Fresh ideas from the magazine rack


Some of the best ideas around right now are simply better-executed strategies pulled from somewhere else. They’re not necessarily original ideas, just better implementations in a new setting.

Don’t believe me? See for yourself.

Go to the bookstore, the nearest newsstand, or even the local supermarket. Find a magazine that you’ve never read, in an industry or genre you typically don’t find interesting.

Take the magazine home, and read it cover to cover. Read everything – the editor’s note, the ads, the short up-front briefs, and the back-of-the-book long features.

As you read, write down things that you find interesting. Pay attention to copy strategies from the ads, promotional ideas by sponsors, successful design elements in the magazine overall.

Observe to how the advertisers engage the readers. How the writers engage the readers. How the magazine designers keep readers flipping through to the back cover.

As you observe and take notes, start making analogies between what you see (and experience) directly, and how that might apply these insights in your job, your industry, or your marketing.

My guess is you’ll end up with a strong to-do list of fresh, new ideas that are immediately relevant and actionable in your business.

Some of our best breakthroughs aren’t necessarily original ideas. They’re born out of an experience, a kernel of an idea, a snippet of information pulled from somewhere else.

I believe the best marketers among us are simply the most efficient at identifying those kernels in everything they see, do and experience, identifying bridges between where they find it and what they’re presently doing, and then being diligent and focused on testing those ideas in their own environment.