Healthtech marketing : Drew Neisser providing valuable insights on b2b marketing

Tales From a B2B Marketing Guru : Drew Neisser, Founder of Renegade Marketers & CMO Huddles

In this Healthtech Marketing podcast, I speak to Drew Neisser, a B2B marketing guru and founder of Renegade Marketers…Unite! CMO Huddles.

In the podcast video below, Drew shares exciting tales about his B2B marketing journey, and provides valuable tips for marketers.

He further explains the 4 key marketing traits that are the backbone of his new book:  12 Steps to Building Unbeatable B2B Brands.

The Podcast Highlights With Time-Stamps

  • 02:40: Drew Neisser’s B2B Marketing tales – his journey & challenges faced
  • 05:55: Drew on his book, content writing, interviewing CMOs,  and CATS
  • 10:20: How marketers adjusted to the pandemic
  • 13:37: How the pandemic affected B2B marketing
  • 14:14: Hybrid events & quality of in-person events
  • 15:03: Role of events
  • 16:34: How CMOs reach out to each other
  • 18:19: Courage in marketing
  • 24:16: Building a case for bigger ideas
  • 22:10: 3 Ways CMOs can make a positive impact
  • 27:37: Examples of purpose-driven organizations
  • 31:08: Brand Positioning, Brand Promise, & Taglines
  • 34:13: What Drew wished he had known earlier

The Healthtech Marketing Podcast  VideoDrew Neisser, Founder of Renegade Marketing & CMOS Huddles

Healthtech Marketing InsightsPodcast Transcript. Guest: Drew Neisser, Founder of Renegade Marketing & CMO Huddles. Host: Adam Turinas, CEO, healthlaunchpad

Podcast Introduction – healthlaunchpad & HIMMS Partnership

[Adam] 0:27: Hello and welcome to the health tech marketing podcast brought to you by healthlaunchpad and HIMSS. Hi, I’m Adam Turinas. I’m healthlaunchpad founder and CEO and your host for today.

I also want to give a big thank you to my partner HIMSS and also a massive thank you to you for joining us today.

So what’s this podcast about? We all know marketing to healthcare is especially hard and we could all use a little help.

The reason for the health tech Marketing Podcast is a chance for you to hear directly from leading health tech and also leading B2B marketers, where they’re going to share insights on what works and B2B marketing and especially in marketing and selling to healthcare organizations.

Introducing Drew Neissera B2B Marketing Rockstar

Today I am just so delighted to introduce our guest, the amazing Mr. Drew Neisser, a truly a B2B Marketing rock star.

Drew is the founder of Renegade Marketers… Unite!, a very successful B2B agency, and also the founder of the CMO Huddles, which we’ll talk a little bit about.

He has this amazing podcast on B2B marketing.

I’m humbled to have him on my show. And the podcast is called Renegade Marketers Unite. And last but not least, he’s also an author, and he’s the author of a must-read book for B2B marketers.

A new book called Renegade Marketing 12 steps to Building Unbeatable B2B Brands. So Drew, welcome to the show.

[ Drew ] 02:13: Thank you for that kind introduction. I hope my wife doesn’t hear this show because she’s going to say “your head’s going to get so big it won’t fit into the apartment”

So thank you for those kind words.

[Adam] 02:24: Oh, you’re so welcome. Now, we’re going to get into this book in a bit because it’s got this so many insights in it.

But before we do this, just tell us a bit about your story. How did you come into the whole world of B2B marketing and tell us about the journey to create Renegade?

Drew Neisser – Journey To B2B Marketing | His Renegade Marketers Unite

[Drew] 02:40: So I like to say that Renegade has had a lot of lives. And when we first started, this was me, midway in my career, looking for a different sort of way to go. I’ve always been an ad guy that didn’t want to do ads.

And so I started, I was working in Dentsu in the 90s, and they said, Hey, let’s form a new group to go after Panasonic.

This was 1993. I said, great! Panasonic has gray. They’re very happy with that. As long as you don’t care what we do, we’ll be the anti gray and we’ll get some business.

That was the sort of impetus for Renegade. In ’96 we were officially incorporated as Renegade Marketing Group. In ‘98 we became just Renegade.

And as I said, we’ve had a lot of lives. I bought 20% for the company in 1998 which was unusual, so I had a vested interest in it and we did get a lot of Panasonic business by the way, including the Toughbook, which we ended up naming and launching and I tell that story. We’ll talk about that later.

We had a 15 year run with Panasonic, but in 2008 it was clear they were leaving and now there was no reason for Dentsu and Drew to be partners.

The Terrible Business ExperienceBeing Stiffed a Half-a million USD

And so, I bought them out, probably at the worst time in the history of individual buyouts.

Yeah, I’m a counter indicator. When you want to do something amazing, call Drew to find out if he’s trying something amazing. Most likely it’ll be a recession!

Anyway, so 2008, we had a terrible situation. One of our clients stiffed us for half a million dollars. It was the biggest recession since 1929!

The Transition From Content Marketing To B2B Marketing

At that moment, we had to pivot and we pivoted into content and social marketing. Shortly thereafter, we realized that we could make a difference in B2B because I just kept seeing it as boring marketing.  I thought:

you know, it doesn’t have to be boring.

Business is too boring, as they say. And so we started focusing, and that journey continued, and we’re still doing it.

So, Renegade evolved into B2B because I felt like it was just underserved creatively. From a Renegade thinking standpoint, everything looked the same.

[Adam] 05:02: It’s so interesting. You know, the way that you developed your company. It’s such a great example.

And I think, you know, you’re a case of people who eat their dog food! I mean, I use to see many agency people say:

Oh, we’re the shoemakers, and we don’t market ourselves well.

But I think the way that you’ve done it with the podcasts and with your blogs. And with the books, you’re creating content, which is of value to your audience.

It also promotes your brand and makes you an authority. Now, I’m reading your new book, and I’m most way through it, and I love it.

So just tell us about the book. What was the spark that started it because, I mean, you know, writing a book, and thinking writing a good book is not for the faint of heart?

Drew Neisser On His Book – Creating Networks Through Content Writing

[ Drew Neisser ] 05:55: So, my first book and then this, these two dots do connect. It’s funny; you’re talking about a drink in your champagne or eating your dog food!

So at that time I mentioned in 2008, I said:

The way we’re going to get out of this and survive is by making a lot of friends, and the way we make friends are by writing and if we’re going to be selling content, we better start doing content.

Drew Neisser – Writing Weekly Blogs, CMO Interviewing, Writing a Book, & The Speaking Tour

That was the point I started interviewing. I committed to writing a blog post every week or an article wherever it was. I was going to write an article, and to do that, you need a lot of content.

And so I started interviewing Chief Marketing Officers, and after 100 interviews, someone said,

Hey, Drew, there’s got to be a book in there.

So without really thinking, I said, oh, yeah, there is! And we came up with the CMOS Periodic Table of which was 64 of them.

After writing that book, I started on the speaking tour. People said:  Drew, I can’t read all 64 chapters. I’m having trouble finding a thread here. What’s the thread?

Drew Neisser On Discovering & Developing 4 CATS Tools

That’s when we discovered this notion of CATS. That’s Courage, Artful, Thoughtful, and Scientific. It was a way I could connect the dots to every successful CMO through these 4traits.

Okay, now, having had those traits, CAT tools years ago, the thing we were noticing in B2B is that it was getting ridiculously complicated and by that, I mean, there were 9 to 14 personas, there were all these different types of messaging.

The Risk of The Brand & Story Getting LostNeed To Radically Simplify Marketing With CATS Framework

There were all these stages and Brand was getting lost and the story was getting lost. And so in 2019, we feel that a study among 115 or so CMO was it.

Things were more complex than they were 12 to 24 months ago. 90% said yes, then you sort of look for signs: Is marketing more effective? And the answer was No!

Identify Problem, Testing, Writing a Book

Focusing On 12 Steps to Building B2B Brands, & Successful Testing

Oh, okay. Well, maybe that’s the problem. We started outlining in our minds. How do we radically simplify marketing? Could we do it within the CATS Framework?

That’s when we came up with these 12 steps. We tried testing them with our clients.

And then I said, Okay, this is good. It’s working. Let’s write a book. And I had a book done, believe it or not, February, March 2020.

Drew Neisser – Drink Your Champagne!Turning the Book to 15,000-word Blog Post!

I said I don’t know. Some changes are going to happen in the next three months. I better just put it on hold. But I had the book.

So we took a hatchet to the book and created a 15,000-word blog post. It’s the mother of all blog posts!

Again, drink your champagne, and go to the stuff up there. Does this resonate? The good news is, it did resonate.

It continues to resonate when you type in B2B brand strategy, we come up with one or two and we get 200 to 400 visitors to our website every day because of the strength of that article, which is, you know, the mother of all blog posts.

[Adam] 08:59: It’s a testament to content marketing, SEO, and just writing good stuff.

09:05: Content MarketingFocus On SEO & Valuable-based Content

[ Drew Neisser ] 09:05: And you know, it also speaks to this notion, a lot of people think, Oh, it’s too long. We can’t have it and so forth.

But you know, look, you can solve some problems in a paragraph or two or three in a 500-word blog post.

But if you’re trying to do something like reinventing and radically simplifying B2B marketing, you’re not going to do it in 500 words, and it’s not going to be the value.

So you need to put something out there that is substantive.

During The COVID Pandemic – More Interviews & More Cases, & Publishing The Book: Renegade Marketing 12 steps to Building Unbeatable B2B Brands. 

Anyway, during the recession, I’m sorry, the pandemic, I kept interviewing, kept getting more cases, and kept getting more confident that this methodology would work.

And finally, earlier this year, probably not until June I finished the book and added it.

By the way, it’s so much better than the first strata because of that extra year and a half, and what we learned through the pandemic

[Adam] 09:59: I want us to dig in a little bit on some of the themes, that’s in a second, but I also want to just change gears a little bit and talk about through the course of the pandemic.

As you talk to marketers, how did you see them adjust? What was the sort of recalibration that you saw, because you’re seeing that real-time, right?

Drew Neisser – How Marketers Adjusted During the Pandemic & The Start of  CMO Huddles

[Drew] 10:20:  Yeah, yeah, exactly. And we’ll talk about CMO Huddles,  one of the things. So again, March 14, complete shutdown, I’m wondering:

I’ve no idea as a small business owner; you have no idea at that moment whether or not you’re going to survive.

You just don’t. I mean everybody in past recessions, cuts budget fast and marketing is the first to go.

So I started just reaching out to all the CMOS that I knew and said, hey, you know what, let’s just hang out once a week.

And that’s where the CMO Huddles started from, and what I was hearing was fascinating.

A couple of themes that emerged almost right away were survival strategies.

Survival Strategy 1: Customer Empathy

One, people started to hug their customers and these CMOS were getting on the phone and calling their customers and saying:

How’s your business doing? The empathy, you know, went off the charts.

Some of them said:

You know, you might be in a cash crunch right now, we’ll extend the terms. Then they asked for something like: Would you give us a testimonial or, or can you give us a longer contract? So that was part one.

Survival Strategy 2: Understanding of Essential Workers, Thinking of How To Make Your Brand Essential,  & Embracing The New Essential Brands Such as Zoom, Going Virtual.

Part two of this was this understanding that either you’re an essential brand. And by essential, you know, you think of essential workers immediately and people who are in hospitals.

But yes, there were several new kinds of brands like a Zoom or like a talk test that became essential because you had to move your business from physical to virtual.

All those companies were, I mean, you saw what happened to Zoom, all of them, just like, were explosive. Then everybody else had to figure out: how do we resolve the CFO No? That’s what happened.

How do we overcome them? And you did that by figuring out either how to make your brand to be essential, or how you could get a payback fast. And so that was interesting to see those two things happen.

HIMMS and healthlaunchpad Partnership on Research Survey During Pandemic – The Interesting Findings

[Adam] 12:10: [Laughter] Yeah, it’s it is really interesting as you’ve said. One of the things that we’ve been doing with HIMSS, is that healthlaunchpad and HIMSS have partnered on research surveys.

And so we served a big panel of healthtech marketers at the end of last year.

That was sort of a questionnaire with: How did things change versus what you were planning?

And then we just reserve the same panel again, to see: how have things changed in 2021?

There are sort of two kinds of things: One is the theme of light accelerating. So budgets, are people spending more than they anticipated.

But, you know, I think the other thing that comes out is that it’s been a great opportunity to experiment, because, you know, all these large budgets that were sort of dedicated to events have sort of gone somewhere else.

So, people even trying TV and a lot more video ads, and, you know, and ABM and all of that stuff, adding to the complexity.

But I think I’m excited about what has come out of this. I think that marketers are going to get a lot more innovative, at least I hope so. They don’t just kind of revert back to what they used to do.

Drew Neisser – How The Pandemic Affected B2B Leads & The Future of Physical Events

[Drew] 13:37: Yeah, it’s a good question. And you’re right. I mean, more than 50% of B2B leads came from physical events.

So that was a huge crisis, what I talked to in the book. There was one CMO I interviewed who had a test going at the time when COVID happened, and it turned out that was her ABM test, and that became the plan.

She was very fortunate. So I think events will come back and they will come back variously because not so much that people want to go hang out with brands, but because people want to go hang out with people.

Adam’s View On Hybrid Events & The Quality of  Physical Events With Few Attendees

[Adam]14:14: They do. I a previous episode I interviewed a terrific Robin Duda who is an Experiential Marketing expert and an advisor to HIMSS.

And I think the sort of the notion that came from her is that you know, we’re moving into a hybrid world and what happens is, I think that the in-person events are smaller, but they’re of much higher quality.

I went to the HIMSS event over the summer. It was a lot smaller than, you know, the previous events HIMSS had. But you know, I got as much more out of it than I had with the previous.

I think it was less overwhelming, and people were more relaxed and willing to have a good conversation. So, you know, maybe we ended up in a better place.

Drew Neisser On The  Role of Events: To Accelerate Deals, Not for Deals Acquisition.

[Drew]15:03: Yeah, I mean, I think people have learned a lot from the hybrid scenario and, I mean, I talked about this in the book, these sort of micro virtual events that are very high caliber and they might only have 10 to 15 people, but then are working well.

Remember, events served a lot of purposes, but one of the best that they had was as a deal accelerator. People always forget they think it’s about deals acquisition. No, it’s really about deal acceleration.

You bring out customers and you bring some close prospects. So, solving that took a lot of creativity. And I think I mentioned Chand and Pat Abram from Koopa, who has built a program, and it’s talked about in the book where he does this series of very high-caliber virtual events.

He doesn’t talk about his brand at all, but he brings in a few customers, they send wine or whiskey or something to their guests.

And you just bring them together and allow him to talk, and then eventually one of your customers talks about your business.  It’s a beautiful thing.

Drew Neisser: The Benefit of Virtual Events – CMOS Huddles Example

So, those are going to keep going because it’s so convenient, right. I mean, this why is CMO Huddless works.  I mean, if I said I wanted to get 15 CMOs together for dinner right now, in New York City, it would be impossible. It’s really hard.

But if I said hey, we’re going to be to have a Huddle at 4 pm This time, can you book it on your calendar?

Oh yeah, I can do that!

[Adam]16:28: What if people want, if any CMO wants to get involved with CMOS, what should they do?

Drew Explains How  CMOS Can Get Involved To Help Each Other

[Drew]16:34: So it’s all B2B, and they can go to the CMO Huddles.com. And, and I didn’t mean this to be a pitch for that, because we can talk about the book, but it’s such a gratifying thing when you bring CMOS together and they help each other.

Drew Highlighting His CMOS Huddles Theme & Relevance

You know, our theme is Share Care. As in, bring together a light group of B2B CMOS to share, care, and dare each other to greatness!

All they have to do is go to CMO Huddles.com, hit one of the buttons that I’d like to subscribe to or something and then we start on the process.

I interview and vet every single member, and you can attend Huddles as a guest and get the experience and you can find out what’s going on.

[Adam] 17:18:  Very, very good. So let’s move on talk about the book. So, remind me again, what does CAT stand for?

Drew Naisser’s 12 Steps BookWhat CATS Strategy Stand For

[Drew]17:26: Sure. The “C” is for Courageous strategy. The “A” is for Artful ideation, the “T” is for Thoughtful execution. And then as for the scientific method, you can skip the second word, so, it’s Courageous, Artful, Thoughtful, and Scientific.

And, you know, I know you’re a dog lover, I just want you to know I’m a dog lover too, but my dog is here with me!

[Laughter]

He’s offended every time I say that but it’s just an easy acronym and I have met some cool CATS, and they follow these principles.

[Adam]18:01: That’s right. That’s right. So let’s just spend a bit of time on the first one on courage. I mean, you’ve got a wonderful story in the book about, you know, about real courage.

I mean, a CMO who essentially, you know, is better financially, bet their career on a campaign idea. Yeah,

Drew Neisser Illustrating The Courage Trait  –  The Toughbook Notebook Launch

[Drew Neisser ]18:19: Yeah. It was quite a moment. So this was for the launch of the Tough book, which was the first sort of mainstream rugged notebook computer. And two engineers had flown in from Japan

And, you know, this was magnesium alloy-cased and a shock-mounted hard drive.

The agency which happened to be Renegade had the big idea of the ultimate torture test by running a three-ton Hummer, over the computer!

By the way, not just over it, but on live television, because we had Good Morning America, who was at the show, this was Comdex 1996, and they wanted something Vegas and glitzy! And we gave it to him.

You know, we were all sweating bullets! By the way, that client had the courage and we kind of knew:  Yeah, this was the same as I meant to. It worked out very well.

The Need To Demonstrate What Your Promise

Once the Hummer went over it, I opened it up and turned it on, and there was this: Aah moment as it were, but you know, it was funny. We had a high degree of confidence that it was what was going to work.

We knew there was some chance that the screen could crack or something would happen. But you know, sometimes and this is the thing, they had the courage, first of all, to call it Toughbook which was a name that we came up with for this brand.

Then you got to demonstrate it. You know, you can’t call a product tough and not demonstrate, how tough it is. Well, it’s so damn tough, you could run a three-ton home Hummer over it. Boom!

[Adam]19:58: One of those things I love about it is that it’s one of those things where one would go: I don’t know, I didn’t see that.  But I think I did, and by the way, that’s pre-YouTube, right?

Having a Focused Vertical Campaign

[ Drew Neisser ]20:11: Oh, yeah. I mean, what was funny is that after that, we had a very focused vertical marketing campaign. We got into a lot of police forces, and we have one that took a bullet right through and kept working, which was incredible.

Then we just created all sorts of things like we would have a graveyard of others, we had to drop-test at every trade show, and we say:

Oh, yeah, put your laptop here! And we destroyed buddy else’s laptops all the time. But the ultimate thing that worked for us was this is going back to the customer empathy and saying: Tell us how your notebook died.

[Adam]20:52: Right, that’s good, which is amazing. But it’s a brilliantly simple idea. And I think to your point about complexities, is that look, we both have seemed that generation of, like the tail end of the madness, right. We’re also all about simple ideas.

And you’re right, it has got so complex, and I think that we all kind of lose sight of the power of an idea. It’s more important than all the mechanics, frankly.

Adam Probes On The Risks That MCOS Take

Anyway, I wanted to I want to talk focus on something that you spent a lot of time on: the book and that’s about the risk that CMOs take in their careers because they’ve got a short lifespan.

The average lifespan of a CMO is about two years, right.

And you made this point that CMOs have to take on a lot of responsibility these days, they are change agents, and change comes slowly.

They got a two-year countdown with the clock ticking on them. So how do they in that timeframe, if they’re trying to drive through a big idea of big change?

How do they make an impact in two years so that you leave a bit of a legacy? Or better yet you keep working if you want to?

Drew Neisser Recommendations On How MCOS Can Make Positive Impacts In Their New Marketing Roles 

1st Step – A 30-day Employee Survey

[Drew]22:10: So, I think there’s sort of three answers to that question. I’ll give you.

The first thing I recommend for every CMO going into the organization, it feels like an employee survey in your first 30 days, it doesn’t cost a thing.

You’ll get tremendous knowledge you’ll start to build this as part of the artful ideation, you’ll get some employees oh my god, nobody’s ever asked me for my opinion or my thoughts. So that’s one it’s a quick win.

2nd Step: Finding A Quick Win

And part two of that is to find some other quick wins. There’s always something that your predecessor did that was probably broken that if you looked at it, you could find a quick win.

Those two things are about building credibility because you need a little quick win credibility to do the big thing, right to aim big, and to sort of think about how am I going to have the biggest impact on this company?

Most of the time, marketing is just, you know, frankly, could be fluff. It’s, you know, I like to call it to paint on an old barn or you know, repainting a beat-up car.

Step3: Finding The Great Promise & Making Changes To Fulfill Them

It just doesn’t do anything. It’s just you change the color you change the logo. Great marketing is a great promise that the organization delivers on and marketing can drive that.

So they have to find out pretty quickly what is that big, giant promise and how can the organization fulfill that promise?

How can they make changes to fulfill that promise, and then take that to market typically that process takes anywhere from 6 to 12 months to get there, and to build a consensus?

But so you need those quick wins with the employee survey. And you know, you’ve to be smart, you go in and you say,

oh, I can do that. We don’t have an 800 number on our website. Oh, okay. That could make a difference. So you look for a quick win while you are building the case for a much bigger thing.

[Adam]24:00: Then, let’s talk about the bigger thing. I mean, give me some examples, I think you had some good examples.

Drew Neisser – Examples On Building a Case For The Bigger Thing

[ Drew Neisser ]24:16: Yeah, I’m so glad you mentioned that one because I love this story. So uh, and this is also really interesting because, at the moment when they first started, that’s Edelman, when he first started, he thought he had the idea.

He was confident because a lot of marketers are very creative people. And he thought he had the idea.

And it got shut down quickly, because he hasn’t sort of built consensus across the organization, even for the process.

Anyway, he went through the process and they came up with this line, which could be just a tagline:

You don’t join us, which could make people think: It’s nice words, what do you mean?

Good Employee Communication Before Launching a Major Campaign

So, the difference between what most marketers do, by the way, we surveyed and asked marketers:

How important is employee communications before launching a campaign? And 90% said it’s really important.

Training agents on the meaning of what they promise to deliver

So what Edelman did was say,  no, we’re going to change! And so they spent six months retraining their agents and they had principles that they were going to deliver what it means, we join you.

One of them was to get to know you and have the right data. And another one was to sort of anticipate needs.

So for example, you call and you get: you do need approval for knee surgery?

Usually, the agent will say, okay, what are you going to do? Do you know what it’s going to cause? Okay, let us get back to you because that’s expensive. You’re sure you need it, right? Blah, blah, blah.

Instead, they go:

Okay, fine. We’re going to approve this and oh, by the way, everybody who gets needs surgery generally needs a PT, would you like us to send you a list of PT professionals that are approved that you could work with?

That’s a change moment for the organization. Completely different for you, but it came from this idea: You don’t join us, we join you and that is a commitment and organizational commitment.

Marketing Is About Making A Promise That You Are Committed To Deliver

The hard part here is when you’re doing marketing, right, you’re making a promise that you are committed to delivering, and hopefully, it’s something that if you’re aiming big, it’s something the organization hasn’t done before.

And so that requires you know, employee involvement in employee training and transformation.

[Adam]26:42: But another thing that is sort of interesting about that is it ties so well with the transformation in healthcare, which is about moving to value-based care population health management.

Rather than saying, you know, referring the whole time, it’s about trying to keep the patient within the network.

By being empathetic, they were encouraging a behavior, which is good for the business too

[Drew Neisser]: Yeah.

[Adam] So that’s, it’s very, very, very interesting. You also told me you pick up on the whole theme of being purpose-driven, and that’s, you know, that’s generally a trend.

I don’t see it as much in healthcare technologies as I do in other organizations. I mean,  kick in good B2B examples of being a purpose-driven organization.

27:37 Drew Neisser Explains a Purpose-driven Organization With Examples

[Drew] 27:37:  Sure. I know a couple of companies, I think Surescripts, for example. They are very purpose-driven.

When you talk to Melanie mark as the CMO, she will tell you, what their purpose is, and most employees know it.

So I know, Look, if you’re in health care, you’re in the wellness business, you have an actual purpose, you’re not necessarily saving the world, but you probably are doing something that’s is involves being healthier than you were.

I don’t think healthcare companies necessarily will have to define my purpose in terms of you know, healthy lives because frankly it’s built into the brand and it wouldn’t be differentiating

But if you’re a bank, let’s take a Bank of the West for example.

And you know, banks are both B2B and B2C, but the big business is B2B and Bank of the West committed that they were going to be an organization that didn’t invest in fracking and didn’t invest in certain types of coal.

They had to divest $1.5 billion in some of their sort of, we’ll call them Western states but not Colorado and or the Midwest States.

Anyway, that was a big hit. But they also saw tremendous growth in California and Colorado, which were much more eco-friendly, and they saw it as the future of the business.

Drew’s Demonstration of Courage By Taking a Marketing Stand – Not Focusing On Pleasing Everybody

And so, sometimes taking a stand can be, you know, a little scary. Again, that’s part of this courage part. It’s that you may not please everybody, but you can please a group of people a lot more.

There was State Street Global, which is a B2B brand and financial services.

The SHE Fund Example

Of course, their fearless girl became very famous, but what is the statue that was across from the Wall Street charging bull?

Wat’s interesting about that story is that they had a fund called the SHE fund before they launched that campaign

They could show that you know, invest in this fund because it outperforms companies that have women on boards, and outperform those that don’t.

So okay, there’s a really good business reason for them to embrace that, and they went on a letter-writing campaign to reinforce it.

Something like 250 public companies after they started the campaign added women to the boards, they even did it in Japan, which has no women on a single board, and then they had to turn it and this is where sometimes these things bite back.

People started looking at their organization and they said you know what, you’re right. We could do this better.

Okay, they took a chance by taking that position, but the ultimate benefit is an organizational transformation that aligns with the promise that you’re putting out in the marketplace.

So it worked out pretty well for them.

[Adam] 30:27: Very interesting. Yeah. I but I also think your point about health care’s very true which is that you know, it’s part of it is part of the genetics.

I always want to provide specific tips and things that your listeners can practice directly after listening to this.

And so, one of the things that I think you do a really good job of describing very clearly in the book is the difference between brand positioning brand promise and a tagline.

And I think a lot of folks get these things mixed up. You know, so tell us about the differences and the process.

31:08 Difference Between Brand Positioning, Brand Promise, and Tagline

1. Drew Neisser On Tagline

[Drew] 31:08: Sure.

So and I loved I love talking about this so probably the best four words that I have ever crafted as a tagline is was for Family Circle and the words are where family comes first.

At the time when we presented that line to the client, they were sort of lukewarm on it. We said no, this is a lot more than a tagline. You could be the first publication to go out there and say, Yeah, we believe in families.

[The Need To Demonstrate Your Belief In The Tagline]

We believe in the family comes first and so we’re going to have the best family leave policy inside. We’re going to do a symposium and we put all these ideas on the table for them.

We’re going to move it a section in the magazine called family from the second part to the first part of the magazine.

So family comes first literally and physically in the back. Anyway, they thanked us for the line. The trademark is the line they put on the spine of the magazine for 18 years.

Cool, right, it’s a tagline, yes. It’s at the end of the thing and it has no real meaning because there were no actions that backed it up

2. Drew Neisser On a Purpose-driven Statement for a Brand Differentiation

By contrast. One of our clients is Case Paper, they are a Paper company and you know, we talked about B2B and B to boring…what could be more boring than paper? [Laughter]

You know, they just sell paper, but in fact, it’s a really interesting company and they have a lot of fun with their brand.

But the purpose-driven story statement for them is On the Case. And it’s a pun because we put the words on the case and their logo 

[The need to enlighten employees on what the statement means]

Then we created employee programs to talk about: what does it mean to be on that case? Reliable, resourceful, responsive.

They use that language now as a way of thinking about customer service and it’s all about customer-centricity, which isn’t unusual luck.

It’s hard to differentiate them, but when you add that on the case, as in we are reliable, resourceful, and responsive to a very funny brand, you have differentiation and that’s what they’ve done and it’s been remarkably successful.

So, a big difference between the two.

[Adam] 33:18:  Yeah, yeah. I think I think part of the challenge actually, for a lot of B2B marketers who haven’t kind of been through education on that is that they use the positioning statement as the tagline or they confuse the tagline and it comes out without being grounded in anything strategic.

So that’s very helpful. As we come to a close here, Drew, I’ve got a question for you that I ask all our guests.

This is,  I want you to get in the Back to the Future DeLorean and I want you to go back in time, and give yourself one piece of advice that you find useful right now.

Something that you wish, you knew a bit earlier in your life.

[Drew] 34:01: Bitcoin. I’m just kidding.

[Adam] 34:10: So given what you said earlier, that means don’t invest in Bitcoin.

[Drew] 34:13: Exactly. Yeah, we’re a little late now. But actually, it’s really simple.

What Drew Neisser Wished He Had Done Much Earlier 

So I mentioned early on that I started writing an article and committed to that.  I wish I had started 10 years earlier, and the reason for that is that writing is a process of learning and understanding.

And until you start to write stuff down, you don’t understand and then the process of forcing yourself to write something every week means that you then get more curious because you need something to write about.

And that’s what led me ultimately to interview all these people and build an incredible network. So yeah, I wish I had started writing much earlier.

[Adam]34:50: That’s so true. That’s great that’s not what I was expecting you are going to say, but it’s true, it’s something which I share.

It’s been a fantastic pleasure to have you on the podcast, I can’t thank you enough.

There’s going to be a link to his Amazon page in the show notes so you can get the book I really can’t recommend it enough and it’s a great read.

Subscribe To This PodcastView The Video & Interviews

But before we go, I just want to let you know that you can subscribe to this podcast on Apple podcast, Spotify, and other podcast channels.

You can also view the video and the interview through the links in the show notes and we’ve got some great podcasts. Great guests coming up.

Thank you, Draw, any parting words? Do you want to say before we wrap this up?

Drew’s Parting Words

[Drew]35:43: I just want to, first of all, thank you, Adam, for what you’re doing. I think it’s great.

And I love the focus on healthtech because you know, every time you focus, you’ve made a good decision, and you know, in chapter one, we talked about clearing away the clutter, you’ve done that.

You’ve done that by helping folks in your audience focus on the things that matter. So congratulations, and thank you for having me on the show.

[Adam]36:03: Oh, you’re welcome. It’s been a great pleasure. And I want to thank you all for listening.

If you’ve got a topic that you’d like us to cover, please email me at Adam@healthlaunchpad.com

Or you can find me on LinkedIn. It happened this week, somebody reached out to me and he’s going to be on the show and it’s going to be a very, very interesting show with a bit of a focus on SEO.

So enjoy the rest of your day everybody and thank you for listening

Other Relevant & Insightful Links:

How effective are webinars?
Future of Events and Experiential Marketing
How To Turn Stakeholders Into Events Promoters
Healthcare IT Buyer’s Experience

Adam Turinas

Hi, I am Adam Turinas, Healthlaunchpad's founder. I am passionate about helping healthtech firms succeed through better sales and marketing. I have hard-earned experience in healthcare technolgy as I started two healthcare businesses in the US, the first with zero healthcare experience. We sold the second business to a strategic buyer seven years later. Over 9 years building a healhtech businesses, I have learned how to sell and market effectively to healthcare organizations. Prior to this, I spent two decades in digital marketing across healthcare and other consumer industries where I sold over $100 million in products and services to corporations and healthcare orgs. I would love to talk with you. You can book a call with me on the right hand side. Best Adam (This is page 0 of many)

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