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Engaging Marketing Minds

INSIDE

Vol 6, Issue 5, September/October 2016

BLENDING DATA WITH EXPERIENCE

THE VALUE OF PERSONALIZED CONTENT

ANDREW NEITLICH ON LEADERSHIP

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Up Front Publisher’s Letter

The

WRONG QUESTION hange has been the topic of conversation within the business community for decades. In May 2005, the Harvard Business Review cited the need for a radical departure from traditional thinking. According to the article, "Your Company's Secret Change Agent," while isolated success strategies can be brought into the mainstream, doing so requires a departure from the notions of benchmarking and best practices that we are all too familiar with. The key is to engage the members of the community you want to change in the process of discovery and make them the evangelists of their own conversion experience. NO MATTER WHAT The ideas for creating change THE SOLUTION IS are pretty sound. Involving the FOR CHANGE, THE people you want to change in the THING THAT process of leading change is brilliant. However, we collectively still ULTIMATELY HOLDS lament the willingness to change US BACK IS BELIEF OR what exists within our worlds. LACK THEREOF. So, what gives? Maybe we're just asking the wrong questions. For example, instead of asking "How do I get this done?" or "How can I validate my work?" we should ask, "What is holding us back from opportunity?" No matter what the solution is for change, the thing that ultimately holds us back is belief or lack thereof. In other words, maybe there is a feeling that once change is implemented we will be destroyed in some way. Belief can go a long way – as long as it's true. We must all have faith that sticking our collective necks out is a good thing. We must believe that when we choose to do the unconventional and the nontraditional, we will end up stronger and more educated. And we must feel confident that we can become the kind of people who not only make change, but change things for the better. PUBLISHER

Bill Barta President & CEO Rider Dickerson MANAGING EDITOR

Dean Petrulakis Senior Vice President Business Development Rider Dickerson

We have faith that this issue will change some thinking. In our cover story, "Out of Sight, Out of Mind," we talk about the importance of staying in front of your clients and the difficulty in executing that plan. In our second feature, "Mixology," we highlight the fact that sincerity and authenticity are the key ideas to market-based thinking. All the best,

In This Issue

ART DIRECTION

Brandon Clark

EDITORIAL & CREATIVE DIRECTION

Conduit, Inc. www.Conduit-Inc.com printForum is published bimonthly by Rider Dickerson, copyright 2016. All rights reserved. For more information, contact dpetrulakis@riderdickerson.com 312-676-4119

DEAN PETRULAKIS Senior Vice President Business Development Rider Dickerson

BILL BARTA President & CEO Rider Dickerson

01 Publisher’s letter The wrong question 02 The Inbox

04 Out of sight, Out of mind Why you need to get to know your customers personally 08 Mixology Marketing blends data with experience 12 Trending with... Executive coach Andrew Neitlich 13 One size does not fit all Survey shows the value of personalized content

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News | Updates | Statistics

INSIGHTS

The Inbox

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ROOM TO GROW When it comes to content marketing strategies, you would think that by now everybody would be on board. Think again. According to Curata’s “2016 Content Marketing Staffing and Tactics Barometer,” the results show that companies admit to having room for improvement. For example, 48 percent say they are not curating their content, only 29 percent systematically reuse and repurpose content, and 37 percent never complete a content audit. To note, 42 percent intend on increasing their content marketing staff levels, the survey found.

Making buyer personas and customer journey maps a way of life You did all the research. Delved deep into your customer base to uncover the critical strategic assets you need to push forward. Now why are they just relegated to a PowerPoint presentation? According to the "Content Customer Journey Maps and Buyer Personas: The Modern Tool Kit for Marketing" by IBM Marketing Cloud and CMO Council, you should use what you have – constantly. Your messaging. Updating content. Building out your campaign strategy. The key is to constantly refer to your buyer persona documents and customer journey maps to help you remain on point. Periodically conduct more interviews to refine what you’ve developed and keep customer focus at the forefront, the study suggested. At every planning meeting, ask yourself and

your coworkers, “What would our buyer want?” or “What does our research indicate that we should do?" Consider performing annual content audits to help ensure you have current materials to engage contacts at the different points in the customer journey – and via the channels through which your contacts prefer to interact with you at these moments. Monitor your analytics tools for changes in the customer journey that may arise over time. Taken seriously and institutionalized throughout your company, the process of developing buyer personas and mapping the customer journey will go a long way toward designing an improved customer experience – and propelling your team to new levels of success.


It is not about storytelling, as in a different way of labeling or describing advertising. It's more of a fundamental strategic approach to how to view your communication efforts across all touch points." – Douwe Bergsma, CMO of Georgia-Pacific, on reimagining marketing communications via storytelling

Book Rec The percentage of B2B marketers who say making more accurate decisions is the most valuable benefit of marketing data, according to Openprise's "The State of B2B Marketing Data Management." The report shows that marketers are employing marketing data strategies to improve ROI measurability (72 percent), improve data quality (65 percent), and increase data use/accessibility (63 percent). Openprise surveyed 183 B2B marketing professionals from 101 organizations across different verticals and company sizes.

The Inevitable:

Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future By Kevin Kelly

Have you ever thought how cool it would be to have a road map to the future? In "The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future," Kevin Kelly provides an optimistic game plan for the future by shining a spotlight on the coming changes in our lives. This much we know: Much of what will happen in the next 30 years is inevitable, driven by technological trends like virtual reality and artificial intelligence that are already in motion. In "The Inevitable," Kelly shows how these trends continue to completely revolutionize the way we buy, work, learn and communicate with each other. By understanding and embracing them, Kelly says it will be easier for us to remain on top of the coming wave of changes and to arrange our day-to-day relationships with technology in ways that bring forth maximum benefits. "The Inevitable" is an indispensable blueprint to the technological, cultural and societal changes on the horizon. It's the resource you may need in order to answer all the questions you have for the long ride ahead.

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BY JAMAR LASTER

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y her own admission, Liz Miller flies a “ridiculous” number of miles with American Airlines. As senior VP of marketing for the CMO Council, which entails hosting executive functions or presenting marketing-focused research findings at global conferences and thought-leadership events, her travel schedule is as closely aligned as possible with that of the quintessential jetsetter.

“It’s about making that intense relevance, because relevance drives relationships.” – Liz Miller, Senior VP of Marketing, CMO Council

Not surprisingly, Miller enjoys “elite” status as an American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum member. As the name implies, she’s set apart from the airline’s other customers, not only in travel perks and rewards, but also the types of marketing materials – and accompanying content – she receives. Those perks include quarterly updates with references to business perks and features of the American Airlines executive lounge; relaxing imagery of vacation spots in far-away places; and targeted ads on a specific country to which she frequently travels on international business. Translation: The airline knows she’s not the typical traveler, so it personalizes the message she receives. By contrast, Miller’s husband, also an AAdvantage program member – not of the Executive Platinum status, mind you – receives marketing materials, too. But they feature a distinct difference in content, a subtle nuance that has caught Miller’s eye. “When he gets his [American Airlines marketing materials], the content, images and promotions for destinations usually mirror what you can find on their website,” Miller says. “If they’re opening up a new route to Auckland, the cover of his brochure will be centered on Auckland. His materials will generally feature content about what they have to offer the mass populace of their customers.” The amount of personalization contained in the airline’s communication with her leads to a point of differentiation that Miller says makes the content more appealing. “They’re talking to me about things I may need in my travel life that are very different from my husband,” she says. “Every single piece of communication, while it’s content that can be found someplace else, is highly relevant to me. And it’s probably also highly relevant to executive platinum flyers because we all tend to have the same behavior.” The lesson in this example for marketers is simple: In a day and age where clients will only buy from those they trust and from those with whom they have relationships, one of the best ways to establish both of these key components is to appeal to one of their basic needs: personalized communication.

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CRACKING THE INNER CIRCLE In many situations, gaining your customers’ trust requires being part of an inner circle that sometimes can be difficult to access. In a business-to-business context, one of the best ways to begin breaking down any barriers to entry is to provide valuable, quality content that gives the customer an advantage in their market, says Bill Corbett Jr., president of Corbett Public Relations Inc., a Long Island, N.Y.-based public relations and marketing firm. “If you know what their challenges are, share with them articles, videos and other materials that will help them overcome challenges, and you will build trust,” Corbett says. “This allows for opportunities to develop and for relationships to grow.” Corbett, a former adjunct professor at Iona College and occasional guest lecturer at other institutions, also touts personal communication as a way to crack the proverbial walls some actual or prospective customers can erect. Ironically, he says technology – likely the very culprit in the establishment of these barriers – can be helpful in facilitating the communication that can help marketers break through. “LinkedIn, for example, offers many ways to engage in personal conversations,” Corbett says. “The key here is listening to the specific client or type of client. If you know what they are looking for or what they need, you will have a better opportunity to reach them and provide what they are looking for. Don’t hard sell; however, this does not mean don’t communicate.” Technology, in some ways, may have gotten a bad rap in this entire scenario. “It’s not the technology that’s the problem,” Miller says, “it’s the overwhelming flood of irrelevant messages that we keep sending people and an absolute lack of connected content.” Such content not only has to be connected to a unified message, but it also must contain a thread connecting it across channels, Miller says. “That level of connection, where we’re actually connecting all the dots between message and channel, has to also connect to something that is highly relevant to our customers.”

In many situations, gaining your customers’ trust requires being part of an inner circle that sometimes can be difficult to access. TALK IN THEIR TERMS “Female between ages 22 and 34.” “College graduate.” “Mother with at least one child.” “Household income between $100,000 and $125,000.” It’s easy for marketers to think in demographic terms; after all, the analytics portion of the job almost mandates doing so. But referring to customers in such terms also accentuates the problem of relating on a personal level with customers. It’s best to start by gaining a deeper understanding of your customer, then communicating with them in familiar terms so that they aren’t reintroducing themselves at each engagement. “No one introduces themselves as, ‘Hi, I’m a woman between the age of 22 and 34. I come from the Midwest and my socioeconomic background is…,’” Miller says. “But that’s how we talk about our customers,

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ways to focus on your client Get “in the dirt” with them. Go to their offices or operations and observe what they do. Talk with executives, staff, clients and partners. Attend events that they host. “Get to know them on a personal level, and see what they do and how they do it,” says Bill Corbett Jr., president of Corbett Public Relations Inc. Mold products and services to meet customer needs. Using customer insight and intelligence, deliver value based on customer experiences that really address their needs and desires, says Liz Miller, senior VP of marketing for the CMO Council.

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Talk to them across channels. The social media channel is important for getting acquainted with your client, Miller says, but remember that you’re dealing with today’s Omni-channel customer. “Social media is important, but so is the live feedback that comes from websites or the voice that comes from customer-service channels, and so is sales,” she says. Get to know their industries and markets. Look at competitors and share your relevant findings, Corbett says. “This is proactive and often helpful in developing marketing strategies or finding opportunities.” Have a plan for tracking and working with clients. This is particularly important if you are a service provider. Create a calendar with themes, action items, events and activities, all the while communicating regularly and setting goals, Corbett says. “All parties must agree to the plan and system for assessing successes and achievements.”


then we break it down into product categories, why they are buying and their demographics. If you were to ask what that woman is buying, she would say, ‘I’m buying back-to-school products because my kids need them for school, but they need paper in packs of four, so why do you sell packs of three?’ If we can start shifting how we think about customers and why they do business with us, and talk to them the way they want to talk to us, it shifts the relationship.” Corbett says another way to learn how to talk to clients is not to talk about business. “Find out what an individual is interested in and talk with them about this and get to know them,” he says. “Eventually, the conversation will turn to business and this is when you have an opportunity to discuss what you do, why you do it and what makes you different.” Communicating with clients in these terms not only softens barriers, but it shifts the company’s or brand’s relationship with the customer and drives loyalty. “We stop talking to them like they’re a catalog,” Miller says. “It encourages them to be part of the buying experience, whether it’s a long buying cycle like in B2B markets, or a short one like in B2C markets.”

PERCEPTION IS REALITY On a smaller scale, personalization is very much a grassroots effort. Corbett says plans of action include eschewing multiple e-blasts and newsletters, instead focusing on personal interactions with customers. “Thank people personally for meetings or shares of their social content,” he says. “Call them when appropriate. When you find an article they are mentioned in, send it to them and congratulate them. If somebody does something for me, I do a social shout out. Business is a two-way street. Do whatever you can to help the client get exposure and show off what they do to your audiences.” But on a macro scale, such personalization may not be realistic. One-to-one communication, at scale, is a scary proposition. After all, a company with millions of customers can’t possibly hire a marketing staff of millions. But that’s OK, Miller says, because individualization isn’t the goal. It’s really about the perception of personalization. “How are we speaking to that individual so that they believe we are truly speaking to them as an individual?” she asks. “I think that sometimes people miscommunicate personalization because they think that it’s total individualization. It’s really not. It’s that mass personalization that delivers intense layers of relevance to that individual customer.” And don’t misunderstand the message to mean that simply mail-merging a letter with customers’ first names and the city in which they live (à la the technology of the 1990s) will do the trick. That’s bush-league in today’s marketing game. “We’re talking about creating highly relevant moments, regardless of channel,” Miller says. “So that means that if a company is sending an email to me, Liz Miller, not only is it reflective of my history with that brand, but it also is tailor-made for me. That may be different visuals, different offers or offers that are more relevant for me than they are for someone else. It’s about making that intense relevance, because relevance drives relationships.”

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BY MICHAEL J. PALLERINO

Is she intimating that data can sometimes steer you off course? Depends on your interpretation. Macleod, president & CEO of The Holistic Marketing Agency, believes that data tends to be totally context-dependent. Take, for example, website metrics. Your intel may tell you that very few visitors ever make it past the first page. The initial reaction is that your home page is just plain terrible. But what if that page contains all the information your customers need, and there is no need for them to press on? That may be what the data implies. But what do your customers say? What information did you (should you) uncover from having real world engagements with them? Is hiding behind data analysis alone the answer?

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Take that website example. By combining your high-bounce rate (bad) with customer service feedback about how easy it is to get info off of your website (good), you see a different picture. “Your customers and clients are real people to you,” Macleod says. “There are so many more sensory inputs when you engage in oneon-one conversations. You can read body language. You can sense emotion. You can connect and laugh. You can build compassion. It’s incredibly important to have an intimate understanding of what your customers want and need.” Truthfully, that means relying on your team to get out into the field to have real conversations with people. If you don’t, you’re precluding learning. “It’s a little Zen, actually,” Macleod says. You have to have a beginner’s mind, especially with things like social media and the way algorithms and consumer buying habits are changing all the time. People aren’t fundamentally changing, but the tools they use are. You have to keep up with that. If you think you already know everything about everybody, there’s no room for new info. It shuts down your imagination. And that’s not good for anyone.”

In today’s technologically astute world, with so many different modes of communication available, it can be easy for marketers to hide behind data. But that’s a feeling you must shake – and fast. And here’s the thing – it’s as hard (or as easy) as you make it. If you put the wall up, you can take the wall down. The blueprint is pretty simple. Make sure you and your team get out into the field to meet with your customers. Set aggressive, quarterly goals for meaningful customer discussions. Targeting customer engagements is a good habit to take on. Hearing firsthand your customers’ real successes and frustrations – being a part of the customers’ world – is paramount to improving the way you connect with them. And that means leaving your ego at the door. Ask any marketer and he’ll tell you that egos create roadblocks.

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While it’s good to be confident in what you do and what your research says, an ego can paralyze you. Face it – you’re human. You don’t know everything. You can follow the trends, stay current by poring through the research, but in the end, there always is more to learn and do when it comes to marketing. “It’s hard to get to know your client, or who you are marketing to if you think you are the best,” says Kathy Michel, director of marketing and media relations at Goucher College in Baltimore. “Data doesn’t hurt, but numbers don’t feel emotion. When you combine the facts and the emotion, it’s easier to prove why you stand out among the rest of your competitors.” Facts are facts, but oftentimes it’s the emotional piece that sells. Marketing comes down to emotional intelligence. It means being self-aware and having an understanding that your clients may be making life-changing decisions, so it’s important to be empathetic. “Marketing is about channeling and harnessing the mind of your audience,” Michel says. “That’s why that real-world engagement part is so huge. You have to know whom you are engaging with. You don’t get that sitting behind a computer screen. It’s always best to know who you’re targeting through face-to-face interactions.” Mack Story wants you to look at it like this: Your clients will not buy from you until they feel understood by you. The key to influencing them is to first allow them to influence you. Your most valuable clients value those who first value them. Story, co-founder of TopStoryLeadership.com, believes that you lead with influence. “Until our clients feel like they matter to us, we don't matter to them. That’s why your most valuable clients are also your most important word-of-mouth advertisers. They already know, like and trust you. Reinforce their belief in you by seeking to understand their needs.”


What Story and thought leaders believe is that while the process is not about you, it starts with you. Who you are on the inside is what others experience on the outside, which means it’s critical that you see the world through the eyes of your clients. “None of us is as creative as all of us,” says Story, whose clients include Chick-fil-A and Koch Industries. “When we work with the client, we can leverage the synergy of two or more minds thinking as one. We can't offer a prescription until we have the proper diagnosis. The quickest way to build rapport with a client is to demonstrate through your actions that their thoughts and opinions matter. When you seek out their input, you move beyond communication and begin to connect.”

Enables your clients to know who you really are and gain a sense of trust

Creates ongoing, consistent dialogue, not a one-time sales pitch

Will not only learn what they like and don't like, but you will build a deeper relationship

The closer you are to your customers, the less likely they are to look for an alternative provider

Enables you to see, sense and feel emotions on a more intimate level

The best evangelists for a company are delighted customers

Communicates that they are not just a piece of business, but that they matter, too

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Interview with Andrew Neitlich

Trending with...

Executive coach Andrew Neitlich n his book, “Elegant Leadership: Simple Strategies, Remarkable Results,” Andrew Neitlich shows how strong leaders are the ones who remain committed to learning what they don’t know. If it sounds simple, it’s not. Maybe that’s why Neitlich, founder and director of the Center for Executive Coaching, spends so much time helping today’s leaders perfect their craft. Over the years, he has trained more than 1,000 coaches around the world, with an impressive client list that includes the likes of FedEx, Aflac, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Department of Defense, and Deloitte Consulting, among scores of others. Here, Neitlich dishes on what today’s leaders are made of and how they can get better:

What do today's leaders lack?

It depends on the individual leader. Everybody has strengths and areas where they can develop. What works is an approach that looks at your thinking and communication styles, behavioral traits, the impact you have on others, your alignment with your manager(s) and the organization’s strategy, and your requirements for success. By understanding these issues, you can find that one new attitude, behavior or skill that will have maximum impact and improve results. Sometimes, this one thing can be a strength upon which to build, a behavioral blind spot that might be derailing your career, or a new behavior to start or do more.

Where are those blind spots?

Some leaders who have technical skills – physicians, engineers, scientists and attorneys, among others – often lack some of the softer skills to engage their teams and communicate effectively. In non-profit organizations, for example, I often work with leaders who feel uncomfortable asserting themselves or having any kind of conflicts. In highly political organizations, some leaders would rather look good than do the right thing. One framework that helps shed light on this issue is the triangle between ego, results and relationships. These three

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areas must be in balance. If you focus too much on ego, then you care more about getting credit, having status and looking good than getting results. If you focus too much on getting results, you can hurt relationships and come across as coercive. And, if you focus too much on preserving relationships, you avoid tough conversations, don’t get results and end up hurting business relationships anyway.

ONLY EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE CAN OR WANT TO LEAD TODAY AND STILL BE ABLE TO MAINTAIN THEIR HEALTH, WORK-LIFE FLOW, VALUES AND PERSPECTIVE. What is the key to getting better?

Good leaders constantly ask themselves questions about how to keep improving. Five crucial questions are: How can I earn the right to lead with my people? How can I help others to succeed? How can I model the habits I want to see in the organization? Which behaviors and attitudes do I need to stop tolerating in myself and in others? How can I build a stronger organization that isn’t dependent on me?

What is the real key to successful leadership?

You have to care deeply about whatever it is you are doing and why you are doing it. That way, when you wake up and don’t feel like leading, you still see possibilities to create; you still do what needs to be done. True leaders lead even when they don’t feel like it. It’s about getting up after you’ve been knocked down repeatedly, being able to influence and engage others, being authentic without manipulating, and not caving in on values or quality.

How do you see leadership changing in today’s new business landscape?

This truly is a new world defined by a gut-wrenching pace of change and volatility, uncertainty, complexity and interdependence. It’s causing too many to believe that things are really under their direct control. Given that, many leaders have nearly impossible jobs. It is no wonder that some have cynically chosen to look out for their own interests over and above the needs of their constituents and organizations. But for those who want to be the “real thing,” there is an opportunity to engage others to develop a shared vision and purpose. There are opportunities to set a clear direction, and develop and unleash other leaders who can make great things happen. Today’s leaders can be authentic role models of the behaviors and habits they want to see in others. Only extraordinary people can or want to lead today, and still be able to maintain their health, work-life flow, values and perspective.


ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL

Before You Go

SURVEY SHOWS THE VALUE OF PERSONALIZED CONTENT

ame a place, any place, within the customer journey that can’t be bolstered by content. Tough, isn't it? The key is in what type of content you use. According to the “Content Marketing’s Evolution: The Age of Hyper-Personalization and Automation” report, 80 percent of marketers say their objectives are met when they use personalized content over any content. The report, conducted by the Demand Metric and Seismic Report, surveyed more than 180 B2B enterprise stakeholders. Here's a look at the types of content personalization marketers are using today:

SEGMENT SPECIFIC

PERSONA SPECIFIC ACCOUNT SPECIFIC

STAGE SPECIFIC LEAD SPECIFIC

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