The VP/Director of Marketing Field Guide to Creativity Drought

Martha, the marketing director for a mid-size organization, has 15 marketers reporting to her. The team had been spot on with their marketing campaigns, but lately, Martha, and the executives, have seen the results slip.

In the past few months, she saw a disturbing trend; sales leads have decreased by 30%. For three months, she has been trying to revive her team's current programs. Unfortunately, despite Martha's best efforts, there has been no positive movement.

Does this situation sound familiar? Martha's team is experiencing "creativity drought".


Creativity is a critical layer in the foundation of any high-performing marketing team. As we all experience the ebbs and flow in our business, our marketing success can be challenged.

Crawford Blog ImageIn some situations, your team may face what we call "Creativity Drought." This term is used when a marketing team loses or lacks the skill sets to transform ideas into KPIs. It is not an uncommon occurrence and can strike at any size of a marketing team.


In the same way that an artist can't paint a masterpiece under a deadline, marketers are less capable of creating winning marketing campaigns when they know they are trying to dig themselves out of a performance trench.

The first and most crucial step is to take a moment with your team to revisit your performance goals. By talking through the goals you've set for your team, you're providing a reset for their focus. As a manager, you can also use this moment to discover any underlying causes of performance issues. Are there resource deficits? Is your team missing crucial skill sets?  However, no matter what reasons might surface during the discussion, this meeting's fundamental purpose is to strengthen your team's focus on their goals. This re-alignment will provide an initial reset.

Crawford Blog Image (1)Once they have the team goals clearly in focus, the next step is to inspire them to take action. To do this, you need to spark creativity. Your team can work together in a brainstorming session, thinking outside the box exercises, or pushing the boundaries back and having everyone come up with the most outrageous campaign ideas they can imagine.  In all of these cases, you create an atmosphere that can spark fresh ideas that can inspire your team. Even your most senior roles can benefit from a chance to refresh their mindset.

Let's go back to Martha's story. Once she examined her team makeup, she discovered a lack of resources caused her team’s creativity drought. No amount of inspiration would keep them performing at ultimate creativity levels for an extended period. She would have to find the budget to add to her team or make some tough decisions to replace some of the team with new members to bring in the additional skill sets they need. This was the necessary action to assure the team’s creativity drought was resolved and they were functioning optimally to meet their KPI goals.  

Hiring a new employee is both an investment in time and resources.  Of course, the hiring process's goal is to find the right candidate that fits the skillset, culture, and needs of the business.  This process is not an easy task, especially if you are working to reignite your current team's performance at the same time. A possible outcome is to partner with a marketing talent solution firm.  Together you can evaluate what your teams needs and gain a better understanding for the skill sets missing to resolve your creativity drought.

An outside perspective can help you compare your options; full time employee, marketing consultant, or managed service team. Either route you chose will bring a fresh perspective and bring you one step closer to solving your creativity drought. Using this model would provide you with the best possible hiring experience while giving you more opportunities to focus your precious time on your team and KPIs. 

If you find yourself managing a creativity drought, please reach out to us. Our team is here to help you define what candidate you are looking to hire. Working with Crawford Group, you'd find that we extensively vet and interview our candidates, not only on their skill sets and work experience but also for how they would fit into your company culture and team.

Content Marketing, Talent, Managed Marketing Service, Outsource Marketing

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