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Fuelling Modern Marketing

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The New Formula Fuelling Modern Marketing

Blending empathy and intelligence with a strong dose of creativity is the most effective way for brand marketers to deliver consumer-centred experiences that drive purpose, affinity, and revenue.

Why EQ, AI, and creativity are the most crucial factors in the new era of marketing

Consider this: Before any digital marketing content is consumed, a reader must first emerge on the other end of a complex passage of decision-making moments characterised by keystrokes and clicks. It’s no simple process amid an ocean of options and limited time.

People’s eyes and ears act as a daily clearinghouse for terabytes of data. Countless times a day, consumers process each word, image, and sound with growing anticipation of a good story, a lesson, a takeaway, or some entertainment. If the data fails to convey any meaning and can’t convince the user to pursue the information, he will simply move on. Indeed, it often seems like real brand engagement is nothing short of a miracle.

But opportunities abound. Powering the information cycle is what marketers understand — and what they think they understand — when they seek to close the gap. Nobody ever complains of being too well-informed.

In order to break through, connect, and make an impression — particularly in today’s business and media climate — marketers need to blend emotional intelligence (EQ), artificial intelligence (AI), and creativity. The formula puts data and machine intelligence on equal footing with creativity because this triad is the final frontier of marketing innovation.

Why these three ingredients? EQ because empathy is the key to the right solution; AI because the technology enables marketers to fulfil their mantra of “right message, right time, right channel” to thousands or millions of people, 24/7; and creativity because even when an elite data science team hands marketers the world’s most complex spreadsheet, deepest database, or mesmerising dashboard, it does not translate automatically into experiences the company’s customers expect.

Putting these three elements together to power marketing strategy may very well be the price of entry by 2025, as the growing sophistication of consumers, technology, culture, and competitors continues to rise.

Here’s a close examination of the domains in the formula.

Fueling Modern Marketing

Emotional intelligence provides the glue

EQ is an attitude. It provides context to a situation, encompassing empathy, understanding, observation, listening, intuition, teamwork, and creative problem-solving.

Building marketing teams comprised of diverse thinkers, open collaborators, and effective communicators is more than half the battle. The remaining part is adopting a critical-thinking methodology that leads to solutions.

Artificial intelligence provides the scale

AI is common in use cases that span digital media buying, campaign automation, and marketing mix optimisation. These tools make for a much better customer experience. But it can accomplish a lot more.

Data that AI is powering through a company’s marketing technology stack lets marketers target specific audiences and then engage them when they’re on a website and other marketing channels. Through analytics, the data generates deep insights that marketing teams can add to the creative problem-solving process.

Creativity provides the novelty

Creativity can mean different things, and how much creativity is tolerated is generally predicated by corporate culture. In general, the bigger the space for brainstorming and inclusion, the better the outcome.

Against the backdrop of business objectives, data-driven insights, and emotional intelligence to keep a customer-first mindset, marketers need to develop a sequence of collaborative exercises that include immersion, ideation, prototyping, and testing.

The effort is fast becoming standard practice for companies that are eager to yield sharper creative ideas and give life to their marketing activities. How rigorous depends on capability, context, objective, and budget. An infographic may call for one type of process detail, whereas a global, experiential integrated campaign would need another.

Creatively applying creativity is yet another choice. If you leverage data and tech to power creativity where it is not expected — that is to say, if you surprise and delight customers during key customer experience pain points and moments.

Specialising the formula

Creativity will continue to shape the future of marketing and will grow proportionally to automation and AI — whereas marketing technology can be procured, groundbreaking creativity is solvable by money only up to a limit.

Melding empathy and intelligence — with special attention to creativity — is the most effective way to deliver positive, consumer-centred experiences that will ultimately drive purpose, affinity, and revenue for the brand.

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I’m a freelance designer & developer working with agencies and startups to build strategy-led brand designs and websites.


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