Ordinary people rarely associate the creative process with management, sales, and communication. Therefore, we can say that the human mind defines some areas connected to creativity and some, where it’s not necessary.
However, the predecessors of the today’s businessmen would be very surprised to learn the importance of creativity in modern marketing. The idea, which was previously regarded as the exclusive attribute of the "creative" professions, has become an imperative of life. Almost all existing corporate missions are, at least, indirectly associated with creativity. Perhaps, there is not a single CEO, who doesn’t praise the creativity.
But how managers can maintain incentives for employees and overcome the barriers that stand in the way of the effective creative process? And, most importantly, is it worth the time?
1. Creativity is generated by creative people only.
Managers were asked the question: in what sphere of the business do you need an original solution? The answers were about R & D, marketing, and advertising. And when they were questioned about the field where they don’t need creativity, the most common answer was "in the accounting department."
Of course, the "creative accounting" is the irony and has not too positive connotations. However, any employee with normal intelligence is capable of creative work.
But the most important is motivation. Most of the staff are very far from full realization of their creative abilities. The reason is largely in the environment that is not conducive to creativity; for example, when an employee is convinced that creativity is relevant in the R & D, but not in his department.
2. Money motivates creativity.
Experimental studies have shown that money does not determine the degree of creativity of employees since they just don’t think about the salary every day. And those few who spend much of their time thinking about the amount of compensation, generally do not produce creative ideas.
Bonuses may even inhibit creativity if people believe that their every move will affect the compensation. Then the staff is trying to avoid the risk at all costs, and that is not conducive to innovative thinking.
Everyone should feel that they are paid fairly. However, much depends not on the compensation, but the environment. People tend to seek actively to influence their area of work and to achieve real progress. Thus, managers have to organize the work so that the skills of the staff were enough to solve correspondent tasks. If the task is far superior to the level of competence of employees, they may get confused.
3. Lack of time promotes creativity.
Many people say that the greatest creativity is achieved under time pressure. However, studies show the opposite: people are less creative when they are forced to look constantly at the clock. Lack of time decreases creativity since people can’t deeply think of the essence of the problem. Thus, the main problem is not the deadline, but distracting circumstances. Employees have to understand the reasons for the urgency, except that somewhere someone wants to get the result today
4. Fear contributes to a breakthrough.
There is a belief that the fear and depression are associated with creativity in some way. There are even psychological theories which show that the percentage of cases of depression is higher in particularly gifted writers and artists. Studies show that people feel great joy when they find a creative idea, but they are much more likely to reach a peak of creativity if they’re happy before. Thus, we can say that the day of happiness foretells the day of creativity.
5. The competition is better than the cooperation.
The most creative collectives are those which are made of the employees freely exchanging ideas and discussing possible solutions. The competition is destructive because participants stop sharing information.
6. Downsizing is a good way to boost creativity.
Downsizing harms creativity, and this damage is more forward than most people think. Fear of the unknown makes people almost completely distracted from work. As a result, leaders have to stabilize the situation in the workplace, once again making it favorable for the formation of new ideas.
Does the Excessive or Improperly Directed Creativity Kill Sales?
Creativity is a powerful weapon, but, roughly speaking, sometimes you can shoot yourself.
It is well known that modern people buy not products but the experience and impressions. They are not looking for the goods: they have enough food, clothing and other products. The today’s brands attract by uniqueness, brightness, and special features. Every bright brand is attractive; it certainly cannot please everybody, but it does have its face and character.
However, the main condition is still the connection between the creativity and the idea of the brand. Expressing of the brand’s mission and personality is the win-win way to focus and hold the audience's attention.
When Creativity Becomes a Trap
Sometimes, willing to stand out from the crowd, advertisers go too far, leaving the marketing needs by the wayside. Some ideas have the ability to paralyze the minds of their developers. Creative euphoria may form the illusion that the idea will do wonders. So don’t let the creative flash of light overshadow the common sense.
Advertising is a tool designed to perform specific marketing objectives. Therefore, you have to be not creative but effective. Alas, often the creators forget why they're doing this or that design and realize their personal ambitions. After three or four months, such a work kills sales and harms the reputation of the brand.
Please critically evaluate the ideas you have before bringing them to life. If there is a feeling that the advertising will not benefit to the brand, it’s better to postpone the idea.
If we take the performance statistics for different promotional materials, we’ll see the surprising paradox: beautiful and creative advertising is not able to sell products, regardless of its nature. At the same time, conventional materials are much more effective. Therefore, we can derive the basic formula that always works:
A clear and understandable offer.
A message that shows how the offer solves the problem of a potential customer.
Call to action along with step by step instructions on how to use the offer.
Brian Jens works at Logo Design DesignContest.com. Besides the design, he’s involved in marketing research and blogging. Feel free to contact Brian if you feel your ideas worth the investigation. Brian is a very responsive person who likes to communicate with new people.