Generate Ideas for your Marketing

Ever feel stuck for ideas for your brand’s blog or Instagram posts?

Host Will Francis chats with digital marketing trainer Andrew Davis about how anyone can be creative. From testing your ideas to re-usuing content across different platforms to making your audience get involved, you’ll be inspired after this episode.

“Don't bother wasting brain calories, just let the tools do the thinking for you.” Andrew Davis

Transcript

Will: Welcome to "Ahead of the Game," a podcast brought to you by the Digital Marketing Institute giving you insights from industry experts to supercharge your marketing skills. Today, it's the Modern Mindset where we explore those soft skills that are so vital to developing your career, and this episode is all about creative development. In other words, generating good ideas and developing them into marketing campaigns, content, or tactics. I'm Will Francis, and I'm going to be talking to Andrew Davis. Andrew's a renowned keynote speaker and expert trainer in digital marketing. He has over 20 years of experience to share with us, training organizations like the Royal Mail, O2, Ogilvy, KPMG, and Imperial College (London), and many more. His earlier career saw him innovating in digital at the BBC and then pioneering social network, Myspace where both Andrew and I worked together in the noughties. Andrew, welcome back to the podcast.

[00:00:56]

Andrew: Thanks for having me.

[00:00:57]

Will: It's great to have you. Basically, I would love to have more good ideas in my marketing work. How can I do that?

[00:01:07]

Andrew: So, really big question. So, one thing that when it comes to idea generation that I've been fortunate in the sense that my career started...well, my first major job was working in the UK for the BBC, working for one of their digital stations, Radio 1Xtra. And when it comes to radio, you are put in a live environment. So, your job is, especially when you're doing playlisted shows because I was doing a playlisted show first, which means a show anywhere from breakfast all the way to about tea time. So, about 6:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m: on those shows, the music is already programmed. So, you don't have any choice on the music but what you do have to do is come up with creative ideas whenever the songs are not playing. And if you don't come up with a creative idea: one, the listener could go somewhere else or to you look silly live on air. So, for me, my job was I had that pressure to always come up with interesting ideas every single day. So, when it comes to idea generation, that was kind of built into me.

[00:02:34]

Will: It's like a boot camp of creativity.

[00:02:36]

Andrew: It is a boot camp of creativity where the consequences is you're gonna look silly in front of thousands of thousands of listeners, pretty much. But I also realize that not everyone has that background when it comes to that. So, it was a case of saying, all right, how can I train creativity to people who are not creative people? And one of the things I say to people is don't waste brain calories. And what I mean by that is: sometimes don't think. Let the tools do the thinking because there's loads of tools online that will help you come up with ideas. For example, the one that I use is called Portent Idea Generator, and with Portent Idea Generator, you type in any keyword that you're after and it comes up with sentences and it's slightly clickbaity, but it's for you to come up with ideas around that to say, "Okay, our company might not use this word or this sentence, but I get the idea of it. So, let me create something around that sentence." So, I use tools as well to come up with that. So, Portent Idea Generator.

[00:03:47]

AnswerThePublic is another good one where I type in a keyword and it gives me numerous, numerous questions around that keyword where you can come up with ideas. So, that's just 2, and the reality is if you just use those on a consistent basis and spend 20, 30 minutes at time just using that, I can pretty much say that you won't be running out of ideas. It will be what ideas do I pick now? Because there are so many ideas just off those two tools alone, there's many other tools that I can talk about throughout this podcast episode. But they're just two that I use always. Even if I get stuck for ideas, I just go to those and I'll do it. As a trainer, I do this in my sessions and I'll get them to come up with creative ideas. And I've trained probably anywhere between 11,000 to 12,000 people all over the world, all different industries over the last 11 years. Every time I've done this exercise, there's never been a case where someone can't come up with an idea. So. It really works, and that's why I say sometimes don't bother wasting brain calories, just let the tools do the thinking for you.

[00:05:02]

Will: But it's the blank sheet of paper problem, isn't it? And I think one of the worst things for creativity is a blank sheet of paper not having some other stimulus and input to work on because...and you're right something like AnswerThePublic is fantastic because you put in a keyword not only does it generate ideas, those ideas are based on what people are actually searching Google for. And, you know, what questions they have, what informational needs they have around that topic that need to be met, and then you can base your ideas on that. You know, it's the same reason that we tell clients to have content pillars so they have like consistent themes that they produce content around so that each morning it's not just sit in front of a completely blank you know, Word document or PowerPoint or whatever it is and going, "What do I do now?" Then, you know, if you've got your content pillars in place, you know that, I don't know, Monday is motivational Monday and that sort of narrows it down a bit, right?

[00:05:58]

Andrew: Exactly.

[00:05:58]

Will: I think creativity is partly about narrowing whereas a lot of people think it's about, you know, open thinking with no boundaries.

[00:06:06]

Andrew: Yeah, exactly. And even going back to the content themes, I've worked with a lot of the big professional service networks. And again, these companies, billion-dollar companies, anybody who can afford them knows who they are, they do the same thing. That every year they will have four or five themes, and this is what this year is about and content and ideas come from those four or five themes. And that's something that every organization should have. If you don't, what are the four or five themes that you think would be relevant to your end-users? And then from that, you can come up with sub-categories, and then from that sub-categories of the sub-category, etc. So that's pretty much different ways that I come up with ideas.

[00:06:53]

Will: So, do you believe that anyone can be creative even if they don't think of themselves as being?

[00:06:59]

Andrew: I think anyone can come up with a creative idea, but being creative, a lot of it has to do with the execution. So, for example, I can come up with a creative design idea, I can't design it. So, what I often say to people is if you need to come up with a creative design idea say, and you're not creative, then you really need to look at how to master outsourcing and understanding how can I give this to somebody who can outsource this? So, I often say don't be an entrepreneur, be an outrepreneur, and that is master outsourcing because if I can't deliver something that looks really good to the level that I want it to look good at and I know it needs to be done, then I'm going to have to find someone who can.

[00:07:50]

So, I might have the idea, but I just can't execute that idea, and this is what I think a lot creativity is about, from idea generation all the way down to execution. So, yes, people can be creative from the first early stage, but they might not be able to execute. However, I also know some people are amazing designers, they just can't come up with the idea as well. They just say, "Why don't you tell them the idea?" Amazing. Once they kind of get what's in your head into theirs, they can make it amazing. But what they struggle with is the idea itself. So, in creativity, I feel that there's different stages.

[00:08:23]

Will: Yeah. And any successful entrepreneur will tell that in terms of managing time, you should be doing the stuff that only you can do because you're best at it. And everything else should be done by someone else, should be outsourced by...so, you know, it would be a waste of your time if you're not great at design to like go and learn that or hone your skills because that's not where you add value. Okay.

And thinking about if people are listening and they're part of a marketing team or maybe they're part of a small company and that's just a team, what systems have you seen work really well for team brainstorming? So, in other words, harnessing ideas from a group of people and actually turning them into something that can then be developed into marketing content?

[00:09:10]

Andrew: So, when it comes to that, I feel that you need guidance. So, I'm a big fan of frameworks because if you just sat down and said, right, you guys are in a group and this is the exercise, go, especially if that helps exercise the point of this is to do with idea generation and brainstorming. Yes, that can work, but sometimes people just need that little prompt. So, if, for example, you say, "Okay, well, we need to come up with an idea around creating a new social media group on Facebook." And they say, "Okay, cool." Now, you guys come up with ideas and then people just come up with random ideas. Then it might be a case of saying, "Actually, the whole point of this group is we want to aim at this particular audience." So, then it filters down the thought process. And then it might be a case of saying, "We also need to be able to create content, three or four pieces of content on this a day." So, then it's a case of saying, "Actually, this is a really good idea, but we won't be able to say much about it. So let's go with this idea as well."

[00:10:18]

So, that's the other thing where sometimes if you're going to work with people, some people need reference points or pointers or framework to then work around, then they can get creative in that framework. And I can kind of compare it to like when we worked at Myspace, Myspace was basically “do what you want, just don't break the rules”. So, imagine if this was a big circle, anything you go out of this circle was then you are breaking the rules. But be creative in this thing but we gave them reference points to say, "Don't do this." But also you would have popular pages to give people ideas as well. So, like I said, "Okay. This is actually going to be really popular. Let's do something like that." And then you see it on YouTube, you see it on Instagram, and that might be hashtags, so these are all reference points, and these are really key. To whoever facilitates that, that's really important because yes, you give five people who are not good at idea-generating a task with no pointers, then it's just going to be five people sitting there confused. So, rather than one is now you've got five people confused. So, I would say pointers is really key.

[00:11:28]

Will: Yeah. Absolutely. Again, it's about narrowing down. People need parameters to work and, you know, and again, it's such a missed thing with creativity I think. You talk about, you know, spotting trends or you mentioned kind of spotting popular pages or people or influences, like where do you go for inspiration? Where do you go to kind of fuel your ideas in terms of just immersing yourself in...so not tools as such, but just places online to immerse yourself to kind of fuel your own creativity?

[00:12:01]

Andrew: So, for me, I use Twitter Lists. So when it comes to Twitter, I use lists on Twitter, and then within those lists, I will have different databases say. So, I might have a list that says influencers. And I might have a list that says, journalists. I might have a list that says, footballers. I might have a list that says memes, technology, innovation. And whenever I come across somebody who've posted and stuff that I quite like, I just put them into a list. And then I check my list every day, and then from there, I'll come up with ideas, I'll come up with information and I work from there. So, that's how I come up with ideas. So, when it comes to say social media news, I'll have a list called "Social media news," and I'll post anybody who posts stuff in social media. So, that's how I stay up to date with that. I don't surf the internet. I'm not someone who surfs the internet. I probably go to six, seven websites a day, but rather than chase the information, I'll let the information come to me. And I let that come to me one way, Twitter Lists, otherwise by email. I've subscribed to quite a few email newsletters and do it that way.

[00:13:23]

Will: Yeah. That's a really good point actually, you know, and email's had a huge resurgence, you know, and even one of the email newsletters I subscribe to is actually a digest of what's on Reddit, what's on very certain Subreddits. There's this thing called Mailbrew, and it basically delivers me what's trending on Reddit in marketing, in technology. Kind of like you do with Twitter Lists. And I can see basically what ideas…and I suppose it's getting that sense of what ideas are really kind of getting people fired up in this space at the moment. What's interesting people, what's getting people excited, you know?

[00:14:04]

Hello, a quick reminder from me that if you're enjoying our podcast series, why not become a member of the DMI so that you can enjoy loads more content from webinars and case studies to toolkits and more real-life insights from the world of digital marketing? Head to digitalmarketinginstitute.com/aheadofthegame to sign up for free.

Now, back to the podcast. Okay. So, let's start to think about how you get your ideas. You've shortlisted them. You've whittled them down. There's some things you want to generate content around. Do you have a process for turning ideas into actual executed pieces of content?

[00:14:46]

Andrew: So, it depends. So, for me, my ideas would be kind of to split into two areas. One area would be what I post myself on my marketing channels, which really is LinkedIn. And another would be can I use this in a training or keynote scenario? So, what I would do is I'm pretty good now at taking information saying, "I want to let people on LinkedIn know about this." Or actually, "I've got this idea and now I'm going to turn this into a training material."

[00:15:24]

Will: So, you're very focused about where the idea is going to end up as an execution, because again, that's interesting. You know, you say about you're on LinkedIn, you're not on six different social networks.

[00:15:34]

Andrew: I am but I just don't post.

[00:15:37]

Will: Well, you're most active on LinkedIn. So, when you get inspired, you're very clear about how that's going to materialize in the end because you know that it's going to be a LinkedIn post, you know, and I think that's just a valid point not to skip over because...

[00:15:52]

Andrew: Yeah. No. That's a very good point. Yeah.

[00:15:52]

Will: It really shapes your thinking, and if people don't have that focus, they're just kind of splashing stuff all over the internet without any real...they haven't got that focus to keep it, you know, streamlined, efficient, and effective, I think.

[00:16:06]

Andrew: Yeah, definitely. And I think that, for example, if I was using Instagram and LinkedIn, I might take a piece of content that's on LinkedIn that I posted today, but I might not post it on Instagram. I might see funny things that I'll see on somewhere like Reddit, as you mentioned, or Twitter or wherever I see it on the internet, Facebook, and that actually, I might put on Instagram. So, I would have a different personality on Instagram that I would on LinkedIn. But LinkedIn is a mixture of innovation, it's a mixture of marketing, it's a mixture of advertising, it's a mixture of serious stuff, but it's also funny, silly things as well.

[00:16:46]

So, ultimately, on LinkedIn, I'm building my personality as a trainer or keynote speaker. That's essentially how I do it. But you won't see my silly side on LinkedIn unless it's related to business. So, I like stuff that in most cases that are socially politically incorrect. I find some of that stuff funny. So, I'll post that on Instagram, but there was no way I'll put it on LinkedIn because I might get attacked. But actually, I'm not necessarily agreeing with it, I just find that was actually quite funny, but I'll post it to Instagram because I know the people who follow me in Instagram are just my mates and I don't promote my Instagram.

[00:17:28]

Will: They'll get it.

[00:17:28]

Andrew: Yeah. So, and they'll get it. And I know that they won't be offended or if they are offended, they're just more, “Andrew is just being silly” rather than “I don't know Andrew, I'm following him because I saw him here and now I thought he was this and etc”. So, yeah, I think, like I said, I've always had that structure in a sense that this information that I'm going to share here or there's a lesson here and I'm going to use this for this. So, that's what I've done, that I do. And again, when it comes to organizations like if you're thinking it's, like I said, it works for me, I'm not saying this is the right or wrong way, but it's always good to kind of take information and think where would this go? But also don't be afraid to say, you know what? That just engaged me or that just added value to my life, and that just made me laugh or smile, and that's it and just let it go as well. So, it's just knowing what to filter.

[00:18:23]

Will: So, in terms of, you know, executing on our ideas, can we prototype ideas?

[00:18:31]

Andrew: Yeah, definitely. I think, in fact, you should be testing. I always test. So, for example, if I'm going to do anything, do any Facebook advertising or Instagram advertising, I have this mindset of ‘be prepared to lose £500 first’ because that £500, when I say lose £500 it’s more I'm gathering data and information and if, for example, I've got a pixel on my site, I'm building up the pixel first. The next £500, it might be a case of saying, "Right, I'm trying to just break even now." Because the first £500, I'm figuring things out. The next £500 is where I'm just really testing to see if this works, and then after that, I should make profit. That's how I kind of look at it. But also that £500, that might be spent in a week or 5 days. That might be £100 a day. So, again, don't think £500 could last one month, etc. So, but I'm always testing.

[00:19:30]

Will: Yeah. And also to kind of test and grow. Like I think we live in a world now where the tweet can become a Twitter thread, the Twitter thread can become an article or a blog, you know, the blog can become a published article, the published article can become a book. I mean, I've seen that happen. I've seen authors go on that trajectory of floating an idea on Twitter, and then two years later, the book comes out and it kind of progressively grew into bigger pieces of content because something about the idea sort of sparked interest in people. So, yeah. I mean, I'm a big believer in that. And like you say, the good thing about paid advertising, whatever you think about it, it's like an experiment that you can pay to participate in, right, and you can test, well, not just A/B, like A through to Z and round again, right? You can test any number of variants and find out.

[00:20:23]

You know, we've heard tales of book publishers putting book covers in those ads that don't even exist yet. They've not even commissioned the book. They've even paid the advance to the author or films that bring the trailer out. I mean, it kind of happened with "Sonic the Hedgehog," that movie, didn't it... You know, I mean, I'm not sure they quite planned it that way, but when people saw the trailer of the "Sonic the Hedgehog" movie, they hated the way that Sonic was animated. And so, they went back to the drawing board, delayed the movie, and they brought out a Sonic that everyone loves. Had they been smarter about that, they would have actually created a little one-minute video of the animated Sonic and then done some social listening, right? And then created the movie.

[00:21:03]

Andrew: The problem is with that though, the movie wasn't great after all of that anyway! So, it kind of goes back to the content, but yeah, no, definitely, I think that you never know, that's the thing. You put out a tweet, you never know what that tweet could lead to. And that's the other thing when we talk about creativity, you could post one thing and next thing you know, it turns into something amazing that you're like, I never realized this, the feedback told me this. And hence why if anyone of the listeners has ever done any social media training or digital training, hopefully, whoever trained you will talk about listening and monitoring. And because the information you get back can dictate what to do next. Because the reality is data is irrelevant unless you can turn it into something. Otherwise, it's just, "Oh, okay. That's interesting." So, you need to turn it into something. So, essentially, you're listening to what the data says then you're delivering on that data, and that is all part of the creativity process.

[00:22:03]

Will: So, you think data plays a role in creativity because I suppose there's always the tension between the art and the science as people say, you know, and not just taking the data too literally, keeping it injected with some of that kind of je ne sais quoi human creativity, but at the same time, making sure that your assumptions are backed up, kind of like we talked about with that tool, AnswerThePublic, it's kind of that, isn't it? That is backed up by hard evidence and people want that, and at the same time, it's then up to you to turn it into a good creative idea and present it in a way that sparks interest.

[00:22:39]

Andrew: Definitely yeah. Because when you look at the art or the science or the creativity and the data, the way marketing has been split now over the years is that you've kind of got the creativity side of marketing, which is about brand, etc. Then you've got the marketing, which is about analytics and data. I think that what makes a fantastic marketer, they can apply both. So, if you're a data marketer, you can come up with data, and the data might say, Tik Tok is the place to be right now. But if you can't come up with something creative for Tik Tok, then you're just going to be one of the millions of people who post every minute that no one sees. However, if you're just very creative, you can come up with the most amazing piece of content, but if no one sees it, so what? So, you need to be that mixture of the two.

[00:23:27]

I'm personally...I'm probably more 52% creative, 48% data. When I see information that's out there, you'd act like marketing is all about data now. But I don't know, maybe I'm old school. I still like the creativity. The creativity is what makes...for me, I love creativity. I love when someone comes up with an idea and can deliver on that. I think that's one of the beautiful things in life, from a thought to “this is what it is now”. I'm not necessarily saying the law of attraction or anything like that, but it's something that was in my head and now look. And now, what makes it even better is that when people see it, because one thing I hate is seeing so many creatives that come out with an amazing video with six views.

[00:24:14]

Will: But that's most content, you know, most content doesn't get looked at, it doesn't get shared, it doesn't get cared about.

[00:24:20]

Andrew: Exactly. I think YouTube put out a stat and they said 90% of YouTube videos do less than 1,000 views. So, a vast majority get less than 1,000 views and you want to not be in that 90% because...especially if it's creative. Because in my career, and I've worked in the music industry pretty much for 10 years, I've met a lot of talented, broke singers, thousands of them, whether I'm working at the BBC or when I was working at Myspace, thousands of talented broke singers. But what they are, creatives, but we might not have data to be seen, taking that data so people can see it. That essentially is the difference. And even now, what would the government...I've done a training program with the government and slightly more than 500 tech startups, amazing tech: no one's heard of them. And this is key because, again, you don't want to be a creative with amazing stuff that only you and your friends see. It's taking the data and the information and knowing how to promote as well, and that's just as creative as well.

[00:25:33]

Will: Yeah, absolutely. Okay. So, thinking about how listeners can harness ideas within their businesses. I mean, they do say, I've often heard it said a good idea can come from anywhere. So, how can our listeners involve people from outside the marketing department? Because creativity is very much seen as marketing's job and marketing's domain. How do we open up, bring down the walls, and welcome in ideas do you think from around an organization?

[00:26:06]

Andrew: Sometimes I think because I've heard people say this a few times and sometimes I think people are thinking about this way more than needs be or they're analyzing it way too much. And what I mean by that is sometimes is a case of just asking, it's a case of just walking up to whoever might be in HR and just saying, "Look, I know..." And then you want to do a bit of research first, so you might want to just check them out on social media or you know them anyway. And then just going up to them and say, "Look, I've got this idea that does da, da, da, but I would love to get your input. What do you think?" And you'd be surprised by the amount of people that will turn around and will probably be interested to input because they're never asked anything like this before.

[00:26:51]

You know, the person who works in accounts or IT or wherever it may be, no one's ever asked their opinion about stuff. They're just there to do their job. When you start involving other people, you'd be surprised the relationship you build with them but also some of the ideas. I remember working with say the Royal Mail and there's like 140,000 staff. Like there's a lot of stuff in the hundreds of thousands of staff. And when they started really kind of looking at some of the posties (mailmen) and what they do, there's some so much creativity. In fact, one postie created the album cover for the last, I think it was a Public Enemy album, and it was just the postman, but actually, this person is extremely creative. So, you'd be surprised by just going around just asking people just, "Hey, I'd love to get your thoughts."

[00:27:41]

And if you're in a big organization, again, obviously, the way the world is now, could it be something where you just send out an email to a group of people or speak to whoever's the head of that department and say, "Look, I would just love to get your guys' ideas about this. I think you, guys..." But then also cater to their ego as well. "I think you, guys...like some of the creative ideas is not always in the marketing, it's here, but I think you guys could help because we really appreciate what you have to say." And you know, the reality is someone told me this a long time ago and it always stuck to me. And he said, when it comes to your business, the most creative person should not be your marketer or designer, it should be your accountant. And I just laughed because obviously, I knew what he meant, but you'd be surprised, if an accountant can be creative with numbers, you wonder what they could do when it comes to Photoshop and you creating your own Photoshop for them. So, you know, don't just think of the obvious, always think outside the box.

[00:28:36]

Will: Totally. And you know, people from around the business have different insights, right? You know, so someone in IT, you know, that understands how the product is delivered a bit more would have some insights into customers that in the marketing department, you just don't perhaps have access to, you know. So, I think again, it's appealing to that and as you say appealing to their ego a bit, making them feel good about being involved, I think.

[00:29:02]

Andrew: Exactly. And the other thing as well, actually, I remember working at Myspace. So, when you first started working at Myspace, you were in reception. And I remember thinking to myself, "Will knows quite a lot of stuff. Like Will's not just the receptionist. Will knows like..." Because I could tell. So, I used to come to you and ask you stuff. Like, "Will, what would you think it is?" Or you could use Photoshop. I believe you could...was it Photoshop that you could do? I used to come to you to say, "Can you sort this out?"

[00:29:27]

Will: And I could like hack Myspace pages and make them look a certain way and stuff. Yeah.

[00:29:31]

Andrew: Yeah. Because I knew that you could do that, and I knew that the marketing department couldn't do it or the design department were too busy, like the couple of the guys in design. So, I would come to you. And also, I remember when James Howard came in, I think he came as an intern, but I was like, "I'm speaking to you way before I'm speaking to the heads of department because you get this." So, for me, I've always been about, let me go to somebody who is outside of the obvious because I want their point of view because their point of view actually is better than the point of views that we see because it's hard to see the picture when you're in the frame. So, I'm going to speak to other people. So, I've always had that mentality of that.

[00:30:12]

Will: Absolutely, yeah. You're right. You're right. It's people on the ground, it's the people who are closest to it, you know? And that was definitely the case with me back then. Okay. So, do you think good ideas can come from your customers? Like, you know, there's the very famous example of the American beauty brand Glossier and there's a case study that I created actually on the Digital Marketing Institute's website all about how they rose to fame. But one of the key things that they do is they base so much on their customers' ideas, and they make a proactive attempt to harness ideas from their customers. Now, that's not to say that a customer makes a complaint and suddenly everything has to change, you know, they're not reactive in that way. They do proper listening, but they do listen to their customers and they turn the overall picture of what people think about that industry, about their products into new products, into campaigns. Do you think that's something that any of us could do, to kind of try and harness ideas from our customers?

[00:31:18]

Andrew: Yes, in a nutshell. But it really depends how you go about doing it because yes we can look at our customers and get ideas from them, but it's the old saying that Henry Ford said, and that is, "If I listened to my customers, I would have created a faster horse." So, you need to be very strategic when you're going to listen to the customer and not saying that you need to create some user-generated campaigns because also, to make user-generated campaigns work, there's too many moving parts if you're going to base everything around it. You want to make it a bit more organic and a bit more natural. Information that the customers do, so the Glossier one that you mentioned, Dell was another one that use it. They actually have like a whole center around the customers' thoughts and that recognition, they want to give their customers recognition over reward in some cases.

[00:32:15]

Will: It's making them feel part of your journey, part of the mission, and that's what Glossier do. Everyone who buys from them feels like part of something, part of, you know, a new way to approach the beauty industry, you know?

[00:32:27]

Andrew: Yeah. But I wouldn't be surprised, and I've heard in the past where that way you've got a brand that's taken a customer's idea and next thing you know the customer is suing them because it's like, "You stole my intellectual property or you stole my idea as well." So, there's that as well. So, I think I'm a big fan of using customers and getting those insights and/or whether it be information that you've got from your analytics or in real-time analytics as well, but again, I think it's being strategic around it if you're going to execute it into something that's quite large.

[00:33:04]

Will: Yeah. Well, I know our time is coming to an end. I just want to ask you; you talk about creativity in your training. How do you teach others to be more creative?

[00:33:16]

Andrew: Like I said, sometimes I'll just show them. So, that's why I'll go back to what we said right at the beginning where - don't waste brain calories, just use these tools. But essentially, when I'm training, whether I'm training social media or content marketing or influencer marketing or any areas of digital, I will have frameworks and I will say to them almost at the beginning, "I'm going to show you creativity." Sometimes I won't necessarily say it to them, but the reality is most people think creativity is creating something, but creativity, if you look at the hot from a business point of view, is not just creating, it's getting people to see it, but also converting people to do whatever you want them to do. So, there's actually a number of different parts. That's creative. Because I know creative conversion specialists. I know creative creation specialists.

[00:34:11]

So, without necessarily saying it, all my training sessions is around creativity. So, I'm showing people...sometimes at the beginning, I'll say it, sometimes I might even say it at the end to say, "Look, at the end of the day, some of you came in here thinking, 'How do I be a bit more creative?' Well, this is what we've gone through throughout the day. You've actually created this strategy. All I've did is give you some reference points and you've come up with this. So, you can be creative." Everyone can be creative, we just need to work out what they can be creative, what is that spot that they need creativity for? Because I can be creative, very creative in the things that I love, but I can't be creative in things that I have no idea about because I just don't have any idea. So, that's the other thing as well.

[00:34:56]

Will: Yeah, no, I get that. Well, mate, I think that's all we got time for. You know, that's been really interesting to talk to you about the soft skill of creativity. It's an intangible one, but it's one that everyone in marketing struggles with to some extent and really needs to get better at. So, that was really interesting to chat to you about. Really appreciate your time. Before I let you go, tell our listeners where they can find you online.

[00:35:22]

Andrew: Sure. So, as I said earlier on, I really focus on my creativity while on LinkedIn. So, you can find me at linkedin.com/in/andrewmdavis. And that is Davis spelled D-A-V-I-S or you can go to my website, which is andrewmilesdavis.com.

[00:35:44]

Will: That's great. We'll do that. Thanks very much, Andrew. Cheers for your time. See you soon.

[00:35:49]

Andrew: Brilliant. Thanks, Will. Take care.

[00:35:50]

Will: If you enjoyed this episode, subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. And for more information about transforming your marketing career through certified online training, head to digitalmarketinginstitute.com. Thanks for listening.

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Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis is a renowned keynote speaker and expert trainer in digital marketing. He has over 20 years of experience to share with us, training organisations like The Royal Mail, O2, Ogilvy, KPMG and Imperial College and many more. His earlier career saw him innovating in digital at the BBC and then at pioneering social network MySpace. On his website he runs The Never-Ending Guide, an extensive list of free marketing tools, and he can be found on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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