How to Create Value for the Audiences that Matter Most

September 17, 2014

Last week, we gathered a group of senior marketers and top executives for ConnectIn Sydney. Central themes for the event were authenticity, consciousness and compassion in business. We explored how this not only applies to leadership and motivating employees, but for marketers, it also influences how we tell stories that matter to our audiences.

Key Takeaways:

Build a Personal Connection with People

Bernadette Jiwa, best-selling author, brand and marketing strategist, shared a new way of thinking for marketers looking to generate preference with audiences. While it’s intrinsic for marketers to include “the 4 P’s” of marketing – product, price, place and promotion – the most important “P” is often overlooked. People. If you want to create a brand that matters to people, then you must include building a personal connection with your audiences into the core of your strategy.

Content and Context go Hand-in-Hand

But how do you connect with people? We next heard from Olivier Legrand, Head of LinkedIn Marketing Solutions in Asia-Pacific, about the growing importance of quality content in a relevant context. Content that provides professionals with news and insights are key reasons people come to LinkedIn. By using content as a bridge to building relationships with the right people, marketers are increasingly building long-term preference.

Balance Content that People Want with Stories that Brands Want to Tell

Bringing theory into practice, we had a conversation with two leading digital marketers: Anthony Spargo, Director of Communications at GE, and Jarther Taylor, GM of Marketing at Telstra. GE and Telstra both use a variety of methods to build relationships on the LinkedIn platform, including Sponsored Updates and Groups. Interestingly, a big part of the strategy also includes a lot listening to customers as well as employees. Both shared the importance of testing content to find a balance between what people want to hear and the stories brands want to tell. Both agreed though, that building long term meaningful relationships with consumers was critical and had to be balanced with the need to drive short term leads.

Leadership and Choice

To round out the day, we then had a fireside chat with Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn and Naomi Simson, Founding Director of RedBalloon. Jeff and Naomi shared advice on finding a harmony between work and life. For Jeff, this is about making a choice on where to spend time because you cannot expect to find a perfect 50/50 balance in all that you do. Whether you’re in a meeting or at home, he stressed the importance of “being present” and focusing your energy on the other person instead of measuring the quantity of time spent as the success.

Finally, Jeff and Naomi explored the challenge of managing others through compassion. This is Jeff’s first principle of management. It helps him coach others when he sees a situation through the employee’s perspective. This is a topic that Naomi explained is equally close to her heart. Naomi explores the concept of compassionate leadership and other lessons learned from her conversation with Jeff on her recent blog post.

From CEOs to marketers, focusing on people that are important to you will help drive success for your business.

You can hear more from the fireside chat below.

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