Creativity and fearlessness in marketing are making a comeback. Combined, they could be a true differentiator in the coming year.
Execution, however, varies according to interpretation. What does creativity and fearlessness in marketing really mean? Therein lies the subject of CMO.com's annual predictions compilation.
As we have done in years past, we turned to the many experts who helped shape our content--CMOs and other high-level marketers featured in our exclusive interviews, contributors of thought-provoking "From the Field" blog posts, and insightful sources for our topical feature articles.
We posed to them the following question: How will you bring more creativity and daring to your marketing in 2016?
But we added a wrinkle, in the interest of space and to get the creative/fearless juices flowing: Answers had to be kept to approximately 144 characters. If it's good enough for Twitter ...
Read on for the inspiring range of responses we received. They come from around the globe: the United States, across Europe, and through the Asia-Pacific region. Answers are arranged alphabetically, by company name.
Shift the emphasis of marketing from messaging to interaction. Listen to customers, help them, excite them–don’t just promote your agenda.
--Olof Schybergson, CEO of Fjord, Design and Innovation, Accenture Interactive
Tap mobile to make ads more memorable and more personal than ever. Bold art + science delivers real outcomes. Also, more budget.
--Nikao Yang, SVP Business Development & Marketing, AdColony
ADMA charging ahead with total transformation to a data-led content driven marketing strategy. Walking the talk so we can better support our members.
--Jodie Sangster, CEO, ADMA
I’m excited for amazing marketing experiences using VR/AR, large-scale digital walls/tables, and digital/physical environments that blur lines between home and store.
--Mark Asher, Head Of Market Intelligence & Strategy, Adobe
Allrecipes will be expanding our social and shopper native advertising solutions, delivering hyperlocal contextual targeting and ROI tracking.
--Esmee Williams, Vice President, Consumer and Brand Strategy, Allrecipes
Be bold, be creative, but be human. Think beyond getting attention; design for engagement. And design beyond impressions, think expressions.
--Brian Solis, Principal Analyst, Altimeter Group, and author of “X: The Experience When Business Meets Design”
Mobile is our platform. Open is our model. Global is our market. Data is our fueld. Video is our medium. Talent is our differentiator.
--Allie Kline, CMO, AOL
By taking a break from social media and what everyone else says. Put my own thinking cap on and answer this question: What can I do to bring more profit to the bottom line?
--Nick Corcodilos, Ask the Headhunter, CMO.com Blogger, and Professional Recruiter
Audiences are turning to online channels for video content at an explosive rate and at the expense of TV viewership. Advertisers will continue to follow these users and invest more in video advertising.
-- Nick Utton, Chief Marketing Officer, BMC
Next year, we’re daring to go from being valued to being loved. We’ll be showcasing the power and value of creating an emotional connection.
--Susan Ganeshan, CMO, Clarabridge
C4’s very remit is to be creative and daring, and we’re looking forward to taking some more big risks at the Rio Paralympics.
--Dan Brooke, CMO, Channel 4
Unlocking creativity and driving success demands agile marketing: gain insights, make hard choices, take fast action, learn quickly, perform better, deliver revenue.
--Barre Hardy, Associate Partner, CMG Partners
Our creative mind-set allows us to align with technology innovators in a global smart home leadership position.
--Sean Blankenship, Coldwell Banker Real Estate CMO
Stay focused and connected to the consumer. Sharply define the consumer and articulate his needs. Choose media carefully and offer consumers an experience.
--Hetal Kotak, Vice President and Brand Head, ColorPlus & Park Avenue
More digital engagement. More intent-based approach. More social. More mobile. More predictive. Embrace failure as the best path to awesome.
--Chris Powell, CMO, Commvault
Elevating content to more than collateral. Marketing doesn’t change content’s purpose; a great content strategy changes marketing’s purpose.
--Robert Rose, Content Marketing Strategist, Content Marketing Institute
To qualify as an insights provider in 2016, companies must take more edgy, counterintuitive stands—and back them up with research-based rigor.
--Tim Riesterer, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, Corporate Visions, and CMO.com Blogger/Marketing Messenger
Train our salesforce on social media tools and turn them loose, push the marketing org to turn up innovation 20% more.
--Bryan Jones, Vice President Of Marketing For North America and the Global 500, Dell
Bold storytelling to show how we help our clients stay ahead of disruption, act confidently, and achieve impact that matters.
--Jonathan Copulsky, CMO, Deloitte Consulting
A major television network will announce a programmatic offering by the end of the year. It will be limited, they’ll call it something else, and there will be several strings attached, but it will signal the move.
--Doug Ryan, President, Chicago & San Francisco, DigitasLBi North America
Creativity needs big ideas. Having lodged Direct Line as a “fixer” brand, the journey continues.
--Mark Evans, Marketing Director, Direct Line
Marketers, please come out from behind your tech and data and start acting like humans. You’ll be amazed at what can happen.
--Jeff Pundyk, Vice President, Content Marketing and Strategy, The Economist Group, and CMO.com Blogger/Digital Disruption
By bringing digital technology and machine learning as the key enablers of innovative (fearless) marketing.
--Sameer Poonja, Head of Digital & Mobile Experience Technologies, Emirates
I will be fearless about who I invite to #CMOCLIC16. CMOs need more courage; this is a safe innovation laboratory to help them find it.
--Lisa Nirell, Chief Energy Officer, EnergizeGrowth LLC
Routine can be your enemy. When in doubt or feeling a creativity drought, the left brain can help. There are always insights that could give you a new perspective to being creative.
--Rickie Hobbie, Managing Director, Epsilon (Asia Pacific)
Engage your community for daring, unexpected, and authentic creative. Per our VoC research, community-generated creative has the greatest impact.
--Ernan Roman, President, ERDM
We’ll engage movie fans on many platforms with promotions and event marketing, captivating content and unique offers to enhance their experience.
--Adam Rockmore, CMO, Fandango
Farmers will continue to help consumers get smarter about insurance. We will blend information with creative humor and a digital presence.
--Mike Linton, CMO, Farmers Insurance
What if brand storytelling was compelling, real, and fun? To quote Stephen Colbert, our 2016 mission is the pursuit of “truthiness.”
--Mark Jones, Chief Storyteller & CEO, Filtered Media
The marketing discipline will accelerate faster from art and science to science and art. Strategic creativity will be more important than ever to engage people in our mobile 1-2-1 world.
--Steven Cook, Founder/Managing Partner, FortuneCMO, and CMO.com Contributing Editor
Social media marketing will leap into the hands of company employees for business in 2016. This means enabling team members to share the company content in social.
--Christopher Maloney, CEO, Gremln, and Former CMO, Wells Fargo Advisors, Experian, Scottrade
I have devolved access of social handles with fearless and innovative 20-year-old marketers who leverage this edgy trend to spread the brand message.
--Sanjay Tripathy, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Marketing, Product, Analytics, Digital & E-Commerce, HDFC Life
We’re taking an outsider’s look at our brand. Asking clients how they explain what we do helps us to identify where to put our focus in 2016.
--Jen Todd Gray, SVP, Brand, Marketing & Creative Services, HelloWorld
Creating concerted efforts toward face-to-face marketing. Those who use digital to bring together physical interactions will lead within their industry.
--Sinan Kanatsiz, Founder and Chairman, Internet Marketing Association
At IQ 2016 is about creative intelligence, not creative fearlessness. That means creative shaped by data and insights, not by gut and guts.
--Tony Quin, CEO, IQ Agency, and Board Chair, SoDA, the Digital Society
Ad blocking invites us to be bold. Kiip will reach out to unexpected brands and encourage real mobile moments that matter to consumers.
--Brian Wong, Co-Founder/CEO, Kiip
Marketers are told to write at the level of a 7th-grader. We’re going to take a risk that our audience is smarter than that.
--Doug Bewsher, CEO, Leadspace
Effective creativity now requires pairing shrewd psychology with showmanship. In 2016 I resolve to channel, daily, Daniel Kahneman and P.T. Barnum.
--Marsha Lindsay, CEO, Lindsay, Stone & Briggs
It’s now about mobile commerce, not just eyeballs. E-wallets, loyalty, beacon recognition, and mobile coupons will become increasingly integrated into shopping activities.
--Peter Krasilovsky, Principal, Local Onliner
Creativity comes in many forms; hopefully 2016 will see marketers and technologists collaborating smartly to create extraordinary user experiences.
--Wayne Arnold, Global CEO, Lowe Profero
Fail small, fail many times, and be ready to scale-up small successes. Only pilot what is scalable in marketing and business.
--Deepali Naair, CMO, Mahindra Holidays & Resort India Ltd.
2016 is about personalisation and authenticity. Brands must provide a humanistic element so each touch point brings value or at least a smile.
--Ambera Cruz, Head of Marketing, Meltwater Asia-Pacific
For a bold 2016 we must commit to digital, listening, hard analytics, and improvising real-time campaigns where only qualified leads matter.
--Paul Gottsegen, CMO, Mindtree
Meet the needs of connected customers using whole brain thinking that links creative with the rigour of analytics and the art of storytelling.
--Nicole Sheffield, CEO, News Life Media
Few things speak more to fearlessness than the conscious decision to “not do.” In taking our creative impact to the next level, we will be focused on conveying fewer things in our marketing--taking a narrow and deep approach.
--Doug Zarkin, VP, Head of Marketing, Pearle Vision
Starting with removing a mainstay that has been one part of our brand’s DNA for over 60 years, we now see a whole realm of possibilities opening for us.
--Robin Zucker, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Digital Media, Playboy
It is fearless to consistently and boldly challenge your audiences to rethink who they are and what they need. We will use new approaches to broaden our reach.
--Bluford Birdsong, Vice President, Participant Engagement Marketing, Prudential Retirement
In an age where brands know more than ever about our customers, embracing creativity and fearlessness should no longer be seen as risk taking but instead as smart, innovational thinking.
--James Earp, Experience Director, Razorfish
Creativity is about how we challenge or exploit obstacles. More than design, it’s a mind-set. Teamed with fearlessness, it’s the courage to deploy.
--Nick Baker, CEO, RedBalloon
We believe in women inspiring women and have to dare ourselves to put our passions in the forefront of our business.
--Samantha Skey, CMO/CRO, SheKnowsMedia
As simplicity gains traction in culture, brands will need to create clear and surprising experiences to delight customers.
--Margaret Molloy, Global CMO, Siegel+Gale
The rise of brand (generic top-level domain) and creativity unleashed from the left side of the dot.
--Joe Loy, Head of Digital, StarHub
Do something unexpected, launch a breakthrough, challenge a leader, “wow” consumers, make memorable moments, engage in new conversations.
--Ed Vlacich, Chief Marketing Officer and President, National Brands, Sun Products
Being a tech start-up means disrupting norms. Irrespective of 2016 budgets, we’ll approach our marketing with a unique flair that continues to win hearts and minds.
--Andrew Davis, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, Tapit
Data-driven marketing is the future. If you fail to embrace it and instead focus solely on creativity, you will quickly become obsolete.
--Ken Chaplin, CMO/B2C, TransUnion
At TransUnion, we find creativity in data. In 2016, I’ll harness and apply data and analytics to sharpen our targeting, messaging, and customer engagement strategies.
--Julie Springer, CMO/B2B, TransUnion
In 2016 we’ll give Ozbrands and agencies more opportunity to highlight creative video and other rich content through Promoted @TwitterMoments.
--Karen Stocks, Managing Director, Twitter (Australia)
Consumers want meaningful conversations. We’ll provoke marketers to rethink their traditional ways and join the movement to create authentic, social brand-consumer relationships.
--Don Anderson, Regional Managing Director (Singapore), We Are Social
Editorial and advertising will continue to blur lines. The merge of how content/decisions get made by customers will reign; PR and marketing separatist mentalities lose.
--Diane Scott, Chief Marketing Officer, Western Union
In 2016, we will be fearless by connecting more with our customers in person, learning more about who they are and what they need now.
--Allison Checchi, CMO, YP
See what the Twitterverse is saying about 2016 marketing predictions: