The Downfall of Marketers' Obsession with New

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Timmy Bauer talks with Adam Wooley, Senior Director of Global Growth and Marketing Ops at Hublio. 

Yeah, welcome everybody back to another episode of GDP Growth. I'm one of the hosts here, timmy Bauer, I'm the content strategist and today I'm talking with Adam Woolley, he's the Senior Director of Life Cycle and Marketing Operations at House Call Pro. Before that he worked at Crazy and we were just talking about this thing, so he's saying what he's seen multiple times in multiple places is the brand team product marketing, everyone is getting involved to craft the perfect value prop that's going to get plastered all over the homepage and the campaign that's going to go with it. And Adam, let me let you take it from there. What was the point that you were saying? Yeah, what I was getting at is you sort of will have this huge cross functional effort to put hours, days, weeks into crafting the perfect kind of top level value prop message to put in front of all of your marketing that trickles down into the sales scripts, the sales enablement materials sort of all over the place. And then what I've seen multiple places is the next quarter or six months later, there will be, well we need to have a new campaign and we're gonna wipe everything clean and come up with a brand new idea and it starts all the way back at ground zero with brainstorming and feedback from the customer teams and sort of everybody wants a voice and you kind of just push all the old stuff that you spent weeks and weeks building to the side and start fresh and that will happen over and over again as frequent s quarterly. In our last conversation, you said that you think there is this borderline psychotic obsession with newness and freshness, what what do you mean by that? I think that's probably driven just by how consumers consume media. So like everything is new and fresh continuously. Netflix is releasing a movie a week or whatever this year, there's so much content...

...everywhere you can't possibly consume at all. And I think from a content marketing perspective and certainly from an entertainment perspective that makes a lot of sense, but when you're talking about the branding of your business and sort of the key messages that are informing all of your other marketing and sales, communication decisions, I think it doesn't translate as well because what you end up doing is rather than sort of looking at the data and analyzing what's working and what's not and just sort of iterating on different variations of the core message, you kind of throw all that out and start from scratch and put a huge amount of effort into totally new messaging because you think it's gotta be fresh and different and you're kind of reinventing the wheel over and over again. How often does this happen? How many times has this happened in your career? I would say at multiple companies, it would happen at a minimum every six months and sometimes every quarter. Can you give me some specific examples or as specifically as you can get? Sure. So when I when I was at Crazy relatively early on and part of this was because Presi talks to a ton of different audiences, but we cycled through a different key message multiple times. Presi started an education and the initial message was all about sharing ideas more effectively because that's what the education vertical wanted. When did crazy start started when? What year? Mid to early 2000s? Yeah. And it started, it started in Hungary was huge in education when international. And then moved into kind of the business space, which is where it's bread and butter is now. But so initially it was all about students and teachers sharing ideas, kind of what you saw in college. And then as we moved into into the business space, there was kind of a more global, be a better be a great presenter, be a better presenter, and it was all about the tool would empower...

...you to be a more effective presenter. And then people wanted to change that, we needed something more businesses. So after we pushed out all to be a great presenter messaging than it became, well, effectively share complex ideas and I was sort of all about helping business people share complex and boring ideas and and then that kind of got thrown out and it was all about being more engaging and getting your audience to engage with your content. And this certainly isn't unique to present at all. But all of it was sort of driven by that. Well, it's been three months and we're going to launch a big integrated campaign. We need a totally new set of language and sort of key messaging angles and how big of a project is it to overhaul that. I mean if you're really doing it top to bottom, it's a pretty big project because all of a sudden kind of, all of the executives are involved because they all feel strongly about how the brands being communicated. All of your brand marketers. Pr the copyrighting teams involved, the sales team and sales enablement people if you have them are all involved because you want to update sales scripts to match what you're saying in all of marketing, the lifecycle, marketing and the demand gen team are then need to update all the ad, copy the graphic design teams working around the clock to support that. So it's just sort of a huge sort of multi team, cross functional effort kind of spanning tons of assets. And at the end you get to show all these awesome new assets, but you also spent weeks and weeks and weeks doing this and then only after you launch it, maybe you get to see whether it has to be effective, the desired effect, it actually perform better than the old messaging. Maybe, maybe not. What do you think should be done instead? What should be the practice instead? I think it's important to do that kind to go through that kind of effort in that motion, particularly driven by things like product marketing and sort of nail your messaging. I think when you want to...

...overhaul it all or change it, there are much faster ways to sort of smoke, test it kind of more like a product team would, where don't build an entirely new product to see if you have product market fit, Like what's the minimum viable way that you can quickly test something on the marketing side. Like You can throw up 50 different versions of a digital ECM ad and see which ones performed the best really quickly just to test, like does this language work better than that language. And even with sales, if you have a couple of really talented sdrs or account executives, you can pluck a couple of them and give them four different variations of a script to try out and get qualitative feedback from the sales reps what seems to be resonating best on the phone? Same thing with email. Like it's another tool where if you have a sizable email database, you can kind of very quickly with minimal effort, test multiple versions of the copy in an email or subject lines and see what's resonating best with your audience before you go through the effort of completely overhauling the key messaging source of truth and trickling it down through the entire rest of the company. That seems to just make a lot of sense. Why do you think most companies don't think this way? I think most companies do think this way, and it's just sort of, they get a little bit blind because there's also a lot of pressure on marketing teams to like make a big splash and have something big and shiny that they can show off whether it's at board meetings or executive team meetings or on podcast interviews or with in customer marketing. So I think there's a lot of pressure on a marketing team to be like, okay, well here's what you did last quarter. How much, how much does that kind of stuff tend to matter because I know I never get excited by that kind of stuff when I see a company overhaul their key messaging, I think it doesn't matter anywhere near as much as people...

...think. Like, it's almost like they're just making a big to do about nothing, not nothing, because, like, changing your message, I'm not trying to say that changing your messaging is not important. I believe that wholeheartedly, but for example, I don't invite people on this podcast to talk about their company's messaging, nobody cares about that. You're not on this podcast to talk about your company's messaging, you're on this podcast because as a marketer you've got expertise to share. Totally. Exactly. And I'm not sure who, who is super interested. I mean, again, I think a lot of it comes down to pressure to feel like you have something to show and sort of did a big a big department wide cross functional effort. I think certainly any time there's new leadership, there's pressure to come in and like show the impact you're having quickly. I think it's also, to be honest, for a lot of marketers, it's fun right? Like if you're going to reinvent the messaging from the top to the bottom and involve everybody, the brainstorming fund the coming up with all of the different design boxes, fun sort of design concepts. Like it's kind of a fun project to work on. It's just if you're doing it all the time, it's probably not going to return the R. O. I. That you're hoping for. But there are some big fun project. As a marketer, you're probably brainstorming outside the box ideas to engage your prospects and customers working remotely. And you've probably thought about sending them direct mail to break through the zoom fatigue. But how do you ship personalized gifts to remote decision makers? When you have no idea where they're sitting at BBB growth. We use the craft and platform to send hyper personalized gifts to anyone working from anywhere. Crafting makes it easy for your prospects and customers to pick and personalize their own gift in real time and offers highly secured data capture. So decision makers feel comfortable submitting their home...

...addresses for shipping purposes to get your own personalized craft and gift. Go to craft um dot io slash growth to schedule a demo and receive a complimentary personalized gift from craft. Um to claim your personalized gift, go to craft um dot io slash growth. I want to understand why it's not just a bunch of ego stroking. What are the benefits of doing it? I know that you have to change your messaging to fit whatever it is you're now focusing on. Yeah, I think certainly You need to find messaging that resonates with your audience most effectively and I think that's the part that I 100 and that's what I think that's what's driving these efforts, but just the, the execution kind of gets muddied because it seems like, well if we're going to change our messaging, it should be, we got to change it across the board. Otherwise we have inconsistent messaging and inconsistencies. How do you convince your leaders? Let's say I'm in that place right where it's like, all right, we're going to change our messaging and now I'm trying to say like, hey, instead of us just making a big splash and doing our absolute total overhaul about this new messaging, let's instead test this out and iterative lee work towards whatever the true best messaging is, it seems like I'm not going to be in a great position in that conversation. Like that seems like it would be. You tell me, how does somebody have that conversation? Yeah, I mean, I think the way the way that I've had that conversation previously and what seems to be the most effective is sort of coming with one coming with data, which is almost cliche in our industry at this point, but also coming with proposed solutions. So rather than saying, I don't think we should do a major effort, you can say, well let's test it lightweight with minimal effort first and then what are some of your favorite go? Two ways of testing this. I mean, I think the easiest our digital...

...advertising and email and they're certainly dependent on if you're going to test it with digital advertising, you need to have an ad budget. But if you have a relatively sizable ad budget and that's a channel that works for you. It's really, really low effort to test different messaging, even different visual concepts very quickly in ads before you change anything else. And then the same thing with email. If you have a sizable email list, it's really easy to mock up four different versions of email and sort of on one of them, change the copy on the other one, changed the look and feel and just see which of those is producing better results. You certainly have to be a little bit careful with what metrics you're looking at. So if you're only changing the email and not the pages that get clicked through to. And same with ads, If you're only changing the display ads or the ECM copy, you need to make sure you're not going to measure something all the way down at the bottom of the funnel. You're kind of measuring the top of funnel differences, sort of the lead indicators. Yeah, because that's what you're really impacting. Well, this is good adam, so, just piggybacking off of what you're saying, my question is, how does somebody do what you're suggesting? Like how does somebody who is legitimately trying to do what you're suggesting? Screw it up? I think taking too long, like all of its around speed to execute for that kind of testing. If you if you're trying to make the argument to your Ceo or your CMO that you should test out this new messaging quickly, they're going to say yes, because you're offering to do it quickly and get them a result, which can inform them the large project they want to they want to kick off if you then been three weeks iterating on copy and and designs before launching anything all of a sudden they might as well have kicked off their major project and they're not, they're not going to trust you the next time that you're kind of like, oh, just let me test it first. I think the other piece is, if you want to use data as your...

...argument, you legitimately need to make sure that you can come up with a sample size and KPI that will actually give you a statistically significant result. So I can't say, well, let me test the new value props in digital advertising but then go out and spend a couple $100 and Have 30 clicks on my ads. I won't have anything to show for it. What do you think you need? At least it depends a lot on kind of, the size of the effect. But you, you want to be looking at kind of, the size of your list and the size of your audience. If you're testing something an email and your engagement rates are relatively low, you're probably, you need tens of thousands of recipients, that kind of thing. Certainly on advertising, you can sort of just spent until you get the result that you get some kind of result in either direction. Yeah, this is going to really reveal my ignorance here. But every time I've seen messaging, like big sweeping messaging changing, it always seems to be a top down thing, not a bottom up thing where what you're proposing feels a little more bottom up, it feels more like, hey, let's try this out on these channels and see if it's better and then we'll apply it like you're sort of on the ground doing work to discover what the best messaging is so that it can change everything. Whereas every time I've seen messaging changing, it's like person at the top has a new vision and it's like, okay, we're changing everything. Yeah, I mean, I think, I think you're right. I think often, probably more often than not when it's a top to bottom change in the brand look and all of a sudden the logo looks different sort of everything changed. I think more of them than not. It is a top down thing. I think at the in the trenches, kind of front line level, there's way more of that quick iteration happening and it's much more difficult to push it up because everybody sort of sees it as just performance metrics, not as brand...

...changes. Is there a solution to that or is that just? That's just the way it is? I mean I think that kind of falls on management and leadership like the solution there is for management and leadership to sort of be relentlessly interested in. Yeah. What is driving improved performance. So rather than just talking to the digital marketers and being like, oh it's great. This creative set is doing 20 better than the old creative set. Keep up the good work, recognizing that something is going on there and digging into it and then figuring out, okay, is this just a tiny change that we don't really need to do anything with or is there something more here that's more actionable. And I think the same on certainly on the sales side, I think that marketing management and leadership should be continuously interested in what is happening on sales phone calls and that's historically not something that marketing is deep in after maybe on boarding is spending a lot of time kind of listening in on sales calls and talking to front line sales reps and sort of hearing what, what is happening with those conversations. Yeah, adam, this has been a super interesting conversation. I really appreciate you doing this with me. Where can listeners go to connect with you more? They can find me on linkedin. That's probably the best, the best spot. That's where I spend most of my time. I'm on twitter but I'm not doing much on there. So I'd say track me down on linkedin. Are you posting a lot on linkedin? Not a lot, but a little bit because this is where my head's at now. Sorry, just be a little aside as content strategist, I don't know if this needs to get cut out of the episode, but we always end every episode the same way we say, you know, how can listeners connect with you more and the answer is always the same answer. It's linked in. I'm starting to think like, hey listeners of a podcast know that where you go to connect next is linked in. So I've been thinking like, should I end the episode instead with like, hey, this has been a great conversation. How can listeners get more of this conversation from you? And then I don't know if that's like, adam,...

...you need to get posting or if you're on other podcasts or what I do think that's a better way to end the podcast. I'm not on other podcasts. But then in that case, you gotta post some content on linkedin. I gotta put some content. I mean, the other thing is you can ask the question and I'll just say, well, get to me to have me back on a conversation. That's what you should do. Excellent. Excellent. Alright, thanks for being on the podcast adam. It's been an awesome conversation. All right, Thanks man. Glad to be here. 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 40749033-8. Happy texting mm.

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