October proves an excellent time of year for companies to tweak their marketing calendar and nail down an incredible campaign or two (or more) leading into the holidays and the end of the year. It’s also a great opportunity to start giving shape to your marketing calendar for the COMING year. Unfortunately, October is ALSO 10 months into the year… following a change of seasons when the days grow shorter and nights grow longer… and your team may have their eyes firmly fixed on the holidays ahead and all of the promise a new year holds. Creative juices may have slowed to a trickle, BUT all hope is not lost. There are a number of ways to get those creative juices flowing again all while building a solid team, a sense of excitement and a series of marketing campaigns that are so good… they’re scary!
It’s ALIVE… ALIVE!!!
Rather than merely “Frankensteining” together pieces and parts of ideas all by yourself to round out this year’s marketing calendar, brainstorming proves a terrific tool for bringing a team together around a common goal, encouraging the creation and sharing of ideas, and getting everyone excited about the remainder of this year and the year to come. Some important ways to facilitate an effective brainstorming session are:
- Communicate clearly WHEN and WHERE the brainstorming session is set to take place, as well as WHAT you expect everyone to bring to the table (enthusiasm, ideas, statistics, etc…)
- Have well-defined objectives set for your meeting. If you can clear everyone’s calendars for an entire day, you may want to tackle the end of the year’s marketing campaigns for the first half of the meeting, take a break and then reconvene to get a jump on NEXT year’s marketing calendar. In the event that you can only get a few hours out of everyone, you may want to schedule TWO meetings instead of just one.
- Consider providing beverages, snacks and lunch to help recharge your people and fuel new ideas. Since sugar creates a sense of energy and euphoria, you may want to set out a couple of bowls throughout the room.
- Create a theme for your meeting. By creating a theme, you could make your brainstorm session seem more like a celebration than a chore. You want everyone entering the room in the right frame of mind – ready to have some fun.
- Provide plenty of breaks and time to stretch those legs. It’s important to let your meeting attendees break away from time to time to check their emails/voicemails, answer nature’s call and clear their heads so that when they return to the room, they’re ready to get their head back into the game.
- Start your meeting with a fun team-building game. By kicking off your brainstorming session with a strong sense of teamwork and a little laughter, you’re setting your meeting up for success. Several AWESOME ideas are bound to come out of your time together.
- Consider having a break-out session or two. Assign smaller teams for break-out sessions to help flesh out ideas. Some people are more likely to speak up and share their ideas among a smaller group. These ideas can then be brought back to the collective.
- Embrace the concept that there ARE no bad ideas. Everyone in that room is likely to believe that their idea is the most creative and most worthy of being selected. Practice your poker face and use only words of encouragement. Once you shoot someone’s idea down, they are more likely to pull back and stop engaging with the group. Record all of the ideas and take a vote at the end of the meeting for the ones everyone likes best/believes will produce the best results.
Find Someone to Be the Hyde to Your Jekyll
A truly effective creative partner will serve as an extension of your own marketing team – almost like two halves of one whole (but in this case, one doesn’t have to be good while the other is evil – they can BOTH be good). You may elect to bring them in prior to the brainstorming session – not only will they bring GREAT original ideas to the table, but they will bring a fresh “outsiders” perspective to the meeting. Although, if you elect to bring them in AFTER your brainstorming session, they can flesh out and implement the ideas your team has brought to light. The BEST creative partners (like the award-winning team at Woodall Creative Group) will find ways to take those ideas and supercharge them for maximum benefit based on delivery mode(s), target audience and the strength of your messaging/images. When all is said and done (and we’ve done our job properly), you’ll be like Dr. Jekyll after Mr. Hyde’s had a night out on the town exclaiming, “WOW! I can’t believe we did all that!”
Are you ready to create marketing campaigns that are so good, they’re scary? Contact Woodall Creative Group at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us at 706-658-0244 or fill out our convenient online contact form for frightfully stunning results!