Wednesday, 30 May 2007

My Thoughts on Creativity

Marketing has always been my passion which is why after a decade in the conference industry I decided to embark on providing a service that can really help brands and business connect with the people they need to in a better and more effective way, beyond what I was providing to sponsors and delegates attending my events.

Too many books and articles that I have read have told me that marketing is an increasingly difficult business. Too many media channels, too much clutter and consumers who are becoming wise to the BS that is out there. Many of the friends that I have spoken to have even told me that I was nuts to try to build an agency. I was told horror stories of long work hours and crazy deadlines. So why am I still obsessed with R3TRO?

Well the answer is simple. Every successful campaign that I have seen, read about, been involved in has been ridiculously simple. The most successful ones are for brands that have one single message that is communicated in a manner that exploits what people already believe. I also believe that whether you are young, old, black, white, yellow, male, female or a mixture of all these features, people are fundamentally the same. Marketing then becomes art imitating life rather than life imitating art.

The rest of it is process. Thomas Edison once said "Genuis is 1% Inspiration and 99% Perspiration." To be inspired is to be emotionally affected by external forces. To be creative the ability to create something from nothing. Creativity as such has no place in marketing. You cannot develop a successful marketing campaign by pondering clever ideas in isolation.

And then in a moment of clarity it came to me. How can I offer a down-to-earth crap-free marketing methodology to my clients? It was simple. By simply removing creativity from the equation and replacing it with inspiration. R3TRO is about looking back for the idea that already exists to inspire your next campaign.

Of course this is no revelation to people in the Advertising industry. Advertising is not about creativity at all. Creativity is simply a mask that is worn to disguise the reuse of old ideas that people have generally forgotten about. But business is not stupid and even if they do not see the situation as I see it, when was the last time you were pitched an original idea?

Forget the "original idea" as the core to your campaign because people just can't relate to it unless your business has the kind of marketing budget to brainwash your target audience. Rely on what they know and can relate to and develop something that inspires your customers and facilitates that emotional connection to your product.

At the risk of preaching, if you are responsible for a brand, or a product, to really communicate your message affectively, be inspired by your customers because only then will you be able to inspire new customers.


Nick said...


Dedric said...

That's not a word!

Nick said...