Exploring the Marketing Landscape with Mitch Joel

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

It goes without saying the marketing landscape has dramatically changed over the past year. 

The disappearance of conferences (a go-to channel for B2B companies) has been a game-changer, forcing marketers to embrace virtual events, high-quality content, newsletters, and social media.

Who better to provide perspective on marketing today and where it’s heading (as well as how business is transforming) than Mitch Joel, an entrepreneur, investor, author, and trusted advisor.

In this episode of Marketing Spark, Mitch and I discuss:

- The domination of the advertising landscape by Google and Facebook

- The growing importance of storytelling

- How and when in-person conferences will return

- The future of LinkedIn and Clubhouse.

I mark binweeds other Ireton, the marelandscape, a Maicasur of confrence o go to channel to be a company has been agame change, of course, the market enrace virtual event. I motionless group better for my pain that I m todayand we're heading as well as how business is transformed in the next toaprender investor, author and trusted adviser, welcome to markings for goodto hear from you mark and ice to quote, Unquote, see you! I get to see yourface because of the power of Cob House, normally not much, but good, to see you. Likewise, it's been a long time,especially in these ovid times, which were living where seeing people as areal treat. Let's start by exploring the state of digital marketing. As Isaid during the introduction, it's been a year of change, experimentation andadapting to the new landscape, a loaded question, but what's Bin your take onmarking over the past twelve months? You know, I don't know if it's so muchtwelve months as it is in general, and I want to separate the idea ofmarketing and advertising because it's an easy trope to get into so let'sfocus on the advertising side of it and then maybe you can remind me- and wecan pull it back in or bat or zoom out to the broader world of digitalmarketing. But from an advertising perspective, it's been pretty. You know.I want to his word sad, somewhat sad. We lived in a world and you were thereearly on, as I was where it felt like. We would see a million flowers blossomand suddenly we are in this world that Professor Scott Galaway so rightfullycalled to these unregulated monopolies. It's a place where, if you are playingwith two players, namely face book and Google- and we could discuss and debatethe other ones because they have merit but that'll basically cover you andthat'll, basically get you the eyeballs and attention you need and because oftheir data and the accumulation of the platforms that fall within both ofthose major brands. What you have is a world where the publishers alsomaintain so much data and information that they know exactly based off of keywords, intent connections, etc. How much a key word or key phrase or targetaudience is to any brand. They know more about the actual acquisition of acustomer in the lifetime value of the customer than probably the brand that'strying to do any semblance of advertising, and that creates a massivefinancial opportunity for the publishers. It provides the brands witha really good insight into how they can target or re target their advertisingand their messaging, but it doesn't provide a lot of flexibility and with that, there's also thequestion of brand safety. What we've really seen in the past twelve monthsis a bit of a red herring. In one instance, brands have never been safeon social media. Their content has constantly been surrounded by. However,you want to describe the content. Is it political? Is it to left? Is it toright is to center, or do we want our brands associated around these types ofof content comments, user generated content et ce, but when it became thebig banner that brands were floatingeverywhere, brand safety brand safety were going to be pulling back ouradvertising from face book and Google. I felt like it's a bit of a red herringonly because it fell at a time when the pandemic was really kicking off andgetting hot and crazy and heavy for the world, and I felt like it was a gooddiversion from the reality that brands were probably going to start retractingmarketing and advertising budgets. They were probably going to start layingpeople off and making pretty ugly announcements, but if they could yellvery loudly about brand safety, it...

...could push the owners back onto theplatforms again, namely face book and Google in this instance, and I foundthat very frustrating from my own perspective. On the other hand, brandshave never been more empowered, as you and I have known, talked about for overa decade to build their own platforms to get more engaged in their news.Letters to get more engaged in their own content creation and to think aboutthings differently, so you have a tale of two cities, as we always have inthese situations. You have a p you have you have the agnostic world oftechnology. That is neither good nor bad. It just is, and you have many flare ups of issuesand challenges that make it somewhat challenging for big brands toplain effectively and really troublesome for the smaller brands toeven get on board which, again, if you look at the smaller brands, then youcan go down the larger view of digital marketing and look at an amazingopportunities and things like, for example, shapit Er. You know, CanadianSuccess Story that I'm sure both of us are really proud of, but that enablesan empowers anybody to become an entrepreneur that has massiveimplications across the landscape as well, because now you have youngerstartups who are thinking about building their own platform. They'reengaged in the market place they're, adding APPS on to it, they're trying tobuild that D, TC that direct a consumer relationship, and that creates a veryfortuitous time. But as they move up into the scale of time to advertise onGoogle and face book, it can be very, very limiting and again what happens.Well, it lays it lays a path for new startups, like clear bank, for example,again another Canadian company, I'm being very pro Canadian today, but howdo they think about venture? Well, the vast majority to new businesses arecoming in and looking for, venture for marketing want to build a business likeclear bank which essentially doesn't take ownership but offers a loan against specifically targetedadvertising and face book and Google with the premium on top of it. Thattakes away from removing issues from the overall cap of the company and whatthey're looking at and provides a new venture in venue to advertise andconnect. So I can go down a million tropes here. If you want mark well ask a simple question: He don'tget a simple answer. I geisterie, but there's a lot of different ways we cango here. There are three words that came to mind when you were answeringthat question. One was flexibility that it was creativity and the other wasinnovation in flexibility when it comes to advertising channels, because you'reabsolutely right about the fact that there are two big players in town andreally when it comes to digital marketing, you either go with option aor option bit last year, when a lot of brands jumped off face book, they saidthey would longer advertise on the platform you had to believe it was more. Youknow, show than go that eventually they just couldn't resist the power and sizeof the face book platform, and they eventually many of them came back now.A lot of them didn't publicize the fact they'd come back, but it was, it waswhat it was and the same thing goes for. Google Google has so much Danty, youhave to be everywhere, and that is just the advertising landscape. The otherthing comes down to creativity and I am interested in as a creative. Gettingyour take on this. The fact that brands have to be so careful these days. Youknow putting yourself out there taking chances embracing risk, doing thingsthat may push the boundaries. Can put you off side pretty quickly,particularly in a world where we increasingly see the world in black orwhite and wondering what your take is of the creativelandscape when it comes to marketing you know creatively, I really think weare seeing a high level of innovation only because again I zoom out and lookbeyond banner advertising and re targeting, but the ability to tell astory in a compelling way that attracts an audience and audience to potentiallybeing a customer, a first time, customers, my friend, Avans Kashi WHO's.This analytic, Groovin, ai person, a...

...google like to say, customers, usuallysomeone who buys for you twice so first on customer and then a real customer.Someone has bought for me twice, and I see this every single day and I lovethat level of creativity and where am I seeing it while I am seeing it inplaces like in my news letters I am seeing it in the extension from thenews letter which may or may not be attached to it again a point to theshop I fi blog as an example. It's really hard to find a more aggregated,unique from divers voices area to understand how to be an entrepreneur inmodern times beyond the shop, ify blog, which sounds crazy to say, but they'vedone an excellent job at really pushing it forward. When I think about companylike hub spot, for example very recently acquiring, I think theyacquired the hustle to me. These are strong indicators of excellent thinkingaround creativity. You could extend it into physical, creative and think aboutwhat Patagonia has done with their movies and their yout channels, complex, very large media company. Theylaunched this thing called complex land, which is I mean I don't not explain it.Is it a video game? Is it an online learning? You go into this experienceand you can shop and meet different vendors and go attend content speeches.There has been a complete explosion of the ability to really build a brand ina creative way. You could even look at platforms like Cameo, which allowsanybody to go in and get a celebrity to give a shout out to a friend for abirthday or whatever it might be. You could look at something like masterclass as another great example of creative ways to build a brand and tellyour story I'll even go as far as I have I've. A nerdy well mark nose havea many nerdy things, but one of my hardy things is I've been trying to doanother podcast. My main podcast is called six pixel t of separation andI've been doing it. I think it's the longest running business podcast in theworld close to fifteen years, but I have another one that I've been doingfor about five or six years, which is a monthly show called, grew the notrouble podcast where I'm trying to slowly build the largest oral historyof base players, because I love bass and I used to be a player. But now Ijust love the music and in that journey I met this fantastic company calledScotts base, Lessons which seems like Oh Scott Teaching, base lessons onlinelearning. Great Scott Probably has the largest online instructional for anyinstrument in the world. Guitars drums you name it beyond. I mean notincluding things like maybe Berkeley, College of music and things like thatand his. If you look at his his creativity in his content, it'sastounding, even if he's re, targeting you and adds, and by the way I don'trecommend, typing an electric base, because you will be unless you reallywant to be. You will be re targeted from Scott non stop, but the what hedoes is he's not retarding you with ads or promos to sign up or anything likethat. It's always content and it's a really good content. He'll do a videocalled the three times: Jack O pastories, one beast mout Jacko pastorsis a very famous electric base player. He will take a very famous base thatsome player used and to a history of that actual instrument with interviews the content and creativity of what he'sdoing in seven eight fifteen minute, videos that are essentially re,targeted ads is super compelling, and so I'm a massive believer that you can do very, very compelling thingswith creativity beyond the idea of it being just great copy and and a greatpicture of photo to go along with it. Now, where do I go from there? We go alot of areas. We could talk about base playing and an online education. One ofthe things that you mentioned that obviously captured. My attention isstorytelling because I've been a long time storyteller as a journalist and ablogger and doing videos and...

...newsletters, and there is a lot of talkabout storytown. If you did a certan Google, you get, I don't hundredmillion results like within less than a second curious about what is actualbrand story. Tell me when you really boil it down to, and I think a lot ofpeople struggle with this- is that story telling in concept makes sensestorytelling in the real world actually doing. It is a whole other thingcompletely. So maybe you can define what good brand story telling is andprovides some examples of how it happens. You've already mentionedPatagonia as one example on there's brains like Arbab and go pro. That alsodo a great job. Give us your take on story telling and maybe even includewhy I go lot of companies struggle with it. Well I'll, simplify it, which isyou live in a world. I live in a world, everybody listening lives in a worldwhere you as a brand or individual, can create content in text images. audionvideo instantly and what I mean by when I say for free is the distributionchannel is primarily free. I mean there's there's modalities to that thatwe can discuss now. You can do that, also in long form or short form. Now inthe world I mean look, we're recording this on a club house. You can do it inthe world where it's pre recorded and edited or like this live, and so whenwe talk about what do we mean by brand story telling? I believe it's simplythat as a brand, you need to sit down and define who, amongst us, wants totell a story about our brand. Our business, our story in text, images,audio video, long form short form, live pre recorded. What's the right mix forus, what makes sense. So if you look to me being a market of one or me beingthe best example for me to use, because I know it so well, I would argue thatmy output is Texto, form audio long form, that's the core of what I do. Iwrite long articles log posts things like that, and then I do my hourlypodcast every week and my other podcast and that's my main thing. That doesn'tmean I don't do three weekly national radio hits. It doesn't mean I don'ttweet, it doesn't mean. I don't post pictures of my walks on instar. It justmeans at the core. That's what I do and by leveraging that understanding ofwhat you do and creating a path for it, an editorial calendar. How are we goingto put this out? What does this look like? You start going down the pathwhere you're no longer limited to the constraints of an ad and you'rethinking about your brand as a story as a publishing entity. So when I wasrunning my agency, which I did for over fifteen years with my business partners,it was called twist image. That's where we started six pies of separation, theBlong, that's where we started six piculs of separation, the podcast fromthat. That's what led to speaking events, which I still do a lot ofthat's. What led to my book deal so had two books that I put out, but we lookedat it at a meadow perspective. We said: okay, we are an agency twist image, itbecame Miraman the ends, let's call it Mirram for consistency. MIRA managestwo other brands. We also manage this thing that we called six pixel ofseparation, which was our content container for all of those things thatblog the podcast of speaking, etc, and we're also managing this brand calledMitch Joel and I'm not going to talk about myself in the third person, likecertain athletes do. But that was the attitude we brought to it. What are wedoing to improve and place this brand of Mitch Joel and the story? Teller theface of it, the voice of it into the zig gist and so to me that that's aconstruct of how we create a story telling environment now when we take itto the next level? What I think is really interesting about digitalmarketing and technology is we have the split of story telling brand buildingagainst direct response advertising and, if I said to you mark Lick Mark, whatdo you think would be the proper split for a start up or an establish businessin terms of the storytelling brand side, verses, the direct response,advertising engine? You would probably logically say a fifty fifty, but that'swhat makes sense, but it's not it over...

...indexes in a massive way towards directresponse. If I buy a bunch of ads on Google and face book and target them,that's a better way to get sales and customer acquisition. But if you foregothat brand that story telling those components of it, you know who was youit doesn't create the longevity you need, and so what happens in thecurrent world is the brands that are struggling are the ones that aren'tpaying enough attention to the brand and storytelling component and whathappens on. The other side is because they're putting that eighty percent,let's say on direct response and advertising, is it becomes a moreexpensive game of customer acquisition, which speaks exactly to what we hadbefore in the large multinational media. Universe of you know it's eight o'clockon Thursday on MB and if you're, not advertising on Mus ct, the nationdoesn't know you exist, and that became this game of spending and spendingagainst these numbers, which is what were essentially seeing on the directresponse advertising side with the one capiat being. You can tweak it a littlebit. You can see if it's actually converting and that's the drug of it,and that's why I think so many brands haven't been focused on storytelling,because it's almost too easy to do the director sponse side of it just to jump around a little bit mich,because I know there's a lot of ground I want to cover. You have done in the past a lot ofpublic speaking. I suspect that you've probably done your fair share of oversal speaking over the last twelve months, trying to get your thoughts andyou're probably going to speculate as much as anybody these days about thestate of impersonal events and speaking, you have any sense from the people thatyou talk to the bookings that you might be getting about when that might comeback, and I would put this into context that in Canada were far behind thevaccination curve than the US. So my perspective is a bit different thanwhat might be happening self for the border. How do you feel what's going tohappen with you when it comes in person speaking this year? I don't know youknow similar to you. I don't think it's going to work for me unless I have bothvaccinations and things are reasonable here, I'm a family person, I'm a parenthappily and we've got young kids in Canada. Like you said it's a bitdifferent in that and the states everything is open, but the schools areclosing in Canada, everything's closed, but the schools are open and we couldhave a debate about whether that's good or bad, but I want my kids in schooland anything that I do that might have to have them removed from school formultiple weeks due to quarantine and things like that are off the table forme. So my reaction is right. Now in the states it looks likethere are some small and local events that are going forward of seen evenevidence of large events that are happening are those internationalevents? Probably not. Are they great ideas? That's you know not for me tojudge or decide on have my own perspective, but I don't think it'syour main to the conversation, but I can't see myself getting on a plane, inparticular leaving the country until I'm fully vaxed and I met the mercy ofgovernments and decisions about borders and how that works. That being said, myperspective about, what's going to happen, is different, usually than mostof my peers. Most of my peers are in this head space of virtual, hybrid orphysical events, and I think that that's the wrong perspective what'shappened, then it's actually relevant to what we're talking about in relationto marketing. Is The world shut down? Let's call it midMarch of last year and every single business went into survival. Mote and Ibelieve that there are three s s year. So that's the first s survival mode. Everything went virtual, we're all onzoom, that's life in August of last year. I think we shifted from survivalmode into sustain mote. This is going to be a longer hall. We don't know,there's a lot of uncertainty. Second waves, third waves. So how do wesustain? And I think, when we talkd...

...about sustain at a corporate level, itbecomes two directions direction. One is how do we use a company engage ouremployees if we have to sustain this as we have been in as we will for a littlebit while longer. Maybe I much longer two is: How do we engage our customersand I think the reaction from that is going to be because we're still insustain mode by the way? The third as is strive strive, is where we probablywere in December January of last year. I think that sustain mode is going tocreate a different model, and so my God tells me my brain a little bit too thatthere's going to be three paths path. One is the C. FO speaks the CEO goes.Look. We didn't do that three hundred person event down in Boston, we did itonline and we had fifteen hundred people come in, or fifteen thousandpeople join. Now we have this content. We can keep for using this content,pushing this content out there. Why would we ever go physical if we couldreach a larger base in a virtual world? So I do think that there is this pushtowards much more virtual. Only types of events I put events and air quotesthe next one is going back to this idea of. How do we gauge our our employees?How do we get our customers? I think slowly, what they're going to realize,because part of the work force will remain remote. Some people will havemoved and changed around they're going to do a lot more what'll call local andsmaller events, so more regionalist, with a higher level of frequencyinseeing. That big big event will do two or three in different parts of thecountry or in different countries, and keep it really really tight and small.This way, they're not falling off side in terms of insurance and worried aboutgatherings that are too large and making people slowly comfortably edgeinto this, and then the third one is what I typically do, which, as I flysomewhere and I speak to an audience of any size from five to fifteen thousandpeople, and I think those are going to be exceptionally popular. I thinkthere's going to there is a pent up demand that people who complain, thoughI got another conference in Las Vegas- are going to be like how do I get onthat plane faster than before, and so what I think is happening is too many.People are thinking well, which one will it be in my answer is it will beall three, and so, if you are a good speaker and a prepared speaker, yousuddenly have two new paths that you may not have had before in any mix up.So for me, the tune pass would be virtual, only and the more local smallregional ones. On top of what I was typically doing, so I really believe,if you're an event planner, if you're in the speaking business, if you're aprofessional speaker in your well positioned what could happen as youcould be busier than ever, and have more and more opportunities to speakand grow that business, and this tends to be my overall feeling in generalabout digital, which is this forced innovation that happened for businessesto survive in that first phase and then shift into sustain have probablycreated a myriad of new business models and opportunities for businesses topursue. And my hope is that, as we come out of this and I'm you know, I thinkwe're all seeing some light here at the end of this tunnel that they will sustain those and reallypush them into the strive. Mote you, you have restaurants that were doingzoom lessons they're suddenly in the online education space, and that mightbe an entirely brilliant new part of business. So I get really excited whenI think about what happened through this. You know what I call this greatcompression of time to be very opportunistic when it comes to howbusinesses can grow and expand beyond it, it would be remiss if I didn't askyou about Linkin and club house. Over the past year, I've doubled down onLinkin. It has been a tremendous medium to connect with people have probablytalked to more than a hundred people, robbing a hundred and fifty peopledirectly as a result of linked in connections, and it's really done mybusiness. A lot of good and my brand awareness is through the roofclub house, I'm ambivalent. To be...

...honest with you, I'm not quite sure,although I'm sure you have a different perspective, because you're quiteactive- and it looks like you brought your tribe with you, give me some perspective on the waythat linked on is evolved and and what you think of clubhouse is potential,because I think that's kind of like the big wild card right now for a lot ofindividuals in terms of people who are influencers and brands yeah. It's aninteresting question too, because we're talking about this in the middle ofthis other thing, that's sitting out there, which is rumors. That discord,which I would say, is the grandfather of what we're seeing here on club ousin terms of social audio, is potentially being sold to Microsoft forten billion dollars. This rumor, you never know anything like this, butMicrosoft clearly owns linkin and so the connections there are very curiousand interesting to me of Microsoft, wanted some kind of club house,competitor or asset. This would be interesting in the integration of itinto a linked in coupled with the fact that they own office could be a very compelling asset for them to havein that portfolio of companies. Ye Linkin is a challenge for me because Iwas in there so early and I basically allowed or connected with everybodythinking that. Well, let's just use this as my open space and any time Iblog or podcast I'll, just pump it in there and that'll push it out. Thethousands and thousands of people well now you've passed forward well over adecade and it's a hot mess for me. So my feet is not clean. It's not clear!It's very problematic! For me. I get a lot of inbox ban from people wanting tohave fifteen minutes phone call with me to sell me some SAS service that I haveno interest in so my linked in experience isn't as powerful as yoursis ill caveat that now by saying that my peers, people, like you and otherfriends and it's just in general, anecdote and usage- are loving it moreand more every day, and I can see why it is a great place to be thatprofessional and to share content and have it be really relegated to business.And when I looked look at Linkean now, it feels like this weird hybrid of likebusiness, two point o Fast Company wired magazine all in one which, ifthat's the space you a occupy and a lot of us. Do It's really really compellingin terms of club house, it's a bit of a different thing and it's, I think Ithink it's what you bring to club house like. I have many thoughts about whatclub house is which stand outside of what it satiates for me. So what a clubHelt say, club o satiate for me. Well, I do three national or internationalradio hits every Monday morning, one after the other, and I found it reallyhard to be quote unquote hot on the Mike and really good live like out ofthe box, especially on a Monday morning, and I don't really practice the rest ofthe week to be live. But now I do so when you contacted me for this podcastmy desire to do it here. Is it's forcing me to act and be who I am butwho I am when it's live in front of an audience, and that provides me a placeto practice. So Club House, for me, is a place to get my raps it. The nextthing I love about it is that it's live and I do love the energy of lives. Sohow often have I thought I'd love to do? One of my shows in a beautiful theaterwith a great audience then after we all get to hang out, be so much fun, but Iget nervous and I would never pull the trigger on that, because I worry thatnobody would show up. But now I can do that and I've done it multiple timesand we're doing it again here on a clubhouse which I really really like,that ability to create the live, interaction, bring people and havequestions, and I just like that energy. So there's that and then the third is Imean it's the business that I'm in my job is. I help people deco the future.I look at what's happening, where's the world going work. What can I play with?And so when Club House came along, I recognized that the discord platformwasn't for me because I'm not well. I understand the gaming world, I'm notmuch of a Gamer. This felt like the Non...

Gamer version of that I was slow toadopt it. I mean I was given an invite on the think October, but it's onlybeen really a couple months that I've come on here to be active, and I I like that part of it. I like bringingthat energy to it, that I can have these different types of conversations.I've also at some really incredible people. Here I find the platform muchmore diverse in terms of gender in terms of race, in terms of where I livein terms of how I think- and I welcome those voices- it's nice to see roomsthat have that diversory diversity. I worry that it's going to get more andmore homogeneous as it grows, and I worry that the tech infrastructurebeneath it will will push it in another direction. But I'm hopeful that I canstill find those different rooms that add to my ability to learn more andmore about not just diversity, but my desire to understand others better andI've learned a lot over the past couple years. I mean I used to be the personwho said. Oh, I'm not racist. I've got friends from all, though I wrote forthe hour the alternative weekly for years. I was I've been a all true, butthe other part is the systemic part. The systemic part is me being able toacknowledge that as a as someone who I self declare as male Pale and staleread a middle aged white guy with a ton of privilege that I've had thatprivilege that the system is set up so that I do have a certain level ofprivilege that I that I took advantage of, of course, and so my perspectivechanges and it's changed the lot, because the conversations that happenedhere in clubhouse- so that's the third part of it- your reason might be reallydifferent. You might be. I just want to hang out in cool tack rooms and meetinteresting people and speak to other marketers fantastic. So that's whatmakes a social network powerful is finding. What your reason for beinghere would be: we've covered a lot of ground in thirtyminutes and N. I want to thank everybody for listening to anotherepisode of Gardening Mark. If you enjoyed the conversation, leave areview and subscribe by, I on my favorite coat a.

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