Episode 69: Digital Pivot with Eric Schwartzman

The act of rotating yourself with one foot anchored is called a pivot. This mechanism our bodies use to face a new direction provides the perfect analogy for how people should think as they move fully into digital marketing. 

Our guest, Eric Schwartzman, is a digital marketing consultant, with over 20-years of experience serving clients such as Boeing, Johnson & Johnson, Toyota, the United States Marine Corps, and hundreds of SMBs. In 2021 he published “The Digital Pivot: Secrets of Online Marketing” and he joins me on this episode to talk about digital pivots.

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Episode 68: Scale at Speed with Felix Velarde

Has this ever happened to you? You’re working as a Marketer, either in-house or as the agency serving another business. You work earnestly to do what leadership asks. You might even be part of the leadership team, directing the marketing efforts. But inside, you’re bugged by a question. While you architect campaigns, answer emails and sit in meetings, the question is there in the back of your head. You wish it had an answer, but that magic bullet keeps eluding you. It’s “How are we going to grow?” 

My guest says that growth can happen, but it’s part of a larger challenge, and not just one that marketing has to tackle. For growth to happen, both marketing (who’s got a pivotal role here) and the whole company have to retool themselves into an entity that can scale.   

Felix Velarde began as an entrepreneur, starting a web design agency in 1994, when websites were just starting to be a thing. He then became a journeyman CEO for a string of digital agencies, eventually moving onto a role where he chaired those businesses. He has also been an adjunct professor at Hult International Business School and UK lead at Vint Cerf’s People-Centered Internet coalition.

In 2014 Felix broadened the advisory role to other companies like tech startups, at which point he boiled the growth principles he’d learned down to a system that any businesses could use. In 2021 he published the playbook of his two-year program that he claims will triple a company’s size, called “Scale at Speed” 

Listen to how instrumental  Felix  considers the role that marketing plays in building the firm’s proposition. Also watch who he says should be in charge of growth; it’s probably not the roles you’d expect to be most effective at it. 

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Episode Reboot. https://scaleatspeed.com/ assessment (20 questions, under 5 minutes)

Episode 67: Human Centered Communication Ethan Beute

Our talk doesn’t start out sounding the way most sales & marketing talks do. That’s because of the alarm being raised by our guest on the forces around us that are polluting our digital environment. Why does this matter? Because this sludge messes with our innate ability as humans to relate to each other, and without that personal  connection, the ability for a buyer to  gain enough trust to put their faith in your business is out of the question.

The book in question is Human-Centered Communication. It was co-authored by Stephen Pacinelli  as well as our guest, Ethan Beute. He is VP of Marketing at BombBomb, a software company in Colorado Springs, CO that helps people create simple video messages. Prior to that: he ran marketing for local television stations on-air and online. 

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Episode Reboot.

For another take on communicating with video, check out Ep 54 with Tyler Lessard

Episode 56: Content Inc. with Joe Pulizzi – Summer Books

The book we talk about in this show is #15 on the Amazon Best Seller list for Internet Marketing. Not to take anything away from past guests, but if you only listen to one of the 50 interviews we have done, I hope that you choose this one.  

I think most marketers have heard of the Content Marketing Institute.  The public figure at the centre of CMI, Joe Pulizzi, started it all with a blog post on April 26, 2007 “Why Content Marketing” His hypothesis in 2007 was that companies who put content on the internet would build relationships that blossom into future customers. He then went about literally putting out content that taught others how to do this. Once they came to the CMI site and got this free content, he would sell them everything from newsletters, to magazines, to training, and an annual Content Marketing World event.

For me personally, the story picks up in 2014 when I started listening to Joe’s podcast with  Robert Rose  on the podcast series, This Old Marketing. I found this giving-away-expertise tactic to be quite unorthodox, as I was accustomed to thinking that companies should mainly communicate with their audience through advertising. Listening to them influenced how I’ve come to see content marketing’s value. 

While CMI was evangelizing how to grow a business on content, Joe didn’t keep any secret about how well he was doing with growing his business. Already a bestselling author of several books, he came out in 2015 with Content Inc, that gave out the blueprint he was using. A year after it came out, he sold CMI in 2016 to the International Events company UBI. 

He may have finished with CMI, but over the next few years, he stayed close to both corporate and entrepreneurial content creators. His keen focus on them led him to pitch his publisher on a second edition of the book, which  rounds out the model by sharing the rest of his own journey of monetizing a Content-based business. the second edition that came out this year. I was amazed as I read it; so many new examples, all the updates on marketing channels, it’s a total overhaul from the first edition. 

This is one high-energy conversation. I was already pumped to talk to Joe, I’m not going to lie, and it seems we both got pretty keyed up as we spoke. 

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Shift away from the Glengarry Glenross revenue-generation model

The Sweet Spot

Episode Reboot

To get another perspective on audience-building, see Kevin Kelly’s post on 1000 true fans

Episode 55: Content Marketing Engineered with Wendy Covey – Summer Books

No matter where you look around in today’s world, you use things that were conceived and built by engineers.  There were engineering-minded thinkers in ancient times like Archimedes and Leonardo da Vinci. industrial age thinkers like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford built on their ideas, to manufacture many things that improved the quality of our daily lives. Since then, engineers like Alan Turing, Thomas Watson and David Packard ushered in an electronic revolution that gave us the technology that makes possible the communication we’re having right now. 

Engineers are great. But, they are also a breed apart. They have a stereotype of being way too exacting for most people’s liking. They put a new spin on the proverbial glass half-full or half empty debate. While the Pessimist says “The glass is half empty” and the Optimist says “The glass is half full,” The Engineer does some measuring and pronounces “The glass is exactly twice the size that it needs to be.”

They also have a reputation for being notoriously tough to market to. Today’s guest knows how to reach engineers, and in her 2020 book Content Marketing, Engineered, she gives us a formula so we can reach them as well. 

Wendy Covey is a co-founder of TREW Marketing, an Austin, TX-based agency that serves technical industries such as engineering design and hardware manufacturing. Prior to starting the agency in 2008 Wendy produced global marketing and services programs at National Instruments. Another side of Wendy you should know about is how she loves outdoor recreations – in fact she is the current holder of a Texas fishing record.  

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Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm

SWOT Analysis: 

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

Episode Reboot

Figure from Wendy’s book (used with permission) showing channels where engineers prefer to get their content. Note how high YouTube and LinkedIn are on the list.

Episode 54: The Visual Sale with Tyler Lessard – Summer Books

The newest book in our #SummerMarketingBooks series talks about how to take sales & marketing beyond the printed or spoken word.

Our guest Tyler Lessard has worked at high-flying tech companies like BlackBerry and lives in the Waterloo Ontario high-tech hub with his wife and four kids. Whenever he speaks on stage or is a guest on a show, he talks about how to modernize the way sales and marketing people communicate. I consider him to be a marketer’s marketer. What I mean by that is he’s dialed in to marketing tech, so seeing him come out with a book in 2020 called, The Visual Sale, I knew I needed to pay more attention to video. 

Listen in the show for the reasons why he thinks today’s buyers expect us to show up visually, not just in text they read or orally over the phone. He walks us through how to make videos seen when prospects are researching a purchase, when they are ready to decide and even after the sale. Most importantly, take it from a guy who describes himself as a hacky video creator, how little you need to get started shooting video.   

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4 E’s of Video:

  • Educational
  • Engaging
  • Emotional
  • Empathetic

Marshall McLuhan assertion that “The Medium is the Message”

How Walt Disney appeared on video (we’ve moved past this kind of talking head video)

Episode Reboot

Great quote from his book: “If you don’t think that video can do a better job than text on a webpage or text in an email, think again!”

Episode 53: Digital Marketing in an AI World with Fred Vallaeys – Summer Books

Chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov was famously beaten in 1997 by a supercomputer built by dozens of IBM technologists. A Slate article looking at how Deep Blue changed chess said “The change here wasn’t just that a computer could win, but that a computer could help human players win if incorporated into their training regimes effectively.”

The same thing is happening with PPC Platforms. Since 2011, Google has been integrating AI into many of their products, and every campaign feature Google Ads rolls out seems to take away control from us humans and give it to their machines. So if we’re going to follow Kasparov’ lead and get better at this game with the AI, the question becomes, what’s the process for training an ad platform’s AI, when it’s writing programming that only it knows, and even the technologists running it don’t know?

Some answers are contained in the book Digital Marketing in an AI World. Fred Vallaeys was one of the first 500 employees at Google where he spent 10 years building AdWords and teaching advertisers how to get the most out of it as Google’s AdWords Evangelist. Today he serves as Co-Founding CEO of Optmyzr, a PPC management software system. Fred is a fixture on the marketing conference circuit and blazed new trails with online industry learning through Optmyz’s PPC Town Halls. 

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Episode Reboot: 

Remember, computers have a different kind of smarts than us.

Episode 52: Unfair Marketing with David Rodnitzky – Summer Books

Has this ever happened in your career?

  • Sales told you that a deal was lost even though you have a superior product
  • You’ve seen the positioning statements listed in your website or in your ads twisted by your competitors, to exploit some weakness
  • You saw an industry award or splashy press go to a competitor rather than to you
  • You faced a rival brand undercutting your pricing to grab your market share 

It’s maddening when this happens, but the truth is, marketers don’t get participation ribbons. Each of these things may be unfair, but they are also situations where you could have grabbed the upper hand and reaped the benefit over your competitor.  

That’s the premise of the book Unfair Marketing which came out in 2021, written by David Rodnitsky He is the founder of 3Q Digital, an agency that has over 350 digital marketers devoted to advertising, analytics, decision science, strategic consulting, creative, and conversion rate optimization. Many of 3Q’s clients are in silicon valley,  which is where they are based. You would no doubt know the names of the companies they serve.

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David’s Five levers:

  1. Unfair Data
  2. Unfair Knowledge
  3. Unfair Brand
  4. Unfair Access
  5. Unfair Money

Episode Reboot. 

Get a free copy of the book at www.3qdigital.com/unfair-marketing

Episode 51: The AI Marketing Canvas with Raj Venkatesan – Summer Books

Are you looking at how your marketing can use AI? That’s good if you are, but it’s not enough to know how it works. Whether you are embedded in marketing operations or you’re an executive who oversees it, you must also figure out how to get your organization to buy into AI. You’ll need stakeholders who own precious data, you’ll need knowledge experts to train your models, you’ll possibly need operations folks to change what they deliver…as AI informs what you offer. Lastly, you’ll need money – getting that money will take you proving that investing in AI yields a positive ROI. So by now, you’re probably wondering how you can implement AI. Well, if you are, you will definitely be interested in the framework called the “The AI Marketing Canvas”

It’s all detailed in a book by the same name, co-authored by Raj Venkatesan, along with Jim Lecinski.

Professor Venkatesan is a professor at the Darden School of Business at U of Virginia. He is also a co-author of the book Cutting Edge Marketing Analytics. Before coming to Darden, Venkatesan taught graduate students at the University of Connecticut. There, he was the recipient of the MBA Teacher of the Year Award. He received his Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Houston and his B.E. in computer engineering from the University of Madras. He has consulted with firms in the technology, retailing, media, industrial goods and pharmaceutical industries. 

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Framework’s 5 stages, reproduced with permission:

Episode 50: Join or Die, Digital Advertising in the age of Automation by Patrick Gilbert – Summer Books

This is the fifth book of our “Summer Books” series and we’re even going social with the hashtag, #SummerMarketingBooks on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. This book focuses on Pay-Per-Click marketing, and whether you do any PPC yourself or outsource, you should be aware of how much of a ground-shaking shift artificial intelligence is making here. Remember that Google & Facebook have been investing enormous sums of money on AI. Their ad empires pretty much run on AI now, and it’s vaulted them to become two of the world’s top 10 companies.

While acknowledging that this sounds ominous for advertisers, our author believes that by joining with them on campaign automation, we can actually thrive. Our author’s seen this shift happen first-hand, as part of the NY-based agency Adventure Media, where he serves as COO. his book, Join or Die: Digital Advertising in the age of Automation, came out in 2020.

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