feel more invested in the brand.
  • Visuals: Visuals such as videos and photos can help to communicate a message quickly and effectively. Companies can use visuals to showcase their products and services, as well as to create an emotional connection with their audience by showing them how their products and services can help them.
  • Personalization: Personalization is another important creative strategy that can be used to create a more intimate relationship between brands and their customers. Companies can use personalization to tailor their messages to specific audiences, making them more likely to engage with the brand.
  • Experiential Marketing: Experiential marketing can be used to create memorable experiences for customers that will leave a lasting impression. Companies can use experiential marketing to create interactive experiences that will help customers better understand and connect with the brand.
  • Social Media: Social media is a great way to reach a large audience quickly and cost-effectively. Companies can use social media to engage with their audience, create conversations, and share content that resonates with their target audience.

Advantages of Creative strategy

Creative strategy offers many advantages for marketers, including:

  • The ability to better connect with potential customers by creating compelling and engaging stories that drive brand loyalty and trust.
  • Creative strategies can be used to differentiate a brand from its competitors by creating a unique and memorable identity.
  • Creative strategies can help increase visibility, engagement, and interest in a product or service by using creative advertising techniques.
  • Creative strategies can help build relationships with customers and increase sales by providing them with an interactive and immersive experience.
  • Creative strategies can be used to monitor customer feedback and trends, allowing for more informed decisions about product development and marketing campaigns.

Limitations of Creative strategy

Creative strategies have several limitations. These include:

  • Difficulty in creating an effective message: Creative strategies require a great deal of thought and planning in order to create a message that resonates with the target audience. It can be difficult to craft a message that is both effective and resonates with the audience.
  • Limited resources: Creative strategies require resources such as time, money and personnel. These resources can be limited, making it difficult to create high-quality creative strategies.
  • Lack of flexibility: Creative strategies can be difficult to alter once they have been developed. This can make it difficult to adjust the strategy based on changing market conditions.
  • Difficulty in measuring success: Creative strategies can be difficult to measure for effectiveness. It can be difficult to quantify the success of the strategy, making it difficult to determine whether the strategy was successful or not.

Other approaches related to Creative strategy

Creative strategy is the execution element and communication strategies used to bridge the gap between what marketers want to say and what consumers want to hear (Ashley et al., 2015). Other approaches related to Creative strategy include:

  • Brand Storytelling: This approach involves creating a narrative or story around a brand or product in order to engage customers and increase customer loyalty.
  • Visual Branding: This approach uses visuals such as logos, images, and videos to communicate a brand's story and create an emotional connection with customers.
  • User-Generated Content: This approach encourages customers to create their own content about a brand, product or service in order to spread awareness and build trust.
  • Experiential Marketing: This approach involves creating immersive experiences that allow customers to interact with a brand or product in a meaningful way.

In summary, Creative strategy is an important element of marketing that involves the use of various approaches to bridge the gap between what marketers want to say and what consumers want to hear. Other related approaches include Brand Storytelling, Visual Branding, User-Generated Content, and Experiential Marketing.

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Author: Francesca Scattolin