Today’s interview is a little different. I usually interview marketers I have had the opportunity to know or work with for many years. A few weeks ago I stumbled across Margo’s posts on on Medium and then on her blog. I was immediately hooked by her writing style and her views on marketing, which I am proud to bring to this interview today:
1. What company is an example of good marketing today? Who do you admire?
There’s a famous saying, “When Aeschines spoke, his countrymen said, “How well he speaks.” But when Demosthenes spoke, they said, “Let us march against Phillip.”” In other words, the best marketing doing look or feel like marketing. You don’t want someone to say, “Wow that was a great ad!” you want them to say, “I need those shoes!”
Bench does a fantastic job of this, so does Masterclass.
The copy doesn’t say “Learn how to act” or “take a class on acting” – it says, “Meet your new acting teacher.” It’s speaking directly to it’s target market. They don’t want to “learn acting” – they want to get better and they who want to learn from a pro.
2. Did you have a mentor or a person you learnt the most from? What was a key lesson?
As far as marketing, Seth Godin has been an informal mentor. I completed his altMBA program in February, so I feel fully indoctrinated as one of his disciples (haha). The key lesson for me was that the marketing I was taught (that was “right” or “proper”) was not always the marketing that worked.
To get to the marketing that works you have to understand one thing only: the person you are trying to reach.
3. What story of a successful marketing strategy could you share?
Treat people like people. When you start treating people like people instead of like “a market” or a “data point” your marketing becomes instantly more effective.
4. What is your marketing superpower, the most important skill that makes you a great marketer?
I can read minds. [Gerardo: I was going to summarize what Margo means by reading minds but your really want to read her post about reading minds, it’s my favorite, and the reason I asked her to be interviewed here]
5. What interesting book have you read recently?
Lying by Sam Harris. Fantastic short read on the topic. As a marketer, the line between manipulation and deception (and lying) it’s particularly interesting to me. This draws some heavy conclusions that will open your eyes to your own less-than-moral behavior.
6. What new, modern tactic, tool, or aspect of marketing should marketers pay more attention to?
Inbound and permission marketing. The world has changed. It used to be enough to tell people, “I have a widget. Buy my widget!” Today, that’s no longer the case. You can’t (and shouldn’t) talk to the masses. You need (and should) talk to the people who want to hear from you. And for that, you need permission.
7. What good aspect of basic marketing have marketers neglected in Go to the full article.