Remotely Creative

Marketing work relies on creativity, but jamming on ideas can be tricky over Zoom. What can you do to bring a little zip to your remote brainstorm session? Let’s take a moment to pause and reflect.

  • We don’t need to tell you that “zoom fatigue” is a real (and insidious) thing.
  • Some brave souls are working on fun new products to make the virtual meeting experience better. We’re rooting for them.
  • In the meantime, there are some concrete steps you can to do reduce the pain. Our favourite: hide yourself from view so you don’t get distracted by your own mug.
  • Coming together remotely to work on something creative is particularly tricky. And marketers are more likely than most departments to attempt it.
  • Workshops and brainstorm sessions typically rely on the energy in the room, physical props and careful facilitation.
  • In a remote context, many of the usual tools and methods don’t apply. In fact, there are a whole new set of challenges.
  • What can you do to overcome them? First, consider assigning reading material and/or homework before the session. We like this tip from Ann Gynn: “Provide a brief a day ahead of remote brainstorming sessions to help people start with a burst of energy.”
  • Jack Strachan has another suggestion we love: make sure the outcomes you’re shooting for in the session are focused, achievable and understandable.
  • Art Markman recommends having small groups convene to tackle the brief before the whole team gets together. This helps you avoid a natural enemy of creative collaboration: groupthink.
  • And then there are the tools. We’ve had some success using Miro and Jamboard. Miro is great when you’re following a specific template or framework. Jamboard’s advantages are its speed and simplicity.
  • Ultimately, the heart of the challenge transcends all these tips and tools. As Seth Godin has observed, the enemy of creativity is fear. So, whether you’re working in-person or remotely, the number one job is to make people feel safe enough to share their ideas—no matter how crazy they may seem. If you succeed at this, the rest will likely fall into place.
Issue #98
Jul 26, 2020

Further Reading