How to encourage teams to share creative marketing ideas: 16 expert tips

Marketing departments live and die on the quality of their innovation, in an industry where companies cannot stay too long on their laurels. Innovative change is always needed, and innovation relies heavily on a strong vision and in-depth contribution to be successful.

Sometimes the best ideas come from the sources you least expect. In the case of many companies, employees in all departments, not just marketing or communications, can provide valuable information and innovative ideas. The hardest part is encouraging them to share their thoughts. Creative sharing could introduce the competitive edge a business needs to help it beat the competition.

These 16 contributors to Forbes Communications Council examine the best way for a leader to encourage creative sharing within their team, leading to more innovative ideas presented in each session.

Photos courtesy of individual members

1. Lead with passion and empathy

Passion and empathy are contagious in constructive ways – from promoting ideas to creating creative campaigns. Our individual passion for a single idea doesn’t always come to fruition, but combined with empathy, we create from an understanding of another’s point of view – bringing the best of all ideas to make meaningful connections. with our clients through marketing campaigns that drive relevance. – Anna luo, Jivox

2. Keep it simple

Sometimes it’s best to keep it simple. Having a Slack channel that anyone (even non-marketers) can contribute to can spark great ideas! Getting as many minds in the room as possible not only brings more ideas to the table, but exposes them to a larger, more critical audience for verification. – Amanda Bohne, AppNeta

3. Organize an effective brainstorming session

When developing a marketing campaign, give your team the opportunity to share their ideas beforehand in a brainstorming session. To achieve this, ask your team to come up with a handful of ideas to share in your meeting. As your team shares their thoughts, you and your team will be able to collaborate better and discover creative ways to connect with your target market. – Jesse wisnewski, Tithe.ly

4. Show employees they matter

The best way to get employees to share creative ideas is to ask them for recommendations and then act on their suggestions. Talking is not expensive. Doing is powerful! When companies really implement employee feedback, people contribute more. It is in human nature and it also applies to business. – Stacy Sherman, Customer Experience Expert

5. Encourage and celebrate lifelong learning

We challenge everyone in our marketing organization to incubate ideas and bring them to life. Lead by example, devote time to self-learning, and then hold your managers accountable for encouraging continuous learning with their employees. By waiting for and celebrating innovation, employees will create positive change for your customers. – André Thomas, Kforce

6. Just ask them

It’s simple. Ask for their ideas. Share inspiration and communicate what you liked about it. Throw a big challenge: “What if we stop thinking like a charity brand and start thinking like a performance brand?” What would Nike do? What would it look like for us? Give them permission to think outside of your category. – Nathalie Straight, Eatel

7. Use collaboration tools

Using online collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams to gather feedback and ideas is a great way for people to participate in creative thinking within a business. People can easily submit ideas and comment on the contributions of others, feeding on the different concepts submitted to help generate even more ideas. They can participate and collaborate without being physically together. – Alexi Lambert Leimbach, Xcellimark

8. Develop confidence and openness

Before a team meeting or brainstorming session can generate great ideas, you need to establish a basic level of trust and openness with your team. Demonstrate that you want to hear their ideas and that even “bad” ideas will not be ridiculed or dismissed. When the team feels their ideas and contributions are valued, they are much more likely to contribute in your next brainstorming activity. – Tom wozniak, OPTIZMO Technologies, LLC

9. Encourage a test and measure mindset

You should encourage a mindset of test and measure. It can mean new ways of creating content, new customer touchpoints, or a different take on the competition. Stay on top of industry trends and maybe take an hour to attend a webinar on a new technology or marketing approach. – Sara Larsen, Brightcove

10. Get inspiration from other creative fields

Some of the best creative ideation techniques include storyboarding, taking inspiration from other creative fields such as art, performance, architecture, business, advertising, and communications. By staying in touch with these areas of art, architecture, and culturally relevant sources, marketers are able to generate ideas that are timely and appropriate to cultural norms and trends. – MaryAnn Holder-Browne, Bizagi

11. Organize friendly interdepartmental competitions

Leaving the marketing efforts to your own marketing team is a recipe for disaster. The problem with enticing the rest of your team is that brainstorming marketing concepts is in addition to their regular day-to-day tasks. Creating a friendly rivalry between departments (with the added bonus of a reward for the team that contributes the most) is a great way to pour the creative juices out. – Patrick ward, Root-root

12. Develop the right culture

By creating a work environment where employees feel they can share their ideas without judgment, more creative ideas will emerge. Leaders should be open to listening, organize regular brainstorming sessions, and set up programs to collect ideas (such as an idea bank). Recognizing good ideas, as well as seeing some of their suggestions come to life, are also strong motivators to continue contributing. – Roshni Wijayasinha, Fox

13. Socialize your marketing book

Our marketing team recently shared our 2020 marketing framework with the entire company. We wanted to give people the information they need to see how their marketing needs fit into the bigger plan. This week, our Professional Services team presented Marketing with an innovative campaign that helped their clients and also met one of the Marketing goals in Q2. We like to work together to find new ideas. – Nick runyon, PFL.com

14. Give generously of credit

Whether a good idea comes from the front lines or behind the scenes, when it goes live, give the person who pitched the idea a public credit / thank you. Even if you had to do major revisions, recognition is essential. This not only makes the contributor feel good, but also demonstrates the behavior you want from the entire team, while also motivating others to contribute in their moment of glory. – Ellen sluder, RingBoost

15. Give everyone space and a voice

I have worked with brilliant creatives and strategists. I have also worked with green people and beginners. Surprisingly, they both came up with some great campaign strategies and ideas. While there are defined roles and pathways in which to stay, it is essential to give everyone a voice and freedom to research, brainstorm and ideas. Don’t lose this great strategy because it wasn’t their role. – Corey morris, Voltage

16. Learn from improvisation

Here are three keys to generating creative ideas for campaigns: First, have dedicated sessions or forums to exchange and analyze the ideas of each campaign. Second, use the “Yes, and…” versus “Yes, but…” improvisation technique to make sure that ideas aren’t squashed before they’ve had a chance. Third, capture all the ideas somewhere so that they can be revisited, combined, or reused. – Tom treanor, Weapon Treasure Data


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