Almost everyone knows someone that can express their creativity nearly effortlessly. Crafting ideas and content comes easy to them and they dedicate much of their time and mental power to expressing their creativity in a variety of ways. With the rise of viral content on the internet it feels like a new star is born every day. But what has changed from before? And how can companies harness that change to become recognized?

Society frequently finds new comedians, vocal artists, extreme athletes and other talented individuals. The era of acting talent being restricted to a movie or tv show is over as companies plow forward in the open field of streamable content. Creatives now have the tools needed to express their creativity and push it out onto a platform that can give them the title of “Creative Genius”, all from the click of a button and the chance of going viral. With the help of the internet someone can learn from a tutorial how to bring their creative ideas to life by learning to paint like their favorite artist, edit film like their favorite director, treat photos like their favorite photographer or produce a record like their favorite producer; now they can be recognized by their creativity all around the world in minutes. But how do you showcase your work to the world?

Comedians that were birthed on the internet are now on tour and selling specials to companies like Netflix because they found an avenue of comedy that the masses online gravitated towards. The crowds they stand before today exist because they understood the power of marketing a specific kind of joke to a specific type of audience. A recording artist that found a sound and rhyme pattern powerful enough to captivate the masses is now touring the world because of a specific way of branding their music and lifestyle. What these creatives have in common is that they found an audience and played to that audience. They didn’t create with reckless abandon, but rather, they understood what their audience enjoyed and gave it to them. This is not to say that nothing truly new can be created of course, only that success happens when creating something new is done through the lens of understanding the audience.

This is what marketing, at its core, is. Marketing takes the ideas companies have and gives them the lens to be able to tell it to the target audience in a way that motivates and excites them. The best marketers aren’t the fiscally conservative, ROI-centered teams of people that attempt to demographically divide the market into segments they can go after, but the creatives that understand what the audience wants to see and can convert something they may not be inherently interested about into something they want to learn more about. While investment and return are essential concerns, the reason companies struggle to get in front of their audience is because, for too long, it has been the only thing they think about. Remember that next time your marketing meeting focuses solely on the financial capital necessary, or the likely ROI to expect, or the targeted demographics. Ask yourself if the people your thinking about is your audience or your company because the audience can certainly tell when you are no longer speaking to them.

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