Monday, March 14, 2016

The key difference between thought leadership and commercial insight

Marketer's are a passionate group of people who love what they do and at a very basic level, love learning. If we didn't, we wouldn't have become marketers. When I talk to students about what they want to do post-graduation and they're in marketing/communications programs, they usually have no idea what roles exist. If they DO have some idea of what roles exist within a corporate communications department, or the media arm of an ad agency, they rarely have any idea what the people in those roles actually DO on a day-to-day basis. 

So I ask them this: 

How do you like to spend your time? 

Do you like to read and write? Or do you enjoy talking on the phone? Attending events? 

Or does spending time in an excel spreadsheet give you energy?

Don't laugh, some people actually enjoy spending all day in spreadsheets! (They might just be one of the greatest inventions of all time: cell-ception. A cell within a cell, containing infinite cells of with which to input data). Mind boggling I know. 

I enjoy discovering what makes people tick (doing the research, talking with customers, discovering insights) and then crafting the perfect message; writing a story so good and so undeniably RIGHT for who that person is and what they need, that they feel it was written directly for them. 

The sale is closure. The sale is validation. Approval. It's all of those things. But the journey is what's really addicting. It's one of those stories that evolves over time, connecting the dots one-by-one, unable to see the entire picture except for brilliant flashes and glimpses of what it might be. Until finally it's over and done, hung on the wall. Time for the next puzzle. 

Tomorrow is an exciting day for me. 

Vertafore is working with CEB and we've brought in a team to do a full 2-day training session in order to learn how to discover commercial insights. 

Going to college was one thing, but this is training and education I could neither afford or discover on my own. I'm thrilled at the opportunity to have some more formal training around the art and science of marketing. And as always, I'll report back here on my experience. 

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