Posted by Kristin Dziadul | November 24, 2014
The tires are spinning in place and you’re getting nowhere fast. You’re stuck in a rut — a marketing rut, that is. It’s not easy coming up with fresh ideas day after day, week after week, expecting incremental results every time. The good news is — that’s okay! The better news is that I have some tips for you to get out of those ruts faster.
As the founder of a small boutique marketing firm, I always have to be on my toes with new ideas for a variety of clients and I never settle for subpar suggestions. Many times I do find myself in a rut, but being responsible for several client’s marketing programs and results, I can’t afford to be in a rut for long.
How To Get Inspired With New Ideas
1. Make news.google.com your friend. Keeping up to date on a daily basis with breaking news that you can twist into a unique, timely story for your brand will (a) get you in the news cycle and (b) prove that you’re on top of it in your industry. You certainly don’t want to be seen as a stale brand!
2. Check out a few brands you admire to see what they’re up to. Just because you’re a tech startup, for example, doesn’t mean you can’t gain inspiration from Banana Republic, Lowe’s or even your favorite local grocery store. If you notice that a particular company has a really interesting drip email campaign, tweets in a fun, creative fashion, or has really nailed the content on their blog, take note of that. Keep those examples stashed away for a rainy day when you’re in a rut so you can look back on them and kick up some new ideas.
3. Look for inspiration in strange places. Back in the spring I wrote a post on this. My point being that anywhere you go, keep an open mind because you might come across the next great idea when you least expect it. Many times I’m out running errands or at the gym when I think of the perfect campaign idea for a client, so I’ll jot it down. I study everything from customer service techniques to in-store marketing and sales experiences to messaging on flyers to see how I can apply any of that to the digital stuff I’m doing for clients or for myself. And it really does help.
4. Ask! If you have some trusted friends or colleagues who get the industry you’re working in, ask them for their input. It’s okay to get ideas from other people — no one expects you to work on an island, after all. Sometimes I’ll shoot a quick email to a few friends of mine who are in the marketing scene to get their candid input, or will hop on the phone with someone on my team to work through some options. It’s always refreshing to talk it out and get a fresh perspective.
5. Walk away. Sometimes the worst thing you can do when you’re truly stuck is to just stare blankly at your computer screen hoping for inspiration to pop out at you. Getting some fresh air, moving onto another task, or even getting a quick workout or walk in can help clear your mind and reset it when you’re ready to get back at it. I recently wrote in depth on this on the Muck Rack blog.
Many times, a combination of these techniques is the best approach as it diversifies your inspiration and can give you a variety of sources to pull from.
Now i’m going to hand it over to you: What are one or two ways you get out of a rut and back on track with some fresh marketing ideas?