5 Ways to boost Marketing Creativity & Innovation: eCommerce 2020
5 Minute Read
Looking for a little inspiration to increase your marketing creativity and innovation in 2020?
Ever since eCommerce started back in 1991, businesses have sprouted up and turned into behemoths, resulting in brands like Amazon and Alibaba heading the industry.
So it comes as no surprise that the eCommerce market is enormous. According to recent research, 2019 saw over 1.92 billion global digital buyers, flocking from eCommerce websites.
There are now up to an estimated 24 million active eCommerce websites. Even though some sites specialise in niche sectors, a few big players dominate the eCommerce market.
This setup makes the eCommerce space very competitive. It’s very difficult for smaller businesses to stand out amongst the competition.
As a result of this, eCommerce marketers have their work cut out. As well as establishing a strong brand message, marketing teams need to think more about building strong relationships with customers.
Now, marketers need to keep themselves a lot more creative and think outside the box. There’s many online guides that offer different marketing tips and strategies, but there aren’t many that talk about how marketers can stay creative.
Understand your customer
To be truly innovative and creative, marketers have to fully understand their customers.
A thorough understanding of your ideal customers will help marketers see strategies that aren’t apparent on the surface. Understanding is the foundation on which marketers can bridge disparate ideas together.
This is why, when faced with a problem, we are advised to follow various mental exercises, such as ‘the 5 whys’ and the ‘put yourself in someone else’s shoes’ method. After all, the first step in solving any problem is to first define it.
So how can marketing creativity and innovation help marketers to understand their customers better?
The first step is to gather as much data as you can. Tracking real-time customer behaviour and seeing how visitors interact with your website is always a great start. It’s a brilliant way to identify specific pain points and helps to reveal your customers’ preferences.
Another great way to gather valuable data is through a chat bot. This way, you can speak directly to customers and highlight their frustrations first-hand. It’s a much more organic way to understand user-preferences, but can be a lot more time-consuming and manual.
Ideas are a diamond dozen. A marketer could have the most creative concept in the world, but if there is no feasible way of turning it into a reality, then the idea is worthless.
Therefore it’s important to test ideas on a small scale before committing to them fully. Creating a mentality of experimentation amongst your marketing team is the heart of marketing creativity and innovation.
It’s important to instil a culture of ‘no idea is a bad idea’ throughout your team – then find clever ways to test the most practical suggestions.
If you want to know a little more, this idea is fully explored by Claude Hopkins in ‘My Life in Advertising’. Where he attributes a lot of his success to his cautious nature and willingness to test out ideas on a small scale before investing heavily.
Another way that eCommerce marketing teams are boosting innovation and creativity is through website Personalization.
This is a great way to develop a rich understanding of your customers preferences and behaviour.
Amongst marketing teams, a Personalization strategy involves collecting visitor data, then establishing a strategy that targets specific audiences and individuals based on this information.
A teams creativity and innovation can depend massively on how well this data is collected and measured. The more your team understands about your customers, the more direction they’ll have when creating and managing campaigns.
An effective Personalization tool will allow you to target content at niche audiences based on their historical interests. This is a great opportunity for your team to inject personality into your content. It’s all about using collected data to understand your visitors behavioural patterns.
Data collected through Personalization can allow your team to put themselves in the shoes of your website visitors. Make sure to use an effective tool to achieve new level of marketing creativity and innovation.
Embrace your surroundings
Whether we like it or not, our surroundings affect us.
If your marketing team works in a drab area where they feel constricted, the odds are that they will not produce their best work. Conversely, a space that encourages your team to collaborate and freely share ideas will help to drive marketing creativity and innovation.
The best thing to do, is take a look at your surroundings and ask yourself how your work space is affecting you and your team.
Do you feel that you can do your best work in the office, or do you need to leave your work space to get that critical wave of inspiration?
Should you realize that your workspace has a detrimental effect on you and your team, there is no need to fret.
With a little effort, you can adjust your work space to suit the creative needs of your team better, bringing out the best of you all. Changing small things may seem pointless, but the potential payoff can be great.
Give users a voice
During a brainstorming session, one of the more important rules is that there is no such thing as a bad idea. This is important to understanding marketing creativity and innovation.
The goal is to encourage everyone to take part, believing that the more ideas they throw at a problem, the higher the chance is of solving it.
So why should the marketing team be the only people throwing out ideas?
If a customer loves a product, they will rally behind it and shout its’ benefits to the world. They will act as your brand ambassadors, recommending your products to their to their network – maybe even leaving a review.
Sometimes, the best ideas come from outside of your team.
Marketers can tap into their customer base by:
- Leveraging user-generated content
- Re-use and post customer reviews as social proof
- Ask loyal customers for testimonial videos
- Send free products to customers with a good network/following
Even better, if your marketing team stumble upon a particular problem, they can reach out to your customer base for opinions.
Don’t worry, asking for people help won’t harm your brand’s credibility. It shows that you can enough to ask and you value their opinion.
Don’t fear failure
A lot of people think that creativity is something people are born with. But in reality, creativity is more about hard work and trying out new ideas. It’s about not being afraid to fail.
It’s about realising that the real judge of good ideas lies outside the company walls – where these ideas either fail or succeed.
Even if you apply every tip presented in this article, your ideas will still be stale as long as you are afraid of failing.
Embracing the possibility of making mistakes, but knowing how to minimise the damage of these mistakes is the essence of marketing creativity and innovation.
As Michael Jordan said, “I’ve missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed repeatedly in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.