By: Noah Rue
No matter how good you are at your job, slumps and dry spells are just part of being in a creative role at work. When it’s your job to constantly think, innovate, and create, there’s just no getting around it—sometimes you hit a creative slump. How you get out of that slump is what matters.
Marketing teams are no exception. If good ideas have dried up and your team can’t seem to find inspiration, it’s time to reassess. Recognizing that slumps are just part of the creative process can make it easier to climb out of one.
If your marketing team can take a step back and examine current tactics, be sure the workplace is fostering a creative and positive culture and take some time to keep up with current trends. you’ll be well on your way to fresh, engaging ideas in no time. Further, you’ll have the tools necessary to climb out of the slump the next time one rolls around.
Taking a Look in the Mirror
Sometimes getting out of a slump isn’t about creating something entirely new; it simply involves taking a look at something that you might have written off or simply not considered. Reassessing your marketing team’s tactics is a great way to work towards breaking a creative slump. Traditional practices like direct mail marketing, print advertising, and strong brand identity can still hold clout today.
Instead of trying to think of something no one has ever done before, remember that certain techniques are known as tried and true for a reason. Building your best innovation process might just involve slowing down, taking a look in the mirror, and reassessing old tactics.
You can make your marketing team more creative by simply entertaining all ideas as valid, no matter if they’re brand new or have been used over and over again in the past. You never know what will strike a chord, so why not open up the drawing board to anything and everything? You likely have the answer already — you just need to recognize that it’s there.
Fostering a Creative Environment & Positive Work Culture
Nothing snuffs the flame that is creativity like a negative work environment. If your workplace doesn’t have an atmosphere that fosters innovation and allows teams to thrive, there’s no way your creative team is going to reach its full potential and produce outstanding work for your clients.
One of the most important things about creating a positive work environment is considering everyone’s ideas, no matter how wild they seem, and celebrating failures. Failure is a way to learn — not something to feel bad about. Solutions-oriented teams value flexibility, curiosity, empathy, positivity, and collaboration. If your team members don’t feel safe to share their ideas with colleagues, you won’t be going anywhere fast.
Introduce procedural feedback to your colleagues to let them know what they did well, what you want to hear more about, and wonder what might happen if this or that was changed. This encourages ideas and entertains all without squashing anyone’s creative flow or making them feel inadequate. Safe environments produce great ideas.
Team-building activities that work on trust and positive communication are great places to start. If you set the conditions for anyone on your team to be creative, your team will be better off for it. Try taking your team on a retreat to do something out of the ordinary and get those creative juices flowing. Go outside, play a game, attend an event together — anything to give people a change of pace.
Improving company culture is one of the best things you can do for the success of your marketing team. Allow your team to take breaks when they need, make them feel valued, and listen to them when they bring up concerns. You will surely see the positive results of an improved company culture very quickly.
Keeping Up With Trends
Marketing teams know better than perhaps anyone else that standards, trends, and techniques are always changing. A large part of the job is constant education to make sure you’re keeping up with the top digital branding trends in a mature digital age.
The ability to adapt to this changing environment is only becoming more important as technology continues to advance at a swift pace and young people set the standards in the industry. If you want your creative team to thrive, you’ll need to make sure your team members are constantly learning and exploring new ideas.
If your marketing team isn’t ready for the challenges of the digital age or don’t understand their place within the marketing world, then there’s no wonder why they’re experiencing a creative slump. Leaders of innovative marketing teams should build time into the work schedule for research and development of new ideas in accordance with the latest trends and best practices.
Even the best marketing teams experience slumps. In an ever-changing profession, it can be hard to navigate those slumps and not get discouraged. But slumps are just part of the process of being a creative. Luckily, there are things you and your team can do to dig your way out and come out on top. By reassessing tactics, fostering a positive company culture, and keeping up with the latest industry trends, slumps won’t seem so scary anymore.
About the author
Noah Rue is a writer, a digital nomad, an ESL teacher, and an all around good dude, if he doesn’t say so himself.