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Put the Creative Projects in the Hands of Creative People

Put the Creative Projects in the Hands of Creative People

The Facts

The great Stan Lee died almost a month ago − the renowned comic book writer, creator of Marvel super heroes, and late in his life, actor in television and movies featuring his creations. Stan Lee hated to see an idle artist. He (like me and many others) felt that idle talent was bored talent and bored talent was easy to lose to the competition or to the client side.

Spiker Insights

Keeping agency talent busy was just one of the lessons I took from Lee’s example.  A second, but equally important, lesson was don’t censor talent. Lee felt that if you hired an artist to do a job, you let them do the job. Lee was known to have expressed: “It seems to me that if a person is doing something creatively, and he or she feels that’s the way it ought to be done, you’ve gotta let them do it.”

We’ve been in business for over 35 years and one of things I am most proud of is all the firms and talents that have spun off from us. Spotting, nurturing and developing talent is painful, as many of them leave for greener pastures or greater freedom.

Lee enjoyed being fairly hands off as a boss. But he strongly felt the best example for his people was a reminder to dream big. There’s no better way to motivate the best people.

It’s Sink or Swim Time

It’s Sink or Swim Time

The Facts

It’s a digital world. Technology and data are givens today with marketing directors. At the end of the day, clients only want folks like us to help them transform their business, amplify the love for their brand, and sell boat loads of product; plus stick to the estimate, provide them 45 days until the invoice is paid, and don’t rock the boat.

Spiker Insights

As technology and digital media are democratized, we all have access to the same exact things. It’s how you embrace and apply digital and technology that makes the difference. And that is how lies the power of being creative. Not just in messaging, but in how we manage all available, and perhaps unavailable, channels that will allow brands to grow by out-thinking and thus out-performing the competition. Time after time, creativity has separated the real winners like HBO, Nike and Disney from the runners up or even the has-beens. Anybody remember Blockbuster? Netflix thought creatively and Blockbuster is now in the grave.

Creativity needs to be non-negotiable in any organization. The most successful brands are those that have out-thought and out-played the competition with breakthrough creativity, and are willing to go to the next level, perhaps where nobody has been before.

We work with a collaborative gang here that genuinely believes in the power of creativity. And creativity is not proprietary to the creative department, but more of an overall spirit that drives everyone here whether they’re in tech, data, digital, media or new business. By having an entire organization focused on a shared mission, great work happens. Are you ready to sink or swim with having a better idea than just following the crowd?

Think Small

Think Small

The Facts

Forget big data. Think small. Imagine how much easier it would be to build a powerful brand if you knew as much about your customers and prospects as you know about your spouse or in-laws? Imagine how well you could reach out to them with a compelling, customer-focused message if you knew who they were and what they liked. Imagine how easy it would be to pick social media sites, type styles, and headline copy if you actually knew which ones your customers and prospects would find most attractive.

Spiker Insights

For years now, we’ve been hearing about how big data can tell marketers everything we want to know about your customers. And for those same many years, most of us have been complaining that because we’re not Amazon, or Facebook, we don’t have easy access to big data. Since we can’t go big, let’s go small.

Think about what you can learn about your customers just by asking them. This is how you get the kind of up-to-date, accurate, emotional, customer preference information you need to build your brand. We have to just lean across the counter to talk to them. What do they like, what do they care about, what do they want. Not only will they tell you everything you need to know about how to attract their business, but they’ll actually feel good about the interaction because they will know you care about them.

False Expertise

False Expertise

The Facts

When last checked, there were 987,119 “Thought Leaders” on LinkedIn. It won’t be long until there will be a million or more.  How many of these self-titled “Thought Leaders” do you dare trust with your company’s marketing?

Spiker Insights

“False expertise” is misidentified competence. We all perceive expertise where there is none; or evaluate expertise based on our own individual bias. Some of the most creative writing is potential employees’ and marketing firms’ self-promotion copy.  They have done everything from curing cancer to inventing a new process to ensure sales results.

Rooting out false expertise, in your head or through others, isn’t easy. The past is not always a great predictor, you have to see the work, understand the process, don’t believe all the credentials, and ignore the stack of impressive logos they have worked on in the last 25 years.  It all comes down to a handful of people; and you need to not only like them, but also respect them and their passion for the next challenge.

Don’t Be Afraid

Don’t Be Afraid

The Facts

It’s Halloween, the ghosts and goblins will be knocking on your front door tonight. And I’ll be especially short here today so you have time to get your costume on and get home in time to scare the little ones and hand out the treats.

 

Spiker Insights

We still see people afraid of their marketing role and final decision maker.

Too many people are afraid of criticism.

Too many people are afraid to communicate differently.

Too many people are afraid to take the lead.

Too many people are afraid to introduce a new idea.

Too many people are afraid to step outside their comfort zone.

Too many people believe “We’ve Always Done It This Way.”

Do what scares you; what makes your palms sweaty. That’s what great marketing is all about. Take different approaches to communications. Do what will get you noticed, and step outside of that comfort zone to continually grow and prosper.

Get Emotional

Get Emotional

The Facts

Remember the Kodak advertising from the 60’s and 70’s? Paul Anka sang “Memories pressed between the pages of my mind. Memories sweetened through the ages just like wine.”  It progressed into “Kodak Moments” or “Kodak Memories.”  It wasn’t about the Kodak cameras or the film; it was the memories and experiences that would live forever through your prints or slides, as well as your mind by taking tons of pictures.

Spiker Insights

Today’s consumers still want those special moments and memories, but don’t remember that Kodak, as they shoot more images of family and friends making memories on their smart phone than they ever did with a camera. We’ve all seen them take pictures of their lunch to post on social media.

Authentic emotional marketing is not as easy as you might think. “Authentic” is the key word today as consumers can sniff it out with the images you feature, the wording, the tone of the copy, it all adds up and it all needs to work together, so it can’t be rushed. Focus on the human element, rather than the product, and you will come out far ahead.