For Archimedes, creativity happened in the bath. The Guinness Pure Genius campaign was famously developed in a room at the Savoy.
Most of us think that great ideas emerge from the ether like some kind of magic.
I take a different view… I think you can encourage creativity by having the right structures and processes in place. It doesn’t guarantee it, of course, but it does make it more likely to happen.
For marketers, the right conditions mean having the right people on the right account, motivated and rewarded in the right way.
Only then can you even begin to maximise the magic of creativity and its power to transform businesses.
Getting the agency roster right is one of the key ingredients for great creative output.
One possible explanation for the fact that so many brands produce communications that are dull or me-too, is that too many have rosters that don’t fit their needs.
That wastes huge amount of marketer time – that could be spent on encouraging creativity – on managing agencies they don’t really need.
There is, naturally, a process to developing the right roster:
- Firstly you need to understand your business strategy, a roster structure is only going to help if it delivers what the business needs.
- Secondly, you need to assess the future of your business and your sector. What's going to grow your business and your sector? Is it geographical expansion, a better in-store experience or overall customer experience?
- Thirdly, and often the hardest part for marketing organisations, is to assess whether you have the tools and structures to deliver your part of the bargain. You need to know where you need to improve too.
Our work with global brands over the years tell us that the struggle for many brand teams is sourcing and acting upon genuine, differentiating consumer insight. Insight creates a virtuous loop that continuously learns and informs strategy.
And insight can be the most powerful element in developing new creative approaches. In today’s marketing, it’s the grit that becomes the oyster.
For many, talk of process and procedures can seem like the antidote to creativity. But the impact is obvious.
What if the time you spent managing an agency you don’t really need reduced the time you had to really hone a brief that could inspire the agency you really did need?
What if the roster doesn’t have the specialisms you need to strategically leverage that creative message in your biggest area of business opportunity?
Because without planning and preparation, even the best ideas are likely to be sub-optimal.
Letter From… The Observatory International, London. By Lucinda Peniston-Baines is co-founder of The Observatory International, London
Enjoy this? Get more.
Our monthly newsletter, The Edit, curates the very best of our latest content including articles, podcasts, video.
Become a member
Not a member yet?
Now it's time for you and your team to get involved. Get access to world-class events, exclusive publications, professional development, partner discounts and the chance to grow your network.