Seduce and Enjoy – Engaging and Entertaining your Audience

Coaching-seduction

Some time ago I planned to write an article about the increasing importance and value of Event Marketing.  I planned the headline and the picture as I do to get  the story in my head as i do every time, when I start thinking about what I will  write about.

But this is not the article I planned to write on why Event Marketing needs to be a key component in every brand building and sales campaign these days.

The more I thought about the importance of Event Marketing and adding High Touch in a High Tech world was important I realised most EVENTS are missing some key components and we have not changed the basic way we do events of all types in business. The two key elements overlooked or lacking for all manner of reasons, not the least of which is we avoid things that are new and disruptive, are Event Media (as opposed to Marketing) and Event Presentation (as opposed to Production) …. as they just become part of the Marketing or Management and don’t get the focus deserved these days in a much changed world because they get squeezed out in a largely operational budgeting exercise. Continue reading Seduce and Enjoy – Engaging and Entertaining your Audience

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The Importance of Being

seuss-youPlanning, training, mentoring, strategising, focussing etc etc are all things expected of us in business and in life these days.

And of course we all spend lots of time telling people in business especially about us and what we do and why we do it – Missions, Visions, Passions etc – and above all why we are the person for whatever is needed.

But how much time do we spending Being what we say we are?

Some years ago I had a saying that I promoted to all of my clients –

BE What you Say and Say what you BE.

…….and when all else fails BE YOU… you should at least aim to become good at that!!

And that generally involves telling the truth to the best of your ability as everybody appreciates the truth ………Although  I think we all know any one who says they never Lie is Liar.   At the very least we tell the occasional Lie to protect others and their feelings and reputations.

Even the most honest, loyal faithful husband will lie to his wife if he needs to …………..when asked “Does My Bum Look BIG in this ?”        I am sure he will if necessary Lie or at least avoid the question by saying “Darling you have a great arse!!” Continue reading The Importance of Being

Every business needs a RingMaster

Just like the Circus – Every business needs  a RingMaster and not just because you have to deal with clowns and wild animals at times.

When I read Malcolm Gladwells The Tipping Point I realised that I am a Connector and a SalesMan when I read his next book Blink I understood why intuition, gut instinct and first impressions result in the best decisions and when I read Outliers I realised how unfortunate I have been in life to be born of December 27th…….. I was treated in school and sport in junior years as being up to a year older than my body…. and maybe got left behind a bit.

I must admit those discoveries have been very valuable over the past 10 years in understanding who I am in a business environment…. and now I want to explain why I think business today needs people like me more than ever…..At last I am indispensable.

When I write a blog I need two things to get started —- A headline and a memorable Image.

The headline here was easy because I am about to change my enovAsia  Job Title to Ringmaster and wanted to explain why . So I found a striking impact-full image that would grab interest and one that allowed me to add to my story as well

ut-imlayThe wild beast on the leash reminded me of the President and CEOof Dun and Bradstreet Software (CBS) – John Imlay.  In the late 80s I worked for McCormack and Dodge – a Dun and Bradstreet Company. In the early 90s we merged with MSA our most bitter rival to form the world’s biggest Business Software Company.

At the first DBS Sales Conference I attended in Atlanta John Imlay came on stage  to present with a with a Tiger on a leash. This was his trademark – as a leader he was tough, forthright, feared and respected.  

This definitely wasn’t the image I wanted to portray and maybe it wasn’t the real John Imlay. Some months later I was working at head Office in Atlanta and waiting for the lift on the Ground Floor. The lift doors opened and there was John on his way up from the basement carpark. I got into the lift but noticed nobody else did. After a brief and pleasant chat I got out at my floor to be told by my colleagues that nobody got into the lift with John Imlay …that was the rule.

Maybe they forgot to tell John the rule.

So the message for me was Leadership style and actions need to be in sync – Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk.

brightandearlyblog.com
brightandearlyblog.com

When I first started eNova I was asked what I did and even before Gladwell told me I was a connector and salesman I answered that I saw myself as the old fashioned Switchboard Operator who made sure people found the right people to talk to and made the connection.

Unfortunately like the SwitchBoard Operator most of the time I was making that connection and dropping out of the conversation.

So clearly as a consultant  this was not the metaphor I was looking for….as dropping out of conversations is not good for billing services.

As I said the “Tipping Point” had a real impact on me and gave me an understanding of why connectors and sales people were important within organisations.  I don’t necessarily mean the traditional sales man selling their ware to the public – But the sort of internal salesman we all are day in day ….One that can turn Connecting and Selling into leadership. And lets not confuse Leadership with Management or with status ….anyone and everyone can be a leader in the business if they want to.

So enter the RingMaster. The person who knows what the organisation is all about … knows all of the people inside and outside the business and above all knows what the customers want.

At the Circus some want the clowns and others want the big cats while others want the glamour of the trapeze. And the customers range from toddlers to grand parents. It is up to the ring master to make sure everyone gets the experience they paid for.

She aims to get the best out of each individual and at the end of the show bring them together in harmony for one dazzling Grand Parade.

The Ring Master doesn’t care about titles only about talents and above all the customer experience.

I recently read a new book about the evolution of Digital Media by the founders of Razorfish,  Converge – Transforming Business at the Intersection of Marketing and Technology . Its all about the changes digital media is bringing as we are living in an era of converging technologies and practices … I wrote some years ago about Media Convergence and the future it offers us.

And it is this convergence and the breaking down of traditional barriers within a business that highlight the need for the RingMaster in every business.

Below are key points Ray Velez and Bob Lord make in the book are applicable to every business. As they suggest this can be a roadmap to the future…… And I believe you need to find your RingMaster to keep you focussed on the most important element …. The Customer

• Organise your company around the consumer by busting silos and applying the principles of agile development across your business

• Leverage the power of the cloud for inexpensive easy-to-use solutions to marketing challenges

• Inspire cross-disciplinary thinking and collaborative action

• Create a religion around convergence, explaining how to tell the story, throughout the organization

• Adapt processes to keep up with and takeadvantage of rapid technological change

• Engage customers by creating your own media instead of interrupting them in someone else’s

• Bridge traditional and digital media interactions to offer customers real-time shopping experiences

Every Business needs a RingMaster …. find yours now.

Community Signage Networks – Engage, Educate and Entertain

Social Media/Networking and community attitudes in general are driving changes in the way people view advertising.  The old style based on interruption (eg TV commercials, pop ups etc) are now seen as annoying and something to avoid. The quality of ad content is another factor …people no longer accept being shouted at and treated as sheep that need to be driven to buy more.

The Internet is driving a change towards an expectation of being educated, engaged  and entertained. As such business needs to deliver valuable information if it expects to sell……not merely promotions.

Some recent research shows that businesses that use Social Media well spend 80% of their time on the 3 E’s and 20%  on promoting or selling.

At the same time people and business are more concerned about environment and community issues.  Business also craves cedibility as they seek to develop their own consumer communities and develop brand advocates.

As such there are moves beyond old style sponsorship to leverage credibility from Sports, Charities etc to a much closer involvement between business and Not for Profits.

Governments also are seeing the need for closer alliances with business and the need to use new ways to raise money outside the normal Govt Budget process. A m,ajor State Govt Dept is about to  undertake a multi million dollar project with no budget.  They want to work with business to leverage expertise and fund with advertising.  As they say “we have assets and we am willing to trade”.

Then we add a new approach to the creative approach to advertising which sees products promoted within programs (eg MasterChef) which includes ad agencies now creating TV programs as a vehicle to sell their clients.

Online we see Branded Content rather than pop ups and click through,  where advertisers sponsor sites, pages etc where the independently produced content is relevant to the type of advertising.

What can we learn from this in terms of the expected rapid growth in Digital Out of Home Signage..

Not for Profits (incl Govt Agencies) can now “own” their own signage networks to display material important for them to Educate, Engage and Entertain (eg Smart Bus Stops) and at the same time use them to generate revenue.

Shopping centres and streets are used now for Charities to sell badges, raffles etc and seek donors and major companies love to make big donations to look good.

Lets take a quick example of the Heart Foundation which does all of the above and also uses Digital Signage now.

They also run a Tick program which delivers credibility to food etc manufacturers by providing an endorsement for healthy products.

They could now go to venues with Digital Screens and have them join the HF Community Info Network.  They would also go to advertisers (their current supporters) and sell them on paying to support branded content on the network.

As such the ads would be in sync with the community health messages ….  screens could be used to download Videos, Diets, BMI calculators, apps etc, which could include direct sales of “sponsors” products.

The times are right on many fronts as listed above to take a new approach to digital signage and this Community approach is definitely one way to do this.

Optimistic CMOs to spend more … but not Traditional Advertising

social media marketingWhilst there is great optimism about the economy among senior Marketing Execs they expect spending on traditional advertising to fall by 8% as they shift towards Internet Marketing in a big way.

The study by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in conjunction with the American Marketing Association, which surveyed 511 top Marketing Executives of U.S. companies during the last two weeks of July, found that 59% of marketers are more upbeat about the economy than they were one quarter ago. 47% said they’re more optimistic about generating revenue from customers and 39% are more hopeful about revenue from channel partners.

48% believe there will be an increase in purchase volume, 44% expecting customers to buy more products and services and 35% predicting an increase in new customers.

The good news for those of us who have been talking about Social Media for a long time is that marketers expect to boost spending on Social Media efforts by more than 300%. Marketing budget allocations for Social Media—including social networking, video and photo-sharing and blogging—are forecast to increase from 3.5% to 13.7%, per the study. Respondents said Social Media plays a key role in brand building, customer acquisition, product introductions, customer retention and market research. Meanwhile, spending on traditional advertising is expected to decrease 8%.

When asked to identify companies that have “exceptional marketing capabilities” across all business sectors, CMOs most frequently cited Apple and Procter & Gamble.

Web 2.0 – Its About Communications and Content

Whatever methods we decide to go with in getting our message to our prospects, direct mail, newspaper ads, website , viral video etc…The key issue is making sure the content is appropriate and useful to our target audience. A recent article by Gerry McGovern content management solutions on www.Ragan.com – I think sums up a lot of what we are talking about in identifying how we communicate effectively via the Web but also in the broader sense to a community with changing expectations…As he says we are now in the Informed Age.

While the article is about Web Communications I think it also sums up the changing nature of the broad community expectations in all areas of communications as a result of the emerging new methods.

The new Web communicator : The Web offers one of the most significant opportunities to communicators in modern history, but requires a total redefinition of what communications is.

Traditional communications is one-way, passive and past-tense. It is all about telling people what you have done, what you are doing, or what you are about to do. There is a core belief among certain traditional communicators that people need to be “educated”.

Traditional communications is not all that different from traditional journalism. There is a saying in traditional journalism: “The reader is not as stupid as you think they are. They’re more stupid.”

There might have been some truth in such a view forty years ago, but we are now in a different age. It is not the digital age. It is not the information age. It is the informed age. The very success of the Web is based on a questioning society. We are a society that searches because we want to find out.

The Web is where we go to know, to be informed. Those societies that want to control what people know, who fear independent thought and action, will always fear the Web. Those societies who think it is exclusively the job of the elite to inform the masses will always fear the Web.

But the people love the Web. They love the Web because they can find out for themselves, from people like them. They love the Web because the Web is many messages, and the Web gives people the chance to compare, rate, question, talk back, and-most importantly-act.

The essence of the Web is action. We go to the Web because we have a task; there is something we need to do; there is a problem we need to solve. What helps us do? What helps us act? Written words. The oxygen of the Web is written words. There is no life on the Web without written words.

Written words are the tools of the communicator. But these written words have a very different function on the Web. I analyze a lot of government websites. Unfortunately, too many overflow with vanity, pomposity and waffle. Some of them are little more than campaign websites full of puff pictures of preening peacock politicians.

Many web teams still struggle to convince their PR and communications colleagues that on the Web you communicate by doing. A friend of mine was worried about his wife, who had just given birth. She was not well and he believed that the doctor has misdiagnosed her.

He went to the Web, and on his journey to find out, ended up on some government Web sites, where he was faced with puff PR about how much the government was investing, and what the Minister for Health had for breakfast. He didn’t want to know how much was being invested. He wanted help; he wanted to read content that could help him find out what exactly was wrong with his wife.

He found answers, and he was right-she had been misdiagnosed. This is the power and potential of the Web, and this is the challenge and opportunity for the communicator. Show by doing. Inform with active verbs. Make your words work for your customers.

Gerry McGovern Content management solutions