Four ways that marketing managers can enhance the creative process
in their organizations.

Over the last several years, the shift in focus from traditional to digital distribution of messages has created a multitude of choices and challenges when it comes to being innovative and implementing new ideas. Nowhere does this hit home for the pharma marketer more than with the use of the Apple iPad as a primary tool in direct message delivery— but the devil is in the execution details. Pretty pictures and clever turns of phrase are not going to carry the day.

Digital marketing is a marriage between the capability of the device, its form factor and the message being delivered. Building creative strategy in new mediums means thinking differently about the creative process, including who should be involved. Here are four keys to making the most out of your next collaboration:

Invite new people to the party:

It’s easy to get into a workflow that is comfortable and consistent, so bringing new folks into marketing team innovation sessions full of “regular producers” can feel risky because of the potential for disruption. But then trying to be innovative is often a disruptive process. New mediums like the iPad are complex and innovation teams should consider adding technical people—like those in the training department—who are willing to be active in the discussion.

Build innovation muscle:

Getting better at innovating means exercising your creative muscles and facilitating conversations toward a purposeful result. Any creative person can tell you that innovation is not possible on a schedule or by assignment only. “Be Creative Now” is an exhortation not grounded in reality. Getting teams to be truly innovative means patiently training, encouraging and expecting them to think.

Take a hard look at your culture:

Innovation is a messy process that cannot thrive in an environment of strict control—the number one killer of innovation—whether by a manager or a small team. One of the biggest business mistakes a manager can make is immediately focusing on what is wrong with an idea proposal. Innovation almost never occurs in an environment where people are afraid of criticism. Creating a culture where innovation can thrive requires a balance between the focus on the subject at hand and an open and questioning mind. Allowing for trial and failure with encouragement is the best way to guarantee innovation.

Innovation doesn’t happen unless people are inspired:

Over the last several years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some extremely creative, hardworking and innovative people and have learned an important truth: The plausibility of an idea worth innovating and executing is directly proportional to the benefit of the idea as it relates to people. Leaders create an innovative environment by inspiring, teaching, creating and healing. Innovation is one of the highest forms of interacting with our world and deserves our attention, our patience, our time and our best thinking.

DISCLAIMER: The Guest Commentary section allows contributors to voice their opinions on important issues that affect the industry. The views of the authors are their own and are not necessarily those of PM360 and its staff.

  • Ron Kane

    Ron Kane is Vice President of Allora Health, an Intouch Solutions company. Allora is an innovative mobile platform solution for the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry. With his focus on cutting-edge technology, Ron is building ideas that will change the way brands engage with HCPs and patients. Ron boasts years of digital expertise as both a partner and a consultant, joining the Allora team in July of 2011.


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