We are just a little over 24 hours away from ITEXPO’s eighth annual StartupCamp and let me tell you… I am excited. StartupCamp is undoubtedly one of the highlights of TMC’s annual convention—of course aside from the incredible keynote speakers (Steve Wozniak anyone??) and the riveting breakout sessions. And that’s because it gives fledgling start-ups the chance to pitch their business concepts to a large audience of industry experts, media, investors and prospects. Think “Shark Tank” for the tech sector.
It’s not enough to just talk to your customers anymore. You have to really see them for who they are. You have to truly understand them and understand your connection to them (or the connection you hope to one day establish with them). What have they experienced in life? What may they be facing now? This is the pinnacle of targeting your audience regardless of the objective – whether it’s raising awareness of a greater cause or generating sales.
While this may come as no surprise, especially as someone who has made a career out of writing, I love everything related to the English language. I love the fact that a single word can inspire, energize, upset, anger and intrigue—sometimes all at once. I love that for every 10 people who read a book, you get 10 different opinions about the true themes and symbolism. I love how we share our stories about ourselves, our companies, and our passions through our writing—oftentimes meticulously massaging each word, caressing tone and losing ourselves in the process of wordsmithing.
So you can imagine how important I think it is for each company to have a section of their website dedicated to storytelling. The part of their website that gives customers, channel partners, stakeholders, investors and potential partners the first few chapters of a company’s novel.
I am 100 percent a student at heart. I long for the days of hour-long college lectures spent dissecting nuances and gender deconstruction in Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre.” I still experience brief moments of frustration when I try to recall the difference between igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic geology rocks (as a marketer, science was certainly not my strong suit).
And I still wish I could find the time during a busy work week to meet a professor for “office hours” and sip coffee while I pick his/her brain about some esoteric psychology theory.
So making the recent decision to complete my Social Media Marketing professional degree at Purchase College was one of the easiest choices I made.
I love learning. I love social media. And I love following the social media strategies of my favorite brands. No brainer.