New Tools and Techniques but Marketing is Still About Creativity

New Tools and Techniques but Marketing is Still About Creativity

Earlier this week I wrote a post on our HubSpot Inbound Marketing blog about marketing creatively.  The real takeaway from that post, although you should still give it a read, is that successful marketing hasn’t really changed over the years, only the channel you market through.  Marketing simply has some different tools and techniques needed in order to be effective.  We have all heard the rant, and probably given it a few times to coworkers, that print isn’t as effective as it used to be and costs a ton of money.  Most of the time people throw away mail without even reading it.  Finally, and probably most telling, people don’t pay attention to television commercials anymore because they can turn to another of the hundreds of channels available or record television programs on DVR, allowing them to fast forward through the commercials.

The television commercials are something that I’m especially bad about.  I have been known to intentionally wait ten minutes before watching one of my favorite shows so that it can start recording, and then I’m able crunch a normal thirty-minute show into twenty-two minutes.  Yes, twenty-two minutes is how long a normal television show is minus the commercials.  Those precious eight minutes allow me to multitask that much more and save me a quarter of the show’s running time!  This is just one example of how I have cut out traditional marketing.

So where I’m going with this is that the rules of the game have changed but the game itself has not.  A hundred years ago in order to be a successful marketer you had to be creative.  Today to be a successful marketer you STILL have to be creative. Today we simply have a few different tools at our disposal to connect with our target audience.  The web has completely changed many of the rules of engagement but not the fact that people will block you out if you don’t have a creative way to connect with them.  I work with over twenty small to medium-sized businesses every week talking about their marketing strategies and how to utilize this new tool set.  The people that succeed are the ones who can creatively come up with ways to use the Facebooks, YouTubes, Websites, and Emails.

I know this whole post sounds overly simple, and the truth is none of this is rocket science.  Your audience most likely doesn’t understand rocket science so why do you need to understand it?  What your audience does understand is that their time is precious and that they want to (a) easily find what they are looking for and (b) possibly enjoy some entertainment while they are looking for it.

The challenge is to understand these new tools well enough to creatively compel your audience.  The tools are your paint brush and paints, but you still have to paint your own Mona Lisa! Every school has a website. What makes your website unique?  Many schools have a Facebook page or student blog. Why should I spend my time consuming yours?  These are the real challenges.  This is what truly makes our jobs interesting and exciting.

 New Tools and Techniques but Marketing is Still About Creativity

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This post was written by:

Kyle James

Kyle James - who has written 227 posts on .eduGuru

Kyle is currently the Customer in Residence at HubSpot, a Co-Founder at nuCloud and  formerly the webmaster at Wofford College. Kyle is an active contributor in the social media spectrum. Although his background is technical, he claims to know a thing or two about marketing, but mostly that revolves around SEO, analytics, blogging, and social media. He has spoken at multiple national conferences and done countless webinars on topics ranging from e-mail marketing to social media and Web analytics. He's definitely a fairly nice guy.

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6 Responses to “New Tools and Techniques but Marketing is Still About Creativity”

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    Andrew Careaga Says:

    Good thoughts, Kyle. Marketing is all about creating the perception of a need for whatever product or service you’ve got, and that is indeed a creative act.


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    John McTigue Says:


    I’m really glad you said this. I’ve been thinking the same thing for a while now. Too much emphasis on technology and number crunching and not enough creativity in blogs, web sites, ads etc. Yes, results are important, but you have to earn great results. In marketing that’s done by attracting people with creative designs, content, ideas and comments. All the tools in the world won’t get you anywhere without great ideas and great execution.


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    James | Postcard Printing Says:

    You are right in saying that Marketing hasn’t really changed over the years but it is a matter on how to market your chosen niche. The tools now are more advance and you can multi task everything. It will save time and effort. But the most important thing is, Creativity is still the answer.


  4. Avatar image
    Fish Supplies Says:

    Thanks for this. It is so easy these days to get caught up in the metrics of a business. By reading this I am reminded that I need to often sit back and just get creative. It isn’t always about crunching numbers (@john) to see how effective marketing really is. The most creative/successful marketing can not be measured by one metric. Truly successful marketing is felt for a long time. Thanks again for sharing.


  5. Avatar image
    John Musca DUI Attorney Says:

    Yes, but unfortunately it has become more about crunching those numbers then really getting down to the creativeness of what you can do market your company or product. Sometimes the effectiveness outweighs the cost where it comes around in the end.


  6. Avatar image
    Liz Rotter Says:

    This is absolutely true — great post. Though technology must be incorporated into marketing efforts, and we advise our clients to use various online tools, it’s creativity (and not just technology) that will often get them the results they’re after. A perfect example of this is Emory’s Blue Pig Campaign: Emory gave everyone in the class of 2011 a blue plastic piggy bank, with messages about the importance of giving to the school’s annual fund. Emory then followed this up with a full-fledged campaign that included T-shirts, a Facebook page, a Twitter page, and a “pig-napping.” The school saw a 157-percent increase in the number of gifts from undergraduates. If Emory had simply created a Facebook page for its annual fund, it would not have been nearly as effective.


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