How well you develop your creative capacities will be the single most significant determinant for how well you are able to take advantage of the unprecedented opportunities of the exponential age (2020s and beyond).

Follow these 10 tools and tactics to take your creativity to the next level. 








Would you pay your marcom team to play a game?  How about if it boosted their creativity and made them a more collaborative team.  

Pitch Me is a game that’s great for inspiring fresh thinking, creative marketing concepts, and new ways to stretch your marketing dollar.  

The game is quite simple.  There are 4 envelopes, each with a label: Channel, Budget, Target Market and Offering.  Each of these envelopes contains 10-12 cards.  Each team draws one card from each envelope to create a fictitious marcom “client,” a business leader (role-played by one or more judges) looking to take their solution to a specific target market, through a specified channel and with a defined budget.  It’s the team’s job to craft a pitch to present to the “client” in order to win their business.  Teams are given 15-30 minutes to work up their pitch (sketch boards, graphics, jingles, ad copy, dance routines, whatever), then they get 5 minutes to pitch their marketing plan, Shark Tank style.  If you have 7 of fewer folks in your marcom team they should all work as one team.  8 or more and you should break them into teams of 4-7 members each.  

Judges can use whatever criteria they like (funniest, best crafted, most likely to succeed, most comprehensive, etc.). The main goal is to let the creative juices run wind and free for a bit, have some fun and step up collaboration within your marcom department.  I’ve definitely seen this game bring out hidden talents in teams.  Even teams that have been working together for years.  Also, I’m sure it comes as no surprise to many of you, but the most creative ideas I’ve seen in this game always come from teams that drew super low budgets.  

I encourage you to create your own cards for the envelopes, but below are some ideas to get you started. [Thank you to PMG North Bay for the inspiration.] Have fun and please share your ideas for more cards. 



Electric Scooter

Time Management Consultant

Ramen Restaurant

Handcrafted Gluten Free Paleo Bacon

A 13 Year-Old Who Created a Lawn-mowing Company

A Used Car Dealership

Premium Wine Club

Local Hot Sauce Company

Cat Groomer

Knitting Supplies

Mini Storage

Tiny Homes


Target Markets:

Travel Junkies


Wellness Women  


20-Something Bros



Business Execs

LGBT and Advocates

Football Fans

Over 65

Local Moms



Print (Newspaper / Magazines)

TV and Streaming

Billboards (Physical Ad Placements)



Advertisements Before the Movie

Public Relations

Storefront Marketing

Social Media


Gorilla Marketing

Special Event














Revenue Split

Thought leadership content has become the new currency of trust in B2B marketing and sales.  Get this right in the 2020s and you’ll dominate your competition.  Download this guide for building out your killer content flywheel. 


Surf and Sales founder and B2B Sales Podcaster, Scott Leese, hosts Colt Briner for Tequila Tuesday.

Scrappy AF Marketing founder Colt Briner shares his best strategies for prospect engagement in high-dollar, enterprise selling contexts. Corporate gifting, awards, engagement events, dimensional mailers and more.


Winning prospect engagement strategies

Businesses that operate from a foundation of purpose attract more customers and more talent than their competition. 

The 2020s will see companies thriving or dying based on how well they operationalize and communicate their purpose.  To be clear, a platitude printed on a coffee mug does not make a business purpose-driven.  Truly operationalized, genuine purpose is what’s really going to separate winners from losers in the coming decade.  Getting your company on the right side of that line starts with having honest conversations about purpose. 

When I am called in to support an organization in becoming purpose driven, the first thing I do is separate and interview the top execs. It’s a bit of an ambush, but it always reveals many valuable insights on where they are aligned, where they are split and where they have collective blind spots.  Here are some of the questions I use: 

Step one for operationalizing purpose is getting your company’s executive leadership aligned on the responses to the questions above.  It can be challenging and even uncomfortable to push through the conversations needed to gain alignment, but it’s worth it.  Attempting to operationalize a company’s purpose without strong executive alignment is going to do more harm than good and will always land you right back on square one eventually. 

Image from Multivariable Solutions:  


Why is purpose so important in the 2020s?

Two reasons: Customers and Employees.  If either of those two things are important to your business, then operationalizing and communicating a genuine purpose for your business must be a critical area of focus for you in the 2020s. 

How do we know purpose matters to customers?  These days consumers are more empowered than ever with dozens or even hundreds of product choices just a click away.  There are thousands of examples to point to for how effective purpose is at attracting customers, but here are a few that are very recognizable:

How does that shake out when we look at businesses in a more generalized way?

Shareholder Return

Sales Data

So what about employees?  If you’re paying someone to work, why does purpose matter?

These days people are less and less satisfied with exchanging their life energy simply for a paycheck.  There is a dizzying spectrum of opportunities for individuals to either create or be a part of something that feels aligned with their beliefs and priorities.  Micro-financing, micro-facturing, kickstarter websites, and online goods and services marketplaces make it possible to start a business in nearly any sector within weeks.  And now that retirement has been pushed out of reach for much of the working population, the question of “what is a worthy way to spend my life energy” has become a central factor in where and how people choose to work. 

Employee Attraction & Retention

Defense From Disruption

Employees in purpose-centered companies are:

(From Great Place to Work’s Research into the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® List)

If you want to learn more about how to win with purpose, check out:

            Purpose-Driven Self Assessment for Business Leaders

            Tying Purpose to Human Needs

Is your company purpose driven?  A self-assessment for business leaders  

These days both customers and employees have every opportunity to spend their money and their time with other companies.  More and more, the element that drives loyalty from both groups is a company’s purpose.  Check out The Value Of Purpose for the hard numbers.  Suffice it to say, purpose is going to be a major factor for business success in the 2020s – think manufacturing robotics in the 1970s or social media in the 2010s. 

But, be careful because purpose is a double edged sword.  Companies that fake it can be seen as disingenuous, insincere and downright dishonest.  When a company’s purpose is just a platitude customers and employees alike become resentful.  In this era of woke-ness the public radar for corporate BS is finely tuned and being the target of cancel culture’s ire can be crippling for a business.  The only way to make purpose work is to work your purpose.  Don’t just paint some pretty words on the breakroom wall, walk your damned talk.   Operationalize your purpose. 

Below is the self-assessment we provide our clients so that they can quickly gauge how true they are to their purported purpose.  We typically ask 3 to 5 of the top execs to complete the assessment.   If they don’t average more than 75% on a given item we build out a game plan to address it.

0% — 10% — 20% — 30% — 40% — 50% — 60% — 70% — 80% — 90% — 100%
In your dreams                             On a good day                                                Nailed it

Is your company purpose driven?  What other statements would you add?
If you need help in transitioning to a purpose driven culture get in touch with us.

In-person events are coming back strong in Q3, so how do you get the most out of your conference investment?

Defining what success looks like is step-one for any marketing initiative. Here are the metrics we use at ScrappyAF to measure success for our clients when they attend, sponsor and exhibit at conferences and events.

For every conference that you pay money to sponsor, attend, or exhibit at, the best way to answer the question “was it worth it?” is with data.

At ScrappyAF we recommend setting goals for each of the measures above before the event to concretely define success for each area. Circle up with your team after the event, take a hard look at the numbers and decide:

  1. A) Rinse and repeat next year
  2. B) Revamp the strategy and try again next year
  3. C) Skip the event next year and allocate your budget in a different way

Are in-person conferences still worth it? Learn more to discover the most critical factors to calculate the ROI (Return on Investment) specifically for your company (put the link here to the other article – Was it worth it? How to Calculate the ROI of Sponsoring and/or Exhibiting at a Conference)


If you have other measures or tips for conference domination, we’d love to hear about them – drop in a comment below.  


For creative and strategic support for your B2B marketing needs, get in touch with us:

Closed business and new opportunities might dominate the ROI conversation for vendors that spend money on conferences, but there is a lot more to be gained at these events for those who know how.  At ScrappyAF we coach our clients on how maximize conference ROI by capturing hot industry intel for strategic positioning, solution road-mapping and competitor domination.

Here’s the basics:

If you send staff to a conference or tradeshow, set clear expectations for the intelligence you want them to capture.  Make sure each attending staff member understands their intel mission and how you expect them to go about achieving it.  Techniques include walking the floor, starting up conversations, attending conference sessions, asking questions, conducting surveys, talking with the event coordinators and tracking (and participating in) the event’s social media channels. Set a post event de-brief meeting to run through the topics and have the assigned team members deliver their reports.

Industry / Stakeholder Pain-Points Competitive Marketing Intel Competitive Company Intel Competitive Solution Intel Market Watch Intel