As we approach the end of the year, it is time to phase out two of our blog series in lieu of a new one: Weird Marketing Lessons. Over the last year, we have published tons of posts for the Quick Questions and Coronavirus Case Studies series.
In this episode, we talk about why we’re wrapping those series up and replacing them with something stranger instead. Gone are the days of “How Coronavirus Will Affect the Retail Industry.” On the horizon, you can expect more articles like “What the MMA Fight Island Taught Me About Business Continuity.”
Same commitment to knowledge and practical advice, but this time, we get to use concrete examples that we find remarkable.
Join us and check out this short intro episode heading into the holiday week!
Pierson: Hello everybody, this is Pierson Hibbs with Pangea Marketing Agency here with the Marketing Is The Product Podcast. I’m here today with Brandon.
Brandon: Hey, all you cool cats and kittens.
Pierson: And today we have a little bit of a different episode for you guys. As we’re approaching Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season, we thought we’d give a little bit of a segue episode, so to speak, and keep it short. We are starting to transition out of the series that we’ve been doing for the better part of 2020 and a little bit of 2019, Brandon, right?
Brandon: That’s right.
Pierson: And that is the Quick Question series and Coronavirus Case Study series. Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been talking about what the COVID series has been and what the Quick Question series has been, and I think we’ve exhausted, not exhausted, but we’ve reached the end of that line. And we’ve started taking a look at what’s going on in the world, and as I write the COVID case studies, there’s a level of sadness to them where it seems like it’s just, it’s dreary. It makes you sad, especially given the status of everything going on in the US, in the world, and it’s… We’d honestly like to focus our attention to something a little bit more positive.
Brandon: It’s heavy to write about.
Pierson: For sure.
Brandon: And if I can just interject here to give people a little bit of context. If you just know us through the podcast and you don’t know us through the blog, we have been writing three series of blog posts, and we’ve also been publishing this podcast. And the three series are start to finish, which is like a breakdown of a marketing concept every couple of weeks. We’ve done Quick Questions every other week, I believe it is as well, where we just take a question that people submitted to us and we answer them. And we’ve been doing Coronavirus Case Studies. We’re gonna keep doing Start to Finish as a series, but honestly, Quick Questions just touch on the surface of things that we would like to talk about, they don’t get into enough detail for us, so we wanna do something different with our time. And like, Pierson, like you had said, the Coronavirus Case Studies are just sad. We’ve been doing them since May, and it’s a drum beat of the same basic theme, it’s like how coronavirus affects such and such industry. And the answer is it’s basically always bad. And honestly, nobody needs that right now. It was important to talk about in May, June, July, but right now, we all know it’s bad, we wanna talk about more positive and useful things in the long run.
Pierson: And you know, Brandon, I think one of the key points of the COVID Case Study series is when we started it, there was such a little amount of information available on COVID that it was really partly our own curiosity that was leading the drive to write these posts and trying to get more information about how it’s reshaping our society. And I’ve written a bunch of these articles, and I think I’m approaching the 40th article of the year or something like that. I was looking on WordPress the other day and checking out how many, and it’s just like, not 40 for the COVID Case Studies, but altogether. And it’s, you spend a lot of time writing about this stuff, and it reaches a point where you wanna be putting out content that is meaningful and that you can put your heart into, and that leaves you feeling like you’re leaving an impression and making a difference.
Pierson: I think we did that for quite a while, but it’s time to turn the page and get going with our new series, which is gonna be called Weird Marketing Lessons. This has been a thought, so to speak, where we’ve been bouncing ideas back off of each other via Slack, phone calls, Zoom, where we talk about different aspects in society and in business where people really hit the nail on the head with marketing. And I think that we’ve spent quite a bit of time focusing on the professional side of it, so to speak, in the business realm, of how you can take away marketing lessons from Instagram, or COVID, or how to effectively optimize your search engine results. And there’s a lot of truth to be told in that. However, I think that getting into this new season and changing the tone a little bit, these are gonna be lessons that are more human. They’re more day-to-day. You see them on a day-to-day basis. And it lets people come in, in a fun inviting way and say, “Look, you can find elements of successful marketing in just about everything.” And that’s something that I think not a lot of people see necessarily.
Brandon: And that’s what we want to happen because of this series that we’re going to start. We want people to see what good marketing really looks like. We know that you can go to HubSpot or CXL or small business blogs, pretty much anywhere, like The Balance SMB. We know that you can figure out how to advertise something. We know that you can figure out how to find a target audience. We know that you can get all this other information, other places, and we’re still going to talk about that some too, but what we really wanna do is find companies that individuals within Pangea are passionate about, and talk about what they taught us about marketing in particular. So just to give some examples of what a weird marketing lesson might look like: Why is chocolate a recession-proof product? A lot of people don’t know that it’s actually a recession-proof product. So we’re gonna do like a deep dive on the chocolate industry at some point and just talk about how they’ve managed to survive economic collapses before, and what causes that to happen? What are they doing? I’ll let you do the one that I know you’re excited about.
Pierson: And I’ll preface this by saying, I think… And I think I can say this with a little bit of certainty, we did a post… I did a post a couple of weeks back called Great User Experience in Action: A Love Letter to Spotify. And I think this was the birth of this idea of looking at these things that we’re passionate about and finding the lessons within them. And I noticed when writing that, the level of passion that I had for writing about something that I love, which is music, and we’ve touched on it before, we did a podcast with two of the tattoo artists that I go to see, English and Christopher Cousins, and just the level of passion that I think all of us possess for something that we love on an individual level. That got us thinking into, for me, one of the things that I’m incredibly passionate about is mixed martial arts and the UFC. It’s a pretty niche community, but over the course of 2020, the UFC, specifically Dana White, who is the UFC’s president, he has set a new standard of what it looks like to push through adversity in business and to really just keep shit going, to put it plain and simple. And one of the posts that we are going to do in this series talks about how Dana White in the MMA world kept going in 2020 and the lessons that have come from that.
Pierson: And for those of you who might not be aware, I’ve told Brandon this, that they actually bought an island in Abu Dhabi, and they have switched from putting on promotions all over the world in various cities and locations to, they have a hub in Vegas, and they have a hub on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. And they have gotten this, you know, the pandemic hit in March, they were off schedule for a couple of weeks, and then they were back on schedule putting on live events in mid-April, which is unreal. And not only were they doing this, but they were the first sport that was back to live performances. And they were also doing this on a gigantic scale, where they bought an island, which is crazy. And from that you can take away so many lessons of effective marketing, great business planning, strategy. And honestly, it’s something that I have a lot of passion for, and we’ve both reached a place where we wanna be continually putting out content that we both love, we are passionate about, because that’s where the realest and the best stuff comes from. It comes from the stuff that you care about.
Brandon: We’ve realized this through trial and error too. We’re proud of our prior work, but goodness, the pace was just unrelenting, putting out two posts a week, or if you count the podcast is one of the posts. It was just like, goodness, we’ve gotta slow down and we’ve gotta do something that we really find interesting and that other people are going to find interesting too. The working title of the post which you had mentioned, by the way, is, What the MMA Fight Island Taught Me About Business Continuity. So that’s the mindset that we’re gonna be going into this with.
Pierson: Right when I started talking about it, I lost what the post title was in my mind. [chuckle] I’m like, “I’m gonna just dance around it and… “
Brandon: Yeah, [chuckle] just bluff your way through it. God, that’s like half of marketing anyway, right? [chuckle] Or consulting, anyway. Yeah, anyway, I’ll read some of these other ideas that we’ve got up here. ‘Cause it’s not just gonna be me and Pierson doing bro posts or whatever, my wife is also gonna be writing some of these posts too. So we’re gonna get a really eclectic mix of interests in here. Regardless of what you’re into, at some point in the following year in 2021, we are probably going to talk about something that you will find interesting. So Pierson, ones that you’re obviously gonna be doing, the MMA Fight Island one, probably gonna be, How Instagram changed the tattoo industry forever, probably also gonna send you, How advertising made KFC big in Japan, if you’re interested in that one.
Pierson: Yeah, and I’ll throw in a little side note on that one, ’cause I saw you, you threw that one on the spreadsheet a couple of weeks back, and it actually made me laugh out loud, ’cause I was talking to one of my friends, literally this week about KFC in Japan. And what’s crazy about it is, I was in Japan on Christmas and over New Year’s, and if you go to any KFC in Japan on Christmas, it is packed to the brims with lines going out the door.
Brandon: Uh-huh, it’s such a thing. It’s such a weird thing.
Pierson: And I feel like I had heard about it maybe going to Japan, but I had no idea of the extent of it. It’s every KFC that you see is filled to the brim with people trying to get buckets of chicken on Christmas.
Brandon: Goodness, there are more KFC per capita in Japan, I think it is, that in the US, which is nuts. I think they threw a Colonel Sanders statue I think in a river or something and it cursed a baseball team over there. It’s a big thing. Purportedly Colonel Sanders had cursed a baseball team. [chuckle] Who knows? But yeah, that’s the rumor. But yeah, we’ve also got… Some of the ones that Maria is gonna be talking about is like, Why the Rambling Redhead is good at Instagram… Influencer marketing. And she’s got like 500,000 followers, a very unique voice online, if you haven’t heard of her. Probably also, Case study of American Girl dolls, which I don’t know very much about, but I know it’s a really big brand who’s been making dolls for forever, and they last forever too, so that’s gonna be really interesting to deep dive into.
Brandon: She’s also gonna do one that I think is gonna be freaking hilarious, which is, X lessons that Sophie Kinsella’s Confessions of a Chocoholic taught me about marketing. Which of course is what people would call… What’s the proper term? I don’t wanna say chick lit, ’cause I feel like that’s not the right term, but that’s like a term people use. Anyway, that’s where that comes from, and we’re gonna actually turn it into a serious post, because I am at least familiar enough with the storyline to tell you that, yeah, there’s some actual real lessons in there, not trolling.
Pierson: Yeah. And obviously we’re gonna be going into posts that we don’t highlight in this podcast, but the overarching theme is going to be taking something that you don’t particularly gravitate towards and think, “wow, there’s a lot of business lessons to be learned in this.” And pulling those out and really putting them in a nice neat format for you guys to see, some of the most real… Honestly, the realest shit that you’re gonna see how people market. And one of the ones that I think I saw the other day, Brandon, you’ve got the spreadsheet pulled up, the tobacco industry.
Brandon: Yeah, I haven’t even put this one on the spreadsheet yet, but it’s how the tobacco industry created Type A and Type B for marketing purposes. And that’s actually true, by the way, a Type A person is one who is more likely to be high-strung and smoke to chill out. So yeah, that was created by the tobacco industry. People don’t know this stuff.
Pierson: And it’s just trying to take a look at the unique and unusual aspects of business rather than just fixating on the nitty-gritty stuff that you can click and find almost anywhere. And like we’ve highlighted in this, this doesn’t mean that we’re not gonna still put out content that resembles that moving forward, this simply means that we’re gonna change the pace a little bit and hopefully put out content that’s a little bit more real that you guys will really resonate with.
Brandon: We’re still academics and researchers at heart here, the thing is, we just wanna make sure that we use examples that really teach the lessons that we wanna teach. Because, honestly, it’s lot more fun and effective this way, and we’re gonna have a much easier time writing this than some sad coronavirus case study or a Quick Question that we’re not going to be able to get into enough depth on.
Pierson: Yeah. And 2020 has been a long year, it’s been a tough year, and it’s been one that I feel like has drained just about all of us. As we flip the page and head into the new year, we’re hoping that we can change the tone a little bit of the content that we’re putting out, and hopefully that’ll help boost everybody else’s spirits. And like we’ve been saying, sometimes the easiest way to explain something to somebody is doing it on your own terms. And I know that for me, if I put something into terms of MMA or tattooing, I can probably articulate a lesson a little bit better than trying to explain it in some very niche business terminology. You can find the same lessons and you can get the same points across, but you might be able to do it in a little bit more interesting and fun way, which is really what we’re going for.
Brandon: And hopefully this will also free us up so more time to just do stuff that we really like doing with the content. ‘Cause, yeah, and I’ll also put this in here as well, just as a general content marketing role, you have to be consistent about what you post and when, and the tone you take when you do it, but that doesn’t mean you have to break your back to get an enormous output out.
Pierson: And we’ve been going at a grueling pace for quite a while.
Brandon: We’ve been doing two posts a week and it’s so much, because it’s not just this blog, I also maintain brandonthegamedev.com, and that’s a post a week, Fulfillrite’s website, that’s two posts a week. God, and I do a lot of guest posts too. So collectively, between you, me and Maria, we’re writing seven, eight posts a week. And you know what, we would much rather do fewer posts, but better posts that are gonna have a longer lifetime and teach more and really get our point across.
Pierson: Absolutely, Brandon, and that was really the whole point of this podcast is to try to introduce you guys to our mindset behind it, lay out our plan for 2021, and what the content is gonna look like from there on out. And what better time to do that than leading into a holiday week where everybody’s trying to… Well, really, I don’t know what everybody’s trying to do with COVID. [chuckle] Holiday week’s gonna be the exact same for people, so let’s be real.
Brandon: Yeah, we’re probably gonna drop this podcast on the 23rd. So I wanna say if you’re celebrating Thanksgiving, we wish you a very happy holiday. I have no clue what even I’m doing, to be honest with you. It’s such a strange time.
Pierson: Yeah, and we talked about that this past week and Brandon, of just being at the dilemma of not knowing what the right thing is to do, so to speak, in situations like this. And this gets into a different discussion, but…
Brandon: I think you know a little bit more about my plans because Maria accidentally posted a bunch of food pictures to our Spotify Slack room.
Brandon: Which was hilarious.
Pierson: I saw that and I was like, Huh, interesting choice of music.
Brandon: Yeah, interesting choice in music.
Pierson: But this whole year has just been a whirlwind, and it leaves everybody not knowing what the hell is going on at times, and we hope that we can bring you a little bit of fun, easy reading, good marketing lessons, in the time to come.
Brandon: That’s all we really wanna do here.
Pierson: Well, Brandon, I think that’s been the whole point of this whole episode.
Brandon: Yep, pretty much.
Pierson: We’ll keep it short and sweet. So if you’ve chosen to listen to this short and sweet one, thank you so much. If you wanna give us a five-star review, like the podcast, all that fun jazz, please do.
Brandon: Subscribe on Apple Podcast and Spotify, and I don’t know if anybody really uses anything other than that, but if you do you can subscribe to us there too.
Pierson: What a great way to fix…
Pierson: For the last couple of episodes, we’ve been struggling to figure out what to list for where we’re available, ’cause we’re available everywhere.
Brandon: Yeah, honestly, we’re in pretty wide circulation for a new podcast.
Pierson: But people don’t… I don’t wanna generalize it, but Spotify and iTunes, that’s where a lot of people are at.
Brandon: Pretty much. Spotify, iTunes, Google.
Pierson: Yeah, all the main ones. So thank you guys so much, check us out, and we look forward to putting out some new content for you guys, and let us know what you think. We will talk to you soon.
Brandon: See you later.