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Our Experience is Our Data

How Reliable is the Story Your Data Tell?

Digital marketers gather a ton of data. Among the many things those data can help us do, the primary role they play is in helping us validate our activity. We look back over the data we gather to prove whether what we’ve done is effective.

But it’s quite common that while data may be effective in proving the efficacy of your work, it’s lousy at telling the story of your expertise. There’s always a story in between the data points, and we often find ourselves frustrated when a review of our data leaves us focusing on the gaps.

In this episode of Expert Marketing Matters, Chris and Mark discuss the reality that can be found in those gaps, and the role of experience that cannot be demonstrated or proven by data alone…

You can listen to the episode using the player embedded above, or you can read a full transcript below.

Episode Transcript

Chris: Welcome to Expert Marketing Matters, I’m Chris Butler.

Mark: And I’m Mark O’Brien.

Chris: And that’s it, laugh, what? Both laughing
I was actually thinking about that, before we came in here to record. I can’t remember the last time we did just two people in a pod cast, for this particular pod cast.

Mark: Yeah.

Chris: It has been a long time.

Mark: It has been a long time.

Chris: Yeah. I didn’t think to look, but.

Mark: Have we done it?

Chris: What this year?

Mark: You and Lauren Clarke had one, just the two of you.

Chris: Right, and Dave and I had one. Just the two of us.

Mark: Right, yeah.

Chris: But you…

Mark: I don’t think I’ve done a solo one on one, one.

Chris: Well with me you have.

Mark: Have we, for this podcast?

Chris: It was like way back in season one.

Mark: Wow. Oo, the olden days.

Chris: Yeah, the olden days.

Mark: Laugh

Chris: So, we have discussed what we want to talk about, and um, I thinks it’s good to start with an anecdote. So we uh, we meet once a week for traction, level ten. Um, which we discussed quite a lot on this podcast. Um, if you are unfamiliar with that, you should look into it. Just google traction.

Mark: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris: Uh it’s going to change your life, but um, we were walking back from a meeting, we decided to have it over lunch, and we were talking about just some of the data points we have been gathering for marketing purposes, and just to basically verify that what we are doing has an impact. And its interesting because the data is encouraging as, as, as we had expected it to be. Uh, but there’s always a story between the data points, that we get frustrated that the data points don’t tell. And so we were, you know, just talking about this and you said to me a line that I wrote down in my book, right away, when I got back to the office.

Mark: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris: Which was our experiences, our data. You know, its kinda like, “alright it’s frustrating!” Like the story isn’t fully there.

Mark: Right

Chris: And we got these data points and they are compelling, but it’s not the full story. There is a story there.

Mark: We’ve gotten so used to measuring everything. And having everything be so measurable, down to the exact number of thing, be a word count, or email, or conversion, or whatever it is. That, we have forgotten that just the life we are living…Rather, significant difference for us. Even though it may not be today, finitely measurable, thank god. Both laughing.

Chris: Thank god, uh you know, its similar…well right, I mean, it is similar to people in our space, probably also got sidelined at some point by some kind of quantified self thing, at some point int the last, five to ten years. Whether it was like a fit bit or some app, where we are supposed to track something in such minute detail, that some truth is going to emerge later. Right?

Mark: True.

Chris: That’s the hope, um, that we will change our lives and some way. But there is a lot of work to be done in order to get that. A lot of data tracking. You know, I’ve experimented with some of those things, and I’ve always found that they come up short. Because in the end, uh, I think, the impotence that drives me towards wanting to measure to that level of detail, provides me with enough discipline and insight to gather other things that can’t be quantified by the app. And so I always find that, the more I measure something, the more I’m aware of, not what’s being measured, but what it’s not measuring.

Mark: Yeah, yeah.

Chris: And those things, there’s probably always going to be something that can’t be measured.

Mark: Sure, hopefully so.

Chris: Yeah. And so we were talking in that conversation about, how the people that we have trusted, in the past, and continue to trust, they’re not giving us spread sheets with data.

Mark: Laugh, no they are not.

Chris: You know, we are taking their word for it because, we trust them. And I’m not saying that…

Mark: Right.

Chris: That unquantified, uh, trust, surpasses everything else, but numbers have never changed my heart.

Mark: Right.

Chris: I don’t know about you.

Mark: Um, numbers have probably compelled me, in certain ways, but only, yeah, if the underline message was something I was already been predisposed to buy into.

Chris: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Mark: You know, like, so many business books you read now…

Chris: Right.

Mark: They have a basic point, that’s about twenty percent of the book, and the other eighty percent, is them just providing example, after example, after example. Like this Rest book that you gave me.

Chris: Yeah.

Mark: Which by the way is an awesome book, its called Rest. I can’t remember the name of the author cause…

Chris: Nor can I at the moment, but uh, I can look it up.

Mark: Because it is a digital book, and no one can ever sees the author names on digital books. Um but it’s called Rest.

Chris: Is it Alex Pang, or?

Mark: Yeah, why don’t you look it up so we can give credit to the author, but it’s a great book. You know, like all business books, it is really a business book at the end of the day. Um, you know, there’s such a need to prove every single thing you say, or else it’s just unbelievable.

Chris: Yeah.

Mark: Unless, someone has a good point. You know? What do you do with that, uh. And yeah what was striking me, as we were discussing, it was the white paper, that was what we were trying to set up in the ebook or white paper, that sort of besides the point here. But, uh, we have really for the past like four, five months been trying to figure out, well like, how do we tell the data based story on this, and we are struggling with it. And we are trying…it was really hard for any of us, and we had, you know, three to five people really working on it, who were, over the course of that time. And it just wasn’t flowing, for some reason.

Chris: Yeah

Mark: And, um, then on a plane trip home from California, last week, were Lauren and I had two just amazing kick offs with two incredible but incredibly different firms, just hit me as like, you know what, like…just in my experience, I’ve spent so much time in these peoples offices, with them, baring their souls. Like they are really telling it like how it actually is, inside the firm. Um and its been years of that, and I know what’s in these peoples hearts and minds.

Chris: Yeah.

Mark: Now I don’t have a spread sheet for it.

Chris: Right.

Mark: Right? But I know it.

Chris: Right.

Mark: And irrefutably know it. Right? And you know, you mentioned the people we listen to, and pay attention to. They know it too.

Chris: Yeah.

Mark: because they just know these people, because they are emersed in that group, always.

Chris: Yep.

Mark: And think of the work we do, we do these year long really intense programs, with these firms, where we are working with them, on a weekly basis, for a year. Two dozen firms every year. Laugh, like, that is deep exposure understanding, and there’s so much truth and just the experience in that. That we have never really been telling the story about.

Chris: Yeah. I think what you are really talking about is the, truth that is afforded to us through intimacy.

Mark: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Chris: Um and if you spend, I don’t know how many days, per year, in the space of the people who have just decided to start working with us, right?

Mark: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris: Its very unique head space.

Mark: Yes, it is.

Chris: And you spend that kind of time with somebody, you are going to gather, an immense amount of data, that can’t be put into a spread sheet. You could gather some data, that could be put into a spread sheet, but if you spent your time trying to do that, you would miss all the other stuff.

Mark: Exactly, you’d miss the point.

Chris: That’s the problem.

Mark: Yeah, you’d miss the point.

Chris: Um I mean, actually that experience has way more akin to therapy, then anything else.

Mark: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris: Because in therapy, through conversion, what ends up happening nine out of ten times, again this is unquantified fact, something I have observed, that when you enter into that conversation, you bring a problem that is not the problem.

Mark: Hmm

Chris: You bring something…

Mark: Yeah.

Chris: You think that something is going to get solved in that conversation, and by the end of the conversation, you realize that actually, the true thing that needs to be solved, emerge.

Mark: Yeah.

Chris: And you didn’t know. And I would imagine that phenomenon is abundantly common.

Mark: So common. Yeah, the problem, is not the problem, that’s the key right there.

Chris: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Mark: You’re absolutely right, the problem is not the problem. And that happens, whenever a firm gets in touch with us. They think they need to solve x, and they probably do, but the reason x is wrong is because, like, every little element, prior to x, is slightly off, or entirely missing.

Chris: Exactly.

Mark: Right? But they’re not aware of that, they are feeling the pain of x right now. Laugh.

Chris: Right, and to your point of our struggle with the particular content we are trying to create, is that we had gathered together all of these facts, that we thought, an aggregate told an interesting story about the outcomes that we are seeing routinely. And we do.

Mark: They do, yeah.

Chris: And each one actually tells a unique individual story of its own. And if you look at, for instance, you know, look at how much opportunity could someone expect to generate, or you know, something like that. Or how much opportunity relative to the amount of leads they, you know…

Mark: How many emails…

Chris: All those things are really interesting and for each one, each one represents a story, that could really be interesting to somebody, that is considering taking the leap, right?

Mark: Right.

Chris: And could maybe actually be the thing, that convinces them.

Mark: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris: But none of them, even in the aggregate, gt to the head space, that you are talking about.

Mark: Right.

Chris: It doesn’t prove or build trust with somebody, like, oh you actually know what I’m experiencing.

Mark: Laugh, right? Yeah.

Chris: Right. You’re telling me what I should want, or what I should expect to get.

Mark: Right.

Chris: Later.

Mark: Right.

Chris: I don’t actually feel like you know me yet. Right? And that’s more important.

Mark: Right. And that’s the difference. And it’s the difference on so many levels, we talk all the time to our clients about empathy. And about really having empathy for their prospects and thinking about the prospects individually, as a human. And the problem they are facing, and what our clients solution to the problem is. And to just focus on that, in a genuine human way.

Chris: Right.

Mark: And we weren’t doing that with this white paper work. We were trying to look at the numbers and just tell a number story. Um, but then once we and this flip, which was a subtle, but very important flip. You know, yesterday I just sat down and had a thrilling time, I adored the process, because I was locked into the heart of the matter and I care about these people. And I really like these people, and I really know these people. And I just spoke to them as, a sort of, small collective audience.

Chris: Right.

Mark: And there was empathy, there was a ton of empathy.

Chris: Right.

Mark: And it just flowed, and I’m proud of it, I’m excited about it.

Chris: Yep.

Mark: And we were able to take some of the key insights, that you and Holly discovered, through the data points, which are going to give it real substance.

Chris: Sure.

Mark: But the point of it isn’t the number, it is the heart, it’s the feeling, it’s the emotion.

Chris: Right, yeah. It’s amazing how this theme runs throughout everything that we do, but also in my life. Like I’ve been thinking about this idea of, trust.

Mark: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris: Um, it plays a role daily in what we do. Um, and I’m more and more convinced that trust is never established or broken or reestablished through facts, never.

Mark: Yeah.

Chris: It’s through emotion.

Mark: Mm-hmm (affirmative). That’s a good point.

Chris: If someone might…um, your decision to trust somebody, which is often made unconsciously, might often be reaffirmed, or supported by facts.

Mark: Sure.

Chris: But trust is something that we realized that has happened. I don’t, often think, it’s a conscious choice. We realize trust, and when trust is broken, it can not be reestablished through facts alone.

Mark: No.

Chris: I mean, think about the environment we are in right now, with the trust in media, and the fact there’s, never going to be a fact that reestablishes trust, if someone doesn’t have trust in media, or the story they are being told. Its profound.

Mark: Yeah. And that’s something we talk about all the time when it comes to business development. What’s happening immediately, and in an unacknowledged way, as you mentioned, is that when someone does that google search, or gets that email, and its about a topic that really speaks to a concern they have right now. And they read it and it is well written content with them in mind, and yet trust is what happens. All of a sudden, there is this bond, that forms involuntarily, right? And it’s not based on fact, it’s based on, relatability. Right?

Chris: Right.

Mark: But then the facts, to Blair’s point, the facts come in at the closing. So the facts help people make the mental decision their heats already made. They want that, they want this to be true. And you give them some numbers, to say, yes what you are feeling is actually true.

Chris: Right.

Mark: And just say yes, and everything will be fine. But yeah, when we look at biz dev, the very soft um almost subconscious bond of trust that get established, is immediate. And that’s really, when we are talking about nurturing, over days months, years, sometimes, all that’s happening is it is that’s getting built up and built up, and built up. And then when its time to have the conversation, an effective and short closing conversation is, you feel this way, here are the reasons why you feel this way, and here are some data points…

Chris: Right.

Mark: To like attach to that feeling.

Chris: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Mark: And that’s closing.

Chris: Yep absolutely.

Mark: Its pretty cool.

Chris: Yeah it is, lets take quick break, and when we come back, we would like to go through a few things…the experience we are talking about, that is our data, what are some examples of what we see time and time again, that can’t be shown in a spread sheet? But we know are going to happen or will have happened, or are true, something of that nature. I have a few, and I’m sure you will come up with some as well, so. I’ll see you back in a minute or two.

Mark: Cool. Right.

Speaker 1: This is Expert Marketing Matters. A pod cast about generating ideal new business opportunities, by creating in your trade, digital marketing systems and habits that have a measurable impact on your bottom line. This podcast is brought to you by New Fangled a digital marketing consultancy, focused on empowering experts to do better digital marketing. You can learn more about New Fangled digital marketing method at

Chris: And we are back, so I thought of something really simple. That, um, I would like to sort of, tee off something that I bet is on your mind Mark. But something that I see time and time again, that effects ever stage of what we do, is that our clients inevitably doubt their message, inevitably. It doesn’t matter, they might doubt it at the beginning, right? But what I’m really talking about it after it’s been rebuilt.

Mark: Their message being their market place position, basically?

Chris: Well it’s, actually not the positioning, so I mean, not in terms in like, this is what we do, and this is who we serve best.

Mark: Right.

Chris: But ho they are saying it…

Mark: Oh they state it, yeah.

Chris: Because as we seen time again, and maybe this is actually another one.

Mark: (Laugh)

Chris: Stated positioning is one thing, the message is another.

Mark: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris: And the message has a much more complicated job, it’s not just informing somebody as to, this is the horizontal, and this is the vertical. Yes I’m speaking to your prospect. It’s, this is what makes us different…

Mark: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris: This is why you should look at us, with more depth, than somebody else. This is what makes us unique, because frankly none of us is really going to be that unique in the market, you know, when you look categorically, what we do. You know, it’s going to be fairly, well, in most cases, if you are in a marketing firm, you could say, look that’s fairly common.

Mark: The delivery method…

Chris: Right.

Mark: Will be consistent…

Chris: Right.

Mark: The expertise viewing that, is what differentiates…

Chris: Could be quite unique, yeah. And are you stating, in the way, that gets to somebody’s heart?

Mark: Yes.

Chris: And that’s where I find people, are always straying, because it’s incredibly difficult and part of the reason they stray is because, they think they have to get it etched in stone, before they launch.

Mark: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris: And one thing I find myself reminding clients, every single time, at multiple stages of the process is look, this is why you have a content management system. You get to change it.

Mark: Right.

Chris: And it will change. And you should expect it to change because, you are thinking of it with your marketing hat on right now and you’ve been integrating your sales hat over and over again, but you are going to continue in sales activity, and you are going to bring back new knowledge..

Mark: Right.

Chris: Every time you do that, and it is going to need to change these words. Maybe even a little bit, maybe a lot, it depends. But this will change and so there is no point in straying now, you just commit to the heart of it now.

Mark: Yeah. And that’s the nature of it is interesting because, we harp on it so much and everyone that we, that is in our cohort harps on it so much, so the group of us, sort of, beat it into this industry, that you got to be a well positioned expert.

Chris: Right.

Mark: Fortunately now, people do take it very seriously, but they take it so seriously, they can get a little paralyzed.

Chris: True.

Mark: And your point of like, okay lets get a far as we need to, to have an effective marketing champaign basically, marketing strategy. So we basically need to get to a point where we can buy a list of these people.

Chris: Yeah.

Mark: And that’s pretty specific.

Chris: Right.

Mark: You know, the positioning head line, that we do x for x, that can be compelling and bold, but it’s going to be a little general. You need to get down to the level of the gate. What names are we going to purchase? Okay we need to turn the screws on this a little bit.

Chris: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark: And that forces a little more specificity, more discipline. Uh, but once they get through that stage, and we figure out, okay what are the few words that are going to be up above and below the logo, um, then we’ve gone far enough, and I think that’s when it’s okay for them to ease up a little bit, and just let experience guide them. Right?

Chris: Right.

Mark: But they need to get that far and even getting that far can be really difficult, and most of our clients use David Baker and Blair Ends, or Tim Williams, to help them get to the big revelation, of like, oh yeah, this who we are, right?

Chris: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark: But then we have to get down a level and okay, who the exact people we are going to purchase, and you know, the exact audience segments. And that sort of thing.

Chris: Right.

Mark: And so there’s a little play there between the big picture revelation, and the fine tune specificity that is done for the revelation.

Chris: Right, right.

Mark: Um, but we see this for ourselves, at New Fangled. It seems like every six months or so, we its kind of built in a fraction where we are forced to look at it every quarter. And every year, we are forced to reassess it. But it never really happens, prior to the traction forcing of it. We, something happens and we are like, oh yeah, really it’s this. Gosh it would be so cool to like have a video of every single position meeting we have had. And most of the change we would see, I bet, would be a word or two.

Chris: Exactly. And that is what it has been. I think something like four or five years ago we did a blog post where we accounted for as many changes as we could recall, or prove through the way back machine.

Mark: Yeah.

Chris: And at that point it was like, I don’t know, more than twenty.

Mark: That’s amazing.

Chris: And we had, we had the text, but I think we had some screen shots here and there. But yeah, it would be amazing to actually have a video. Kind of captures the life of the positioning or of the message, is a better way of putting it. Um, yeah it is fascinating that um, positioning provides a thorough line through the foundation, for everything we do. And yet there are aspects of it that need to be hard and fast committed early, and then there are aspects of it that need to be flexible.

Mark: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris: And I think its entirely appropriate to consider your sales activity, or your sales experience as being the primary force of that. Right? Because if, on the marketing side, if you divorce that from the sales activity, from actually speaking to the people who are ready to sign or…then you are going to be locked in, you’re going to be static.

Mark: Right.

Chris: Right? Or you’re going to be out of touch. But really the other half of this, and you and I were on a call last week with a client, where I said this very thing, if the words that are there, are not the words that would come out of your mouth, then they shouldn’t be there.

Mark: Right, right.

Chris: Right, and that, that happens so often, we think of the website as being an editorial experience.

Mark: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris: You know, writing text for the website. And in most cases that’s appropriate, but in this case I actually think its really appropriate that, if those words can’t come out gracefully, out of your mouth…

Mark: Right.

Chris: Then they are the wrong ones.

Mark: Well that goes back to the empathy thing, right? If it is not something you would say, in a normal conversation, to your prospect, it’s not going to feel believable, when they read it.

Chris: Right.

Mark: Right? Cause they do not know that person, how says that thing.

Chris: Exactly.

Mark: Right, um, the other aspect of this, and we were on positioning now, and we are supposed to pick four things, but this is deep thing. Uh, the other aspect of this is that what I’ve been struck by lately is, all the times firms like, when they got through all of the positioning work, and they get to our level, um, they feel like they need to create something. Like the base perspective is like well, what do I need to fabricate in order to be good enough.

Chris: Right.

Mark: What statement can I concoct that will be effective as a marketing message. And that’s where they are, and that’s exactly wrong.

Chris: Right.

Mark: The only question that should be asked is, who are we. Who are we really. Really, who are we.

Chris: Right.

Mark: What do we like, what do we not like?

Chris: Right.

Mark: Who do we really actually feel like working with?

Chris: Yes.

Mark: And how do we want to make money, what kind of lifestyle do we want to have?

Chris: Yeah.

Mark: As a collectively as an organization, you know, do we like to travel, or do we not like to travel. All these things, like what’s the truth?

Chris: Right.

Mark: That’s it, what’s the actual truth of the firm? You can’t create a business by inventing some new reality for yourself, it’s just not how it works. But most if the people we work with they have been in business a really long time, and they are really good at it. They have had a lot of success in various ways. But they undermined that, they don’t acknowledge that, they aren’t even aware of it they are blind to it.

Chris: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark: Um and they are blind to so many other internal interest and skill sets and don’t feel that it’s okay to have that leave the conversion.

Chris: Yeah, well they are totally unaware of the unique ability concept, in that case. Because unique ability can not just be the things that you are really, really good at, that other people, it has to be the things you are good at that other people want to pay for that actually give you energy, and profit for the firm. You’re right that there is this sort of idea that, establishing your message, you know, taking your positioning and then stating it in the proper places, is almost putting together a magical indication.

Mark: (laugh) right.

Chris: Some kind of like Harry Potter, you know, [00:22:03], sort of thing. It’s not the truth of the message, it’s the words that will somehow put a spell on my prospects.

Mark: Right. Yeah.

Chris: And we have done this so many times with clients, the past few years, and its becoming routine, through the right conversations you can draw out what’s true and we say over and over again, look when it comes to writing your message, it’s informative first and marketing second. You got to get the basic information right. What do you do best, who do you serve best? And that’s where that mad lib comes, when we do blank for blank. But then you set that aside, and say okay, that’s not going to get to someones heart.

Mark: Right.

Chris: How do you do that, that’s not a spell, that also drawing out truth, what’s actually different about you, what do you care about? You and I had a conversation last evening, with a client, about this, they had their own terminology for what they do uniquely, right? And we had been talking about it for a while and I finally said to this person, do your prospects use that term?

Mark: Yeah, yeah.

Chris: The answer was no.

Mark: No.

Chris: And it’s okay, it’s gone. There was another term they were afraid of, or another way of saying it, that they thought was maybe a little to grand or too broad, but defiantly will speak to the heart of the client.

Mark: Yeah, that’s another element of the truth, right. Is often times internal truths that really do actually mean something inside of their four walls. But from an unaware observer, who just drops in or googles something and reads that, I guess its cool. And you can sit down and have them explain, oh well this means this, you know, over a five minute discussion, then it would make sense, but we don’t have that luxury.

Chris: Right.

Mark: Right, so what’s the actual immediately, recognizable truth. It’s a tall order.

Chris: Yes it is.

Mark: It’s a really tall order, and we have had a couple conversations the past week, one with a firm out in Toledo, and we have done a lot of work with them, and they were crystal clear on what the target market was going to be, but over time they kind of talked themselves out of it. And we had a regroup conversation, and said, okay listen, seven months ago, we said this, and that was correct, and definitely true. Definitely compelling, what’s changed, and the answer was nothing. Nothing changed, the agreement we made seven months ago was still the truth, they just forgot it. They actually forgot it.

Chris: Hm, yeah.

Mark: Which is so interesting, right?

Chris: Yeah.

Mark: And when we reminded them, we were together on the phone, and we were like, oh, yeah right. And we got this great email afterwards, it was like thank you for, basically being our conscious, you know. And in another example, we were with a firm in Los Angeles last week, and they had so much experience in a category, was laughable. It was ridiculous, we’ve never booked a firm that had this much experience in a single category, ever, to my knowledge. I can’t remember anyone close to it. They had no idea they had expertise in that category.

Chris: That’s bazar.

Mark: Because they had been there their entire careers, so that’s just what they have done.

Chris: Right, it’s a blind spot.

Mark: Every single moment of their professional lives, for the past thirty years, they have been crafting this amazing specialty.

Chris: And that is an amazing thing, I think I have quoted this a numerous time, David Baker always says, “you’re inside the milk bottle, and you can’t read the label.”

Mark: Yeah.

Chris: And there is a fundamental truth to the blind spots we create for ourselves both personally and professionally.

Mark: Its scary.

Chris: It is scary.

Mark: You know we get our clients and say, oh [inaudible 00:25:27]. Why is so obvious to see but not for us?

Chris: Yeah. Although, let’s circle it back to the very first thing we were talking about, which was intimacy. If you foster intimacy in your life, both personally and professionally, whether that’s through small or large community, then you can rely upon that to provide the visibility to those things, to which you’re blind. If people care about you, and most of the time the people who care about you will see things about yourself that you will never see.

Mark: Right.

Chris: And if there is enough intimacy and trust, then they will tell you those things, and you will receive them with joy…

Mark: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris: Because, you will want to change. And its interesting because I do feel like, as we continue to grow our clientele and the space, It does feel like we are building a community, around trust.

Mark: Oh yeah.

Chris: Because, they continually come back and are receptive to things that, I don’t know, ten years I couldn’t imagine saying to a client and having them call me back the next day.

Mark: Yep. This intimacy idea with a client, sounds very interesting because, thinking back to again, [inaudible 00:26:34] which is my main time to really dig in deep with the client. Once they come out of New Fangled they are working with the category experts. And I’m not the category expert in any of those things.

Chris: Sure.

Mark: Right, but I do have a lot of expertise around the nature of the firm, right?

Chris: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mark: Um, and when we are there at those kick offs, the clients who ar going to well, with our program, are going to get real value out of our program. And who are going to enjoy helping, are the ones who do let their guard down. When we go for the kick off and they are basically like selling to us, and just doubting their greatness…

Chris: Right.

Mark: That’s a huge warning sign.

Chris: Oh yeah. It’s like what are we doing here?

Mark: Yeah. Recently we sat down to start a conversation with a client during a kick off, and they are like, you know, as we prepped for this, we just look to your phrase and we look at this as a therapy session.

Chris: Yeah.

Mark: And it’s just like we talk, sit down and talk about the problem going on here. And we never address like the business problems. We are talking about the marketing problems. But the marketing problems, you know, are adjacent to the other problems, we can’t solve those problems, but we can solve the marketing problems. A lot of times through solving the marketing problems, they see paths for the other things.

Chris: Yeah

Mark: And they pursue that on their own. So that’s great, but the ones who really want help, and ego is checked at the door, and they are able to just sit down and have a private conversation about whats really going on, those are the ones who grow exponentially.

Chris: Yeah, and it also helps your ability to help them grow, because intimacy is not a one way situation. As you were talking I glanced at the list of other things I wanted to mention, in terms of experience that is unquantified, and I’m going to just read three things, because they are all interwoven. And they speak to something you said a few moments ago, the client always wants to create something.

Mark: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris: There’s this drive to create and this makes sense given what they do professionally.

Mark: Yeah, we have made many propositions about that.

Chris: Yeah, however, when it comes to adopting the right marketing program and basically, what we are talking about, when it comes to reintroducing yourself to the world…

Mark: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris: That’s not always the most appropriate time for your creative instinct to happen. This is what I see over and over again as a result; number one, every client wonders from the strategic path, inevitably, right? So we establish a very coherent, very new, strategy that applies to every aspect, from messaging to the email they are going to send.

Mark: Absolutely.

Chris: And every client predictably wonders at some point, through a variety of reasons. Maybe it’s a commitment to the message, or a commitment to the certain content profile, commitment to personas, commitment to the certain work, something.

Mark: Right.

Chris: Every client seduces themselves by their own creative.

Mark: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris: With a few acceptations. When I say, every, I mean majority.

Mark: Right.

Chris: And that’s again something that we exist help to deflect. When we see that happen, we address it. And then finally every client over estimates the intention of their prospect.

Mark: Yeah.

Chris: And this is profound, you know, we started off talking about the problem we had, which was, we wanted to create this piece of content, and we were going about it the wrong way. I imagine that if we created that piece of content we had this somewhat grand e-book in mind, we were over estimating the amount of attention…

Mark: Yeah.

Chris: In addition to a bunch of other fallacies. But in, in fact just before this, was editing your revision, your white paper.

Mark: Yeah.

Chris: And it doesn’t do that, for the most part.

Mark: It doesn’t do what?

Chris: Over estimate the attention of the prospect, because…

Mark: Its long, (laugh).

Chris: This has nothing to do with length, this has to do with, is the message necessary, is it delivered in a way to cut through the noise, is it actually speaking to the truth and the heart of the reader. Is it, you know, when you deliver somebody an info dump, with a bunch of data, you think that compelling because it’s like, look at how brilliant we are, look at the work we have done. To gather all this truth for everyone.

Mark: Everyone so tired of that.

Chris: You know its like the CNN twenty march keys going across your screen, you’re over estimating the ability of someone to extract signal from that noise. Whereas the piece that you rewrote, you almost sixty to sixty-five percent of the way through before one quantified fact…

Mark: Yeas, that’s true, yep.

Chris: Emerges.

Mark: Yep, that was intentional.

Chris: Totally okay, because what you’ve done at that point is you grasped the heart of the reader. So you’re not over estimating the attention of the prospect, you are properly estimating the need for the prospect to feel understood, and that’s a completely different thing.

Mark: Sure, yeah and that’s actually important, it doesn’t have to do much with length, right? Although you do want these things to be scannable and that kind of thing.

Chris: Of course, yeah.

Mark: And you can’t control their experience. But yeah that, those three things are, very, very true.

Chris: Well we could probably talk about this all day, per usual, but we should wrap. One thing I think we should complete by saying, is that, these things sound, I think if our tone of voice was different, you might interpret this as a cynical message. Like every single time we see these steps, but it’s not, I think the point is, and anyone listening, should really think about the analog is in your life. Like what do you know, what do you see over and over again that can’t be quantified. And then how do you deliver that, because that is a marketing problem.

Mark: Right.

Chris: Right? Marketing can’t just be a list of fats, it’s can’t just be a spread sheet, it has to be something else. And I think this problem, this experience, your data, it runs through for anyone, any marketer, anyone who is just trying to introduce themselves to the market.

Mark: It does get back to the need for focus expertise because, if you are not having repeated experiences, you aren’t going to have to insight, as Dave says all the time. And if you have the insight because, of you have the discipline to corner off the things you shouldn’t be doing, then your thoughts and your experience will be valid expertise.

Chris: Exactly.

Mark: Quantified by your investment of time, but if you don’t have that, if a more full service is listening, and they are trying to get into leadership, they probably do need to start with a more stats based approach.

Chris: Yep.

Mark: To start building the expertise, because they don’t understand the heart of it, because they haven’t been around enough of their prospects.

Chris: Yeah, absolutely. It’s the back bone for sure.

Mark: Yeah, I think there is a give and take there a little bit, depending on where you are in your adoption of expertise.

Chris: Yep.

Mark: Yep.

Chris: Well yeah, absolutely, thanks for listening you can, of course find more of these podcasts at, find us on iTunes and tell a friend about us. The audience has been growing, but it’s really down to your review and your recommendation that gets more people into this space. And if you have any comments about this, reach out to us at New Fangled, you can contact any of us there, and we will talk to you next time.