Coming up with a creative marketing strategy under a tight deadline is a skill.
Some people just seem to nail it right off the bat and project effortless cool when faced with this type of task.
I’m going to let you in on a secret…all of these people follow a routine or formula to come up with a creative marketing strategy.
The next time you find yourself stumped for creative concepts try my time-structured approach to give yourself the best chance of releasing your inner creative power.
You have to come up with a creative marketing strategy, for a product or brand, within this timeframe.
This is the most important part of the process as you can’t produce clever creative if you have no idea how the product or brand works.
Similarly, the last thing you want to do is dish up marketing ideas that have been done years ago.
You will no doubt have a supplied brief and it’s really important to use this time to fully understand what needs to be delivered.
The brief should contain valuable information on target markets, competitors and desired outcomes.
If it’s a technical or scientific product or brand it’s especially important to know what is going on in the latest literature.
Sweep the literature for the competition too.
Because the clock’s ticking, skim-read abstracts of articles found with interesting headlines, and those that seem to suit the brief should be filed for future reference.
The 10 minutes allocated for research will fly so make sure you are armed with enough knowledge about the product or brand, the competitors and the marketing targets to start getting creative.
It’s true what they say – a picture is worth a thousand words.
Sometimes even the most mundane image can spark interesting ideas of what you are trying to say about a product or brand.
Do “image” searches on what you consider to be keywords based on your research and some loosely formed ideas.
You only have 5 minutes for this but it is a way of bridging the creative process before actually committing any words to paper.
Once time’s up you should have collected a bunch of random images that speak to the marketing objectives associated with the product or brand.
Use the visual images to start writing draft positioning statements and taglines.
At this stage of the process volume is the key.
Don’t get stuck on crafting perfect words.
If you spend a solid 5 minutes writing you will be surprised at how much material you have to work with.
Not all of it will be marketing gold but if you keep pushing yourself you will naturally lead yourself in a number of different directions.
Go back to your research and use it to critically review your draft positioning statements and taglines.
Get ruthless and start deleting those that are not right and make a shortlist of the ones that nail the brief.
Sort the ones that fit the brief from the least to the most creative.
The least creative ones you should spend some time trying to improve.
If they are not going anywhere positive then drop them.
By the time the clock strikes 25 minutes you should be left with a shortlist of positioning statements that resonate with the desired target market and fit the brief.
Spend the last 5 minutes thinking about the marketing mix and creative ways to communicate your product or brand positioning that engages your target market.
This may seem overly practical but it is worthwhile considering how your creative marketing strategy will be delivered consistently across a variety of platforms.
You might need to review your research, to identify the feasibility of something you are proposing, particularly if it’s aimed at a technical market.
Map out what some of these specific pieces could potentially look like and how it could work based on your research.
Time for the Big Reveal
With your quick creative in your pocket it’s time to present your marketing strategy.
A good creative marketing strategy will sell itself – it’s that simple – so be authentic when communicating your ideas.
Remember too that sometimes it takes a creative “community” to develop something truly inspiring and your own research, knowledge and unique angle may simply become part of a bigger picture.
The next time you find yourself paralysed by the thought of coming up with creative fast give my time-structured approach a go to get the ball rolling.
You only need 30 minutes!