Education Is The Best Kind of Marketing
Published by Bill White , August 14th, 2014
Reflecting on the BioOhio Expo
When we seized the opportunity to present not one but two workshops at the August 2014 BioOhio Bioscience Expo & Showcase in Aurora, Ohio, our first objective was to give something back to an industry that has been good to OffWhite. This is why we are members of BioOhio in the first place. It didn’t hurt, however, that we knew we would have the attention of leading management and marketers whose responsibilities are to guide biotechnology, pharmaceutical and chemical companies through the global marketplace.
During our planning, it became clear that we were tackling two subjects that are as many miles wide as they are deep. We had to make our brief time count.
We created two presentations. Brand Science 101 and Social Science 101. Abby and I took the morning session to talk about branding and a fundamental truth in business – your brand is not what you think it is, it’s what others think it is.
Jane and Steven presented the afternoon session, Social Science 101, where they demonstrated the need to knit together social media with all aspects of the company, and not just marketing and sales.
We split up and built our presentations as two independent teams, Bill and Abby, Steven and Jane. After the outlines were constructed we came together to trade and discuss the outcomes we wanted. But we wanted to do more. We asked ourselves, what do we hope people can take away from what we’re suggesting, and how do we make sure we don’t waste their time? Here, the idea of a take-home kit was set forth. After all, we wanted to extend the OffWhite brand, but we wanted to sell our attendees not on ourselves but on their own ability to manage their own brand and social media resources.
As a result, we did what we always do at OffWhite. We built maps. One for branding. One for social. We used these maps to place both of these concepts into context with the business plan – this is how we help our clients avoid spending the same money twice.
While we drew on our 30-year history and our combined experience to build the content, Abby and Steven took additional time to design the kit we would present to the attendees so they could walk away with a tangible and useful tool to use in their own companies.
Once on site in Aurora, we broke all of the rules and distributed the kits to each attendee before we started our presentations. Once they saw the map, they knew where in their marketing equation we would be nesting for the next hour.
What did we expect? Certainly not a standing room only group, but that’s what happened. People were actually sitting on the floor - and nobody left. The energy in the room was high.
Our goal was to simply share what we know based on what we do. We included comment cards in our kits so that we could improve our presentations based on immediate feedback. While we don’t know how our attendees actually used the tools we gave them, the comments were encouraging. Here are a few.
“The Aud.it™ process hand-out was very helpful. The Brand Standards list is excellent.”
“I enjoyed the case studies and how you responded to questions.”
“I’m passionate about branding and I’ve heard many of these terms before, but I enjoyed hearing them defined in a new way.”
“It was a very interesting topic. I appreciate the presentation approach.”
“I am a strong advocate of digital marketing. This was a good refresher workshop for me.”
I think it’s safe to say that our trip to Aurora was a success. This was the first year that BioOhio provided a workshop opportunity, and I’m glad we took it. It was a mutually beneficial investment in our company and the industry we serve. Truly, education is the best kind of marketing.
In Case You Missed It
We’d be happy to present Brand Science 101 or Social Science 101 at your convenience. If you would like a personal presentation at your place or ours, or via a webinar, give us a call or email. We’ll forward the take-home materials along the way.
The OffWhite Brand Science 101 kit includes a Standards List, 4-D Brand Process Guide, a copy of our Aud.it™ Planning Map, and a Social Media Resource Directory with links to materials we used to prepare the presentation.
The OffWhite Social Science 101 kit includes a Guide to Social Media Programs, a list of Program Components, a guide to Social Media Goals, and a Resource Directory with links to materials we used to prepare the presentation.
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