On Friday I spent six hours with 125 others during an American Marketing Association - Iowa seminar on brand engagement and, all I got was a bag of...swag.
Look, I do marketing and advertising for a living. It's my craft to engage, for and with our clients, consumers in the key demographics they wish to reach. So could I learn something from a bunch of thirty-somethings? (Well, then there was Mike Wagner...) Sure! I love learning how others share their messages, build their brands and engage consumers. Perhaps I'll learn something new. Maybe pick up some new tips or confirm what we're doing for our clients is spot on.
And it was "Yes" to all three areas. Some key take-a-way items:
- Brand Engagement Requires Thought - It's not enough to simply post something and hope it will stick. You've got to know who your target demographic is and speak to their passion/interests;
- Rifles Are Better Than Shotguns - Sure you can scatter your message on whatever media you like but that may not be where your demographic is hanging out. Just because you like the 10PM News doesn't mean that is where your consumer is. Besides, shotgun marketing is very expensive;
- Branding Is Everything - Here we go again...branding is not your logo. Branding is everything from how you answer the phone, the outgoing voice mail message you do daily (you do that...right?), the way in which you respond to email, how employees conduct their social media presence, how counter people engage the customer....and on and on and on;
- Social Media Ain't Free - I do an entire seminar on this for businesses and the bottom line is it takes...work;
- Skinny Budgets Require Collaboration - How can non-profits build a solid brand by engaging others? Ask Steven King from the Des Moines Arts Festival;
- Don't Forget Volunteers - The NASCAR Iowa Speedway has 17 employees but hundreds of volunteers who share a passion for racing. Make sure you train your brand warriors in customer centric engagement methods be they paid or volunteers.
So, you get the point right? Even "old dogs" can learn. Oh...and get some cool swag! Thanks for the opportunity!