What to Do When You need Creativity – NOW?

IMG_1285Marketing is a broad field. It’s about research, analysis, statistics, insights, strategies, planing, concepts, budgeting and tactics, tools and measuring the ROI. Still, every single person in a company wants to share their ideas with you about how to market something. This is probably, because marketing is also very much misunderstood. It is often confused with promotions and communications.

I once found myself in a discussion with a colleague about creative writing, syntax and wisdom from his high school teacher. The latter marked the authorization of his opinion. Another time, I had the CFO taking money out of my marketing budget for fishing events he wanted to do. Tricky, isn’t it? Though I think the CFO should be a CMOs best friend, I prefer when everyone sticks to their own centers of competences. It is one challenge of a kind, I admit. (For all German speakers, there is also an interesting article with Wolfgang Frick in the NZZ touching on this phenomenon. He is Head of Marketing at the retail chain Spar in Switzerland.) However, there is one topic, where I’d like to urge you to gather your colleagues in a meeting room: It’s on creativity!

In my opinion, everyone is creative. Maybe not to the same extent, but I think, creativity can be triggered. Here is my top five on how I switch from analytic or strategic thinking to creativity. The colleagues are on top of my list, and hopefully they are happy to have contributed to a marketing tactic after all:

  • Brainstorm with your colleagues. I’m always baffled to see, how creative non-marketers are in such meetings. And they usually really enjoy it.
  • Word clouds. I write words around my first topic and derive meanings from it or other words that pop into my mind randomly. There are no limits. Then circle the one you like best and try to link them.
  • Travel back in time and think of activities you have done in the past. Transfer them onto your current project and onto a different channel. The more different the industry or product was, the better the results.
  • Get inspired by others: scan magazines, blogs and online ads.
  • Go cross country running.

Any more tips anyone?


3 thoughts on “What to Do When You need Creativity – NOW?

    1. MarketinGorilla Post author

      Thank you, Astrid. I didn’t know Walt Disney brainstormed with colleagues?! Or was it with Mickey and Donald? No, seriously, would you have any more information on that?

      1. Astrid

        Walt Disney had a great way of brainstorming that he applied alone or with a team. He would bounce off ideas and then challenge them by applying and swapping roles. In one situation a person would have played the role of the innovator, another one got the role as a critic and the third one was the realist. Of course it is possible to do this on your own as well.


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