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Embrace the Chaos
Feb 1, 2017

Client Workshops and Getting the Insights You Seek
Alicia Nagel, GRAYBOX

As professionals working in the marketing, communications, and design space, it is our responsibility to help the client company connect with their customers. Any time you want two parties to have an authentic engagement and say things that resonate with each other, the first task is to understand these people. We all know that this means understanding the target audience and the user, but it also means understanding the client and client stakeholders. Ultimately, as a marketing professional for hire, your number one target audience is your client. What are you doing so that you have a deep understanding of their motivations, goals, and vision for your project? Engaging your client stakeholders in active workshops performs this function.

Stakeholder workshops also help you take full advantage of the deep insights and understanding your client stakeholders already have of their industry. Many clients find it challenging to articulate what they want, and workshops can help elicit this information through exercises that pose questions in playful ways. When you are faced with a client team who is disparate and opinionated, workshops can be a great way of gathering consensus across teams. They also onboard your client partners and engage them in the work process, leading to a smoother advancement through the project – they are less likely to halt things because they feel things are getting off track.

Lastly, an intangible benefit of workshops is they are fun, unexpected, and often leave a lasting impression on client teams. They are also an opportunity to spend an extended amount of time with your clients and show them how your organization things. On a personal note, they can break down the formal barriers put up in meetings and might even lead to some bonding between your teams.

About the Speaker

Alicia Nagel, Alicia Nagel Creative, LLC

Alicia (@AliciaNagelCrtv) has been doing marketing and brand strategy for the past 10 years and is currently Senior Marketing Strategist at the Portland digital consulting firm, GRAYBOX. It's her responsibility to make strategic recommendations on how to optimize clients' marketing efforts and digital presence to engage their target audience and ultimately convert leads. She has been integral in bringing brand strategy to the service offering of GRAYBOX and engaging clients in dynamic workshops and interviews to unearth insights that drive the team's efforts.

Prior to GRAYBOX, she ran a branding consultancy doing strategy and design work for companies such as Moonstruck Chocolate, nonprofits like City Club of Portland, and marketing firms like LANE. Alicia started out working in advertising for firms ranging from small start-ups to multinational firms such as TBWA\Chiat\Day, Publicis & Hal Riney, and DDB. Past speaking engagements have included workshops and talks for organizations such as USC Annenberg School of Communication, Etsy | PNCA | I Heart Art PDX, PSU Business Outreach Program, and Anvil Media's Lunch & Learn Series.

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