What is ‘too artsy’ when it comes to websites?

Creative marketing is an important part of your brand strategy and when done well it can make the difference between a good brand and a great brand. But is there such a thing as too much creative? We think so and here is why.
creative marketing build websites to deliver an outcome

What is creative marketing?

In terms of the lifetime of marketing, creative marketing is still a relatively new concept. But the idea has been around for a long time.

In 1965 the Ford Motor Company got creative and disassembled its new muscle car. They then shipped it 86 floors up a New York icon. There they reassembled the car and had a party to celebrate the Ford Mustang becoming a massive sales success. It was creative, original and gained headlines far and wide. People flocked to see it and now the vehicle enjoys the same iconic status as the Empire State Building itself.

It was a very successful and creative PR stunt. So successful in fact that 50 years later Ford did it all again. This time though they also held a launch party on the 58th floor. The who’s who of motoring journalism were invited along to ensure that the new model received plenty of media coverage.

Creative Marketing Example - Ford Mustang
2015 Ford Mustang convertible assembled on the 86th floor observation deck of the Empire State Building in New York.

That is creative marketing done well. It is about standing out from the crowd and getting recognised in a sea of competition. It is something that as a marketing department is a holy grail if you can do it with regular precision.

A great example of when it doesn’t go to plan comes from a radio station in California. The station decided to run a ‘hold your wee for a Wii’ competition to create some hype for the station, as well as for the advertiser. What they got instead were ten employees who were fired and a US$16.5 million lawsuit. That is creative marketing done badly.

Creative marketing and the “digital space”

Those two examples are the extremes and aren’t really where the average business will be aiming. But they are a good illustration of what happens when your marketing department tries to come up with out of the box ideas. Some work, some don’t.

Those two examples are the extremes and aren’t really where the average business will be aiming. But they are a good illustration of what happens when your marketing department tries to come up with out of the box ideas. Some work, some don’t.

From a digital perspective marketing companies are doing the same sort of thing. They are constantly looking to come up with new and inventive ways to get a brand recognised. What is important though is not to lose focus on the end goal. Is the strategy going to achieve the desired result and how much time, effort and money is going to go into getting it there?

creative marketing build websites to deliver an outcome
Don’t build a website just to be pretty, build it to deliver an outcome.

Too Artsy: Creative vs Conversion

“We’re artsy, but not too artsy.” It sounds a little odd and perhaps even a little offensive to describe ourselves this way, doesn’t it?

What we mean is that when you are getting creative, make sure you don’t lose touch with your target audience. Creating a great looking website is one thing, but creating a website that not only looks good but also sends the user down the right pathway to a conversion is a lot more complex than just being creative.

For one, you should never engage just a developer to build you a website and think the customers will come. Don’t get me wrong; they are great at what they do (and I am not just saying that because my better half was a developer when I met her!), it’s just that web design, development, and conversion optimisation are all very different things.

To find a developer who also understands the needs of the business as well as how to work out your cost per acquisition, and your return on investment is almost impossible. Add to that someone who is good at creative and conversion optimisation then you have a very rare bird indeed.

Likewise, you should never get a creative marketing team to design your website without considering these elements. There is a saying in the industry that “ugly websites convert better than pretty websites”. That’s because to build a good looking and conversion orientated website is no easy task. It is much easier to create an ugly looking site that has a high conversion rate.

It’s a business on its own

Having worked for a global corporation that was spending hundreds of thousands each day on their online marketing, getting the conversion rate to its optimum was a core focus for some members of the digital marketing team. There was a team of marketers and analysts whose sole task was to would work together to identify the optimum pathway for website users. Having already delivered the significant gains much earlier in the process, they were working with percentage points.

The team would test theories against each other for what to many of us would seem like such small gains, but these incremental improvements across the entire business meant millions of dollars.

Trust me when I say their websites were not ‘pretty’. Creative marketing team members were rarely involved in the process, and when they were, it was to the extent of designing a new call to action button or choosing some new imagery to use on the page. A lot of high converting websites have a very similar look which makes it easy for the user, and even more comfortable for the guys building it. But it isn’t exactly groundbreaking artistic work.

Where does NewyMedia come in?

Through our experience, we know where the significant gains start. That means you can begin working on the incremental stuff from the outset. It still amazes us when we look at some websites out there that are not mobile friendly, not ‘on brand’, and have either no clear call to action or way too many.

When we build websites, we make them part of your entire marketing strategy so that everything works in unison. We aren’t developers, so we won’t go overboard with technical details. We know what a good website needs to perform, and we can make them look great too.

Here’s our list of top 10 rules to a good looking and good converting website:

  1. Your website should be fast
  2. Your website must be mobile friendly
  3. Make sure your conversion pathway is obvious
  4. Content should be engaging
  5. Images should support the conversion pathway
  6. Your website should be secure
  7. Make sure your website is on brand
  8. Post and update content frequently
  9. Make sure your content is optimised
  10. Have a plan and track it

Need Help?

NewyMedia is a digital marketing company based out of Newcastle, Australia. We work with small to medium size businesses to help them compete with the big brands.

If you would like our help then you can contact us here, or subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates.

About NewyMedia

We’re a digital marketing agency in Newcastle, Australia. Working closely with our clients we take a holistic approach to your digital marketing, including you and your team in the journey to deliver personalised and tailored solutions.

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