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Humans Come First
26 minutes | 12 hours ago
What the hell is 'energy' in your marketing?
A lot gets made of the content and message in marketing. We talk about who we should be targeting. We talk about when we should be targeting them. But we rarely talk about the energy in marketing. So this week, the question is, how can marketers use ‘energy’ in their marketing? Energy is a bit of an ‘x’ factor in marketing. It’s something that can have a profound effect in the obvious arenas of events and webinars, but is rarely a choice we make as marketers for stuff such as email marketing or on our website. You could be authentic, positive or scary and intimating. So, can we move ‘energy’ into the world of conscious and what effect does it have?
38 minutes | 7 days ago
Repeat After Me... Email. Is. Not. Dead.
It’s one of the oldest marketing channels we have available. It’s been used, abused and marketers have seen diminishing returns for years - to the point where we’re seen more than one gob shitey blog post stating “email is dead”... But just because some think it… doesn’t mean it’s true. So what should email look like in 2021? Spoilers here: I love email marketing. It’s been the consistent factor across my career, and to be honest, it hasn’t changed that much since I started marketing 8 years ago. But, how do we make the most of the opportunities the channel presents?
37 minutes | 14 days ago
Lessons learnt from running a web summit (basically, what we f*cked up)
Nearly a year ago now, I sent Joe a WhatsApp message asking if he was up for doing a podcast. Something that would be a bit of fun where we could chat about marketing. But it took a spot of home confinement during lockdown to actually get us to record anything. Fast forward to today, and we’ve started to grow it into something far bigger than we’d anticipated. It’s started to become a community. And now, it’s become an event. With one summit down, we’ve already learnt a lot and in this episode, we thought we’d share the things we learnt (and ballsed up). I put on lots of events. But, this one was like no other I’ve ever run: so what did we learn about putting on an event of this scale with brands such as Privy, Drift, and the NHS, and what will we do better next time we run a summit (next March)
40 minutes | 21 days ago
Marketing, strategy and planing into the unknown of 2021
Marketing in 2020 has been a wild ride. There’s been some ups, some downs, some backs, some forwards… Plans were drawn up, torn apart, reworked and scrapped. Some marketing team have thrived - some have ultimately fallen. So, with new locks downs being announced, politics heating up and economies slowing, speeding up and slowing again… what does a marketing strategy in 2021 look like? Marketing strategies for me has always been about what stays the same. But, of course in 2021, there will be some trends that take over the world. So how do you write a strategy that provides a rock solid foundation for the future, while preparing yourself for whatever comes your way over the year?
33 minutes | a month ago
Panic, pivot, survival & growth - How The Marketing Meetup rode out 2020
For those of you who don’t know Joe, he’s one of the nice guys in marketing - literally, he’s built his career and reputation on being, and I quote “positively lovely”... Over the past 5 years, Joe took a hobby and turned it into an Anglo-American community with nearly twenty thousand members - and from there he turned it into a thriving business. Built on the principle of bringing marketers together, Joe’s business revolved and thrived around physical events. And then COVID came along and changed the game. So, this episode is going to take a closer look in how one business managed to pivot and accelerate its growth in a time of complete chaos and how marketing and positioning played a huge part in that.
10 minutes | a month ago
We're back for season 2 - with a whole bunch of things to announce...
Check out humanscomefirst.co.uk for the summit and newsletter. About 6 months ago now, Joe and I started a little pet project. Something to keep us entertained while the world was on lockdown and while I hid from my homeschooling kids. It very quickly became the highlight of our week and gave us both the chance to talk about something we’re really passionate about - marketing. And it’s grown into something more than that... You may have noticed we took a little break over the last few weeks. It’s not because we didn’t want to be sharing our thoughts on marketing and sales anymore - we hadn’t run out of things to say - but we had run out of time. But, as the craziness of the last few months has started to settle down, we’re back with season 2 of Humans Come First. To kick off season 2, we’ve got some really, really exciting things to share with you… First up… and for the first time ever… we’d like to take a pause and shout out our new show sponsor… AdRoll. AdRoll is a cross channel engagement platform that’s easy to setup and roll out - helping with Instagram ads, Facebook ads, Email and etc etc check them out on AdRoll.com Secondly, TMM has some exciting news to share - and this is the first time we’re publicly speaking about it… but in January, TMM is launching is membership platform - complete with One of the things both Joe and I get a kick out of is bringing marketers together to hear some really interesting shit from the industries brightest… learning from what others have done and what they think - what better way to learn, right? So - Joe and I have pulled together some of the best Human-centric marketing, sales and customer success people we could find and rolled them up into an online two-day summit… all the learnings… all about putting the humans at the centre of your growth… no cost. With speakers from Privy, AdRoll, Drift, HubSpot & Verblio - people like Dave Gerhardt and Kevin “KD” Dorsey - it’s going to be a lot of fun so get signed up at humanscomefirst.co.uk and check out the full speaker line up! And not only that but each of the speakers has agreed to give up their time to help aspiring marketers from underrepresented communities - the whole thing is going to be amazing. This time we’re also going to change up the format a little - Rich and I will still be offloading our thoughts on various topics, but this time around, every couple of weeks we’re also going to be bringing in a guest speaker that Rich and I will interview. We’re also firing up a mailing list this time. You’ll find the link at humanscomefirst.co.uk and in our show notes. It’s not just a spammy - we’ve launched another episode type of list - it’s so we can open up a two-way dialogue. We want you to reply… We’ll share extra content, the show notes - I’m sure we’ll have some free shit to give away… Joe will knit crochet for everyone that signs up… So check it out at humanscomefirst.co.uk And don’t forget to check out AdRoll.com.
33 minutes | 4 months ago
A framework for being human in your marketing?
Being human in your approach to marketing is important. People don’t want to feel like they’re being marketed to and they don’t want to feel like they’re just another marketing metric. When we humanise our marketing, people respond to it, people engage with it and people remember it. But what does human marketing look like? It’s all well and good us singing the praises of being more human in our approach to marketing - but what’s the framework, how is it different from the norm? In this episode, Rich and Joe are going to talk through their early thoughts on what should make up a human marketing framework. Sort of. - Be ‘real’ in your marketing - Don’t try to be something your not - Wear your values on your sleeve - Speed - it’s about ‘now’ - Communciation should represent the channel - Communication should be two way - Don’t focus on the outcome
30 minutes | 4 months ago
BDSM, legwarmers and using kindness to sell
Recently, Joe went all ‘fluffy’ marketer on LinkedIn and made the statement “kindness sells” - and adaption of the old ad-land adage, sex sells. But, does it? Does being kind drive ROI or is it just verbose marketing bullshit? With the world going through various chaotic events, it feels like we could all do with more kindness - more humans being nice to each other. And, it feels like being kind is a differentiator that is likely to help us sell more. But… what did I mean, and is Joe just a fluffy marketer?
23 minutes | 5 months ago
Verbal diarrhoea, thought leadership & have we ruined LinkedIn?
We’ve all seen it. The streams of verbal diarrhoea, thought leadership and look at me now content. And most of us are guilty of it. But when everyone is scrambling for their share of ‘personal brand’ where does that leave the landscape? What happens to a channel when everyone is doing the same thing? And importantly, as with everything else, are marketers ballsing up another perfectly good channel? Introduce the topic for the episode Linkedin has been a mainstay of growth throughout the ups and downs of 2020. Those with something to say have found it relatively easy to find their community to amplify their messages in. We have talked about it a lot - the importance of creating and nurturing personal brand… But when every marketer and salesperson with a laptop or mobile phone has the same idea, how does a channel like Linkedin continue to provide value? Talking points: - Is it getting harder to grow on Linkedin with everyone doing it? - Best practice creates a snowblindness - nothing stands out anymore - People are afraid to experiment on their own back - Consistency is key, but it’s a fine line between good content and just shouting at people - What content is really working? - Humour - memes and some needed light relief - Being personal, open, raw - Mix up your mediums - Who’s doing it well?
1 minutes | 6 months ago
Our voices aren't the ones that need to be heard right now
Over the last week, we have been forced to self reflect. We are both white-skinned and male. And, that has obviously benefited us throughout our lives and in our careers. The events of the last week have made us question how we can be better. Not being racist, is not enough. It’s never been enough and we want to support that in whatever small way we can. Now is not the time for people to hear our voices, but for us to help amplify the voices of the black community around us. While our intentions are good, we may not get this right. One thing we do think we can do however, is share things that have helped us. On our website, humanscomefirst.co.uk, you’ll find a link to a series of resources we’ve found useful. These will also be found in the show notes. We’ll see you next week.
34 minutes | 6 months ago
6 things we've learnt during COVID-19
It feels like Coronavirus has been going on for a million years now, but really it’s only been ten weeks for us in the UK. While we’re now starting to see the green shoots of normality return, this disruption has taught us a lot… as people, as business owners, as marketers. While we’re at risk of being part of the rush of ‘ten things I learned from Coronavirus’ articles that we be swamping Linkedin in the coming weeks and months, we thought it would be a useful exercise to look back and examine what we’ve learned. Over the last few months, we’ve been on a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s been a wild, sometimes exciting, sometimes mundane ride, but both of us have learnt a lot, about ourselves, about our businesses and about the people we communicate with and sell to. So, for our tenth episode, we decided to get reflective again… and look at the top six things we’ve learnt about marketing and running a business during a crisis. Joe, you kick us off - what’s your number 1 learning from the last few months? Talking points - Content is key - Business agility - You don’t get if you don’t ask - builds momentum - Brand is important - It’s okay to mess up so long as you own it - Community and audience is essential
28 minutes | 6 months ago
Using love and hate to grow in marketing
We all have things we like and those things that we don’t. Things that don’t appeal to some, will endear you to others. There are brands we relate to and brands that we wouldn’t consider on name alone.. We all have tastes and preferences and whether it’s conscious or not, we form opinions based on our beliefs and experiences. It’s what makes us human. So why then do we often fall into the trap of needing our work liked by all? Introduce the topic for the episode Some of the best messages of our time have nailed one concept: this thing we’re doing, it is made for you. The implication is that the same thing isn’t right for others. Yes, it’s about target market, but it’s also about being strong enough in your convictions to know that if the message is challenged, you don’t feel the need to buckle. Talking points - How can we develop a strong target market to know we’re speaking to the right - people? - How can we develop the right message? - Being human is about being real - People make mistakes - Marmite - the classic example of a dichotomous brand - Gary Vaynerchuk - Paddy Power - Dan Kelsall - Grant Cardone - Trump/Farage - The fanatical power of brands - Apple and Microsoft
38 minutes | 6 months ago
Creepy crochet and the power of ABM
We all want to be famous for our work, right? Get thousands of likes on every post. Have millions attend your webinars. Pick up awards for world-changing marketing. But, at the end of the day, if your activity is making you famous, but not affecting business results, something is going wrong. Most business decisions are made by one or a few key individuals in a company. So rather than marketing for reach, what happens when we flip the narrative and focus on the individuals? Account-based marketing, or ABM, recognises that a few key contacts are going to be those that make the difference between a yes, and a no when it comes to working together. An ABM strategy doesn’t bother with hitting the big numbers: it focuses on creating something far more meaningful: a proper relationship. In this episode, we explore our own experiences of ABM, what we’ve done well, and what we can do differently in the future.
33 minutes | 7 months ago
Riding the waves of excitement and using the lulls for longer-term thinking
Leading a business, team or organisation can be challenging at the best of times. Leading in a time of crisis takes it to a whole new level. But as leaders are we actually aware of the toll that’s having on us personally, our families or the team around us? We’ve spent weeks fire fighting, plugging holes and making new plans. As marketers, we’ve been dancing between survival mode and looking for opportunities. It’s been adrenalin fuelled but what happens when that first wave of excitement runs out? For the first few weeks of the global crisis - businesses have been scrambling to protect themselves, their clients and their teams. Marketers have been forced to rethink long term strategies and goals and perhaps focus on quick wins. As grim as it sounds, that was the first wave of excitement. Where we find ourselves now is a lull - for many, it’s become mundane and the adventure has run out. Is now the time to be re-evaluating the longer term strategy? And should we be preparing for second wave of excitement?
41 minutes | 7 months ago
10 things we would do if we started again (now that we're older and wiser)
Growing a business can be challenging and the benefit of hindsight really is 20/20… but what would we do if we knew what we know about growth now, then. How would we do it differently if we got to play it all out? Marketing, sales and business growth has certainly changed over the past few years - and, at a guess, both of us have made considerable mistakes along the way. We’ve tried marketing tactics we’re not proud of. Tested channels that burnt through money and tried services that were doomed to fail… But, importantly, we tried and we learnt. In this episode, Joe and Rich are going to do a bit of reminiscing… about all the things we’ve ballsed up and how we would do it differently, knowing what we now know about marketing and sales.
33 minutes | 7 months ago
Where did marketing go wrong?
Today we do something different. We discuss something sent in by a listener who has asked us to identify at what point in history marketing went wrong. The point where we stopped looking at customer needs and relationships and started focusing on automation and depersonalised tactics. It's a big one, but let's dive in. On one level, this is precisely why we started this podcast: a general feeling that some people were getting it wrong, or probably more accurately, that there is part of us who thinks we're right. Phil McSweeney donated the topic for today, citing an example where despite the corona pandemic, he received an email from a company (Groupon) offering restaurant codes and from another company (TripAdvisor) using him to rate holiday destinations. Clearly this is jarring in how wrong it is. Despite these examples, and perhaps this is just my bubble, but I do see and hear a lot of marketers using words like empathy, caring, relationships and more. So are we just talking a big game and not delivering meaning is marketing just wrong, or is it a case of some ruining it for the many? Has marketing gone wrong? How do you define marketing? How do you define good marketing? Was there a point where we got it right? Was there a point where this changed? What are we getting wrong presently - specifically, automation I think is a biggy but only in some ways. Where would we like to get to?
35 minutes | 7 months ago
What is 'brand' and why should we be focussing on it now?
With businesses all over the world becoming severely hampered as a result of lockdown measures, brand-building has become one of the most important activities that every marketer should focus on as we ride out this pandemic. While few would disagree with this advice, many are at a loss on what this means on a practical level. How can we build our brand amidst these uncertain times? Margaret Molloy, Global CMO of Siegel+Gale, defines brand as “a promise kept”. Branding encompasses much more than just the business’s aesthetic or looks (ex. logo, colour palette, etc.). Branding is more so about the experience that customers or clients have when they interact with the company throughout the marketing cycle. The brand experience includes culture, ethos, and people. It does not aim to reach potential customers logically but, rather, emotionally. The value of the product, therefore, is not found in the product itself, but in how the product is perceived. “We want to create an ‘unboxing’ experience with our services,” says Richard. “What we want is for somebody to enjoy the process of working with us so much that what we actually deliver becomes irrelevant.” Key points discussed: - Defining “brand” - How do businesses build brands that, by extension, build loyal audiences? - What can marketers do to produce amazing content that is timely, but not opportunist, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic?
31 minutes | 8 months ago
Is B2C totally f*cked?
Coronavirus still grips the global economy. Restaurants and shops are closed. Kath Kidson and Debenhams are going into administration. Airlines are being bailed out and across the world, paid media budges are being slashed. In this episode, we tackle the question ‘is B2C marketing completely f*cked, and if not, what can marketers do right now to not alienate the people that they’re trying to sell to?’ We discuss how people presently engage with bricks and mortar B2C, and how Covid-19 will force innovation in this sector, particularly in the way of creating experiences for customers. We look at the examples of Apple and Tesla who have already pioneered this approach. We also tackle paid media and how brands should be approaching spend, and convincing your boss to continue committing, even if the data doesn’t prove it. Spoiler: it’s all about providing them with logic and sound thinking. These are unprecedented times, and while putting money behind brand feels like the wise thing to do right now, it’s also inadvisable to heed that advice without first applying it to your personal situation and providing justification why it would work for you. Wrapping up, we look to the future, stating what B2C marketers can do in the short and long term to make the most of their marketing. Key points discussed: Is B2C marketing totally fucked? How people are buying these days Advertisers aren’t spending, because consumers aren’t buying How do marketers push forward in that environment? Things mentioned in the show: Webinar with Margaret Molloy - https://themarketingmeetup.com/blog/branding-in-the-covid-19-environment-margaret-molloy/ Birdseye double down on branding with ads - https://www.marketingweek.com/birds-eye-responsibility-advertising-coronavirus/ The best marketers are doubling down on ad spend, not cutting it - https://www.marketingweek.com/mark-ritson-marketing-spend-recession-coronavirus/ Coronavirus sex toy boom - https://www.wired.co.uk/article/coronavirus-pandemic-sex-toys
35 minutes | 8 months ago
How do you define 'community' and how the hell do marketers leverage it?
The year is 2020, and people are sat at home bored, anxious, and sometimes alone. The answer to this is 'community'. But, with more and more corporates looking to use the word community in their activity: what does that really mean these days, and what are the implications for marketers? Communities are groups of people who come together with the intention of helping one another, lifting one another up, and being stronger than they would be alone. At it's best, the community has the ability to be a truly touching, and very human experience. The best communities are those where everyone contributes. Companies and marketers have the ability to leverage community through seeking to create communities of their own, but not necessarily looking to control the conversation in a 'state-sponsored' manner. A community only lives up to it's billing when it is pure in intention and facilitates cross-communication between folks who might be able to help each other. In this way, corporates supersede a transactional relationship and instead become the heart of the conversation. Key points discussed: - Defining community - How does this definition relate to the corporate messaging we are seeing in relation to the word community, today - What does all this mean for marketers, looking to leverage community in a meaningful way? In this pod, Microsoft, Drift and Hubspot are upheld as examples of companies who put this into action successfully. Six & Flow: https://www.sixandflow.com The Marketing Meetup: https://themarketingmeetup.com/ Drift: https://www.drift.com/insider/ HubSpot Academy: https://academy.hubspot.com/
30 minutes | 8 months ago
Using a global crisis as your marketing trigger (makes you a d*ckhead)
We’re living in strange times today. Businesses, in particular, are learning how to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic to stay afloat, while at the same time keeping in mind the ever-evolving challenges their shareholders are facing. How do we reconcile the need to stay in business while being sensitive to the plight of human beings around the world—whether or not they are our clients? As a brand, it’s more important than ever before to have empathy for our customers. Some companies are using the current crisis as a sleazy excuse to push promotional sales, which is not only tasteless and unethical but has no long-term benefit to the brand, to begin with. In any case, attempting to bank on current fears is almost always a useless strategy, particularly the business in question markets non-essential products or services (clothing, for example). If you’re a business owner, you must be willing to reframe your expectations moving forward. Your focus during this time shouldn’t be on the financial gain but on brand-building. Show your audience what you stand for as a brand through your messaging and actions. The key is to frame your interactions as human to human, and not client to business. Business plans and budgets that were made at the start of 2020 are obviously now outdated. It will help to reach out to clients or customers directly and ask them how their priorities have shifted. Also, while it’s always important to err on the side of caution when it comes to marketing amidst the COVID-19 crisis, this is also a great opportunity to experiment with your approach as a brand. Throw mud on the wall and see what sticks. Just keep in mind that it is now easier than ever for your audience to see through manipulative marketing; so as long as your message is authentic and consumer-focused as opposed to merely profit-focused, your business has a much higher chance of thriving as the world moves towards the new normal. Links for things we mentioned in the episode: Six & Flow: https://www.sixandflow.com The Marketing Meetup: https://themarketingmeetup.com/ Dave Gerhardt: https://twitter.com/davegerhardt Fanocracy (book): https://amzn.to/33V25UC
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