With every creative team, there will be long periods of time of hard brain power uniting together for new and innovative solutions. While it may be great for your client list to have a marketing team that delivers excellence after endless long hours, it can cause problems with burnout. It’s important to recognize if your team is feeling burnt out so you can address it sooner rather than later.
Burnout takes many forms, but is generally categorized by a drop in work quality, feeling like what an individual creates doesn’t matter, exhaustion, and sometimes depression. Burnout in the long term can lead to serious mental health effects, so it’s important to address it early. Creative industries that require a lot of time and energy, like marketing, can have high burnout rates as the need to perform well for clients or teams can make people push themselves.
By addressing burnout in your creative team, you’ll not only be helping them to feel better as individuals but to function better as a team. Creative teams can feel burnt out as a unit, and so it’s important to address symptoms of burnout in order to help reinvigorate their production. Here are a few ways you can help your marketing team feel less burnt out while re-inspiring their love for what they do every day.
Identify The Cause of Burnout
Before getting too much further, it’s worth it for you and your team to identify what it is that’s causing the burnout. Burnout can come from a few different sources, so finding the source will help guide you to a better solution or specific way of reinvigorating your team. It could be good to bring your marketing team together and ask if more than one person has been experiencing burnout symptoms and talking as a group about what that looks like.
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Causes of burnout, unfortunately, are going to be incredibly specific to each team. Some common causes may include things like working too many long days in a row or working straight through weekends for several months at a time. It can also come from working on the same type of project day in and day out, as the monotony can make creative individuals feel like their work isn’t important.
Additionally, unclear expectations can cause burnout, which can be a source of frustration for teams of any kind. Since you’re taking time to check in as a team, now may be a good time to check in with the leader or manager on expectations and guidelines. Be sure expectations are as clear as possible before moving into the reinvigoration stage.
Look to Fellow Innovators
If your team is feeling creatively burnt out, it may be time to take a breather and look to what your colleagues are doing in your field. One of the most inspiring things for a team can be seeing what others are creating so they have a goal-marker to aspire to. In the marketing world, there is no end to the potential inspiring innovators you can look to.
One major tech player that is often looked up to by a variety of people in different industries is Google. Marketing is, at its core, communicating new ideas to different audiences, and Google, one of the most creative companies in the world, does that daily through their language apps, their application marketplaces, and their different wearable devices. Consider talking with your team about the different ways that tech giants are communicating with the world and seeing if they feel inspired by any project in particular.
You can also ask your team to find their own examples of marketing innovators and ask them to talk through which projects they find inspiring from those companies. If no one on your marketing team has a colleague they pay attention to, then it can be a good exercise to do together. You’ll be more in tune with the happenings of your industry while also pulling new and vibrant inspiration from the world around you.
Explore New Technology
Marketing is a field that is closely tied to the ways in which the tech industry changes communication and media consumption. If your creative team has been working only in traditional media like TV and radio, or if you’ve just spent a long few months on a social media launch for a client, then it may be time to explore new mediums. There’s a long list of new and developing marketing formats, with new ones being added every day.
For example, 20-30 percent of all web traffic now goes through mobile devices, changing the format and style of communication of most marketing efforts. Additionally, text communication and advertisements don’t perform nearly as well with audiences as short but compelling video clips. Looking at these trends and understanding them can help your team to think with new creative muscles that may have been laying dormant during a large project push.
Now, it’s expected that in the next year or so a third of global consumers will be using virtual reality devices, which changes the game on marketers again. Consider with your team new ways that you can leverage virtual and augmented reality devices for your clients. It’s a whole new virtual frontier for your marketing team to creatively explore.
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Make Time For Freeform Creativity
Most importantly, one of the things that may be causing burnout in your marketing team is too much structured or restrictive work. Marketing is a highly creative field that attracts imaginative and free-flowing individuals. Consider making time for unstructured creative time with your team in order to help them get their imaginations moving.
If you feel like you need a topic to centralize a session on, you can always turn to brainstorming content creation. Content is the backbone of marketing materials and finding new and innovative ways to create it will help challenge and inspire your marketing team. Your team will come up with new ideas that you can either apply to current clients or save for use at a later date.
It may sound like a simple solution to burnout, but this last step of making time to sit together and brainstorm is perhaps the most important. Free-form sessions like brainstorming can help to remind your marketing team why they enjoy working together and why they enjoy marketing. Even though brainstorming can’t be 100 percent of what people do in marketing, it can absolutely help to reinvigorate their love of their daily work.