Tag Archives: WFH

Standing Up for Better Healthcare Marketing – with CMO Arra Yerganian



Arra Yerganian thinks healthcare has always been a little upside down, controlled by physicians instead of the the patients. Ya think? But I misspeak – at least while speaking with Yerganian:  he actually banned the word “patients” when he was CMO at both Sutter Health and One Medical. He explained that the word comes from Latin for “‘a place of suffering’ and that should be a temporary state at best.” Instead, he said, “We used the person’s name, so it wasn’t a dehumanizing experience to come into the doctor’s office.”

I liked this guy immediately. But there’s more to marketing healthcare than nomenclature. Yerganian is on a mission to raise awareness of the biggest issues impacting health for all of us: our Social Determinants of Health — or SDOH. Basically, if my zip code is wealthier than yours the overall population is likely healthier. I likely am more informed about and have better access to healthier foods or fitness facilities, I might have access to more parks for fresh air, and of course the income to afford anything from childcare to catch up on sleep and even infant mortality rates and so on. So how can we democratize health? For Yerganian, it’s awareness, it’s education, it’s communication. He also notes that, apropos our recent civic dis-ease and disease, “beyond the pandemic, the great challenge that we’ll have is the behavioral health crisis that’s affecting our country.”

He shares the details of best practices and how to get on a healthier collective path overall in this Episode 22 of Insider Interviews. (Hint: stand up more for healthy behavior in every sense of the meaning.)

NOTE: I’m proud to be Editor in Chief of The Continuum, about awareness and performance marketing. In Issue 2 posting in late January you can also read this interview along with the POVs and suggestions from other notables in the health and wellness marketing space.  But, dear listeners, you get the advance insights here when you catch the full conversation with Arra Yerganian.

He and I discuss: 

Discussing standing up for the Social Determinants of Health
  • What are the social determinants of health, and how do they fit this into the world of marketing?
  • How can we track and thus help modify the exposure to environmental ills
  • What are some new approaches in brand marketing and health and wellness, such as driving uptake of tele-health?
  • How can promoting value-based programs reward healthcare providers with incentive payments?
  • How can products or brands, like a sleep aid or gym facility or a yoga mat or bicycle manufacturer, leverage some healthcare data and apply that to their marketing
  • How do you market against patients deferring to Google for diagnosing themselves?
  • And how do you conduct business meetings standing up?!

Here’s to a happier, HEALTHIER New Year to you all, with my sincere appreciation for listening, sharing and subscribing wherever you like to listen to Podcasts. 


JibJab’s CEO on Strong Brands and Floppy Jaws



For Episode 21 I spoke with someone who’s been an animated head more times than he can probably count: Paul Hanges is CEO of JibJab, which is famous for its personalized e-cards and satire animations that lets your head be the star! If you haven’t heard of JibJab you may have had YOUR head in the sand; they’re the OG of digital branded content. It was born in 1999 to brothers Evan and Gregg Spiridellis, perhaps best recalled from their 2004 glory days of being featured on everything from The Tonight Show to ABC News for then viral political satire, “This Land.”

Hanges, who was promoted from COO 18 months ago, says they’re proud of being dubbed the “original online cockroach” for their longevity and survival of dot-com and economy busts. In our conversation he explains why JibJab is still hot more than 20 years since its inception. They’re even having something of a renaissance with the resurrection of their trademark Year in Review video after a six-year pause. (But how could you NOT do a recap of a year like 2020? For Chief Creative Officer Mauro Gatti and lyricist Scott Emmons it probably almost wrote itself! And I’m proud to offer my big head/floppy jaw cut here for your amusement by way of example!)

Hanges also explains the appeal of low-tech animation and their trademark “big heads and floppy jaws,” how they survive as a subscription model and why they walk away from brand dollars if not aligned with their mission – “to make billions of people happy by allowing them to be funny, wherever they’re having that conversation.”

Here are the highlights – but do hear all Hanges has to say in this very “animated” conversation:
  • How it all started – yes in the proverbial garage
  • Why, in a world of “deep fakes and augmentation” the appeal of JibJab is the personalization and NOT to replace reality. “We want to provide utility to help people say happy birthday or anniversary or other big moments.”
  • How personal micro networks add up to eyeballs at scale – and 1.3 million paying subscribers;
  • How they’ll leverage the rights to hits like “Old Town” or Mamma Mia the musical, but why they’ll walk away from 95% ofbranded opportunities;
  • Why politics and JibJab do not always make good bedfellows, but why they participated in the Facebook ad boycott in July to stand up to divisiveness;
  • How (self-plug here) they balance “brand+demand,” — as we promote in The Continuum;
  • The big data opportunity they’re sitting on to be a personalized service for people and how they’ve had to be nimble and “pivot” in their production and platform access.

And of course, for the last episode of 2020 we have to offer Hanges’ words of wisdom from the past full year as CEO to other new CEOs…and how to embrace your strengths and those of others as well. “I take a step back and look and say, ‘we have a very strong operating team that’s working towards a goal of making billions of people happy.’ …And I’ve been really proud to say I can lead this company with that mission.”

Personally, I could not have wrapped up my first year of Insider Interviews podcasts (AND my “It’s Quite a Living” personal podcast) with a better message than to “head” into 2021 with the inspiration of a JibJab to find the humor and spread the joy throughout this holiday season and into 2021.
 Thank you all for listening and hopefully sharing this podcast. I value your feedback and support. And if I can help you create content that spreads joy or opens revenue doors please visit Moss Appeal or write to me at podcasts@mossappeal.com.

Happy New Year!


Best-of from Palmer, Keswin and Silver: Creating Human and Brand Connections



Shelly Palmer: It was fascinating to me to see the speed with which people were willing to adopt bad lighting, accept it, bad camera, angles, bad makeup hair, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. Everybody’s fine with it. And I think it’s fantastic because the most important thing is that we all get together.

Erica Keswin: From a brand perspective, how are you going to be remembered during this time in terms of what you did, what you said, what you supported and how you brought your human to work?

Claude Silver: Let’s not deny the fact that you and I are talking through a screen rather than in person and call it what it is, but also communicate trust, empathy and vulnerability.

Those are just some of the takeaways from three past episodes of Insider Interviews and as a special little bonus edition for Thanksgiving I am sharing back some of these words of wisdom from Shelly Palmer, Erica Keswin, and Claude Silver, who each happened to talk about how we can create connection and how that helps brands and employees thrive. Especially in tough times like this pandemic.

Highlights of the highlights:

Palmer:  “People are quickly adapting to and evolving into good citizens in video chat. It’s fantastic. …And the other thing I love about what’s happening right now is formality has gone out the window.

…They’ve been willing, accepting of technical glitches that you would never have accepted before. It really reminds me dramatically reminds me of the change in video grammar in 1980, oddly enough.

…And I think what is most important thing is that we all get together; that we figure out how to be social animals in a time when, when coronavirus is making us forcing us to be less social.”

Erica Keswin Guests on Insider Interviews
Erica Keswin, Author of “Bring Your Human to Work” -Epi 3

Keswin: Think about communication along a continuum: you have instant message and texts and Slack and email and picking up the phone. We used to be able to walk across the hall or  visit people. …Now, from a societal perspective, many of us are defaulting to that technological end of the spectrum during this COVID-19 quarantine. How can you …pick up the phone, turn on the camera…and speak in that human voice, across all mediums of communication.

…”If you’re running the meeting make sure you say to your people, ‘you need to take some time to turn it off.’…It really is up to the leaders to model and to push people, to make sure that they’re taking care of themselves.

…From a brand perspective, how are you going to be remembered during this time in terms of, you know, what you did, what you said, what you supported and how you brought your human to work?”

Claude Silver on Having a Heart at Work
Claude Silver speaks with E.B. Moss on the role of a Chief Heart Office at VaynerMedia

Silver: I believe in people and I think that pretty much anything is accomplishable with vulnerability, with people showing up to be big and authentic and not building walls, but really finding ways to bond with one another and connect.

…You know, when you’re on a screen, everyone has the same size square. It has leveled the playing field. And I definitely think that while we have to work a little bit harder to create this connection

…On one hand, I do think that brands have a very big responsibility to be as authentic as possible today and not try to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes because we are all reading the same news. We are all in the same climate. We’re in a sea of sameness right now. We’re all in this world together. So don’t try to fluff that. … I don’t think we need to be cotton, candy and Illy gooey. But I also don’t think we need to be showing things that are not attainable today…. Let’s get real about that.

I think that there is resiliency, authenticity. I think there’s fine to have a little bit of levity, which we see in these memes on Instagram and everywhere. …like me going to the refrigerator 20 times in one hour, because it’s there. Those are things that I think are they capture human emotion and that’s what it’s about. That’s what it’s always been about.

…I would like to think every brand would be mindful of the fact that we are all in this world together. … I would show more ads connecting people together, coming together on a zoom or a squad cast or a hangout, let’s not deny the fact that you and I are talking to a screen rather than in-person but also communicate trust and vulnerability.

Again, my thanks to everyone for listening and to all of the 20 interviewees that I’ve spoken to thus far.

And if you’d like help with building your own podcast or any content marketing, please reach out to me at podcasts@mossappeal.com.

I look forward to sharing more in the very near future.


Claude Silver on Having a Heart at Work

The Scoop on Being Heart at Work – VaynerMedia’s Claude Silver



Phrases with the word “heart” in them are too many to count; it’s our most treasured reference as it aligns with love, soul, happiness…basically anything positive (unless tied to “attack”.) But tie it to “Silver” and you have a whole added meaning for positivity, because then you’re talking about Claude Silver, Chief Heart Officer of VaynerMedia, a full service digital agency “built for the now.” It’s a fairly unique title, but trust media trend-shaper Gary Vaynerchuk (AKA Gary Vee) to assign that role to his “number two” person. And so, I couldn’t help but bookend my podcast interview with Silver with a serenade, because her actual job is to encourage “courageous conversations” to ensure the whole company works towards the goals of empathy, heart, speed, hustle, and winning.

Silver’s background in positive psychology and leadership positions in strategy at leading ad agencies in the US and UK make her uniquely qualified to inspire healthy attitudes at work, among all people, and encourage transparency. With that mindset, I braved a tune or two, but in between asked some serious questions. Here are the time codes and topics we covered, but I encourage you to hear all the parts in between, because, as the song goes, one is silver and the other’s gold:

5:50: Silver describes a day in her life as the person in charge of “people and experience”

7:20: The difference between classic “HR” and the VaynerMedia approach

10:30: How to “scale culture”

13:00: The VaynerMedia difference versus other agency holding companies

17:00: What VaynerMedia looks for in candidates

19:00: Ageism – at Vayner? In the industry overall?

21:30: Career Pivots

25:35: Silver’s suggestions for brands in a COVID-19 world – and beyond

31:30: Silver’s (s)heroes and thoughts on leadership

35:10: Personal thoughts on parenting today

And, you might want to fast-forward starting at 36:30, because that’s where I sing to Silver again….


The Why and How of B2B Podcasts – a 15 Minute Download



Those tracking the uptake of podcasting, such as Triton, Edison Research and Podtrac, have encouraged advertisers to embrace the medium, especially since it hit critical mass of 100 million+ monthly listeners! But what about brands who want their OWN podcast for B2B purposes?

In 15 minutes I’ll walk you through the WHY and the HOW of creating a B2B podcast for your company. And if you’re still overwhelmed let me know and we’ll handle it all for you! Here’s the scoop and the Episode 5 topline:

Why a B2B podcast?

  • You have to be everywhere your customer may be, including in their ears, even if you’re speaking to a vendor, an agency or a potential new hire. “Picture a company’s most savvy seller whispering about a value proposition in the prospect’s ear”!
  • Humanize an executive to drive trust and transparency
  • Leverage the best platform for explanatory journalism!
  • Attract employees by painting an audio picture of the company environment, like Xandr did with their Unsponsored Content show, or provide a thought-provoking platform to spotlight divisions or clients, such as the Floor 9 podcast from IPG Media Lab does!

Caveats:

  • Expectations should be managed: this is a longtail marketing tactic with a limited pool of listeners
  • Start with the strategy! WHO do you want to have listen? WHY? WHAT with your content me? As Gimlet Managing Director, Matt Lieber, was cited, “What makes for a successful branded podcast are a lot of the things that make for a successful podcast period. If a brand wants to make a commercial that’s 20 minutes long, it will fail.”

The What:

  • Most B2B podcasts are interview style, except for those companies who may have a high-profile personality at the helm. (Think Gary Vee of Vayner Media!)
  • What informative content is endemic to your brand’s expertise? (Example: ReWork podcast on productivity, from SaaS platform Basecamp).
  • Recording a B2B podcast for A+E and The Knot

    How will you grow your podcast to help you grow business? (Example: The Wealth Without Wall Street team invites high profile guests , like Pat Flynn, in their work wheelhouse, and appear as guests on other podcasts, too like this episode of Dave Jackson’s School of Podcasting!)

The HOW:

  • It starts with your microphone! There are lots of suggestions you can easily Google, but here’s a snapshot:
  • You might have had a studio at your offices…even an editor… but as we #WFH think bedroom! Think closet! Think where can you find sound absorption…Listen to Shelly Palmer’s advice to me and the sound difference in Epi 2 of Insider Interviews. You can record on an editing platform like Squadcast or Descript… then you’ll need to UPLOAD the audio file to a hosting site. If you want to try Blubrry use MOSSAPPEAL as your promo code for a discount, or look at Libsyn, BuzzSprout, Captivate and more.
  • ..MARKET THYSELF! More hints and suggestions are in this 15 minute dump and download, from my experience to you.

And again, I’m here to help. If you’re in the media/marketing world with a senior executive who is guest-worthy please drop me a line or reach out on social media! If you want help creating your own podcast from scratch, happy to exec produce or host! LMK!

E.B.


The Scoop On Growing Brand and Work Relationships…Even From Home



Ironically, at a time when we cannot physically touch, adding a human touch is more essential than ever — especially at work, even while we WFH. I turned to Erica Keswin, a “workplace strategist,” bestselling author and advisor to major companies aiming to improve performance by improving relationships.

There are plenty of tech stack suggestions for working from home, but once the software or the scanners are set up, how do we tackle the human side of remote work now and pivot in how we communicate?

Zooming in on Workplace Strategies with Erica Keswin and E.B. Moss

As a deeper dive to her recent webinar with The Female Quotient on some of the tenets of her last book, Bring Your Human to Work, Keswin shared more suggestions that companies can bank on. While her advice spans all industries, frankly everything a brand marketer does in today’s COVID-19 environment has to be run through the lens of humanity.

The following time codes are points in the podcast of particular interest:

  • (2:30) “The definition of being human means honoring relationships — with colleagues, your boss, the people that work for you, your customers.”
  • (4:30) The impact of technology on our relationships – good and bad: “When ‘left to our own devices’ we’re not connecting”.
  • (7:55) Why bringing your human to work helps employee attraction and customer retention
  • (8:30) Why communicating a brand’s values has to “get off the walls and into the halls”; in other words, from a framed set of platitudes to a select set of three or four values that are reflected by all it does and guideposts for marketing decisions.
  • (10:05) The imperative of speaking in a human voice across all mediums of communication and why defaulting to the technological end of the spectrum are not best practices during socially distanced times.
  • (12:00) How to start: tap all employees — and even companies — to gauge if values are resonating
  • (15:20) Why even with the ability to connect these days through Zooms or Teams, it’s still best practices to “mind your meetings” and not be beholden to “business as usual” for the sake of having a meeting.
  • (16:30) A refresher on the “three Ps”: purpose, presence and protocols.
  • (18:25) Finally, Keswin, who will detail this is a forthcoming book, explains why a company needs to have rituals – like a “corporate habit” with a higher level of meaning — which employees can count on.