The more I have thought/pondered/obsessed/wondered about marketing, the more I have come to realize just how important creativity is in the marketing process. Think about it: great marketing is contingent upon coming up with breakthrough (a.k.a brand-spanking-new and creative) ways to meet people's needs. That is incredibly tough work considering that most people's important needs are already met, most of the time anyway, and that marketing has been honed to such a science that odds are if you can think if it, it's already been tried.
Which leads me to a post on my favorite blog of all-time: Creating Passionate Users. I had been wanting to write up a post about creativity, and Kathy (author) already did it (and much better than what I could have done)! Kathy wrote an insiteful post, Creativity on speed. The gist of her point is that "When you're trying to make creative breakthroughs, slowing down gives the rational part of your brain all the time it needs to stop an idea before you're barely aware of it. When it comes to building/creating/playing something you didn't even know you were capable of, speed is your friend." This was surprising to me, but a relief as well since I have no problem finding shortages of time to test this out. She also references an interesting article written by a movie sound guy entitled, On Being Creative, which ends with the following 3 tips for being creative:
- "Learn your craft thoroughly."
- "Begin each project with few assumptions about the methods you will use. Let the needs of the project, most of which you won't know until after you've gotten your feet wet, determine your approach. [I can vouch for this one!]"
- "Experiment as early and as often and as inexpensively as possible. Make lots of mistakes when mistakes are cheap." [I'd love to see this encouraged by more organizations!]
I'd really like to hear what strategies you use to get your creativity in gear. Any tips or resources you'd recommend? I know you're out there doing creative things, so come on and share what works!
[Update: I found a web site (CreatingMinds.org) that has collected some creativity-enhancing tools and described how and when to use them. Maybe you'll find it useful too.]
[Another update: I just noticed that the current issue of Marketing Treasures has an article devoted to brainstorming techniques.]