creative inspiration

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Where does creative inspiration come from? Dreams? Brain storming? Pictures and stories? Sure. I find mowing the lawn provides a level of focus for me. Maybe it the repetitive action. If I listen to the radio driving to or from work, I tend to ingest words passively. That said, if the radio is on topic I perk up and it feeds the creative motor.

In the ad agency business, I had seen lots of good creative people flip through art direction magazines and awards books looking for ideas to have an idea. But often they did so in their office. I’m a fan of getting out of the building. Observing the target. Observing the target’s target. Trying to think like they think, or better, feel what they feel.

Creative inspiration results from immersion in the target, dabbling in sights, seeing or projecting patterns… and monitoring your blood pressure. If an idea makes you feel something, you are nearing the zone.  If it bores you push on. 

I was writing a college paper once while on a field trip to see Margaret Mead speak in DC. I was sitting in someone’s kitchen and not moving any ideas.  There was a speed bag in the kitchen so I starter punching. It wore me out but opened the mind.  Sitting in chairs is not the way toward creative stim. Peace! 

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Where do key marketing insights come from? Where does creative inspiration come from? Where do sales come from? Nice questions, no?

Key market insights come from people (consumers or business buyers) and market data. Market data, however, is just an aggregation of consumer activity and the patterns they throw off. 

Creative inspiration, in this machine that is the marketing and agency business, comes from the creative brief. Where on the brief?  Many would like think it jumps from the boiled down “selling idea,” “key thought,” or “engagement trigger” — whatever it’s called these days. But realistically it comes from anywhere on the brief.  Inspiring creative people can’t be mapped, it just happens. People are complicated.

And sales? Sales come from stores, catalogs and websites but really from the hands and minds of people.  

So duh, the common denominator in this serial journey to a sale is people.  The most effective marketing teams are those who make all three legs of this stool work together.

This is your silo issue, not revenue by agency type or department.  It’s not about break though work. It’s not about sales spikes. Or the most powerful media tactic or database.  It’s about getting people to see patterns, inspire others, and learn what sells in a specific category – then forming a community around the brand that fosters those activities. Agencies come and go. Campaigns come and go. Communities (unless you’re the Aztecs) not so much. Peace!

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