Know why YouTube videos — whether it’s someone playing a video game or showing us what makeup products they just bought — are so popular? It’s because people love to learn from each others’ experiences.
Humans are a fearful bunch. We want to see and hear all the good, bad and truly terrible moments everyone else has lived through before we try it ourselves. Seeing others’ strategies, hearing their challenges and understanding their results gives us some assurance that it will work well for us.
This mentality seems especially true for marketers. We’re hungry for real-life examples so we can replicate success and avoid major pitfalls.
Unfortunately, modern U.S. work culture does a terrible job of sharing experiences and collective knowledge. We’re a country of stressed out, multi-tasking, over-connected workers who finish a project and immediately move to the next one (or two, or 10) without a moment of reflection or sharing the outcome with others.
We need to change that.
At Two Rivers Marketing we’re creating a culture of sharing that helps our associates learn, grow and be inspired. From quick communications to big annual events, we’re hoping these shared experiences make us all smarter and result in even better work for our clients.
Keep it old school with case studies
Ugh. “Case study” is such a boring term… It’s no wonder nobody wants to write them. But these one-page project recaps are a goldmine of information and insights for other teams who want to learn about your challenge, the solution you came up with, and the results you achieved.
Make a template. Keep it simple. Here’s a good case study template from Hubspot. Assign each team to write at least one case study a year about their best (or maybe their worst) project. As they’re finished, distribute them widely. Obviously a good case study serves other needs, too — new business, recruiting, investor relations, etc.
Create video project recaps
Hate writing case studies? Join the club. Make a video instead. Every year at the agency there are one or two blockbuster projects that everybody wants to hear more about, and see the results of all those long hours of work. Interview a couple key players, highlight design work, retell the story of how the project came to be and make it fun to watch! Celebrate your success while educating other teams about the strategies, tactics and outcome.
Host lunch and learns
Often the best way for a marketer to learn is to ask questions. No need to get formal; host casual lunch-and-learns with a few key experts to share a project story. Show off the final work. Discuss the process of completing the project. Share budgets and timelines. Give people access to your documents and templates. Get into the nitty gritty details of the project so other teams can learn and repurpose your smart thinking.
Create a digital project sharing space
Our agency creates thousands of documents every year, so good luck finding that really great project proposal, content calendar template, digital marketing presentation, social media trends report, etc., when someone asks for it.
Instead of losing track of your best work somewhere in the cloud, create a digital sharing system for your team to store and organize your best work. Extra points if you name an editor to keep it organized or find a system that automatically alerts people when new projects are added.
Designate a sharing month
It’s tradition at our agency to host “Strategic September” — a month-long sharing extravaganza to highlight outstanding projects, tools, ideas and experts so our entire team is armed with the latest and greatest information for end-of-year planning work.
This year we’re changing it up by celebrating “Strategic Summer” throughout July. We have a super fun carnival theme and will share our work through live case studies, peer-to-peer learning opportunities, coffee break chats, informational posters, agency-wide brainstorming sessions, and a few other fun surprises.
Designating an entire month to sharing projects forces us all to take time to evaluate, recap and share results with each other. We not only discuss challenges and results, but we talk about new tools and software we used, distribute document templates, applaud good efforts, bring new life to awesome ideas, learn from unexpected mishaps, gain a better understanding of time and budgets, and take pride in projects we’ve poured our hearts into.
Become the sharing champion at your company and commit to creating a sharing culture. Pick an idea and find a team or project to spotlight. (Hint: Most people love to talk about their success.) Send us a note about your best sharing idea and maybe we’ll feature it on a Two Rivers Marketing social channel!