This paper examines the role of creativity in providing organizations competitive advantage through marketing. Strategic advantage from this source promises to be stronger than gains extracted from economic means. Success from creative activity does not occur by happenstance or through trivial pursuits. The process must be planned for, invested in and managed. A first step is to build or find communities where people prone to creative activity can be attracted. Creative people have been shown to prefer geographic locations that provide an environment rich in culture, where artistic interests can be pursued. Companies seeking strategic advantage through creativity profit by discovering areas where the creative class comes together. A complicating factor is that the marketing value chain is often produced across multiple markets, at different points of time. Multiple advantageous locations must be pursued, and diverse people at these locations must work together. More than just finding the right locations, organization’s seeking creative advantage have to set up a structure where creative individuals can comfortably integrate, develop a culture where creativity is valued, and provide intrinsic and extrinsic rewards to maintain the happiness of a frequently misunderstood class of employee. A market orientation and pursuit of growth objectives through new product development are important components of the needed management style. A team structure that fosters collaborative activities is essential. Harnessing and managing the people who can produce strategic advantage through creative endeavors is not simple. Attention to marketing concepts provides useful guidance and a step in the right direction.
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- Developing, Harnessing and Managing “Creative” Marketing Organizations: The Role of Creative People, Creative Communities and Macro-Environmental Characteristics
Van R. Wood
Frank J. Franzak
Dennis A. Pitta