Creativity is a must-have in marketing. It’s not just about art and messaging, but also about business models, engagement, decision-making, and problem-solving. Creativity is essential for translating business intelligence into strategic approaches and customer experience excellence.
Creativity is a flow of energy, connections, and possibilities. It needs a positive environment to flourish. Yet this flow is too often constipated by a chaotic environment. As much as we want to believe that guidelines and guardrails will result in constipated creativity, actually the opposite is true.
Being organized to be free of redundant meetings and explanations, being transparent to let the right hand know what the left hand is doing, and being accountable for following through on commitments — as much as they seem at first glance to be stifling — are all prerequisites to empowering higher creativity.
Marketing operations is a function within marketing organizations that can orchestrate these creativity ingredients. But at the end of the day, the ingredients must be enacted by every marketer.
The best creative solutions come from the collaboration of many brains. A consequence of the age of the “individual-contributor/director” has led to constipated creativity. When the entire creative burden falls mostly on one corporate marketer, thinking out of the box can be severely impacted. Creative synergy results from many minds thinking as one.
Right-brain and left-brain inputs to a challenge are likely to produce better results together than what’s possible apart. Marketing operations enables the creative process to benefit from the synergy of team. The starting point is developing respect for what the other brings to the party. The next step is to let right-brain marketers riff on the left-brain inputs and vice versa.
Diversity, like necessity, breeds ingenuity. Make it a habit to look beyond your own industry for various approaches. Easier still, make it a habit to look at the other functional areas and business units in your own company for inspiration. There’s a gold mine of information locked away in nooks and crannies across your company. Find ways to tap into what you already have, be open-minded in your perspective, and adapt information and approaches.
Risk-taking, experimenting, and adopting are also muscles that the marketing operations function can help their marketing organization develop. Attitude adjustments are part of unconstipating your organization: get over the not-invented-here syndrome by fostering mutual respect, curiosity, bandwidth to experiment, permission to fail, and intrinsic rewards for collaboration.
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