Imaginative Solution Architects

Our roles as marketers have shifted drastically from being consumer-centric to being human-centric. This means that the key driver for any potential relationship with the consumer stems from a relational requirement to connect with the humane and emotional nature of the consumers – which in turn requires us to add value and meaning to their lives.

To add value requires us to dream up solutions that delivers meaning to the lives of consumers. It’s simply not just a message or an idea that will deliver the required value, but creative solutions to the problems consumers face on a day-to-day basis.

Throughout the years creative problem solving has been allocated to those selected few who were deemed to have supernatural creative propensities – the era of the creative. Today creative problem solving is the backbone of every entrepreneur, start-up, business guru and life-student alike.

Lets unpack what it means. A creative process is about imagination. Everybody has an imagination. And in turn everybody has the ability to be creative.

Problem solving is as easy as finding solutions to those everyday problems that occur, be it in business, brand related, a consumer problem or even a personal challenge. Creative problem solving thus means to use our imagination to find solutions. Solutions that will answer the very basic need of any challenge that presents itself.

There are a couple of emerging influences that are shaping the way we approach creative problem solving today. These influences are changing the way we work, learn and live.

  1. The Connected Cultural Creative

There is a major shift in the society and the workforce, as we have known it. The focus is on the cultural creative and the roll of these within our society. The Creative Class as defined by Richard Florida are those that believe that they are more than just the sum of the physical attributes that defines them. “The Creative Class is not a class of workers among many, but a group believed to bring economic growth to countries that can attract its members”. They believe that they can change the society through their influence through creative problem solving.

  1. Immersive Tech

Universal access and the access to information are creating opportunities for immersive experiences. It results in the evolution of consumers and the required platforms they engage with. The role of the device can transform opportunities that drive the mobile ecosystem. Technology becomes the enabler of immersive experiences and access to ideas, thoughts, inspiration and various best practices. We see a strong role the Thingternet (the internet of everything) plays here with interconnected outcomes. This creates hope for our businesses, brands and consumers alike.

  1. Holistic Transformations

The human has various components that form our make-up. Two key elements in working towards holistic transformation is understanding the correlation between the digital content revolution and experiential learning to enhance ourselves. Harnessing these two components with leadership and readiness will result in a holistic transformation of our approach.

Our role as marketers is to manage imagination (the heart of the human mind) by turning challenges (the driver of innovation) into solutions (blue ocean thinking by answering the business problem) by recognising the above-mentioned influences.

As marketers, we need to evolve as Imaginative Solution Architects, generating creative solutions to derive new opportunities from it. The future of our business and fraternity relies on our ability to view marketing as a holistic role to add meaning and value. We have to harness the role of the cultural creative and immerse ourselves in the tech that is creating the future. Lets become Imaginative Solution Architects with great foresight, data intelligence and societal relevance to enable solution-based platforms.DeathtoStock_NotStock

Marketing the Future

Life and everything we do seems to be speeding up – so fast, so vast, limitlessly propelled beyond the referential sphere of reality, the present and consciousness. The consequential factor is a high-speed society captured by the ecstasy of a ubiquitous popular media infatuation.

Zygmunt Bauman, a world-renowned Sociologist, titled this current condition of the world as “Liquid Modernity”. According to Bauman this passage from “solid” to “liquid” modernity has created a new and unprecedented series of challenges before they are even encountered. His findings stipulate that we live fragmented lives, which requires individuals to be flexible, adaptable, ready and willing to change in this postmodern world of consumerism and media indigestion.

Our marketing fraternity is blissfully infatuated with the future, the next big thing that will set our brands apart from the rest, the next high, and the next best invention. Our focus is pinned on the futuristic ethos of reality, resulting in short term projects, quick resolution, narrow-minded ideas and diminutive episodes. We disregard the essence of what we are called to do, the purpose of our business and the value that our products/brands bring to the lives of our consumers. We endeavour to produce long-lasting relationships, but produce instant gratification with no vertical orientation, nor value, nor depth.

As marketers we need to rebuild the collapse of thinking by being architects of our community. This will aid us to build meaningful brands that add value to the lives of our consumercommunities through meaningful connections ensuing meaningful conversations.

Here is a combination of trends to assist us in building lifelong conversations from 2012 and beyond:

COLLABORATION IS EVERYTHING

  • Collaboration gives us the opportunity to learn, to teach and to co-create. It is the basis of everything we do.

UNDERSTAND

  • More than ever we have to understand the task at hand. We require a deepened understanding of the mediums we use to stimulate conversations. We have to understand ourselves, the times we live in, our consumers and deeper than that, we have to understand the relationships they have with each other and lastly, our brands.

THE HERD WILL BE HEARD

  • No longer will people live in silos of silence or closed communities. Neither do they require standing on the rooftops of skyscrapers to shout out their opinions. They converse amongst each other, faster than we can track.

LISTEN

  • What is the herd saying about our brand? Listen carefully to your communities in order to formulate those true-to-life insights to inspire your strategy.

THINK

  • Think (very carefully!) about the perpetual unique ideas you would like to implement. Think again, and then evaluate those ideas against the context of your brand sphere and the relevance it holds for your community.

CONVERSE

  • Stimulate an ongoing, lasting conversation that adds meaning and value to the life of the consumer, the brand and the organisation. It’s the epoch of storytelling. Do you have a story to tell?

TRANSMEDIA

  • Transmedia is the growing popularity of having a non-linear story told. Its how the “new creative” will be much more about many big ideas executed in varying relevant channels by creating conversations.

Let 2012 be a year of change – change by standing still and reflecting on yourself, your work, your consumers, your brand, your business and your conversation. Take on this challenge. Be an architect of your community and become a brand of the future by being current, relevant and present.