Collaboration is a wonderful thing. I’m about to write half a million haikus
Last week myself and a number of people across the UK marketing community launched our new creation: 'No BS Email Marketing'
Born out of the frustration of self-promotion obsessed sales guys dominating the stage we set out to diversify who was starting these conversations.
We started with in-house email marketers to offer their insights + opinion on a range of topics and I think The Drum readers will find these really interesting too.
As a taster of the email guide, we're exclusively sharing 'The Importance Of Collaboration' by Lawrence Tatlock, Email Marketing Manager @ Boden right here for The Drum readers. An area that perhaps we all know deep-down that we could be making more effort in!
“What do you do?”
We all get asked that question a lot. My stock answer is: ”I’m a Marketing Manager for a clothing company”, which usually leads to: “great, which one?” and then some excited chatter about how nice the clothes are, what great quality they are and the boxes, the lovely spotty boxes.
If you haven’t guessed yet, I work for Boden. But I’m hiding something; I’m really an email guy, or as that conversation goes, I’m a professional spammer.
In my defence, I’m not a spammer. That’s just what I get accused of (usually backed up with a little chuckle as my accuser appreciates their own wit).
Should I be embarrassed? The truth is I’m not. I love what I do and I’m going to shout it from the rooftops. Ok, I’m not, but I will tell you.
I like to think I’m good at most things. I’m not trying blow my own trumpet. What some people call good, others might call average but I’m an all-rounder. However, my point is that I don’t excel at anything. I like variety.
I like to get stuck into a good conversation about data. I like to sit with a designer and sketch ideas on a notepad while saying ”I’m no artist but you know what I mean”. I love to come up with a long lists of puns to help out a copywriter or two. What else do I like? I like helping analysts stay in a job through a lack of respect for testing best practice - everyone likes doing work twice.
Ok so maybe I’m not good at most things, but what I am good at is random meeting requests. I implore you to arrange a random meeting at once. The title should be ‘Let’s win an award’ or ‘Underground rebel project club’ and the location should read ‘Pub’. At the very least you should get together somewhere away from the day to day, somewhere no-one is going to knock at the door and say ‘sorry, Steve, can I borrow you?’
Unfortunately I’m not suggesting you don a blindfold and play Russian roulette with your address book. Do that later. There’s method to this madness. You need to pick your team. Pick data, copy, design, insight, analysis. Sod it, choose HR, merchandising, catering, security and I.T. support. Gain another perspective.
My point is throw the net wide but be selective. Does that make sense? Probably not. I’ll be clear - choose one person from a range of disciplines. One. Not two. Not Jason and his boss because his boss wants to know what’s going on. One.
You’ve chosen your team, you’re at the pub and you’ve just bought a round and told everyone you’ll expense it (knowing full well this isn’t going to fly). A hefty receipt listing four large glasses of white wine, three G&Ts, a pint of ale for Jason’s boss who came anyway and three pints of lager doesn’t look good at 2pm on a Tuesday. But wait. Hold on to that receipt. Slip it into the compartment in your wallet that is usually reserved for the business card of an acquaintance you met at a networking event four years ago. You’re going to win an award, expense it then.
So what’s the aim here? Well in my head I’m picturing David Brent motioning with interlocking managers while biting his lip, but for those of you not familiar with the ground-breaking series The Office, I’d better flesh it out.
Now that you’ve brought all these great minds together, you have an all seeing eye, you know everything there is to know, and you can achieve anything. So start at the end and work back. What will win an award? Be selfish. This is a marketing award that you want.
You’re looking for sentences that start with ‘what if we could do something like...’ and you’re looking for ideas that have never been conceived before. Encourage the ridiculous, quash the naysayers. Enthusiasm is often too rare. Stoke the fire, break the shackles.
Something glorious will happen.
Copywriter: What if we could write a personalised haiku for all our best customers?
Naysayer: That’s impossible, we can’t write 500,000 haikus.
I.T. support: We could write a program that will do it.
Naysayer: How is that personalised?
Data: I can get you some interesting data points.
Naysayer: How will we proof them all?
Analyst: We don’t need to, I can pull together a few variables that enough versions.
Naysayer: But how do we make it look good?
Now I could go on with this imaginary meeting but I’m sure you get the point. Bring people together and you’ll find a way to bring even the most ridiculous ideas into reality. Collaboration is a wonderful thing. I’m about to write half a million haikus. You should arrange a meeting. I’ll let you know about the award (and the receipt).
We won't even ask for your email address, this time! We'd like to give huge thank you to our sponsors Kick Dynamic, Taxi For Email and eDatasource who supported our concept early on, enabling us to bring Edition One to life, and to you!