The next CoreConnect on May 16, 2018 in NYC promises to offer, as Mirza notes, “best practices for modern digital marketing, how to understand yourself as a media consumer and empathize to your target audience, how to connect and get the best work for your team and ultimately how to take the message out to the consumer in way that resonates.”
Charlene Weisler: How is it possible to keep ahead of the trends in digital and media?
Brooke Vines: For the most part, you can’t. It’s moving too fast. Networking is key; Meet as many people as you can and learn what they are doing. Also, go to conferences. A lot of the mar-tech you see at events isn’t going to be at the top of the Google search because the pioneers are creating, not writing about it. We are in a time where the explosion of knowledge seems unprecedented in a way, yet disruption and innovation has always been around on some level. The way to stay ahead of the trends is simple. Consider the needs and opportunities around you and start there. You don’t need to know every buzzword and piece of technology. Just figure out how to handle the next thing in front of you.
Charlene Weisler: How can one cut through all the noise and discern rather than react?
Brooke Vines : We have so much data now that we feel like we should have all the answers, yet we get “analysis paralysis.” Unplug for a little while every day and shut down the noise. Try to quiet your mind. When you understand yourself and how you search, shop and behave, then you have a lot more empathy for the people you are trying to talk to. What do you want the customer journey to look like? What would help you? As humans, we already know a lot of the answers, so start with you.
Charlene Weisler: How can you get your team to become more creative?
Touseef Mirza: You need to create a safe and nurturing environment where people feel that they can explore and share new ideas freely. In a saturated marketplace with so many products and services, it essential to bring innovation to the table, as this becomes your differentiating factor in the marketplace. Your team members need to feel comfortable and accepted. They need to be able to go into the unknown with their ideas and be OK with the notion that their ideas might fail as well...and that scenario is accepted as part of the creative process in a company.
Charlene Weisler: How can you best hire in this changing environment - what do you look for in a good hire?
Touseef Mirza: There are 4 attributes that surface as the most important for the current fast-changing environment. First, employers are looking for people they can trust and depend on, so integrity is of prime importance. Second, we need individuals who have a creative mindset to come up with fresh and innovative ideas that can help differentiate their offering on the market. Third, one must be able to problem-solve continuously, to be OK with dealing with the unknown and trying out new ways of addressing issues and strategies. Last but not least is to have a positive attitude. Being open to help where there is need and being flexible is extremely important.
Charlene Weisler: How do you think older workers fit into this new youthful working environment?
Brooke Vines: The fundamentals of marketing haven’t changed. “More Experienced” people are very much needed. The younger generation comes out of school with skills for technology we didn’t dream of 10 years ago, but the people with experience are the ones who know how to harness that genius and make it applicable to bottom-line marketing objectives. On the flip side, the experienced person is often someone who has “been there, done that” and not afraid to give wise counsel to upper management. The maturity that comes along with hiring a veteran makes them worth the money. Remember, diversity is not just about race and gender. We need all the generations represented to have the best perspective. As far as adapting, the sky is the limit on the kinds of classes you can take online. The work is out there, and you don’t have to know how to code to work in the digital economy, but it definitely helps to keep on learning.