A marketer’s most valuable tool – a printable whiteboard

Gather together a whiteboard, plenty of coffee, a group of people with open minds and some free time and you have the ingredients for so

Yes, I know. The image that’s accompanying this post has absolutely nothing to do with the title of the post. But if you read my previous post, you’ll see that I have recently taken a dislike for stock photos and have made a decision to only ever use photos that I’ve taken. As I can’t find any photos in my collection that relate to whiteboards, I thought that I would use this instead. I took this photo whilst cycling in Palmerston North recently. It tickled my fancy.

Anyway, back to the topic…..

Any marketing professional worth their salt will always present their clients with fresh new campaigns, not cookie cutters from previous marketing activities. Yes, you must always learn from your past experiences – what worked and what didn’t – but it would be a huge mistake to assume that a campaign strategy that worked for one client will work for another.

Even slight differences can ensure that a campaign that has previously been wildly successful at one moment in time, turns out to be an embarrassing flop when it is regurgitated to be used elsewhere.

However, it is an arrogant marketer who believes that at the click of their fingers they can come up with marketing campaigns by themselves without assistance. An effective marketer will draw on the expertise and inspiration of others So, go ahead and gather together a whiteboard, plenty of coffee, a group of people with open minds and some free time and you have the ingredients for some impressive creativity. You have a workshop!

A workshop is truly an ideal way to come up with the spark of an idea for a marketing campaign.

Putting it simply, a workshop is an opportunity to harness the power and creativity of a group of people in an environment where there is no hierarchy and minimal control. In a perfectly run workshop there are no egos, no agendas and no cliques. Of course, reality can get in the way of perfection, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot strive for it.

There are rules around how to run a workshop, but this post is not about that. There are plenty of blogs that will help you with this.

You should not seek to walk away from the workshop with a fully crafted and scripted campaign; you’ll just be setting yourself up to fail. All you should try to achieve is a theme, maybe some key-words, some imagery, some challenging thoughts and possibly a rough map of how a journey may look. If you can achieve all or some of these, you should consider your workshop a success.

Who should you invite to join you in a marketing campaign workshop? The simple answer is anyone. They could be a colleague, your client, a designer, a techie or even someone from the shop next door. What you are seeking are ideas and ideas can come from anyone.

Who shouldn’t you invite to join you in a marketing campaign workshop? Again, this answer is simple. Anyone who is negative, anyone who is likely to belittle people and anyone who is not open to listening. In other words, anyone who will likely sabotage your workshop. There is no room for them.

We always workshop ideas for our clients, regardless of how straightforward a campaign may appear. You are always seeking that extra spark of creativity and something unique and a workshop is an ideal way to get this.

And the printable whiteboard? This is an absolutely invaluable tool to ensure that all the gems that you have captured do not disappear when you leave the room and go back to your daily routines.