Can There Be Too Many Great Marketing Ideas?

Steve Jobs Cured Great Idea-itis at AppleI imagine you deal with this a lot. Someone at your firm has this great marketing idea that you should implement. It’s a sure sign that the staff member sees the importance of marketing and wants to contribute. You certainly don’t want to discourage that and their idea is actually pretty good. In fact, it’s great.

Unfortunately, your firm may be suffering from “great idea-itis” and you have just walked into a minefield.

There is a commonly held misconception that the challenge of marketing is not enough opportunity to chase and too few great marketing ideas.

The reality is quite the opposite. You have more opportunity to chase than you can possible chase and there are more great marketing ideas than you can possibly execute.

Compounding the situation, you have limited resources to dedicate to marketing. Most likely you have fewer resources to work with than you did back in 2006, before the recession.

In an environment where you are asked to do more with less, a great place to look for a solution is one of the most ironic: Steve Jobs and Apple.

How Apple Combated Great Idea-itis

Each year, Steve Jobs would ask the senior management of Apple to come up with 10 fantastically great things that Apple should concentrate on.

As you can imagine, for a multi-billion dollar firm, coming up with only 10 things to do is quite challenging. The senior managers would fight each other over which 10 ideas to bring to Steve. But every year, they managed to whittle down the list to the 10 most essential things Apple should do.

Steve would then take them on a retreat. He would put up the list of 10 and say, “We’re going to spend this retreat cutting this list of 10 down to three.”

That was the genius of Steve Jobs, the ability to focus on a limited set of priorities.

If you think your firm has a lot of great ideas, just imagine how many great ideas come out of Apple employees each year, or even each week. But Steve Jobs would only accept three a year.

Curing Great Idea-itis In Your Firm

The cure for “great idea-itis” is identifying the three most important ideas, communicating what they are to the staff, and executing them flawlessly.

Recognize the staff’s ideas for what they are…really good ideas. Explain the three priorities you are focusing on and why they are so essential to the success of your business. Then capture this new idea for future consideration. It may become the most important thing your firm needs to do six months or a year from now.

What’s your strategy from combating great idea-itis? Leave a comment.


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