What makes marketing creative?

Is it more imagination or innovation?

Is a creative marketer more artist or entrepreneur?

Historically, the term “marketing creative” has been associated with the words and pictures that go into ad campaigns.

But marketing, like other corporate functions, has become more complex and rigorous.

Marketers need to master data analytics, customer experience, and product design.

Do these changing roles require a new way of thinking about creativity in marketing?

To explore this question, we interviewed senior marketing executives across dozens of top brands. We asked them for examples of creativity in marketing that go beyond ad campaigns and deliver tangible value to the business.

Their stories — and the five wider trends they reflect — help illustrate what it means to be a creative marketer today.

  1. Create with the customer, not just for the customer

Everyone likes to talk about being “customer-centric.” But too often this means taking better aim with targeted campaigns.  Customers today are not just consumers; they are also creators, developing content and ideas — and encountering challenges — right along with you. Creativity in marketing requires working with customers right from the start to weave their experiences with your efforts to expand your company’s reach.

Read all: What Creativity in Marketing Looks Like Today

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