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Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Pundits like to say we are living in the golden age of startups. While this claim is, with 5 million businesses started last year in the USA alone, all but true, we can’t deny this welcome development creates a very competitive and dense business arena. Understanding how to make your business stand out can be a difficult task.

The simple answer to this problem can be, of course, found in creativity. After all, who can forget the likes of ‘Share Happiness’ by Coca-Cola, the initial novelty of the Old Spice Guy, or the iconic ‘Just Do It’ by Nike?

The only problem here is that creativity is incredibly easy to identify and grow fond of, leveraging this asset in your marketing campaigns effectively is a far more daunting task. Let us take a look then at a couple of suggestions that you nudge you in the right direction and help you use creativity to easily stand out in a competitive marketplace.

Conduct Thorough Market Research

A woman pointing to market research data on a screen.

Ok, this tip has nothing to do with creativity but it has everything to do with the place where your decisions will come from. You need to be aware that, no matter how hard to try, not every message is going to click with every audience. If you want to stick the landing, you need to be aware of who your clients are. Do your best then to conduct marketing research that will provide you with valuable actionable results. To do that, you will need to:

  • Learn what users think of your brand
  • Re-evaluate your existing channels of communication
  • Conduct surveys and interviews with different focus groups
  • Create different client personas based on demographics, pain points, and personal info
  • Define a clear research goal and create surveys that will serve that goal
  • Analyze data and organize it into a sensible report

Go Guerilla!

Now that we know what we are dealing with, it’s time to see how we can use the market research insights to target the ideal customer personas we have conjured up during the research. One of the most obvious answers comes in the form of guerilla marketing.

If you are not familiar with the phrase, guerilla marketing is a term that describes a set of marketing practices that are usually unconventional, designed to surprise the audience or provoke emotional reactions, and, in most cases, conducted in real-life.

Since they are pulled off by small groups of promoters or through assets like street art, creating visual art, public events, and various challenges, the guerilla marketing campaigns are also incredibly cost-effective which makes them an ideal choice for SMBs. To make this approach resonate with the populous, however, you will need to consider the following suggestions:

  • Focus on the intended audience
  • Make sure your public stunts feature a built-in call to action
  • Work only with smaller groups of people at the same time
  • Try to entertain and surprise to provoke social media response
  • Keep the message simple and concise

Leverage Rich And Creative Visuals

A woman finding ways to make her business stand out on a tablet.

You know how they say – an image speaks a thousand words. Well, in this case, the creative visual elements that are capable of provoking strong emotional responses and carving a place in people’s minds might just be the strongest asset you have in your marketing arsenal.

How to get the material you need, though? Well, try to narrow down the core values and mission statement of your company into a couple of keywords or simple descriptions. From that point on, you can work with a professional design company that will use these resources to come up with simple and creative visual resources you can put on your custom corporate promotional products and spread throughout the intended audience

 You will be able to produce even greater effects if you combine creative visual solutions with the innovative ways they are used. For instance, medical supplies and umbrellas share the same idea of protection – you can leverage this fact to come up with something fun and unique.

Use Innovative And Creative Website Design

We want to put a special emphasis on this one since your company’s website is the starting and, at the same time, the endpoint of all of your marketing online campaigns. Since this single resource makes the main pillar of your digital marketing efforts, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start with your creative initiatives at this very place.

This is especially important keeping in mind that, in terms of web design, creativity can manifest both in terms of how one website looks as well as how it behaves. As for the visual department, going back to your brand drawing board using the visual elements from the previous section should give you enough visual cues to work with.

Navigation also leaves doors wide open for creating an intuitive and engaging experience that will invite visitors to explore the website to a greater extent. But, you need to make sure to follow these basic rules of thumb:

  • Draw a detailed website map to always have a look at the bigger picture and understand the navigation layout better
  • Keep the user experience consistent across all different resources
  • Ground the user experience with established conventions and intuitive controls
  • When in doubt, consider using a minimalist design

Create A Unique Brand Persona

A woman discovering how to make her business stand out on a laptop.

Creating a brand persona and giving it a unique voice was always one of the simplest and most effective branding strategies and for a good reason too. Speaking in terms of creative marketing, companies that have this added dimension are much easier to work with since people working in the marketing department have a very tangible set of traits to work with and can approach reaching out to wider masses more empathetically.

Of course, defining such a tangible set of traits that can embody the entire philosophy and attitude of your company is not that easy so we have provided you with a couple of simple tips you can use to reach this goal:

  • Go back to your company’s brand values and try to translate them into personality traits
  • Research your target audience and define the tone your brand will use in public addresses
  • Try to describe your brand through some proverb or a catchy slogan in the vein of ‘Just Do It’
  • Create a map of your company’s core values and describe singular mentions in greater depth.

When you are done with this, your marketing team will have a much easier job pushing your brand in new directions and reacting to feedback in a natural, consistent manner.

Foster A Culture Of Innovation And Creativity

A creative piece of artwork.

Last but not least, we would like to point out that creativity is not something that can be artificially summoned. If you want your team to lead the marketing race instead of forever playing a catch-up game, your employees need to be encouraged to think independently and solve problems with fresh and innovative approaches.

The only way to do that is to make sure your business fosters a culture of innovation and creativity. Here are a couple of suggestions to nudge you in the right direction:

  • Set up the stage for successful brainstorming (premises, workplace routines, employees’ schedule, etc.)
  • Create a stimulating, tolerant, and inclusive workplace atmosphere
  • Encourage independent thinking through delegation and incentives
  • Listen to good ideas and act upon them
  • Put your staff through regular teambuilding exercise
  • Accept and facilitate anonymous suggestions

In Conclusion

We hope these couple of suggestions gave you a general idea about how you can make sure your future marketing campaigns are far more creative, but also make sure the decisions you are making are grounded with real-life data and implemented by effective resources. People like to talk that the business world is run by constant innovation. In reality, though, very few companies are capable of putting out something truly fresh while most simply goes through the motion.

By identifying creative strategies, you will have a good idea of how to make your business stand out. Your marketing department looks like a perfect place to start the overhaul.

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