How to be creative in a traditional industry

Being creative comes part and parcel with marketing.

In such a fast evolving environment, it’s important to make sure that you are bringing new ideas and concepts to the table. If you don’t, you run the risk of being seen as irrelevant and could be left behind by other businesses.

If you are a marketer based in a traditional industry then being creative can quickly become a big challenge. All sorts of issues can arise, from compliance problems where messaging and marketing has to abide by strict guidelines and rules, to traditional mindsets where business leaders aren’t willing to leave their comfort zones.

But as marketers, it’s your job to challenge these traditional ways. And while it’s fine to do things in a traditional way for some marketing, a lot of the time your challenge will be to try and think outside the box a little more and selling this approach to your firm.

But how can you make this happen?

how to be creative

Brainstorm ideas

There is a saying that two heads are better than one, and when it comes to generating new creative ideas, brainstorming is a great way to do it.

Get your whole marketing team involved or, if you are a solo marketer, some of the more creative types from the office.

Find a room away from the hustle and bustle of the office and make sure you have something to write down and plan on, be that a whiteboard or simple notepad.

Brainstorming is all about people focusing on creative ideas in a creative space, so the more people in the space, the more ideas generated.

Encourage people to come up with the craziest ideas they can think of and whittle them down to ideas that are achievable for the marketing department and your partners. The critique around whether the idea is a good one or not (and whether it is likely to be approved by the board!) can come later.

Make your ideas visual

It can be really easy to get bogged down and stuck behind words and text while marketing a traditional business. And trying to be creative while sat in front of a blank word document will rarely yield any results.

So, by making your ideas visual you are much more likely to be able to develop them into actual campaigns.

This is where your notepad comes into play. Use it to create visual maps of your creative ideas and start to build a picture of how it will work in practice.

You can then explain your ideas in a clear visual way to your board who are then more likely to see the bigger picture and the direction you want to take.

Work from a completely different place

How many times have you gone into a coffee shop and seen that half of the people have a laptop or tablet in front of them? Yes, it is kind of a running joke for anyone with a macbook now, but getting out of an office environment can be a great thing for your creativity.

In a traditional workplace it can be difficult to get out of the ‘office mindset’ which can make it especially difficult to be creative. You get stuck in routines and mindsets and often your work will mirror this.

By working from somewhere a bit out of the ordinary you can keep your mind stimulated and expose yourself to new points of view.

It can be a breath of fresh air to just take an hour or two to brainstorm and collect your thoughts.

Listen to music in the office

Now you may or may not be a music person… not everyone is. But if you need a quick blast of focus and creativity then music can provide that.

Obviously turning up the background music in the office probably isn’t the best idea, but by listening to your own playlist with headphones on you can really increase creativity.

Music puts you in a better mood, it can take you away from your surroundings and it can help channel your creativity.

It’s also a great option if you work in a traditional office as it won’t affect how other people work.

Be brave with your out of the box creative ideas

One of the biggest downfalls for traditional marketers is being too scared to run with slightly ‘out there’ ideas.

It can be daunting going to the board with creative ideas that sit outside the traditional marketing spectrum. But these ideas are often the ones that can set your business apart from the others.

The best way to win around the board is to do your research and prove that the idea can bring in a good ROI.

If you present your creative ideas in a business sense and tell the board the sort of figures you expect upfront, they are much more likely to be receptive to them.

Don’t get stuck in the old ways

It can be an infuriating process trying to be creative in the traditional industry, but it doesn’t mean that you should just give up trying to come up with new ideas.

Trying to attract a new audience to any business is increasingly difficult. So get your creative head on and prove that creativity is a viable option for marketing a traditional business!

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