September 17, 2013 | In: Marketing

Drilling for Creativity: Where a Marketing Company Can Mine for Great Ideas

According to the legions of so-called ‘doomsday’ forecasters out there, our world will run out of oil in 2039. It’s hard to say whether such prophetic claims will come true, but at least this scenario makes great fictional tales. However, in the year 2013, where we’ve come to realization that just about everything has been created or invented, one could claim that the world is now devoid of creativity. Aside from the recycled, rehashed, and remixed ideas in the entertainment world, there are repetitive ideas that circulate in the advertising, business, and design world. If you are a marketing professional or business owner, your search for creative ideas might lead to dry creative oil pits that have been drained by the opportunists we label as ‘geniuses’. So where can you look for ideas when every reserve seems empty?

Take comfort knowing that you won’t have to relocate to some monastery in the Himalayas to find that divine inspiration. The creative oil wells are all around you. The natural settings and tasks you engage with on a daily basis can serve as sources of creativity whether you work with or in a marketing company. As hard as it may be to accept this truth, learning to identify your immediate surroundings can provide a huge boost in your efforts to tap into those reserves of creativity. Music can be of great assistance to marketing company employees for creative ideation.

An Expedition isn’t Necessary

So what if you want to be a modern-day viking, traveling the world on an adventure to seek new ground, new creative inspiration? Unless you plan to engage in some blood-gushing battles overseas, there’s absolutely nothing wrong such a journey. The experience would expose you to various cultures- a culmination of rewarding, exhilarating, and even bizarre experiences – that would naturally serve as creative oilsands.

However, when you’re in the midst of a campaign or major project, does your time and budget permit such an expedition? Probably not. That’s why you have to make use of your immediate settings to extract ideas. Also, remember that it’s not so much where you need to look, but more importantly, how you should look. So where can you start?

At Home

There’s reason people view their homes as a place of zen. Not only is it your ultimate resting place, but home is where you feel most relaxed. Ask any scientist or artist, and they’ll say to you that some of their greatest ideas came about when they were most relaxed. Therefore, you should make use of your home when creative ideas are of the essence since you can carry them with you to a marketing company office.

  • The Ever-Famous, Shower – Yes, it’s a conceptual cliche, but there’s no need to deny the effect that a shower has on creative ideation. You probably remember the tale of Archimedes, the Greek scientist who founded the principle of water displacement, and how he ran the streets naked shouting “eureka!” upon his exciting discovery. Scientists say that taking a warm shower relaxes us by means of releasing excess dopamine, and this allows our subconscious brain to make connections. Therefore, it’s wise for you to make good use of your shower time before and after work. Just remember, if an awesome idea strikes you, then put some clothes on before parading in the streets.

  • Vinyls and iTunes – There are few things that are as universal as music. It brings us together with friends and family and soothes us when we experience hardships. It brings us energy for moments and celebration and peace when we need to zone out. However, music is one of the most powerful tools when you need to extract some creativity. Apparently, certain music genres create distractions in the brain, and thus make certain tasks easier and more free- an essential mindset for creative ideation. There have been various studies that suggest listening to classical music to stimulate creativity. However, you don’t have to be a Mozart fan to reap the creative benefits of music. Whether you like mellow landscapes of ambient music, the upbeat rhythms of hip-hop, or the soothing sounds of jazz, throwing in a few tunes into your brainstorming session could trigger some unexpected genius. Music is a great idea although it can be too distracting at times.

  • Shut-Eye – If you saw the movie Inception, you probably bookmarked a few pages that taught you tips on how to lucid dream. After all, what sounds cooler than being able to change your life by means of dreaming! You may not develop such great command of your dreams, but adequate sleep will certainly help you stumble upon creative oil wells. Even the most obscure dream can lead to the discovery of some creative idea. And what if you can’t remember your dreams? The mere act of getting enough sleep sharpens your alertness and makes the task of problem solving easier, as indicated by one study.

A simple rearrangement of a marketing company office can stimulate creativity. In the Office

As you can see from the section above, ‘home’ is an impeccable source of ideas. However, the majority of the work takes place in the office, so you’ll most likely want to know how to find ideas there as well. Whether you work in a business office or marketing company, there are few techniques that you can employ to get your creative cauldron brewing.

  • Redesign (If possible) – Turning your office into a major renovation project may not be realistic, especially if you are in the midst of a campaign or project. Of course, adding some bright paint, modernist furniture, and greenery can alter the atmosphere of an office and the mood of its employees. As a result, these changes result in perceptual shifts that can lead to creative thinking. However, a simple rearrangement of your current furniture and office settings can create those perceptual shifts. Paintings and photography, hung on your office walls, can also open your mind to ideas that you have otherwise not noticed. Unlike a total office redesign, a few additions here and there can trigger the creative environment that you crave.

  • Play Games – You’ve probably seen videos taken within the world’s most forward-thinking advertising and design agencies. You’ll notice that a lot of them have unusual office “equipment” – foosball tables, arcade machines, basketball nets – things that belong at a playplace. However, these very distractions can take the mind off of a difficult problem, and help you land upon unexpected solutions to those challenges. So even if you can’t afford to have a Pacman arcade machine in your office, board games or even a few sessions of tic-tac-toe can rejuvenate your thought process for your creative endeavours.

  • Your Fellow Colleagues – In a business context, creativity is a collaborative process, and that means that bouncing ideas off of each other can lead to that one big idea. It’s a practice found in many organizations, especially advertising agencies, and the ability to add or remove layers onto ideas as a group often leads to better ideas? How so? It’s like that expedition you may want to take around the world. Exposure to different languages, traditions, attitudes, and knowledge adds to your creative arsenal, and you can get a similar experience by conversing with your colleagues.

Don’t Look too Far

So the next time you find yourself in a creative slump, don’t stress yourself about where to find ideas. Some of the most abundant creative oil sands are literally all around you. In most cases, what you need are the right tools to tap into them, and these tools often involve your manner of thinking. You don’t have to look much further than your home or office space to find those killer ideas. In fact, you can rely on simple methods to find creative ideas whether you work with or for a marketing company. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to venture out of town to find creative ideas since you might stumble upon something that few people know about. The important thing to take away is that creative ideas are everywhere, and it just requires a different view to find them.

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