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The Ultimate Guide to Balancing Creativity vs Clarity in Marketing

Creativity Vs. Clarity

There’s an age-old debate nestled at the core of every marketing campaign: creativity vs clarity. Which one matters more?

Argue all you want but I’m convinced it’s not actually an either/or argument. Creativity and clarity aren’t at odds with each other, they are an inseparable team. Effective marketers seamlessly intertwine both. Here’s how you can balance creativity vs clarity in marketing for maximum sales.

The Importance of Clarity in Marketing

Clarity is the foundation of any successful marketing campaign. If potential customers don’t clearly understand what problem your company solves, they aren’t going to do business with you. Period.

Our brains are wired to conserve energy. If it takes too much work to figure something out, we look for an easier option. That means you have to effectively explain your offering quickly and efficiently. A potential client should be able to look at your website and, within 3-5 seconds, fully understand:

  • what you do
  • why they need it
  • how they can get it

If your messaging effectively achieves that goal, then you can start adding some creativity into the mix–not the other way around.

Creativity is a nice addition but clarity is essential

Proof That Clear Marketing Works

Let’s look at Apple’s marketing approach, for example. Today they are known for simple messages and clean visuals that showcase how easy it is to become an “Apple person”. However, their advertising didn’t start out that way.

Apple’s first ads were full of confusing text that only a seasoned computer geek would understand. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple, after his time at Disney, he had learned that marketing isn’t about showing off your product’s fancy features. It is about instilling desire in consumers by showing them who your product or service can help them become.

When Apple’s marketing started inviting people into a story of transformation, consumers began clamoring to buy their products.

A similar phenomenon happened with one of our clients, Pine & Co CPAs. They are a group of highly specialized CPAs that help high-income earners leverage the tax code so that they never pay more than they legally owe in taxes. Yet, their marketing and messaging at the time didn’t showcase the true value of their services.

We helped them clarify their company messaging and create specialized campaigns for each of their target markets. Once potential clients clearly understood how Pine’s expertise could transform their lives, they were eager to make the switch. Pine had an 80% increase in revenue and even had to put additional marketing on hold until they could hire more qualified CPAs.

Unleash the Power of Creativity in Marketing

Once you have a firm base of clear messaging, you can add in creativity to make your marketing unique. Creative marketing strategies are what make your brand “stick” in your ideal client’s mind. Creativity brings your brand alive, gives it personality and the ability to connect on a deeper level with your potential client.

Brands that master this combination of clear messaging and creative connection are the ones that somehow grow Facebook followings, have greater brand loyalty, raving reviews and word of mouth referrals. When you can create excitement around what you do, your business grows organically.

Examples of Creativity in Marketing

Take Old Spice’s rebranding campaign for example. With a creative, unconventional approach, they went from a random deodorant company to a well-known household name. 

However, they weren’t being clever just for the heck of it. Before the rebrand, they were known as a deodorant company primarily for old men. Since that didn’t have much growth potential, they dug into the data and altered their message to attract a younger generation. They used engaging advertising to broaden their audience and sales skyrocketed.

We did something similar with our client Stripe A Lot. They were already racking up awards for their great customer service and work ethic (which, by the way, is another essential piece of marketing). We knew they were offering a stand-out service but their website and messaging did anything but help them stand out.

Together, we crafted clear brand messaging that spoke to their ideal customer’s pain points. We then infused a bit of humor and personality to make asphalt resurfacing sound…almost fun.

Once their website and other marketing materials effectively showcased the solution their team was already delivering, their revenue increased significantly. Shortly after the rebrand we generated 100k in revenue with just one email!

Balancing Clarity and Creativity in Marketing

Effective marketing requires both clarity and creativity. Clarity is the solid foundation while creativity is the adornment you add in to make it unique.

When your ideal client understands how you can make their lives better, you’ll have their attention. If you can infuse creativity into your marketing along the way, your brand will be remembered.

The tricky part for any marketer is knowing how much creativity to use. Just like we all have different tastes when it comes to home decor or food, we all have different levels of tolerance around creativity in marketing.

Recognizing the nuances of your target audience is essential. Some demographics crave the quirkiness of creative ads, while others want no-nonsense, straightforward information without any fluff.

Finding the Right Creativity vs Clarity Ratio

If you aren’t sure which group your target market falls in, let data and analytics be your guide. Utilize tools like Google Analytics to look at your competitors’ websites, conversion rates, and campaign performance. Then, take what you’ve learned from the data and do some A/B testing with your own audience.

Ultimately, the tussle between creativity and clarity in marketing doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution. There is no magic formula you can follow for every marketing campaign. All brands and companies have to find their own ideal ratio. 

If you need a thinking partner to help you strike the right balance between clarity and creativity, schedule a call with Guide MKTG today.

We can give you a proven marketing plan to help your business grow and then bring it to life with the perfect mixture of clarity and creativity. You’ll finally have marketing materials that get your business the attention it deserves.


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