We’re halfway through the year and 2019 is shaping up to become one of the most exciting yet for B2B and B2G PR and marketing. So what trends do you need to know about to build your brand and win more business this year?
Merritt Group and Women in Technology hosted a panel of industry experts who tackled precisely those questions, plus strategies for squeezing the most out of your program budgets, at a recent WIT Connect event.
Led by moderator and Merritt Group’s Senior Partner and CEO Alisa Valudes Whyte, the panel featured key insights and anecdotes from Marni Puente, Market Development Leader (DC) at KPMG US, Tonya Klause, Communications Director, US and Americas Services at Microsoft, Jo Mohan, Director of Long Term Care, Hybrent, LLC and Anna Wehberg Sr. Director Marketing at Bitdefender.
The group debated and discussed the latest major marketing industry shifts and how best to evolve programs in response to key emerging trends. Highlights included how to address the rise in marketing automation, greater sales and marketing collaboration, the growing role of video and visual communications and data privacy in a new era of GDPR.
(Image courtesy attendee @vintona02 via Twitter)
Following the panel, attendees put theory into practice by participating in a storytelling workshop. Why is storytelling such an important aspect of marketing and PR? According to the Content Marketing Institute, “60% of today’s B2B marketers and 56% of B2C marketers report that their biggest hurdle is producing engaging content.”
Attendees discussed what storytelling is (authentic, emotional and engaging narratives) and isn’t (about your brand or a sales pitch) as Merritt Group’s Michelle Schafer and I guided participants through exercises on how to craft and communicate your brand’s unique story. Best practices we shared during the session included:
- Answer the “why” questions in your messaging and narrative development:
- Why does your audience care?
- Why are you telling this story?
- Why now?
- Always be goal-oriented in your storytelling, as it leads to more action-oriented responses. Know what result you hope to achieve and keep pointing your story back to the desired outcomes.
- Keep stories simple, especially in the face of abstract concepts.
- Test, track, optimize and refine your content as part of a continual, iterative process.
Want to know where Merritt Group will be presenting next? Keep a pulse on our Twitter handle. Looking to dive deeper into the trends that will impact marketing and PR? Read out our 2019 trend watch blog.