The future sure isn’t what it used to be…isn’t that the truth? The marketing world is rapidly changing, and predicting the next best move is becoming increasingly more difficult. ExactTarget’s Connections 2013 conference has come and gone, but several of the keynote speakers’ words of wisdom are still worth reflecting on. This year’s theme was “Lead From Within,” with speeches revolving around the traits of a good leader. And three quotes from speakers at the conference make the future seem more bright than unpredictable.
“If you truly have a passion for what you do,
you will care even about the parts unseen.”
–Walter Isaacson, American writer and autobiographer
Issacson was talking about Steve Jobs and his near-obsession with details. Jobs wanted even the inside of the computers Apple built to be beautiful, believing that even if no one was going to see the inside, he would still know the entire end product was perfect. Marketers sometimes think that no one notices the inner workings of a campaign; but in a world that gets the latest news from a Twitter feed, the importance of paying attention to the smallest of details is becoming even more magnified.
Lesson learned: Pay attention to the details you think no one will notice, and you’ll feel better about your work. The more personalized and tailored we can make marketing, the better—because it’s still the little things that seem to matter, even in marketing.
“The greatest leaders build organizations that, in the end, don’t need them.”
—Jim Collins, Business Consultant and Author
Collins spoke about the difference between a good leader and a great leader. Good leaders care more about personal achievement and status, while great leaders truly have a passion for reaching the company’s end-goals. Great leaders are in it for the vision of the company and the effect it may have not only on the employees but the industry, or even the world.
Lessons learned: Leaders should value utility over instant gratification. Maintaining long-term goals is more useful than worrying about your short-term personal success. And as content marketing continues to grow, marketers need to be mindful of which types of content they create for their customers and prospects. Be less concerned about personal authorship success and more concerned about creating content that is actually useful to your audience.
“You can’t control your circumstances,
but you can control your response to those circumstances.”
—Condoleezza Rice, 66th U.S. Secretary of State, political scientist
Dr. Rice told the audience about the many unpredictable circumstances that happen to people without warning. As we know, Dr. Rice was the U.S. Secretary of State during one of the most tragic events to occur on American soil. Although there was no way of predicting the enormity of such an event, dealing with it was an inevitable task to face. These types of circumstances require courage and poise under pressure.
Lesson learned: When your staff looks to you for answers, remaining optimistic is important. You can’t control an unforeseen marketing mishap, but you can control your brand’s response to it. With the nature of the digital marketing landscape, it’s become even more likely that unforeseeable accidents will happen. If an employee accidentally tweets something personal from the company Twitter account, have a plan in place! Hopefully, you never have to use it, but being prepared for the unprepared is a good goal for any new-age marketer.
This year’s Connections yielded thousands of conversations both online and off—here are just 100 of them, provided by ExactTarget. What did you learn from Connections this year? Drop us a comment below.