DPDK’s creativity series part 2: the case for creative technology
The second article in our creativity series delves into the importance of creative technology in crafting engaging digital experiences. We’ll look at the relationship between creativity and technology and the importance of building a creative team through and through.
Many of today’s digital experiences fail to grab customers’ attention and leave a lasting impression. This inability to create differentiated experiences mostly comes from a lack of creativity: there’s simply no oomph.
Don’t get me wrong, we don’t copy others on purpose, but we (unintentionally) tend to create more of the same cookie-cutter experiences that miss that uniqueness people talk about.
Creativity is the cornerstone of innovation and the key to keep your brand relevant and distinctive. But creativity doesn’t just happen. You need to foster it and make it a priority across your organization, from your creative teams all the way to your tech department. Technology can unlock endless possibilities for experience-makers. We should start using that to our advantage.
Technology as creativity enabler
Technology is often seen as a tool that focuses on functionality and efficiency. Which makes sense: our tech stack keeps our apps and platforms running, helps us engage and communicate with the masses, and enables us to scale our marketing efforts.
But in my opinion, marketers might be selling themselves short. Technology can bring so much more to the table. Technology can make your brand and design come to life, create wholly immersive and innovative experiences to attract, engage, and retain customers, and eventually help build a stronger brand.
There is a big ‘if’ though: you need to know how.
It’s all about the people
Too often marketers invest a lot of time, energy, and money into the design and creative part of a website, campaign, or landing page, only to cut down when it comes to the tech.
There are many reasons for that. We’re all dealing with finite resources and deadlines, but I think the most obvious one is that technology, let alone the creative use of technology, is hard to grasp and understand for most of us. We see what happens on the front but don’t have the slightest idea of what’s going on at the back.
The truth is that good design is not possible without great engineering, and vice versa. Bringing design to life with animations, making your site look great on desktop and mobile, and creating on-brand 3D experiences is a form of art. It calls for curiosity, problem-solving skills, and most of all, creative thinking.
Freeman Dyson, a theoretical physicist and mathematician said, "When I’m working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong."
It’s cliché but true: an organization is only as good as its people. Once the design for your new website has been decided, it’s up to great tech teams to execute. Which is why you need to build a stellar tech team and include them in the design process. Getting feedback early is the best way to improve and inspire creative thinking.
Fostering your team’s creativity and building a diverse work environment is key. This starts with hiring talent from diverse backgrounds, age groups, genders, and races, and runs all the way down to creating a space to test ideas and experiment. It’s definitely not easy (speaking from experience), but getting this right pays off tremendously.
The future is creative
Measuring the return on investment of that pay off, though, is where things get complex. The digital industry struggles with translating the power of creative technology into monetary value.
What I can say about it is this: creative technology and everything that comes with it, from custom code to virtual reality and hand-drawn animations can bring out the true DNA of a brand, set it apart, and leave a lasting, positive impression.
Just think of examples like Google Earth VR, where you can roam the streets of Rome from your couch; teamlab Borderless which immerses you into 10,000 square meter of 3D digital art; or IKEA Place, an app that virtually places your new piece of furniture in your living room. Now go ahead and tell me that doesn’t leave a mark.
It's a given that looking at peers and best practices and building generic solutions will get you nowhere near a memorable experience and will definitely not lead you to success.
The way I see it, the better you craft your story, the more you will connect to your audience. Exceptional digital experiences come to life through craftsmanship. And sure, this comes with a price tag. But at the end of the day, you simply pay for what you get.