Attention marketers: “Let’s do a Facebook page” is not an idea. It’s a tactic.
Think of the tactic as the “what;” the tool we’ll use to get consumers buzzing about, bestowing love upon and buying our product. It’s the way we manipulate that tool – the way we specify and interpret and translate – that transforms it into a real idea.
I want specific, juicy ideas at the marketing program brainstormings I facilitate, so I always post a list of standard tactics to serve as idea jumping-off points.
PR/Marketing Tactics That Are Just Waiting To Be Turned Into Ideas
- Twitter Campaign
- Facebook Page
- Anniversary Celebration
- Talent Search
- Charity Partner
- Scavenger Hunt
- Event Sponsorship
- Blog Outreach Campaign
- Celebrity Tie-in
- Product Placement
- In-market Event
- Media Event
- Customer Milestone
- Press Conference
- Expert Association
- Integrated Content
- Press Kit (digital and hard copy)
- Media Partner
- Interactive Outdoor
- Media Relations
What would you add to the list?
Building ideas is all about making connections. In the case of the inevitable phone brainstorm session, the challenge is amped. Making meaningful connections becomes a cerebral and physical challenge as you navigate the imagination of your fellow man – and the echoing “state your name slowly and clearly” cavern of telephony.
Call codes, vaporous introductions, faceless, sound-alike voices, zero visual clues – the experience can be distracting. The challenge is to plug into these people and the collective mindset quickly and effectively. As a long-time voice-on-the-line-with-good-ideas (participant code 1993 2298), I offer five ways to be a better phone brainstormer.
Stand up and move around. Don’t tie yourself to your desk. Standing gives your voice confidence and presence. Moving – pacing, stretching, isometrics, if that’s your thing – communicates energy and presence, and helps with the flow of ideas. (Though I don’t have to tell you not to breathe too hard on the call, right?)
Be prepared. Make sure you have all the needed prep documents in hand. Nothing stalls a session – or labels you out of sync – like having to stop and request the focus group verbatims.
Take really good notes. Brainstorms are about building on ideas. If you can’t remember where the conversation has been, how can you extend and expand it? From your vantage point, you can’t see the easel and read the notes covering the walls of the main brainstorming room, so keep yourself up to speed. (And yes, readers of tip number one, I do want you to move around and take notes. Hello, whiteboard!)
Focus. You are seeking to connect; don’t give in to any temptation to multi-task. Don’t scan email, organize a file, or play around with the latest phone app. Your fellow brainstormers may not be able to see you, but they can hear distraction in your voice.
Be “seen” with your words. You will establish your “place” in the room by speaking up at the right time in the right way. Be vocally active without being domineering. Build on other’s ideas; create links between thoughts and between yourself and the others on the phone. Smile when you speak. People can hear it in your voice. Share ideas with inclusive language (“We could…” “We might try…”). And use people’s names; it keeps attention and builds bonds.