Why Creatives Are So Important to Product Development and Marketing

December 2016

Photo: Sara Kauten

The problem of churning out better, faster, super-optimized products was solved by businesses years ago. Everyone makes flawlessly functional doohickey’s now, so today’s objective for companies is to distinguish themselves in ways that will engage and delight their audiences. To attract the right attention, you need to allow creative people into the ecosystem of a company.

Metrics matter and problems need to be solved, but tackling challenges by using a crossover group of high-level stakeholders and creatives can result in going beyond sameness. Just as in life, business solutions are both complex and simple and a balance needs to be achieved. Imaginative people have an ability to level complexity and simplicity using a thoughtful reduction of elements to attain the right balance (such as the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, NY), playfulness and discipline that can establish a tone and style (think Apple products). They also can possess and convey an intense energy countered by careful reflection (don’t let a creative’s extended gaze out a window fool you…the wheels are always turning). These innate balances between polarities are translated visually or in words and applied to the work they produce. When included in problem solving, creative thinkers have unique adaptation skills to offer and can often find solutions by connecting dots that others may not see, resulting in fresh approaches.

Here’s a generalization about artistically creative people that’s based on my experience and science…we are acutely sensitive to our surroundings and process information by observing, absorbing and feeling. For marketers, empathy is key to understanding your audience. You need to know who your target audiences are and what they want, and then provide a good user experience so they’ll come back for more. Creative designers and writers easily tune into an audience’s needs and develop content that resonates with them.

Whether you’re solving a business challenge, creating a product, branding a company, designing a website or communicating through content marketing, creativity is integral to making your company, products and services prominent. Offer opportunities for imaginative people to have a seat at the conference table to contribute solutions. (Tip: Their ideas tend to be drowned out by the alphas in the room, so allow everyone to initially work on a challenge alone.) Once together, your group will produce divergent interpretations, which you can build upon for better outcomes.

—Maureen