Study Find Marketers Seek More Creative Risk

One of the themes common to conferences around the city during Advertising Week was risk--marketers and advertisers agreed that they need to take more. And whether the panels and discussions on disparate stages around New York were on media, creative case studies or marketing challenges during the current financial meltdown, panelists frequently said this is not a time to play it safe with marketing strategies.

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."

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