This Week’s B2B Word on the Street is: CREATIVE
The first time a person is called “creative” usually happens early in life, and it’s sometimes used as an explanation for the child being a bit “different.” “Coloring outside the lines” and “marching to the beat of a different drum” are not actions attributed to conformists.
And while the most creative people I know are definitely not followers, they’re not always totally original, either. Creative and original would seem to be synonymous, but it also takes a lot of creativity to apply an established idea or concept in a brand new way.
Creative people are, first and foremost, very observant. They also question almost everything out of a natural and endless curiosity.
Some creative types work best alone, but in advertising and marketing, most creatives thrive on collaboration. We work in a time-sensitive, strategy-driven process that doesn’t often allow for a total reinvention of the wheel on every assignment. And professionals can’t wait for angelic muses, freeze in front of a blank canvas or suffer from writer’s block. Open-minded collaboration with optimistic energy and a clear understanding of the challenge/opportunity at hand is like high-octane fuel for us. But the SECRET WEAPON of a good creative team is their shared bank of a lifetime of careful observations of pop culture, history, human habits, and humor, as well as a healthy amount of both respect and knowledge of what other great creatives have achieved in the past, and what their contemporaries are creating now. This often results in what are not just original ideas, but reshaped and improved ideas applied in a totally new way.
Ideas already exist all around us, so we don’t always have to make more. Sometimes the biggest challenge to bringing a great idea to life is all the other ideas stealing its oxygen. Clients who have built companies successful enough to hire agencies obviously have ideas that are already working for them. Listening and asking good questions of clients and their customers often reveal untapped ideas that, viewed with a fresh perspective and professional polish, can be the start something big.
At our B2B marketing firm, MLT Creative, the motto is “We make ideas work.” Sure, we love seeing a completely original idea of ours drive a campaign to success, but we also know we don’t have a monopoly on eureka moments. One of our best capabilities is recognizing good ideas when we see or hear them, and few ad agencies know how to creatively shape, improve and implement them as well as we do. We don’t make all the ideas, but we sure help make them work.