Ever feel like you are in a rut when it comes to marketing your product or service? You find yourself doing the same old things and when you look at your competitors they are doing the same things too. If brainstorming with your team isn’t yielding any new marketing ideas, it’s time to look for inspiration elsewhere.

We worked with a client recently who was struggling with this challenge. In an industry which is not known for innovative marketing, they were hoping to find some creative ways to engage their customers. To jump start their creativity we sent them on a scavenger hunt through the mall. They had fun taking pictures, making notes and competing for silly prizes. The next morning they were ready to talk about what they saw and see if any of it could be applied to their business.

We started the discussion with a few simple questions:

  • What was the most creative marketing you saw?
  • Where do you think merchants missed opportunities?

This was a diverse group ranging from rookies to seasoned pros, men and women, managers and administrative support. It was interesting for the group to share their opinions. They were all in the same mall, but each person saw things others missed. They had dramatically different opinions on what was a missed opportunity, or a compelling reason to engage with a brand through social media.

The next part of the process was to identify three ideas which could be modified to fit in their environment and three which would never work. There was some really lively debate about touch screens, self serve kiosks and large video displays. While some members of the group felt  these elements would never be accepted by their clients, the conversation quickly turned from it won’t work, to how can we make it work.

That is really the key to this type of activity. Not every idea is going to be completely relevant, but if you are looking for new ideas, you need to be open to many possibilities, and avoid the tendency to say “It won’t work here, we have tried it before.”

My client had a team of  thirty people, but even if your staff is smaller with just five or six people, this same activity can be fun. To increase the input, consider inviting referral partners, vendors, customers and friends on your trek. Each person will bring a different perspective to the experience.

You can certainly do this on your own, or give us a call. We would love to talk to you about a creative brainstorm adventure for your team.