How to Infuse Your Marketing Efforts with Creativity

As consumer trends change in the face of innovative technology, marketing has become more complex. Today’s marketing team must wear many hats including that of product designer, data analyst and customer experience manager.

Some of the best performing brands today have one thing in common—a deliberate organisational focus on innovation and creativity.

As the role of marketing changes and creativity becomes an essential business requirement, it’s important for brands to find ways to infuse their marketing efforts with creative innovation whilst still keeping an eye on the bottom line. Here are some practical ideas:

Challenge the Status Quo

Sometimes creativity calls for disruption—this means letting go of the “business as usual” mentality and embracing new ways of serving your customers. Creativity calls for rethinking latent assumptions that define your industry and your business and finding innovative ways to deliver exceptional products to your customers. Challenging the status quo may require you to reevaluate your business model and perhaps flip it around entirely.

Simplify

Creativity and innovation in marketing does not have to be about complexity. In fact, marketers who understand the essence of creativity know that in an age of accelerating complexity, simplicity is what consumers need if it helps them solve their problems efficiently.

Apple is a great example of a brand that has mastered the art of infusing simplicity into its creative processes. The iPad is such a creatively refined product not because it is techy but because of the simplicity of the application created by the many developers at Apple. The creative minds behind the brand understand what the customer wants so they designed the iPad with the aim of delivering seamless convenience and simplicity to the end user.

Invest in Creative Diversity

The people behind your brand can be a hindrance or promoters of innovation and creativity, so choose them wisely. A look at some of the most innovative companies will reveal one truth: there is no shortage of diversely creative and innovative people whose unique perspectives and insights help to make the company stand out in any given industry.

Creativity in marketing is no longer a linear and simplistic thing—with so many media channels, creativity has become a multifaceted concept that cannot be accomplished by a single individual. Different people with different skills are needed to infuse creative insight into any marketing endeavour.

So, you want to think about everyone from your staff to your customers to your business partners as key elements of your marketing team. Provide each of these people with opportunities to creatively contribute to your marketing strategy.

Make Creativity About the Customer

As mentioned above, customers are no longer just mere consumers. They are also creators who have a lot to contribute to your overall marketing strategy in terms of content and ideas. What better way to appeal to and engage consumers than looping them in to contribute to your brand’s creative process.

User generated content has been found to increase engagement by 28 percent. At the same time, consumers are more trusting of what their peers are saying and less trusting of brand messages. These trends demand that marketers move from a mere customer-centric approach to an approach that places the customer in the middle of the creative process.

Take a Holistic View of The Customer

While every marketer understands the value of customer experience, most only focus on those aspects they can directly control. However, creativity requires a more holistic view of the entire customer experience as opposed to fragmenting this experience.

A holistic, end to end view of the customer experience allows you to provide customers with an exceptional brand experience right from the product, down to the buying process and even after the actual transaction.

This approach does demand substantial resources and more importantly it calls for brands to think creatively about new problems brought about by changing consumer trends.

Think Like an Entrepreneur

Traditionally, marketers have had to formulate campaigns and outline goals and objectives within a set budget. Today, even though budgets are still relevant, creative marketers are not limited by scarce resources. On the contrary, they are organising their marketing goals around the need to achieve a product and market fit.

Concepts such as lean and agile development are increasingly becoming essential arsenals for the creative marketer with a limited budget. This requires thinking of marketing as more than just pushing a product to a target audience; rather, marketing becomes about adopting agile approaches that allow a brand to deliver to the consumer a refined product that truly resonates with their preferences and meets their needs.

The convergence of changes in technology, media and consumer trends is forcing brands to rethink what creativity in marketing means. Today, marketers are more than managers and promoters; they are required to be innovators and entrepreneurs who are leveraging big data, and lean and agile concepts to provide customers with a holistic brand experience while delivering business value.

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