542: 5 Ways to Drive Better Alignment Between Creative and Marketing w/ Alex Withers

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Alex Withers, Chief Marketing Officer at inMotionNow.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/awithers/

A relationship with the right referralpartner could be a game changer for any B to be company. So what if you couldreverse engineer these relationships at a moment's notice, start a condcastinvite potential referral partners to be guess on your show and grow yourreferral network faster than ever learn more at sweetfish media, dotcom, you're, listening to the Betab growthshow, a podcast dedicated to helpin be to be executive, achieve explosivegrowth, whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools andresources. You've come to the right place, I'm James Carburry and I'mJonathan Green. Let's get into the show Ole back to the bee to be groth show.Today we ware joined by Alex Withers Alex of the CMO At n motion now AlexWalkon to the show good morning. It's great to be a Jum. It em, it'sFantascito, have you on the show Alex. I know that a little bit earlier, Yorehaving some some technical difficulties trouble connecting to to the Internet.So I am glad that we have that we we've taken care of that 'r getting a chanceto have you on the show. I am excited to talk about this idea that you candrive better alignment between creative and marketing, and I want to get intothat. But ous before we do. Maybe you can tell her. LISTM is a little aboutwhat you and your team at inmotion now are up to these days. Yeah. A delightedto so in motion now is a creative worklo software business, where a cloudbase suffer as a service, prouct and platform, and our job is to benerolinemarketing and creative teams with a seamless, workflow and no wer going totalk about Nofthe, thou leadership stuff around this morning, around federal lianing marketing and Creatived. But we spend our every day on creating and clowd based solutionsabout our marketers and Cretive hems to collaborate more efficiently breatheach other and project manage and then...

...reviewing aprove each other's work, andso that you can get content to market faster and I, as a CMO, have theprivilege of not only running a commercial business but also unable totravel the country as a thought leader. This is a lot of fun being a marketer emarketing software. This morning, on in mattelsheadquarters in New York for the Exchange Design Forum, which is aboutforty top creative directors in the industry, all talking about how to getbetter alined with marketing and how to make creative have a stronges, seit afthe strategic table. So it's going to be a great deay here day here, a Matteland looking forward to talking with you this morning. That's fantasic well, andI do really appreciate, then, even more so, you were carving a little time outof your schedule today to be with us here on the BEA be gro shell, so ous weare going to be talking about how to drive better alignment between creativeand marketing, but maybe just to sort of set the stage. Let's, let's talkbriefly about okay, what is what is the difference when we're talking aboutcreative verses marketing y? U Sort of what are those two worlds that we'retalking about today, yeah, so I've been a market of my whole career. I stoudout of Pepsi am in London and then moved into the media world and in morerecently, into the software well, but I've always had a marketing bent to mycareer. I would consider myself creative none of my creative friendswould consider me. CREATIRAHAAA marketes marketers are, at the businessend the creative process. Their job is to drive, demind and drive revenuethrough marketing programs. The creatives obviously live at thecreative end of that valued chain. Their job is to idiate and come up withcompelling messaging and and compelling campaigns an and creative assets thatwillfeelll those marketing programs so...

...they're very closely aligned and interms of their position in the gotemarket machine, but they arebecoming increasingly strained, and you know, if you think about therelationship, how many white peepers are written about beyond going battlebetween marketing and sales from Adan a perspective, marketers and creeders arealways being on the same team together, but that there is more friction thanhas ever been between this one, strong relationship and that's why it's Afuntolping to talk about today. Yeah! That's absolutely true! I mean that youhave so many people talking about the alignment between sales and marketing,and there is more and more overlap between those two positions. I meanthey are becoming increasingly aligned and no one is talking about thispossible divide between creative and marketing. I mean I I would say whenyou're thinking about the two, I would have naturally assumed. Well,you know creative and marketing. They are just. They are a line. That'sthat's part of the same gig right there so interesting to hear that you knowthere is an increasing divide. One of the points that we were going to maketoday that you were going to make today is that creeders and marketers are oftin speaking different languages. What does that mean? Well so that thecreative team has a different suite of tools? They see things differently. Itell you the big theme this this conference today and with this QREENIVleadership. workshopping round table is all around designd thinking and thepower of strong design in creativity and the whole notion of design.Thinking is very different to arline, riven metric driven marketing,automation, Powera D, marketing programs and there's a very kind ofpurest artistic or artiste angle to and to creative, and there is much more ofa business focus in marketing such as...

...literally the language used. Like mymarketing teams, we use language like you know: Demand Generation, marketingqualifying leads at Churn, nurture programs all and very sometrics, drivenfunneld, driven and language, whereas the design teams were used entirelydifferent languages, around design, thinking, an messaging and Colo hawetsand creative terminology, and it's just a very different world between the twoand it's kind of well. Art Meet Science, and quite often ar and science are likeoil and water, and they don't mix well, and so it is definitely a a disconnectthat has to be bridged with sort of a healthy respect for one another,because one confunction without the other Yeuh and talking about art, versa,science, spoil and water. I mean that does kind of lead US nicely into this.Second Point that you had made offline, that creativityis not a science, but that still needs to fit into a business framework. Ithink we all have you know very creative friends that we can picture ndand they just you know they don't necessarily play by the same rules and,and they are their. Their main goal is to you know, exercise their creativeprocess to realize their vision, but it has to when you're talking about theworld of business, creativity in the world of business. It has to functionin that world so kind of what does that look like Alice? Yes, I mean we. Weoften talk about the challenge of staying creative in a corporate world.Righand and creatives choose whether they want to be inhouse right, thatthey want to be n, ine house team in a...

...corporate environment an be creative,or are they going to be more an the agency sihed if you're joining theCorporat world and you've got to figure out how to create a an environment ofidiation and creativity that lives within a corporate process? And if youcan create and processes that make your life easier as a creative, the removesome of the Administrivia of the corporate world and start to automateit that's how you're able to stay creative and yet still meet the servicelevel agreements you have with your corporate partners like marketing andsales. So it's very important to have a streamline process. TBUT has clearservice level agreements, ind, clear expectations and then go away and bidby yourself that that bandwit and eadiation time to be the best you canbe knowing that you, you know exactly what to do in terms of Managing Thobrief, managing the Project D and getting the approvals to get stop out,f the door and so Alis, just I' I'm trying to conceptualize what that kindof would look like in practice, and I don't wantto put you on the spot, but Imean you have kind of an example of of some sort of situation, something thatthat would look like in in a real life. Yeah I mean a a great example would be. The creative team is receiving briefconstantly from their internal state holders, and often a creative teamisn't just and O partering with the marketing group they're also partering,with the executive office to see how often doe the CEOS suddenly needsomething and it doesn't come straighten through the marketing team.How often TDO sails go around the the process and off for something directlyand it could be from the WR watercooler right, th Samos is shining with thecreative drug to hey, would you mind putting ther fo together for me, ecause,we're doing a charity event tonight and you're very important ofbens, but thatdoesn't follow a process now that can...

...unravel all of the deadlines andTransparency Around other deliverables within the building and whereas, if youcan create a a known, repeatable, scalable production process in howthings are briefed, making sure that BRIECR always sent through the systemand approved in the right way, the projects that transparently managed andresources allocated and that reviews and approvals don't happen over thewatercooler. They happen in an accountable review environment now,you've got an accountable, auditable, creative process and how the creativeteam can partner with the organization and that thin gives the organizationeasier ability to brief the team. It gives the organization moretransparentnto what stage of their projects at they don't have toconstantly chase the creedes on. Where are you with my email campaign sohaving that that connection and process between the internal stateholder andthe creative team is really important, and- and hopefully that gives yousomeone just Somesomin S, simple examples: F how that Ade Ha raiss itself when,when things are very at Halk and all the fly without a process, yeahabsolutely and- and I think, there's some overlap, even even here withanother point that you were going to be making on the show today. Is thatsometimes you know when you have these additional projects he on especially by people executives, maybe outside ofmarketing marketing, doesn't always see or appreciate how much work is piled oncreative. So what do both sides need to do then to to keep that alignment tokeep you know to marketing as aware and creative doesn't feel overwhelmed? Yeah,I mean it's a really important point. I...

I think maybe it might help to take aquickstep back and look at the the industry challenged. It's fuellinessthis this problem right in the last ten years and the marketing and salesmotional to go to market machine you've had a data revolution right. You've gotmore data, which is allowing more personalize targeting and morecampaigns. The marketing and sales team have got to CRM systems. Theye gotsales automation with products like sales force, you've got marketing,automation with products like Pado and Marcetto, and Elloquo and Hob Spot, andthen you've got channel coliferation. You know back in the day when I was atthe Financial Times, our communications program would beRanio ads TV spots and outdoor posters rain, a frenodnow. It's all thesesocial channels, digital retargeting, Google outwards being constant change.A B testing. All of those things combined has created this. What Ireferr to is going Tis B, three challenge, which is volume, velocityand variety of content. When he'd got that Cind of be three pressure on thecreative team, it means that they are overwhelmed and by the way Theye aregetting more resources right and creative teams. I remember when I was working with oneof my ctos in a previous life ease to say to me. You know you can you've gotbudget thyme, amand scope in the marketing dynamic, its budget time andresources. Well, Graitifteans aren't getting given more budget, they suddyare being asked to produc things more quickly, not slow more slowly andthey're ot getting more headcoun. So if, if all three are not moving, youv gotto change the Paradim Ray Youe got to shift things and and so that alignmentthat efficiency that has to be gained between marketing and creative isreally important. Otherwise we can't...

...meet the challenge of this new agile.Fast pace go to market machine without paperefficiency, because we're notgetting given more yeah, and not only that but sort of, and I I'm skippingaround a little bit on on some of the points that you were in Ta make, butthat that that feels like it's also part of this idea that it's notuncommon for the approval of a project to you even take longer than theproject itself. Yeah. That's right! I mean you know. How often do you createa piece of work as a creative team and then it gets email to somebody they givbeat back then ageinst hemail to somebody else. Do you email, hem,simultaneously n DU email them in order? Does the second person see the firstperson's comments? ND? If I is the see O receive an outsed bite to approve?How do I know who's already commented on it? ND? Am I contradicting someoneelse in my team and have I thought about everything they thought about,and so it Dislos the whole approval and review process to a granding halt asopposed to routing work efficiently. Whene goes two one te Twoti three andmaking sure that the comments were always saved along the way, makingsorther's transparency in the review. So you can collaborate real time, getconsensus and get product and content out the door nd, that's the mostimportant thing, theres, nothing worse than creating a great program, and thenit gets stuck in the approval process for weeks before before. You can makemoney on it, because you're not going to make revenue from that creativeasset until it's out in the market. So you know efficient review and approvalprocesses enabled by technology and is a huge piece of improving theefficiency of the go to market machine. In fact, we see just from ourrcustomers. Eighty five percent showed...

...of project lice cycles. Seventy sixpercent faster Tine to approvals in Eiser Hes, are not insignificantefficiency gains that allows the creative team to stay creative to havethe time they need to be market beating in their creativity and an it alsoallows you to retain talent, there's nothing worse than a a partnership.That is full of friction. Whereas, if you've got this streamline process,people are able to be the best they can be an and, as a result, you often arreable to retain your best talent, and so you know streamlining the the approval.Processs is definitely part of it kind of Alace, your fifth and vio point thatbusinesses need to invest in technology that streamlines the creative process.So you certainly have m this idea of of streamline ing the approval process. Isthere? Is there anything else? Are there any other investments that youcan think of and share with our listeners when it comes to investing inthe creative side, Yei mean Weso, we referr to it, and the market startingto Sudjump on the bandwagon. A creative workflow, if you think about Imentioned earlier, be the speed that sails in marketing nohows with crm andmarketing automatian tools, wil the the creative work floa tall. They were nottalking about the creative production processor in Tings, like the adobesuite dovi's, a terrific organization with a great platform. That's how thecreative teams produce their work, but if you can streamline the work flow asgoing back and forth between the marketer or the internal client and thecreative you will create the velocity through the system is needed to keep up.What does that mean? It means having repeatable easy and briefing processes.It means having likewy project management. RIHT to go to marketmachine does not require the project management, complexity that say largeit projects require it needs traffic...

...ordination, it needs simple resourceallocation and it just literally needs to flow. So how do you get speed inyour workflow from brief to management to review an approval and there thethree core pillars that we talk about in bridging marketing and creative andgain them alligns? The campaigns can be moll, successfulthat's, fantastic, Alexyou. You obviously know exactly what you're talking about. I'm not surprised.They've got you traveling all over the world talking about this kind of stuff.So I do absolutely appreciate you sharing that that wisdom with ourlisteners, if any of our listeners, are interested in learning a little bitmore about today's topic or they want to connect with you. They want to findout more about inmotion now, what's the best way for them to go abou doing that?Yes, we, our company website, is emotion now com, as in motion andAlonon. Now in motion now dtcom and there's a couple of things on there,there's a obviously resources around our product and we be delighted to workwith any of your listeners, but there's also a lot of thought leadership andBest Practices on ther too. We are very proud that we're a thullleader in thismarket and h traveling around today in New York City really and spreading theGospel as opposed to selling hard, and we do. We do take pride in the factthat worth te leader, so there's a lot of Webboneyes and ebooks and blogs and-and you know, customer success stories on there where I was gn- could learnhow to be better and and we'd be delighted to work with them in theprocess and as a GALLEX. Thank you again so much. It was really a pleasurehappening on the show today, Thanksji en an investive luck to the show and sbeing a pleasure if you're a be to be marketer, we wantto feature you on sites like Hoffington, post, social media, Examir and chiefmarker. Every week we send down a...

...question related to be to be marketing.We use the responses to those questions to fuel the content. We write forreally popular websites, ten over to sweetfish, media COM, backlastquestions and sign up today. Thank you so much for listening until next time.

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