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About the Host:
Host: DOUG SIMON
Guest: MEGAN DRISCOLL
DOUG: As a woman founded agency that specializes in marketing to women, have you seen it changing over the last seven years that you’ve been established? And what are some of the challenges you’re facing?
MEGAN: I think the way that women communicate with one another and with men has changed dramatically over the last couple of years, and that’s only been accelerated by COVID. I think the channels that we use have become so varied. From social media, Instagram or Tic-Tac to text message to sell traditional news outlets, to various mom groups on Facebook. So I think as communication experts, that means that we have to really be laser focused on not only messages that will appeal to the widest array of women and no matter what they’re doing in their lives, but also that will work on all of those different channels that they may be communicating on.
DOUG: One of the things that’s really interesting that you do is a lot of research, and original research to inform what you’re doing. But some of that has been a little, I guess, upsetting that the results have found that women’s mental health has deteriorated over the last 10 years. Are there causes for that and are there are things that marketers, communicators can do to try and help alleviate that?
MEGAN: At EvolveMKD, We did do, as you mentioned, Doug, our very first thought leadership report, and it was totally focused on women mental health and communication. And one of the things we did find, which is you alluded to is upsetting, is that our mental health as women has really deteriorated, particularly during COVID, and that has impacted how and why and when we’re communicating with one another. And I think as an agency, what we’ve been trying to do is really use these research findings to help inform our client recommendations and really make sure that not only are they being thoughtful and strategic about how and when they’re communicating with women, but also they see the broader picture of how women are struggling and the obstacles we have to overcome. And being just sensitive to that, as we’re looking to talk about the brands that they own.
DOUG: And as communicators, do you think we really have a responsibility to help sort of lead brands where they can help make the environment better for women and for people in general based on what they’re experiencing?
MEGAN: I personally think we do. I think the energy you put out there, both personally and professionally, is what you get back. And so, one of the things that we try to do at Evolve is not only are we thoughtful about which clients we agree to work with, but we’re also definitely advocates for doing things the right way and in a meaningful way and in a positive way. And I’m happy to say that the majority of our clients appreciate that. And I think that’s why they stay with us for such a long time.
DOUG: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And you also, with your research, identified five different types of communicators. Obviously, that is a big influence on plans for how people also receive information, as well as how they communicated to make sure people don’t talk past each other, but actually talk with each other.
MEGAN: It was one of the really key things that I came out of that came out of our research, I think we all know the five love-languages. I know that’s something that I utilize in my day to day personal and romantic relationships. And how do people receive and give love? And I think as we were thinking through how women communicate coming up with some styles and a guide, that people could be thoughtful and think through how they’re both receiving communications themselves, and how they’re how others may be receiving communications is really important. And the five that we identified are the Meet-and-Greeter, which loves face-to-face time, which I am happy to say I identify strongly with. I can’t wait to get back to meeting people in person. Those folks really feel connected when they actually share physical space with someone. The Oversharer, which I’m sure everyone has someone like this in their life, but they’ll tell you everything you need to know about them without even asking. They feel really connected to others by being vulnerable. The Initiator loves to talk, even if it’s about superficial topics, like weather, this is someone who probably loves a cocktail party and loves all the small talk that comes with that, because they really feed off of each other’s verbal energy. The Observer, so, someone…
DOUG: I’m sort of questioning, and commenting about the weather to you before we started, so that’s a bit more revealing than I’d hoped, but go on…
MEGAN: No, you have great energy and I’m sure if we saw each other in person,I would love to talk to you about nothing, about anything beyond the weather.
DOUG: And before we go for the last two of your communication types, I’d like to revisit the Meet-and-Greeter type that you mentioned earlier, because there’s been challenges with people separated because of COVID. How as a Meet-and-Greeter; who likes to be with people, how do you try and overcome that?
MEGAN: Yeah Doug, that’s a great question, because that was definitely a challenge for me personally and professionally. On the personal side, you know, I find Zoom very draining. So, I tried to really focus on a lot of phone calls, a lot more just like touch points with my friends, even if it was via text. And then on the professional side, I tried to be creative. So, once we were out of the March, April, May 2020 in New York City started to open up a little bit more. I did a lot of things outside, a lot of people who are similar personalities to me, Meet-and-Greeter’s, were also craving that in person. So we did meetings over coffee outside, walks, even my therapist was open to doing sessions like walking six feet apart. So I think there was a way to do it and just be extra careful and extra safe. But that’s what I did and it worked out well. And you just pick up so much more about people when you see their body language and their energy in person. And so, I think for what we do, that’s really important.
DOUG: And it has been an adjustment. I know for me and I’m sort of a Zoom fan and comfortable in the medium when I see people in three dimensions, it’s just sort of jarring at first because you’ve only seen them a certain way for so long. You two other communication types that you wanted to talk about, can you share about those?
MEGAN: So, the last one is The Observer, and that’s more of a listener. So they tend not to initiate or dominate the conversation, but they’re really searching for deeper connections with people before they initiate conversation. And then our last one is the Protector so they can find communication really exhausting, and tend to be a little bit more introverted. And they just find really that if their job requires them to communicate, they really need to take extra care to not give away all their energy.
DOUG: Yeah, and you’ve been a big advocate of clients being more sensitive about what they put out in the media because of COVID, how women are experiencing things, all of these factors. What are some of the implications of that behavior when someone feels they really need to go out strongly with the message, can they be sensitive and effective at the same time?
MEGAN: You know, I think they can be. And I think a great example of this is actually one of our clients that’s launching a new treatment for cellulite. And that in itself is a tough balance. Right, because are definitely a group of… it’s a mostly female team. We’re all of the belief that women should love their bodies no matter what shape, size they come in. But if you don’t like something about your body, you have every right to choose to change it or do something about it as long as that decision is coming from within you. And so, I think they’ve done a great job of kind of combining that empowerment message. And that’s self-love message with talking about, “OK, look, but if you really hate your cellulite, we’ve got a solution for it. And here’s what you can do. But. Regardless, like you’re beautiful,” and I think those are the brands that we really love to work on because it’s one very empowering and positive, but two it’s solution oriented, which I think is something agency people tend to be type A. So that’s something that really attracts an agency person is a really good solution.
DOUG: So that’s awesome. Any final thoughts you’d like to leave our audience with? Any tips that they can maybe take to a colleague or someone today that could help make them better at what they do, especially if it involves marketing or communicating with women?
MEGAN: Yes, I would say that one of the big tips is just to…I think a lot of people prepare for meetings and presentations and they’re really so focused on the content, which is really important, and you should absolutely be focused on that. But I think also taking a moment to think about who you’re putting that out to or who you’re presenting to or who you’re talking to and what either communication style they may be like the five that we talked about or really what perspective they’re coming from and try to really adapt the content and the tone and the delivery of your messaging to make sure that they receive it in the best possible way
DOUG: So Megan if people are interested in the proprietary research you’ve been doing and what you found, is there a way they can access it?
MEGAN: Yes. Thank you for asking. So if anyone wants to learn more about the research or download the full report, they can go to www.EvolveMKD.com/research and you’ll find everything there.
DOUG: You know, there’s lots of really thought-provoking content in there. Thanks so much for spending time with us.
MEGAN: Yeah, thank you so much for having me on.