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Wearing branded shirts for a living... And loving it!

Wearing branded shirts for a living... And loving it!

Most of our friends know that at ROBYN, we are focused on honing our marketing skills... And we enjoy sharing what we have learned! To this end, we are thrilled to introduce a side project we've been working on: The 7 Minute Smarketer.

The premise behind the podcast is to sit down with innovative marketers who are experts in different disciplines and give them 7 minutes to make us smarter. The podcasts are hosted on the7 Minute Smarketer website, which you can hear by clicking the button below...

 

7-minute-smarketer-podcast

 

Jason Sandler        7 Minute Smarketer Podcast

 

Bobby Lehew:  This is Bobby Lehew and this is the very first episode of the Seven Minutes Marketer. And Jason, you like the concept. It's basically, we visit with smart people and you have seven minutes to make us smarter marketers or you owe me a beer.

Jason Sadler:  [laughs]

Bobby:  If you can't nurture brain cells, then you might as well help us kill them. This audience is back home in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It's a very growing, vibrant market. It's kind of the same thing that we talked about with what we were talking earlier. There are a lot of young, emerging leaders. They're trying to do the best; marketing professionals that are really sharp. Our market's really growing and we've got a lot of excitement and energy going on. So that's the audience. These are professional marketers.

And you have seven minutes, Jason. I'm curious what you would have to say to an audience of, particularly, marketers and, of course, they're across all industries; all boards. Go.

Jason:  All right. Obviously I'm being thrust into this, so I didn't have time to prepare.

Bobby:  [laughs]

Jason:  But the thing in my life is social media. That's the big thing for me. It's a thing that I think everybody needs to kind of grab hold. I've been a marketer since I was a teenager. I've always been selling stuff; I've always been buying stuff. I've always been interested in what Nike was going to do next. I pay attention to the trends.

I think that people really need to adapt and pay attention to trends wherever they are. Whether it's the Facebooks, the Twitters of the world, or YouTube campaigns, or anything. One thing that I always like to talk about to people is an Old Spice campaign. Everybody knows about the Old Spice guy. It's a great campaign; it's wonderful. But the thing where they missed the boat is all the people that were talking about Old Spice that they didn't respond to.

While they got hundreds of thousands of media impressions ‑ that's fantastic ‑ but they could have talked to every single person and try and ‑ not necessarily sold them on deodorant ‑ but at least made them a brand advocate, then, for Old Spice because they talked to them ‑ they interacted with them.

I actually talked to a guy from Wieden+Kennedy and he said that that was a problem. They just didn't have enough manpower, so they didn't even attempt it because they didn't want to mess it up. They didn't want to not do enough.

That's a decision you have to make, especially when you're marketing in the social media spaces. Do you have enough time to be able to do these things? And to really set yourself up to say, "OK. I'm going to run a Twitter profile. I'm going to have a Facebook profile. I'm going to get on Google Plus because it's new. I've got a blog I've got to manage. I've got my website that I'm currently doing. I've got an email list."

I could go on. You've got to have a message that's unifying for all these things and a strategy that has them all work together because you can't just push out the content at all of them.

Bobby:  Right. So I have a question. What do you say to a marketer who works for a bank; they work for an insurance company. Maybe these aren't really sexy industries. It's not as exciting as iwearyourshirt.com. How do you recommend to them two things. One, how do you build that life into that brand? Or maybe you should reveal it because it's probably there. And number two, how do you sell that up in the chain if you're the marketing professional?

Jason:  Yeah. I think a lot of people think that their businesses aren't sexy because they're just being labeled as not sexy. I think any business can become sexy if they're willing to kind of pull the curtain back and show, "Hey, we do some cool things here. We may not be the most exciting company, but we're the leader in our field for thought‑provoking conversation on this topic."

I work with an insurance company ‑ kind of as a consulting side ‑ and they're always like. "What can we do?" I'm like, "Well, be the industry leader. Talk about the things that are going on. Let people know that you're the place that people want to go to get the information." And you can be that in any industry.

And as far as marketing professionals for any size company, bringing good ideas to the table is never going to get you in trouble. Trying to push the envelope (you know, like in Seth Godin's new book "Poke the Box") is never going to get you in trouble. In my mind, it's only going to do more for you as a person that's a part of that company that wants to move up the ladder and wants to have success because that idea came from you and you took the time to do it. Putting in that extra effort and that hard work ‑ it pays off.

Bobby:  Are there any other channels you're keeping an eye on? I know Vimeo just launched a business platform. I think that's very exciting. Obviously, YouTube's such a search giant, but there are some exciting things going on all the time. I guess I have a twofold question. How do you stay on top of it? Because our marketers will learn from you how to stay on top of trends. And number two, what are you seeing that you're keeping an eye on right now?

Jason:  I think some of the biggest trends out there are really just the fact that social media is a customer service platform, no matter where you are. And that a lot of people lose sight of the fact ‑ and we were talking about this earlier ‑ that it's not an overnight success. It takes time to really build these things up. Just because you can push the content out there so quickly doesn't mean that you're going to get all the feedback and get all the stuff that you necessarily want or expect.

And that people really need to take a second and think about, "All right. If I'm searching for key words on Twitter" ‑ search.twitter.com: an incredibly powerful platform that a lot of people don't use; they just ignore ‑ "am I responding to people in a way that seems "salesy" or am I actually like a real human being that someone would want to respond to?"

How would you want to be responded to? Think about those things. How do you want to be talked to? That's important, no matter where you are.

And as far as upcoming platforms and things, we talked about Google+ a little bit. It's a very interesting element because they're trying to unify the social media experience. They're trying to put your mail, your calendar, your apps; all this stuff together with your friends. I love what they're doing. I'm just not sure if it's ready yet. But I would say don't miss it. Don't miss the boat. Get on it; try it; be flexible; and kind of be there to hopefully ride the boat as it's going.

Bobby:  I'm curious ‑ and this is kind of a little of off topic of social. It's more about team building because our marketing professionals are typically working within a team. You've got an exciting team that's doing a lot of work. You guys are spread all around the country. What's that dynamic like trying to get things accomplished with people that live with different opinions; very talented people, but you're trying to make something happen? What's the dynamic and what do you recommend to folks as they're working with other people ‑ colleagues ‑ in their industries?

Jason:  I learned a lot of things going through school and doing group projects and absolutely hating them to death. I was the one that always did everything. You always find yourself in that position. And what I tried to find were similar people ‑ when I hired them ‑ that were those people that said, "All right. I'm going to take the initiative to do things."

And we constantly have them coming up with new ideas. There are fresh, interesting things that they're doing. It's really what I found is good people, and that's a really hard thing to do. So you find good people. You know the questions in your mind like, "This is the stuff that I struggle with. Are they going to be able to tackle these things?" And if they are, you know that you can move forward.

And to help keep them creative, I just try and share everything that I have ‑ all my ideas ‑ so they can steal them and run with them if they have to or if they want to.

Bobby:  Can you talk about the hiring process? What you did to go through hiring those people? I thought that was a tremendous story.

Jason:  Yeah. We're actually going to do this again shortly in the next couple of months to find new people. We've got a YouTube video hiring process where you set up a three to five minute YouTube video and that's a resume. Because if I look at a paper resume, that does nothing for me to help create social media content for a company. I need to know the people are good on camera; that they're fun; that they're different; they're unique.

That's what the process did for me. We had 150 people apply last year. We picked 4 out of that 150 people. We made a lot of people unhappy but, again, I had to look at my brand and see what was best for me. If I could have hired more people, I would have, but you've got to take small steps and you've got to do what you feel is right. You go with your gut.

Bobby:  Cool. Content channels. You're, obviously, all about video ‑ or are there other different types of content that you guys push out as well?

Jason:  We do some photo stuff as well. I mean, obviously, we put up a new Facebook profile photo every day. We take photos for Flicker, but video is huge ‑ both live and YouTube. It's just so big because it's indexed by Google; it's very captivating; it's what everybody's eyeballs are going to these days, and that's important. That's where people want to be.

Bobby:  I think most marketers might be thinking that text is important because that is searchable, but you're basically: tags and what you're doing behind the scenes in that video. Is it really that basic ‑ make sure you get tags and keywords going?

Jason:  Absolutely.

Bobby:  Are there any other tips that you can give them on that front?

Jason:  As important as it is when you think about SEO for a website or for a blog post, or for any of that, it's just as important with videos. Our videos index better in Google than a lot of the blog posts we write, and it's because Google owns YouTube. They want to index that stuff faster. We try and make sure that we're following the same key word chain, and there's so much that can be done with Search Engine Optimization that people forget about because they're like, "Oh, that's slow and that's old, and it's passÈ." It's not. It's still very important. It's very relevant.

Bobby:  What would you recommend to a marketer who's working on video and they want to be found? Are there anchor things that you guys do every time you do a video? I know this is very old to you; you've been doing it for so long. But if you were to advise somebody young and new starting out and wanted to be a viral video sensation. We both would agree that's not necessarily what we need to aim for, but what would you do?

Jason:  Yeah. I think you really have to find your niche, right? You have to find what separates you from everybody else who's making videos out there. What is making you fun and easy to watch, and exciting, and interesting? And do that and focus on it, and not give up after five videos. Do it.

We've made 2,000 videos on our channel. None of them have gone "viral." We have 100,000 views on one video, but that's it. I think it's because we put out a lot of content every week. But give people a schedule for content so they can look forward to it. Give people that niche of content that you're doing and, again, be authentic. Don't try and be somebody that you're not. Do what you're good at.

Bobby:  Do you have a rough idea of how long each video takes you guys?

Jason:  It takes me, on average, about two to three hours from sitting down ‑ right before I'm filming, to think about what I'm going to do because I try to keep it fresh in my mind ‑ to filming things, to editing, to uploading, to then sharing.

Bobby:  That's pretty fast.

Jason:  It's pretty fast for typically a two to three minute video. Now, I will say that our shirt wearers ‑ the crew; Deandre, Angela, Amber, and Neal ‑ their videos are better than mine, which is great because I want that. I want their content to be better. And some of their videos take them six, eight hours to do because they'll film multiple locations, they'll do a bunch of editing and stuff. And I think that's great because it makes me happy that they care that much about this stuff.

Bobby:  So everyone creates and edits their own video?

Jason:  Everyone does. Yeah. All five videos, every single day.

Bobby:  That is fantastic; very good stuff. Well, Jason, it didn't even take us very long, but you've made us smarter marketers already.

Jason:  I hope so. I don't want to buy anybody beers.

Bobby:  [laughs] Yeah, because this is a thirsty crowd that we're talking to.

Jason:  There you go.

Bobby:  But man, thank you so much. Jason with iwearyourshirt.com. We really appreciate you taking time. Very generous guy, by the way.

Jason:  Absolutely. Great to be here, and anybody reach out to me. If you have any questions, I'm always happy to help. You can find me on Twitter, and Facebook, and everywhere else.

Bobby:  Thanks, man.

Jason:  Absolutely.

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