Do you want your product, service or solution to stand out from the crowd? Do you want your marketing messages to be memorable? Do you want your marketing to lead to brand loyalty, sales and market share growth? Here are some tried and tested techniques to ensure that your marketing effort gets the results you want it to.
- Diversity Matters: When choosing your marketing team it is important to ensure that you are selecting a diverse group. Typically people think of diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity or cultural background. However, the most important type of diversity that ensures creative thinking is in terms of knowledge base. Even if you can’t actively seek out and hire a diverse group of individuals, consider options such as an advisory committee or a consultant. Let’s assume that you are working on a marketing project for a particular brand. In this case if you work only with people from a certain background, there will be homogeneity of ideas which prevents truly out of the box thinking. In this case, getting ideas from someone in Human Resource (HR) or even IT could work well for you. This is because people from other functional groups will be more likely to bring in fresh ideas to your domain. Another interesting aspect of diversity is in terms of character traits, for example combining a team of extroverts and introverts. Typically in most organizations extroverts have been the stars of the Marketing departments. However, introverts may have great value as they tend to think deep before they come up with ideas. The challenge is to offer the introvert her own space, time and method of communication. For example, you could offer e-mails as the alternative to face-to-face communication. The introvert can think in her own time and space and then send ideas to you electronically. Research in optimizing meetings suggests that when people are first asked to think about an idea for a few minutes and then discuss it in the group, creativity is higher than when they are asked to come up with group solutions in the first attempt. This is because in a group setting the extrovert and someone who talks louder gets heard more. People tend to follow the one who is the most vocal and great ideas from deep thinkers get ignored. Hence, the key to creative thinking is to allow a diverse group to function in a manner where each person compliments the other and gets heard.
- Listening to Customers: What if you were to take diversity of ideas to the next level and include all your customers in the search for ideas. How is this practically possible? One way is to listen to call recordings of your clients with their permission. In this way, you can get deep insights and some very creative ideas on how to market your products. By learning what makes your audience happy (and what does not) you can perfect your marketing messages. You can also solicit ideas through online competitions, one-on-one interviews, market surveys and questionnaires. The trick here is to reward your customers appropriately for idea generation. Monetary rewards can be offered but what may work even more is social recognition for the idea generated.
- Speaking the Client’s Language: Creative Marketing entails being able to mirror the customer’s language with all its subtle nuances. This language may be very different from your own language. With call tracking you can use a keyword level report to zone in on the keywords preferred by your audience. In this way your marketing content is right on track every time.
- Concrete Images: A picture speaks a thousand words and a creative picture speaks a million. A grandmother on a motorbike, a mobile phone in a blender, a lion sitting on a suitcase in a conveyor belt or a laptop in an envelope are all examples of concrete images that last. Breaking the thought pattern of the consumer with something novel and unexpected is the essence of creative marketing.
- Time-Out: Giving dedicated time to creative thinking work during office hours can also help foster innovation. A special space within your office premises with interesting books can be used for this purpose. Many organizations have implemented dedicated time for mindfulness practice and have witnessed an increase in creative thinking as a result.
The good news is that with the above techniques in mind, even the most boring of products can be endowed with a creative brand personality.