Archive for May, 2011

May 24, 2011
Jeffrey Heilbrunn

Sometimes I am asked how to get started with a marketing plan. I tell people that the best place to start is with a Marketing Audit. You need to know where you are at before you can move forward. And to accomplish the marketing audit, as a precursor to a marketing plan, you may wish to consider using the document linked here.

The genesis of this document was that it was developed for a franchise operation and then later for use by small businesses. It is presented here as a way to start the conversation and to provide a basis for an actionable marketing plan.

Comments are welcome.

May 22, 2011
Jeffrey Heilbrunn

(This article is inspired by and taken to some degree from a new book, The Power of Pull, by Hagel, Brown and Davison)

In previous blogs I have mentioned the wonders of Lead User research (von Hippel) in generating innovations and ideas. There is another approach that allows for finding ideas and innovations without necessarily looking for them … the idea behind serendity.

The authors in the above noted book, suggest in this new work that serendipity can be energized by increasing the powers and opportunities to have things come to you…to attract rather than search. Suggestions for increasing the opportunity for serendipity include:
1. Being at the center of communications with the right kind of people; LinkedIn is particularly helpful in this regard…stay visible (like this blog and Twitter do for me)
2. Becoming involved with communities (physical and digital) that are relevant and or perhaps just interesting to you… venture out into new territory
3. Recognizing and leveraging every serendipitous moment
4. Attending conferences, not just with a direct connection, but of things that are in some distant way connected or complimentary
5. Write, speak, blog and otherwise get your thoughts out there so others will find you and connect with you…making sure you offer something of value in your communications
6. Get exposed to others who are expert in other things…I remember once being told to get more interested in design which is both fascinating and important to marketing
7. Social media, it goes without saying, can make and even help filter connections to improve your serendipity batting average
So, after all that, does serendipity just happen? Kind of reminds me about the discussions about Word of Mouth advertising…it can just happen, or it can be helped and crafted to some degree.

So, get out there and get in the way, and let serendipity come to you…or as the authors might say, let the power of attraction help your innovation processes.