The Marketing Society Forum: Is Marketers' Focus on Measurement and ROI at the Expense of Creative Thinking?

Article excerpt

The relationship between creativity and ROI is becoming ever-more closely linked as the media landscape evolves.

NO - ANDREW MCGUINNESS, FOUNDING PARTNER, BEATTIE MCGUINNESS BUNGAY

@amcguinness

I've always had an issue with people looking for a 'better work/life balance'; if work is in opposition to 'life', you are clearly in the wrong job. So it is with effectiveness and creativity: the only reason to utilise creativity for brands is to aid effectiveness and increase the ROI. Recent IPA analysis has once again demonstrated the symbiotic relationship between effectiveness and creativity, identifying an extremely high correlation between IPA Effectiveness winners and creative award winners.

We can therefore say with some confidence what many have always believed, namely that truly creative communication is more likely to be effective than 'run-of the-mill' work. And yet a night of watching ads last night confirmed to me what many of us also believe: too much of our collective marketing communication output remains 'run-of-the-mill' Isn't now the time to embrace the business-building potential of breakthrough creativity?

MAYBE - TAMARA STRAUSS DIRECTOR GLOBAL CROSS BRAND COMMUNICATIONS, INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP

@TamaraStrauss1

In today's prudent and costeffective business environment, ROI is closely scrutinised. The threat of performance failure adds pressure and dampens creative risk-taking for any marketer.

However, failing to think and act creatively is, in itself, as much a risk in our evolving media landscape, booming across social, mobile and local. Whether strategically, creatively or from a distribution point of view, a proportion of budget should always be allocated to the ongoing trialling of creative ideas. Measurement does not have to be in opposition to creative thinking. Businesses must let marketers table unusual proposals, and marketers must appreciate the need to demonstrate measurable outcomes. Progressive teams are finding the right balance, but I fear many are struggling with weighing the unknown against delivering results, risking creativity in favour of measurement.

NO - MARTINE AINSWORTH-WELLS, FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, AINSWORTH & WELLS

@MartineAWells

'Being creative' and 'delivering ROI' should not be considered separate and exclusive disciplines. In fact, the tougher the target or problem, the more creative we can and should be. History has shown that creativity is always at a high when the stakes are high. We only have to look at the extraordinary levels of inventiveness that occur during wars to prove this point.

Any commercial business or public-sector organisation should be spending its marketing budget on delivering results, whether these are sales, financial or engagement targets.

Anyone who claims that creativity is killed by the existence of measurement tools, ROI targets and the need to deliver other tangible outputs is frankly out of touch. We all need to remember what business we are in, and apply a bit of creativity to solving our problems.

NO - SAJ ARSHAD, MARKETING AND STRATEGY DIRECTOR, BUPA UK

Any marketer ignoring creativity is likely to have a nasty shock when it comes to measuring results and checking the ROI of their activity. …