Hey Marketers, Let’s Get Provocative!

Provoke Better Strategic Thinking

No, we’re not suggesting you rummage through your closet for a head-turning outfit to don at your next Zoom call.  We’re talking about Marketing provocation.

If you’ve ever sat through an all-day planning meeting and had a strong sense of déjà vu, this may be just the tool you need to jumpstart some new thinking.

This is how provocation works:

  • You identify some jumping off points. These can be external or internal factors. For example, you might want to provoke people’s thinking starting from external market trends OR from internal realities like existing products or services.
  • You take that jump off point and stretch it into the future – for instance, five years from now, how might this look? What about 20 years from now? Essentially, you ask ‘what if’ statements and let your imagination fly.

    • What if all groceries were delivered to your door via robots?’ Oh, I guess that’s just about reality, isn’t it? Let’s try again…

    • How about, ‘what if all ‘non-sustainable’ packaging was outlawed, and violators paid hefty fines?'

    • 'What if our products & services were tailored to the particular dietary needs of each and every customer?'

    • 'What if the most popular fashion is functional bodysuits built for specific situations like ‘maintaining safe social distance’, or ‘diagnosing medical issues’, or ‘setting your body temperature’ for the conditions’.

You get the idea, and the wilder your ideas, the more you shake up existing ways of seeing your customers, your market, your industry.  

  • The next step is to think about the implications of that ‘what if’ statement on your customer, your product or service, your company, your industry. For example, if all packaging IS outlawed in the future, what must we do now to prepare for that reality?  Maybe your team needs to look for new distribution channels, or new product formulations to maintain product integrity during transport, or organic packaging solutions.
  • Finally, identify what ideas warrant further investigation and make an action plan.

Hopefully you are getting a picture of how provocations can take your teams to places you have not been before. It may feel a little scary at first to initiate this type of thinking, but we all know the best ideas seldom come from staying in our comfort zones.

So, what can we do to make this a little easier for you?

Go here to get step-by-step instructions on how to provoke like a pro.  We even include a deep dive on trends that you can repurpose right away plus several examples of how brands transformed using provocation as a trigger.  


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