Photo Credit: bayat
The days of the creative/marketing department living differently than the rest of the company are over. The creative department on staff needs to be intertwined in all aspects of your business; in business development, marketing, client relations, technology development, content creation et al.
The new creative department needs to work hand in hand with the technology department (if not be one and the same). Technology, services and content all become a part of your business’ marketing. Your marketing department doesn’t just need creative thinkers but they need to be tech savvy now too. They need to also be publishers. The role of a marketer is getting tougher, the price to participate in the new mediums may be cheaper but that may not make your bottom line any lower.
Being Creative is ‘Free’…
True, being creative is ‘free’, joining and participating in social networking sites are ‘free’ but these things take time and valuable resources (your staff and technology) and they are very labor-intensive. In Joe Burton’s, A Marketer’s Guide to Understanding the Economics of Digital Compared to Traditional Advertising and Media Services, he states “the high-volume, low-dollar, high-complexity nature of Digital programs makes it the most labor-intensive medium in the advertising industry”. So is the most labor-intensive medium really free? It actually costs you a lot.
There are shortcuts but remember it is hard to be genuine and produce good quality content with automation.
Engaging Your External Creative Department
If you do participate in social media for your company, have you ever considered letting your fans and followers be a part of the creative process? I have heard and been a part of lots of brainstorming/crowd-sourcing sessions where a company lets its brand evangelists do the creative work and then they bring back the ideas to their shareholders and associates. If you leave the conversation open to the public, they may come up with things that you may not have ever considered.
What All This Means for SMBs
This change in mediums and reliance on content and creative could actually be very good for SMBs. The playing field is more even, and with the right staff you can put out as much quality content as a larger company (please note I said quality content, not just content – the quality is what makes it valuable). When you are small and nimble you can react to the market and your consumers needs much easier than the big guys.