If you read fiction when you were young, then the most powerful thing you developed was your imagination. If it was a fantasy you were reading, you had to imagine the situation, how the protagonist looked including the costume and the entire scenario. This was laying a very solid groundwork for what would come later in life. Any profession today needs imagination. Not only creative professions contrary to what most people would think.
Let’s look at a task called project planning in digital marketing. When you get a brief from a client most of the time the brief may not be to your full satisfaction. So, you need to quickly fill in the blanks with what else, but your imagination.
Once you get the brief if you are a team lead, you need to break down the brief and do an entire project planning which will include –
- Outlining what the job is all about to the team
- Objective of what needs to be achieved
- Outcome desired Deadline for maybe 1st cut, second cut and final rendition of the creative
- Media plan, performance parameters which includes targeting, budgets, timelines etc.
While there would be a broad thumb of the rule in most advertising and digital marketing companies, a lot of the work is customised. There will be some ready templates to refer to, but by and large imagination has to be used every time you plan a project for a client.
To compound the challenge the clients mostly are not from one vertical. You may handle 4 different briefs in one day varying from healthcare to entertainment to banking and finance depending on the size of the agency or project. Unfortunately, most schools and colleges do not teach project planning which involves some very basic tasks.
Let’s take a quick look at the basics.
The most elementary task is breaking down the brief into smaller components, delegating who can do what i.e. the right person for the right job and of course all the other steps of project management.
This task needs imagination. You need to visualise a couple of steps ahead of you including anticipating challenges which may arise along the way. You need to map the entire project in your head first before you get down to breaking it down. Imagination is the ability to create mental pictures or new ideas. It is not restricted only to people who are ‘creative’.
Imagination is required by every human being to accomplish great things or even small things in life.
This is where fiction comes in. A young reader of fiction would certainly have a well-developed imagination which will come in handy when you have to Visualise a target, a goal, a project plan for contingency, crack a brief as it is called in advertising agencies, Design a piece of communication, Develop a media plan, Put together a creative / strategy deck.
The active use of imagination is paramount and what is much needed in the years to come especially with AI replacing a lot of repetitive tasks in every field known to mankind currently.
Human imagination is not easy to replicate, or I dare say not yet made possible to the extent our minds can think and function. And guess what, use of imagination is free. It is yours to use and benefit from. So, go on folks dream on, let your imagination run wild.