Marketers Claim Digital Growth Has Negatively Impacted Creative Quality. Here’s Why They’re Thinking About It All Wrong



A new study shows that marketers across the world believe digital growth has hindered their ability to create engaging, quality content.

But the real question is: has it?

To an extent, yes. It’s true that there’s an immense amount of noise in our digital world. Marketers and customers alike find themselves so distracted they can’t really notice, appreciate, or study the sort of content that might provide them with creative inspiration — which is a problem. Creative inspiration comes from consistent, purposeful observation and subsequent experimentation.

In other words, it takes time, focus, and patience — yet that’s exactly what our burgeoning digital landscape discourages. Instead, it encourages constant context switching.

YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn — they’re all little digital black holes which, above all, aim to distract.

What many marketers seem to have lost sight of, however, is that the internet is a revolutionary resource.

Never before have creators had at their disposal a more powerful tool for research, connection, distribution, and near-instant feedback.

Used correctly, the internet enables creativity rather than inhibits it.

Sure, the digital resources we have at our fingertips today come with potential downsides — like their capacity for distraction or creative inhibition — but the benefits are far greater.

Instead of bemoaning the downsides or dangers, we should put our heads together to determine how, exactly, to use our technological advantages to combat the noise and create better.

That’s how we should be thinking about digital growth: how to use it to empower us.

On a personal level, there are a number of hacks you can implement to this end right away.

  • First, try downloading Chrome extensions that will help deter you from giving into distractions. Personally, I created a custom extension which removes my news feeds from all social channels. That means when I log in to LinkedIn or to Facebook, I can focus on finding what I’m looking for, as opposed to stumbling down the proverbial rabbit hole.
  • Second, purposefully set aside time in your day to step away from your laptop. This remains the best way to keep yourself from being distracted by digital noise: remove yourself from it.
  • Not only does this refresh your mind — and you know how your brain gets when you’ve been a prisoner to your browser window for hours — but it helps your creativity when you get stuck. Creators throughout history have interspersed their days with intermittent walks, and the reason is becauseit works. It allows you a new, livelier perspective.
  • This is particularly helpful when you have a big problem to solve. In working with my clients at BAMF, I’ve spent hours trying to locate the specific answer I know is up there somewhere to their particular positioning or messaging problem. How to frame it right, how to convey the one thing of value I know they’re trying to convey. Then I step outside and go for a walk, and it hits me.

At the end of the day, we’re not in the business of making excuses.

Honestly, it’s shameful that so many of us are using the internet and its disparate digital functions as a scapegoat for our declining originality or effectiveness.

That’s lazy. And, ironically, it’s playing right into the hands of the marketers who took part in creating those digital distractions in the first place.

The worst marketer is the one who falls into other marketers’ traps.

Look, these distractions aren’t going anywhere. Of course, they’re only going to get worse and more effective.

So, let’s unshackle ourselves from preconceptions about the internet and our limitations to combat it. Instead, let’s all start working together to utilize our digital tools and capacities to improve, and create better and more powerful campaigns which in turn make our world a better place.