Is Your Marketing Toxic? Find Out if It's Hurting People & Your Bottom Line w/Ethan Beute

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Dan Sanchez talks with Ethan Beute who is the Chief Evangelist at BombBomb about the launch of his new book, Human Centered Communication.

Learn why digital pollution is hurting others and your bottom line and how to evaluate your campaigns.

Buy a copy of his book here.

Yeah, welcome back to be, to be growth. I'm dan Sanchez with sweet fish media and I'm here with Ethan Beauty, who is the chief evangelist at bom bom and a longtime guest on BTB growth. So Ethan, welcome back to the show, Thank you so much. It's been a privilege to be engaged with you and the other folks who have hosted and co hosted the show over the years. Um and I'm happy to be back today. We're here to talk about heathens new book they just co authored with Stephen personally, they just authored the book Human centered Communication, a business case against digital pollution and I've been hearing about this book coming out for a long time. I finally just had a time to look over just before this interview and it is a fantastic premise. You think, can you tell us a little bit about the premise behind the book and digital pollution itself and then I have lots of interesting questions and stories to share afterwards. Awesome. So I'll start with digital pollution and then move a little bit into human center communication, then get into the super fun part. So digital pollution, I feel like we've given a name to something that we've all suffered with for a long, long time in a variety of different ways. I think we would all recognize different examples that we've experienced and I think as we get into the conversation, some of those will be obviously illuminated, but when you think digital pollution, think about anything that's confusing, frustrating, annoying, distracting, perhaps even dangerous. So at one really far end of the examples is malware, phishing attacks, data breaches, ransomware. All these other things like very malicious and intentional on the far other end is just kind of this sometimes funny, silly innocent type stuff where you pick up your phone and there are 85 text messages and you're like, hey what the heck just happened and you realize you're now in a group message that really didn't need to be a group message or maybe you didn't need to be in it. And so like you got to figure out what's going on there, you know, not intentional, not harmful but still distracting and kind of annoying. Or another one is when you receive or you've actually sent a an auto corrected or mistyped message. That creates some confusion sometimes it's even embarrassing. So that's like that's on the other end, it's just those things just happen and we can be maybe a little bit more careful, but The bulk of the conversation, I think especially in the context of B2B growth B two B sales, B two B marketing and really across the entire customer experience is what I call consequential pollution and it's you're not seeking to do harm as you are on the intentional end. But something about your approach to creating and delivering value is frustrating, confusing, annoying, distracting or even threatening to somebody else and they deem it pollution. So that's a key characteristic digital pollution is subjective and contextual, you don't get to decide what's pollution, the recipient or the person experiencing what you're presenting gets to decide for themselves in the moment. One quick thing on that is you and I dan could get the exact same message from the exact same source in the exact same channel. Let's just pretend it's email to keep it simple um with the exact same offer for the exact same reason. There there's several things that you and I shared and that might land us on the same list of the same message at the same time. I might get and say oh my gosh, this is so helpful, I'm so glad I got this today, you might get and go not again unsubscribe abuse, whatever. However, if you had received that same message a month earlier, perhaps before you had made a buying decision or before you understood something differently, you might have been happy to receive it or a month later, that situation might change. So it's highly contextual and highly subjective. So that's pollution. Any thoughts or observations yourself with regard to that idea. I mean I think the...

...internet has made it pretty obvious like what pollution is. I mean even when you first think about it, when people even think about advertising in general, you think of like Madison Avenue which just so many lights and advertisements all over the place, you're just like oh my gosh! I mean that one is so over the top that it's actually a landmark now, but in general, I feel like the internet is kind of like that. We're just, there's so many irrelevant messages and spam floating around our systems that it just becomes obnoxious to the point where we become banner blind because we can't even see it anymore. One of things I did it like as soon as I had submitted the manuscript, I went on an internal tour at bom bom, the company I work in um and went team by team and just facilitated brief conversations about these ideas to help create some understanding awareness to develop them even further. And one of my most obvious takeaways is something you just observed which is that we've become so desensitized to it. We just accept as normal some of the stuff that we have to do, whether it's just a habit of swipe, delete swipe, delete swipe, delete on our phones while we have a minute so that when we actually do intend to spend time in our inbox, it's on things that we've already filtered or whether it's just accepted that I need to be silence that friend or block that person. So I don't see any more of that junk anymore. And so, and this goes very big. We just saw the instagram facebook Internal documentation thing come out that they know that what's going on in social is insanely damaging to a generation of young women um that fits in this conversation to outside the bounds a little bit of B2B growth but um still part of the digital pollution conversation. And so we've become blind to it because it's so pervasive, it's funny because as a user it's like as I was reading the book, I'm like it's so obvious like of course like of course the more narrow the segmentation of course the more personalized it is, the more human it is you're kind of like like of course that's going to work but then I can think back to my time as a marketer and I'm like I've clearly not always done this and I think any marketer that's been marketing for any length of time has a list of like that would be dripping red like with all the sins we've committed of digital pollution like over over the last decades I know if I can share like one of my most embarrassing ones um that I was thinking about as I was reading this book and I'm like that was me um was a time I was working for a christian university, I was trying to grow instagram followership and we had been running ads and all that kind of stuff. You could say that some of that might have been digital pollution probably less so than other places though, but I had a friend that was having great success with an automated program right, fully automated kind of like a follow one follow type of a system and it would go and actually, automatically, like a lot of different posts We had great engagement with our Instagram profile, but I was like, you know, we really want to get this up above 10,000 because then we can have the swipe and the stories and have links in there and all kinds of stuff. Let's get it over 10,000. Let's use some automation. Let's increase engagement 100 times because it's going to be commenting and liking other people's posts for us automatically. So we run this system, it's running for a few weeks and I'm like, okay, engagement's going up, reaches going up, followership is going up all systems go little did I know like people were paying attention to what that page was commenting on and liking on. And even though I had set really tight parameters, it started liking things that I would never want associated with the college and the followers that were engaged noticed, they were like, what is this? Did you like this questionable photo was like, no, it was so bad. But it was like one of those things where you think just because you can increase it with automation just because you can scale something to the n degree that it's going to work. But oftentimes taking that kind of robotic approach just isn't isn't going to get you to...

...where you thought you were going to go, it isn't actually going to build the relationships you were hoping it would build and it kind of alienates some of the people that you actually did have genuine relationships with because guess what? They can feel it. So that was like probably my worst story of like taking it too far and the consequence of it, of course I shut it down after that, never went back to that kind of automated social game again, but it was certainly painful. So the interesting thing that you just shared there is an awareness of the counter impact or kind of like the negative metrics or the failure rate of what you were doing and by that, I mean you fortunately had built a brand and built a following that cared enough to let you know that they were confused at best and displeased at worst, but that you were paying attention, I think so much of this activity were so focused on the first number you started with was like let's get to this number and do whatever it takes to get there and oh by the way, let's, you know, we're gonna, because it's less tangible. It's less measurable to know what the sentiment is. Either of the people on the receiving end or in this case, you know, people already accepted into your community, It's harder to understand that sentiment. So fortunately people to raise their hand, but you know, if we want to high five about achieving a 3% conversion rate up from 2.4% 25% growth there and we can be like, we're superstars were amazing. I can't believe we grew this by 25% so often what we do in that scenario is ignore the other 97% and some of what's going on in that population and some of that is negative word of mouth, it is distancing from you. It's blocking deleting if there, if it's an email and they're using a tool like superhuman, they can block not just you but your entire domain. So none of the sales people ever to take that role or any of the marketers ever to take that role in the future can never reach you again. And I don't think we're honest enough about some of the counter impacts of what we're doing. The failure metrics is another way to say it. And so at least you we're working in a context where people were kind enough to let you know. Yeah, I was fortunate. I'm sure there's been many times where I've worked in context where nobody let me know and then I just had spinach in my teeth right? Maybe no one noticed because it just wasn't, they weren't real people. It's interesting to think about human center communication. It makes me wonder Ethan if there are like certain channels or certain broad practices that are like clearly just these, these things should never be done or if there are channels that are always always good. Can you think of certain tactics channels maybe like broad broad strategies that are on the no list or on the yes list for human center communication. Um, you know the fun thing is this is not so black and white. What we're looking to do here is not prescribe your behavior for the next 36-48 months based on what we've learned from the past and what we're forecasting for the future. We're really applying the principles of human center design, which is a 30 or 40 year old practice to our daily digital virtual and online communication for the benefit, not just of the, of the people you're reaching out to our engaging with but for everyone and for your long term relationships, reputation and revenue and I think that reputation pieces key and you just told a nice story about it And so you know, I don't know that I would offer anything in the context of your question that would be really new or surprising. I mean obviously purchase lists and taking every single email address you can find and putting it into your sales cadence tool or whatever and just like you know, shooting things at them until they finally reply or the unsubscribe or mark you for abuse. Obviously we can, you know, laugh all day about the...

...foolish approach of you know making linkedin connection requests under some premise or with no, you know, no note with it at all And then immediately dumping the copy paste stuff about how the funny ones obviously have bad variable data in them, you know, like I know how much time in an effort you put into building good conversations and a good personal reputation on linkedin and I do that probably not as aggressively or as well as you do, but in any case, you know, I built a page for the customer experience podcast, I built a page for this book, Human centered communication. And so sometimes those variables will get plugged into some of the outreach that I'm getting on linked in or even by emails after Lincoln gets scraped. I mean obviously all that stuff where we're pretending this is a key, I guess this is a key idea and then I'll give it back to you on this, whether it's a I or automation or personalization, that's really just a form of automation um where you're slugging things in, you know, scraping and plugging, I think where we go awry and we're definitely not operating in a human centered way because you can automate things in a way that is in service of other human beings and they will appreciate, right, like I don't ever want to talk to somebody at amazon and I love the products that they refer to me at least I like never mind seeing them because their hit rate on it is decent, like, oh I don't mean that now, but at least it's a you know, it's legit. That's a pretty good offering. So this can all be done well. But a key idea is don't let things act as if and don't set things up to act as if they are something that they are not. Uh And by that I mean I have written emails that say, hey, you know, I'm sending this email to a couple 1000 people and you're one of them right? Stop pretending like this is made just for you now. There's a difference between what I just offered and you know, going into a crm are similar and saying if this is true, if that's true, if this number is between this range and that number is between that range and these two things are false as soon as those things all line up send this message that is actually going to be super helpful for somebody. Probably right. And so there are ways to do this well and there are ways to do it poorly but don't let things act or be presented as if there's something that they are not because a R. Bs detectors are very strong and they get stronger all the time when something new happens. Maybe were fooled one or two more times like because it's new but humans are very adept at this and so we learned very quickly and then to it just sets the whole relationship off on the wrong foot. I mean you're you're mischaracterizing or misleading out of the gate and I don't offer that in a moral, with a moral sensibility. Obviously we could undertake that from it. Just being the right thing to do is to be more forthright and straightforward with people. But as soon as people discover that gap, you're immediately killing the one thing that leads to a yes, which is trust. Hey, everybody Logan with sweet fish here. If you've been listening to the show for a while, you know, we're big proponents of putting out original organic content on linked in. But one thing that's always been a struggle for a team like ours is to easily track the reach of that linked in content. That's why I was really excited when I heard about shield the other day from a connection on, you guessed it linked in. Since our team started using shield, I've loved how it's led us easily track and analyze the performance of our linkedin content without having to manually log it ourselves. It automatically creates reports and generate some dashboards that are incredibly useful to see things like what contents been performing the best and what days of the week are we getting the most engagement and our average views proposed. I'd highly suggest you guys check out this tool if you're putting out content on linked in and if you're not, you should be, it's been a game changer for us. If you go to shield app dot ai and check out the...

...10 day free trial. You can even use our promo code B two B growth to get a 25% discount again. That's shield app dot Ai. And that promo code is B. The number to be growth all one word. All right. Let's get back to the show. Hey, that's tough. As you were talking. I could think of a lot of different situations around my gosh, I'm still doing this and I'm still doing that and it's not, it's not, it is disingenuous. I will just call it out for what it is in places where I still consult or help with. Not a sweet fish but sweet fish is like very hands on, very personable. Everything's done almost manually. I can think of a situation where I send a text message after someone requests information that of course it's very triggered to be like only come at a certain amount of certain time when someone could actually be sending it. And it's like, hey saw that you were just requested information. What was interesting to you about the program right? And it's made to look like it came from a human naturally. I'm the one who wrote it and it's been sent thousands of times from other sales reps and but I'm like well is it going too far to make it look like the representative even though like if I had enough time and I slowed down the lead rate per rep. They probably this is exactly what I would have them send over and over again. So it gets hard to just like figure out where I've even sent the reverse where someone might be ghosting me or ghosting a rep. So I have a little script, it's not even automated. I have them manually send out something that looks like a robot just so they respond and I know whether they want to follow up or not. I mean maybe I could know that hey they haven't responded so maybe I should stop calling them. But there's certainly been times where I'm like reply yes, reply yes or no. Text text message rates may apply, you know, to make it look like it came out of an automated system just to get them to reply. So it's those kinds of things that I'm still trying to navigate internally. How do you use your framework to tell? Like whether whether or not you've kind of crossed the edge. Okay, so that leads me to acquit I'll do this quickly. It is I'm going to use a model from a design firm called video and I'm just going to describe for people human centered design. So I D. O. Is a design firm that's used human centered design principles in this model I'm about to describe to design the first apple mouse decades ago, more recently, a water system in Africa and they've designed hundreds if not thousands of products services systems and processes using this framework and it's very simple. It's three overlapping circles. Think of them maybe in a triangle shape with two on the bottom one on the top and they all equally overlap so they all meet in the middle and then their spots where the two of the circles overlap. The three circles are these number one in desirability and the needs of humans. Like what do the people involved in this or on the receiving end of this or who are going to be affected by this? What do they need and want? Then other circle adjacent to it is feasibility. What does technology allow us to do? And then the third circle kind of on top overlapping those two and meeting in the middle is viability. The definition for business success. So desirability needs of humans, feasibility, what's possible with technology and viability. The definition for business success. And so if you're if you want to start thinking about, Gosh, am I really doing the best thing here for my long term relationships, reputation and revenue. This is a common track that a lot of people fall into. And if you start with the definition for business success, you start with viability. What do we want. We want X number of dollars or X number of clicks or X number of whatever's right. We start with our definition for success and then we immediately go to feasibility, what does technology allow us to do? Well, As we all know, a listener to this show would know whether it's your second episode or you're set 200, you know...

...very well. The technology is insanely powerful and incredibly inexpensive these days. And so that opens up a lot of doors and the problem is so many of us because it's the fastest easiest and very often maybe even the most profitable thing to do as we stop there. And we're operating at the overlap of our definition for business success and what technology allows us to do and that's where we wind up doing these things that treat people like numbers rather than treating people like people. Another problem too is if there are people involved, not only are we at some level dehumanizing the people were trying to build our business success with were also very often dehumanizing our team members who are forced to execute these systems and processes. Um, it doesn't bring them to life. It doesn't allow them any creativity or any space to make adjustments on the fly. Now that's an extreme that being in an extreme organization most allow some level of flexibility and trust, but a lot of them don't either. I mean you think about like just a really harshly run call center is what a dehumanizing role that could become very easily so missing in that scenario, in case you missed it is desirability. What do people actually need and want? And this goes back to your observation earlier dan of like duh yup uh huh. If we designed more of our work and more of our messages and more of our experiences starting and this is key for human centered design. It starts with desirability. We have to balance it with the other ones. This all has to work together. This is not an act of altruism, this is not an act of moral generosity or kindness. We do need to meet the requirements for our business success in coming to the right solution. But it starts with desirability and some level of intimacy and understanding of the people were trying to serve through this process. Now, good news is a listener to this show, probably is working from personas and I. C. P. S. And other tools based on research and interviews and past experience and what do we know from our current customers and how is that turning out? So we can inform that process. It's just a matter of making sure that as a matter of habit we're consciously thinking about the desirability of other people before we start figuring out the other circles and we need to operate more at that intersection of all three rather than the intersection of our success and what technology allows. And so with that framework, then we can start talking about how we're doing this, how we're doing that and we're deep in this at bom bom right now, Different teams because again, as I said earlier, I started these internal conversations and teaching these ideas months ago I submitted the manuscript at the end of March. And so, you know, and we did an internal book club off the off the manuscript itself. And so we're wrestling with all this stuff ourselves. So I offer that is the don't beat yourself up. None of us is perfect. There are no easy answers. We we involved 11 different experts in this book too. None all of them have strategies and tactics that I think people will find helpful, but none of them has the answer. There's a reason we call it the Holy Grail. And it's because nobody has it. I mean, I don't think anyone is going to I like the three points that you listed below. And I'm actually trying remember the last month's desirability, feasibility and the last one Viability. The definition for business success or the requirements for business success. So that begins to give me a little bit of a framework to even judge what is actually working here. So even I have a list of things. I was gonna say, see if it passed your mustard or not. But let me, let me see if I can walk through some of them using these three things and maybe I can arrive at my own conclusion. Starting with um it was funny, I threw out self checkout at the grocery store, right? You almost wonder is like, well that's less human. But at the same time the desirability to want to go through it is obviously high people use it all the time and...

...sometimes it's just faster, easier, simpler bam I'm out. Maybe it's less human because I'm not having to interface with the human face to face. But as far as desirability goes, it clearly passes the mark and it's clearly feasible and passes the viability test. So that would be good. Yeah. Really, that's a great example. I would the one qualifier I would offer because I've been in this situation before is you know, I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and you know, I don't always like to like pick out the numbers and weigh each one of them. The person who does it, you know, 1000 times a day is faster than me. I think the best case scenario is to have self checkout also with some other lanes open. But my wife and I sometimes we'll go grocery shopping at five a.m. On a saturday and they're not staffing that the human checkout lines. So we have to self check. But I think giving someone the option there is a, to your observation. Yes, it's not inherently bad. In fact it's great. A lot of people prefer it. Some people prefer it all the time and someone like me prefers it under most circumstances. So um good example. I like that one. I was thinking of mandating zoom videos or you resume video on like in a team meeting, that's been a topic of debate where people I've posted about it on linkedin, people get pretty upset when you're like, we should mandate videos and some people get passionate about it desirability while it is more human and certainly allows the team to connect more when you can see each other, right? Video. Desirability is always not there. Some people desire more, some people to desire it less. So of course, most companies have taken the stance now from what I can tell, like strongly encouraged but don't mandate it right kind of falls in that middle ground. I guess it comes down a lot to option is now I'm going to find them like is that going to be a trend? Is that giving people options is probably the best thing to do. I think um, setting the expectation, I think some get togethers it could and should be required. Um, and I think other ones, perhaps not, it depends on the nature of the work. You know, if it's a team, like let's just say it's an internal team at bom bom or it's sweet fish and everybody knows each other and it's maybe kind of more of a stand up style update thing, you know, that's, that's kind of common and repetitive. Sure. Give people the option or you know, we often have people that are like, hey, I'm eating lunch, I'm gonna turn my camera off and that's cool and everyone understands it but I think as long as the expectations are set and managed well then I think it's good, I'll give you the other side of it as a buyer. This was super weird. So I agree. Like I don't I don't buy technology for Bomb Bomb but but I can be a champion internally and so you know I'm paying attention. I communicate with a lot of people on linkedin and so I get pitched a lot of stuff and most of the time I'm like no, but if you tell me who your ideal buyer is, you know, I'll take a look at it and pass it on to somebody if they're interested they'll reach back out to you in this case it was a C. X. Platform and so I was like that's interesting. Um So I was very candid with him. I am not your buyer on this but I'm super interested in it. I will take this meeting because I want to learn more about it. I want to understand it. I want to see how different people are tackling, you know, managing C. X. Which is this big crazy wild hairy thing. Um So I would love to take the meeting. So two funny things happened one after we go back and forth about when I would be available for the meeting and we arrive at a day and time couple hours later he comes back and says hey could you actually do it um tomorrow instead? Um and I was like, no, I already told you I can't do it tomorrow and we already picked this other day, turns out it was the last day of the month. So I immediately felt like a number. I felt like I was trying to fit his quota for appointments set and held within a month's time. So that immediately was a bad feeling. But more importantly and specific to the zoom call scenario. It was him and an account executive and me and I was the only one with my camera on. So I want to talk about this for just a moment. Super weird for me to be on the other end of this. I guarantee at a minimum...

...it was a six figure commitment, probably on an annual basis was probably an additional six figure install setup. You know, let's make all the data flow properly, um consulting fee on top of it. Probably guessing because we never got that far. I want to know who you are. I want to know how you present yourself. I want to know if you believe in the things that you're saying, I want to know if you seem to have my best interests in mind. Now live synchronous voice over the phone or like cameras off on zoom, it's okay. But I as a human being, if I'm going to represent you inside my own organization to put my own name and reputation on the line to suggest that this is worth someone else's time. My ability to see your face, to see your body language, to judge your intent and to have a fuller understanding of what you believe, about what you're saying, what you believe about my situation. Um, and all these other things that humans have thrived on, like we need this information to make good and safe decisions for ourselves. We've done it for millennia. That's why we're so freaking good at it automatically without even trying and largely without even being conscious of it. The fact that neither one of those guys would turn their camera on in a 30 minute meeting just weirded me out to no end. Like why wouldn't you in that scenario? I don't know you, I haven't met you. I've sent you a video email because I do it all the time or video linked in message. I guess it was. I had never seen them at all. I've just seen these static pictures and we all know how distant those might be from reality. So anyway, that's just, that's just a quick go in a quick story on cameras, off cameras on and then a pro tip for people, if you, if you feel like I do in some circumstances that you would like someone to turn their camera on Lauren bailey, who is the founder and president of both factor in and Girls club is featured in chapter eight of this book. She's one of the 11 people we engage directly on it. And she has a whole set of things that she offers to get people to turn their cameras on in a polite manner. That's fantastic. And I'm looking forward to reading that section of the book. One thing that came to mind while reading the book was it really made, I think it really makes a good case essentially for good content marketing. Right? As a way to do essentially all the promotion you'd like to do but doing it in a way where you can actually create favor with other people. I was even thinking about sc oh right, you're like S E O can be a lot of different things that could be whitehead, it be great head, it could be black hat, but if you're doing it in a way that essentially google would love it for you to do and just creating high value content that ranks for the keywords that has actually has the best and most thorough possible answer to meet their searcher's intent. Well that's just, that's good marketing and hopefully build some credibility with them. Well, one thing I think about though is like, well if you start doing that and that's good, where does retargeting ads fall kind of fall into the mix and some people love retard. I'm actually, I haven't heard a lot of people that love retargeting ads. I like them because I just like to see how they work and what people are doing. But I'm a marketer. I'm a nerd some probably a little bit different but people are either like or they hate that their privacy is being stolen and now they're being targeted by ads. So be interesting to hear your case on this one particularly and I've heard ways of making it better by retargeting with content or different things like that. Where do you kind of sit on retargeting as I don't mind them? I think it's nice that um so so one big idea that you already just mentioned. I just want to double down on it. Any of these tools any of these systems any of these things can be used well or poorly just like when the printing press came out You could print really helpful and valuable material or you could spread misinformation just like when social media became a cultural norm we could use it for good and connect with people and help people and answer questions and provide recommendations and tips or we can use it to manipulate large groups of people...

...and you know one of the women who I cite in chapter 16 wrote a book called deep fakes. The coming in faq ellipse her name is Nina schick, she's a geopolitical consultant and observed that like the same groups like groups were creating pro donald trump and pro Bernie Sanders groups the same people were creating these two groups drawing people in creating the shared identity and then turning them like turning them angry. Same thing. Black lives Matter. Blue lives Matter like the same people are using these tools to manipulate people so we can do well and help our family and friends and co workers and strangers and stuff or we can manipulate people and make life worse for everybody and destroy the social fabric that binds us together as people. So to your point, you know, we can execute these things whether it's retargeting or anything else in a good way or not a good way in general. I don't mind retargeting as long as there's some substantial basis there that the behavior that triggers it has some substance to it. I think you're much more likely to get that follow up click and not too expensive a cost and so that's a caution, right? Is like the math is going to be better if you do retargeting in a better way and by better. I mean the behavior that triggers the re target is a substantial behavior and to your observation that the follow up stuff is maybe iterations or alternative versions of the core idea that continue to add some layer of interest or value or take you farther down the road. That's not my area of specialty but in general I would also add then this is why I went on the kind of that tool tangent there, it's a big idea but be people can turn them off. So like as long as people have control at some level and they know where they're being retargeted is your choice to be on that site. You know that that site is supported by advertising. Some of it is retargeting advertising. I feel like there's enough consumer choice there that you know, it it would be hard to do that in a really aggressive or terrible way. I think the bigger question behind it is who has whose data and how was it obtained? Yeah, that makes a ton of sense. One of my favorite marketing books from Derek Sievers, I don't know if you have you read this one? I have not one of my probably second to marketers philosopher. As far as my favorite marketing books, Derek Silvers wrote a book called Your Music and People and it's really a book written to like musicians about how marketing and business and the man are not necessarily evil, right? He makes essentially a very concise case or why you can be an artist and do good marketing and let that be an extension of your heart, let it be an extension of your music and your brand and what you stand for. That good marketing is actually just being considerate. Otherwise, your fans would never be able to know who you are or where you came from or where you're playing next or getting that reminder to that thing you almost checked out for but never quite finished. It's just being considerate. It's being, having the best interest in mind at least good marketing. Of course there's lots of bad marketing. It's probably one of my favorite lessons from the book. So even when I think about retargeting, I guess you could even go to your audience itself. They might tell you, they might ask, you could ask them about it and they certainly might say something. I've certainly had people come to me without being asked about sweet fishes. Retargeting at times have been like, man, you guys are awesome at retargeting. I'm like, oh, like what do you like about it? I don't know. I just like seeing them like, okay, um, I've literally had someone, a customer at a past place at work come to me and be like, hey, your Youtube ads. I just saw them all the time. I like them so much. I just let him play. I was like, wow. Because it was, they were just straight up advertisements. They weren't content, but he liked them so much. He would just let it play because I think you just got tired of all the other whatever junkie was seeing on Youtube Youtube's ads so there's certainly a lot of room, lots of shades of gray. But if you're asking the right questions and thinking...

...through it about what they actually want, what would you want in that situation if your favorite brands were doing what you're doing, what would you expect them to do, what would you hope they would do? Then you're probably taking a step or a few steps in the right direction. So to kind of wrap up this interview, I'd love to hear about the differences between the marketing of this book and the marketing of your last book. What have you changed? How are you making it more human because of what you've learned in the writing of this book? Sure. And I loved what you just offered their about marketing. Again, this is not altruistic. You're not undertaking marketing the way you described being considerate and helpful. You're not undertaking that at any sacrifice to revenue or results. In fact, the more you do that, the more you think that way the better results are going to be. And the key thing is we have so much control now over what we see and what we don't um in our behavior uh is being read by machines and so machines will increasingly control what we see and what we don't it already happens in our social feeds for example, or google search results. They're very contextual to us. And so if anyone's listening to this and be like, yeah, being considered, it sounds really nice, but let's get back to the real job of marketing. That is the real job of marketing, if you want to be successful, You know, two years, five years, 10 years from now because word of mouth, the ability to block, deny, ignore and to teach the machines that you're not worth anyone's time or attention. Like there's just more risk than ever in proceeding in this kind of selfish industrial lazy mass even mass segmented type of manner. And so I just wanted to say that so fun just as this is an observation. So two things I intentionally did differently this time compared to 2.5 years ago when we released re humanize your business and then one big observation. So the two things we wanted to do for sure is we wanted to bring this book to life. We thought it would be fun. We thought it would be unique. We thought it would be in the spirit of the book itself. And so what we did was create a number of experiences around it. In some cases these experiences are rewards for people who opted to preorder at different stages And we had these 11 experts and so we reached out to them and said, hey we want to do these events on these particular days. Are you around for them? You know? So tomorrow for example, the day after recording this, not the day after someone might be listening to it. But tomorrow the day after recording this, I'm going to be joined by dan Hill who is an emotional intelligence expert with seven U. S. Patents in the analysis of facial coding data, julie Hanson who is a salesperson and sales manager who decided to take acting and improv classes to become more confident in her role and now she teaches people acting and improv to be more successful in their sales roles and on camera in particular. And then Lauren bailey who already mentioned um founder and president of Factory and Girls Club these events. It's just me steve these three steve is my co author on the book in our CMO at bom bom the five of us and then whoever else wants to show up. The first one we did was super intimate. It was like 18 people plus me steve shep hiking who's a customer service and customer experience expert has written nine books and um dan tire who is one of the more beloved people in the world of sales in my opinion because he's just so over the top and generous sixth employee at hubspot for salesperson at hubspot. And so these people were getting like intimate practical advice about problems they were really facing in their day and learning from other people who are asking their own questions of these people. So several of these intimate experiences was one thing that we wanted to do to like bring the people out of the pages and make it like a real interactive experience that specific and custom to the people who decided to show up and who were interested enough or brave enough to ask questions in a group setting, intimate group setting, but a group setting. Nonetheless. Another thing was,...

I was very aggressive about 1 to 1 videos. So I started um just like I would take five minutes and I'll just write down a bunch of people's names. People I like people I thought should know about this. People who've been on my podcast, people have been kind enough to host me. Someone like you or Logan or James who I've known for some time and I knew would be interested in the contents Of the book. Um so I would just do the session and then you know, I would carve out 15 or 20 minutes a day and just send videos and as soon as I got through that list, cross them all off and I brainstorm another list and another list. Another list. I sent hundreds of personal video messages by email and linked in Over the probably 8-10 weeks leading up to release And it resulted in a number of things. Some people said, this is awesome. I want 25 copies for my whole team. Other people said um that's really awesome, congratulations and nothing else from that. Other people said awesome. I need to get you on the show because they host a lie a linked in live or podcast or something else. Other people said, Oh my gosh, this reminds me of my friends. So, and so I need to introduce you. And so I guarantee and this now leads me to the other big observation. We used a lot of emails, we have a very large database at bom bom. We have tens of thousands of customers and then thousands of people who try our software for free every month. Um and so we communicate with those people in different ways and so we were offering the book to them when we did that with re Humanize, we hit number one in all these amazon categories 2.5 years ago we'd send a mass email. We light it up here. You know, the open rates were about the same. The click rates were not terrible. The content was pretty good. We're not just saying, you know, simple stuff like hey go by the book. Um you know, there's some of them were interactive and value added but I promise that I sold more books myself sending 1 to 1. Video messages in the in the ripple effects of doing that and say, you know, reaching people personally talking about the last time we connected, talking about why I thought they should know about this. And then just leaving it in their hands, hey down below. I've got a link to the main landing page. I've got a link to the book bonus. Like the packages we put together and a link to the full introduction in table contents of the book. If you have time and interest to check it out, I welcome your feedback if anyone comes to mind or it seems interesting. I welcome introductions like, um, and just leave it at that, leave it completely in their court. But in this way that is I thought of you because, and so it wasn't this like, hey man, could you do me a favor? Although I guess someone couldn't infer or imply that from from the message. It was like, it was a sincere like you truly came to mind as I thought, who needs to know about this? Who do I want? Who believes similarly to me and steve and in our broader community and in these types of things. And so I think that made the whole thing a lot more personal and the result was really good. I mean, we just got out of launch week and the number of posts, even from people that I didn't send videos to. You know, people just coming out in support of it um in a variety of different ways and it's just an absolute pleasure. And I think it reinforces this idea that our reputations matter, that our reputations are built message by message experienced by experience, comment by comment. And you know, if you're trying to cut shortcuts or you treat people like numbers, you're not going to get the things that you maybe need or want or hope for in the moments that you need or want or hope for them. Whereas if you treat people with respect and kindness and you're curious about the work that you're doing. Um I think the results are going to be better. It's going to be more satisfying work and you're gonna have doors open that you don't even know existed and that happened for me and it was, it was a joy. It's funny as you say that it makes me think it's like doing doing the right thing and doing it well. It's not just 10 times harder. It's not even 100 times harder. It is. It is literally probably like 1000 times harder to do it that way. But the impact that it has, like even just growing, like I shared that story about...

...trying to grow an instagram page. Like I did it the hard way, just growing my own Lincoln following over a year and a half and I guarantee you like the amount of time and effort and hours putting to just commenting, let alone, right in my own post. I'm like probably over easily 1000 times harder and more time consuming. But it's also 1000 times more rewarding. And I could probably sell something now through linkedin and you could probably like it. So I'm not surprised that you sold more books because it's just that much better at what it is. It's just harder and honestly, I don't think people are to our aren't that afraid of making the jump to doing something harder. I think they just have to have a more confidence that it works that yes, you can put in, you can put in the 1000 hours it pays out, it pays and I think as we continue to champion this message as we get it in front of more people and I hope a lot of people from this show go and buy this book because it's probably going to convince you that doing it the hard way doing it the right way. Well not only yield better results, but we'll multiply whatever results you get in the short time period you put into like, like just putting the work into it and doing the right thing. But it grows with you because all those messages you sent out Didn't just lead to one transaction. No, that was like an almost, it wasn't just an ask, it was almost a deposit into the relationship. You exercise the relationship in a way that now can lead to something again in the future in a way that added value. So I love what this book is doing. I love that. It's giving people confidence to do things in a way that can, is harder but is ultimately 10 times 100 times more profitable and just makes honest and honestly, it's just way more fun to, as hard as some of these things are the reward you get when you actually enter into these conversations. I find it's just to be so much more significant and makes work so much more enjoyable. So thank you so much for joining me here on GDP growth. I assume this book is available in all the different places. I don't know if there's an audio book out yet, I think I looked before and I wasn't there, I assume that's coming of all the places. What would you recommend? What what's probably the best way to consume the book in your opinion? So we're currently not planning an audio book for two key reasons. First, the number of voices um that speak into it and some of the quoting that we do at length, it would like, that's just an interesting, interesting dynamic. But the other key thing and the reason I like it better in the, in the hard cover or in a digital version, you know, reader's preference. I mean the physical version is absolutely gorgeous. We got to do all the design work ourselves. It feels nice in the hand, is a beautiful product, but the reason I like those formats and the reason we're, the second reason we're kind of defaulting against an audiobook is that there's so much in terms of bullet lists, frameworks, structures, illustrations, tables and other things that just, I just feel like a lot would be missing from the audiobook experience. Um that is much easier to take, even if you want to just like pick and grab it off the page or pick and grab it off the digital page. Um so you can learn more about it at bom bom dot com slash book or you can hit me up on linkedin. The book itself actually has a page. Human centered communication with a hyphen between human and centered. Check it out and you reach out to me directly, if you have questions, if you're trying to decide whether or not the messages for you or whether you've actually picked up the book and you have questions or feedback or even push back. This is all about conversations and so I welcome anything anyone has on it. Fantastic. Thanks again for joining me on GDP growth. Mhm. One of the things we've learned about podcast audience growth is that word of mouth works. It works really, really well actually, so if you love...

...this show, it would be awesome if you texted a friend to tell them about it and if you send me a text with a screenshot of the text you sent to your friend meta. I know I'll send you a copy of my book, content based networking, how to instantly connect with anyone you want to know. My cell phone number is 40749033 - eight. Happy texting. Yeah. Mhm.

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