Accessible Marketing

15 ways to keep creating fresh marketing ideas for your business

by Judith Hutchinson

15 ways to keep creating fresh marketing ideas for your business

You want to keep raising the profile of your business to your target markets. But you are feeling a little low on ideas. Here are a few things you can do to help inspire some great marketing ideas:

  1. 1. Ask – marketing is all about asking your audience what they want so why not ask your current customers, the people on your mailing list and the people following you on social media what they would like to see from you.  Also, I think it’s important that as businesses we harness the ideas that our staff have. They know the business, they know the customers and they may just have a fabulous idea for a marketing campaign that will help drive business. But you won’t know if you don’t ask.
  2. Shopping! A friend of mine who runs a successful business is inspired by what he sees when he’s out shopping. This could be in a clothes shop, barbers, attractions, anywhere he is receiving a service. He looks at what they are doing in terms of displays, service, selling skills and the feelings the brand creates. He is constantly on the lookout and getting ideas for creative ways his team can tweak and improve what they do. No matter what business you run you can still use this as a source of inspiration
  3. Record things – someone recently advised me to keep a notepad in my handbag so that whenever I see something which inspires me or gives me an idea I can write it down. This has been great for me as it means I don’t forget things (I’m good at forgetting things if they aren’t written down). I now schedule time to read through the notepad and put time aside to action key ideas either for my own business or for my clients. You could also use your phone to take pictures of things you see when you are out and about. It also reminded me that when I first started out with my own business I used to have an ideas folder and this is something that has got lost by the wayside so perhaps is something I can resurrect!
  4. Marketing Industry Press – In the UK there are a few ‘industry publications’ that discuss what other brands are up to. I like to keep my eye on Marketing Week, Campaign Live, CIM and The Drum. I often find that this inspires me.
  5. Pinterest / Instagram – I’m a visual person so find Pinterest and Instagram useful. I like looking at these platforms via my iPad. I tend to look at the people I’m following but also search with hashtags to see if anything inspiring pops up. You don’t have to look at others doing the same as you – choose a couple of businesses in different sectors and see what inspires you.
  6. Reading – You don’t just have to read business books (although it does help). At the moment I’m re reading Purple Cow by Seth Godin and The Four by Scott Galloway. In addition, I always have autobiographies on my Christmas list as I find these can be quite inspiring (or perhaps I’m just nosy). I also tune into a number of different marketing blogs to keep my knowledge fresh and to see what brands and businesses are up to.
  7. Colour – I recently bought a pair of bright red trousers and I swear down the colour has inspired and zhushed me up a little. I have no prove of this, all I can say is that the first day I wore them I came up with more creative ideas than normal!
  8. Google – there may be an app for a lot of things but there’s probably a thousand more answers on google. If there’s something you are stuck on or need ideas for why not see what the google results inspire.
  9. Competitors and other businesses – Some people say that you shouldn’t be concerned with the competition. I disagree. You never know you could end up working together, merging, who knows. It’s also worth pointing out that your competition could be much wider than you think. How else are your customers spending their money if they aren’t spending it with you? That’s your competition. What do they offer?  who do they offer it to? how are they communicating? What can you do that makes you stand out to your audience and makes them choose you?
  10. Walking / Nature – Sometimes I end up sitting at my desk for ages expecting an idea to just pop into my head. Eventually (and I’m getting better at doing this sooner) I realise that I need to get away from my desk and go for a walk. Often I find a walk in nature works but if it’s chucking it down then doing something completely different and coming back to it later helps.
  11. New experiences – something different could be something simple but new to you. Visiting a museum, art gallery, trying a new sport, visiting a new place. Doing something that you don’t normally do or haven’t done in a while. I have no idea why this works but it does (I’m sure there’s psychology behind it!)
  12. Travel – I love travelling. Since having children we’ve tended to stay short haul but this year I visited my brother who lives in Hong Kong and I feel like it revitalised my creativity. Seeing how different cultures are doing things and getting inspiration from this is a bonus if it means you get a holiday out of the deal too!Finding inspiration for marketing in Hong Kong
  13. Put yourself in their shoes – Imagine you are a customer of your brand. Think about how you want your customer to feel when they interact with your brand. And how do you want them to feel when they see your messages pop up in their inbox or on their social media feeds?
  14. Write – For me, if I start writing I often start getting new ideas. Even if you have a particular marketing problem write the question in the middle of the page and then mind map different ways of solving that problem.
  15. Events – Attending business events can also be inspiring. It may be the speaker gives you a light bulb moment or simply networking and talking to other business owners.  To be fair, it doesn’t have to be a business event – festivals, concerts, shows, whatever!

How about you? I would love to hear how you are inspired. Drop me an email – judith@accessiblemarketing.co.uk or  tweet me @JudithHutch to let me know.  And I’ll add your suggestions to the list.

I offer businesses a free 60 minute marketing strategy session to help you start generating more marketing ideas for your business. You can Book Here.

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