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How to be More Creatively Calculated – Entrepreneur Magazine, June 2015

I always thought that being a contrarian was a smart idea. Going against the norm, doing things in ways nobody else would. That is a hard task in a very creative industry especially.

In my opinion, in the marketing industry the only way to be a contrarian is to be very analytical, and some may say “boring”. It is the one thing people do not aim to do when they start their careers in the marketing world – to be more like an accountant or engineer.

I have heard so many marketing managers complain about how they don’t like to work with numbers and budgets. In fact, I am sure one or two marketing managers have tossed and turned late at night over the thought of the looming excel spreadsheet which needs to get done.

I, on the other hand, could not be more opposite. I can tinker away at a spreadsheet the whole day and not get enough of it. The growth of digital has shown how marketers can use some skills they thought were only for the finance industry, and use these to dramatically improve marketing results.

In fact, the analytics aspect of digital marketing has resulted in the huge growth of it. People now know where they are wasting their marketing budget and they are adjusting for that. If you were to ask me what the marketing world needs the most at this point in time, it’s more analytical people with calculated approaches.

I truly believe that great work happens when you bridge the gap between being creative and calculated. It does not only result in great talkative pieces of work, but it gets the result the client wants.

Research and your marketing efforts

One approach requires marketers to face something that they are not really comfortable with and which some of them loathe- statistics. A lot of marketers would argue that they are using stats in their marketing efforts, and would say that they do enough research around it.

This might be true for some, but for the vast majority, it’s not. Today more than ever, vast amounts of information are available to marketers which they can then use to target their clients.

Digital has allowed for this but you can also do this in other segments of your marketing efforts. Spending 20% more effort on targeting your ideal clientele could result in much less marketing budget waste.

BE your target market

Another approach is to be more calculated with understanding your target market and be creative about solving their problem. Yes, spending time with your target market helps but sometimes you need to actually be the target market to understand all the different aspects of it.

Creativity and campaigns

You might think that being creatively calculated implies that you need to be less creative- this is also not true. Brilliant creative has a dramatic affect on your campaign. I have seen this first hand with regards to great creative. Specifically on the digital front, where you can easily measure the difference in the performance of different creatives.

In fact, because of how the digital advertising market is structured, better creative in digital advertising can easily result in you paying less than your competitors for the same advertising space. Thus, being more creatively calculated would imply spending more on the creative aspects of the campaign.

All said and done, some of these suggestions may or may not work for you. What I do know is that there will be a big push in the future to be more calculated from a marketing perspective due to the success of digital and its ability to give feedback to the clientele. For the rest of the marketing industry to keep abreast, they will have to find creatively calculated ways to adapt.

Ruan Oosthuizen- CEO of Flume

The original article can be viewed here.

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