Brand Strategy B2B Marketing Creativity

There are no boring industries: why creative constraints make us better marketers

By Kristina Lazarevic, Senior Digital PR Consultant



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June 29, 2023 | 6 min read

Compliance and regulation are often seen as the bane of interesting marketing, enforcing dull work. Not so, says Builtvisible’s Kristina Lazarevic; those limitations make advertising work better.

Some colorful lights

Do creative limitations make for better marketing? / Aaron Lee via Unsplash

There’s a myth that financial services, B2B, and insurance are ‘boring’ industries for marketers, lacking in creativity. But I think it's the opposite: these industries have a huge potential for inspiring creative thinking across different sectors. Here's why.

1. Not all creative barriers are bad

One of the biggest issues when coming up with creative ideas are loose briefs and KPIs. These happen more frequently than marketers would like. Often when I’ve asked ‘who are we trying to target with this campaign?’, the response is ‘…everyone?’, with very broad KPIs, directions, and overarching aims.

When you’re at the mercy of compliance and regulations, though, there are hard nos. That’s a good place to start with ideation, letting us narrow down the brief and really focus on what we’re trying to achieve.

2. Expert access can supercharge your creativity

In the world where the lines between fake, AI-generated and trusted sources of information have become harder to distinguish, heavily regulated industries rely on their experts to lead the way. Marketing in those industries is no different. This is an incredible power to be able to use as a starting point for creative sessions or to center campaign ideas around.

Knowing that there’s a pool of expertise you can tap into, you’re already a step closer to creating unique, useful and engaging content that will naturally put your brand at the centre of it while also resonating with audiences, offering credibility and authority. This will also help meet Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines which are incredibly important for your-money-or-your-life topics like finance and health. It also improves your chances of driving more traffic to your campaign by ranking higher.

3. Insight-led ideations lead to powerful campaigns

Compliance and regulation teams tend to hang out in a completely separate corner to the marketing department. But when they need to get involved in a campaign or press release approval, their opinion is of crucial importance, helping us understand what we can proceed with. So why not get them involved sooner in the process? Doing cross-team ideation sessions brings in-depth insights which boost the breadth of appeal of the ideas, ensuring ideation is on track, without missing major regulatory issues. This leads to stronger creative ideas, better audience resonance, speedier sign-offs, and improved collaboration across the business.

4. Access audiences in different channels

Coming up with creative ideas for heavily regulated industries opens the door to exploring new channels and creative formats. This can help with flexing your creative muscles and activations in ways you haven’t thought about before.

From more traditional ways to engage audiences such as forums, webinars and in-person events to multimedia channels such as podcasts and short or long-form videos, audiences in these industries gather around community and expertise. With the combination of credible advice at your disposal, this is a thriving ground for creative ideas that can truly educate your target audience and make a difference.

5. Inspire audiences by understanding their needs

Businesses operating in heavily regulated industries tend to deal with important (and in some cases sensitive) issues which impact peoples’ lives, hence the regulation. On the flipside, this means that the emotional connection these businesses have with (direct or indirect) audiences is much bigger than selling a product.

Thinking about how these businesses empower big life decisions is a great place to start your creative process because it takes ideas towards a more aspirational approach, truly thinking about the power they have to reshape the world. Naturally, this leads to more engaging creative outputs, and campaigns that inspire.

The quality of your ideas isn’t conditioned by sectors. Rather, it relies on marketers’ ability to connect creative dots between businesses’ expertise, audiences and the wider competitive landscape they operate in. If done right, such campaigns represent the gold standard of creativity.

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