10 Top Takeaways from Season 2 of the Sophisticated Marketer’s Podcast

May 9, 2016


“Don’t call it a comeback.” – LL Cool J

It’s hard to believe, but we just wrapped up another ten episodes of the Sophisticated Marketer’s Podcast. That means ten more provocative conversations with profound marketers are yours for the listening.

I’m not resting on my laurels, though: We’re already recording season three, and we have some exceptional guests lined up. I’m excited to keep bringing you these episodes. Almost as excited as I am to have an excuse for picking these people’s brains. I get as much out of these podcasts as anyone else. It’s awesome that people are willing to share their thoughts with me and all of you.

Before we get into the new batch, though, let’s take a look back. Here are just a few of the top quotes and takeaways from Season Two.

Episode 1: Passion, Transparency, and Authenticity

Guest: Likeable Media Founder & CEO Dave Kerpen

From Dave: “In today’s day and age, when social media and the economy has rendered the world smaller than ever before…you have very little choice. Either embrace transparency or ultimately, I believe, perish.”

One Big Takeaway: Part of Dave’s success is making likeability his model for life as well as business. Dave takes a big picture approach: Find the life skills that make you a better person, as well as better at your job, and you will find a greater degree of success.

Episode 2: Building an Owned Media Empire

Guest: Marriot Global Creative & Content Marketing VP David Beebe

From David: “First and foremost, for any brand to connect with today’s audience, you have to stop interrupting what they’re interested in and become what they’re interested in. And story’s a good way to do that.”

One Big Takeaway: David built an incredible content marketing hub by emphasizing co-creation over brand integration. He puts content first, letting creative people make art without pushing for intrusive brand placement. Because of that, Marriot has taken the lead in compelling content people actually want to watch.

Episode 3: B2B Marketing and Sales Trends

Guests: LeadMD CEO Justin Gray and TOP Co-Founder Craig Rosenberg

From Craig: “Marketers and sales will fight forever. It’s the nature of the beast. If done constructively, the tension can be good. Marketing, when pushed by sales in a positive way, can produce better results.”

One Big Takeaway: Marketers tend to focus budget and energy on the C-Suite. Instead of focusing exclusively on the people who sign the checks, it’s important to look for those lower down the org chart who can influence the decision-making process.

Episode 4: Life after Keywords

Guest: MSDesign Lead Consultant Michael Stricker

From Michael: “Exact keyword match, repeatedly, is tantamount to keyword stuffing. That will earn you Panda problems from Google. And it’s certainly not going to make you popular with people who actually end up visiting your site. You can’t be wooden and unnatural in your language use.”

One Big Takeaway: Keywords are evolving from very specific words and short phrases into longer queries. It’s important to consider the intent of long-tail keywords as well as the topic areas keywords fall into.

Episode 5: Brands, Media, and Content Marketing

Guest: Content Marketing Institute Founder Joe Pulizzi

From Joe: “You don’t have to throw up your content everywhere. Simple is more effective today.”

One Big Takeaway: To build an audience, start simple: one type of content, one platform, consistent delivery.

Episode 6: Personal Branding and Killing Mediocre Content

Guest: MarketingProfs CCO Ann Handley

From Ann: “Writing is really just thinking. And writing is communicating. If you have a hard time writing, maybe you haven’t thought through what you’re trying to say first, and figured out a mode to communicate that.”

One Big Takeaway: When building a personal brand, Ann believes the content comes first and the brand develops naturally from audience interaction with the content. If you try to build the brand first, you risk turning people off because you’re not adding value.

Episode 7: Heavy Metal and Healthy Habits

Guest: Owner Media Group CEO Chris Brogan

From Chris: “It’s okay to be a weirdo. Just find the weirdos who like what you like.”

One Big Takeaway: Find an audience that is the right fit for you. That means taking strong, specific stances that might drive the wrong audience away. If you’re appealing to everyone, odds are you aren’t reaching anyone.

Episode 8: Experiential Marketing

Guest: Altimeter Group Principal Analyst Brian Solis

From Brian: “An experience isn’t just one thing, but we talk about it like it is. Whether it’s customer service, or the coolest viral video, the coolest infographic, the best website…those are all bits and pieces of it. But in order to have a magical experience, it has to be absolutely designed.”

One Big Takeaway: B2B marketers can find success in experiential marketing by designing an experience for the “ultimate customer,” their clients’ end users.

Episode 9: Global Content Marketing

Guest: LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Senior Content Marketing Manager Megan Golden

From Megan: “It takes a village to create a content strategy…demand gen and content marketing are like peanut butter and jelly.”

One Big Takeaway: Global markets might have potential channels that aren’t on a U.S. marketer’s radar. For example, WeChat is a huge channel for LinkedIn in China, while it hasn’t really made an impact here.

Episode 10: Trade Show Marketing

Guest: Spark Media Solutions Owner David Spark

From David: “You are fighting time at a trade show. Every moment counts.”

One Big Takeaway: You can close the last three feet between your booth and the thoroughfare by engaging people in conversation. David recommends, “What’s the most interesting thing you have seen at the show so far?” as a go-to conversation starter. That question expresses interest on your part, turns the conversation toward the person you’re trying to engage, and invites a discussion.

I had a blast producing these ten episodes, and genuinely hope you found them as valuable as I did. No matter how sophisticated my marketing gets, I find I can always learn something from my podcast guests. Thanks for listening, and make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a minute of Season Three!