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Creative Marketing: How This FUSE Create Team Fosters a ‘No Idea Is a Bad Idea’ Ethos


Creative Marketing: How This FUSE Create Team Fosters a ‘No Idea Is a Bad Idea’ Ethos

Madison Rogers is a graphic designer turned creative strategist, interested in conceptual challenges, and using her ideas as a paintbrush. Committed to the process of how research turns into insight, before becoming a fully-thought out campaign, she integrates this with her passion for design, finding ways to speak to the audience with purposeful work around important organisations and causes. 

Drew Lindsey is an intermediate creative strategist at FUSE Create. Having been in the industry for just over two years now, she boasts prior experience working in social content, which she applies to the work she does today - creating meaningful, impactful, brand-oriented content and strategy. 

Emily Farrugia is a creative strategist who loves nothing more than digging into a pile of research and coming out with something that has the potential to be great (or even better: spine tingling). With experience in a wide variety of fields, she has developed strong collaborative skills which, combined with her enthusiasm and strong analytical skills, lead to a uniquely flexible and creative approach to problem solving,

LBB> What does creativity mean to you?

Madison, Drew & Emily> At FUSE, we pride ourselves on innovative creative. This is something that informs the way we approach all our product offerings, whether it be PR or XM or anything in between. 

In our role specifically, as creative strategists, we must contribute to the creative in a traditional sense through research, data, and social listening, but also have the ability to provide creative insight on content creation. 

LBB> And more broadly what does creativity mean to you - outside of work, outside of the sphere of advertising?

Madison, Drew & Emily> I think that we can unintentionally box ourselves in by thinking that creativity is limited to things like art, music, or writing, when really, anytime you’re coming up with your own road map or solution, you’re being creative. The more that you live creatively in your everyday life, the easier it becomes to pick up on interesting details or insights that end up paying off (whether it comes to work or life scenarios) down the road.

LBB> What was the moment or experience in your career that really helped cement the importance of creativity in marketing?

Madison, Drew & Emily> While there’s not one moment in particular, there have been countless times where a tight timeline or a challenging brief has made coming up with a solid idea harder than others. Nothing makes you appreciate the importance of creativity more than when the odds are NOT in your favour!

LBB> From your experiences, what is the key to nurturing fruitful relationships with your creative partners?

Madison, Drew & Emily> Being a good listener. If you provide your creative partners with a space that is safe, it gives them a chance to share their ideas without judgement. Be the person that makes others feel like any idea is worth hearing. If you have the ability to build off their thought-starters it will show them the power of their ideas and encourage them to continue to share them. 

LBB> Which creative campaigns from other brands have inspired you most in your career, and why?

Emily> My all-time favourite campaign is Budweiser’s ‘Tagwords’. As someone who loves both writing and puzzles, this spoke to me from the moment I saw it. It was such an incredible way of not letting a roadblock (image usage rights) stop you, but instead, using it to create an innovative campaign that relates to something people do on the daily (Google). The amount of research and creative thinking that went into it was mind blowing. It was the first time I really understood the level of inventiveness that advertising can achieve, and the importance of long-term planning.

Madison> I think my all-time favourite campaign (even though it is a popular one) is the ‘SickKids VS’ campaign. I have a personal connection with the organisation - going there from when I was 6-18 years old for my eyes. The approach of the campaign was so refreshing, and it illustrates so well the strength of these kids and their families. It gives me goosebumps every time!

Drew> One campaign that continues to inspire me is a series of art installations by a floral and event artist, Lewis Miller, done in partnership with Mejuri. The pair placed eye-catching flower displays in typically unsightly locations on the streets of New York, promoting a giveaway which celebrated the start of a new season. What I admire most about this campaign is the powerful contrast between a beautiful flower display blooming out of a dingy, street-side trash can, and just how simple head-turning marketing can be. 

LBB> What campaign that you’ve worked on has been the most creatively satisfying, and why?

Madison, Drew & Emily> As creative strategists, we have the opportunity to be the thinkers behind the creative. What is satisfying about our role is not the flashy end result, but rather, the thinking that made the idea go past the drawing board. Hours of our thinking dictate what our clients’ brand’s creative will look like for the next quarter and beyond. We have the responsibility of not just one-off campaigns, but an ongoing brand story. 

LBB> Of all of the puzzles facing creatives, what’s the topic that’s perplexing your team the most right now?

Madison, Drew & Emily> Like many marketers, the topic of AI is on everyone’s mind. Specifically, the challenge for us is determining whether this ever-evolving technology is actually a tool, or a threat to us. 

Beyond AI though, so much of our technology is evolving so quickly that it can be difficult to keep up with the latest updates. Making sure your clients’ brands are on the right platforms - are there new ones they should be on? Are we creating content to the correct aspect ratios? (Since they change daily it seems like). Basically, it is about ensuring we are producing creative that is meaningful for the moment, but also has the legs for longevity, as well as understanding how we test our ideas to see if they have the potential to be long-running campaigns, so we aren’t afraid that they won’t be relevant in the next few months. 

In addition, the challenge of pausing and not just producing is critical. Sometimes, it is easy to slip into the routine of just creating content for the sake of creating content. It is important to learn to pause, and to make sure you are posting with purpose. That we are providing our clients with quality over quantity. 

LBB> What areas of marketing are you seeing the most exciting potential for creativity?

Madison, Drew & Emily> Experiential marketing has really taken off, especially since covid-19. The pandemic emphasised the importance of getting outside and experiencing new things. Consumers were missing that, and now brands can leverage that gap more than ever. 

Audio marketing is also experiencing a resurgence, mostly due to the boom in podcasts! Consumers gravitate towards this medium because it feels more intimate and personal. And, due to this personal nature, consumers don’t mind ads as much, because it feels like a friend speaking about a product/service from their personal POV. Podcasts give brands the ability to connect with their audience and find niche audiences that are aligned with their brand values. 

There is also still promise in AR/VR, as we figure out just how much this technology can do. Even though it is quite the technical feat, depending on your brand, it can be worth the time and energy. 

LBB> You must see so many ideas pitched to you - and have had to sell so many ideas to the rest of your agency. So what’s the key to selling a great idea?

Madison, Drew & Emily> The key to selling any great idea is confidence. If you present an idea that makes it sound like you aren’t even convinced it’s going to work, how do you expect others to believe you? Practice that confidence internally first - it will help you identify which parts of your pitch are essential, and which parts are unnecessary. 

Try to also anticipate what your client will ask, as this way you will have an answer to ease their concerns. And in the same vein, have research to back up your idea! An idea can only go so far without proof that it will be successful. Clients love stats and results, so give them that quantitative eye candy. Moreover, the research will help support another key element to a great idea, the reason why! You must provide a reason why it is relevant to your client’s brand, and, of course, why now? Does it address a challenge they are experiencing, or simply an area of their business they have wanted to explore? Without your why, an idea is just an idea. 

LBB> In your experience how can creative teams drive this spirit throughout the rest of an organisation?

Madison, Drew & Emily> The ‘no idea is a bad idea’ ethos that is so crucial in the creative process can really help all areas of an organisation grow and develop, even if they aren’t traditionally creative departments (HR, finance, account management, etc.). Fostering an environment that people feel comfortable sharing ideas and opinions in makes for a workplace that is far more adaptable and successful.

Another way to drive creativity, especially throughout departments that may not be creative in nature, is to provide them with the knowledge and tools they need to effectively leverage different forms of media. Internal workshops are a great opportunity to spread information about various marketing mediums and their strategies, along with basic design techniques. In doing so, team members are empowered to use that foundation to build out creative ideas and execute them.

LBB> How do you encourage creative excellence among your team?

Madison, Drew & Emily> The three ‘being’s’: being supportive, being enthusiastic, and being curious. Ask your team about projects they are working on, and see if you can add insight or value to it! Don’t be afraid to pitch new ideas, and don’t wait until someone asks you to do it. It is about creating the opportunities for your clients or the agency, instead of waiting for the opportunities to be presented to you. 

LBB> The big question. We know creativity is effective, but when you’re assessing an idea that’s totally original and new, how do you figure out if it’s brilliant or indulgent?

Madison, Drew & Emily> The question you must ask yourself when identifying a brilliant idea versus an indulgent idea is: ‘Is it benefitting more than my ego?’. 

If the answer is no, then it’s indulgent. If the answer is yes, then it’s brilliant. 

The DNA of a brilliant idea is research, and a clear purpose that supports your client’s business objectives/goals. The DNA of an indulgent idea is all flash and PR headlines that are self-serving to the agency only… not the client. 

LBB> Tell us about a time you’ve really had to fight for a creative idea. What was the idea, what was the obstacle, and why was it worth it?

Madison, Drew & Emily> Usually when you have to fight for an idea, there is a disconnect between idea and insight. So, when clients or co-workers are not getting your idea, it is not about fighting, but rather reassuring them that this idea is the right course of action. You must prove that your idea wasn’t just based on flash and some meaningless trend (for your brand), and that it is rooted in purpose and is relevant to what your brand’s target audience is talking about. 

LBB> What one piece of advice do you have for creatives who’re still figuring out how to drive impactful marketing?

Madison, Drew & Emily> Be a sponge. Observe and analyse people in your agency that you look up to, and identify what makes them good at what they do. Steal those skills and start to implement them in your own unique way. Also, understand the value of the different roles that make up an agency - for example, accounts people being the experts in how to speak to the client in their TOV. 

Finally, when making any new project or ask, feel as though it is a Cannes Lion winner. When you put the same effort into small projects that you would into a big, flashy, 360 campaign, people will take notice (internally and externally). Your co-workers will take notice of your thinking, and then you will start to get assigned to those bigger projects, because of your efforts over your ego. 

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FUSE Create, Fri, 26 May 2023 15:29:17 GMT