Managing Marketing: The role of digital, content and social media in marketing

Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by TrinityP3 Founder and Global CEO, Darren Woolley. Each podcast is a conversation with a thought-leader, professional or practitioner of marketing and communications on the issues, insights and opportunities in the marketing management category. Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media and commercial communications professionals.

Jeff Bullas is the CEO at jeffbullas.com and a entrepreneur, blogger, author and marketers, who talks with Darren on the importance of strategy and a focus on return on investment when using digital, content and social media marketing techniques to ensure effectiveness and to focus you on performance in the face of increasing opportunities and options.

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Transcription:

Darren:

Welcome to Managing Marketing, and today I have the great honour to be talking with Jeff Bullas, entrepreneur, blogger, author and marketer. Welcome, Jeff.

Jeff:

Thank you, Darren. It’s great to be here.

Is digital just a distraction?

Darren:

Well, Jeff, I’ve been wanting to have this conversation for a while because I’ve been following you online and your blog, jeffbullas.com for many years, and you have a terrific focus on one level but a breadth of content, so there’s so many things that I’ve been wanting to have a chat with you about.

But let’s start with the fact there’s been some controversy going on especially in this market with Professor Mark Ritson who is going around telling marketers ‘stop being distracted by digital and get back to basics because the basics still work’.

What do you think about that piece of advice purely on face value?

Jeff:

I struggle a little bit with that because the evolution of marketing is happening rapidly and I’ve been involved in sales and marketing for the last 30 years and yes, you’ve got to get the fundamentals right like branding 101 and great copywriting is still great copywriting whether it’s online or offline.

But the world’s changed so I don’t know what his vintage is but I’m really concerned when talking to marketing students for example and I say, ‘so what have you been taught in your marketing degree?’ ‘Have you been taught digital marketing automation platforms?’ ‘Have you been shown how to create landing pages?’ and those sorts of things and you know what most of the answers are, ‘no, we don’t touch on that’.

Now that’s going to change but the problem I see in the universities and also higher education is they’re not rapidly changing their content regarding the industry fast enough. And that’s been fuelled in part by people who are bloggers and online trainers that are teaching what this new digital marketing ecosystem is all about.

So, I think to say don’t worry about digital is like, ‘I’m a dinosaur because they’re not doing it how I used to do it’. I’d be very wary of advice from someone who maybe living in an ivory tower and I’ve been involved in ivory towers.

I’ve seen the imposition of tertiary degrees into high school because I was a teacher and I saw that a lot of the imposition of the content from the ivory towers of the university and the HSC into high schools was done by people who have never had a real job.

Darren:

Absolutely. And I think one of the interesting things from my experience is university marketing teachers or lecturers are often people who have worked in the industry but are not currently working in the industry because they’ve become academics and so how do they keep up to date with the pace of change when even people like you and I struggle and we spend 100% of our time in the industry?

You know I personally struggle in keeping up with every single innovation that’s happening.

Jeff:

Well I read and do the latest techniques as they emerge and it’s not every shiny new toy I’m chasing but I think if you are in a university or higher education space and you are actually involved in breaking things, trying new stuff out and you’ve maybe been in university the last four or five years I think you’re going to be really struggling because the last five years has been a transformation.

And I believe to be out of industry for that long, which is not long in old traditional industries, but in a fast moving digital world marketing is one of the biggest things that’s changed.

Darren:

I think one of the things he’s reacting to and you touched on it a minute ago when you said it’s up to people like bloggers and commentators and industry people to really flesh out the conversation around what’s happening in the industry.

But I find that too much of the conversation takes this very black or white view. It’s like, ‘television is dead, you have to do video on demand’ or ‘digital is not delivering; go back to traditional’.

It’s being driven by the large number of people who are out there as part of the commentary, and this is my opinion, they are actually doing it to purely sell whatever it is that they’re selling and they’re not there to give an informed view. They’re there to try and make a position that puts whatever they’re selling in the best possible light.

Jeff:

I totally agree and I think that a lot of content marketers and social media marketers get trapped in their own bubbles, their own echo chambers and what they’re saying is, ‘you should be doing social media because we sell social media’ but I believe that one of the biggest weaknesses I’ve seen in the space and within the industry, both the social media marketers and also the content marketers, is that they forget one of the most important pieces of the puzzle, which is actually the ROI.

They forget about the conversion piece so they know how to get traffic, they know how to pay for that, they know how to grow traffic, to get that engagement through great content and yes, it’s entertaining, it’s educational, it’s informative but then they drop the ball a lot of the times on that last important part of the journey, which is converting that attention, that credibility and trust and that traffic into leads and sales.

Darren:

I agree because traditional advertising was always about awareness.

Jeff:

It’s top of the funnel stuff.

Darren:

You can get as many as you like there but the absolute beauty of the technology and the internet is this ability to actually follow the customer’s decision making journey down through that funnel to get the final few steps…

Jeff:

That’s right.

Darren:

To purchase and that was always the nirvana for marketers was to be able to convert awareness, into consideration, into decision making and purchase, right?

The thing that happened along the way, and I’d be interested in your opinion on this, is that people started putting the wrong metrics along the way, the clicks, and the traffic, and the things like that without actually looking at the individual behaviours that were happening and so marketers saying things like, ‘oh, I got 5,000 people to like my Facebook page’, which is just an awareness measure, it’s not really an engagement measure.

Jeff:

They’re vanity metrics. They don’t mean anything until they actually turn up and buy.

Darren:

Show me the money.

Jeff:

That’s right. And the realities of what you’ve got to do is that you can measure what is converting by using coding in your digital marketing. What’s happened with marketing is it used to be like the Mad Men of Madison Avenue and it was all about creative lunches, long lunches and vodkas and martinis and they created some fantastic ads, which is the top of the funnel, awareness—fantastic.

People walk past the store, ‘oh I saw that brand, maybe should pop in’ but that’s really fluffy stuff, right, fluffy metrics? Some of the metrics that have been used in the advertising industry I seriously have trouble understanding what they mean.

Darren:

Exactly.

Jeff:

What’s happened with marketing, it’s become an art. It was an art, now it’s becoming an art and a science. And that’s something I think the modern marketer really has to grasp and a lot of that art and science has not been taught properly yet at most universities around the world.

There’s some really great universities that have really been progressive that teach good digital marketing but I think in the main there’s a long way to go yet.

Darren:

Well, there’s still marketing courses that teach the four Ps, which was developed, I think, in the 1950s for consumer goods and it’s almost totally irrelevant to service industries.

Jeff:

That’s right.

Darren:

And yet most of the marketing that we see is now services based.

Why do people struggle with content marketing?

Jeff:

That’s right. We live in a knowledge economy. I think some of the numbers I see in terms of the numbers of workers in the knowledge economy are in the 70s and 80% so you’ve got to understand that we live in a world that’s all about knowledge now so services industry, your IP are really important to get across and build your credibility based on your IP and potential thought leadership and influence within an industry.

And that’s done through content. Content now defines you.

Darren:

Well I’m glad you mentioned that because that was my next topic I wanted to talk to you about. You’ve built a huge personal brand but also a business around content marketing. And content marketing has been a very successful strategy for a lot of B to B marketers, ok?

Either building personal brands or building a business, a services business, a B2B business but we’re now starting to see B2C and the big B2C marketers such as the PepsiCo’s and the Mondalez and the Coca Colas of the world are talking about content. But why do you think they struggle so much with actually implementing a content strategy that engages their customers and actually brings those customers into the brand, to the purchase decision?

Jeff:

Because I think they’re trapped in the past. The marketers in that space are in their 40’s or 50’s. They earned the rights and the stripes along the way. The thing they really struggle with is a mind-set thing. So they say, ‘this has worked for me the last 30 years, why should I change what I’m doing?’

But there’s smoke on the horizon that is a fire and you only have to see what’s happening in industries like the taxi industry, which has basically been totally disrupted. We’re seeing Airbnb and these are being trotted out all the time. So the reality is that content can be used in a variety of ways and we’ve said that a lot of the ads are about fun and entertainment and that’s great. And we all need to have content that does that.

But there’s a phrase that I use when I’m talking about content in terms of what sort of content should I be using? It should inform so it’s news. It should educate, it should entertain and also, there’s a really important piece it’s called the x part, it’s the inspire piece.

So you want to inspire people to take action so I believe that content should have a mix of that. So, on my blog, what we actually try to do is create content that’s a bit of fun, we do storytelling, we educate. Education is still maybe the biggest piece of what we do but the other side you’ve still got to have some fun.

We’ve got to inspire people and so sometimes I might write a piece about the challenges we as humans have whether it’s procrastination or whether it’s business skill sets, whether it’s not starting something because we’re afraid of being judged.

Online a lot of people don’t start or create a blog or start an online business or write content and share it with the world because they’re afraid of being wrong. They’re not willing to be vulnerable so I think there’s a really important piece to this content to keep it real. That’s what’s great about social media.

That’s what attracted me to social media was you can share your thoughts with the world without any gatekeepers but you have to be willing to be vulnerable, you have to be willing to put yourself out there and go, ‘look, this is my thoughts.’ And someone says, ‘Jeff, you have no idea, well that’s potentially the case but guess what I’m having a go’. Nothing happens until you start and I see this all the time.

I think we as humans are innately creative and I just see so much potential lying dormant that is not being shared with the world. You know people’s genius; why shouldn’t it be shared with the world?

Share your genius with the world

Darren:

Exactly.

Jeff:

There’s a lot of people with great ideas who worked in corporate and they go to retire and the IP’s been buried in the filing cabinets.

Darren:

Along with their gold watch.

Jeff:

Absolutely. So who are they? What’s their IP? What’s their genius? What’s their ideas? And you can’t find them because they’ve been lost in the corporate maelstrom and vortex. And that’s why I encourage people to do a parallel path, that is to create as a personal brand, share your thoughts with the world.

If you’re a marketer within an organisation why shouldn’t you have an online portal where you create? You can make it simple like Tumblr. Start a blog on WordPress or go on and do something on medium.

Why shouldn’t you be creating and sharing your genius with the world? Because what excites me and I see it being done is when you create that’s where the magic happens. You create and share with the world and you change the world and the world changes you. And what you have along the way as you do this is you have to actually package your knowledge and put it into chunk sized pieces of IP.

And I really truly believe that everyone should be creating content and sharing it with the world because that is a place where genius can emerge.

Darren:

There’s so much in what you said there and the passion you have for it is coming through. Like I can feel it here. But there are so many things in what you said there that are counter to the way many large corporates work. First of all, they don’t want to share their knowledge because of the whole concern about competitive advantage.

The second thing is they actually think thry have to borrow entertainment. One of the articles I’ve read, someone from Mondelez I think said, ‘Oh content marketing’s no different, not new, it’s just like the soap operas of old’. They were harking back to the days of Unilever sponsoring soap operas in the 30’s and 40’s.

They haven’t moved forward because content to me is so much more than just creating and sponsoring entertainment, as you said. I was fascinated, what were those four things again; you said education…?

Jeff:

Inform, that’s the news. Educate, inform, entertain and inspire.

Darren:

And inspire. You see, I was using incorrectly the word ‘utility’, ‘usefulness’. You know to me content had to have some useful purpose in the audience’s life. But I was criticised a lot because ‘utility’ in software programming is a particular, quite prosaic definition.

It does a function, and I really like those four, especially the ‘inspire’ because so much great content does have that inspirational spark to it.

Jeff:

Absolutely. I think you’ve really got to touch people’s hearts. And there’s a great quote, I can’t remember who it was from but it goes like this, ‘I will forget what you told me but I won’t forget how you made me feel’.

So, we’ve got to remember as marketers we’re in the business of changing people’s hearts and minds. So, you’ve got to touch people’s soul. You’ve got to scare them, inspire them, make them happy, bring them to tears so content is entertainment but it’s also useful.

It doesn’t mean you exclude any of those it just means you play with all of those different types of pieces of content. And then not only that you need to use the variety of media we’ve got at our disposal now, such as video, live streaming now, you know Meerkat, Periscope, Facebook, Live, podcasts like we’re doing today, audio because people can hear your real voice and sense your passion.

Darren:

And the interactions.

Jeff:

So, really important that people get touched right away. Some people prefer to read something as opposed to listening to something. Some people, like the younger generation would rather watch a video—that’s great. So, repurposing content becomes a really powerful way of reaching more people by putting it in different media.

Influencers, advocates and collaboration

Darren:

So, that’s why I think it’s probably a better strategy for these large brands that have lots of resources and multiple channels to rather than try and go out to create content for themselves necessarily but they actually become the conduits or the curators or even the facilitators of people that are already generating content themselves.

I think we’re seeing this in the whole move towards influencer marketing, which is finding people who’ve become influencers in their right for a particular audience and then using that influence to actually help build a connection with your brand or business.

Jeff:

That’s right. So, this is the power of collaboration, the trust economy where, and this is not new again, it’s just being done in a different way and it’s basically reaching your audience through a partner.

In a blogging space some of this is called ‘affiliate marketing’ – incredibly powerful. Affiliate marketers maybe got a bit of a bad name because it was not done in an honest way before.

Darren:

A bit of black hat SEO.

Jeff:

Absolutely, but collaboration and partnering is really, really important to actually explode your reach and that can be done by guest blogging, with affiliate marketing so a whole different range of ways to actually do this.

Just think about it, if you could work with 100 partners that all have an email list for example and social media networks that measure in the tens of thousands let’s say you get 100 people with 10,000 in their email list that is a huge reach and then on top of that add the social to that you start to get some serious reach.

Darren:

And YouTube stars, you get scalability up in the tens and hundreds of millions of followers, and the passion that their followers are following them with is because it’s trust. It’s hard to believe that there are kids, teenagers, 20-year olds, 30-somethings that have got followings in the tens of millions, and it’s a passionate following because they have that relationship.

Jeff:

Well, you only have to look at how Minecraft built a business that recently got sold to Microsoft for two billion dollars. They almost did no direct advertising or marketing. What they do is they run an annual conference where guess what they do? They just talk about the product.

They actually run YouTube classes and teach the teenagers how to create great YouTube videos and guess what that’s about? Minecraft.

Apparently about 80 to 90% of all Minecraft’s discussions happening online are done by the crowd. I think it’s 99% actually if you look at some stats on Analytica. 99% and Minecraft has something like 40 billion to 50 billion YouTube views, which talk about, show people how to play the game.

How powerful is that? And they actually didn’t create the content. They just facilitated the users and the fans on how to create the content. So, outsourcing your content to passionate users is an incredibly powerful way to explode your market.

Darren:

It does require absolute, fundamental change in the attitude of a marketer. It’s going from command and control, ‘I’ve got the budget and I’m going to create and pump out messages’ to ‘I am going to identify and embrace an audience, community of influencers and fans, and actually find a way to facilitate their utility or enjoyment or inspiration, information of the way that they work and enjoy the benefit of having done that’.

Jeff:

They should be saying, ‘how can we find the heroes?’

Darren:

Yep.

Jeff:

‘How can we find the advocates and give them the tools to talk about us?’

Darren:

Amplify and recognise them as well so that they become even bigger influencers and stars.

Jeff:

That’s right. The command and control economy is dissipating slowly and that’s what’s great about the social web.

When I saw that I could reach the world eight years ago without paying any gatekeepers but just by creating the best content I could and building the best distribution I could, whether it’s on email, whether it’s on social and earning authority on search engines, so that’s what excited me 8-years ago. It still excites me today.

There are still so many brands that just do not get this. Because it’s a mind-set thing. When you’ve got 30-years of habits in doing things a certain way you’re not going to change them very easily and I get that.

So I think teams need to look at a combination of the younger generation, the older generation with maybe more common sense and the younger generation with the passion, the energy and let them work together more. And let them bring that energy and passion to the fire.

With so many options, how do you choose what to do and what not to do?

Darren:

We’ve covered a lot of territory, which is exactly what I expected from this conversation but I think a lot of marketers and a lot of businesses are often intimidated by the range of things that can be done.

Jeff:

Oh, it’s huge.

Darren:

Like there are a million things you can do these days. Podcasting, and you’ve named some of them and we’ve talked about them but what would be your advice to someone in trying to sort out what to do because in some ways it’s not what you should do because you could do anything but how do you decide what not to do and how to embrace what you should do?

Jeff:

There was a great piece put on YouTube, a series of videos or two videos done by Coca-Cola, I think about four years ago now.

Darren:

The 20/20 strategy?

Jeff:

Yeah, the 20/20 strategy and what I loved about their approach was they said well we’re going to do 70% safe content marketing, in other words things they know will work, then they’re going to do 20% that’s a little bit out there and 10% that really is right out there.

Then what they’d do is find that 10% that really resonated, a channel it might be or a tactic– roll that into the 20 and then build that out a little bit more and then that really works roll that into the 70.

So you got to be breaking things all the time. Trying different stuff, be willing to get it wrong. It doesn’t mean that you go off half-cocked but it means that you need to be testing some different stuff.

Ok let’s see if this particular landing page works and you can measure it going well I actually increased my conversion rate from 2% to 3%, which means I’ve increased my lead generation by 50%. Well that’s pretty powerful.

What happens along the marketing journey now that we can measure so many pieces of it is that it’s a journey of optimisation now. It’s not a journey of I want more traffic —blunt force. I need to optimise.

For me the journey over the last 2-years especially the last 18-months has been concentrating much more on the optimisation piece and the ROI, in terms of making sure that I’m continuing to tweak what I’m doing on a daily basis. And you can do AB split testing, LeadPages, SumoMe. All of these you can actually do a split test in minutes, right?

Darren:

Multi-variant testing on emails, social and all sorts of things.

Jeff:

Yeah, that’s right. So you can compare a simple landing page that’s just orange with black writing on it with a simple call to action. How does that perform against a lovely image of a woman looking over a mountain with a call to action on it?

Guess what the simple one works better than the sexy designer looking image. So, this is what’s really fun about the journey now. Ok I’ve got the traffic, I’ve got the credibility and trust as a brand. O.K now how do I get serious about this and that’s the science piece.

The other one is the digital marketing automation platforms because the problem we have in the new digital marketing landscape is that it is so splintered, as you mentioned before.

We’ve got a whole range of media. We’ve got literally 1,000’s of social networks. Ok you’ve got the big ones but there are literally 1,000’s of these players now. So, how do you manage all that?

Well, humans can do it with spreadsheets and just hiring more people but our idea is machines do this much better than we used to. I remember when I started to do some very simple digital marketing automation with Twitter and I actually automated my Tweets.

I had stones and rocks thrown at me from the side-lines of the social network going, ‘how dare you automate, Jeff, you’re just becoming a bot?’ and I go, ‘well it saves me 100 hours a month and allows me to scale my effort’.

I ignored them, I kept on. I actually continued to tweak and do that and then we’ve taken it to a whole new level of digital marketing and automation now.

So, what you’ve got to do is be willing to be wrong, be willing to be judged, willing to be called out and go ‘well, guess what, it works’. This is the thing about academic versus doing it.

Getting scientific

Darren:

Well, you said, ‘science’. My career started in medical research and I say to people all the time, ‘test and learn is actually the scientific method’, the scientific method was observe, make a hypothesis, create an experiment to test the hypothesis with a control and a test, and then see what the results are, and if you get a positive response then do more of that.

If you get a negative response, then come up with a new hypothesis and then start again. It’s such a simple technique. But I think there is this absolute thinking, there is this approach that it is all or nothing. It has to be television, it has to be social media, it has to be Facebook.

When in actual fact people are not like that. I don’t know if any of your friends are all the same but mine are all very different and audiences are the same way.

So, it’s become more incumbent on us than ever before as marketers and businesses to start to experiment and test and find out what is it that people want?

Have you heard of the ‘choice paradox’? Which is when you ask people what they want they say, ‘more choice’ but in actual fact when you give them more choice they hate it because then they’re caught with having to make a decision.

In actual fact, what people mean when they say more choice is they’re really saying, ‘I just want what I want, when I want it, the way I want it and how I want it. But the only way I know you can deliver that to me is to give me all the choice and I’ll choose what I need’.

It’s the same in the way we communicate with them. We have to think of it as everyone is an individual. There’s a scene from Monty Python, ‘You’re all different, we’re all different, you’re not the same’–‘I am’.

We have to acknowledge even though you work on segmentations and things like that, that in actual fact the whole audience scaled to tens of millions of people are actually tens of millions of individuals.

Jeff:

That’s right.

Darren:

They all have a choice.

Jeff:

Exactly and the more I travel the more I realise that we’re an incredible sea of humanity and we all see the world with such different eyes and that’s what makes it exciting.

Darren:

The other thing I like is we also change all the time. One minute you want one thing and the next you go, ‘oh I want to try something different’.

Jeff:

That’s right.

Where does strategy fit with all of this?

Darren:

We’re not predictable. Although they say we’re predictably irrational.

Look on that basis one of things I find is a real lack of strategy or an understanding of what strategy is. I have a lot of conversations with people who get objectives, strategy, and plans completely mixed up.

In fact, they often talk about objectives as if they’re the strategy. We want to be market leader—ok, that’s your objective. Your strategy is how you’re going to get there and your plan is what you’re going to do, right?

But they think that the strategy is to become market leader. Where do you see strategy fitting in this? And also you talk about metrics. You are talking about return on investment aren’t you?

Jeff:

That’s right.

Darren:

That is the only metric?

Jeff:

Yeah, return on investment. At the end of the day the business has got to make money and I remember speaking to some CEO’s of the Finance Institute and I gave a presentation at a lunch, and along with content I was talking about social media and guess what I also was talking about?

I talked about return on investment, about conversions, the last piece. So, three steps; I like to keep things simple. The rule of three. So traffic, you get people turning up to your online portal or to your store then you need to actually engage them. That’s where you build credibility and trust, that’s the content.

The last piece is ok I’ve got to convert that now into leads and sales. And using that language and just three steps and having that conversation is music to a CEO’s ears and senior management because at the end of the day they’re going to be demanded by shareholders to ‘show me the money’.

I believe a clear plan is really, really important. I think strategy is really important because actually there’s a document and a process that educates the team along the way about being on the same hymn sheet whereas just a tactic is like, ‘ok, that didn’t work, toss that away’. ‘What’s our goal?’ ‘Oh, we want brand awareness.’’ Oh, I didn’t know that, I thought you wanted this.’ So just leaving it to tactics is one way of failing. You might snag it, jag it…

Darren:

By accident.

Jeff:

By accident.

Darren:

And not even know.

Jeff:

That’s right. But a strategy will lay out an overall approach that will actually say, ‘well we’re going to look at these three networks. This is what the goals are and these are the tactics that we can do to achieve it.’

Basically you’re educating people and showing them a clear strategy of how to get there. I’ve struck this all the time. A lot of organisations aren’t prepared to really sit down and do that because it costs money and it’s ‘show me this is really going to work’, ‘prove me now this is going to work’. Well there’s no proof until you actually go and try it and …

Darren:

Test it.

Jeff:

Test it, just like when you talked about the science process it sounds like a modern digital marketer to me.

Darren:

Well, it’s a technique that gave us the theory of evolution because that’s exactly the technique that Charles Darwin used, he observed, he hypothesised, he tested. In fact, all modern science is based on that methodology and so there’s no reason why today, and you’re exactly right, the world the marketers live in today they have to embrace the scientific method.

This is how to integrate. Because I know marketers that are Mad Men and they don’t understand how to embrace the math men, right? This is the way to do it. The math men are the ones that are going to measure the performance of the experiment, and the experiment is actually your marketing activity.

Jeff:

Yep.

Darren:

Because you can design your marketing activity. The hypothesis is an informed gut reaction. It is actually a creative process. I observe something happening. I then hypothesise what is the underlying driver. I could do some research and some things like that but I’m still making an informed hypothesis about what the underlying drivers are.

I will not know if my hypothesis is right until I have tested it in the market place and got empirical, and this is the important thing, not gut reaction but empirical results that support or disprove my hypothesis.

Jeff:

Absolutely. I really do believe that the geek will inherit the world.

Darren:

Yeah. I was in Singapore this week and I met a guy who has a company and they do data analytics but most importantly data visualisation. I said, ‘that is brilliant because very few people are number literate’.

Jeff:

That’s right.

Darren:

But he’s spent most of his career working out how to take massive amounts of data and turn it into pictures that people can actually see what’s happening.

Jeff:

Make sense of it.

Darren:

I think that is how you go from data to information, to insight, to knowledge, to wisdom. You make it easy for people to actually process.

Jeff:

Yeah, I think the ability to actually take something complex and make it simple is a real gift. That only happens when you actually do put yourself in a place to create, sit down and go ‘ok how do I put this into a package that makes sense?’

Darren:

Well, you and Albert Einstein because Albert Einstein said exactly the same thing, Jeff. He said, ‘any fool can make a complex. A genius can take the complex and make it simple’.

Jeff:

That even applies to the art of writing, copywriting. There’s a great book, not on copywriting but it’s by Stephen King the great fiction writer and he wrote a book called ‘I am writing’ and he goes into the power of simple.

He used an example of Mark Twain—here’s a 52-word sentence from Mark Twain, it’s a very powerful piece of writing. He said look at 38 of these words; they’re single syllable.

So the power of simple to get across complex thinking is really, really important. That is so vital.

The biggest lesson?

Darren:

Would that be your biggest lesson from your career, the power of simple or is there another lesson there you’d share with people?

Jeff:

There are so many lessons.

Darren:

I’m sure.

Jeff:

I think the biggest challenge that we as digital marketers face is that we’ve been distracted by the shiny new toys of social networks and that blinded me to doing some of the scientific stuff, which was taking that traffic and taking that credibility and trust through creating content and not turning it into leads and sales.

So, I didn’t start that early enough. So for me now the journey is much more about the sharp end as a business person, an entrepreneur. Turning that traffic, that trust into real ROI.

Darren:

How do we capitalise and commercialise on the relationships and the attention that we’re creating?

Jeff:

That’s right. Because I still believe that we, as digital marketers, because it’s so new and exciting we’ve been distracted by shiny new toys and the creative piece, which is great.

It doesn’t mean you don’t do it, it just means we really need to get the sharp end and really get good at the return on investment piece, which everyone is saying ‘well, what’s the purpose of social media?’ Well, what’s the purpose of a telephone? So these are the sort of analogies that were made.

So, I think it’s time to get real, to move from passion to real business.

Darren:

Absolutely. Unfortunately, we’ve run out of time. This has been a fabulous conversation and I really thank you for making the time, Jeff.

Jeff:

It’s been a pleasure.

Darren:

And I’ve just got one last question for you. You’ve checked out my website; how can I improve my traffic?

Are you struggling with the complexity that digital and data offer to business? Let TrinityP3 make sense of the new digital ecosystem for you

About Darren Woolley

Darren is considered a thought leader on all aspects of marketing management. A Problem Solver, Negotiator, Founder & Global CEO of TrinityP3 – Marketing Management Consultants, founding member of the Marketing FIRST Forum and Author. He is also a Past-Chair of the Australian Marketing Institute, Ex-Medical Scientist and Ex-Creative Director. And in his spare time he sleeps. Darren’s Bio Here Email: darren@trinityp3.com

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This entry was posted in data & direct marketing, interesting observations, marketing process optimisation, mobile marketing, Podcasts, return on investment, social media & digital marketing, strategic management. Bookmark the permalink.