Get Savage news, trends and information.

Sign Up Now



The value of creativity when budgets are tight

Posted on Categories BrandonomicsTags

Companies have to understand the value of creativity when budgets are tight. Joel Tarver, former Senior Manager of Digital Marketing at Baker Hughes, talks about how paying for smart thinking pays off.

Robin: Hello and welcome to this edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I’m Robin Tooms, VP of Strategy at Savage Brands, and my guest again is Joel Tarver, Senior Manager of Digital Marketing at Baker Hughes. So Joel, welcome back to Brandonomics.

Joel: I’m like a bad penny — I keep turning up! You can’t get rid of me.

Robin: Well, I’m glad you’re here.

Joel: Thank you.

Robin: Let’s share a little bit. So I see you kind of being a compatriot here. You’re helping us change the way the oil and gas industry is really approaching the visual strategies as well as the branding strategy, and it’s time for a change. And maybe it’s a little slow coming and maybe it’s not, but I want to hear from you, why do you think that that change is important, and what are you seeing as your role as a digital marketer kind of affecting that change?

Joel: Well, I think at our core, it’s about storytelling and it’s about passion. Coming from a background of — for lack of a better word — creativity, I manage developers at the same time, so I don’t like to say that there are traditional creatives and that they’re not, because they’re actually very creative. It’s just that one’s more with math. And what I’ve been trying to look at is to lead through design and to show that you can differentiate from design; that you can look at things that have been traditionally engineering driven. A good example is Microsoft. Microsoft was classically an engineering company, but you know what? They started leading with design. And you can say that Windows 8 was a flop or not, but if you go back historically, that is where flat design was brought to the mainstream. That was one where actually Apple followed Microsoft in that case. So I think that engineering companies can see that they can differentiate with design and that it is important. That it matters and that, tied in with a strong message, you’ve got some pretty powerful magic there.

Robin: And I appreciate that because really it is so important to push that creative, no matter what industry you’re in.

Joel: Absolutely.

Robin: Obviously I can be real for a second, especially as we think about challenging budget years; how do you help make that happen? How do you be creative even when you don’t have a super big budget?

Joel: What’s so important that I think companies forget sometimes is that you’re not paying for this (hands), you’re paying for this (brainpower). And that’s what you’re getting through the creative. So how can I find the best solution, given these constraints? And in some cases what we had to do is that if we weren’t going to buy stock imagery – because one, we’re just trying to look at different ways to reinterpret things, tell the story a little differently and put our spin on it to bring in this tech organic look – is that I don’t just want an image of a rig at sunset, okay. That might be appropriate in some cases, but if I can do something that makes that rig dynamic; if I can do something that makes someone say ‘wow’ and do a double take, then that’s what we’re looking for. And if I can have my team create those images, then we own these. We own the rights to it all, so it’s not something that we licensed. And then we can repurpose it: we can repurpose it for artwork in a training facility, we can repurpose it for a magazine cover, we can use it in a calendar, we can use it in a brochure, we can use it on a website and we can even take it from animation. So what we find is to kind of build once and deploy the middle.

Robin: Well I appreciate you being a champion for that thinking and you’re right, it is more about the thinking, not just all the different materials where it’s being used; appreciate that.

Joel: Yes, exactly.

Robin: Well this has been another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.


A top-tier oilfield service company with a century-long track record, Baker Hughes delivers solutions that help oil and gas operators make the most of their reservoirs. Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE: BHI) provides reliable, practical solutions when and where our customers need them to lower costs, reduce risk and improve productivity.

Icon Purpose Red

If you’re interested in knowing more about how purposeful companies attract the best employees, build loyal relationships with their customers, and differentiate themselves from their competition, then let’s start a conversation.