In this week’s episode, Katie and Chris run through a list of some of their key takeaways from the MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2022 conference.
- Influencer marketing may be a good way to reach your target audience, as data privacy restrictions make it more difficult to buy lists or use data from social media platforms.
- The great marketing reboot is in full effect. This means that people are starting to relearn the basics of marketing, which is a good thing. However, it also means that there is a lot of turnover in the industry, which can make it difficult to keep people up to date on the latest trends.
- The basics never go out of style, and that repeating them and finding new approaches to the same problems is what is always going to resonate.
- Another big takeaway was the importance of delegation when moving from an individual contributor to a manager. It is crucial to document everything you do and set expectations in order to build trust with your team.
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What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for listening to the episode.
Christopher Penn 0:00
In this week’s In-Ear Insights, we are back from the MarketingProfs B2B forum 2022.
Katie, your first in person conference, since you know the whole public health crisis, and stuff, this was my fourth.
And we’d love to hear what were your big takeaways? What are the things that that you heard or saw? And what are you going to do different?
Katie Robbert 0:23
Um, well, everybody’s awkward.
Nobody knows how to behave publicly anymore.
No, you know, it’s interesting.
You’re right, it was my first event back and it was a big event, at least for me, like there was, you know, lots of people milling around.
So going into it, like, I definitely have some of that anxiety of, you know, I don’t know what to expect anymore.
Because, you know, previously, you could just show up at an event, do your thing.
And now there’s protocols and you know, all kinds of things, which is, you know, good.
I think that marketing profs did a really nice job of making sure that people could show up on their own terms and feel like their own safety, you know, wasn’t being compromised just for the sake of the conference? So I would say that was definitely a good thing.
And I would like to see that trend, continue and extend into other events.
So that I think that in terms of, you know, takeaways, I think that was a big thing.
In terms of just like the comfortability of each individual attendee.
You know, I didn’t get to attend a lot of sessions, unfortunately, I was sort of my goals, my personal goals for attending a conference aren’t necessarily around learning what’s going on, it’s more I have goals of making specific connections and having conversations in order to, you know, continue to grow the business.
And thankfully, I was able to meet those goals and talk to those people.
I did see sort of, it feels like, there’s this unspoken, like, bucking against artificial intelligence.
There’s, you know, yeah, technology is cool.
Yeah, AI is cool, but don’t forget, you’re human.
And so while people weren’t, speakers weren’t going out of their way to necessarily diss the benefits of artificial intelligence, there was definitely this trend of, don’t forget to be human, don’t forget to personalize it, you know, don’t fall into the trap of being like, one of a million, you know, falling into the masses, like, stand out, be personal, like, do your own thing, be an individual be a snowflake.
And so it was I that I think that was the thing I saw, the strongest was how do I stand out in a crowd amongst all this noise? And that’s not a new, you know, question, that’s not a new thing that we should be asking ourselves, the way in which people were approaching it, I think was sort of the I, you know, I’m hesitant to call it new, Nothing is new anymore.
That’s the problem.
But it’s sort of just sort of the reinventing.
So I think there was a lot of emphasis on, don’t forget to be an individual.
Christopher Penn 3:14
When people when you hear people talking about artificial intelligence in that context, then what is it that they’re saying specifically about it? So obviously, the whole be human part is sort of the contrary position, but how our people understanding it, it has have people’s understanding improved in the last few years, since the last time we were all out, you know, during the dog and pony shows,
Katie Robbert 3:38
understanding of it being artificial intelligence.
You know, I would say, it’s, it’s improved, in the sense that now it’s sort of just like, a word that we all use in everyday vocabulary, like, you know, we talk about artificial intelligence, the same way we might talk about, like, you know, a sweatshirt, it’s just sort of like an everyday object now, do we all own one? Not necessarily.
But do we all sort of have a general idea of what it is? Sure.
And I think that there is more of an understanding that artificial intelligence at its very, very basic core level is more automation.
It’s doing repeated tasks to getting some kind of an output.
And so, you know, I’d say that there’s not an understanding of the sophistication of what you can do with artificial intelligence.
But I would say actually, there’s probably more of a better understanding of what something like robotic process automation is, for example,
Christopher Penn 4:40
got it Intelligent Automation, sort of the saving time of things got it.
One thing I noticed was, there were several sessions this time around on influencers on influencer marketing.
Our friend and colleague, Ashley Zeckman, did a really nice talk on it.
And I thought it was very interesting that influencer marketing, I think B2B folks are still struggling with the the perception that you know, it’s Kardashians or nothing.
And clearly, that’s not the case.
But one of the, the macro trends that I think is just starting to be realized now is that as data privacy and data restrictions get tougher and tougher, rightfully so, influencer marketing, may be one of the channels where you figure out, okay, who has my audience so that I can go after them? Because I can’t just, you know, buy a list from from, you know, LinkedIn or Facebook or wherever the you get your data from, nor used to get your data?
Katie Robbert 5:41
Well, I think it’s also just sort of redefining what an influencer is, you know, when you have platforms, like, tick tock and, you know, other social platforms that are just sort of these quick snippets, pretty much anyone can, you know, go viral for something and then suddenly be called an influencer? And so like, again, sort of, it’s not a new concept, but there’s always this mismatch of just because you have, you know, followers on your thing doesn’t mean that they’re well aligned with what it is that you do.
And so I think that, you know, so I was driving, unfortunately, while Ashley session was going on, so I missed it.
But I would imagine that there is, you know, some sort of a conversation around making sure that there is alignment between what you do and what these influencers, you know, generally talk about and speak for, because it comes back to, you know, the, the brand itself, they represent your brand they represent, you know, your products, your services, and quite frankly, you if you’re the one who hired them, and so making sure that you’re doing that due diligence, and where to find that data, how to make those decisions.
You know, again, that’s not a new concept, but it’s one of those concepts that you need to continually repeat.
Because as new platforms get developed, and as a new crop of influencers, you know, basically come on to the market, people get excited, they’re like, Oh, well, here’s someone who nobody else is working with yet.
Let me go ahead and grab them.
They have a lot of followers.
And all of those rules that we’ve developed in terms of vetting influencers just goes out the window, we forget.
So people like Ashley, who do this professionally to, you know, source influencers.
Her job is to keep repeating the same message over and over again, because a new crop of marketers come onto the market to and now they’re tasked with finding influencers, and they need to figure out what the rules are so dull, those of us who are constantly repeating the rules, that’s our job.
That’s really the trend is we stay the course.
And we keep repeating the same message for all the turnover that happens in the marketing industry.
So for someone like me, where I go to a conference, I’m like, Well, none of this is new, but I’m also not new to my role.
Christopher Penn 8:05
And speaking of that, I It feels like the great marketing reboot is in full effect I was in Michael Barr was email session.
And at one point, during his talk, he said, How many people are familiar with Apple’s mail privacy protection, which came out in June of 2021, it was a big deal, because we had talked about even on this show, about how it’s going to wreck open rates, and it kind of has kind of messed up open rates because of the way Apple’s servers prefetch email, and this is how many people and and this is a room of about 100 people, how many people have heard of Apple’s mail privacy protection, of course, me being the the nerd in the front of the room like me, and I look around not a single hug.
And I’m like, this is more than a year old.
And this is impacting every email marketing program, period.
And no one else has a hands up.
It’s not it can’t be shyness, because you’re gonna get the the nerd up front waving his hands.
So you’re not going to look more nerdy than that social pressure thing.
I was stunned, like, how do you folks do your jobs if you don’t know about this thing, which dramatically impacts your email marketing.
And this kept coming to your point with influencer marketing, right having to repeat the same old things like reach, relevance, engagement, brand, alignment, brand safety, in your conversations with attendees, actually, now I think what we actually got some feedback, some some fairly dissatisfied feedback from a couple of participants in our workshop saying, I wanted a basics one on one GA for workshop, and this was not it.
So how do you feel about the great marketing reboot? Did you see it firsthand?
Katie Robbert 9:48
I mean, I feel like we’ve been talking about it.
And we so we already knew that people wanted the basics.
And, you know, that to me was just more information.
You know, some of the feedback was I wanted to GA for course the other feedback was too much data science.
And so, you know, when I hear your takeaway that, you know, people aren’t paying attention to data privacy, for example, or how it impacts to me that’s like, a 301, in terms of their understanding of how something like an email marketing works, like, the basics of email marketing is, how do I get the email out to people, so it doesn’t bounce like that.
Step number one.
So that’s the one on one.
Number two is, you know, curating your subscriber list and keeping it clean.
And then number three is figuring out, you know, data privacy.
So I’m unsurprised, that that was your takeaway, because, again, you’re not new to the industry.
So you don’t need to go back to the refreshers of the one on one and the two, one, you’re sort of at the 501, the 601, in terms of your understanding of how, you know, something like an email marketing works, and so you were sort of at that deeper knowledge level.
So, yeah, I think we definitely saw the great reboot, because, you know, it’s funny, we were talking about how to put together a marketing strategy or a measurement strategy, rather, you know, going beyond just throwing numbers in a spreadsheet.
And to us to you and I, Chris, we’re like, Well, yeah, it’s more than just a spreadsheet.
But to people who are new to a role or new to accompany it is you have to relearn this all over again.
And it’s not our job to pass judgment on the fact that these people don’t know it.
It’s our job to continue to educate and set them up for success.
And so I don’t think we’re gonna get away from teaching the basics anytime soon.
Christopher Penn 11:41
No, probably never.
But it is definitely been more prominent that people are much more back to square one.
Even, you know, we’re at a couple of the influencer events and things.
And even talking to folks who work for prominent brands.
You know, our friend Justin Lavie brought along one of his his team members, and just listening to the person sort of explained from their point of view, because they’re there, they’re new in their role, and they’re new to the industry going, Wow, there is there are a couple of decades of, of, I guess, legacy is one way to explain it, or history that would inform in this case, like your social media marketing strategy, that just aren’t there.
And, and it sounded like, you know, in conversations with someone else, there are no, no one has even the basic theoretical frameworks of how to set this stuff up.
I mean, I remember, in the Friday session we did, we put up the the five P’s framework, and people are whipping out their phones and taking photos of them, like, I mean, it’s it’s not, it’s not super new.
I mean, it’s not even super new to us anymore.
Katie Robbert 12:54
It’s not super new to us.
But I think this is something that we’ve you know, talked about before, it’s like, at least for me, my job is not innovation, my job is to take tried and trued, you know, frameworks and practices and all those things, and present them in a way that people can understand them and connect with them.
And so the five p framework is a different way, it’s a different spin on the on tackling the same challenges that people have had for, you know, decades.
You know, people are the problem, great.
How do I approach it? That’s not a new problem at all.
You know, we have a lack of process, okay, go ahead and document everything.
The way in which you approach tackling that problem is what’s new, because that’s where you bring in artificial intelligence.
That’s where you bring in, you know, one of the 9000 tools on the martech 9000.
There’s a new approach to the same problems.
And I really think like that is I mean, that’s sort of the name of the game.
That’s the point of these conferences is the problems themselves aren’t new, the approach to solving the problem is what could be different.
But it doesn’t have to be, you know, revolutionary, and, you know, this epic thing.
It can just be oh, you know, that’s a really good point.
I never thought about it that way.
Let me go ahead and see if that works.
Because the biggest takeaway that we got from our workshop, or if the eight hours that we taught, what was the one thing everybody said they were going to try first, user stories, user stories, guess what? I didn’t invent user stories.
User stories have been around for a very long time.
But what we did was we gave them a new tool, which is a user story, to approach solving the same problems that they’ve already had.
That’s the goal.
That was a success if people can take away something different and try that and find a little bit of success, and we’ve done our jobs.
Christopher Penn 15:03
I did notice that in a lot of the other sessions, because between the ones I attended, and then I was catching up over the weekend on some of the ones near streaming some of the recorded ones, because there were a couple they wanted to get to, but just just couldn’t because of time.
There were a lot of I think, very good tactical improvements here and there that I thought were really helpful.
So one, from our friend Tony now who videoed our Friday session, do you did a great session on video? And one of the things he was very adamant about like, okay, that makes a lot of sense, just from my own behaviors, like, Stop putting intros that are, you know, on your video, something at least, you know, 1015 20 30/62 intros.
It’s like, nobody wants to watch them.
And as I was scrolling through LinkedIn this weekend, looking at and there’s one video I had, like, nine half seconds into it, I just kept going, like, oh, well, I guess that’s.
So I know, you know, personally, I’m going to be trying that out.
Maybe try out with the Trust Insights podcast.
So you know, do we need the 15 second intro, or is it pretty apparent just from our branding? Like you’re listening to our show, you need an intro for it?
Katie Robbert 16:10
Well, I I would liken that to looking for a recipe online and getting eight pages of backstory of your grandmother’s neighbors cousins, donkeys, you know, recipe for, you know, mashed corn because they would go pick it in the dawn of the morning, with the slightest little drop of do that this one time reminded me of a trip that I took to Vienna.
And while I was there, I met this woman who would you know, hand stitch these little sayings into the carpet.
And by the way, one of the sayings reminded me of this time that my grandfather told me the story about the war.
And for the love of God, just tell me how many eggs go in the cake.
It’s very much the same thing.
Like the intro is nice.
But it’s you know, think about when you’re streaming, for example, streaming, you know, TV shows and movies.
If you’re watching a television series, and you happen to sit down and watch, you know, more than one episode.
You know, a system like Netflix Net Flix gives you the option to skip the intro.
Because like, I already know what I’m watching.
I don’t need to watch the intro all over again.
I’ve been watching it for six hours, I don’t need to be reintroduced to the thing.
And so I see intros on like videos and that kind of thing.
Very much the same way.
That was a rant that I didn’t know was coming but here we are.
Christopher Penn 17:36
Well, I think then that makes it pretty clear.
We’re gonna we’re gonna do a little bit of trimming and housecleaning from wanting to do some updating anyway.
But this just makes it simple.
The The other thing that I thought was fairly insightful for one of the email marketing discussions was and it was just this is simple.
We’ve been doing it for a little while in our own stuff and handlers we’re doing an unusual history well, is that unlike images in newsletters, which don’t load by, by default stuff, emoji load all the time, they’re just they’re just character set.
So if you there are calls to action you want to bring into you know, to visually set apart in a newsletter, do some emoji, use that little pointing finger at the link you want people to click on.
And I can definitely confirm just just having read certain newsletters, like Yeah, it does catch your eye, if you if you’re not like, you know, pouring emoji all over everything, if you if you are selected, and it’s used for like, calls to action, put a little pointing finger and maybe that’s it, it is enough to set apart a link from the rest of your wall of text that that is noticeable.
So I’ve been trying it out for a few weeks, just in my own stuff, but we’ve been using it.
I’ve been using it in subject lines for probably the better part of a year now.
And yeah, it’s not something that you know, is going to be blocked and it looks consistent across platforms.
Katie Robbert 19:08
I definitely say that’s a proceed with caution because I think, you know, it’s, it’s a slippery slope.
Once you start using one you’re like, Oh, let me add another one.
Let me add another one.
And then the next thing you know your whole newsletter is this like goofy thing of all these emojis instead of actually like, you know, speaking words.
So I would definitely proceed with caution.
I would definitely use some restraint in using emojis in your communication because, you know, I think that emojis are fine.
I think there’s a time and place for them but you also don’t want them to distract from your message or take away from the authority that you’re trying to demonstrate.
Christopher Penn 19:50
Yeah, we use three of them right now.
There’s just looking back we use three of them in the Trust Insights newsletter.
One is for the the the download call to action at the very top and then there’s To on each of our paid courses, just set them aside from the free courses and stuff that are available.
So things that are high value high, high attention needed.
Katie Robbert 20:11
We use emojis, we haven’t for a couple of years now.
We’ll take that offline.
Christopher Penn 20:23
So, in terms of other takeaways from the event, any other, do you get a chance to attend any sessions other than the ones we were speaking at?
Katie Robbert 20:30
I mean, I was in transit for a bit of it.
So I, you know, fortunately live locally to the event.
And so I was able to go home, I didn’t need to stay the whole time, which is, which was something that I needed, I got exhausted by the event pretty quickly.
You know, and then in terms of being able to catch up with people, the only time I was able to find some quiet was while everybody else was in sessions.
But the benefit of an event like marketing profits is that they did put all of the sessions online.
And so I can spend some time this week, catching up on the sessions that I didn’t have a chance to catch last week.
So I may have more takeaways for you down the line.
But I think overall, the big takeaways, you know, as we’ve talked about are, you know, the basics never go out of style, repeating them, finding new approaches to the same problems, is what is always going to resonate, always gonna resonate, you know, bringing the shiny new object is wonderful.
People really, you know, glom on to it.
But if it’s not actionable, if it’s not something that people can go, oh, okay, I know exactly what to do with that, then in some ways, it’s just kind of like, you’re wasting your time, you’re wasting their time.
So if you want to introduce a shiny new object, make sure that it’s you know, actionable, make sure that people can do something with it.
Christopher Penn 21:52
And what about the session that we did on Friday, what was sort of the takeaways from what we had a chance to present? Because I think we had the audio from that, and we’re gonna have a video from it at some point in the next couple of months.
But I was thinking we might turn the audio into like a bonus podcast episode, but was what was your takeaway from what we shared in our in our management and leadership? Sort of Fireside Chat.
Katie Robbert 22:13
The big takeaway was, so I had a couple of people asking questions afterwards.
And, and the trend is I just moved from an individual contributor to a manager.
How do I like how do I reset my thinking? Or how do I tell my boss that I’m no longer an individual contributor, like, they know, they promoted me, but they still treat me as such.
And so you know, there was two big things, at least in my brain was, document everything you do, because the biggest issue that I see with new managers is delegation.
And it’s not that they don’t want to it’s but they don’t trust that anyone can do it exactly the way that they want to do it.
So document everything, set those expectations of this is how I do it, this is exactly, you know, follow this recipe.
And then you build that trust.
The other thing is, you need to set those boundaries, and not, but also hold them.
And so if your boss who’s promoted, you is still treating like an individual contributor, but then also coming to you and saying, but I also need you to manage the team.
That’s when you need to reset those expectations map, you say, Okay, here’s what I can do, here’s what I can’t do.
But then you yourself are responsible for maintaining those boundaries, because you’re like, oh, but it’ll take me five minutes, I can just do the thing, I’ll just do it myself.
You are then setting yourself backward and not moving forward.
And so that it is it’s a mind shift is tough.
It takes practice.
But that’s the biggest challenge.
And so we had our recommendation was hire a professional manager, and not someone who’s a practitioner.
Christopher Penn 23:48
From that point of view, though, do you see companies figuring out or seeing the need to figure out that individual contributors and managers are separate professions?
Katie Robbert 24:01
They’re not figuring it out, but there is a need to figure it out?
Christopher Penn 24:05
How does somebody get started on communicating that to to leadership to say like, Yeah, this is not, you’re basically asking your top talent to no longer use their top talent.
Katie Robbert 24:18
It’s, it comes down to starting with the skills gap assessment, what is the company need? What are you What does your team have, like, and what do you want to do? Because putting people in roles that they don’t want to do is how you get turnover.
And so you know, if someone wants to be a manager, that’s great.
They need to be clear on what that entails.
And they are no longer than rock star of the team.
You know, they are now sort of fading into the background and letting other people shine if they are okay with that.
Great, but that’s part of the conversation is Do we need a bunch of rockstars or do we need just people who can you know, you know, be the tour manager and and get the rock stars on stage.
And so I’m a tour manager.
I’m not the rock star.
But I’m great analogy.
But I’m good with that role.
Right? And I have no problem fading into the background to let other people get on stage and shine.
Because that means I’ve done my job.
And so that’s a big part of it is it’s, you know, it’s people’s, we talked about attitude and aptitude.
That has to be the right attitude.
I would say, 90% of the job of a manager is the right attitude.
Christopher Penn 25:34
Is that something that you can determine in the hiring process, though? Like, can you how do you tell someone who has a good attitude as a manager versus someone who doesn’t?
Katie Robbert 25:44
We do? I mean, you absolutely can.
And I feel like we’re starting to go down a little bit of a rabbit hole off topic.
And you know, so we can talk about that.
But yeah, maybe it’s a separate episode, it is we as you absolutely can determine the right attitude.
And it’s through, you know, a series of, you know, questions that are related to it, you know, tell me about your experience, blah, blah, blah.
And it’s more than just tell me about your experience, you’d have to get into more specifics.
And then you present different scenarios, and you see how people would handle them.
You know, you’re not going out there saying, I need you to fade into the background.
Because quite honestly, nobody, there’s a lot of people would be like, I don’t want to do that.
I want to get credit where credit is due.
And so you have to start to dig into those kinds of conversations.
Christopher Penn 26:30
Yeah, I think this definitely needs to be its own episode, because there’s a lot to unpack there.
The other thing is, as always, with any conference, some of the best learning and some of the best conversations always happen in the hallways at those unscheduled unplanned moments, we have a long list of them for ourselves to do to work on.
But one that was from one of the SEO roundtables early on is that the the prevalence of Google taking clicks away from sites is is continuing, I had a chance to sit down with Andy Crestodina and show them our Search Console metrics instead of my impressions are going up.
Right? Google thinks I’m more relevant.
But our clicks going down.
He’s like, Yeah, that’s because you’re you’re you’re competing on terms that Google wants to keep the traffic for.
So they’re going to show a feature snippet or an instant answer or something that will not send you the traffic, he said, so that’s that’s probably what’s going on there.
Because he said, If your impressions are going down, then you something’s wrong with your site.
But you look the last six months, they are the Trust Insights, website impressions are going up, up up.
So we’re doing a good job of being relevant.
It’s just Google’s taking our lunch.
So some of the those are those some of our takeaways from marketing profit.
Like Katie said, we will have more as we process through all the different sessions and things.
But if you were there at the event, or you weren’t there, or you maybe you were hybrid and online, or you’ve been to another event, similar recently, and you’ve got some takeaways you’d like to share, pop on over to our free slack group, go to trust insights.ai/analytics For markers, and share the little takeaways and things that you’ve gotten from recent events.
And wherever it is you watch or listen to the show.
If there’s a place you’d rather have it on.
Instead, go to trust insights.ai/t AI podcast, where you can find the show on most major platforms.
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And we’ll talk to you soon
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