How to Run a Marketing Brainstorm Session

Marketing Brainstorm Session

A brainstorming session is very useful when we are undecided in the middle of a creative process. Whether it is for a marketing campaign or for the creation of a product, service, etc.

It’s important that we’re clear about the requirements so that we can get the best out of the team and have some fun while we’re on it.

Step 1 – Organise a comfortable workspace

Arrange the tools you may need, such as a whiteboard with markers or a screen, some sheets of paper, etc. Get a group of people (no more than 10) who are confident to suggest new ideas together.

Step 2 – Communicate your rules ahead and schedule short break

Don’t allow outside interruptions and try to stay on topic.

Step 3 – Announce the goal of the session

Then make sure you write it at the top of the board.

Step 4 – Crazy ideas are welcome!

Give your team time to organise thoughts and generate ideas. Think outside the box!

Step 5 – Organise all the ideas carefully

Or ask a member of the team to pick some of them to work with, analyse and decide which one you are going to implement in your marketing campaign.

The purpose of the session is to create a pool of ideas to find the best one or to combine different ideas to find the appropriate solution. Here are some of the most effective techniques:

Mind Mapping

Let’s start by writing down an idea and then draw lines connecting sub-ideas to the first one. Mind mapping is a visual way to approach brainstorming discussions.

Brainwriting (Slip Writing or Crawford Slip Writing)

In this technique, everyone writes down three ideas that relate to the topic of the brainstorming. The ideas can then be randomly shared with other participants. Once the ideas have made it around the circle, the group discusses them and decides which of them are the best. 

Reverse Brainstorming

This technique asks participants to come up with great ways to cause a problem. Think about what most people would do/act/think in a given situation and think of how to do the opposite.

Gap Filling

You can begin by writing down where you are. Then write where you’d like to be. Your participants will have to fill the gap between the former and the latter with a wide range of answers from the general to the particular.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis is commonly used to improve the collaborative analysis. Do we discuss the weaknesses of the idea? Which are the strengths? Is this idea an opportunity?

Starbusting

Create a six-point star around a selected idea. Write one of the following words on each point: who, what, where, when, why, and how, and use all these words to generate questions and discussions.

“The Five Whys”

To explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem. Ask your team, up to 5 times, why the problem/idea is occurring. The team should be able to provide chained answers.

What If” Brainstorming

Find and explore the “what if” scenarios that can come out. What if this product had come up 100 years ago? What if the Internet is not working at the critical moment?

Figure Storming

The group picks a well-known figure with whom everyone is familiar and discusses how that person would approach the idea, problem, opportunity you’re facing.

Brain netting (online brainstorming)

So that remote employees can participate; it puts everyone on the same field. You just need to write down their ideas and decide which idea is the best.

Round Robin Brainstorming

It’s a game in which each member contributes to the brainstorming with one idea. No one can say “My idea was already taken.” You can go back to that person at the end when they’ve had more time to think. This is a great way to encourage people to explain ideas before moving forward to the next steps.

Rapid Ideation

It’s based on the belief that pressure generates more ideas quickly. Everyone writes down as many suggestions as possible in a determined amount of time. Rapid ideation avoids shooting ideas down. Finally, share them aloud or collect responses.

Eidetic image

It employs vivid images stored in our minds from all our life experiences. At first, the members of the team will close their eyes and imagine a product. Each person will come up with a different idea. Repeat it again but make them think about the actual product. After everyone has arrived at an image of their ideal product in their mind, you may ask them to share the results with the rest of the team.

Choose the best ideas. Evaluate them and assign next steps towards turning them into reality. With the proper techniques and implementation, brainstorming is an effective way to gather ideas and improve your creative process. What brainstorming technique do you use to take marketing decisions?

Cristina Moreno
I am a designer turned into marketer, passionate about how technology is changing this field and the communication processes. My academic background includes a M.A. in International Diplomacy, Institutional Affairs and Event Management and a Google Certification on Digital Marketing. In 2018, I set up a start-up named BigBox Agency (www.bigboxagency.com) with the aim of merging advanced techniques from the IT sector with marketing and communication areas. Before taking the role of Creative Director of my own business, I had the chance to work with relevant speakers and personalities around the world, such as politicians, celebrities, CEOs and experts in different disciplines. Habituated to work with a high level of responsibility, I have succeed in dealing with the management of different projects simultaneously.