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July 18, 2019

4 Huge Trends Every Digital Marketer Needs to Know (Thinks Out Loud Episode 250!!!)

July 18, 2019 | By | No Comments

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4 Huge Trends Every Digital Marketer Needs to Know: Marketer using computer at work

4 Huge Trends Every Digital Marketer Needs to Know (Thinks Out Loud Episode 250!!!) – Headlines and Show Notes

In celebration of Thinks Out Loud's 250th(!!!) episode, host Tim Peter is counting down 4 huge trends that every digital marketer needs to know in the year ahead;. Thank you for listening. And thanks for supporting the show for almost 7 years.

Want to learn more? Here are the show notes for you:

Relevant Links:

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Neumann TLM 102 Cardoid Condenser microphone and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 16m 38s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes, the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

4 Huge Trends Every Digital Marketer Needs to Know (Thinks Out Loud Episode 250!!!) – Transcript

Well, hello again, everyone. Welcome back to Thinks Out Loud, your source for all the digital marketing expertise your business needs. My name is Tim Peter. Today is Wednesday, July 17th, 2019.

We're coming up on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo landings next week, and it's a big anniversary for me, too. This is episode 250 of the big show, and I've had a tough time recording this today. This is like the third try, there's a big thunderstorm in the area. Though the studio is soundproofed, the microphone's been picking up the thunder, so I'm not just doing it for the drama of the 250th episode. But as soundproofed as I've made things, unfortunately if there's big thunder in the background, hopefully it'll just add to the excitement for this episode.

As ever, I very much appreciate you tuning in. I've been producing this show for almost seven years, and as just mentioned, 250 episodes now. And clearly, I wouldn't do it if you didn't bother to listen, if so many people didn't listen every single time, if they didn't email, if you didn't write me questions, and comments, and things like that. So I really, really appreciate you doing that. It means more than you can know. It makes this a lot of fun for me, and really, this isn't just my 250th episode, but hopefully it's yours, too, it's something that you feel part of.

So I want to talk about some things that really seem to have emerged. As I look at the data about the episodes that have most appealed to you over the last, really the last year. I'm not going to back and look at all 250 because I didn't think that made sense, because the trends have changed over time. But what has been clear is that there are a number of themes, there are a number of topics that continue to resonate, continue to become prominent, take center stage, that really seem to matter to you.

And the first I want to talk about is this idea of future trends. It is clear, people enjoy our episodes, the episodes we've put on about trends. And two that have been incredibly popular and I would recommend you check out again would be an interview I did with Jason Freed of Duetto on content marketing and future trends around it. Now that was episode 228, and Jason's a really sharp guy who was an editor, he was a journalist before he moved to Duetto, who is a software provider. And we had a really great discussion about why content matters and why it's such a key trend, and the trends around content that will help you as you go forward.

Now I've said many, many times on the show, and clearly, I'm going to say it again today. Content is king, customer experience is queen, and data is the crown jewels, and Jason just did a spectacular job calling out why content plays such a key role, not just now, but why it is likely to play such a key role as we go forward. And I think as you look at the other episodes that I'm going to call out, it's going to be pretty obvious content plays a bit role there. So certainly, check out episode 228.

The other episode that I thought was really interesting when we were looking at trends was episode 232, which was what won't change, the trends shaping digital next year. That was actually recorded in November of 2018 and spoke about this year. And it references a quote from Jeff Bezos, who frequently says, "People always ask about the things that will change," and he thinks it's so much more useful to ask about the things that won't change. Amazon has always been built on giving people great selection, giving people quick shipping, and giving people fast delivery. And everything they've done has been built around that for the 20-plus years they've existed as a company, and they've been pretty successful.

A future trend that has been really popular if we dive down into this a little bit, is by the way, the topic of intermediaries of various types, the gatekeepers, and folks like that. Obviously, I've been speaking about them the last couple weeks, I will link to those in the show notes, but there was an episode 221 that asked, "How do you compete with Amazon, and Expedia, and Google, and dot, dot, dot?" And that was a hugely popular episode. Lots of listens, lots of shares, clearly it's one that resonated.

And the answer is, don't just go at them head on, find what are the things that make you distinct, how do you differentiate your product, your service, your offering from what those guys do? Because you're not going to beat them going head-to-head, but you can absolutely find the right content, the right customer experience, the right data that allows you to compete with them successfully. And I give examples in that episode that I'd highly recommend you listen to.

There also was an episode from just a few weeks back, where we talked about why Google is the beast that scares your industry's 800 pound gorilla, right. I mean, the reality is when we talk about Amazon, when we talk about Google, when we talk in very specific verticals like Expedia in travel, or we talk about Yelp in local, or we talk about folks like that, clearly they have some distinct advantages, and Google has some distinct advantages over many of them. So episode 238 clearly resonated with folks and was one that most people came back to again, and again, and again, and I'd recommend if we're talking about big trends like intermediaries, that's one you're going to want to check out, too.

Of course, another huge trend that I've talked about many times here on the show is artificial intelligence. That probably shocks no one who's listened to the show more than once. But there were three episodes in particular that really, really seemed to resonate, and really seemed to capture your attention. One was episode 243 from earlier this year, which asked, "Is AI in sales and marketing real?" And it won't surprise you to know that the answer is, absolutely. And not only that, the episode does a really good, if I do say so, of giving examples of how AI is real in sales and marketing, and how you can make it real for your business.

Which leads to one of my favorite episodes and one of the most popular ones we've ever produced here, which was the one that said, "AI won't steal your job. Smart people who put AI to work will." That was episode 208. And in that episode, the thing you want to remember is that most AI today is being used to make the people who do the work that you do more successful. So you're not really, you shouldn't really be worried about AI taking your job away. You should really be worried about people who are using AI effectively competing with you, out-hustling you, and being able to deliver on the same value proposition that you try to deliver on, faster, cheaper, better.

Now we had one other great interview show that spoke about this, as well, which was I talked to Abhi Vyas from Verizon, all about mobile commerce, personalization, and go figure, how AI was going to make those more effective. That was episode 218, and was probably the third most popular episode we've ever done about AI and artificial intelligence. So definitely worth listening to for Abhi's point of view because this is a guy who's living in the trenches every single day, driving mobile commerce, using content, using customer experience, using data, and now using AI to make his business more effective. Well worth your time, I highly recommend it.

And then more broadly, that were a series of episodes over the last year or so that talked about how digital really shapes the world we live in. And the first one I wanted to talk about since I just mentioned a moment ago how people will use AI to be faster, is episode 215 that talks about marketing at the speed of digital. Now I've said many times, that that's the world we live in today. "The single biggest disruption we have seen is the fact that speed has become the new currency of business," that's actually a quote from Marc Benioff of salesforce.com. And it really represents the reality that customers expect things now, instant gratification simply isn't fast enough. So when we talk about these trends, one of the biggest is the fact that speed matters.

Now of course, there are a whole series of others, episode 216, the week right after that talked about disruption and five digital trends that show why you ain't seen nothing yet. Speed was one of them, mobile is one of them, AI is one of them, and clearly it kind of ties many of these together, but really helps you think about how to do this most effectively. That's a topic that I talked about a few months later when I talked about what digitally native companies do best, that was episode 245. And it really got to the crux of the fact that these trends we're talking about, really aren't future trends. They represent the world we live in today. And what digitally native companies tend to do best is live in the world as it is and the world as it will be, as opposed to the world as it was. So check out episode 245 for some great tips on how you can learn the same lessons and how you can apply them to your business.

And then the last two episodes that I want to call out, speak less to specific trends and more to your mindset. One was just from a few weeks ago that asked, "Is 2019 everything you've hoped for? And if not, what are you going to do to make it be everything you've hoped for?" And ironically, episode 223, the one that I want to finish with, was called hope is not a business strategy, is it? And really, it gets to the fact of, you always have to have hope. You're in control of this. It doesn't matter what comes down the pike, it doesn't matter what future trends emerge, it doesn't matter if AI starts to take over, it doesn't matter if intermediaries start to threaten you or start to challenge you. It doesn't matter that the competition continues to move faster and adapt.

It doesn't matter that some folks have great content, some folks have great customer experience, some folks have great data. And some folks have all of those. At least it doesn't as long as you continue to hope, and as long as you continue to learn, and as long as you continue to apply those learnings to create better content for your customers, to create better customer experience for your customers, and to gain the data and the insights necessary to continue to improve on that every single time. Because the biggest future trend you want to be aware of, is the fact that you can absolutely dominate. All of these things that your competition is doing, all of these things that the big folks are doing, are available to you, and you absolutely can do it, too.

Now looking at the clock on the wall, we are out of time for this week. I'd like to remind you, that you can find the show notes for today's episode, as well as an archive of all our past episodes, which obviously, many of these are drawn from, by going to timpeter.com/podcast. Again, that's timpeter.com/podcast. Just look for episode 250.

While you're there, please click on the subscribe link in any of the episodes you find there, to have Thinks Out Loud delivered to your favorite pod catcher every single episode. You can also subscribe in iTunes, or the Google Play Music Store, or Stitcher Radio, or whatever your favorite pod catcher happens to be. You can search for Tim Peter Thinks, Tim Peter Thinks Out Loud, or Thinks Out Loud, we should show up for any of those.

I'd also very much appreciate it if you could provide a positive rating or review while you're there. It's so helpful and I very much appreciate it. You can also find Thinks Out Loud on Facebook by going to facebook.com/timpeterassociates. You can find me on Twitter using the Twitter handle @tcpeter, or of course, you can email me. Just send your emails to podcast@timpeter.com. Again, that's podcast@timpeter.com.

As ever, I'd like to thank our sponsor. Thinks Out Loud is brought to you by SoloSegment. SoloSegment focuses on AI-driven content discovery and site search analytics to unlock revenue for your business. You can learn more about how to improve your content, increase your customer satisfaction, and make your search smarter by going to solosegment.com.

With that, I want to say thanks, especially to you. Thank you so much for the last 250 episodes and for the last seven years. I very much appreciate it. I hope you have a great week ahead. I hope you have a fantastic weekend. And I look forward to speaking with you here on Thinks Out Loud again, and again, and again, for another 250 episodes. Until next time, please be well, be safe, and as ever, take care.

Tim Peter

By

January 9, 2019

The Single Biggest Change Shaping Business Today (Thinks Out Loud Episode 257)

January 9, 2019 | By | No Comments

Speed: The single biggest change to business - fast-moving car driving towards the futureLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


The Single Biggest Change Shaping Business Today (Thinks Out Loud Episode 257) – Headlines and Show Notes

Speed is the single biggest change shaping business today. The pace of change, the speed at which customers experience and accept new innovation dramatically shifts customer behavior and business models alike. Customers expect quick, frictionless interactions with your business, which means that today, “Instant gratification isn’t fast enough.” And that’s why this episode of Thinks Out Loud breaks down why speed represents the single biggest change shaping business today.

Here are the show notes:

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil Sound PR 30 Large Diaphragm Multipurpose Dynamic Microphone through a Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter Mic Activator and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 15m 44s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

The Single Biggest Change Shaping Business Today (Thinks Out Loud Episode 257) – Transcript

Well hello again everyone, and welcome back to Thinks Out Loud, your source for all the digital marketing expertise your business needs. My name is Tim Peter. Today is Wednesday, January 9th, this is episode 237 of the big show, and it's our first show of 2019, so Happy New Year everybody! I'm so thrilled you are here with us. This is so cool. I'm glad to be back, and I'm so excited about all of the stuff we are going to do together this year. 'Cause it's gonna rock.

Now, just before the holidays, I looked at whether a digital, the digital world in which we live, makes every company a technology company. I also took a big deep dive into whether digital will turn every business into a service. Now don't worry, I'm not going to recap those episodes in detail, you can listen to them, there will be links to those episodes in the show notes. I highly recommend you check them out.

What I do want to say is, that's gonna be a core theme we're gonna talk a lot about over the next handful of weeks and months, is how digital is not just shaping your business, but how it's shaping the world around you, and what that means for your business. And by far, I want to talk about the biggest issue that's facing companies today. The biggest change that is facing companies today. And in many ways the biggest challenge that is facing companies today. And that is speed. It's the speed that your customers expect in every interaction. It is the speed with which customers expect things to happen for them. I've said many times that instant gratification is not fast enough. And that's the world we live in now.

But here's a terrifying thought for you if you are remotely challenged with the speed at which change occurs today. And that is that change, right now, is slower than it ever will be again. Seriously. Because the pace of change, the amount of change, the speed at which change will occur isn't slowing down any time soon. It's only going to get faster.

Let me give you a couple of examples of what I mean by that. You are undoubtedly aware that the Consumer Electronic Show is happening in Las Vegas right now, or at least as I record this, the Consumer Electronic Show is ongoing. And at the Consumer Electronic Show, all of the biggest technology companies in the world are rolling out their latest and greatest innovations. And the things that will shape customer behaviors, and customer desires, and customer demand over the next you know, eight, excuse me nine to twelve to 18 months or more.

Some of them undoubtedly are going to blow up in a good way, you know they're going to shape everything. Some of them, undoubtedly will fall by the wayside. I'm not here to make predictions as to what's going to win, and what's going to fail and all the sort of thing. I may allude to them over time. But you know the point is that what is very useful about CES, about the Consumer Electronic Show, is that you get a sense of the trends that are important to manufactures. In all likelihood because they are doing a pretty good job of interpreting the trends that are important to customers. I guarantee you, there's always gonna be one or two that kind of slip below the radar that don't emerge for a little bit. But, there's a pretty clear set of trends of things that are going on at CES right now, that highlight why speed is so important.

So just to take a look at these, we have things like AI. Obviously we've talked about AI here on the show a lot. I'm not gonna belabor the point. It's big, it's getting bigger, and it is a part of our world every day. We have voice computing with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, and many others that are out there. Though obviously Google and Amazon seem to be winning the race, at least right now. We have Blockchain, which, I'm not gonna go down that rabbit hole right now. It's beyond the scope of today's episode. But it's clear that we're starting to see its place in advertising, currency, and the trust environment more generally emerge and begin to take more fixed shape, is something we're gonna watch very closely over the next few years. We have things like self-driving cars, which again, beyond the scope of the episode, beyond the scope of the show generally. But clearly something people are talking about.

If we want to get a picture of just one company, Google, all by itself, discussed how its mobile AI Google Assistant will be on over 1 billion devices by the end of this month, by the end of January. It's capable of replying to emails, checking consumers into flights, booking hotel rooms, translating conversations in real time from language to language. I mean, that's extraordinary. And this is something that customers are simply going to carry in their pocket. Remarkable, and an enormous, enormous change. And an enormous change in their expectations of how quickly things can happen. Alright? I don't have to go to my computer and translate a text, or get an email or get a text and find someway to translate that. I can simply translate the conversation on the fly.

Another crazy innovation at CES that has implications far beyond our ability to talk about right now is quantum computing. IBM introduced a 20 Qubit computer at the show. Now, quantum computing is well beyond the scope of today's episode. But it is likely that in the next decade or so, quantum computing will upend computing as much as computers upended the world before computers existed. Remarkable change, and remarkable pace of change. And bear in mind, this is the "consumer" electronics show. Right? These innovations are, at least in theory, designed for ordinary human beings. Do you think they're going to shape behaviors, and challenge business models as we go forward?

I do.

The takeaway is the change is happening faster than ever, and that pace isn't going to slow down anytime soon. And if that's the reality, if this is the biggest change that we have to deal with. If this is the biggest risk and the biggest threat, and the biggest challenge that businesses have to deal with, I think it's fair to ask, what's the right way to deal with the reality of this pace? And I think, ironically, it might be to slow down. You're never going to think faster than a computer. You're never gonna think faster than an AI. I'd argue, don't try to. Instead, take a minute. Stop. Think about what's important to you. Take a minute. Stop. And think about what's important to your customer. Think about where technology provides a positive benefit today, for you, for your business, for your customer. Think about where that technology helps your customer. Spend a lot of time on that. Think about what won't change.

Now, this was a topic of a past show, but I mean we know that people expect a great customer experience. We know that people expect quality products, or at least product that fit their specific needs. You know, quality has a lot of definitions in this context. It doesn't have to be the very best product. What it does have to be is the product that best fits their need at that time. We know that customers will continue to rely on helpful information. And yes, we know that customers will have increasingly great expectations of speed. Speed of delivery, speed of the encounter that they have with you. Reduced friction in those encounters that lets them get back to whatever else they have to deal with in their busy day. Right? You're not the most important thing in their world. You are simply something that enables them to do the things that are important in their world.

All of these things that won't change are why I'm continually saying that content is king, customer experience is queen, and data is the crown jewels. Because these are all critical components, critical support mechanisms of what won't change. They're what helps your customers accomplish their goals, and helps them succeed at what they want to do. And the way you succeed is helping them do that.

You also want to think about companies who have used technology well, and also think about the companies who've used technology badly. I've said many times on this show that when you invent the ship, you also invent the shipwreck, right? Digital is like gravity, it's got its positives, it has its negatives. But I would argue, and I have, that part of Facebook's big mistake over the last couple of years, is because they didn't slow down to think. They tried to move at the same speed as technology moves, and in doing so, forgot about the customer. Forgot about … And I know there's a whole debate that the customer at Facebook is actually the advertiser, and the users are as some people say, "If you're not paying for it, you are the product." But the point is, they certainly didn't take enough time to think about the user and what's most important to them.

So once you've thought about all this, what's important to you, what's important to your customer. Where technology helps you, where it helps your customer, the companies that do it well. The companies who've done it badly, and the things that won't change, then and only then, go find the technology that supports what's important to your business. To your customer. You know, and then ignore all the rest. All the rest is nonsense, its useless. It's not helpful. It's confusing. At least, for now, focus on your customer and your business, and how technology can bring those closer together, and create a better customer experience, and you will be in better shape.

Now, I've said many times, I've quoted many times William Gibson, science fiction author who said, "The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." Well speed, speed of interactions, speed of change, speed of the customer experience is the future. It's also the present. Your customers expect speed. The pace of change is all about speed. Speed depends on technology. But more important, it depends on using technology well. It depends on putting the customer first. On focusing on creating the best experience, and not on tech for technology sake. And that's why speed might be the single biggest change that shapes business today. But, what really shapes successful businesses is how you use that to your advantage.

Now, looking at the clock on the wall, we are out of time for this week. I'd like to remind you that you can find the show notes for today's episode, as well as an archive for all our episodes by going to timpeter.com/podcast. Again, that's timpeter.com/podcast. Just look for episode 237. While you're there, you can click on the subscribe link in any of the episodes you find there to have this delivered to your favorite podcatcher every single week. You can also subscribe in iTunes, or the Google Play music store, or Stitcher Radio, or whatever your favorite podcatcher happens to be. Just do a search for Tim Peter Thinks, Tim Peter Thinks Out Loud, or Thinks Out Loud, we should show up for any of those.

I'd also very much appreciate it if you could provide us a positive rating or review while you're there, it's very helpful to us. I'd also like to thank our sponsor. We're brought to you by SoloSegment. SoloSegment focuses on AI driven content discovery, and sight search analytics to unlock revenue. You can learn more about how to improve your search results, your customer satisfaction, and how to make your search smarter by going to solosegment.com. You can also find Thinks Out Loud on Facebook by going to Facebook.com/timpeterassociates. On Twitter using the Twitter handle @tcpeter. Or via email, by emailing podcast@timpeter.com. Again, that's podcast@timpeter.com.

With that, I want to say thanks again so much for tuning in. I really appreciate it. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week. A great week ahead, and I will look forward to speaking with you here on Thinks Out Loud again next time. Until then, please, be well, be safe, and take care everybody.

Tim Peter

By

November 6, 2018

What Won’t Change: The Trends Shaping Digital Next Year (Thinks Out Loud Episode 232)

November 6, 2018 | By | No Comments

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Trends Shaping Digital Next Year: Man holding large-format tablet computer


What Won’t Change: The Trends Shaping Digital Next Year (Thinks Out Loud Episode 232) – Headlines and Show Notes

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil Sound PR 30 Large Diaphragm Multipurpose Dynamic Microphone through a Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter Mic Activator and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 14m 56s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Tim Peter

By

September 29, 2018

Does Podcasting Make Sense for Your Business in 2019? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 230)

September 29, 2018 | By | No Comments

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Does Podcasting Make Sense for Your Business in 2019? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 230) - International Podcast Day Logo

Does Podcasting Make Sense for Your Business in 2019? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 230) – Headlines and Show Notes

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil Sound PR 30 Large Diaphragm Multipurpose Dynamic Microphone through a Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter Mic Activator and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 13m 46s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Tim Peter

By

August 24, 2018

What is More Important than Marketing? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 227)

August 24, 2018 | By | No Comments

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What's more important than marketing? Photo of team working together to improve customer experience

What is More Important than Marketing? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 227) – Headlines and Show Notes

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil Sound PR 30 Large Diaphragm Multipurpose Dynamic Microphone through a Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter Mic Activator and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 13m 32s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

What’s More Important Than Marketing? Transcript

Well, hello again everyone, and welcome back to Thinks Out Loud, your source for all the digital marketing expertise your business needs. My name is Tim Peter. Today is Friday, August 24, 2018. This is episode 227 of the big show, and I think we’ve got a really great show for you.

Before I get into it too deeply, I want to thank our sponsor. We’re brought to you by Solo Segment. Solo Segment focuses on AI driven content discovery and site search analytics that unlock revenue. You can learn more about how to improve your search results and customer satisfaction for your site visitors by going to solosegment.com.

Now, it is funny, I didn’t do this on purpose, but it is funny that we’re talking about customer satisfaction because I heard a great couple of stories in the last couple weeks that I wanted to share with you. The first is I was having dinner not long ago with Mark Schaefer who is a long-time friend of the show. He’s a fellow instructor at Rutgers University, Rutgers Business School, and we were having some discussions about how people think about your brand in the longer term, and what makes them choose your brand in the longer term.

Mark reminded me of a McKinsey study from several years back that I thought was fascinating, and I thought was really, really worth reviewing. It’s from 2012 or 2013, so it may seem slightly out of date, but I want to point out that I think what the study talks about has only become more true over time, and I think experience shows and data shows that it has become a much bigger deal over time. And it really was focused on what percentage of revenue for most companies did marketing directly influence?

Now, before I answer the question, I want to point out I’m a marketing guy. I’m all about "are we creating great marketing that drives people to our brand and our business?" So, I would love for this to be a really big number, right? I have a vested interest in this number being, you know, epically large. But what the data shows is that marketing maybe influences about 30% of purchase decisions. You know, most of what influences purchase decisions is something other than marketing. And I suspect this is still true.

When I talk to companies, when I talk to clients, when I talk to other customers, they often talk about the other things that drove their purchase decision beyond just, you know, they saw a great ad, or they saw a search ad, or they thought the website was really great, right? And it really gets back to something I’ve talked about before here on the show, which is how customer experience is queen.

I had a funny experience years ago. I worked for a hotel company, and one of the brand managers for one of the brands that I worked with was fairly frustrated, you know, came to me one day and said that she didn’t believe the website did a great job of conveying her brand’s value proposition. And so I asked, I said, "What is you brand’s value proposition? What differentiates your brand from all the other hotel brands out there?" And I’m not saying this to be mean to her, but she kind of had a blank stare for a few minutes, and she said, "You know, it’s a fair point. I’ll know it when I see it."

And I thought, okay, that’s something maybe we need to work on a little bit, right? Because obviously the experience that someone had in one of our hotels from the moment they walked in to the moment they checked out was going to shape their perception of the brand far more than anything we could do on the web, especially at that time. I mean, this is not last year. This is several years back. And what we could from a user experience perspective was somewhat limited at the time.

And I think there are a handful of really interesting stories that illustrate what I’m talking about. One of my all time favorites is actually from 10 years ago. It’s when Howard Schultz returned to Starbucks as the CEO to turn the company around. They were struggling, and he rejoined the company. One of the first things he did was he cut the marketing budget, and again this is not something I want to see happen very often, but he cut the marketing budget to put more money into training, into training their baristas to make a good cup of coffee. He was interviewed in Harvard Business Review and he said, and this is a quote and it’s a relatively lengthy one. He said, "Unlike almost any other product or consumer brand, we have not been built through traditional marketing or advertising. It (meaning the company) has been built by the experience that I’ve just described and the only way we can succeed and sustain growth and new development and innovation and new dreams is the foundation of all of the future of the company is linked to the basic elements of one cup of coffee, one customer, and one barista at a time."

I think that’s an exceptionally wise point of view, because he’s really focused on how do we create a great customer experience every single time a customer interacts with one of our people providing the service, the barista, and with the product, the cup of coffee.

There’s another story I heard not long ago about Method soap. These are the people who make, you’ve probably seen these very cleverly designed soap dispensers in Target, in your local grocery store, etc., and there was a fantastic interview on Mixology with the CEO of method about how they chose in the direction that they did. And the story I had heard that led me to this interview was that they said cutting steel is a marketing expense, and what they mean by that is building the molds that shape the bottle that they put the bottle in is actually where they put their marketing dollars, right, because they were trying to create this great experience.

And in this Mixology interview, the CEO Andrew Ryan said, "That’s the role of design and the fragrance and the branding and the fun of it." So we would have people who essentially, what would happen is they would see it on the shelf because of the design. They would buy it, they would smell it in the stores, they’d buy it because of the fragrance, they would get home, use it, see what works, and eventually turn the bottle around and see that it’s good for them, good for the planet. That’s what helped create this cult following, and that’s what drove a lot of the loyalty. I’m going to continue this quote because it’s really fascinating.

He said, "When you talk to Method customers, you’ll find two different camps. You’ll find people who could care less about the environmental credentials of it. They just love the whole design experience of it. Then you can find people you really don’t care too much about the design, but they love the fact of our commitment to sustainability and human health."

So they’re really thinking about the overall experience right down to the packaging as opposed to a great ad campaign, or a great marketing effort.

Now, at the time, that interview was from 2012, and at the time they had had over $100 million in revenue at Target alone. Sorry, the interview was in 2017 and he said four or five years ago, so in 2012 or thereabouts. So we can safely assume they were making more than $100 million in revenue focused on design, and they were just sold to SC Johnson earlier this year for an undisclosed sum. So clearly this was having an effect. And remember, they’re competing against the Proctor & Gambles of the world who spend more money on advertising and more money on marketing than any other company in the world.

Now why did it work? Well, it worked because their customers told their story. One of the things I continually talk about with clients is, you know, how can we get customers to participate in the creation and curation of a positive brand story, or our positive brand story? Because if we can do that, we’re putting ourselves in a position to win. We’re putting ourselves in a position to really succeed.

There was a great piece on VentureBeat about how Open Table used just a little bit of data, and you’ve heard me say that, you know, content is king, customer experience is queen, and data is the crown jewels. But using just a little bit of data to understand customer intent and what customers were trying to accomplish, and then changing the product, changing the experience to actually being more useful for the people using it, and thus get them to use it more.

So again, it’s really about how you create this great experience that will get your customers to want to talk about you, to want to use you regularly, to come back again and again. Now, that doesn’t mean that marketing isn’t valuable. Again, if we’re giving credit to marketing for about 30% and you would not want to walk away from 30% of your business by any stretch. Nobody would. So this isn’t that marketing isn’t important, it’s that we have to remember the other 70% too. That’s what’s more important than marketing.

What is the customer experience you’re creating? What data are you using to build that customer experience and learn what’s working, and make it, in the words of Seth Godin, more remarkable for your customers? Because if you can do that, if you can create this extraordinary experience that gets people to com back again and again and again, you may find out that marketing is less than 30% of your benefit and of your results because you don’t need it to be, because your customers will do the work for you. And if you can accomplish that, you’re putting yourself in very rare company indeed.

Now, looking at the clock on the wall, we are out of time for this week. I do want to remind you that you can find the show notes for today’s episode as well as an archive of all past episodes by going to timpeter.com/podcast. Again, that’s timpeter.com/podcast. You can also find us on Spotify, on iTunes, on Stitcher Radio, on Google podcasts, whatever your favorite podcatcher happens to be. Just do a search for Thinks Out Loud, we should show up for that. You can find me on Facebook using the URL faceobok.com/timpeterassociates, on Twitter using the Twitter handle @tcpeter, and via email by sending an email to podcast@timpeter.com. Again, that’s podcast@timpeter.com.

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With that, I hope you have a wonderful weekend, a fantastic week ahead, and I will look forward to speaking with you again here on Thinks Out Loud next week. Until then, take care everybody.