During my career as a marketing practitioner - and still these
days as a marketing consultant - I have worked for very different
types of companies and in different industries: Fast Moving
Consumer Goods (FMCGs), public institutions, banks, commodity
Which of these industries would I say was the most creative?
Well, it is actually difficult to say - or not as obvious as it
might seem. An easy answer would be to say that I had a lot of
flexibility to be creative when I was working for an FMCG company.
My main constraint was to come up with ideas that would not be too
outrageous for the type of products I was in charge of - products
on the glamorous 'lavatory care' product line. But to a certain
extent, I would say that I had to show a lot of creativity when
working in the banking industry. Let me explain.
Marketing banking products is difficult for several reasons.
First, banks are 'serious' institutions - how many of us can recall
a fun moment shared with a banker? Second, the banking industry is
heavily regulated when it comes to marketing and communication -
this is best illustrated by all the small prints on banking product
Interestingly, I probably took a greater pride at coming up with
ideas that were 'off the beaten track' for the banking industry,
rather than in industries perceived a more 'creative' ones.
Remember that creativity, by definition, happens when you have
constraints. I therefore found that working in industries which are
heavily constrained helps to bolster creativity.
On this note, I am off to see my banker!