B2B Marcom is part of a chain of events: marketing creates new products, product managers organize the salient points, Marcom puts the message forth, sales does their thing, etc. We do our job, receiving and giving info from/to others who are doing their jobs.
Recently I was considering all the people and groups that I work with. My list included literature printers, internet service professionals, exhibition managers, magazine publishers, and more. To do my job better, I need to have a good understanding of what each of these groups actually do. It's just not good enough to throw tasks over the wall and tell someone to "handle it". To really be good I feel I have to have a great understanding of what these people's jobs entail.
We've all heard the saying, "To truly understand someone you must first walk a mile in his shoes." So, I took advantage of an opportunity to gain insight into one of my vendors, an internet video news & information organization called PCB007.com. The way I work with them is to either send them a video ad and pay them to play it, or work with them to create an interview or story. I could simply leave it at that, tossing info at them, or I could take them up on their offer and work WITH them for a day at a trade show. I jumped at the chance.
Last week, at SMTA International - a trade show that we exhibited at in Orlando, Florida - I joined the 007 team and interviewed some people in our industry. With Tropical Storm Fay bearing down on us the show was very lightly attended, so I had the time.
After a short briefing, I had the mic in my hand and a video expert at my side. Then, it hit me ... who would be interesting to hear from? What should I ask them? Would I get in over my head and look ignorant - insulting the interviewee? Would I create product that no one would want to watch? Yikes, I was starting to get a better understanding.
I guess I did a "fair" job, and I have no plans to change careers, but I definitely have a much better understanding of how complex it is to plan, execute, and deliver a very short video interview. And it's not as easy as it looks (the experts just make it LOOK easy).
I recommend this type of exercise to anyone who is interested in improving at his/her job. Gaining a better understanding of your business partners really helps make you stronger and more capable.
To see me in action, visit the 007 "Real Time With..." site, click on the ALL VIDEOS tab, and watch the interviews titled:
- ITM Consulting
- Tropical Storm Fay (conducted outdoors just as Fay was arriving)
I really apreciate the opportunity I had (THANKS 007!), and am considering how I can do something similar with other vendors - all with the goal of improving myself in my B2B Marcom practice.