I was excited to attend my first FOLIO: Show in ages, and after a slow start that included HTC’S awkward plea for VR content and some uninspired Facebook examples, things picked up with some great presentations from National Geographic, Harvard Business Review, The Foundry, and Revmade. While I didn’t come across anything particularly new, there were some solid takeaways that I found helpful and heartening.
Over the years, I’ve worked with salespeople across a variety of industries and the best ones were always those who combined deep knowledge of our markets and products or services (backed by actual data) with an innate ability to identify their client’s or (prospect’s) real needs. They didn’t rely on fancy media kits or elaborate PowerPoint decks, nor discounts or hefty expense accounts—all valid tactical tools to be used, or not, as each situation calls for—and personal relationships were just the icing on the cake they got to have and eat, too because they instinctively grasped Kaushik’s underlying concept: understand a client’s needs and challenges better than they do themselves, and then help them understand how to achieve their goals.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have had two great roles that explicitly embraced that overlap of marketing, technology, and social interaction–along with a history of that overlap benefiting me in more traditional roles. In both cases, it allowed me to take a holistic, strategic approach to integrated marketing, but neither title clearly communicates that on a resume, so I’m glad the Marketing question has been asked explicitly and I was able to address it head on.
Don’t be fooled / by the cul de sac / the gingerbreading / the German engineering
That desire for community, to connect with others who share your interests, is what drives the best and worst of what, as a whole, makes the internet so invaluable — from the early days of Usenet to Tumblr and whatever comes next — and for some (including business execs who don’t get it), so dangerous. I’m sure there are plenty of business lessons to be learned from all of this, and I’m sure there will be plenty of think pieces and hot takes addressing those, but I’m far more interested in grappling with the human element.