Marc Kidd, CEO of Captivate, lost sleep thinking about the lost foot traffic in office buildings when the pandemic hit. After all, his company specializes in programming the video screens in elevators. But, this son of famed NCAA football coach, Roy Kidd (as in Roy Kidd Stadium), is not one to panic at fourth down. In our conversation for Epi 43 he shared how Captivate evolved its Digital Out of Home (DOOH) offerings to include home and play locations, with an upswing in results for sales and marketers alike.
“There was a high stakes game on a really bad weather day and I said, ‘Dad, it’s raining, the wind’s blowing. What decision are you going to make about the coin toss?’ He said, ‘You don’t worry about the things you can’t control.’ It has always reminded me that there are things in life you have no control over … like a pandemic.”
Marc is not a stranger to having to pivot. Hear what happened when his college plans to work alongside his dad got waylaid… and he briefly considered accounting for a career! Luckily, he found his footing in sports marketing…then broadcasting, giving him the foundation for a storied career that included helping create the NCAA corporate partner program and the Breeders Cup’s World Thoroughbred Championships, WAC corporate partner programs and iHigh.com.
Now at Captivate, he had some tough calls to make in the past two years for the greater good, but like all boats when the tide rises he ultimately helped the elevator advertising business stay the course through more innovation.
Listen and learn about:
How Captivate transfigured awkward social spaces!
The evolution of DOOH (Digital Out of Home) itself and its use in brand and awareness marketing
The guiding path to advertising effectiveness and strategizing content
QR codes and other ways of building real attribution
How COVID-19 disruption prompted forward-thinking repositioning
Captivate’s 2022 plans, including re-engineered programmatic platforms
Staying in the game by evolving through crisis
Why Marc can twirl a baton!…
Attribution Tactic Resources mentioned:
Social Media Links:
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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!
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THANK YOU for listening!
Today’s episode could be a lesson plan about B2B Marketing because my guest, Ruth Stevens, has been teaching business to business marketing at NYU, Columbia, and B-schools around the world. And that’s in between being one of the foremost consultants in the space. So, Stevens calls BS on certain approaches to B2B we all better sit up and listen. Hear about the “fails” AND the best practices for what makes customers sit up and listen, too!
Stevens went right from business school herself to TimeWarner’s Book of the Month division, “thinking that I was joining one of the great book marketing companies in the world. I learned I was actually in one of the great direct marketing companies in the world.” After seven years of getting schooled in DM she mastered B2B first at Ziff Davis then IBM, simultaneously writing columns as well as teaching others at night.
In one example of her “no BS advice” articles, which appear everywhere from Biznology.com to HBR.org, Stevens says, “Don’t Be a Jerk on LinkedIn”, and advises sellers everywhere not to jump to the pitch. (“Building relationships on social media is hard. People get lazy and go straight to being the seller, and skip the personal establishment part. They’re also just sorely tempted by how easy it is to just make a mass pitch using LinkedIn Sales Navigator.”)
And, heed Stevens when she notes:
Today the ability of the salesperson to guide a purchase in their direction, but also to understand more deeply the needs of the buyer, has been eroded. So the marketer needs to step in and provide the educational content. This has driven the huge rise of B2B content marketing to allow that researcher better understanding of how to solve a problem or how your solution can be helpful, and to guide them toward calling you.
Companies’ approach to client retention is also in need of schooling:
Another area where I see B2B companies failing, or sub-optimizing, is retention marketing and it just drives me crazy because this is where the bulk of profits arise. Most companies organize it to be the responsibility of someone called ‘account management’, which is an important function, but marketing is not being asked to support it.
Stevens feels for the challenges faced by marketers and sellers these days in getting to know or reach know the buyer and ever-expanding buying groups — especially in enterprise purchasing:
Marketers need to try to replicate that old relationship building aspect by identifying the members of the buying circle and either find out through outbound calling, for example, or social listening, or infer what their agendas are, because each member of the buying circle usually has a different agenda, different need. And then try to serve those needs on a one-to-one basis. And despite all of our wonderful MarTech and data, it’s really hard to do.
That’s also why events (especially virtual events) have taken on an even larger role — as a place researchers can get their questions answered. So, Stevens points out, we need to be even more active at business events than before, and to create our own opportunities, webinars and meetings to build those now more elusive business and sales relationships.
The trick there, as with everywhere, as you’ll hear in this episode, is how one shows up at those events or in that content. No pants on a Zoom aside, business presence still needs panache and empathy.
You’ll hear many tips and lessons from “Professor Stevens” in this episode, including:
How creative still needs to be about education, but in a context that captures attention and builds trust.
How and why we stumble when we try to apply traditional consumer creative strategies to B2B and risk sounding “tinny or irrelevant” — but why storytelling is still a “watchword” for B2B.
Why it’s wrong for the brand power to be measured by if it helps the salesperson get a meeting: “Asking marketers to base their entire value proposition to the firm on sales results unfairly puts the sales piece of the puzzle into the marketer’s metrics kit. If the marketers are handing good quality leads and generating interest and a perception of value in the marketplace, and the sales team can’t close the deal, then marketing shouldn’t be taking the hit for that… We need other metrics to help marketers understand what they’re delivering and help management.”
And, since Stevens also wrote the book on data-driven marketing (literally) she suggests looking at such metrics as cost per lead, or cost for qualified lead. While lead-to-sales conversion rate shouldn’t be marketing’s, “we need an awareness metric. Or maybe a trust metric, that can credit marketing with all of the earlier pre-lead stuff.”
Why the goal of B2B marketing is to communicate that “We are experts in the problem that you have, and you can trust us to help you solve the problem”, but needs to get that across without saying as much and still creating an emotional connection even though you’re buying for business purposes.”
Hey, her words, not mine, but: “this is why the B2B agency function exists in the world because they know what they’re doing and they can come up with messaging strategies that grab attention and deliver the message and in a way that makes sense to the business buyer.”
Finally, as I’m also Editor of The Continuum, a publication about brand and demand marketing, I had to ask if there’s a difference in awareness and performance marketing for B2B vs. B2C. The professorial answer?
“No, it’s the same concept: you need brand and demand for both B2B and B2C, but down on the ground, we’re talking about a very different buying process: B2B is more complicated. It’s longer. It involves more individuals, all of whom have to be engaged with and influenced… such as when it comes to raw materials, professional services, technology, and other business process oriented purchasing, which typically involve a large number of people. So the whole sales and marketing function needs to support that.”
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Bryan Barletta of Sounds Profitable is known for being a guy that explains complicated podcasting ad-tech in a helpful, generous way. Ryan Rose of JoneKiri is an up-and-comer in the industry who has already made a mark by helping talent communicate across multiple platforms. Both started in podcasting. Both quit their day-jobs in podcasting mid-pandemic (!) to launch their own businesses. And both are succeeding wildly.
In this conversation they discuss with host E.B. Moss everything from how advertisers can go beyond traditional podcast ad exposure and pricing, to the implications of a “cookie-less world” to the better mousetrap of content marketing cross screen*. These are smart young turks who share a lot of wisdom.
- How Bryan went from McDonalds to History Major to a major force in the developer space before landing in podcasting…and starting Sounds Profitable
- Why this quote from his recent newsletter post sums up Bryan’s mission…and value:
When buyers have a hard time translating tools, metrics, and services between advertising channels we get friction, and friction prohibits more buyers from choosing podcast advertising as a viable channel. But that friction can be soothed with education.
- How slowing down to focus on that education in the business can help speed up revenue
- Why Megaphone, Advertisecast and Podcorn got snapped up…
- And why HotPod and PodNews are read voraciously…
- The imperative for diverse podcasters and the effort to support them by, e.g., former Insider Interviews guest, Juleyka Lantigua-Williams
- Our “surprise mystery guest”, Ryan Rose makes his entrance and explains the what (and pronunciation!) of JoneKiri (hint: discipline and passion…)
- The opportunity for talent to help offer presence across podcasting + + +…all screens!
- Why a “cookie-less world” is not such a bad thing…especially in the podcasting world. (Guess who answered THAT one?!)
- Why Bryan thinks Ryan “fits into a category of people that I think are going to be the next and hottest things in the next two years in podcasting” and why Ryan thinks beyond the pre- or mid-roll, and in fact staked his current career on it
- The world beyond the CPM or CPA
- Why they think I’m great. (Kind of love that.)
There’s a lot more. These are smart guys. You’ll want to listen. Again. And maybe again.
You can find Bryan on Twitter and https://soundsprofitable.com/
And Ryan and JoneKiri are on LinkedIn
If you found THESE tips valuable from Bryan and Ryan, I don’t mind if you virtually tip ME, and “buy me a coffee“! ( https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mossappeal ).
Please let me know if you have a topic or suggestion for a future episode on the business of media, marketing and advertising — or need help creating or marketing your own B2B podcast! *Stay tuned for big news — or ping me — about an upcoming conference I’m coordinating on the intersection of podcasting and all OTHER content screens! Podcasts@mossappeal.com
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PS: This episode publishes on #EarthDay2021, so please also check out Epi 28 for all the good that Sustainable Brands has been doing since 2006.
In interviewing the Radio Ad Bureau’s CEO, Erica Farber, my worlds collided: it’s a podcast, but about radio, the medium I grew up in and started my career in. Certainly radio IS about community, but it was still surprising to discover zero degrees of separation with Erica and two important people from my past: my dad and my first female boss, Joan Gerberding as well as a recent Insider Interviews guest and radio aficionado, Carl Fremont!
Erica and I took the conversation from the evolution of radio to the present, to how it’s defined today – audio? is digital radio still radio? – to its challenges, success stories, and current career opportunities.
- What is radio today?
It’s broadcasting, but Radio is also available on any platform: If you want to hear it on your smart speaker…If you’re sitting in front of your computer or in your automobile. It’s multi-platform and available in any form and full of diverse content. It is a companion. It is a trusted source of information, news and entertainment. It’s available 24 seven. And there’s no cost to access it.
- The ways everything is audio-focused today – with sound and voice;
- The power of personalities;
- Why Theater of the Mind is still key to listener engagement/conversion;
- How radio served — and recovered from — the Pandemic;
I’ve never been so proud to say I work in radio as I have since March 2020. No one knew what to do…But radio rose to the occasion and stations did what they do best: they put their arms around their communities, consoled listeners and brought some humor and information. …They said to businesses that were open, ‘let us help you communicate to the market your protocols’. How can we raise money to feed or clothe people, to help people keep their homes? We have example after example of retailers who said that if it wasn’t for local radio they would have lost their business.
- The role of the RAB as a nonprofit trade association;
- Overcoming the digital divide and big brand success stories; (Reference: P&G and Radio)
- What makes good creative (Resources Referenced: The Radio Ranch and Wordsworth & Booth)
- Radio research; (Resources Referenced: RAB Research, Westwood One )
- Trends for the future of radio formats and revenue; (Resources Referenced: Entercom, Beasley)
- Why radio is a great career and mentoring women (MIWinRadio) in the space….
And yes, host E.B. Moss finds a way to sing in yet another episode….
Joakim (Kim) Wijkstrom, SVP / CMO of Vanda Pharmaceuticals, has learned to “Think Different” and have “Lending Done Human.” He has sent little, teeny Absolut bottle-shaped Christmas sweaters to readers of the New York Times, and leveraged Andy Warhol style pop op to promote schizophrenia drugs. A Swede who grew up in West Africa, Kim also opened the Latin America markets for two TBWA\Chiat\Day clients. If that sounds like the start of a good story, then that’s the point.
Because for this marketer it always starts with the story, not the silver bullets.
Kim has developed a “cultural curiosity” from both moving around and a liberal arts degree, which has been a big asset in his marketing career: “I think advertising lends itself naturally to someone who is interested in how we shape and creatively express our worldview, how we understand the things around us, how perceptions are shaped. So, I think it made sense for me to land there. But as it turns out, I’m half a humanist, half of something more analytical. Perhaps I was never going to be the next Leonardo…[but] you figure out the way to take whatever you’re equipped with and put it to use where it is best applied.”
This attitude is also encompassed in his top performing article in The Continuum, the publication I edit about “brand and demand” marketing. In that, and in this follow-up conversation about the origins of his branding philosophy, Kim sticks with the story that brand always must start with the story! The delivery tactics — what he has called the silver bullets – are secondary.
But when you’re talking to a storyteller you cover a lot of ground. We also discuss:
- How movies are an analogy for Kim’s point of view about storytelling first
- Why our obsession with technological solutions to everything don’t drive brand loyalty (“You can now have your car tell you that you’re low on milk because your smart refrigerator is coupled with your car, and so forth. But are you going to buy the refrigerator based on that? Do you think it’s a quality refrigerator?”)
- Why too much emphasis on bells and whistles and focus on demand or performance-driven marketing “offends” him (“Fundamentally, all marketing is for performance purposes… to grow your market share. You need to start with what is it you’re trying to say and why would it be compelling to people, as opposed to just being the method by which you can deliver the message.”)
- Why even DTC companies’ product is often the story… such as Warby Parker’s design
- How our obsession with metrics and attribution is not wrong but often misses the point entirely, focused on the ROI, as opposed to just “can you see if it’s working?” (“If people are talking about your TV spot or have a positive reaction to it somehow then that’s probably more important than any sort of little blip of metrics.”)
- And, just as he learned from hovering around Steve Jobs, Kim offers advice for junior marketers.
But wait, as they say, there’s MORE!…
Kim also explains the story of Vanda, and his move from marketing men’s suits (Perry Ellis) or financial services (One Main Financial) to pharma. He gives an example of how the same story (for a particular drug) can be extended into different spaces, like digital to video without having to be, well, prescriptive! (And, yes, we discuss the challenge of pharmaceutical advertising and FDA constrictions. But check out their innovative approach to Fanapt for insider insights on how it can still be impactful.) And I finally got to understand what’s behind drug NAMING!
So, how did Kim finesse his own “brand story” – or POV about storytelling? Well, that starts with a guy named Steve Jobs.
“I was really lucky I got to work on Apple when it came back to TBWA\Chiat\Day … and that was the launch of the now-iconic Apple campaign “Think Different.” I was a junior person then, so I’m not claiming any credit for the campaign…but what was amazing was encountering Steve Jobs and seeing the process by which that campaign came about. That was a ton of learnings about what actually really matters. He couldn’t give a crap about ROI or metrics, frankly. …if people react to it, that’s what matters’. And Apple sells a lot of product. So, it’s not like the brand doesn’t work in selling or performance.”
Kim shares the three-point “a-ha” takeaways he got from Jobs. And that, my friends, is how you do a cliffhanger.
So, I hope you’ll listen to the full conversation with Kim Wijkstrom. And if his learnings from Apple aren’t enough, wait til you hear what he says marketing an odorless, tasteless product: vodka. Or, how an MRI machine proves out his belief that the brand is what drives ROI.
Okay, okay, I’ll also share that he says when you DO add in those tactics for delivering the brand story, he’s still a believer in different forms of direct marketing.
… [But] to me, the point of a brand in the mix is it’s going to amplify your ability to get pull through on those tactical pieces. Because if people receive something in the mail, whether email or online, it’s really easy, of course, to dismiss it and throw it out. If you have a brand, it’s not as easy. They may actually open it. So, it basically primes demand. That’s what a brand does.”
I hope you’ll get some good insider scoop from this episode of Insider Interviews with me, E. B. Moss, and I hope you’ll follow Insider Interviews on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. And let me know if you have a question or suggestion for our next guest. My theme music was composed and performed by the incomparable and Grammy-winning John Clayton.
Thanks again for listening.