10 Key Things We Learned from ‘Beyond Marketing’
More than 1200 listeners in 4 months and 19 episodes: that’s where our podcast Beyond Marketing currently stands. All those episodes are rich in content and it’s time for a rewind. In this article, I’ll sum up the 10 key learnings to remember from the marketing experts I interviewed in 2020.
Keep an eye on the right metrics
Our luck today is the following: we have unlimited access to information. A marketer can use many different channels to carry out a campaign. Those tools allow him to measure the campaign’s result from a lot of different angles.
The problem is that it becomes difficult to know with which information to focus in order to assess the real impact of a marketing campaign.
In our first podcast, recorded with Sabina Gishvarova and Denis Collette from Brand New Day Agency, we explain how important it is to focus on the right indicators and to avoid vanity metrics.
What it means is that when you create your campaign, you must know in advance what metrics you will use to measure your campaign’s results. Without this preparation, the risk is to solely focus on the metrics which flatter our ego without giving any real insights about the effectiveness of our marketing actions.
In the podcast, we’re taking the example of a company with a Facebook page. Typically, for a company that wants to grow its income through social media, focusing on the number of likes on its Facebook page has no value. The same logic applies if you want to use influencer marketing: the amount of followers an influencer has is not the first criteria to consider.
The engagement rate of your posts, the quality and the quantity of your content, and the return on investment that social media offers you are way more interesting metrics to use. Therefore, the first lesson to remember from Beyond Marketing is to use the right metrics in order to correctly assess the impact of our marketing efforts on the company we work for.
Use your data wisely
A false belief marketers can have is the need to always generate and capture new data. But the problem is not there. The problem is to use the data we already have correctly.
In episode 8 of Beyond Marketing, Jonathan Wuurman explains how much data can be recycled. The stake is to be able to use the data you have collected to create a highly personalized customer experience, one that favors the attachment a client can feel towards your brand.
In the podcast, we take the example of an e-commerce company dedicated to pets. Let’s imagine that this e-commerce knows the pets’ names of its customers. It will then be possible for the company to use that data to create content, for instance in an emailing campaign. All of which helps to create a personalized experience.
But data can also be used to develop new products and create a complete brand ecosystem. It’s what Gregory Noirfalise explains in episode 7 of Beyond Marketing: how Immoweb developed Homestamp et Immoweb Docs. Those are two new solutions that complete Immoweb’s initial value proposition.
Therefore, the second lesson to remember from Beyond Marketing is to use the data you already have at your disposal at its maximum potential instead of trying to capture new data.
The growing role of influencers
The third thing that comes up when listening to Beyond Marketing is the importance of influencers.
First of all, a growing number of industries work with influencers and incorporate them into their marketing strategies.
It’s the case for retail, food, and e-commerce. Kazidomi explains it in the second episode of our podcast. But we also find influencers in the luxury cars industry. In episode 3 of Beyond Marketing, David Favest explains how Lamborghini works with influencers to develop its brand image. It’s also the case for NGO’s such as the Special Olympics, which explains in episode 11 how football star Kevin De Bruyne helped them on one of their campaigns.
According to me, there are two trends that explain such development of influencers:
- Producing and promoting content is becoming more and more accessible. Anyone with a smartphone and WiFi can create content, talk on a topic, and become a thought leader. It’s the case for a growing number of individuals: 50 million people consider themselves as content creators and 29% of young Americans dream of becoming a YouTuber (when only 11% want to become an astronaut).
- The generation of young people starting to work (Millenials and Gen Z), and starting to have buying power, has grown with information more and more accessible as well as environmental problems threatening its future. This generation needs to be reassured. Influencers answer to this need: they act as a friend giving us a recommendation. They help us take our decisions more easily.
It’s a technological evolution coupled with the need of younger generations that push brands to work with influencers. However, there is a way to select the right influencers with which a brand should work. In episode 2 of Beyond Marketing, Kazidomi’s co-founder Alain Etienne explains what they consider when choosing an influencer:
- The link between your industry and the influencer: does it make sense that he or she talks about your brand?
- The content quality of the influencer: will your brand be put forward nicely?
- The engagement rate of the influencer: are his followers interacting with his content?
- The price of the influencer: what’s the budget to consider for a sponsored post?
Therefore, the third lesson to remember from Beyond Marketing is to think about the potential influencers represent for your brand and to select them using the right criteria.
Surrounding yourself with the right partners
The more digitalization evolves, the more marketing becomes complicated. The amount of expertise a company needs to master keeps growing. Influencer marketing, explained in the previous lesson, is only one example.
What we realize by listening to our podcast is that the marketing needs of companies are unstable and highly specialized. Brands have to be flexible regarding those needs. Considering this fact, Cédric Cauderlier explains in episode 4 that companies can work with agencies in order to be more flexible.
This allows them to modulate their team size according to the projects they need to carry out. Furthermore, working with agencies provides the benefits of accessing up-to-date skills. Indeed, agencies work full time on their specialty, they use it in many different contexts, for many different brands. This allows them to know what are the last trends of their expertise and to offer up-to-date skills to their clients.
In episode 15, Véronique Marichal confirms this aspect by sharing the fact that some marketing skills are so complex it’s almost impossible to use them without collaborating with an agency.
Therefore, the fourth lesson of Beyond Marketing is to surround yourself with the right partners and to look for the skills your company needs among specialized agencies.
The importance of adapting yourself to a changing environment
This lesson comes from episode 13, episode 15, and episode 16 of Beyond Marketing. Each of the companies interviewed in those 3 podcasts managed to be agile and to adapt very quickly to a changing environment.
In episode 16, Benoît Berghmans explains how his creative agency, La Superboite, had to change its name and have a complete rebranding following a tweet posted by Elon Musk. At the time, La Superboite had a different name and worked on a restaurant’s menu presentation. It happens that Elon Musk had dinner in that restaurant and liked the menu’s design. He shared it on Twitter:
Benoît’s team reacted and said it was their creation. A design from their agency, which was called “Ohmygod” back then. The problem is that another company had already protected this name and the brand. Benoît and his team had to completely modify their branding and find another name.
It’s a rebranding example, but you can also get inspiration from Delhaize and Fnac. In episode 13, Aude Mayence explains how Delhaize managed to create a partnership with Décathlon in just a couple of days, despite the sanitary crisis. In episode 15, Véronique Marichal explains how Fnac set up its Click & Collect, and managed all the logistic constraints, in a very short time.
These are examples of companies that can be flexible, and in this exercise, working with an external partner can make the difference.
Therefore, the fifth lesson from Beyond Marketing is to be agile in order to adopt the right marketing strategies, despite a changing environment.
Adopt a cross-department marketing strategy
Indeed, to create impactful messages, it’s necessary to know your company from all angles. It’s necessary to know:
- The benefits of your product
- The different clients to target and therefore channels to use
- The main objections of your clients
- The vision of the company to create a great storytelling experience
In order to know all those elements, a marketer needs to have exchanges with the product team, the sales team, as well as the management team. Without that, it’s impossible to do relevant marketing and the means you’ll use will have little impact.
In episode 3, David Favest explains how he led a marketing team to improve the STIB brand image, before becoming Lamborghini General Manager at D’Ieteren Auto. It was far from being easy, but he managed to do it by taking the time to talk with all the different departments of the STIB in order to create an effective marketing strategy.
In episode 12, Véronique Vergeynst explains how they completely modified Brussels Airport’s positioning when she was leading their corporate marketing department. Her team defined a new positioning strategy for the airport and they had to make sure it was going to be understood and applied correctly by all the people working there. It’s clear that without a cross-departmental strategy, it would have been impossible to successfully put in place this new positioning.
Therefore, the sixth lesson to remember from Beyond Marketing is to adopt a cross-departmental approach to make your marketing more impactful.
Inject meaning into your marketing and know your brand’s history
If there is a key branding element that’s coming out of the podcast, it’s how important it is to know your brand’s ‘why’. Whether it is in episode 9 or episode 14 of Beyond Marketing, we realize how much brands that are conscious of their why and their history can do marketing with much more strength.
In episode 9, Nathalie Erdmanis explains how AG Insurance has been helping Belgians in their everyday life for more than 200 years and how it’s visible in their marketing. Whether it is in their visual identity, in their advertisements, or their vocabulary, everything shows that AG Insurance is there to help its clients manage their everyday problems. Where this brand is particularly strong, it’s that it manages to make its marketing evolve according to the global context in order to stay relevant. And it’s working: in 2019 and 2020, AG Insurance won the Best Brand Award twice in a row and is part of the top 10 most valuable Belgian brands.
In episode 14, Alain Mayne explains the importance of knowing your brand’s history to understand your marketing and make it more impactful. In the podcast, we take the example of Delhaize, which thought that its tone of voice was too serious. Whether it was in their content or their copywriting, the tone was always educational. It wanted to educate the client. What we realise by studying this brand is that it was founded by a historian, and it influenced the way the brand was talking for a very long time.
Therefore, the seventh lesson to remember from Beyond Marketing consists in always knowing the why and history of your brand in order to create an impactful marketing strategy.
The necessity to develop your creativity
The eighth thing coming out of the podcast is the importance of creativity, no matter the marketing campaign. It’s creativity that will allow you to be different from competitors and to touch your customers in a way they’ll remember you. Creativity allows us to do more with less.
Two episodes of Beyond Marketing prove that.
In episode 6, Simon Lejeune explains how they used creativity at Hopper (the most downloaded travel mobile app in North America) in their Facebook Ads campaign.
Basically, pushing ads on Facebook is becoming so simple that anyone can start advertising on this platform. The only way to be different and perform is to create innovative visuals coupled with an extremely well-written copy. In the podcast, Simon Lejeune explains that Hopper’s strategy was to test many different creatives, to then see which ones had the best conversion rates.
In episode 11, Zehra Sayin explains how creativity helped Special Olympics to do marketing campaigns with very high returns on investment without a lot of budget. It’s often the case for NGO’s: they don’t have a lot of resources to give to marketing, which forces them to do a lot with little means. That’s where creativity has a role to play. In the podcast, Zehra Sayin explains how they got a 1900% ROI on a campaign, how they worked with football star Kevin De Bruyne, and how they convinced Gillette to sponsor them.
Therefore, the eighth lesson to remember from Beyond Marketing is to develop your creativity in order to make your marketing campaigns successful.
Long term vision and smart content creation
The ninth element coming out of Beyond Marketing is the importance of creating intelligent content that has a real added value for your clients and your leads.
In episode 10, Matthieu Stefani explains how his digital agency, CosaVostra, produces qualitative and thorough content. We are convinced that brands that produce great content will have, in the long term, a stronger image than their competitors. In the case of CosaVostra, the creation of their podcast really changed everything in terms of lead generation and business opportunities.
Of course, adopting a content strategy doesn’t happen overnight. There are a lot of points to consider:
- Which topics to address
- Which formats to use
- Choosing the platforms where your content should be promoted
Therefore, the ninth lesson to remember from Beyond Marketing is to adopt a content strategy built for the long term that aims to bring a real added value to your customers.
Recycle your content and your marketing efforts
The last lesson concerns Beyond Marketing as a whole. Since we created this podcast in September 2020, we’ve recycled its content in different ways:
- LinkedIn posts
- Blog articles
This strategy allows us to capitalize on our podcast but also to generate more visibility and to be on multiple channels at the same time. This means that every podcast we published in 2020 generated roughly 100 listens each on Spotify, but that’s without considering:
- The other podcast platforms such as Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, etc.
- The reach of our LinkedIn posts
- The people reading our blog posts based on the podcast
Therefore, the tenth lesson to remember from Beyond Marketing is to recycle your content to maximize your visibility and have a better ROI on your content production.
In this article, I wanted to sum up the 10 main lessons that got out of the 16 first episodes of Beyond Marketing. However, each individual will keep different learnings from the podcast, depending on their experience and knowledge in marketing.
Moreover, you should know that Beyond Marketing still has a lot of great days to come. New episodes have already been published. For example, Carrefour explains in episode 17 how they use WhatsApp and Messenger in their marketing strategy.
This episode is very interesting, and you can access it here.