Oliviero Toscani Sky Arts Master of Photographer Judge and photographic supreme, demanded of a contestant: “So what?” He wanted to know if the contestant produced a picture, so what? I suggest with any product, idea, service, or solution we ask ourselves,”so what? Is there a problem? Does it offer the customer a great solution? If not, don’t bother”. Miles Davis a musical hero of mine and millions of others produced a magical piece called “So What” see here. In a recent interview Herbie Hancock, who played with him, said, Miles insisted that his band members produce something new, and memorable each time they played. Both Miles and Oliviero when seen on TV interviews, display almost cruel demands of work colleagues. I’m sure they and we all, prefer a friendly team, but, I think it is a great idea to stop and think before we produce any piece of work and think, “so what, what’s the purpose”.
It is not dissimilar to good project planning. And the need in marketing and campaign planning usually starts with a good brief. Impatient clients and bosses, creative colleagues may find this frustrating but it saves a lot of heartache further down the line. The problem being what is one person’s head, may very different, from what is in another person’s head. At o i solutions we use this Marketing Brief.
Connecting with People
As any project manager with tell you, most projects fail because of people, often a particular person! So engaging with people is critical as I suggest here in another article.
Have an Opinion and showing Leadership
Similarly with marketing content give an opinion when appropriate. In business, problem-solving and addressing risks and opportunities means asking “so what” and giving a view, making decisions and suggesting options.
The “So What Test”
Why wait for someone else to suggest it is “this” or “that way”? Just remember, ask “So what? Is there a problem? Does it offer the customer a great solution, if not, don’t bother.” So, be brave enough to not bother if what seemed a great idea at 2 a.m. in the middle of the night, in the cold light of day, doesn’t pass the “So What Test”. I would suggest you need to have answers to the following:
- Is there actually a problem?
- Do you have a cogent solution?
- As Professor Malcolm McDonald stresses:
- Create a Financially Qualified Value Proposition
- Do this by assessing all your capabilities ie your skills, resources and assets
- Then look at your customer or prospect’s weaknesses or gaps you can satisfy with your capabilities ie overlap one versus the other
- Do you have a market? Have you sized this? Remember I am referring to ideas, campaigns, products and solutions very generically here, not just funding a business per se
- Do you have people to do the work on this project however small or large it is?
- Do you have the funds?
- Have you written down a plan, in total, a short summary, financials if required?
- Do you have a short elevator pitch and USPs?
I am always looking for new guides and videos in this area, here is our oi solutions funding page which we updated constantly. I point people to the UKBAA website here, and our DBA resources page here. Plus Dorset Growth Hub here. Good luck!
Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited