Looking for better marketing ideas? Leonard Channel

Take Leonardo DeVinci. Please. Yes, the guy who painted the mona-lisa and The last supper.

He was curious to all. And very observant. And he wasn’t afraid to let his imagination run wild.

How do you think he got the idea Vitruvian man??

OK, I’m speculating on that, but he succeeded because he thought outside the box.

It was curious, observant and imaginative.

Here’s the good news, courtesy of biographer Leonardo Walter Isaacson: we can all cultivate these same traits. It takes effort, but we can Choose be curious, observant and imaginative.

Creatives and marketers share the same challenge: how to come up with ideas and create work that grabs people’s attention and inspires them to take action: read, buy, subscribe, rent, commission, etc.

If you are selling a product or service, you must Marlet yourself. One way to demonstrate your expertise is to write a blog.

But how do you manage to ideas ?

You do what Leonardo did:

stay curious: be open to learning new things.

Be observant: we miss things that are right under our noses.

be imaginative: ask yourself how you can use something in a new way.

Leonardo da Vinci's advice on how to come up with ideas: learn new things, be observant, ask how to use something in a new way

I called a local nursery last summer. I needed buy land to level a spot in my garden.

I asked if they knew where I could find some. It turns out they sold dirt. (No mention on their website – I checked before calling.)

They explained the difference between potting soil and compost, and how you can mix them in different ratios.

I learned a lot. I thought: it’s a perfect blog topic: interesting in itself, and it would clearly demonstrate expertise.

But they just assumed people knew they were selling soil and how you could mix the different kinds.

Brands hit hard when they come up with something that gets people talking and creates Word of mouth.

Marketing expert Jay Baer called conversation triggers: something unexpected that happens to all customer, and invites them to become volunteer traders.

Jay Baer's Definition of Conversation Starter: An unexpected experience that turns customers into volunteer marketers for this brand, must be something you do for every customer

In one of his podcasts, he explains how CVS Pharmacy created a conversation starter using something most of us throw away: receipts.

We’re used to getting store receipts with coupons attached. But if you belong to the CVS Extra Care membership club, you get a one kilometer receipt it doesn’t matter what you buy, even if it’s just a packet of chewing gum.

And people love it. They tweet about their receipts and post stories, photos and videos on social media. It is word of mouth advertising who keeps on giving.

I love Jay’s cheerful delivery. He knows entertainment and learning are natural allies. You can watch the entire podcast below.

You could argue: CVS is a huge company. They have a lot more resources than me. But that does not apply here.

They were curious: what are the undiscovered possibilities?

They were observer: what happens during the customer journey in-store?

They were imaginative: can we somehow modify the modest receipt?

In other words, they channeled Leonardo– and you can too.

Final Thoughts:

In his Leonardo’s biography, Mr. Isaacson makes the following remarks:

1. Be curious, observant and imaginative does not happen by chance– it takes effort.

2. Leonardo did lists topics he wanted to explore: write stuff.

3. The sighting is more than watching; you must to treat your observations, think about it.

4. imaginative jumps do not happen by chance; you must allow facts and ideas to simmer.

5. Leonardo kept notebooks; comments should be checked in: don’t trust them to memory.

6. Let yourself be tempted by the fantasy; Let your imagination be free (think that mile-long CVS receipt).

Finally: Mr. Isaacson gives us this wonderful sentence:

The best reason to learn from Leonardo is not to get a better job, but to live a better life.

Absolutely true – but it can Also help you generate ideas, create better content and better market your brand.

Header illustration by Mark Armstrong.

Originally published on Artwork by Mark Armstrong.


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