Hello everyone, thanks for joining me for episode 8 of the first season of the Marketing Mindset Club podcast. And here we are, in the last episode of the season. I can’t believe it’s gone so quickly. I hope you’ve found the things we’ve discussed this season useful, I know it’s been a big learning curve for me. I’ve really enjoyed bringing you this content and producing the show.
Even though the season is over, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to hear from me for months. Quite the opposite in fact. I’ve got a few bonus episodes planned during August and then we’ll be back with season 2 in September. If you listened to last week’s episode, you’ll know there’s also the Marketing Mindset Club August challenge. I’ll tell you more about how you can get involved at the end of this episode and you’ll be able to keep up on Instagram.
Now, onto the show. If you’re new here, this is how it’s gonna go. Each episode is split into three bits:
The digital news bit and what matters about the top stories
The learning bit where I’ll deep dive on a tool, technique or strategy you can use
And the real-life lessons bit
So let’s get going.
The digital news bit
The Government is tipped to announce a ban on junk food advertising before the 9 pm watershed. It’s part of the prime minister’s plan to tackle obesity following his COVID-19 scare and the obesity comorbidity factor. According to the BBC, it’s likely to include other measures such as calorie labels on restaurant meals and more prominent labelling on high salt and sugar foods. This could include yoghurts, chocolate and even mayonnaise so there are some big brands there that could find themselves affected. The news was confirmed and it also means an end to buy-one-get-one-free on unhealthy foods. Naturally, the ad industry has reacted with horror. MarketingWeek put the estimate ad revenue loss at around £200m, which is undeniably a huge chunk of business. But I can’t help but feel that revenue won’t be lost, it’ll be bought up by other businesses. I also think it’s probably a good thing for the overall health of the nation. This is all part of a wider initiative by Public Health England to cut obesity in this country - which in turn will support the NHS, especially if we end up with a second spike of COVID-19 this year.
This week, Garmin had a major outage, which was reportedly due to a massive cyberattack. The hackers were reportedly demanding $10million to release the systems back to Garmin, although there’s no indication data was stolen at this point. Obviously hugely embarrassing for Garmin, and deeply frustrating for Garmin Connect users. Garmin Connect is the product affected, but there were some reports that one of their aviation products was also affected - so this goes a bit deeper than anyone exercising being able to record their activity. As of today, 28th July, it seems that the service is getting back to normal, but I think there’s a huge communications job to do here. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see swathes of Garmin customers switch brands as they lose trust in the organisation. So, if I was in their marketing team, I’d be planning a major engagement activity to rebuild trust and reassure new customers.
If you think back to the emissions scandal that Volkswagon created in 2015 when they admitted to manipulating 11million vehicles worldwide in order to pass emissions tests. There’s still a legal case here in the UK, but in the US VW already pleaded guilty and has paid over $4billion to owners. The cost to the organisation is up to an estimated $21bn. So they have a job to do to re-engage with their audience. Their first brand campaign launched in Jan 2016, full of nostalgia for the role of the VW in the family, but according to the figures, sales of VW passenger cars haven’t recovered to pre-dieselgate levels. So, it’ll be interesting to see if Garmin can recover, not that they have deliberately deceived their customers, but there’s still a trust issue to overcome.
This made me think about trust and loyalty. It’s so difficult to cultivate in a following but it’s broken in one false move. The moment you try to get one up on your audience with any shady or outright dishonest activity, your followers will find out. So my advice is to always play it straight. If you’re planning anything that you wouldn’t be happy explaining to your customers, just don’t do it! We’re all about creating value in this club, not trying to use marketing to coerce or cover-up.
There’s been a disturbing increase in diet ads on TikTok recently. Intermittent fasting has been labelled a diet-fad of recent times and there’s a growing prevalence of ads promoting this weight loss approach. For those predisposed towards irregular eating habits, or who have an eating disorder, this is particularly worrying. One of the stats quoted in the Rolling Stone article on this said “An estimated five to 10% of people with anorexia nervosa, for instance, will die within 10 years of onset of symptoms, while only 30 to 40% of people will ever recover.” TikTok’s community guidelines specifically rules out pro-anorexia content, but intermittent fasting apparently falls into a grey area. And it’s not just the ads, it’s the users making content who are following this kind of eating routine. This worries me so much, especially as TikTok is the most downloaded social media app in the UK right now. Is this sort of content promoting a positive body image or a healthy relationship with food? No, I don’t think so. So, what do you do if you’re working for a company that promotes diets or eating plans? I think the only way to approach it is in a responsible way. Cultivate a following that recognises the need for healthy eating, positive body image and seeks to dispel misinformation. Be that voice that adds value to users - it’ll be much more sustainable for both the business and its followers in the long run.
Fake news and disinformation have been hot topics in the mainstream media for many months now. Especially in relation to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter who are taking two very different stances on false information. If you go back over episode 5 of this season, we discussed the Facebook ad boycott over their supposed lack of response to tackling hate speech and racism on the platform. So, if you’re in a position to do some social good and tackle any sphere of misinformation, then I think you should. After all, trust can only be earned, not bought. I think it’s a core part of delivering value - because if you don’t trust the source, then there’s only suspicion and doubt at the end of the message.
Interestingly, I participated in a survey being conducted by Marketing Week about the marketing mindset so it’ll be interesting to see the results when that comes out. It’s a concept that fascinates me, which is why I decided on the name of the podcast as the Marketing Mindset Club.
The learning bit
Moving on, today on the learning bit I want to talk about Google’s Data Studio. It’s a free-to-use data visualisation platform created by Google.
If you’ve already started to tune out because you hate the thought of dealing with data, spreadsheets or you think you’re no good at numerical analysis - hold on. Because Data Studio is easier to use than you think and makes getting useful insights about your marketing performance relatively simple. As marketers who are all about delivering value and return on investment, we need to know how our marketing activities are performing. We can’t optimise for what we can’t measure and we can’t draw insights if we can’t visualise our data in a way that makes it clear to see trends and patterns.
Data Studio allows you to hook up different data sources such as Google Analytics, Google Sheets, Google Ads, plus CSV files and MySQL. You can create charts of all your key metrics in one place without any need for manual analysis. There are different forms of charts, tables and graphics that can show your data in the way that answers your questions about performance. It’s also cloud-based as you would expect from Google, so it’s ideal for collaboration with multiple team members located anywhere.
So, to give you a bit of background about why now for Data Studio. I’ve been playing around with it for over a year but I’ve never really explored its full potential. This week I completed the Introduction to Data Studio course that Google provide for free and read a bunch of blogs to get more info about some of its capabilities. Here are 8 things I learned about Data Studio, and I’ll link to any of the posts I mention in the show notes on MarketingMindset.club.
1 - Any data you have in any Google platform can be connected in just a few clicks. There’s no complicated connection process, no hoops to jump through - if you’re logged in to your Google account where you have all the accesses to the accounts you want to connect, it’s really easy. So all the data you have in Google Ads and Google Analytics can be linked almost instantly.
2 - You can add fields to your data set without changing the original data. Data Studio is really clever in this respect. So when you get your data into the platform from the original data set, Data Studio sets up what’s called a data source. It’s a representation of the original data set. It means you can create sum, average or any other type of calculation on numerical data and it won’t affect your original data.
3 - There are a ton of data connectors created by partners, 226 in fact. But Facebook haven’t yet made one so you can’t automatically sync up data from the Facebook ads platform with Data Studio. So if Facebook or Instagram ads are part of your strategy, and you’re trying to create a report where you’re bringing together all your ad metrics to demonstrate the overall return on ad spend or ROAS, you’ll need a third-party connector like Supermetrics.
4 - If you don’t feel confident creating your own report layout, you can use a template to get you started. I’ve always started with the blank canvas and built reports from scratch but there is a whole gallery of Google-created and community-created templates. So it’s easy to take a layout you like and can tweak to get your visualisation up and running really quickly.
5 - You can add static images at a report level, like your company logo, so it appears automatically on all pages in the report. You can also customise fonts and colours so you can get as nifty with the branding as you like. This might seem like a really obvious thing to offer, but it’s not very common in many of the third party reporting platforms I’ve used. Usually, the most you’ll get is the chance to upload a logo but there’s no opportunity to create backgrounds, change colours and make it unique. So I really enjoy Data Studio for that level of customisation.
6 - It has the opportunity to offer in-report controls so your report is never static. The one I use the most is the date range control. You can set the duration to auto so that every time the report loads, it shows your preferred default date range but it also offers the user the opportunity to show data for a time range they are interested in. It’s a really useful feature that can remove the need for stakeholders to ask you for alternative versions of your report for different periods, which can turn into a manual, repetitive task. This way, they have all the insights they want at their fingertips.
7 - You can do blended data reporting. It can join data from two sources as long as there is one point of commonality between them. This is called a data key. It just means that both data sources have the same field in them. I’m only just starting to get my head around it, but it means you can enhance your primary data with data from the secondary source. This could mean that you build a complete picture of a user journey between your website and your app using Google Analytics and your own platform data - as long as there is a key that’s consistent between them. That could be a session ID or a user ID - any form of unique identifier that’s consistent in both data sources. But one word of caution - there’s lots to consider when blending two data sources. For instance, if you pick multiple keys, you will exclude any records that don’t contain both keys - so if you try to get a total number of interactions from this, it may be inaccurate. There’s lots more to dive into around blended data so if you’re interested, I suggest reading up on it and trying it out for yourself.
8 - You can automate delivery of your reports by email, perfect for reducing your reporting workload. You can customise the text you want to include in the email, the timing and the frequency. The report is delivered in the body of the email as well as with a PDF attachment and link to the live dashboard. Don’t forget though, if your audience aren’t likely to be logged in and have the correct credentials to view the data in the dashboard, you need to select ‘owners credentials’ for sharing. Otherwise, the report will be blank. You can test this by sending it to yourself and viewing it in a browser where you’re not logged in.
So the next time you trying to understand what your data means, how your last marketing campaign went and what outcomes you’ve created, try visualising it in Data Studio. As with all new tools, there’s a learning curve to go through but I’m finding it very worthwhile.
The real-life lessons bit
This week’s real-life lesson is courtesy of a piece I read in MarketingWeek and it was about a shift towards short-term tactics in B2B marketing. A survey recently conducted by the partner on the article showed that the number of B2B marketings devoting more than 60% of their budget to long term tactics had reduced from 21% to just 9%. This really surprised me. We know that sales cycles in B2B are notoriously complex, often lengthy and will include more stakeholders than many B2C purchases.
There should always be a mix of long term awareness tactics vs short term activation tactics - but the shift to short-termism is what caught my attention. Have we become a community of B2B marketers driven by short term gains or pressured by an impatient c-suite? Hard to say - but can you imagine trying to put a business case together for a 12-month plus strategy? Even if you could, who would approve it in this market?
It’s a challenge that I’m sure many of us in B2B struggle with. But the article gave two seemingly obvious tactics to try to meet the short-term needs of the business without embarking on short term acquisition tactics.
1- pipeline acceleration - this is just a fancy term for pushing prospects down the funnel to the point of conversion.
2- conversion - getting people over the line into a confirmed sale.
So the question I have for you, how you can provide value to those people who have expressed an interest but aren’t yet ready to commit? I suggest there are three things to think about.
1 - signposting resources - can you share links to content (preferably your own) that explains more about how your product solves the issues your customers have
2 - personalised service - you can bet there’s someone out there with a cheaper, faster or supposedly better service or product than yours, but you can win with good service. How often does a knowledgeable representative contact a prospect, not with the aim of selling, but with the aim of helping them make their decision. Genuine advice and guidance will always be appreciated.
3 - aftercare - you can differentiate your service with the aftercare and support you offer. Do you have a knowledge base, a live chat or support agents on hand to help? What’s your commitment to helping them get best value from their purchase? This comes into your service proposition, but by being open about what’s available from your team and who will be providing that service will certainly help with their decision-making.
And that us brings us to the end of the episode and the season.
But it’s not quite over. For anyone who wants to join me on a journey to put some energy back in and to readdress the list of priorities - I have a challenge for us. For the month of August, I am committing to the following:
Get at least 8 hours of sleep a night
Turn all screens off 1 hour before bed
Drink 2L of water every day
Social-media free 1 day a week
Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day
Write down 3 things I’m grateful for each day
Start journaling every day
The reason that I’ve picked this list is that it’s a collection of activities that I’ve seen shared many many times in the self-care space. By no means is it an exhaustive list of how to take care of yourself, but I can confidently say I rarely do more than 1 of these in any one day. And I know I need to shift my energy, so this is where I plan to start.
I’m going to vlog throughout the month and you can keep up with that on Instagram @MarketingMindsetClub. If you want to do this challenge with me, please let me know. Share your profile with me, let me know where you’ll be posting about it because I’m really keen to learn from you too.
And that’s all I have for you this week. Thank you so much for being part of the Marketing Mindset Club. I’m so glad you tuned in! Thank you to everyone who has left a review so far, I can’t tell you how appreciated you are and how thankful I am for your support.
If you haven’t yet subscribed or left a review, please consider doing so if you’re getting value from the show - it really helps me out in my goal to grow this club. I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments and questions so head over to Instagram @MarketingMindsetClub and I’ll see you next time.