“Creativity about life, in all aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” – Leo Burnett
Technology and the World Wide Web has us so connected and inundated with communication but how much of it is really impactful? It’s hard not to get stuck in a rut and produce the same marketing campaigns and content that’s been done. And sure, that’s the safe route but as the creative professionals we marketers are, we’re constantly striving for something new. However, this endeavor for something new can often land us stuck in a creative marketing rut.
It’s time to cultivate our creativity. While you can’t force creativity, you can create the right conditions that inspire it. We’ve put together some tips to get those juices flowing, turn up the volume on the left side of your brain and land your next creative marketing revelation.
5 Tips to Encourage Creative Marketing Inspiration
- Create an inspiration board (imagery, color, text, etc.) – We’re not just talking about creating a Pinterest board here, although that could be a good start since Pinterest isn’t just for recipes, organization ideas and wedding inspiration anymore. What we are talking about is an actual, physical inspiration board. You know, the bulletin board kind with inspiring imagery, colors, fonts, quotes, etc. No matter what kind of marketing you’re doing, whether it’s graphics, event planning, content creation, looking at something that inspires you will help get the the juices on the left side of your brain flowing.
- Change your physical environment (coffee shop, park.) – Creativity doesn’t always come to you. It especially doesn’t come when you’re sitting at a cluttered desk with papers piled high, calendars full of deadlines and a mug half full of cold coffee. Unfortunately, unless you have a Pinterest worthy organized desk (see Pinterest inspiration above), this scene is far too familiar to your eyes which means it’s too routine for your left brain. So leave the papers, grab your laptop and go somewhere else. Try what works for you: a coffee shop, a patio somewhere or even just a cleaner meeting room. Go wherever you can to get in the zone.
- Join the conversation (Twitter chats, Facebook and LinkedIn groups, follow influencers in your industry) – Writers are typically stereotyped as introverts. Other marketers are often stereotyped as extroverts. Good news, marketingcareeredu.org says both personality types can be great at marketing. But no matter which type of personality you as a marketer you have, you must enter other conversations. Obviously networking in person if you’re at an event of some sort is great. However, thanks to the world of technology and social media, there are plenty of ways to join conversation. Use hashtags and join Twitter chats. Reply to comments and postings on Facebook. Join a Linkedin group and post to their threads. Follow influencers in your industry and comment or share what they are saying. The key to being heard is being a part of the conversation in the first place.
- Read a book or other blogs on subjects that you don’t read normally – If you usually read biographies, try a romance novel. If you usually read science fiction, try business. If you usually read new sites, try a lifestyle blog or our marketing tips blog (shameless plug to one of our favorite posts about avoiding content burnout). Truth is, these new books and blogs won’t give you a brilliant marketing campaign. However, what they will do is take your mind off the familiar subject matter you’re used to every single day. Use these new topics like a palate cleanser. When you’re finished indulging in something new, you can go back to your familiar space and you’ll feel like you’re starting fresh.
- Brainstorm – Brainstorm as a group. Brainstorm by yourself. Brainstorm however you want. But no matter what, brainstorm … and then follow through with some of the ideas that come out of your brainstorming session. There are several ways you can brainstorm new marketing ideas. Try word association, mind mapping, drawing pictures for visual associations, whiteboard sessions or even just good old fashioned post-it notes. When brainstorming, it’s also important to keep in mind that while every idea is not the best idea, write it down. Some ideas are bad and won’t go past the paper but that’s ok. They deserve a chance, even if it’s small.
Time for that “Good Idea” moment of inspiration you’ve been waiting for
You don’t need to go racking your brain for fresh marketing ideas. Inspiration is all around you, it just has to be tapped into. The experience of coming up with the next great marketing campaign or piece of content for your business is inspiring and fulfilling. So next time you’re stuck in a creative marketing rut (because we can ensure you that it happens to the best of us), try one of these tips to pull you back out.