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Phonexa: What advice do you have for agencies/smaller clients who want to improve their digital marketing efforts?
Warren Pickett: It’s easy to want a simple solution, but we live in a fragmented world where everything from social media, word-of-mouth, programmatic display, and call marketing can work! It really comes down to test, test and test again. Email and affiliate offers still attract, targeting and re-targeting help engage, creating content that appeals to your customers matters. So you really do have to look at all facets of earned, owned, and paid media and find what works with your audience. There are so many more opportunities to reach customers and so many more platforms with which to do so, and figuring out where to place your bets can be the toughest challenge.
P: Let’s say you’re planning LeadsCon 2020 and money is no object. What would you want to do?
WP: So many choices, especially with the ‘money is no object’ part! People are busier than ever, so it’s hard to get them to break away from the office. It’d be great to do a couple of things, such as (a) bring LeadsCon to them, make it easier for them to get to the show in their own market and help them connect with their local peers or (b) really blow it out and take LeadsCon to a destination resort or, as we often joke about, on a cruise ship! This last one especially, where we could get people to really unplug from the day-to-day, ramp up the fun and really enjoy the industry connections they can make when we’re all together would be a blast.
It’d be great to have three big speakers – first, someone who is a well-known business executive (like a Richard Branson, Tim Cook, Elon Musk, or Sheryl Sandberg) to share his/her passion at a strategic level; second, someone who can share a digital road map of where consumers are trending (like Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers); and finally, someone to get into the weeds with practical application (like Rand Fishkin of Moz).
P: What do you like best about the whole LeadsCon experience and what could you do without?
WP: The best part of LeadsCon is bringing the community together. It’s a vibrant mix of professionals from a variety of verticals doing business and learning how to better serve their customers’ needs, that’s what makes it such a great show! What we could do without are groups that work the fringes of the event but don’t support the community or the industry through LeadsCon. There’s so much value by participating!
P: What apps do you use every day and could not live without?
WP: Facebook to stay connected to other marketers, social and event experts, Dropbox for file sharing, Concur for business travel, Apple’s Health app for getting a glimpse of how many steps I’m taking, Google to search and to stay on top of what’s happening around me, and of course my camera apps!
P: Is there something in the modern day marketing field that some of us aren’t getting?
WP: I think within performance marketing, we’ve been a little slow to adopt mobile and accept that everyone spends most of their time on their devices so your marketing must work on mobile. We’re also rallying the industry to better understand the regulatory scrutiny across the board and how agencies such as the CFPB and FTC continue to scrutinize marketing efforts, truth in advertising, and consumer privacy/protection.
P: What are the differences between the B2B and B2C marketing worlds? What is the first thing that comes to mind?
WP: At first glance, B2B is a longer buying cycle, usually for bigger-ticket items, so there is more time spent on lead nurturing and lead scoring than what you might find with more transactional B2C sales, that’s what jumps to mind.
P: What companies are doing the best marketing within the digital space? Who is doing great work in any medium?
WP: In digital, companies that are transparent, add value, have a solid user experience, and stand out from the pack are Amazon, Netflix, Google, Dropbox, Shutterfly, and Esurance. I also think those companies that influence, build demand and community, and generate a dedicated fan base are Apple, Tesla, and Uber.
P: Does it get easier or more difficult to produce LeadsCon?
WP: It’s a simple question on the surface, but underneath, it’s more complex. LeadsCon serves a fairly established market but there are always changes (new vertical markets, new M&A, new regulations), so it’s constantly evolving. Ultimately, we have a great team to manage the event and help the industry grow through LeadsCon.
P: What are some authors/writers you can never miss? What are some television shows you can never miss?
WP: I’m not sure I have any “never miss,” but a few I’ve enjoyed include Andy Weir (The Martian), David Sedaris, Jim Collins (Good to Great), and Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs). As far as TV shows go, I’ve watched The Simpsons since The Tracy Ullman show, so that has to be my guilty pleasure!