How Passion, Grit and Hustle Wins The Day

Posted in Social Media Marketing, Posted in Talks by Nicola Payne

As the last talk of the day at Digital Gaggle, the fabulous Lisa Myers from Verve Search had a tough job.  We’d seen presentations about brands with huge budgets able to access young influencers reaching out across the world and how the new world of social media is becoming more private and harder to access and that real engagement is still only possible on a micro level.  So, what do we do?  Just pack up now and go home?

Lisa’s talk proved that brilliant, successful social media campaigns don’t rely on a big budget or your background or even your brand.  They are built from having a creative mindset - Lisa had three top tips to cultivate this:

1. Start with why

Great campaigns have emotion at their heart and that emotion comes from a clear sense of purpose.  Don’t start with ‘how’ – the mechanics and tactics of a campaign – but rather start with the ‘why’ – the emotion with which people will engage with your campaign.  In a world that is awash with content, heartfelt context and purpose will make your ideas stand out.   

 2. Don’t be put in a box

Creativity comes from seeing the things we know, but in different ways; recognising the limits we are given, but not being constrained by them.  Great social media campaigns challenge people’s perceptions and encourages them to think.  The example Lisa gave is the Unknown Tourism campaign that Verve Search ran for Expedia, which encouraged people to think about the animals that can no longer be seen at their holiday destinations.   

Poster campaigns which Verve Search worked on for Expedia's Unknown Tourism project.Image credit:

3. Data is your friend

The internet is FULL of data and people love stats. Take the Directors Cut campaign Verve Search ran for GoCompare. 

The top 10 films ranked accoring to on-screen deathsImage credit: GoCompare

This got heaps of engagement around the number of on screen deaths in movies – it was so successful that even the director of Guardians of the Galaxy (the winner, who knew?!) retweeted and tweeted facts about it.  This campaign had huge reach with international coverage, and it simply relied on interesting data.

Tweet about the GOTG campaign posted by the director himself!

4. Collaboration helps

Even if you don’t have a big budget, working alongside other agencies or businesses can produce creative gold.  By working together with a film company and the local tourism agency, Verve Search created a virtual tour of Flam in Norway with only a small budget. Sometimes a creative solution just comes down to asking for help!

Perhaps Lisa’s most important point is that how you think changes what you are able to do.  Digital pioneers think differently, they have passion, grit and hustle and are not afraid to fail.  She quoted from Adam Grant’s brilliant book (and TED talk) about The Originals.  Original thinkers don’t settle for the default, they are the captains of their destiny!

So, despite the inevitable changes in the social media landscape, a successful campaign relies on just one thing – you. This gave me three actionable points for Noisy Little Monkey:

1. Recruit right

We already recruit for attitude rather than experience or qualifications, but I’m going to find ways to test people’s passion, curiosity and grit as part of the recruitment process.

2. Start with the heart

It’s so easy to get caught up with the day-to-day how and what – for our own marketing and for our clients – that it’s easy to forget the why.  Digital Gaggle is a great reminder of the why for Noisy Little Monkey but I’m going to kick off all client campaign discussions by identifying the why and the emotional heart of the project.

3. Don’t forget what you’ve got

Creativity shouldn’t be confused with novelty.  You don’t need to invent, you can use the resources around you whether they are stats, facts or collaborators in creative ways.  I’m going to reframe budget constraints as a challenge rather than a barrier to find new creative solutions.

What will you do differently?  Did you miss Lisa’s talk? Check it out here.

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Nicola Payne
Nicola Payne

Managing Director at Noisy Little Monkey, Nicola posts about Google Analytics and managing marketing teams.

Meet Nicola Payne

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