The Virtual CMO

How to Use Marketing Automation to Increase Campaign Effectiveness Part 2 with Norman Guadagno

May 13, 2021 Eric Dickmann, Norman Guadagno Season 5 Episode 2
The Virtual CMO
How to Use Marketing Automation to Increase Campaign Effectiveness Part 2 with Norman Guadagno
Show Notes Transcript

In episode 68, host Eric Dickmann interviews Norman Guadagno. Norman is currently CMO at Acoustic, where he is helping reimagine marketing technology. Over the past two decades, he has held a number of marketing and strategy roles with a deep focus on business transformation, marketing acceleration, and brand building. Norman was previously SVP of Marketing at Carbonite, helping to successfully transform that company from B2C to B2B. He has also held senior marketing positions at digital marketing agency Wire Stone (now part of Accenture Interactive), Microsoft, and Oracle.

 With both a B.A. and M.A. in psychology, Norman has always viewed marketing challenges first through the lens of human perceptions, motivations, and emotions. Combined with a deep understanding of data, proven skills as a storyteller, and rich experience as a business and people leader, his unique perspective on the social and business landscape today offers valuable insights for professionals across industries.

For show notes and a  list of resources mentioned in this episode, please visit: https://fiveechelon.com/marketing-automation-increase-effectiveness-s5e2/  

A fractional CMO can help build out a comprehensive marketing strategy and execute targeted campaigns designed to increase awareness and generate demand for your business...without the expense of a full-time hire.

The Five Echelon Group - Fractional CMO and strategic marketing advisory services designed for SMBs looking to grow. Learn more at: 

https://fiveechelon.com


Eric Dickmann:

Welcome to The Virtual CMO podcast. I'm your host, Eric Dickmann. In this podcast, we have conversations with marketing professionals who share the strategies, tactics, and mindset you can use to improve the effectiveness of your marketing activities and grow your business. Hey, Norman. Welcome to The Virtual CMO Podcast. I'm so glad you could join us today.

Norman Guadagno:

It's a thrill to be here. I'm really excited, too, to join you and get a chance to chat.

Eric Dickmann:

Oh, well, thanks. It's going to be an interesting conversation. And one of my favorite topics getting into marketing automation, you know, we just finished up our four season and the purpose of that four season. Well, thanks very much. The purpose of the four season was really to talk all about building out a strategic marketing plan for your business. In that season, we had two separate episodes. One was really focused on a marketing automation and the other was focused on CRM and analytics. And I think this is going to be a great follow-up discussion to that because these are very related topics, right? These are things that used to be very separate, kind of out there in the industry, and I think over time is companies have come in, companies have been acquired, things are starting to merge together. So you know, before we kick off the conversation, if you would just give the audience a little short background on yourself and Acoustic.

Norman Guadagno:

Sure thing, as I said, it's great to be here. I love the show and the type of topics you cover. So I think it would be a great discussion. I am the CMO at Acoustic. Acoustic is a marketing automation company. But most people may not have heard about it because we have only been around for about a year and a half under the name Acoustic. We were actually created as a carve out a essential, I have a set of assets from IBM. So our core set of assets had previously been an IBM Watson Marketing before that had actually been a set of independent companies that IBM had acquired. So we had a long rich history in the marketing automation space, across campaign automation, analytics, and experience and analytics and measurement. But really, nobody knew us as Acoustic until we were reborn. We're now an independent private company, and we have about a 3000 customers around the globe who are using our products and were busy trying to both continue to add new value and innovation into the products, as well as a service those customers and help them do the best work possible.

Eric Dickmann:

That's great, I appreciate that introduction. And just a little bit of the history of the company, you know, as I started to say, there, there has been so much change within the marketing automation space, and I've done this before. But wait, which one are you?

Norman Guadagno:

Wait. I think we're at right down there somewhere. We did it here, and it's Monday 2020 amazingly. But you need a magnifying glass to find it.

Eric Dickmann:

But it's crazy, right? It just, it's a statement to how much the industry has changed. You know, you go back and look at, this is the MarTech chart that is put out every year and talks about all the vendors that are in the space and they're categorized into different groupings. But if you go back, you know, just, you know, go back a decade, and the chart looks completely different. You could actually read it. And it's amazing how many companies have come into this space, but it seems like marketing automation as a platform is really evolving into a business hub, if you will. It's the center of a lot of things that are going on in the company. What's your perspective about how things are changing?

Norman Guadagno:

Yeah, I think it's a great point because that chart itself is fun, but it's also, it it can be very intimidating. Especially if you're trying to figure out, who do I talk to? What do I do? And there's two forces at work here that I think are important for us to understand. One is that marketing broadly defined, has become that center point of the entire go to market strategy for a business of the way in which a business connects and communicates across all of these different channels that we have available to us today, and marketers also have realized over the past couple of decades, certainly in the last decades that technology can hopefully, make it better, make my marketing better and make me more efficient. Maybe scale up faster, give me better insights, there's a whole set of things. People who marketers work for have said, Hey, give us better insights, tell us how you're spending your money. So there's a naturally sort of reinforcing thing that goes on there. The flip side of it and the reason why I believe that there are our 8,000 companies on that chart, is that in any technology sector that is booming as marketing automation is there are inevitably a small number of large platforms that serve as the foundation for pretty much everyone. And then there are a lot, lot of specialized capabilities that typically connect to those larger platforms and typically are fairly narrow scope to neither a channel that they address, a particular piece of functionality they deliver, a vertical that they may operate in. So there's a lot of that, and what you see happen is, and this is really, if you look at that chart again, really what's going on is there's five to seven companies that are those platforms to stick with them, and then there are, as everybody else that connects in one way, shape or form accident, there's a bunch of companies that help people connect to them. Everyone that connects to them, everyone then analyzes it. If you watch the evolution of that chart over time, however, many of those small feature like products, I. I think of them as features. They either ended up combining, folding, or getting picked up and rolled into a bigger player. Because the natural evolution of technology in a space like this, it's true in almost every space is things that say, Oh my gosh, I gotta have this thing. It's a stand alone business that someone realized, well, that's really just a feature.

Eric Dickmann:

Right, right.

Norman Guadagno:

And up and up, but there's so much creativity and so much opportunity to improve our marketing infrastructure, marketing technology, or marketing insights that we're still continuing to see this type of growth today and marketers is throwing money at it.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah, well, that's the thing. It does cost a lot of money, especially if you've got a lot of these tools and services. And I think you're so right. It's many of these tools, they do one thing better, or one thing a little bit differently, but there's also a lot of overlap. I don't know how many subscriptions I have to products that also come with stock photography, you know. I'm probably paying multiple times to access the same stock photography library or you do something that helps you enhance your social media posts, and this one has filters and this one has video and, you know, can do animations. And this one has a, more of a calendar scheduling tool, but you'd really like them all in one. You don't want to pay for all of these separate tools. And that's, in some ways, I think how these hubs are becoming so important because if they truly have an open ecosystem and people can plug into them, that's a huge advantage.

Norman Guadagno:

It is. And I think your analogy is a terrific one. Eric. Think about your mobile phone. How many camera and photography apps do you have, if you have to like taking pictures that do, just add filters, let you do a cool video, give you more control over a few things. There's 80% of the functionality is the same, 20% is different, and there is a lot of that. And actually that's one of the rules that I use in my own marketing teams. And that I counsel other businesses to think about. Which is when a vendor or an employee on the team says, Hey, you should be looking at this thing, bright shiny object. I mean, it's always a

Eric Dickmann:

Right, right.

Norman Guadagno:

Right? The question I use it internally and I encourage others to use is looking at the fat thing, that new object, that new capability, that new technology, and then looking at what you have in place already. I'm thinking very pragmatically about what does that do for me? What outcomes am I going to create? Ask yourself the question, can I add 80% of the way there with what I already have or with some slight modifications? Because frankly, most businesses, most of us don't use all the capabilities and the tools we already have.

Eric Dickmann:

For sure.

Norman Guadagno:

Right? And so if you ask that question, well, I'd love this super cool, shiny thing. That's going to cost me X. Kind of can get 80% or more there, but maybe just using this other feature that I'm not actually using right now, and it's something I've already invested in. And they may seem counterintuitive coming from a vendor. But I don't believe marketers should over-invest. I believe marketers at any level, whether it's a small business, all the way up to the enterprise should be thoughtfully investing in things that will get them the return they want. There's always going to be a new, bright, shiny object.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah, I couldn't agree more. And with so many vendors in the marketplace, all trying to survive and thrive. You know, pricing is also all over the place. I look at some of these things and said, well, I've got a whole marketing automation hub that I pay X number of dollars for a month or a year. And then there's shiny object that you're talking about once, just as much or more for doing this little slice of functionality. And, you know, they're trying to make a business case of it, but sometimes it's hard to justify the costs of some of these, and especially with so many being, you know, SAS products that just renew every year silently in the background, you can start to add up a lot of fees, just to buy all these tools that you have, which like you said, you may only be using a fraction of their capability.

Norman Guadagno:

That's the beauty of this SAS business, if you're in the SAS business like I am. But it's the danger of the SAS business if you are a consumer. Let's say again, back to the analogy of, think about the services you use at home to watch entertainment. Maybe you have. Netflix, you have Amazon. Maybe you have a, you know, a Roku, maybe you have a TV that gets this, maybe you have cable. How many different subscriptions do you pay for and how many different things you have where I got this thing because I wanted this, but it also gives me all these other capabilities. How many different ways can you watch HBO? How many different ways can you watch some of these things? I know I have it here, like I have everything. So I'm paying way more than I should, and I can only watch it one at a time, no matter what I do. That's not unlike what we get into inside the business. So that, that really comes back to the thinking about your MarTech stack and your marketing automation. Being super clear on what am I investing in. To what outcomes, am I going to get? Because if you're not thinking about it through that land, whether it's a small investment that you're just spending X dollars a month for an integrated marketing hub or you have a big stack. If you're not thinking clearly about, okay, am I using all these capabilities to drive the results I want for the business? That's the question that marketers have to ask themselves. Because they get caught up in. Although, if I just layer this on top of this, on top of this on top, somehow it's going to make everything better, and I'm going to get better results. That's often not true. That's a nice one. It is, but more often than not, it's like, What's the core of my marketing automation? What's the core of my campaign engine? If you will, is that optimized completely? And if you ask that question, which is question I think is critical, you start to reset. So many businesses, email is probably the core of their outbound campaign engine. Are you really getting all the value out of your email? Automation program that you should be? We have a lot of smart people doing this out in the world. Marketers are fairly sophisticated, and if it's helpful to us, But just to step back and ask yourself, when was the last time I just thought deeply about email deliverability, for example. I think we all sometimes take for granted, but, lots of things can happen over time that can impact your deliverability. Do you keep an eye on it? Because if you, if the awesome email you created, God's gonna end up in the inbox of the folk she wanted to end up useless.

Eric Dickmann:

That's right. Yeah, that's

Norman Guadagno:

Right? All right. So when you're saying, Oh, open rates seem to be down or what were deliverability rates? And you have to start from that sort of basic premise of where am I really driving the engine from and what's happening. And if you do that, you start to, I think differently about the type of investments that you can and will make.

Eric Dickmann:

You know, you mentioned like the iPhone and the photography apps on there. And you know, one of the things that developers complain a lot about is at some point, if something seems like a really key feature, you know, Apple will pull that feature into the operating system and just make it a part of the phone. And when I look out at, you know, those big five or six, you know, marketing automation hub companies that are out there, it's very interesting to see the directions that they're going, to see what they perceive as being important in the marketplace. You know, you have Salesforce who purchased Pardot, and then they have their Einstein. So you've got some business intelligence functionality and they are some AI, you've got Adobe buying Marquetto rights, so that's a content play. I'm trying to integrate the content tools with it. You've got now HubSpot who went sort of down a CRM direction and added that functionality than service, and now they bought a content hustle or a company to hustle, right? And your roots are with the AI, with Watson, and some of the business intelligence that was there. So when you started looking at not just with Acoustic, but with the marketplace at the whole as a whole, what do you see as some of these big macro trends where all of these platforms are sort of converging in similar directions?

Norman Guadagno:

That's it's, it is a good description of what we end up doing. And I think we do look for the trends. We try to get ahead of them, but if we can, we then try to buy our way into them, honestly, because marketers are endlessly figuring out, Oh, I need to do this or I need to do that. I think one of the biggest trends that we see in that I think is going to be a battleground. If you will, in the next few years is around the use of data. Now everybody talks about data all the time, you can't have a discussion around marketing without talking about data. But we meet lots of different things when we talk about data and we start thinking about the ability to take multiple types of data, first-party data, second-party data, third-party data. And bring them together to make better, more informed marketing. That is going to be a big area that businesses are going to have to think clearly about. A lot of businesses are trying to decide. Do they want to invest in a CDP, a customer data platform or not? If they do. Is that going to be all their data. Some of the big Mark tech vendors want their system to be the hub. We're all data must slip. But acoustic, we believe in a more open model where we don't want to be the hub for all the data. We want to bring the data together to do better marketing and marketing aims so we want to be able to spring in first party data and second party data as appropriate to make sure that comes together. So I think thinking about data, where do you get it? Where does it live? How do you use it? Is a big area that we're going to see both the innovation and I think some struggle over the next few years. And certainly that also brings together that the MarTech and AdTech, right? All of the advertising technology and advertising services and where they have to interlace with each other to be more effective over time and where there might be some conflict. So data is a big battleground, one of the two that I think is important.

Eric Dickmann:

You know, I think what's so interesting about that is sort of data becomes the foundation, right? And then a lot of people have layered on top of that data, some strong analytical capabilities, but in many ways, Analytics looks backwards, right? It looks at what's happened, so you can discover trends and see performance. But AI looks forward, hopefully it takes that data and projects into the future or gives you some better probability of certain things happening. And that to me is really exciting as you know, one of these first two things that you're talking about because I think, you know, you listen to a lot of the pundits out there and there's going to be a ton of investment in AI and 5G, right? They keep talking about those two things is where there's going to be a lot of investment. And if people can really start cracking the code on AI and getting some of this predictability down that's transformative for marketing and marketing span, right?

Norman Guadagno:

It is. And I think when you think about AI, there is a, there's a part of AI that is the needle in a haystack problem. Like AI's really good at looking at every single piece of hay and saying, no. All right. And find your notes. That's a good part. It's also good at saying, Hey, I only find the, Hey, I only find the needles over here in this section. Because of X, Y, Z. Maybe you should spend some more time looking over here, so it's good at helping predict. And that's another area where we see this application. You send out a bunch of emails, some work, some don't work. AI is good at helping you figure out what might be some of the capabilities or the commonalities, rather that can make some of them work, some of them not work. That's also the case that aI can be machine learning can just do things faster than humans can just look at more, faster than humans and help you get to a good answer faster. But the other thing that you said, you know, this analytics tends to look backwards. What happened? We at Acoustic, we're actually in a process now of trying to speak more about insights rather than analytics, and insights help you see what you should do. Because backwards looking analytics are important. When you take that and then you can start to be more predictive around what should I do, gain insight into what's happening, then you can start to build programs that are again, going to be more successful and get you to that success faster. So I think that the whole area of AI, machine learning, intelligent assistance in marketing is going to continue to add value. What it doesn't replace however, is the need for clear marketing strategy.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah.

Norman Guadagno:

Frankly you know, having been in this business long enough now I've seen somewhat of a decline in sophisticated holistic marketing strategy relative to marketing strategy that is driven entirely by the numbers. And you can't drive a strategy only by the numbers. You have to think about. Your audience, your offer. I think the value proposition that you have them, the messages. The way in which you're going to differentiate in a market and that. Once you give that thought and you come up with the right strategy, you then construct to apply. Machine intelligence, AI. Big scale marketing automation, but if you're losing sight of the strategy, your you're going to get yourself into trouble pretty quickly because. I need to be on. Social media apps, right? Is not a strategy. That is that's a tactic. I need to get more customers. That's not a strategy out there. How do I get more customers? What kind of customers, what do I offer those customers? And I think that's where we have to make sure that we're not losing sight of marketing automation. Doesn't solve the problem. Marketing automation helps you take your strategy and executed in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Eric Dickmann:

I couldn't agree more. And that's the reason that we put together our past season, which was the Masterclass on building out that strategic marketing plan, because I've noticed the same thing. And I found a statistic online, and it ranged from, you know, the low forties to the upper thirties percentage wise in terms of companies that said they had a documented content marketing strategy. So just a piece of it, but you know, if that's all that's documented, there's not much else that's documented above that. And that's crazy, right? That to see that. 60% of companies out there really have never taken the time to document a strategic marketing plan. And, you know, from my own experience, I think many believe that their budget is their plan. Which it is not, right? They're just spending money out of different buckets. So I couldn't agree with you more on that. And you know, I'm a strong advocate of that and you were starting to talk to about, you know, these two trends that you see out in the marketplace. A data was the first one, what would you say is the second big one?

Norman Guadagno:

Yeah, the second big one not unrelated to data. And by the way you brought up AI, I think that's also an important trend here, but it lives and breathes on top of data. But I think the other big one that we really have to pay attention to as marketers, more so than ever is privacy and what we often term, data ethics. The fact of the matter is, it's going to get harder and harder to operate as a business around the globe. Whether you within country or across borders, if you're not paying attention to all of the different privacy and data ethics guidelines that are being created, if you are not. Thoughtful about how your ecosystem is connecting to other providers and what they're doing in terms of data privacy. And we saw at the beginning of this a few years ago with GDPR, and now what we're seeing as all these new regulations come in as new battlefields emerge. This is going to become an area where marketers have to be front and center. You can't wait for someone else to solve the problem when you're the one using the data right now to market. To customers. And. An investment in. Thinking holistically around data, privacy, data ethics within your company, whether it's a small company. Or big company, if that has to be something where marketing has to be a leader. And it has to be able to say, yes, we have all these great tools. And we're using them in a responsible way.

Eric Dickmann:

It's interesting that you bring that up because obviously this has been a topic that's been in the news quite a bit, especially around, you know, Facebook and some of their algorithms and what they're serving. And, you know, they're fighting with Apple right now around some changes in iOS 14 that could really affect their ability to deliver ads. There's some scuttlebutt down in Australia right now, I believe around a Google. Yeah. And the news and some of the restrictions that they want to put in place. I mean, this is a big deal for these companies that make their living off of our ad dollars and our clicks. But you're absolutely right. Privacy has become a topic front and center that every marketer needs to be aware of because it's been a little bit of the wild west. We've had access to a lot of data for a long time and we might not forever.

Norman Guadagno:

As, we have not. And do you know if you're a company like a Acoustic where we have our customers who are sending email through our systems, our own individual data. You know, segregated from anyone else's data, but we're making assumptions about the data they're bringing in. There are other providers that may not have the same levels of privacy, security, and enforcement that a company like, like Acoustic has and the honest truth is marketers sometimes are pressured internally in their company. To get more leads, get more clicks, get more, whatever. And I get 25 emails a week, maybe more of people offering me data for sale. What did you like? So now this kind of user wouldn't you like a list of this with new, like the list of that? We don't use and we don't buy, but. Maybe businesses do. And. You have to really think about not just where that data came from, what could happen if you use that data? And that I think, is going to be a big, big area for every size business, no business is immune to this, and frankly, they're the potential downside of government penalties and fines is massive. If companies begin to violate this, these privacy regulations and consumer trust, and you lose the trust of your audiences, your consumers, and that can happen like that.

Eric Dickmann:

You know, it's crazy. Some of this regulation you have to wonder about. I mean, obviously what they did in Europe is pretty significant, but I would also say that, you know, you're so used to seeing these pop-up boxes now that say accept or don't accept that, you know, you just accept, and you know, behind the scenes. What it's trying to do is give you more choices, you know, I think you can go to Facebook, you can download your data now if you want to. There are all kinds of privacy tools that are coming into play, but just as quickly, people are figuring out ways to work around them. I don't know what's going on, but I am getting more spam and telemarketing phone calls than I ever have before. And this is after how many rounds of legislation to cut this back, you can't call a mobile phone, you can't do this, you can't do this. And it doesn't seem to stop anything. And so it seems like for every, you know, well-intended idea to sort of keep people safe and their data private, there's always a way that people are figuring out to work around it.

Norman Guadagno:

There is, and it's, it is becoming a bigger problem. And frankly, there's a lot of pressure on marketers. As I said before to, to get better penetration markets are very competitive. And. I believe most people want to do the right thing when they're doing their job every day. But when you're under pressure to get something done, you're like, okay, I'm just going to feel this campaign, execute it. You really ask all the questions you need to ask or do you have to make sure that even after the checklist to make sure that you're doing the right thing so that you're not dropping another piece of mail in someone's inbox and they're like, How do I get this? And we all get a ton of email. And I often talk about the fact that most consumers have no idea how that piece of email ended up in their inbox. And it just like, what's this about, and they're either the, I have no idea what it is or, Oh yeah. I signed up for something somewhere, or I think I did. Or I'm like, how do they know that I was interested in this? So, right. It's like magic, but not a good magic in that case. And when you start to peel that apart, there's so much happening behind the scenes that is all well intentioned. But, you know, a hundred different data sources, each trying to do things 90% correct gets you a really bad and resolved.

Eric Dickmann:

That's very true. And I honestly, I believe as marketers, we haven't done a good enough job of helping people understand why some of this data's actually to their benefit. I'm a huge lover of Instagram and, you know, I'll go shopping for a pair of pants or something, and then my Instagram feed is filled with all of these companies that are offering something similar. I would much rather see that than an ad for some geriatric medicine that I don't take or, you know, a feminine product or something that has just completely outside my area of interest. And I think that's part of the problem with television is that it can't be specific so it blasts these ads that are very generic across, you know, the entire viewing area. And it's painful sometime it's to watch ad after ad that has nothing to do with your interests or anything that you would purchase. So there are benefits sometimes in having the right kind of marketing sent to you in a way that, you know, truly matches your interests.

Norman Guadagno:

It is true and even TV, right? It's gone through that evolution because when you look at over the top services like Hulu, for example, right, you can now buy your own advertising as a small business. You can buy your own advertising that is targeted on Hulu. You can have, you know, 15, I think in 32nd slots, and it's actually pretty sophisticated. And we're going to see more of this evolution as the entire television infrastructure sort of migrate to. A sort of core set of channels and then a bunch of OTT services. We're gonna see a lot more targeted advertising and less of that sort of broad brush demographic. But there's a downside in my mind also is. Sometimes that brought bus stuffs, surfaces, things that we never thought about. And we

Eric Dickmann:

Good point.

Norman Guadagno:

Say right. So what happens when everything's super targeted? And you never discover anything new?

Eric Dickmann:

Very true.

Norman Guadagno:

And I think that it's detrimental to the consumer. Maybe of course, I want to show Eric, all right here. If you liked this type of pants, this type of clothes, this type of jacket, right? But the ability for you to sort of stumble upon, Oh, look at this other thing I never even thought about. There's a magic in that too, that we want to be able to have happens. So. I actually think as an advertiser and you know, we do advertising, of course, I want to be targeted. But sometimes I want there to be a degree of serendipity. For the types of things you might advertise, it's elect some belong. Look at that and this is the balance, we all have to strike as we get ever more targeted, I had like, I want to run, I'm gonna run Eric campaign today and I'm going to run Norman campaigns and Sally and Joe and, Frank campaigns. That's great, except it is it's almost so micro-targeted that you do lose some of the opportunity. I believe.

Eric Dickmann:

I that's a very good point. And there are certainly have been things that I've discovered because it had got placed in my feed that it was like, this is great, I really want to learn more about this product. And you know, that is that discovery. I don't know. So as you look in your crystal ball and you see out a couple of years, you know, I think back to the mad men days, you know, when they worried about radio ads or television ads or newspaper ads, you know, the number of channels was fairly small. And now we've got so many channels that we can use their increasingly crowded. You've got everybody in their neighbor who wants to be a content creator and a brand. A lot of people are trying to get your attention and they're doing it through marketing, whether I think they are or not, it's all marketing. Where do you see things going? Do you see the landscape getting even more crowded or do you see some channels fading away?

Norman Guadagno:

Yeah. Yeah. I was chatting with somebody recently who was telling me how. There's a whole generation. Now that one of the top careers they want when they grow up is to be an influencer and that's something that didn't exist.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah, I just watch Fake Famous on HBO. Have you seen that yet?

Norman Guadagno:

My, my wife did. What is it to be an influencer, right? Like what does that mean? And that I think, part of what we're going to see is a shift. It's less about more or less channels. But even now as I'm sure. As you and the viewers are endlessly, you know, seeing all the buzz around Clubhouse right now. What's going on in Clubhouse? What's happening, men? What does that really tell us? It tells us that there's a level of fatigue with with some of the channels. And then there's a sameness around all of the channels, whether that be Instagram or TikTok or Facebook or any number of other different channels around the globe, and there's this, just this hunger for something different. And as, as marketing continues to morph and try to figure out how to capitalize on these different channels. What we'll see is there's tried and true, and then there's, that's sort of sandbox of new things that are out there and inevitably markets sort of collapse into themselves. You cannot have 600 different equally valuable channels, sort of, we do sit down and there's also a, it is an interesting dynamics around what people are doing nowadays. So if you think back on the past, Year now of people working at home. Like all of us. And we spend a good amount of our time, Zoom or Teams, or any of the other surfaces? And what's the most interesting thing. From a marketer's perspective about all the time you spend on those tools all day long, there's no advertising.

Eric Dickmann:

Good point.

Norman Guadagno:

Why?

Eric Dickmann:

Unless you use Skype.

Norman Guadagno:

I don't want us using a free service

Eric Dickmann:

Right, right, right.

Norman Guadagno:

Why isn't there advertising? Yeah. Wow because they are controlled closed platforms, and you pay for the service or some form of the service. Is that always going to be true? Will there always be advertising free. Could there be. Soon gave me the ability to run a banner. On Zoom meetings or what are the privacy implications? What are the data answer? There's a lot of questions here and I bring that up as an animal, not to say. We should have advertising on Teams or Zoom. I, yeah, that's an interesting debate. It's driven by, where are the audiences spending their time?

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah, that's a great point.

Norman Guadagno:

And if you think about where they're spending their time and where they want to spend their time and what are they doing when they're off the screen? Turning to their phone to Instagram, or I am I listening to Clubhouse while I'm watching a video? Thinking about that constantly evolving world, and how do we want to, put advertising or marketing in front of our targets. I think there's a lot of us. There's a lot of change, honestly, of the hand. And we're at the Dawn of a new era. That's probably truly every day in marketing nowadays, but there is a lot of big questions that are going to get asked and answered in the next couple of years.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah, that's such a good point. And you know, we've been talking quite a bit lately about Clubhouse as well, and that's another great example, right? It's a free platform right now. There's no advertising on it. But they're either going to to have a membership fee or something to monetize that at some point. So we'll see where it goes, there are certainly lots of opportunities for marketers out there. And yeah, I think the landscape is going to continue to evolve and change, but on the bright side, it's fun to say all this great content that's being created. And I still am a firm believer in the more that your content and can add value, the more that it's going to be received positively by your target audience, and that's where a lot of these sort of influencers go wrong. Right. They're not really providing anything of value. They're just providing themselves.

Norman Guadagno:

Here's what I did or whatever it may be. I think value creation through content is critical. I think businesses all should be investing in it. I know that's something you've talked about on this show and that it's really the case that people are hungry for valuable content. They, they will seek it out, they will share it. They will get benefit from it and they'll come back for more. And when you think about your marketing ecosystem, your marketing automation stack, content fuels that stack. And if you're not thinking about it through the lens of I'm building a tech stack, And I'm building a content engine that's going to fuel that stack to fuel my engagement with my customers.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah, I couldn't agree more. And I continue to preach that from the rooftops, because the more valuable content you can create for your audience. The better they will be received, the more trust you'll go, you'll gain with those potential customers, and the better your engagements can be. So, yeah, firm believer in all that. Norman, I think we could talk about this stuff all afternoon, this is a great topic area and I really appreciate the insights that you've shared today. As we sort of wrap things up here. I'd love it if you could just tell people a little bit more about Acoustic, where they can find you online, and where they can find more information about the platform.

Norman Guadagno:

Yeah, for sure can. Thanks for 'em. That's just, we could talk about this for a while.

Eric Dickmann:

For a long time.

Norman Guadagno:

I will. We'll do it again. So you can certainly find out more about Acoustic at acoustic.com. We have a wide variety of products and services available that can align with different types of marketing needs. We also have many partners around the globe that work with us that can help businesses use and implement the solutions. And one of the things that I also recommend is if you're watching, you want to find out more, you can find me on LinkedIn. That link is available in LinkedIn or directly through the acoustic.com site, and I'm always happy to to go a little deeper. One of the things we pride ourselves at Acoustic is that we are able to take folks like myself and members of our senior team and work with our customers to talk about the marketing challenges they're facing and how we may able to solve them. So hopefully, I'll hear from some of you and I'll be able to go deeper.

Eric Dickmann:

Hey, that's great. And I will make sure that we have all that linked up in the show notes so that people can easily find you in Acoustic online. This has been a great discussion. I know we've had it in the works for a while, so glad we were able to connect today and talk about marketing automation. Uh, I certainly have appreciated your time and everything that you've been able to share.

Norman Guadagno:

My absolute pleasure. And I know that folks are really excited about the ever-changing landscape, and I'm glad Eric that you're helping provide a little bit of a roadmap to that.

Eric Dickmann:

Thank you for joining us on this episode of The Virtual CMO podcast. For more episodes, go to fiveechelon.com/podcast to subscribe through your podcast player of choice. And if you'd like to develop consistent lead flow and a highly effective marketing strategy, visit fiveechelon.com to learn more about our Virtual CMO consulting services.