Creativity – a challenge and an opportunity.

23 Jun

Tim McKane

So there you are…in a small café in Malaga, sipping your coffee and anisette, when a small man walks in carrying some paintings. He approaches and opens a canvas. The painting is weird. It is all angular people, who look nothing like real people. There are bits of noses and eyes distorted around the canvas. It is terrible.

Except it is by Picasso. He has taken formative painting and turned it on its head, and if you had bought that painting for a few pesetas, your family could now retire in total luxury, as the painting would be worth millions.


Being creative is a challenge. Buying creative work is an even bigger risk, as your points of reference have to be put on the back burner. If you are looking at, or hearing something totally different, completely new, you will find it hard to absorb it and enjoy it. Creativity is difficult to enjoy. The critics hated early Picasso. They didn’t know what he was up to, and so rejected it.

In digital marketing the challenge is now to create new and relevant content, but is it to be creative in the nature of art, literature or music. Television advertising has been pillaging the popular music canon for years now, taking songs that are well known and attaching their brand. (I have hear Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin and Darling be Home Soon by John Sebastian – the Joe Cocker version is worth a listen – during the World Cup, for Dior and McDonalds.)

With online content marketing there is a huge challenge to get people to look at, listen to, or read your content (like this blog). If I went off and tried to write like Joyce wrote Ulysses, then you wouldn’t have got this far.
Is this blog actually creative? Well, I am creating is, as it didn’t exist until I typed….thi…s…letteR.
But creating something is not necessarily being creative, as in proposing a new idea, challenging normal thinking, or inventing a new piece of technology.

People will read things that are of interest to them, but will remember if they are well written, original in their thought process, and come at a different angle. Your customers will want you to engage them, and therefore you will need to know what they are interested in learning, and reward them for spending time with your brand. Simply pushing sales messages will not do it, you need to push engagement that will lead to a sale.

Here are five tips to creating content.

1. Take some time to think about your customers – actual ones, people you know, and think about how they interact online.

2. What are they buying your product for, how can you help their lives. I wrote an ad once – “When John Smith installed Unibol Software, his golf handicap went down three shots” the benefit to John was more time, less worrying.

3. Tell a story or two. Like I just did. In number 2.

4. Look at what your competitors are up to. Do something different.

5. Take a risk. Being bold creates memories. Put a man in a gorilla suit, behind a set of drums, with a Phil Collins track, and sell chocolate.


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