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4 Simple Ways to Reignite Your Marketing Creativity Before Lunch

It’s 9 a.m. and you’re ready to have a productive day. You’ve slept for eight hours, drank your morning coffee, and even squeezed in a workout. Is this enough to fuel your marketing creativity? Maybe not. As marketers, it’s our job to be constantly writing, innovating, planning, and inspiring. But, unfortunately, these daily rituals aren’t always enough to ignite your inner creativity.

If you’re looking for a quick way to boost your creativity, try one of these four strategies below.

1. Bounce an idea off someone not in the marketing department.

It’s easy to get stuck in the same thinking patterns when you’re brainstorming with likeminded people, which is why reaching out to colleagues from other departments can help spark new ideas. An employee in the IT department is going to have a much different thought process than someone who works in finance or human resources. Since those employees aren’t familiar with the project or assignment you’re working on, they serve as a fresh pair of eyes and ears.

Case in point: Matt Mickiewicz, founder and CEO of 99 Designs, likes to bring together a diverse group of people for a free-flowing brainstorm whenever he’s in a rut or needs to overcome a challenge. He finds that speaking to people with different backgrounds and expertise can help you access new ideas and benefit from your peers’ experiences.

2. Get inside your customer’s head.

If you’re struggling to create content for a new marketing campaign, start by getting into your target audience’s mindset. For example, if your company markets to college students, read an article from a college newspaper, magazine, or online publication. If your company markets to restaurant owners, head to a local eatery and listen to the conversations between waitstaff and management. This tactic will help you stay relevant and develop fresh ideas that will appeal to your target demographics’ interests.

Case in point: In their book Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When they Create Widespread Empathy, Dev Patnaik and Peter Mortensen show how some of the most successful brands go to great lengths to make sure each of their employees understand the experience of their customers. For example, Nike’s offices have basketball courts and running tracks so that everyone can get into the mindset of an active consumer.

3. Listen to inspiring music.

Choose a playlist that will evoke the emotion you’re trying to capture with your marketing—energizing, emotional, humorous, etc. Music can help you dial up these emotions on-demand, which can be difficult for marketers jumping from one project to the next. So the next time you’re going through a creative rut, try tuning into a playlist on free applications like Spotify or Pandora.

Case in point: Daniel Levitin, a neuroscience professor from McGill University and author of This is Your Brain on Music and The Organized Mind, found that music helps us enter “mind-wandering mode,” the mode of brain operation in which creative thinking typically occurs. Music, Levitin explains in an interview with Huffington Post, is “one of the most exquisitely effective ways of allowing you to enter the mind-wandering mode. […]You relax and you let your thoughts flow from one to another, and that’s how you get into creativity.”

4. Go old-school with paper and pen.

You likely spend most of your workday in front of a computer. We’re all constantly plugged in, multi-tasking and distracted. These distractions can sap our productivity and make it difficult for us to get into a creative state of mind. While using a notepad might feel foreign, it allows you to focus on one method of communication—your ideas.

Case in point: A 2014 study conducted by Pam A Mueller of Princeton and Daniel M. Oppenheimer of UCLA found that writing long-hand requires the writer to process the information or ideas more thoroughly than typing on a keyboard, leading to a deeper exploration of the ideas (and better retention of them). Likewise, many celebrated authors, including Amy Tan, Jhumpa Lahiri and Danielle Steele, prefer to write with pen and paper, at least for the first draft.

by McKinley Marketing Partners