Opinion: Why common sense creativity beats the digital hype

Most of the stuff you read about digital marketing is at best misguided, and at worst misleading. You’re sold a myth that you need clicks, likes and shares to succeed. And you’re surrounded by meaningless buzzwords like "content marketing."

By Steve Daniels, Big Torch.

But a growing chorus of industry leaders have slammed the digital obsession. Ad industry veteran Sir John Hegarty called on clients to “ignore the digital hype” in the Guardian earlier this year. And Nissan marketing boss Roel de Vries said: “I would be happy if the word digital disappears.”

We desperately need a much better way of comparing media equally. In part, the backlash is fuelled by a tidal wave of inflated numbers favouring digital. But that might be about to change.

TV ads are 600 per cent more likely to get interaction on social media

Whichever side of the fence you land on, that picture looks less rosy for digital. The millions of likes and billions of impressions might not be all that they first seem. Now don’t get me wrong, digital projects are important and they’re here to stay.

So how can you approach marketing among all this confusion? As Sir John Hegarty said: "technology creates opportunity, but it’s creativity that creates value.” And he’s right. In the future, good creative work will be more important than the latest digital trend.

As a designer, that’s why my work is about ideas and people. It’s about the big picture. People buy from brands they like. And they like stuff they find interesting. So design is about making things beautiful, interesting and useful. It doesn’t matter if that is on screen or in print. Creative work builds brands and businesses. And designers have been helping clients be more interesting for decades. So let’s ditch the "d" word, and let's talk about common sense creativity.

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