Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a unique content development workshop hosted by SAVO, a sales enablement platform we leverage at Kenshoo, at Chicago’s legendary comedy theatre, The Second City.
While this may seem like an odd venue to host a marketing and sales workshop, it was quite the opposite. The collaborative nature of improv proved to ignite ideation and dialogue among the crowd and produced amusing, yet informative and relevant content that could be turned into sales training and enablement tools.
The talented actors were able to capture the attention of the audience and develop key sales and marketing themes into short, witty skits ‒ many of which created a stitch in my side from laughing uncontrollably.
Laughter aside, the workshop introduced one of the basic tenets of improv known as “Yes, And…” that can (and should!) be utilized in the marketing world to stimulate an open conversation and unravel more possibilities to connect with audiences.
From an improv perspective, “Yes, And…” is quite simple: actors must accept the scenario that’s presented to them regardless of where they thought it would go and add to it. This process continues from actor to actor until the story is fully fleshed out.
From a marketer’s perspective, this technique can be used as both an external and internal tactic to further a customer conversation or arm employees with a way to openly express ideas. By utilizing “Yes, And…” and validating ideas among colleagues, clients, and even prospects, marketers can:
Establish Openness in Company Culture
Encourage employees to share all ideas and thoughts. Not only does this create a more open learning environment, but it boosts listening skills and spurs positivity.
Stimulate Free-Forming Brainstorming Sessions
Just as co-creation is a central part of improv comedy, so is it in collaborating to ideate and create marketing programs. Working without a script is a reality when it comes to day-to-day marketing meetings, so the ability to think on your feet and bounce ideas off of one another is imperative.
Build Brand Awareness
Spark conversation with customers. Inviting a two-way discussion establishes confidence in a dependable partner and only strengthens bonds with clients.
Be Part of the Solution
Work together to find the right fit for customers. Using the “Yes, And…” method establishes trust and cooperation off the bat and makes the customer feel like they play a central role in the development of your working relationship.
As marketers, although we don’t perform on a stage everyday like improv actors, we can take the same tactics used in this comedic format and apply them to our world in order to spark meaningful conversation and ideas.
With that, I’ll leave you with one last question: Are you ready to weave the principles of improv into your marketing strategy? I only hope that the beginning of your answer starts with a two word phrase that we’re now very familiar with…