Chris Butler: This is Expert Marketing Matters, a podcast about generating ideal new business opportunities and creating your future.
Welcome to Expert Marketing Matters. I’m Chris Butler.
Lauren Siler: I’m Lauren Siler.
Mark O’Brien: And I’m Mark O’Brien.
Chris Butler: This is the end of the year. This is going to be our last podcast episode for 2017.
Lauren Siler: Hard to believe.
Chris Butler: Which, yeah it is hard to believe. We were just looking at the calendar as a group, and just seeing how Christmas is basically tomorrow. We’re out of time in so many ways. It’s been an amazing year, really good year for our firm, for all of us individually. I think we’ve really enjoyed this year. There have been so many things that have happened, so many new things, so many exciting things. Rather than our typical format, we thought that we would end the year by just talking about the highlights, things that are relevant to the industry, things that have happened for us from a discipline standpoint.
We discussed this already, and Mark, we’d like to start with you.
Mark O’Brien: Yeah, for me, one of the more interesting parts of the year has been the opportunity we’ve had to be with so many agencies in person. When we work with an agency on our product, which is the marketing program, Lauren and I go and we kick off on-site with the agency. The agency, depending on the size of the agency and how involved different members of the team might be, we might have one person in the room, well at least two, but as many as 15.
Lauren Siler: And everything in between. It’s really a mixed bag.
Mark O’Brien: Yeah, yeah, yeah everything in between, but it’s always the leadership for sure. I put a list together and we went to 16 cities this year. We went to New York City, Kansas City, Nashville, Seattle, Greenville, South Carolina, Portland, Phoenix, San Diego, Charlotte, Orlando, Toledo, Chicago, Omaha, Los Angeles, Lawrence, Kansas and then just yesterday Miami. That’s all over the country. Meeting with agencies in every single one of the cities. Some of those cities, went to a few times.
It is just so exciting to have the opportunity to be inside of these firms, and the amount of candor in the room is just amazing. There’s no pretense. They hired us because they really want help in this. They’re excited about it. They’re dedicated to it, to improve in their marketing. We ask very, very specific questions and we have a pretty thorough surveying tool we used in advance that generates very deep discussion right out of the gate. It’s just, from my perspective, such a privilege to be able to be with these people, really interesting people all over the country.
Lauren Siler: They are. It’s really fun because I feel like agencies are always curious about what’s going on behind the curtain at other agencies. They’re always wondering about that. I remember coming from the agency world, I wondered about that too when I was at my firm. It’s been really interesting to be inside of all of these different firms. They, as Mark mentioned, sometimes we’re meeting with just a few people, and sometimes a dozen plus, but it’s been interesting to see the trends and patterns among them, no matter their size, no matter their location. We really have realized that these agencies are struggling with the same kinds of things.
Mark O’Brien: They are, they are. For me, what’s so fun is how unique their problems are as well based on their history, and who they are, and how they approach it, and the market they’re serving. It’s never been we walk in and it’s like, “Okay, this, this, and this, good.” Right?
Lauren Siler: Right.
Mark O’Brien: There’s always something to discover and really dig through. There’s a big kind of confusing topic on the table that we all have to wrestle through together. These kickoffs are usually about three hours. There’s a long period of time, and everyone’s intensely focused on it. The fact that it is so different, the themes are always the same, but the unique challenges, and the unique needs for that agency are always unique.
Chris Butler: Well, and the predictability of those unique challenges, which you both always bring back, there’s always an interesting story, or an interesting angle that we need to address in our work. What that really speaks to from my perspective, is that marketing is no longer just a wing of an organization’s operation. It’s not something that, “Well, okay we’ve got our marketing division. They’re doing their thing. They’re bringing the leads. They’re self-sufficient, autonomous.” What we see time and again, both through the experiences that you all are having at the outset of a project, as well as every single conversation that the rest of us have ongoing, is that marketing is this sort of … It’s a central component, but it is touching everything.
Mark O’Brien: Right.
Chris Butler: Which is why you might sit in that room and actually talk more about some business problem, operational business problem, or conceptual problem related to their entire market position, than something that someone might ordinarily classify as marketing.
Mark O’Brien: Yeah, that’s absolutely true.
Chris Butler: That is a change, I think, in our industry, that our organization has been sort of talking about by way of just talking about what we do for a long time. We see it as sort of so central to everything. As a case in point, the three of us have other roles here at this organization beyond marketing, but we also spend a lot of time doing marketing. We can’t really detangle those things.
Mark O’Brien: No, and when we do the survey in advance of the meeting, we’re asking about their sales goals, things like that. That gets right to the core business. Yesterday we spent almost an hour talking about pricing strategy.
Chris Butler: Yep.
Mark O’Brien: Which really has nothing to do with marketing at all, but has everything to do with the ultimate core of the business, which is why they’re marketing. It’s been fun. And Newfangled, we talk a lot about unique ability inside of the company, and I was realizing in that meeting yesterday in Miami, and I noticed it also, I noticed myself noticing it in Lawrence, Kansas the week before, last week, that that’s when I’m in my unique ability, when I’m there and this conversation’s flying around and we don’t know what’s going to happen. We don’t know who in the room is for this, who’s against it, who’s skeptical, who’s sold. A lot of really hairy topics come up, and the randomness of that, and the fact that any topic about the business might come up and have to be address, that thrills me. It’s so rewarding and exciting to help these agencies through these topics that almost immediately go beyond the scope of just marketing.
Chris Butler: What’s something that in all of that experience, those 16 cities, which that’s a partial list in terms of the number of meetings you guys have had.
Lauren Siler: Right, that’s true.
Chris Butler: I’m curious, is there something in all that experience, if you think back on it over the year, and you could answer this as well, that someone listening who hasn’t worked with us, who hasn’t done this kind of thing, who is new to the idea of rethinking their marketing, would benefit from hearing? Is there some insight that you’ve walked away from that might turn a light on for them, something that you observe that somebody might say, “Oh yeah, that’s true for me. I hadn’t thought of how that might touch my marketing initiatives,” or vice versa. Is there anything like that that comes up? Some behind the scenes thing … I know I’m putting you on the spot.
Mark O’Brien: Yeah, yeah. Did you have one? You might want to jump in.
Lauren Siler: Yeah, I think one thing, and it relates to what I’m excited about and we don’t have to transition into that just yet, but I think one of the things that comes up is that the idea of who needs to be involved in the marketing, and the fact that it doesn’t necessarily always have to be the people with the most bandwidth, that the people busiest people at the firm who’ve in many cases built the firm. There is a way for them to find time for their marketing, and that they shouldn’t be offloading that on other people who are maybe junior level or just have more time. Marketing is not an afterthought. As we’re talking about marketing, marketing is so essential to the future health of the business that the leadership really needs to be involved. We’ve helped so many firms come to realize through this year that there’s a way for them to be involved in a really meaningful level that doesn’t need to require them to only work on their marketing on nights and weekends, for example.
Chris Butler: Yeah, and something that occurs to me, I’ve said this to numerous people, not in this context, but I’ve often said to people that I couldn’t be less interested in marketing when it comes to what people used to think marketing was.
Mark O’Brien: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Chris Butler: Let’s just disseminate this message. Let’s put it on paper. Let’s put it in this format and just send it out. That one directionality of it, I couldn’t be less interested in that.
Mark O’Brien: Right, yeah.
Chris Butler: What I’m interested in is something that I think you just alluded to, which we see all the time that I think we take for granted, which is there’s somewhat of a circular reality to the kind of marketing that we help our clients do, which is that you might be sitting with a group talking about how they need to get their message out there. All of the sudden, you’re talking about what that message should be in the first place, which is really talking about well, what is the business?
Mark O’Brien: Right, absolutely.
Lauren Siler: Right.
Chris Butler: It is remarkable how often that happens where you start by talking about how to create awareness and action around something that you have expertise in, to talking about what you should have expertise in, in the first place. You realize that you can’t reverse those directions. Those things are inextricably linked. They do move in cycles where a lot of our clients, in the course of talking about their marketing campaign, they reinvent their business. That seems backward when you think of marketing in a traditional sense.
Mark O’Brien: In a traditional sense, right, but not in the sense that we see it now, not in the current true sense.
Chris Butler: Correct.
Mark O’Brien: One exercise we run them through in the in-person meeting is the right fit client exercise.
Chris Butler: Yep.
Mark O’Brien: We ask them to just forget about today, and a year from now who do you want to be speaking with? What does that conversation look like? What are they wanting to hire you for? What does that really look like, free of all today’s constraints. That removal that we give them, the opportunity to explore just for a few minutes there, it really gets to the heart of what their expertise actually is. Oftentimes, it’s not a matter of what they want to be expert in, it’s what are they experts in. There’s almost always a truth there. There’s a kernel of that, but they oftentimes don’t know what it is.
Chris Butler: Yep.
Mark O’Brien: Or it gives us license to be that.
Chris Butler: Right.
Lauren Siler: I think we see the same phenomenon that you’re describing with yourself among the leaders at these firms too. There’s a renewed interest in marketing because that’s a creative, freeing exercise. It makes it fun for them. It makes them be able to imagine what their business could be, and what they want it to be. A lot of times, that’s why they went into business for themselves in the first place. That definition’s not always been attached to the marketing role.
Chris Butler: Well, I think a lot of people tend to assume that marketing and advertising are the same thing. It’s basically this sort of bullhorn into the world of what you’re selling right now. Yeah, for many of our agencies, and for ourselves too, that’s way less interesting than thinking about well what should be selling five years from now, or next year. Selling, of course, becomes a word that people don’t want to hear. That’s a nature of our reality, but fine, set that aside. What should we be doing five years from now? I think that is what makes marketing something that all of us in this organization can spend the majority of our waking time doing. I don’t think of our organization … it’s funny. We are a marketing organization, but I don’t really think of us as being composed of people who are passionate about marketing in the way that marketing might mean something to somebody 10 years ago. I think we’re all pretty interested in getting in the midst of a really thorny problem, and drawing upon a variety of different disciplines to solve it.
Mark O’Brien: Yeah, the dissemination of real expertise is really all we’re after here. To answer your first question, two themes in terms of what we’ve seen this year. One is, we find out, at least with the agency who’ve hired us, more bravery around positioning.
Chris Butler: Yeah.
Mark O’Brien: They’re willing to get there. They understand the need to get there. Oftentimes, they’ve worked with someone like David Baker, Blair Enns, and they’ve got at least 80% there right then. And there are fewer battles around that than there used to be, than I recall having in the past. There’s more bravery I would say, or they just really think, “If this is the way it is, then this is what we have to do.” They understand it.
Chris Butler: I think a message that David has been trying to hammer home over and over again for years, is starting to become more broadly understood, which is that not only is it shrewd in the marketplace to be more specifically positioned, to have a narrower focus, it also is more rewarding in the end because the experience of competence is that much more great. He’s been talking about that forever, that it’s not just a matter of it makes it easier to sell, it makes it easier to market, it makes it easier for you to find your customer. It actually makes it easier for you to excel in doing something. Tasting competence is all you need to buy a narrower focus is a way to go.
Mark O’Brien: That’s the main pathway to more cash too, is more competence.
Chris Butler: Absolutely, yep.
Mark O’Brien: The other theme is something I just forgot. What was it? Oh yeah. Many of the clients who hire us now are doing so from a position of strength. It’s not like, “Oh my god, everything’s falling apart. I need a market.” It’s, “Wow, this really works. I’m really excited about the future of my firm. I want to make the most of it.” That’s been really exciting. It’s also exciting to help somebody out of a jam, but the perspective in what we’ve seen across the whole company is that when people hire us from a position of strength they’re going to make better decisions. They’re going to be more patient about the decision making process. They’re going to think about it. They have the luxury of time because they don’t need to close something tomorrow.
Chris Butler: Well something we’ve observed from clients who hire us in the midst of crisis is that they adopt new … they take our recommendations to get them out of crisis, but then they end up reverting, falling back. It’s like, “Well yeah, we got out of that crisis, now we can go back to doing the things the way that we wanted to do them before.” Yeah, that’s a great theme.
We should take a break.
Mark O’Brien: Yeah, sounds good.
Chris Butler: We will come back and hear from Lauren and myself about what our highlights of the year are.
Mark O’Brien: Great.
You’re listening to Expert Marketing Matters, a podcast about generating ideal new business opportunities by creating and nurturing digital marketing systems and habits that have a measurable impact on your bottom line. This podcast is brought to you by Newfangled, a digital marketing consultancy focused on empowering experts to do better digital marketing. You can learn more about Newfangle’s digital marketing method at newfangled.com.
Chris Butler: Alright, well welcome back. That was an awesome discussion because I think the highlights that you’re bringing there are a great survey of your experience over the year, but also something that I think speaks to the broader reality of the listenership to this podcast. Everyone listening presumably is in that world, and beginning to think differently about their marketing. Yeah, I think that’s a huge topic. I can think of our whole season as being sort of-
Mark O’Brien: Oh gosh, yeah.
Chris Butler: Something relevant to that topic. But Lauren, what about you? What comes to mind in terms of a year highlight?
Lauren Siler: When I think about that, it builds on a point that I made earlier, which is observing that agencies are getting freer about who they involve in their marketing, and understands that the leadership needs to be involved. When I think about that applied from a content marketing perspective, what’s been really interesting to me is that people are understanding that they don’t have to pigeon-hole themselves into a single particular type of content. That’s been something that’s been limiting for a lot of firms that we’ve met. They go into this idea of content marketing feeling like they’ve got to be finding time to write essentially, in the classic definition of writing. Sitting down in front of their computer or whatever and banging out a 600 word article on something.
That is an intimidating thing for someone who is just really, really busy all the time and maybe not a natural writer. That’s just not how they naturally express themselves. What we have been seeing through our work this year is that there’s an appetite for other forms of content development, and actually an eagerness to pursue other media outside of the written form. That’s opened up possibilities for a lot of these firms from a content marketing perspective. A big focus of our own marketing, what we’ve been talking a lot about this quarter has been identifying what your natural engagement style is, your natural communication style, and then building a content portfolio that is designed to amplify those strengths.
A lot of the firms we meet, the leaders are natural performers, they’re presenters. They’re doing public speaking events, or they are leading the charge on the sales front. They’re used to capturing people through their language and through their presence. There are types of content that are designed to capture that essence. These people express themselves more naturally in that way, and it’s better content. Encouraging people that podcasts are great, webinars are okay and they’re not as technical or as difficult as they may perceive them to be. Doing short videos and leveraging the performance based media has been a trend that I’ve seen more, and more, and more of this year. It’s been exciting to see the firms get excited about that themselves.
Chris Butler: I like that term, performance based media. There’s something about the now-ness of that kind of experience that I think draws out the right things from certain people.
Lauren Siler: Completely it does.
Chris Butler: Yeah, writing is always deferred because it’s like there’s all this … There’s the now-ness to writing initially, but then you got to go through that whole process of editing and getting it right, the delayed satisfaction of having it published, and getting responses, someone actually takes the time to read it. I’ve found that sometimes I’ll be really excited about having written something and I don’t get great feedback for like a year.
Mark O’Brien: Yeah.
Chris Butler: Even if it gets published on the internet.
Lauren Siler: Yeah.
Mark O’Brien: Right.
Chris Butler: I like that idea of performance based because it draws out this sort of now-ness of it. Like this conversation we’re having right now, we barely prepare for, but it draws … We do.
Lauren Siler: For better or worse.
Chris Butler: We’ve got some notes outside of the frame that you can’t see, but it is drawing out a reality from us that writing would not. I like that.
Lauren Siler: Yeah, and for some people, that’s how they express themselves best. It’s going to be better content because of the improvisational style of it.
Mark O’Brien: For them.
Lauren Siler: For those people.
Mark O’Brien: Than they would otherwise create, yeah.
Lauren Siler: Yeah, exactly.
Chris Butler: That’s interesting because that sort of parlays right into the thing that I wanted to bring up. I bet we could have a interesting discussion about it right now, which is I love the written word. I always have. I love to write, and I love to read, but I love the listened word better, the heard word.
Mark O’Brien: Better?
Chris Butler: I do, in the sense that I find myself … I’ve always been an auditory learner. I was thinking back to my experience in college. I went to a design school and we all had to take these really intense Art History lectures first year, it was required. They were an hour and a half lecture, and you were just cramming all this information in. We’d have these really robust exams for them. People were freaked out and people would cram for hours, and hours, and hours. I never did that. I never took any notes. I just sat there and listened.
Mark O’Brien: That’s impressive.
Chris Butler: Well, but that worked for me.
Mark O’Brien: Yeah, you heard it and you …
Chris Butler: It didn’t work for me to take a bunch of notes and to cram. I just wanted to listen to the lecture and I would retain it because that’s how I learn best is hearing something said, and remembering that experience of hearing it. What I’d written down immediately when we talked about this topic was podcasting. We mentioned it in our last episode that it’s been a game changer for us. It speaks to your point in that it’s a new way for us to create content reliably that draws on the skills and gifts and talents of people here at Newfangled, in a way that writing doesn’t. It extends our audience to people who don’t want to read something but they want to listen to something. It’s just a different way of engaging. I find that really exciting. We’ve got clients who are adopting that, which is fun to see.
Actually we worked with an agency this year who has been podcasting since 2006. I had forgotten that, at PJA, I believe it’s 2006. It’s a decade. They were early adopters, but we have agencies who are just getting on board. It’s been a really enjoyable experience for me to build that with you all here. Technically it’s been a challenge. Operationally it’s been a challenge figuring it out, fitting it in. But now that we’re at the table, in front of the microphone, doing it, it’s just a pleasure. The response we get is incredible.
If there’s an agency listening, or a person listening who has been thinking about doing this, you really just have to get the microphone and start doing it. Don’t worry about it being perfect because you can get there. Our first episode was recorded with a crummy mic in an echoey room with two of us in front of it. It doesn’t sound great, but people were happy with that.
Lauren Siler: It came up yesterday.
Mark O’Brien: Yesterday, the first episode.
Chris Butler: Yeah, I’m not surprised.
Mark O’Brien: The very first, yeah.
Chris Butler: Yeah, because we talked about the morning after.
Mark O’Brien: Right.
Lauren Siler: Yeah, they cited that concept in our meeting yesterday.
Chris Butler: Right, so if you’re listening to this podcast, you’re new to it, or you haven’t heard that first episode, it doesn’t sound good but go back and listen to it.
Mark O’Brien: Yeah.
Chris Butler: I wanted to mention that personally, the fact that we’ve been able to do two seasons of this podcast and get better at it, that’s been great. The fact that you’ve been able to spin one off and now we have two podcasts for our agency that are both good, I’m excited about. We’re getting good feedback. The podcasts our agency partners are creating are getting better. We’ve mentioned 2Bobs numerous times, but Blair Enns and David Baker have a podcast, 2Bobs that I look forward to listening to every other week, every other Wednesday. I actually can’t … like I check. Is it there or not?
Then personally, I have a podcast that I’ve really enjoyed making and getting feedback on. It’s just been a pleasure. The other thing I wanted to mention in regard to your topic is that not only is this drawing upon people who would rather talk about their ideas than write them, but it’s drawing on technology that is pretty mind-blowing in the sense that we’re doing this the old fashioned way. We’re talking in front of mics. I was thinking about this the other day, multiple times a week I will pull out my phone on the drive home and I’ll use Google Keep and talk notes. I’ll speak notes into my phone. I’ve even dictated articles that way.
Lauren Siler: You have.
Chris Butler: It’s amazing how good that program is at getting what I said right. Incredible. My phone is like mounted on the dashboard, there’s conflicting noise in it. I’m speaking very quickly, and it gets it all right. That is profound. What that tells me is that very soon, if not this coming year or the next year, that’s going to be a very normal day to day experience for people like us who are practicing marketing. Speaking, using a technological intermediary to capture your words and translate them immediately. Right now, we take these transcripts, we get people at Rev.com to do the transcript. We take these recordings and they transcribe them. This computer aided experience is here today. I’m amazed by how often I find myself speaking accurately to a machine and getting the right stuff back. I’m a little bummed that the price is surveillance.
Mark O’Brien: Right.
Chris Butler: Because I grew up watching Star Trek and I believed in a computer you could speak to that was actually trustworthy. I think there is a way to use this technology and engage with it that doesn’t necessarily put you in a place of feeling taken advantage of by the corporations on the other side. I would, again, not only encourage people who are thinking about experimenting with podcasting to get on board with it, but experiment with these technologies because if you’re not used to it, you’re going to be a bit blindsided. I’m telling you, in 2011 I did after content marketing with Blair and I talked a lot about this. That’s a webinar that is on our site by the way. But it’s here right now. It’s just that people aren’t using it.
Mark O’Brien: I wonder if even Rev is using it and the human review is just a human reviewing the machine transcripts.
Chris Butler: It could be.
Mark O’Brien: Yeah, it might be. Although, that would be difficult I guess because they have to listen back to it anyway. But yeah, just jumping on the podcast thing again, it came up yesterday with our meeting in Miami, which was wonderful by the way. Amazing agency, great city, just really it was a nice way to end the travel for the year. But yeah, I am overwhelmed by the amount of feedback we get on the podcast. What I said to the agency yesterday when they brought up the Morning After, we’ve been doing content marketing since 2001. We’ve been doing it diligently and very, very well, if I may say so myself, not being the one who’s really responsible for hardly any of it for most of that time. It was you and Eric, right?
Chris Butler: Yeah.
Mark O’Brien: And it was great. We put so much effort and time into it. We couldn’t have had taken the craft of it more seriously.
Chris Butler: That’s right.
Mark O’Brien: The amount of feedback that we get on this medium is just crazy to me. It so far outweighs the historic we’ve gotten. Our firm is built on content marketing. Everything we got out of all of that is where we are now. We wouldn’t be here without it. Just the fact that it seems like every day someone talks about the podcast.
Chris Butler: It’s also more personal. You can get to know somebody through their written voice over time, assuming that person’s a decent writer.
Mark O’Brien: And the other person has a good attention span.
Chris Butler: Correct. In this, I think you can get to know people quite quickly. There are podcasts I’ve been listening to for a handful of years where I feel like I know those people. I trust them. I enjoy hearing from them. I feel like we’re in this kind of weird relationship. I feel like they’re kind of my friends in a way. I think that is something that this offers. I was thinking about one of our agencies, Crux Collaborative, they have a short podcast called The Crux of it. They’re great designers and they think deeply about their particular aspect of that work. The people who do that podcast are great. I like listening to it. I started listening to it purely because they’re our client, and I wanted to make sure that I understood what they were doing and that we could be helpful.
Mark O’Brien: Now you just enjoy it.
Chris Butler: I do enjoy it. It’s made me feel like I’ve gotten to know them in a way that I had not prior to that.
Mark O’Brien: An argument that’s come up now is that we’ve reached peak podcast.
Chris Butler: I don’t think so.
Mark O’Brien: Yeah.
Lauren Siler: Do you not? I wonder about that. Really?
Chris Butler: Well, you know Chris Creech who used to work here, has been brewing beer for a number of years, many years and has his own bottle shop now with his wife. I remember many conversations we had with him wondering have we reached peak craft brew.
Mark O’Brien: Right.
Chris Butler: The reason why is because every what, month, there’s a craft brewery opening up here, or a new beer. He was always pretty bullish on that and I think he was right about that, that peak is one thing, the long tale of drying up is another. Peak sounds scary, but it’s really not.
Mark O’Brien: Sure.
Chris Butler: Maybe we’ve reached peak podcasts in the sense that it’s harder now for someone to just jump in and achieve success right off the bat, but I don’t think we’ve reached podcasts in terms of the number of podcasting options that the audience at large will have. In fact, my guess is that you think of what Twitter is right now? Twitter is a written medium that you go in, 280 characters right now and just speak your mind to everybody and they can get it whenever they want. There’s getting to be an audio Twitter.
Mark O’Brien: Sure.
Chris Butler: It’s going to happen. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind that. I wouldn’t want it on all the time.
Mark O’Brien: I hope not.
Chris Butler: But that’ll be peak podcast. I think once you get to the point where Twitter exists in an audio format, which I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s not coming.
Lauren Siler: That sounds awful to me.
Chris Butler: Yeah, I get that.
Lauren Siler: With regard to the saturation of the podcast market, I think one of the conversations that we’ll be having around this time next year if not sooner is one around podcast optimization. There’s so much noise in the podcast market, just like there’s so much noise on the internet. How do we go and find the best content? How do you design your podcast so that it is more discoverable? There’s not a ton being discussed about that.
Chris Butler: And how do you market the podcast?
Lauren Siler: Yeah.
Chris Butler: It isn’t the case that you can just have a podcast and people will discover it. You have to market it. That requires social media advertising, that requires looking at the data. Libsyn, by the way, we should mention we’ve been using this year, which is an amazing tool for hosting your podcast, disseminating it, and giving you intel on it. Podcasts have been historically unmeasurable, and Libsyn’s helping with that. But, Apple Podcast, this coming year, they already announced it back in the summer I think it was, but this year they’re going to be releasing a data component to Apple Podcast that will tell you a lot of things, including not just more intel on who’s listening, and where they are, and who you could consider a subscriber, but how long did they listen. When did they stop listening to each episode?
Lauren Siler: I’m very interested in that data.
Chris Butler: Yeah. You are right, optimization is going to be critical but that’s going to be a data led conversation. I think this coming year we’re going to have more actionable intel on podcasts than we’ve ever had.
Mark O’Brien: That’s going to help tremendously, and that’s the weak spot of podcasting right now.
Chris Butler: It is.
Mark O’Brien: It is a significant weak spot compared to the other marketing media we’re used to working with.
Lauren Siler: We’re spoiled.
Mark O’Brien: We’re so spoiled, yeah. We’re used to knowing everything. But I think also part of the solution to the sea of podcasts out there is the solution to everything else, which is positioning.
Chris Butler: Right.
Mark O’Brien: Right? And outbound. It’s been hard to cut through the content sea for a long time, but good positioning and a great list where you’re sending the right kind of emails to you, will cut through.
Chris Butler: That’s right.
Mark O’Brien: We’ve built our podcast that way.
Chris Butler: Yeah, and in the meantime the anecdotal data that we’re getting is quite good and nice and affirming. But I’m pretty optimistic about what this will mean for us and our clients, and those of you listening. This is an opportunity for everybody still. It’s a great thing to do. It’s really enjoyable. If this is your bag, you should get in on it. We’re having a good time.
Mark O’Brien: We are. We love it. We love it. We love it.
Chris Butler: We’re not faking it.
Mark O’Brien: Can we finally talk about the best thing that happened this year?
Chris Butler: Yeah. What is it?
Lauren Siler: Is it something about the Steelers because I’m going to get up and leave.
Mark O’Brien: No, that would be … They’ll win the Superbowl. It would be technically 2018 when they do that, let me get that right. No, Sue. The year of Sue.
Chris Butler: The birth of my daughter, yeah. It has been quite good.
Mark O’Brien: The year of Sue.
Chris Butler: It is amazing that it’s been almost a year.
Mark O’Brien: Almost the whole year.
Chris Butler: Totally life changing in the best possible way. Yeah, obviously we’ve alluded to this in the past. We meet for traction every week in our Level 10s. I think it was the first six months of her life I was playing the Sue card in terms of my personal best. We mention business and personal bests every week. I haven’t played the Sue card that much lately, but there’s a lot of cards left to play.
Mark O’Brien: Build up some inventory.
Chris Butler: Yeah. She is wonderful. It’s been great. That’s been great for me.
Mark O’Brien: Well, if we’re going to get a little personal, I think it’s been great for Newfangled too. You’ve changed in so many ways. You’ve always been such a powerhouse inside the company, and everyone viewing the company from the outside has seen that over the years. But, another thing we do, just to be really transparent about Newfangled, is we do 360 reviews where everyone in the company, every quarter basically reviews everybody.
Chris Butler: Yeah, every quarter. We just did it yesterday, or two days ago.
Mark O’Brien: Two days ago, yeah. Yeah, and what’s come up in your 360s every single quarter this year is just-
Lauren Siler: We brought them here. We’re going to read them out loud right now.
Chris Butler: I’m ready anything.
Mark O’Brien: Is just how zen you’ve become.
Lauren Siler: It’s true.
Mark O’Brien: It’s totally true. Sue has just brought this aura of peace and I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about you now that you’re just above it all.
Chris Butler: This works for anyone.
Mark O’Brien: Yeah.
Chris Butler: If you’re not feeling good, just have a baby.
Mark O’Brien: That’s actually really bad advice.
Chris Butler: Yes, it’s terrible advice. But I do agree. I’ve heard this from numerous parents, new parents. I don’t know if it’s equally true fro everyone, or equally enduring for everyone, but I will say that quite right off the bat, I have a memory of looking down at Sue probably less than an hour after she was born, and just knowing that this is what I was born to do, to be a parent. I love being a parent. And granted, I am a parent of a 10 month old child so there are many-
Mark O’Brien: That’s a lot of challenge.
Chris Butler: There are many challenges ahead.
Mark O’Brien: But you’ve already been through many. The first year is challenging.
Chris Butler: We’ve had a remarkably unchallenging first year with the baby. I know it very early, but I feel in my bones that this is an aspect of who I am that was inevitable, that needed to come out. I really enjoy it, and it does cast everything else in a new light. Yeah, I think it is true. I feel more at peace with the world. When you find yourself doing the thing that you were meant to do, and not everyone feels that that’s even a true reality that you’re meant to … but I do. I think it does change everything. That’s been a great experience for me.
Mark O’Brien: Yeah, wonderful. Good year.
Chris Butler: Yeah, it has been a great year. We hope you join us back in 2018 for the next season. We’re going to have-
Mark O’Brien: Season three.
Chris Butler: Yeah, season three. We’re going to have more conversations like this.
Mark O’Brien: Clowns. Clowns.
Chris Butler: Possibly clowns. You heard it here first, as did I. I think what Mark means by that is he’s going to be dressing up as a clown.
Mark O’Brien: Sure, I’ll do that.
Chris Butler: Which I’m really looking forward to that makeup being caked into-
Mark O’Brien: The beard, yeah. Beard makeup.
Chris Butler: That’ll look great. I’m excited about the next year for Consider This. I like the sort of interplay between these two podcasts. Hopefully we’ll get some interesting guests on this coming year, maybe some clients of ours? I don’t know, that could be interesting. Anyway, have a great break in between now and then. Enjoy the holidays, whichever ones you celebrate.
Lauren Siler: Yes, and Happy New Year.
Chris Butler: Join us back. Yeah, Happy New Year. We’ll see you in 2018.