Tag Archives: Digital Media

Using Original Podcasts to Build Brand Relationships



Podcast pro Steve Pratt, VP and Co-Founder of the multi-award winning Pacific Content, told me his company no longer makes branded podcasts. They haven’t for a few years. They make “original podcasts with brands.” And win awards doing it for brands like Ford Motor Company, Rocket Mortgage, Morgan Stanley, Slack, and Red Hat.

The difference? These are no “thinly veiled infomercials. Instead, Pacific Content works together with their partners to “make a show that’s designed as something that only that brand can make; you give a gift — or create a significant amount of value — for the people that the brand wants to have relationships with.” And that, says Pratt, is how and why a brand makes a show that solves for their specific business problem, AND makes them into “media companies,” too.

But don’t forget about the marketing. Good content that isn’t salesy has to go hand in hand with good marketing that doesn’t just try to “interrupt.” So, excuse me (!), but marketers should listen to this informative conversation all about connecting the dots between business objectives and audience preferences via podcasting. Steve should know: his company of “50 passionate podcast nerds” is focused exclusively on original podcasts that promote brands with authenticity and without compromising quality.

Steve and I also discuss:
  • How Dell Technologies’ podcast, Trailblazers with Walter Isaacson, became a “masterclass” on disruption and innovation, and sold listeners on Dell without selling products (and you can hear Dell Global Marketer, Rachael Henke, talk about this in Epi 6 from 5/20!) 
  • Creating a branded podcast strategy like a Venn Diagram between business goals and listener interests
  • How podcasts drive loyalty
  • Opportunities for “brands as media companies”
  • Branded podcasts vs. Advertising in another podcast: What’s the litmus test? (And when Steve suggests brands call Bart Roselli at VeritoneOne, per episode 41 on effective ad campaigns!)
  • Establishing marketing effectiveness in podcasting
  • Success measurement tactics and KPIs
And, since Pacific Content gives good content themselves, don’t miss Steve’s own musings on the future of podcasting, how he did on his 2021 predictions made in our friend James Cridland’s show…and what he’s projecting for 2022!

Please share the podcast, and if you liked this episode, feel free to show support in my virtual tip jar at https://buymeacoffe.com/mossappeal — and please follow and engage with Insider Interviews on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Find/Follow Steve and Pacific Content at:

Reach out to be considered for an episode — or suggest questions or a guest — or to have your own bespoke podcast series produced and/or hosted by E.B. Moss.

Email us at podcasts@mossappeal.com.  We’re “hear” for you!


Cadillac CMO Melissa Grady Dias on Marketing a Maverick (with heart)



A milestone! It’s Episode 40 of Insider Interviews! And for that, who better to interview than Cadillac’s Global Chief Marketing Officer, Melissa Grady Dias, who is, herself, marketing a milestone: the launch of what will be the first all electric line of luxury brand vehicles (EVs), starting with the Lyriq!

This episode was recorded in September, and since then the new Lyriq has sold out of pre-sale reservations. So how did it get so popular? Why is Cadillac “the maverick” of the GM brands, and how does its marketing deliver on its corporate parent’s promise to be the most inclusive company in the world?

For the past two years, Melissa Grady Dias has held the key. She is a marketer’s marketer, a master of math and of insight-driven creative. With a heart. That “brand and demand” combo (as I’ll write more about in The Continuum) is what’s helped infuse those corporate cause-oriented values into everything from gaming tie-ins to 6-second ads, to experiential marketing with Michelin-rated chefs. To hear Melissa be moved by the definition of equity and inclusion is to understand what “drives” (sorry) much of the brand messaging, but messaging that is always backed by data.
As she explains:

“I try to understand how and where my audience is consuming media, and how they’re entertaining themselves. Then I try to be in those places, but to do it in a different way, so that it really breaks through.”

While always in pursuit of an advertising career, (“I used to watch Who’s the Boss and I loved Angela and I wanted to be like her,” she confesses) Melissa almost took a wrong turn. But discovering Database, Direct, and e-Commerce studies in a Masters program led her to expertise in performance marketing and technology. Her passion for good creative added the rest of the fuel.
After discussing how she “followed her career north star to OnStar” we took some deep dives into how she is marketing the 125-year old brand, including:
  • What it means to “show up differently” and how the Cadillac marketing team approaches the funnel differently, too (hint: upside down!)
  • With GM looking to go all EV and towards a 0, 0, 0 world (zero emissions, zero crashes, and zero congestion) how Cadillac, historically an innovator brand, is at the forefront of that effort:
  • Just why Cadillac overall — from the Escalade to the XT6 — is like the maverick of GM brands, while still infused with corporate cause-oriented values.

“Cadillac is also a bit of a maverick and we’ve always stood for those people who really have big dreams and bold ambitions, but really they’re the change-makers.”

  • Melissa’s reaction to CEO Mary Barra’s statement on making GM one of the most inclusive companies in the world, and how they’re doing that — on social, in a campaign or in how they’re spending money;

“Equity is treating everyone the same and fairly. So if there’s a dance everyone’s invited to the dance. Inclusion is being asked to dance.”

  • Campaign development:

“When Regina King heard the brand manifesto, she could relate it to her story. And …it inspires me to be a better person, too. That’s how the “Never Stop Arriving” campaign was born: it’s about hitting a moment, celebrating yourself and then thinking ‘Now, how do I keep making the world better? How am I going to keep moving forward?’”

  • How they identify prospects and find them, starting with addressable and digital then filling in as they go up the funnel, right to tentpole events like their Oscars™ or PGA sponsorships;
  • Melissa’s perspective on audience demographics “I’m never saying, ‘where are the 25-54 year olds with a certain income’” and feelings about linear TV to podcasts…even their innovative use of gaming and AR and VR as part of the sales process;

(Note – Take a look at Cadillac Live for a unique view of how vehicles can be experienced in our showroom and supply-chain challenged times! And fun fact: More test drives happen on YouTube than in a car dealership! So hear how Cadillac Live deployed a takeover with a “first” on the video site!)

  • Hear how data is handled and respected and leveraged;
  • How experiential comes to life in unexpected ways, like finding inspiration in the Lyriq grill for food recipes!;
  • How future CMOs can follow a similar path to success? Melissa shares a three-point plan of action which, of course, starts with follow your passion.

Finally, hear why my heart was pounding – as with most people who experience Super Cruise for the first time – but in my case just from watching their effective long-form celebrity videos about the hands-free driving option! Melissa has described this as the “let go” moment.

As voiced by Tiffany Haddish in the video, “Sometimes you gotta grab the wheel and sometimes you just have to let it go.” It’s trust that you’ll get where you need to be. Melissa, who makes it a point to meditate daily, thinks her personal mantra – ‘I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be’ – “ties into that idea pretty well.”

Easter Egg Moment: Insider Interviews aims to give you the “insider scoop” on media, marketing and advertising, along with the personal side of execs. And you’ll catch a very human moment around 20 minutes in…. But do enjoy all 40 minutes of this informative and jam packed conversation!
If you found this helpful, feel free to help support ANOTHER 40 episodes of Insider Interviews and add to my virtual tip jar to buy me a coffee“: https://buymeacoffee.com/mossappeal
And please support us with a review wherever you listen, share this episode. Or allow me to help you get started with a podcast or content marketing strategy: podcasts@mossappeal.com.

Follow Cadillac:

  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cadillac
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/Cadillac

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THANK YOU for listening!

E.B.

 


Katie Kempner’s Primer on PR and Personality



Katie Kempner may have appeared in the cult-classic films Scam and Class of Nuke ‘Em High, but she’s much better known for her corporate communications credentials. In Epi 38, she switches roles from interviewing others, or landing her clients interviews as a PR phenom, and sits instead in my guest seat.

Kempner and I took a few fun minutes at the top to discuss our mutually limited—yet memorable—acting experiences (see bonus image, below), but then dove in to how taking a risk paid her career-making dividends, and her tangible takeaways about earned and owned media today. 
Stumbling into her Niche
  • When her prospects as an MTV VJ or starlet seemed slim Kempner took a job at a staffing company to avoid having to return to her parents’ home after college.
  • An opening at one of their client’s shops, the then still nascent advertising agency CP+B, changed her career path forever; Kempner talked her way into a role working with their new business division!
  • Kempner stayed with the award-winning agency for almost 20 years, and its acquiring company, MDC, from its roots as a small Miami office to regional powerhouse to a global super machine. But…
  • She always dreamed of starting her own firm. Solid relationships with her employer allowed her to launch Kempner Communications and keep CP+B as her first, and biggest, client.
  • How she lives the “reinventionist” philosophy of one of her current clients and my previous guest, Joe Jackman! (Check out Epi 37 if you missed it.)

I am the product of hard work and being in the right place at the right time.

Media Evolution
  • Kempner has witnessed the rise in popularity of owned media, and she discusses why she still leans more toward earned media, but…
  • Always one to embrace future concepts, Kempner also discusses the benefits of client-created media and how it can help reach an intended audience.
  • Speaking of audiences, we discussed the shifting audience perspectives as the media world functions with fewer high-profile journalists with readership at scale, and more outlets to tell stories.
  • Listen for Kempner’s recommendations on balancing quantity and quality in earned media.

In one way, the proliferation of media is fantastic because there are more places to go.

Kempners Tips for Getting Started in Today’s PR World
  • Be a strong communicator
  • Be careful with your words and a scrupulous editor
  • Knowing why you’re crafting a message can help determine where to place it.
  • Knowing what your clients are trying to say helps to determine to whom they’re talking.

And personally? Just as she asks of the guests she interviews on Perspectives, Kempner’s answer to what advice she’d offer:
“You should speak kindly to yourself…and I don’t mean live in some kind of la-la land where you’re not being realistic, but be good to yourself and be your own best friend.”

Connect with Katie Kempner:
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If I can help you connect your podcast/tv/content dots—or, just want help getting started with a podcast or content marketing strategy, please reach out to me at podcasts@mossappeal.com.

Bonus Image:

 


Jackman Reinvents

Joe Jackman Reinvents How Brands Embrace Change



Not many people – or brands — love change as much as Joe Jackman. The CEO of Jackman Reinvents has been a valued advisor to major retailers like Staples and brands like Flow Water, to B2B companies and to private equity partners. In this episode hear how he uses insights about trends and human behavior to drive change – or reinvention – and why that’s essential for a brand today.
Jackman believes that moving from town to town as a kid with his retail exec dad emboldened him and taught him relationship skills. To the envy of any who have experienced “imposter complex,” Jackman has confidently embraced change professionally, moving from creative to CMO to CEO, admittedly making it up as he went along at many of the stops along the way. Learn what’s needed for companies to thrive, and the consequences for those that choose to emulate ostriches.
This 40-minute conversation is filled with insights – or, as Jackman calls them when working with clients, “nuggets you can actually hang a strategy off.”
I encourage a full listen, but here are some unmissable elements and Jackman Takeaways:
  • Change has been coming fast and furious for many years, but the pandemic has compressed the need for speed to do things differently now; not just in people’s lives, but in the dynamics of the marketplace
 Jackman Takeaway: If you’re not changing and evolving, you’re stuck. That would probably be the best scenario. But the more common scenario is you’re moving backwards or, in business terms, you’re waning or dying.”
  • Joe Jackman explained his personal path and how an appreciation of change took him from creative director to business owner after stints helping launch brands like Joe Fresh (no relation!).
 Jackman Takeaway: “I said, why can’t I be a brand strategist? What do I need to know? Who do I need to learn from? And then, eventually, I just thought, ‘Why can’t I shape strategy at the very highest level?”
  • That attitude led to becoming a “reinventionist” – and the definition thereof:
Jackman Takeaway: “It’s a word I made up, but basically the definition is to just be really good at making change happen and to great benefit. The world needs more people with the skills and in the mindset of making change.”
  • Learn which immutable law of marketing he adopted from Al Ries and Jack Trout and built his agency on.
  • Jackman’s concept of reinvention is tied to “invention,” and a brand’s transformation is intrinsically tied to its DNA.
  • We need to collectively “reposition the entire idea of change in our minds as a positive force, and essential. It should be seen as creating the next best, most powerful and relevant version of you or your company.” (He literally wrote the book on this: “Reinventionist Mindset”with a set of five principles for change.)
  • The status quo – especially when paired with success — is a killer. Business model life cycles, executives’ tenures, the length of brands’ relevance, are all compressing. So, since “the future arrives daily,” brands need to figure out step-by-step how to evolve and “get pro athlete good at it or you have it done to you.”
  • Learn how Jackman helped Staples create trial stores that were hybrid workspace meets product sampling; and transformed Rexall, including being the first drugstore in Canada to start offering flu shots.
Jackman Takeaway on Retail: “In a world of choice, which is what the internet did to retail, retail was relatively slow to adapt…. There are exceptions, but retail generally sat and was lacking innovation… A lot of disruption was enabled by that sense of ‘oh, maybe one day we’ll evolve, but stores are the thing now…’. If retail leadership was prescient in reading what’s happening, Amazon wouldn’t exist. Casper wouldn’t exist. Netflix wouldn’t exist and there’d be a streaming service called Blockbuster.”
Big Jackman Takeaway: “There’s probably only one rule in all of this work in transformation: That you must deeply understand who your customers are and what they care about most. …beyond function, into the world of emotion. Most marketers focus on the means. Understand what the end is.”
  • Jackman gives his definition of a brand and why adopting that helps drive trust.
Jackman Takeaway: A brand equals purpose elevated to experience, delivered consistently. Most companies haven’t got that very well defined, and, and yet, if you look at the evidence, purpose led companies tend to outperform their peers.”
  • Cohesive messaging and linkage between ideas and all advertising is essential to continue the brand message.
  • It takes balance and a strong foundation to leverage both brand awareness and demand marketing (and he explains how it relates to dating!)
 Jackman Takeaway: “Performance marketing today is important — because it’s data centric and it’s measurable and we can adjust it — …as long as it ladders up to a higher order of purpose. If there’s no red thread that links to that, that’s not good. You can’t build trust. …And today’s measure of success is if I truly have a relationship with the brand.”

  • Trust, and being in a Values Economy is greatly affecting brands right now.
  • Sustainability and similar values are amplified more now in our pandemic context and impact how consumers make purchase decisions…There’s a lot of de-selection going on today.”
  • Jackman also explains the only two consumer choice tiebreakers

 

 Jackman Takeaway: “I’ve helped well north of 50 companies, and along the way I noticed we’re wired as humans to behave in certain ways. One of the things we don’t love is change. … But I observed ways of thinking and doing that enabled success to come faster… I got them down to five. … For example, the first one is ‘seek insight everywhere’.”
  • Learn to understand cultural currency and even reinvent the old marketing maxim of: ‘I need to pay attention to the customers that I do the most business with.’ (Hint: that’s fine, but you also “don’t want to be a brand or a business that’s like a great aunt: you know, fondly thought of, but never visited.” [That hit a little close to home for this host! Just sayin’.] So, learn to have relevant conversations with the up and coming set of customers [and with, note to self, the nieces and nephews.]
  • Understand how DEI dovetails with cultural relevance and brand values…  and what Jackman would change most about our world. (Note: Hat tip: Maryam Banikarim)
Finally, what brand would Jackman reinvent next?

“What do I want to reinvent? The next company that interests me or has lost its way. And there’s so much of that. How wonderful to spend a career on just figuring out the next act of whatever! And, since climate change is real, and we have to start to make a real difference, those are the kinds of opportunities I’m gravitating towards now. And I’m super excited to be at least part of the solution as best I can.”

If you found this helpful, please consider supporting this ad-free podcast with a small donation (“Buy me a Coffee!”) at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mossappeal AND please share with others in marketing and business…and even add a review  on Apple, or wherever you like to listen!
Find Jackman Reinvents at: https://www.jackmanreinvents.com
On Insta: https://www.instagram.com/wearejackman/
Find Joe Jackman, his book and podcast at: https://www.joejackman.com/
Please follow E.B. Moss and Insider Interviews on:

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And – if I can help you build or enhance a podcast for YOUR business, please reach out at podcasts@mossappeal.com !

E.B.

 


Warner Bros.’ Shaleen Desai is Very Animated About Good Storytelling



Shaleen Desai is like a caped crusader for content. This SVP of Adult Animation is super focused on solid stories and shares how he is bringing super heroes and more to animation…and beyond. In his career of 20+ years and counting in Hollywood, Desai has been with Letterman, Viacom/CMT, Fox 21 and gone from working with Jason Bateman at Aggregate to Warner Bros. on “Batman” and other IP. Overall, whether it’s animated or audio his focus is making sure Warner Brothers Animation products will resonate anywhere as just good storytelling!
While Insider Interviews listeners heard from Desai in Epi 33 – which was taken from his NATPE ContentCast panel about crossover IP — in this episode 36  Desai gets the chance to go more in-depth around how Warner Bros. Animation and Blue Ribbon Content work with the overall organization to tap top talent — from development to writers to the stars behind the mics. For example, when you hear those words, “I’m

Batman” in a forthcoming scripted podcast it might be spoken seriously by Winston Duke on Spotify… or by a campier Jeffrey Wright in a version called Batman the Audio Adventures on HBO Max. [Since this recording earlier in September it was announced that The Audio Adventures will launch on 9/18 — which is (who knew?!) “Batman Day“!] And of course, there’s always animation, with Batman, Caped Crusader headed to Cartoon Network and HBO Max soon.

But Desai is focused on more than super heroes. He’s also developing new approaches to content, dabbling in AI and more short digital films and podcasts through Blue Ribbon, and always working to just identify the next good story that can live, well, anywhere!
  • Want to know exactly how the pandemic shifted content consumption of more adult animation?
  • How do they pick which story might live as a cartoon or a podcast?
  • Will it land on Adult Swim or HBO Max …or even Spotify or Freeform?
  • Will Desai hire E.B. for voice work!? And why DO E.B.’s doormen call her “Batgirl”?
Learn all this and more from this Hollywood vet and the voiceover wannabe host of this episode.
Please find Shaleen on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shaleen-desai-aa661412/
Please follow E.B. Moss and Insider Interviews on:

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If you found this helpful, or liked any of my Insider Interviews episodes, please add a review  on Apple, share this episode, and of course to support this show you can “buy me a coffee!”: https://buymeacoffee.com/mossappeal
If I can help you connect YOUR podcast/tv/content dots, or just get started with a good #b2b podcast, please reach out to me at podcasts@mossappeal.com


Having Sway – Danielle Wiley on Influencer Marketing



In 2020,  Danielle Wiley was included in the revered “Top 50” list by Talking Influence. And the agency she founded, Sway Group was selected by Chief Marketer as one of just three influencer agencies of the “2020 Chief Marketer 200”. So it’s a safe bet that she has something to say about #influencermarketing. And that’s what she did, in Epi 32 of Insider Interviews.

I’d had the chance to experience Wiley’s thoughts last year when she contributed to The Continuum, a publication about brand + demand marketing, which I’m privileged to edit. In that article she explained how to look at the KPIs of influencer marketing a little bit differently, and the varied ways to determine impact and engagement. We touched on that in this conversation, but a 30-minute conversation gives you a chance to understand much more — not just about this food writer turned marketer, but things like how cause-marketing is another essential ingredient in influencing consumers. And these days, Sway has evolved to embrace that (and she shared case study examples) as well as digital advertising, both programmatic and paid social, and built what was a natural extension: a content studio.

One of my favorite discoveries about Wiley (aside from learning about our common roots working at Food Network in the early days!) was that she was a baker and a cheesemonger at one point. I believe that takes the cake for eclectic pasts among my podcast guests. Her culinary chops have served her well, though, as she can name several brands in or around the category as clients, including Igloo, Coleman, and Domino’s.

If that didn’t get you hungry to hear more, here’s what else we discussed:

  • Wiley’s evolution from a baker and blogger to early stage expert in social media to our common ground in marketing chefs like Emeril as “c-hunks”!
  • Her observation of the power of engagement with popular bloggers — and the infusion of trust vs. the singular appeal of celebrity

In its infancy influencers were treated more like journalists. Brands were just sending them product and expecting that they would get reviews out of it. That worked …for a short period of time. …Then they realized ‘if we’re just sending them a box of Mac & Cheese, we can’t have control over messaging…’. And we started paying them.

  • How the transition from providing product to bloggers to hiring them necessitated greater trust and authenticity in the influencer, and the path to creative content was laid
  • How Sway itself evolved away from the “Hollywood agent” business model to be able to scale and replicate requests — whether for moms of bedwetters or people who picnic with pizza
  • How brands solve for the demand for content tonnage across multiple channels — which sparked the birth of a content studio
  • Why the most important step in the strategic brief is a deep dive into the brand’s KPIs — impressions? engagement?

The big thing to remember is that as you increase in following the engagement rate goes down dramatically.

  • What’s a micro or a nano influencer and why does it matter — and the various forms of sponsorship. (Hint: Feel free to sponsor THIS podcast just by buying me a coffee!)
  • The shift from wanting to steer clear of influencers with a point of view, to actively seeking that out — and how the GenZ demand for brand purpose has influenced how brands use influencers!
  • Wiley explained the two initiatives Sway worked on for Stonyfield Farms, for example – tapping eco-conscious influencers and creating a cause-related corporate initiative

We took a deeper dive into pro-social initiatives and examples, and the confluence of content channels. (Of course I mentioned the conference I’m producing about the intersection of television and podcasting for example!) And that led to a chat about why Wiley’s family gets a little annoyed about her heavy podcast consumption habit!

Find Danielle Wiley at:

Sway’s social channels are:
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