The Get the Message Podcast
Feb. 28, 2023

Message Points: Who is the Consumer and What is the ROI?

Message Points: Who is the Consumer and What is the ROI?

Is it fair to ask what to expect from ROI when trying something new? What if we don't ask that question about other marketing strategies? CEO Chris Walker has some answers. If you could develop marketing content around consumer insights, what...

Is it fair to ask what to expect from ROI when trying something new? What if we don't ask that question about other marketing strategies? CEO Chris Walker has some answers. If you could develop marketing content around consumer insights, what would that look like? GWI shares examples in the form of coffee, clothes and cars. Have you ever heard of revenue LEAKING? Sounds bad, right? B2B Expert Vladimir Blagojević explains what causes it and how to stop it.

Chris Walker on Questions about ROI
GWI on Consumer Insight-Driven Campaigns
Vladimir Blagojević on How B2B Marketing Leaks Revenue



Hello and thanks for joining me for your Message Points. This is the podcast that gets released in between the discussion shows, and it's here to provide you with additional insights, ideas and pointers on all things communication. So let's get to our first point. So on LinkedIn, Chris Walker, the CEO of Refine Labs, says this. But but, but Chris, what's the ROI of a podcast of posting on LinkedIn, of Instagram ads? He says, I get this question from executives a lot, and here's what I say.


Before we talk about the ROI of a podcast, let's talk about the ROI of things we do right now. Let's talk about the ROI of the $3 million a year we spend on trade shows. Let's talk about the ROI spent on the $500,000 a year we spend on content syndication to collect cheap leads that don't close. Let's talk about the ROI of the $2 million a year we spend on Google paid search ads to drive e-book downloads.


We do all these things because the executives have accepted that they need trade shows and content syndication and Google ads regardless of the ROI. They accept it as a fixed cost and never scrutinize the ROI again. So before we talk about the ROI of a podcast, let's look at all the things we're doing in marketing and see if there's a good ROI on anything we're doing. Then once we level set and identify all the things that clearly aren't working, maybe it gives us more confidence to try something new.


Maybe it's time to stop scrutinizing the ROI of new marketing tactics and instead quantify how bad the ROI is on the things that are happening right now. I mean, is there really anything that needs to be said there? I mean, he really could say that kind of gets to the meat of so much of what we're talking about right now. You know what else this goes to? I've talked a little bit about how we get so comfortable with things in marketing. Usually things that are automated are just things we've been doing for a really long time that we just never think twice about them.


And when new things come up that we haven't tried before, like a lot of the things we talk about on the show when it comes to humanized communication and not constantly selling. In closing, I think this fits the bill, doesn't it? Because essentially what Chris is talking about here is we've just gotten so comfortable with the fact that we do these things and we just kind of accept, you know, maybe there'll be something there and maybe there won't. And those things may not even be performing that well. But we don't even care to look at it the same way that we're looking at something we haven't even tried.


When you really look at the statistics, when you really look at the things that podcasts and video marketing are doing for companies all over the place, the ones that choose to try it, the ones who choose to optimize it, the ones who choose to humanize it. I mean, imagine what you're missing out on. You'll never know if the person in front of you may maybe your. You know, when I talk about the person in front of you, I'm talking about the you know, maybe you're in the position of the marketing decision maker and someone in front of you is saying, you know, how about we try a podcast and then the responses, well, what what's the ROI going to be on that? And that is a challenging thing to respond with, isn't it? I mean, one of the things that we tell podcasters that are just going in on their own, they're not necessarily doing it for a business or company.


And if they're asking, you know, well, how can I monetize this? A lot of times the answer starts with, well, first off, don't be getting into it for that.


And part of the reason for that isn't just because, you know, it can be a challenge, but it's also to keep you in the right mindset. Another thing that we've talked about on this show before, you know, how just how you're thinking about something can impact how well you do it. If you decide you're going to go into podcasting because you want to make money, well then that's probably going to show on the quality of content because that's what you're focused on. Whereas if you're focused on providing value, if you're focused on having a conversation with your listener, if you're focused on something that you naturally are passionate about and that's going to come through, then all these other things typically come into play.


And it's okay if you try new things or adjust along the way. That's typical and really that's probably a good thing that you're doing. And then when you're making that ROI or you're making that income or you're growing, you think about that stuff you are obsessing over maybe it's ROI, maybe it's how big you're going to grow or how many listeners you're going to have. And all of a sudden this stuff is growing for you because you tried it, you optimized it, you're making it work, you're providing value in the world and it just came and you're probably thinking at that point, Wow, I am so glad I didn't stop myself because I couldn't answer where the ROI was going to come from or what it was going to be.


I love this. I mean, we could spend a whole show on this concept, especially if we wanted to dive deep into why people are so willing to stick to old stuff that probably isn't working as well as it used to, if working at all anymore and so afraid to try something new. And when we say try something new, it's not just content. It's also how we measure. Because that's another thing Chris talks about a lot because he points out some of that old attribution software isn't going to be able to tell you the things you really need to know today.


It was great back in the day, but there are so many other things we can measure right now, and a lot of that deals with how consumers are behaving. That's why I spend so much time on the show and in my work talking about consumer behavior, because you have to know that in order to know how to communicate with them or know why, you have to communicate in a certain way. That is kind of the theme of the show today. Because I've got some examples of what it means to approach your content after really getting to know your consumer.


So let's get to the next point.


GW I, in fact, Roger Horbury of GW II has a great article that came out on February 9th, and it's called The Power of Truth seven Killer Ad Campaigns Driven by Consumer Insights. And they've got seven examples here or Roger does. And I'm going to go over the first three real quick here for you and read kind of how Roger breaks this down. The first one he talks about is a campaign from the Automobile Association AA in the UK.


That's how they should brand themselves the AA in the UK. He says they wanted to reverse a long term decline in revenue and improve their customer acquisition and retention. That sounds like just about everybody today, doesn't it, along with employee retention. Anyway, again, another podcast. He says So far so normal. Pretty much every business would say yes to something similar. There you go. But the AA then decided to take a brave step and the result worried them.


They set up a new team to research the longer term prospects. The consumer insights they uncovered painted a worrying picture of market share and membership in decline. And the reason was simple enough. He says their key insight showed a toxic combination of increased price sensitivity and reduced relevance was weakening their brand. So what did they do? They built on that and performed a 180 degree turnaround, moving from a rational, efficiency focused message to far more emotional branding.


Out went the functional messages about their recovery service and in came something altogether softer and more inspirational about the joy of happy motoring summarized by the line. Love that feeling. And he's got an ad here that's pretty clever. It's basically this dog that is sitting at home and clearly wants to be outside, if not sticking his head out the car, letting the wind blow in his face. So the dog figures out a way to prop himself up on the couch, turn on the fan, and simulate the feeling of wind blowing in his face.


And it says, Love that feeling. So again, as opposed to talking about all the functional things the organization does for members, this is all about the things you love about driving and how they're in the middle of all of that with their members. And Roger says shifting from the rational to the emotional like this proved transformational for the AA, enabling them to actually raise prices, driving stable revenue growth, and delivering a profit of £2.23 for every £1 invested.


The point is, using the right data and the right way can lay the foundations for a longer term success. Emotional advertising is often data driven. It's only with deep and robust data and analytics that a business can have the confidence to adopt an emotional communications strategy. I mean, yeah, that makes sense, doesn't it? You got to kind of know what's going to trigger those emotions. Otherwise, you're going to fall flat just as if you were to stick with rational only messaging or corporate marketing sounding messaging.


The next example. Is from a magazine, a street magazine in the U.K. called The Big Issue. And it's focused on ending homelessness. And it's actually published on four continents. And they developed a campaign called Change Please. That had a simple mission, according to Roger. He says it's to encourage people to switch to the big issues. New change, please. Coffee brand as a first step to changing the world. Now, how did they come up with this? Roger points out that while the magazine industry might be in poor shape, the £8 billion UK coffee industry is booming.


He said the team at the Big Issue came up with a startling consumer insight. While some may buy a magazine once a fortnight, they buy multiple coffees every week. Roger also points out people tend to pass a big issue vendor, a magazine vendor, as they line up for a major coffee chain. So the big issue team realize that bringing this simple fact to people's attention could challenge them to care about homelessness. And it worked. He said it drove a 5% year to year increase in sales that ultimately yielded a £1 million boost in revenues for the big issue.


He says more generally, it underlined a point that consumer insights and advertising can be the high octane fuel for effective lateral thinking. In this case, getting a magazine to launch a coffee brand and use that to leverage social change. I couldn't help but think about back when I was helping the Dallas Fort Worth, kind of North Texas, NPR affiliate totally revamped their on air fundraising campaigns. And one of the things that was very common in the messaging was, okay, so you use this service every day for free.


You know, you're listening to the radio station every day and you don't put any money into it, but you're going spend, you know, six, seven, $8 on coffee every day. And that adds up. So if the coffee means that to you, why doesn't public radio


if you listen to public radio where you are, I'm sure you've probably heard something like this. In fact, let me tell you this story. So I had a lot of success there. Completely revamped messaging, changed a lot of things on the content front. The drives went from dragging out and complaint calls to setting fundraising records and positive feedback, if you can believe it, from the public. And I'll never forget one of the things I did that was controversial. But, you know, you couldn't deny the impact it had. One of the things that I did, the station, as I tried to produce more content that directly referenced the station because some of the generic content that stations would get from NPR that would just say, support the station, you know, it was very non-personal because everybody listening knew it was generic.


But one person who could get away with that was Ira Glass. Because people just worshiped Ira. Ira's way of fundraising was impactful, just like a lot of stuff he does. It is the epitome of a broadcaster because I say this about podcasters, too, and why it's important for the host to be reading ads because they've already got that connection with the listener and the authority of the listener. So he created tons of content for stations to use that he produced and voiced, and he just started to do all kinds of these over time because he could no longer just personalize them for stations because the demand was so high for him to do that because he was such a good fundraiser.


His messages resonated. So he jumped on this concept of coffee and what they're willing to spend and how that applies to public radio. But how he did it and how this gets controversial is he used Howard Stern as an example. He created this piece where he played audio of Howard Stern's first day on air when he went to satellite and he was basically telling everybody why they should pay to hear him. And the way Howard was articulating this was the exact same way that fundraisers do on public radio.


And Iris point was, the difference is Howard's listeners are willing to pay.


He said, we could raise the money that Howard is now making to be on satellite radio. We would never have to have these annoying fundraising drives. That's not worthy. Controversy begins and ends because you think, you know, there's probably not a lot of public radio people that like the idea of Howard Stern being played on the airwaves. Because when Ira was talking about this, he played audio from Howard's show that first day. So he's talking with Robin and, you know, and everybody that's on in the studio that day and they're talking about what people are willing to pay for. They're like, they'll pay that for coffee every day.


You know, here in Los Angeles, they'll do, you know, or in Los Angeles, they'll do that. And then somebody says they'll spend that on cocaine.


And then Ira has a little fun with that. He comes back and he says, Yeah, you know what? What was that point? He said, I think it was Nina TOTENBERG or somebody else was just saying the other day, when you think of the amount of money you spend on cocaine every year,


and it was funny,


but of course, you know, it created some controversy or people calling saying, are you suggesting we're on cocaine? What are you saying? But it also got the phones to ring like crazy. Because it was just genius. And it was the perfect point. And it did make you reflect. Aside from when you were listening to our talk about cocaine and Ira making a joke about it, it was a really good point. And you listened to what Howard said. He said the same thing that public radio drives were saying. You know, when we talk about content that's, you know, repetitive, it was the same thing you hear probably no matter where you are, you've heard it.


He was saying, when you think about the quality of content you get on this station or on this show, you got a figure that's worth $3, you know, a day or $3 a week or whatever it was. It was the exact same messaging and it was powerful. But yeah, Ira would occasionally also use that that coffee, you know, hey, we're going to buy coffee. You know, that's obviously worth something to you. And I remember because Ira also used to run this campaign where friends would call in their friends and family members would listen to public radio but not support them, and they would turn them in.


And then Ira would call them and ask them why they don't give. And he would sometimes say, Well, do you get coffee? And they'd go, Yeah, I know. How long does that coffee last? Oh, probably about 25 minutes. And how much did you spend on that? All about $7. Yeah. And how often are you doing that? So and so here we have a situation where they're saying, Hey, you're already standing in line for coffee. You already care because you bought this magazine before or there's any number of, you know, tie ins they can make. You know, why don't you also simultaneously do something for you and do something for the homeless and buy this coffee? It kind of ties into the concept of buying something, but also supporting a cause or making a difference, which you hear a lot of people really like, especially millennials and younger generations, loved the idea that they could have that kind of impact with a brand.


Which leads us to the third example that Roger points out here. Whirlpool. Wait till you see this whirlpool. And you may already know about this has a campaign called Care Counts. And one of the things that I like about this, you hear people say that it's a good idea for brands to tie something to a cause. I think one of the best ways you can do that is to tie it to something that everybody can get behind or that you would struggle to find people to go.


No, I'm against that. And it also ties to your business somehow. So Whirlpool has this video, and you'll see this in the article from CWI. And what Roger has here, where it shows the stats about the dropout rates in schools and when people drop out, when kids drop out, the impact that has on their lives, the negative impact it has on their lives. But then it also ties in one of the core reasons or one of the key reasons why kids may not decide to go to school, and that's because they can't clean their clothes.


One kid talks about, well, we do have a washer and dryer, but we couldn't afford the bill to pay our electricity, so we couldn't wash my clothes. And if I can't go to school with clean clothes, I don't want to go to school. I mean, that's that's not hard to imagine, not only from a self-esteem self-concept standpoint, what that does to, you know, your psychology that day, your mental health, that day. But, you know, kids can be cruel about that kind of thing, too. Or you have circumstances where they might not have a washer and dryer and they can't afford to go to a facility and, you know, or to a place that has them and pay constantly to wash their clothes.


So Whirlpool starts providing these washing machines to schools. I had no idea about this. Did you know about this? These kids can bring in bags of clothes and they can wash them at school. And Whirlpool provides the machines and it shows how this started really, really small. And it's grown. And they've got teachers in this ad to saying, I didn't think something like this would make that big a difference. But it is. And you had another teacher said that said, Yeah, once we started doing this, my attendance has been the most consistent it's ever been and high because kids can wash their clothes.


Here we have an organization and it ties obviously to their business. And so when you visit their website, you've got a care counts tab on their website. Here's what's kind of curious to me unless I just missed something. The main thing they want you to do when you land on the page is spread the word. You know, it might know immediately where your zip code is when you land on their page. It just wants you to spread the word. And I think part of what that means is see if you can get this in your schools, in your town or your area.


The only thing that I thought was kind of missing from this, again, unless I missed it, is it would be really cool to know that if you bought a washing machine from Whirlpool, you're helping them donate washing machines to these schools. And maybe you are. And like I said, I missed it, but it's a very simple page. That really just encourages you to spread the word. But more importantly, it shows an example of how a brand can ties a cause to their industry. And again, who's going to say, no, I don't want kids to have clean clothes.


No one's going to say that. It's a great example of how this can be done. And when we talk about being involved in your community, I mean, this is a business that's obviously not just in one town. It's it's all over the place. And they're having impact on kids in all kinds of communities all over the place. And something so simple. So I think that's a great way to, you know, share a very positive, impactful message and put action behind it. So I will have a link to this in the show notes for this episode, as always.


And you can see the other examples that Roger provided in this article. Finally.


You know.


Vladimir Blagojevich. I hope I'm saying that right. Vladmir is talking about beat and be marketing and leaking revenue. He says marketers like jumping on new trends like demand, Gen ABM and Tik tok without getting the full picture, nor why their programs are leaking revenue. That sounds bad, doesn't it? I heard someone say, I don't think I've heard anybody talk about we're leaking revenue. He says four ways B2B marketing is leaking revenue, and he outlines them on the slide show on this linked in post buyer education.


He said buyers are not educated about how you're different and worth buying. And he breaks down how that looks misaligned messaging, misaligned messaging, and adds content on the website and in sales presentations. Number three, transactional demand capture or focus only on transactional demand capture. And number four, broad targeting based on titles, geography and a bunch of industries and size. He says no marketing tactic, channel or funnel will help you plug the revenue leaks in your marketing program.


Marketers need to stop focusing on individual pieces and focus on the complete puzzle. And that includes messaging and positioning. So you'll see how this all breaks down. He closes it with what he is calling for funnel marketing. Which is a really interesting funnel graph that infuses a lot of elements to what I assume he is going to call the big picture and the complete puzzle. So there we have it on the show today. We've covered some really good perspective on things, giving us some inspiration, on looking at bigger pictures, what it means to understand our customers and consumers, and then what kind of impactful ways we can elevate our brands through specific types of content.


So everything I share today, as always, will be on the show notes on the podcast link at Scott Murray Online Speaking of spreading the word, if you are finding value in this podcast or of course, get the message. Spread the word. Let people know and feel free to reach out to me if you have some feedback on the show and share what it might be doing for you, or if there's something you want more or even less of on the show, or if I can help you or your organization in bigger ways. There's all kinds of information on the site and ways to contact me as well.


Thank you so much for listening to message points today, and I hope you will join us next week for our next episode. Our next discussion on Get the Message.