There’s no disputing the fact that the business environment of today’s world is more competitive than ever. With so many businesses trying to outdo their competitions, creativity and productivity have become something of a keystone as to whether or not a business will survive. A report by Mckinsey shows that companies they deemed more creative were 67 percent more likely to have an average organic revenue growth higher than the industry average, and that 70 percent of creative businesses had above industry average total return to shareholders. While that’s great to know, this information can also be worrisome for businesses that feel as though their marketing team has fallen into a slump and could use some help reigniting their creativity. Below, we’ll be taking a look at three clever ways a business can help boost their marketing team’s creativity.
Keep Up With Industry Trends
In such an advanced digital age, it is more important than ever to keep on top of industry trends, because shifts can occur at an unbelievable rate and easily leave less aware teams in the dust. However, simply keeping up with the latest trends isn’t going to be enough to get a team ahead of their competition. In order to really take the lead, a team needs to pay attention to the direction of trends and take the risk to implement ideas and practices that have scarcely been adopted by the industry yet.
Take, for example, outsourcing business functions; according to this report, 57% of surveyed businesses outsource some of their processes because they believe it helps them to focus on core processes. These same businesses simultaneously express concern over the security of data that is shared with their outsourcing partners, and up to 35% of surveyed organizations are anxious about the data shared with their outsourcing partners. If the above mentioned report is analyzed closely, there is a mention of automation taking over the outsourcing atmosphere. This is because automating business processes that are normally outsourced can be done in-house at a lower cost and with much greater security, just from handling the data in-house, and without factoring in the added security measures that automated systems provide, all while maintaining the many benefits of outsourcing.
Companies that recognize the upcoming industry shift from traditional outsourcing to automated, in-house “outsourcing” are getting ahead of the industry’s change and will be better positioned to outperform their competitors. Automating functions instead of outsourcing them will free up personnel from doing the work in-house by hand, and will free up budget space that would’ve been used to pay an outsourcing company. This increase in available employee time and funds can be redirected towards marketing efforts. Also, freeing a marketing team from having to handle the mundane tasks that are typically outsourced will lessen their workload which can help prevent burnout.
In the same way you want to keep on top of shifting industry trends, an agile, creative, and productive marketing team will make use of available resources. One such resource includes applications and software systems that take the chaos out of managing social media accounts. Some of the apps out there can perform multiple functions such as scheduling posts in advance, routinely detecting peak times and posting content without user input, and even generating engagement reports without having to compile all the information yourself.
Applications, such as one offered by Crowdfire, pre-configures all posts for each individual social media platform, and significantly reduces the time wasted redundantly adjusting each piece of content across each platform. What makes this application stand out, however, is the ability for it to automatically curate articles and images for teams to submit and reshare across their different platforms. This becomes extremely useful when it is synchronized with an E-commerce store, blog, or even YouTube page, as it allows the user to schedule product updates and announcements from a single app interface. Implementing technologies that consolidate functions, enabling a single person to manage tasks that previously required multiple people, is a great way to free up employee time and instead increase productivity in other areas where individual creativity is much better allocated.
Consolidation of marketing functions and processes can be especially relevant if a business has a public relations department that is separate from the marketing department. Oftentimes, the departments will be intertwined into each other’s functions and having rigid divisions between departments can hinder growth, especially considering that they are often interdependent. By consolidating both departments, and in effect their functions, there will be less interference between data reception, analysis, and action. This resulting increase in efficiency will present itself as an increase in response and reaction time to new insights, which can translate into an uptick in creative productivity.
Improve Workplace Culture
One of the most common reasons that productivity fails to improve in a workplace can simply be because of the culture. If a workplace has a dull or stagnant atmosphere, then the culture will suffer as well and workers will begin to feel bored by their daily tasks. According to a study in 2011, 71 percent of surveyed American employees reported being either “not engaged,” or “actively disengaged” from their work. The groups that were most affected by these feelings were respondents with at least a college degree, where only 28 percent felt engaged with their work, and those with postgraduate work or a postgraduate degree where only 27 percent of respondents felt engaged with their work.
Luckily, boredom isn’t some chronic illness for a workplace, and instead can be cured through making changes to the office atmosphere and practices. A few of these changes can be implemented immediately such as:
- Inviting the intermingling of employees between departments,
- Changing the physical environment of the workspace, either with revitalized decorations or even by occasionally taking employees outside, and
- Holding “brainstorming sessions” where employees aren’t urged to come up with new successful ideas, but rather to come up with some of their wildest and zaniest ideas.
Inviting employees to intermingle with members in the other departments creates the opportunity for new ideas to be brought up from an outside perspective. This tactic is known as “cross-pollination” and it is an easy way to introduce new ideas to a marketing team. Plus, as an added bonus, implementing cross-pollination tactics into your business can help to improve the bonds and connections between employees, which would further contribute to improving the workplace culture. When employees become disengaged with a task or tactic, they will often perform their tasks in an invariable routine which practically kills any chance for productivity to increase. Introducing a marketing team to other employees and departments can help give them different perspectives which can easily cause them to change their routine. Similarly, changing the environment around the employees, with furniture or by occasionally taking them outside the office, can also invite new ideas and different perspectives of going about their work.
Lastly, while encouraging employees to pitch their craziest ideas may sound unproductive at first, this is not necessarily the case. The reality of the situation is that employees may have ideas that would be the perfect solution to an issue being faced, however, they may be hesitant to share their ideas in a normal setting as a result of an internalized fear of looking foolish in front of their peers. Some of these types of brainstorming sessions can actually be focused on changes that the workplace can enact to boost productivity. These specific employees were selected by your business because they stood out against other candidates. Each employee may have a unique idea from each other, and nobody else will know best what changes your employees will positively respond to, except for your employees. Keep in mind, as beneficial as a proper brainstorm session can be, if it is handled poorly then the session can actually cause more problems rather than solve them.
Having a marketing team stuck in a productivity rut can be a frustrating experience. One of the most direct ways to correct the issue is to make changes. Hopefully, these clever methods can give you some ideas on what changes can be made and how you can restart your marketing team’s engagement.
With Crowdfire, you can find curated content, schedule your posts, engage with your audience, deep-dive into analytics and create custom reports. Now introducing Social listening. Try it for free.