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Cultivating a Culture of Excitement

Smiley Face

Image courtesy of MorgueFile

As start-up employees, our days at Bear Analytics are always full of excitement. Starting our own business has been a wild ride. Each time we win a new client or a teammate learns an additional skill, the office hums with energy.  You could say we have a culture of excitement!

Whether you are a start-up or a century-old association, excitement matters.  Your organization’s culture of excitement can affect your marketing and bottom line in more ways than you may think.

Take your event cycle:  If your organization hosts the same event each year, it is easy to swap “16th Annual” for “17th Annual” in your marketing materials and Rinse. Wash. Repeat.  But tired begets tired – and bland marketing does not cut it with today’s savvier consumers.

Prospective attendees pick up on any lack of enthusiasm in marketing, especially if you are targeting prospects with a recycled message.  If your marketing message did not resonate with a prospective attendee last year, why would the same recycled copy or email template resonate with them this year?

As Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

All too often, we see this phenomenon in marketing materials we receive, and our own marketing has even fallen into this trap.  Creativity and innovative take work!  Work takes energy, and energy is fueled by excitement.  Without excitement, we’re stuck with shampoo marketing.

This autopilot culture can extend outside of events: Membership brochures and recruitment tactics, annual reports, and other public-facing materials can also lose their “oomph” over time if the people behind them lose their excitement or do things the way things have always been done without questioning the status quo.

If you believe your organization suffers from a lack of excitement, here’s some tips for infusing it into your organization’s culture:

1) Encourage Experimentation:  If people are not given the space and time to experiment, it’s difficult for them to pursue new ideas or even stumble upon something awesome.  Google’s famous “20% time” policy allowed employees to spend up to 20% of their time pursuing projects that interested them.  It’s credited for being the genesis of some of the company’s most innovative and creative projects – like Gmail!

While 20% might be a big step early on, encouraging experimentation can be as simple as A/B testing your email headlines or dabbling in new media initiatives.

2) Get Others Involved: At my last association, our department held a contest to see who could select the best music to begin and close the day at our event. Colleagues from all different functions would participate, wracking their brains for songs that referenced the event’s host-city or resonated with the industry.  This simple contest got our team excited about our upcoming event and made people feel like they had a stake in the event that extended beyond their traditional job responsibilities.

Asking people to think creatively about topics that aren’t part of their day-to-day workload can provide needed breaks from monotony.  You also tap a wider field of knowledge and ideas, setting the stage for innovation and collaboration across your team that would not have existed otherwise.

Here’s the great thing about excitement: it’s contagious.  If your team is involved and given space to experiment and grow, their excitement will be evident in your organization’s messaging and marketing.

Your organization’s excitement can set you apart from the competition,  draw new members and attendees, and cultivate loyalty.  While not every experiment will be a win, and on some days, it’s plain hard to bring excitement to the workplace, a commitment to this type of culture will bring lasting benefits.

Cultivating a Culture of Excitement

Smiley Face

Image courtesy of MorgueFile

As start-up employees, our days at Bear Analytics are always full of excitement. Starting our own business has been a wild ride. Each time we win a new client or a teammate learns an additional skill, the office hums with energy.  You could say we have a culture of excitement!

Whether you are a start-up or a century-old association, excitement matters.  Your organization’s culture of excitement can affect your marketing and bottom line in more ways than you may think.

Take your event cycle:  If your organization hosts the same event each year, it is easy to swap “16th Annual” for “17th Annual” in your marketing materials and Rinse. Wash. Repeat.  But tired begets tired – and bland marketing does not cut it with today’s savvier consumers.

Prospective attendees pick up on any lack of enthusiasm in marketing, especially if you are targeting prospects with a recycled message.  If your marketing message did not resonate with a prospective attendee last year, why would the same recycled copy or email template resonate with them this year?

As Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

All too often, we see this phenomenon in marketing materials we receive, and our own marketing has even fallen into this trap.  Creativity and innovative take work!  Work takes energy, and energy is fueled by excitement.  Without excitement, we’re stuck with shampoo marketing.

This autopilot culture can extend outside of events: Membership brochures and recruitment tactics, annual reports, and other public-facing materials can also lose their “oomph” over time if the people behind them lose their excitement or do things the way things have always been done without questioning the status quo.

If you believe your organization suffers from a lack of excitement, here’s some tips for infusing it into your organization’s culture:

1) Encourage Experimentation:  If people are not given the space and time to experiment, it’s difficult for them to pursue new ideas or even stumble upon something awesome.  Google’s famous “20% time” policy allowed employees to spend up to 20% of their time pursuing projects that interested them.  It’s credited for being the genesis of some of the company’s most innovative and creative projects – like Gmail!

While 20% might be a big step early on, encouraging experimentation can be as simple as A/B testing your email headlines or dabbling in new media initiatives.

2) Get Others Involved: At my last association, our department held a contest to see who could select the best music to begin and close the day at our event. Colleagues from all different functions would participate, wracking their brains for songs that referenced the event’s host-city or resonated with the industry.  This simple contest got our team excited about our upcoming event and made people feel like they had a stake in the event that extended beyond their traditional job responsibilities.

Asking people to think creatively about topics that aren’t part of their day-to-day workload can provide needed breaks from monotony.  You also tap a wider field of knowledge and ideas, setting the stage for innovation and collaboration across your team that would not have existed otherwise.

Here’s the great thing about excitement: it’s contagious.  If your team is involved and given space to experiment and grow, their excitement will be evident in your organization’s messaging and marketing.

Your organization’s excitement can set you apart from the competition,  draw new members and attendees, and cultivate loyalty.  While not every experiment will be a win, and on some days, it’s plain hard to bring excitement to the workplace, a commitment to this type of culture will bring lasting benefits.

Marissa Maybee

Marissa Maybee is the Director of Insights and Analytics at Bear Analytics, a boutique agency focused on bringing the promise of data analytics to event producers, associations, professional societies, nonprofits and media agencies. Marissa is a consummate storyteller and is driven by the belief that data can tell a story—and it’s her job to make the story as insightful and engaging as possible. Before joining Bear, Marissa led the communications and outreach strategy at the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), the largest private funder of melanoma research. Previously, she worked in industry intelligence, content marketing, and events at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). Marissa recently earned her MBA from Georgetown University. You can find her on twitter at @maybs321 and connect with her on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/pub/marissa-maybee/a/a49/266.