What would it be like if instead of standing on the stage and telling people what they should do, if we asked them what they need from us?
Last month we spoke at the CareerFAQs‘ Student Pipeline forum.
We had the opportunity to speak alongside the likes of *ahem–name-drop–ahem* Google, HubSpot, and other industry experts and insiders. Our presentation focussed on ‘Why the message matters’, with an overview of our findings in the Selling the dream report, followed by a practical guide on how to create brand differentiation in ten minutes.
It was a big day with knowledge bombs dropped left, right, and centre. We learned as much as anyone else in the room about sector insights and trends, marketing automation, digital strategy, content creation, lead generation, nurturing and conversion.
It was a lot to take in.
But one of the things that had the most impact on me was not what was said on stage, but off it.
Between sessions we chatted with people in marketing, communications and brand from educational providers all over Australia – ranging from under-resourced and understaffed one person marketing operations, to fully kitted out teams. One conversation I had over pre-conference coffee stood out in particular:
“I am a team of one in the Marketing department and it can sometimes be extremely hard to get other members of the Management team and the Board on my side when it comes to issues around marketing. Decisions that seem to be common sense to me are not always seen the same way by other staff members who have little knowledge of marketing, so it is often up to me to educate them.”
“We are a NFP so we have a very small budget compared to other private RTOs. The fact that I am a team of one means I am very time poor, so I often have to outsource certain marketing activities, which obviously impacts my budget. Finding the right balance is the key here.”
By the end of the day I couldn’t help but sympathise with the audience. With so much advice, so many possibilities and so much to do, where should they start? Questions that came from the floor were along the lines of:
“We’ve got limited funds and resources –what should we prioritise?”
“Should we focus on content generation? And if so, what will we say? Who should write it? Who will film it?”
“Should we build a better automated platform for lead generation, nurturing and conversion?”
“Should we focus on a customer experience?”
“Do we need a new website?”
“Should we focus on creating a differentiated brand message first?”
In a perfect world of unlimited time and resources, the answer to all of the above is “all of the above”.
But we all know that’s not how the real world works.
“I have so much on my plate, I don’t even have time for lunch.”
It got me wondering what it would be like if instead of standing on the stage and telling our audience and prospective clients what they should be doing, we put those people on the stage and listened to what their biggest challenges were. A sort of anti-conference.
What would they say?
We know from talking to our clients that often brand, marketing and communications teams are often:
- stretched for resources
- so inundated with the day-to-day work that they can’t think about the big-picture strategy
- not valued, understood or respected by other departments and management
- constantly under pressure to innovate and show results
- expected to do more with less
We know from talking to individuals that:
- they’re often tasked with things that ‘aren’t their job’ like organising events, or managing social media, taking them away from their core skills
- they’re running from meeting to meeting without getting the real work done, and consequently feel like they never get anything done
- there is often no opportunity to take stock, review, celebrate success. It’s always onto the next thing, then the next thing, then the next thing…
So what’s keeping you awake at night? What do you need help with? We’re passing you the mic.
What are the things that are keeping you awake at night? Is it time? Talent? Budget? Support? Culture? Focus? Perspective? Management? Technology?
Whether you’re a one person marketing operation or a fully kitted out team, our aim is to be the agency that partners with you to fill your gaps, amplify your efforts, make your work life easier and better.
Although we might talk a lot, we know when it comes to getting to the bottom of real problems, it’s better to listen than to talk. To ask the right questions to solve the right challenges, to be the one in the room with licence to ask the ‘dumb questions’ that cut through the crap that you have to deal with, or to ask the questions that others aren’t willing to ask.
So we’re passing the mic to you, and asking what the challenges are that you face day-in and day-out, in getting your job done.