The iconic Theater District in the center of midtown Manhattan, New York City was the perfect backdrop for Yext’s annual tech conference called Onward. Like the neighborhood in which it was held, the conference was vibrant, fast paced, and crackling with excitement.
As the Partner Marketing Manager for Boostability, my job at Yext Onward19 was twofold: 1) set up, organize, and run our booth throughout the event and 2) absorb as much content as humanly possible from the incredible lineup of speakers Yext brought in. While booths are utterly fascinating, in this post I will focus on the latter part of my experience: content.
Because of my background in theater and being in proximity to one of the largest theater hubs in the world, I constantly had showtunes running through my head at the conference. Not one to ignore my musical theater impulses, while sitting in each session I wondered, “If each of these presentations were a Broadway musical, which one would they be?”
Howard Lerman – CEO and Founder, Yext
Presentation at Yext Onward19: Candid, enlightening, thought provoking
“82% of online information about brands is unverified. We’re living in a new age of search, and consumers are asking more specific questions than ever. But brands haven’t had the ability to answer those questions, opening the door for unverified third party sites to step in with misinformation.”
Be protective of your brand and make sure that your voice is the loudest when it comes to your products and services. Don’t let people like Todd Munion, a random man on the internet without all the answers, be the one to answer your customer’s questions. As Howard stated so well, “The customer journey starts with a question. You should be the one to answer it.”
Earvin “Magic” Johnson – Chairman and CEO, Magic Johnson Enterprises
Bring It On the Musical
Presentation at Yext Onward19: Savvy, passionate, driven
“Sometimes your competition can make you better.”
Competition keeps us driven, sharp, and focused on what it takes to succeed. Billie Jean King said, “Pressure is a privilege.” If you see a challenge, step up to it. This gives you the chance to improve. And when you improve you have the opportunity to create memorable and positive experiences for your customers that can strengthen your brand. Be a brand that people WANT to recommend to their friends.
“Overdeliver and they’ll go and talk about you FOR you.” – Magic Johnson
Seth Meyers – Host, Late Night with Seth Meyers
Legally Blond the Musical
Presentation at Yext Onward19: Smart, clever, insightful
“Sometimes I’m asked how I’m able to come up with so much content for my show. Easy. I have a staff of 15 writers.”
Behind every person is a team. Rely on the wisdom and expertise of those around you who can help you look at a project from different angles. Surround yourself with people whose work you trust so you can delegate and stay focused on the bigger picture. Two eyes (or 15!) on a project is always better than one. And together as a team, you’ll achieve things far greater than you can achieve on your own.
Jill Ellis – All-Time Winningest Coach in U.S. Soccer History; Former Head Coach, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team
Presentation at Yext Onward19: Powerful, inspiring, evocative
“Take away soccer [or whatever it is you do], who are you?”
You can apply this to your business or personally. If you take away that branding you’re known for, who are you as a company? Is it meaningful? Or would you feel lost without that sense of identity? It’s important to know what your brand is at an intrinsic level. What values drive you and your company forward?
She also talked about teamwork. “Know your people. Know the fabric of them. Try to connect with them on a personal level.” Team building and humanizing your brand
really helps your company grow. When you make that connection with the team, they want to work harder for you and the customers you serve.
Seth Godin – Best selling author and Marketing Hall of Fame inductee
Mary Poppins the Musical
Presentation at Yext Onward19: Informative, fun, kind of magical
“In the future, it simply won’t be enough to be found; you’ll need to be LOOKED for.” – Seth Godin
Be something people want and/or need so that they’ll look for you. Do you have an amazing product, but don’t get a lot of traffic to your site? It might be because you need to do a better job marketing your company as the solution people are looking for. People inherently trust brands that they know. When people are looking for a solution, if your branding is something they already know and trust, they’ll come to you more often. They will even seek you out.
A key message from Seth is to look at a problem differently and work smarter, not harder. We’ve heard this messaging before. But it’s crucial in today’s cut throat business environments to solve a problem in a smart and innovative way. Working harder does not necessarily mean you’re going to succeed, but if you work smart, it will.