One of the opening sessions of the 2017 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity - The Economics of Creativity, presented by McKinsey & Company’s Jason Heller - set the bar high for our expectations of the rest of the week. This session was fruitful in getting the audience in the right mindset for the week, driving home the truth that marketing is not a nice-to-have; it is a business imperative.
Heller outlined his philosophy with four key business practices:
You must hardwire creativity into daily business practices.
Weaving creativity into management and board conversations is absolutely necessary to filter forward-thinking down through the rest of the organization. The most successful companies see marketing as an investment instead of an optional cost. Even during down cycles, you need to protect your marketing budget to avoid negative impact on the long-term business strategy. This must be hardwired into the lungs of the business to keep growth and momentum.
Be fanatical about your customers.
Get in the mind of you customer - and stay there. This is when data and analytics becomes incredibly important. Forget surveys and focus groups; closely monitor behaviors and real life consumption in a variety of ways. Properly analyzing genuine data will help you create an operational strategy to solve their unmet needs. This will also ensure your value proposition is varied enough to easily mesh into the minds of your different customer groups.
There is a need for speed to turn insight into action.
Customers are consuming faster than ever, and technology is transforming even faster to keep up. While there is a huge opportunity to solve today’s problems, it’s also necessary - in tandem - to continue developing your creativity muscles, the ones needed to stay agile & remain relevant in the future. Tracking, reporting, consistently communicating and staying abreast of trends are vital to creating a long-lasting and flexible strategy that continues to resonate and provide value. Take the desire to move your organization fast and actually do it.
Your idea must be adaptable, or you will eventually fail.
This is the scary truth. Your idea must be adaptable to early market signals, because the market changes faster than you can launch a new product. Creating teams with cross-functional autonomy will help you remain agile and make swift business decisions as your ideas and products evolve with the market.
Creativity is mandatory, not optional. Getting creative and resourceful with existing content is a good way to start. Looking forward to the rest of the event unfolding!