November 09, 2011

If You Want To Do Something Different ...

... then try this exercise:

  1. Put together a panel of 10 bright employees, under the age of 30.
  2. Give them one month to put together a one hour presentation.  
  3. Topic = How We Shop.
  4. Ask each employee to list five companies that they have purchased product from that is loosely competitive to the product your company offers, in the past year.
  5. Ask each employee to describe how they found out about the company.  Was there marketing involved, marketing that informed the purchase or even caused the purchase to happen?
  6. Ask each employee to list five companies that they "admire" ... these could be companies they buy from frequently, or it could be companies that they simply like.  How does this company interact with the employee?
  7. Ask each employee to describe how an ideal company should "market" to the employee.
  8. Ask the employees to produce this information individually, but to create the presentation collaboratively.  Pay close attention to how this team self-organizes.
If you really want to have fun, choose ten employees age fifty or older.  Put them through the same set of objectives.  Give this audience a full hour to present their findings.

Evaluate the companies chosen by each set of individuals.  Evaluate the differences in marketing strategy, in marketing channels, in tactics used to build relationships with customers.

After your Executive team reviews each presentation, have an honest discussion with your Executive team about the stark differences between the companies and marketing tactics outlined by each team.  How does this stark difference in approach impact your company?  What can be learned from each presentation?  How can the findings be applied to your five year strategic plan?


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