This is an extraordinarily exciting time to be in the business of creativity. Here’s why.

I recently read a white paper by “Simple” along with a quick brief by BCG which did a great job framing Digital Transformation in general but also, as it relates to Marketing Communications, it explored answers to some of the most important questions:

Where does Digital belong?

  • Is it getting absorbed by Marketing Communications or is it taking over?

Speaking of Marcomms…

  • How does it become more agile, integrated, responsive etc.?
  • How should the organization transform, restructure and who owns the process?
  • How do organizations successfully "market an experience" through all aspects/touch points?
  • What data should be used to inform it? What data should it focus on capturing more of? How does it become an "intelligence agent"?

I then had conversation with a sharp start-up CEO who founded a social influencer tech platform who had a great opening line in his elevator pitch that really stuck with me:

  • “Alec, 2016 is the year where all forms of marketing will demonstrate their connection and alignment with performance because digital has become more pervasive than ever before and therefore…well…it kind of has to, right? With all the incredible things we can do with the tools/platforms available today, why wouldn’t it?”

 And then yesterday, in a strategy session, I mentioned the articles and the conversation to a colleague of mine, which triggered our quick recap of the fundamentals of how killer creative is brought to life:

  • “First you do the Research, then you develop the ‘So what?’ aka the Insights. From there you cultivate the ‘What? + Why?’ aka the Strategy and then and only then do you have the framework to unleash the creative rock stars to sort out the ‘How?’ aka the Creative”.

While I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, I realized that while there appears to be broad consensus about 2016 being "The Year of Transformation" as it really takes shape, it seems to me the more interesting underlying topic is the implications of Transformation tied to Creativity?

Organizations that embrace meaningful Transformation in part by embracing technology platforms such as Simple, are effectively swapping out their Analog Operating Systems (i.e. Silos, Linear, Product Centric Marketing etc.) with their Digital counterparts (i.e. Integrated, Fluid, Customer/Audience/Solution Centric Marketing etc.). In doing so, they’re becoming more modern, leaner and increasingly reflect what their businesses would look like if they were built from scratch today.

For example, if you were looking to build a “ground transportation company” from scratch, would you build a business that looks more like Uber with it’s digital operating system making a market between “buyers and sellers of rides” or a traditional livery cab business with telephones, paper, CB radios etc.?

And then it hit me. 

While the fundamentals of the process mentioned above around developing killer creative won’t change, the role of creativity will continue to expand in lock step with Transformation as digital/social media and emerging technology experience is disseminated throughout organizations. As the sharp start-up CEO said, “Why wouldn’t it?” 

Therefore, Creativity will be harnessed by multi-disciplinary strategists across organizations in ways that were previously unimaginable. Unlocking tremendous value for those that embrace the fact that the future arrived yesterday.

Here’s to 2016 and Creativity’s return to the throne.

It’s time to unleash the hounds.  King Creative.

E:; T/IG: @Alec_Coughlin