Caught Between Technology and Creativity: Can Marketers Strike a Balance?

To determine the current balance between data and marketing creativity, we must first look to the past for context. Generation Y traders have never known a world without technology and data. But for marketing veterans, the growth in the use of technology in marketing appears to be a slow evolution, despite the rapid pace of change.

Let your creativity run wild

Most marketers anticipate that in five years, marketing will become more of a mix of creativity and technology than it is now, suggesting that marketers believe that technology will replace creativity at least to some extent.

About 56% of marketers believe that an equal mix of creativity and technology will drive marketing strategies over five years, while only 14% say that creativity will drive the industry. Today, 29% say that creativity dominates today and 41% believe that there is an equal mix.

But these statistics alone do not show how marketers feel about the pace of change and its possible response to the continued growth of machine-driven marketing.

The landscape

AI has not only sparked a frenzy as marketers pursue the next big thing, but also an underlying stream of concern about their work.

Research shows that more than a handful of careers, from accountants to telemarketing, are over 90% won by AI. On the other hand, marketing managers will likely be left with just over 1% as a division of Skynet.

However, the figures alone do not speak of the marketer’s malaise or the future shock caused by a world where the number of Martech solutions available was less than 150 a decade ago but has now increased to almost 7,000.

We asked marketers how they feel about living in a world centered on artificial intelligence and what their opinions are about the potential of technology to penetrate their work. Surprisingly, only 11% of respondents agreed that they care about the technology that threatens their work at some point in their career. In contrast, 61% were not uniform or strong.

For now, at the very least, the signs point to a climate where technology and creativity can peacefully coexist.

The future of technology-driven creativity

Marketers report that their martech stacks are in progress and progress can continue indefinitely. 69% of respondents believe that the perfect marketing stack does not yet exist, which means that there is plenty of room to be creative when running effective marketing campaigns.

While marketers can create a seamless transition, they are unlikely to reach the Holy Grail of perfect integration. Technology is expensive and the use of new tools at the introductory rate is not realistic for many brands – almost half of the respondents cite budget as the main factor that prevents organizations from investing more in Martech. Limited resources will be a persistent problem, making human creativity constantly essential.

Finally, a balance must also be achieved, as marketers are not completely convinced that some of today’s most important technological advances can only take your organization to the next level.

We analyzed marketers using five emerging technologies: AI/machine learning, blockchain, chatbot, VR / AR, and IoT. Of these technologies, the highest percentage of respondents has already implemented IoT, with 13%. Of the other technologies, half of the respondents said they had no plans to implement them.

Although marketers do not fall in love with the taste of monthly solutions, there is a certain similarity between the fear that technology will enter their work and the non-universal nature of these leading technologies. Marketers dominate the technologies they bring to their offices, but they also underestimate the creativity they bring to the equation.

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Some fears and concerns about innovation are normal, but marketers need to work to deal with those fears and see how creativity can complement technological advances. As long as people are marketing to people, there will be room for creativity.