Being creative is not a “luxury that you can’t afford.” It’s not just something for the dreamers, the wanderers, the artists. As a matter of fact, creative marketing is a differentiator, especially with all of the messaging that’s out there. It is essential to the lifeline of your business, and anyone who thinks creativity is a waste of time is certain to fail at business.
The Internal Tension
Creative marketing strategies and strategic implementation may create a lot of internal tension during the early stages of development. So many different opinions collide when concepts are presented. These opinions often reflect the internal views of the firm. Any of these sound familiar?
- We’ve never done it that way!
- That won’t work.
- The boss will hate it.
- Don’t rock the boat.
These opinions are what we call “Creativity Squashers,” and they often hold back the true potential of a great marketing campaign. Unfortunately, none of them address the real problem, and that’s how to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
There are also some preconceived notions about what creative marketing is and how it needs to be handled. Here are some good ones that we hear all the time:
- We don’t have the budget for it.
- Let’s sleep on it.
- It’s not in the plan.
- There isn’t enough time.
These fail to recognize the need for eye-catching designs and unique concepts that gain more traction with the target market. Plus, you don’t have to spend more money when being creative. You just need to be more aware of what your competition isn’t doing and how you can capitalize on that.
Recognize “My” Organization
Creative marketing doesn’t change your firm’s identity, and it won’t require more work. It simply needs readjustment to standard ways of thinking—to step outside the box. To help your firm adjust to new ways of looking at things, you can respond quickly to this negative feedback by using the following techniques.
- Ask Open-Ended Questions
You need more information on why their opinion is the way it is. Yes or no answers won’t cut it, so learn how to ask open-ended questions to be more engaging and less adversarial.
- Listen Carefully
For this process to work, you need to be in the moment. Don’t let your mind wander and never look at your phone. Details matter, and you’ll need these details to reframe their negative opinions.
- Don’t Get Defensive
It’s their opinion, not yours, so don’t get defensive or attack. Most people will see this as a sign of conflict that they want no part of. The moment you get defensive is the moment you lose your opportunity.
- Reframe Negative Comments
You’ve listened to their opinions and exactly how they feel. Now, it’s time to transform their thinking and reconsider things in a positive light. Positive reframing is a skill that’s learned, and it will become invaluable to overcoming adversity.
- Use Data
It’s time to really drive your point home—to really convince them to change. There’s no better way than pointing to data that supports your argument. Using data is a great way to show changes in the market or consumer attitudes.
- Gather Consensus
Having more than one person’s opinion is more substantial and credible. It also shows organizational support. Take the time to bring others in on your side and use their opinions to show consensus.
Respecting everyone’s opinion is important, especially when you believe it’s misplaced.
Creativity: A Calculated Risk
Most creative ideas are never implemented. They typically end up on the cutting-room floor because our preconceived notions often get in the way. Creativity takes some risk, but it’s often a calculated risk when you rely on data and trends. Plus, you’re not losing or changing your brand identity to gain more attention. You’re simply trying to stand out from the competition in a crowded market.
At Pinstripe, we have some of the most creative people working for our clients. Our creative team consists of listeners and discoverers that have an innate ability to help you achieve your vision. We have helped local and nationally-based businesses with their marketing needs for over two decades. We specialize in discovering your traits—your corporate character—and putting them on display in creative ways. Contact us to tell us more about what a creative campaign would look like for you, and we’ll help you get there.