Posted by: jillw in: Media Relations -
The chief marketing officer has traditionally led a company’s brand-building efforts. But has the CMO’s time come to an end? In its “Predictions 2020” report, Forrester highlights the changing purpose of the CMO and how priorities must evolve to keep the role relevant. For one thing, being a storyteller isn’t enough anymore. Now, the CMO needs to be a story-maker. This shift highlights how creativity in marketing is more important than ever. Easier said than done.
I’ve come to believe that creativity is not necessarily about generating new ideas; it’s about the execution. It’s about finding new ways to apply ideas already out there.
Daily, I work with clients across the consumer, technology and financial services industries. Some of the most creative initiatives have come from observing what works in one industry and then applying it to another.
For example, in 2015, my agency had a track record of engaging bloggers to engage and educate audiences on behalf of our consumer clients. Banks hadn’t jumped on that trend yet, but when a bank client needed to educate moms about new digital payment options, we knew what to do. We introduced the bank to an influencer campaign, which was so successful that the bank continues investing in influencer programs to reach and engage customers today.
So how does a CMO – or any business leader – spark new ideas, day after day? Here are four tips to ignite inspiration.
1. Be a curious reader and follower.
Encourage teams to look beyond your industry to get inspiration from marketers, brands and stories outside their familiar world. Set an example by sharing publications and channels you might not normally come across.
Cultivate a diverse set of companies and people to follow on social media. On LinkedIn, customize your feed by following people, companies and hashtags of interest. You will discover new, relevant and inspiring content in the process. Check out the interests of your LinkedIn connections or other individuals on the platform, and add the ones that resonate directly to your profile.
2. Build diverse teams.
Diverse experiences boost performance and enhance innovation. A McKinsey report covering 366 public companies in a variety of countries and industries found that the most ethnically and gender diverse companies had better relative financial performance. Additional studies show a correlation between diversity and innovation.
Exposing yourself and your teams to different opinions, experiences and perspectives enables everyone to question their perceptions and shift their thinking. Often, such differences can spark innovative ideas to address a demanding challenge. Some organizations can help you build more diverse teams. For example, Portland Means Progress has an emerging leaders internship program geared to opportunities for underrepresented youth, while Hiring Our Heroes matches corporations with transitioning service members.