Recently, I gave a presentation at the annual Women in Cloud summit held at Microsoft. I wanted to talk about something that I thought no one else would talk about. So, what would that be? Some advice on marketing? Or maybe something about sales development. Having given over 100 different talks about marketing and sales, I knew I wanted to speak about something fresh.
You know that time in the middle of the night when you wake up with an “aha!” moment? Then, desperately trying to remember your thought, you stay up all night. Of course, if you are like me, you invariably get up the next morning and that “brilliant” thought was really just another rehashed idea.
This time it wasn’t.
I woke up in the middle of the night with the idea to talk about how “I am a Dinosaur.”
Yes, I’m usually in the older crowd at marketing cocktail parties, but I wasn’t thinking about that. I was thinking about how dinosaurs managed to survive on Earth for millions of years, and about what we can learn from their resilience. To survive in business, we need to stay current, find our niche, and make our value known—just like the dinosaurs. So, after doing a little research, I came to the conclusion that dinosaurs lasted as long as they did because they were:
Adaptable | Global | Multi-faceted | Diverse | Vibrant
At the conference, I played a little game with the audience. Projecting a series of tech products, starting with an iPod and ending with a reel-to-reel, I asked the audience to stand up and only to sit down when they see an item they have never used. There were a lot of laughs, particularly from those left standing in the end. And what we all discovered is, even in a room full of techies, dinosaurs still exist!
I reminded my fellow female technologists that cloud-based companies are growing over 15% year over year in North America. In other parts of the world, cloud-based technology is growing at even higher rates YOY. At this evolutionary clip, I said, we all need to get busy!
My advice to the group was to remember the dinosaurs and the unique traits that allowed them to survive—and thrive—even as the world rapidly changed around them. That means being...
Adaptable. Customers in 2019 expect seamless, omnichannel brand experiences. So, review your customer journey. How are prospects finding you? Once they find you, do you provide content that helps them through the buying cycle. Is your value proposition clear and highlighted on your home page? Do you have educational pieces to answer their questions about your products and services? Do you make it easy to buy from you? Walk a mile in your customers’ shoes to discover how you can adapt your customer experience to align with their desires and expectations.
Global. Run any sized company as if it were global (yes, even if you are a small business). Use best practices from some of the larger companies you may compete with. Follow global trends like subscription-model selling to ensure you continue to be relevant.
Multi-faceted. Think about expanding your service offerings to include your customer’s next logical step. You can expand by developing new products or services, building partnerships, or forming strategic alliances with complementary businesses. Be sure you are the first call your customer makes.
Diverse. Cast a wider net. Think of new markets you have not explored. These can include a new geography, new target audience, or a new sales model. Think about industries where you have experience and expertise. Commit to those industries, creating a path of information just for them. Remember, prospects like to be able to envision themselves in your solution.
Vibrant. Invest in your people. Celebrate them. Reward their charisma, talent, and skill set. Each of your employees represents your company; how they are perceived is very much in line with how a prospect will perceive your company. I always say that I can teach marketing, but I can’t teach manners, energy, or personality. Screen for these things before screening for exact experience.
Bottom line, #BeADinosaur!
Watch the video of my talk at the 2019 Women In Cloud Conference, here!
Cloud-based companies are growing over 15% year over year in North America
Women in Cloud celebrates the female entrepreneurs in the tech world. Find out more, here!