How To Handle Meetings

In most cases, it’s not always the most popular person who gets the job done.

From all my experiences in the business world, meetings are (almost) always terrible. In the absence of leaders who would set things straight, meetings flow just as unmanned ships at the ocean.

Meetings have the obligation to be productive, otherwise, it’s simply a waste of time. Of course, that’s different than building a solid and healthy relationship with your co-workers or teammates. That’s extremely important, but business meetings must be designed to be productive and getting things done.

Do you even wonder why? Businesses are supposed to deliver value in the form of physical or digital products and services. Meetings are supposed to set and refresh operational points, data, and intelligence among leaders and workers – and that won’t get done by screwing around.

 

What is a business meeting?

A meeting is any encounter between two or more people to talk about anything.

A business meeting is an encounter between two or more people to talk about business perspective, progress update, feedback receival or any subject valuable and indispensable to operations.

Here’s a common scenario that we’ve all been through:

a meeting starts to talk about subject XYZ and, for the next thirty minutes, XYZ is not touched. Instead, participants engaged in what I call “ice-breaking conversation” – which is nothing but bullshit.

I’m like him in 97.492% of all meetings I attend

How to Handle Meetings

There are ways of making a meeting productive – if you’re an executive, that’s your obligation. Meetings must be work sessions, not bull sessions.

1. Decide what kind of meeting it will be

Different meetings require different types of preparation to have different results.

If there’s a meeting to write a marketing campaign, press release or something that needs to have a draft, a member or team has to prepare a draft beforehand. Otherwise, your meeting will be filled with brainstorms and conversation that won’t get the job done.

Objective meetings are supposed to ship the necessary/requested results at a glance. If you’re developing a new product, then you may arrange brainstorm/creative sessions, modularization, operations and scaling sessions.

If you’re dealing with a crisis, you may need results even faster. Delegating the right functions to the right teams will be a key to shipping such results.

Also, leaders can set meetings to happen in strategic parts of the day. Priorities should be handled early in the week – and that’s a nice excuse to arrange an 8 AM on Monday. Brainstorming or product development events may be handled after priorities are cleared.

Informal meetings, on the other hand, could be arranged

2. Reports

If one or all members report, the meeting should be confined to that matter.

Either there should be no discussion at all or the discussion should be limited to make the points clearer. If all reports must be discussed, then they should be previously emailed or handled to each member. Also, each report should have a predefined time-space.

3. Product Development

Product development and brainstorming sessions could be disastrous if there are no rules to be respected. Here are some points that might help you organize creative sessions:

  • defining the beginning and end of the meeting. If you planned a 1-hour session, such timeframe must be followed, especially if general thoughts are leading nowhere and except if thoughts and points are being extremely productive, then such meeting may be extended;
  • documenting valuable (and only valuable) points. These are the ideas and points that should be discussed or developed in next sessions or operation meetings;
  • don’t ask for unnecessary stuff. Just don’t.

4. Use your weapons

Slack, Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote and thousands of other apps are there to make your day more productive. Stick to one or two platforms and integrate them as much as necessary – one of the things I offer in my consulting hours.

Now it’s time for you to speak:

  1. How do you handle your meetings?
  2. Which strategies do you think are valuable?

Comment your answers or email me them @ brunocampos.dev@gmail.com

Do you publish online content? I strongly recommend this article.

 

 

 

 

Bad players will be thrown away

People are more likely to buy from people or brands they’ve known for a while in social media, which gave them steady relevant content…

The internet and social media set new standards in the whole commercial process. People are more likely to buy from people or brands they’ve known for a while in social media, which gave them steady relevant content.

Most entrepreneurs (or fakepreneurs) still don’t know what’s really going on in marketing nowadays. Those who claim to be “experts” in digital marketing don’t even know what real marketing is about, especially in the 21st century.

I explain this very well in this article:

Traditional Marketing is not dead

The truth is: bad players will be thrown away. What do I mean by that?

  • Bad communicators won’t sell their products
  • New products by unknown brands will struggle to reach their audience and sell
  • Billion-dollar brands will disappear because they’re ignoring this movement
  • Fakepreneurs will continue to rise, and then disappear
  • Millions of dollars will still be burned in wrong advertising, then comes bankruptcy
  • Relevance is always king

No doubt all that came with the internet and the mobile world. All sorts of businesses should constantly be reviewing their marketing and communication strategies to satisfy their costumer.

The customer is eager and knows what to buy

This perhaps hasn’t been and won’t be a universal truth, but that’s how you should be handling your marketing.

Especially if you’re new to the market and won’t be burning millions into paid advertising, you should be offering high relevance content to your leads and people who follow you on social media. It’s the type of content that will make them stop scrolling their feed to read, watch and pay attention.

Continue reading “Bad players will be thrown away”

Traditional Marketing is not dead

The internet is filled with “digital marketing specialists” but they don’t even know what marketing is

The internet is a baby universe. It changes too fast for book authors to explain it and we have little control or prevision over it – in five years, everything can change (again!). Ten years ago we had a different environment:

  • Bad smartphones in customer’s hands (iPhone was just getting started);
  • Scarce amount of apps to download;
  • Low mobile connectivity;
  • Email was the biggest thing in smartphones (or PDAs, we forgot about that term);
  • Online shopping existed, of course, but 99% of it was through computers using a now obsolete infrastructure (the UX was effective at that time, but today it wouldn’t be attractive or useful at all – just to explain that almost everything changes in terms of design).

Today, online retail is five or six times bigger. We can do it from our mobiles or even smart watches. Amazon’s 1-click ordering can get a product shipped in our homes in thirty minutes – it is handled through robots across the warehouse to a drone that will land in our yard.

Traditional Marketing is not dead

And it won’t be.

Digital Marketing is Traditional Marketing applied to the digital environment. The internet brought little transformation to the essence of marketing, but digital marketing specialists and gurus tell you that digital marketing is brand new and you can throw away all your old marketing books. They’re talking bullshit. Run from them if you want the real thing to your business. Their thirty-dollar e-book is filled with motivational advice, communication tips (poorly developed) and more bullshit – it won’t make your business grow from advertisement.

The internet changed the way we communicate and we’re sharing more. You are constantly looking for human recommendations of products, so you can make a better decision. That’s why you go to TripAdvisor and Yelp! to learn about hotels and restaurants. In this new environment, personal decisions are essentially social decisions.

In early stage of interaction between companies and customers, traditional marketing plays a major role in building awareness and interest. If the interaction grows, customers demand closer relationships with companies – digital marketing rises in importance. Driving action and advocacy are big roles of digital marketing.

Loyalty to your brand is the most significant status you can have, even if a non-buyer advocates your brand – and this is possible. Tesla electric cars are well respected and advocated even by non-buyers. We have a new customer path and it is not necessarily a fixed customer funnel.

Most digital marketers are only communicators

And most of them are amateurs.

Marketing requires metrics and effective plans to sell your product. This is the essence of advertisement – to sell your product and, if it’s good enough, have a loyal customer that will advocate your brand.

David Ogilvy stated in his Confessions that good advertisement could sell bad products – but only once. Back in the 1960’s, Ogilvy knew exactly what is still happening nowadays. Creative geniuses arise from scratch with $100 on Google Ads, redirecting you to their template page. There, you will find some killer advanced marketing techniques like:

  • How to get 100 k followers on Instagram;
  • Learn my killer marketing approach;
  • Subscribe to my mailing list and get my e-book about the killer push strategy…

99% of those geniuses have no intrinsic value. They’re not real marketers. You can buy 100 k or more followers in any media you want, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to sell. Your organic rate will be zero – and good sales come from organic people that follow you.

Communication by itself is not marketing. Tips on how to post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is communication – there’s no consistent path to have customers, keep them loyal and expand profits. Offer, demand and sales process – this is marketing.

Traditional + Digital: the Real Thing

The integration between both is the real differential – some businesses can even disappear or build no visibility if they don’t integrate.

Marketing always starts with segmentation. Companies divide the market into homogeneous groups according to their demographic, geographic, psychographic and behavioral profiles. Segmentation is followed by targeting – selection of segments that the brand is engaged to pursue based on their fit with the brand [targets].

Segmentation and targeting are from traditional marketing and it doesn’t change on digital.

Here’s what the traditional marketing approach help us on:

  • Segmentation and Targeting
  • Brand positioning and differentiation
  • Strategic Marketing and Selling Approach
  • Value-creating services and processes.

Here’s what digital marketing help us on:

  • Customer community satisfaction
  • Brand awareness and clarification among community
  • Co-Creation from customers and communal activation
  • Collaborative Customer Care

Remember when you had a problem on your iPhone or Mac, you googled about it and ended up reading a forum page from Apple? That’s collaborative customer care – a cheap but valuable approach that companies can have. Loyal customers get engaged by helping others and also help on co-creation: Apple knows what’s wrong with their products and can have a glimpse on what customers really want.

Brands that really have value deeply understand online + offline interaction among customers.