When Wunderman Thompson asked how a pandemic might reframe what creative can be to nearly 100 major brands, one word revealed itself: Bravery.
Even before the time of COVID-19, reaching customers had gone far beyond targeting them with ads or buying media slots during the Super Bowl. Instead, we have an almost limitless set of data-driven and technological possibilities that require us to think creatively in every discipline - and across every dimension of an organization.
With the added weight of a global crisis, this new era of complexity and disruption mandates that we not merely manage change but drive it by embracing creative bravery.
Everyone knows creativity is important - and our research indicates it’s linked to stock price - so, why aren’t more brands applying it across all aspects of their businesses?
Creative thinking is so much more than the marketing department - where it typically and historically sits within client organizations. It is a way to drive innovation across all areas of a business, expanding beyond data, technology, and marketing, to encompass organizational design, culture, production, distribution models, and more. We surveyed senior marketing executives at some of the world’s largest corporations - to discover how important they felt creativity was, where they were implementing creative thinking, and how creativity was driving their business performance.
Despite 100% of respondents saying creativity is either critically important or very important, product Innovation is the only category where marketers see their creativity being better than others. This suggests they’re seeing and thinking of creativity in a very traditional way. But to be successful in today’s complex world, marketers must start thinking about how to expand creative thinking into the other areas of their businesses.
It’s no surprise that 70% of marketers rate customer service a critical area, but what did astonish us was the mere 10% who feel their organizations are creative with it. We see this as a gap where creative bravery can be applied to the customer experience.
In addition to the insights the study uncovered, this report also contains expert perspectives on how creative bravery applies to different contexts: brand communications, strategy and diverse thinking, organizational structure, and technology.