Creativity in marketing is an essential component if what you want is to create a unique, eye-catching and memorable campaign. Think back to every viral video, every eye-popping billboard, every TV ad you can still sing along to. These are all examples of creative marketing at its very best.

Whether you’re a content writer, a video producer, a PR guru or a PPC manager, there is an element of creative marketing in what you do. Creativity is all about creating something special; something that begins where the competition stopped; something that boldly goes where no marketer has gone before.

Star Trek references aside, there are many types of marketing which could be considered ‘creative’. You probably imagine the artistic or highly skilled forms of marketing to be creative, such as:

Graphic design
Website design
E-book writing

However, so much more of what marketers spend their time doing is actually a form of creative marketing. Things like:

Blog writing
Social media management
Video development
Instagram promotions

Essentially, any marketing activity can be classed as ‘creative marketing’, if you are thinking outside of the box and trying to create something new and different. And let’s face it, that’s what we’re all trying to do, all the time, right?

How to harness creativity when you’re not naturally creative

Some people are, apparently, born creatives. You know the sort… they were producing Picasso’s before they could walk, and today seem to be able to do no wrong when it comes to creative marketing. They don’t need to try… the ideas just come naturally. Ugh.

If you feel like you must have been snoozing when they were handing out creative talent, it doesn’t mean you can’t harness the power of creative marketing. You just have to work a little bit harder. Here are some ideas to help:

Have a freewrite in the morning: Mornings are the worst, particularly if you’re under pressure with multiple deadlines.

You’re expected to come up with new ideas, but instead your brain is whirring away worrying about everything you’ve got to do. Grab an old-fashioned pen and paper, and have a ten minute freewrite to kickstart your creative juices. Don’t know where to start? Check out Twords for prompts and other help.

Exercise more: It might sound like a ridiculous tip, but multiple studies link creativity with exercise, so taking 30 minutes out of your day to go for a run could really help. Try to exercise without your iPod for a change, and instead let your brain play around with your creativity challenges freely and without distraction.

Brainstorm with colleagues: Make time to throw ideas around with other people in your workplace, particularly if you work in a team. A team thinking together is often greater than the sum of its parts, and can explore, test and refine ideas in a way a single person cannot. If you work alone, consider meeting up with other people in creative or marketing based jobs to help you develop your ideas and gather inspiration.

Never throw an idea out: Sometimes it all too easy to reject an idea because it’s not practical or just sounds crazy, but don’t do that. Every idea is an idea, so jot them all down in a physical or electronic format, and revisit them from time to time to see if they have any legs yet. Something which would have been out of the question six months ago might be just what you’re looking for right now.

Be a fan of creative marketing: Sign up for newsletters, read industry journals, visit blogs and websites that talk about the most innovative marketing campaigns right now. The more you know about what the industry as a whole is doing,the more you’ll be inspired for your own campaigns. Big creative agencies are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible every day, so take inspiration from them and see if you can’t push your next campaign to be something more than just run-of-the-mill.

Say goodbye to boring, stale marketing messages that your customers seem to ignore. Embrace your inner creativity (no matter how deep you’ve buried it) and enjoy standing out from the crowd with more lucrative marketing campaigns.

The creativity is in the implementation too

Marketing is no longer about mastering traditional channels and plugging away at them. Today it’s all about constant innovation and using a multitude of creative solutions to maximise your ROI. As well as being creative with your campaigns and messaging, you need to be creative in your delivery too, using a combination of platforms and channels to really reach your customers, wherever they hang out.

Whether you’re a naturally creative person or not, modern marketing requires a creative approach from start to finish. Work on building your creative toolbox and flexing your innovative muscles so that you can stay competitive in this increasingly demanding sphere.