Ideas don’t just come from heaven on special occasions.
They can happen all the time – if you know how.
For example, if you’re a marketing manager tasked with developing a multimedia presentation
– and you’re serious about your presentation being a world-beater, or best in its class
– then you’re going to need a non-stop flow of creativity to achieve this.
But where is all this creativity supposed to come from?
You? The team? Where?
Like as not, creative ideas should emerge continually, if they’re part of a professional creative process.
Ideas happen – on the fly – at any time – and often while the presentation is being produced.
In fact the only thing that kills off these ideas is not having a production method that catches them as quickly as they develop.
It’s the old phrase “you have to be there to catch the lightning”
And ideas – like lightning – need catching.
If you don’t write them down immediately, they quickly fade like flowers left in the sun.
Ideas never sound as good the next day, when you’re not only trying to recall a half remembered idea
– but trying to capture the great feeling and all the detail that went with its inception.
So let’s see how each stage of the creative process can be geared to captures ideas
– and continue to add energy & style right through the whole multimedia production cycle.
1 – Form a team
Developing a multimedia presentation single-handedly is unwise
– unless you’re genius.
You need people to share ideas with, people to discuss things with
– as well as technical people who can develop scripts, graphics and make the production.
Your team can be:
> a professional multimedia company team
> your own work team
> or you can specially draft in an expert team to help you with your project.
Just don’t try going it alone as you’ll never do as well as you could with the right team around you.
Even one person to help is better than none.
2 – Your ideas are the start point
You – and marketers like you – almost always have a vision for their multimedia presentation
– and not just in “what it says”
– but in “how it looks” and presents itself
– how it’s seen!
So jot down every idea you’ve got – including links to things you’ve seen on the web or youtube – and be ready to share them with your creative/production team
– or whoever you’re working with to develop your multimedia presentation.
3 – Research is vital
You or someone in the team needs to look closely at the market, at your competitors
– and take a cool, clinical look at the current state of play.
This includes the facebook or linkedin pages of key competitors.
Your initial ideas might be “too me-too” and need modifying.
Or perhaps you might spot a missing gap in the way the market communicates
– and can immediately see where your presentation can stand out as different.
Researching the market is an ideas-generating process in itself.
4 – Added value from the team
An Initial Production Meeting is a great way to start generating more ideas.
An old fashioned whiteboard/flip chart and Q&A session with the team will soon have ideas popping up all over the place.
Write them all down on the board so everyone can see them.
Then write up all the good ideas afterwards.
5 – Lean on your scriptwriter
If you give your scriptwriter a brief that includes not just the bullet point content for the multimedia
– but also includes all the market research, and brainstorming of ideas from the initial production meeting
– then the scriptwriter will feel impelled to add more ideas.
It’s a natural process that follows on.
Maybe you could ask for 2 or 3 slight variations on the script
– giving room for the scriptwriter to add their own flair to what might be a tight corporate brief.
Ask for multiple script solutions.
Outright & unexpected winners often emerge this way.
6 – Maintain a dialogue
Whether your presentation is at the script, storyboard or production phases
– you need clear open channels of communication with your team members doing the actual work.
Do this in spirit of sharing & support, and you’ll soon have the team readily sending you mini-updates on how they’re working and why, and what they’ve produced to date.
It’s not micro-managing.
It’s sharing & supporting – so lead by example.
Some marketers prefer chat to email, while some love the phone.
Whatever your preference, let the people doing the job feel you’re an easy person to talk to
– and lo – more ideas will emerge
– adding non-stop value to your presentation.
Every day it can get better – if you encourage a free dialogue.
7 – Plan ahead for iterations
Iterations are changes that are made to a multimedia after the 1st draft has been viewed.
Often, it’s only when a draft production is seen that shortcomings emerge
– and new ideas develop.
We’re not talking major surgery at this stage
– but we are looking for a series of small refinements that will elevate and bring together the complete multimedia presentation message.
It’s good to warn your multimedia production team in advance that this is the way you like to work
– so they’re warm and receptive to late changes in the production.
This level of iteration ideas will add the final polish needed for a world class production.
8 – Get the documentation right
As mentioned before, ideas are no good if you don’t
– write them down immediately
– have a production system that can quickly & systematically absorb whatever new ideas you throw at it.
Documentation can be anything from a working with Google Doc sheet, as an online Ideas Board
– to using a full blown interactive project management system with chat and webcam built-in.
Ideas are easily forgotten, so have a documented system that everyone can share.
You can read more on multimedia creativity and idea development here.
All of the above can be summed as:
> be ready to catch the lightning.
> share and support – while challenging too.
> always write it down.
These are the modern business tools for marketers to develop creative multimedia ideas.