Don't clean up the mess.

Marketers know the truth: The business they work in is a messy one.

It can be as contentious as politics, complex as the law, disorganized as an art studio and frustrating as working in customer service.

If your marketing process isn't messy, you may have a problem. Compare a neat and tidy marketing process to a chef who works in a pristine and ordered kitchen cooking the exact same recipes in the same way day after day after day. He or she never takes chances — or opens the door to happy accidents — that could add spice, excitement or innovation to the meals they prepare.

The best marketing requires a LOT of human interaction, which by its nature is a messy thing. It involves an ongoing give-and-take among:

  • Different people, teams and departments
  • Companies and agencies
  • Marketers, intermediaries and consumers
  • Creative and data marketing professionals
  • Message makers and creative developers
  • Sales and marketing teams.

The best marketers thrive on getting fresh insights to improve their work. Similar to the best chefs, they appreciate the chaos caused by leveraging negative reviews along with positive feedback to spice-up their marketing mix. They see opportunities to improve strategies and creative deliverables when things go in unexpected directions. They find novel ways to approach things by taking risks.

Is your marketing process a little too perfect? Here are some ideas on how you can “mess it up” so you can uncover new ways to do things that could take your marketing deliverables and results to the next level.

  1. Incorporate brainstorming into your marketing development. A solid, well-managed ideation session with key stakeholders will bring fresh insights into a marketing project.
  2. Insist on two or more concepts for every project. Pushing your creative team to come up with more than a single idea for each marketing initiative will force them to think outside the box.
  3. Leverage surveys and focus groups. Testing your marketing ideas with representatives from your target audience will help you see your marketing concepts through their eyes.
  4. Use social media as a testing ground. Testing big marketing ideas in small social media executions is an easy and inexpensive way to see if they resonate — or even go viral — with your target audience.
  5. Engage an agency. Bringing experienced agency professionals into your marketing mix is a good way to stir the pot. They’ll bring in cutting-edge insights and industry best practices that could help “mess up” your marketing so you can approach it in fresher and more effective ways.

So what are you waiting for? Make a move to mess things up. It could help you “clean-up” by generating higher sales and better results.