At The Marketing Practice we have always believed that marketing should be the engine for growth at the heart of a great b2b business – driving revenue in the near term whilst simultaneously building reputation to improve commercial prospects for the future.
During the financial downturn of the past few years there has been massive pressure on marketing teams to focus on short-term results, and on occasions the mantra seems to have shifted from “If you can’t measure it, don’t do it” to “If you can’t guarantee the financial return in the next few months, then don’t even consider it!”
Whilst this may have had something of a cathartic effect on marketing leaders and has certainly injected a significant dose of commercial nous into their thinking, it is easy to see that short-termism has reduced the wider impact of marketing and has left some programmes looking dangerously commoditized.
There are clear signs that inspirational marketing leaders are looking to rebalance driving short-term revenue and building reputation across their programmes. Clearly it would be foolhardy to think that they have the remit to return to the grandiose brand-building agendas of the past, but there is recognition that by injecting more creativity into their programmes, they can build differentiation and truly enhance enterprise value.
Consequently, there seems to be more and more discussion of hunting that intriguing beast, the creative big idea. Unfortunately, this term can be misleading with its potential implication of pomp and largesse, whereas in practice what we often need is a stunningly simple creative solution to a gnarly core problem. The real secret is in finding a way to tackle and sometimes reframe the core problem that you face.
So let’s cut to the chase. If today’s well-balanced marketing programmes are built around brilliant creative solutions to core problems, then the secret often lies in how you frame your problem so that the most creative brains can lead you towards a true Eureka! moment (or at least a campaign that will smash its targets).
There’s no magic formula for creating compelling, memorable ideas. But it is possible to adopt ways of thinking that open up your imagination to new possibilities, illuminate problems from a fresh perspective and allow you to look beyond the conventional for something powerfully different. The teams at TMP know the value of looking at problems from unusual angles. To keep us true to this way of finding new insights, we’ve adopted some simple techniques as shown on the attached summary.
They’ve consistently helped us generate innovative and effective ideas. We’re confident that you’ll find them equally useful whenever you’re looking for inspiration and a creative solution. Either way, let us know how you get on – we’d like to know what you think.
We'll be discussing how creative ideas can deliver tangible results at our next Sales and Marketing Forum, 24th March at the Ham Yard Hotel, London. For more details or to register your place please visit our website.