Here is Part II of my Q and A with Peppercom's "Miller" Lauren Begley.
4) REPMAN: What's your POV on the breakthrough marketing campaigns you cover in the Mill? What's the secret sauce or ingredients that every great campaign contains?
LAUREN: The most innovative campaigns are not necessarily the largest or most expensive. Nor do they always come from big brands or agencies. In fact, many of the most successful campaigns are often quite simple. Honest Tea is a great example. They recently launched an ‘unscientific study’ to find the most honest city in America. They placed cases of Honest Tea in public areas with a sign asking for passerbys to leave $1 if they took a beverage. In the end, Boston topped the list with Los Angeles at the bottom. Aside from the small cost of product, Honest Tea was able to create buzz in both print media and online when they released the results of their test along with a series of videos on YouTube. In terms of a ‘secret sauce,’ the key seems to be interactivity; successful campaigns often call on the general consumer audience to participate in an activity or movement that spreads online. Then the media take notice.
5) REPMAN: How has our staff (and your external audiences) reacted to the Innovation Mill? Are you at the point yet where you're refining what runs and what doesn't?
LAUREN: The Peppercom staff has been incredibly supportive. Several employees have become proactive in sending us case studies or articles of interest. Others have found the Mill to be a great tool worth sharing with clients. In either case, the employee feedback has helped us tweak our process and focus our research on topics that resonate with our employees and clients. This team effort has helped us create a more useful end result.
6) REPMAN: How would you advise any organization, large or small, to create their own Innovation Mill?
LAUREN: I think all agencies should have some sort of system in place to track industry trends – it will only make them more informed and, ultimately, more competitive. To get started, here are a few suggestions:
• Involve people within your organization who are genuinely interested in creative thinking and industry trends.
• Encourage all employees to read, circulate and discuss industry news. Try to find a lesson in everything you read.
• Listen to ideas employees share and green light the good ones. Whether it is starting an innovation team or initiating ‘board game Fridays,’ hear them out. You never know where those initiatives could lead.