Marketers reveal their most creative spaces

Marketers find their muse in the strangest of places
Marketers find their muse in the strangest of places

In our always on digitally driven world finding the space for creativity isn't easy, so we asked the UK's top marketers to share snaps of their own creative spaces.

Patrick Collister - Head of design, Google

"When I was creative director in an agency 15 years ago, I remember talking to Sir Martin Sorrell and looking up at the ceiling."

I said to him: ‘When you see people doing this it probably really pisses you off, doesn’t it? This is what I’m hiring people to do.’ "I want people to take time out. I want them to absorb a brief, then I like to see ‘tied’ energy and brainstorming. An idea starts in one brain, after all."

Phil Rumbol - co-founder, 101 and former Cadbury marketing director

"Organisations are full of smart, bright people but what we’ve been taught to do at school is think of the clever thing to say. But ideas are so fragile, we need to be careful with them and remember that you can always think of reasons not to do things and that consensus conspires against creativity."

Nick Jones - head of digital and CSR, Visa Europe

"Creativity is not just for the pullover-wearing Shoreditch crowd. No disrespect. Others can develop creativity. I love Twitter for inspiration. It’s digital poetry; how can you distil the essence of an idea into a few words?"

Dominic Grounsell - global head of digital marketing, Travelex

"The better we understand each other and the contexts we operate in every day, the more likely we’ll be able to have conversations based on empathy and respect. To do that, of course, we need to shed some of the baggage we’ve steadily picked up over the years. Whether it’s the agency perceiving clients as over-bearing, myopic and lacking in creativity or it’s the clients perceiving agency people as prima-donna’s who don’t understand the importance of commercial results."

"Understanding and respect are central to better working relationships between agencies and clients. These prejudices dog our industry and create an ‘us and them’ mentality that stops us from working together effectively. If we got to know each other better as people, many of these barriers simply wouldn’t exist."

"Creativity is a means to an end and so, from a purely rational standpoint, creativity means problems get solved and we deliver on our objectives. On a more emotional level, creativity is a very powerful force and the feeling you get when you come across it or have a moment of brilliance yourself is unmistakable. For me, it always produces a sense of ‘wow’ as you step back and marvel at the thing you’re looking at. At its very best it creates that butterflies feeling in the pit of your stomach and voice in your head that says ‘gosh, I wish I’d thought of that’!"

"The most pernicious myth we continually propagate is that creativity is limited to people who work in creative departments. This is often backed up by the supporting myth that creative are somehow different to the rest of us and should be treated as such. The world has moved on and its time we stopped thinking and acting like we’re in the era of Mad Men."

"In a world of real time data, constantly evolving platforms and ‘audience of one’ marketing, the idea of handing over a brief, waiting 6 weeks and then getting one option handed to you in a big ‘taaaa-daaa’ moment feels like an anathema."

Paul Mallon - Head of digital engagement, Paddy Power

"I feel most creative when cycling, being outside in the fresh air, up a mountain, exercising. I want to get people out more. In fact, I think I’ll suggest to my team that we go to the zoo this afternoon and watch the animals while eating ice cream. We should do more of that stuff."

"We work hard and we’ll make up the time. Some of the best creativity comes from either locking yourselves away in a room and focusing, or going out informally as a team."

"I would like to give our team more freedom, but we are torn right now between finding the value of big data to assist with better marketing, chasing consensus for an idea or going with our gut."

Amanda Rendle - Global head of marketing, HSBC

"I am most creative when I surround myself with people I love to work with and when I give myself time. Also when I’m curious about the customer, technology and what it can do, and I remember that there is life outside my day job and I keep learning."

"I hope I give my team the freedom to deliver and to think of different ways of doing things. Different cultures help. I am lucky that I have teams all around the world, which generates amazing ideas."

Emma Jenkins - Former Procter & Gamble marketer, now capability consultant, Brand Learning

"I don’t carve out time to ‘be creative’ – it’s a way of thinking and operating that you need to instil in your teams."

"This is true for every function, not just marketing – everyone should be thinking creatively about how to better serve the consumer. Being creative is allowing yourself the freedom to think expansively about how you frame business challenges and explore innovation.

"It’s an always-on mindset and approach you should bring to work every day. "I feel most creative when I’m among other people, sparking off their ideas. Or sometimes it strikes when I’m alone, at unusual times."

" Creativity is not only for design, or marketing or advertising. It can bring value to every facet of a business or organisation."

Emma Colthorpe - Head of marketing, fashion and beauty, John Lewis

"I often see the best creativity from my team when I let go and give them space and freedom. Sometimes it feels uncomfortable because I relish the creative process, but it really pays off when they come back with stronger, exciting ideas."

Matt Barwell - Chief marketing officer, Britvic

"I do my best thinking when I’m out running with my dog or in the kitchen cooking, so that’s when I think I am at my most creative."

"I would like to say that I’m creative when it comes to cooking, but that may be overstating my skills. "The most commonly held misconception about creativity is that only a lucky few are capable of conceiving innovative ideas."

"Another fallacy is that great creative work and innovation are the product of one individual’s genius, whereas, in reality, it’s usually the result of a team’s hard work and collaboration."


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