On February 28, 2011, I performed standup as part of a comedy class to a sold out crowd of 281 people at the Punchline in Atlanta. (See my routine here.) Not only was it a wonderful personal growth moment but the experience also taught me some unusual principles that I’ve since applied to the world of business. Many people are unnecessarily uncomfortable in the business world, all of the time. At the office or out networking, they are mostly worried about knowing their subject matter and “getting it right.” While a well-scripted phone call or no-nonsense networking conversation may give the impression that they did their homework, that approach often does not come across as particularly charismatic, likeable, or relaxing to team members, clients, or potential prospects. That is why entertainers are great to study. A few of my favorite entertainers illustrate several important communication lessons that can be applied to the business world.
At its most recent Sunset Keynote Event, BMA Atlanta featured Risa Teksten, B2B Industries Solutions Executive at Google. She works with top-rated Fortune 500 companies to develop custom programming, marketing and advertising solutions across Google platforms like YouTube, mobile, Google+ and Google Display properties. Focusing on how discovery, access and choice has changed for B2B marketers in the digital age, Risa discussed ways that companies can improve their use of search, create a unified social experience, and take more advantage of mobile and video. Nebo had the opportunity to partner with BMA Atlanta and conduct a short Q&A with Risa before the event.
As a human-centered interactive agency, we believe great work comes from understanding the needs, wants and perceptions of your audience. It means learning about the people who interact with your brand and using that information to make marketing strategy decisions.
At Nebo, we have a business development team. But we never “sell.” To “sell” implies cold calling. To “sell” implies pushing out email campaigns to prospect lists. To “sell” implies sending brochures or company literature via snail mail. To “sell” implies talking about your company from a product-focused perspective to “targeted decision makers.”
Bianca’s background includes fraud investigation and teaching kindergarten, and yet her eclecticism is perfect for the important role she plays at SunTrust. In many ways, social media is still developing and the rules have yet to be written. Since creating SunTrust’s social media client service strategy in 2009, Bianca has helped revolutionize the way the bank provides service support, adding social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter as new ways for SunTrust clients to ask for help. This has also helped build SunTrust’s brand perception from a traditional bank to a company that regularly engages with its customers with the spirit of a bank teller in a local community. Bianca talked to Nebo Agency about some of her marketing challenges, how she measures social media impact, and what social media trends she anticipates in 2012.