I don’t want to sound as though I am preaching to the converted here as I know how difficult it can be to constantly be in charge of coming up with new concepts or offers that will grow your business whilst still providing positive ROI contributions!
But recently I worked with a client where I found that that the Marketing Department was the only source for campaign/offer, product and service ideas. Plus they were trying to do everything on their own!
What’s wrong with this you may ask?
Relying on only one portion of your business to come up with creative ideas means that you’re probably missing lots of great opportunities. If this sounds familiar then I’ll bet that you are also missing out on opportunities to include other parts of your business and customer base that can make your campaigns and results rock even more than they currently do!
So let’s identify a few of those “other sources” and determine how to go about including them in your business planning so that every possible opportunity is leveraged. All of these examples are real client cases only the names have been removed.
1 Call / Contact Centre Staff
Hold focus groups to brainstorm ideas and concepts, using a mix of both new and long term staff to identify new opportunities.
This can be fun and motivational for the call centre staff as well as strengthen relationships between marketing and the contact centre.
Don’t forget that new staff come to the business with new ideas, just as the established staff have the experience to remember what has worked before and what may just need tweaking or re-badging to work again!
Recently I worked with a client and persuaded them to utilise their call centre staff via a series of workshops and forums for the creation of new ideas about their product range.
The client was a little sceptical but became an absolute advocate of the idea after the first workshop when 3 new plausible products were suggested.
Ask a question at the end of each relevant customer contact. Simply ask them if they have any ideas for other products or services they would like to see you offer.
This sounds incredibly simple, and it is, but believe me it works!
Again I worked with a client and implemented this initiative while they were going through a stagnant growth period.
The client started by asking the generic question at the end of applicable Inbound and Outbound calls as well as adding it to soft and hardcopy collateral that was being sent from the business.
Within a week the client had received over 1000 separate suggestions!
Over a period of time the suggestions filtered into 5 main concepts, one of which is now the businesses new focus product, generating an extra $300k per month!
This company now has a formal “Customers Ideas” program which sees the Marketing Department inundated with new ideas and concepts every week.
Note that for this concept to be successful you must be able to support the initiative with closed loop reporting and time savvy acknowledgement of ideas back to customers as well as speed to market for the new suggestions.
3 Q & A and Compliance Operations
Ask your Q & A and compliance departments if they have been able to identify any opportunities that are repeatedly mentioned in monitored calls, etc.
It’s surprising how often a customer will say things like “ah wouldn’t it be great if you guys could only do ….x, y and z …” but these comments and the opportunity is lost in the usual day to day pressures of processing transactions etc.
4 Peripheral support Departments
Make sure you include peripheral departments or business units such as fulfilment, logistics and accounts areas of the business in your campaign creation plans.
It took a lot of convincing one particular FMCG client to include these departments within the workshop mix for a project I worked on but in doing so two amazing outcomes resulted:-
1) An accounts representative suggested a split payment option for an offer, which later proved to reduce bad payments, enabled the opportunity to increase the price point and resulted in increased uptake of the offer by 1%.
2) A fulfilment representative at the same workshop suggested including a teaser product sample for an offer that was to be launched. The uptake of the subsequent offer which was budgeted at 12% ended up returning a response rate of a staggering 37%.
Finally, here is another gem of an idea to involve the whole company to generate campaign ideas:- hold a formal competition for the creation of new offers/products/services.
As always I hope that you utilise some if not all of the above ideas if you’re finding it hard to dream up those new campaigns, products or services!
Have you got any ideas? Let us know by dropping a comment below!