I am not sure if I am a fan of the word creativity in the world of marketing and communications. I am always a little embarrassed to say that the work I produced was creative, with the background thought that real creativity comes from artists, writers, composers and sculptors, those that start with a blank canvas and develop something totally original.
But where I do enjoy the word creative in the marketing environment is in conjunction with the word team. I love working in a creative team.
All the best campaigns I have been involved with have involved teamwork. Ideas that are initiated and then developed in a completely unstructured meeting where the atmosphere allows open thinking and where everyone is given an opportunity to throw something into the ring. A simple thought or statement can be picked up and run with for a while, and then may hit a wall or go the whole way to pitch.
My role has often been as a facilitator. I have been at the game long enough to enable people to feel confident enough to speak their minds without the embarrassment that presenting something new can often bring. It is also to translate something into a start point that can develop in several directions so that the initial idea is no longer visible when the final decision of what to do is made, but the team know what started the ball rolling.
I also focus on the audience. What will appeal to them? In various research projects, I have learned that the target audiences are often more open-minded than the client or the agency. A campaign I was involved in had three creative concepts put into research. The idea that came out top by a long way was the one that we thought would be difficult to convey. It got made and worked.
The problem in an SME economy is that a team means more than one, and a lot of businesses have a marketing person. I see it in job specs. Applicants need to have a full understanding of writing, using digital media channels such as Google Analytics and Adwords, be able to design, have ideas, and deliver results. In the world of larger businesses, each of those would be a person with specialist skills to deliver those parts of a campaign. It is also difficult to develop the confidence to present new ideas to people who by nature are conservative. Imagine presenting the Cadbury's Gorilla to your boss!
So in an SME the team has to bring in people who do not have a marketing background. That is where structure comes in. Using techniques such as disruption and agile give non-marketeers a better opportunity to participate in idea generation and can open up the discussion to allow the marketers to present ideas that are not fully formed, but the team develop, rather than presenting a final concept.
So if you want to fast track to having a team for a project or at the initial stage, then give me a call, and I will join your team for the required amount of time. It will be worth it.