22 February 2015

I’ve had a great time recently, jumping into the thick of it with the creative team to get inspired and really drill down what’s important to our customers.

One of the challenges they face is how to communicate the amazing innovations the tech team create. As marketers, it becomes a question of how to share these products and services and communicate their purpose, which ultimately is to make our customers’ lives easier.

When you have infrastructures that are incredibly complex and intricate, it takes extra imagination and collaboration to get this right. And whilst I’m immensely proud of the campaigns we’ve run in the past, I started to feel that we have more to give and that there is a world of inspirational ideas bubbling just beneath the surface.

The question is: how do we unlock these ideas?

This is where it pays to have a war room. If you haven’t come across the term before, a war room is a space for your team to get together and get stuck into a project. The best war rooms have big walls and whiteboards so you can get everyone’s ideas and suggestions down in a visual way.

Working on the wild side

When you can’t get out into the countryside, a war room is a great way to get inspired

If you’ve seen the Ted Talk given by science writer Joshua Foer (which is definitely worth a watch), he talks about how our spatial memory is really quite amazing. When everyone can see everything laid out, each thought and concept in a specific space, it sticks in the mind more easily. For example, if you’ve ever had a tour around our building, you’ll have seen the huge wall on the creative floor painted with pink chalkboard paint.

Working with the creative team, we made everything a surface for ideas – the long white table we sat around became a background for images, text and graphics; two whiteboards were quickly covered in scribbles and drawings, and everybody had an individual scribble pad. In an environment like that, it’s hard not to feel inspired, although at certain points everyone was thinking so intently you could almost hear the cogs turning!

Ideas are amazing things. You can almost see the second they appear in someone’s mind and their eyes light up. I’m not surprised people call it a lightbulb moment!

Another thing that struck me during this marathon of marketing is how easy it is to get too close to something. Often, when this happens, you stop asking questions; the whats, whys, whos and hows that really count. Even the best ideas can fail if they’re not targeted to the answers of these key questions.

Breaking away from the hub of creativity is a tough test for me, as I’m a creative at heart, but after a few days in the UKFast war room, I’m looking forward to seeing what the team come up with next. The next stage is putting the ideas in motion and bringing them to life. As the saying goes, “vision without action is a daydream.”

Where do you get your best ideas and, as a team, how do you share them?

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