The Sophisticated Marketer’s Podcast: Humor and B2B Marketing with Tim Washer

June 13, 2016

“I’m funny how? I mean, I’m funny like a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh? What do you mean funny? Funny how? How am I funny?” –Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci), Goodfellas

B2B marketing is serious business. The middle of a long sales cycle for a pricey solution might seem like exactly the wrong place to inject a little levity. But my guest on the podcast this week has cracked the code for humor in B2B. He’s Cisco Systems Creative Director Tim Washer.

Tim has enjoyed a long and successful career as a comedy writer, from Saturday Night Live to Stephen Colbert to This Week Tonight with John Oliver. When he combines his comedy chops with marketing savvy, the man’s an unstoppable machine. His Fast Innovation and the Slow Waiter manages to spin comedy gold out of networking case studies—not the most hilarious raw material imaginable.

Tim also dropped one of my favorite quotes from Content Marketing World last year: “For those of you that think comedy won’t work for your brand, ask yourself: Will it work for your customers?” Obviously, sometimes the answer is still “no,” but it’s a question worth asking. And either way, Tim shows how to apply the principles of comedy to make your marketing more memorable, even if it’s not a laugh riot.

Join Tim and me as we talk getting corporate buy-in for more creative marketing, the importance of improv, and the relative merits of Phil Collins.

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Listen in on the Conversation as Tim and I Discuss:

Should B2B Marketers Take Improv Classes? Tim thinks everyone, but especially marketers, can learn from improv. He outlines the benefits so convincingly you might end up at your local comedy open mic before you know what hit you.

Can You Teach Comedy? Are some people naturally funny, and if you don’t have it, you don’t have it? Tim offers hope for those of us still developing the ability to entertain.

How Do You Get Buy-In for a Creative B2B Campaign? Tim details the plan of attack for getting your creative idea through the red tape, while avoiding the dreaded committee where creativity goes to die.

Can You Fake Authenticity? Tim talks about his experiments with sharing more of his personal life on the professional speaking circuit, and warns against simulated authenticity.

Tim is the funniest man in B2B marketing. To his credit, he’s actively trying to train people to challenge that title. He definitely inspires me to keep adding personality to my marketing efforts—and he just might get me into an improv class one of these days.

You can catch up with Tim at timwasher.com, and follow him @timwasher on Twitter.

Next up: London calling! This was my last podcast to be recorded on American soil for a while, but I’ll make sure the hits keep coming from the UK.

Thank you all for listening!

Catch up on all the previous episodes here.

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