Pivot Points: Matt Bailey, Leveraging a Sales Mindset

Did you hear the joke about the toothbrush salesman? I recently came across this joke and it speaks volumes about the importance of a sales mindset.  The joke goes something like this:


A boss asked it’s company’s top toothbrush salesman how he managed to sell so many brushes. The toothbrush salesman replied, “It’s easy” and pulled out a card table, setting his display of brushes on top.

He told his boss “I lay the brushes out like this, and then I put out some potato chips and dip to draw in the customers.”

After the chips and dip were laid out the boss said, “That’s a very innovative approach” and took one of the chips, dipped it, and stuck it in his mouth.

“Yuck, this tastes terrible!” his boss yelled.

The toothbrush salesman replied, “It is? Want to buy a toothbrush?”


If we all took a moment and considered the primary responsibility of marketing, we should all arrive at the same conclusion – sales. This joke illustrates the four points of sales: plan, setup, execution, and results.


At the recent 2016 Chicago AMA MarketingTech Smart event, Matt Bailey presented as one of the expert speakers with his session: “Six Steps to Marketing Automation.” In his session, Bailey alluded that marketers tend to structure their strategies and plans around the tactical use of technology for the purpose of generating likes, follows, friends and building lists. This might not be the right approach. Consider Matt’s critical points on marketing automation: human factor, redefine success metrics, get sales training, define and refine process, and develop customers for life.


#1 – The Human Factor

Matt recommended that we consider “The Human Factor” when we build strategies. The convergence of a mature martech, we now have access to 10,000+ sites, platforms and tools to possibly leverage. To compound the situation, Matt suspects that the current success metrics may be focused on the wrong data points.


#2 – Redefine Success Metrics

Redefining your metrics requires research and the first action item is to listen to your customers. Matt suggests that you start with your internal sales team as they deal with customers on daily basis and have a healthy perspective on the sales funnel and the customer’s journey from lead to advocate.

With your newly gained customer-focused insight, you will likely have an opportunity to redefine your success metrics. With marketing automation tools, you can take the newly defined metrics and start crafting workflows, triggers and responders which can gauge and assist in customer engagement.

#3 – Get Sales Training

To marketers like you and I, sales training may seem unnecessary. However, to truly understand what customers are looking for and how to encourage them to purchase your products, services or information, you will need sales training. Sales training from your sales team will provide you with crucial insights that have the potential to redefine your marketing strategy, plans and tactics. By learning from your sales team, you will have new data points to test out.

#4 – Define and Refine Process (Marketing Automation)
Four steps to identify, define and refine your marketing process:

  • Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up
    Engage customers and subscribers via Automated Drip Campaigns (ADC). ADCs can be designed to trigger automated emails, texts and direct mail pieces customized to the recipient.

Example: If a customer has not visited the site in 30 days, the system can send a reminder of what they previously browsed and ask if they are still interested in completing a purchase.

Key Fact: 80% of sales happen after the 5th contact with the customer. *

  • Ask the Right Questions
    Each time your reach out to customers and subscribers, ask questions to learn more about them. Segment your audience and measure their responses.

Key Fact: Marketing to a segmented audience increases open rates by up to 57% and click-through rates by 25%.*

  • Build the Relationship
    Identify key relational objectives for your customers to meet. Help guide the potential customers from initial engagement to becoming advocates.

Key Fact: The process of building a relationship with your audience can drastically increase the health of your marketing effectiveness. However, the objective must clearly be communicated to your audience.*

Examples of call to action messages: Follow us on Twitter, Sign-up for the Webinar, Share the Blog Post, etc.

  • Ask for the Sale
    Marketing automation and drip campaigns make a difference.

Example: A known user abandons a shopping cart and an automated email to that user is sent asking for the sale. Or, a customer bought coffee 30 days ago; an email reminder is sent to them asking for the sale: “Your supply of coffee may be running low, click here to replenish.”

Key Fact: Asking for the sale is the #1 way to get individuals to buy online and in-store.*

#5 – Develop Customers for Life
Develop customers for life by leveraging lead scoring. As we become more efficient at closing sales, building healthy trusting relationships and having frequent and relevant conversations with our customers, we can develop lifelong customers. Start by collecting customers’ implicit and explicit data.

  • Implicit Data (dynamic action): An individual’s interests, status, interaction and responses
  • Explicit Data (static information): Name, Location, conversation details and basic facts
  • Define how individuals interact with your company and why.
  • Compare your collected data and defined interactions with engagement and sales figures. How do they match up? Are you able to segment and identify your company’s most profitable relationships?
  • In the process of developing your lead scoring, learn what makes relationships successful for your organization. Next, outline this information in a scoring matrix to compare to your prospects and customers.
  • Finally, design marketing messages and campaigns that enhance relationships to the level of lifetime advocates (your most profitable relationship).

The key to marketing success is not the number of likes, follows, friends and lists but rather, the key to marketing success is, and should always be linked to sales figures. Sales are the lifeblood of any organization. Without sales, organizations would cease to operate. We need to make marketing relevant, engaging and sales-focused.



*Key Facts: Presented at 2016 MarketingTech Smart Conference


Matt Bailey has taught Google employees how to use Google Analytics. He has shown Experian how to present data. And he has led workshops in digital marketing at Disney/ABC/ESPN, HP, P&G and IBM, to name a few.


A recognized digital marketing expert, Matt is an instructor for the Direct Marketing Assn., Market Motive, and the Online Marketing Certified Professional program. He is also founder and president of SiteCore, a marketing consultancy, and he has published three books.


The Direct Marketing Association said of him, “No one else has approached the plain-English demystification of building an effective online presence as cost-effectively and time-effectively as has Matt.”


Twitter: @sitelogic


About the Author: Nick Rich is an Enterprise Architect and Thought Leader on web, social, and mobile based technologies. Nick currently consults and advises clients on content, collaboration, communication technology, and how to foster corporate adoption.

No – I Won’t Come Back For A Fifth Interview

Interview Insights

How many rounds of job interviews are you willing to accept?  No longer do you have to feel at the mercy of hiring managers.  Job seekers take some control and actively reshape the hiring process.

Forbes contributor Liz Ryan offers a compelling spin on interviewing to your advantage.  After understanding the company’s pain, stop!  Do not present your solution in the interview.

Follow the next steps here:



Insights on the New MarketingTech Stack: Tools That Drive Momentum and Deliver

The 5th annual MarketingTech SMART brought together leading innovative technologists Scott Brinker, Jack Philbin, Matt Bailey, and Steve Susina for trends to watch to stay ahead of the competition, here we go!

Scott Brinker
Owner, Chiefmartec.com
“Hacking Marketing: The Amazing Convergence of Marketing & Software”

In a world with more than 3,500 marketing technology solutions, Scott Brinker started the day off by sharing that we need to be less tactical and more process focused to succeed with marketing technology. The cloud, MarTech stack, and trending marketing tactics significantly magnify marketing effectiveness and dare we say, drastically impact our objectives. With the convergence of marketing and software, marketing tactical approaches are starting to show signs of ineffectiveness.

More often than not, we have become tactical and reactive. Scott challenged us to stop thinking about ourselves as tactical responders but to take on some of the successful approaches of those in the software industry that have inherently embraced technology and consider ourselves more like product managers. As marketers, we need to innovate in a scalable manner just like those in tech. The issue with the current marketing approach is that we aren’t able to fail fast to innovate AND be dependable to meet core objectives. By leveraging a bi-modal approach to our marketing strategy, we will be able to build strategies that are both innovative and quantifiable.

Jack Philbin
CEO, Vibes
“Mobile Wallet Marketing: How Retailers Like Chipotle Are Succeeding In This Emerging Channel”

Jack Philbin took to the podium and demonstrated how crucial mobile marketing is in today’s marketplace. Jack’s demonstration incorporated retailer Chipotle as well as focused on leveraging iPhone Wallet and Android Pay (Google Wallet) technology and other methods that include digital payment marketing, digital coupon advertising, and mobile phone wallets.

Utilizing mobile technology increases sales and retains and re-engages customers – an example is Chipotle’s Gauc Hunter App. In the aftermath of a PR crisis Chipotle launched this app and successfully drew an audience of 3.5 million players. 67% of those players redeemed their coupon for free guacamole at a local Chipotle restaurant. This interactive strategy encouraged millions to return to Chipotle despite the company’s predicament. Jack emphasized that our strategies should not be solely focused on clicks and likes, but engagement to drive revenue. Vibes achieved that for Chipotle and mobile technology must be the next chapter in your marketing strategy.

Matt Bailey
Founder/President, SiteLogic Marketing
“Six Steps to Marketing Automation”

Matt Bailey grabbed the attention of the audience by contending that good marketing automation has a foundation in sales, communication and understanding. His focus was on how to best leverage technology to automate various marketing processes using sales tactics.

Essentially understanding the sales process and client’s needs help marketers to identify the appropriate data points, tactics, and mediums for effective marketing automation. Matt trained us on how to look internally for answers to automation success while leveraging external influences to augment marketing objectives. Overall, effective marketing automation enables brands to build and maintain relationships with customers and grow sales.


  • Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up
  • Value customers, sales teams and the sales process
  • Marketing automation is only as effective as your key data points


Steve Susina
Marketing Director, Lyons Consulting
“Marketing Automation in Today’s Digital Landscape”

Steve Susina walked us through what automation can look like and some anticipated pitfalls and benefits to expect. Today customers have more control of the buying process and marketers need to identify current processes and overlay them with automation to assist prospects and turn them into the paying customers.

To define automation you need to understand or define an automation lifecycle with measurable metrics. Preservation of both lifecycle and the rules of automation are relatively easy to maintain with available metrics. Metrics are central to gauging your focus on success or issues that may arise. Please keep in mind, as markets shift metrics will also fluctuate. Fluctuation will always pinpoint where to focus your attention.


With the fast-paced rise of marketing technology, the DNA of marketing has changed.
Today marketers are sharing some of the same responsibility as IT, Finance and Digital Security. The speakers helped us to understand how to harness the convergence of marketing and software to meet our marketing goals. It was evident the audience left feeling energized by the speakers understanding of automation, mobile as a medium, bi-modal marketing processes, and developing strategies to properly implement technology for today and in the future.

Thank you Scott, Jack, Matt, and Steve for your insight, wisdom and time. You made the 2016 MarketingTech SMART conference an inspiring experience.



About the Author
Nick Rich is an Enterprise Architect and Thought Leader on web, social, and mobile based technologies. Nick currently consults and advises clients on content, collaboration, communication technology, and how to foster corporate adoption.

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

logo_MarketingTech Smart

Lessons from 4 marketing technology experts

We hand-picked a series of four articles on marketing technology and mobile marketing, by four leaders in their field. These are the same marketing experts—Scott Brinker, Jack Philbin, Matt Bailey and Steve Susina—who will be speaking in Chicago on Friday, Oct. 21 at the half-day MarketingTech Smart 2016 conference.

If you like what they have to say, then save your spot right now to hear them live and in-person, only in Chicago!

Odds are your marketing stack is way bigger than you think it is

By Scott Brinker


As a rule of thumb, people wildly underestimate the number of marketing technologies they have deployed in their organization — sometimes by a factor of 2X, sometimes by a factor of 10X or more. “We use 2-3 marketing technologies,” they might answer in a survey, when in truth, they use more like 20-30 products from the marketing technology landscape. It’s completely understandable, of course, as marketing technologies are not weighted equally.

Read the full article

Scott’s topic at MarketingTech Smart: Hacking Marketing: The Amazing Convergence of Marketing & Software 

The massive opportunity for mobile wallets

An interview with Jack Philbin

Jack provides some compelling reasons why we’re seeing a resurgence of consumer interest in using mobile wallets, and he shares some examples of large enterprises that are seeing strong ROI via mobile wallet offers.

Read the full article

Jack’s topic at MarketingTech Smart: Mobile Wallet Marketing: How Retailers Like Chipotle Are Succeeding In This Emerging Channel

Shiny things: What distracts you?

Matt Bailey’s Endless coffee cup podcast


Headlines dominate the early part of this podcast, which begins with a study revealing that the majority of Fortune 500 marketers are looking for the next “silver bullet” market-shifting technology. What is is that attracts us to the silver bullet mentality? Do we truly believe there is only a single “magic” thing that will radically grow our business?

Listen to the podcast

Matt’s topic at MarketingTech Smart: Six steps to marketing automation

Retail innovations that drive omnichannel commerce

By Steve Susina

Retail has been through a rough stretch. As we entered 2016, each day seemingly brought new announcements of physical store closings, poor retail performance, and even bankruptcies. … To help drive your 2016 planning, and satisfy consumers’ appetite for technology, there are four types of retail technology innovations you should pay attention to.

Read the full article

Steve’s topic at MarketingTech Smart: Marketing automation in today’s digital landscape

Learn from the masters, Oct. 21 at MarketingTech Smart 2016 in Chicago.

Reserve your seat today!

Lessons Learned from Women at the Top

written by Lauren Ramsey, founder of Betsy Bash, LLC.

It is often assumed that the CEO of a company is a male and statistically, that is primarily the case. In 2016, only 4% of the CEOs on the Fortune 500 list are female.

The Chicago AMA organized a panel of women in the C-Suite to share their journey to the top, how they navigated roadblocks and their advice for young women with similar aspirations. The event was cleverly called the She-Suite and included:

  • Dorri McWhorter, CEO, YWCA Metro Chicago
  • Lisa Petrilli, Chief Operating, Marketing & Strategy Officer, The Thread
  • Sandra Wilson, COO, Wheels Inc.
  • Toni Irving, Executive Director, Get In Chicago
  • Wendy DuBoe, President, CEO, United Way of Metro Chicago
  • Moderated bySusan Rosenstein, President, Susan Rosenstein Executive Search Limited

The evening included questions on topics such as the details on how each woman reached their role and who helped them along the way, the common theme that a pivot was necessary and what their thoughts were on the subject, how to handle setbacks, thoughts on Sheryl Sandberg and work-life balance, and how to manage your career to achieve your goals.

A few quotes from the evening that stood out:

On transparency and setbacks:

“We are defined by so much more than our setbacks; just like we aren’t defined by the things that go really well. “ – Sandra Wilson

“I don’t make mistakes (in regards to life experience). I have lots of unplanned learning experiences. I don’t use the word mistake or failure in regards to life.” – Dorri McWhorter

“Once you’ve made a mistake, move quickly to correct it—it’s amazing how quickly it will go away once you do that.” – Wendy DuBoe

On building your career:

“It doesn’t matter who is in the room. It’s up to you to own it.” – Toni Irving

“Have a sense of self-confidence. Tell yourself you can do something, even if on paper it doesn’t say you can.” – Sandra Wilson

On work-life balance:

“Look within before you lean in. Spend the time to know who you are, and be less of who you are not.” – Lisa Petrilli

“We have 24 allotments in every day to find ways to be joyous. It’s all life—even at work, you’re living your life. Think about how you spend your time instead. I’m fully engaged in the art of living.” – Dorri McWhorter

“There’s a way to find a balance. You have to know what is important first, then you can find the balance.” – Wendy DeBoe

On navigating your career:

“Sometimes the path isn’t straight up. And sometimes, you have to be confident and fly without a net.” – Sandra Wilson

“We live in a big community, try to find a way to help others and connect with others. A handwritten note is like a unicorn these days.” – Toni Irving

The ladies on the panel shared their stories with honesty, humor and compassion. They were approachable and humble despite their long list of accolades. Toni works for the President of the United States, Wendy created a recycling program that was recognized by the United Nations in Geneva, Dorri was listed among the top 100 Innovators in Chicago by the Chicago Tribune’s Blue Sky Innovation, Lisa was named in the Top 20 Social CMOs by Forbes, and Sandra is the COO of one of the largest privately held businesses in the United States. During the event, the audience cheered, laughed and gasped in wonder and awe at their accomplishments and stories, and many rushed to greet them at the close of the event. It was certainly an evening with a panel of experts and one that the Chicago AMA community thoroughly enjoyed.

Lauren Ramsey is the founder of Betsy Bash, LLC, a creative social media agency inspired by her grandmother’s sense of formal etiquette and sassy wit.  She invites you to join her online book club for creative women in business that love to listen to audio books, you can find it on Facebook as Betsy’s Book Club.

Twitter: @LaurenIgnited, @TweetsByBetsy
Web: www.LaurenIgnited.com www.BetsyBash.com

Consumer Loyalty Requires Much More Than a Rewards Program

written by Lindsay Malone, Digital Marketing Manager at Prophet

Many companies pursue customer loyalty, most fail to receive it. More than 55 percent of marketers planned to increase consumer loyalty budgets this year and many are investing heavily in the development or revival of loyalty programs. As companies seek new and interesting ways to drive consumer loyalty, they should look beyond rewarding transaction frequency and instead use the allocated resources to identify and bolster the factors that influence consumer preference for their products and services.

Transaction-based loyalty programs are common among top brands, but as my colleague Dan Morrison says, “Don’t overly correlate purchase and repeat purchases with customer loyalty.” He supports this statement with an example:

Starbucks vs. Blackstone

Dan visits Starbucks a few times a week. He uses the app to order and he cashes in on his free drink when he earns enough stars. But, although Starbuck’s model would find him to be loyal, he says his loyalty is elsewhere. While he goes to Starbucks routinely out of convenience, if he had the choice he’d drive right past Starbucks and straight to Blackstone every time. Blackstone earned his loyalty with great service (interactions directly with the owner), local presence and overall experience.

Consumer Loyalty:  the measure of commitment based on obligation, consumer preference or degree of satisfaction.

Dan challenged brands, saying they should ask “how do we innovate our loyalty program” and “how do we deepen our loyalty experience” so they can earn consumer preference.

The Brands with Unwavering Customer Loyalty

In a quick-poll, I asked my peers to share which brands they’re loyal to and why they will pay more, travel further and/or ignore similar products and services. There are many things we can learn about loyalty by looking at the list of brands that their responses generated. Many of the brands were mentioned repeatedly and the rationale centered around a few essential traits:

Quality Products

A 2015 consumer survey by Support.com found that the two leading factors that determine brand loyalty are price and value (73%) followed by quality of product and service (66%). Some of the brands that were named for providing a quality product with the right price and value are: Apple, Spotify, Costco, Levi’s, Dr. Martens, Glossier, Carhartt, Kate Spade, MeUndies, Craftsman, Tieks, Dawn Dish Soap, Tide, JifWhole Foods, Qdoba and Outdoor Voices.

While the majority of these brands are not the least expensive option, they are preferred because they have the highest perceived value in their category. Interestingly, there’s little category overlap among these brands. Before seeking other means of generating consumer loyalty, brands need to focus on the product quality and value they offer because without excelling in these areas, all other factors are pretty irrelevant to consumers.

Superior Experiences

In the past year, 52 percent of consumers surveyed said they have switched providers due to poor service and once a customer has switched, 68 percent won’t go back. In the U.S., the estimated cost of customers switching due to poor service is $1.6 trillion! The overall customer experience is more important than ever; it must be seamless, persuasive and delighting.

The brands who have loyal customer bases as a result of the customer experience they offer include Dyson, Wegmans, Rigby & Peller, Chick-fil-A, Spotify and First Merit Bank. Those who listed these brands were most motivated to tell the story of their positive experience. Customers are loyal to these brands because they:

  • Offer fast, efficient service from a real person when they need it (Dyson)
  • Provide an overall stellar experience with smiling service, clean stores, easy-to-navigate store layouts, appealing community events and a great selection (Wegmans)
  • Go above and beyond to wow their customers. After losing their luggage on a trip, a customer returned to the store to replace their lost undergarments. The customer was surprised and thrilled when soon after she received two more complimentary bras in the mail. (Rigby and Peller)
  • Have customer service representatives that care about their customers and exceed expectations by remembering details from previous visits. (First Merit Bank)
  • Deliver a great experience even in a crisis. They respond, keep their customers informed and use their products in innovative ways to delight customers. (Spotify)


There is one company that received more love than any others: Amazon. Why does this brand have such a loyal following? Convenience. They provide their customers with access to just about any product they could possibly need quickly, inexpensively and with minimal effort. Convenience is an area which Amazon continues to innovate as they explore drone delivery and brick-and-mortar stores.

Amazon’s about the best example out there of well-executed consumer loyalty tactics. Customers pay to be part of the loyalty program (Amazon Prime), returns are painless and competitors are ruled out because customers can give back to organizations they care about through the  smile.amazon.com initiative when making a purchase on amazon.com.

Distinctive Features

30 percent of the general population says they like to “change brands often for the sake of variety or novelty.” Brands who constantly innovate and offer unique products have a competitive advantage and earn loyalty based on obligation – they provide something that competing brands just don’t offer.

The brands who customers are loyal to because of uniqueness are Colorscience Powder Sunscreen, Blinc Mascara, Vionic Flip Flops, Tesla, Chipotle, Open Table and Samsung.

Incentives (values/rewards)

For some company’s the best way to keep customers coming through the door is through loyalty programs. Consumers are 81 percent more likely to continue doing business with the brands that have a loyalty program. The average consumer is enrolled in 13.4 loyalty programs.

The brands who have loyal customers based on the rewards they offer are Sephora, Overstock, Chevrolet, Capital One, Southwest, Nordstrom and Kroger.

Though many of these programs are transaction-based, they go far beyond just offering a freebie or a discount as a reward. Many of them use and interpret the data that they receive to better understand their customers and continue to innovate the customer experience. Some examples:

  • Sephora knows when a customer is running low on their favorite lipstick and will offer a discount when they return to purchase.
  • Overstock remembers what products caught your interest and will send subtle reminders with coupons via email
  • Kroger uses its loyalty program to understand its shoppers buying habits and offer personalized coupons based on what they routinely purchase

If building customer loyalty is high on your list of organizational priorities this year, start thinking about the overall customer experience you offer. Get to know your customers, understand what they value and learn what makes them tick. By deepening the customer experience and innovating loyalty programs, your company could become the preferred brand in your category.


What an 80-year-old Couple Can Teach the Agency of the Future

written by Chuck Kent, Director of Brand Content at Avenue
(BrandSmart Speaker 2016)

For years I’ve been marveling that the ad agency business model still hasn’t crumbled under the weight of its considerable expense and extreme self-importance. Why do clients put up with it? Why did they pay for its deficiencies to be amplified in the move to holding companies that always seemed better at aggregating wealth for agency dealmakers than creating economies of scale or, heaven forfend, simplified resourcing or business relationships for clients? Granted, there were and are exceptions; there always are to any rant like this. But to continue…   why hasn’t the Mad-Men-worshipping industry been terminally disrupted by wily 21st century iconoclasts, driving it right into irrelevance?

Great structural inertia on both sides of the client-agency divide has certainly played a role, but the progressive dismantling and reimagining of the media and content worlds (and I do not mean media buying and content marketing) may now be able to force a true re-ordering of the agency world, too, and the client relationships it exists to serve.

That said, one shouldn’t assume that the “old guard” is letting down its guard. In fact, I have for some years now been watching the progress of one supposedly traditional firm, Energy BBDO, as it pursues maintaining relevance in the new world order (full disclosure, I am ex-BBDO, New York and Chicago, but have no current business relationship or financial interest). And so, when it came time as a Chicago AMA volunteer to help put together its latest BrandSmart conference, I suggested having BBDO and its long… long… long-term client Wrigley come describe what is required in “Getting Creative with the B2C Client-Agency Relationship of the Future.”

You can watch the full panel in the video that follows; I will also recap basics of the discussion with John Starkey, Regional Vice President of Marketing, Wrigley Americas, Andres Ordóñez, Chief Creative Officer, Energy BBDO and Lianne Sinclair, Senior Vice President, Group Account Director at Energy BBDO, moderated by Erin Paul, Director of Design Strategy at Trinity Brand Group.

Here are the highlights of what I took away from the panel — which is to say, this is my interpretation of their remarks, and not anything like verbatim reportage. For the panelists thoughts word-for-word, I refer you to the video.

Don’t start with the ad – start with the business challenge

At BrandSmart 2015, in the Branding Roundtable I moderated on brand relevance, Tim Simonds, CMO of the Kellogg School of Management, made one succinct and central point: Your brand is your business.  It is not an overlay, not an add-on, not a tactical appendage to move a little product. It is the essential core of your entire enterprise. John Starkey led with this point—and, to be honest, I was struck by how long it has taken the agency world to realize that the business world does not revolve around their efforts, but the other way around.  It’s only about “the work” in so much as that work moves a business forward. I’m glad to see a client-agency team acknowledge this point.

Keep the whole team in constant contact 

The we/them divide is one of the most enduring, and counterproductive, facts of traditional agency life.  Here, the team emphasized the need to truly be in collaborative contact and conversation. Contact helps create relationships. Relationships engender conversation and listening. Listening begets understanding. And understanding, of course, is the start of effectiveness, in any pursuit.

Get rid of the account team buffer

While Andres, the creative guy in the mix, made this point, I was heartened to hear Lianne amplify the need from the account side, specifically calling out her own AE breed and calling on it to lower the force fields and allow… no encourage and facilitate… client-creative contact in particular. How radically common-sensical. And she didn’t mean get rid of account people, but, I think, simply end the ingrained habit of keeping the creators and clients at a distance, communicating through intermediaries…and losing so much in translation.

Build trust and be really honest

Easier said than done, and fairly self-explanatory, this may be the most difficult advice to follow. Trust requires a certain level of vulnerability, as does communicating human truth. Take a risk on one, and you open the door to the other (and yes, “truth” matters, even to selling a pack of gum.)

Build high-functioning relationships with the best mix of resources

I thought that John Starkey’s use of the phrase high-functioning was very interesting. I didn’t get the chance to probe it with him further, but it seems to imply needing resources that not only supply the core expertise sought, but which can also function — and are willing to work at functioning – within a mix. After all, as Lianne followed up…

No one agency can do it all

In fact, no one holding company can do it all, at least not all that well in client terms. It’s interesting to see Energy BBDO, while not trying to “do it all,” nonetheless seeming to go its own way, bundling diverse multiple services in-house, versus always being tied to (and tying clients to) the long-time “play with he cousins first” Omnicom model.

Rally all resources around the brand as your “north star”

Ah, at last. Hints of a brand-strategy-first approach in the land where untethered creativity is king. The ad industry per se has too long been willing to lead with the “big idea” (read, hopefully award-winning TV spot) and shape the supposed brand strategy to follow. This, unfortunately, ignores the core truth that the strategy is the big idea — the creative is “just” the expression of that strategic core. (Please note: This heresy comes from a long-time creative director, writer and content creator.)  While I usually avoid the use of industry buzzwords, I was happy to hear Lianne invoke “north star,” one of the currently popular shorthand definitions of a brand, in reinforcing the primacy of core brand strategy and the essential role it serves.

Always be reshaping your resource to meet the client need
Is agility is finally migrating to the agency world as as a more efficient mode of operation, or at least attitude? I caught a significant hint of that here as Energy BBDO is clearly stepping beyond the “let’s sell them ads because that’s what we do” industry tradition to meet, and hopefully anticipate, client needs and opportunities. Lianne spoke of agencies needing multiple talents to be effective across the multiple channels clients must navigate – and I’ve noticed how Energy BBDO has taken on all sorts of titles and talents, digital, social and otherwise, that wouldn’t have been part of the staff proper even five years ago. John spoke of the client-side need to have agencies work not at their own speed, but at whatever pace the client’s marketplace requires.

Create experiences that bring consumers closer and closer to the brand

Andres shared the now-famous Extra mini-movie with Sarah and Juan as an example of how, rather than bemoan the limitations, or limited viewership, of TV spots, agencies can expand assignments in any number of directions (and lengths) to reach consumers where they live.

Apparently, the original “ask” was for a :15 TV spot; the response was a two-and-and-half minute story of a love literally unfolding from, yes, gum wrappers (it sounds silly or overreaching written flatly like that; but look for it on YouTube video download by tubemate app — it works, as my 16-year-old daughter will readily attest).

And the real expansion here wasn’t in length, but in the storytelling, and subsequently larger emotional experience, made possible by greater freedom in format.

Push the envelope on client-agency collaboration
Throughout the session, John, Lianne and Andres repeatedly returned to the notion of “extreme-in-it-togetherness” (my phrase, not theirs) that lies at the center of their relationship and their ultimate output. On one hand, I’ll have to take their word for it — the truth of collaboration is something you can’t say, but simply have to be part of to appreciate, or even believe. On the other hand, it makes sense. Traditional turf battles, us-them divides and behind-their-backs complaints about “lack of client vision” or “agency arrogance” have always hurt the end result, and pushing the envelope on true client-agency collaboration may be the only way to enhance, or even preserve, the client-agency relationship in the future.

As a marketer or agency leader, what do you see as the must-haves of the healthy client-agency relationship of the future? And what are you doing about it? (C’mon now, you’re not going to let an 80-year-old couple leave you in the dust, are you?) Please leave us your thoughts in the comments section.

Three Social Media Tips for Building Your Network

By Wendy Lalli

Building a strong professional network is essential for every career. There are, of course, many ways to develop this essential career tool. Joining and actively participating in organizations like the Chicago AMA is one thing you can do. You can also go to business events and socialize with colleagues, vendors and even competitors out of the office.  Of course, you should do all of the above but social media provides you with another way to deepen the contacts you make face-to-face and connect with people you may never meet in person.

LinkedIn is the gold standard for professional networking.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. are all useful networking venues but none of these channels has the reach or the power of LinkedIn. The fact is, having a fully functioning LinkedIn profile is as important as having an up-to-date resume. Moreover, when you meet new people at networking events, asking them to link in with you is the easiest and most effective way to connect with them immediately and in the future.

To take full advantage of LinkedIn, fill in all the sections of your profile and include a professional looking photo. Then make your profile as public as possible. Add updates to your profile several times a week including networking events, educational events, blogs posted, etc. Join appropriate LinkedIn groups and comment on discussions within these groups. Even better, initiate discussions of your own. Blog for Pulse on topics of general interest or personal insights and experiences that can help others with their careers. Post links to articles on your update section that will reflect your expertise in your industry and your willingness to share your knowledge.  LinkedIn isn’t about connecting with old school chums and family members but adding weight to your professional presence online.

Here are three tips to keep in mind to help achieve that goal:

  1. Networking is a numbers game. Play it to win. The more people you can connect with who are in your industry or in industries related to yours – the better. However, this is NOT the same as just adding more names to your LinkedIn contact list. For example, if you’re a copywriter, adding plumbers, waiters and insurance reps to your professional network probably won’t help you find a new job or learn more about the latest trends in your industry. On the other hand, connecting with art directors, media specialists, account executives and other writers will help you do all of the above.
  1. Help others to help yourself. The real secret to building a business network is proactively helping others whether or not you immediately get something back in return.  This assistance can take many forms. Telling someone about a job, passing on the contact information of an appropriate hiring manager, advising someone on their resume, writing a blog to share what you know or just giving moral support to a job hunter when they didn’t get the job.  If you have a solid social media presence, these interactions can take place even with people you’ve never met who live thousands of miles away!  Here are two examples of how to network via social media:

Example 1: One night about six years ago, I opened up my LinkedIn account to find an invitation from Henry B. I had never met Henry – he lives in Los Angeles and I’m in Chicago. When I looked at his LinkedIn profile, I discovered that, like me, he blogged frequently for Pulse. (In fact, I think that’s how he found me.) It turned out that Henry had held senior leadership positions at some of the biggest ad agencies in the country and now was a consultant to major corporations on new business development. I was extremely flattered that someone at his level of experience would be interested in connecting with me and accepted his invitation as soon as I could. A few months later Henry sent me a message via LinkedIn that Sally, his college-age daughter was coming to Chicago to start a career in marketing. Knowing from my profile that I taught copywriting at Columbia College and had previously been a recruiter, he asked if I would be willing to advise her about her resume and then pass it on to my contacts in the city.

After an email exchange with Sally, I suggested some changes to her resume and then gave her the names and contact information of about 15 recruiters in town. I also alerted these recruiters that she would be in touch with them shortly. A few weeks later I was pleasantly surprised to receive a check for $100 from one of these agencies as a finder’s fee. It seems that Henry’s daughter was a dynamite candidate and the recruiter had been able to place her immediately in a full time job.

Since then, Henry has coached me at various times via email on creating new business proposals and he also sent me a DVD of one of his speeches. (He’s a well-known motivational speaker on business presentations and networking for corporations and universities.) Although we’ve still never met or even talked on the phone, I am very proud to be connected to Henry and I think he feels the same way about me.

Example 2: A year and a half ago I posted a blog on Pulse offering advice on networking and Victor D., a project manager at Dell, wrote a nice comment about it. Checking out his LinkedIn profile before I responded to his comment, I saw that he worked in Austin, Texas. At that time, I was considering relocating to Austin if I found a suitable position. In thanking him for his kind remarks, I mentioned that I was considering relocating to Austin myself.

Within a few days, Victor sent me several job descriptions from his company’s internal job board along with the names and direct phone numbers of the department managers responsible for filling these positions. Of course, I thanked him for his efforts on my behalf but since the jobs were above my level of experience, I was reluctant to send off a resume. Victor responded to my reluctance by sending me two more job descriptions a little lower on the food chain that had not yet been posted publicly. As it turned out, due to family considerations I decided that relocation was just not an option. But if it had been, I’m sure Victor would have helped make it happen! It goes without saying that if Victor wants my help in the future, he’s got it!

  1. Stay in touch to get ahead. Networking, like any activity involving personal interaction, takes work and constant attention. To stay connected to your contacts you need to know where they are and what they’re doing, and then let them know the same about you. Fortunately, LinkedIn makes this relatively easy even if your contact list, like mine, is over 700 people. If someone is having an anniversary, congratulate them on it. If they’ve been promoted, send them a little LinkedIn message acknowledging their achievement. If someone endorses you, thank them for their recognition of your skill sets. Keep these messages short, cheerful and to the point, but send them as often as you can.

Is there someone you haven’t connected with for a while who you’d like to be closer to? Post a recommendation for them on LinkedIn based on your previous experience with them. Hopefully, they’ll return the favor and write a recommendation for you. But even if they don’t, you’ll have reminded them of your work together and why you’re worth staying in touch with.

I hope you find these suggestions helpful. Remember, networking is always about giving whatever and wherever and to whomever you can. Concern for others allows you to build bridges – making the world a smaller and much friendlier place.

Using Google Analytics in a Few Clicks

On March 22nd, Chicago AMA members and guests gathered at 1871 to hear from Google Analytics expert, Andy Crestodina. In addition to being the Co-Founder and Strategic Director at Orbit Media, he also serves as a mentor at 1871, an Adjunct Professor at Loyola; and was named in the “Top 10 Online Experts I’m Following in 2015” by Forbes Magazine. The night’s topic was “Applied Google Analytics: Insights and Actions,” a presentation that he will be giving as a keynote speaker at an upcoming conference–and we were lucky enough to hear it first!

A well-seasoned speaker, Crestodina breezed through his slides with the ease of a professor teaching his most passionate subject. In fact, he joked that if his soon-to-be-born child could learn one thing, he hoped it would be Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). His over-arching statement is this: Traffic times your Conversion Rate is what will equal success for your website.

Let’s take a look at how he illustrated this throughout the evening. The broad topics covered were:

  • Reporting vs. Analysis: How most marketers get Analytics wrong
  • Turning ideas into questions
  • Analytics Insights
  • Audience Insights: WHO is visiting?
  • Acquisition Insights: WHERE are they coming from?
  • Behavior Insights: WHAT are they doing here?
  • Conversion Insights: WHICH pieces of content are successful?

Before diving into the tips and tricks of Google Analytics, Crestodina ensured that the group was on the same playing field by quizzing the audience on the difference between data (pages of reports) and analytics (words written about those reports).

Analytics are KEY to your business, and he likened them to being the driving wheel of your company–you wouldn’t just hand that over to anyone, would you? He encouraged each of us to take the driver’s wheel and learn to run these reports, perform the analytics and cautioned against outsourcing the analytics 100% to an outside firm.

Additionally, once you have the analytics in front of you, he encouraged the asking of questions, putting the answers into actionable tasks and performing a series of tests to ensure the path taken was helpful, fruitful and profitable to your company.

The reports sections included and discussed in his presentation were: Audience, Aquisition, Behavior and Conversion. These four sections of Google Analytics contain reports that can unlock the mystery of who is visiting your website, where they are coming from, what they are doing once they are there, and which content is getting them to stay. Let’s take a look at a small sample of the reports discussed.

Audience & Acquisition – Mobile vs Not

Within three clicks in Google Analytics, you can discover what percentage of your website traffic is fed from mobile devices. That’s interesting. Take it a step further. Combine Traffic data with a CRO analysis and you can find out if your mobile audience is less or more engaged than your non-mobile audience. Now you have somewhere to start, questions to ask and answers to test.

Behavior – “The Report of Broken Dreams”

Again, with just a few clicks within Google Analytics, you can see the terms that users searched for and then the amount of people that left your website because they couldn’t find what they were searching for. The insight? Write about that topic! Crestodina says to think about your website as if it were a city.  Put your “Billboards” where your “Traffic” is. Know your most popular road (or paths, on your site) and load it up with your best and most searched for content.

Towards the end of his presentation, Crestodina quoted Barry Feldman: “Your website is a mouse trap, your content is the cheese.” He asked the audience: “Are you writing content that your audience desires?” And added, “Strong websites have a conversion rate of 1-3%. Below that, you aren’t going to make any money; over that, you’re going to be a millionaire.”

The message was clear: Traffic times Conversion Rate equals success. Crestodina provided clear steps on how to run a good set of reports that any business owner can start with to help he or she analyze why a piece or a side of that formula is not working for his or her business. The presentation ended a joyful applause and a few whispers of “I wish I could go work on these reports right NOW!”

About the Author

Ms. Ramsey is the owner of Besty Bash, LLC, a creative social media & digital marketing firm in Chicago. In her free time, she enjoys listening to live music and chatting about it on her blog, www.LaurenIgnited.com.

Twitter: @TweetsByBetsy / @LaurenIgnited
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/laureneramsey

Connecting Ideas to Drive Results: A Brandsmart Recap

By Jessica Schaeffer, Director of Marketing, LaSalle Network

A clear theme emerged at 22 West Washington Street on April 28th as some of the biggest minds in marketing gathered to share insights around the brands they manage. The theme: the new wave of marketing: the power of storytelling to build relationships and trust with your consumers and clients.

Chicago American Marketing Associaton’s BrandSmart offered a smattering of perspectives from not-for-profits, ad agencies, big brands and up and coming brands.

Here’s a peek at the day in case you missed it, or just want to compare notes.

Session 1: Marketing for Tomorrow Starting Today – First Session

The day kicked off with a tag team effort by Ron Bess of Havas Worldwide and Zain Raj of Shapiro + Raj. Their message? Great brands (both your personal brand and an organization’s brand) build enduring bonds by fulfilling relationship expectations and sharing brand control.

Raj highlighted eight actionable relationships a consumer has with a brand – the best being a devoted relationship and the worst being a passable relationship. While every brand should strive to achieve devoted relationships with their customers, a mere 12% of customers say they have a devoted relationship with a brand.

So how do you deepen attachment and improve the experience? Raj shared five tips:

  1. Create a new focus: Begin with your most devoted customers to convert your most attractive prospects. Stop going after customers who don’t LOVE your brand.
  2. Try a new approach: Treat customers with respect, trust and loyalty
  3. Adopt a new mindset: Brands need to be perpetually evolving and try to improve
  4. Build a new model: Every company needs to be focused on cutting costs and producing faster
  5. Solve a new equation: Values x Authenticity: The strongest brands know they have to have commendable values, and LIVE those values

Bess closed out the session by drawing parallels between Raj’s presentation and personal branding. Just like a company’s brand, your personal brand is tied to the results you produce and the relationships you build. As a professional, you need to be focused on building trust, respect and loyalty.

Session 2: Transforming the Cubs Brand

Director of Marketing at the Chicago Cubs, Allison Miller, gave attendees a glimpse into the challenges the Cubs’ brand has faced during her tenure. Chief among them understanding and honing in on their target market.

Miller joined the Cubs and realized quickly they were selling a bad product. The Cubs had an aging team, the third highest payroll in the league and amenities that were deteriorating. They had a large, diverse fan base, and yet they knew nothing about them. They were marketing to everyone, without a clear focus of who would really move the needle for the brand.

Miller began the process by segmenting their customers and creating a fan and brand promise. The Cubs took time to understand the different brand personas and talk with these customers. Then, they worked to develop a brand message, campaigns and experiences they wanted these customers to have.

The findings helped the Cubs narrow their marketing, target their messaging around changes within the organization and bridge what the community wanted to do with the stadium with what the Cubs needed to do to advance the organization.

Session 3: Redefining a brand through a cause partnership

Chuck Gitkin, SVP of Brand Marketing at Smithfield Foods gave attendees a glimpse into a strategic partnership with Operation Homefront. Operation Homefront assists military families during difficult financial times by providing food assistance, moving assistance and financial assistance among other things.

If you aren’t familiar with Smithfield Foods, Gitkin says you probably aren’t alone….packaged meats isn’t the sexiest or most well-known industry, and that’s one of the primary reasons behind partnering with Operation Homefront. Not only does Smithfield Foods believe in giving back and supporting those and their families who protect our country, but the partnership helps bring visibility to both organizations.

Gitkin explained that cause marketing has allowed the company, which has a limited marketing budget, to create more exposure for less. They’ve brought in spokespeople to help champion Operation Homefront, and by default, Smithfield Foods. They’ve also created special packaging that a portion of the proceeds is donated directly to Operation Homefront.

Session 4: Panel Discussion: Getting Creative with the B2C agency of the future

Maybe you’ve seen this commercial. What you may not know is that Wrigley and ad agency, Energy BBDO worked collaboratively to create it. The two companies, which have been working together for years, gave us a glimpse into their relationship with John Starkey, VP, Gum, Mints and Media at Wrigley talking with Lianne Sinclair and Andres Ordonez of Energy BBDO.

The trio shared how their relationship has evolved over the years – emphasizing the fact that Energy BBDO is an extension of the Wrigley team, and explaining that now Energy BBDO is brought in earlier in Wrigley’s process. Wrigley is also exposed to Energy BBDO’s “unfinished product” to gauge their temperature and get their input on a project before it’s nearly complete.

Session 5: Hear the Brand: The Rise of Audio Branding: How to get the Most from Your Sound

Colleen Fahey sang, hummed and tapped her way to her main message on Thursday: leave an earprint with every piece of brand communication.

Fahey runs Sixieme Son, an audio branding company that strives to express brand values through sound. The audio brand of a company, Fahey explained, is everything from its on-hold music, to its app sounds, TV and radio spots and sales presentations.

Fahey argued a few key reasons why every company needs to consider its audio DNA.

  1. Music is a language that is universally understood
  2. Music moves behavior
  3. Sounds lead to sales
  4. Sounds speeds search
  5. Audio branding builds brand value

Not convinced? Check out these great examples of audio branding successes Fahey shared: Samsung, Tropicana, and Michelin.

Session 6: Insurance Agents are Rock Stars

Assurance Agency has been recognized by Fortune Magazine as one of the Top 100 Places to Work in the Country. This is one of dozens of awards the company has won throughout its tenure, and VP of Marketing, Steve Handmaker argues it’s been good for business, too….but it hasn’t always been this way.

Assurance wasn’t always a great place to work. In fact, staff was disengaged and profits were suffering as a result. In 1998, Assurance brought on new leadership to right the ship. They decided to focus on people.

Their philosophy was simple. Happy employees = happy clients. Handmaker borrowed from fellow marketer Seth Godin’s theory of purple cows, explaining that Assurance’s culture was their purple cow, the one thing that makes them truly remarkable and sets them apart from competitors in the insurance industry.

Since that decision, not only has Assurance invested in staff to build an incredible culture, they’ve also effectively marketed employee engagement programs to ensure the country knows they are a purple cow.

“Our culture doesn’t automatically mean we win, but its’ getting us to the finish line and helping make us a part of the conversation.” – Steve Handmaker

Session 7: Brand Building and Data Driven Demand Generation

Data paralysis.

Ad resistant.

Craig Greenfield, COO of Performics explained that in today’s world, marketers are overwhelmed by data, and consumers are resistant to our messages and skeptical of our ads.

How do we overcome this? We have to better understand our customers and what they want. We have to identify customer intent before they want express it. As marketers, we can do this by measuring time on site, bounce rates, coupon downloads, the list goes on and on….any piece of content that captures data about our audience.

If you don’t have the data you want, Greenfield says to identify needed data, then create audiences, design experiences and then plan, launch, test and learn.

Session 8: The Impact of Content Creativity with Always on Brands

In typical Leo Burnett fashion, Vincent Geraghty, EVP and Head of Production at Leo Burnett, wowed us showing some incredible campaigns, with one of the most poignant being the Runlikeagirl campaign created for Always.

This was about as conventional as it got though, as Geraghty discussed how his greenhouse team is changing the way Leo Burnett does business. The greenhouse content team is run like a newroom. They’ve adopted a “maker mentality,” where concepting is no longer good enough. They are executers, doers, creators.

This team has allowed Leo Burnett to streamline the approval process, execute on trending ideas quickly and efficiently.

The Greenhouse team is focused on telling great stories that are finely crafted full of human insights. Their goal is to deliver content that entertains, resonates, and weaves the brand into the insight and story.

Session 9: Panel: Getting Creative with the B2B Agency of the Future

According to Linda McGovern, SVP Global Marketing at USG, and Mike Hensley, President at Gyro, the B2B agency of the future is one that understands how to curate brand touchpoints, one that is able to expand and shrink based on the needs of its client, and one that is insanely focused on user experience and content creation.

Like speakers before them, McGovern and Hensley echoed the need to create experiences, not just compelling messages. They touched on the importance emotion plays in the decision making process, and how marketing today needs to connect with the customer.

Session 10: Think Differently: Opportunity Identification or Breakthrough Ideas

After Lindsay Avner stepped off the stage, there may not have been a dry eye in the house. Avner, who founded BrightPink, shared her story of undergoing a risk reducing double mastectomy at the age of 22 to help prevent a future seemingly inevitable diagnosis of breast and ovarian cancer.

As Avner shared her passion for education and getting one step ahead of cancer, it was clear that her powerful message was reaching the right audience because of unique marketing tactics.

Avner explained that she borrows the equity and brand recognition of powerful partners like Arie and Paul Mitchell to communicate BrightPink’s message. The not-for-profit has created highly visible campaigns around Mother’s Day, with the most recent being the #goaskyourmother campaign which urged young women to talk about family history of breast and ovarian cancer.

BrightPink created an online assessment that allows women to assess their risk of breast and ovarian cancer quickly and easily.

Avner’s philosophy is: awareness doesn’t save lives, action does…and all of BrightPink’s marketing efforts are judged based on that simple premise. Has our content, our partnerships caused people to make a change?

Session 11: LUV Lessons: Building a Brand from the Inside Out

He may be retired, but Dave Ridley definitely still has it….the former head of marketing at Southwest Airlines reminded the audience of our biggest brand advocates, our employees.

A few key quotes from his speech sum up his message:

  • “The business of business is people” –Herb Kelleher
  • To develop a great brand, start from the inside out.
  • “I still bleed canyon blue” – as marketers we need more of that diehard marketing. That commitment and dedication to our brands
  • It is a privilege to lead people – you get to invest in the hearts and minds of people
  • Everyone is a CEO…a chief encouragement officer, that’s the number one way to make a difference in people’s lives