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Marketing: Include Creativity in Product Development

Creativity in marketing can help inspire a brilliant campaign. Start brainstorming or using any other creativity tools you care to try. The creative brief gives you a clear focus and some good working materials as you apply your creativity to product development.

You can use your creative brief for any marketing communication or for any situation in which you must design something creative to communicate and persuade. Sometimes what you need to design is a new or improved version of your product.

New products must be innovative to stand out. Managing a product development team so that it’s optimally creative and effective means first putting together the right team. That generally means a diverse team, one that includes the full range of knowledge that may be relevant.

You need to include different functions, from sales and marketing to manufacturing and engineering, in the creative process. Why? Because they all have different knowledge bases that help generate good ideas. You need to bring them in eventually anyway, so why not now?

In mid-sized and larger companies, forcing closer interaction between research, business planning, marketing, and technical staff — as Kraft Foods does — is essential. That company (which generates several new products every year) uses a variety of conference-type events, training, and cross-functional teams to mix up its people and help them make those unobvious connections between their different knowledge bases.

Small-business marketers need to pull together diverse development teams by reaching out to their distributors, customers, friends, and acquaintances to broaden their technical and social perspectives and fuel their imaginations.

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