Catalyst issue 1 | 2021: Practical magic Exchange_Lock

Catalyst issue 1 | 2021: Practical magic

Art or science, marketing has a powerful box of tricks

As marketing spreads across more channels, into more parts of the organisation and more disciplines, what it means to be creative has changed. There is creativity of purpose, creativity of approach, creative technology and yes, even creative science, as data specialists magic new stories and opportunities from bare numbers on a page.

These channels and all that data have also allowed marketing to become more scientific. The success of any given strategy can now be measured not after months-long campaigns, or seasons, not even in weeks. Results of some tactics can be seen in a matter of days, hours – even minutes.

But creativity has remained a stubbornly long-term proposition and the lack of an instant metric ‘hit’ appears to be pushing it down marketers’ list of priorities. That’s why, for this edition’s Big Conversation (p.26), we got together with a group of leading marketers and creatives to find out what creativity means in organisations torn between today’s instant gratification metrics and the slow-burn influence of creativity. Positioning is another area that takes time to bed down, and this issue it is discussed through a business-to-business lens in ‘State Your Position’ (p52).

Once more, we’re reminded of marketing’s ‘practical magic’ – its unique blend of art and science, skill and gut, tactics and strategy that has helped to build some of the world’s biggest brands. I hope that, as we find ourselves once again at the start of the new year, our writers and contributors will inspire you to look afresh at your own, particular box of tricks.

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Morag Cuddeford-Jones Editor, Catalyst magazine CIM
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