Do any of these statements ring true for you?

* I want to set out a clear vision for my project, but how do I bring together the opinions of so many different stakeholders?

* Do I still understand my audience well enough to create a new marketing strategy or campaign? Or is it time to revisit this?

* I know I need to benchmark my current marketing position before setting a new growth path for my business. Where do I begin?

In our view, there’s a simple solution that’s often overlooked.

An independently facilitated workshop.

We’ve seen time and time again in our work that a structured, interactive conversation can be the very best way to craft new marketing strategy or community engagement campaigns.

Keystone’s deep experience of community engagement projects and marketing strategy techniques, as well as first-hand knowledge of running successful marketing and PR campaigns, makes us a popular choice for workshop facilitation.

How can a simple marketing workshop deliver so much?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a workshop as “a meeting at which a group of people engage in intensive discussion and activity on a particular subject or project”. The word that really stands out is ‘intensive’; that is – giving time and energy to focus on something important without any outside distractions.

Our workshops build understanding and engagement from all stakeholders – with discussions designed to benchmark current position, identify key messaging, review opportunities and challenges, and to define successful outcomes. When everyone involved with a project or a business is encouraged to intensely focus on a subject for a prescribed period of time – and encouraged to have a voice and share opinions, you would be amazed by the intensity of the conversations and the insights that can come.

We always find that asking people for their views, talking in a safe, neutral environment, creates a sense of buy in and empowerment. Areas of concern, inconsistency or confusion become apparent within a positive environment – and equally, areas of strength and commitment are quickly highlighted and built upon.

Who benefits from the Keystone workshop approach?

In most cases, a workshop is the very first place we start with clients that ask for our help.

We’ve orchestrated workshops for multiple sectors and audiences; and built highly effective strategies as a result. We might be working with a Council department or a not for profit team that wants to embark on a community engagement campaign, or the founder of a commercial organisation who is newly committed to elevating marketing activity to accelerate their growth.

Many businesses, finding themselves at a bit of a crossroads in terms of where to focus their marketing efforts, choose our marketing workshops. With our facilitation, these bespoke and focused sessions look to help build a marketing strategy. It’s also often the starting point advised by us when asked to lead large scale community engagement projects. We always suggest a project team takes time out together at the very beginning to define messaging and identify the most effective communication routes before actually getting started.

What happens in a Keystone workshop?

Each workshop is 100% tailored – working to build discussion topics that are most relevant to the position or the objectives set at during our first scoping call. We create conversations that will elicit key insights; drawing out views and insights of each participant to help build the all-important picture for a future strategy or campaign.

In a Keystone workshop, you can be assured that we’ll:

  1. Extract facts and information
  2. Distil views
  3. Clarify ideas
  4. Deliver brand new thinking

Discussion points often centre upon:

  1. Audiences – categorising and understanding your customers and prospects
  2. Challenges and opportunities – starting with a look at a current position, before moving on to greater sector themes, challenges and needs
  3. Messaging – identifying the most effective themes and messaging frameworks for the audiences you want to engage, and a look at mission, vision and values too
  4. Stakeholders and competitors – understanding their makeup and establishing their position in the market
  5. Promotional channels – those you use and those you don’t

And through all this, we’re listening. We don’t just facilitate a workshop, but we highlight actionable next steps too. Applying our deep experience of community engagement projects and marketing strategy techniques, we offer observations and recommendations to take forward in a detailed post-workshop report.

How long does a workshop last?

Our workshops are usually designed as half day sessions, and can run with just one single participant through to multiple teams. They can be delivered face to face, or remotely, and may be split over two sessions to enable time for reflection and gathering information.

What happens after a workshop?

The workshop delivered by Keystone is followed up with a formal written report that documents each discussion and shares expert observations and actionable recommendations to fuel future marketing activity. The report, in effect, creates a roadmap: a truly one stop document that assesses a current situation and starts to develop a framework for action.

If you’re sold on the idea of a marketing workshop with Keystone, just get in touch to have a chat about how we could help you. Each workshop we deliver is bespoke; meaning that discussion topics and activities are fully customised for the organisation or team we’re working with.

>> Want an example of the Keystone workshop impact? The power of a workshop was certainly evident for Love Wisbech. This cross-community programme was designed to bring positive change to the Cambridgeshire town and the people that live there. Our bespoke workshop session brought together multiple stakeholders from the county, district and town councils and from local charities to establish one clear voice for the programme. Here’s how our approach helped.