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Imagination or Iteration? The Role of Risk-taking in Marketing and Events.

23rd September 2021 | Written by Elyse Doornbos |2.5 Minute Read

When I was younger, my family and I would go to the same pub every Friday night for dinner. Every week, I would order the same meal, a medium-rare steak with beer battered chips. Each week I continued to order the meal and knew I was going to enjoy it. I knew the portion size, I knew what drink to pair it with. I knew they would cook it the way I wanted and that was comforting. It was hard for me to consider anything else on the menu; I had found this meal that was so great and met my exact needs. Why would I  change?

Well here’s the reason.

It is because people or their surroundings change. Say one day, I arrived to order my usual meal, however, the steak wasn’t available. Or I ordered it and it wasn’t prepared the way I knew and loved. Or what if I didn’t feel like I wanted steak and chips? What would I do?

In B2B marketing, for each new campaign we ask ourselves ‘Do I try something new?’ or ‘Do I reuse what I know has worked?’. Iteration versus imagination; that is the question. 

These questions raise the role of risk-taking in marketing and can help us understand why taking risks is sometimes necessary. 

Exploring new ways can help you actually reach your audience. Change is inevitable, regardless of your industry. Take the pandemic for example. Consumer trends changed significantly towards an increase in digital consumption. Did your brand change with it? Did you maximise your online presence?

However, if you feel you’ve found that golden strategy or customer experience model, it can be very hard to break away. It can become your comfort zone. 

But challenging your preconceptions can open up exciting possibilities. So let's explore the benefits of looking at your marketing strategy with a new set of eyes.

How to start generating new strategies and marketing campaigns?

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1. Break old thinking patterns

  • Rephase the task and goal: Describe the issue you're trying to solve in a different way. Then look at it from a different angle and watch those new solutions emerge. A great example of this is when Uber’s founder Garret Camp initially wanted to start a transport service. Instead of focussing on buying & managing a surplus of vehicles to make a profit; instead he rephrased the problem on how best could best address passengers’ needs.
  • Try thinking in reverse: If you're finding it difficult to think of a new approach, try turning the problem upside-down! Flip the question and explore the exact opposite of what you want to achieve.  For example, if you are creating a new website design, think about  how you would create the worst look possible. Make it boring, frustrating & unmemorable; which can then lead you to ideas on how to make it bold & exciting!

2. Make new connections

Another way to generate new ideas is to make new or unexpected connections. For example:

  • Random words: Pick a word at random from any document, then look for novel associations between that word and your problem.
  • Picture prompts: Images can be a great way to inspire creative thinking. Pick any image, find a connection with your problem – however tenuous – and notice any new possibilities that open up.
  • Objects of interest. How about asking your team members to bring a small object of their choice to your next brainstorming session? You could generate new ideas by asking questions such as, "How is this object like the problem we're trying to solve?" or "How could we use this object to meet our challenge?"

3. Get a fresh perspective 

Take a step back from your usual standpoint and view a problem through "fresh eyes." You'll often get a surprising new take on an issue by talking to someone with a different perspective. Think of the problem you are trying to solve through the lens of their age, their life experience, or their cultural background.

Risk-taking in marketing and events has its place. So let's learn from our experiences, taking the good with us and building upon it to make it even better!

So want a fresh pair of eyes to help you build your next great marketing or events campaign. Email askus@capital-e.com.au to set up a call today.

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Article written by Elyse Doornbos, Marketing Coordinator