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Marketing Unplugged Season 2 | Lessons Learned

When Marketing Unplugged first launched, podcast host and Founder and President of Demand Spring, Mark Emond, had 3 simple goals for listeners: to make you smile, to inspire you, and to help you become a more confident Marketer. Each episode this past season has given just that. A story that cracks you up, a thought that makes you reflect, and tips to improve your work. In addition to these goals, our 14 guests have provided us with 6 intertwined lessons to help our marketing and our day-to-day life. Here’s what we’ve learned from season 2 of Marketing Unplugged:

1. The importance of finding a work-life balance

Challenge yourself and dedicate a bit of time for yourself each day. For InVision VP of Growth Marketing, Elle Woulfe, her “me-time” was running every day for 50 days. Even if you only have 10 free minutes, do something that makes YOU feel good.

Try to carve out time for your family and friends. Plannuh CEO, Peter Mahoney, is never really off the clock, as a CEO, but he looks for opportunities to spend regular time with his family, like eating dinner together even if it’s at an unusually late hour.

Switch off when you need to switch off. Experiment with not wearing your smartwatch all the time, like Brightcove CMO, Jennifer Griffin Smith, so that you can learn to limit your distractions and unplug when your work is done (or done enough).

2. The value of virtual communication skills

Get to the point quickly and communicate efficiently. Jeffrey Strategic Inc. founder, Gregor Jeffrey, articulates that in this virtual world, we’re not patient and we can quickly disengage from meetings. Be mindful of your audience’s attention levels to keep them engaged in what you have to say.  

Take pride in your Zoom square. Mark Jeffries, owner of Mark Jeffries Communications, suggests that how you present yourself in meetings represents your personal brand. Ensure your background is professional, your sound is clear, and your camera is on (as much as possible). 

3. Take a stand with your marketing

Find a cause that speaks to you and talk about it all the time. Women’s rights are extremely important for Immedis CMO, Tara O’Sullivan, so she made sure Immedis proudly promoted women in sports and she calls out gender biases when she sees them. 

Network with diverse groups to increase the candidate pool and broaden your perspectives. Christine Washburn, former Berkshire Grey CMO, shared that she has been to too many interviews where she was the only woman in the room. It’s time to work with more women and more people of colour! 

4. Different ways to make your brand stand out

Embrace your unique brand culture. When discussing brand, Bridge Growth Partners Senior Advisor, Dave Laverty, brings it all back to culture. Brand and culture need to be authentically one, and you need to live that authenticity every day.

Remember the purpose of what you’re doing. Duane Schulz, Principal Consultant of Schulz Advisor LLC, invites you to discover the purpose of your company and to allow that to drive your work. Working in tune with your brand’s purpose can make a lasting impact for your company.  

Embrace critical thinking. Global keynote speaker and best-selling author, Carla Johnson, is passionate about innovation and she believes that innovation is essential in doing business successfully. Begin to look at problems through a critical lens, and see how your current problems can turn into opportunities for your brand.

5. Shaking up bland marketing

Bring in a new set of eyes to transform your marketing. Ridiculous Media keynote speaker and comedian, Tim Washer, suggests that bringing in a new team is key to revitalizing your strategy. His personal recommendations are a comedy or improv writer to bring something fresh to your marketing strategies.

Take a risk. We’ve all heard this before, but it’s worth repeating until it truly sticks. Second City acting alums, Ashley Botting and James Gangl, are believers that everyone needs to find their voice. So take a risk, and show your company (and the world) who you really are. Some folks may not like it, but it’s uniquely you and that must be celebrated.

6. Incorporate AI in your marketing strategy (gradually and effectively)

Understand the application of AI. PathFactory co-founder, Nick Edouard, reassures us all, explaining that marketers don’t need to understand how AI actually works. Instead, focus on how the application of AI and data insights can help solve marketing problems.

Beware of the AI paradox. With new technologies emerging everyday, it’s important to not let them take over your marketing strategy. Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group, encourages us to continue to personalize content and to make marketing more human, even when incorporating AI.  

We’ve laughed and we’ve learned throughout season 2 of Marketing Unplugged, and for me, listening to each episode has been a great source of joy this past year. We can’t wait to start season 3 and meet more Marketing Leaders, all the while helping our listeners stand taller.

To revisit the episodes from season 2 of Marketing Unplugged, follow this link.

Alison Pratt

Alison is a full time paralegal student, a part time revenue marketer, and a recently certified Hatha Yoga teacher. She is passionate about making positive change in both her local and global community.

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