Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Selling and the creative dividend

 “For years, business leaders have focused on things like employee productivity, process efficiency and workforce planning as the key success drivers for their companies. But over the past few years, the mindset has shifted. Leading companies recognise the importance of another key success driver – the need to infuse creativity into all aspects of the business environment – from strategy and culture, to innovation and customer engagement,” 
 David Wadhwani, senior vice president, Digital Media at Adobe. May 2014

The evolution of modern business through the second half of the twentieth century saw  the shift from manufacturing to the knowledge economy.

In selling that knowledge has now become increasingly available to our buyer’s digital fingertips. Much of transactional selling is now done on line and sits more comfortably under the marketing function.

It looks now that the next stage is that the knowledge economy will move to one that relies on creativity for the salesperson  (s)he  has to add value.

"Creativity" on show at London Fashion Week
Somerset House, Strand London in September
But what is such  creativity worth ?

In May 2014 researchers at Forrester Consulting on behalf of Adobe  attempted to quantify this intangible of creativity.

Sample size and type: The study surveyed senior managers from more than 300 large global companies across a diverse set of industries to understand how creativity impacts business results. 

Decision-makers from large enterprises in the U.S., U.K., France, Australia/New Zealand, Korea, Japan and Germany who influence creative software purchases were interviewed.

Key Findings:

They  discovered that the ‘creative dividend’ has a significant impact on the bottom line:-
Companies that foster creativity achieve exceptional revenue growth than peers.#

 58% of survey respondents said firms that foster creativity had 2013 revenues exceeding their 2012 revenues by 10% or more.

In contrast, only 20 % of less creative companies performed similarly.

 More creative companies enjoy greater market share and competitive leadership.
 Creative companies are more likely to report a commanding market leadership position with a higher market share than competitors.

Of those reporting market share leadership, creative companies outnumber their less creative counterparts by a factor of 1.5 %.

Despite the perceived benefits of creativity,

 61% of companies do not see their companies as creative.

Only 11% said their practises were perfectly aligned with firms readily recognised as creative.

The majority (51 %) said they were neutral or not aligned with creative firms,
 and 10% felt their practises were, in fact, the opposite of what creative companies do.

One sector that needs creativity more than other is the creative sector itself. It accounts for one in twelve of all new jobs – segments like
and computer gaming.
The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising have recently been considering the challenges of recruitment  and retaining talent in their Adaptathon imitative.
IPA’s president Ian Priest was quoted in the London Evening Standard 7th  October
“The advertising industry has always been about ideas and creativity but post digital, we need to attract a more diverse talent into the industry- and not just in terms of gender, age, culture and background, but in terms of technological skills so needed today.”

“Creativity is more than art directing or copy writing, what we need are those who are commercially creative. These are the people who deliver ideas that grow our client’s businesses as well as the agency’s business”  In other words (mine not Ian Priest’s)  sales professionals in the agency world !
Priest goes on to give role examples of these salespeople

“ These include strategists who know where there brand should be and where it should target its audience, the creatives who then turn these strategies into adverts, and the creative technologists who can look at how you can come up with an engaging way to target the audience”

Many Businesses may not segment roles like an advertising agency but  still  have to strategise, create and employ today’s technology ( internet and social media) to add value to their clients.

Creativity is an important constituent of selling.

 For ‘if you are not part of the solution for your client , you've got to be part of the problem’

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