Pablo Picasso once said "Inspiration exists but it has to find you working." Well, he was right, especially when it comes to marketing strategy. All good campaigns start with a spark of creativity and a lot of hard work. Since there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything, some shortcuts can help get those creative juices flowing even if you're having a hard time conjuring up some ideas. Here are five places you can look for creativity when you and your company need an extra boost.
1. In other departments of the company
People in the graphics department might be banging their heads against a wall trying to make a picture fit with words. They should skip all of the guessing and head straight to the sources of their confusion. Chat with writers, social media experts and others involved. Checking in with another department is a great way to spark creativity, according to Inc. magazine. If you've been working on the same team for a while, you might be working with your blinders on, which means input from someone you rarely talk to can help you see things in a new light. Make some friends in other departments and accept feedback and suggestions when you can.
2. Look at what the competitor is doing
It might sound strange to check out what the shop down the street is doing if you're stuck for ideas but it works. Buy some of its products, see what it's up to on social media and read its blog. There's nothing wrong with improving your work and strategies based on your competition's achievements. This is a chance for improvement, according to The Huffington Post.
3. Get help from the higher ups
Don't be afraid to ask for suggestions from people who are in higher positions in your company. These people all got to where they are because they once started out where you are now. Utilize them as resources and bounce ideas off one another. If you ask someone who oversees your work, this method can shave time off of your approach because you won't waste it modifying ideas. A direct line of communication lets you know exactly what you have to do and how to get it done.
4. Have your iconic examples
Go beyond asking people in your company for help and reach out to others within the network. You don't have to disclose everything to them but you can get some inspiration just by hearing about other people's projects and campaigns. Even keeping tabs on your role models can keep your mind refreshed and full of good ideas.
5. Printed reinforcements
Finally, creativity could be a matter of visualization. Smashing Magazine suggested printing out a bunch of material and posting it around the office to boost creativity and see things in a new way. By having printed visuals, you'll be able to recognize patterns more easily and your brain can make connections that you might not have noticed otherwise. You can either print out your old marketing strategy, a competitor's idea or a various projects from your role models. Seeing these up close can help you absorb the information better and it can ultimately influence you to come up with new ideas.
These sources can save you and your creative team time and unnecessary work. Encourage others to utilize all of the resources around them to generate new ideas and spark creativity. All great campaigns have to start somewhere, it might as well be from the best minds.