In many companies, marketing ideas usually originate in departments or outside companies dedicated to that purpose. It’s a business model that’s worked for decades. But it doesn’t always have to be that way. Some of the most intriguing and innovative ideas for marketing your company can also come from employees who don’t work in marketing.
Yet how do you gather those types of ideas? Forbes magazine’s Communications Council offers up a number of ways a company’s leadership can encourage employees to contribute great ideas that can help a business grow and succeed.
Use the right tools
From Slack to Microsoft Teams and beyond, there are ways to use technology that’s part of everyday business to leverage ideas as much as managing tasks. Alexi Lambert Leimbach from the company Xcellimark considers how technology can be an avenue for sharing: “People can easily submit ideas and comment on each other’s input, feeding off of the different concepts submitted to help generate even more ideas. They’re able to participate and collaborate without being physically located together.”
Gamify your ideas processes
Be sure to keep it light, but having contests relating to the gathering of ideas, for example, could be a fun way to get creative juices flowing. Patrick Ward of Rootstrap explains that “creating some friendly rivalry … (with rewards) is a great way to get the creative juices flowing.”
Don’t forget to give thanks
It’s important to have a way to give credit where it’s due — and to never skip that step — when a person or team comes up with an idea that’s going to be used. “Even if you had to make major revisions, acknowledgment is critical,” Ellen Sluder of RingBoost told Forbes. “It not only makes the contributor feel good, but also demonstrates the behavior you want from the larger team, while also motivating others to contribute for their moment of glory.”
Provide an avenue
Several of the council’s ideas for outside input on marketing are focused on the fact that it’s important to be open to ideas from anyone and to provide a way for those ideas to be found. Corey Morris from Voltage gives this guidance: “While there are definite roles and lanes to stay in, giving everyone a voice and freedom to research, brainstorm and ideate is critical. Don’t lose that great strategy because it wasn’t their role.”