Meet the Creative Strategist – a blend of creativity and practically all rolled into one. Dishing out… yep, you guessed it… Creative Strategy but NOT in the way you’d expect.
This evolution didn’t just come about on its own though… as these things often don’t.
It matured over time alongside the consistent developments in technology, productivity and the increase in demand. Ultimately leading us to sidestep the traditional agency blueprint/arsenal of departments including the creative and strategic teams. Arguably, the overarching idea of the split prior to the internet did make sense…
The Evolution of Strategy and Creative
During ‘The Golden Age of Advertising’ and preceding the internet, most agencies had highly qualified teams of strategists and planners. Backed by a strong understanding of traditional marketing principles, these teams were first tasked with identifying/understanding their clients’ business needs. From there, this organisational knowledge would then help them shape their client’s advertising solution; thus providing the awareness and results needed to fulfill those business needs. Creatives quite simply… were tasked with the artwork and overall tangible deliverables.
But the birth of the Internet dissolved the need to co-exist. One (strategic) informing the other (creative) seemed unnecessary. Yet, far beyond the ‘Golden Years’, the hierarchy remained… resulting in insufficient productivity and hindered creative thinking and application. The increased workloads, restrictive briefs, and fast approaching deadlines didn’t help… and quite honestly fueled the fluidity of the creative and strategic job roles. Bringing us to present day…
In a world constantly surrounded by data and technology, the age of the digital transformation is truly coming to light; bringing into question the need for niche job roles such as ‘creatives’ and ‘strategists’. And while the call for a more diverse workforce is certainly not limited to creatives and strategists, for the purpose of this article, I want to discuss the implications the merging of the two will play in social media.
The New Era of ‘Creative Strategy’
We’ve all heard, and probably took a quiz or two on the ‘Left brain, Right Brain Theory‘; helping us to determine where we fall on the spectrum between being ‘creative’ or being ‘analytical’.
According to Healthline:
“The theory is that people are either left-brained or right-brained, meaning that one side of their brain is dominant. If you’re mostly analytical and methodical in your thinking, you’re said to be left-brained. If you tend to be more creative or artistic, you’re thought to be right-brained.”
But if that is the case…
How is a ‘Creative Strategist’ even possible?
“Creative thinkers are focusing on the most important consumer needs and highlighting the insights to get there. On the other hand, strategists are focusing on the fundamental business goals and devising a path towards growth and profitability. Agencies need to think about it from both sides and have them meet in the middle.
That’s the foundation of creative strategy: A partnership between dreaming and doing, theory and reality, in order to harness results within that grey area between the underlying business strategy and creative concept.”
Admittedly, he knows the rarity of finding a single individual proficient/successful enough to do the task alone. He believes there is a lot to be said by slightly deviating from the older model; creating a hybrid team of creatives and strategists under the title… ‘Creative Strategists’.
This shift would enable agencies to maximise talent and productivity by pooling problem solvers from both sides of the spectrum; creatives and strategists alike, execute a smoother creative process and transition from concept to execution in a consistent manner. Ultimately, breeding data-driven, highly creative, successful social media content and more.
So should we all become creative strategists then?