Shut Up and Listen … Some Lessons Learned

Shut Up and Listen!
As a teacher I spend a lot of time talking, discussing and lecturing. So it was good for me to spend some hours late this week listening to some interesting people talk about their lives and their activities in marketing. I thought I would share a few take-aways with my students and friends.
Adam Braun from Pencils of Promise
Adam started a not for profit that builds schools in far away places where schools are badly needed. He offered up several life lessons that might be interesting for students to consider. One was that during a career we will balance the need for three things; mastery, money and meaning. He noted that early in life we may be torn between going for the money (quickly) vs gaining the tools we will need for a life time (mastery) and he suggested that you go for the mastery ahead of the money. Money will take on a new and important role as responsibilities in life increase, a family, a home, children and all of that. Later we may feel compelled to give back to society, to find more meaning in our work and lives. That is not to say that we live our lives and seek our work based only on one of these considerations; all are at play all the time. But we go through our lives and the values and needs we have change a bit and the percentages of importance we may place on any of these three can change. What is important as well is to realize that there are these three components and that we actively think and address these issues as we live our lives. That is the challenge of living a well designed life. Just something to consider.

Peter Dublin, ADOBE
One of my key take aways from Peter’s talk at the CADM/Education Foundation forum was the use of a common marketing platform (at Adobe it is their Adobe Marketing Cloud) in order to provide consistency of branding and message. Many firms have multiple brands; multiple locations (global) and multiple distribution outlets/partners. The approach of using the tools in the cloud can provide consistency, enormous cost savings and an ease of adaptability. Many years ago, I think it was AT&T that said “The System is the Solution”. Here is the idea of a marketing system to be the solution. Something to consider … of course, they are not the only one’s to have thought of this, but it does bare looking at ….

Kristie Heins Fox, Edelman
Kristie works as a SVP at Edelman, one of the worlds largest public relations firms. She spoke about a few campaigns. Some of the words and concepts she discussed follow. She talked about not just earned media (in pr, this would be were you get an editor at a newspaper to write about you) but also paid media and owned media. With regard to paid media, Kristie mentioned a campaign amplification tool called Outbrain that places your product or brand story next to legitimate news stories say in the Wall Street Journal. That’s putting paid content onto a trusted earned media site.

All three channels are important to today’s PR professional and PR campaign strategist. The number one source for news today according to Kristie is SEARCH … Google Search in particular. So it is important to consider the paid side of search when trying to gain news coverage. We live in a world of immediacy especially related to social media so Edelman creates real-time social media newsrooms that are monitoring and responding to what is being said about any givien brand or company. Brand advocates and bloggers are the editors of today. Bringing in Elite Users as advocates is an important aspect of PR for some brands. Co-creation and involvement has replaced one way communications from companies and their PR firms.
Alex Menocal, Creata +
Alex is from a creative marketing company doing work for many large brands. Alex noted some ideas including my first exposure to the PLURALS Generation (the kids of the Millenials). Accoding to Alex, these kids expect responsiveness, they are close to their parents and their siblings, value high quality communications, they are open, productive and resilient. Brands need to be reflective of these values as these kids grow into adulthood….we still have some time in that regard.
Social capital … there is a form of capital that we may not have considered and that is the access to some ones network. The example was something called “Pay with a tweet”. Here the person who tweets out a certain message receives an item (such as a digital book) and the payment was their tweet to their network.

Jennifer Wesley, Google
Jennifer focused on three ideas that are important as services and products for google and as values.
ASSIST EVERYWHERE …. Are you aware of a service at google called Google NOW that basically anticipates your needs. They are also working on an expert network called HelpOuts and other tools that allow for collaboration between companies and customers. So as a concept, we can learn that the new level of expectation for service is at the level of providing instant access to experts and to anticipate needs in terms of assistance.
HEAD and HEART … Jennifer talked about the YouTube product to deliver advertising called Tru-View
DEMOCRATIZING CREATIVE … my mind started to wander a bit here as I was thinking about a friend and a new business opportunity and how all of these items can work for him.

Jerry DiTripani, AMWAY
Jerry discussed the role of IMC at Amway which is new within the last year. The unique situation is that corporate has a certain role to play and then the distribution network of affiliates has another role to play. Corporate has the role of create direction; creating campaigns and templates; overall brand direction; creating and management of the communications assets including print, video, digital, PR, training materials; demo’s etc. The affiliates finalize field execution so they can adapt or adopt or not, that which corporate creates. Execution of the creative, execution of branding and campaigns, media plans, etc all lie with the affiliates in this company. The coordinations, cooperations, and consistent executions are the worry of the head of IMC. Which sort of brings me back to the ADOBE idea of the Marketing Cloud.

So as you can see, it was a good day+ well spent.
Jeff Heilbrunn
May 10, 2014

3:36 pm | by Jeffrey Heilbrunn

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