CEOs and CMOs get together over a few drinks and try to brainstorm the age old question, why isn't our website driving more sales? Why is our brand apparently slipping compared to our competitors? What are we doing wrong? I think they're asking the wrong questions. It's not about fixing the leaks and remodeling the broken hulk we call our online presence. It's about doing something new. In my view, we've been playing defense long enough.
No, I'm not talking about sending out an email blast every week and flooding the airwaves with your commercials. We know that doesn't work. What I'm talking about is putting your creative people in a position to succeed, sequester them if you have to, and make it their mission to come up with lots of innovative, interesting ideas. Don't worry about how and when to produce it. There's a process for that! For now, brainstorm a list of cool ideas that may or may not get your customers' attention. You never know until you try. Call them campaigns if you like because, technically, that's what they are, but don't restrict yourself by all the defensive stuff you have to worry about. Does Peyton Manning worry about throwing a pass because it might get intercepted?
Paradoxically, you need to institutionalize creativity. Your idea generators need to come up with something new on a regular basis, and you need to be creative about how you deploy your ideas so that they don't get stale. A few ideas: