The wild and the wacky. Do these words scare you? Do they make you want to go into a corner and shut down? Do you get all uneasy when you’re asked to do something that’s against the status quo? If so, chances are you have yet to unleash your inner creative. Your life is as boring as dull grays or maybe you’ve turned up the volume by adding the bold colors of black and white. Nine times out of ten, you do things the same way and prefer the same habits – and that’s perfect for you. I mean, who wouldn’t want routine. Routine is safe. You know what to expect, where to go, and even the result of the foods you eat. One extra gram of fat, and it’s going straight to your hips.

But what if I asked you to shake it up? Would you retreat from the conversation or would you be all in?

If I said, come up with a new idea for your business today, would you instead come up with all kinds of reasons as to why new ideas won’t work? Or would you go for the gold?

I find it shameful that many of us, myself included, settle for being Clark Kent when there’s a superman inside of us. We settle for the status quo. We do what others do; you know the things that are tried and true. That’s cool and all, but if it’s a bit boring. And you know what boring gets? IGNORED!

So what does this have to do with marketing?

Have you ever read the book, “Blue Ocean Strategy?” If not, get it. It’s a great read. (Well at least the first few pages were. I’m horrible at completing books.)

Anywho, the book discusses the notion of being creative to be competitive by not doing the same thing everyone else is doing. It’s about using your what you know to inspire thinking. Instead of running on the same field everyone else is running on, it’s about finding a field of your own to run on. And if you’re the only one running on the field, but you have a captive audience, you win.

The same is true with marketing? Marketing channels have increased and so has the advertising on these channels. Don’t expect it to get any better anytime soon. Commercials are here to stay, “print” is here to stay (whether it’s in traditional or digital format), and social media is going to be here for a while. With that being said, you’re going to have to get a bit creative to stand out from the crowd.

Here are some conventional and unconventional ways to unleash your inner creative.

  1. Turn off the TV. “What? But that’s where the advertising is. That’s how I get my ideas.” You’re right, and that’s the problem. You’ve had all your life to watch TV, and I’m sure you have more than enough “market research” in your mind to fuel your thinking. The more you watch TV, the more you’ll be encouraged to do what someone else is doing. However, with the TV off, you can think for yourself.
  2. STOP. Whatever it is, just stop. We’re on the run so often, thinking of what we have to do or where we should be, we don’t have time to simply think.
  3. Write an episode of a TV show. Think about the emotions you want your audience to feel. Think of the characters and lines that will help elicit these emotions. Think about the environment?
  4. Say yes to something new. It is so easy to say no, especially to the unknown. However, when you say no, you hold yourself back from an experience. And every experience is a chance to learn. And knowledge actually empowers creativity.
  5. Do something adventurous. Generally when you do something adventurous, you conquer something. When you conquer something, your self-esteem goes up. When your self-esteem increases, you feel like you can do anything. You are now on top of the world. [Note: RRP Marketing will not be held liable for any unwise decision]
  6. Unleash your inner child. Yes. I have a coloring book and I play video games. Stop saying you’re too old to do something. This is nonsense. Just do it. One of the best designers I know has a ton of toys, is in love with ComicCon and is pretty awesome. She does what she wants to do- and guess what else. She’s super creative and innovative, and it’s probably because she’s a free spirit not bogged down with what everyone else thinks.
  7. Participate in a brainstorming session, and don’t say no to anything. Ideas build off of one another – good and bad. So let go of your negative Nancy for a couple of hours, and just let the ideas flow. If you allow yourself to be free, you make room for creativity.

After you’ve employed a couple of tactics to unleash your inner creative, come back to your marketing plan. Look at what you’re doing, and ask yourself, “what here is status quo? What can I enhance? What can I do differently?” Then give yourself the freedom to let go of Clark Kent and make way for your inner Superman.

If you can’t seem to get out of your rut, give me a shout. I’m sure together we can come up with something.

Until next time,

Live, love, prosper.

It’s true. Email is a highly effective strategy for internet marketing. It definitely drives reaches your target audience as well as drives conversion. It’s a great way to increase awareness of a product or service, educate the market, and even get the market to take an action. And many people have opted in to receive the email…meaning they have said, “Yes. Send me junk mail valuable advertisements. I want to spend my money with you.”

But email is time consuming…and FOCUS is the word of the day. While on Twitter, I previously posed the question “how should a marketer spend their time?” The response that stuck out the most, spend your time where you make your money. Well, duh. It was a duh answer, but it was profound at the same time.

We, as marketers, get caught up in the hype of all the different tactics that we want to jump on them all. In reality though, that’s not always smart. We need to invest our time where we can see return. That’s what smart marketing is all about.

Since then, I have refined my marketing strategy. I’m not simply focusing on the fun, free, or even quick things. I recently focused on efforts that builds awareness and generates leads. From there, I have to close the deal.

Today, I pose this question, where have you gotten lost in the hype? Where are you wasting your time? What can you do better? How can you make your marketing efforts worth your while? How can you live, love AND prosper?

Regina R. Patterson, M.B.A.