The reading level for this article is All Levels
1. It’s not your grandfather’s communications model. Communications has drastically changed since, say, the 1970s when advertising was in its heyday (actually most of the 1900s, but the 1970s is a good representative year).
Target markets are fragmented, customers have more demands on their time and they’ve learned to shut out the majority of advertising messages out there. The old ways of marketing based on advertising don’t work the way they used to. To succeed in the new communications model, you need every advantage you can find. And that includes harnessing your creativity.
2. Break through the information/products overload. The Internet has been the biggest boom to small businesses everywhere. It’s simple and affordable to sell your products and/or services to anyone in the world. However, the ease of setting up an Internet business means lots of people are doing it. Lots of people doing it means lots of products and services are available.
The easiest way to set yourself apart from the other 16 million Web sites out there is to enlist the help of your creativity.
3. If it looks like your competitors’ marketing plan… While it’s always good to know where your competitors are putting their marketing dollars, it may not be smart to be there too. (What I’m referring to are the different marketing vehicles, such as print publications, radio stations, billboards, event sponsorships, community groups, etc.) This is especially a problem if you’re always following your competitors’ lead and are never “the first” to take advantage of a new opportunity.
Think of it this way: If your message is only appearing in the same places as your competitors, how are you going to keep from blending into the crowd?
I’m not saying to ignore the places where your competitors are hanging out. I’m just saying you had better get creative with your marketing vehicles. Maybe you need a token presence on some media outlets while you branch out and look for other “off the beaten track” opportunities you can own.
4. If it smells like your competitor’s marketing message… Producing similar marketing materials to your competitors’ is a surefire way to get your customers to ignore you. Take cars for instance. Can you tell me the difference between a Ford and Chevrolet commercial (other than the tagline)? Do you even know if the commercial you’re remembering IS a Ford or Chevy commercial?
See what I mean?
And when your customers can’t remember what’s different between you and your competitor, how will you convince them to buy from you rather than your competitor?
Getting creative with your marketing will help your message stand out from the crowd.
5. Harness the power of your creativity for your marketing. Not only is there power in using your creativity, but there’s power in new ideas. Skeptical? Think of the surge of energy you feel during that “A-ha” moment. Think of all the excitement surrounding a new idea. You can even take it further and look at the energy surrounding the creation of a new life (which, when you get right down to it, is the ultimate act of creation). When you focus that power on your marketing, there’s no telling how far it will take you.
6. Enjoy your marketing. Let’s face it. Marketing isn’t always fun. In fact, sometimes it’s drudgery. But when you add your creativity to the mix, your marketing takes on something completely different.
Being creative is fun. So, the more you can blend your creativity with your marketing, the more fun you’ll have with your marketing. And the more fun you have, the more you’ll do it (and the more results you’ll see).
7. Use it or lose it, baby. The more you use your creativity, the more creative you become and the more your creativity will spill over in other parts of your life. What better way to consistently make use of your creativity than by making it a part of your marketing plan?
The bottom line? No matter where you are on the creativity scale, your attempts at creativity won’t hurt your marketing (no matter how “bad” you think you are at it). But if you don’t at least try to be creative, you’re definitely never going to stand out from the crowd. And, chances are, being creative will only enhance your marketing â€" probably in new and unexpected ways.
That’s the beauty of creativity â€" you never know when or how it will step through the door, bringing with it the all the energy and excitement of new adventures.