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Marketing Boot Camp Takeaways

Back in April, SMPS Boston hosted a Marketing Boot Camp, an all-day workshop covering a variety of useful topics we AEC Marketers can utilize in our careers. In the event you missed it, I’ve got you covered with some of the takeaways from each session.

The morning kicked off with Katie Martell’s keynote: The Curse of the Consideration Set. A self-styled “unapologetic truth teller”, Katie’s passion for Lady Gaga served as a creative example how we constantly need to reinvent ourselves to stay relevant and stand out (Meat Dress anyone?).

Key takeaways from The Curse of the Consideration Set:

  • Perception of your company/brand is a marketing issue. If you need to correct it, you need to:
    • Position with a purpose
    • Get personal
    • Utilize a first-thinker advantage – 74% of buyers choose the one who was the first to provide the service
  • One way to differentiate yourself from the pack is to offer specialized services
  • Look at your “pack”. What are they doing?
  • If you provide thought leadership, don’t phone it in. It needs to be fresh, credible, educational, contextual, and actionable.
  • Clients want hope in an uncertain future
  • You don’t have to hold all industry secrets close to your chest. You can still give out a grocery list without giving the whole recipe.

Next, Jen Hebbletwaite’s Writing Champions: Graceful Editing and Proofreading was a highly-energized and animated lesson, complete with helpful worksheets. Jen emphasized:

  • Gracewriting is about making human connections
  • Use the 6 cs of editing: clear, concise, coherent, concrete, complete, considerate
  • Utilize a “you-attitude” with positive emphasis – think about your reader’s POV, protect their ego, and focus on what they will receive vs. what you’ve done
  • Your tone should be: business like, friendly, confident, polite and bias-free
  • Editing should help the writer save face; don’t replace their voice with your own and ask how much editing is too much

To finish the morning, Valerie Puchades offered her tips on Networking for Introverts. Valerie used the power of chocolate to step out of her comfort zone to network and eventually became the SMPS Boston Chapter President! Valerie’s process included:

  • Get out of your comfort zone and make a plan
  • Research and “pre-stalk” your desired contact but, “don’t do it in a weird, stalky way.” Find a genuine connection.
  • Prepare – you may need to recharge yourself quietly before going into a crowded atmosphere. Practice your introduction. Make sure you ask some good power questions such as:
    • How did you get to your position?
    • How do you spend your free time?
    • Have you seen any good movies?
    • (My personal one would likely be: Did you watch Game of Thrones and if so, can we discuss how it should have ended?)
  • Dress comfortably, envision success and find someone to talk to. Good ways to find someone to talk to include:
    • Wallflowers
    • Using the buddy system
    • Break into a group
    • The bar line

Valerie wrapped up the session with some general tips including:

  • Place your name tag on the right hand side
  • If you’re wearing a lanyard, knot it up so people can read it
  • Hold your glass in your left hand

After lunch, Lauren Dewey presented Digital Door to Door: Social Media as a Brand Builder and Outreach Tool. Lauren stressed the importance of engaging your audience and to let that engagement grow your reach. She utilized her experience at National Development to showcase relevant examples, both good and bad. Some of her tips included:

  • Use the 3 Ms: Make, Manage, Measure
  • Don’t be intrusive: your posts should be thoughtful and in line with your brand’s values and voice
  • Quality trumps quantity
  • If using hashtags, only use a few relevant ones and integrate them into the content instead of a block at the bottom
  • The top misstep is following/liking everyone – only follow/like users and posts that are relevant to your brand

Finally, Jenessa Durrani launched into Understanding Your Disc Profile for Relationship Building. The session began with a social experiment. Each table was provided with a pack of index cards and instructed to build the tallest tower using them. The way the teams creatively built the towers showcased our personality types. Two tables utilized other items (water bottles, drinking glasses) on their tables to make their towers taller while my table “stuck to the rules” using just the index cards. Jenessa then explained the behavior traits in the DISC profile and how, for example, our table exhibited traits of more Cautious people.

DISC stands for:

Dominance/Decisive – Values “just the facts”, result-oriented, likes challenges and winning, driven/determined

Influence/Interactive – Enthusiastic, collaborative, values social recognition and group activities

Stabilizing/Steadiness – Calm, patient, values cooperation, supportive, stable

Cautious/Compliant – Values quality work done right the first time, analytical, likes independence and learning new things

I learned that I’m a High-D/C personality. (Apparently my type isn’t supposed to exist, but to paraphrase the words of House Mormont from Game of Thrones, “Here I Stand”. )

Jenessa explained how different personality types have different ways of expressing themselves and how knowing the profile of co-workers can help one navigate how to interact with that person. It definitely helped me figure out how to successfully interact with different people in my office. If you haven’t taken a DISC profile test, I recommend taking a free one here.

If you found these takeaways helpful, I highly encourage registering for the next professional development event focusing on Sustainability at Bentley University!

Kristie Norris


Kristie Norris is a Proposal Manager who enjoys theatre as a both a performer and audience member, horseback riding, and occasionally lifting kettlebells. She is a contributor for the Favorite Five blog series and a member of the Communications and Professional Development Committees.

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