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What does the phrase " great creative" mean in this article (https://econsultancy.com/blog/67464-why-email-is-the-king-of-one-to-one-marketing):

Many in digital talk about email almost as it were analogue (tired and old hat). But few underestimate its power when combined with CRM, automation and great creative.

I found one appropriate definition in the ree dictionary, but I am not sure about it: -n 5. (Marketing) a creative person, esp one who devises advertising campaigns

  • Many in marketing, who aren't very technically minded, like to throw around adjectives without nouns, eg. "digital" and "great creative", and talk about them as if they are movements in the industry. Really they just don't know what they are talking about, and they're hoping you will. – Born2Smile Mar 11 '16 at 14:39
  • Good marketing speak is about saying gibberish that sounds cool, letting everyone figure out for themselves what it means and how to realise it, thereby outsourcing the creative process while still giving it direction. – Born2Smile Mar 11 '16 at 14:50
  • A quick Google search for the phrase "director of creative at" bring up many matches involving the job title "Director of Creative" or "Senior Director of Creative." Not all are in advertising agencies, either. I worked at a magazine publisher for many years, and at some point within the past ten years the position of Art Director morphed into Director of Creative (without any change in the person in charge). – Sven Yargs Mar 11 '16 at 19:18
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Merriam-Webster lists two definitions for the noun 'creative':

  1. one who is creative; especially: one involved in the creation of advertisements

  2. creative activity or the material produced by it especially in advertising

The lack of an article in your phrase, which would appear before 'creative' when used for one person, indicates that the word is used in the second sense.

As many have pointed out in comments, this is lingo (jargon) used primarily in the fields of marketing and advertising. Given M-W's definitions (and notation of first use in 1962) it may well have developed as a truncation of 'creative department' within an advertising agency.

In online advertising and web production, where I worked back in the 90s, the preferred term was/is 'content', a word that could easily be substituted for 'creative' in your sentence.

Many in digital talk about email almost as [if] it were analogue (tired and old hat). But few underestimate its power when combined with CRM, automation and great [content.]

  • This answer is correct but it's worth expanding upon the usage of creative as a noun in advertising and probably use a clearer example so that OP's example becomes easier to follow. – SuperBiasedMan Mar 11 '16 at 14:43
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    @SuperBiasedMan: Done (hopefully). – Egox Mar 11 '16 at 17:41

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