Speak Truth To Product
As automation plays an increasingly larger role in marketing efforts, it's important to weigh out the pros and cons of this practice. In fact, many marketers would argue it can be a disadvantage to essentially send a mass spam of automated marketing messages and run the risk of being disingenuous.
Our CEO Stacy Jones, got a chance to speak with Shauna Armitage and discuss the value of tailoring your marketing efforts specific to your audience. In this blog post, Hollywood Branded takes a look at the benefits of customizing communication for success in your brand's marketing practice from the expertise and experience of Shauna Armitage.
A Little Background on Shauna
Shauna Armitage is the founder of Making Moxie, an online publication and community for female entrepreneurs. As a vocal advocate for women in business, Shauna is on a mission to redefine what looks like to be a working woman, which has led to her founding Making Moxie. She also actively practices as growth consultant for startups and small businesses, working closely with brand leaders to strategize for impact while guiding them on execution and accountability, as well she's a part-time CMO for brands looking to scale.
Transcript Interview Highlights
Question: Could you start off and tell us a little bit more about your background and what got you to where you're doing what you do today?
Answer: Sure, I originally went to school to be a teacher and then got totally scared of the teacher test and went back to school to be a writer instead. They didn't require so many tests to get a job. But when I graduated in 2011 with my second degree, the job market was really down, and I couldn't score even an interview much less a job to save my life, so I started freelancing, and that led me to actually get a director of content position with a digital marketing agency, and it was at that point where I realized all this stuff that I'm doing is actually marketing.
I don't think I ever realized it before that there was a word for it, and that's how I really got into marketing and after years of working with brands that way. There was a lot of things about the digital agency model that I didn't love. So, I really wanted to find a way that I could support brands and a way that felt in line with my values and an integrity with what I wanted to accomplish.
Question: Okay, and Making Moxie is a community for female entrepreneurs. What led you to do that?
Answer: I felt at that point in time that my experience as a female entrepreneur was a vastly different experience than what it might be like for a man who is an entrepreneur. We were talking about it a little bit before we started recording, but I'm a mom. So, I've got little kids at home, and depending on my husband's work schedule, a lot of these networking events and things where professionals are meeting other professionals and possibly doing business with each other. A lot of them are cocktail hours, like bedtime in my house.
So it doesn't really happen for me. I found that I had a hard time with sales. I didn't feel very confident in pitching myself, which I did not see that to be the case for my male counterpart. So, I just felt that the experience of female entrepreneurship was a different experience, and it was something that we needed to talk about.
Question: So today you wanted to talk about all things in pretty much mismatched communications, when you're talking at someone versus talking to someone. Can we go into a little bit more detail on that and what has gotten you to be this massive advocate on cleaning up your conversations?
Answer: Totally, so I think that two things have really contributed to this. So first of all, when we are branding ourselves, branding isn't just visual. It's about the tone of your brand. It's about your mission and how you communicate with people. So, when you are talking to people, when you're trying to figure out what your messaging is, you're encouraged to figure out your why. Why is it that you're doing this? What do you want to give to people? We're all encouraged to concentrate on ourselves instead of the people that we're serving when we're trying to figure out the why and the mission statement, and that gets us into the place of talking at people instead of talking with them, first of all.
So the second thing is that everything these days is so automated, and it's a trap that I've fallen into myself. In order to make things easier on ourselves, we're automating everything from our emails, to our social media posts, and that really gets us into a place of talking at people instead of talking with them, because we're putting everything on autopilot. So, we're not having conversations anymore.
Question: Okay, so how do you change that? What's the first step? I mean, we're using automation in order to streamline our lives, but your suggestion is to step back and not automate as much. So, how do you go about that and still keep things going?
Answer: In terms of automation, I think that we got this expectation that we need to have more. When I was starting on social media, I had a mentor that told me that he grew his account by Instagram by posting six to eight times a day. That's so unrealistic even if you are automating, and that was so scary for me. So I think a less-is-more approach is really effective. Well, you don't need to be posting. You don't have to come up with new content constantly. You just have to make sure that when you are putting up content that it starts a conversation and that you're engaging with people and that you're active there, and maybe spend less time posting your content and more time engaging with other people's content.
Question: Okay, so what else can people do in order to better improve talking with people versus at them?
Answer: Well, they need to do their market research, and that comes back to the first thing that I talked about where we're encouraged to talk about our why. What's more important than our why is our client's why or our customer's why. So, a lot of times people produce content or services or even products that they think other people need. It seems like a great idea to them. But they're not actually talking to the people that they want to serve, and it could be a much different experience when they actually take a step back and ask them questions about what they value.
To hear more about Making Moxie and Shauna's experience as an entrepreneur, check out the rest of the interview on our Marketing Mistakes Podcast.
The Next Step
What to further your knowledge about best practices for marketing? We've written plenty of other blog posts on the topics as well for you to check out!
- Integrating Strategy And Tactical Plans
- Gender Bias And Female Targeted Marketing
- Managing Agency Relationships With Brands
- Effective Digital Media Marketing With Sharifah Hardie
- Developing Marketing Personas And Mistakes To Avoid
Want to learn more from experts across various walks of the marketing landscape? Subscribe to our Marketing Mistakes Podcast and learn tips, strategies and suggestions from the pros!