Complacency: The Death of Creativity in Marketing

Last month I had the pleasure of interviewing branding guru David Brier, President and Creative Director of DBD International. He made a particularly poignant remark concerning “not accepting things as they are.” He goes on to explain that “too many people are on autopilot” and that he’s “never been happy with being complacent.” It particularly struck me, as lately I’ve had the unfortunate experience of experiencing complacency around me quite often.

Could you imagine that if, at the age of 5, you had stopped asking “why?” Well, that’s exactly what we as adult marketers are doing when we stop asking questions—when we stop fighting the status quo. And that entails action of any sort—accepting that a boss or client “likes” something at face value without discussing whether it’s actually working toward its intended purpose; going the predictable design route because it’s worked before and we’re tired; really, any action that requires us to think and act at less than our capacity.

This attitude of “good enough” is particularly damaging in developing omnichannel strategies that serve the customer at each point in the customer journey. Why? A nonchalant approach will destroy the fluidity between exchange points faster than you can take your next breath. I liken it to a waitress who is bored with her job and has given up the hussle between the kitchen and tables. This “so-so effort” effectively degrades the relationship between the server and customer, and a similar attitude in marketing is no different.

An omnichannel marketing team needs to be always on their feet, always at their best, and always on point when it comes integrating their touchpoints. Complacency will kill this every time. Don’t make the mistake of assuming you can give anything less than your best.