AAR Calls On Industry To See Creativity As A Capital Investment In Their Organisation

08 Jun 2022

  • Creative Capital Manifesto launches at industry debate with Creative Salon
  • New tool helps organisations engineer Creative Capital

AAR today launches its Creative Capital Manifesto, following research amongst CMOs that showed despite 74% of businesses identifying creativity as being key to business growth, only 20% said their organisation was highly focused on engineering the right conditions for Creativity to flourish. In fact, a much higher number (33%) said the subject was rarely or never debated.

The manifesto, which was launched at a round table debate hosted by Creative Salon, revealed that Creative Capital is a crucial strategic asset. Creative Capital is defined as the engineering of the right conditions across your marketing ecosystem to unlock greater Creativity on a sustained basis. AAR believes Creativity should be viewed in the same light and given the same priority as Financial or Intellectual Capital. The debate also served as:

  • A rallying call to the industry to not ignore the conditions that need to be created for Creativity to flourish in the marketing ecosystem: Creativity, in the broadest and biggest sense of applying new perspectives and ideas to solve significant problems for a business or its customers.
  • An overview of what enables Creativity to thrive on a sustained basis within your organisation, and what gets in the way.

Victoria Fox, CEO of AAR, commented: “Increasing an organisation’s stock of Creative Capital is a whole-company endeavour. To do this, companies need to realise that acknowledging creativity as a key business driver on its own isn’t enough; they need to do something about investing in the conditions that allow creativity to flourish. Creativity is much more than the advertising campaign. It is the application of lateral thinking and a creative mindset to solve business challenges. Creative Capital is an asset that needs to be nurtured across your entire marketing ecosystem.”  

Some of the challenges that the AAR research and round table debate explored that were inhibiting Creative Capital in the organisation included marketing teams not having enough time to nurture creative thinking (49%), and approximately a third of our respondents mentioned their ability to measure the commercial impact of their Creativity, ring-fencing budget for test and learn activities and ways of working as being blockers.

There was near unanimous agreement that culture and mindset (94%) was the key condition required to accumulate Creative Capital, followed by people which includes structure, training and incentives (65%) and processes such as ways of working, decision making, empowerment, agility and pace (63%).

To engineer Creative Capital demands consideration of all aspects of your marketing ecosystem, which we define as the sum of your internal and external capabilities. Specifically People, Process, Platforms and Partners, with Culture and Environment acting as accelerators.

Understanding these blockers and solutions has led AAR to launch its new Ecosystem Audit which will help brands understand how to engineer Creative Capital across its organisation. The Audit looks at specific aspects of the marketing ecosystem and assesses the current state and its relative ability to build Creative Capital:

  • People: what are their attitudes, motivation, level of empowerment, how is leadership driving this?
  • Process: do these enable creativity or are there barriers in ways of working? What works smoothly and where are the barriers?
  • Platforms: are you realising value and enhancing creativity via the right martech? Is adoption and capability at the right level to do this?
  • Partners: do they accelerate and add to Creative Capital? Is the relationship functioning well on all dimensions?
  • Environment: what role does this play in enhancing or detracting from creativity? Is the business feeding in enough stimulus ?
  • Culture: how can we define the culture and how does this drive increased creativity – or not?

The Manifesto is available to read in full here.

  • *The research is based on an online survey amongst 58 CMOs of leading brands during September 2021.


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