I was drafted in last minute to speak at a conference about search engine optimisation among other things. It was an interesting afternoon but not when the mathematical equations came out. This is an area of marketing and communication that I haven’t really explored in any detail. I expected to be a fish out of water but surprisingly I wasn’t.
The Benchmark Conference 2016 had an illustrious list of speakers who live and breathe SEO on a daily basis. There was a lot of discussion about the customer experience and inbound or outbound marketing. I have to admit to getting a bit lost when one speaker was talking about PPC.
I am not sure my short talk about targeting an audience through social media was something that resonated with the attendees. But I found some common ground, and that was how all businesses and organisations need to understand their audience or customer and have to be able to target communication, PR or marketing. It doesn’t matter what you are doing if you are going to have maximum impact then you have to do the groundwork.
For me the focus is about increasing public confidence and encouraging people to work with us to make communities safer. For others the focus is on increasing sales and driving customers to make purchases. These are two very different things but the way to achieve it is surprisingly similar. There has to be honesty, an ability to listen, wanting to develop based on feedback and the communication has to be consistent and continuous.
Getting people interested in what you have on offer, whether it a service or a product, is a challenge for everyone. It is even more of a challenge when you have a very, very limited budget. It requires creativity, innovation and a problem solving approach. After all there are no greater problems than trying to engage with customers when you have no money.
Stepping into a different place is usually beneficial and today certainly was. I met some interesting people and learnt something new. It also reminded me that there are more similarities than differences between communicators.