A new study by Menlo Park, Calif.-based executive staffing firm Creative Group suggests that the sentiment is widespread. The survey is based on 250 telephone interviews--half of them with ad executives and half with marketing brass.
Surprisingly, it was the marketing executives--whose products and services are at stake--and not the ad executives who said they needed to push for more risky marketing strategies. Sixty-five percent of survey respondents who are marketing executives and 45% of those who are advertising executives said their firms do not take enough creative risks with projects.
When asked "how would you rate your firm/agency when it comes to creative risk-taking with projects?," only 1% of ad executives and 6% of marketers said too many risks are taken. Twenty-one percent of the former and 7% of the latter said they play it much too safe. Forty-four percent of marketers and 38% of ad executives said some, but not enough.
Megan Slabinski, executive director of The Creative Group, said she was surprised. "I think what we normally see is that marketers are more risk-averse than ad executives because of the corporate environment; creative ideas can be diluted as they make their way through the management channels," she told Marketing Daily.
"But the marketing teams are saying they want to take more risk. I think the surprise was it wasn't more evenly weighted. I think the idea of what's happening in financial markets begs the question of how much risk marketers are we willing to take, and is it good or bad."