The Dig South “Doing Business Around the World” panel last week was loads of fun. It was exciting to know one member of our audience was originally from South Africa (and hence would recognize some of the photos in our background visual montage.) That was Christy Ashkettle, Operations Manager of Next Greenville and a friend of panelist John Warner. Another stand-out in the room was Craig Lundgren, Business Dev Exec at Dixon Hughes Goodman. Craig is brilliant enough to agree with me that the obvious take away from the entire Dig South Interactive experience is that the world needs more communication skills training. Obvee. 🙂
Before our panel, Bucky Wall (Dean, Benefitfocus University) and I wound up at “The Future of Digital Entertainment” moderated by Elisabeth Kines, now at SC Department of Commerce. She pulled together a fascinating coterie of film, video gaming and brand/community stars. The line-up included Daniel Lehrich, VP Creative at WeMash in Los Angeles, Nish Nadarja, a branding and community consultant based in San Francisco and film producer Warren Ostergard of Producer Capital Fund and Black Bear Studios.
Daniel Lehrich predicted that the future of digital entertainment is not, as we frequently hear, virtual reality, but something called “augmented reality.” Some call this “mediated reality” but it comes down to making a user experience of reality more powerful. Instant translation of an opera through a ticker tape-type display at the foot of the stage is one example, as it getting sprayed with water at a Disney Park rendition of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
Nish Nadarja was one of the first employees of Yelp, and he emphasized the power of building community and getting your best customers to be your brand ambassadors.
Warren Ostergard, a local independent movie producer, shared the essential success message for any project. Paraphrased it’s:
Bake in your buy-in from the get go.
As I mention in many of my talks, in the movie industry, the marketing budget more or less equals the production budget. Mr. Ostergard spends as much time getting investors onboard as he does in making the actual movie. Investors want a return and that comes from getting eyeballs to view the product and that comes from marketing.
Getting investors in is the first task on the list – no investors, no budget.
He gave the example of casting British Game of Thrones actor, Emilia Clarke, as a lead in his film “Voice from the Stone” because she already has a strong following. Lots of people will buy tickets to see Emilia in a different role.
But this goes far beyond film.
As a coach and teacher, I can tell you that selling someone on the benefits of what you’re about to teach them largely determines how well the audience listens and retains the material.
Even if you’re in compliance, safety, taxation or security, marketing your message is what makes your project perceived as successful. Perception = reality.
It’s beyond obvious to you that your project is brilliant, or at a minimum, necessary. That does not mean that the people who actually benefit from this thing, see that.
3 suggestions for baking in buy-in from the get go:
- Involve as much as possible key stakeholders– the ones who will talk about your project. Invite them to meetings, ask their opinions and ask for their help in marketing.
- When discussing your project, always use the magic word “because.” (Click HERE for more on that.)
- Use the favorite words and phrases of your target audience, not the ones that make the most sense to you! If they like “granular” you say “granular.” It just makes it easier for them to accept.
Getting your message across to different audiences is one of the topics we tackle in Communication for Project Managers on May 13. Click HERE for more info.
The cake in the photo is Lemonhead Cake by Libbie Summers. The recipe is HERE. I think if you bake your buy-in into something like this cake, you’ll be more than fine!