The best way to engage people, is to listen to them.

The Discovery process is the process where all the challenges and key information is uncovered in order for solutions to be developed. We have all done about a bazillion of these in-take meetings where we arrive with our pads of paper, and start discussing those typical briefing questions that produce those typical answers.

In result often times no unique attributes are discovered, and no emotional connection is established with the company at all. Therefore making it more challenging to produce great creative work, that works. Work that stands out and actually has something to say, in a unique persuasive and smart way.

With more emphasis on the quality of the discovery sessions, you could truly dig deeper into undiscovered ideas and approaches to some pretty common challenges. Basically you could inject ideation methodologies into discovery.

There are numerous methods to retrieve the vital insight into organizations. They all have a highly immersive audience participatory style that produces several benefits.

1. It involves the client into the process
2. It uncovers a deeper understanding of the company
3. It gives the creatives more inspiration points

Try Role-Playing
It is one thing to ask companies what they feel their differentiating points are. It’s another to put them on the spot to communicate it. Sometimes the passion they want to communicate is not transferred properly through direct questions.

With role-playing we become their ultimate candidate. They must persuade us to work for them in a mock up interview. They must pull out all the stops to persuade us to say, “sign me up”. In doing this, we must put our mind inside the target audience. We must put on our acting shoes, and really feel as though we are in an interview. Record everything the recruiter says, and does. All the way to their body posture. Their tone of voice. What do they accentuate? Are they believable? What was most compelling? Test them by having tough questions.

Develop Character Profiles
The more we understand the target audience, the better we can connect with them. But if we understand them as a character in a story, we become more involved with who they are.

Instead of typical lists of statistical data and values, use scenario base profiling. Short little bios of the target profile. For web development, they are referred to as personas. We want to paint a picture in our minds of the individual as if we know them personally. When the individual is profiled through a mini story, it makes it easier to grasp. Profiles are written out so that both agency and client can connect and agree on who we are trying to persuade. This is very important down the line when we need to benchmark the work.

Start by identifying the key disciplines you would like to cover. Then build a scenario around an individual that would fit in that discipline. Ironically, you build your short profile scenario with the aid of a list of attributes, values and statistics. The difference is, you’re bringing those statistics to life in a story.

Build a Collage
Some people are just visually driven. That is, they cannot express themselves in words alone. What is innovative or exciting to one may be interpreted completely different to others. This also pertains to tone, feeling and style.

A series of images are revealed and analyzed against questions such as:

What image best describes your company?
What image best represents your culture?
What image best represents how you want people to think about your company as a place to work?

Don’t Sell Me
As you try to find out what truly makes your company unique to it’s competitors, you may end up getting the familiar yet painful clich?s. Here is a great way to uncover the true definitions to those lofty contrived words like “opportunity for growth” or innovation or empowerment. People do not want the things themselves like opportunity; they want what it will give them.

Example:
Don’t sell me perfume, sell me hope.
Don’t sell me a sports car, sell me popularity.
Don’t sell me a career, sell me a dynamic lifestyle.

First we start off with all those wonderful words we have come to love. We will get those by simply asking the questions:

What are the company’s unique selling points?
Why here and not there? Then gather up all those wonderful words and start the don’t sell me technique. Example:

Don’t sell me a fun culture, sell me…
Don’t sell me high technology, sell me…

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TMP Worldwide
Written by TMP Worldwide

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