What Does a Creative Marketer Do? (Plus How To Become One)
Broadly speaking, marketing refers to the business and practice of promoting a product, service or brand. Within this industry is a niche practice called creative marketing, which uses imaginative or unconventional means to achieve marketing objectives. If you're looking for a profession that incorporates inventiveness, individuality and artistry, then a career as a creative marketer might be right for you.
In this article, we define the role of a creative marketer, discuss the skills required for the job and describe the steps you can take to become one.
What does a creative marketer do?
Creative marketers perform largely the same function and duties as ordinary marketers but use novel approaches to achieve their goals. Their chief responsibility is to use quantitative and qualitative research and shape it into an imaginative marketing strategy that captures the attention of the public while subverting traditional strategies. An example of creative marketing might be a gamified questionnaire in lieu of an ordinary video or print advertisement. The interactive quality of the strategy could boost consumer engagement with the brand, and an option to share questionnaire results could help spread the campaign organically.
To develop and execute strategies like the one above, creative marketers take a more holistic view of the customer life cycle compared to traditional marketing professionals. The specific activities of a creative marketer vary depending on the team, client and situation but generally include the following:
Associating potential strategies that align with a brand's reputation
Conceiving marketing methods that can extend the impact of the promotion, such as an advertisement that compels consumers to research a product of their own volition
Devising ways to encourage consumer interaction with a brand
Discussing how to integrate all or as many of a brand's marketing channels—television, print and social media, for example—into a single campaign
Proposing new ways to package or deliver products
Researching or keeping up to date on trends in social media and marketing
Essential creative marketer skills
The following are some of the essential skills for succeeding as a creative marketer:
A creative person is someone with a strong imagination that they can apply to the conception of new ideas. Being a creative thinker is at the core of creative marketing, which involves developing marketing strategies that can impress consumers partly because of their newness. Regardless of the specific role an individual plays on a creative marketing team—whether they're a copywriter, designer or director—it's essential for them to contribute ideas that are innovative rather than derivative.
A skilled communicator can convey ideas to others in such a way that they can easily understand even complex notions. Creative marketing requires envisioning the customer life cycle more expansively than normal, so strong communication skills are necessary to translate your understanding of a multifaceted process into terms that allow the client to see how your novel approach can benefit them.
Communication is also essential for speaking to the consumer. Often, the most effective marketing strategies tell stories that resonate with audiences. Excellent communicative ability is crucial for telling unconventional stories in nontraditional ways that appeal to the public and help them feel engaged with a brand.
Risk-taking is a characteristic that allows you to feel comfortable and confident in making decisions that have an uncertain potential to succeed. This quality is related to creativity in that new ideas are also untested ideas. Innovators in any field have a willingness to experiment and try things that may face resistance.
Teamwork is the ability to work closely with others to achieve a common goal. Creative marketers usually work in teams. Often, they collaborate in brainstorming sessions to come up with new ideas. Even when they conceive ideas independently, they work together in the final strategy and execution. Therefore, to succeed as a creative marketer, it's important to learn how to build on others' ideas and let others build on yours.
How to become a creative marketer
If you're interested in pursuing a career in this field, follow these steps to maximize your chances of attracting the attention of firms that specialize in creative marketing:
1. Complete your education
For marketing positions in general, a bachelor's degree is usually the minimum education requirement. A degree in business or marketing may be helpful for many marketing positions, but preferred degree disciplines for creative roles may also include a Bachelor of Arts in English or mass communications or a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing or a visual arts discipline. A degree in any of the latter disciplines shows that you have the potential to be imaginative and artistic, which is essential for creative marketing, while the former disciplines demonstrate knowledge of how marketing works.
2. Consider certification
Certification is an advisable course in many professions, as it not only validates the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in a particular occupation but also indicates that you have a high level of commitment to excellence in your chosen field. You may have some difficulty finding a widely recognized certification specifically in the area of creative marketing, but there are some options closely related enough to both creativity and marketing that they may help you along your career path.
Cannes Lions, for example, offers certifying courses in areas such as storytelling, creative effectiveness and creative thinking, in addition to courses in more traditional areas such as digital marketing and copywriting. The reputation of the organization in the field of creative communications may lend a significant degree of integrity to the certification you gain through it.
Freelancing can be an excellent way to gain marketing experience while building your portfolio, both of which can improve your candidacy when you look for a full-time creative marketing position. Search for freelance opportunities on job boards and social medial platforms. You may even find resources that cater specifically to aspiring marketing professionals. As you search for these opportunities, focus your search on projects with unconventional angles so that you can establish your bona fides as a creative professional.
4. Create spec work
Depending on what type of role you'd like to play in a creative marketing team, you may be able to produce speculative work, or spec work—volunteer creative work made without request, with the hope that it could lead to payment or employment. Copywriters and designers commonly create spec work to show prospective clients or employers what they can do. Include such work in your portfolio to supplement the freelance work you've produced.
5. Build a personal website
Building a personal website can help you stand out from other candidates as you search for a permanent creative marketing position. Even without web development skills, you can easily create a website using a content management system, which provides templates on which to base the design of your site and removes the need to understand coding. On your site, create sections for your portfolio, resume and other relevant information to provide potential employers with access to your qualifications.
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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