The Indium Corporation hosts many high school and college job shadow students, interns, and the like. We enjoy every aspect of it. We gain valuable insight into these people (generationally, technologically, sociologically, etc.), we're forced to explain ourselves to someone exploring the basics (always a learning experience - in both directions), and we love supporting these tremendously bright and curious students - and our community. Also, it's just plain fun!
Today a high school junior sat in my office, looked at a poster of my rock band, looked at posters of two magazine articles of a custom motorcycle that I designed and crafted, then looked at my business card and asked (with total innocent sincerity), "Why are you here?"
I knew this was going to be a special moment, and that I was talking to a special person. How many 16-year olds would put all that together so quickly, then risk asking this question?
My response, "Please expand on your question." I wanted to be sure I understood exactly where she was, and what kind of answer she needed.
She went on to ask that, if I am so enthusiastic about motorcycle design and building, and song writing/guitar playing/performing, why aren't I doing those things for a living. Ahh, to be so innocent.
My answer: "I AM doing those things."
I then went on to explain how every element associated with writing a song, conceiving of a bike design, crafting custom motorcycle parts, arranging a funk song, putting together a band, cutting and welding steel, and entering a bike in a show or performing at a concert are EXACTLY the same elements associated with B2B Marcom.
My musical audience has needs, wants, options, and desires: just like my B2B customers. My band is a collection of personalities with various skills, capabilities, and interests: just like my Marcom, Sales, and Technical Support teams.
Conceiving, cultivating, and developing ANY truly successful Marcom project requires a visceral understanding of the target audience, working with teams, drawing upon creativity (as well as tried and true tools), taking risks, getting hurt, being surprised, respecting constraints, focusing on the goal, and more. These exact words can be applied to forming a band and taking the stage or drawing up a bike design and breaking out the torches.
Don't, for a second, believe that B2B Marcom can't rock. Because it's not about the subject, it's about YOU! Everything you do can rock.
You just gotta' rock it!