Article

WHAT TO IDEATE ON

WHAT TO IDEATE ON

This article emphasizes on the need to micro-network, the need to build a community!

RECAP:

A micro-market is a curated set of target clients.

Micromarketing is a strategy where marketing efforts focus on a narrow set of target clients; all activities are defined by and for this set.

Ideation happens for a reason, for a specific purpose. Who can and should do it? Is there an example?

There is, and as always, a story too. Let us start with the story.

Here’s a story that underlines the key lesson:

HOW OFTEN WILL YOU READ A POETRY BOOK?

Reva was facing a challenge. She volunteers for specific non-profits and one of them had put forth a request.

A request she was grappling with. She wanted to help but how? So, she asked them questions.

What did they want? Why? By when?

The story of Aravind was told.

Aravind ………..

Aravind is special. He is highly intelligent. He is autistic. He communicates through his typing and his drawings. This is his way of expressing himself.

Aravind was introduced to the typewriter when he was ten. He was hooked, in love. Clickety clack, he went at it, with two fingers. He typed away, getting his thoughts out on paper. That was the only way he wanted to communicate. Through his words, writing, poems.

His school wanted Aravind’s work to be published.

They wanted Aravind’s writing compilation to provide the world a glimpse into the mind of a non-verbal boy. The objective was to understand who he is and people like him. To showcase his strengths and enable him to go to a regular college, which is his passion and desire. 

His school wants his collection of writing to be published to raise funds for a special initiative being planned.

1000 books to be printed and sold in the next two months!

That was the clear ask from the school principal. 

Reva’s head was swirling with questions:

  • Who will buy a poetry book?
  • Who will read a poetry book?
  • How much will it cost to print 1000?
  • Who should publish?
  • How do we break even?
  • How do I cover/address the risks?

She reached out to her inner circle and assembled an ideation team. Questions, are best answered with a determined group.

A designer, a technologist and a marketer (yours truly!) met for coffee! Eager and willing to contribute to a good cause. 

This team was tasked with arriving at the answers, figuring out the options and making appropriate suggestions.

Why should this book be published?

The purpose was to showcase the talent and create awareness – Of the capabilities, the creativity, the possibilities.

How many people did they want to reach? 1000, to meet their fund raise targets !

Why should 1000 people buy a poetry book?

They will if they find it to be curious, interesting and usable.

Have you heard of a usable poetry book?

The technologist had just returned from a large book fair and showed a notebook that he had bought. “Why not a poetry notebook?” he asked.

Innocuous at first, this suggestion had much deeper meaning when we dwelled on it.

A classy notebook with Aravind’s poems, writing and some drawings, with enough space to take notes. Sounds like a good idea.

"How do we reach 1000 people?", was the question put forth.

Why do we need to reach1000, when we can achieve the objective by talking to 10 key people, answered the marketer!

10 corporates who believe in the purpose of creating awareness, showcasing talent and providing their associates and clients with notebooks.

10 CEOs who support such initiatives, each picking up 100 notebooks. The outreach was made through word of mouth by the ideation team.

This approach was put to a test right after the coffee meet. Two CEOs accepted immediately. The others did so soon thereafter. The first ten companies that signed on had their respective corporate logos printed on the notebooks.

With advance orders in hand, vendors were shortlisted. Test prints were taken before rolling on to the print of 1000 copies of a poetry book/diary.

Reva met her objective, as did the school, and Aravind.

Aravind’s creative notebook was the new year gift going out!

So, the next key question is: WHAT TO IDEATE ON?

You ideate on the pain points that you identified for your micro market, the small set of people who you have observed and interacted with.

What is their need? What is their want? What is the pain point that will solve that need?

Takkar Dabba Pain points (Takkar Dabba used to deliver healthy snacks in their micro market):

“I need a healthy snack around 4PM as I feel quite peckish. I don’t want to eat biscuits or anything fried.”

“I need an afternoon snack that is good for me. Something healthy. Definitely something tasty.”

“Oh, the problem with healthy snacks is that it gets repetitive. Imagine getting the same snack every day. Yes, I need a healthy salad, but I need variety.”

Notionpress SPOTLIGHT Matchmakers (NotionPress is a publishing platform and this specific product is aimed at CEOs and Leaders):

            “I need to establish myself as a thought leader. I don’t know how!”

“If only there is someone who will take the onus of helping me write, publish and market! I have so much knowledge to share, so little time or marketing knowhow.”

The pain point needs to be real.

If there are multiple pain points, narrow down to the one that most affects your micro market.

The solution ideation then has a clear focus – to solve that pain point, to address that specific need.

Who forms my micro marketing ideation team?

The ideation and execution is going to be driven by a single person.

You.

The beauty of micro marketing is that it makes everyone think marketing, to think of a solution. Ideas come in from others in the company, including the office executive and the cleaning person. Ideas are not the bastion of one person!

Any person who will contribute effectively can be a part of your micro marketing team. Any person who remains silent and only rejects all ideas, perhaps not.

You definitely need to welcome being questioned on ideas and decisions, but from a contributing member who is as intent on meeting the objective as you are. Idle sitters and negative nasties are best left out of the ideation circle. Welcome everyone with an open mind without any pre-set biases. If the objective of the ideation exercise is clear, the outcome will be equally clear and implementable.

For the right team, you need:

Micro planners: People who simplify the objective, make it easy to understand and plan for. The micro planner ensures that you stick to the task at hand: to ideate a potential solution for a specific pain point!

Ideators: Those who can come up with ideas and potential solutions. Those who are brave to voice their ideas in public!

Questioners/Skeptics: Those who can wear the hat of questioners, wear the hat of the customer, figure out ways in which the idea may fail or not work – where the focus is on the idea and not the person who gave the idea. This is, of course, a role that rotates within your team!

Implementers: The idea is just that, an idea, a figment of creative imagination. Until, someone picks it up and breathes life into it, giving it shape and converting it into something tangible.

Testers: Those who test this solution with the micro set of customers, who are already primed and ready. Yes, involve your micro market as well.

Takkar Dabba identified an initial set of clients and tried out their recipes, portion sizes, delivery structure – all decided WITH the prospects themselves.

Questions/Activity:

What’s the pain point to solve, to ideate on?

Is it a pain point worth solving?

Who is part of the ideation team?

How will you get into agile implementation of the idea?

Ideation without execution is a flight of fancy.

Ideation is always for a purpose, for a person, for a pain-point.

Always.

*****

This the seventh article in "The Micro Marketer" series by Pravin Shekar, an Outlier Marketer.

The first article laid the foundation for what a micro market is. <Hyperlink to the first article>

The second article focused on how to define a micro market. <Hyperlink to the second article>

The third article focused on how to form a micro market.

The fourth article emphasized the need to be curious, at all times – and ask.

The fifth article helped in identifying the right problem/pain-point.

The sixth article showed a path to micro-networking.

About the Author

Pravin Shekar is an outlier marketer, parallel entrepreneur and a raconteur. If you want to shake up your marketing strategy OR discuss your micro marketing plan, write to Pravin at outlier@pravinshekar.com