Over the weekend of 9 and 10 February, the JCI Cambridge marketing team attended the JCI UK Marketing Academy in Birmingham. The 4.30am start and service station with no vegetarian option were the only lowlights of what was otherwise a fantastic learning experience for the team. They share exactly what it was that stood out for them…
The thing that stood out for me the most over the marketing weekend was the importance of continuity within branding and how important it is to create a solid, seamless image for your business or organisation. I realised that branding is about more than just a logo and a few pretty colours! It provides an insight to who you are and defines your organisation, allowing you to stand out and create awareness in a way that supports the core values of the company.
With regards to social media, I began to see that it is much more than just a platform for ‘blank advertising’ and that it should be about socialising with your audience and getting them engaged with your brand rather than just constantly trying to sell things to them blindly. I understood the importance of continuing solid branding through to social media to provide a professional ‘face’ when communicating to existing and potential customers.
Finally, I learned that measuring your success is so important. In order to be able to streamline, adapt and grow your business or organisation and your brand, you need to know if what you are doing is working or not. Once you know this, you can scrap what is unsuccessful, put more energy to what works well and adapt weak areas to get better results in the future.
I’ve just graduated from JCI Marketing Academy class of 2013. The training session was interactive and the trainers were “ace” and very energetic. Most activities were based on real challenges faced in our chambers. It gave us the chance to use the principles learnt to address them. We also had the pleasure to meet Anna Gril, JCI Europe vice-president, who gave a brief history of JCI origins.
The training session covered branding, social media, multimedia and more. It was interesting to hear about how to devise strategies to leverage the power of social media in order to raise the profile of an individual or an organisation. When commenting on the increasing usefulness of video content, Philip Cavalier-Lumley couldn’t have put it any better: “It’s just like garlic bread, it’s the next thing.” The session highlighted what we should be aware of when creating a promotional video that not only fits its purpose, but also adheres to JCI guidelines.
Other interesting tips included taking picture in a landscape format, and ensuring that they are at least one megabyte in size.
This weekend has been a success. I came back feeling positive and more confident about tackling my new role in JCI.
The JCI UK Marketing Academy provided an excellent opportunity to share best practice and ideas with other JCI marketing directors from all over the country. Different techniques yield different results depending on your chamber, your members and of course, your marketing directors!
I was really impressed with the attitude of the group and its members; everyone was willing to get stuck in and help each other learn. It was particularly exciting that the whole JCI Cambridge marketing team was in attendance. We will now be able to draw on the knowledge gained from the weekend to form the basis of our plans over the next 12 months.
There are some areas of marketing I am more confident with. For example, I know little about video, but was excited to see Naily getting involved and showing a interest in how we could make this work in our own chamber. Having experience in PR in my day job, it was great to be able to bolster what our trainers were telling us about the subject. It felt good to share the knowledge!
JCI Cambridge cannot thank JCI UK and its trainers enough for the weekend. We learnt so much and came back to Cambridge ready to tackle our marketing challenges!
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This post was written by Laura Wing