Growing ideas by Understanding Your Audience
I was reading a few different church marketing websites this AM and I came across a great article on Shrink the Church by Paul Hickernell. He compares an idea to an egg and how we need to nurture and grow the idea to allow it to hatch.
I love the Paul's egg analogy. We need to allow our "egg" to incubate to be ready on God's timing. I also think there are ways to allow us to "love on" our idea to allow it to grow…
1. Identify the need. Who's need are we trying to meet and do we understand them? We need to clearly know who we are trying to "serve" with our idea and understanding why it is relevant to them?
2. What are the sources of frustration? What is the primary driver of dissatisfaction? Otherwise, why do they/you care about the idea? Get very clear on why the status quo is not acceptable and you will understand the key success criteria for the idea, project or initiative?
3. What are you trying to do? Break down what you are trying to do into component parts. So, if it is fundraising, it would be…identify (who would want to give), know (how do we meet), like (how do we see we are aligned in our goals), trust (can I trust you with my money), give (exchange $$$), and reward (what tangible or intangibles do I receive.)
4. Look for parallels. What are similar experiences you can learn from? What are outstanding examples we can learn from? NPR? The Red Cross? What about the individual components? Ex. Amazon (for $$$ transactions)
5. Recompile. How can we create an experience unique for our goals, but uses what we learned from others.
Now set it aside and take another look it at in a week. Allow others to play with the idea. Give the idea time to incubate and see if it can "hatch."
The big mistake most people make is that they fall in love with an "idea" but never think about how the intended audience will use or interact with it. We always need to see things through the eyes of those we intend to service and not just chase the cool idea.
It all comes back to an egg. It all starts with the intended audience and what they need (the yolk), building an experience around it (the whites), and then creating a creative package to bring it together (the shell).
Are great ideas born out of thin air or do they need to be incubated and hatched? What are your thoughts?