Authored by Guest Blogger, Carrie Majewski
My name is Carrie Majewski and I am a huge fan of white boards.
Right now, I am sitting at my kitchen table writing this blog, staring at the impressively large white board hanging on my wall that is capturing every strategic goal I wish to accomplish in the coming months. At the office, it’s only a matter of hours before I will leave my desk, head into the conference room and pick up that marker to start filling that glorious white board with fresh ideas that need to be explored.
Having been in marketing the past 10 years, to me the white board represents the springboard for my next great idea. It represents the not-yet-baked idea I may suddenly have for a marketing campaign. It represents the creative process I will inevitably embark upon to arrive at a game-changing marketing initiative. It represents the spaghetti I will throw against the wall to see what sticks.
Early in my career, I was too fast of a marketer. I would have a great idea for a blog, write it and post it. I would think of an ad campaign, run it by a few folks, choose NOT to sleep on it and let it go live. As someone who has Discipline and Achiever in her top five Gallup StrengthsFinder results, this is perhaps not all that surprising. I LOVE executing. I love knocking something off a to-do list. And I derive immense satisfaction from moving something across the finish line.
But as marketers, we need to move slower. We need to be more strategic and visionary. We need to give ourselves time to explore, brainstorm and ideate. If we don’t, we stop at having good ideas versus extraordinary ones.
If you’re ready to uplevel your marketing efforts and spend more time throwing wildly amazing ideas out there, try the following:
-Write Everything Down: When you get an idea for a social media campaign, a blog topic, a white paper subject, write it down; get it out of your head and onto paper. But don’t be so quick to execute on your very first idea. Instead, challenge yourself to expand the concept so it’s even stronger than you initially conceived. For instance, write an even better blog than the one you first thought of so that you can shop it around to a third-party site for publication. Determine if the white paper topic is most closely aligned to your quarterly campaign or if it’s better saved for a future quarter.
-Use the Parking Lot: You’ve likely heard of the phrase “let’s table it,” but have you ever heard the phrase, “let’s put in the parking lot?” The concept refers to taking interesting, worthwhile ideas that are raised up during a meeting but that are not directly tied to the conversation at hand and agreeing to revisit them at a later date. You can do the same with your marketing. As you begin conceptualizing campaigns and strategies, some ideas will inevitably pop up that do not quite fit your immediate goals but that are worthy of a revisit down the line. Move them to the parking lot. Write these great ideas down and resolve to revisit them later.
-Blow it Up: Have you arrived at what you believe to be the best approach to your next demand generation email workflow? Are you convinced it will result in a new level of success with regards to lead generation? If you have, then try to blow it up or challenge what you just conceptualized. If you can point to potential blind spots or ineffectiveness, you have not yet arrived at the best outcome. If it truly is fail proof, you have arrived.
As marketers, we have a responsibility to constantly stretch the limits creatively, strategically and philosophically. But to do so we need to deliberately slow down, explore a world of possibility and challenge ourselves to arrive at an extraordinary outcome. It’s hard! We face an inordinate amount of pressure daily to strengthen our company’s brand awareness, produce compelling content and, of course, become a revenue-generating department in our spare time.
So, start small. Try just one of the tactics above. Get a white board. Start cooking some spaghetti. See what sticks.
Carrie Majewski is committed to affecting change. As Founder of the Women in Leadership Nexus, Carrie is fueled by a desire to create safe space for female luminaries to convene to redefine the notion of leadership. She has forged a career around strategic writing and storytelling, having led a digital marketing agency for almost three years and today working as Marketing Principal for Trilix Tech. Carrie is a 2017 Rhode Island “40 Under 40” honoree and a 2016 Rhode Island Tech10 Winner. In her spare time you’ll find her trying out a local hip-hop class, exploring parks with her rescue dog Tori, and sipping coffee with other powerhouse women.