IDEA: The aim or purpose.
How often have you been called to a creative brainstorm meeting for a spotlight campaign approach supporting an event, product roll out or customer challenge? All ideas are welcome; outside the box thinking is encouraged; and no idea is off limits. Ideas are generated with purpose and intent, and in this fast-paced digital age, ideation occurs because brands need to connect – quickly and often.
To increase engagement and awareness, brands must recognize patterns along the customer journey, allowing them to focus on personalizing the brand experience and aligning to specific behaviors that drive purpose. We must challenge ourselves to make each user a believer that the product or service they are purchasing will create a better world for them NOW. Ideas can make this a reality – whether emotional or physical – and move markets. It’s how today’s customer will buy tomorrow’s promise.
Let’s join forces and move IDEAS.
It begins with overcoming a challenge.
If you’re looking for a group of creative minds to say ‘yes’ to your every thought – then you’re not looking for a partnership. Any firm worth their weight in gold should help bring an idea to market – but do they challenge the team along the way? Understanding audience, competitive threats and the ability to support sales will all play a vital role. But, where do these ideas stem from? How are they generated?
We know it’s a combination of creativity and collaboration. Yes – you’re trying to address a customer’s pain point or take advantage of a market opportunity, but it begins with an open mind. The problem with most of these brainstorm meetings is that you’re following a strict agenda, which doesn’t allow for flexibility. Too many people are afraid to come forward with brand new ideas because those barriers haven’t been dropped. On the slim chance that you do find that one brilliant and powerful idea you’re now leaving that meeting wondering, what’s next? How does this idea evolve, transform and become a reality?
Challenge yourself and the team to move your brand forward through ideas, approaches and channels of interest. Make a mark with your brand and continue to enhance your ideas. Don’t throw ideas into the trash just because you don’t have time for them or they don’t make the cut. Store them for future use. You never know when they may come into play.
That’s why we challenge our clients. We push back ideas that don’t align with their audience’s needs based on data and insights from trends or previous campaigns. We challenge ideas because we’ve been chosen for our expertise, our collaboration and our ability to transform an idea into ROI.
Create with a purpose.
When an idea becomes a story, that’s when the magic happens. Execution becomes just as critical as the idea itself – and all teams must be unified on the final goal. Are your teams in sync with telling the right story? Is the market warm to the approach and will they help fuel the excitement? Will your employees be advocates? Your team must aim their idea at the right audience, with the right message, through the proper channels – timed perfectly. If not, you risk disconnection and disengagement – two areas all marketers hate to hear.
Once the idea becomes a reality, focus on how to get it off the ground. This is when you MUST recognize the impact and power of ideas. They move people, markets, networks, revenue and experiences. They’re the heart and lifeline of every brand. Become complacent and risk market loss. Or stay innovative and remain first choice to customers. As marketers, we know the value of a great idea and that’s why we put everything into finding it, executing on it, and making sure that it’s there at the right moment in time, for the right audience. If you’re not evolving, you’re not even going to make a dent in the marketplace.
Differentiate to drive outcome.
Today’s market has changed, and brand loyalty treads on thin ice. Several years ago, customers remained loyal to one brand even if that brand failed to connect on its promise or idea. Now, in a 24-7 world, one bad experience could mean the end to all your hard work building up your brand’s equity. Because of this, marketers (and brands) are challenged to generate ideas that will land and expand. Your brand must encompass speed and agility to address the consistent pressure for relevancy, brand loyalty and a differentiated customer experience.
With this “always-on” approach in mind, integrated agencies must remain agile and ready to pivot so we can meet the demands of today’s customers. It starts with a concept (or an idea) and moves through to an outcome. There are ways to measure the effect of the campaign and a holistic view of the program. But without an idea – the path remains an endless journey. If you can’t see the passion in your team’s eyes to differentiate your brand from the pack – then hit pause and reassess the situation.
Not all ideas will be successful, and some will fail. If you’re not challenging your ideas then you have no opportunity to test, measure and identify what’s resonating and connecting with your audience. We all know marketers are risk takers and there’s a reason for that. With big risks come big rewards. But even if we fail, there’s a lesson learned, utilized and improved upon. Measure and analyze, but don’t stop there. Discover the ‘why?’. Are your teams not integrating? Is your brand not in tune with the needs of your customer’s expectations? Understanding that you will benefit from a collaborative ideation process is the first step. Ideas are not single threaded. They can’t rapidly move and evolve without support and collaboration. They are born and executed from a TEAM. This is why PAN exists. This is where we thrive.
It’s time to move the market, move your audience, move your brand.
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