Gini Dietrich, the force behind both the marketing blog Spin Sucks and the agency Arment Dietrich, tells Doug Simon that one of the central aims for communicators in today's market is the push to get a seat at the table when it comes to decision-making.
Related to that is the need to help brands define and articulate their values. "That's really uncomfortable for most business leaders," she says, "because their entire careers they've been told not to do that."
A key element in making that work, Dietrich says, is learning "how to communicate in a way that doesn't alienate half of their customer base and half their employee base too."
The growing importance of commmunicating effectively to that employee base is leading to what she calls "a really big shift from external comms to internal comms." But the world of remote work has blurred the boundary between external and internal. "The interesting thing about the internal comms is because most of the workforce is distributed, or it's a hybrid model, it almost becomes external comms."
Last January, Dietrich made some predictions about how she thought the indusry would do in 2021. Looking back, she says that "the industry overall has done a pretty good job. It’s been less chaotic this year."
When it comes to predicting what will impact communications in 2022, she says that ESG and DE&I ("lots of acronyms") will be top of mind.
She also draws a distinction between the two. "ESG is more like, your involvement, your mission, your vision, your values. And DE&I is really making sure that you're inclusive and you have equality and that you have diversity on your teams."
Getting a handle on measurement is also essential. "Any way that you can measure results, even if it's as simple as Google Analytics and providing that kind of data, should be something that you aspire toward."
It's also important to be able to accurately attribute value to the work you're doing, especially as regards the business that marketing generates for a company. That can also lead to a change in how firms get paid.
"I'm a big fan of equity, doing that in exchange for some shares, especially because of the work that we do with tech startups," she says. "I'm a fan of that, because usually it pays off in the end."
Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]