Teaching is new to me. At least in a formal way. Like creating curriculum, developing a companion workbook and then tying it all into a compelling and engaging two day training session. I had my first shot at this last month in Denver alongside Drew McLellan of McLellan Marketing Group. We had been tapped (well, maybe more like volunteered) to facilitate the first ever IAEE Marketing Academy. I must confess, I was nervous. Drew is a veteran at presenting content over an extended period of time. My experience has not gone beyond the TED talk style of “no more than 20 minutes please and no bulleted slides!”
Day one got off to a great start. We opened with a group activity that had to do with communicating goals for your event. Believe it or not, we tied this exercise into working with Legos. One group built a fire pit. Fire pit? Yup! This was their way of telling us that they put out fires all day long but the fires just keep on burning. Thus, they never even get around to even talking in depth about their event’s goals. From there we talked about working in reality (think shades of gray) versus black and white (think complete clarity and definitive answers.) Throughout the day we found ourselves talking about how this idea, that strategy, or the right execution might look like in the perfect world and then in terms of their reality.
Day two was a continuation of this process as we worked through conversations on interactive marketing tactics, social media, selecting and selling creative to many internal stakeholders, list development and more. We kept reminding the folks if they could take just one idea home with them and implement it on Monday they were beginning to work on defusing the fire. There was such enthusiasm and conviction in the room around the collective ideas to chose from that we asked them to pinky swear to it. They made a promise to us, their classmates and themselves to put one idea into action. We all get to hear how this new action is taking hold when we gather for our group accountability call later this month.
I often get overly excited (maybe overwhelmed too) by all the possibilities, options and services we can provide our clients. It is endless. But I have made a pinky swear to myself that I will focus more on fewer solid ideas to ensure they are explored without fear and with enthusiasm.
So, what is your pinky swear for your next marketing initiative?