How do marketing managers gather internal ideas and requests?

Generating quality ideas and managing requests are essential components of your role as a marketing manager. And often, these requests and ideas will come from outside the marketing team. Maybe someone in sales needs an asset that helps communicate the value of a new product feature. Or someone in customer success has an idea for a new marketing method to embrace.

So how do you capture and manage all of this? Many teams use email or other communication tools to gather ideas and requests. They then use static documents to keep track of them. This method may work for a while but quickly becomes cumbersome. And it is tough to vet ideas against your strategy when they live in siloed systems.

This is why it is important to have a formal idea management process — one that allows you to gather and store ideas and requests in a single location. Additionally, your process should make it easy to prioritize ideas based on your objectives, quickly add them to your roadmap, and strengthen your marketing efforts over time.

How to gather internal marketing ideas and requests

The first step to establishing a formal idea management process is to collect all your feedback in a central place. If you use web-based idea management software like Aha! to do this, people can submit their ideas and requests through an online portal. This allows you to capture all feedback in one place and then promote the best ideas to your marketing roadmap.

Idea management portals also give you the power to require specific information from the requestor. This could be anything from the reason behind the request or idea to specifications and timing. This provides the additional context you need to prioritize ideas and determine the effort required to complete them before moving forward.

Here is an example of a marketing ideas portal:

How to manage internal marketing ideas and requests

Now that you have gathered your feedback in a single place, you need an organized process for effectively reviewing those ideas and vetting them against the marketing strategy. Here are the basic steps to take:

1. Review every idea and request
Once it is submitted, make sure each idea contains the necessary details. For example, you might want to group each idea into categories based on the broader topic or add tags to identify what the idea is about. You can also input any additional information you need to determine next steps. If an idea clearly does not support the marketing strategy or align with what your customers need, you might decide right away not to pursue it. But be open to what you can learn from every piece of feedback.

2. Notice patterns
Group ideas by theme so you can quickly identify common types of requests and minimize repetition. Idea management software makes it simple to spot patterns because users themselves can select the topic that their idea relates to during the submission process. You can also create reports that show the breakdown of ideas by topic and identify popular ones. Most software also includes voting functionality, so people can see a list of submitted ideas and show their support for specific ones.

3. Score against strategy
Evaluate each request by thinking about how closely it aligns with your overall business and marketing goals. You can create an internal scorecard to rank ideas in a quantitative and objective way, then use that number to prioritize requests. This helps you quickly say "yes" or "no" to each submission.

4. Promote to your marketing roadmap
Of course, you will need to address some requests right away. But other ideas will support the longer-term programs and campaigns you already have on your roadmap. Promote these ideas to activities on your marketing roadmap, a visual timeline of your upcoming plans and how they support the larger strategy. And make sure the entire team understands what is on your roadmap and why you are pursuing it.

5. Communicate your decision
After you determine whether or not to pursue an idea, inform the person who submitted it about your decision. Including a brief explanation of why will encourage a culture of sharing and transparency. Even if your answer is no, people will be more likely to continue submitting other ideas and requests going forward when they know that their suggestions are being reviewed seriously.

Start implementing idea management

Breakthrough ideas help drive the business forward and establish your organization as a market leader. Determining which ideas and requests are worthwhile takes time and effort — but it is an invaluable part of crafting messages that resonate with your target audience. Once you have a formal process in place for managing ideas, you will be well-equipped to improve customer engagement and deliver even stronger programs and campaigns.


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