MacKenzie Fogelson

About Mackenzie Fogelson

Mackenzie Fogelson — “Mack” to those in the know — is a writer, speaker, and the Founder and CEO of Genuinely, a digital strategy company. Mack has been a featured speaker at top industry conferences such as MozCon and SearchLove. She helps companies build meaningful brands that care as much about their customers as they do about their profits. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Jon, and is rapidly funding her kids’ college education with a 25-cents-per-swear jar.

In her Learn Inbound talk, Mack will show you how to break through the noise, connect with and build an audience full of the right customers by using an authentic, purpose-driven approach to marketing.

Key Takeaways

  • To become successful and grow in the long term, it’s essential to specify the purpose of your company.
  • You need to analyse the customer journey related to your company and invest time and resources into showing that you are worth your customer’s time.
  • It’s not about how much money you spend on marketing, but rather the importance you place on honesty, integrity and promise as ingredients of what makes your company special.
  • 73% of customers care more about the brand than the product they’re purchasing. You need to build an emotional connection between you and your ideal customer.

Video Transcription

Hello. So I did come all the way from Colorado and I came on Monday because I thought I will go ahead and I will beat that jetlag.

And so I stayed awake all day Monday, even though I was miserable, and that night I slept so good and I was like, "All right, I'll be so ready for my talk on Wednesday." And so last night, or yesterday, had a great day, great dinner with all the speakers, went back to the hotel, couldn't fucking sleep. So I apologize if I am not very coherent today, but I am completely going on nothing.

So it's still going to be good. Today I am going to talk a lot about an approach to marketing that's going to help us all really look at this digital world that we're in that is so freaking noisy and try to make a little sense of that and help you break through that. So I'll start with a little story here. So let's just imagine that you're a fast food company, okay?

You're in the fast food industry, and you've been around for a little while, but you're still kind of getting started and you have something different and you're ready to take the industry by storm, but the problem is, is that you have a whole lot of competition and they have some ginormous marketing budgets, like McDonald's. In 2013 alone, they spent $800 million on their marketing and advertising.

And another company based out of the U. S. I think it's pretty synonymous with the brand that is serving the food today, KC Peaches, a little shoutout to them. Panera Bread is just like that in the U.S. They spent $55 million in that same year on their marketing.

So let's imagine that this was your company among the sea of competition and you were trying to compete with these. What would your marketing strategy be and how the hell are you going to contend with those budgets? Well, Chipotle did, another company based out of the U.S. But in case you're not fascinated and totally obsessed with Chipotle like we are in the U.S., it's basically an organic fast food Mexican restaurant.

So, in the same year, they spent less than $10 million on their marketing efforts, but they made a ginormous impact because they were doing something different like this. They were creating videos like the scarecrow that took a stand about the fast food industry, how it operates and how it sources its food.

They were holding three festivals, which I believe they still hold every year, where their community can come and share good food, music, and just really have a great time and share ideas and become connected. They've invested in things like sponsoring a column on the Huffington Post, not for their benefit, but really to get the conversation going about how food is sourced and what effect that ecosystem has on our world, or investing in ways of working inside of their company so that they can empower their employees to be better leaders.

All of these things that I'm talking about that Chipotle does, these are not just marketing campaigns. This is authentically how this company operates and this is what has contributed to their growth and durability over the last decade. So from 2006 to 2015, Chipotle increased revenue from $820 million to $4.5 billion.

So thinking about this approach that Chipotle has, how would you bring that kind of growth that's relative to your company in this digital age? And I know what you might be thinking. Some of you might know, "Well, hasn't Chipotle even making people sick over the last year?There's been a lot of food scares, right?"

I'm going to get to that. But first we're going to talk a little bit about this approach and how you can apply it to your company. So there is no doubt that in today's day and age, status quo is being stellar at every touch point that you possible have with a customer. That is no longer something that you can just forget about or do a little bit of.

Your status quo has to be stellar across the board. But ultimately, if you're going to try and gain attention, time, market share, customers who want to hang around and come back again and again, it's not about how much money that you're spending on your marketing. It's about building from authenticity and purpose.

And that is what's going to help you break through the noise, and let me tell you why. So 63% of people who consume would rather purchase from a company who is authentic than those who are not. And in that same Cohn and Wolfe same study they discovered that consumers, when they are purchasing from a brand, the number one thing that they're concerned about is whether that company is honest about their products and services.

They want to know that this company is not going to let their customers down, they need to prove that, and they need to be acting with integrity at all times. Because ultimately, what customers want to know is that you're going to do what you say you're actually going to do.

So in a BBMG study they also showed that 73% of people cared more about the company than the actual product that they were purchasing. And when people care about your company, they care about telling people about you. They spread the word of mouth, and 50% of all purchasing decisions are made because of word of mouth.

So in this day and age, in this fast paced digital world where there's so much noise, there's so much competition, and there's so much to compete just for attention, you have to think more than just how your company is packaged and you need to be focusing especially on who your company is.

And so today, we're going to talk about three really important things that your marketing has to have in order for you to build a sustainable and durable brand over the next many, many years, and that's purpose, people, and promise. And so first we're going to talk a little bit about clarifying your purpose as a company.

Because most of you will say, if you already have thought about this, that you have this down, mostly not. It's typically not effectively communicated to your audience where it needs to be. With people, it's really understanding who is in your target audience and then doing the work to connect with them, removing the road blocks so that they can become your customer and stay in your experience continuously.

And then finally, promise, essentially showing them that you are worth their time and attention, and you have to prove that through strategic action ongoing. You guys ready for this? Okay. We'll talk a little bit and then we'll go eat some lunch. Are you hungry? I'm hungry. Okay.

So starting with purpose. So chances are, you are in business or the person that you're working for, the people that own the company you work for, they're in business because they want to make money. They probably want to grow a little bit. So how does building a company from authenticity and purpose help you grow? Well, because, authentic, purpose-driven companies, they are extremely successful and their key to growth is purpose.

That's where they start from. And the fact of the matter is, is that the world has changed so much and businesses have to adapt so quickly that all of this constant change is really causing a difference in consumer behavior. And consumers know that they have a choice. The bar has been set so high for companies now that they know that they have the upper hand.

And what they want is for companies to contribute more to shaping society. Not only that, but the people who work for these companies, they want more meaning in their work and they want to work for better companies. So when you look at being purpose-driven, essentially it takes care of all of these challenges that businesses have, and at the same it helps them stay relevant.

But one of the biggest benefits of coming from this approach, and this was found in a Harvard Business Review, a case study, is that purpose-driven companies make more money, have more engaged employees, and are better at innovation and transformational change.

So the bottom line is, is that purpose drives everything that you're doing in your company, and this is not just for your emotional sell and your marketing. Purpose needs to drive the focus of the business hands down. But that's backing it up and saying that purpose is driving the products and the services that you sell, the people you hire, everything that you do in your marketing, your culture and how you operate, but most importantly it's driving that focus of your business.

And when you have that focus, you're able to put together an integrated marketing strategy that's going to bring you growth for your entire business. And when you're talking to the right people and you're focusing on the right things and you're helping move the roadblocks out of your consumers' way, then essentially they're more inclined to want to be part of your community.

They're more inclined to spread that word of mouth for you to become your sales force, and that's ultimately what's going to drive your growth long term. So one of the ways that we do this is we start all the way back, as I'm saying, by clarifying your purpose as a company. And there is a company called Ogilvy & Mather, and they created this exercise called "The Big Ideal."

And this one of the ways that you can unpack what your purpose is as a company and really clarify it or start with just identifying it if you haven't done this ever. I'm going to go through a very quick way of doing this today. This tends to take a lot of time to figure out, so don't let me fool you that it's so easy.

But if you do want to get some of the nitty-gritty of that, then you can download a free PDF off of their website. It's pretty hefty, but you can really go through it all by yourself. But I'll take you through the quick version. So essentially your big ideal is a company, that's your soul. It's also your conception of how you think the world should be. And so when you're trying to figure out what your company's purpose is, your big ideal, you want to start with two things.

One is the cultural tension, which is essentially something in the world that's happening, where if you address this is a company, you align with this, you're helping to be relevant, and something that's going on in our world today. And then you pair that with what is known as your brand's best self when you're doing your very best work. And then the intersection of those two things is your big ideal, and that's where your purpose comes from.

So let's look at Dove. It's a very simple way to understand this concept because it's such a clear way to put this into motion. So essentially with Dove, their cultural tension comes from many years ago, they did some research that only 2% of women feel good about their bodies.

And so essentially they wanted to attack that cultural tension and say, "In the age of Photoshop and social media where everything seems to be so perfect in our world, we want to tackle this. We want to change this self-esteem issue, the poor body image." And so if they couple that with who they are as the company, a brand when they are at their best self, they're basically selling soap, which sounds crazy, right?

Like, how do those things relate together so that you can make yourself relevant to your audience? So their big ideal comes together by finishing this statement, which is, "The world would be a better place if women were allowed to feel good about their bodies." So from that comes Dove's purpose.

They're here to help women feel good about their bodies. And once Dove made that shift, now they have that focus. That's what's driving everything forward in their business, not just their marketing, but how they're operating, how they're building their culture, and how they're shaping their products. And so once they've done that, it's coming out loud and proud in their marketing strategy.

Many of you have seen the real beauty campaign that has been operating for well over a decade in many different forms. It's still relevant because it's part of that cultural tension, which is embedded in their purpose as a company. And as they've switched to this approach over a decade they saw a $1.5 billion jump in sales all because they're making this focus change, and it's not about their product.

It's about looking at how they can connect their purpose to their customer. And that's the biggest thing to remember about this approach, is this not a social cause thing, this is not a non-profit thing, this is not a B2B or a B2C thing. This is a people to people thing.

As a company you have to be thinking about how you're going to build something not only that people want to work for, but something that people want to connect to and support as you go through your life cycle as a company. So if you want to dig a little bit deeper into a lot of this research, I wrote a post on Moz a little while back called "Why Content Strategy isn't Enough."

This Bitly will take you there or you can go search for it on Moz. So how does people fit into this equation, okay? Because every day we're seeing all of this technology and all of these tools that say, "If you use this, you'll get your audience faster. If you do this, miraculously overnight you're going to have all these customers."

But the truth of it is, is that technology is not going to do that for you. Use the technology wisely, but you have to be able to figure out who you're talking to and get the roadblocks out of their way and make that connection so that they want to become a repeat customer. And the thing with building your audience and your community is you're not looking for everyone and you're definitely not looking for big numbers.

You're looking for the right people. More of the right people can take you so much further than getting a shit ton of volume that really won't put you in front of your right audience or help you build a durable brand. So your job is to figure out how you can take your purpose and connect it to your people.

Again, you notice, I'm not talking about product. That is part of this, but it all comes from purpose. So let's look at an example. So we've been working for a company called Traveling Vineyard, and they are a direct sales company. Essentially they have thousands of people, mostly women, who sell wine for them in in-home wine tastings.

And before we met Traveling Vineyard, that's exactly what they were doing. They were selling wine. And this is what the first experience of their website used to look like. But come to find out that they needed to change their purpose and fully look at why they existed as a company and what they were doing.

And once we help them make that shift, they didn't have the trouble anymore of connecting with their customer. They didn't have that gap or that desperate need to be just pushing all day, "Wine, wine, wine. Everybody buy our wine," be real sales lead like they had before. Now all of the sudden they shift to purpose and they have no problem connecting with their customer and achieving growth, which is what we're going to talk about.

So it turns out that Traveling Vineyard doesn't really exist to sell wine. They actually exist to change lives by providing fulfilling and flexible work for these people. And so when you make that shift, that's a huge difference between what they were doing before. And so for the past nearly three years, that's what we've been doing, is trying to get them to bridge that gap between that purpose and their people.

And so one of the first things we did and this is was over two and a half years ago is we started by identifying the persona groups, right? So we had a... All of these women are essentially stay-at-home moms. They're just different segments of that. So we had a mom who is fully invested in being home full time, but kind of wanted to make a little bit of extra money but it can't mess with the routine with her family.

We had a mom that was more the empty nester. And she had kids that were leaving the house, she needed something to fulfill her time. And then we also had a mom who was invested as a mom but more so wanted to be that career person, and so she really needed something for herself. But we didn't just stop there, and that's the biggest problem with personas. We're starting to see the shift a little bit better this way.

But most companies just stop there with the stereotypes and they try to go market to those people. But you can't market to people at that stage. You don't even know who they are. So what we did is we took this a step further and we found the people who were in their community who match this persona. And so getting to know these women and honoring them as ambassadors of the brand helped us to better understand what was going on in their lives so that we could then uncover more people who are exactly like them, because they're loving and thriving in their life with Traveling Vineyard.

And so one of the exercises that we go through to dig under all of this and bring it all the way up to content strategy is starting with the customer journey map. And there are many ways to do this. This is probably the least intense version, so hopefully you guys will give it a try. So we adapted this from a company called Adaptive Path.

You can go to their website, pull down a PDF. Again, you can go through all the stuff, but here's kind of the CliffsNotes version today. So first you start by identifying the very hefty goals and challenges that a persona group might be having, okay? So first you're going to pick that persona group.

So Kirby, she's the stay-at-home mom that essentially represents more than 60% of the Traveling Vineyard audience. So for over a year and a half we only focused on Kirby. That's where we lived. So, for Kirby, her biggest challenge was she wants a part-time job but it can't mess with her family's schedule. That's her biggest challenge.

And so inside of that, she also knows that her goals in getting this job is she needs to know she's qualified for it, she's been out of the job force for a long, long time. She needs to know that it's flexible, it can flex with her schedule as a mom and with her family, and she can also earn some extra income in doing all of this, like it better bring some income.

And so once we are understanding of her goals and those objectives that she has, then we can break down the behaviors that she has inside of her journey and understand what the roadblocks are so that we can remove them. So we want to know what she's thinking, feeling, and doing across her entire experience with Traveling Vineyard.

And so this is where the funnel comes in. Yes, this is very linear, but in concept you have to make sure that you're covering each stage of this. Because even though the funnel actually feels like this now, there's no possible way to know where Kirby is going to interact.

We at least need to understand what the entire experience needs to look like altogether for Kirby. So that's why we're breaking all this down. So let's look at an example. So imagine you're Kirby and you're going through the consider phase in the funnel. You've selected Traveling Vineyard as one of the companies that you would like to consider and you're comparing them to maybe two or three other options in the direct sales industry.

So first we're going to look at thinking. So these are the things that are going to be on Kirby's mind, and we know this because we asked her. And she said, "These are the top things.Is this company really legitimate? Am I going to make any money?And do I have to be a wine expert to do this job? Because I know nothing wine." So those are the top questions that she's thinking as she's experiencing Traveling Vineyard.

Then we jump into the feeling part. So these are all the roadblocks that could present themselves in a feeling capacity. She's unsure if this is going to add more stress to her family. She's really nervous about the fact that this is a direct sales industry and whether she can trust the company. And she's also kind of anxious because she doesn't want to just talk to the company, she wants to talk to other moms who are doing this and seeing if it's actually working for them.

And so then that jumps her into still on the consider phase, we're looking at her actions, what she's actually doing throughout this phase. She's going to do simple things like reading reviews and testimonials that she can find. She's going to talk to her friends and family and make sure that they would validate the decision to do something like this. And she's also going to seek out other wine guide moms that she can talk to so that they can give her that inside scoop that she might need to have to take the jump.

So I know I'm breezing through this quite quickly, and certainly it takes a lot of work to get down to this level for each persona group that you'd be working on. But imagine what your content would be like if it wasn't just fucking noise. Imagine what your content would be like if it was actually serving a purpose like removing a huge roadblock or a challenge or a fear that your consumers had so that they could become your customer.

Then content doesn't become about trends and are we going to hit that and isn't going to go viral and all of that stuff. It becomes these people that we want to connect with, we want to serve, they're joined with this purpose we have as a company, that makes a huge connection, and the growth is exponential as you'll see.

So just as an example. So let's say we want to hit Kirby on our content strategy. So she's thinking, "Is this company legit?" Well, let's tell her. So we created content, a series essentially, related to pyramid schemes. That's like the number one related thing that people think about when they think about direct selling. Well, let's tell her, "It's not really like that.

But maybe it's not just us who tells her. Let's ask Liz Drubble [SP]. She's part of the community. She can get out there and explain how the model works and tell you exactly how it is not a pyramid scheme and how this job has been working for her. Even more so, we can talk to direct selling experts outside of Traveling Vineyard altogether and get an unbiased opinion about, "If you're trying to decide whether a company is legit in the direct selling industry, then how would you decide that?"

And we get these unbiased opinions that says, "Hey, ask all these questions. If they're not legitimate, they're not going to answer them." So then Traveling Vineyard is passing all these tests for Kirby. Now we're looking at Kirby's feelings, right, throughout this consider phase, and she's unsure if this is going to add stress to the family.

Well, instead of writing something about this just from the brand, again, back to the community. Janelle, she's just like Kirby, how does she fit this into her life? And so we put her on video and ask her those exact questions and concerns that Kirby is having throughout this discovery phase that we're doing to ask her about her thinking, feeling, doing, her behaviors.

And we even ask Janelle to give a schedule that shows, "This is exactly how I'd fit this into my life. So if you're worried about whether this can work, it can." Roadblock removed. Moving on to the doing stage, discussing with other wine guide moms.

Kirby wants to talk to real people like her, no problem. Every week we have a webinar where she can get online, listen to an understanding of the taste of the business, as they call it, and then at the end of that if she has more questions there are wine guides there and available for her to chat with them. So just imagine what that has done for Traveling Vineyard.

Well, over this time, and it's a very integrated strategy, we're not just doing content marketing, we're looking at every cross channel experience that we can optimize. They have seen a 298% increase in their lead form submissions, which is the number one indicator that walked straight into their growth. Not only that, but their company, over the last nearly three years, has experienced a 40% growth in their revenue year over year.

So doing the work to unpack this, doing the work to really understand your people and really knowing what it's going to take to take away their fears, remove their challenges, building your content strategy from that purpose is going to cause exponential growth.

It also gives you meaning in the content that you're producing. And the other thing about it is that none of the shit went viral. Nobody probably cares about this content. Oh, except for the people who might want to work for Traveling Vineyard. Oh, right, those are the people that we're talking to, right? So I'm not saying that you don't want to do all the technical stuff. Yes, you got to do all the outreach, you have to make sure that all those things that Barry is talking about this morning are being properly done, everything that Thalia was talking about, all of it.

But unless you're connecting your purpose with your people, the growth is just going to be pretty flat. So the last part of this equation and this approach is what we call promise, and I'm sure you guys have heard this before. So now I'm going back to the beginning where I was telling you about how Chipotle has had kind of a rough go of it this year.

So, for those of you who are not familiar, there have been many, many, many, many outbreaks of people coming down with severe foodborne illnesses because of eating at Chipotle's restaurants. And so when you're a brand and essentially your ethos is food with integrity and people are getting sick because they're eating your food, and even worse they're getting on social media and they're talking about the fact that they're eating at your restaurant and then they're pooping or puking or going to the hospital, like I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure that's bad for business.

So it hasn't been such a good year for them. But in true Chipotle form, they have approached this entire downfall, if you will, from authenticity, from purpose, and they've essentially lived up to their promise by helping their customers know, "We totally fucked up, like, no doubt about it."

They have been working to unpack how things went wrong, what might have gone wrong. The actions that they are taking to essentially take their food safety procedures apart and to put them back together. And even more so, they have been making these changes available to other fast food companies so that not only does this change in their restaurants across the U.S. and some across the world, but also so that other restaurant companies will adapt these same principles and bring those into their companies.

So, if Chipotle had not spent this last 10 years or so building such trust with their customers, a fiasco like this would have completely ruined them. And that's what so amazing about this entire experience is that their stock prices were plummeting, the media completely chewed them up and continues to do so.

But along the way, their community is still with them, their customers are giving them a second chance because they know Chipotle is going to make it right. And that's what's so amazing about this entire thing, is that even with a 65%revenue lost this year because of what happened, in 2017 they're still projected to jump 125%, and then over the next many years continue to earn more revenue, projected to earn more revenue than McDonald's and their big marketing budgets.

The thing about Chipotle is that it's not about the amount of money they spent on their marketing. It's the strategic action that they have been taking, not through this E. coli outbreak and all the things that are going wrong for them now. It's everything they've been doing that I mentioned at the beginning and that they've been marching along with over the last 10 years.

And it's in the strategic action of what you do every day and in your marketing that is going to make the difference in terms of you keeping your promise and then ultimately helping that bring growth. So, for this last part of the presentation, I just want to share with you a framework that essentially we've been using to build Traveling Vineyard over the last nearly three years.

And so you can take this framework and put it into your ways of working and iterate it and go with this approach. It's a 90-day process and there are 3 phases to it, and so I'm just going to walk through that with you real quick. So, the first phase essentially is identifying your purpose, clarifying it if you already have one, and this is the stuff I talked about at the very beginning with Dove and with Traveling Vineyard.

If you're going to do anything, start here. And so once you figure that out then you move on to the phase where you're essentially looking at your brand foundation. And this is not a said it and forget it. This is not a, "Hey, we're going to spend a bunch of money on taking apart who our brand is, putting it back together, and now we're golden as a company."

This never ends. This is a constant iteration that you have to tweak all the time to a certain degree so that you can continue to test and develop and figure out how your brand needs to always become relevant. And so within that phase two, you're looking at identifying your goals or clarifying them perhaps, and you're looking at financial benchmarks, so your revenue goals, as well as your brand goals.

Who do you really want to become as a company? You also want to be very careful about understanding your position. Most companies that we work with don't know why they're unique. They will give us a list of things that will say, "These are our unique selling propositions. This is why we're valuable." And then two seconds we go to their competitor's website, it says the same fucking thing on their site. So how does that work, right?

So understanding why you're valuable, how you're different from your competition and also how you're relevant, and that's where that cultural tension comes in. So doing the work there is really important. And then breaking down your customer journeys. Start with maybe one customer segment and then move on to the others. Pick the one that is the greatest representation of the area of your audience and break that down.

And once you have that, I'm telling you, you will have a content strategy that you can execute on for at least 6 to 18 months. And then inside of that you need to build a strategy, but don't just fill the strategy that's all this vision about where you want to go. Strategies are only good if they have action paired with them. And so before you break out of this phase two, you have to make sure that you're taking that strategy, breaking it down into actionable, chewable pieces and assigning them to the people on your team so that they will get them done.

And then that's what you execute over the next 90 days. So this is a 90-day framework, 3 30-day periods that happen inside of that cycle. So once you take your strategy, you can break it down in Google Docs, and then if you want to move those deliverables into Basecamp or whatever software that you use to assign accountability, that's done at the very beginning of this phase three.

And then you're going to march through those next 30 days and only complete the tasks that you have identified that will help you march towards your goals. And then at that end of that 30 days, you want to be very agile because, as I was saying earlier, businesses move very quickly now. It's not that you want to go towards all the shiny things and stray your focus, but what's really important is that you're focusing on the right things.

And so once you decide, "This is where we're staying for this 30-day cycle," you stay there. So let's say you're working on increasing conversion, and one of the projects inside of that is getting your landing pages customized for that experience that's coming off of paid.

So let's say you can accomplish that in 30 days, great, all those tasks are what you're doing to do. But then once you walk out of that 30 days, you have to scrub before you walk into the next 30 days. Because if you don't do that, then you're ignoring the movement of the business and there maybe things that don't need to be planned anymore that you thought you were going to walk into at the beginning of this cycle.

So you continue the process. You go to the next 30 days. You execute those items that you're focused on your strategy. We have weekly stand-ups where we're meeting with our clients to keep them accountable, to remove roadblocks, and make sure they're not bringing in all these things that are straying the focus of what we're trying to accomplish. And then in the final 30 days of that 90-day cycle, you're essentially coming back up to that 30,000-foot level.

Now you're saying, "Okay, we've had nearly a quarter of a year where we're executing these things, measuring, finding momentum, understanding what works, what needs to be adjusted?" Because then you're going to get ready to jump into another 90-day cycle. So this is your opportunity to take a bigger look at what's going in the business as a whole, realigning your strategy to the business, and then making sure that you're stepping forward with the right things to accomplish your goals.

And so really that cycle just repeats and you notice that that piece in there about your foundation, it's not set outside the circle. It's not that you're going to visit that every 90 days but you might. There might be things that you learn about your competition that is the same as you now. Well, now you have to reflect that in your communication at every touch point to make sure that you are uniquely you.

So there's just a lot that has to be done in marketing now that's completely agile and iterative, and you have to measure it and figure out what's working but you got to move fucking fast, but you also need to stay focused. And so this is the way that you prove in your action that you can keep your promise to your customers, that you are the company you said you were going to be, you're continually working on yourself, and you're proving over and over through your strategic action that you are worth their time and attention.

Notice that I'm not really talking a lot about what your marketing looks like, because everything stems from that very core of your company, and that has to come from the inside out in everything you do, not just your people that work for you, your culture, but also in your marketing, and that's just a benefit of the byproduct.

So I'm going to wrap it up here and there's a couple things that you should probably remember as I exit the stage. So the biggest thing, I cannot stress enough, purpose. It's not a social cause thing, it's not a non-profit thing. It doesn't matter what type of company you are. You need to understand what your purpose is if you have a chance of connecting with customers for the long haul.

And when you have that purpose, it makes a lot of things a lot easier in your organization because everybody has clarity. It needs to always come back to that no matter what you're doing. You can have a thousand divisions in your company. Everybody can have different goals and KPIs, but all those things are leading up to that umbrella of what the ultimate purpose of the company is, and that's everybody's job every day.

And the growth comes from busting your ass and doing the hustle to figure out your people. A piece of technology can do some of that leg work for you, but it cannot do all of it. You have to look at this stuff and say, "Who are these people?" and then go find them.

Go talk to them. Put money in your budgets and put time and your efforts to go talk to your customers, and that's not through any technology. Ask them some of these questions. Figure out these thinking, feeling, doing with them. Invite them in. Have them help you validate.

You would be floored by how honored they feel, that you're actually going to them and saying, "Help us help more people like you," because you're building a great company. And, of course, they want people to be part of that experience. And the final thing is just doing the work, you know. And I think that's the problem with technology. We were talking about this last night at dinner, is that it's almost like technology has been more of a detriment on marketing than content marketing has.

Because everybody thinks now that it's easy. You push a button, it's magic, right? It's digital. If we're not going viral, if this shoot is not happening overnight, then we must be doing something wrong. No. Everybody else is fucking doing it wrong, right?

It's time to stop and think about the fact that this stuff, which is not just marketing, it's building a business, it takes time. It takes years. It takes decades. But if you do this type of work then for a company that wants to become like Chipotle and have that durability and have that love and that connection with their customers, maybe that's not for you, totally cool.

But I'm hoping that we're going to build a whole world full of Chipotles. And the fact of the matter is, at the very end of the day, you guys, is building a brand in this age, it's different now, you know. Technology is like break neck pace, like, can't even keep with all the stuff that you have to know, all the software you've got to use, all the analytics you got to figure out.

Like, it's getting more complex, and Google is changing all the time, right? So if we're looking for always chasing the algorithm, as they would say, then we're never going to win. So if you start here and you start from this approach, and you stop creating content just because you're creating it, because you read on Moz or wherever that says, "Hey, you know, here's your frequency and here's how much content to create."

Yes, create great content, but also think about the customers that you're creating that content for and the roadblocks that you're removing for them. Doing these things are going to benefit our world so much, but also you as a company are always going to trump those other companies who have these marketing budgets that you can't even touch.

So, please reach out to me. I would be more than happy to answer any questions about any of the things that I took you through today. My email is [email protected] You can also find us online, but happy to answer anything, and looking forward to talking to you guys later today.

Thank you very much.

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