How creativity can give purpose to intelligence — and transform your business into an experience powerhouse.
In 2009, the average person consumed nearly 34GB of information daily according to researchers at the University of California-San Diego. Since then, we’ve added content and channels in exponential fashion. Twitter feeds, TikTok videos, Instagram stories, WhatsApp messages, Slack channels — all continually refreshing, all begging for our attention. In a world where terabytes have replaced gigabytes, 34GB sounds like a digital detox.
As it makes us smarter, all this information can make us slower. As insights sharpen, we can often be paralyzed by an infinite set of customer data. For modern marketers, every conversation about artificial intelligence and machine learning includes the realization that we’re drowning in data — just look at this mind-blowing infographic by marketing technology blogger Scott Brinker.
Experts have even come up with names for the condition — infobesity, infoxication, information anxiety disorder. All that said, there’s hope. And it comes from a trusted — if forgotten — source: Humans and their endless capacity for creative problem solving.
An Internet Minute
In 2019, a single minute on the internet included the following:
694,444 hours of content streamed on Netflix
347,222 users scrolled Instagram
2.1 million Snaps created on Snapchat
1 million Twitch viewers online
188 million emails sent
Like most marketers, Nnamdi Nwoke doesn’t have to check his phone to know what awaits. As senior director of U.S. growth marketing and new business at SAP Concur, he knows there will be emails, status reports, analytics dashboards, social media tallies, sales figures, industry newsletters, and probably a few animated GIFs.
Nnamdi — a creative thinker who grew up drawing comic books and started his career as a designer — manages the overload as well as anyone. He’s developed a system to prioritize, digest, and respond — but still spends two or three hours each day working to understand the waves of data that crash on his desk. There’s just so much information.
“I ask everyone on my team to be creative in solving the problems suggested by data.”
Senior director of U.S. growth marketing and new business, SAP Concur
Like most of us, Nnamdi worries about the impact of so much information. He turns off his emails and blocks his calendar to help guard his time and to focus on the relationship between data and his KPIs. Beyond that, he stresses the value of creativity. “I ask everyone on my team to be creative in solving the problems suggested by data,” he explains. “Before every meeting, I want to know that my team has connected with other departments and gone past their own skills and opinions.”
People are attached to all sorts of devices. More than 60% of U.S. consumers say that not having a smart phone would be a major disruption to their lifestyle.
While the robots and the algorithms amass quantities of information that would blow the minds of data analysts from two generations ago, it’s human creativity that will save the day. Creativity gives purpose to intelligence. It absorbs data and then uncovers insights. Creativity powers transformation. And transformation yields impactful and sustainable experiences for your customers.