Creativity Still Matters

Posted on February 9, 2011


Radio station program directors walk a tightrope stretched between two polarized worlds: science and creativity. Creative people think market research is ruining the station yet more than a few PD’s have ended up unemployed because they ignored research that could have improved the station’s ratings dramatically. 

As a recovering Program Director myself, a post by David Kirkpatrick on the Marketing Sherpa blog titled “The Data Vs Creativity Debate: Is successful marketing driven by analytics or art?,” caught my attention.

The traditional wisdom for marketers says their job is 80% creativity and 20% science. But lately some marketers think those percentages have reversed because of all the detailed analysis tools available today. Face it, when you have the ability to track marketing messages down to the individual retweet it’s possible analysis may trump creativity. 

Kirkpatrick talked with Phil Fernandez, President and CEO of Marketo, a company that specializes in marketing software, the type that generates sales leads and tracks marketing campaigns down to the finest detail.

Fernandez says nothing has changed, ” The goal of effective [marketing software] needs to be to make it fast and easy to do the logistics and data-driven parts of the job and then fade into the background, so that the marketer has the time to focus on the critical process of creative development.”

He adds that Google and social media have made it tougher than ever to grab a potential customer’s attention, “If your message and/or content are not resonating with potential buyers, they will purchase from competitors who have done a better job of connecting with them in a relevant, timely and compelling way.”

As an air talent you are the creative arm of the radio station. Working within the station’s formatics, which represent the science, its your job to, as Fernandez says, connect with listeners in a relevant, timely and compelling way. 

You are 80% of the equation.

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