Why marketers must pursue creativity and excellence

A key challenge facing chief marketing officers (CMOs) is how to balance short and long-term growth. We need to keep a healthy level of dissatisfaction, always, and not be blinded by short-term results. Brands disappear because they’re not thinking ahead to what’s on the horizon. That’s why creativity and innovation are critical.

I joined the CMO Growth Council because at LVMH we share the same objective as every council member to drive business growth. Encompassing 25 global CMOs, the council works collectively as a worldwide community of brands. Our aim is to lead the future of our industry and make real, enduring change happen on a global scale. I try to inject something that is unique at LVMH into the Creativity & Innovation task force, one of the council’s four focused working groups, and that is to always consider long-term growth.

The task force has developed a mission statement for CMOs to be the trustee of the brand legacy. That means ensuring your brand is more desirable in a decade from now than it is today, through nurturing, protecting and coaching to ensure long-term growth and legacy.

Keeping a “spirit of delight” alive for consumers

My role as LVMH global brand officer, working together with my team, is to provide a centre of expertise to drive long-term growth across all our brands, from the oldest, Clos des Lambrays, a Grand Cru of Burgundy dating back to 1365, to more recent editions.

Marketing craftsmanship in the luxury sector can be nothing but absolute excellence. It’s about the search for perfection and everything along the customer journey needs to be a delight. This is not something you can apply to every sector, but all brands can keep this spirit of delight alive for the consumer, which I believe is key to successful legacy.

We need to arm marketers with the tools to enable them to make the right decisions. It’s easy to be blinded by the many measurements of short-term growth and key performance indicators that surround us. But we must also find measurements to track the long-term impact of what we do.

Exceeding expectation while driving outstanding excellence in our products and services is critical for legacy. And of course, all this must be fuelled by innovation. This has been discussed at the Cannes Lions Festival for a long time now and it continues to be critical.

Human creativity must be the heart of marketing

Our work has to be about better serving the consumer, not about serving big data. We must ensure the human being is always at the centre of marketing and brand building. Tech and data are critical, but in the end creativity is ultimately human. It’s like the invention of fire when man thought of rubbing two stones together to create a spark; that spark is human creativity. It’s the ability to develop a new idea, or to execute a pre-existing idea, in a completely new way. That’s why I advise to watch out for algorithms because they often repeat what has been successful in the past.

The CMO Growth Council is underpinned by the belief that creativity is an absolute requirement if marketers are going to be able to realise long-term growth for brands and businesses. The Creativity & Innovation task force will reveal the outcomes of our discussions at Cannes Lions in June, the festival where creativity in its powerful, myriad forms is celebrated. But the council’s work to ensure we drive short and long-term business growth continues year-round.