When the going gets tough, the tough get more creative, a new survey suggests. Forty per cent of marketing and advertising executives polled said campaigns become more innovative when budgets are lean. Twenty-six per cent felt that tight spending had no effect on creativity levels.

The national study was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on interviews with employees from 2,000 advertising agencies.
Advertising and marketing executives were asked, “In general, do you think advertising and marketing campaigns become more or less creative when budgets are lean?”

“In a challenging economic climate, businesses rely on their marketing teams to develop campaigns that resonate with consumers who are more selective in their spending,” said Megan Slabinski, executive director of The Creative Group. “Firms that lack the resources to support traditional marketing initiatives may be willing to go out on a limb and try something different.”

Slabinski noted, however, that not all belt-tightening fosters creativity. “Our research shows that tight deadlines are a top source of creative blocks,” she said. “Consequently, marketing teams that are stretched too thin may have trouble generating quality concepts.”

The Creative Group offered the following five tips for promoting creativity among employees:
• Find the focus. Help staff members prioritize projects so they have sufficient time for the most important tasks. Eliminate less critical duties, or delegate them to other personnel.

• Surround your team with ideas. Ask staff to post any designs, artwork or quotes that they find inspiring on a wall from which everyone can draw inspiration.

• Brainstorm in the morning. A separate survey by The Creative Group indicated that the morning is the most creative time for a majority of professionals, so hold meetings intended to generate ideas in the early hours.

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