In a perfect business world, every organization would have a built-in creative department, free lunches and designated nap times. Instead, we live in a unicorn-free, corporate reality — forcing us to work longer hours than desired at times, and to compensate for absent departments that don’t always fit into the budget. Good thing there’s always ways to improvise and think on the company’s creative toes.
Coming together as a successful, results-driven team means individual employees must wear multiple hats when collaborating. Some days a project manager becomes the copywriter on the fly, or a computer programmer a social media marketing whiz in a pinch (OK, the latter probably doesn’t really happen, but it’s a big world out there and possibilities are endless).
Consider the below when invigorating your company sans a designated creative sector.
Content and Inbound Marketing
With a little bit (or maybe a lot) of brainstorming, your eclectic group of employees surely has the capabilities to construct viable content marketing — reading material that’s useful to your prospective clients while wryly, and ingeniously injecting your brand, service or products. Inbound marketing is a play on content marketing, which facilitates bringing a target audience to your business through research, polls and other fielded interactions. If done right, those readers eventually become promoters for your brand through impassioned blogs and social posts they share.
No matter how technologically advanced we become, your brand can always be uplifted with promotional material and giveaways — especially when they’re personable and emotionally evoking. Don’t be afraid to pander to your target customer demographic when it comes to swag, either. If research has found they want koozies, give them koozies. Of course, some time-tested items are things like flash drives and promotional power bank options that can be uniquely designed to whatever concept you have in mind.
When faced with producing a creative team sporadically from your everyday teams, it’s important to focus on such needs during specialized meetings. “Implement a creative / innovation session every month and ask employees to share ideas. Every idea is a good one. New ideas plus thinking different can mean that innovation may be close by,” says Scott McFarland of Your Brand Exposed. Game changing ideation could be lying right under the surface of your versatile group of employees; it just needs to be fostered like any sales meeting or administrative obligation.
Whether it’s a day getaway or office creativity contest, implement some sort of incentive for new ideas. Getting out of the company comfort zone on a day trip can not only inspire team members while participating in the getaway, but it gives them something to look forward to.
While we are all complex and special in our own rights, we are all inherently driven by rewards. Play to that commonality by hosting an office-wide contest for creative ideas.
“Software company Adobe introduced a program called ‘KickBox,’ which gives employees who participate a red box containing $1,000 on a pre-paid credit card with a step-by-step process to originate an innovative new concept. They then use that money to validate their concepts. No proposal. No committees. No approval,” as pointed out by Eventbrite.
There you have it. It doesn’t always require some swanky, expensive creative department to breathe new life into your brand. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of well-deserved employee coddling, focused brainstorming and stellar content to get the marketing cylinders in high gear.