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Amid the Super Bowl advertising hype, one theme receiving significant attention the past few years is the concept of crowdsourced advertising. At a surface level, crowdsourcing advertising seems to engage a broader audience, break the creative chokehold of advertising agencies, and cost less. The question is, are any of those presumptions about crowdsourcing advertising true?

With that question in mind, I’m excited to introduce Steve Wood of Boom Ideanet to the Brainzooming blog. Steve provides an insider’s perspective AND is introducing a new eBook on crowdsourcing advertising today. 

You can download the FREE eBook right here or at the bottom of Steve’s guest post and be ready with smart answers and strategies on crowdsourcing advertising when your CEO comes knocking with the idea to crowdsource your next advertising campaign.

Boom-Ideanet-Download

Crash Course – Everything You Need to Know About Crowdsourcing Advertising – Before Your CEO Asks by Steve Wood

Crash-The-Crowd-eBookThis weekend, it’s the Super Bowl® and The Ad Bowl, all wrapped up in one super-hyped package of anticipation. Regardless of how the game goes, the Super Bowl advertising will stir attention and conversation. Doritos®’ “Crash the SuperBowl” campaign will be part of the conversation, in particular because it is crowdsourced. And Doritos is not alone. Lincoln, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Pizza-Hut and others are spinning crowdsourcing, too.

So how does Doritos use a crowd to make its Super Bowl advertising?

Frito-Lay® invests a great deal of time, money and operational structure to mobilize its fan base.

Beginning in 2006, Doritos established a contest for a “fan-made” commercial. They used advertising and other channels to assemble the crowd, which is renewed each year. Crowd members are self-selected. Fans invest in an idea and a finished video. A secondary crowd of voters determines how far an idea goes in the contest.

In year nine, “Crash the Super Bowl” is far more a marketing strategy than a creative strategy. The brand likely spends as much assembling each contest’s crowd as they do airing the winning-spot. They  are promoting participation in 29 countries, hosting a website, polling and paying out prize money and benefits totaling over $1M for 30 finalists.

Is this the only way to approach crowdsourcing advertising?

Chances are your company doesn’t have those kinds of resources to apply to one advertising event. You think, “Our company will never do a Super Bowl spot. Maybe it works for Doritos, but how could it work for my brand, or retailers, even B2B companies?” Can crowdsourcing advertising really produce useful results? Is it more trouble than it’s worth? Why would I share my business challenges with a bunch of people we don’t even know? All good questions.

So on the Monday morning after the Super Bowl your CEO will likely ask, “What is this crowdsourcing thing?

Are you prepared to respond?

To get you ready to steer the CEO toward a smart strategy, we’re sharing “Everything You Need to Know About Crowdsourced Advertising Before Your CEO Asks.”

Boom-Ideanet-Download

While Doritos has been tapping the crowd one way for years, it’s still anyone’s game out there in crowdsourcing country.

Read the paper. Be the MVP. And at least be ready to play when your CEO asks, “Should we be using “the crowd?” We say Yes! – Steve Wood, Boom Ideanet

 

 

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It’s the first post of 2015 from customer experience strategy and innovation expert Woody Bendle. Today, Woody takes on performance metrics and a strategic look at how the measures you use with dramatically new and different strategies need to also be dramatically new and different themselves. Here’s Woody!

Performance Metrics – What Gets Measured? by Woody Bendle

woody-bendleWe’ve all heard the axiom, “What gets measured gets _________.

You can fill in the blank: done, fixed, improved, managed.

The point is if you want to accomplish (fix, improve, manage) something, you need to:

  • Have some idea about the desired outcome you’re seeking (vision or objective)
  • Establish an identifiable target – or series of targets (goals)
  • Do things that help you move toward the goals and desired outcome (activities and processes)
  • Have ways to determine if you are making progress toward achieving your identifiable target(s) and/or desired outcome (measures)

If you’ve spent any time in the business world, you know there is certainly no lack of performance metrics (or measures) for determining how a business or unit is performing and whether or not you are making progress toward your desired goals or objectives.

Most of these performance metrics – or “Key Performance Indicators,” aka KPI – are tried and true and have been around for decades.  And, many businesses have achieved success by adopting standard measures and employing well-known programs, processes and procedures for collecting, reporting, and monitoring activities and progress.

The more familiar or standard your desired outcome (or end state), the easier it is to be successful by employing standard activities, processes and measures.  But if your desired end state is very different from your current state, it is highly unlikely that standard activities, processes, and measures will suffice.  If you want to be very different, you need to do things very differently and you probably also need very different measures (or metrics) to get you there.

To help make my point, let’s take a look at these four illustrative “current state / end state” scenarios.

Woody-current-end-state

The current state, represented by the yellow “Here” circle, is identical for scenarios A through D but the end state varies in how different it is from the original yellow circle.

Scenario A is understandable for many in business. The end state here is basically the same as we currently are, but bigger.  In the business world this might be analogous to growing by selling more of our existing products to existing customers or to new customers in new territories.

Scenario B also isn’t much of a stretch. The end state remains a circle, gets a little bigger, and becomes a little more different by  doing something different (i.e., adding blue) to turn the circle green. In business, this may be growing by adding a new product line and selling more to new and existing customers.

Scenario C is clearly a different end state. The end state is bigger, changed color, completely changed shape, and added a new dimension.  The business analogy might be a combination of Scenario B as well as an acquisition of a business either up or downstream in the value chain and/or possibly even another totally unrelated business.

For Scenarios A-C, there are thousands of real world examples (or business cases) managers can leverage for how an organization can get from here to there.  These suggest the types of things you need to do, and what the types of measures you need to employ in order to monitor and ensure your progress.

For Scenario D, however, all bets are off.

In Scenario D the desired end-state is frankly something that bears no resemblance to the current state. Think Apple Computers in the 1980s vs. the Apple we know today.  Scenario D’s end state looks pretty unique, complex, hard to describe and quite possibly, very difficult to duplicate.  Scenario D is actually illustrative of the types of conversations occurring at many companies today with business model innovation or business transformation.

To achieve the transformative end state in Scenario D, you will likely have to do many things very very differently.  And, you will also likely need to create and utilize completely different measures or performance metrics to help get you there.

So yes, what gets measured gets done, fixed, improved, managed, and possibly changed.  But allow me to modify the oft mis-attributed Einstein quote on insanity:

“If you are expecting to achieve radical transformational results by employing (or tweaking) existing processes, procedures, measures or metrics, you’re completely nuts!   

If your desire is to transform your business or organization, do yourself, your shareholders and your entire organization a favor. Clearly envision, define and articulate:

  • Where / what you want to be
  • All the possible paths you might take to get there
  • How long it might take to arrive at different points along the path
  • What you need to do to know if you are making progress, and if you are nearing your desired end state

If you are having a hard time getting started with this, I’m betting Mike and the folks of The Brainzooming Group have well over 100 articles that can help you out! – Woody Bendle

 

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming blog email updates.

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic creative thinking and ideas! 

For an organizational innovation success boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

 

 

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Our objective for the Brainzooming community visioning workshop at the Gigabit City Summit was sharing multiple strategic thinking exercises city delegations from around the United States could immediately use to further their strategic conversations on broadband initiatives.

The objective created a conundrum.

While I wanted Gigabit City Summit attendees to understand they could use the strategic thinking exercises right away within their Summit delegations, it’s unrealistic to imply they could immediately create a successful large-scale collaborative visioning sessions based on a one-hour workshop.

Yet I didn’t want Gigabit City Summit attendees to think we were giving them tools that ONLY worked if The Brainzooming Group were involved in implementation (which is the sense you get from so many workshop presenters).

Giving Away Our Family Recipes

Here’s how I wound up explaining the situation.

Our-Family-Recipes

 

I asked the workshop attendees, by a show of hands, to share how many like cooking for themselves.

Many hands went up.

I next asked how many liked cooking for small dinner parties, and then large formal dinners.

With each question, there were fewer hands.

Finally, I asked how many were confident and interested in applying their cooking talents in a large restaurant setting.

Only one or two of the more than one hundred participants raised their hands.

I then compared their cooking aspirations and the realistic outcomes from sharing our “recipes” for strategic thinking exercises with them.

They could readily and easily use the strategic thinking exercises themselves, with their city delegations, or even with small groups when they returned home. It would be unrealistic to think, however, that without a lot of experience and practice that they could invite fifty, one hundred, or several hundred community members and expect to have a flawless, productive visioning session.

That is where we come into the picture, helping make the smaller group experiences more productive and a large community visioning event even possible.

Strategic Thinking Exercises as Recipes

I share this story about recipes because it helps answer the question we get so often about why we share so many strategic thinking exercises here.

Hearts

They’re all recipes, and we want you to use the recipes, try them out, adapt them to what you need to make happen in your organization. Starting small provides the opportunity to try selecting the right ones, combining them in intriguing ways, and learning from successes and mistakes.

If you need to be ready for a high-stakes event, however, we think you’ll want someone who has experience to make sure everything works.

And that’s where we’d love to work with you to ensure all the success you need when the stakes are high and the recipes HAVE to turn out perfectly the first time!

Could you use some of our best recipes for outside-in innovation?

Brainzooming Outside-In Innovation Strategic Thinking Tools eBookAre you confident your organization is making the best use of customer input and market insights to deliver innovation and growth?

Creating successful, innovative new products and services has never been more dependent on tapping perspectives from outside your organization. This new ebook features sixteen strategic thinking exercises to help you ideate, prioritize, and develop your best innovative growth ideas.

We invite you to download this free, concise ebook to:

  • Identify your organization’s innovation profile
  • Learn and rapidly deploy effective strategic thinking exercises to spur innovation
  • Incorporate crowd sourced perspectives into your innovation strategy in smart ways

The strategic thinking recipes in this FREE ebook will help generate new ideas and turn them into actionable innovation strategies to drive your organization’s growth– Mike Brown

 141104 Download EBook

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Content marketing strategy workshop audiences are always interested in hearing about best practices. Best practices seems like easy answers; they make it seem as if all you have to do is simply do what another brand has found successful.

The easy answer, however, isn’t always the right answer. What makes sense for another brand won’t necessarily make sense for your brand, whether that is in content marketing strategy or another area.

We find it’s much more valuable to share tools and techniques workshop attendees can use to draft the best strategies and tactics for themselves.

10 Content Marketing Strategy Mistakes Your Competitors are Making

In some industries, however, it is valuable to consider the best MISTAKES your competitors are making and do the OPPOSITE of what they are doing.

Stop-Sign-Istock

Here are ten “mistake practices” we see frequently that fit the bill:

  1. Starting with a big splash and lots of new content all bunched up in the first week of a new blog, then sinking to the bottom of the pool and not updating any of the content for months at a time.
  2. Having a business objective for its blog (i.e., increasing leads for a new product), but never writing blog posts with the business objective in mind.
  3. Writing and publishing new content without providing any context and brand perspective for the content, even though a significant percent of blog visitors are likely first-time readers who are unfamiliar with the brand.
  4. Writing about their brand all the time, including republishing their press releases word-for-word as blog posts.
  5. Sharing only news that has a very short interest life so they get in a trap of not getting long-term value from the investment in creating social media content.
  6. Publishing only when they have something to say and then thinking they never have anything to say.
  7. Handing the social media controls over to a recent graduate ONLY because he or she is young and “gets” Twitter and Facebook.
  8. Never mentioning who is doing the writing in a deliberate strategy to keep the content devoid of any personality, whether brand personality or content creator personality.
  9. Sharing social media content that has nothing to do with the organization’s brand and brand personality.
  10. Figuring all this social networking stuff is free and not making smart investments to get the most impact from the content the brand creates.

As an executive in your organization, you’d do well to spend some time on your social media presences – just in case it’s been some time since you looked at them closely – and see if you are making any of your competitors’ mistakes with your own content marketing strategy.

If you are making these content marketing strategy mistakes, get them fixed – pronto!

Wondering about mistakes in your social media strategy?

9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy

If you are an executive with questions about whether  your organization’s social media strategy is working as well as it can, here’s the answer. In less than 60 minutes with the FREE Brainzooming ebook “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy,” you’ll have a precise answer to your questions.

You can make a thorough yet rapid evaluation of nine different dimensions of your social media strategies with these easy-to-assess diagnostics. To get started right now, download your free copy of “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social  Strategy.” Mike Brown

 

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When it comes to your creative thinking skills, are you an idea builder or an idea slasher?

In other words, when you ask someone for advice, ideas, or creative thinking (or simply declare you need help and someone else responds), how do you immediately react to what they have to say?

Someone with strong creating thinking skills listens to what the other person has to say, then starts to build on ideas being shared. This type of person makes connections to what he or she already thinks, asks for additional information (with positive language), and builds on the creative thinking the other person is offering.

8 Clues You Are an Idea Slasher

A slasher, on the other hand, immediately says things such as:

  • Maybe, but . . .
  • “So and so” already told me . . .
  • I’ve already tried that . . .
  • Here’s what I think about that . . . (followed by negative comments)
  • Yes, but . . .
  • My experience tells me . . .
  • I suppose, but I’m not sure why . . .
  • You don’t understand . . .

Yes, I have heard or even said all these over the past few weeks. We can all temporarily abandon strong creative thinking skills and fall into the idea slasher trap.

creative-thinking-skills-Id

If you are an idea slasher, you will quickly wear out the interest, patience, and enthusiasm of others who might offer you creative thinking, even when you most need it.

Back to the opening question then, “When it comes to creative thinking, are you an idea builder or an idea slasher?”

It is incredibly difficult to listen to ourselves. Because of this, you may not be able to answer whether you are an idea builder or an idea slasher when presented with someone else’s creative thinking. You may have to ask those you most interact with what group THEY think you fit in most of the time.

If you do as others, be prepared for potentially tough responses. Take their comments in and process them before reacting. If you hear the answer you do not want, be sure to simply listen, and DON’T respond with an idea-slashing comment!

Boost Creative Thinking Skills – Download “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation”

If how you react to new ideas is an area where you need to improve your creative thinking skills, download our free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” today!  This ebook will help boost your creative thinking skills as you interact with those around you.

Taking the NO Out of InNOvation

For an organizational innovation success boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you. – Mike Brown

 

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If you’ve ever seen me present a strategic thinking workshop, you’ve likely heard me say, “People think strategic planning is boring, and I agree with them. I’m a strategic planner, and even I don’t enjoy strategic planning. That’s why we make it fun!”

That’s not simply a throw-away line. It’s the absolute truth.

We consciously try to develop fun strategic planning activities.

The reason fun strategic planning activities are so important is they prompt people to want to engage with strategic planning at that moment plus make them eager to participate in the future.

5 Fun Strategic Planning Activities

Funny-Orange-2

“Fun strategic planning activities? You have to be kidding,” you may be thinking. No, we’re absolutely SERIOUS about the FUN part!

If you’d like to incorporate more fun into your strategic planning activities, here are a few ideas we’d offer:

1. Eliminating Boring Introductions

If you’re going for a more enjoyable strategic planning session, it’s important to start on a light note. This ice breaker dumps the typical boring self-introduction and uses introductions where everyone BUT you gets to tell something about you. Here’s one secret for even more fun – have one person make up all the answers they share. When you read this post, you’ll get what I mean by that!

2. Invite Katy Perry for Her Fashion Sense

You have to go see the picture to get this, but Katy Perry’s dress at this awards show a few years ago is all kinds of fun. If your challenge is reimagining old strategic ideas, this strategic thinking exercise will inject fun into your planning.

3. Put the Pin Prick to Your Competitors

This strategic thinking exercise involves targeting a pesky competitor and thinking about every way you can be a complete nuisance for them. You have to keep the ultimate ideas you choose legal and ethical. Before that point, however, anything is fair game and lots of fun!

4. What does Ghostbuster have to do with strategy?

By definition, you aren’t supposed to be able to anticipate black swan events. But when a client wants a black swan exercise, you figure out a way to give them a black swan exercise. This fun strategic planning activity gets its fun from the connection to Ghostbusters that inspired the exercise. Other than that, it should be a LITTLE more serious than the others here.

5. Try Some Shrimp!

This exercise is called “Shrimp,” but you’ll see a picture of a pumpkin throwing up pumpkin seeds on the original post. Yeah, it’s kind of gross, but this particular strategic thinking exercise is a blast. In workshops, I tell the story about when we used it with a group working on a NASCAR sponsorship program. They turned the exercise toward some pretty tawdry topics, yet came out with an idea that led to getting their company’s NASCAR driver on an ABC reality TV show!

Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun*

I wouldn’t necessarily advise trying to use ALL these fun strategic planning activities with one group. But if you do, let me know. THAT would be funny! – Mike Brown

 

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Download: FREE Innovation Strategic Thinking Fake Book

Brainzooming Outside-In Innovation Strategic Thinking Tools eBookAre you making the best use of customer input and market insights to deliver innovation and growth? Creating successful, innovative new products and services has never been more dependent on tapping perspectives from outside your organization. This new ebook features sixteen strategic thinking exercises to help you ideate, prioritize, and develop your best innovative growth ideas.

Download this free, concise ebook to:

  • Identify your organization’s innovation profile
  • Learn and rapidly deploy effective strategic thinking exercises to spur innovation
  • Incorporate crowd sourced perspectives into your innovation strategy in smart ways

Download this FREE ebook to turn ideas into actionable innovation strategies to drive your organization’s growth.

 

*BTW, sorry about that RebeccaRoll.

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Speaking on social media strategy at various fantastic conferences, I’m surprised by how many individuals from prominent brands tell me they are handling ALL the social media for their brands.

Yes, being a solo social media professional isn’t something that happens just in smaller companies. Big brands also find themselves putting a tremendous amount of responsibility and social media work on one person. In fact, one study reports that 42% of professionals working on social media full-time serve as one person departments.

Solo-Social

That background prompted us to work with the Social Media Strategy Summit to offer a new Brainzooming workshop at its February 2015 conference on “Staying Sane as a One Person Social Media Department.”

The presentation content will be built on various Brainzooming posts on social media efficiency and effectiveness (some of which is highlighted at the end of this post).

I hope to also infuse the presentation with the ideas and suggestions of all of you who are solo social media professionals currently or have insights about the upsides and challenges of their jobs.

If you’re a solo social media professional, please take a few moments to answer the questions below to be a part of the Social Media Strategy Summit workshop and share this link with your peers: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SoloSocialMediaPro

If aren’t a solo social media professional but know others who are, please share the link with them also so they can participate and offer their ideas: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SoloSocialMediaPro

Thanks in advance for your participation and all the great ideas!

A Sampling of Brainzooming Resources for Solo Social Media Professionals

Mike Brown

 

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“How strong is my organization’s social media strategy?”

9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy

Is your social media implementation working as well as it can? In less than 60 minutes with the new FREE Brainzooming ebook “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy,” you’ll have a precise answer to this question.

Any executive can make a thorough yet rapid evaluation of nine different dimensions of their social media strategies with these nine diagnostics. Download Your Free Copy of “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social  Strategy.”

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