Surprise Me! 7 Tips for Inventing New Ways to Reach Customers
Marketing success depends, at least partially, on creativity. Creativity helps you stand out in a world bombarded with advertising, it helps differentiate you from your competitors, and it makes you more memorable in your customers' minds. The solution is easy: come up with more creative ideas! That, of course is the hard part. It isn’t easy.
At Valcort, we believe that creative blocks are barriers we must all overcome to achieve success in marketing. (#33 of Valcort’s 35 Keys for Business Growth: Regularly invent new ways to reach prospective customers at the time when they are making important purchase decisions.)
Here are 7 tips for coming up with new ideas to reach out to prospective customers.
- Be an observer of advertising and marketing campaigns. That doesn't mean you should copy these campaigns, but you can draw inspiration from them. (See our column here: The Top 15 Iconic Marketing Campaigns in History).
- Watch your competitors. Your competitors probably won't come up with the same award-winning, attention-grabbing campaigns that major brands creatin. But they'll have similar goals, products, and audiences as you, so you'll have a more direct line of sight on their campaign's effectiveness.
- Get to know people in your target demographics.If you want to be a creative, effective marketer, you need to know your demographics inside and out. In addition to careful research, see if you can meet and speak with your customers on a personal You'll earn a better understanding of their perspectives, and they might even give you your next creative breakthrough.
- Make ideation a team sport. Don't put the burden of idea generation entirely on yourself. You may have an entire team of marketing peers in your organization, and even if you don't, you probably have coworkers or mentors who can help you out. You don't need to call a formal brainstorming session, but don't be afraid to ask around to see if other people have ideas they'd like to lend to your future marketing campaigns. (We’ve seen that some people get their best ideas alone. But the group is a great testing ground).
- Be idea-friendly zone. Create an environment that welcomes ideas and free thinking. Be a group that doesn’t dismiss anyone’s new ways of seeing things. Give freedom to be creative and even outrageous on the way to inventing new strategies, methodology, and communication. And don’t limit yourself. If you think of a new idea, float it. Nurture it and keep it alive. Whether or not you are officially a “creative” in your workplace, fan your creativity.
- Ask questions. Especially, ask why you’re doing things the way you are, saying and writing the things the way you are. And hoist the red flag if the answer is “that’s that way we’ve always done it.” Don’t question authority, question conformity!
- Don’t lose good ideas. Write down every new line of thinking and save it where you can find it. If it’s on a white board or easel, take a picture. Share your ideas with others, to help sharpen them and to gain acceptable and adoption.
Nourishing creativity alone won’t create successful marketing campaigns. But it's a start. Then, complete the hard work of aligning your teams, allocating resources, targeting your publics, and bringing your new ideas to market at the right time!