Creativity isn’t dead in the business world. In fact, creativity is absolutely integral to a successful marketing campaign or business venture. True, writing produced in the marketing field probably won’t be pulled into the next great American novel, and ad graphics might not end up on the walls on the Metropolitan. But make no mistake, success in business requires just as much creativity and bravery as any well-recognized artistic pursuit, because a creative in a the field needs to be a leader.
Contrary to what most unfamiliar with the field might believe, there isn’t a single path or method that leads to a successful campaign. The consumer landscape is constantly shifting, and the savvy marketer needs to be able to recognize when an older and formerly dependable approaches falls flat in emerging markets.
As Nicole Brackett Walters wrote in a blog for the American Marketing Association, “Marketing is […] about constantly innovating and utilizing creative solutions that will maximize returns. Creativity is critical to differentiate one’s message, grab people’s attention and effectively reach the various audiences that are being targeted.” In other words, the savvy marketer realizes that he or she is one voice among many, and that success depends on making their brand message stand out as unique.
There should be no mistake – this kind of creativity takes bravery and dedication. Failure is a guaranteed part of the creative process. At some point, an idea or even a full-fledged venture is going to flop.
And that’s okay.
Creative innovation isn’t a one-stop process. Marketing and business leaders will face obstacles as a matter of course; but the way they handle those setbacks will determine whether or not they succeed in their ventures. John Dragoon puts it succinctly in an article for Forbes: “True business and marketing leaders embrace uncertainty and complexity as creative catalysts that invite and, in fact, demand innovation.” New ideas don’t appear in a vacuum. Often, the best solutions stem from the most impossible situations – but only when creative people take up the challenge.
There’s no question that business and marketing leaders need to have a concrete background in their fields. Knowledge of how markets work and why is necessary for those who want to build a solid foundation for their campaign. But after that foundation is set, leaders should prioritize creativity. Without intelligent creatives, a business is doomed to trundle down the beaten path towards obscurity – or worse, fall flat against the changing business landscape.
So, fail. Innovate. Be creative and learn from your mistakes.
You’ll undoubtedly have a better business for it.
Trevor Marca is an entrepreneur and marketing professional who specializes in bolstering community ties through print and digital media. For more on Trevor, visit his website.