How I Made it in Marketing

Customer-First Marketing: Every click is a wish (podcast episode #85)

January 31, 2024 Gary Stein Season 1 Episode 85
Customer-First Marketing: Every click is a wish (podcast episode #85)
How I Made it in Marketing
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How I Made it in Marketing
Customer-First Marketing: Every click is a wish (podcast episode #85)
Jan 31, 2024 Season 1 Episode 85
Gary Stein

I remember sitting next to someone at a conference, eating lunch, making small talk. And it came up that his brand had no competition.

And I said, ‘wow, what a dream position to be in.’ I was used to working with a competitive sales office, hyper-focused on differentiating from competitors. You know, us vs. them.

He said, ‘No, no, no. It’s not a dream position, it’s horrible. When you have competition, you know you’re going to get into a set amount of RFPs or bakeoffs, and win a certain percentage of them. When you have competition there is a line item in the budget to choose some vendor, you’ll get a certain percentage of those. We need to start from ground zero and tell them why they should even care about this category.’

Which is why I loved a lesson I read in a recent podcast guest application – creativity matters for category of one. I talked to Gary Stein, CMO, Virtuo (, to learn the story behind that lesson, along with many more lesson-filled stories.

Virtuo has raised C$7 million (in Canadian dollars) to date, with the latest round led by ATB Private Equity and Telus Ventures.

Stein manages a team of ten, including agencies. He manages them remotely and he says they're a team that punch above their weight.

Stories (with lessons) about what he made in marketing

Here are some lessons from Stein that emerged in our discussion.

  • Creativity matters for category of one
  • Tell a compelling story that demonstrates the product
  • Get your data sorted
  • Always ask ‘what can we do with this’
  • Every click is a wish
  • Think like a challenger

Related content discussed in this episode can write your headlines, value prop, competitive analysis, and more – based on 10,000 marketing experiments. Totally FREE, you don’t even have to register (for now).

Data Pattern Analysis: Learn from a coaching session with Flint McGlaughlin (

Get more episodes

This article is distributed through the MarketingSherpa email newsletter ( Sign up for free if you’d like to get more episodes like this one.

For more insights, check out...

This podcast is not about marketing – it is about the marketer. It draws its inspiration from the Flint McGlaughlin quote, “The key to transformative marketing is a transformed marketer” from the Become a Marketer-Philosopher: Create and optimize high-converting webpages ( free digital marketing course.

Apply to be a guest
If you would like to apply to be a guest on How I Made It In Marketing, here is the podcast guest application –

Show Notes Transcript

I remember sitting next to someone at a conference, eating lunch, making small talk. And it came up that his brand had no competition.

And I said, ‘wow, what a dream position to be in.’ I was used to working with a competitive sales office, hyper-focused on differentiating from competitors. You know, us vs. them.

He said, ‘No, no, no. It’s not a dream position, it’s horrible. When you have competition, you know you’re going to get into a set amount of RFPs or bakeoffs, and win a certain percentage of them. When you have competition there is a line item in the budget to choose some vendor, you’ll get a certain percentage of those. We need to start from ground zero and tell them why they should even care about this category.’

Which is why I loved a lesson I read in a recent podcast guest application – creativity matters for category of one. I talked to Gary Stein, CMO, Virtuo (, to learn the story behind that lesson, along with many more lesson-filled stories.

Virtuo has raised C$7 million (in Canadian dollars) to date, with the latest round led by ATB Private Equity and Telus Ventures.

Stein manages a team of ten, including agencies. He manages them remotely and he says they're a team that punch above their weight.

Stories (with lessons) about what he made in marketing

Here are some lessons from Stein that emerged in our discussion.

  • Creativity matters for category of one
  • Tell a compelling story that demonstrates the product
  • Get your data sorted
  • Always ask ‘what can we do with this’
  • Every click is a wish
  • Think like a challenger

Related content discussed in this episode can write your headlines, value prop, competitive analysis, and more – based on 10,000 marketing experiments. Totally FREE, you don’t even have to register (for now).

Data Pattern Analysis: Learn from a coaching session with Flint McGlaughlin (

Get more episodes

This article is distributed through the MarketingSherpa email newsletter ( Sign up for free if you’d like to get more episodes like this one.

For more insights, check out...

This podcast is not about marketing – it is about the marketer. It draws its inspiration from the Flint McGlaughlin quote, “The key to transformative marketing is a transformed marketer” from the Become a Marketer-Philosopher: Create and optimize high-converting webpages ( free digital marketing course.

Apply to be a guest
If you would like to apply to be a guest on How I Made It In Marketing, here is the podcast guest application –

Gary Stein: The really good creators will do those things right and they go looking for the other inspiration, because it is it's the blend of those two things, but it's actually a bit like we're in San Francisco. Our agencies are ending up in a little district of a cool thing about financial district because you go outside and there's people in suits who are trading stocks or whatever it is they do.

Right. You'd also go through the last year in Chinatown or the beach Italian neighborhoods to street down there's the docks. There's a really wonderful gourmet section that's happening. It's like picking your idea. Go for a walk. Go for a walk into a place that's going to take you through it, thinking that what you could in an hour, 45 minutes, you could weave through all of those and just let all of those things happen.

Somehow you're going to see something that's going to unlock that new idea. But you've got to start with that. And you can't walk. You have to have a base and then let yourself be knocked off of.

Intro: Welcome to How I Made it in marketing from Marketing Sherpa. We scour pitches from hundreds of creative leaders and uncover specific examples, not just trending ideas or buzzword laden schmaltz, real world examples to help you transform yourself as a marketer. Now here's your host, the senior director of Content and Marketing at Marketing Sherpa Daniel Burstein, to tell you about today's guest been.

Daniel Burstein: I remember sitting next to someone in a conference eating lunch, making small talk, and it came up that his brand has no competition. And I said, Wow, what a dream position to be in. I was used to working with a competitive sales office, hyper focused on differentiating from competitors. You know, us versus them. He said, No, no, no, you got it all wrong.

It's not a dream position. It's horrible. When you have competition, you know you're going to get into a set amount of RFP or bake off. You're going to win a certain percentage of them. When you have competition, there's a line item in the budget to choose some vendor. You get a certain percentage of those. We need to start from ground zero and tell them why they should even care about this category.

Really need to be creative. I remember that story when I was reading a recent podcast Guest application, and this lesson really grabbed my eye. Creativity matters for a category of one. So now we're about to talk to someone in a similar position who's worked at a company that doesn't have competition. You're sharing lessons behind that story, along with many more lesson filled stories.

Is Gary Stein, the CMO of Virtue? Thanks for joining us, Gary.

Gary Stein: Thank you for having me, Daniel. I'm really happy to be here.

Daniel Burstein: Now, of course, that's just your most recent company, your most recent lesson, just cherry picking through your background so people are talking to. You've been a senior analyst at Jupiter, Research instructor at San Francisco State University and SVP of Strategy and Planning an Eye Crossing Dimension. For the past year you've been CMO or Chuo Virtuoso has raised $7 million in Canadian dollars to date with the latest round led by ATB Private Equity and Tell US Ventures.

And Gary manages a team of ten, including agencies. He manages them remotely and he says they're a team that punch above their weight. So, Gary, give us a sense, what is your day like as CMO and how do you get your team to punch above your weight?

Gary Stein: Yeah, absolutely. Well, we don't do much punching. We do more hugging and punching. And so we like to go about it. But hug above your weight is weird. Okay. So. So my day. Yes, I am. I'm actually a bit hybrid in terms of remote. I split my time between San Francisco, California, and Calgary, which is where that's the company is headquartered.

So it doesn't matter where I am. My day starts every morning here. If it's on the West Coast at 752 in Calgary Mountain Time, it's 852. We have an all hands eight minute meeting, which I am going to say if they have any bits of advice to give, have an eight minute meeting every morning. What we do is just do a quick round table of what's on the plate for the day and go through a couple of initiatives.

We look at a dashboard, just look at our key metrics, and then we specifically read out a customer comment. So someone who uses our service, who has given us a comment, read that out loud. At least one of them, maybe one or two. And it just brings the customer human being on the other end of this into the room, and it does it every single morning and I find it incredibly valuable.

So we all share that. Then the next thing I do, I get a really strong, the strongest espresso I can find. I got that down and then usually do a review of a metric at some time, dive into a dashboard. Sometimes it's very high level. We're looking at revenue or prospects or things that are at our funnel or how many visits we get to a website or an open rate.

Pretty much. The next thing is how are we doing? You know, of course we're setting quarterly metrics and tracking them very closely. So looking at some bit of data, some some real thing that happens. And then after that, the startup where we're a startup with a lot of traction, we're a mid-sized startup. To listen to your cast or sometimes I'm hopping in with the CEO and we're talking about things that we're doing or a campaign.

I'm often on the phone with our agencies, briefing them, getting them thinking about our goals and where we want to go. And then a lot of my day and this I think my favorite part is, is making stuff. I, I tend to do a lot of writing. You know, I, I love working closely this problem. It's getting me a marketing and advertising.

My career is working closely with creative people to get feedback and to give direction and think about whether something exactly is on the briefs. And, you know, a lot of the copy that gets written. I have some. And just because I'm I'm a better writer than I am an artist, and then somehow have like a check in at the end of the day with T and call it quits.

And, you know, when we're in Canada, there's lots of hockey and beers. And here in San Francisco there's lots of hockey and baseball. Sorry, baseball is baseball. Embarrassing, consistent thing is the bears.

Daniel Burstein: I like that. So. So why? Why 8 minutes? Why 8 minutes? It sounds like you're getting a lot done in those 8 minutes today.

Gary Stein: Totally. You know it. This predates me. I don't know if I ever ask the question. It feels like it's just the right amount. You know, Kind of makes me think of, you know, when we all got excited about six second videos, which I think was 7 seconds was buying it was a seven second video, and they said it's shorter enough that it that that that is that there isn't very much of a commitment like you could buy 7 seconds like who cares It's just like it's just 7 seconds but it's long enough to tell the story.

And I think 8 minutes is in that sweet spot like like a seven, eight minute meeting and I have enough time to do a story.

Daniel Burstein: Okay, perfect. And I love how you read some direct customer feedback. So I like how you said about making things right. That is what this whole podcast about, why I called it how I made it in marketing, because we get too many things as marketers. I've never been an actuary or podiatrist or anything else. I don't feel like they get to make things so.

Wow. So let's look at your first lesson for making something. I mentioned it in the open. Creativity matters or category of what? So tell us why you're category one, how you're Category one, your company, and how you've used creativity to communicate in a.

Gary Stein: So I think what a category of one, you know, and I like your story in the opening about not having a competition. I mean, there's companies that do things that are similar to us. But when I joined and I've been full time with virtual for about a year or so, but I've known the founders actually since they had to do two, had a bit of an idea and I got to know them a couple of years back and I've been an advisor all the way through and that was my first question.

I was like, Well, who else is doing this? And not really anybody. So that puts us into this category of one because it's not like someone is out there looking specifically for our service. And just to give you a quick sense of what it is that we do, we help people move into their new homes and there's a much bigger story than that.

But you buy a home extremely excited and then you do the worst thing in the whole world, which is will all your stuff from one place to another. You get utilities and insurance and all kinds of things. We just help out with all of that with an app and a concierge and just make it go super smoothly. So that's a bit of a new thing and people don't necessarily know that they're doing that.

And we sell to companies that are a bunch of different kinds of companies that companies that build houses and build communities. It's kind of a primary customer for us. Okay, So we sell a really strong problem, which is that money is terrible. And people have described it as the worst part about why you are the worst part of the best experience.

We solve that problem. The companies that we're selling to, they don't necessarily think about that, although they're aware of that problem and they may not necessarily know that there's a solution for it. However, what they are clearly aware of, acutely strongly driven by, is they got to provide a great customer experience. This is and you think about people who are buying homes right now.

This is the generation that as a partner on Tinder and have their lunch delivered by DoorDash and are a little bit frustrated that their Uber is 2 minutes late, right like that. That's and they're bringing all of that. Salesforce has a really wonderful statistic that tells you that the expectation setting one category get carried over to another category.

They show up to buy a home with that same mindset. So what we have to do, if we went out there and did a pitch and we said, Hey, we're a new concierge service or we're a home, concierge service is so clear that everybody is like, I'm looking for am I looking for that or not at all. I just I know.

I don't think so. We got to find a way to make a connection around that. And so this is the story that we talked about, and this is something that I picked up through my years, is let's position what we're doing associated with what they already care about because we're not exactly the answer. It's not like I need to buy fours and I give you two.

But first we had to compellingly communicate that. So we got to put a creative wrapper around that message because the first thing we have to do with someone and I think this is category or one or category about under you got to get people engaged and you got to get them a little bit uncomfortable with what they're doing right now.

Like, you know, maybe my shoes are not I can't 1% of my shoe just feel a little bit of discomfort that people want to go out, they want to solve. And so what we were able to do is make people a little uncomfortable. I don't mean that in a bad way. I don't mean I don't want to cause pain or stress.

Like, I'm just like, you know, I could be better. And so how do we say that we wrap that in a creative package and then people are attracted by the creativity and then they get to the rest of that message. So. So that creative rapper always remembering to do that, especially if we're in a category of one, but I think no matter what.

Daniel Burstein: And so you mentioned that you used AI to help design the images for the campaigns, and I wonder if you learned anything from using AI to do that. That's partly because what you're talking about reminds me a lot of the Hollywood pitch, right? When there's a new movie coming out, when they're pitching that movie, it's like, it's like that thing, you know, in like Star Wars, but it's in the medieval times or whatever.

It is something, you know, that was successful. And so here you see that. That's kind of how I worked. In some ways, some of the generative AI are designing. AI is saying, Hey, I want something like this, but do it here and I have something to relate to. So tell us a bit about using the AI to design those images and how it took and how it like kind of tapped into what you were looking to tap into but brought something new as well.

Gary Stein: Yeah, this is and this is when we, you know, punch those hug above our way. I'll give a shout out to the agency. Work with agency S.O.S. They're excellent. So the way the idea how do we make people, quote unquote uncomfortable. You know, not not in pain or stress. The uncomfortable was what we offer as a part of a modern experience.

Right. You know, sort of like you said, with Uber or Salesforce, whatever, it's a moderate business. So rather than say, be modern, what we decided to say was, don't get stuck in the past. And that was a compelling line of message that pulled all the way through. And so how do you communicate to a builder that they shouldn't get stuck in the past?

Well, we look at how they used to design holes, and so we created a series of images of interiors that were very clearly dated. So think of kitchens with avocado colored cabinets and glinting rails, lots of paneling and fake rock and discussion tips, you know, bedrooms that are in these sort of 1980s color schemes, seafoam, you know, a lot of seafoam and in our childhood.

So what we first we were like, that's so great because these images are so compelling and they're also sort of cool looking and they're fun to look at, but they're really clearly dated. And so we couldn't find any of those images. The agency we work with have an art director, a really talented art director, create the props.

And honestly, I don't know what the prompts were that went into I'm not sure what platform it was that they used, but they were clearly well crafted and we even actually were just necessary. We tried to do it ourselves and we did not come back as well. So what we were able to do with what the art director is able to do was to put, first of all, our brand colors in certain key aspects of key lighting because we you know, there are pictures of kitchens from the 1970s that exist out there on the Internet, but they're ticking yesterday and everything looks sound grungy and terrible.

We didn't want that. We wanted to be cool looking. So we got like 40 images. They were extraordinary. And so then we were able to create a crowd that said, you know, your kitchens don't look like this and you get targeted at these buildings. Your kitchens all look like this anymore. How about your customer experience? How about the modern experience?

And then we get to the chance to make that pitch. So the creative idea that the desire to make people feel a little bit uncomfortable, wrapping it in a creative idea and also the kitchen like these images are fun to look at and they and we all sort of love them and it could be a little bit quirky and it had like a disco soundtrack behind it, the humor and the creativity in the final, a richness of it.

It just became compelling to look at. And I will say once we get on that idea, like, let's all put it in the past, then we just you just keep on going, right? You know, a good creative idea. It's not it's meant to be a platform. So yeah, we did the interiors, we did a conference where we created our booths, looked like it was a dead end from the 1970s shag carpet and really ugly couches.

I went on eBay and I bought a bunch of Good Housekeeping magazines from the 9070s, and we put our brand on it, scattered him all over the place. And then this is I think the best thing is that this conference in particular, they were it's it's it's put on by a particular influential leader in our industry. And, you know, I looked at him, I said, well, he's kind of of a certain age and I was actually able to connect with his son who gave me his graduation pictures from like 1975.

And so I blew up his graduation picture. And out of all the places that are there and, you know, the line that we used with, you know, is a picture of him, right? It was pretty noticeable. And it was a we did a like a meeting. So we said, you know, sparking motivation since the Carter administration. They're just it just like once you've made that twist, just keep on going.

And that's like a creative platform he allowed us to do.

Daniel Burstein: Wow, that is daring. Did he did he appreciate it or was he like what?

Gary Stein: He loved it and actually have a really great photo of him at the event holding up a framed picture like a big blown up, framed gold framed picture of them just looking at going like, you know, what a quirky he's got a great sense of humor in it and a great you know, he's willing to That's the other thing.

You have a really good creative idea. It's surprising how many other people want to play a role in a few, but just amplify the idea.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah, well, you know, back in two days we'd call it legs, right? Well, that's an idea that has legs, right? Is it just a one offers. I have legs. That's a great example of all the different extensions you're able to take one. So that was an example. You had to be creative because as you said, you're a category one.

People don't know this thing. But just in general, this is the type of thing we do as marketers. You I another lesson you have here is tell a compelling story that demonstrates the product. So how have you been able to demonstrate the product before?

Gary Stein: Yeah, I you know, I'm I'm definitely a bit of a classics like an old school you know an older used to talk about this or Bill Bernbach right you know it's like find some way find something that's different about the product and then compellingly communicate that and and you know there's a million examples all the way through that.

Sometimes I think we get a little bit lost. Sometimes there's a compelling idea, but there isn't like a doesn't connect to the product. You know, there's lots of different ways it goes wrong. So there's there's two examples. And again, this is before virtual. When I was on the agency side, I was in an agency called 11 for a long stretch.

And one of the products, one of the brands we had was Google Cloud. So so Google Cloud distinct from Google, you know, it's it's a competitor to the Web services business product. And this was a few years back making sure that people understood enterprises, understood that the cloud is not the place to store your data. You can actually do significantly advanced analytics on that data.

It can help drive your business. So it's a new idea or it involved the idea that we wanted to communicate about your ability to do more with your data and our terabytes. He was a creative director at the time. He wrote the line Know what your data notes, which I just love. You know, business has created billions of terabytes of whatever of data there's truth that's inside of there.

You don't know what it is. Your data knows what it is. Okay, So what we did return with Google Cloud, and this is probably the most complicated thing I've ever done, is we it was partnership between Google and the NCAA and during the final for the Bachelor tournament, obviously the March Madness during the Final Four or both of the games we ingested, Google Cloud, the data scientists that Google Cloud ingested something like six years worth of basketball data, you know, instruments, games, and then captured data from the first half.

During halftime, we generated a prediction about what was going to happen in the second half, built an ad out of that and aired that ad right before the second half started. And we do that on both Final Four games. And then on the on the national championship on the Monday after that. And it was an extraordinarily complex. It was so well timed and so well executed.

And ultimately what we were doing is we were communicating that you can it's that idea. It doesn't just start your data. You can actually perform analytics and make a prediction about what's going to happen in the future. And by the way, our predictions about who was going up in the second half all happen. They were all totally turned on and right.

So rather than just tell people that we should, we we turn the camera around and showed us doing it so the product doing it and made it more fun and even kind of put some we took on some risk. You know, it's possible that what we said and broadcast on national television wasn't going to happen. We didn't know, but we went ahead and broadcast it and they gave us this all up moment where we were able to say, Hey, look it, see this Google cloud?

And again, it's like, that's a really compelling story. And if on a high wire act and if people like watching high wire. That's right. And so put yourself up on a high wire, do something remarkable, but make sure that it shows the thing that you like at the end of it. It's like, I mean, okay, if they forget that we did it on the Final Four and they forget what the prediction actually was, long as they remember, it's like, my God, they were able to use the technology that that the feature comes along with that story.

Daniel Burstein: So how do you do that, though? So, you know, those are ideas. It sounds good in theory. What if I was at the agency with you? It'd be like we have like 10 minutes to produce a national spot. Like, I didn't even wait. That's the thing with agency people. There's a lot of good ideas, but actually executing and making them happen.

Gary Stein: Yeah, I will tell you that he was in San Antonio that year and outside of the stadium was semi-trailer, you know, like a like what our 18 wheeler. But inside was a studio and inside of that studio was a team of creatives and data scientists and brand people and legal people, network people and a significant amount of technology and I'll tell you the way that we did it, did you ever see the founder that, ah, the movie about McDonald's and the guy who who didn't start McDonald's that kind of made it.

Daniel Burstein: Hey, I know the movie you're talking about. I haven't seen it now. Yes.

Gary Stein: I mean, he has to do something else. Other thing we should talk as a podcast. Watch. I mean. Right. One of the things that they show that before they open the first account early, the whole thing is they franchised it. The first big McDonald's is they go to a parking lot and they tape out the the it's like we have to turn good quality food quickly.

They tape out all of the stations and they practice and they practice, practice and they practice. So the cool thing about that tournament is that it goes on for like a month before the Final four. We practice and practice and practice and practice and practice and then when we were sick of practicing, we practice 16 more times and we made everything just right.

And the thing that it was most like I got to see is like a you know, you're watching a NASCAR documentary and they're all in the control room. It was like that, and it was felt to the way in which somebody said something was clear and that person had to stand out in that exact way. Otherwise we would not take the next step forward.

So I can't just there's no editing. It's practice. Such practice discipline all the way through. And this is a thing I said and then talk about Courtney A and who was the head of 11 used to talk about take big Risks that, you know, are safe. It looks to everybody else like we're I want to rock. We've done it so many times.

We're like we're dialed in. So so it just, you know, taking risks is a good thing. So it was a significant lot of coordination from a lot of very talented people.

Daniel Burstein: And adrenaline, I would think, you know, working late at night to get that pitch ready for the next day is one thing. But doing in real time, I adrenaline must have been through the roof for you.

Gary Stein: Through the road ceiling. It was it was extraordinary.

Daniel Burstein: All right. Here's another example. I like, as I said, tell a compelling story that demonstrates the product. So if you've got a physical good. Here's a great example for physical good. Tell us what you did before.

Gary Stein: Pella Yeah. So Pella was really is another interesting sports story. So maybe there's some, you know, activities on sports that are there. Pella is a window is a window manufacturer and stay in the beautiful windows. And then let's do one of the things that they're able to basically do a significant amount of engineering on Windows, right? We just think about a window as a window, but there's a lot that goes into it.

And they also are able to put that engineering into a lot of sales, which is important if you've got a traditional house right, and a Victorian or a colonial, you know, you want modern windows, but you want to match particular styles. So again, that's an idea and it's basically the basics especially important to the Midwest when there are hurricanes.

Daniel Burstein: Because the hurricanes are Midwest.

Gary Stein: Go figure right out there. Okay, No, maybe not Hurricanes, tornadoes, sorry, tornadoes. No.

Daniel Burstein: Gotcha.

Gary Stein: Hurricanes. Here you are high. Okay.

Daniel Burstein: There you go. High winds. Okay.

Gary Stein: I'm in California. Sunny, beautiful.

Daniel Burstein: So four days, you guys. I'm going. Yeah.

Gary Stein: Great. But anyway, so high winds, right? So the problem with high winds of course, and windows is if your window shatters like a rock or something will go through your window. If it's high winds, your roof will rip off. Right. Because the vacuum is broken. And so it's incredibly important to have strong windows, windows that can withstand shocks like like cinder impacts.

Right. And you don't want it to look like it's some industrial. You know, it's because it's your home and it's beautiful. And most of the time you want it to just look, etc.. So windows, it can still withstand high impact and also look great. We want to communicate those two things. You can certainly put that in a headline and you can, you know, there's this one, two clever ways that we can do that.

One of the things we did is try to think about where are windows surprisingly affected by sudden impacts and and the Cubs Stadium, that Wrigley Field, that's a regression, right? Something that doesn't sound right. Yeah. Okay, great. Wow. Yeah, right. Wrigley Field over the left field wall is an apartment complex because Wrigley is the only. Well, I know it's the only, but it is a it is a stadium.

It is built in a neighborhood. And people, in fact, live there and their windows see the stadium. And more than once, the whole run has gone over the left field wall and shattered a window. Right. So our pitch to power and they love this idea and we're waiting for it and this is amazing is let's just replace let's design a homerun proof window, replace all of the windows on that apartment building with Palo Windows and make sure that no ball could ever shatter it.

So they went for it. They actually designed a window. And there's a really great engineering video showing, you know, the impact of a baseball earth atmosphere. We replaced all of the windows. We put a motion if a ball ever bounced off of a window, we would donate some charity every time there was a home run, the whole place would light up with paella.

And then we did a batting practice where there was an attempt to hit the window. And again, we're trying to say, well, we want to make sure people remember is that and it's a it's a historic building. So you can't just replace with a window. You got to keep it historic. Look at this story work massively upgraded them to be to be to be resistant to homeruns.

And by the way, this will also help if you're in a hurricane or a tornado.

Daniel Burstein: You know, what I love about those stories is our founder, Phillip McGlothlin, has this great quote, Don't make claims. Let people make their own conclusions. Lead people to conclusions because that's something we like to do as markers. Yeah, he could have said these are great windows, you know, big room, fantastic windows. Yeah. You let people come to their own conclusions.

They could see for themselves. Another thing, like you mentioned, it just happens to be sports. I do think sports is one of those opportune cities in our modern day where it's not scripted. You don't know what's going to happen. I mean, unless you think it's great, it's not, you know, it's every other entertainment, you know, type of thing out there.

It's very scripted, what's going to happen. And so that is a great chance to say, hey, watch what happens. Let's see what happens here. Let's see. Let's see how this goes down. So.

Gary Stein: totally. Yeah. No, I mean, we we want to leverage these things in culture, right? And there's a well-established theory that the reason why we like sports is that it provides spontaneity in our lives, Right. Where, you know, I was I was I don't know when this is going to air pre-show for not I was going to win the the game but I didn't know for sure.

And there was a that's a thrilling moment. Right. Whereas if I watch Star Wars meets Richard the third, you know, whatever new Hollywood movie, I know that that's scripted. So it provides those Well, it's the spontaneity. So still rolling in on those moments, like we don't know what's going to happen. Let's let's raise our stakes a little bit.

And yeah, sports definitely is a is a good way for us to do that. It is a way for marketers to do it.

Daniel Burstein: Absolutely. When the Jags were the number one seed in the AFC, I was pretty sure they would make the playoffs and then they didn't. So you never know.

Gary Stein: Until they don't. yeah, right.

Daniel Burstein: And that's a great example actually, because I think when the Jags were the number one seed in the AFC, I think there was a 97% chance or something that they would make the playoffs. Which brings us to the term data. You say get your data sorted. All right, data. I can make predictions. In the previous example, you're talking about Google Cloud.

It's very public, but a lot of these things that happened in agencies, it happened behind the scenes. So to make these insights, get these good insights, a lot of things have to happen behind the behind the scenes. One of them is, as you say, getting your data sorted. So I think you had a challenge at an agency where it's taking far too long to get analytics, right?

Gary Stein: Yeah, absolutely. When and I think that this is a compelling problem and to be honest with you, I think this is one of the things like when we think about advertising in the future of advertising or what's holding advertising back, data is really an important one. And I think the more that agencies and marketers in general are comfortable with data and focus on it, the better.

But I think advertising has a very specific data problem, and maybe this is true in in other industries, but the agency in particular now, which is we create these integrated campaigns because it's a consumer journey and seeing like where they can see the billboard and then they're going to go online and listen to the radio and the TV and all of those channels are doing a job.

The Procter Gamble saying everything has a job to do. They all come together to create preference or desire or interest or whatever it might be. It's on paper. The strategy is integrated. And then also the creative is integrated as well, meaning each one of those pieces does the particular thing, then it goes into the world and we play something on television and on YouTube and on Instagram and where else.

And all of those platforms report data back totally differently and all we need the same piece of creative, the same 32nd spot and put it on three different platforms. They're all measuring impressions, they're all measuring completed views. However, they're reporting them differently. And, you know, an integrated plan might have 60, 70 channels on it, and each one could have 100 data points suddenly, we go from our very clear, customer centric, empathetic, driven strategy that's fully integrated to a scattered, let's getting focus on pulling that back together into some sort of a cohesive view is critical.

And yeah, you know, we were saying and you'll have to forgive me for not naming names on this one in particular, but we had a very complicated, very complicated, very complex media plan. And it was taking the same amount of time to generate results from that campaign. And in the modern age, as it took for a letter to make its way from Missouri to Sacramento on the Pony Express, that's like three weeks.

And I'm like, That's not okay. We can't allow that to occur because, first of all, either we're wasting money or because we're spending on something that's not working or we're missing an opportunity. I mean, there's a chance that we just nailed it. It's all right. We're getting get more nimble with that data. And there's two choices. Either you just put everything on YouTube and you're just cool.

That's all we're going to do. Or you find a way to organize that data on the back end of it. And so there's a handful of a handful of companies that will help you do that. From a technology perspective, it's really a service, a service offering. And I think even the most creative driven agencies can benefit massively from recognizing that in order for us to be consumer centric and always being focused on delivering for the customer and an integrated plan that uses every channel, you got to ingest in that back and take it up and getting data sorted in something that is going to continue to be a challenge.

I think that's going to hold the advertising back. You just can't be as nimble and you can't be as happy as bold unless you have that data under control. You know how well things are working.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah, I mean, first of all, the Pony Express is a great example of telling a compelling story to move something even in times like that. But I don't wanna get too deep here, But give us a sense, like, what did you do to ensure there was a consistent process for both timely delivery and reliable data interpretation? So, for example, yeah, for us, we've shared a free data pattern analysis tool before, right, to help bring that consistency.

So because at the end of the day, what you want to do with data is you want to find a meaningful pattern. That's the whole point of the data, right? That you want. Just give us a level like how did you make sure that you reduce the fragmentation, the inefficiency, Like is there something we can learn from there?

Gary Stein: Yeah, probably the most important thing is to develop a data strategy, start with the data strategy. It's something that I don't know that a lot of media agencies are doing. So some media agencies are better at it than others. But a data strategy, that data strategy says this is the data we need to gather and this is the way in which we're going to get out there.

And it's incredibly important if you are using, you know, sort of the client side, if there are multiple agencies, like, for example, if you've got a broadcast as well as a digital as well as maybe a dimension or possibly influencer social, making sure that they all adhere to a data strategy that can be just as simple to begin with.

It's shocking how conventions are not always paid attention to, and the value that they can generate, you know, just in terms of making sure that even like that, maybe like you said, there may be one piece of creative that's policed like three different agencies, making sure they all call that creative. The same thing, small thing. That's a huge element for it, right?

The the the idea that coming up with a definition so for example different platforms will will call completed videos. They'll call it a completed video, a full view and a different way someone may say, 70% of the completed view, others might say 80% of the completed. Do you need to correct for those discrepancies so that you have some clarity along the lines?

Then the other thing is you have to invest in some sort of a platform that's going to gather that data and clean it, you know, because you usually extract transform load technologies that will go into each one of these platforms and pull it all together, correct it in the way that it makes sense. And then this is a lesson I learned doing the Final Four project.

It shouldn't sit until it's hard to ask. It needs to go up to a cloud and it has to go to Google Cloud and, you know, put it in any query or in interviews or Snowflake or whatever it might be. And then once it's there, like once a data is clean and it's there, you can start hiring people who know how to write machine learning or artificial intelligence.

You know, I mean, there there are, well, low code write it always mix up. And again, this is beyond my technical ability but I just know that you can then go to someone who knows how to write a machine learning algorithm and say, can you run it on this dataset allowed in that dataset and something little and then, you know, just say, you know, analytics is good when it tells you what happened, it's amazing and tell you what you're allowed to do.

Get into that when you're allowed to do is only available if your data set and sorted and you're able to run some analysis on it. Then again, the whole point of this agency is want to be bold. It is advertising, it's hype, it's it's high wire acts. But they have to hire a high wire act and you feel confident about analytics can help you be bold.

Daniel Burstein: Well and think the other thing it can do is help you serve your customer. Right. So we started this episode. Well, no. First we start this episode where you said, Hey, in our eight minute meeting we only have 8 minutes. And in that 8 minutes we read one or two things from the customer. That's a quarter of your meaning right there.

So if you're talking about like trying to stay focused on the customer, I mean, that to me is one of the most exciting things about data. Let's actually put stuff out into the world, see how it works, learn from customers and keep doing better. Right?

Gary Stein: For sure. Right. And you know, you think about the wonderful creative people that we get to work with, you know, And I think you came up as a copywriter, right? I mean, you wanted to go you wanted to tell funny your jokes or were more emotional, like whatever that might be. If I don't know anything about the effectiveness of those, I'm going to have to say you had to see run of the mill just being mediocre.

But if I can say, you could say like Hitler held a little bit of a thought of your job. Let's let's push it a little bit. And if I had the data, they had to come back and it would say it works, right? Idea of acting, say be funnier, be funnier, be funny, or be funnier until it stops.

And it's the biggest idea possible as opposed to what do we think is going to work? We're always seeking the biggest idea possible and analytics allows us to do that. And the feedback loop means we can iterate and iterate and iterate. And when I finally find one, the funniest idea, the biggest idea possible, the funniest joke we possibly tell as a business leader, I would feel more comfortable, comfortable saying, Cool, let's do the Super Bowl spot on that.

Let's buy the bill, let's spend the money. You know, let's hire the X or whatever it might be, because my confidence has been raised and you don't have to either. But you creative don't have to stay safe and you don't have to take a massive risk right away. We're going to iterate ourselves up to the highest. And this is a shout out to my boss, Casey, who's the CEO of Virtue.

He told me this is part of the reason why I took the job, because our marketing or all of our advertising deals are going to make people laugh or make them cry. And I'm like, Man, let's do that. But I'm not going to guess what's going to make them laugh or cry back. I'm going to iterate, I'm going to work my way towards them.

Daniel Burstein: Right? Well, so those are some stories from Gary that we learned about some of the things that he has made, whether they were public facing or like a data strategy there were behind the scenes. But another great thing is we get to make things with people, as he said, creative people. We get to collaborate. Just a moment. We're going to hear some of the lessons Gary learned from people he collaborated with.

But first, I should mention that the how I made It in Marketing podcast is underwritten by Mac Labs Institute, the parent organization of marketing Sherpa. You can get 10,000 marketing experiments working for you with a free trial of the Mac Labs, A.I. Guild at Mac Labs, AECOM slash A.I., that's MVC ABC sitcom slash A.I. to get artificial intelligence working for you.

All right, Gary, the first person that you bring up is Paul Kent, the founder of Mac Activity. And you said from Paul, you learn, always ask, what can we do with this? What do you mean by that? Yeah.

Gary Stein: Well, okay, So I turned back to the it was a small company. There was like six of us in an attic in Los Gatos, California. And I was right out of college. And, you know, I like I said, I didn't have imposter syndrome. I was just an imposter. I think to still exist to everybody. But I was constantly like, okay, I got to figure this out, right?

It was just like reading all the time. I was reading like industry articles and business publications, just trying to get my focus. And I got a master's degree in literature. I was not a B.A. or anything like that, so I had a lot of catching up to do. And so was calculated doing my head with all of this information.

And I was like, okay, yeah, I know about this stuff. And we talked to Paul, who's still a really close friend of mine, and he would always ask me, it's like, okay, what can we do with that? And I just really loved that because and now I'm reminded of it a lot as I'm in more of a, you know, a startup anywhere midsized startup.

But that world of just like, what can we do with it? How is this going to help us? And sometimes the answer is it just well, which is just the thing that we know, but maybe it's like, there's somebody who agrees with us. We should reach out and try to do something with them, or can I provide some advice or is this a sales opportunity or is this a chance for us to say, we're not bad, we're this?

And so I always kind of put it to that filter where it's not just enough to know, but you have to always put better lens on it. You have to ask that question and see like, how does this help us? And the cool thing about that is the only way that that works is if you have a good sense of the mission of the company.

And so the flip side of that is like, make sure everybody knows what we're trying to achieve. And and I try to communicate that as much as possible so that everybody can like come along and just be like, the not only is that an interesting thing, but it does. It helps. And I just really love that man mentality, that mindset of it.

It's very much a growth mindset.

Daniel Burstein: So this is what I wanted to quibble with. Yeah, and I'll tell you, I'll tell you my thoughts and you can you can push back, especially as a guy who's been a writer, who's worked at an agency. I see where you're coming from, but I think this is sometimes our weakness because I know, for example, when you go into an industry when I was, for example, I was new to the software industry, I read it Week magazine, I tried to read everything about that industry.

And yes, I tried to have that hyper focus on, okay, now how can I use that the software companies to work with. I think we overlook then the true creativity, because I think what true creativity comes from is making these disparate connections that don't necessarily make sense on the face of them. So one thing that I like to do, I also am a big reader.

I read, I like print, I like newspapers, magazines. I read a lot of stuff and I'm not always looking for that direct connection. I don't understand how this works. It goes into the brain and three weeks later it comes out as some wacky, totally disparate idea. And I think sometimes that the only the only thing I'm cautious about when you say that, I think I think there's some good points in that you want to know your industry well.

You want to make those connections, but sometimes we get too myopic and we only focus on the industry. We only focus on that. I mean, okay, here's this. I'm, you know, in the home construction industry, I'm focused on technology. Here's this how do we use it right now versus let me get a wide array of knowledge? What's going on?

What happened in history, what's going on society, all these things. And then somehow that creative process down the road I come up with. So what do you think of that? Is that a fair pushback or my way off base here?

Gary Stein: Now you're. Well, you know, I think yes, I'm going to guess. And is that a fair thing to do? I'll do.

Daniel Burstein: The appropriate.

Gary Stein: Right? Yeah, I think it's important to start from a base and then let yourself go anywhere. What I think where things tend to get a little bit confused. And I agree sometimes there's a really good definition of creativity, which is two disparate ideas mashed together, right? You know, it's a Star Wars, a love story or whatever might be like those two things mashed together create something brand new.

What I think and I think this is one of the things like all the old rules don't apply, it's often said you have no idea what you want, so they just want to make a change and they want to say, you know, the whole industry, we should we should market it like the like a functional industry or something like that.

Right. I think if you don't know the whole industry, you're at a disadvantage when you go looking for those other inspirations to come in. You know, this is again, I'll go back to 11 and Courtney, who ran that shop and did so well, we had Virgin America, which is the airline, which unfortunately isn't around anymore. But one of the core insights and it wasn't like I give them full credit there is marketing the airline the way as a lower an entertainment brand that was a really good insight.

That's part of a line of creativity that lasted many, many years and really differentiated that brand. The only way that works is because there was a clear understanding of the airline industry and how the airline industry works in order to take it in a new direction. And so there's never anything wrong with filling lots of different things. The problems, I think, is if you just say, okay, well, now I know how to do this, I'm going to do this thing in the right way, you'll do it the right way, but it will be great through this saying, I think all of this and something else like that massive together, if that can spark something new.

The best case scenario is when you have a really solid industry and this is when we're really impressed by people who get it and they almost like it seems like they think they know it, they know they know it, they forget it, and they create something new. Like that's the true mastery. And I think that the really good creators will do those things right.

And they go looking for the other inspiration, because it is it's the blend of those two things. Actually. It's like we're in San Francisco, all our agencies are in the financial district. The cool thing about financial district is you go outside and there's people in suits who are trading stocks or whatever it is they do rates. You can also go to the West in your in Chinatown or bath beaches, the Italian neighborhood, you go straight down, there's the docks.

There's a really wonderful gourmet section that's happening. So I think that your idea go for a walk or go for a walk into a place that's going to take you through it, thinking that you could in an hour, 45 minutes, you could weave through all of those and just let all of those things happen. Somehow you're going to see something that's going to unlock that new idea.

You got to start with that. I need to go walk out the base and let yourself be knocked off.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah, like the Picasso quote. I'm sure I'm going to going to really mess it up. But something like learn like a student, break like a master or something like that. Like learn the rules like a student, become like a master or something.

Gary Stein: Yeah, well, that's great. Yeah. You know, Picasso could could paint a contained like Michelangelo, but he painted like Picasso.

Daniel Burstein: Right? Right. Here's another one lesson we have. Every click is a wish via Joel Hijack Chief Creative officer at Red Sky. What do you mean by that? Every click is a wish.

Gary Stein: Yeah, you know, so I was looking at Red Sky. It was very much like the beginning of interactive, you know. So we were trying to figure out interactive, interactive meaning, you know, when, you know, websites and, and banners and all kinds of interesting thing. Joel really had this in a in a really wonderful way about and that humanized and simplified.

And that was one of his mantra. So you know it's a click in is still work and it worked so works now but I think it just was a simple reminder that when someone takes an action, you create something else. How I made it right? You make something, but it doesn't. If you make something someone and they take an action, whether it's to read your book or is your site or what can you saw, it's not pure, arbitrary action that's happening.

They want something to occur. And and, you know, we can say, well, what's a value proposition? What's the response of those sort of things? We say every click is a wish When someone clicks on a banner, which are kind of being I think it's a quote, It's it's it's like the people are wishing for something to return. This is value and what they're looking for, right.

Even if this is down on a coupon. Right. There's just like it and it says, you know that word wish most often we hear it and you know, fairy tale Disney, it's a it's a magic word, right? It compels us to deliver magic, not just a response, but magic. And and and and that framing always elevates the execution.

And so every click is a wish as opposed to every click is a desire or a need or something or, you know, wanting to satisfy Wishes are special and everybody has wishes. And when we think about it as a wish and I think about a lot of homes now, you know, people are not building not they not buying buildings with bathrooms and bedrooms.

They're building a place to read their kids book as they fall asleep. That's the wish. And it just really reminds us that we have the opportunity, maybe some responsibility. That's the opportunity to deliver something magical.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah. And so how do we then on the front end, properly set up the communication of what they could possibly get so they know they can make that wish or they want to make that wish, because this is where I see a lot of websites fall or a lot of campaigns fall. Something as simple as a button that says submit or, you know, we forget that is it's a it's a wish.

It's also a little risky, like what's going to happen on the other side of this. And I think really good marketing sets it up well of like, okay, here's a clear thing, will take this action and then you will get this thing hopefully. And then poor marketing is like, we're like, why are not more people converting? Well, it says submit.

It's not clear what you're getting. They're worried that you know, your website securing all things so have examples of that of like okay yes it's a wish I get record from there. Then as communicators, how do we set it up so they know to make the right wish where they want to make that wish and they know what's going to come on the other side of that.

Gary Stein: Click Yeah, I think there's two different things. One is if the other cool thing about every every click as a wish is that you can leave the click alone in something. So let's say, for example, you want someone to fill out a form. What is the promise that we're giving them to fill out the form? I mean, you know, I see a lot of download our Way paper, which is compelling, and that's actually what you're going to do is download the white paper.

But you know, the better ones are, you know, the lighter Q4 results, something that's more aspirational. And then that aspiration, we try to tap into their desire, you know, and I suppose it's a little similar to how we opened up, right, which is that they may not be looking for a download of white paper, but they're really looking to increase their customers experience or, you know, like increase efficiency of their sales team or something like that.

That's a thing that they really want. You're instruments to get them to do that. So make sure that when we're promising them something, it's not. Download our white paper, it's make your team more efficient or, you know, something that's really more compelling. Then that's the other thing. And this is the thing that always I always think of hear Joel's voice in my head when I hear this happens.

If I do that, I click a summit button and it's contact with like pixels, you know, forms successfully captured. It's the reward and though you've already gotten it and that's the whole thing is like if all you're really focused on is the conversion and just got to get an email address, you put all your effort into that and then you're like, Well, just give them the standard thank you page press, or whatever it might be.

If you say every click is a wish, when you make that wish, you need magic, you need something to respond back. And so we would throw a little bit of creativity in there, a little bit selfless, like a surprising, beautiful execution or a sound or, you know, game designers are so good at that strain. Is that is that that ouch.

Especially with the first section sets the tone of all the rest of the actions, all the rest of the interactions with the consumers take with the brand. If it's simple but wonderful, they're going to want to know. And then you can start merchandizing the rest of the stuff that you're doing. So if it's if I click as a wish, get the data center, the white paper, but make I experience extraordinary in some memorable, compelling way, do something magic in that moment because it's what.

Daniel Burstein: I like to I mean, one way I like to think of things as every touchpoint is, I think, a value, right? And I think that's what you're saying. I like that was a touch on that to think about. That's an opportunity we have to either exceed their expectations or fall below their expectations and they're going to judge us based on it and make, you know, that's good how they're going to look at us for every other possible thing we could do for that first small thing, especially like the white paper.

If that's not fantastic, how are they going to spend like six figures on our enterprise software? Right.

Gary Stein: Right. And, you know, I mean, we we, we, we chase after touch points. We're we're there's scarce these moments of the consumers paying attention to us on the brand. Why would we waste any of them any anyway no matter what it is make it awesome. Make it great. Don't get in people's way, but just make sure that that is great and really just great is like, Hey, it's super simple and I know where to download the for cool easy.

But every touchpoint needs to be looked at, interrogated. This is the core of human centric design or creating great customer experiences is that we look at a journey and we say, you know, first of all, how can we remove the friction from it? Second is where is the worst point? And that's where we've got to put our effort in.

And then once we've achieved something that's good, come up with a signature or to one thing that's spectacular, you know, we're all sort of obsessed, actually, the company with that unreasonable hospitality book. I don't know if you know, it's a ticket to go see.

Daniel Burstein: Is it the Ritz-Carlton one or nothing?

Gary Stein: It's totally did 11 Madison Art. And we're in kind of forgetting the name of the restaurant anyway. And it was featured in that TV show The Bear. Like it's a really key scene with the guys reading it and he'll talk about that and it's just like, yeah, we have to deliver what people need. They go to a nice restaurant, they want good food and clean slates and good service in a way that matches the steak and etc. and also a spectacular moment, something that's and I think it's this whole notion of like delivering the expected unexpectedly that's part of customer experience.

And those are the kinds of things where if you embrace every click as a list, you start looking for those and become like, thinks about it. You know, sometimes we talk about like, what's your signature move? And like the one thing because that's like it gets talked about, it's like, my God, I had a really wonderful dinner in the wine.

It was unique. And then they brought this dessert because they overheard that it's my anniversary or something like that, right? I didn't tell them. It just happened. Those are the things that we look for and those are the things that really start to matter. And again, it's like, you know, it's like locked in sort of the Internet sort of computer world, like, is it clicking to say, like every every thing that it's like they're wishing for something to happen and it's so satisfying.

Daniel Burstein: Absolutely. I'm also going to take a look at one more lesson here. I think like a challenger. You said you learned this from Julian Aldridge, president and GM of Alamo Marketing. How'd you learn this from Julian?

Gary Stein: Yes. Yeah. Well, Julian said Julian is and he runs an agency called Enact Right Now and kind of pulls this stuff through. And Jerry told me a lot of things he he is he's very much a while. He's like a free spirit in the marketing, which I always really appreciated. He really embraced the challenge of marketing idea. You was in, for example, he said, Sure, embrace your constraints.

And he would always bring that mentality to everything that we did. And sometimes we did have real challenger brands or small startups that were trying to take on a big competitor. Sometimes it was a big company that was already established. He would always take a moment to get us to think about being a challenger brand. And you know, you do a search on your brand and go to like big sessions of methodology for doing business.

And there's some steps and some structure and some strategy around that. But it did agree one of two things. One is it would spark ideas that we wouldn't have normally come up with yet in a really good trick or dosunmu and every single brainstorm, which is okay, round, round robin go around the table. Same idea that I'm going to find crazy so bad and like just, you know, it's like you really push that because that's what disruptive Challenger brands to.

The other thing is sometimes it would occur to us that if it if it's a big brand you the established player it would help us think about how that brand could be disruptive. How do we be protective against an upstart? You know, you pick any company, any industry. I'm sitting here in San Francisco, California, but I could walk three blocks in any direction and find four people in a garage who are coming up with a technology.

It's going to disrupt your industry, Right? And they're going to come to market in a really compelling different way. Just, you know, if we assume that position, it will push us to be either a little bit bolder, a little bit more consumer centric, a little bit more inventive in the way in which we engage with people or just be a bit more informed about what people are looking for.

So always thinking like a challenger, Either you're going to do a challenger thing or you know how you might be challenged. And suppose it comes in really unexpected ways.

Daniel Burstein: But then is there things that the leading brand should never do, right, even if you're trying to think like a challenger? So, like, I love that idea, you know, abyss or number two, we try harder, but always learn the basics of brand positioning. Hey, Pepsi talks about Coke. Coke doesn't talk about Pepsi, right? So that's why I like to say, yeah, hey, let's disrupt ourselves.

Let's think about what might happen. But what should we do? I mean, if we are that leading brand, should we step back and say, hey, like, these are some creative ideas, They're off base for now because again, we don't want to talk about Pepsi. We're Coke.

Gary Stein: Yeah, I think it goes back to that idea of like always be improving, always be seeking out the biggest idea possible. And that's the flip side, right? Is that when you're the big leader and this is why I always start, you know, I'm generally speaking, cool with billboards in Times Square and Super Bowl commercials and, you know, these sorts of big, big moves that brands will make, that big brands will make because if you're the leader, sometimes it makes sense to do the kind of thing that only a leader could do.

The only leader would do this thing because we're strong and bold. I mean, you know, obviously there's marketing is littered with, you know, moves that brands saw were challenging, you know, Pepsi's protest. It was it wasn't Kendall Jenner. Kendall Jenner, you know, so you remember, you know, Is that right? So, you know, that somehow was or was it was clearly a misfire.

But if you're in this if you built a culture around the biggest idea possible, you're always looking for that and you're always trying to increase your confidence to do something bolder. And so you might be bold because this is your shop, you know? So like those two things, sort of the guy who started Centex couldn't make payroll. So things last $1,000 and put it on a red seven on a roulette wheel and then happened to come up and now we have snacks, right?

You know, those are the kind of crazy risks, you know, But sometimes you're in a position where creative when you have to, you have the opportunity to do that because you can make that move. Sometimes you're the bigger brand. You can say, well, we're well-established and we've got enough insight and understanding of our market that we can do something that will continue to keeping people engaged with us.

They want to see leaders lead. And if you're just as an Army insider, necessarily, they want to see Coke do something. You know, they did this really beautiful ad this is now ten years ago with the happiness factor. Your life is really wonderfully rich and where, you know, you put a quarter into a machine. What happens at the Coke machine?

I think it was a lightning candy spot. I'm pretty sure it was. And it was rich and organized and, you know, it didn't say anything about the product was just beautiful and it was compelling. Apple now maybe it's in other cities. And San Francisco has these big billboards, these beautiful antique portraits of these apple can do that because they're apple.

Right? And and you know, a smaller company wouldn't necessarily have the ability to do that because then, you know, maybe they need to communicate features and everyone's like, we want to see leaders lead and and what leaders do, that's where trust a freshly.

Daniel Burstein: Absolutely. Well, Gary, we talked about so many different things about what it means to be a marketer. You have to break it down. What are the key qualities of an effective marketer?

Gary Stein: I, I think the key. So I think that there's a really good this is what has always kept me in marketing. It's this idea that we have to firmly believe that art can solve business problems. And it's a really weird idea and it doesn't even seem to make any sense. But we do believe that if you need more market share, if you need to, wherever, like a true business problem, and I see a lot of things that are out there, a lot of people and whatever like that, either believe one or the other either want to make art or they want to do business problems.

Right. And there's a very few people believe you can blend both of those together. And you have to keep on maintaining that, You know, there are, you know, we there's a debate that always happens like about, you know, the business side. It's killing the creative or creative side of the business. And that's such a that's such a such a such a stagnating idea.

It only really where it's only advertising, only marketing if it's if it's both and. Finding both is so elusive that you a good marketer is is is addicted to the chase. And so one of the things I've actually I've had an opportunity I really enjoy doing some mentoring with people, you know, through the forays, through various programs. And when I switch, always wrap it up and I said if nothing else, nothing else away, advertising or marketing.

But in general it has to have the three elements. And I don't think we're doing visuals, but I'm pulling up by three things that makes it and and it has to be meaningful, memorable and motivating. Meaning again, so meaningful it has to communicate something about the product or the brand or whatever it might be has to be memorable.

It has to have something that just solidifies in your brain, in the consumer's brain, that they can recall and motivating us to get them to take an action or believe something. If it doesn't have all three of those things, it's not marketing, it's something else. It might be beautiful, it may be funny, it might be cool, it might be whatever it is.

But the only way it's marketing is going to have all three of those things. So the cool thing about marketing that people come to it from all different parts, you know, like I said, I study books. If you get to a point where you're obsessed on finding the intersection of those three things, that's a good mark.

Daniel Burstein: All right, We got the four piece and we got the three. Did you come up with that before? Is that.

Gary Stein: Yours? I did come up with and that's I did come up with a three. I say a I was probably sitting in a bar one night drinking, drinking bourbon and came up with three ounces or something like that. But yeah, it's a but Yeah. That is a that's a, that's a, that's a me that.

Daniel Burstein: Well you heard it here first folks. Well you got Yeah, well I really like that Gary Art can solve business problem so thank you so much for sharing your art with us today. Your your career as an artist, solving business problems. Thank you so much.

Gary Stein: Well, it was really nice to make a connection with you, and I really appreciate the opportunity to share what's on my mind with you and your audience.

Daniel Burstein: And thank you all to you for listening.

Outro: Thank you for joining us for how I made it. And Marketing with Daniel Bernstein. Now that you've got an inspiration for transforming yourself as a marketer, get some ideas for your next marketing campaign. From Marketing Sherpas, Extensive library, a free case studies at marketing Sherpa dot com That's marketing s h e rpa e-comm and.