While working on a marketing email, I went to my usual spot for assistance, Thesaurus.com. A banner for the word of the year appeared. Immediately intrigued, I clicked.
“Existential.” What does that mean?
Turns out, it relates to our existence—our ways of life. “Existential” also inspires us to ask big questions about who we are and what our purpose is in the face of our various challenges. And it reminds us we can decide how we answer those questions.
It also reminds us that we have the capacity to act or exert power—and that has me thinking about 2020. While we approach a new decade filled with uncertainty, volatile politics, trade wars, climate change, and the possibility of an economic downturn, I’d like to point out some effective and tangible ways to exert your power:
Nurture connections and communities. Trade shows, conferences, webinars, open houses. LinkedIn, Facebook, email, WhatsApp. We all attend networking events to meet the right people and build the right relationships, but in getting caught up in the daily hustle, we sometimes forget to utilize what we’ve already built. Spend some extra time sending a text to that interesting individual you met last spring at that reception and see how things are going—you may be surprised at what you find. Find communities to join with your peers, such as groups on LinkedIn and other networking forums to reconnect and join the discussions.
Avoid knee jerk reactions. We can’t help it. It’s our instinct. Once the going gets tough, the marketing and advertising budgets get cut. Don’t make this mistake. McGraw-Hill Research conducted a study of U.S. recessions from 1980-1985. Out of the 600 business-to-business companies analyzed, the ones who continued to advertise during the 1981-1982 recession grew by 256 percent by 1985 over competitors who eliminated or decreased spending. That doesn’t mean marketing budgets should be immune to scrutiny. You do need to objectively review your budget and strategies, and that includes making some changes and smart decisions while maintaining your brand strength. Your customers will recognize this, and your company will come out on top.
Assess the skills and needs of your team and company. Are the right people doing the right things? Are we doing things because we have always done them? Review what tasks are being done daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly. Duties may or may not be assigned properly to the responsible party. Challenging an individual in the new year with a new task may bring your team a win and also take something off someone else’s overflowing plate.
Try something new. I’ll admit it: I’m a Buzzfeed reader. They have a monthly article, “Life-changing things to try this month,” that I can’t help but read. It’s usually an advertisement for different products they are promoting, but it always has good ideas in it. October promoted a cool journal that can help keep you organized; other times, they might post a simple weeknight recipe or recommend a new app for mindfulness or brain training. Whatever it is, step out of your comfort zone and do something different.
Ask questions. Like the saying goes, there is no such thing as a stupid question. 2020 is an exciting and important year for all of us, but it also brings many challenges and hurdles. Remember that AMT is always here to help you be successful, whether it’s with day-to-day business inquiries or IMTS 2020 success strategies.