What I learnt this week… making your own decisions and embracing change

I can’t believe how quickly time flies. Every time I wake up, I feel like another week has already passed. The end of the year is coming at me at a scary speed.

People don’t like change (especially marketers)

Last week, I went to another great Cambridge Marketing Meetup where we learned about personalised email marketing and GDPR. New rules for data protection are a big topic amongst marketers and small business owners and they bring with them lots of changes.

You might look at GDPR from two different viewpoints – that it’s throwing more obstacles and more hoops to jump through for businesses or that it’s giving power back to people to say how they want to be marketed to. I choose to see it as the second option because no matter what I do, I always try to put my customers first.

After the talk when networking resumed, I had a chat with a few new people about the implications of GDPR on their businesses and how we can embrace this challenge. I quickly learnt that people don’t like change! I was shocked by a number of people – marketing professionals – complaining that they won’t be able to use old cheesy sales tactics anymore and instead will have to truly ask their customers for permission to contact them.

Do good and honest marketing and you’ll win

No more emails you can’t unsubscribe from, no more complicated sentences that don’t tell you if you are or aren’t signing up to receiving emails, no more buying email lists and cold emailing to irrelevant people.

If you’re worried that GDPR will hurt your business and cost you a lot of profit, then you deserve it as you haven’t been doing marketing right until now! GDPR gives power back to users (as it should be). It’s a great opportunity to step up your marketing game!

Focus on being customer-centric rather than complaining about the change and yearning for those good old days!

I’m a hypocrite

Only a few moments after I published a short post about the topic above on my Facebook and LinkedIn, I caught myself being a hypocrite. Here I am preaching about embracing change while complaining about Twitter’s decision to double its character limit.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not excited about the new 280-character limit. For me, the beauty and magic of Twitter was partially in its brevity. But I see now that there’s no point in complaining about this change and resisting it. Twitter did their research and found out that the majority of people liked the 280-character limit. Let’s believe they know what they’re doing.

Now the question is – how can we get the most out of this new opportunity? I was thinking a lot about how to use the 280 characters in the most efficient way and I’ve come up with some ideas. You can read it here.

Making your own decisions

The rest of my week was pretty busy with work, new client meetings and planning for 2018. For the first time, I did my own financial forecast (nothing scientific). Even though I’m pretty sure I’ve done it wrong, at least I started thinking a bit more about money. How much money I am currently bringing in and how much do I want to be bringing in next year. It helped me gain clarity about my goals and action steps for the rest of the year.

This all came from a really inspiring Pecha Kucha talk by Kent Height who gave a really passionate story about his life and life decisions. I also really liked his vision of a better digital agency where employees love to work and that gives them the freedom/opportunity to live their lives the way they want.

Another great and inspiring talk was delivered by the amazing Joe Glover (founder of Cambridge Marketing Meetup) who talked about overcoming our insecurities and embracing that everyone can be an inspiration. Joe talked about all the people in his life that he draws inspiration from and how they influenced his life decisions. He also talked about learning to see himself as a role model for others.

I could really identify myself with Joe’s talk, as I also find it quite hard to accept and understand why people see me as an inspiration. In my eyes, I’m not doing anything special. For me, there’s no other way than doing what I do – and give it my best.

Book Corner

I thought it will be only appropriate to mention Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers by Jay Baer in this roundup.

“In today’s world, meaningful differences between businesses are rarely rooted in price or product, but instead in customer experience.”

“Key Points: Satisfaction among people who complain about business hasn’t improved at all since the 1970s. Haters are not your problem. . . . Ignoring them is. Not responding is a response. A response that says “I don’t care about you.” Answering complaints increase customer advocacy. Not answering complaints decreases customer advocacy.”

How do you deal with complaints, negative feedback or even haters? Have you tried hugging them? Let me know in comments or tweet me at @lenkakopp.