There are hundreds, actually thousands, of job vacancies being posted online for Creative Technologists. Ad agencies and marketing companies are crying out for them.
What do they do? Why do they do it? And does your business need them?
First of all, let’s clear up a problem with that headline.
If we look at the worlds biggest brands more than a third of them say that digital will account for 75% or more of their advertising and marketing spend within five years.
As Brad Jakeman, the Global President of PepsiCo recently said, “Digital marketing is the most ridiculous term I’ve ever heard. There is no such thing as digital marketing. There is marketing – most of which happens to be digital.”
But something makes the digital space different from a poster or a press advert. YouTube and your TV aren’t the same thing. Social media hasn’t grown in importance simply because more and more people are using it.
The difference is technology.
Advertising agencies don’t hire copywriters because they know the rules of grammar and have a large vocabulary. They don’t hire art directors and designers because they are proficient in Photoshop or InDesign.
They hire people who can empathise with the consumer and understand the brand. They hire people who can use words and images to create amazing ideas that will engage and persuade those people to buy the stuff their client sells.
The Creative Technologist works with and becomes a part of that Copywriter and Art Director team.
They aren’t looking just for people who can program or code, or have a ‘passion for digital’ or are geeks. They are looking for people who can use and adapt the technology that exists – or originate new apps or software – in order to support the marketing strategy, build the brand, sell the stuff.
Advertising, and marketing, is a craft; it always has been. It’s a craft because it is part ‘art’ and part ‘science’. And now it is partly an art and partly a technology.
The importance of integrated marketing – the application of consistent brand messaging across all of the channels that a business uses – has been accepted and the benefits of that are clear.
I think the search for Creative Technologists heralds the long-overdue acceptance of another form of integration. To benefit from successful, measurable and effective marketing you don’t need a techno-geek or a wordsmith. You need both.