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Why Brainstorming Doesn’t Work

Why Brainstorming Doesn’t Work
By Mark Cameron


The thing about ideas is that everybody has one. Ideas are cheap. In fact the most brilliant idea in the world is essentially worthless, but combined with brilliant execution it can be worth millions. We have all seen people with ideas who are convinced that they have found the next big thing and it needs protecting. And while they are having the NDA reviewed by a lawyer, the world has moved on and nothing happens. As business leaders, we can sit back and quietly smile to ourselves when we see this happen—we know it’s hard to build a business and that most ideas simply don’t work.



When it comes to a business designing digital marketing or creating an innovative online customer experience, it might be time for us to take a step back as well. As digital communications have proliferated, many brands have got caught up in their own idea generation and taken ill-defined concepts to market. Wonder why MSN received so much backlash when they asked people to “like” the fact the Bee Gees co-founder had died? Of course you don’t. But to someone, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Then there are the iPhone apps that brands spend many thousands of dollars on to find out people download them, use them once, and never touch them again. We’ve all seen those. So the question is how can you avoid these kind of errors?

The best way to avoid a digital disaster is to ensure the following four strategic pillars are connected together:

1) You need to have a clear understanding of your business strategy.
2) Then you must tie that into your brand strategy as that will define the expectations of your market.
3) Then you must develop a customer experience strategy so you know how your customers will experience your brand.

4) Finally you can develop your digital strategy and build the tools that will meet or exceed your customers’ expectations.

If these strategic concepts are not linked then the chances of failure skyrocket.

It is important to make sure you know what your customers actually want. Find out how you can be useful to your customers. Collect research about your customers and find out where their pain points are. Spend time identifying a specific unmet need and focus on that. Focus is the key. Most companies are not lacking creative energy, just the insight to direct it effectively.

It’s no longer good enough to just be entertaining for a short period of time. You now have to be useful. You want people to keep coming back to your Facebook page or to keep using your mobile app? Then it needs to be something that your audience finds helpful.

Mark Cameron is CEO and lead strategist of social media conversion and commercialization agency Working Three. While his agency is based in Melbourne, Australia, he works for some of the world’s most innovative and forward-thinking brands. As a regular speaker and writer on social media and digital strategy, Mark stays focused on customers and outcomes, not the technology, leading to simple strategic conclusions.

Photo Credit: skeddy in NYC via Photo Pin | Creative Commons

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