Measuring Up | Event Recap

Businesses that build their sales through public outreach (advertising, PR, direct mail, digital, trade events) have long sought to quantify the effectiveness of their expenditures. For decades, the marketers used a “swim lane measurement” philosophy whereby each channel’s efforts were measured in isolation. This simplistic view of marketing resulted in each channel’s results usually being vastly over and under represented.

Creating Space in Communications | Event Recap

Sigma-Aldrich chief of staff Kevin Krosley suggests that effective communications is based on the ability to “create space” in the minds of the audience. He offered techniques to create space in 3 different environments. Public Speaking Brainstorming One-on-one Conversing Public Speaking In a speaker-audience setting, Krosley suggests that the speaker first engage the audience individually to “create a space” where they want to hear, see, absorb the presentation. This can be done by offering a riddle, the answer to which should be revealed in the course of the presentation. Krosley also suggests presenting a series of questions that the audience can participate in answering. The best use of this technique involves questions where the answers are not what the audience expects, more so even when the audience gets the answer wrong at first. Krosley referenced an effective TED Talk by Prof. Hans Rosling as an example. Brainstorming Here Krosley suggests doing a private collection before public sharing. Challenging the group to privately collect thoughts on a topic and write them down. Then invite folks to offer suggestions to the discussion. This, Krosley maintains, helps ward off the opportunity for “groupthink” and hyper-focusing the group discussion on the first topic offered. People are better prepared and the brainstorm is more fruitful and varied. One-on-one Conversing Krosley suggests that in one-on-one conversations, try to “break the pattern” that the partner expects. He offered four questions that can spur dialogue in four different “conversation spaces:” Are you having fun? To create an emotional space. Are you learning something? To create an intellectual space. Are you making a difference? To create a productivity space....

Does Social Media Really Work? 5 Take-Aways from our June Luncheon

IABC St. Louis’ June luncheon drew professionals from a wide variety of industries and experience levels. One thing everyone had in common was the desire to understand whether Social Media really can make a difference. We’ve been inundated with articles lately proclaiming that social is broken. With titles like “There is no ROI” and “One in five companies say they’re losing money in social,” it’s no wonder people are starting to question its true merit. But as our guest speaker, Brian Cross, explained, it’s understandable. Brian is managing partner and co-founder of Elasticity, a digital communications firm here in St. Louis. He’s also Executive Director and co-founder of Rally St. Louis. It goes without saying that we were all tuned in for what he had to say about social media. The truth is there are issues with social: The Community Manager role has changed, there have been reach and engagement issues, ROI is hard to define, and it’s difficult to tie social directly to sales, among other things.  Brian had a great deal of info to share with us in just an hour’s time, so here are the top 5 take aways from our June luncheon: 1. The sales funnel is no longer linear, because the purchase process is no longer a linear one! Rather than an upside down triangle (awareness – familiarity – consideration – purchase – loyalty), social media has changed the look of the funnel. The new sales funnel is filled with twists and turns. The two most important pieces being purchase consideration (word of mouth, peer comments/recommendations and online social behavior) and post-purchase experience (complaint or delight,...