There’s No App For Creativity

Bruce McArthur Bleidner, content, Facebook, Marketing, Print, radio, Social Media, Social media guru, TV

In this app (is there an alternate word for app? It’s getting tiresome) crazed world, there’s a perception that somewhere lurks a set and forget “solution” (another word beaten like cube steak by verbally challenged marketers) for everything. Even creative bankruptcy.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the realm of social media, where “pushing content” remains the war cry du jour. What that content is never gets a thought. More is more. Just cut and paste any jpeg, quotation or team-building motivational cliché into a post, tweet or blog and presto, you’re “doing” social media! Were it only so simple.

Vast, multinational corporations drop hundreds of millions, even billions on TV advertising, focus-grouping and scrutinizing  every minute detail into this can’t miss pre-ordained success. Yet their social media (outside of the TV spots uploaded onto YouTube) is cavalierly relegated to self-proclaimed “gurus” (we don’t need Roget for that one – we’ll just call them what they are — frauds) who bray about robust fan and follower bases, yet when confronted by the dreaded  “E” word —  engagement —  they contract lockjaw, take a bathroom break or hear their mother calling them. It really is quite simple — huge companies, from automotive to package goods to retailers to you name it — are — in most cases – getting screwed by the gurus, whether internal or outsourced.

Why would this be? Follow the money. TV costs money. So do radio, magazines, billboards and skywriters. Cost engenders a measure of respect, even desire.  But social media is free! Why should anyone care about what “content” gets “pushed” into it? Note how industry jargon demeans social media. Other media messages are termed “creative” and carefully “placed” by professional media teams. Social media messages are mere content to be pushed, like yesterday’s lunch — via peristalsis through the alimentary system.

In his or her analytics, the guru points to millions of fans or followers, followed by a parade of pie charts, bar charts, spider charts that look really spiffy and, well… analytical. But had the CMO a modicum of understanding and/or 30 seconds to spare, he’d know all that bland, meaningless, purloined and stultifying, uncreative “content” was getting no more attention than the alimentary content. Most Fortune 500 companies’ Facebook engagement is below 3.5%. That, folks, is a shameful waste of time — and money.

There’s no app for creativity. And the old computer acronym, GIGO, was never more salient.

VMG creative (our work is — sniff — above content) is fantastically creative. Which is why our clients enjoy consistent engagement north of 20%. If you want some spider charts, we’ll throw them in too. But wouldn’t you rather have results?