As part of our Parity Plus value-add offering to our clients and candidates, it was our great pleasure to host Parity’s 2017 Marketing Training on the 31st of May. Parity partnered with two Marketing and Communication experts, John Joyce and Debbie O’Connor, who brought with them a wealth of knowledge and hands-on marketing experience to lead 2 of our most successful interactive seminars yet!
Here are the key takeaways from each of the seminars:
Seminar 1: Attention is expensive, but it’s better than being ignored – John Joyce
For the morning seminar, we welcomed John Joyce, who runs the Digital and Content team at Perpetual, a major Australian financial services business. His topic of the day was based around creating engaging content and getting that cut through whilst focusing on the attention to detail, with his presentation aptly named “Attention is expensive, but it’s better than being ignored”.
Being an interactive seminar, John went around the room and encouraged each individual to highlight a mistake they have made. John reiterated the importance of attention to detail – even if the CEO has looked over something, there is always the need to re-check and then check again. We are all human and sometimes mistakes are unavoidable, but at the end of the day, you need to trust your judgement.
The value of your story and the attention to detail within it; The secret to cut through:
The quality of the content is always what matters while ensuring that it means something, and always finishing with that cut through;
Standing up for yourself;
Video is a powerful tool – just be careful how you go about using it.
Ideas are at times more powerful than facts, as people tend to relate more to comedy and drama, than to facts and figures. However, facts should always play a part in your story, so make sure you have a couple of killer facts and avoid over dot pointing information and overloading your message with facts. The battle between having a large amount of content and needing to break it up for the web, is that size doesn’t always matter – but big ideas matter! Always be aware of what message the document or story is sending.
“Concentrate less on telling people what to do, and start to look more at showing people how to do it.”
Story is more important than content:
If history was taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten. Don’t overload a story with facts and dot points – human-centred content and stories are always more powerful. We want to speak to our audience on a human level, requiring a hook and emotional attachment. Ensure a story has a pay-off – is it entertaining for the reader? Do they take anything away from it? Content itself isn’t always the answer either – it’s who the story is from and how it arrives. When writing for someone else, be conscious of how close you are to that person and the tone of voice.
Follow John’s take on the K I S S method – Keep It Simple and Smart
John then referenced a very successful advertisement by Cadbury’s chocolate which features an ape playing the drums while Phil Collins plays in the background. It is powerful when you find ideas that resonate with what you are trying to say – in Cadbury’s case, evoking a feeling of happiness and eating chocolate.
The Knowledge Curse:
A big mistake we are all prone to making is the knowledge curse. We tend to assume that everyone knows what we are talking/writing about. When we think of funds management, we assume that everyone will understand our jargon. We need to work really hard to make content concrete and consider the audience – rather than theoretical or jargon-heavy, as financial services tends to be. The longer you are in an industry, the harder this is, as your understanding increases and becomes second nature to you. Remember to speak the language of your audience and ensure everyone can understand your content.
The human brain puts adjectives together, so ensure to break it apart and break it down. People want to know what they are reading, so tell them the “what” and “why” – with correct punctuation!
One of the exercises held within the seminar centered on the following questions:
Who comes between you and your audience?
What gets in the way of you communicating effectively?
Who are they and what do they do?
What are the ways you can manage this effectively?
The answers from around the room included:
Organising a workshop on why you are there and what your job is – having that ongoing education process;
Creating that brand awareness – you are the brand ambassador for your company;
At the beginning of a project, sit and talk to people about strategy and advise what message/s you are trying to communicate;
Understand how powerful content and marketing is – write your best and most powerful work, and defend it;
Defend yourself as the specialist in your field. Everyone can write, but not everyone has the skills and education – there is a science behind this;
Have a style guide.
Use of video content:
Video content works well as it has more “touch points”. A video can be very emotional, but we should never just rely on video for emotion. A downside to video content is if you do not do it properly, it can adversely affect the brand. Ask yourself – how does it work with the rest of your marketing campaign? Does it work out the why? It’s your job to have a plan and strategy.
Some of the reasons video content goes wrong:
Bad idea – there is no story – no beginning, middle or end;
Unprepared team or the wrong talent;
You need to warm people up before creating a video. Have a conversation or a human interaction before commencing filming.
When is it a good idea to use video content?
As a teaser;
When you have someone who is camera ready and who can rock it. Tell a story that is human. Personal stories work well here, as does humour;
Conversation idea – rather than just filming a fund manager, film the conversation itself;
Don’t do it alone – the camera person needs to be responsible for sound and lighting. Little technical things make big differences in video. Have clear thoughts of what angles you will shoot from and get the eye line right;
Be strategic about it and have an approach – think about the story and how it may work. Ensure you have a process and make it clear for people to see.
A couple of final thoughts from John Joyce:
English is most people’s second language – be patient with the rest of world;
Read and explore other interests – don’t be a person who reads only about funds management; follow sport and statistics and have a wide and varied interest in the rest of the world.
Knowledge is power and it is always best to know small parts about everything, rather than everything about one thing!
Seminar 2: Building Business through Brand – Debbie O’Connor
The second seminar of the day was led by Debbie O’Connor, who is a Brand Consultant, the creator of Brand Personalities and en-caustics fanatic. She is the founder of multi award winning creative studio White River Design (WRD) and Western Sydney’s most awarded co-working venue, The Creative Fringe. Debbie presented the 10 Essentials to Building a Brand.
Her 10 essentials are as follows;
1. Your brand is your reputation – your promise – your commitment – what you stand for – what drives your business.
2. Build a brand with personality.
3. Craft and tell your brand story – understand your ‘why’ (Simon Sinek – Start with Why).
4. Ensure that all of your collateral is consistent in message and visuals – Consistent across print and online media – Consistent colour, fonts, layout, image style and messages.
5. Ensure that your language and tone match your Brand Personality.
6. Have a dress code for staff – even if you don’t have a uniform.
7. If you have a slogan, make it relevant and memorable.
8. Have systems and procedures to ensure you give a consistent brand experience.
9. Train your team.
10. Create a brand experience that is memorable and exceptional.
Branding is an investment – When buying, the client thinks of you first – the more they use your brand, the more loyal they become. This becomes your best defence against competitors.
Providing training for your team is one of the most important parts of building up a good and lasting reputation for your brand. Constantly build on knowledge for both yourself and for your staff, to ensure you are providing the client with the best and most relevant information, whilst providing them with the best brand experience possible.
For recruitment- related matters, or details on our Parity Plus initiatives, please contact our Specialist Consultants in Marketing, Communications and Digital.
+61 450 291 368
+61 405 381 550
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