by Marc Diebold, President & CEO

Is thinking outside the box a good thing, or a result of poor strategic planning?

I’m not trying to discourage creative thinking here, but my point is that if your people are constantly having to ‘think outside the box’ to come up with a good idea, you might need to take a closer look at your planning process.

How many times have you had someone come to you with an idea that they were excited about (and prepared to reverse engineer the marketing program to accommodate) that in an isolated way may have sounded good, but when held up against the company’s brand image or marketing direction wasn’t a fit at all? The person in question believes they are doing something extremely creative by thinking outside the box, when in fact they may be undermining the very foundation of your marketing communications program.

In the world of industrial marketing (my world), if marketing strategy precedes creative strategy, which I believe it should, then it stands to reason that marketing strategy should clearly define the parameters of possibility to guide the creative thought process. This position may sound a bit simplistic, but if put into practice as we strive to do here at dgs, can yield some of the most compelling creative work you can imagine.

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