CO - Markinnovation

How to Fuel, Shape and Scale Creativity

How to Fuel, Shape and Scale Creativity

It is well established by now that creativity is one of the main differentiators between sustained high-performance companies and the rest. For marketing, creativity is easily the most important attribute, and all good marketing leaders are obsessed about driving creativity through their organization.

So….how do we fuel, shape and scale creativity? Here are ten tips that may help.

1. Have an inspirational, but rooted, Purpose. A strong purpose energizes the team and unleashes their creativity. It is important that the purpose be real and authentic, and the organization walk the talk. Brands - and people - with a Purpose thrive.

2. Build a fierce sense of pride around the brand. Build the brand’s purpose internally at every occasion. Start with the WHY in every piece of communication. Develop a cohort mentality (“we're in this together”) in the team.

3. Hire Sparks. Don’t just go by the degree or the college or the companies on the CV. Hire people who are passionate about doing things, and have diverse and eclectic interests. See how they express creativity in their past projects, as well as their personal passions. You can’t just “switch on” creativity when you get to office.

4. Drive outside-in thinking. While processes are important for any function to run smoothly, be careful of too much focus on how things need to be internally. Including activities like trend-spotting and wargaming into the normal cadence at work helps keep the focus on the customer and competitor. Instituting “Licence to Operate” based on hours spent in the market, or role-playing as a salesperson, or just meeting customers, helps ensure the marketing team remains grounded and connected with the real world.

5. Celebrate and reward creativity publicly. While this is an obvious sort of point, it’s surprising how many attempts get bogged down because we add layers of effectiveness, and teamwork, and try to make the acknowledgement reasonable and fair. If it’s great work and it’s creative - just acknowledge and reward it. Create space to celebrate creativity, e.g., do a review of the annual Cannes Festival, invite your agency partners to share their views about why a campaign won.

6. Encourage experimentation. Start a quarterly “Whats New with You” session with every team. Encourage teams to share their discoveries (positive or negative) when experimenting. Set aside a reasonable budget to encourage teams to experiment in a small way with whatever seems to interest them for their project.

7. Break down silos. Nothing stifles creativity faster than the doesn’t-belong-here syndrome. Force collaboration across teams by running task-forces and SWAT teams. Institute rotations in career development plans. Half of creativity is just being able to see things from another point of view.

8. Build the creative muscle. Like other disciplines there are some basic rules for creative work - whether it is in designing UX, or advertising, or writing copy, or developing point-of-sale material. Put in place a few basic training modules and insist everyone complete them. It may seem pedantic, but it pays off. It also helps people speak the same language across the company when they refer to creative work.

9. Champion a hands-on culture. Nothing saps creative energy like people who critique but don’t give any suggestions. Encourage people to roll-up their sleeves and get stuck in, rather than stand by the sidelines and comment. While is it important that every one be clear who is accountable for a job, it is even more important that the people who are reviewing the project actually contribute. If they are not expected to contribute, then don't include them in the reviews.

10. Have fun. Anyone who has led or done any creative work will tell you that joy & creativity go hand in hand. There is a rush in the doing and a strange satisfaction in beholding the finished product. Enjoy the process and encourage your teams to do the same!

  • Neelesh Suryavanshee
    Neelesh Suryavanshee
    Regional Chief Marketing Officer Fonterra, SEA

    Neelesh Suryavanshee currently leads the Marketing team for Consumer & Foodservice for South East Asia for Fonterra Brands. Neelesh comes with over 20 years of experience working in consumer goods across Asia. He started his career with Unilever in India in 2001, and held several leadership roles across insights, analytics, marketing and general management, the most recent one being GM & VP Marketing for Unilever Indonesia from 2018-2021. Neelesh’s special area of interest is leadership in developing markets, digital transformation of marketing, and building sustainable businesses. Outside of work, he is an advisor to several start-ups and enjoys pro-bono work.

You May Also Like

Brand Equity – How can the credit function help?
Brand Equity – How can the credit function help?

Investing in Brand Equity is becoming an effective business strategy not only to retain customers an...

Innovation-Driven Marketing vs.  Marketing-Driven Innovation
Innovation-Driven Marketing vs. Marketing-Driven Innovation

Is your company adding value or are you pretending and trying to make a name for yourself? Why do I...

Why Is Corporate Identity  Important For Any Business?
Why Is Corporate Identity Important For Any Business?

Corporate identity is quite similar to what we talk about our own identity, and the specifics that d...

Out-of-Box, In-the-Box,  New-Box, Other-Box, No-Box
Out-of-Box, In-the-Box, New-Box, Other-Box, No-Box

Thinking For years supporters and detractors of creative thinking in the workplace have talked about...

Pricing Strategy
Pricing Strategy

In general, the pricing strategy is very important for retail companies in order to achieve the sale...

Why Content is the true north of Account-based Marketing? – Final
Why Content is the true north of Account-based Marketing? – Final

We began exploring the four-legs of the content strategy tool, and uncovered just why context is eve...

5 Trends and Challenges for the Agency Industry
5 Trends and Challenges for the Agency Industry

One of the trends to continue will be brands bringing agency work in-house. As Ramchandani writes, &...

Why winning customer trust is key to startup success
Why winning customer trust is key to startup success

Interview of Philipp Kristian, author of 'The Trust Economy’ What are the top three emerg...

How to choose a domain name?
How to choose a domain name?

A domain name is the website name that people can type into their browser like >google.com,&...

How to promote your Business on Google Maps with Google Posts
How to promote your Business on Google Maps with Google Posts

Google has just rolled out yet another useful tool, especially for small business owners: Google Pos...

Tactics to increase conversion rate
Tactics to increase conversion rate

ALPHA Sales System Most sales systems focuses on the presentation, objection handling and closing...

Challenges in Deep Learning technology
Challenges in Deep Learning technology

Although the estimated market growth for Deep Learning is $10.2 billion by the end of 2025, it has s...

Content Marketing Phooey
Content Marketing Phooey

I agree "Content Marketing" is a VITALLY important component of the Promotional Mix and es...

On Becoming Customer Centric
On Becoming Customer Centric

On Becoming Customer Centric     Some say “customer centricity” has become ...

It’s the stakeholder, stupid!
It’s the stakeholder, stupid!

Why it took me four years to build a website... This week marked an important milestone in my profe...

UltraCreativity -
UltraCreativity - "Cannot" does not exist in my vocabulary!

I’ve decided long ago that the word “cannot” does not exist in my vocabulary. For ...

Platforms And Content – The Business Model Of The 21th Century
Platforms And Content – The Business Model Of The 21th Century

Amazon is buying the rights of UEFA Championships, Disney is launching/expanding its own content pla...

Tools & Resources Every Marketer Needs To Navigate COVID-19 Crisis
Tools & Resources Every Marketer Needs To Navigate COVID-19 Crisis

It’s clear that COVID-19 has drastically altered the advertising and marketing landscape as mo...

The Hidden Truth In Creating Best Airbnb Experience
The Hidden Truth In Creating Best Airbnb Experience

Here are Questions That I have Got This Week Around Airbnb Experience From Fellow Friends and Contac...

What is the future of Programmatic Advertising?
What is the future of Programmatic Advertising?

Data in the 21st century is like oil in the 19th century. Data is currently seen as valuable asset w...

From PR to e-PR - Future of media relations
From PR to e-PR - Future of media relations

Imagine if 20 years ago, someone told you that every organization will need accounting software, wha...

When personal brands go to war...
When personal brands go to war...

The start of this past weekend was highly interesting for Twitter users. It wasn’t actually a ...

Surviving and soon thriving again: what you're doing now really matters
Surviving and soon thriving again: what you're doing now really matters

Five weeks ago, before any of us really knew ‘how bad things would get’ I wrote on Linke...

Good Brands Sell Products; Great Brands Tell Stories
Good Brands Sell Products; Great Brands Tell Stories

If you need to survive in this dog-eat-dog business world, then you need to connect with customers i...

Customer Experience lessons we learned and applied in our Art Gallery
Customer Experience lessons we learned and applied in our Art Gallery

WE OPENED OUR ART GALLERY IN 2011 We learned a lot of Customer Experience lessons in the 7 years si...

Why Content is the true north of Account-based Marketing? - Part I
Why Content is the true north of Account-based Marketing? - Part I

At a recent conference, I was asked rather unexpectedly by a senior business executive, “What...

"MIND" Your Image

It’s always said, what you focus, expands! It’s pretty common for many of us to have en...

Why Content is the true north of Account-based Marketing? - Part II
Why Content is the true north of Account-based Marketing? - Part II

"A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention." - Herbert Simon, Economist Just...

Premium Story- Customer Experience
Premium Story- Customer Experience

Every three, four years I have the pleasure and privilege to choose and pick a new car. You can imag...

Artificial intelligence in E-mail marketing
Artificial intelligence in E-mail marketing

Artificial intelligence, in the broadest sense, refers to a human-like ability to perceive, understa...

10 e-commerce user experience must-haves
10 e-commerce user experience must-haves

They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and in the world of e-commerce, f...

Stop Talking About and Start Driving Digital Marketing Transformation
Stop Talking About and Start Driving Digital Marketing Transformation

In marketing, and right across business, we often talk about the need for ‘digital transformat...

Stay Connected With Us