As a marketer, you’re often taught to use the third-person in your content, and let your “product do the talking” – aka, make your content objective. You aren’t speaking as the brand, but rather are showing what your brand can do from an “outside” perspective. You lead with insightful, valuable, and relevant content to “resonate” with your audience. But should this be the case? Even as a marketer, “I” believe you lose a bit of connection when you take this approach, and “I” feel we should be fostering connections now more than ever – it’s time we humanize.
In our company meeting this week, our CEO addressed what was happening in the US, and requested that we take a few minutes to not have a “moment of silence”, but rather a “moment of reflection” – where we could share how we were feeling, listen to our colleagues, and reflect on what we need to change. It’s natural to struggle with what you can do to provoke change and how you can make an impact but sometimes it’s as easy as listening, learning, standing together, or sharing how you feel.
After the meeting, I received an email from a colleague that said “with everything going on I felt the urge to write something. I’m not sure if you would post this on the Olapic.com blog, but thought it was worth sharing.” So I’m sharing. Yes, this may not be a typical “Olapic blog post”, but it’s real, authentic, and in addition to promoting our core value of “include and care for all” it is what our product is all about – from a first-person view and all.
Introducing our OlaEmployee Content Series:
Meet Alan Armony.
If you had asked me six months ago to join a Zoom call with twenty of my extended family members living in three continents, people I had never met before, I would not have spent even ten seconds coming up with an excuse. Yet, last month when my parents asked me to do just that, I was available and open to the conversation. I had been quarantined for about two months, and realized I had much more time on my hands. I was also more open to new experiences.
I logged into Zoom and twenty different heads popped up on my screen. I only recognized three of them: my parents and older brother. Amidst the muting and unmuting, talking over each other, and unstable internet connection, I met a quirky bunch of family members. From the East Coast to the West Coast, to Buenos Aires, London and Madrid, we spoke in English to those who didn’t understand Spanish, and Spanish to those who didn’t understand English. By the time the call ended, an hour and a half had passed, and I felt the happiest I had felt since the beginning of this crisis. I had learned from their experiences and lifestyles, and I began to make plans in my head to visit several of these cousins and second cousins. In less than two hours I expanded my network as I felt supported by people I had just only met.
Life is all about meaningful connections. Starting my career in business development has confirmed that even the smallest of interactions can leave the deepest impressions. Growing up, I lived all over the world, from Argentina, to Maine, DC, Miami, and even Tianjin, China. It shaped me into a person who learns from and appreciates other cultures, other values, and other ways of life. While I knew this would be helpful in my social interactions, I never realized the impact it would have on my professional career. Not until I started making a hundred cold calls a day. Anyone who has worked in business development will tell you there is a special feeling when someone remembers who you are, or you have a meaningful conversation, or as a salesperson you make someone else’s life and/or job easier.
The sales process is changing, we all know that. The tactics that worked in the past, no longer work. We are constantly fighting to sift through the automation and lazy emails and pitches to make an impact on someone, and we usually only have less than three hundred seconds to do it. That’s why it’s more important than ever to understand each other, to be open to other ways of thinking, other cultures and forms of communication, to accept one another and be honest in our work and in our lives. Learn about your neighbors’ experiences, not only to understand them, but to help you understand life and everything that’s happening in the world.
At Olapic, we do exactly that. We recognize that people want to hear from each other, they want to see what their peers are doing, and that’s why we see so many companies are pivoting towards leveraging User-Generated Content versus photoshoots and production sets. We know those aren’t representative of our world, the same way we know our experiences aren’t representative of anyone else’s life but our own. It’s time we learn to listen, it’s time we learn to see, and it’s time we learn to accept and support our peers to create not only an economy that gives everyone a voice, but a world that allows us to impact each other, whether it be in three hundred seconds, in an hour-and-a-half long Zoom call, or a new relationship with someone you may have never thought to speak to before. It’s time we deepen human connection.