What happens when you’ve seen more landing pages than anyone on the planet?
Well, for one, you start noticing poor and positive marketing experiences all over the web. And then you start noticing optimization tactics at play in the real world, too, like when you’re shopping for a blender or using a poorly-designed bathroom sink.
But you also learn a heck of a lot about marketing.
And if you’re Oli Gardner of Unbounce, you try your best to share your learnings with other marketers. Which is exactly why, this week, we decided to whip up a special video edition of our Call to Action podcast.
Bonus: If you’re a regular listener and have always wondered what Content Strategist and Call to Action co-host Dan Levy looks like, prepare to marvel at his beard. (Okay, Oli’s beard isn’t too shabby either.)
In this special video edition of the podcast, you will learn:
- The most surprising change Oli has seen in his six years writing about landing page optimization (you’ll be surprised what marketers are still getting wrong).
- Why machine learning could lead to a fundamental shift in the way people optimize their landing pages. #machineshame
- A recent marketing experience that caught Oli off guard by “tricking” him into converting — and another marketing experience that was so positive that it blew him away.
Watch this episode of the podcast
Mentioned in the podcast
- The Four Corners of Conversion: Understanding the Intersection of Copy, Design, Interaction & Psychology by Oli Gardner for Call to Action Conference 2015.
- Brand & CRO: Trick or Treat, the Choice is Yours by Wil Reynolds for Call to Action Conference 2015.
- Why Branding and PPC Go Together Like PB&J, interview with Dana DiTomaso for the Call to Action podcast.
- Attention-Driven Design: 23 Visual Principles For Designing More Persuasive Landing Pages, ebook by Oli Gardner for Unbounce.
- Attention Ratio definition from the Unbounce Conversion Marketing Glossary.
- Message Match definition from the Unbounce Conversion Marketing Glossary.
- Call to Action theme music brought to you by the great folks at Wistia.
Read the transcript
Dan Levy: Something that you’ve always said is that the day you started Unbounce was the day that you became a marketer. And now, that was what, six years ago?
Oli Gardner: Six and a half, yeah.
Dan Levy: All right, six and a half. So you’ve been a marketer for a while, and you’ve been writing about landing pages and conversion-centered design for all that time. What’s the most surprising change you’ve seen in those six and a half years?
Oli Gardner: The most surprising thing is that very little has changed. The same shitty mistakes are still happening. I just looked back over lunch. I looked back at the beginning of the blog, and it was the ninth blog post I wrote in September 2009, and it was all about – it was something to do with squirrels, or I don’t know.
Dan Levy: You’re still writing about squirrels. Wow, really nothing has changed.
Oli Gardner: Yeah, I don’t think it was squirrels, but it was related. It was something to do with like —
Dan Levy: The first line, or it wasn’t the first line, but one of the first chapters in the last ebook was Squirrels Are Jerks.
Oli Gardner: Yeah, they are. Distracting things. So it’s all about these unfocused experiences, whether it’s unfocused in terms of how many things there are to do, or just nobody – it was about messaging. There wasn’t a single message on a page. And I have to say the same thing now, which is kind of frustrating, ‘cause not much has changed. Things have evolved in some ways, but I think it’s time for a fundamental shift. And I think I don’t know how it’s gonna happen. Maybe with machine learning becoming such a thing, maybe that’s gonna be the thing that draws out, maybe it’s faster and more automated access to proving that things aren’t a good idea. We still have the same problems – too many links, too many distractions, or ecommerce sites still use carousels that we said years ago aren’t a good thing. Proven many times, but people still do it so I don’t know. Maybe machines have to tell people instead of marketers telling marketers.
Dan Levy: Right. Basically, it’s up to the machines to shame us into doing it right.
Oli Gardner: Machine shame.
Dan Levy: Yeah. #machineshame
Oli Gardner: I like it.
Dan Levy: Yeah. Actually, one of the first posts that we worked on together when I started a couple years ago was 98 Percent of Marketers Are Doing It Wrong. Or maybe it was 99.
Oli Gardner: 98 Percent of Marketing Sucks, was the –
Dan Levy: Okay. And then the last time we talked, I think you said maybe it’s 97 now. Or are we at 96? Where are we at?
Oli Gardner: That’s how I opened my first Call to Action Conference talk.
Dan Levy: Oh, right.
Oli Gardner: I said 98, and now I’m thinking 97. With that rate of progress, it would like 2060 before marketing was any good. That number, I came to that number based on two simple criteria. I was clicking on ads. How well do the page match the ad, and how many pages had a single goal instead of tons of links? 98 percent of them didn’t do it right, according to those two simple criteria. So that’s kind of how I based that. Which is fascinating. I would love – we just hired a scientist who’s a mad genius. I would love us to look at the data from people publishing landing pages using Unbounce from 2009 to now, and see what is the scale of the number of links on a page. Are people getting better at it, or are they not? Yeah.
Oli Gardner: Related to that, yeah. Attention ratio. I mean, so back in the day, we talk about too many distractions are bad, blah blah blah, but then I coined the term attention ratio. A couple years ago, we did the landing page Conversion Course, and that actually came about in the comments. Somebody was asking a question, and I was like, well, ‘cause think of it like a ratio of blah blah blah. It’s attention ratio. I said, ooh, that’s good. So now when I speak, I often do one of these. I go like, okay. So before you came in today, before I started talking, how many of you knew what attention ratio was? And ten percent hold their hands up, and I’m like, ugh. I want it to be higher. I want to stop talking about it because it’s so fundamental and basic, and to me, boring as hell. Not to diminish my enjoyment of teaching people how to do a better job, but I mean, before we discussed doing this – we were supposed to do this on Attention-Driven Design, the ebook. Attention ratio being a core part of the Distraction principle. And you were like, I’m so – you were so bored of talking about it that you didn’t want to. So like, I get it.
Dan Levy: Exactly. I’m like, I don’t want to talk to you about attention ratio and message match. I know that it’s important, but like.
Oli Gardner: It’s so dull.
Dan Levy: Yeah. When I think about what you – zooming out from those very specific terms, when I think about what you really stand for as a marketer, or sit for right now, as a marketer and as a marketing thought leader, I think of you right at the intersection of conversion rate optimization and user experience. And I think those are two disciplines that don’t often, or are often seen as different sides of a spectrum, and almost in a zero sum game where there’s a tradeoff between creating a really great experience and getting somebody to convert. Or on the other hand, what you talk about a lot is that you can create an amazing experience that drives business results at the same time. Can you talk about that a little bit? First of all, am I totally off? If not –
Oli Gardner: No. I would say I don’t want to talk about it until you say, “Can you unpack that?”
Dan Levy: Can you unpack that for us?
Oli Gardner: But first, Dan Levy, what do you mean by zero sum game? You mean just basically they cancel each other out?
Dan Levy: Exactly, yeah. So it’s a tug of war. So the more conversion-centered it is –
Oli Gardner: One takes away from the other.
Dan Levy: Yeah, the less of a good experience it is.
Oli Gardner: Right. It’s funny, ‘cause when I start describing CCD, conversion-centered design, and I think if you look at the old ebook – CCD actually now is seven principles for marketing campaigns using landing pages. The old CCD was based on four design principles and three psychological principles. It’s very simple, and it’s not what it is now. So we’re gonna rerelease what it actually is soon. In the description of it, in that ebook, I think, I described it as being a more selfish approach to marketing, where you’re – so on the conversion side, you’re like, screw the user. Kinda like, we’ve gotta – well, in a well-meaning matter, but you’re like, we’ve got to remove any ability for them to do anything else apart from this, which is a good way of approaching conversion. And it’s also a good experience. But I just discussed it the wrong way. So it was the wrong way to think about it, even though it was the right way of doing it.
Dan Levy: Right. You were using user experience to define a conversion-centered design against it?
Oli Gardner: Well, kind of, ‘cause I was doing UCD, user-centered design, against CCD. So and UCD, it’s not about campaigns, really. I mean, that – there’s the experience, but UCD is about making a product or a website easy to navigate, easy to find the things you want to find and all of that kind of stuff, which is great for that, but it’s not applicable to a campaign where you’re trying to get someone focused on something. So, I don’t know. Maybe I took the description too far. But I like the way – it’s the different between long and short-term thinking. I like how Wil Reynolds says it. He says clicks are people. So I used to, say with exit popups and stuff, I used to rail against them, saying, “Ugh, don’t do any of that stuff.” But then I started retreating and going, oh, not necessarily into that, but the things convert well. And then I listened to Wil speak at CTA last year, and it just reminded me of, ugh, I actually do believe in the long-term and treating people well and everything. I was like, ugh, yeah, I gotta get back on that train.
I think it comes down to data, though. Again, because we need to – everyone’s under pressure to use these new conversion opportunities, like exit popups or what have you, because they work. So bosses, anyone, are saying, well, we need to do that ‘cause it works. Yes, it does work, but we need the data to show that when you do it in a delightful manner, it still works. Use the same mechanism. Because what’s happening is when you do that, you’re leaving, the exit popup comes up. And it’s manipulative, so you’ve got good cop, bad cop. You have to click on something you don’t agree with to escape this. Well, the naïve people in the world who don’t understand that mechanism, what’s happening, and they don’t know that you can click outside of that often unless it’s full screen to close it, they kinda more than get coerced into doing it.
High conversion rate. But then the more savvy people, the people who you probably, at the end of the day, want as a customer, they’re like, come on. I don’t like this. I’m leaving. So you may have a high conversion rate, but at the end of the day, which is short-term thinking, at the end of the day, you don’t have the people who would become your ideal customers. So you’re like, hey, that’s a vanity metric. I’m amazing. Mm, no. Look at the cohort analysis. Is this actually someone who’s ideal for you who actually becomes a customer, chooses the right pricing plan, or whatever? Goes beyond content marketing and becomes a customer? Good chance they’re not.
So we need to learn how to embrace this technology, ‘cause it’s gonna be used, but find a way of doing it that’s delightful and enjoyable and fun, and then prove that that still works using data so that we can speak to the people who say, “We have to do that,” and say, “Yeah, okay. But here’s a good way of doing it.” I saw an amazing one, Carter, our Chief Product Officer, ‘cause we’re gonna release some features like this soon. He showed a version of a popup, and it was a cloud. It wasn’t a rectangle, it was a cloud. It just looked delightful. You’re like, aww.
Dan Levy: It’s fluffy.
Oli Gardner: It’s a cloud.
Dan Levy: Oh my god, it’s so fluffy!
Oli Gardner: It was so different, and it was cool, ‘cause you went to Unbounce, and he – to see if he could just recreate it, and he did. He put this transparent PNG of the cloud, and made the background transparent, so that yeah, when this popped up, it’s just this – it’s so cool. We have to innovate. We have to find these new ways of doing things based on the technology people want to use, and make them better, and measure that they perform well, and prove that it’s – that’s possible.
Dan Levy: I think a lot of these tactics have tended to come out of the affiliate marketing world, and maybe some marketers who have less long incentive, so you create that long-term experience and that long-term relationship. So it’s like one and done, whereas now, you’re starting to see bigger companies that care, that have to care about their brand. And so it’s like, yeah, there are some cases where the pressure is to use this, and then there are some cases where probably some brands, they won’t touch it unless there’s a way to do it in a more delightful way.
Oli Gardner: Right. That’s amazing. I hadn’t thought of it from that perspective. It’s totally that. If you’re an affiliate, you don’t give a shit about what happens at the end. You care about your affiliate fee. If you’re someone who is collecting leads to sell a list to someone, you don’t give a shit what’s gonna happen with that list. You care about how many people are on it, ‘cause that’s how much you sell it for. So yeah, that’s the difference between whether it’s your customers, your – people looking at part – if your family or whatever, if you’re a long-term business, or a force.
Dan Levy: And especially if you’re at an agency, right? And you’re trying to convince your client that this is gonna work, and your client obviously cares a lot about their brand. I mean, I think we also want to empower marketers to sell this to their clients, and to do it in a way – or to make these tools that we know work, available to these bigger companies and these bigger brands that have this longer term relationship with their customers.
Oli Gardner: Yeah. And with these guidelines that say, yeah, this works, and here’s a really good way of doing it. And it’s been validated, and these other awesome companies do this. It’s interesting. Two days ago, I was – I downloaded an ebook. It was weird. It was actually – it was like a preview of an ebook, or 25 percent of an ebook, by Sujan Patel.
Anyway, it seemed like an interesting book, so I downloaded it. Well, to download it, I had to pay for it, which was interesting. But kind of like the U2 or Radiohead model.
Dan Levy: Pay what you can.
Oli Gardner: Pay what you want. Zero was an option. It actually starts with zero. It didn’t have a suggested retail price. But it’s incredible. I’m sitting there going, yeah, I don’t want to pay for this. But I’m like, ah, but he’s gonna know ‘cause I’m putting my email address in, and he’s gonna know Oli from Unbounce doesn’t value my content.
Dan Levy: Machine shame.
Oli Gardner: Yeah.
Dan Levy: It really is a new thing.
Oli Gardner: So I’m like, I’m thinking, well, it doesn’t feel like it’s a full ebook. What I’m gonna do, I’m gonna download it, and then I’m gonna see what it’s like, and if I like it, I’m gonna come back and I’m gonna pay for it. But that’s when the trickery began, because I got an email, an automated email that was so well-crafted that I thought it was real. And this is what I talk about, like the naiveté of people thinking there’s no way out, or they have to do this. It’s part of the experience, and they think, ooh, I have to engage, I have to do this. I was like – it was something like I was just doing my nightly check of my emails, and I saw this. He made it sound like he recognized me, and went, that’s cool, blah blah blah, that you paid three dollars for my ebook. That’s cool. No, I’m thinking, shit. Now I’m gonna have to write back and say, yeah, awesome. Also, I didn’t pay for it, but I’m coming back to, because I’m feeling more guilt over this. So there’s all this psychology in play of this price stuff. ‘Cause if it was $1, and that’s the only price, impossible to feel guilty. You’re just like, I hope it’s worth $1. But in this case, I’m like. So –
Dan Levy: That’s fascinating. I wonder if that was intentional.
Oli Gardner: Maybe. I don’t know. So I responded, saying yeah, looks great. Haven’t read it yet. I’ll get back to you when I look at it tonight. And then I’m like, mother!
Dan Levy: They got me.
Oli Gardner: I’m like, how? I looked at it again. I’m like, that wasn’t, no. He didn’t write this to me. He put it as an auto-responder. I understand the need for marketing automation, but what pissed me off was that it got me. So I now felt like a fool. And then he did respond to me afterwards, saying oh, cool, I’ll look forward to it. He actually sent the whole ebook to me. So then there’s a conversation going on. But I went through those moments, those emotions, like I was in the car, going oh, damnit! I feel bad not paying for it, and then I’m like, all these emotions.
Dan Levy: So much emotion.
Oli Gardner: All triggered by this little simple thing.
Dan Levy: What’s the last marketing campaign you came across that really blew you away, from both a conversion and a branding perspective?
Oli Gardner: It’s not a marketing campaign, ‘cause when I saw the question, I couldn’t think of one. But it was an experience. So I was in Bend, Oregon, visiting my girlfriend Nicole, and she had one of those little Magic Bullets.
Dan Levy: That’s why you’re back on the West coast.
Oli Gardner: It is. I moved back to Vancouver to be closer to her, it’s true. One of those Magic Bullet blenders. Really simple. You put your stuff in it, and you just go zzz, and it’s done. It’s great. So I was like, oh, I want to buy one of those. And I looked in Canadian Tire. It was the stupidest place in Vancouver to get one. Canadian Tire, for those who don’t know, it’s kind of Canadian Tire and Tim Horton’s kind of define Canadian culture.
Dan Levy: Yeah. It’s like Canadian Wal-Mart, but people have a very warm affinity toward it. It’s really amazing branding when you think about it.
Oli Gardner: It is. I love going there. You can buy everything. It’s an automotive kind of thing in one corner, but it’s everything. Buy crappy camping gear, or you can buy anything you need. It’s like a MacGyver store.
Dan Levy: And they have their own currency.
Oli Gardner: Yeah. You get Canadian Tire dollars when you spend money, which are – every single person takes them, they walk outside and they put it in the donate your dollars bin. I don’t know. Some people may save them up. I don’t know. So I looked on the website. I searched for Magic Bullet. I actually got the more recent one. It’s the NutriBullet, or something. It’s a bit more powerful. And I was looking, and I chose my store to see if it was in stock, which is standard ecommerce behavior. And when I did that, it said, there are 19 of them in stock, and they’re in aisle eight. I was like, what? You know where they are? That was amazing. So I got in the car, I drove there, I parked. I went upstairs and I walked in. I did a little scan. I saw number eight, I walked over, picked it up, went and paid for it. It was the best shopping experience of my life, and it was that transition from digital to – online to offline, and it was amazing. I didn’t have to wander around. I didn’t have to ask for help. Maybe it’s damaging to their bottom line, because I didn’t walk past all this other stuff going, ooh, I need one of them.
Dan Levy: Right, right.
Oli Gardner: I went right where I needed to go, but I guaranteed the conversion. It was a focused experience. It was very much like a landing page, I guess, in that sense. I had a campaign goal, I had instructions to get me there, I went there, and there was no way I was gonna fail. So really clever, and I loved it.
Dan Levy: Hm. My next question for you was, as the person who made his name as the guy who’s seen more landing pages than anybody in the world, how have you translated that knowledge and that intense amount of time thinking about landing pages to other areas of marketing and life? And I guess you kind of just answered the question that you almost see every real world experience as like a landing page experience.
Oli Gardner: It’s kind of awful. I mean, it’s good because Nicole, she often sends me selfies, like this #focus when my mind’s wandering or something.
Dan Levy: The face you just made is an exclusive for the people who are watching the recording of that. That was a great face. So for those of you listening to the podcast, we will – we are recording this, and we’re gonna put it up. I don’t know how exactly, but Stephanie, at the end of the episode, will tell you. And just watch for Oli’s Nicole face.
Oli Gardner: Yeah. All right. We’ll also include a photo of her doing that in the show notes or something, ‘cause that would embarrass the shit out of her, which I constantly try to do on podcasts. Yeah, so there’s that, but I think all –
Dan Levy: Wait, wait. So with – what was the connection with the face? She makes the face when?
Oli Gardner: Trying to tell me, saying focus.
Dan Levy: Okay, okay.
Oli Gardner: She’s my landing page, saying focus on doing one thing kind of thing.
Dan Levy: Yeah. When the squirrels get in the way.
Oli Gardner: Right. Or in a thing, like I’d beeline to aisle eight because I have that focus and that intent and everything there. Imagine, though, ‘cause if you think of analogies for good and bad marketing, that’s an ad, essentially. That’s pre-click or pre-purchase. I have those instructions. Imagine I’m searching, and dadada, I want this. And there’s an ad that promises this. It’s in aisle eight. And I get there, and there are no numbers on the aisles. Now I’m gonna be furious. I’m gonna be looking for numbers somewhere. I’m gonna be like, maybe start at the back wall and pace. Go, that was number one, that was number two, that was number three, I don’t know. That’s the equivalent of getting sent to a homepage with no key list of what I’m really supposed to do to achieve the goal that you promised.
So I guess that would be kind of the equivalent. But while I love the lessons I’ve learned being a marketer, I’m glad Nicole is also in marketing, because we talk the same language. So when I’m going, hahaha, funny observation about something in the real world, and we know what’s going on, what they’re doing to us, that doesn’t bug her because she also understands it. But yeah, you think in a different way, which is good and bad, ‘cause it’s hard to switch off.
Dan Levy: Yeah. And you’ve also been able to apply these principles that you first developed in relation to landing page optimization in particular, to other areas of marketing, right? And website optimization and lead generation in general, and.
Oli Gardner: Totally.
Dan Levy: Yeah. So this is something I’ve been curious about. ‘Cause in the early days of Unbounce, you were really a one man marketing team, and you had a hand in all of our content and all of our campaigns, and you were the creative director. These days, though, you spend most of your time out on the road at conferences, and spreading these principles around. But has it been challenging for you to stay connected to the day-to-day problems and concerns of a marketer now that you’re no longer in the trenches?
Oli Gardner: I don’t think so. I think partly because how we started this, nothing has really changed. Oh, hey, what problems you having? Same? All right, shut up. No, I think actually maybe it’s even better because I have to spend so much time trying to come up with original material for the talks that I’m constantly looking at what’s going on, or what new problems, or what’s a new way of solving an old problem. So I’m constantly still looking at that. And also, the Q&A portions of a talk, I get to hear what people are curious about and what they’re still asking. And if it was wildly different, I’d be like, ooh, stuff’s changing. Let me get into that.
But it’s not like – it’s weird. Marketing fundamentals are not kind of the same as, let’s say, SEO, where SEO is search. Success is controlled by monolithic companies like Google, so they make lots of changes to try and make things better so that all these algorithm changes happen. So it’s constantly like, ooh, what’s happening, what’s happening, what’s happening, let’s keep up, keep up, keep up. So that moves very fast. Most other marketing disciplines don’t. There are just new conversion opportunities coming along, these new methods of like a welcome, all these different ways of gathering leads and things like that. There’s innovation happening there. But not a lot else. It’s not like someone’s come up with an innovative new way to say, click my button, or this, my product is the best. That’s always gonna come down to positioning, value proposition kind of whatever. It just comes down to writing.
Dan Levy: Right, yeah. And a lot of these, I think, are tried and true psychology persuasion principles that people like Robert Cialdini mapped out a long time ago, and UX principles, and you’re making the connection between these other disciplines and the marketing world.
Oli Gardner: Yeah, and I mean, the web progresses very – technology moves very fast, but.
Dan Levy: Humans don’t.
Oli Gardner: Well, also, webpages. I don’t know, the web programming moves quite fast. Like the new platforms that are layering on top of, you’ve got C down here and you’ve got all these abstractions of layers of different types of code. Different libraries, didn’t ways, like Ruby, then Ruby on Rails, all these things that build to make things more abstract, more simple, so more people can become programmers, that kind of thing. That’s an evolution. But the webpage itself is not a hell of a lot different than it was 10 years ago, so.
Dan Levy: So in preparing for this conversation, I asked around a little bit to some other members of our marketing team.
Oli Gardner: Oh dear.
Dan Levy: And I said, if you could ask Oli anything, what would it be? And Corey, a longtime member of our team’s eyes lit up, and I said, about marketing. And he’s like, oh. So I never got what that initial question was, but we can find out after. But in terms of marketing, he did have some ideas as well. Something that he brought up is your approach to marketing. And he said that when he joined the team, something that really struck him was that you’ve always approached marketing as an art. And at the same time, the work that you’ve done has produced some amazing results. We’ve talked a lot about this podcast about marketing as an art and a science, and I guess my question for you is, how do you take both those things into account when you’re building a marketing campaign, when you’re building a piece of content, and when you’re even trying to scale that and build that into the culture of your company?
Oli Gardner: First you have to be stubborn, I think. I kind of hold my ground a lot on that. I’m reading a book right now called – by Randy Gage. It’s called My Genius. It’s an entrepreneurial book. It just came out. It’s really good so far. And in it, he quotes the founder of Swatch watches, the Swiss watch company, massive. Nicholas Hayek, who, in some press conference, was asked – he’s old. He’s dead now. But at the time, he was probably 65, 70, and they said, “When are you gonna retire?” He got really angry, and he said, “Entrepreneurs are artists, and artists never die.” Which is great. My mom’s an artist, and she might retire at some point, but she’ll still do that. She might not do it on the scale she was doing for the exhibitions and the shows and that she does, but that doesn’t die. So if you have that mentality in you, it’s – I want to be the best at everything I do. I’m that competitive, which then means doing things differently.
It’s like yesterday, we were in the bar talking about relaunching Conversion-Centered Design, ‘cause I’ve finally written it all down, the actual version what it should be. And we spent 10 minutes just very quickly bullet points, what are some crazy things we could do, some ridiculous things we could do? And that’s the art part. You’re not thinking of what’s gonna work. You’re like, oh, what crazy shit can we do that might shake stuff up, or might make people go, what are they doing? Right? ‘Cause that’s what leadership’s about. It’s doing things that make other people go, what’s happening over there? I’m interested in that. And it’s like I don’t need structure. I don’t need a plan. I just need a purpose.
Dan Levy: Right. And that purpose provides that creative constraint.
Oli Gardner: Yeah.
Dan Levy: But when you said Swatch watch, actually, like I kind of got chills, because I’d never thought about it before, where the Swatch watch really is the perfect example of something that’s both completely functional and beautiful and weird at the same time. And the beauty doesn’t detract from the purpose. And I think that’s something that we talk about a lot here, which is create amazing marketing experiences that both perform and delight at the same time. And like we said, that’s not a zero sum game.
Oli Gardner: Yeah. And the Swatch was very disruptive. The Swiss watch market was dying. It was kind of done. Too old and fuddy-duddy. They came along and they turned it – rebuilt it into this four billion dollar empire, or whatever they did. ‘Cause it was that different. And I was on a podcast yesterday, Traction, Jay.
Dan Levy: Jay Acunzo, who’s been on our podcast.
Oli Gardner: Acunzo. Yeah, he was just on it, right?
Dan Levy: Yeah.
Oli Gardner: Yeah, he sort of leads with content. He had a definition which was very lame, but he said it’s nutritious and delicious.
Dan Levy: Yeah.
Oli Gardner: Which I think might be from a little jingle from Cheerios, or some other breakfast cereal, but it’s great because – and he was talking about my speaking. That’s what we were talking about, the fact that it’s entertaining but useful.
Dan Levy: Mm. Something that Jay and I talked about too when he was on the podcast was, this isn’t just a nice to have thing. I think you need to instill that sort of culture if you want to attract the best people to your company. Because something that we’ve seen as we put together interdisciplinary teams within marketing is that there’s gonna be some people on your team who are motivated by crushing their targets and getting results, and there will be other people on the team who are motivated by doing really awesome, cool, original work. And not to say that the numbers people don’t care about doing good work, and that the other people don’t care about hitting their targets, but I think you need to provide that balance within a team.
Oli Gardner: Totally. ‘Cause everyone’s different, and some people, if you force people to be like this, like certain company cultures freak people out ‘cause like, oh, I’ve heard some people talk about it here, ‘cause we have a very open kind of – in many ways, you can be self-guided. Some people don’t like that, and it stresses them out. They need structure. I’m saying I don’t need structure. I hate structure. But some people become successful because they have this like do it like this. Yes, you get to be original and do your own thing, but within a framework. But yeah, it’s interesting when you say original thought. That’s all that determines what a thought leader is, is have original thought. They’re not just talking about stuff that already exists, whether it makes conversions better or not. It’s something new. It’s something different, and it’s challenging coming up with that, but it’s also fascinating.
Dan Levy: Yeah. And it makes – well, it makes, I guess, coming into work every day really exciting and worthwhile. That’s all the questions I have for you.
Oli Gardner: Cool.
Dan Levy: Anything else you want to talk about?
Oli Gardner: I don’t know. This is really fun. What time is it?
Dan Levy: This is great, yeah. I don’t really want it to end.
Oli Gardner: 3:46. You guys got any questions? Watching? ‘Cause this is live. It’s live right now. It’s not live when you’re watching this.
Dan Levy: But if you do, tweet at Oli, and he’ll get back to you.
Oli Gardner: Yeah, I’m @OliGardner, and I will.
Dan Levy: Yeah.
Oli Gardner: Yes.
Dan Levy: Well, thanks so much, Oli. This was a real pleasure.
Oli Gardner: My pleasure. Absolutely. Oh, and let us know what you think of this, us doing it talk radio style instead of just listening to it, because it’d be great to get an opinion on whether we should be doing both, or you know.
Dan Levy: Yeah.
~ Mark Twain