The Future of Marketing: 5 Predictions + 5 Winning Skills

2020 will forever be considered a pivotal year. We are not only entering a new decade, but a new way of working. That means Marketing will be at the head of the line, and those who bring skills, experience and built-up social capital will win the decade.

First, the Predictions:

  1. It’s all about images – video, Zoom and other streaming media and photography telling the story faster and in a more memorable way than ever before.
  2. Honesty and transparency must be part of the message.
  3. Empathy matters and it must be backed up with action.
  4. Are you listening? Communictions are two or three-way – not exective orders.
  5. New technology will make all of the above a bit easier.

Next, what skills will take marketing farther and faster?

  1. Social storytellers – The ability to break through via social media – that means being a story teller with truth and empathy where appropriate.
  2. Video editing – editing is the key to impact and excellence.
  3. Engagement – that means not only knowing who your audience is, but having a real connection. Like one-on-one.
  4. Change – remember the 1918 Flu Pandemic was followed by the Roaring 20’s – expect the same.
  5. Social capital – some might call this experience and karma – it means that experience and relationships will take you the farthest.

Summary – If you can move quickly, be real and have the experience to know what not to do – you will enjoy what’s to come, post Covid.

At the end of every day it is about people – their needs, fears, wants, hopes and dreams.

 

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Tips for Online Sessions – after watching too many awful presentations!

These tips come from too many days of online sessions and wishing the presenters knew to do the following:

These 2017 'polar bear plunge' pics will give you chills
  • Follow the CALL rule: 1. Camera – look into the camera which is the ‘eye’ of your audience. 2. Audio – if we can’t hear you then nothing else matters – get a separate microphone. For less than $100 it will make the biggest difference. 3. Lighting – you should face the light so it reflects on your face. Use your cell in selfie mode to walk around and choose the best spot before you get online. 4. Location – look behind you – that is what will appeal to, or distract, your audience.
  • Choose the right software. Zoom is by far the best, accomodates the most attendees and gives lots of flexibility for the presenters and the participants.
  • Have an agenda! Use the 3-step system: first tell the audience who you are, how you can be contacted and what you are going to cover, step 2 is to give your presentation and finally step 3 do a wrap-up.
  • Leave time for Q&A – seems like all these webinars start by saying there will be a Q&A and then they run over and the Q&A is cut out.
  • Have a title slide for your company name, the topic you are covering, your name and contact information.

Best things I have seen:

  1. One magazine that has been hosting webinars lately has 3 different audience polls that are interpersed between the presentations – very effective and gives the host an idea of the audience interest level. Also good for a few laughs!
  2. A Brady Bunch screen that has two or more participants with open microphones who go back and forth during the presentation – very effective.

Summary – when the presenter/s have followed the CALL rules (and we are not watching from below their chin level!), when there is an agenda, our expectations are managed and we get a complete presentation – then the time is very well spent.

Do these “Office of the Future” plans feel good to you?

The debate about returning to work in office buildings is at full tilt as building owners have big concerns about how many people are enjoying working from home and what that might mean for leasing space in the very near future.  Will your employer downsize?  Will hours of operation change? What needs to change right now?

Architects and building owners have identified three top areas of concern in most commercial office buildings:

  1. How many things you touch as you go from the street to your office; specifically entry doors and elevators
  2. Air exchange, clean air and surface cleanliness
  3. Bathrooms

So, what are the ideas for changing current office spaces to deal with these concerns?

  • To make coming to work more positive, built-in heat sensors that measure your temperature as you enter a building could replace the manual temperature taking in use now.
  • To eliminate several touch points, doors will have sensors to open automatically and elevators will go on voice command with limited occupancy. Fewer people and no button touching.
  • The stairs will now become a feature.  Look for carpet, paint and art in these areas to give workers an option to using an elevator. These will have to stay within fire department and evacuation guidelines but offers new options for moving from lobby or floor to floor.
  • Walls at your floor landing will be removed as possible, so you enter right into your office, works best for full or multi-floor tenants.
  • Air quality and exchange rate will not only be monitored but reported to occupants via an app.
  • Outdoor spaces including roof tops and parking lots will be enhanced and wi-fi increased so those areas give a reprieve to being indoors all day.
  • Outdoor spaces will include awnings, fans and heaters to accommodate weather issues.
  • Bathrooms, especially men’s rooms, will be reconfigured to have individual stalls
  • Overall, buildings will have more of a hospitality approach to make coming to work a nicer experience.

One panelist on a recent webinar about this said he believed though many enjoyed being at home, that others found it torture. 

“The Wi-Fi, lighting, air conditioning and ability to focus are all better at the office. Add in my ability to be part of my company’s culture and socialize – and we believe people will look forward to coming to their workplace again.  After we have a vaccine that is.”

Here is a link to a recent piece in INC. that you might enjoy:  https://www.inc.com/kevin-j-ryan/how-office-design-will-change-post-coronavirus.html

A Dozen Ways To Impact Registration AND Attendance for your Webinar

You put a lot of work into the content and set-up of your webinar, now how do you build an audience?

In the 12 tips below I will give you ‘not optional’ ways to make your webinar worth your time and that of your participants.

  1. Let’s talk about timing. If your audience is in the same timezone then you are fine. But if they are across timezones or around the world think through if you are too early, too late or impacting a meal time.
  2. Post the topic and time/date on your website, with a link.
  3. Consider which format you will use and test best delivery methods.
  4. Have a plan! Say what your are going to say, then say it and then say what you said, followed by Q and A. Do not skip the intro and do not skip the summary where you repeat thanks, contact information etc.
  5. Give tips to your presenters. They might not think about the distractions like a TV, ringing phone or other noise. Ask them to consider what is in the background like artwork or book titles that might not be right for a mixed audience. See my blog on this.
  6. Your emails – at least two weeks in advance and then 3 more before the date, and an hour before start time.
  7. Personalize – if you know your audience say something in your subject line about them – how they will benefit.
  8. Try 3 different subject lines and see which work best. If you want people to think your webinar is valuable then do not send out the same subject line each time.
  9. Mirror the above on social media
  10. Establish a #hashtag and use it across all channels
  11. Use images. The faces of your speaker with cutlines of who they are and what they are going to discuss, images of your product or an image that captures your topic.
  12. Interject the participant’s opinion. Absolutly stop in time for questions, or better yet weave into the time slot two or three polls to ask participants what they think. Keep them engaged.

Streaming webinars and events are forever in our future, let me know your tips for making them engaging and worthwhile. Contact me at laura@bennettandco.com.