Episode 16

Episode 16: David Gerson - Seizing New Opportunities in a Post-COVID Marketing World

Published on: 20th September, 2022

About This Episode: 

On this episode of The Backstory on Marketing, Guy Powell sits down with David Gerson, Director of Marketing at TK Elevator. They discuss how the COVID-19 Pandemic induced technological transformation, influenced our culture, and changed the customer experience journey. David and Guy talk about how these shifts both challenge and create new opportunities for companies and marketing professionals, and how marketers can overcome these challenges and present the value of their initiatives to their peers and superiors. 

David speaks on current trends, such as TikTok and Customer Self Service. He speaks on the importance of maintaining a healthy mind and body, and he shares the ways in which he keeps his team engaged and fulfilled in a hybrid work environment.

About David Gerson:

For over 20 years, David Gerson has been a global leader in Creative Branding, Commercial Storytelling and Product Management. He has had the pleasure of working for a variety of B2B brands based in the Americas and Europe with a particular focus in the Interior Design and Commercial Building Industry.   

Inspiring teams and motivating people is a lifelong passion for him. Along the way, he’s developed an appreciation for a methodological approach to innovation, sales enablement and executing comprehensive product launches. 

In addition to his numerous professional accomplishments, he is probably best known for the global brand he created called “Refs Need Love Too”. An accomplished soccer referee with over 7 years of experience, he has over 40k followers on TikTok, a line of merchandise, a blog and even a podcast giving people an inside look at what it’s like to manage a match in the most popular sport in the world.   

Links: 

https://marketingmachine.prorelevant.com/getting-started/

YouTube: https://youtu.be/42UFtFP8OB8

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidgerson/

Company Website: https://www.tkelevator.com/us-en/

David Gerson’s TikTok: @refsneedlovetoo

Sign up for ProRelevant Emails: https://mailchi.mp/prorelevant/newsletter  

Transcript
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Hi, I'm Guy Powell and welcome to the next episode of the

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backstory on marketing. If you haven't already done so please

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visit pro relevant.com and sign up for all of these episodes and

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podcasts. I am the author of my just released book, The

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Prepare Your Team to Win. You

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can find more information on this at marketing

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machine.prorelevant.com. Today we're speaking with David

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Gerson. David Gerson is director of marketing for the US and

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Canada for TK elevator. He has 20 plus years experience in

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product management and product development roles and so has

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been in marketing for quite a while and has a lot of good

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experience that we'll be going through today. But more

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importantly, or maybe, certainly a lot more fun, is outside of

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marketing. He has a website and a TikTok. And everything else is

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called revs. I'm sorry, refs need love to refs need love,

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too. And so we if we get a chance, we'll talk a little bit

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about that as well. And I see him smiling already. So welcome,

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David.

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Thank you so much. I'm glad to be here.

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Yeah. Thank you. So good to have you too. So tell us about

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yourself. What is your backstory on getting into marketing?

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You know, funny enough, I found some old records. My father just

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moved permanently from New York down to Florida. And in one box,

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he found my old SATs scores, he sent it to me. I don't know why.

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But it asked a question about what careers might you be

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interested in. And the top response that I had on there was

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marketing. Now I was 17 years old. I didn't know anyone who

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worked in marketing. My father was Professor My mother was a

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dance teacher music teacher. But I kind of always appreciated

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great storytelling. You know, I loved you know jingles memorized

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a lot of jingles as a kid from different ads, and really

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enjoyed that. I always had a gift for Gab, I love telling

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stories. I did a lot of acting growing up. Obviously my mom was

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in music, so we did a lot of Broadway. So I think marketing

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was just kind of a, a natural extension of, of acting of

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theater and a great storytelling. It's always been

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something I've been passionate about. And I kind of fell into

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it. I started in a sales path, if you will. But I was always

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better at developing the training tools that I was

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actually being a salesperson, I never had that hunger to be

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number one. I was always writing the scripts, helping people to

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come up with different ways to present concepts and

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presentations to others developing other people. And

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that began my path from sales into sales, training and then

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eventually into marketing.

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Yeah, fantastic. Well, and storytelling is so important.

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Now I'm and acting is certainly a way to tell stories. I'm a

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tall guy, and I really get upset. I did some amateur

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action, amateur acting, and I've never been cast as a small guy.

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I feel discriminated against.

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I tell you, it's so funny. We always wish for the things that

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we cannot have. My wife is 45 years old, and she's only four

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foot 10. And she was in. She substitutes at the high school

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that my kids go to. And one of the other teachers asked my

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daughter, you know, is she your older sister? And my wife was

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offended. I was like, my gosh, you're 45 and being mistaken for

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a high schooler. 99% of women in this world would die to be in

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your position. Don't worry at all good. All good.

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Yeah, definitely. Sounds pretty good. So tell us about TK

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elevator.

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It's a fascinating company. So I've always been attracted to

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companies that make something. And listen, I'm not being

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disparaging to, you know, software as a service companies

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or people in, you know, banking or finance. But I love companies

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that make stuff I've I've now worked over 20 plus years or so

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for companies that made flooring, made furniture made

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wall systems. And now a company that builds an absolutely

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critical component of urban infrastructure, your elevator,

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and a lot of people don't think about it or may not know the

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brands that are associated those industries. But it is a massive

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global business, you know, very, very technical, you know,

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unbelievably high quality and safety standards. As you can

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imagine. It's the safest form of transportation even safer than

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walking. But it's a really cool company. It was spun off from

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FIS and crop, which was a massive, huge conglomerate in

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Germany about two and a half years ago. And it's now a

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standalone company that's poised for significant growth. So I

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work for the North American business, which is headquartered

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here in Atlanta.

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Yeah, awesome. And I drove by your building the other day and

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Man oh man, that facility, even from the outside is impressive.

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You can see stuff going on. On and lights going on. So tell us

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a little bit about that

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It's extraordinary. So here in Atlanta, we've got our kind of

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administrative headquarters in our business headquarters. And

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then we have this blant brand new innovation and quality

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center that is approximately 419 and three quarter inches high.

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And I know that because the Air Force bears nearby had certain

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height limits. So it's literally within one quarter inch of the

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420 foot maximum. But it has 23 elevator shafts within it that

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are used for a testing and product development displays of

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the company's technology. It's got an unbelievable showroom,

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that we bring different groups from the community, whether it's

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STEM students, whether it's, you know, other business groups,

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customers, certainly, it's got event space as well, we can host

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groups as high as 450 people and our ballroom and an unbelievable

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room up top that spans two levels with, you know, panoramic

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windows all the way around the best views in Atlanta for

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events. And it is right next to The Battery. It's on The Battery

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property, which is where the Braves development is. It is so

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Uber cool. And we are really proud of that space. It is the

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tallest test tower in North America. It is really a unique

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space. And it's outrageously sustainable. It has just

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recently been awarded LEED Gold status and uses 100% renewable

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electricity. So it's a pretty cool space to say the least.

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Yeah, it that's interesting. And well, we may have to take you up

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on that space. It really sounds pretty cool. And definitely I

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can imagine, you know, if you've got 23 Different elevator shafts

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to play around with, it must be a lot of fun.

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It is really cool. I mean, it's kind of some of them are public,

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like we have some panoramic ones where it's all glass around, and

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you can see, you know, the stadium, the surrounding area

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when you go up, and some of them are interior in the core of the

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building that are really more used primarily for, for test

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purposes, only as we develop and test out new technologies. But

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it's a absolutely fascinating space. There's nothing like it

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in this hemisphere, or really certainly in North America. So

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customers from all around the US and Canada are coming and

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checking out and they are absolutely blown away.

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Very interesting. So when was the building finished? Was it

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during COVID? Or was it available right before COVID?

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That's that's such a great question. It was actually built

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during COVID and built during COVID without a single last time

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accident. So safety is a really big part of our business,

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obviously working with elevators are inherently working at

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heights and with very heavy loads and electricity. So we're

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really proud of the fact that it was built without any lost time

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accidents. And it was built at an outrageously quick pace. It

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rose from the ground at an average of seven feet per day. I

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mean, it was something a little over 50 days to go from, from

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really the core base of the building all the way to topping

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out so built very, very quickly. And then it officially had its

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grand opening in February of 2022 this year. So it is as

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brand new as you can get. And it is gorgeous. It also I forgot to

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mention earlier, it has one of the largest LED screens in the

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United States on the side of the building. So millions of people

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every single year drive down to 285. Or come to The battery for

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those Braves games. And they're seeing, you know, our brand on

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the building and really cool designs going on those LED

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screens. It's really quite an impressive sight.

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Yeah. And I have seen all those LEDs. I was I was amazed. And

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you know, because you look at it, and you're driving along and

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you go on, man, how are they doing? Very impressive.

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Yeah. And then when you ride up in the elevator, you can't even

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see it as you go by it. The way they've s tructured and built

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those LEDs on the side of the building. It doesn't obscure

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your view when you're inside of the building. So it's really

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very cool.

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Fascinating. So what kind of challenges did you have now?

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Post COVID and keeping the team together and other things like

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that?

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relocation where people didn't come to the headquarters here in

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Atlanta as we consolidated some rolls here. But so I haven't

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experienced that a big thing for us we have embraced a hybrid

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workstyle. So I will say that where we have some days in the

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office and some days home, but we specifically have days in the

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office where we're all in the office together. I think it's

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absolutely critical that we have FaceTime. I schedule I'm a big,

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you know, face to face meeting kind of person, especially when

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I'm having my check in meetings with my team members. So every

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single week for my nine direct reports I'm meeting 30 minutes

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face to face with them every single week and it is a big

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chunk out of my calendar under which I've got lots of meetings

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one day, last week, I actually had 13 meetings in one day, it

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was a new record for me. But I am a big believer in face to

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face engagement, you know, really being able to check in

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with people personally and professionally. And I think

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that's helped keep our squad together. The other thing I

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would say is trust and empowerment, the most powerful

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words, words that I think I can say to a member of my team is, I

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trust you, you know, and then when we're trying to make

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decisions, what do you recommend, you know, you have

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more knowledge about this, you've been working on a

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tighter, what do you think we should do, and trying to put my

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people in a position where they feel ownership, and they're

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empowered to make decisions, and they're empowered to make

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mistakes, if they're going to make a mistake, is a wonderful

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thing to do. So I feel really great about our team, I feel

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really great about the culture of this company. You know, it's

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one that's, you know, asking people to be an entrepreneur, as

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people that you know, care for each other. Again, safety is

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really, really important for us, but just, you know, good, humble

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people, I look at the CEO of our business here in North America,

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and our global head of Field Operations now, uh, Kevin

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Lavalle, the man started out as an elevator service technician

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30 years ago, and has worked his way up through the business in

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many different roles. So, you know, again, humble, connected,

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understands the value of face to face interactions with

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customers. COVID was was certainly tough. But you know,

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your elevator can't stop working. People don't need the

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elevators, work and that business did not slow down very

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much. And we're off and running a great clip right now and very

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excited for the next year ahead. Yeah, fantastic.

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Well, so then it sounds like trust, empowerment for

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leadership. And then the other one was frequent face to face

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meetings, and just getting that one on one time or one on a

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group time to make sure that everything is properly aligned.

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And then I think I also heard you say, allowing people to make

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mistakes. So

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Absolutely. But but for young folks, in particular, if you

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want to keep them with the company, you've got to give them

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an opportunity to make friends. I mean, I think about you know,

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my early 20s, when I was just starting out, you know, the

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business, the place of business is where you make your friends

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and your friend group. I mean, it's a really big deal. And if I

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want to keep people long term, we have to have relationships,

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not just on my team, but adjacent teams, other teams

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around. It is a it feels great when you come in and you have

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people that you connect with not just there at the office, but

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then outside of the office, I just don't think you can do that

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on teams. I can't, you know, undervalue. The age, just the

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value hate to say it again, but the value of a relationship that

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you create, when you meet with someone face face to face when

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you have lunch together, when you share a laugh together. The

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pace of businesses well, just like I'm walking by, and

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someone's like, Oh, hey, can I ask you a question? I do feel

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that there is value in an office space and face to face. I don't

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mandate it five days a week. Again, it's two, three, it

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depends on what we have going on. And I also give people

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flexibility, because there are personal things that happen, you

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know, in life, but that's part of trust and empowerment.

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Yeah. Well, and I see your point. I mean, we're a small

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business as well. And, and just like we're doing right now, it's

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either Teams, it's Skype, it's WhatsApp, it's and then Zoom, of

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course. And, and but nevertheless, to create that,

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that relationship, the emotional bond, as opposed to just the,

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the transactional bond of hey, can you do this? And can you do

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that? That's, it's tough. It's tough.

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I had a great meeting yesterday, we had some members of our

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quality team, come on down to the marketing group. And we have

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a wonderful, gorgeous office space with this really cool

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table shuffleboard and it came down. I was like, oh, where

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should we meet? I was like, Hey, let's go play. You know, and we

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had a 30 minute meeting, we went up time to time was that he was

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1111. Right? When we were at a time, but we're over table

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shuffleboard and we built a relationship. We had fun while

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we were doing it, and we accomplished our goals and we

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set out okay, here's the action items is what we're going to do.

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You're doing this I'm doing this great. Okay, let's go forward.

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But we did it over a game a table shuffleboard? You know, we

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were fully present. We were having fun. We were making

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relationships. And now when I see him next time, it's gonna be

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a smile. It's gonna be like, oh, yeah, let's hang out. Let's play

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again. It's just very different from another Teams meeting.

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Yeah, yeah. Know how true how true and you know, you can get

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and you still can get work done. While you're doing that. You can

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still talk about some high level stuff. And you know, even those

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little tidbits, a couple of sentences here and there can

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make a you know, can make a very big difference. So what do you

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what kind of advice in the in this new COVID environment? What

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kind of advice would you give your marketing folks so that

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they can be very successful in their careers.

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Yeah, I think, you know, creating time for facetime is

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critical. Like, let's say, you're at a company where you

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don't have an office anymore. Okay? A lot of agencies have,

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have just given up the office space. Okay? So you don't have

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an office, but can you go meet with, you know, either your boss

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or your boss's boss, do a one over, you know, for breakfast,

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go take him out for breakfast, go take him out for coffee, I

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think for you know, meeting with clients as well. I mean, yes, it

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check in via, you know, email and text and phone is okay. But,

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you know, once a quarter, you still need to be getting face to

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face you can we go here in Georgia, we've got lots of nice

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weather, we go outside and do those things. But I highly

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recommend that. And I would also just encourage if you are going

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to be via distance, and, and this is something that I I'm

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not, I'm not, you know, I don't mandate it, but we always have

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our camera ons for for meetings, and I'm sorry, you can't show up

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to a meeting, have your camera off, sit there silent and not be

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engaged. It's just not okay, you've got to have that camera

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on, you've got to be participating, you have to be

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engaged. You know, when we have our stand up meetings or

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check-in meetings, you know, we randomly, you know, you call the

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next person to go keeping everyone on their toes, you

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gotta keep people going, I really worry about people, we're

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always working from home, and just be a teams that there's

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this burnout, they just get worn out. That's a that's a problem.

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I would also if I could just throw in one more thing, Guy, I

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am a big proponent of, you know, healthy body, healthy mind. So

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when I am working from home, and I've got those days, I am

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working out every single morning. And I'm taking a walk

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during the day to to kind of clear my mind and get away from

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the screens for a little while. So I don't burn out.

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Yeah, and I think that, that and I don't I don't even think

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that's called work life balance. That's just work. And, you know,

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kind of health balance as opposed to work life, because

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the life then is also kind of what you're doing with you know,

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ref Sneed love to which we'll talk about in a minute, but not

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yet. Yeah, absolutely. So then, one of the one of the challenges

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and especially for a b2b business, is how do you sell the

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value of marketing to your peers? And to your superiors?

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:

How do you sell that, hey, we invested this million dollars,

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and we actually, you know, drove value for the company. How do

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

you how do you do that at TK elevator?

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:

Yeah, well, I don't use abstract terms. Number one, I talk about

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ringing the cash register, I talk about growing the business,

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I talk about exponential growth and productivity and efficiency

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:

gains. So you know, I talked about, you know, how we're going

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:

to make the, you know, the 10,000 touches we need to do to

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create the, you know, the 5000 engagements to get the 2000

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opportunities to get the 1000 quotes to get the, you know, 150

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close sales, I talked about it in terms of the sales flow, and

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where marketing is in that sales funnel. If you're just talking

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in very abstract terms about, you know, brand awareness, which

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which brand awareness matters, there's nothing wrong with brand

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awareness and consideration, and things of that nature to talk

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about, just oh, we're going to do social media posts, or we're

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going to do press releases. I feel it's very easy for people

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:

to you know, blow those things off, or just cancel them out of

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a budget. If you talk in terms of, you know, hitting the

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:

company's sales goals. And you talk about specifically, again,

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the strategies, tactics, technologies that we're going to

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:

leverage to be able to hit those sales goals. People are like,

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:

oh, yeah, that makes a lot more sense. You know, we need to do

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:

that. Because if not, they're just going to say, Okay, how

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many salespeople do we have? What's the average? They do?

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:

Okay, we need to hire 10 more salespeople. It's like, ah,

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gosh, I've seen it so many times in my career. But if you're

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like, Okay, let's look at the 90 salespeople we have or the 100

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or 500, whatever, and let's see how we can make them 25% more

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effective, that we can touch those customers, you know,

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:

100,000 more times, you know, if you have to make eight or nine

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:

touches, to get a sale, you know, an average in a b2b, you

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:

know, sales context, how can we automate, you know, five or six

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:

of those touches and engage the salesperson, you know, in that

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sales process to get us further along to that sale. I mean,

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that's, that's, that's where I would encourage people to be

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thinking and talking about to be able to, you know, hit the goals

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of the organization. That is, that's a really big deal for me.

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I have always felt that marketing serves itself when we

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are closer to the customer or specifically talking about the

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customer and how we're bringing more customers and participating

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:

in the selling process.

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:

Yeah, agreed and that that closeness. Now, I will admit,

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one of our clients during COVID Obviously, they weren't allowed

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to visit anymore. And so everything went to a Zoom

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meeting. And so they were doing zoom calls and what have you.

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And so they're they're one on one face calls with their

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clients, we're now virtual. And now that it's kind of post

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COVID, they're not 100% in person again, but there's a

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certain mix in there. Did you do any analysis on on how well the

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one type of call in person would work? versus the other type of

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:

call? Virtual? And do you see any trends now moving forward,

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:

as we're all kind of getting back? Working, maybe at least in

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:

sales in a face to face environment?

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:

Yeah, I mean, I don't think there's any replacement for face

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to face interaction, I'm just going to say that straight up,

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there's none. But you know, customer preferences towards

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self service, you know, to to not having to ever talk to a

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salesperson is dramatically on the rise. And that came out of

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COVID, we had a, a culture shift, which created a

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technology shift, which has just created a whole new paradigm,

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where customer experience maps are very different today. And

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customer experience, technology, and self service technology have

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to be an integral part of what we do in creating, you know, a

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:

customer experience journeys for our customers. So investments

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:

there are critical, I don't think it's optional. And it is

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:

changing a lot of ways that companies have to do business,

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especially in a b2b space, I mean, the data as to what people

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:

were willing to spend online without having a customer, you

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:

know, face to face meeting before COVID was, you know, it's

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:

pretty low, it is very, you know, people maybe would spend

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:

$10,000, I mean, now, some of the data that you're see coming

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:

out, is that people are willing to spend 40, 50, $60,000 on a

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transaction, without meeting anyone face to face just from

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doing their own research online, watching demos online, maybe

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interacting with someone on a zoom call, and then signing a

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contract digitally. So it's a, it has dramatically changed how

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we do business for the future. And it has to be taken into

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consideration without a doubt. And I think it's, I wouldn't say

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it's just a Gen Z thing or a Gen Y thing. I think it's all

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:

generations that are experiencing the shift, and that

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:

are looking for more alternative ways to do business.

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:

Yeah, I think you're right. Certainly, it seemed like the

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Gen Z and the Gen Y's were probably more willing to do

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things online as opposed to face to face. Excuse me. But what

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I've found as well, is that now that millennials are, you know,

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they're just as interested in saving that time. I mean, they

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still want to have the relationship. But, you know,

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:

whereas before, you might have had a two hour call, face to

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:

face. Now you can get that done in maybe 45 minutes. And

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:

actually, I've found to what you used to be able to do in a real

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:

one on one kind of a call and let's say an hour, those that

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:

time is now 30 minutes, you know, I don't know, I don't know

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:

how that's happening. You know, are we just learning more

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:

online? Or are we just taking more for granted? Or you know,

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:

what's going on there?

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:

I don't know. Everything is accelerated, there's no doubt.

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:

You know, our, our patience is worn thin, the amount of

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:

meetings that we have in a day is just multiplied

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:

astronomically. But also the way we make decisions today, as

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:

well, there's so many more people that have to sign off on

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:

a decision, especially at a large company. Quite honestly,

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

one meeting face to face with someone with four people is not

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:

going to cut it. I need presentations, I need

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

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documentation. I need case studies, I need spreadsheets

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:

that that show me the data. And then I have to circulate that

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:

amongst a number of different people. Digital is the is

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:

generally the only way I'm going to get that done.

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. No, and that's a good point. And, and although

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I will admit, you know, it used to be you'd have these email

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:

trails, there might be 50, or 60, or 100 different entries in

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:

there. And nobody could follow it after a while. But that does,

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

though, that that does start a conversation, I think and that

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:

you can get a lot of the nitty gritty, smaller details out of

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:

the way before you actually come to the big decision as to what

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:

you're trying to achieve. Right? Yeah, absolutely. So what do you

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

see as the biggest challenges now facing marketers, and maybe

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

even b2b marketers versus consumer marketers coming out of

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:

COVID and then just generally moving forward?

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

I think that the technology landscape just gets more and

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

more complex. I mean, all of the different plugins, all the

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

different apps, all of the you know, the network art

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

architecture behind the scenes, again, that the turnover rates

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

of those people who are managing all those systems, you know,

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

this person knew that technology this person knows this one,

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:

they're no longer here anymore. I mean, that brain drain is is

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

is challenging, and the you know, as the marketing director,

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:

sometimes I feel like I'm you know, the Chief Information

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Officer of my company, I mean, that's how many different

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:

systems that our team has to manage to do our job there, you

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

just don't have the luxury not to get into that conversation

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:

and truly understand how your automated marketing system is

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

going to work with your customer experience system that's going

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:

to work with your CRM system that's going to work with the

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

invoicing system that's going to work with the customer portal

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

system. And like, all of these different things that you do

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

that you have to do to do business, you do have to spend

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

time really appreciating, you know, how they work together,

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

how they're gonna communicate, you know, how good your data is,

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

how you're gonna manage all of those, those systems. I mean,

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:

that is it is a big difference from where I was, even 10 years

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

ago, I think about 10 years ago, and the types of campaigns we

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

were doing, then, yeah, maybe there was a little social media,

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

some Facebook or something like that, and little Twitter and,

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

and we'd have an email campaign. And now there are so many more

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

items, it's so much more comprehensive. I mean, it's

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

great, we can do a lot more, we have the opportunity to touch

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

customers in so many different ways. But you really need to

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

spend the time to understand appreciate the systems, the

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

opportunities they provide, and how they all work together, and

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

then communicate that internally, you know, helping

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

the other groups within your organization understand why

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

they're so critical. And why we have to do this at this time.

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

It's, it's a lot, a lot of my job. And I think it's a lot of

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

my peers job is just doing that dance.

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

Yeah. And you're definitely talking about a pretty important

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

trend, because in a lot of the reports that I've seen that for,

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

you know, midsize to large businesses, the marketing IT

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

infrastructure is larger than the company and IT

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

infrastructure, just because of all those reasons that you

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

mentioned, and getting all that interoperability and getting it

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

right and making sure that everything connects up so that

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

you can really do a significantly better job in your

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

in your marketing activities is critical. It's critical.

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

Absolutely. The personalization and intimately knowing your

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

customer and creating customized experience for them based on

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

their interactions with your business or where they are in

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

the funnel. And the pipeline is is key. I mean, customers want

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

to feel like you know them, you know, if you understand what

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

their needs, are you anticipate their needs. You speak in their

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:

language. That's, that's what it's about. And that's what

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:

separates really great companies from people who are just

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

dabbling.

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

Yeah, absolutely. So then, let's talk about trends. What kind of

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:

trends do you see? I mean, obviously, that those are the

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:

challenges that you got, but now what kind of trends that you see

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:

in marketing that are facing you over the next couple of years?

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

Well, I mean, I can't not talk about TikTok if you're if you're

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

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a marketer today, and you're not on TikTok and I don't care how

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

old you are, people need to understand the average age of a

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:

TikTok user in the United States is over 30 years old. Okay, you

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

know, it started as musically it started as as something for, you

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

know, tweens and teens, you know, doing silly dances, and

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

now, it is the most popular website in the world, people

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

need to understand that people spend more time on TikTok than

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

any other website in the world. And it has dramatically changed

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

how people tell stories and communicate for you know, at

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

least the next, you know, five to seven years out. It's raw, if

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

it's authentic, sometimes it's polished, sometimes it's not

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

polished. It's told from very personal perspectives on a whole

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:

range of subjects. And it's fast. It's really fast. I mean,

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

crazy fast. I mean, I think we used to talk about YouTube

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

videos, being a three minutes was a target, you know, most

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

TikToks are less than a minute, many of the most successful tech

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

talks are less than 15 seconds. So it is a whole different way

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

of communicating to audiences. And we need to be, you know,

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

conscious of that as marketers, we need to be really conscious

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

of how are people taking in new information? You know, what's

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

the format of how they want to get that information? You know,

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

who do they trust? Where do they go, so that we can be really,

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

you know, really good stewards of our marketing budgets. I

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

think that's important. So I want to say TikTok is a thing.

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

And it's something we need to appreciate. And you know, as

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

we've discussed, I mean, I am deep into that world. I would

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

also just say, again, that customer experience, online

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

customer experience, and Customer Self Service is, is the

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

now and the future. That the that there are many people. I

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

mean, I know like do you even want to leave a voicemail for

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

someone anymore? No, you text them. It's instantaneous. Yeah,

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

you know, if I'm trying to find someone on a website, maybe I

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

wanted to call someone there's no phone number. I do an instant

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

chat. You know, it's like it's, I need it. Now. I want to be

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

able to do things now. I want to be able to take care of it

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

online. I want to get my account information I want to pay Hey,

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

my bill, I want to buy what I want to buy, I want to do my

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

research on my past orders, like it is just all of those things

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

is I want to do it now 24/7 instantaneously online, whether

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

it's via my phone, or via my laptop, or via an iPad, sitting

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

by the beach, someplace in the in the Caribbean, they want to

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

do it now and they want to do it online, and they want it less

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

and less have someone actually call and sell them on something.

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

So I mean, I think those are probably the two biggest things

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

that that we need to be very conscious of. And, and I again,

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

I would just the last thing, and you brought it up earlier, it's

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

just you know, as a marketer, make sure that you're explaining

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

the value of what you do, you know, to your management and

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

leadership team in in ways that they can understand help them

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

hit those growth numbers they want to hit, staying really

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

close to your your sales partners, making sure that they

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

understand how you can make them more successful. We are yes, we

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

are kind of a separate part of the organization and marketing.

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

But I love the phrase smarketing you know, it's it's sales and

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

marketing working together to accomplish the goals of the

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

company.

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

Yeah, absolutely. And I like your point about, you know, "I

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

want it now I want my money and I want it now!" I can't remember

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

what brand it was sent to the advertisers that but I want my

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

money, and I want it now. You know, and it's interesting, too,

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

I think and that makes it really dovetails in with what happened.

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

You know, maybe if you go back 10 years ago, you would expect

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

the company to be open, you know, nine to five, or eight to

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

five, or whatever it was, and you could call them up or you

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

know, and you'd have that window and you'd get somebody on the

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

line. And now with the internet and then with post COVID Well,

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

with COVID Having driven us to doing everything virtual for

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

those year, that year and a half or two years. Now it is

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

absolutely 24/7 And I want to be able to get to an answer, I want

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

to find it on the on the website, or I just want to chat

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

somebody or whatever it is, and I want to get it now. And then

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

you know, to your point as well with tick tock I mean, 15

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

seconds to get, you know, to get some entertainment. Now I will

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

entertainment and knowledge because I think a lot of people,

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

you know, there's so much you can learn on tick tock. And and

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

I hate to say it I I've been on you know, I try not to go on

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

there too often because you end up spending an hour and you go

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

Where did that hour go?

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

That will let me tell you that that that machine that they've

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

built that algorithm is so addictive. It is it is straight

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

up brain candy. Yeah. It's evil. I have a, a, a warning that

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

comes up on my TikTok, you know, if I've been there for 30

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

minutes, it's like, do you want to continue? And I'm like, I

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

don't I'm like, No, they've sucked too much of my time.

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

Like, no, no, I won't do it before bed. I mean, I'm here. I

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

I turned my electronics off. You know, I tried to do at least 30

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

to 45 minutes before I shut my eyes and I try and read but

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

otherwise, I mean, you can just get sucked in. And that's such a

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

saying it's it's not just, I mean, yes, there are some funny

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

dances but that's not what comes up on my feed. I mean, I've got

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

you know, history and I've got cooking and I've got marketing

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

and I've got leadership and and as you know I'm huge in the in

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

the soccer world in the right world of international football.

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

So that's, that's what comes up on my feet. But it learns you

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

and man it just it takes you in it is unbelievable what they've

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

built there.

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

Yeah, it really is in it. And I think they they know they know

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

it and they know how to feed that addiction. It's just like

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

crack I guess.

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

It is for the crack for the brain. No doubt. Yeah, that's

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

for sure.

Post-COVID Marketing Machine:

:

So you, you brought up soccer. Let's talk a couple of minutes

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on your refs need love to. Yeah,

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Absolutely. So I've been a grassroots. So that's what we

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would call a referee who's not a professional here in the United

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States and other parts of the world for seven years. So I've

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probably reffed over about 1000 games, and I've watched many

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1000s more. But I fell in love with the sport when I was

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coaching my kids when they were growing up. And then we lived in

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the Netherlands for a few years. And I lived through World Cup

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2014 While living in the Netherlands, where the entire

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country shuts down. When they're playing a world I mean literally

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the country shuts down the manufacturing line shuts down

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when the Dutch are on in the World Cup. I mean it was it was

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unbelievable. And then when I got back here to the US my son

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was 10 and he wanted to start refereeing and I had I was a

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rugby referee in college I played rugby for division one

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school at that time. And you know I was going to drive into

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the field so I'm like I'm gonna do it too. And so I became a

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soccer referee and I fell in love with it. I I don't have any

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other hobbies. I do some vegetable gardening. I got that.

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But my hobby is being a soccer referee. I love the the mental

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focus that I have to have to be on that pitch. I love having all

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the responsibility on me. I said my high school yearbook quote,

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was, it's better to stand alone for the right reasons than be

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together for the wrong. It's better to stand alone for the

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right reasons to be together for the wrong. I've always been one

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of those people that wants to take a stand, whether it be an

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unpopular stand, or whatever the standard is, but I like being

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that person. I was president of my rugby team in college, which

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is it's a bunch of mutants running around, so it's hard to

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be their leader. But I was a team captain and President

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running wild love being (mic cut out).

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You know, David, yeah, sorry, your mic just went off or

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something like that and got really, really small, really

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low. Oh, it's better now. Yep, it's better now. Yep.

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I'm sorry, I will I will just go back for a second there. So I

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love the mental focus of the game. And then I love the

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physical aspect, the fact that um, every time I'm on the soccer

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pitch, I run between three and five miles depending if I'm on

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the line or in the center. So it's, you know, mental focus.

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It's that physical exercise that I get, I find it to be very

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healthy.

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Yeah, well, and I loved soccer. I coached my son for a long time

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until he knew more than I did. Then I said, Okay, I got to stop

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and it was definitely you know, talk about work life balance and

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and then the exercise of you get it was just awesome. And just

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being outside for an hour or two hours for practice in a game and

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oh, it was awesome. So fantastic.

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Yeah, I I just want to say so that the funny thing for a

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marketer. Okay, so the story of a soccer referee is not often

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told. I'm serious. So I mean that the soccer players the

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Ronaldos, the Messis, the Mbappés, is you know, all these

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people, everyone knows everything about them, right.

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But the people who stand in the middle of the pitch, you know

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that that third team of referees who are part of the game if

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there is no revenue is no game, there is no professional league

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without them. And they make a you know, a pittance, they make

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less than one week's wages of a top player for an entire year. I

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mean, if you're on Manchester United, you're making 250 to

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$400,000 a week, the top referees are making 140,000 the

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entire year. But no one ever knows their story. And they are

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some of the most hated, and, you know, just absolute, so much

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vile stuff is thrown their direction, it is an impossible

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job to do, you know, well, it is almost literally impossible to

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get those decisions, right. And their story was not being told.

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So, you know, about a year ago, I started, you know, started to

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Tiktok you know, just kind of for fun to tell a little bit of

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the referees perspective. And it has has resonated, that that's a

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story and a perspective that players and coaches and other

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reps don't get to hear we're usually on our own, or by

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herself, we get no training whatsoever, no one understands.

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And so it's been fun to tell as a marketer to tell that story.

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Yeah, how interesting. And you know, the, the other thing too,

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is a one call from a ref can change the outcome of the game.

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It's so funny you say that. So I would tell you that yes, there

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could be a key match decision from a referee. But you know,

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the referee makes 300 decisions in a game on average. And you

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know, we only see maybe about 25 that result in a foul, or maybe

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you get throw in decisions or something nature, or maybe

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there's a penalty kick. But I often, you know, you'll go

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online after a game. And there'll be people just like

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throwing all this hate at a referee for one call, mind you,

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that team had 30 shots on goal, you know, or 30 shots. 20 of

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them didn't even go on goal. You know, they missed tons of shots,

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they only had 60% passing, you know, there was a lot that they

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did that ended up in that team losing it wasn't just that one

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call from the rep but you know, we because we are an easy person

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to blame, you know, the referee, we are that person with that

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responsibility to make that call, you know, the decisions

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every single day, every single time there's a game, people love

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to talk about the ref because they they don't know what we

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know. They don't know the laws of the game. They're not willing

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to put on that jersey and stand there. They think it's so easy.

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They haven't done it before. So it's it's fun, honestly, for me,

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to be able to provide that, that perspective, to be able to look

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at a call that happened and explain. Well, here's what the

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referee saw. Here's what the Laws of the Game set. Here's why

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that decision was made. And players and coaches and other

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referees appreciate that there's finally someone who's speaking

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up on their behalf.

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Yeah, well and there. I was never wanting, never ever

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wanting to be a ref that was theirs. I don't know if I could

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handle that contention. (David Gerson: No, no one ever does.

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Does No.) And then to your point is, you know, you kind of know

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the rules. But you know, I, you know, I've glanced at a rule

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book if there's one, you know, we looked at it one point, but

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never really opened it up. And then you know, and I think that

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the hardest one, especially in soccer is is offsides. I tell

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you, I can't figure that one out. I mean, I know how it

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works. I know what it is. But it is impossible sometimes to see

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that.

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If I have to ask them when to find offside. And you know,

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parents, you know who fellow parent of my kids team. I did

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that last year as for the tic toc. And I asked these guys who

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have been watching their kids play for 15 years to find

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offside. And they're like, oh, and then you know, what are the

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considerations for offside, even if you know, kind of what it is?

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Well, what are all the considerations when it is

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offside, and not an offside offense? Same thing with

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handball, you know, people like handball, and I'm like, you

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know, what are the considerations for that?

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Handball? Why do you say it's handball and there's like, you

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know, there's 15 Different things that as a referee,

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especially as I get into semi professional matches and and

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much higher leagues MLS next and things like that nature, there's

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always things that I need to know in my brain to be able to

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adjudicate that game through the Laws of the Game. Yeah, no one

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ever knows. They just like to blame the RAF and yell awful

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things.

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Yeah, exactly. Well, and with that, a positive note for the

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refs. Maybe, I don't know. But with that, then let's, let's

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close. Thank you so much, David. Really good to have you today.

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And learn about TK elevator and then refs need love to and yes,

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they do. Probably more than the rest of us. But actually, if you

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want to learn more, TK elevator.com is the website. For

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the end. There's some interesting images on there. And

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I can't remember there was some videos of the new building. And

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then refs need love, too. If you're interested in soccer. I

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coached my son for about 10 years. And it was it was

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awesome. And we love watching the World Cup and everything

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like that. And what's your tick tock handle for Nestle?

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Yep, at reps need love to when you go on tick tock. It's crazy

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how big it's gotten when you just type in RDFs I will be the

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first thing that pops up, you type in referee, and I'm the

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first thing that pops up. I'm telling you, it blows people

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away. Like when I travel or I have friends or people that are

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my age 47 And they tell their teenagers. And I mean, when I go

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to a soccer field, and literally if people were like, Oh my gosh,

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there's a TikTok ref that's pictograph like it's it's gotten

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it's gotten really big. It's very funny.

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How cool how cool. Well with that, please stay tuned for many

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other videos in this series of the backstory on marketing,

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please visit marketingmachine.prorelevant.com

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and download the first chapter of my book and many other

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valuable excerpts. And don't forget to sign up for more

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episodes on this podcast series. And if you like this podcast,

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please rate it five stars. David, thank you so much. Really

appreciate it. (David Gerson:

It was my pleasure, anytime.)

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About the Podcast

The Backstory on Marketing
with Guy Powell
Guy Powell, President of ProRelevant Marketing Solutions, interviews marketing and analytics experts about how the industry is evolving and what data-driven marketers need to succeed today. Find out more about Prorelevant Marketing Solutions at https://prorelevant.com/