June 20, 2024

Creative UX/UI For Impactful Marketing: Think, build, and scale like a product owner (podcast episode #102)


I talked to Clinton Bonner, Vice President of Marketing for Launch by NTT Data, about mastering UX/UI and how to build, scale, and impact like a product owner. We discussed his key lessons and collaboration insights from his experience with data-driven crowdsourcing, brand impact through design, and UX/UI design in marketing.

Don’t miss out on Clinton Bonner’s game-changing insights. Listen now to discover how you can leverage UX/UI for impactful marketing, and much more.

by Daniel Burstein, Senior Director, Content & Marketing, MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute

Creative UX/UI For Impactful Marketing: Think, build, and scale like a product owner (podcast episode #102)

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You can’t do everything. So you essentially have to make some ‘bets,’ for lack of a better word. What is going to have the biggest impact with your audience?

Focus your energy and budget there, to make the biggest splash you can.

OK, that’s a boring way to say it. So I like how my next guest worded it in his podcast guest application – ‘If you're gonna be a bear, be a Grizzly.’

To hear the story behind that lesson, along with many more lesson-filled stories from throughout his career, I sat down with Clinton Bonner, Vice President of Marketing, Launch by NTT Data.

Launch by NTT Data is owned by NTT, a publicly traded company. It most recently reported annual revenue of over 13 trillion Yen, roughly equal to $85 billion at current exchange rates.

Bonner manages a team of 10 and a $5 million to $10 million marketing budget.

Enough introduction, you can listen to our conversation using this embedded player right now or click through to your preferred audio streaming service using the links below it.

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify | Listen on Amazon Music

Stories (with lessons) about what he made in marketing

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

Empower your team with top designers

In many B2B organizations, securing time from talented designers can be challenging as they are often allocated to billable projects. However, investing in dedicated design resources can significantly elevate your brand impact. Bonner emphasized the importance of having skilled UX/UI designers to create compelling, user-friendly experiences that drive conversions.

If you want maximum brand impact and you want people to actually open and click on your newsletters, follow Goldilocks conversion paths, and ultimately book time with your team, your assets and content should look beautiful and be sound, simple user experiences.

Think, build, and scale like a product owner

It serves the business really well to think and act in systems and build experiences as if you were a product owner. By this, Bonner means using MarTech in an orchestrated, repeatable fashion, creating the most useful systems possible that appear lightweight on the surface and can be quite complex behind the curtains to drive actions you are after.

He talked through some unique conversion systems his team has created that combine tech from optimized Google Ads, to LPs with progressive forms, with Zapier, to Slack + Calendly to drive near instant video conversations with SMEs. It's just an example of acting as if you are creating a product, adopting that mindset so you can design the experience, get a lightweight version to market, test, and scale from there and then have great metrics to improve from there.

If you're gonna be a bear, be a Grizzly

Bonner believes in doing less marketing content but doing what you say ‘yes’ to with incredible focus. He talked through the success of Frictionless Enterprise and how his team decided to take this from your standard ebook and blog series and instead go big, really big. Frictionless Enterprise is a full book, 160 pages or so. It exists as a digital book, a physical book, and they even created an audio book, narrated by the author, their VP of Engineering, Nate Berent-Spillson.

It started as a series of blog posts that Berent-Spillson wrote. When Bonner saw that it had the potential to be something more impactful, he paired Berent-Spillson with editor Annika Nagy to create a full-fledged book.

This book has been a huge hit for Berent-Spillson's thought leadership and it has done well with lead creation and authority establishment. They have now ordered and delivered over a thousand physical books to clients and prospects alike, often resulting in Berent-Spillson being flown on site for a deep dive with a prospect, or Berent-Spillson being asked to present these philosophies to clients with progressive CIOs. The lesson here is, go big when you believe you've got the right thing.

Lessons (with stories) from people he collaborated with

Bonner also shared lessons he learned from the people he collaborated with.

Trust great creative people

Kharisma Cendhika Putra

For the creation of the Topcoder documentary ‘The Passion Economy: How the Future Works’, Bonner collaborated with Putra from Indonesia as their videographer and editor. He learned how to collaborate across the globe on a shared vision and to trust creative and great people to capture the feeling of what you intend and make it even better.

Don’t be afraid to let the deep work be the star

via Albert Lin

Bonner also had the pleasure of collaborating with Albert Lin to create a crowdsourcing challenge to help hunt for the lost tomb of Ghengis Khan through computer vision/data science. The lesson here was to not be afraid to let the deep work – in this case the amazing data science work – be the star, and support it with a story that the masses could get behind. However, it was important not to invert this...for this to be a success it had to first speak to data scientists and what they care about.

Never lose focus on the primary audience, even if it's super easy to do so.

Discussed in this episode

Marketing 101: What is a Design Brief? (with 2 examples)

Product Management & Marketing: Surround yourself with the right people (podcast episode #38)

Enterprise Solutions Marketing: You can make a big career, and still stay human (podcast episode #99)

B2B Marketing: Marketing shouldn't be about driving demand; it's about driving value (podcast episode #40)

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Not ready for a listen yet? Interested in searching the conversation? No problem. Below is a rough transcript of our discussion.

Clinton Bonner: If they're down this path and they do want to instantly connect, then what's going to happen is it'll it'll send the indication out to slack. And we've got a small pod. so these two are able to have that conversation. So the backbone kind of rings, and they could kind of step through that kind of step through. They could click a button and be brought into an interface and have and have a conversation right then and there if they're ready for it, that doesn't exist.

And we had a string orchestra together, a couple of different things. And like I said, if they don't want the conversation, well then cool. Let's kick into a really nice customized calendly and get them the book. But again, all all hopefully with the honor of this is what they want. They want to be served this way.

Intro: Welcome to how I made it in marketing from Marketing Sherpa, we scour pitches from hundreds of creative leaders and uncover specific examples, not just trending ideas or buzzword laden schmaltz real world examples to help you transform yourself as a marketer. Now here's your host. The senior Director of Content and Marketing at Marketing Sherpa, Daniel Bernstein, to tell you about today's guest speaking.

Daniel Burstein: You can't do everything, so you essentially have to make some bets, for lack of a better word. What is going to have the biggest impact with your audience? Focus your energy and budget there to make the biggest splash you can. Okay, that's a boring way to say it though, so I like how my next guest worded it in his podcast guest application.

If you're going to be a bear, be a grizzly here. Share the story behind that lesson, along with many more lesson filled stories from throughout his career. Is Clinton Bonner, the vice president of marketing for launch by NTT data. Thanks for joining us, Clinton.

Clinton Bonner: Daniel. Excited to be here. I love your intro. you get me fired up, man. So I'm ready to rock and roll. Good. A good work.

Daniel Burstein: Oh, we got a beer here. So let's see what he's going to bring. bring to us today. So, by looking at, Clint's background real quick, he spent the 12 years at, Topcoder where he had roles like VP of Digital and User experience and VP of marketing. For the past two years, he's been vice president of marketing for launched by NTT data.

As the name suggests, launched by NTT data is owned by NTT, a publicly traded company. Entities. Most recently reported annual revenue was over ¥13 trillion, which is roughly equal to $85 billion at current exchange rates. Clinton manages a team of ten and a 5 to $10 million marketing budget. So, Clinton, give us a sense. What's your day like as VP of marketing?

Clinton Bonner: Busy, right. And and so is that level of well define that a bit. Right? I always want to talk to my team. I'm busy. Well, what do you mean is a good busy. Is it, is it, rewarding? Busy. Are you doing activities that don't really amount to a lot? Busy. Let let's let's discuss. Right. So but really, for me, if I'm waking up, I'm getting to my calendar or even the night before, I'm trying to set my day up.

And not to be too didactic about it, but I really want to look at what what's coming up that I have to prep for very well, and what are the meetings and conversations that I'm planning for that are going to be value led, versus how much time of my black blocking for tactical stuff? Can I take my asana board and literally map it into my calendar so I could treat myself kindly with time?

so that's a bit maybe, boring for some, but I found it really effective because it does free me up to to focus when I need to focus. So that that's the start of my day at least. And then, I mean, I'm on a lot of calls. It is what it is. So a lot of my time are are zoom or team calls and a lot of collaboration.

And so with within launch by NTT data where a portfolio within NTT data which is then goes up to NTT, like you mentioned. So it's this big Russian doll system. There's a lot of cross team collaboration and very often go to market strategies and orchestration of what are, enterprise level campaigns.

Daniel Burstein: You know, I like that. I've never heard I never thought of it that way. Treat yourself kindly when it comes to your time. That's that's kind of really nice. Is one of the things to treat yourself kindly. Like when you're booking meetings when possible, give yourself like a 15 minute gap or something like what do you mean by like treat yourself kindly?

I like that.

Clinton Bonner: Yeah, I've tried the five minute buffer tactic and then it just has never worked. I mean, it's a it's like that one to me has been like good in principle. Right. And then if somebody books a 45 minute meeting, that's a sneaky way of they want an hour, right? So it's just so that those things have been, less than successful for me, but tactically or philosophically, what I'm talking about treating treating myself kindly is enough time on my calendar to make sure that the high value things get the biggest blocks, and I don't just put like a three hour block and say, focused work.

I'll go back to my asana board and be like, all right, how am I doing giving that up? Are there things in half hour chunks? I can go do other things in 90 minute chunks that I need that much time for, and I'll plop them on my calendar. And this way I can't stick. It doesn't stick all the time.

But if I could be 80 to 90% around what I thought I should go do that day, I could close the laptop at a certain point. Used to coach a little league that my kids aged out, but whatever. Go play pickleball. Whatever, and do that in a way that's like, all right. I actually got through quite a bit of productive work day, high value work today.

So that's what I mean by treating it kindly. Otherwise you're spinning your wheels. You get done at 7:00. It's 8:00 and you still feel like you didn't get anything done. That's a can we curse in this podcast or is this how does this work? Is it,

Daniel Burstein: I'll just. Yeah. You know, Apple at its explicit I don't want.

Clinton Bonner: Gotcha. That's a shitty.

Daniel Burstein: Feeling. Yeah. Steve Jobs might haunt you but like Apple. Very.

Clinton Bonner: So I think he's got better things to do. But. Hey, Steve, I'm here. I'm in Connecticut. Come, come see me.

Daniel Burstein: But, yeah. No, I, I really like the way you're thinking with intention and treat yourself. I have, I've never heard anyone talk about their schedule, especially a VP before, that they're going to treat themselves kindly. So I like that. But let's jump into now the meat of this, you know, it's called how I made it marketing. So look at the things you've made in marketing.

Like I mentioned, I've never been a podiatrist or actual or worked in any other industry, but I don't feel like they get to make things like we do. So let's let's take a look at some of the lessons from the things you made. Your first lesson was have great designers on your team. How did you learn that?

Clinton Bonner: fairly quickly. So my time at Topcoder that that is a crowdsourcing platform that you could extend out to on demand talent. And that talent is digital talent, coders, designers, algorithm lists. So and I started there when I was like 30 years old, actually stumbled my way into that work, at flipped a golf cart. I was writing a movie and I was getting good at, at using things like YouTube and somebody I knew from my UConn days, like, hey, why don't you, you know, we kind of need a marketer.

I was a marketer. I wasn't even doing marketing in my eyes. I was trying to get a movie made is like, yeah, but we need someone to do some storytelling. So cool. So that's how I got into Topcoder. But then once you get around, really good design talent, you recognize right away that for me at least, it's been very, very true that when you go to do internal storytelling and this is another thing, Danielle, like, the more and more I've progressed my career, the more time and attention I have to spend on internal meetings, because I'm trying to win something.

I'm trying to sell something that I believe in, whether that's a new website rendition or new, a new experience we're trying to tie together for that, for, our prospects or our clients. And if you can't easily communicate through beautiful visuals, your intent, you are you might still win. But it's not. Very often it is not very often.

If you can get designers to help you take a sketch, I still sketch pen, paper, graph paper. Hey, I'm thinking about this. Get it into a designer's hands as rapidly as you can and get something visual to react to. Plus, the people you're collaborating with, it's highly more collaborative. They want to look at something and see it a step or two further.

That's real, and they can get their hands dirty a lot quicker on a visual than they can a word doc. So that's some of it. And at the end of the day, you really want to have great design talent. that could help you not just start something, but then finish with a lot of elegance and beauty. Like we're doing things that we want to shine.

We're operating brands where we're creating things that end, that either physical or digital, that end up in people's hands or their hearts or both. And if it doesn't hit them and it doesn't, it's not visually compelling. well, good luck, you know? Good. You're you're not turning yourself very kindly because you can have great, great guts and great content if it doesn't look the part, you're probably not going to get what you want it.

Daniel Burstein: Well, can you give us a specific example? Walk us through, like what was something you designed? How did you work with the designer and what was the result? Because, for example, when you talked about those internal meetings, I think you're using those design images in the internal meetings, which is a great thing. But I always think taking a step back, I am a writer.

So when I've worked with designers, it's amazing how I will tell them something and I will seem obvious to me, but they think so differently. And so one thing I've learned in my career, and one thing I've written about before, is the design brief and the importance of the design brief, and having a value proposition in there so that it's all right there in the understanding versus you have some quick conversation.

They heard one thing, you know, I was meaning another thing. And you know what totally nerd thing comes out. So can you take us through like what was something that you actually that the designer built at the end of the day? And how did you work with them to to get there.

Clinton Bonner: Yeah, that there's that everything that, that my team goes and does is, is I have designers on my team. That's the other piece of this do is get them on your team. Don't if you can don't beg and borrow for designers. Don't don't, have to go ask billable people to help you on Sundays with something. It just doesn't.

They might have the best intentions. They're not focused on the work, and they are billable. So they're going to be pulled off into into client work. so fight for having good design people that are yours that you collaborate with day in, day out. And of course, you could extend through communities, extend through Upwork. Doesn't have to be an FTE.

It's cool if it is, but but there's plenty of ways to to treat someone from Upwork. just like an FTE when it comes to project by project work. that that's another another piece of it. To answer the question, I'm actually going to I think I would flip it over to when my time at Topcoder, we ended up doing a documentary and it was, I don't know, 15 or 18 minutes long, beautiful documentary.

It's out there. It's called The Passion Economy. And it was this concept. It hit just before Covid. So this is like whatever 2019, we're rolling this thing out and I'm working with a couple of up with a specific videographer who is also an editor and designer, and he's literally going around the globe and filming these different, these different members of the Topcoder community.

And we're stitching together a bit of a day in the life of what it means to be part of what is like the greater gig economy, because that was that was the platform that Topcoder is. And we really want to tie the human connection there, that these are people these are really good, talented people that that can be there for you on demand.

And not only are they good at their job, but the type of work they're involved in provides them lots of freedoms because they're working as as a someone in the gig economy. They're taking taking roles as they come to them and being very choosy with which ones they say yes to, which ones they say no to a lot of freedom, a lot of like neo freedoms, in that, in this risk there, of course, from an individual perspective.

But we were really, looking at the documentary to portray it in a way that is. Yes, it is risk. But, but there's a lot of reward there on an individual human level, when you get in a really positive community, which again, at that point working for Topcoder, but the the work and the Polish and every piece of that, feels and looks beautiful and big out out punching, you know, our weight class by a lot and that's to me, Daniel.

Like you could do it nowadays. Right. Because the tool sets are there with and the collaboration suite is there. So make sure you have the right things. Make sure you have designers have a design system. So you know what good and consistent feels and looks like. Apply to everything you're doing, even out to your in something as big as a 80 minute documentary.

understand what your brand voice and tone is and have it throughout everything you're doing. And, and yeah, it all kind of coalesced and came together in this beautiful, beautiful documentary. It's just it's one of the things we got done that was high design focus, really, like high end, brand focused. And we were able to pull it all the way through.

And the design team that we were working with, the videographer was also a designer, and every element that we went to market with. So every piece that was the social presence or how it would show up internally, like in our slack announcement, every bit of that was put through a design lens. And then and it was orchestrated and how we came to market and it was a huge opening.

I think the thing is, I don't know, maybe close to 100,000 views out there on YouTube, which for a fairly small company putting out a documentary about random crowd sourcing gig workers across the globe up at numbers.

Daniel Burstein: Well, designers, one hat we have to wear as marketers, in a sense, a little bit. You know, we work with our designers. You're saying product owner is another one that we should wear. So you said think, build and scale like a product owner. So give us an example. How did you how did you learn this. How do you do this.

Clinton Bonner: Yeah. So this is this one is for me governs my when I'm breaking down my calendar and I'm talking about high value things, I'm thinking through, products. And can we, can we stitch together products in a way that get us to our end goals faster and more effectively? And so let me let me take you through a little bit of what I mean by that.

And then certainly, go into an example or two. I ran UX for a bit at, at my, my last, my last few, whatever, 18 months at Topcoder. So I had a chance to actually not only work with designers every single day, but UI, UX, and UX specialist on what experiences are we going to go, research, understand, need improvement and put them up against each other and then make calls, strategy level calls on which ones we're doing first and why.

so that's that's first and foremost. That's part of it. Like what experiences can we go create as a marketer. that typically would be expressed through the website. You know, they might have other, avenues and tentacles that go out to social. But, you know, for the most part, it's probably going to be website experiences. so thinking through what can you do?

And then also really trying to think critically about what's a Goldilocks experience I could offer somebody, I always think of, you know, the child, the childhood game Chutes and Ladders, and you've got a couple of different ways up the board. But one of the ways is you hit that big ass ladder, the one that you really try with the 13 to 81, whatever that one is, we all can envision what that looks like and the other way is you ticky tacky way up the board and you hopefully avoid the chutes.

And that's, you know, a little parallel for for life as well. Cool. So when we're looking at website journeys or, you know, from an advertisement on to website with personalization, with the ability to, let's say, book time with the right person or interface with the right, it's me instantly because you're able to understand who they are based on, you know, previous, previous trips to your website.

Remember they downloaded something three months ago and the golden goose came back, and now you want to accelerate them into a conversation with the me who wrote something? if that's a Goldilocks outcome you're really trying to create, well guess what? There's not a single tool out there that does that yet. There's some there's some cool things out there.

There's, but what we're looking at, is it okay to mention things by names that matter to you?

Daniel Burstein: Please do. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. The more specific, the better.

Clinton Bonner: Yeah. You know, we're looking at a tool called qualify that ties into demand based. They have a demand based integration. Very awesome. So you can really understand who they are. And then you can either offer of course like, personalized experiences because of based on something they either downloaded or what you think you're inferring from them. But then how do you take that a step further and say, well, you know what, I really want them to accelerate a conversation.

I really want them to take a right now because they're they're on your site or they've already downloaded something. And they came back and they didn't answer the drip email you, of course, you sent the drip email. You sent it. You probably don't have their phone number yet because, you know, you can collect that. But yeah, you know, I'd rather just get the information and get them in funnel and make sure the good content gets to them.

And you know, if they I'm not asking for phone numbers typically on my forms, there's other ways to connect nowadays. and with that, can we accelerate that trip so that if they got a book that it's me put out and they're back and, and we know that the right person, let's say they're like a VP of digital at Walmart.

Like, yeah, ding ding ding. We want to talk to that person. then build a product. Think of think of that experience as a product where you could stitch a couple things together. Maybe it's calendly, maybe it's the these tools I'm mentioning earlier and you create journeys that allow them to do the thing you're after and also understand then, well, what if they don't take your number one?

You have to think like a product owner. You know, they they they don't want to take the immediate phone call, the immediate, text with this me but they are willing to book time. All right. Well, how do we route them to that next thing? That's not quite Goldilocks, but still really good. they don't want time. Well, what's the next thing?

What's the next level thing that's still value to them and a value to us. and think through those, map them out as a product and then and then go, go build pilots. They work scale.

Daniel Burstein: Yes. As a product owner, let me ask you, how do you get maybe you can give a specific example on these journeys you built. How do you understand what will serve the ideal customer? Right. Because I like how you're talking about like a product. I talked about a lot of content marketing, like a product email is a pre email marketing is a product, a blog.

This podcast is a product. And you got to make sure it's serving that customer, not just I hear everything you're saying. We're not just we're getting that lead from the VP of digital. Right. How do we serve something? Give you one quick example. what you're thinking I interviewed Michelle Hoff, the chief marketing officer of user testing, on how I made it in marketing, and one of her lessons was utilize customer empathy when trying to involve the customer in marketing efforts and the way she does that, one of the ways she does that is in her all hands meetings, her marketing, all hands.

They always have a time where they have a customer empathy spotlight session when they're trying to show, hey, here's some data or information or what is it we have from the customer now? Like, how can we use that to serve the customer, to just bring empathy in everything they're doing? You can get into some internal meetings, and they can be cutthroat and hitting the Q3 numbers or whatever it is.

So so let me ask you, thinking like a customer, how do you give me a specific example? What did you learn about a customer? How did you make sure you serve them with that journey?

Clinton Bonner: Yeah. Well, I think, we're in our world. We're dealing with what we're dealing with. That's a horrible way to say it. Our client, our clients.

Daniel Burstein: Putting up with these people.

Clinton Bonner: You know, these people. So our clients are, technologists, CIOs, chief product officers, VP of applications in and they they tend to be very busy and striated. Extremely busy. not that other people aren't, but these are folks that are running really large engineering teams or really large. I mean, it could be thousands of people. and so the way to treat them as kindly as we possibly can, I think is two ways is don't ask them, don't don't give them lots of that's a tone thing.

If folks go to launch Dot, NTT Datacom, you'll see the tone is very, very purposeful. It is plain English. We like to test MBAs speak. Nobody actually talks that way. And if they do, nobody likes them. And and then when it comes down to understanding what they're there for, it's about their kind of honoring their time. And the big piece of that is also for their for the hook is, can they talk to a Smee instantly?

Can they talk to not not talk to a buddy? Are leaders have a great role because they come to the site for the first time. They download one of our innovation book. How do you set that up for enterprise? Great. They don't take another action that we could realize, okay, we're going to put them into the traditional funnel.

We've got scripts. We're going to go back at them. We're going to work them, hopefully discover intent and bring them to a phone call. Kind of tried and true. Okay, great. Have to do that also. But what if somebody came to the webinar and now we know they're back as an example. Right. And it's and we know who they are.

They're back and they are the right person. Kind of like hey the the pearly gates open up. This is the right person we really want to accelerate conversations with. And we think they'll value it. Cool. Let's put them into this Goldilocks path that we've we've created and allow them to talk with the Smee or book time with the Smee as quickly as possible.

Collapse that time frame so they don't have to have, you know, back and forth conversations with with, again, bidders have a great role, but folks that don't that really can't talk to talk. We need to build trust immediately, very, very quickly, at least as quickly as we can. How do you build trust in high technology? You get them talking with people that have done this for a quite a while, and so we really try to collapse that time frame.

And I think by doing so, kind of honor what they're after. And if they don't take the bait or they don't convert, well, that's okay. We offered it to them and we'll try to convert them on something else that we think is still valuable to them.

Daniel Burstein: So I hear what you're saying, Clinton, and I think you're building a smartphone, these are good fun. And I'm not saying there's anything wrong what you're doing, but what I'm trying to get at is you should be a product owner. So how can you give me an example of something you learned about the customer and how do you serve them with what you're building with this product, with this essentially lead gen product.

Right. Because when I think of a product that is something that serves an ideal customer. Right? And there's, you know, history is littered with products that didn't actually serve someone and fall by the wayside or product where, you know, I don't know if you're focus grouping, if you're a B, testing, if you're surveying, if you're, you know, user testing, watching them do that, but actually learning about the customer and to hear them tell you, like, I want to get on with this me faster, it makes sense to me.

I think it's right. Right. But how do we know what they want? Or maybe they want an entirely different thing. So if you're building that, probably what's an example where here's something we learned about our customer and here's how we learned it. And that's how we were able to build this funnel for them, which again of course is driving all the right stuff for us, but it's for them.

Clinton Bonner: Right? Right. So I mean, I think some of it is, first tried and true, like looking at some of the user data, like, what? What the heck are they clicking on, right? So looking at your hot jars and all that stuff and what are they, what are they trying to, get to and how quickly are they moving through, let's say the more detailed content, if they, if they, if they happen to be from a, from that product perspective, if they're on some of the thought leadership pages and they're spending time there, quite a bit of time and that's and that's what you offer that the right conversion at that kind

of moment and say, okay, you're you're on these thought leadership pages. So, that that to me is kind of where, where it happens. Daniel is like like taking your shots at the right places. It's not for not nearly for everybody. We're in this case, we're really trying to cater to when the really, really top, best person steps into the door and their intent is known, we could just we know what their intent is.

How do we honor their time as quickly as we possibly can and again, and string together from the martech, perspective, I think you're stringing together different, different technologies and you're creating between, let's say, whatever you are on for your web. And then if you if you're using Zapier, in our case, we've got one where, if they're down this, this path and they do want to instantly connect, then what's going to happen is it'll it'll send an indication out to slack.

And we've got a small pod of me's who are able to have that conversation. So the bat phone kind of rings and they could kind of step through that kind of step through. They could click a button and be brought into an interface and have and have a conversation right then and there if they're ready for it, that doesn't exist.

We had a string. We had an orchestra together, a couple of different things. And like I said, if they don't want the conversation, well then cool, let's kick them to a really nice customized calendly and get them to book. But again, all all hopefully with the the honor of this is what they want. They want to be served this way.

And it's clear because they're taking steps that show us. Well, yeah. This is they are they're enjoying the fact that they could get to our VP of engineering that quickly if they if they are the right person. again, by the way, that's not the majority of people that hit the site. Not even close. Like not not at all.

However, we really want to cater, to, to those because they are going to be the highest value. They're the ones that can accelerate. And by looking at, you know, demand based data and other things as they come through, we do know pretty quickly, yeah, this person is is legitimate. And but between title between where they work and if they could choose both of us, if we could, if we could speed the clock up and they don't need to go through an email dance to get to a meaningful conversation.

Daniel Burstein: Sure. And I think the hard thing is to get their attention to begin with. Right? And as I mentioned, we really only have a few shots. So this is I like this an if you're going to be a bear, be a grizzly, I like that. Can you tell us the specific story? Take us into that room where it happened, when this kind of first dawned on you?

Clinton Bonner: Well, yeah. So first and foremost, the, the, the saying is from the Cannonball Run. So for those of, of, well, I'm 46 and, those that know Dom Day-Lewis and Burt Reynolds and, well, the Rat Pack and heck, Jackie Chan's in that movie, if you believe it or not. He's one of the guys in the Subaru.

but one of the guys who were driving the truck, they punch the clock and they're about to start their race, and he turns to the guy and he says, if you're going to be a bear, be a grizzly. And the other guy growls and they peel off into the night and start their Cannonball Run race. Definitely suggest you watch that movie.

It's at that hour. Force it. It's a it's a heck of a movie. with that, the the philosophy that that I take and then I'll get into a real nice specific one here. Daniel is we only get so many shots at doing something with, I'd say like Deep Folk is doing it really, really well to also help us differentiate, to do it and not just put out, you know, yet another e-book or another blog series, if that's what this is the example earlier of the, of the, documentary is an example of this, that it was like that could have been a set of videos.

It could have been, you know, smaller vignettes. And we only we went full bore documentary. And it feels, looks, acts, breathes. That thing is, is a high quality documentary. Cool. That's an example. more recently at NTT data, I was working with, our VP of engineering. His name's Nate. Nate Brant Bilson. Really smart guy. He's got a lot of great.

We kind of pride ourselves on some strong point of views on how to approach and think through scale, and, and treating yourself as a, as a, platform, even if you're not, you don't need to be Netflix or Amazon to think of yourself as a platform and technologically wise. Treat yourself like a platform so that when you're trying to do the things that are product focus and you're building new products and new apps and things of that nature, you can you could do this, you could do so at, like smaller and smaller risk per attempt because you set yourself up for like an infrastructure that could absorb change in scale.

Cool. So he started writing these long form blog posts about this, this guy Nate, right, that I will work with and he's he's like, let's do a blog series. Let's get you on the the NTT data podcast. the one we call it, we call a launch that I host. Cool. And I'm, I'm reading these long form blogs and I'm like, all right, let's put an e-book together.

This is enough to stitch together an e-book. All right. We start putting together an e-book. Sounds perfectly the right the thing that you do with a high level piece of content. We're putting the e-book together and I'm like, man, that's like 70 pages. I'm like, this is not. And I don't mean with graphics like we're up to like 70 pages.

I'm like, Nate, why don't we just make this a book? And he's like, what do you mean? He's like, he's been, you know, he never had done a book. I'm like, Nate, like, dude, you're pretty darn close to being into, like, full blown. This is a business book. This is both a business and leadership book with a technology lesson, as the centerpiece.

And so I paired him with, an awesome coworker. Her name is Annika. And I was like, hey, what if I. What if I pair you with, with a writer that could really dedicate time each and every week to parse this out, get it into a more of a full narrative. And what if we make this a what if we go for it and make it make it a really big book anyway?

So hit the fast forward a little bit there for for the listeners. Daniel. So it's called Frictionless Enterprise. It's, it's a full ebook. It's out. You can get it on Amazon. We, we have physical, physical books which that tactile thing still matters. It's crushing in market because it's, it's it's well-written. It's deep. It looks beautiful. Of course, we got the everything design and the interior of it is beautiful.

It's it's so well designed. and then we're looking at I'm like, hey, man, if I come out, he lives, close to Detroit. I'm like, hey, if I come out there, would you record an audio book? He's like, really? I'm like, I'm like, yeah, dude, I like, well, why don't we just go all the way with this?

Like it's hitting in market? So about six months ago or so, eight months ago. Flew out to Detroit, spent a couple of days in studio with them, capsule as an audiobook and then, you know, and then learn a bit and how to put out an audiobook. We learned like three ways not to put out an audio book, by the way, before we figured out, okay, this is the way and you got to check all these marks and do these things in a really specific way in order for it to be to hit all these, these distribution points.

All that being said, this started as a blog series, but it had the right gravity, the rights at it. Absolutely. You have to understand what's got the right smarts. Like, is this thing smart? Will it stand out and not not contrarian for the sake of contrarian, but it has its own point of view. It's not what you see in the market yet.

And can you do it at a level that's probably going to surprise some people? And that to me is like, if you're going to be a bear, be a grizzly. And that's been a huge success story. That book, we I get inundated every single day in a good way. I get slack pings, hey, can I get ten books out to you?

I can't name companies company X. Hey, we've got a CIO meeting coming up. They read the deals, they listen to the first couple of chapters. Can we get a couple of signed books this way? Yeah. So. And then you take it to that next level. He's signing books. We got little cards printed up that go in the packaging.

The packaging is now launched by NTT data. You know, when it arrives, we've got our CEOs. doing handwritten notes that go out with a batch of books. Oh, she's actually our president. I shouldn't say not CEO, president of launch. it just keeps on becoming a thing that's like, okay, what's the next level of care and marketing you could apply, but it never would have happened if that thing I don't say died if that thing stopped at.

Okay, we have a nice blog series, will make it an e-book. So that's that's a really cool one that I think, is is a good lesson.

Daniel Burstein: So are you Burt Reynolds and Nate is dumb or is it. Which one of which one of you is the Burt Reynolds character? Which is a dumb? Dumb is one.

Clinton Bonner: you're such a patient man to hold that for that life. I love you. maybe I'm the mad doctor. I think if if if if anything, I'm the mad doctor inside the van. They pick up because they, I forget why they need a doctor at some point, but they need do one.

Daniel Burstein: And that guy I'm exactly 46 to. And I watch Cannonball Run, I, I didn't I wasn't a big fan, but that's the only thing I remember Dom DeLuise from is like that in the Muppets or something like that. And really.

Clinton Bonner: Right, right. He was always he was always, you know, showing up on the Muppets, right?

Daniel Burstein: Yeah, yeah.

Clinton Bonner: Jovial Joe, jovial guy, for sure.

Daniel Burstein: So I think that was a great example of kind of what you were saying earlier about being a product owner. I mean, I think they're you actually built a product, right? So like as I mentioned, I look at a blog as a product, a, podcast, a product you took what could have just been some, some, some blog post, some inner product.

You said something that really interested me and caught my attention, though, especially from someone who works like deeply in like digital enterprises and digital marketing and all these things. You said you you printed a book, you made a book, there's a physical book you're selling run a physical book. And I love that because I had a case I don't want to name the company, but a case study with a company recently that puts out this big report, and they used to put out the report in a digital format and in a printed format, and then, maybe a new CMO came in or something, and they didn't like that.

They didn't get data from the printed format. It kind of really frustrated them because they, you know, they wanted that data in that customer data, so they got rid of it. But I've always seen that experience, especially as digital has grown, is nothing beats print for credibility and for sticking out. And for example, we've conducted research. you know, we asked representative sample of all Americans when you're, you know, thinking of making a purchase decision, which advertising do you trust most?

And number one, at 82% was newspaper ads. And number two at 80% was magazine ads. Right. Because print still has credibility and anyone can throw up a website these days. But, you know, if you're kind of sending in that print book, so can you kind of take us through that? It sounds like you've gotten some good results. Like you're saying the president's sending out letter to physically sending this out.

Can you take us through the decision to actually do that and how you played in with the trade offs that I always hear of like, well, I can't try in a PDF, I know if they right or whatever it is. I know if they read into like page 17 in my e-book or whatever, but I don't know what they made me.

They never even read this thing. Like how did you manage that trade off and how did you decide to go in on the printed book?

Clinton Bonner: Yeah. So the that's a good question. We operate so the launch team is is fairly small, right. Like I said, manage about about a team of ten. And when I say about that's I look at I extend through contractors and they but they, but they are consistently working with us so I just, I just don't delineate as between FTE or that woman Monica, who I mentioned earlier, who helped Nate write the book.

She's a contractor. And but by the way, she's a contractor by choice. I've tried to hire her for like ten years. She does my job. so. So we are we do have, the freedom I would say to to make, make decisions and operate with, with a budget that's, you know, contained. Not huge, but enough to go make some of these, these choices and not have to, you know, talk about it with two too many people before we make a choice.

That's number one. That's not everybody's scenario. So just recognizing that maybe a little simpler to to to go for it. in places where, there's not too many cooks in the kitchen. the second thing was, was I would say there's probably three things. The second thing, it was just the spidey sense that it was it was just getting too big, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to figure out what to cut.

It's like, wait, no, that's like, if we want to be an e-book, we got to be we got to kind of play this game, kind of got to be this size. And, and we were just. And by the way, it's available digitally. So we, you know, people do convert digitally as well. And that's, that's totally fine. But, the thing for, for making the decision to go forward and make it a full on book, but even digitally, it's like we put it out, it's on Amazon and we put it out as a book.

We don't call it an e-book. the overall like I wasn't, I guess I just wasn't worried about the funnel metrics of it. It just was never the point. I think it is what it all boils down to. It was never the point that this thing would be, this lead magnet in this way, and then I could build this awesome product that gets you to to the author, like I was describing earlier.

Right. in a product way super fast. We are doing that because now we have the opportunity to do that. It was always about authority. It was always, always, always about, this is so good and so crisp and different than what we hear out there, which is a Spidey sense telling you to do something more with this, that it deserves this extra treatment.

And what it does is establishes authority. Because like you said, I got it right here. Like, this thing's physical. This is a pretty sizable book, and it's a physical book. So it does exactly that. It happens to be good. It happens to be beautifully designed. and but it was always about that. It was like, hey, when we started launch launches is like a year and a half old, like launched by NTT data.

It was put together by a combination of different, different acquisitions and some service lines that existed. So we wanted a bit of a centerpiece, something that had weight to it. And this was a really nice way for us to get something to market that, that we think, would have that have that weight and open doors in a way that simply a piece of digital is never going to do for you.

Daniel Burstein: All of than Scott. That don't factor. So in, in just a moment, we're going to talk about some lessons from, people you made those things with. Right. We just talked about some things you made, like actually making a book. That's something you got to make in marketing. Just a moment. We'll talk about lessons from selling people you made them with.

But first I should mention that the How I Made It in Marketing podcast is underwritten by MC labs. I, the parent organization of marketing Sherpa. Right now, you can get a free three month full scholarship to the AI Guild and a free quickstart AI productivity kit at joint Mic Labs ai.com to help you navigate the artificial intelligence marketing revolution that's joining Meek Labs.

i.com. All right. Let's take a look at some people you collaborated with. your first lesson is trust great creative people. You learned this from Cindy and this was a documentary. You're talking about before the gig economy documentary. So I think we have a good understanding what that documentary was. What I'd really like to do is take us into the room where it happened, take us behind the scenes.

You're making this. Do I think this gentleman, I assume this gentleman was in Indonesia. I assume you were not in Indonesia. It's difficult enough to manage creatives when we're together, looking at each other. So can you give us, just maybe, like, one tactic you used to help manage the creative for this project, to make sure that one, it was, like you said, visually appealing and beautiful, but two, it got across the value proposition you were trying to get across.

Clinton Bonner: Yeah, this this is so all those assumptions are correct. He, he, he and his wife operate a company and, I think it's called overlaps, and they're awesome. They'll travel the world. And they were actually out at our, event in Miami, and they did all our video for that just two months ago. So they're they're awesome people and deserve deserve the love and the designers and great videographers, an amazingly fast and sharp editors with all that.

No, I was I'm not in Indonesia and we had a, a designer from Turkey who was going to be going to be part of this. we had a gentleman who was a Russian algorithmic who was living in Spain, who was going to be part of this. We had an American who was going to be part of this, but not not near me, who were going to be like the stars of this documentary.

So the trust part was very much like, look, we you still script, quote unquote, a documentary. You know what, the arc you want to go tell, you know, that that's the scripting in that particular case, of course, you're not telling people what to say. I mean, you could, but that's that's not that's not what we were doing. But you are scripting an overarching story, an arc that you want to reach.

The huge trust factor is when you're working with great designers and great creatives, is that's usually enough. So it doesn't have to be a documentary like Back Away, let them go, do the things that they're awesome at. I'm fairly creative, but I'm not a great designer. But I could go in and, you know, do some drag and drop stuff and play around.

but nowhere near the level of these experts are going to do so trust expert. So he's he's around capturing all these different interviews and capturing people in their environment in real life. And we just have to trust that he's getting good stuff. I had worked with him previously. I know, I know, he's good and we have to just give, give guardrails, give strong guidance.

But then let go, allow them to do their thing. Most often they're going to come back. If they're good, they're going to come back with something that delights you, blows you away.

Daniel Burstein: No, I mean, I like what you're saying. I'm a creative, too, I love it, I'm giving that that free rein. But also, in fairness, sometimes what comes back isn't what it should be. Sometimes you're dealing with more junior people. They don't have it yet. I was, doing, interview recently, and they're saying one of the things that you need in marketing is resilience.

It's important not just for marketing but for mental health. Right. Because you're going to have a lot of at bats and you're going to strike out. And I've presented many creative ideas that didn't work well. So can you give us a sense? Take it. Take me a specific example. Could be from this documentary for something else where you got work back from a creative and it wasn't right.

And they are creative and you do want to nurture them and get their best stuff, but it just wasn't the right value proposition, right? You know, whatever. How did you give them feedback? What did you do? Because, for example, when I talked to, Marco Mueller, the CMO of a vivo, and how I made it marketing, one of his lessons was you can make a big career and still stay human, right.

And this is a challenge. And sometimes in corporations, as you grow in leadership, you lose your humanity. And he told me this great story about how he was running the Russia region for SAP, the overall CMO of all SAP, one of the, you know, biggest software companies in the world comes to Moscow for this event. Just happened. Moscow that day had something else going on.

Traffic was horrible. They couldn't get a helicopter. They ended up taking this guy into the Moscow subway, which is like super hot. It's a security nightmare. And the guy was awesome about it. Like, Marco was like, I thought I was gonna lose my job, you know? I was running my career. The guy was awesome. You gave great feedback.

And Marco was like, then told me he's like, this is how I need to be. I can grow in my career. Managers like 250 people at Aviva now he's like, man, I got to keep my humanity. And that can be hard too. When you're giving feedback to creatives, when you know you're under deadline pressure, you're under performance pressure.

They're not delivering the right thing, but they have this separate creative vision. So take us to a specific example. How do you give a feedback to your creative and to to kind of nudge it back on track.

Clinton Bonner: So I've had deep I'd say luck because I think this one is luck that I stumbled into crowdsourcing as a platform and so that platform we would put out design competitions and then you would get back revs from like maybe, let's say six high quality designers doing something in parallel. So you are forced to get good at giving clear, really clear feedback and doing it concisely because you can't do it in volume if you're not confident or are being fuzzy with your direction.

So that shaped my I just say in general, practice is the best way to say it because it could feel icky. You could feel like I don't want to hurt someone's feelings about something that they just poured their their heart and mind into and their craft into with. So the environment I was in, this one is really kind of like an environment thing.

it was just like, hey, you know, we have we have guidance and templates on how to give high quality human feedback that still stays, stays on the positive, but calls out very specific things. So that's number one by the way. Don't don't ever give it creative I don't like it. Yeah I mean it's still don't do that to them.

Like well why. You know like what. And more importantly specifically it being as specific as you can. it might feel like it's the wrong way. It's not. It's not the wrong way. if you want them to understand your feedback, which number? I think number one, like good communications for them to understand it, be specific. say this is what's not.

This is what's not hitting for me. And if you can, if you are, if you have enough time, try to give enough, examples of of other things you've seen like, hey, but I really this is not hitting, but hey, the way Apple whatever. Just pulling out one of the best brands of all time, right. The way Apple or Nike or whoever or Airbnb, the way they treat this new campaign, that's the kind of tone I really want to hit with with this visual.

Can you could you get us more towards towards that and then but also don't over dictate in your feedback because then you're back to square one where you're trying to control a creative, fear constricting folks who are designers or at really, you know, let's just talk about designers. If you're really trying to control designers and push pixels, you're going to get back crap and they're going to hate you.

They're going to hate you as a client. They will not want to work with you again. So there's that balance there, Daniel. It's just a matter of be specific. Try to call out very, line item things that you would you think could be better try to provide examples but then understand to back away again. And by the way, if you're continuously not getting what you want from that particular designer, well then that person's probably not the same wavelength.

Things are probably not clicking there. And that's okay. There's a ton of talent out there.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah. To reference another 80s movie, since we're the same age we used to joke around, it's like ghost. Remember that scene in ghost where, like, they put their hands together and they're making the part? Like, if you feel like you're doing that with the designer, like your hand is over the design. And on that mouse, that's probably a little too much feedback, right?

But, one thing that I've always found that was helpful to me as a creative, but that I've always found trying and giving feedback is start with questions, ask questions. And one of the things I would always ask is, you know, creativity is all about choices. So take us through this choice you made. Why did you choose that color?

Why did you choose that form? What did you choose with that length? Whatever it is, take us through those choices. And the choices tend to be two things. One, they're an assumption about the customer, right? Which is why I was asking her, like, tell me some of these more about the customer. It's an assumption about the customer. And that's when you can talk about, okay, is that assumption correct or is it not correct.

Right. Or the other thing is which is worse is it's not an assumption about the customer. So the thing that that I hate when I hear is like, why did you do this? Oh, because I like this. I like short copy, I like long copy, I like this, I like that, and it's like, okay, well, our customer is a senior citizen buying a bathtub because they don't want to break a hip.

You're 25 years old and skateboard on the weekends, so I think that's great. You like that, but I don't honestly care. I care what the customer likes. So let's figure out what the customer likes and then use your design or whatever creative ability to deliver on that. but you mentioned you mentioned crowdsourcing, and I want to bring that up because this really ties into your next, next example of, you know, crowdsourcing isn't just for designers.

This was crowdsourcing for data scientists, which I thought was kind of cool. your lesson was, don't be afraid to let the deep work be the star. And you learned this from Albert Lin. And I think also in around about what you learned from Genghis Khan as well. So why don't you tell us how you learned this lesson from Albert?

And yes.

Clinton Bonner: I will I will, the the other piece of what you just said, which I have to I have to hop in on two, is sure, making sure that you from a brand operation standpoint, some of the things you're saying about. Hey, why did you choose this? Why? You know, what was this going on like? That also could be, it could be a symptom of.

Is your design system in place? Do you have a strong brand book? Have you done the work to say, hey, this this is our brand. Go, go learn it, learn it, learn it. This is our system. These are our colors. It's just a way to also give a lot more clarity to say, okay, these are the rules of the road.

Still go be creative. But these are the rules of the road. These are these are the types of imagery we typically select. We like our copy short or no no we liked it. We like to have long prose. to me that's an important piece, especially by the way, especially if you're working with contractors. If you're not working with someone who's in your day to day giving them that and be like, get around this.

Otherwise they're going to be often La-La land doing stuff that might be cool, but it but it's not the right voice or or even colors, right? So that's just one tactical lesson too, is like, hey, get that, get that design system in place. but I'm.

Daniel Burstein: I'm glad you mentioned that, because another thing I always bring, I mean, judgment designer is also, you know, more of a writer, but is having that value proposition, especially when it's a contractor, because sometimes I've and I've been on the receiving end of this. I've seen, you know, asking designers or copywriters or especially when they're contractors to do a certain thing when they don't have the specifics around it.

Right? Like, like, okay, on this page, show a table of how we're better than the three best alternatives, you know, go for it's like, well, how are you? You know, like we we need the we need those specifics. And so, so many times we get back this kind of general generic work because we're we're only giving general generic input.

That's why I mentioned design briefs before where you need those specific. So okay, they're using their creativity for the best thing they can. What is the best way to show this? What design was the best way to explain this? With copy you're the the VP of marketing. You're the marketing manager. You're the director of marketing. And you understand what the value proposition, how it is you compared to the competitors, what the specifics are, what are the proof points, where are the evidential and all of this.

Clinton Bonner: Yeah. Yeah. So Tiger tying it back to crowd sourcing. It was I learned to write specs for people that don't know me from Adam yet or my company from Adam yet that are hopping in to do something. Or we were running. We were running crowdsourcing competitions for brands. So we had to prepare that and be like, you need to know this.

Otherwise you can be way off the mark. And why waste your time? You're trying to win a competition or place. so that was another lesson. That and that's kind of a best practice and advocate becomes part of what you do, which gets you consistent results, which is, which is really, really important because not so many hours in the day.

And you mentioned, crowdsourcing and the data science competition. So Albert Lin, if people Google Albert Lin and just put like explorer Albert Albert Lin in there, you're going to find out this guy's like a legit, very legit, National Geographic, whatever you want to call and I would license is the wrong term, but part of part of.

Net you know, Nat Geo World explorer. He's also a professor at at UC San Diego. He also lost a half his leg a couple of years ago, and he's still out there doing amazing things. with that, he was also mashing up, at the time, mashing up this idea of using crowdsourcing to go hunt for the lost tomb of, Genghis Khan.

And that also means interesting technologies at play as well. And because it's they believe it's in Mongolia. And believe it or don't, the Mongolian government doesn't want people poking around all their land just go in to search for a lost tomb of probably one of the most famous people, most certainly one of the most famous people and most important people and human history in terms of impact.

so they had to figure out a couple of different things and different technologies and using geospatial data, and how they could do this in a noninvasive manner. Okay. So you've got these gigantic data sets, cool. This geospatial data. And then they're using this new computer vision, technologies to tag certain things, the way they look from a space satellite imagery to be like, is that manmade?

Is that nature made? If it is manmade, does it look like a tomb? And they were using, you know, different, different x ray vision to go into the earth with this stuff, a high, high tech. They use the crowdsourcing element to say, we want to develop algorithms to search this gigantic geospatial database. And this, this imagery database to quickly understand which of all these images were taken.

Mongolia's pretty freaking big. Which one of these are likely manmade. And they check the boxes, images of buried tombs, things that look like tombs. And then they start piecing together, narrowing down sets of what could be, by the way, he believes he found it. You can't you can't dig where he thinks it is. But based on everything he believes, he believes he has found it with that when we were getting this amazing story ready for a market.

The story is really cool, right? We're searching for Genghis Khan. gigas. Gone. The lost tomb. We are doing, you know, using high tech. It is it is this cool crowdsourcing competition. But the lesson to attract the talent we were still trying to attract data science algorithm ists was. Yes, they they were the hook maybe got them in because we put out a YouTube video and we did just in cool splash pages.

And Albert Lin is this cool. Nat Geo Explorer cool cool cool cool cool. They, at the end of the day, cared about how difficult of a data science challenge is. This is this thing frigging. Of course there's prize money. So yeah, I put the prize money out there. Maybe put that out there certainly to to get folks, aware.

But once they get into the, you know, the, the platform to go to go look at, can I go solve this. They want to know how difficult and how cool of a challenge this is, how much of a challenge this is. So the big lesson there was while we got all this cool, cool story, we always have to remember who the heck was the audience?

Who are we trying to get in? Yes, we're trying to get this out. So so PR will go cover it. And guess what they did anyway? Because it was cool and we had a microsite and you know, we did a YouTube video to introduce it. Cool. But to get the gravitational pull and we got like I think it was at that point 6 to 700 different data algorithms around the world to come compete in parallel on this competition, and then were testing their algorithms in real time and showing them how they're doing versus their peers.

that had to be the star, had to be the star for that audience. And it was a big lesson, man, that like if you over rotate on the wrong thing, you could just it could be the coolest thing in the world. It won't matter to who you're trying to actually get to do something of value.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah, that's a that's a great thing. But so how you tell me specifically because it's less important that, that, that, specific thing there. How did you find the right thing? You are not a data algorithm. So can you take us into like a specific example with that of like, what is it tactic you did to learn what they wanted?

And then it didn't come off as phony. So for example, when I, talked to Tara Robertson, the chief marketing officer for Bitly, on how I made a marketing, one of her lessons was marketing shouldn't be about driving demand. It's about driving value. And one of the way she does that, what she looks for in the data is not what do people want to do?

She takes a step back and tries to learn from data. Why do they want to do it? And that's what drives what she does to create value. So. So what did you do? How did how did you okay. Learn this is what you know. You're saying it very emphatically now I'm very confident I appreciate that. But how did you actually get with data algorithms.

Yeah. And say what do they want. And what wouldn't come off is phony to them.

Clinton Bonner: So just like getting around great designers, it's the same. It's the same thing. Right. So it is bringing Topcoder was not just about code. There was designers, there was algorithms. So members of the community, when I was there, they also are the ones who help write. They help write the competition. They help set up the testing harnesses, what they call a testing harness, so you can go in and play with different, you know, ideas and algorithms and throw them into a system real quick to get back feedback.

So you're working with experts is what it boils down to you. There was no way at all I could hop in and be authentic there. It would come off as absolute B.S. and they would be out. They'd be out because it just wouldn't do what they expect also. So, you know, their interface when they hit the thing is a lot different.

Then you know what the splash page looks like that we're also shopping to PR agencies, of course, to say, hey, you should cover this. It's it's a really cool thing. It's just about, I think, the same lesson, but on repeat in this case, swap out designers for actual data scientists who could go in there and say, yes, this this is how you talk about this type of challenge.

This is how you frame, how we're going to apply computer vision. I can't even go into some of the vernacular details on it, but they could. Right. But they could. And and so then those keywords and those things show up in the internal pages. And when they when they hit the platform, that's that you're speaking in their language.

You have to be authentic to them. Otherwise they're out. They're out. They're never going to go tinker and see if they could. They could move the needle here and go, go right. Next algorithm that does this really cool thing to help, you know, search this database, new computer vision. So a little bit of, you know, second verse, same as the first there that it is going into experts, and letting their learning that do their thing while you still understand that the whole orchestration around it and, yeah, I think that's, that's really the lesson there.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah. I mean, there's gold there's gold in communities for sure. we're out of time. Clinton. But before I let you go, let me ask you, what are the key qualities of an effective marketer?

Clinton Bonner: Yeah. So more and more and more and more, is internal communications is so much, again, as you scale your career and you take on larger things and you have big ideas and you want to act like a grizzly, you got to win internally. You've got to you have to be able to, to build consensus, bring people with you, along with you.

You have to collaborate and figure out ways to understand what might be in your way, people or process or a combination of those things, and get them either on your side or at least not a detractor, at least not a detractor, hopefully on your side and really being part of it. So being very open with how you collaborate on.

Net new big ideas and not bringing something fully, fully, fully, fully baked. This is a big lesson I've learned fairly recently to if you bring something completely baked and the person you're trying to get to do this with you is it has a good creative, you know, spirit in their body too. They may love it. They also may resent you for like not inviting them in earlier, you know?

So it's like, hey, you resist the urge to be like, oh, I could get I could get this to near perfection. I could get this thing to be I'm going to spin it up in Figma, and it's going to show me exactly what it's going to do. Maybe. But no. Who are you trying to get on your side?

Who are you trying to internally communicate to that you want? They're not just their buy in, but you want them like rowing with you. So you you accelerate and not just, you know, not you don't want to decelerate. But maybe staying stagnant is not good enough either. Maybe you need their power to move this forward, whether they're a boss or just a peer that that you need to row with understanding who they are and maybe bring them something a little less formed, a little bit more wet clay.

If we can get back to our righteous brothers ways here, man and and bring that instead and see how they contribute and how they react to that. You do that internally and you build you. You end up having a lot of success. I realize that might not be a marketing lesson per se. However, when you're trying to bring new big marketing ideas to market that are different to me, this is the thing that keeps coming up in my career is how well do I bring people together internally to do the biggest things?

because that's when I get more opportunity.

Daniel Burstein: Yeah, get people involved early in the journey. And thank you for taking us throughout your career journey here, Clayton. I think we all learned a lot about Daniel.

Clinton Bonner: That is you're a great host, gracious host, and I appreciate how you got it, too. So thanks you, Tom.

Daniel Burstein: And thank you for everyone for listening.

Outro: Thank you for joining us for how I made it and marketing with Daniel Burstein. Now that you've got an inspiration for transforming yourself as a marketer, get some ideas for your next marketing campaign. From Marketing Sherpas extensive library of free case studies at Marketing sherpa.com. That's marketing Paycom.

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