I’ve never met a person in digital marketing who knows everything there is to know, and those who claim to are fibbing. It’s impossible to know everything in this industry. Digital marketing is a constantly evolving field. It’s also an awesome field! The essential tools of last year may not be relevant this year. That new acronym you heard in a meeting last month? Probably forgotten this month. This is a fast-paced industry to work in. It’s essential to make sure we stop, take stock of what we are doing, and learn from others.
Last week, I got to do just that. I attended a Digital PM Summit via Essensial DPM. As someone who hasn’t been in a university lecture hall for over eight plus years, the thought of concentrating for a full day of presentations(even online) was daunting. However, the summit had the perfect mix of presentations, interactive sessions, breakouts and lightning talks. All of these sessions provided me with valuable insights.
My biggest takeaways from the summit were:
People, not process: Teamwork, DoneDone, Forecast, Harvest — the list of tools we use is endless. There is no denying these digital tools help us work efficiently, but can a tool transport you to a tropical paradise through its design? Can it make you connect to a place through the use of an emotive narrative? Or can these tools persuade you to book a stay due to the perfect placement of a call-to-action button? It is our talented designers, developers, project managers, copywriters, and digital strategists that do the real magic through our websites and marketing campaigns. The message was clear: put the people first as they are the magic ingredient.
The importance of understanding the people in the industry, identifying their different personality types, and ensuring we communicate according to those personality types. Ensure you take the time to get to know the people you work with; this was a big takeaway for me. Learn who they are beyond their role or title. The better you understand all the people in your universe, the better you can work together.
Review processes (just not ALL the time): Of course, there is still a place to refine the process. What kind of project manager would I be if I didn’t love good ol’ process? But we don’t need to amend processes every day of the week. It was recommended that you do a process review once a quarter, and then to allow time to get accurate results from the changes. Let the process come to life! Don’t try to change it before it has a chance to make an impact.
Your personality is your USP: I am a firm believer that personality is far more important than process, platforms, or methodology. The Bringing Personality to Project Management presentation by Jenna Trunzo stood out to me as she spoke about the importance of personality in project management.
I understand the importance of investing time in connecting and getting to know clients as people. Some of the best client relationships I have are from early in my career when I didn’t know waterfall from agile.
Strangers can make great connections: I have never been to a conference of this size. The biggest thing that stood out for me (aside from Mickey Mouse appearing on stage) was how much you can learn from strangers and form connections over shared experiences. The people at the summit were from a variety of roles, from different industries, from different academic backgrounds, and from different countries. Yet, we all bonded by our shared experiences and struggles. Everyone was open to help each other and share advice. I now have a network of project managers I know I can reach out to and get valuable advice from.
There is always something new to learn regardless of the field you work in. A day or two out of the office (even the virtual office) at an event like a DPM summit is the perfect way to reset your thinking. I am coming back with a fresh perspective and a list of things I am excited to roll out.