Extending the Marketer’s Reach

Working Women in TechnologyHave you ever noticed the most fulfilling projects are the most challenging? Have you ever participated in an event and felt more satisfied when you know it’s helping others? A few weeks ago I spoke at the Working Women in Technology conference hosted by the Center for Information and Communication Services at Ball State University. It was the 2nd time I’ve attended the event and this year’s conference provided some great insights. What I loved most about it is the diversity of women in the room- from grad students to leaders with 20+ year’s experience. We heard about the successes and challenges from local technology start-ups and from well established organizations. It’s this kind of perspective that is so valuable not only to emerging students trying to figure out what they want to do for a living, but also refreshing for any one in any business to hear about the current challenges others are facing in the technology world and how we can help each other be successful. Another part of the conference that had a meaningful impact beyond the meeting room was the charitable donations made by attendees to the Julian Center. The Julian Center is a unique nonprofit agency providing counseling, safe shelter, case management, advocacy, and education for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other life crises. The WWIT partnered with the Julian Center to accept donations from event attendees- what a great example of collaboration and marketing to do something good.

What gets me really jazzed is to see opportunities where we can network with other marketers and technologists, build relationships and leverage our assets to the benefit of others. ExactTarget hosts the largest one-to-one interactive marketing conference in the industry each September in Indianapolis. In 2010 we had the great honor of hearing Sir Richard Branson address our audience.   He shared the following points in his speech:

  1. Use marketing power for good. No matter what position you hold, find a way to make a positive difference. As marketers, we have the immense potential to influence others and should use that power for good.
  2. Take risks. Take them responsibly, but don't be afraid to fail - a lot. Nothing great is ever created without risks.
  3. Communicate. Brands thrive off great conversations they don’t often start or merely prompt, so make sure you are listening. Even within your company, it's important to forge relationships outside of your normal circles and find innovative ways to collaborate and get things done.
These points resonate on so many levels. It is through collaboration where we can make the biggest progress in technology, in business and in our personal lives. Think about your marketing and your brand and the next time you run a social marketing campaign, host an interactive marketing event add an element to market for good. Borrowing stats from my colleague Melinda Krueger:

  • Nearly 8 in 10 consumers say they would switch to another brand if it was associated with a good cause.(1)
  • 88% of millennials said they would switch to brands supporting causes. (2)
  • More than half of American moms say they would pay more to for a brand that supports a cause. (2)
1 Duke University and Cone survey, reported by eMarketer
PR Week and Barkley Public Relations survey, reported by eMarketer

What is your brand doing today to help make improvements in the lives of others?

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