EMG Communicator Summit 2017: Embrace change and think like an air traffic controller

Two weeks ago a dozen senior marketers and communicators from across our client portfolio and guest speakers gathered at our office for EMG’s  ‘Communicator Summit’. The two main areas for debate were digital marketing and the changing role of the industrial communicator.

Ideas Exchange

One of the reasons we run this event is to allow our customers to share anecdotes and best practices, off-the-record, and to network with their peers. This year, social media, channel and marketing technology and measuring campaign effectiveness were front of everyone’s mind.  

Our guest speakers from GE Renewable Energy and Guardian Glass also married top-level overviews of their digital strategies with practical advice on how their integrated campaigns have driven lead generation and how best to align with sales and commercials managers to drive collaboration and accurately measure effectiveness and investment.

Embracing Change

Evident from the start was that in these rapidly changing and disruptive times - we’re all in the same boat… irrespective of industry sector - be that technology, energy or materials.

Broadly speaking, most of the attendees are actively embracing change and already helping themselves and their internal stakeholders evolve as they transform their function and in turn their organization digitally.

We discussed the emerging role that automation and marketing is playing in identifying and engaging with influencers and audiences and also measuring the efficacy of engagement.  Many of the participants are also looking at the team structure and direct reports skill sets to ensure they stay one step ahead and relevant.

One delegate summed it up perfectly, “Not communicating is not an option. We need to embrace change and be the best communicators, we can be.’’

Think like an air traffic controller

Communicators tend to thrive in time of change and are often the antennae of their organizations with a 360° view.  While we certainly didn’t have answers and time to address all the challenges and opportunities thrown up by the maturation of digital, automation and the need for marketing and sales to be in lock step, I did offer the following pointers to help navigate these exhilarating times

  1. Think like an air traffic controller
    • Manage the flow and cushion any impact for stakeholders
    • Think in 3D: look forward, back and all around
    • Remain focused on the destination
  2. Remain practical and pragmatic
    • Provide strategic counsel and remain a trusted advisor
    • Build on what you have. Make content as relevant and evergreen as possible.
    • Build campaign-based approaches backed by insights and analytics
  3. Continue to evolve and adapt
    • Keep pace with change, but provide continuity
    • Move with your stakeholders but don’t get ahead of them
    • Challenge your agency to challenge you

As with all successful events, planning for the next summit has already begun.  If you’re interested in attending, speaking or perhaps have ideas for topics, please get in touch.




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Posted by
Greg Farrett 
on June 20, 2017

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