Understanding creativity and its role in marketing

Friday - June 15th, 2012

Written by: Tristan Pelligrino

Understanding creativity and its role in marketing

In the advertising and marketing world, creativity is king. After all, it is what a “full service creative agency” focuses on. However, before you can understand what creativity means for marketing your business, it is probably important to have an idea of what creativity means in general. defines “creativity” as “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination.” Creativity is easy to understand as a textbook definition, but there is much more to it than just a definition. After all, understanding creativity and executing it are two entirely different things.

Before understanding how people are creative, it’s helpful to understand why people are creative. In Robert E. Franken’s book Human Motivation, he explains the three needs that bring about creativity:

  1. need for novel, varied, and complex stimulation
  2. need to communicate ideas and values
  3. need to solve problems

From these reasons, one can begin to understand how important creativity is in everyday life, and even more so in the business world. Creativity is a bridge between conceptualization and execution. At the same time, it can be a problem-solver or even a scapegoat. The possibilities are endless and are only limited by the human imagination.

Now that we’ve reviewed why people are creative, we can discuss how people are creative. In Franken’s same book, he also discusses how a person expresses themselves creatively. He states, “In order to be creative, you need to be able to view things in new ways or from a different perspective. Among other things, you need to be able to generate new possibilities or new alternatives. Tests of creativity measure not only the number of alternatives that people can generate but the uniqueness of those alternatives. the ability to generate alternatives or to see things uniquely does not occur by change; it is linked to other, more fundamental qualities of thinking, such as flexibility, tolerance of ambiguity or unpredictability, and the enjoyment of things heretofore unknown.”

This basically means that you need to acquire a firm grasp of the situation and attack it in as many ways as possible. It’s simply about training yourself to act and think differently, or from different perspectives.

The Hungarian psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi also explains the different ways people are creative in his book, Creativity – Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. In the book he explains three types of creative people, or ways in which a person can become a “creative person”

  1. Persons who express unusual thoughts, who are interesting and stimulating – in short, people who appear to unusually bright.
  2. People who experience the world in novel and original ways. These are (personally creative) individuals whose perceptions are fresh, whose judgments are insightful, who may make important discoveries that only they know about.
  3. Individuals who have changed our culture in some important way. Because their achievement is by definition public, it is easier to write about them.

This is simply a matter of broadening your thoughts, and expanding your own mind. Creativity is a vital tool in the marketing industry, and should be a trait that all marketing practitioners should possess. Whether you are an individual proprietor or a full service creative agency, never neglect the importance, power, and ability of creativity.

Leave a Reply