26 Aug Debunking B2B (marketing) creativity myths
Q&A with Angela Guastella, HANDEL’s consultant creative director
Maya Angelou was famously quoted as saying “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” I couldn’t agree more. In our space – B2B marketing – there are still some myths when it comes to creativity. In a recent coffee Q&A with our consultant creative director, I set out to debunk some of these myths.
Q: Creativity is subjective, meaning different things to different people. How do you define it?
A: I think Steve Jobs put it perfectly – creativity is about connections. It’s about finding and creating connections and portraying them in innovative and engaging ways.
Q: In certain circles it’s believed that B2B marketing lacks creativity. What is your response to this?
A: Sadly, this is often the perception but there’s no excuse for a lack of creativity in B2B marketing. You need to think of your target individual, not your target business. You’re still marketing to people and there’s just as much opportunity to reach those people through creative, engaging communication that creates emotional connections between them and your brand.
Q: In your opinion, what are the three biggest creativity myths in B2B that need to be debunked?
- That it’s not as important in the B2B space – it definitely is.
- That there isn’t as much opportunity to be creative in this space. From impactful content marketing, to social media channels, impactful activations and innovative direct marketing, there is absolutely a vast B2B creative playground. While B2B campaigns may need to be structured differently to their B2C counterparts, that’s no reason to limit creativity.
- That B2B is boring. Many companies are creating fun, engaging and emotive B2B campaigns that portray the same creative flair and approach as B2C campaigns.
Q: If someone tells you “I can never be creative” what would your response be?
A: (Game show buzzer). Not true! While some people have more of a natural creative talent, everyone has some degree of creative potential. It’s like a muscle that needs to be constantly worked and stretched – even for the most creative people. I refer to it as the Triple ‘S’ Strategy
- Switch – you need to turn on your creative awareness. Make a conscious commitment to creativity.
- Sponge – be one. Take in everything around you, even if it’s seemingly unrelated. The perfect connection may click at any time.
- Sweat – give that creative potential a workout. Always dig deeper. It’s easy to simply scratch the surface of an idea and never reach its true potential. Dedicate time to really mining and refining ideas.
Creativity is important, no matter what your role. From finance to marketing, we are all faced with problems on a daily basis. A creative approach to problem solving is a very powerful tool.
Q: Do you need a seven figure budget to be creative?
A: Definitely not. Sure, it’s awesome when a client hands you a blank cheque, but how often does that happen in a lifetime? Limitations in creativity are often a good thing. They force you to think in a specific way and around certain obstacles, which often leads to even more creative tactical concepts.
Q: What do you believe to be the single biggest inhibitor of creativity in the B2B space?
A: The lack of importance placed on it. People are so focused on the numbers, leads targets and tight timelines that creativity takes a back seat. More and more key decision makers are realising the importance of creativity within their business and it’s important that this is nurtured.
Q: Mind sharing your top creativity hacks with our readers?
- Get creative to be creative. Find what gets your creative juices flowing, whether it’s taking your lunch break under a tree or taking a 20 minute office ping-pong break. There’s no set method, you need to find your formula.
- Get excited. Don’t see cracking the creative as a daunting task – this will only shut down your creative mojo. See it as an awesome opportunity and have confidence in your creative ability to crack something great.
- Don’t hold back. We tend to worry about ideas being silly or random. Ditch the ego and throw every thought out there in the brainstorming phase. You never know where it may lead.
- Use the people around you. Bounce ideas and thoughts off random people, no matter how young or seemingly random the idea. They may see or think of something that you wouldn’t have.
- Be in touch with cool stuff. Not to copy what’s out there, but to be inspired by it. The more you expose yourself to awesome creative material, the more likely you are to shift into a creative mindset.