Did you make it out to Growth Marketing Conference?
If you did…
You know exactly how many significant, relevant and exciting ideas were shared.
However, if you missed the conference, or maybe you need a little help recalling some of the nuggets of gold that were passed around, not to worry.
I’m going to share some of my favorite takeaways from the conference in case anyone needs a refresher.
But first, I want to talk about something important. There’s a running theme that binds all of these truths together, and that theme is people.
“People” are your customers, audience members, end users. They are your colleagues, co-workers, fans and followers.
So much energy in marketing is expended attempting to reach, disarm, persuade, and convert “people,” that sometimes we forget to look beyond the surface of our “personas” to see the human hiding underneath. The truth is, after you’ve surpassed the first layer of human consciousness, we are all a lot alike.
Copywriting, content marketing, social media, advertising…
All of these facets of marketing aim to influence consumer decisions.
We create these long, convoluted, deeply-assessed and hyper-considered strategies and funnels, without reflecting on the simplest concepts in human nature.
If I’ve learned anything from my journey with marketing, it’s that we are all people. All human. And while our experiences, hopes, beliefs, and dreams may differ, we are all composed of the same stuff.
Next time you’re stuck in the thick of a marketing conundrum, take a step back and look for areas of over-complication. If what you are trying to do, say, describe, relate, doesn’t take basic human needs and wants into consideration, (and I mean, not just what you think that person needs because it suits your case to be biased), you’ll need to eliminate some of the “clutter,” focus down on the core of your offer, and find a way to appeal to our most basic and collective, psychological demands.
As you’ll soon be aware, it all starts with attention… and it ends with success…
So long as you can remember to derive your marketing strategies from a place of basic human understanding and compassion.
In Ben’s presentation, we were taken on a neuromarketing journey, where we were able to experience some of attention-grabbing tactics first hand (he was kind enough to wake us all up with some perfectly-timed loud noises throughout his talk).
The fact is, we are in a situation where “noise” has pretty much taken over. People are hit with marketing messages constantly throughout every hour of their lives. The marketer’s dilemma is now one of breaking through this saturated space by stealing attention in any way possible.
— Atelier BNP Paribas (@atelier_us) December 9, 2016
— MaK* (@MaKBirch) December 9, 2016
Attention is a common ground. We all have one, but it’s being divided at an alarming rate.
As a marketer, it is your job to discover the best way to buy attention or it’s game over.
As a startup, one the most difficult challenges you may face is finding product market fit. Truly understanding how to fit in and serve a market with your unique offer can be a daunting task.
— Adelyn (@adelynzhou) December 8, 2016
During Hana’s panel, she brought to light the idea that content marketing strategies are not being treated with the same kind of purpose-driven framework that is applied to the very companies deploying these strategies.
Successful content marketing strategies are researched, tested, pivoted, and optimized just like your product or company offering. And understanding that perfect area of the market to serve with your content is all part of the process.
If you don’t have that perfect content match that speaks to your people, your efforts will fall flat. You will be bleeding money until you can align your content with your market.
So, instead of pushing forward with blind content creation, find out how to apply lean startup methodology to your content marketing efforts for better results.
Having a growth mindset essentially means that instead of attributing your talents (and faults) as innate characteristics, you believe that talents can be developed through hard work and perseverance.
And while this term has certainly become a buzzword, there is merit to understanding what it really means to possess a growth mindset and be able to identify one in others.
In the end, the truth is that software can only take you so far. It’s the people behind the products (and the people in front of them – aka the customers) who make a brand great.
Being funny is hard.
Taking an idea from your head and turning it into a piece of comedy requires some finesse, especially in marketing. Luckily, Sarah Cooper gave away all of her secrets in a refreshing speed session that took place just as everyone was losing steam.
Now, I always believed that funny people were highly intelligent and able to seamlessly juxtapose the absurd with concepts from everyday life, but apparently, not all hilariousness requires deep thought. There are certain formulas for hilarity, and they aren’t as difficult to understand as I previously believed.
The next time you want to bring some humor to the table, just point out the obvious and be overly honest.
If no one laughs, you can laugh at yourself.
In my opinion (as someone who relentlessly studies, creates and applies social media strategies), social media is the misunderstood and abused child of digital marketing.
No one seems to “get” it, but they know it’s important, so responsibilities are passed around from one person to the next until the company gives up on it completely, or they hire someone who actually knows what they’re doing.
In Derric’s workshop, he puts it bluntly:
“Social media is just like any other networking event, conference, or party that you’ve ever been to. It is a place where people come to meet other people, chat with their friends, read up on the latest news, and share parts of their lives with others. It’s also a place where people go to connect with the brands they love and enjoy.”
When he says that social media marketing is just word of mouth marketing online, he means that you need to treat it as an opportunity to listen, provide relevant and valuable feedback, and only when appropriate, should you start talking about yourself and your business.
“No one came to Twitter today to hear about your crummy business, but you may have something inside you that is valuable to them that they can use in their business. If you give that to them, they may stop and ask more about what you are up to. If they don’t, at least you helped someone. Help enough people and you can be certain that many of them will circle back around to help your business as well.”
When Rand left the stage after his closing keynote, eyes were misty as the profoundness of his story set in.
He told the tale of Moz and the things he’d do different, and keep the same if he were to start another business again.
It was a poignant story that left many in deep thought about how they might be able to apply some of Rand’s advice after the excitement from the conference inevitably faded. One of the most crucial things he said was to stop building, stop hiring, stop growing even, and just focus.
The fact is that startups don’t fail because the founders aren’t doing enough. Most of the time, it’s because they are doing too much.
One of Rand’s most authentic pieces of advice to startup founders out there:
— Adelyn (@adelynzhou) December 9, 2016
— Melinda Byerley ☠️ (@MJB_SF) December 9, 2016
When Sean Ellis came out on stage, all of the fangirls went crazy on social media…
— Megan E. Espeland (@meganespeland) December 8, 2016
But the thing I remember most was this quote about defining what “success” looks like.
If you haven’t set clear goals or expectations, how can you possibly measure success?
This rings true for all marketing campaigns, business objectives, pretty much anything that you take on in life.
Which leads me to my last and favorite takeaway from Growth Marketing Conference:
I decided to end with this takeaway because I believe that it is absolutely correct.
There is a running joke that sales and marketing don’t get along because. There is often blame placed on either side if the fence, but the truth is that in an organization, everyone is on the same team.
It is imperative to align all of the departments in your business towards the common goal of customer success.
Forget growth. If your customers are not successful, your business never can be.
Focus on making your customer the winner every time and growth will happen organically.
— Annie Jung (@WalkerPinkLabel) December 8, 2016
What do you think? Did I miss any of your favorite takeaways from the conference? Let me know in the comments or tweet at me.