Look out! Here are 16 bad habits that will crush your creativity

bad creative habitsBoost Your Direct Marketing Creativity
- Part 3 -

Previously, we’ve discussed the 3 levels of creative mastery in direct marketing and the common traits of creative people.

Now let’s talk about some bad creative habits.

First, a simple question: Why aren’t more people creative?

Well, you don’t have to be a psychologist to know that people are generally pretty lazy. There’s a natural human inclination to do things the easy way.

And let’s face it, most things in life don’t require too much creativity. So for the average person, there’s really no motivation for the extra effort.

The truth is, most people who display higher levels of creativity have simply learned this behavior by chance. Perhaps their parents or friends did creative things. Or maybe certain random events inspired a different approach to life.

It doesn’t matter how you become creative, of course, but there’s a downside to this randomness. Because if you can pick up good creative habits, you can pick up bad creative habits, too. And you usually don’t know which is which until they’re deeply ingrained.

But bad habits can be broken if you are determined to do so. The first step is to identify these behaviors so you can start making productive changes.

Here are some of the more common bad habits that hamper creativity in direct marketing.

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How many of these 11 creative traits do you have?

creative traitsBoost Your Direct Marketing Creativity
- Part 2 -

In my previous post, I talked about the 3 levels of creative mastery in direct marketing.

And I said that if you’re seeking long-term success in this industry, you should aim for the Third Level, where you strive to find a balance between technique and creativity, between the tried and the new.

This time, let’s take a look at the traits of a truly creative professional working on the Third Level .

Despite what you might think, we are all creative to some degree. You. Me. Your accountant. Your hairdresser. The kid who bags your groceries. Everyone.

Creativity isn’t something you’re born with. It’s not some mysterious aura that hovers around wild-haired writers and artists. And it has nothing to do with how smart you are. In fact, research has shown that once you get beyond an I.Q. of about 120 (which is fairly average), intelligence and creativity are not correlated.

So you could be a genius and display little creativity. Or you could be perfectly average in intelligence and wield amazing creative powers.

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The 3 levels of creative mastery in direct marketing

creativity in direct marketingBoost Your Direct Marketing Creativity
- Part 1 -

We direct marketing types are well-known for our reliance on “proven” techniques.

Our books, trade magazines, and club meetings overflow with zillions of hints, commandments, rules, warnings, tactics, and all manner of well-organized wisdom.

That’s why many people in the advertising industry — much of which thrives on ultra-creative, out-of-the-box ideas — consider us rather old-fashioned and conservative.

And that’s just fine with me.

Because we have a different job to do than our brand advertising brethren. We’re looking for immediate and direct response. We’re going for instant return on investment. Our massive technique tool box allows us to make sales, generate leads, and raise funds in predictable and measurable ways.

But while we can chide our chums on the brand side about being too creative, they certainly have every reason to chide us for not being creative enough. While they often don’t follow any rules at all, we often follow too many.

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Great quotes on the wild, weird, and wonderful world of advertising

advertising quotationsThe definition of a good quotation is “truth well-stated.”

Good quotes can be wise, amusing, irreverent, opinionated, even contradictory, but each sparkles with a diamond of truth.

Personally, I believe that some of the most instructive and entertaining are those that criticize, complain, or poke fun. Thus, these gems:

“Ninety-nine percent of advertising doesn’t sell much of anything.” -David Ogilvy

“The real fact of the matter is that nobody reads ads. People read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad.” -Howard Luck Gossage

“The six phases of every project: 1. Enthusiasm; 2. Disillusionment; 3. Panic; 4. A search for the guilty; 5. The punishment of the innocent; 6. Praise and honor for the nonparticipants.” -Anonymous

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