Problem Recognition or Idea Generation
“We are experiencing too much attrition, do something about it”
“We have this great new product that we think customers will want… sell it for me”.
“Our customers have told us they want this… now inform them that it is available”
“My targets have been increased so I need to sell more widgets”
The above examples are realistic ways that senior managers will initiate a given work requirement that may ultimately fall on the campaign management team.
Try to regularly meet with stakeholders and understand what problems or opportunities are important to them. Make it your role to facilitate discussions and help turn ideas into something tangible and meaningful. At this stage the intention is to document as much information as possible about what we want to achieve – What is the motivation? What is the direction? What are our objectives? Bring together subject matter experts (SME’s) to discuss and agree on the purpose and direction. Then try to document what targeting criteria will meet the requirements. You should do your best to have a general grasp of segment volumes, number of products held, high-level customer profiles, etc. All of this information will help provide basic data to aid with the decision making process.
Brainstorming is a great way to consider a bunch of problems and ideas at a single time. This type of technique is well worth a half-day session where a group of people from Marketing, Campaign Management, Product and maybe Service Delivery can get together and discuss key areas for improvement. How can we better serve our customers? How can we convey a certain message? How do we fix a specific problem? A brainstorming session should have the following type of agenda:
- Introductions: Who are the group members and what are their backgrounds?
- Purpose of brainstorming session (facilitator)
- Document ideas/problems: Everyone to come up with 3 ideas and write them on individual post-it notes
- Each post-it note is put into a broad category and stuck on the wall – Product Problems, Service Problems, Messages to convey, etc
- Discuss and refine each problem
- Group votes to pick the most important 3 problems/ideas from the session
- Assign each of the most important 3 problems/ideas to a team leader and break the remainder of the group into teams under them
- The goal is for that team to go away and spend time discussing the problem/idea and come up with approaches to address it
- The session attendees should reconvene around a month later to discuss progression and determine next steps.
Share your opinion but also sit back and listen… active listening is a skill that needs to be worked on. Once you understand what it is that the business or individual wants you can go about quantifying the opportunity.