In my own consulting practice, I work with event professionals who design conferences and trade shows. While sometimes I have a chance to attend these events before we explore marketing strategies, sometimes that’s not possible, so instead they’ll give me the lowdown on their own show.
The trouble with that is it’s all through their lens and they know too much. Often their take doesn’t match what their customers might be thinking. There’s a cognitive bias known as “The Curse of Knowledge,” where the more familiar you are with something, the more your blind spots grow. Over time, it impedes your ability to put yourself in the shoes of someone who’s less familiar.
There’s a new book by Jim Gilmore that’s taking my observational skills to new heights – LOOK: A Practical Guide for Improving Your Observational Skills.
Gilmore introduces six looking glasses – Binoculars, Bifocals, Magnifying Glass, Microscope, Rose-Colored Glasses and Blindfold Looking. Each represents a skill to master to enhance the way we look at the world. I’m in my second read through and taking lots of notes – what I appreciate most are the stories, evidence and action steps Gilmore shares for each looking glass.
This video features a short interview with Jim Gilmore, where he shares why he wrote this book and why these lenses are needed in today’s fast-paced world.
There’s a wealth of insights in LOOK – and yes, it’s the same Jim Gilmore who co-wrote the breakthrough best-seller, The Experience Economy.
During this segment, we featured a clip from an interview by AQ’s Blog & Grill with Ann Handley… a debrief on a talk she delivered at Hubspot’s Inbound ’16 conference, where she asked marketers to gaze one year out and imagine who would be killing it on content marketing and why.
A decade ago, when content marketing first hit radar screens, most marketers were hyper focused on content production. For many, quantity of posts outranked quality. Fast forward to today, we find ourselves flooded with content, most of it NOT helpful and amid this content tsunami, lead generation and conversions from content marketing are declining.
There’s a post by Ann Handley on MarketingProfs.com where she explains why we need to slow down: Slow Marketing: How to Deliver Faster Results by Slowing Down. Ann’s not advocating slow as forever speed. Instead, she’s advocating for occasional, yet critical slow marketing moments – here are six success drivers Ann calls out as likely present within successful Slow Marketing moments:
- Honing Customer Empathy
Empathy is one of those buzzwords that’s misunderstood by many. As Ann goes on to explain, “it’s about doing the slow work of hoarding and analyzing data to not just put yourself in your customer’s shoes… but in their socks, shirts, pants, and hats… to gain a deeper understand of their problems, hopes, dreams.” Collecting that priceless insight can’t be rushed.
- Uncovering the Why
Most marketers focus on the What and How (should we create an infographic, video, podcast, FBlive). But uncovering the WHY provides richer context on what customers really care about.
- Creating bigger, bolder, braver
Ann recommends taking the time “to create marketing that doesn’t feel like marketing… Create stuff that doesn’t sound like everybody else’s stuff… Creativity must be front and center.” Ann goes on to say, “Packaged with creativity comes pluck, nerve, spirit, and a bit of grit… Embrace that too.”
- Aligning with the customer’s journey and experience
Deliver just-in-time experiences that your prospects and customers want to be a part of… experiences they crave, but can’t easily find somewhere else.
- Measuring, interpreting, soliciting feedback
Ann advocates surrounding yourself with tech and analytics experts, “because they can deliver what we need to help interpret and share our success and goals.” With that said, she advised, “Listen to your own gut, too. Because that should also have a voice.”
- Getting the necessary tools & training
Marketing is developing quickly. Slow down to grok the new tools, techniques, platforms. [By the way, “grok” was a new word for me – it’s a verb that means, ” understand something intuitively or by empathy.”]
Bottom line on Slow Marketing: Slow fuels fast, but it has to be the right slow engaged in the right way and at precisely the right time.
Joining us at the Watercooler is Justin Gesso, bestselling author of Leave the Grind Behind: Rocket Fuel to Live Life on Your Terms. Make more money, build your legacy, and quick your job.
Justin’s book has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and The Huffington Post, to name a few. During our chat, we explored Justin’s own success journey and what prompted him to write this book, plus we examined a powerful concept of Cogs vs Grinders — and why Grinders outperforms Cogs every time.
You’ll find a wealth of insight on Justin’s website, plus a free PDF – 100 Steps to Quit Your Job in One Year.