It is 6:00AM in Berkeley, and still pitch dark out! My challenge this morning is to get to Palo Alto by 8:00AM to speak at the Marketing Roundtable for the Business Marketing Association of Northern California. I need to make my daughter lunch, feed the cat, find some decent threads to wear, and get out the door by 6:30AM to allow ninety minutes to drive a mere forty three miles in Bay Area traffic (some of the worst in the country)!
The line at the café is excessively long even at 6:35AM and I finally hit the road by 6:45, arriving at 8:03AM, just in time! The room at the back of the venue is nice, but very rectangular and I present in the front. Not really feeling the space as the audience is hard to see because it is like one big last supper table. On the other hand, the room is small enough to make the twenty five or so people there seem like a really big crowd, so that is a good thing. Feels comfortable. I forgot to bring my “lectern” to hold my slide notes, so I bend my head way too much to refer to my notes. This makes me lose contact with the audience, and the presentation definitely lost a bit there. Overall, the concepts seem relevant and the presentation went fairly well. The audience was a mix of small business, enterprise, and consultants in the marketing world and they had some great questions (how to apply content marketing to an enterprise versus SMB model, the best buyer phase for a white paper, how to optimize for search, how do you define conversion, etc.). There was one person in the back that must have been a public speaker as she was smiling and nodding her head for encouragement, which is always good!
I made a survey to give after the presentation so I can get a true quantitative gauge of how well I did. Each question is scored a weight one to five, and I calculated the results. I got a 3.97 out of five. Not so bad, considering this was the first time that I presented the material. I also provide a general comments area on the survey and I received a few critical comments like you looked down too much and one person said the information was too basic. In general, I prefer the critical comments more because there is always some truth in them, and it is a valuable opportunity to learn more.
After the presentation, I realized the overall structure of the story needed a lot of work, and more stories (as always) were needed. I am in the process of redoing the presentation and will present again in the next month or so. Based on the comments, it seems like people were really interested in Content Mapping – and wanted me to communicate the concept (mapping persona attributes to stage in buyer’s cycle) in a more detailed fashion. Ok, so how do you make content mapping into an entertaining story – now that’s a content challenge.
Thanks to @popky who did a great job of organizing the event, and the entire BMA of Northern California.
Also, thanks to Bob Johnson from IDG whose data I used to build the business case for content.
I’m not going to publish the slide deck yet as I would prefer to improve before making public.