I just read a thought-provoking post by Sharon Drew Morgen (@sharondrew) over on The Customer Collective. In Assumptions are costly with clients, Sharon Drew shares her experience during "an Ideation session in which an insurance company needed some new thinking about how to best serve customers with their website."
The kicker was that the client—although pleased with the ideas—was unsure the company would ever use them. Why? Technology costs to implement the ideas and other pressing priorities.
Then Sharon Drew asked others on the team how they knew their customers would use the new website if the ideas were implemented. What she learned was that they had a "build it and they will come" mentality. Never a great sign for successful change management.
This got me thinking about why many great marketing ideas deliver less than stellar results.
We all know our products are terrific. We're passionate about them. We get charged up by creating new ways to interact with our customers so they'll think so, too. But, even if we take the time to re-align our thinking to generate ideas about what we believe will truly serve our customers, we need much more than the idea to make it so.
First, we need to look at the idea from all sides and determine how we'll bring it to life. Do we have the resources to do it well? Does the idea conflict with other programs and initiatives we're already implementing? If so, can we bring it into alignment or will that diminish the idea's value?
Second, if we implement the idea, how do we transition our audience from the status quo of what they're used to doing to the willingness to change and embrace the new idea? In essence, we need to figure out how to make our ideas seem like their ideas.
To do this, we need to forget what we know and find out what we don't know. What seems simple to us may not appear so intuitive to them. This happens all the time between technology developers and end users, for example. It happens when we think we're explaining the value of our feeds and speeds without realizing that we haven't established why our prospects should care in the first place.
It also happens when we get our ideas out of sync. We need to make sure we've established the foundation that will allow the new idea to be received as a welcome and natural transition rather than be perceived as an abrupt shift off course.
Third, we need to consider what purpose the new idea will serve. What will this new idea enable us to do for and with our customers and prospects that we were unable to achieve before? What end result will the new idea help to produce? For us, as well as for our customers.
New marketing ideas are critical. They're what keep us innovative and help us drive company growth and customer relationships. Without them, our companies can stagnate and lose momentum. But, to be successful, we have to consider the flip side when building our marketing strategies around them.