David McGuire has proposed three methods for encouraging more creative output from your team, ahead of his upcoming presentation at Ignite London with Brian Macreadie.
Despite the fact that B2B marketing is often viewed as the less imaginative aspect of marketing, it is intriguing to consider that it involves long sales cycles, consequential purchases, and limited opportunities to differentiate oneself. There is typically a wealth of information about the buyer, and the value of a customer over their lifetime can be substantial. This makes it an excellent candidate for creating campaigns that stand out, challenge perceptions, and connect with audiences on a profound level. According to the B2B Institute at LinkedIn, emotions have a greater influence on B2B decisions than they do on B2C decisions. Consequently, it is not surprising that B2B marketers are starting to acknowledge the importance of taking creative risks and incorporating creativity into their marketing KPIs. However, there remains a disparity between wanting creative marketing and delivering it. In our session at this year’s B2B Ignite London, Brian Macreadie and I will delve into ways to bridge that gap.
The desire for creativity and the actual delivery of it are two separate things.
As a creative director of a writing agency, I have observed how an initially imaginative brief can easily turn into something much less stimulating over time.
There are often many parties involved in the process. Perhaps the sales team kept adding more information about the product or expanding the target audience, which eventually resulted in a convoluted message. Or someone insisted on using “more businesslike” language, which essentially meant using ambiguous and unclear terminology.
The culprits of this situation are usually the stakeholders.
This is understandable since in many B2B markets, there are standard factors that buyers take into account, and conforming to these standards is crucial for a B2B brand’s success. Innovating and deviating from the conventional approach carries risks, making it difficult to gain approval for fresh and novel ideas.
As a result, the recycling bins of B2B marketing teams and agencies are overflowing with discarded creative work.
“Three Steps to Unlocking Creativity in Marketing”
As a creative director for a writing agency, I have witnessed both the triumphs and pitfalls of clients attempting to leverage creativity to enhance their marketing efforts. Through my experience, I have identified three distinct steps that can increase the likelihood of success:
- Conduct small and careful tests Innovation does not always require a grand gesture, nor does it have to encompass all aspects of your marketing efforts. Instead, consider implementing creative solutions to specific problems or areas within your market. Even if your idea proves unsuccessful, you will have gained valuable insights that can help inform future decision-making. This approach also makes it easier to receive approval for your creative ideas, as the stakes are relatively low, and the reasoning behind the tests is simple to understand.
- Establish clear goals and limitations Creativity thrives within a defined framework. By establishing parameters, you are forced to consider what is not possible, which can be an excellent starting point for generating ideas. Clear boundaries do not hinder creativity; rather, they inspire it. By providing a framework, you open up possibilities for everything in between. As David Ogilvy once said, “Give me the freedom of a tight brief.”
- Follow through and make creativity a habit When creative ideas are watered down or rejected outright, it can discourage creative individuals and hinder productivity. However, if you consistently follow through with creative ideas and bring valuable concepts to market, creatives will take notice. This can help establish trust and lead to increased enthusiasm and willingness to go the extra mile.
In conclusion, by following these three steps, you can increase your likelihood of successfully implementing creativity in your marketing strategy, stand out from the competition and connect with your target audience on a deeper level.
Make the odds work for you.
It’s okay if you find it challenging to be creative in B2B marketing; there are various obstacles such as complex subject matters, interference from sales and technical colleagues, and the fear of taking risks. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that your competitors face similar challenges. Even a slight deviation from the norm can help you stand out, attract attention, and increase your market share.
At Ignite, Brian and I will discuss the difficulties that our audience experiences, and we’ll provide insights from both the agency and client perspectives that can help you unleash your creative side. For now, begin with small issues, be specific in defining them, and demonstrate to your creative team that you can be trusted with their ideas. You may be surprised at how far this approach can take you.