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112: For Alex Withers of InMotionNow, data is king — but he still believes in the importance of creative

This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with Alex Withers, chief sales and marketing officer for InMotionNow, a creative workflow software platform that powers creative and marketing collaboration in the cloud. Withers is a seasoned digital technology marketing executive with previous experience working at Pepsi, ESPN, United States Golf Association, Financial Times, Sageworks, and LexisNexis.

In his conversation with Alan, Withers discusses the value InMotionNow can bring to marketers, particularly its ability to minimize the amount of time creatives spend on administrative tasks, the importance of data, and his belief that marketers should not lose sight of the power of creativity. InMotionNow recently released the 2018 In-house Creative Management Report, which highlights key trends and challenges internal teams are experiencing. Withers addresses the trend we’re seeing of companies bringing creative work in-house and the reasoning behind it: “I think that CMOs are enjoying having creative teams in-house that understand the brand, live the brand day in and day out,” says Withers. “Therefore, they can ramp faster, turn projects quicker. With an outside agency, often they have to bounce between accounts and value props, whereas your in-house team lives and breathes the value prop every day.”

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Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

  • Withers describes the InMotionNow offering and talks about his dual role with the company. (2:03)
  • Withers on companies bringing creative work in-house: “It’s undeniable…It’s now a trend; it’s not a single data point.” (4:56)
  • “You need data in to create a data argument out.” (9:27)
  • Withers talks about the year of the analytical creative: “What we’re seeing is a shift toward creative leadership, at least, being more data-driven.” (11:01)
  • “A perfect storm to create more.” Withers details the growing demand for creative content. (13:55)
  • No wobbly wheels: Withers on the importance of the creative project intake. (17:20)
  • Withers’ advice for CMOs tackling creative challenges: “Pay attention to the creative organization…If we don’t pay attention to the creative, we’re really losing the roots that got us into marketing in the first place” (24:44)
  • “The best thing that ever happened to marketing was the internet. And the worst thing that ever happened to marketing was the internet.” (30:28)

Resources mentioned in Episode: