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Champagne Strategy

Champagne Strategy

By Hybrency
A 'red pill' business podcast deconstructing secrets behind world-class growth strategy - garnished with sprinklings of tech & Champagne. We interview experts from around the world who've bridged the gap between strategic planning, tactical execution and measurement. Most aren't famous, but they all tend to have battle scars to show, skin in the game and money in play. There's no commercial agenda here, so heeding their wisdom is priceless. Listen to an episode if you dare, but you've been warned. There's no going back. Take the blue pill - or press play
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Currently playing episode

Yaniv Bernstein - Operational Strategy - How getting the right things done, is a growth driver - S2 Ep2

Champagne Strategy

John James - Marketing that achieves bottom line growth vs cake decoration comms - An interview with Tim Beanland via the Experts Blueprint podcast - S3 Ep16
A green sofa that burns into your retinas.  The microphone reversed for once John James sprawls out as Tim extracts.  They talk: Viral cat videos on TikTok. Cake decoration. Channel envy. Visual bias. The principal agent problem and agency relationships. Marketing vs growth vs sales. Content strategies that work. Measurement and metrics. Strategy planning vs execution.  Together they go to lots of places. Tim Beanland interviews John James for the Experts Blueprint podcast - re-uploaded here for your convenience. If you've ever wanted to generate cold hard cash and profit from a business instead of pumping out ads and worrying about industry awards.  This is the episode for you.  Let them eat cake
August 02, 2022
Jesse Ouellette - Cold email secrets - generate high-margin revenue from world-class sales outreach - S3 Ep15
SEO is dead. Email is dead. Facebook is dead. It's all about inbound not outbound now. If I had a dollar for everyone saying something is dead, I'd be a rich man. Unfortunately, many will follow this advice based on the assumed credibility of the brand saying it. Most of the time, they are just positioning themselves as an alternative to the 'dead' thing, and pushing their own agenda. Smart operators don't fall for this hubris.  Cold email isn't dead. It just needs to be done properly. It has to be done in a particular way so your emails bypass junk filters which are as sophisticated as ever. Do you want to learn how to do this? Jesse Ouellette will teach you the basics in this episode.  In the current atmosphere of marketing budget crunches - email remains the cheapest, most scalable, most automated and most effective ways to generate revenue - especially for B2B companies. But, you've got to do it right. Get your copywriting right. Get your infrastructure right. And then build a test-learn-optimize system which supports the effort with constant oversight.  Just a warning though - it's best if you have some kind of technical understanding of how email works (even at a basic level) otherwise, portions of this interview may go over your head. So make sure you know what a domain is. Know what a junk mail filter is. Know what a server and host is...etc.  When you listen to the whole thing, you'll quickly discover, there are far more people who pretend to know how this works, but very few who actually do underneath.  Jesse is one of the latter. Interested in his craft? Go here
July 18, 2022
Adam Hamilton - Innovation & New Product Development (NPD) Strategy - S3 Ep14
"Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two--and only two--basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business." Peter Drucker.  Innovation is always seems to make the list of one of the top priorities for businesses. It's always something management talks about and employees want to attach themselves to, but more often than not, the brutal truth is that companies completely suck at it.  Therefore, innovation typically remains an elusive buzzword at best or at worst, a department which fumbles along like an awkward teenager on a first date trying to get some action. And after a failed attempt or two, they're forced to rely on M&A or side investments in startups (paying for action). It's a much surer bet.  How do you do it properly? How do you avoid failure? What skills do you need to do it well? Today we’re talking to an innovation consultant Adam Hamilton.  And while officially, this chat is about innovation and new product development, the takeaways are relevant and broad for nearly every senior thinker. Especially applicable to anyone in any role who is trying to make something new a success. And this is why having exposure to great innovation has such wide application to so many different roles.  Maybe you're thinking of starting a business. Or you're an early stage startup trying to get product traction. Or a later stage tech company trying to extend your product line. Maybe you work in product management or growth. Maybe you are launching a new campaign or Go to Market strategy. Maybe you are slowly realizing that real marketing is much, much more than just advertising promotions.  Innovation at its core, when done well, is about, as Adam puts it, 'product problem fit'. And in a larger sense, 'product-market fit'.  This is really, really hard.  But as you'll soon find out, learning this skill set is very multidisciplinary but quite essential if you want to understand how business really works at it's most fundamental level. And you won't get this knowledge from anyone in finance. Your CFO, finance director or accountant. You won't get it from your marketing agency who are more concerned with scalable, billable ad spend. You won't get it from executives who have never started a business or owned something right through to the outcome. You won't get it from management consultants who are so detached from the realities of true market forces. You will get it from speaking to real entrepreneurs and business owners. You will get it from really experienced, strategic marketing professionals who have been around the block. Adam is the latter.  He has worked for massive FMCG companies, small startups and government. He does brand strategy as well as general marketing and product strategy. He was an early adopter of the Ehrenberg Bass Institute's work. And he combines a lot of these principles, mixes it with his own direct experience, work in marketing comms, marketing, innovation, product, B2B, B2C, B2G and everything else in between. And he applies these for businesses of all size as a consultant. Underneath, most companies will admit that their innovation isn’t working very well and there's a couple of main reasons for that. So If you want to avoid innovation mistakes and learn how to do it properly. You need to listen to this episode. I think no matter sort of what skill level you're in, whether you want to start a business, whether you just want to do better work within your department - it doesn't matter. If you have any sort of exposure with the market and want to learn how to extract value from it - this episode is for you.
July 14, 2022
Ted Wright - WOM - Revenue success sans advertising - Word of Mouth marketing - S3 Ep13
Great products sell themselves and advertising is just the price you pay for a bad product right? Word of Mouth Marketing or WOM. Is it even a channel? Can you really grow without spending money on advertising? Can you enhance the natural rate of WOM? The TL:DR answer is Yes. Yes and Yes.  Right now, budgets are getting crimped and the heat is on for high-cash burn marketing channels. And there’s nothing higher cash-burn than advertising. So how do you grow a brand and sell your product without advertising?  Everyone knows the most powerful growth-driver is word-of-mouth. It’s especially critical for higher-involvement, more complex, higher priced products/services which require a lot of trust. There are lots of products and services which we don’t exactly purchase after seeing a few ads. Especially if your brand is less known.  For finance, invasive medical, real estate, estate planning, and accounting...this is especially the case.  WOM hits at the core of great marketing. In fact, it’s a great barometer of organic growth as well as the degree of product-market fit you have. But is it fixed? Is it just a the result of upstream activity? Can we use it as a growth channel? Is there even a playbook to make it work? Ted Wright, former Booze Allen consultant, ex-Delta Airlines global brand manager, Lecturer at Wharton, Founder and CEO of WOM marketing agency Fizz spills the beans.  In this episode, you’ll learn how important it is to go back to basics. Understand your core offering. Identify those who are most likely to recommend your product to others and then, put in place a program to enhance this natural process. But there’s 3 factors necessary before this holy grail of marketing will work. And there’s 3 product categories where it’s almost impossible. We also delve into a bit of attribution and channel strategy. Especially the problems with spending money on channels which claim to contribute to sales, but don’t. Something which can be easily overlooked when presented with a good-looking MMM report or a fancy digital attribution dashboard. In this episode, you'll find out: - how New Zealand sauvignon blanc became something from nothing. - which two simple Viagra ads originally catapulted the drug into popular culture - what the difference is between WOM and referrals, advocates, super fans and influencers - why getting your story right so critical - the difference between truth vs authenticity in your brand story - why brands who pay Kim Kardashian for social exposure almost never use her again - the parallels between WOM and Einstein's comments on dark matter - what rasterization is - why you should follow Steakumms on social media And finally, Find out why, word of mouth is this podcast’s most powerful growth channel. All these questions and more will be answered in this interview. Just remember to tell at least one other person about this episode or Ted is going to mark me down!
July 07, 2022
Edan Krolewicz - Data for customer acquisition - The light and the dark side of the global data industry - S3 Ep12
We've all heard of the data breach scandals. Cambridge Analytica. Hackers holding customer databases to ransom, demanding Bitcoin payments. Platforms sharing your data with other companies who you weren't even aware of. GDPR privacy crackdowns in Europe. Senate enquiries in the US. Customer lists being stolen by employees and used to start new businesses. Data was once described as 'the new oil. But, in a world awash with data, what data is valuable and what isn't.  So today, we're lifting the lid on the entire industry. Especially what all of this means for people who want to use data to acquire new customers and grow companies.  If you've ever worked in B2B you know, getting your data right is often make or break - especially in the early days. Sales needs high quality, enriched prospect lists. And marketing or growth want accurate audience data to warm these people up/ They want to preserve precious funds and not be forced to rely on the default, broad (and sometimes intentionally inaccurate) targeting parameters that all the ad platforms want you to use.  And the smaller your target market is, the more accurate these data need to be. Albeit, this is less of an issue for larger B2B brands and most B2C companies. But, regardless of whether you are B2B or B2C, large or small brand, it always pays to have high quality data instead of poor quality data.  So how do you go about doing this? Where do you get it from? What tools can you use? How can you be sure, in a rapidly shifting employee market, that these data are even accurate?  Today we talk with MIT grad data scientist and startup founder, Edan Krolewicz who has been working in this field his entire career. He's compiled data, sold it, architected and build systems for collection, verification, filtering and usage. And he's also used it for growth - personally. So he was the perfect person to find out all the basics we need to know.  But we also needed to go a bit deeper. What a lot of other discussions miss, is how to use these data for the customer acquisition process. And if you know me, I'm not afraid to get a bit tactical. So this episode extends really nicely from the Willem Paling episode (s3 ep2) where we talk more generally about data for mostly business level strategy purposes (segmentation/targeting). So if you listen to this episode, it will follow on very nicely from that one. Today, we start at targeting and then follow through to execution for sales and marketing.  And stay tuned because we're working on another upcoming episode where we will continue on from this level of execution and go deeper into cold email outreach. So what is customer data? How do you build lists ensuring quality (accuracy and recency)? How do you enrich your existing data?  How does the dark, shady side of the data industry operate? What's legal. What isn't and what's grey? What are ABM platforms and how much can be automated? What are the tradeoffs? How do we get the basics of email outreach right and how does everyone get it wrong? What are typical email deliverability, response and conversion stats for these campaigns? What should we look out for when choosing the good data providers from the bad? In this area, you need to choose wisely.  To make informed, world-class decisions.  You need to first consult with an expert. And that's just one click away! 
June 30, 2022
Malcolm Auld - Direct Mail and Marketing first principles - How digital marketing leads us astray from effectiveness - S3 Ep11
"I very frequently get the question: 'What's going to change in the next 10 years?' And that is a very interesting question; it's a very common one. I almost never get the question: 'What's not going to change in the next 10 years?' And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two -- because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time." Jess Bezos.  In a rapidly changing marketing landscape it's very easy to get distracted by everything new. It's exciting. It's buzzworthy. It has political capital (to an extent).  This has led to an explosion in different digital media, and tech tools. All claiming they have the secret sauce to effective marketing. So why do so many of these investments fail to translate reliably into commercially valuable outcomes?  Therefore, what's more interesting to me, are the fundamental parts of marketing which don't change. Because, if you understand those, you can apply them to everything you do. Any channel. Any execution, any context - and be confident that it will be somewhat successful.   So, today we're talking with Malcolm Auld. "Omg John why are you talking to a 'boomer'?"  Shock horror ladies and gentlemen - people with lots of experience, often know what they are talking about.  So who better to talk about the first principles of great marketing and direct mail, than the person who published the first book in the world outside of North America on email marketing. He's been there for the first dot com, and now here for the second. He’s worked in some of the largest agencies in the world and the smallest. Started his own agencies. Lectures at University. Worked in senior marketing and board positions for both large and small businesses. B2B, B2C, B2G. Product and services. Online SaaS and traditional. Digital media and traditional. You name it, he’s done it. And yes, he's not a millennial, futurist, Web3.0, cryto-bro, cyber hustler. Thank god.  In this episode, you'll find out interesting things like: What is direct marketing? What is direct mail? Why DTC is a concept that is over 150 years old and which company pioneered the format. Why A/B testing is also a decades old concept used in the advertising industry by another 'boomer' exec.  Find how the historical tussle between the direct marketing and brand advertising agencies started, and why it continues to blindside marketers to this day - to the detriment of everyone. Find out why digital marketers would benefit from studying direct marketing inorder to prevent making mistakes and spending time discovering things which have already been discovered.  Why should retailers cease offering free delivery? Why you should still send printed bills and invoices to your customers instead of electronically? Why do some of the biggest, fastest growing tech companies use direct mail to acquire and sell to customers, including Amazon, Google, PayPal, Ubereats, Dinnerly, Doordash, Sonos, and Hellofresh, - Which form of direct mail is the fastest growing marketing channel in North America, second only to TikTok? What led to the bomb squad blowing up one of Malcolm’s direct mail pieces on prime-time TV? Which channel did David Ogilvy use the most to acquire new clients for his agency? Do people still read long form copy or are they too time poor? Why is understanding the Hemingway and Flesch reading scores critical to your success in selling anything, to anyone? And sure the topic is Direct Mail or Direct Marketing, but there’s so much more gold in here for new marketers, junior marketers, senior marketers and everyone else in between. Ignore the wisdom espoused in this episode to your own detriment. 
June 15, 2022
Bryant Graves - Strategy Layers - Business Strategy. Organizational. Functional - How great strategy could/should/doesn't apply to your job - S3 Ep10
Strategy has become such a buzzword these days. Frequently, just a prefix added to job titles to help make the role sound more attractive regardless of whether that role requires real strategy acumen or not. Everyone seems to be acting 'strategic'. But what does that even mean? Who better to unpack all these questions than someone who just finished working for one of the largest companies in the world. Today we’re talking to Bryant Graves. Ex-senior strategy manager at Walmart and now in charge of Go-to-Market (GTM) Strategy at Snowflake. Back in Season 2 we spoke with Karim from Cascade which gave us a great overview on the modern state of Strategy. So listen to that first if you haven't already done so. In this episode, we needed to dig a little deeper into the business strategy weeds. Bryant has worked for VC firms, for consulting firms, for Ancestry, one of the world’s largest retailers (Walmart) and now one of the most profitable software firms in the world (Snowflake). With such breadth of exposure across all business functions, different-sized firms, different sectors, he’s the perfect person to help us unpack some of the curly questions we had. What is real strategy, what isn't strategy? Is it just a vision or mission statement? What are the different layers? From corporate to business, operational and functional - and how do they apply to our role? What are the hallmarks of a good strategy person vs an junior? How can you use some of these principles to determine which companies are good or bad when looking for a new job? Why is the traditional management consulting sourced strategy function waning and what’s replacing it? Why does a lot of strategy fail when it comes to implementation? Is strategy a few people in a board room meeting once a financial year - or is it more dynamic and changeable? What tools should we be using? PowerPoint and Excel? What caused Instagram to rip apart their whole organizational structure and rebuild it in just 3 months to respond to a competitive threat. What should we be measuring and how? Waterfall or agile - which is better? What core part of the business do people overlook when mistaking Walmart for a pure retailer? Get a Boba-tea, and press play
June 10, 2022
Ronsley Vaz - Podcast content production frameworks and leveraging owned-media - S3 Ep9
Vayner Media, Zac Efron, Paris Hilton, Graeme Turner, Chris Voss - these are the sorts of people that Ronsley works with. And to say that he's learnt a few things or two would be an understatement. He's all about using content strategically - for maximum gain. And yes, we talk under the guise of podcasting a little, but also far broader. By listening all the way through, you'll be able to absorb the best way to create a strategic content framework which can be applied to any brand. Especially service and SaaS. You'll be able to use these fundamentals for the creation of all content. Including social media posts, blogs, news articles, video production, audio and more. Ronsley Vaz has been involved with some of the biggest podcasts in the world. Growing his first, Bond Appetite, back in 2014 from scratch into millions of downloads was no easy feat. Branching out, he started 4 more while creating a conference and advisory offering to boot. He’s a strategic thinker who blends commercial reality with creativity. A very rare skill indeed. Ex computer scientist, former chef, and finance professional. His career trajectory is indeed unusual. Coming up later this year is the largest podcast conference in the APAC region.  What do great podcasts and restaurant menus have in common? What are the three very different audiences which many podcasters assume is one? What three things will get you more listeners for your podcast? How do you best repurpose this content for distribution and promotion? What infrastructure and systems do you need to put into place so it supports your sales funnel? What’s the trick to getting famous people on your show? How do you best attract and execute sponsorship arrangements? And what is the one critical thing that businesses miss out on if they don’t have conversations? How do you create great content that actually had business value? Listen on
June 03, 2022
Josh Butt and Michelle Lomas - Podcast promotion and the future of audio experiences - S3 Ep8
Just last week I had 3 different people ask me for advice on podcast promotion. And I came up short on giving them a detailed answer. So you know what this means? I needed to ego-check and delve a bit deeper. So if you've wondered about how to use podcasts in your promotional mix, or how to promote your own podcast so it becomes a valuable asset for your brand - this is an episode you need to listen to.  I came across Josh Butt (Founder and executive) and Michelle Lomas (GM) who operate an independent production and distribution agency called Ampel Media.  This episode is in two parts. The first 30 is with Josh and the following 30 with Michelle. So we get two very good perspectives from people who are living and breathing audio productions, every single day.  Learn about: The history of podcasting - where it all started How firms are using podcasts not just for external brand building, but for internal purposes too The key advantage of audio vs video or text - things I didn't even realize Why more executives and managers are using audio for updates How much it costs to sponsor a podcast How much it costs to produce a podcast episode, including how many hours it takes regardless of whether you do it yourself or get someone else to do it How many episodes you need to produce before it really takes off  How often you should be publishing What format it can take - from short updates to long interviews and some examples of people who are being very creative for different format executions. What software to use and the production process from start to finish in order to get a great episode How to monetize the podcast  Which channels are best to use for promotion with specific examples and delves into the tactical side of things.  ... Basically everything you need to know Reach out to Josh or Michelle
May 27, 2022
John Dwyer - Sales promotions and direct response - Jerry Seinfeld, incentives, CTAs & holidays - S3 Ep7
Everything else being equal, the strength of your offer can make or break the effectiveness of any marketing campaign. Boring CTA's like 'buy now' or 'find out more' or 'book a demo' can scuttle sales by a substantial percentage. So consider this situation. You're about to buy a boring, commoditized, financial product. Then an ad comes on TV with Jerry Seinfeld as the spokesperson. He cracks a joke or two about home ownership and says, if you switch loan providers, you'll get a free holiday. Listen to this episode for the full story behind how this entire campaign came to be. But this exact offer, crafted by John for a challenger bank, raked in billions of new sales and was a roaring success. That was before a bunch of bean-counter executives got involved, thought it cost too much and mothballed it.  This is just one story from many, which we tease out of John Dwyer's long career - some of which he reveals for the first time on this podcast. John has a knack for being able to craft marketing campaigns which get people to buy. This is something most brand and agency marketers (99%) don't know how to do. They will avoid any accountability to the bottom line (sales revenue) and instead yabber on about brand purpose or something equally ethereal.  So today, you'll hear all the elements of marketing initiatives which directly result in revenue success. And there's a lot of ways this can go wrong - so the details in delivery are important. From problem definition to crafting the offer, the importance of CTAs and a litany of different sales promotion ideas which you could use to boost any brand's success. The agency 'brand crowd' will tell you sales promotion doesn't work. It devalues the brand. Bla bla bla. But sales promotions can work very well. Sales promotions doesn't have to mean discounting. Sales promotions can be a value-enhancer, not a value-detractor. So if you want to learn how to do it properly....first listen to this episode.  Then review this podcast within the next 7 days.  DM me on LinkedIn or Twitter with evidence, and you'll enter the draw to win a 3 night holiday in a city near you.  By the law of averages, 100-300 people will listen, maybe 10% will actually bother to this so you'll have a 3-10% chance of winning.  Sounds good doesn't it? Press play my dear.
May 14, 2022
Ross Sergeant - Applied Media Strategy - inside the world of a practicing global head of media & brand at Asahi - S3 Ep6
Just days earlier, Ross Sergeant, global head of media and touchpoints at Asahi, spoke to a conference where he debunked the 40/60 rule advocated by Binet and Field. Most marketing scientists, and savvy marketers in the crowd were not surprised. But so alluring and well-crafted are some of these 'laws', many in the UK, Australia and beyond, are still convinced a reliable path to growth relies heavily upon mass-reach broadcast media. There's a belief that this type of media should form a large percentage of the marketing budget.  But as you'll find out, this is not the approach at Asahi where they use an agnostic approach to media. In this episode we take media strategy out of the clouds of theoretical discussions and into a real life context with a global FMCG brand. We highly recommend you listen to independent media agency, Jonathan Rolley episode (S2 Ep4) before, or in conjunction with this episode.  Why do so many believe in this '60/40 rule'? What parts of it hold true? Does Asahi concentrate on building brand awareness through reach? What do they do differently? As two fellow marketers we had quite a bit in common. We've both worked for large brands, inside large ad agencies, started our own agencies and worked with small and large brands alike, in multiple and very diverse categories. So this was always going to be an interesting discussion. And Ross has an answer for everything. An old school agency-outsourcing, hands-off head of media head, he is not - it will become quick apparent that hes at the bleeding edge of marketing science with particular liking for the learnings exposed by the Ehrenberg Bass Institute. We start the discussion with his recent conference talk, but then quickly bridge into a great talk about how he applies modern marketing ideas into a global media strategy. But this isn’t just a discussion about media. We talk about vendor management. Marketing epistemology, brand measurement and touch on distribution as well. It’s a very contextual discussion, so if you're in the beverage or alcoholic beverage category, this is a must listen. But likewise, just as relevant for all  FMCG/CPG brands. And there's still a lot of takeaways no matter what product category you are in. Everyone can learn something here. Ross espouses what a real life practicing marketer, who’s at the top of their game should be. And it's not easy. This is an episode which serves part of our 'A day in the life of a real-life practicing professional' series. Check out other episodes such as Robin Daniels (ex-WeWork CMO), Matthew Hammon (Google), Andrew Roper (wine) and Andrew Walker (entrepreneur) episodes.  Warning - do not listen if you are attached to, and wish to stay in the adland-media bubble - and believe that the secret to growth is all about award winning creative with lots of reach.   Do listen if you wish to discover out how to do things properly with media budgets.  You know what to do...
May 05, 2022
Marcus Willis - Social Media Strategy - Keys to social growth and the things which will never change - S3 Ep4
Parents only use Facebook, teens only use TikTok, Instagram is dying, Twitter is already dead, and YouTube is just for video.  Out of all the media that brands can use, perhaps Social is one of the most misunderstood, and it's a victim of it's own accessibility. The more everyone can use a medium, the more everyone thinks they know how to use it and how it works underneath. But, the opposite is usually true.  So we had to talk with a social media expert about social media strategy. First of all, is Social Media even a thing? Why do firms get an intern or the nephew/niece of the owner to do the social media instead of a professional. How do you 'hack' the algorithm? What's the best platform to use? If there’s one channel that’s changed just as much as Search has, it’s social. There’s a reason you no longer see the story on the news of the stay-at-home mum who’s made millions selling some random product online with just a Facebook or instagram following to boot. Those days have long gone, but legacy thinking remains. And there seems to be this fantasy that with the right post on social media, a brand can go viral. There an obsession with content and a belief that posting as much as possible will somehow compensate for a poor strategy.  But Social media is a mature market and platforms no longer give away free exposure for nothing in return. You’re obligated to pay to play - either with your time or, increasingly, with your money. So how do you slot social media into your growth strategy. What are the common mistakes to avoid and where are these social platforms heading in the future? We needed these questions answered which is why we had to talk to Marcus Willus, social media barron, passion-pop aficionado, melbourne hipster, business owner. Marcus has been running a social media agency for a number of years and we first met back in the good old days of instagram. When it was cheap and easy to use programs which automated Instagram activity. How times have changed. Today, those tactics would get you ejected or shadow banned pretty quickly. And that’s why we needed to talk. We needed to get to the bottom of what social media platforms are looking for at their core. The things that won't change very much in the future. By understanding this, we’ll understand where to focus our time and resources instead of chasing the tail or an ever changing, sophisticated algorithm. Elon’s purchase of Twitter makes this episode timely. With so many platforms out there, I’m not going to do a separate episode on each because they are all so different. The tactical approach would vary so much between them, and these episodes would date too fast. So instead, here’s a core social media strategy episode to sink your teeth into which will point you in the right direction, regardless of what platforms you are using - now and in the future.
April 29, 2022
Blake Hutchison - Putting the A in M&A - Acquiring digital assets for sustained growth - Acquisition Strategy - S3 Ep5
A long time ago, back in the good ol’ days of the Google internet, I learnt the power of affiliate marketing first hand. Affiliate strategies let you take advantage of an assumed message source separation. This is where the customer assumes the source of the message is not the advertiser.  Example, you pay the owner of a blog site within your niche, for the privilege of tapping into this pool of visitors in various ways. Prospects trust this more, because the message isn't coming from you the brand, but from a trusted source. So it will have a far more powerful effect on persuading people to buy. You’ll learn about this technique and much more, in this interview with Blake Hutchison, CEO of Flippa.  You'll have to excuse the quality of the audio. I had a slim chance to grab him in between sessions of a retail conference. so I bundled him into a nearby room to have a quick chat. is a self described global online marketplace where people can buy and sell digital assets as well as entire businesses. In this episode, we wanted to go deeper into the use of acquisition as a growth lever. These assets could be an entire business, but also things like a social media account, a blog or even source code. Flippa is one of the world's largest marketplaces for digital assets, where a lot of savvy marketers and business owners prefer to purchase assets, which they then leverage, instead of going to the trouble of building them from scratch.  So we wanted to talk about the acquisition marketplace movement in general, but also explore all the different ways acquisition can be used strategically as a growth driver. With thousands of transacted businesses over the years, there’s no shortage of examples we tease out during the conversation. Blake has been brought into the business recently, but he has a history of working with some of the top firms both in Australia and in Silicon Valley, from director of sales BDM roles at Lonely Planet in San Francisco to head of partnerships at Xero. More recently, he's moved into GM and Chief Revenue Officer roles before ending up as the CEO at Flippa. It becomes quickly obvious how competent he is about all things growth, marketing, sales, strategy as well as the tech startup process. We talk about everything from the mistakes people make when buying businesses, the types of assets that are sold, and how people can leverage a really key competitive advantage that is often missed at larger, more bureaucratic firms which we both see as a key to modern growth in the years to come. This episode really follows on nicely from the Peter Li episode, which covers more the  corporate M&A space. This corporate market has a very different dynamic to this market which may have smaller transaction prices but is far larger in terms of total volume. Until these online marketplaces came along, it was an underground market full of brokers and people in the know. Flippa and Microacquire are the platforms which are modernizing and scaling this market and there are many opportunities out there, easily within reach for those who are wishing to capitalize.
April 25, 2022
Peter Li - Inside the secretive world of corporate Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) - Why they don't work as a growth lever - S3 Ep3
"I am going to love doing this podcast. Because I don't expect to ever be hired into an investment bank or in-house M&A team ever again, I can be brutally honest." We talked further, but he had me at 'brutally honest'. That was the moment I knew we needed to interview Peter and uncover this murky world. An overlooked way to quickly grow a business is to simply acquire customers. Customers which belong to another business. This tactic is overlooked because it's traditionally been the exclusive domain of investment bankers and management consultants who only deal with large companies. But recently, there’s been a groundswell of activity spurred by the tech industry as well as the emergence of micro-acquisition marketplaces. Acquisitions are frequently used by tech companies to buy capability, patents and for many reasons other than a short-term earnings boost. So we talk with ex-M&A specialist, former real-estate salesman, army cadet, investment banker, and now, founder of a medical service company, Peter Li. And he exposes the M&A industry, warts and all, never shying away from a good dose of self-deprecation or telling it like it is. So you’ll learn all the dirty tricks, the conflicts of interest, and tactical plays that goes on in this secretive, right-knit, murky world. So if you’ve wanted a crash-course in the world of M&A, or you’re looking at being acquired or thinking about acquiring another company, this is a must-listen episode. What does Mumm Champagne and M&A have in common? Why is the real estate and the investment banking industry so similar? What is the old school M&A space vs the future led by tech companies? Why are the best businesses to acquire almost never advertised for sale Learn the basic stages in the M&A process. Why most acquired businesses don’t create any value for the acquirer Which acquisition marketplaces are growing quickly Why did AGL reject Founder of Atlassian, Mike Cannon Brooke’s takeover bid? Don’t worry, we don’t get into a technical discussion about financial or legal jargon but stay on a strategic decision-making level throughout with lots of practical examples, mostly from the Australian business scene. So merge your consciousness with this podcast for the next 50 minutes and acquire newfound wisdom. 
March 24, 2022
Willem Paling - Data, Segmentation & Targeting Strategy - How to slice and dice your market scientifically - S3 Ep2
“It’s easy to make bad decisions with data” he said straight off the bat. In today’s tech infected world, it can seem vogue to tout the fact that you’re data-driven. Kind of like it’s a badge of honor that provides an air of superiority over the other ill-informed business heathens. But what is data? What isn’t data? Are the people who call themselves data-driven, actually data-driven underneath? This is something we had to get to the bottom of. I came across Willem Paling after I saw a presentation he published on how cutting brand search advertising for one of Australia’s largest insurance conglomerates made no difference to the business’ performance. This was something I had also tested personally with client campaigns, but without the same rigor or scale. So who better to talk about segmentation and targeting than with someone who’s literally built out data infrastructure and carried out experiments himself? Apart from that, what really sold me was his background. His PHD centered on hard-to-measure variables - check. He was a fan of epistemology - check. He’s worked with both product, services and SaaS companies - check. Large and small businesses, early and late stage. Academia and private enterprise. Multiple and disparate industry sectors - check Strategic planning - execution and measurement - check. So what you’re about to hear is of course, a discussion about segmentation and targeting. But - to do both well, you really need to have a solid grounding in data analysis. So we talk a lot about how to use data to create value. And on the flipside, how not to use data, in a business context. What he says is so dense, don’t be alarmed if you have to listen to what he says twice or three times - I know I did - even as I was editing the videos. Perhaps the biggest takeaway for me from a strategy perspective was how subtle competitive advantages can be these days. He confirms to be that the businesses who are succeeding with are increasingly focused on building more certainty into their decision making via scientific methods  - all of which ultimately rely on great data and data analysis. I’m sure you’ll enjoy doing down this rabbit hole as much as I did.
March 21, 2022
Jason Andrew - Bridging the gap between Accounting, Finance and the Marketing function - S3 Ep1
Don't fear - this isn't an episode about accounting but rather how understanding some financial fundamentals can make you a far better marketer or growth professional. This is the point where marketing professional's career otherwise plateaus. If you've ever had trouble getting initiatives or projects approved, often it's not political. It's just that the business case is weak. So I thought that if we can understand how accountants and finance think - marketing and growth professionals will be able to get more projects they know are valuable to the business, approved. And as you'll find out, both camps think very, very differently. In fact they naturally clash in many core areas from mindset to through to general approach and responsibilities. So who better to speak with than Jason Andrew. He's a CA accountant, corporate finance qualified, business owner and marketer who has personally executed a lot of the marketing for his own businesses. What is accounting? How is it different to Finance? What numbers and metrics should we all understand before pursuing our growth-related projects. What hard lessons did he learn about marketing and growth on his entrepreneurial journey? Vice versa, what hard lessons should growth and marketing people learn about the accounting and finance profession? After this episode you'll see eye to eye and at the very least understand how both disciplines can work better together. 
March 05, 2022
Matthew Hammon - Life in the day of an elite B2B marketer - Tales from an active practitioner - S2 Ep11
In between the strategy and channel episodes, we feature some interviews with active practitioners. After the Robin Daniels (ex WeWork CMO) episode and two other entrepreneur interviews, it was time for another.  So today we’re talking with Matthew Hammon, Australian ex-pat who now lives in New York. He’s earned his stripes over the years, leaning on an early entrepreneurial journey which started at the ripe old age of 12 in Melbourne, Australia. Having founded and run his own businesses over the years, completing numerous degrees from Marketing, to a Masters in Intellectual Property law to a soon to be completed MBA in America, he’s not only street-wise but has the book smarts to match. In fact he’s just been poached to work at one of the largest tech companies in the world which is harder to get into than Harvard. There's a reason why multiple tech companies have hired him, including Labelbox, Cognizant/Evolv, Appian, Yelp, Google and even a private equity investment company He's a practicing B2B growth marketer who's deeply embedded within the growth scene in North America and was available for a very rare two day window while between jobs.  So if you are realizing the limitations of listening to generalist fortune-cookie advice sprouted by populist industry commentators and instead want to know the truth, listen to this episode. We discuss everything from top-level strategic approaches, through to tactics and how to successfully navigate the practical political environments within which we all have to operate daily. This includes, channel strategies, attribution, product-led growth and more.  So how do you market and sell B2B products successfully? How do you ensure your strategy and tactics are ratified by the executives you report to? How do you best measure and attribute marketing expenditure to core business objectives like sales revenue? How do you bridge the gap between sales and marketing departments? How do you climb the ladder of success in one of the most competitive countries in the world? Like this…
January 01, 2022
Kimberley Haley - Pricing Strategy - Package product offerings into bundles of optimized value - S2 Ep14
This is our second episode on the topic of pricing strategy - the first of which was Jon Manning in Season 1 which we also recommend you to listen to first.  We could only cover so much in the last episode so in this episode we cover some of the other areas to round-out our understanding of how to use pricing strategy as a growth-driver. Any growth strategist worth their salt knows that pricing strategy can’t really be isolated from the larger business machine - product, packaging, sales, marketing etc. In particular, pricing and the product offering are inextricably interlinked. So this is where we start the discussion, and as you’ll soon hear, Kimberley Haley delves a lot into behavioral economics and packaging strategy. Throughout her career, she’s been a pioneer of executing value-based pricing as well as moving the industry past theory and into applied practice. Today she shares with you what she has learned from being on the front lines - including failures and successes along the way. Her experience as a SaaS pricing expert has extended past 15-years and included many different industries, products and services. This makes her a goldmine of information. She knows exactly how to explain how pricing works in practical contexts. While she specializes in mostly software pricing these days, what you'll hear can be applied equally across all sectors - especially services.  She isn't a talker - she's a doer. In fact this is her first podcast interview! And Kimberley doesn’t disappoint. She explains how each one of her pricing projects is unique, and details how she’s both built and implemented profitable pricing models to hundreds of specific use cases in order to maximize returns. This is all commercially sensitive and highly confidential work of course - so none of the famous companies she does this work for can be mentioned, but I do convince her to disclose a bit of her secret sauce. This includes an interesting story about leading a pricing strategy and deal desk team for a $1.7B B2B data & analytics organization that featured over 40 different product lines. Kimberley is someone who has designed pricing strategies to optimize returns for many different sales distribution channels and product lines. This includes, how to redesign discount policies to minimize value erosion, implement renewal programs to improve retention, and how to use quote-to-cash automation to accelerate the sales cycle. What is value - how do you break it down and optimize it? So what is a value-engineer - and why do all the highest growth tech companies in the world hire these roles? How do the companies whose products you use weekly - manipulate your purchase behavior through intentional pricing mechanisms and their superior understanding of behavioral economics? Why are subscription pricing models so hot right now and why are traditional companies experimenting with them? What's the story behind AT&T’s packaging which customer’s hate, forms the basis of a Southpark episode, but is a roaring commercial success? What are the best pricing books to read? You’ll learn all the dirty little secrets of the business world which cause us to buy - more often, and at higher prices than we probably might like to.
December 22, 2021
Charmaine Moldrich - Outdoor Advertising - The past the present and the future - S2 Ep13
Some of the first forms of recorded advertising was the SPQR insignia that Roman soldiers displayed on the Standards they carried into battle - Similar inscriptions are, to this day, still visible on the tops of manholes around Rome. Signage and other forms of outdoor advertising are perhaps THE original form of advertising. This topic is Charmaine's area of expertise and we start this discussion talking about the history of outdoor advertising which goes back millennia. Currently, she's the CEO of two organizations: The Outdoor Media Association, and Move (an audience measurement tech company). Charmaine has just had to endure perhaps the most challenging period of her professional career. As you can imagine, it was a hard sell, convincing people to advertise outdoor when everyone was locked inside, all the while advocating for a local industry that accounts for $1bn in annual revenue. So we needed to get a crash course into the world of outdoor advertising. When to use it, how it's different to other mediums, it's strengths, it's weaknesses, how to do it well and how it can go wrong.  So what is outdoor advertising? Which outdoor medium is particularly good at targeting time-poor, c-suite executives. What are ghost signs and why did a Scotsman crowdfund an outdoor campaign targeting a visiting head of state? We find out what she thinks of Minority Report and Bladerunner 2020 as well as discuss neuroscience, measurement methodologies and even erectile disfunction! What is LTS in the world of outdoor? What is the critical difference between outdoor and other ad mediums which was recently revealed by neuroscience research. How did Spotify manage to crush Pandora in Australia using outdoor? Gain a better understanding about the world of Outdoor in all of it’s largess.
December 22, 2021
Kimberly A. Whitler - Positioning Strategy - How to position brands and products for strategic advantage - S2 Ep12
If you think positioning strategy is a bunch of fluffy brand-purpose-laden statements mixed with a few dual-axis, positioning maps, you’re in for a  rude awakening. Because as you'll soon discover, that's not what professional positioning strategists do. Kimberly A. Whitler is perhaps most famous for her book on this topic, and positioning strategy is what we initially aim to talk about, but what comes out in the wash during this discussion are lashings of strategic wisdom any senior leader, serious about growth would be interested in. She has a wealth of experience spent working with brands like Coca Cola, P&G, Gartner, Forbes and even the US Department of Defense before more recently, becoming an academic. It's this combination of empirical research discipline and practical experience that forms such a killer combination. This episode is jam-packed with plenty of detailed explanations and stories from her career. Kimberly is currently an Associate Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business and her approach is exactly in the hitting zone of this podcast. She’s staunchly focused on work that helps boards, CEOs, and CMOs leverage marketing for strategic advantage. Unlike career academics however, she’s not someone who drafts research papers for papers sake. Her work is meant to be implemented, measured and critiqued in the real world. It’s for this reason her research wins award after award. Her book about Positioning is a must-read and I'd argue, probably more robust than the seminal book by Al Reis’. There’s also nuggets of gold to be mined in her various online Forbes articles too which have collectively garnered over 4 million views. What mistake did Nike make with their brand position on a very divisive topic in North America?  Is brand purpose valuable or is it just a bunch of a virtue-signaling PC corporate hogwash? Why is it critical to understand the difference between supply-side orientation, demand-side orientation, output orientation and through-put orientation? Why should you view positioning like a battlefield or the game Battleship? How you can use positioning strategy to attract employees in the hyper-competitive labor market? How do brands get brand purpose wrong? Which critical skill do CMOs need before they can progress into senior roles? Why shouldn’t you source your positioning strategy from an ad agency? What’s her take on the fad of ‘category creation’ within the tech sector? What questions should you ask when hiring a CMO to avoid hiring a dud? Lots of questions.  Lots of answers.  Press play
December 20, 2021
Sean Ellis - Growth, growth hacking, marketing, and the future of the growth movement - S2 Ep 10
Sean Ellis, the OG who coined the term 'growth hacking' explains the key determinants to growth for both SaaS and traditional businesses. In under one hour, you'll find out the macro version of why this approach to growing any business is so effective. I really don't need to write any more here. If you are a founder, a business owner, a growth professional, product manager or marketer and you're interested in the non-BS side of the growth discipline - you need to press play.  Over and out. 
November 19, 2021
Rich Mironov - Core fundamentals of Product Strategy and Product Management that won't change - S2 Ep9
Why does Rich Mironov disagree with Elon Musk regarding his statements about product? Is PLG a real thing or just another cult-buzzword? What are the secrets behind creating successful products which sell themselves?  Rich Mironov is one of the OG's of the product strategy and management world. He started working for tech companies before tech was cool. Before Product Management was even a term. And his experience over the years has spanned decades. He worked on AI in the 70s. He was arguably the first to sell web.sql software and has one of the original blogs of the internet.  So do great products sell themselves? How do you craft products to give them the best chance of commercial success.   Essential listing if you are a founder, you work in product, work in marketing, work in growth or part of agile software teams. 
November 19, 2021
Katie Dally and Paul Swann - Creative Strategy and the modern marketing agency dynamic - S2 Ep8
What is creative strategy? What is the secret behind award-winning agency, Thinkerbell and their ability to consistently push out creative that works. How do you keep a creative machine humming throughout the ups and downs of business? We speak with the two most senior MD's from Thinkerbell, Katie Dally and Paul Swann to find out.  Katie has over 18 years of international experience across Sydney, London and Cape Town. Currently she's the GM of Thinkerbell, Sydney which has seen 67% headcount growth in under 12 months, and just recently landed the lucrative Lion account. Past gigs have included a senior role at CHE Proximity which retained IAG, Velocity, Virgin and the Prospa account. She also formerly ran VMLY&R Sydney as Managing Partner, where her client list included Netflix, Colgate Palmolive and McDonald’s to name a few Paul left university in 1999 and started a consultancy advising businesses on how to tackle the ‘millennium bug’ before he pivoted into web design. A boutique media agency role Soho in London followed where his love affair with advertising began and multinational exposure naturally followed. He moved to Australia landing a lead role with Naked Communications which quickly became a highly awarded and sought-after agency. In 2012 he became a Creative Partner at The Works, an agency which had success with accounts such as Optus and Rexona - quickly solidifying its role as one of the country's largest independent agencies. Paul joined Thinkerbell as Executive Creative 'Tinker' of the recently launched Sydney office.  This episode delves into the determinants of effective creative, but on the flipside, explores the reasons why so many brands push out bland content - overlooking the effectiveness multiplier that could be leveraged with better creative.   What comes out in the wash is a glimpse into the new dynamic that traditional advertising agencies are faced with. Do clients need separate agencies for creative, media and publicity? Or can this all be handled by one agency? Do clients need an agency at all? What are the determinants of successful creative work? If you work at an agency or work client-side with them, this is a must-listen episode.  If you are wondering how Vegemite started a war with Marmite during The Ashes series, or the story behind how the 'You're not you when you're hungry' Snickers campaign came about, then this is a must-listen.   If you want to know how modern cross-functional team structures can work in a modern marketing context, then this is an unmissable episode.  If you want to know how to leverage creativity to your advantage in your job role...listen to this episode.  Did we mention this is an unmissable episode?
October 17, 2021
Anita Toth - Churn and Retention Strategy - To keep or acquire? That is the question - S2 Ep7
Is the best path to growth dependent on retaining the customers you already have, or by acquiring new ones? This is a major bane of contention depending on who you talk to, but today we're exploring Anita's side of the argument which is all about churn reduction strategy (a.k.a retention). But in doing so, we talk about so much more, including the pivotal role the sales process plays into this whole debate, as well as customer success, support, brand and marketing.  If you are bleeding customers, this is a must-listen.  If your sales team are hitting quota, and your figures look strong, but customer's don't renew, and CLV is poor, this is a must-listen.  What macro factors play into your figures and how much can you bend those mathematical ratios? There's not much more to say.  Start listening and improve your knowledge of how growth actually works.  Oh and Earl Grey tea is tasty.  But I can't help but think how many people have churned from this podcast for thought
October 04, 2021
Karim Zuhri - Strategic planning vs tactical execution - How to connecting both phases and avoid bad strategy - S2 Ep6
One of the main reasons companies don't grow and stagnate is because they fail to execute on their planning phase.  There's many reasons why. This is an area we'll cover exclusively in this episode.  It’s always nice when you stumble across people in strategy who have interesting backgrounds. The more diverse and strange the background, the better the strategist in my book. These people tend to be a wealth of wisdom and have a certain perspective that only comes off the back of diversity of thought which in turn stems from a diversity of life experience. Karim’s career so far is strong and broad with a solid foundation of both book and street smarts. It started with a double masters in computer science and energy engineering, before he moved into product strategy and management and consulting roles. His CV is impressive to say the least. But then there’s the global context. To say he’s multicultural is an understatement. He’s lived and worked in 7 different countries which beats my measly 4. And this global curiosity must have helped land a role at the business travel division of Expedia group. Here he led global projects to help create a customer obsession culture in order to drive business growth. Managing a 15m budget and bringing together over 7 different departments to make them more customer centric was no easy feat. He’s just finished a product role at Safety Culture at the start of 2021, which is an Australian unicorn startup. Currently, he’s in a senior leadership role at Cascade - a strategy software platform that’s focused on bridging the gap between planning and execution for multi-business unit companies. And this is why we had to talk Connecting these two phases is one of the most challenging things a company will ever do. This whole episode is on just this topic. But by listening you will pick up so much more value. You’ll learn why companies don’t follow through and what are the 3 main things that prevents them. You’ll find out which things need to be present for strategy to work really well. You'll find out why we’re both dismissive of bridging in external consultants into a grey-haired boardroom to do annual strategy days. You'll learn which question you should ask yourself before starting any task which will instantly make you more strategic. Find out the main things which prevent innovation and all the true hallmarks of innovative companies. Learn why company culture is so pivotal and underestimated as a successful strategy driver Karim isn't a boring person. So even if strategy isn't your thing, have a listen and I'm sure you'll pick up quite a few handy tips no matter what job you do.  Ciao for now. 
September 23, 2021
Jennifer Harrison - Earned Media Strategy - the secret to high-value PR and publicity - S2 Ep5 - Part 2
Part 2 of 2. A continuation of the interview with Jennifer Harrison. Listen to Part 1 first. 
August 29, 2021
Jennifer Harrison - Earned Media Strategy - the secret to high-value PR and publicity - S2 Ep5 - Part 1
Part 1 of 2. How can companies like Tesla spend $0 on paid advertising and still sell billions of dollars of product? Well...they are very good at getting publicity and using owned media channels to their advantage. While this isn't possible for all brands, today we're talking to Jennifer Harrison to learn more about the power of PR and earned media strategy. Too much of what growth or marketing people are exposed to concerns, advertising or owned media.  But the world of PR is often a powerful, subtle, underrated growth-driver that works silently in the background. It's the key to a lot of brands' growth and many people can underestimate how persuasive it can be when building a brand that influences people to buy. Jennifer, has not come from a journalist or PR background originally which makes her all the more interesting. She has a bachelor in economics, a bachelor of laws, and a masters of applied finance. This strong foundation of multi-disciplinary knowledge feeds into her PR prowess. While she mostly represents clients in the Property Tech and Financial tech niche. In this episode we talk very broadly, and get to bust all the myths in the industry. So if you want to find out the raw truth behind the things which actually raise your brand's reputation, then you need to listen to this episode.  So what is PR? Is it a press release? And what are the secrets behind getting stories published?  What is the demand and supply issue that many outside the industry are not aware of?  Should you gate your content with a form? What should you include in your press kit?  Which is better, an in-house PR team, a freelancer or agency? And what are the pros and cons of each? All of these questions and more will be covered in detail. Get your PR and publicity chops and press play now. 
August 29, 2021
Jonathan Rolley - Media Strategy and the dirty laundry of the media planning world - S2 Ep4
Everyone client-side wants to know which channels or mediums they should be investing in. Because they want the ones which get the most ‘results’ for the lowest cost. Some will trust their vendor or agency to answer this question. But, if they want to know the real answer in a nutshell...well it depends. It depends on many factors. Factors which this episode will reveal - in detail. Jonathan Rolley from Direct Response Media, specializes in a branch of scientific media planning which focuses on customer outcomes (the response). In this interview we’ll uncover the mistakes many brands make (even the biggest ones) and you’ll learn how to choose more wisely when allocating your media budget. Along the way, we also uncover all the dirty, dark secrets of the media world which plague the typical agency client relationship. As well as challenge many myths and widely-held beliefs within the industry. How does human bias play a large role in which channels brands invest in? How do media agency planners hide higher-profit margin media inventory into your plan? How does increasing brand awareness not result in increased sales revenue? What step in the media planning process do most brands skip? What perverse incentives drive agencies to push certain media over others? This is a juicy interview and I ask many questions many are not game to answer. To his credit, Jonathan answers them all. Take the red media pill if you dare and listen to this episode.
August 11, 2021
Peter Bray and Ayaan Mohamud - Partnership Strategy - The hidden path to revenue growth many ignore - S2 Ep3
Everyone thinks the easiest way to grow a company is advertising or marketing campaigns. But, forging partnerships and creating distribution networks can be an exponentially more powerful revenue-driver. Why pay to temporarily leverage another entity's audience when you can do it permanently and share both the risk and the upside?  Partnerships are the less-talked-about growth driver that every business, small and large can do better. Find out why companies like Nike, Canva, Disney, Pizza Hut, Booktopia and more...use partnership technology stacks to create a customer acquisition machine that provides win-win outcomes for everyone involved. At it’s core - business is about the exchange of value between parties - It’s about the movement of money from one entity to another in return for perceptions of goods and services. But, in the modern era of shiny digital toys, obsessions with content and posting on social media, this fundamental growth driver can easily be overlooked. Running partnership programs used to be a messy, complex process. Not anymore.  Today, we’re talking to Peter Bray and Ayaan Mohumad from unicorn tech company, Impact. They specialize in scalable partnership technology. Their stories about how Canva, Nike, Disney and other major brands have been using their tech strategically as a marketing channel are fascinating. How do you go about forging these relationships effectively? How do you sell the business case of partnerships up the chain? How can you turn a bad partnership program into a growth machines? All of these questions and more answered in this episode.
August 11, 2021
Yaniv Bernstein - Operational Strategy - How getting the right things done, is a growth driver - S2 Ep2
Over the years, I've noticed the potential for teams and companies to grow, is often hampered by none other than a lack of operational hygiene.  Most business coaches and mentors will simply give advice that largely boils down to perspective, mental fortitude and operational discipline.  Often our perspective when working inside a business and industry can become warped.  We're inside the institution. We're part of the organization's culture. We're indoctrinated by norms and specific standard processes. But, where are the checks and balances? Who is asking whether that's the right way to do things? Are these the right jobs to do? Is there a better way to do it?  Marketers will, by default, obsess over designing creative content and forget about the need to pierce human attention. Engineers love to write beautiful code and solve difficult problems, but can easily become disconnected from the customer. Meanwhile, product managers can obsess over feature releases, but fail to check if anyone would use them in the first place. We can all get so caught up in our production bubble that we forget to reflect on why we are doing that work in the first place. Sometimes it takes someone external or above that ecosystem to set things straight. Sometimes that person is a really good COO.  While some can view operations as a boring topic. I disagree. It's one of the most overlooked, least-talked about, underrated and powerful growth drivers in organizations, large and small. Sales, marketing, product, and growth included.  So in this episode, we’re talking to Yaniv Bernstein a 10 year veteran software engineer from Google, former CTO/COO of Airtasker, a startup in Australia valued at half a billon dollars. More importantly, he’s worked at both large and small companies and now consults with clients all around the world. This episode is essential listening for CEO’s or founders at tech companies. It’s essential listing for chief operations officers or other people in a managerial or operations role. But even if you are a small business owner or founder, you'll pick up some very valuable tips.  We discuss what an operations manager does. How to set up measurement systems which avoid being gamed by employees. How to view operations as more than just an intranet full of standard operating procedures.  And how to keep teams motivated, on task and collaborating effectively, in order to get what needs to be done - done. Why does poker have to do with good management? Why is it so essential to understand Goodhearts law? How do you get the most from your employees without making them quit? All of these questions and more are answered by downloading or pressing play.
August 09, 2021
Daniel McCarthy - The Unit Economics of Customer Acquisition, Growth and Company Value - S2 Ep1
It’s rare to come across a finance expert who has such a deep understanding of true customer value and all the complexity that goes along with it. But, Professor Daniel McCarthy has joined forces with Pete Fader Professor of Marketing from Wharton and Rob Markey, Partner at Bain New York, to spread the word about their Customer Based Corporation Valuation method (CBCV). Pundits in Silicon Valley as well as many other modern firms have already taken notice. So we wanted to look deeper into this valuation method and see if there were any takeaways for investors and people in growth, marketing, sales or executive positions.  There were many. Slight warning however. Unless you have a basic grasp of finance fundamentals, you might get a little lost or have to Google a few terms during the discussion. Daniel was even stretching my knowledge at times.  But this will be a fascinating dive into some of the detail around how customer value manifests itself in a financial value sense. Especially how that value translates into revenue and profit for the organization. This is exactly what's lacking from so many marketing industry discussions and a topic which I’m personally very passionate about. After listening to this episode you should get a good grounding in the best way to approach increasing the value of a company from a customer perspective. We talk about vanity metrics vs lower funnel metrics. We discover how to properly calculate your unit economics like CAC and LTV - and the mistakes most make when doing so. And you'll also find out why he disagrees with the assertion that CLV should be your NorthStar.  There is also a key issue that Daniel clashes with Byron Sharp on which all should hear.  But do not fear, this isn’t an academic discussion about technicalities or a debate between right or wrong. What it will give you however, is a solid framework and approach to take when assessing what actions are financially valuable for a company and which aren't. Daniel uses lots of examples from his practical business experience which includes some very interesting discussions around Slack and Spotify Why do tech companies command such high valuations relative to their revenue?  What do oil wells and customers have in common? Why is customer heterogeneity such a critical concept to understand for marketers? How can VCs and investors improve the accuracy of their valuations? All these answers and more await so… If you want to know your CAC from your CLV, and your DCF from your NPV...start listening now. 
July 08, 2021
Keaton Hulme-Jones - The mysterious world of programmatic display advertising unraveled - S1 Ep12
Programmatic display, video pre-roll, banner ads, skyscrapers, home page takeovers, leaderboards, MRECs, what the hell does it all mean? If you’re not advertising on search, social, content or digital audio, you’re most likely spending money on display advertising. Display advertising goes by many names, as we’ll find out in a minute, but this complex, murky world is a mysterious black box for many. In this industry, there was first talk of systemic ad fraud. Then the conversation shifted to brand safety and more recently, customer data protection with GDPR and CCPA. Things have almost become more complex as time has worn on. So we’re talking with one of the world’s experts in this area, Keaton to clear up all the mystery, myths and misconceptions. While tech companies won’t give much thought to this type of advertising, even large advertisers like P&G are addressing wastage in the supply chain and pushing for better transparency. With that said, programmatic display is the favourite punching bag of traditional-media-leading, rebate-friendly industry commentators who enjoy spreading fear and falsehoods. If you’re apprehensive already, don’t worry, we don’t get too technical here because it’s very easy to go down a rabbit hole that leads to nowhere constructive. With that said, if you don’t know what a server is, or the basics of advertising terms like reach, or impressions – this probably isn’t an episode you should listen to. See references and additional material related to this episode here
October 20, 2020
Dr Alison Macintyre - How to create motivated, high-performance teams in a modern, remote world - S1 Ep14
Hire slow, fire fast and blitzscale is often the mantra in Silicon Valley.  From personal experience, Alison believes in only one part of that statement. So we were intrigued to find more about her contrarian views regarding the management of global, remote, successful teams.  She's a self-described, "globetrotting multi-passionate pracademic", but also a genuine, loveable person underneath. This is rare in the cut-throat world of tech. Her approach to staff and team dynamics is unorthodox, yet extremely effective. The last company she worked for and her first job as a Chief of Staff, ended up in a successful exit for the founder to Automatic (owner of WordPress). So we wanted to delve more into this world, especially since this firm was 100% remote from day one. Given that most companies are currently in a similar situation, her wisdom in this area is very poignant.  Staff are the critical lifeblood of any fledgling company, especially service companies. But labor also forms one of the highest operating costs of any business. As she says, "when people get together, it's messy..." and there's few ways to avoid the mess.  In this episode, she talks about how recognizing the humanity in your human capital is not just an ethical way to manage people, but the benefits to your brand are exponential. Staff can be viewed as a marketing growth lever.  Her background is interesting to say the least. 25 years of extremely varied work experience has seen her work on farms, in ski resorts overseas, state and local government, health care, as a university lecturer, in research, and consulting. Somewhere in between she squeezed in a PHD in behavioral economics and became Chief of Staff for Prospress.  Alison believes that a good thought experiment for your organization is to "...imagine what your employees say to their friends and family about work on a weekend at a BBQ, or whatever the virtual version of a BBQ is these days". We talk about all the ways she has found teams can foster a healthy, human workplace in an increasingly online-dominant world.  Make no mistake, this is not a fluffy, idealist discussion about a fantasy work utopia or how you can write the best PDs/JDs. This is about high-level strategy and  tactics which you can implement to ensure your team is operating at it's maximum, regardless of the location or maturity.  Not many marketers talk about the importance of internal branding nor it's relation to the external, customer-facing brand. But, staff exude your brand at many touchpoints. To ignore their influence on commercial outcomes, is to ignore a large source of growth potential.  Find out how it's done right, in this interview with Alison Macintyre.  For all references, mentions and trailers go here
October 14, 2020
Andrew Roper - Rockstar royalty, entrepreneurship and the secrets of the wine world - S1 Ep15
You will never find real entrepreneurs doing laps of the motivational speaking circuits and flogging a bunch of online courses to the masses on social media. They are very busy people, with high demands for their time. Which is why you're in for a treat with this episode where we uncover someone who keeps a low profile within the wine and business world.  Supplier of wine and trusted beverage consultant to many of the elite rock-stars, actors and celebrities around the world. The likes of Richard Branson, Billy Joel, Benji Madden, Cameron Diaz, Paul Stanley and many more.  Andrew Roper is living a very interesting life and a very interesting character. Former business manager for infamous Melbourne gangster, Chopper Read, professional wine reviewer and a very astute businessman. His story is a fascinating one, which is why were needed to unwrap the layers of mystery and find out just how he did it.  If you're not into wine, it doesn't matter. We don't use jargon and talk about wine making techniques. We talk about wine in context of business, with loads of personal stories and anecdotes to boot. There are important lessons here regarding the power of the brand, stories, distribution, positioning, partnerships and referral networks.  If you read between the lines, you'll discover multiple gems of wisdom throughout this episode. Anyone who's into the world of business, marketing, growth, and wine should easily glean some very important takeaways.  I really don't need to sell this episode. Start listening and I'd be surprised if you don't find it fascinating.  For all references mentions and trailers go here
October 11, 2020
Jon Manning - modern pricing strategies and tactics - create value by getting pricing right - S1 Ep13
Pricing is one of the 4 P's of marketing. Before the bean-counters and financial analysts took over this domain, pricing sat firmly in the remit of the marketing department. Then the great purge happened and each of the other P's peeled off from marketing, fragmenting the critical strategic marketing discipline. There only so much that can be done by looking at spreadsheets and creating economic models. What was lost, was an understanding of how customer value manifests itself - the irrationality - the art.  Jon Manning is here to restore that connection, as he leverages his deep knowledge of economics, finance and marketing.  By default, the large majority of businesses will use a cost-plus pricing strategy which is a legacy pricing method, firmly rooted in product manufacturing.  While there's a lot of cross-over with the product domain, this episode discusses pricing strategies for services almost exclusively. Jon's worked for many sectors including, petroleum, airlines, internet cafes, SaaS and more. As the founder of outsourced pricing strategy consultancy marketplace, Pricing Prophets, there isn't much he hasn't been exposed to. So we needed to hear the best ways to price our product offering and the mistakes to avoid.  He cleverly wraps many stories and real-life examples from his career into the mix. Even pricing novices will be able to understand the concepts that we're discussing. Have a listen and I'm sure there's a follow up on the cards.  For all references, mentions and trailers go here 
September 22, 2020
Chris Walker - Demand generation which actually works in B2B SaaS is often counterintuitive - S1 Ep11
You’ve probably heard him on LinkedIn or from his popular podcast, but today the microphone is reversed and we get to probe a little further into the world of Chris Walker. We ask him all the questions that he doesn't normally get asked.  If you’ve listened to him online, he shoots from the sales & marketing hip as much as a Texan ranger, but underneath this tell-it-like-it-is personality lies a nuanced, pragmatic professional, completely unbound by convention. It’s clear, early on that he is privy to the wisdom that only comes from being on the front-line, honing his craft. He's someone who’s close to customers and executing with deadly precision. This is why we needed to talk. This isn't a tactical discussion about any specific channel, but at the same time this is not a fluffy, top-level strategy conversation by any means. This is a warts and all expose on the approaches that work in a modern setting. We get to hear more about the approach he’s been perfecting since he started his own eCommerce businesses in his early 20s and I layer some of my own personal experiences on top as well. If you work for a B2B SaaS company, which spits out hundreds of blog posts, encouraging people to download vanilla e-book downloads and sink a chunk of your budget into trade shows as your primary lead generation tactic - listening to this episode may be quite confronting. If you’re been brainwashed by martec vendors’ who are all busy trying to convince you about a new phrase they've coined which ends in ‘marketing’, then you’ll need to prepare yourself.  This is a must-listen for sales teams, marketing teams, growth teams, executives and founders, especially in the B2B SaaS sector. With that said, the nuggets you’ll get from listening are just as relevant to the broader B2B sector as well. Especially the discussion about metrics and performance.  With so much misinformation and tech vendors peddling their own agendas - it was time to cut through all the BS and get Chris’ take on the current state of demand gen, growth, marketing and sales. Check out the mentions, references and trailers to this episode here 
September 05, 2020
Matt Watkinson - Customer Experience Strategy - the part that isn't a buzzword - S1 Ep9
Matt Watkinson was talking about customer experience even before it became a boardroom buzzword. In fact by 2012, he'd already written a famous book on the topic. As a successful author and practitioner in the field of CX for over a decade, he’s someone who looks at the discipline from a much wider perspective than most. This multi-disciplinary approach to his craft makes him deadly effective when it comes to solving business problems. Similar to me, he doesn't focus on the CX that just sounds good, but the type that helps improve commercial performance.  He's well-read and highly intellectual, so in this episode we get to delve into many areas aide from the topic at hand. So if you're interested in the broader connections between marketing, strategy, growth or finance, this discussion is highly relevant.  Which hotel did he say in that costs $14000 per night and what is the secret to a good whisky? What is his personal history with Ogilvy god, Rory Sutherland? What is the CX holy trinity, and the fuse box project tactic?  What's the fail-safe way to create your own buzzword and why are they are so prolific? Which of the 450+ books in the field of CX which Matt has read, does he recommend you read? Which statement about CX made him very unpopular in some circles? What’s the one thing you shouldn't forget to do if you’re ever invited to speak at an event? What’s the difference between a CX practitioner vs an expert? The easy way to spot the difference. What is the one customer feedback question every hotel (and every business for that matter) should be asking their customers but fail to do so? What mistakes did he make when writing his books which he would change? All of this and more answered in a long, but 'worth it' episode - especially if you like whisky.  For more info about references and mentions during this episode and the trailer, visit here
September 01, 2020
Vikki Ross - Words that sell - the overlooked value of great copywriting - S1 Ep10
Vikki Ross is one of the UK and Europe's most famous copywriters which is why I hope she doesn't critique my terrible writing right here.  Very early on in her career, Vikki decided that copywriting was what she wanted to do. Her unwavering commitment and mastery of the craft is awe inspiring. She’s worked as a copywriter for both large and small brands. From in-house work for brands such as The Body Shop,, and Virgin Media to her more recent consulting work for brands like Disney, Harry Potter, Sky News, Formula 1, Durex, Tesco, Sony Music and more. Professional accolades aside, what's also immediately apparent if you meet Vikki, is her firm support for other professional women. She's also an ardent leader of the global copywriting community, taking a firm leadership position with efforts to push the industry forward constructively.  Best of all, she doesn’t just talk and write about it, she does it. From Copycabana events in the early days to Copywriters Unite, she’s constantly advocating for progress and respect within the profession. Does she think AI is a threat to copywriting and what's the best way to measure its value? How is copywriting different from other forms of writing or content production. Can bad grammar and brevity be better than the opposite?  We discuss all of these things and more. Including, how the brand story-telling has gone wrong, and even why she loves working with legal departments! We ask about the things that prevent good copywriting from being published and Vikki tells us what to look for when hiring a professional.  What work did Harry and Megan approach her about? What are her must-read books on copywriting? What is an unmissable opportunity female copywriters should be taking advantage of right now? All of these questions and more are answered in this episode so click the button and have a listen now!  For a full list of references, mentions and trailers to this episode, visit here
August 27, 2020
Kathryn Rutkowski - The brutal reality of customer experience strategy that works - S1 Ep5
Customer experience aka CX. Is it just another buzzword or new name for customer support? Well it's neither. Kathryn lays down the truth bombs hard in this episode, cutting right through the fluff surrounding this mysterious discipline. Her multi-disciplinary experience working for firms both large and small, has meant her perspective on customer experience is extremely valuable. Naturally, we wanted to ask her everything and she didn't disappoint.  We discuss everything from CX metrics, to the hallmarks of junior vs senior teams. We talk about the 70% silent complainer majority, the processes and strategies she implements and much, much more.  Plus we sip a nip or two of gin and talk about her journey from big finance to tech. If you work in CX, Marketing, Customer Support, or as an executive and want to know the ins and outs of customer experience, you need to listen to this episode.  Note: this is an edited re-release episode which differs slightly from the original release of June 29. For all references, mentions and trailers visit this page   
August 26, 2020
Confessions of a tech CMO - Robin Daniels - S1 Ep8
How do you do marketing for a tech company? Well we asked someone who's been there since the first tech bubble pop in 2001. We learn how marketing in the tech world has changed over the past 20 years. What's stayed the same and what's changed. What's the latest and greatest and everything else in between. Robin Daniels is the current CMO of Matterport and ex-CMO of WeWork, and he's held senior positions at Box, Vera, Salesforce and more prior. He's experienced the whole gambit of the SaaS world and stems from a solid product marketing background. So we had to find out how he approaches marketing in the modern tech world world. What to do, what not to do and everything in between.  For all references, mentions and trailers related to this episode, visit this page
July 27, 2020
Measuring a brand's contribution to revenue with mathematical accuracy - Edgar Baum - S1 Ep 7
There's brand marketers on one side and Edgar Baum on the other. He has mathematically proven the complex relationship between brand and revenue. Edgar is even called as an expert witness in court cases, and has developed an ISO valuation standard, such is the depth and integrity of his knowledge regarding the evaluation of intangible assets. Why is Tesla so valuable? Why are CPG/FMCG brands under attack? Is a brand more than a logo or your brand design guideline document? How does a brand work and why do people buy? If you've a fan of the work that Ehrenberg-Bass is doing in the field of branding, this is the perfect complement to this level of discussion. Warning: not suitable for the brand-fluff marketing types or CFO's suck in the legacy world of tangible assets and traditional accounting practice.  This is a fresh take on the concept of brands from the triple perspective of a marketer, a financier and a mathematician.  Listening to this episode could be confronting for those who do not possess an open mind.  For all mentions, references and trailers to this episode, go here
July 05, 2020
Advisory boards - the secret ingredient of high growth companies - Louise Broekman - S1 Ep6
There's nothing worse than acting on poor advice. Sometimes it can be better to do nothing at all in retrospect. As a business owner, how to you ensure that you're receiving the best quality advice at the time? What are the different options out there and what are their pros and cons? Louise is the founder of The Advisory Board Center, the world's only global body for formalized advisory boards. In this interview she explains why it can be so effective to leverage world-class, independent advisers who work collaboratively to solve complex business problems. Every business right now is looking at ways to maximize the economics within their organisations.We discuss the difference between an advisors and consultants, her success using an advisory board to grow her own company, why the US was obsessed with Australian lemon myrtle during WW2 and even penguins. If you are a business owner, board member, executive or entrepreneur, this is essential listening. For more information about things referenced, mentioned in the episode or trailers go here
July 02, 2020
The future of retail is mass customized and personalized - DTC to C2M - Shadi Taleb - S1 Ep4
Post COVID the online economy is booming but which retailers are being left behind? What new technology is out there to help retailers replicate the in-store experience online? What does retail look like in the future as traditional, globalised production networks are put pressure by economic lock-downs. Shadi Taleb gives us a detailed glimpse into this future. He tells us about the most lucrative new marketing channel that exists but which few marketers are familiar with - mass personalization. His team has created tech which makes this process cost effective, even for the smallest brands in the market. We go through his entrepreneurial journey, how he found a gap in the market and how he views himself as a facilitator in a market that's being put under immense competitive strain.  From his work with major brands such as BigW, Nestle, and Mondelez (owner of Cadbury) through to pioneering world-first, personalized AR experiences. If you’re interested in product marketing, personalization, retail, eCommerce and tech, this is an episode you shouldn't miss. This is his second podcast interview ever, so quite a rare coup for this marketing channel series.  For all references, mentions and trailers, go to this page
June 28, 2020
Positioning strategy - pivot your way to success in competitive markets - Anton Buchner - S1 Ep3
We’ve all heard, how you say something is sometimes more important than what you say, but few realize this maxim can be true in business also. Sometimes it's not your product or what you’re selling that’s important, but how you sell it to the market that makes all the difference. Positioning is one of the most misunderstood and jargon-ridden areas of marketing strategy. We've all seen a positioning strategy dominated by a litany of perceptual maps, competitive matrices and a boatload of ethereal brand jargon. This is why we needed to speak to Anton to help cut through all of the positioning fluff by drawing on his years of practical experience.  Anton’s worked for global agencies as well as client side. He's been a consultant for both big and small brands. He’s worked in multiple sectors from tech through to FMCG, services and product. He’s personally drafted strategy as well as executed tactical plans, from direct mail to website development and more.  He confesses upfront that he’s not textbook learnt, but has instead developed his own simple processes which are dangerously effective.  In this episode, we learn the secrets behind Apple and Virgin’s successful positioning strategy. We learn the critical difference between, purpose, pivoting, pitching and positioning. We also find out which of the different positioning strategies is his favourite.  Don’t worry, this isn't an esoteric discussion and you don't need to have any deep prior knowledge before listening. Anton cleverly wraps wisdom into his stories and practical career examples to let the points he’s making sink in. There's key leanings for all marketers, all innovators, entrepreneurs, and anyone interested in brand or product. For all mentions, references and trailers go to this page
June 28, 2020
Podcasting as a marketing medium - The basics you need to know - Tim Beanland - S1 Ep2
By tapping into Tim’s first hand knowledge we provide you with many juicy details which you can take away and either start or manage a successful podcast. This is one of our 'expert guide' episodes where we delve into one particular marketing channel in depth and provide you with a comprehensive guide.  We cover all the basics from picking a theme, to finding your niche, to getting famous guests, preparation, equipment, software, music, distribution and promotion. We talk about both general approaches and specific tactics in each of these areas, even the names of different tools and hardware to use. While this episode is first and foremost a guide, we also touch on Tim’s story and he graciously opens up about a topic close to his heart near the end. If you’ve ever wondered how the world of podcasting works, this is an unmissable episode. For all references, mentions and trailers go here
June 25, 2020
How growth mindsets can lead to multi-million dollar success - Andrew Walker - S1 Ep1
We've brought Andrew Walker back into the spotlight by convincing him to do his first podcast interview in years. He's modest and usually keeps a low profile but he's one of the best examples of how powerful the growth mindset can be on someone's life.  There was a pivotal moment which forced him to change for the better. Learn why he gave up a pretigious, high-paying job in consulting to pursue a different trajectory which ultimately led him towards business success and the recent sale of his company for ten's of millions of dollars.  If you want a practical guide to the implementation of the growth mindset in your life and in business - this is the episode you need to listen to.  Lots of juicy nuggets of widsom, tips, tricks, books to read and methods to follow.  View all the references and links mentioned in the article via this page
June 05, 2020