About Angie Schottmuller
Edutainment at its big-80’s-hair best, Angie cleverly translates complex concepts into fun, actionable insights. Recognized by Forbes and Entrepreneur as a “Top Online Marketing Expert to Follow,” she’s known for empowering attendees with cutting-edge strategies, free “power tools” (templates, scorecards, code snippets, etc.) and tactical takeaways that’ll catapult your team and marketing to the next level.
In her Learn Inbound talk, Angie will show you how to build adequate cross-channel knowledge that fuels big-picture strategy. You’ll get a full-stack in just 30 minutes! Angie will share 7 remarkable hybrid hacks — deep insights that cross multiple disciplines of marketing technology. You’ll gain simple, clever wins and technical game-changers proven to make a bigger impact for your organisation. With such ROI-potent strategies, you’re guaranteed to leave with a buzz!
- How to identify “hybrid” optimization power plays for broader impact
- Common mistakes of siloed marketing/technology teams (and how to fix them)
- Clever, game-changing tactics that can be implemented with minimal effort
Anybody a runner in here, some runners? I am not a runner. I suck at running. So I have great appreciation for those that can actually do it. And I have this friend, Steve, and he was telling me about a race he needed to do to qualify for the Boston Marathon, which is a lifelong dream of his. And he's 50, so he needed a time of 3 hours and 30 minutes in order to qualify. He's telling me, you know, "Hey, I was getting through it and I was doing fine until I was at mile 21 where I hit the proverbial wall, and everything was off. My pace was off. I was exhausted. My feet were stomping hard on the ground. And then this guy in a blue shirt goes right by me, not fast but steady and visually locks in right in front of me. And I'm just spent, right, all right? I powered through 21 miles and I've been kicked down before, trying to keep going. So I lock onto blue shirt, okay, pace by pace, step by step, gonna make it." And 45 minutes later he crossed the finish line. He leaned over. Check his watch, 3 hours 25 minutes. "I made it, yes. Walked over to nearby bench, basically collapsed, looked up a little and saw a blue shirt, so I said, 'Hey, blue shirt!' He looked a little confused. Stumbled my way over there and said, 'Thank you. Thank you for getting me through miles 21 to 27. Without you, I never would have made it.' And blue shirt smiled and laughed a little bit, like, 'Are you kidding? I wouldn't have made it if you didn't get me through miles 17 to 21.' "
Mmm, I love that story. I love it because it reminds me a little bit of life cases where a lot of times, we can be cruising along and we're steady and confident, feeling like, "Hey, it's good," and then boom, we hit a wall. Something gets screwed up. Something's not going right. All the voices in your head saying, "Okay, this is horrible. Defeat is imminent. You're not gonna make it through." But then you've got a blue shirt friend that comes along, that's been there before, picks you up, takes you through it. As growth marketers, that's actually what our job is.
We're supposed to be blue shirts for each other, helping along the way because growth is hard and growth is painful. It's painful to get through those cases. So I have question for you. Who's your blue shirt? Who are you watching that's ahead of you, that's been there before, that when you fall and you're having a hard time that they'd be there to pick you up, that you'd be able to connect with them to say, "What do I do?" To reach out to them.
And just as important, who are you being a blue shirt for? Who's counting on you? Who's depending on you to teach them, to guide them, to get them through? This is the essence of growth marketing and that we perpetually go through change. And change is painful. It's a struggle. And if you're not going through some type of challenge or conflict, you're truly not growing, because that's literally part of the definition that you need to go through a bit of a transformation, because that pain point stuff is like a roller coaster, just like the ride. You know, you feel good one moment, like content marketers. This solely cracks me up. All my entrepreneur friends every day they're like, "Boom, I did...now it sucks. I hate it." "Oh, it's awesome. Do you see my click through it?" "Oh, man, we're never gonna make it." Like they're up and down, it's totally polar, because change creates friction in our brains, and our brains aren't equipped to easily handle that.
So when we talk about growth marketing, I wanna clarify the fact that growth is not a strategy. Growth is a result. Growth is a result of transformation, a key transformation. Some type of obstacle needed to be overcome for you to grow, right? Some type of pain had to be endured in some fashion for you to grow. So that's my promise for you today. The next 25 minutes or so is to help you get through these challenges into your next big opportunity. A lot of times people ask me like, "You know, where do we start? How we do this? I wanna do this growth thing." And most recently, I've really honed in on the fact of the whatever your biggest pain is in life, that's your biggest opportunity for growth in life, at work, in the office. So when those friction opportunities come up, recognize it as a growth opportunity, because sometimes we see these things and they're bears, and it was like, "Oh, it's gotta be better on the other side. We're gonna make..." You know, it'll be better without having to put up with this kind of thing, but you won't grow, you won't learn through that unless you're able to overcome the obstacle. You find your pain, you find your purpose. You find your pain, you find your purpose.
So today I'm gonna go through four top obstacles that are hurting your growth. Could be your personal development growth. Obstacles that are hurting your team's growth, your business' growth. These all fit together in terms of burden. So kicking it off with the HIPPOs. So I actually polled lots of fellow marketers and friends through Facebook, Twitter, all over the place so I could go, "Okay, which of these do I wanna put as top obstacles?" And people whenever they talk about some made it...there wasn't normally an emotional response with them, until they get to HIPPOs. "Darn it, those HIPPOs."
HIPPO is the acronym for the highest paid person's opinion. Sometimes the highest important paid person's opinion, that you fear that that person's going to come in and regardless of data, regardless of data, is like, "No, my way because my way." And that kills you inside when you're trying to make data-driven decisions. So how do we get by that? So I want to give you some tips on how to flip that perspective and forget the just because they're paid that much that that's what they're doing. Call this the Jedi Train. What direction is a train going? Just shout it out.
Man 1: Southern.
Angie: Okay. Now, use the force and make it go the other way. Oh, yeah, that's the Jedi Train, all right, uh? Love that. Love it. Flip perspective. Flip. Whenever there's that complicated case, again, when you identify that complication, see it instead as opportunity. So we're gonna redefine HIPPO. How do we handle the HIPPO? First aspect is if this does happen and you fear that, okay, the opinion is gonna come in and trump whatever else has been planned out, first and foremost, you need to humble yourself. Seek first to be. to understand versus to be understood. Why might this be? Do you know your HIPPO? How much do you know about them? Where might they be getting this direction from? Might it be that they have too many things on their platter and they're anxious and this is a safe path. That's where they're going. Maybe they talked with a customer recently and that customer is a big customer. And they said that, and they're just going off of one case. And that's where they're going with. Know your HIPPOS. Learn why that reasoning is. Because when you ask why and especially if the HIPPO has a big ego, they're happy to tell you usually. You know, they like to tell their story when you say, "That's very interesting. I'd love to hear more on that. You know, why you've got that. Let me hear about that more."
Ask the right questions, you know, to inquire to get to that point, because it's surprisingly similar to the way we are in marketing of where we should just ask our customer most of the time, and yet 80% of the companies that I work with are like terrified to do that. "No, we don't talk to our customers. Mm-mm." Especially big brands. Oh, my goodness, all the big brand clients I work with, no. Who does that? Who talks to their customer? Your team is your customer. Your boss is. Your peers are. So you need to ask those questions. Find out more. But don't just blindly ask and don't put a yes/no answer out there, okay? Because you don't want psychology to go backwards on you. When you inquire, make sure that you're piloting an option. Don't go for the yes/no part of the so these are the scenarios. We're kind of going this way, this way, and this way. And make sure that you're comfortable with all those options that they're being presented with so that it's seen differently versus no, just this way or that way. Because if you give them just a short option case and haven't steered them, haven't equipped them with the data that you've already seen, then they might make a quick decision. And because they're juggling so many tasks, HIPPOs are very inclined to stick with what answer they've given. In facts, psychology principle known as the endowment effect. They'll cling to it because once they've made a decision, once any of us has made a decision, our mind likes to rationalize that decision. And we now view it more favorably because well, that was our decision. We might even look at the other options as being negative to that. So you don't want to fall into that hole of where that's where they would start to perceive that that direction was more positive just because they went that way. Pilot the decision in that case.
Be prepared. Know the pre-mortem scenario of the what question would they likely ask. Are they gonna ask, "Well, how much is this gonna cost. Who is that going to impact? What are the time cases?" What will they ask? And make sure that you're equipped with qualitative data, quantitative data, and direct from customer data, because if your top management folks are talking directly with customers and maybe they had that one case, they talked to that customer and they're like, "This is what it is," you need to be prepared with other data that is very similar to counter that.
And the last one, I couldn't...I was trying to figure out and I'm like, you can't put objectives in there because I need it to be action. So I put objectify in there. Now to objectify means to make an object out of something, which typically we view that as, you know, not a positive thing. But in this case, when you encounter a HIPPO, I want you to objectify the situation. I want you to focus on the goal and the numbers and not get personal. Because very easily when you've worked on something and you've put time into it, you get sensitive about it, right? You don't...It's like more like your baby. You don't wanna die [inaudible 00:12:47]. So separate yourself so that you're able to have that other perspective to learn and gain the insight there. That's the new HIPPO.
Never bring an opinion to a data fight. Good data conquers, right? Be prepared because you also if you're passionate, "Hey, this is the direction," why are you so confident of that? Can you stand your ground with that argument? Do you know? Do you have the actual data backing that? What is the data? So be prepared with that, and very importantly, especially with HIPPOs because they don't like to read through a lot of stuff, be visual with your data. Because they might skim/scan and be like even more so don't have time for this, sticking with the gut and going, "No, just go this way," because they don't have to think too hard about it. They don't want to crunch that. So if you have ROI and the data in there, you've gotta have that ready.
But the next key aspect is what are the competitors doing? Of the HIPPOs that I've worked with, surprisingly, it's almost half-and-half in terms of who is driven by data and ROI, and who is more so influenced based on what the competition is doing. [inaudible 00:14:05] just kills me. It kills me when they're not data-driven, like, you know, it would kill you to spend all this money. But if I say, "Your competitor is doing this." "Oh, you're kidding me. Let's do it. Let's do it." "Okay, how soon can we get this out?" Serious trigger. How do you know what your competitor is doing? These are three simple tools that you can scan out there. Maybe it's like, "Hey, we wanna implement this new tool out there built with awesome browser plugin that you can just click on and see, okay, how many different things are they running? Are they're running an AB test right now?" You would see VWO, Optimizely, etc., in there. Whether their plugins are included, personalized content, Twitter cards. Which if you have any type of social sharing of your content and you don't have Twitter cards on your site, you are missing out because the posts that have that visual engagement from a Twitter card get way more interaction than those that don't. See what competition is doing so you're able to leverage that data for persuasion, Datanyze, very cool integration. All those are great. Spy on the competition. Use that to drive them.
But keep in mind, when you have the HIPPO that either has made a statement or will about to ma-, they're about to make a statement on that, that if they object or go the path that you're not thinking of, why might that be? So to do that, we have to step into a little bit of psychology there. So we have a dual processing brain. System one, system two, excuse me, from a great book, "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman, it goes through the details of how these two systems in our brain work together and where they come into play and its simplicity. You can just think about one of them that is our subconscious emotional side of the brain. And this part of the brain does your decision-making. It's on autopilot really, but it also is what protects you. This is the primary system of the brain. If you're fearful, you know, if you're about to be attacked by some type of case, this is the part of brain that will respond.
Now, in order for you to get someone's attention, that's the part of the brain you need to hook, but also to get someone to take action, that's the part of the brain that you need to engage. So, when they're doing something that you're not sure that you want them to do it and you wanna get them to think differently about it, think, "Well, what might trigger or activate that part of the brain or comet to get to the other side to be rational, logical?" Because sometimes we're like, "That's not even logical. Hello, we have data." When that comes up, remember, "Okay, system one, system two." That part of the brain, you know, when we're fearful or in doubt will cling to what we know. Be prepared for that particular case so you're able to identify, "What is their fear? What might their concern be?" They feel like they can trust a different path better. Is it about timing? Is it cost pieces? You need to dig deeper to identify that particular pain.
And this makes it a lot easier then when they make particular comments that they're fearful about, you know, "Oh, we should just do this." Let's say you made a comment about something and said, "Oh, we should go forward with this." And you asked why, and they said, "Well, I had a...you know, call with customer, whomever last week and they said this is a big deal. So this is how we should do it." Okay. So you might then be responding of the, "Really, that's really interesting because, you know, I talked with this many customers this month and, you know, they were leaning more to this way. So maybe we don't have adequate sample size."
And now here's the great part where when you respond and you're engaging with the HIPPO, bring in another person. Remember that opinion to a data fight picture, okay? You've got a bigger team. The masses outnumber the HIPPOs. Okay? So engage more people to be like, "Yeah, we wanna be data-driven." And also be like, "Okay. Hey, Jane or John, you know, could you dig up more research on this so that we could verify, because either way we want to be making an informed decision. And we thought we had enough data, but, you know, maybe there's an anomaly here. We need to figure that out." Okay? Now you've redirected, you've satisfied the part of the brain that would have put that HIPPO, you know, in the uncomfortable zone, not sure about how they were gonna move forward. Just like you're finding your pain for purpose, you find their pain, your purpose and direction changes. Right? You wanna find their pain point. What's the hook that's gonna make them go yes, just like it was, you know, "Oh, what if we find out they're a competitor," and they're like, "Oh." Okay, you found the button. Find it. now you find your focus for what you're going to work on. HIPPO conquered, boom. No fear of the HIPPOs but that doesn't mean obstacles are out of our way.
So I actually served in the U.S. Army Reserve for five years in a combat support hospital. And this is one of the confidence courses. This particular one is called the tough one. Right? Because it is. So you climb the rope. On the other side, you walk across a log bridge and then make it down the net on the other side. I love this kind of stuff. Every time we'd hit confidence course I was like, "Boom, yeah." And I was platoon leader, so some people on my team would always be a little nervous because I was the crazy woman. We're going in first and we're doing this. I had no idea I had any fear of heights until I got up there. And I was like whoa. I totally had pictures going through my mind like I am not gonna make it. I'm gonna be clinging to that log. I'm gonna go out a little bit. I'm gonna be so panicked. And then one of my guys in my squad was like, "You got this. Remember your training." Remember your training. Fascinating in that regard of two pieces coming into play here. One, I have my team backing me. They have my back. Changed my mindset. But two, unlike anybody else trying to tackle these confidence courses, when you're going through military training, we ran and marched a 30-inch step. Thirty-inch step. Every morning, every night, wherever we're going, 30-inch step. That's what it was. How far apart do you think those logs are? Thirty inches.
Think about this from a marketing perspective now of when you have particular challenges, things you wanna learn, things you wanna do. How are you gonna measure that they really know it? When you're in doubt or fearful, what do you fall back on? Because the remember your training thing, totally clicked for me, and I was like, boom, walked right over it, 30. This is a 30-inch step. My mind is just messing with me. I totally got this, 30- inch step. I can do this. No problem. But we have obstacles in front of us sometimes that seem more daunting or your teammates might find to be more daunting. So we need to get by that. And it begins with the knowledge part. Which takes us to our next obstacle. How are we going to overcome that?
So when your teammates are stressed, confused, when your HIPPOs are like, "Mmm, I don't know. This is so much new stuff. I wanna back off." And they wanna fall back on what's safe. Well, what have you put in place that's the simple safe fall back? You would need a system. Remember this acronym case for it. Save yourself time, energy, and money. That's what a system is. This can be your simple process steps. That's just always a regular plan that you do. It could be your worksheets, your score cards, but what when you're doing these pieces is gonna be this is steadfast? This is gonna be like a backbone of pieces that we're doing. So whenever there's a question mark or anxiety about some particular task that people can come back to and know, "Okay, this is not changing." Because if you're an optimizer and you're potentially changing everything, you can't be building that growth team foundation on sand. You need some kind of rock.
So find a particular framework. Walk through your particular process steps. Map them out. So you're like, "Nope, this is still changing. We still have these five phases before we launch. This is steadfast. We're going with that," because people will want that option to cling to something.
And if there's too many different directions that you can go, you'll get analysis paralysis. This is my puppy, Nikita. Last summer, we got in a toy store and she was like, "oh." And she just laid down like, "There's so many, I can't even right now." Options kill conversion even for puppies. Too many options, too many things to do, too many of any of those cases overwhelm that system one part of the brain that makes decisions. So you need to refine that and narrow that back so that when people have that anxiety, they can come back to your core system steps to focus on.
Now, what are some other framework pieces I like for a system? Strategic planning map. When I did a lot of stuff with social media ROI, I brought this in a ton because they were starting on the wrong end, starting with metrics and trying to work back and I'd be like, "Wait. First off, why are you even doing this?" And you could do this overarching for your company and then each team or department can do it. The key is that it cascades down and that you're gonna map a connection to whatever level is above that particular. It could be a project team. It could be a department. But when I have department goals on there, that's basically just the level above that you're cascading from. That shows that yep, you're in alignment with whatever goal, vision, etc., that is, so that you know how and where you're making an impact. So a mission, you know, why are we bothering to do this? So if this was social media, could be like to build an army of advocates that in turn helped to promote, represent, and even audit the brand. Now we know why we're doing it. Clarity of the what do we want to accomplish to get that case of how these fit.
Now, the important part on this is that when we start doing a lot of tactics, we get overwhelmed. I start feeling like, "Okay, I'm not making any progress on the tactics." And what I found to be very helpful in working with my teams on this is that one, I be very transparent with them. If there's any anxiety, come to me right away on that so that they give me, "Okay, here's this and here's where this is at." And then we bring this back so that we're grounded. Okay? This is a, this does not change for the year. You know, specific aspects of tactics might, when you get into some of those points, but mission and goals do not. This helps keep you grounded of like, "Are we still focusing on this? Is this the best way to work on?" And then I actually cover up stuff on their forum and be like, "Ignore this right now, like put post-its over it. Don't even think about it. Let your brain relax and only focus on these things," so that they're able to focus. You're able to focus. But as a leader, that's your role.
And you don't have to be a manager to do that. Anybody can step up to help with that, to help simplify the case of, "Okay, what are you focusing on right now to make sense of it?" When you get into tactics, big pieces like, "Ah". Sometimes I've seen people fill those out and the tactics. So there's like, I met one where there was like over 50 tactics. And I'm like, "Uh-uh, no." You're gonna set yourself up for failure because there's no way there's enough time to get through every one of those. You need to refine down as to what makes sense right there in a practical manner. And when you know that it's practical then, now if you don't hit them, now it would be a problem. Because we can't say there isn't enough time if we backed it off and made sure like, "Okay, practicality, here's where these pieces fit."
So, when you hav that case, there's a time crunch. Come back to them and be like, "Okay, I'm late on this. I'm stretched on this time of the..." What are you working on that maybe you don't really need to be working on? Where do those priorities lie? And a priorities audit is super helpful at work and in life. So think for a minute in your mind, where do you spend your most time? Top five things. What do you give most of your time to? And now think about what's most important to you. Again, you do this for personal and for business and then audit. Are they in alignment? Is something off there? Because for the most part, those should be in alignment.
Now there are some exceptions, you know, so if this was in your personal life and, you know, health or prayer and spiritual aspects were included in there, that might be, you know, 10 minutes to an hour of your day. It's not necessarily the most amount of time, though it's most important to you. So there's some exception cases, but for business purposes, that's not typically the case. Oftentimes, the items that are most important should be getting most of the time, but you're derailed in some fashion. And this helps you come back, okay, if you do this little check, cross check, look back at your map to go, "Okay, I really need to focus on this goal and I'm kind of sidetracked here." How do you rein it back in?
So when you're thinking about that strategy map and your tactics and priorities and you have some pieces off and you're like, "Ah, how do we try to frame time work?" When I plan these out, I typically plan 80% towards goals around the strategy map. You will not accomplish your goals if you do not dedicate your mass part of your time effort specifically to saying, "I'm working on these tactics that support these goals 80%." Okay? Then you have 15% in there for experimentation. Okay, Instagram's got stories. Facebook's got stories, there's som-, there's always something new that comes up, right? And we need time to check things out because there might be a great opportunity in there, and it might be possible that even there's a tactic in there that would fully support one of the goals that are plotted. But you cannot dip in to that 80% bucket for your time. Okay? Keep it locked in to 15% of your time to experiment, to check out that new stuff, find the stuff. And the last 5% is always committed to a case for your team. So if that was, you know, it could be four hours a week, two hours a week, depends how long your weeks are in that case. Prioritize them. Lock in the hours for those buckets, so you know where they're at.
Now, for knowledge, we have a few different areas. I have a bucket image here but I'd rather picture a stool, three legged stool. Some people are like, "Oh, what...you know, what should you be training on?" We've got technical skills, business and industry skills, and then communication and people skills. And these ideally should be somewhat level, like a stool, because if they're not, you're unbalanced as to how you can be at your best potential there. And within communication skills, lies that connection to people. So when I talk about where we have a knowledge obstacle, this is one of the biggest. How well do you know your team? Your team is your first customer. How do you make them feel? How do they feel about you? What are their specific goals that they're trying to accomplish? Do you know all of this info? Nearly all the teams that I work with, this is a relatively unknown factor. And to me, this is their biggest, way more than HIPPO case, their biggest obstacle, because if I'm not confident that my colleague has my back, I'm not gonna take many risks.
Just like that tough one obstacle course. And I feel so great when I get to that point. You know, I needed my blue shirt for crying a loud. Where's my blue shirt? You know. Help out your team as a customer. Are they a dog person? They a cat person? Do they have kids? Their kids in daycare? They've grown up out of the house? How does that work? What are their favorite snacks, foods, eat? Are they a caffeine fanatic, 5-Hour Energy? First time I tried that and like I took it, I was like, "What, this is as good if they could do? Really? The flavors. Are they vegetarian?"
So I'm narcoleptic, chronic sleep disorder, so I fall asleep unexpectedly sometime. S far not on stage. We're good there. But I had to figure out that certain foods would trigger my sleep episodes and certain ones would help me stay awake. Green beans has basically an equivalent makeup and vitamins that provides same energy boost as 5-Hour Energy. Stay off the nasty tasting 5-Hour Energy and just bring some green beans to the office. That's your power weakness tip there.
Know your audience. For a while, I would write down notes about my teammates and I take kind of secretive. And I was like, "I don't know why." I like felt like somehow embarrassed or like guilty, like I was, "Okay, you know, here's their kids and, you know, loves volleyball, played college volleyball," like whatever the tips works. I was trying to remember these details about them so that when it came time to connect with them and engage, there was much more of a personal conversation, like I knew them. And what I found along the way is this is basically equivalent of how we do personas in marketing. What makes them tick? What did they really care about? You know, if the job is just a job at the end of the day, there's other things that they do and care about. You know, what will lighten up their spirits? What snacks do they like? If you're coming in the office and you're like, hey, you need to go ask them for something. You know, do they have a Swedish fish fetish? Maybe. You know, that's like, "Oh, Swedish fish are my weakness." Then okay maybe whatever you ask is gonna get a yes that day. You're gonna get yes. What's your favorite drinks? Do they drink? For someone that maybe previously drank and doesn't anymore, the constant requests to go out for happy hour can be challenging. It's important to know if there is friction there or not. What might that be? If they could go for a cool meal, what do they wanna go out for, any particular favorites in there? There's almost there's a kind of a theme around food and drinks here though, because those are key part of the system. One, hunger is an emotional trigger. We're trying to harness that emotion better.
Learn the key geekery stuff of the pets. what favorite movies they have. Quoting a movie line can be one of the simplest things that gets that right emotional trigger where you've captivated their attention and they're feeling good now. They're happy about connecting. Which is important because their next obstacle is miscommunication. But maybe there's some people here that don't have any communication problems in the office. Is there any people like that? Right, we're getting the stuff and then some days we're like, "It was in the email. Come on." What we have here is a failure to communicate.
Team Ferrari can change four tires in three seconds. Four flipping tires in three seconds. You know the average web page load time is? Five seconds. And that's not even accurate, good grief. I've reviewed more than 100 pages so far this, or 100 websites so far this year, and I can tell you page load time is easily between 9 and 12 seconds. We have fat, slow, ridiculous pages. Everybody wants to track every possible thing at tag-, I can't even get into tag manager right now. Don't get me going. Fat, slow pages. We can do so much better. There's no reason why your pages can't load in under one second by the way. I'm a former developer so I can geek out on that code stuff. At three seconds...I'm rest at 9 to 12. At three seconds, it begins to impact your search rankings. Most people aren't even paying attention. We just keep going about it. We're like ignoring that part. It's not that we're not aware of it, but it's not we're disconnected. We've got silos with different goals. Right? You might have developers over here, they're doing something. Marketing is doing this over here. Brand is doing this over here. Basically, everybody is doing something right now that is burdening page load time. Painful.
You need to find a way, if you truly want to grow your team and business, and even yourself on how to find shared goals with cross-functional teams. And I'll put page load time. Easily out there is one to be like, "Yo, this needs to be tackled." This impacts user experience, customer satisfaction, leads, sales, traffic, all of it. All of it is wrapped up in there from a shared goal perspective. So think about this when you're talking to, you know, your developer or designer, or whomever it is on the team and you're trying to get them on board of not thinking about it as, you know, my goals, their goals, you know, the consumer role that would be these are the business goals. These are the user or customer goals, but instead to make whatever their goals are yours. This is a key factor of conversion. It's a foundational aspect of conversion, in fact. Because in order to achieve your goals, you must first help your customer achieve theirs. I'll say that again. In order to achieve your goals, you must first help your customer achieve theirs.
So whom are you trying to persuade or get engaged in a particular project and what are their goals? How would they measure success? I'm not talking about KPIs that they might have on a particular project of the...You know, if you said, "You'll feel like this is successful if..." And let them fill in the blank and now help them meet that target. Perspective. It can look weird trying to flip that and see, you know, through that different lens of the customer or your teammate. But it's profoundly insightful if we're able to actually get that close and see through their mindset, their pain points, their goals and objectives, and it helps you to find the synergy for how you can have a commonality to work together.
And if you've got the goal aspect in place, the next piece that I always see come up revolves around expectations. So when we say we want good design, what's that mean? It's good. Can have a tangible metric on there? If you're gonna learn a topic, "Hey, we're gonna do these courses and learn this." How do you, how do you know that you've learned it? How are you going to measure that to say yes that you've done it? Now, because I'm an overachiever and a recovering perfectionist, I have to rein myself in when I think about these things because when I do conversion optimization or SEO projects, every time I wanna knock it out of the park. And if I don't think I can knock it out of the park, I'm honest about it. Generally, I don't take on a lot of those projects. The more screwed up challenging, etc., your site or project is, the more I'm like, "Boom, that's the one for me." I like helping those rebel chaos cases recover.
But the thing is when you say yes, you're gonna do something, what numbers do you put out there? All the agency teams that I've worked with, they'll talk about particular campaign and they'll like put a number out there, even when I first joined the last agency I was at and they saw some campaigns that I did. So then, you know, the brand new client, I didn't know anything about them. I hadn't done any background and they're like, "We did this," and they're expecting this many leads. And I'm like, "Whoa, whoa, wait, how many?" I'm like who told them out of the gate that we're gonna do 20% conversion? And that's like you just put that as that's that's meeting expectation? Good grief! I don't even, I don'e even have any background. What data do you have on that, because if we did hit that one, that should be in the five bucket, like, hello, go anywhere else to like hit that. That's not gonna happen. So you need to make sure on your teams to stay engaged and happy that even if that's your case, like you're thinking, "Hey, we could do great. That's gonna be it." That's not the metric that you talk about. Okay? That would go into your five slot.
You start with what meets expectation. Like, what would you be disappointed if you didn't do it? People typically have an answer for that. There's a lot of times their cases were like, "I've never done it before. I have no idea." But if say, "Why would you be disappointed? What would be your break-even point to do on the meets expectation part?" And now back it off from there and fill in the rest of the numbers. So, first view load time. Simple one in this case. So if you're going through and going, "Okay, what can we reasonably do that would fit?" So we could say okay, two to three you could say is in the meet expectation zone. And honestly getting under two for some sites without completely redesigning them is really freaking exceptional.
But, you need to make sure that whomever you're working with, if you're aware of how difficult or challenging some of these might be, that you speak up and clarify, "Well, when we could do that but just so you know that would be five." What you're talking about is five is our three, because you always have to leave room to exceed expectations. Otherwise when it doesn't come through, now you've really screwed up. Now you're in the poor. You're totally under-performing. Even if that wasn't the case, even if it was meeting expectations, use this on all your projects and get clarity. This is a really good way to engage with cross-functional teams, IT marketing because they might look at some of this stuff and go, "Mmm, mm-mm, with this hosting provider and this and that, we can't...you know, here's gonna be the best bet." Okay, we needed that. We need the reality check because we also don't wanna be, you know, targeting something that's not there. But if you don't have it scaled out like that, you won't know, but also you won't be able to celebrate the victory when you're like, "Heck,yeah!" So when the campaign comes back with 72% conversion, they like, "But just so I you know we're like in the 15 freaking scale now." We're like, "We're out here. We celebrate." But you can't do that if you have not set your bars at the right height.
On the miscommunication note, another key one that comes up a lot for me, is people will bring me some type of marketing material, flyer, or landing page, website piece, and they want me to critique it. In early on in my career, I did that. Don't do that, not on your team. Okay? Because you get what I refer to as the your baby is ugly effect. This is like a cross of cognitive bias between the IKEA effect, which is where if you build something and you actually put more effort into it, that you perceive it as having higher value. And the endowment effect, whether you purchase it or acquired it. However, but now that you've made that decision and you have that and you own it, it's yours and it's more valuable. So a developer that's coded something a particular way, a designer that's laid out landing page for stuff like our...I don't want to review it because I get the...I can see it in their eyes of the scorching look of death how much their like, "I hate..." because they can't hear the critique. All they hear is criticism because that's the only part their brain's letting go through because they're attached to whatever it is they have.
So here's how I've solved that. And it wo-, I sold it. It actually worked. So biggest one would be on images. Pain point, a landing pages, good grief. Send me another stock image, ridiculous photo. There's some photo shoot pictures of products or sometimes just so over it. You can't even see like detail. They're like covering everything else up. I need good images to work with. Okay? So hero shot scorecard. I can provide another team the scorecard, which by the way the short URL to download this interactive PDF form for you to score hero shots is bit.oy/heroshotscorecard. Instead of me critiquing and saying no, the image needs to be this and trying to explain and justify it, scorecards help to neutralize. I'll let them do it. They can score it. And now when it doesn't come out right, it's not me personally judging them and then feeling frustrated or inferior about it. I've got landing page worksheets. I got a lot of scorecards because the soon as they started going well. I'm like, "What else can I do a scorecard for. This is great."
Working with multiple agencies on a different project where maybe this agency is handling that part. Okay, same thing. Agencies do not like feedback from another agency. Am I right? Good grief, they're like, "Ah, yes, yes sir. Well, we'll look at that." But now the scorecards, they'll eat up the scorecard. They love a scorecard. Scorecard goes great. I include that with the case of going when you provide the images, they need to score seven or higher. Then they get the additional info to go through it. And I was totally wishful the first time I did that. It was with a Red Wing Shoes campaign and they did it. They came back and there were great images. I'm like, "Where the heck were these before?" But when they could see it, they could understand why and now we have a combination of the fact that we're getting past the miscommunication of the your baby's ugly effect and I'm offended. We're getting over a learning curve, because while they're doing that, guess what, they're learning. They're learning key aspects in the visuals of about directional cues, emotional triggers, lighting factors, all sorts of things. They're learning it while they're going through and doing it. Scorecards are huge. How do you work scorecards into your system? Bal [SP] means go, download any of mine on social proof scorecards, and I've got lots of presentations on SlideShare. Enjoy the scorecard world.
While we're learning more and more about our audience, a key factor to take into consideration is that when we start to think of them as human and not as just a colleague or the developer, the IT folks, or the designer, whomever the other person is, when we get to learn about them as a person, we're more sensitive about it. This is like, you know, an ant-, did you ever step on an ant after watching Ant Man? Antony! It's sensitive that you care about them now. You're not gonna just be like, "Yeah. Hello, why can't you work until 2:00 a.m. to get it done tonight?" And you'd be like, "Dude, just go home to your kids. Kids are more important we'll catch up tomorrow." You feel different about them. You understand the context better. Any message, whether it's a marketing message or a request we're sending to a boss or friend, the context aspect is huge. Content is only king in the right kingdom of context. What message requests are you trying to put together? And do you understand the context? More importantly, can you stage the context if you really need to get a yes, something out of that? Call this Pre-Suasion.
So Robert Cialdinni has a new book out after a long time of not having any things going on called "Pre-Suasion" where he talks about the case of how in order to be persuasive and get people to take the action you want, that you must first take into account the context and how might you feed them a little bit so that you're basically warming them up so that when they get there, it's way easier for them to say yes. So think about the "Pre-Suasion" case. What context would they be more likely to engage in? What context do they feel happier? Would it be better to talk about something outside of work? Or while you're playing ping pong in the office or doing a team-building activity, what's the right context that would relax? You know, what time of day? You know, maybe they need to go pick up their kids right after work, so planning a meeting that's right at the end of the day might not be the best because maybe all they're thinking about is okay they can get out and they have to be there on time to pick up their kids. Think about the context where you can stage it.
So, a lot of times I hear from folks that have requested something from our development team and it's totally backfired and they come to me and curse a lot. And I could tell you a story about how to fix that, but I made some SnapChat videos for you. So here it is. The first one, this is how to not request something from IT.
Woman: So I get this great tip, URL stuff on how to improve our SEO. And I take it over to our IT folks. It's awesome. Could you put a trailing slash on all our page rolls?
Angie: Did he start link?
Woman: Hmm, you want me to do what? Just put like a trailing slash thing, you know, like a slash at the end of the URL for all our pages. Why would we do that? So he totally blows me off, right? Then he's gotta go get the project manager.
Man 2: Well, what's the impact on time gonna be? Can we do that?
Woman: Um, yeah,no, like we can't do that. Mm-mm. Ahhh!
Angie: Oh, struggle is real. All right, I'm over on my time so I'm gonna...gotta get through the how to do it right first.
Woman: Hey, so, I got this new tip about this trailing slash thing. So I'm gonna go ask our IT folks if I, if we could do that. Hey, Pat, how you doing? Feeling strong in the forest today? Hmm? Hey, hey. Feeling strong in the forest today, yeah. So I got this trailing slash URL tip and it's supposed to help with load time and stuff. Have you heard anything about that? trailing slashes? Hmm, not familiar. Apparently it's the big win for squeuing up our pages and stuff. I might get that bonus. [inaudible 00:52:41]. Well, I don't really understand all this technical stuff but you are so smart. Could I just leave it here? Okay, sure, hmm. Okay, so I had this dream last night. It's like fighting off black hat SEOs aboard the Millennium Falcon. And then I sat down with Yoda and we're talking about trailing slashes on URLs. It's crazy and then the code just came to me. Really, aboard the Millennium Falcon? That's so awesome. So I can do that. Maybe like sneak it in maybe later this week, hmm?
Angie: SnapChat for business. All right, I'm way over on time case here, so I fly through this super quick. Last obstacle is weak morale and engagement. So Dan and I early had done an experiment with origami where you make your, these people were to make the origami and then bring it up after they were done. And in some of the cases there were, you know, acknowledged for it, thanked for their work. And the second case they were ignored, no response whatsoever. And the third case, the little crane they just made was put into the shredder. And they were offered money to make these, but they were watching these actions in that case.
Now what's fascinating in this part is that the people that were ignored on a satisfaction scale was basically the same as shredding the work right in front of them. So what does that say about the importance of gratification and giving thanks to people that you work with? Incentivize learning, I did this in my team meetings for my team each week that they had to learn something new. We had team meetings bi-weekly. Learn something new. I wanna hear something new you've learned. It doesn't even matter if it's marketing, etc., related. But incentivize the fact that they're learning. Got little, I love these little tokens. Vaudeville [SP] has them. Candid Culture Press is another. Vaudeville is the one I like. You can customize them saying from the desk of so-and-so on the back, but they can be passed along to another team. So if you have some that you've earned, you know, and someone else does a good job, you can pass them on. They're pretty cool for that.
Incentivize learning and doing new stuff, this is just like...you know, i'm trying to get my puppy to do particular tasks of the...You need to make a positive association with a change of behavior, doing something different so that it's easier to go that route. I'm being the blue shirt. Morale is a big challenge piece here and this exercise is a super great way. This is like part of your emergency morale kit, like you need to engage your team. I call these strength posters. So if you have somebody on our team's artistic just drop a little...it's supposed to be me. All your teammates, okay? And then you're gonna take these posters of everyone from your team and put them up on a wall in a room, bring a pile of sharpies. Okay? Ideally the same color. And then when your team gets in there, have them go around and except for their own poster, write three things about that individual that are positive. It could be anything as long as it's positive and encouraging. Interesting themes start to surface in there in regards to how other people see you. You also see themes of how do you see other people. Do you know them? Who do you not know? This like comes up at Christmas sometimes where I'm like I could buy a gift for them, but I'm like I couldn't even get them Swedish fish. I don't even know what their favorite candy is for crying out loud. I'm like totally failing. Learn those details.
After you go through this it makes a great audit to see who do you need to have a team-building activity with so that you can learn more about them, that you can engage better with them. All the times that I've done this, I've had at least one or two members of my team come up after and say it was their best day at work ever. Because encouraging positivity releases endorphins. Endorphins make people happy, and happy people say yes.
Leverage your strengths to build marvelous growth teams. Top obstacles to consider for overcoming, which now you can because I've equipped you, the HIPPOs knowledge and expectation barriers, miscommunication and the engagement, and morale factor. I fly through all these since we're short there.
Focus on the blue shirt piece if you run out of doubts, in that case of the find your blue shirt, be the blue shirt. And if you could do that in these pieces then for sure you will be a growth avenger. Good.