Marketing is problem solving. Through productizing and service-izing. And since marketing is inextricably linked to branding, problem solving is inherently a good brand strategy trait.
The digital economy has brought us many things to be excited about as marketers: the web, big data, small batch/craft economy offerings, and the Uberization of services aka the sharing economy. But when it comes to problem solving, few of these things are as exciting to me as the “group-solve” phenomenon. Think open source R&D.
Recently, the Opioid Epidemic Challenge Summit hack-a-thon sponsored by Mass General Hospital and the GE Foundation came up with a Narcan lock box idea that may stem death by opioids. A number of years ago, I worked on an idea called Future Boston (there’s that city again), whereby virtual teams were to come together to solve Boston city problems like traffic, education and population health. This teaming event was sponsored by MIT, IEEE, and the Boston Globe. (Disclosure: it never made it out of plan.)
By bringing great and willing minds together in these hack-a-thon problem solving initiatives, we are doing what humans, with our large brain cases, do best.
When marketers crowd source problems, sans economic motive, amazing things can happen. This is not just a non-profit space, it’s for all members of the commercial community.