Interview with Jay Baer by Adam Fraser
This is a transcript of this podcast interview with Jay Baer.
Adam: I’m delighted to welcome Jay Baer to the EchoJunction podcast. Jay is the founder of Convince & Convert, a strategy consulting firm that helps prominent companies gain and keep more customers through the smart intersection of technology, social media, and customer service. Convince & Convert produce the world’s number one content marketing blog and many podcasts, including his own, Social Pros, and Jay Today, both of which I am an avid listener to. Jay, welcome to the EchoJunction podcast.
Jay: Adam, thanks so much. I appreciate you being a listener. That’s very kind of you. I’m delighted to be here.
Adam: Great stuff. Jay, for those in Australia that maybe don’t know too much about you and even perhaps people like myself that have known you extensively in a post Youtility world, tell us a little bit about your back-story and how you got here.
Jay: Like a lot of people who’ve been doing this for a while, my story is indirect and strange, but I started off in politics. I was a political campaign consultant as a young person and worked on political campaigns for U.S. Congress and the Governor and the United States president. I did that for a little while and then got into traditional marketing. I figured if I could get somebody elected, I could sell soap. I spent a few years in traditional marketing and then, left a good job in marketing and foolishly went to go work for the government for a short period of time. Realized that that culture was not really for me.
About the same time, I had some beers with some friends of mine from university who had started the very first Internet company in Arizona, where I’m from in the States. They said, “You know, this company we started is starting to get a little bit bigger and we don’t know anything about marketing.” I said, “Well, that’s fine because when you say the word Internet, I don’t know what that word means.” This was 1993 so, a bit of a way back. I said, “I don’t care though. I’ll do any job other than this job.” I quit and went to work as the vice president of marketing for an Internet company having never been on the Internet, which is a very interesting first day at work, I can tell you that.
I was there for a while and then started another company and started another company and started another company. My current firm Convince & Convert is the 5th marketing services firm I have started in the subsequent 22 years that I’ve been doing this. I’ve only done two things smart in my life, Adam. I convinced my wife to marry me and it did require some convincing, and I had the good sense to accidentally get involved in the Internet very early and stay involved in the Internet.
Adam: Okay, sounds good, interesting journey Jay. Lots we want to cover today across social and content marketing and some current trends, but let’s just go back to Youtility, which is a book I read early in my own marketing journey. I really do consider it a seminal piece of work. It was something a bit different. Ttalk again to people that may not know too much about your book, The Basic Concept of Youtility.
Jay: Youtility and we spell that Y-O-U-T-I-L-I-T-Y, Youtility. The subtitle is: Why smart marketing is about help and not hype. The premise of it is that Youtility is marketing so useful that people would pay for it, that the way to break through the enormous clutter that all businesses face today is not by shouting louder, i’s not by trying to be amazing. It’s by creating marketing assets that are truly useful. That somebody would say, “Yeah. I would actually pay for that.” Since it’s marketing that people actually want to receive instead of what we’ve been doing for like a thousand years, which is creating marketing that people simply tolerate.
Increasingly, we find businesses gravitating toward that form of marketing because it actually works. It takes some different skill sets and some different cultural capabilities to do that kind of work, but it actually is effective. Partially because we are physiologically wired to appreciate that kind of thing. There’s a great case study in the book Contagious by Jonah Berger. It’s a terrific book. Dr. Berger, who’s a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, he and his class did a study where they analyzed every single New York Times article online over a six month period. It was tens of thousands of articles, and they found that articles that were useful were forwarded 30% more than average. That shouldn’t be a surprise. We like useful things, whether it’s something that your mom sends you or marketing from a business.
Adam: Jay, what’s interesting to me that such sort of eminent common sense, sort of go figure when a brand’s helpful and useful, we like that and yet, we were on the wrong track for so long. I guess this work didn’t come until 2013 when you wrote it. I’m just interested in your view, the cause effect. Was it the growth of social, mobile, content marketing that allowed brands to start doing this, or is this something that when you go back in the annals of time, we should have always been doing and brands, there are examples from pre-digital of brands being useful?
Jay: Yeah, it’s a great question. There are examples pre-digital of brands being useful. There’re some offline examples going back 100 years or 200 years. There’s one of the examples I use in presentations in Europe is a series of tobacco cards that a U.K. based tobacco company used to hand out, which had helpful household tips on them. Then I used that side by side with a program from the home improvement retailer laws, which is the exact same program, 100% except today, they do it with vine videos instead of tobacco cards, but it’s the exact same program 125 years later or something.
There are examples, but what has made this bubble up now is that the rise of mobile and social have caused people to spend less and less time in traditional media outlets. Television viewing way down. Magazine and newspaper viewing way down. Terrestrial radio down. Podcasting up etc., so it’s much, much harder to reach audiences of any type and any circumstance than it ever has been before for marketers and so, what they tried to do, I mean that transition started a while ago, probably mid ‘90s, late ‘90s, what we tried to do is just shout louder. We tried to say, “Well, it’s a lot harder to reach audiences than it used to be, but if we just buy more ads, if we just target ads better we’ll make up for it.” We finally reached the tipping point, where people realize, “Well, that’s maybe not going to work and so that’s why Youtility ended up being something that people gravitated toward. Because it was the new playbook that people had been seeking for a long time.
Adam: Sure. Obviously, recent growth also in content marketing. Do you see content marketing as a subset of Youtility, or almost the basic concepts are one and the same?
Jay: You can argue it two different ways. It’s a very astute question. On one hand, Youtility is a form of content marketing, because you ask people like Ann Handley, who’s a terrific thought leader around content, about the different types of content marketing, she’ll say that some content is informative and useful, like Youtility, and other content is entertaining and persuasive, funny videos and things like that. And so, from that perspective you would say that Youtility is a type of content marketing, but I think actually that the concept of being useful, of saying, “You know what? We’re going to culturally align ourselves around the principle of being truly and inherently useful,” very much supersedes content marketing and becomes a cultural touchstone for the entire organization. Some of the very best Youtility examples in the book and in my presentations are what you might consider to be customer service or customer experience operations, not necessarily marketing in the truest sense. I think when you embrace the spirit of being helpful, it’s bigger than content marketing. Conversely, you can look at it as a type of content marketing if you choose to.
Adam: Sure. Now that makes sense. I guess almost the other end of spectrum to Youtility and being helpful and useful is traditional advertising, shouting loud the 30 seconds slot. I was intrigued by one of you Jay today’s recently when you talked about “Nothing is dead.” Let’s just say that was a brave call of the guy to say content marketing is dead at the [inaudible 00:09:04] of content marketing, but I’m not going to say to you that traditional TV advertising is dead, but where do you see advertising in the current mix? Are we coming to the end of the advertising era?
Jay: I don’t know that we are coming to the end of it. There are still ways to use it affectively. It’s just a lot harder than it’s ever been. I would never suggest, at least not now, that you do Youtility and useful, helpful kind of content marketing stuff as your entire marketing program. I just don’t think it reaches enough people fast enough. It doesn’t move the needle with requisite velocity to be your entire marketing initiative. I very much believe that Youtility should be part of everybody’s marketing initiative. It’s gratifying to see that slowly take hold, but I don’t think it is everything. Because it is more of a one to one or one to a few way of working with people, sometimes you still have to try and reach more people at one time. What bothers me though Adam, is that I don’t see a lot of companies using traditional advertising to promote their own utility. I think that’s a tremendous missed opportunity.
I talk about this a lot. That you’d be better off using your ad dollars to promote utility instead of promoting the company itself. There’s an example in the book from the toilet paper company Charmin, which is a popular brand of toilet paper in the United States. They have a terrific utility called SitOrSquat, which is a crowdsourcing directory of public restrooms in the United States. If you’re on a road trip, you can decide whether you should pop into this bathroom or the other bathroom. They of course are a large brand and so they do a fair amount of television advertising and lot of newspaper circulars and coupons and things of that nature, but never, as far as I know, have they ever used any mass media to drive awareness of what is a very differentiated, very interesting, very useful tool. I think that’s a tremendous missed opportunity. Instead of saying, this week only it’s 2 ply or it’s $0.10 off or whatever the other banal ridiculous messaging they have in their advertising, they could say, “Hey, by the way, we have this amazing thing that nobody else has. If you’re on the road and you need a public restroom, we’ve got you covered. You should go look at this.”
To me, that’s a much more effective way to build loyalty and build brand, but I just don’t see it yet. I think partially because the people who are doing Youtility are often in kind of the “Content marketing department.” In a lot of big brands, including many of the brands that we work with in my company, those people don’t always have a seat at the advertising table yet.
Adam: Sure. The days of mass reaching frequency is certainly not over right here right now, but you’re saying perhaps we need a better approach to how we use that tool.
Jay: Right now, they don’t work together in most cases. They’re working…I mean the only relationship is they both come from the same company and that’s silly. They should really be working in a 1+1=3 capacity. Right now, it’s typically 1+1=1.5.
Adam: Yeah. I got it. Jay, that’s actually a nice segue into broader enterprise, thinking on marketing digital social. In fact, a blog post I wrote early this week was talking about I tell people I’m in social and they jump to the assumption, “You must help B2C companies sell things” and incredibly in 2015, people still see the, “You need a Facebook page social strategy.” I just want to explore a bit use cases and effective use of social across an enterprise. Obviously, sales and marketing is one component of that that, but how do you believe social can potentially impact the broader operations and business processes?
Jay: Yeah, it’s funny. My friend David Meerman Scott, who’s a terrific thought leader and author and speaker, he has this rule where he never uses the words “social media” in an executive audience, won’t even use the words because social media carries with it so much baggage that executives often immediately think of cat videos on Facebook. There’s so much more to it and so, he will only use words and only use descriptors about the things that social media can do for the brand. Some of that’s lead generation. Some of it’s awareness and reach. Some of it’s conversion rate optimization. Some of it, in many cases, is customer service and call deflection. Some of it is market intelligence, competitive analysis, and there’s a lot of other user generated content, consumer created ideation. There’s 10 or 20 only public facing benefit from social, not even getting into the social business elements of internal collaboration, knowledge transfer etc. I think he’s really wise to focus on the outcomes of social instead of social “As its own thing,” but we’re not there yet. I mean it’s crazy to me to have been talking about these things for almost 10 years and we still, in some cases, haven’t made any progress.
Adam: I agree and related question. Are you, whether it’s clients of Convince & Convert or more broadly, what businesses are you seeing in the US that are making effective use of social both from a sales and marketing perspective or customer service or like I say wider use across the organization.
Jay: My new book, which I’m working on right now is called Hug Your Haters. It’s all about the customer service and complaint resolution playbook for modern business. There’s lots of customer service books out there, but there’s really no customer service books out there that are current, that say, “Well, what happens when somebody complains on Snapchat” or WhatsApp or Kick or what have you?
We’re working on that book right now and it’s great because it’s given me the opportunity to really do a lot of amazing interviews with brands that are just spectacular at social media as a customer service venue. Some of those are our brands that have to be fast because circumstances are time limited, like airlines. Many of the airlines are terrific at it. KLM, which of course is Royal Dutch Airlines, is unbelievable at social media customer service. They handle 60,000 questions a week, every single week. They staff at 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Discover card, which is a credit card organization based in Chicago purposely took their service level agreement internally, so how fast they address questions in social media. They took it from approximately 3 hours to 19 minutes, just by saying, “You know what? We’re going to be the fastest and best company in financial services at answering questions in social media.” They put the dollars and effort against it and they are. Now, of course there are a whole other enormous array of brands that are really good at the marketing side of it. Sometimes you see companies that are good at both sides, but I tend to find in most cases organizations either are tilted toward a customer service approach to social or tilted toward a marketing approach to social.
Adam: I think again, podcast of its own, I think the whole customer service side of thing is so critical to the way enterprises can and should be using social effectively. Now, that’s interesting to hear those examples, Jay. Again, sort of related question on a topic we bounce around so often in marketing circles is the old, “What’s the ROI of social?” I guess, thinking has evolved on that. I know you’ve had some previous thoughts on that. I guess, what are your high level thoughts on how we should be measuring that in terms of the overall effectiveness of social strategy?
Jay: Yeah, I mean it’s really dependent on what your strategy is, because if you’re trying to use social as a lead generation or sales generation vehicle and that is doable, then that’s one of your metrics. KLM, who I mentioned a moment ago, Royal Dutch Airlines, has generated just in the last year something like €25 million of direct airline ticket sales from social media. That’s a real dollars, I mean real euros I should say. That is significant.
There’re other examples out there of dollars being generated, but in many cases, that’s not necessarily what you’re shooting for so then you get into customer service metrics, like what is the net promoter score or the advocacy lift among people who are assisted in social media in a customer service context or brand sentiment, things along those lines. There’s a bunch of different ways to execute on your metrics in your KPIs, but the problem is that most brands want to have the press button, “Tell me how it’s going” metric, but it’s so based on what your strategy is. You can’t have one set of numbers. In fact, I’ve got probably 30 pages, 40 pages just on that topic on different metrics you might want to select in my first book, The Now Revolution, because it really is a mixed bag, but one thing I’ll tell you categorically is that one of the keys to social media that we don’t talk about enough in my estimation is that for all intents and purposes, most of the individuals that your brand is going to intersect with in a social media context are people who are already customers. Nobody goes to Facebook and says, “Hey, I have no idea what this company does or who they are, but I’m going to like them and interact with them on Facebook.” We like in social media what we like in three dimensions and so what that means, Adam, is that social connectivity between brands and consumers is a trailing indicator of purchase, not necessarily a leading indicator of purchase. When you boil that down, what I think that means is that we need to think of social media generally more as a loyalty and retention tactic than as a net new sales tactic. That’s what I believe.
Adam: Now, that’s a great point and comes back to the early discussion we were having about customer service. There are many objectives beyond driving brand new customers and that’s okay, that can be one of them, of the use of social media. Jay, I just want to pivot a little bit and talk about messaging platforms. Witnessing the obvious growth of WhatsApp, I guess, the day Facebook paid $19 billion for WhatsApp, it was oaky. Here’s a sector we need to pay attention to, but this Facebook Messenger itself is growing. Snapchat is growing. What are you seeing happening in the messaging platform space and how is that impacting the sort of…if I can call it more traditional social media space?
Jay: Yeah. It’s interesting. We tend to look at them side by side and say, “Is somebody stealing somebody else’s audience or is it Facebook versus Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp versus Instagram etc., but when you get under the covers a little bit, I feel like the use case is so different, because all of those apps, WhatsApp and Kick and Snapchat and Facebook Messenger, are at the heart one to one platforms or one to a few platforms. They’re not broadcasting platforms. They’re not everybody’s a superstar platforms in the same way that Facebook and Twitter are. Now, they can pivot that way and certainly Snapchat is starting to pivot that way, so we’ll see how that plays out but I feel like if you’re going to use WhatsApp, you’re using it for a particular set of circumstances that frankly, while you could make Facebook or Twitter or somebody else do that, WhatsApp is the best choice for that. Right now, I don’t feel like it’s really a competition, because it’s a different use case, but certainly both sides are going to start to encroach on the other’s territory and that is going to be a real showdown.
Adam: Yeah. I was interested in Snapchats’ recent move with the Discover platform.
Jay: Yeah. Me too.
Adam: As Gary Vaynerchuk says, marketers spoil everything. I was just struggling to see how you could invade as a marketer that one to one personalized environment and how the hell are these guys going to monetize anything? Effectively building a media platform within your messaging platform was a hell of a move.
Jay: Yeah, and they’re also, they’re so good about curating it too. I mean you really, Snapchat’s team is working with those brands on a day to day basis to make sure that the content feels appropriate to the platform. I use Snapchat a little bit. My kids, two teenagers, use it all the time and they love Discover, I mean they couldn’t be happier. I’m like, “Hey, you do realize that’s an ad, right?” “We don’t care, we love it”.
Adam: Interesting. Interesting move. Jay, move broadly in terms of touching on broad social media strategy and enterprise wide issues, when you’re consulting with clients, I’m guessing historically the CMO or your head of marketing would have been who you talk to. Are you increasingly seeing conversions, whether it’s with the COO or the CIO, PR, customer service? What’s the enterprise landscape looking like, in terms of oak structures and who you’re dealing with?
Jay: Yeah. It hasn’t changed a whole lot on our side, but I think you’re certainly seeing more and more enterprise organizations thinking about how can we make this cross-functional? How can we create the center of excellence model? How can we develop a governance structure that really is reflective of reality, which is that social is a horizontal layer across the entire organization, therefore, it doesn’t really belong to any vertical department. While marketing in many cases has historically taken the reins because it might have been initially a marketing construct, now, with the power of social media customer service, social media’s impact on market research, social media’s impact on brand reputation and public relations, everybody has a seat at that table. What smart companies are doing is figuring out a way while you might have some executive sponsor that really social media is operated by everybody. We’ve actually done quite a bit of that kind of work, coming into big organizations and helping them set up that kind of horizontal governance layer. It’s a really fascinating set of circumstances. I think we’ll see more of it, because eventually social media is going to be like air. It’s always around us, instead of water, where you have to go find some.
Adam: Sure. I guess digging a bit deeper within that broader topic, if I can focus on say the CMO and the CIO specifically, I was actually the at TECH conference in Sydney this week and it was just incredible that pretty much, I’d say every single presentation had either a tech or a big data analytics flavor to it. Very little nowadays on the pure, almost creativity and art of the marketing function. What’s your view, Jay, on the marketer of today? Is it just table stakes? Do you have to be [inaudible 00:24:54] and tech savvy?
Jay: I think we’re pretty close to getting there. I’m not sure it’s always for the better because there’s so much software out there and so many opportunities to say, “Let’s let a machine figure out how to do this, that sometimes I do think we leave behind the art of the marketer. The bigger challenge is that we are surrounded by data like never before. Every single one of those software platforms spits out data and connect with an API and press the button for a report and all those things. We’re surrounded by data, but I think we are largely starved for insights. The problem with all these platforms is that they force you as a marketer to think about your customers as numbers. It literally forces you to do that. I don’t think that’s the best recipe for good marketing. I am old enough to remember a pre-computerized, or largely pre-computerized, form of marketing. We spent a hell of a lot more time then that we do now actually talking to customers, whether it’s face to face or focus groups or on the phone, we talked to customers a lot, and our marketing decisions were informed by those conversations. Today, our marketing decisions are largely informed by software and while that might be statistically more accurate, I think you lose a lot of nuance, you lose a lot of sense of what the personal side of customer demand is all about. I think we’re probably the worse off for it.
Adam: Sure. I must say Jay, perhaps the pendulum’s swinging too far towards the data tech analytic side of marketing?
Jay: I think so personally. Maybe that makes me sound like crotchety old man at this point, but I feel like we’re losing sight of the fact that behind every one of those buttons is an actual person.
Adam: Sure. In terms of you talked about the number of tools and software platforms out there, I think we’re both familiar and talk about it often, Scott Brinker’s infographic, which shows there’s almost 2,000 marketing software tools on offer. It’s just such a crowded, complex computing space. How are businesses navigating there and I guess as an advisor to businesses, how do you get involved in the selection of appropriate tools?
Jay: Yeah. We do a lot of that tools recommendation for big brands. I’m also a pretty active angel investor, so I have an equity stake in a couple dozen of those marketing tech vendors. I’m not a passive observer of the scenario. The challenge is that, all of those marketing techs vendors do part of what marketers need to have done. Nobody does everything, even the big software stacks and the marketing cloud suites. While they theoretically can do everything, they don’t do everything best of breed. A lot of people don’t want to buy into a stack, because then you’re stuck in a stack anyway. We have what my friend, Mark Shaffer, often calls and I think it’s particularly apt, malignant complexity at this point in marketing. It’s become so complex that it actually starts to cause problems, not solve problems.
There’s no way all of these marking tech companies are going to make it, but I don’t think we’re actually going to see a contraction of the industry. A lot of people say, “Well, we have 2,000 now, but within 3 years, we’re going to have 500. I don’t believe that. I think we’ll still have 2,000, but it’ll be a different 2,000. They will come and just like a restaurant. Sometimes you’ve got that one corner in your town that every six months it’s a different restaurant. I think we’ll have the same thing in marketing tech. Somebody will fade away and somebody else will crop up. I think this will be the new normal and it creates a lot of challenges for CMOs because they have a bigger job to do than just understand software. The other problem that I find day to day and you probably see this too, Adam, is that you’ve got 2,000 marketing techs vendors and about 7 of them are good at actually telling their own story.
Jay: If you go and look at the website copy of these guys, they don’t even know what business they’re in and they certainly can’t articulate it. So making software selections is actually really challenging now and it’s actually one of I think most valuable things that our firm does, is help people wade through all that BS and say, “Yeah, these guys aren’t actually good and these guys actually are good.”
Adam: Sure. Jay, I guess a necessary effect of that, are you seeing and again, getting involved in complex IT integrations, whether that’s between pure marketing tools or marketing tools talking to CRM platforms or even call Hall of Business platforms?
Jay: We don’t do too much of that work in my firm, but we’re certainly on the margins of a lot of that work, and you nailed it. Where you typically see is in data transfer and data storage. What is the customer record store and where is that unified view of the customer? Because ultimately unless you have that, you’ll never reach the mountain top from a marketing or customer service perspective. Historically, of course, as you know, that data that information about the customer has been placed into a variety of different platforms that are inoperable. Now, you either have to connect previously inoperable systems or go buy a new system that allows different parts of the enterprise to tap into it and do what they need to have done because it’s where you get sales forces initiative, IBM, Oracle, folks like that. We absolutely are on the margins of a lot of that, but being primarily a marketing oriented and customer service oriented company, we’re not systems integrators. Thank God.
Adam: Yeah. Sure. With EchoJunction is born out of NSP IT systems integrator, so it’s the language I’ve historically spoken, and I think, the serious point is what you talked about. If CMOs and CIOs and others don’t collaborate and think in advance, suddenly you’ve just got a spaghetti junction mess of disparate systems, silos, and you lose the one version of the truth. I think with the variety and complexity of tools increases the need for some serious thinking and planning and blueprinting before different departments are rushing off and bolting on tools.
Jay: Yeah, and having a third party to do that is, in my estimation, particularly intelligent because you or your organization can look at it perhaps with a little bit of future casting and also unencumbered by political realities and water under the bridge and all the things that happen at beginner price companies. You can say, “Look, I don’t have skin in this game, I don’t have to operate this software, but I can tell you the things to look out for.” I would certainly recommend that big organizations have some third party help when they’re thinking through, “What’s this going to look like in five years? Are we essentially boxing ourselves into a corner?”
Adam: Sure. I guess just bringing some of these themes together, Jay, I’ll just read out some departments which I’m guessing 10 or let’s say 20 years ago, were all absolutely separate silos in a business sales, marketing, PR customer support, customer attention, business intelligence, analytics. The more we talk about the topics we’ve talked about, these worlds just seem to be converging, at the very least sales and marketing. Again, what’s your view of where we’re heading there and I guess where should we be heading in terms of convergence of some of those functions?
Jay: It’s a challenge to make it happen, mostly because we’ve got legacy order charts. I think if you just showed up on this planet right now, you beamed yourself down from Mars or something, and you had no history on how businesses have been structured and somebody said to you, “Hey, here’s how we do it. We’ve got one department that handles pre-sales demand generation. Then we have a department that actually takes that demand generation and harnesses it and gets somebody to part with their money. Then we have a third department that deals with people after they’ve given us money to see if they have any problems.” You would take a look at that from afar and say, “That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard of. That’s the least efficient, most ridiculous system ever.” The fact that we ever had separate departments for marketing, sales, and customer service is in retrospect insane. The fact that social and mobile are forcing organizations to blur those lines is a painful transition, but ultimately someday, we’re going to look back at this and say it’s the greatest thing that ever happened.
Adam: I agree and I think it’s forcing us to make some sensible changes in terms of bringing some of those functions together. Jay, just starting to being cognizant and respectfully of your time, just a couple questions I want to knock off if we can. I guess just escalate back to the bigger picture with March, 2015. What are some of the headline trends you’re seeing in the social media landscape?
Jay: There’re always new trends because it moves so quickly, but a couple that I would point to. Certainly, the exhilaration of video as the unit of content in social is amazing. Facebook is gunning for You Tube as the primary video platform. Twitter has made a bunch of moves on video just in the last 30 or 60 days. It wasn’t that long ago that if you were going to hire a community manager for your brand, you’d be looking at somebody who had a writing or an English background and now, you’re looking at people who are video producers. That’s in 12 or 18 months. That is a sea change. People don’t want to read anymore. They’re holding their smartphones and if they can get that content through a short video, they will do that and that requires a lot of businesses to really think differently about what their day to day social media operations are. I think that’s a pretty fascinating change.
Then the other piece of that is that companies are starting to understand that ultimately, the best conveyance mechanisms for their message are not necessarily the brands themselves. It’s not necessarily their organization putting out content. It’s their employees and their customers, and so what we call co-operative content in my organization is certainly something that we’re watching a lot, where you’ve got user generated content and what we call EGC, employee generated content, that those are really the best ways to succeed today. That requires a lot of operational changes, but can be really, really effective.
Adam: That’s great and before we get to the quick fire round Jay, final question, would you be brave enough to make any looking 5, 10 years out at the digital social landscape, any forecast? Any headline trends that you’re expecting to see?
Jay: This isn’t my trend. I’m just going to agree with the trend that Gartner put out a few years ago, but I really think it will come true that websites will be the AM radio of the Internet. That you’ll have a website, but nobody will really care and nobody will really use it. That it will all be a collection of purpose built mobile apps, primarily video based, and that all customer service will be real time. It will be always there. You just push a button in the air and a face will pop up and you’ll have a video chat with that individual. It’s all going to be right now and it’s all going to be hyper personalized and it’s mostly going to be video.
Adam: Okay. I love that websites are becoming the AM radio. That’s great. Thanks for that Jay. I just want to finish off with the EchoJunction quick fire round. Are you ready for this?
Jay: I am ready for the quick fire round.
Adam: Hang on to your hats. Jay Baer, question number 1: if you could only use one social network for the next 30 days for any purpose, which would you choose and why?
Jay: I thought a lot about this question Adam, because I felt like I owed it to myself to come up with some obscure answer, being social media guy, and say like Meerkat or something, but I think I would actually say Facebook only because it does the most things, it has the most ornaments on the Christmas tree. Also because the larger percentage of my friends and family members who are not in the business, who are not in marketing or technology, are on Facebook. If I really wanted to stay in touch with people who don’t do what I do for a living, I would probably have to say Facebook, as much as I don’t love it. I don’t love Facebook, but grudgingly I will answer Facebook.
Adam: Nobody got sacked for picking IBM answer to question one, but that’s okay. Facebook.
Jay: That’s right.
Adam: The question two, Jay, what is…I’m very interested to hear this, the most influential and impactful business book you’ve ever read?
Jay: It’s a small business book and so it may not be terribly appropriate, but it was the most impactful for me and it’s called E Myth. It’s all about working on your business instead of in your business. It’s a book, E Myth stands for the entrepreneurs’ myth. It’s something that I recommend to anybody who has ever started a business or thought about starting a business because it shows you how to transition from, “I need to do everything” to “You need to find a bunch of smart people and get out of their way.”
Adam: I’m sorry, who’s the author of that book?
Jay: The author of that book, let me look it up, because he has a bunch of co-authors and so I want to make sure I cite it correctly. Hold on. We’re using the Internet, which is not yet AM radio. Michael Gerber.
Adam: Got it.
Adam: Okay. Jay, final question, it’s Saturday morning in Australia. We’ve been heavy talking CMOs and CIOs and enterprises. Let’s end with, if you’re on a desert island, other than food and water, what three items would you take with you? And I will allow that to be Wi-Fi on this island. Tools are allowed.
Jay: All right. I gave this a lot of thought. Knowing that you’re in Australia, I was going to say a Rabbitohs jumper, but because I am Rabbitohs supporter, but I really said, “Okay. Now, how can I get the maximum amount of benefit out of this?” You have graciously in the set up for your question, supplied food and water. I think I really figured, “Okay, if I go iPad mini, solar charger.
Jay: Waterproof case.
Adam: You are just thinking ahead.
Jay: I think I’m good to go. I’ve got movies. I’ve got photos. I can keep in touch with my friends. I’ve got games. I’ve got all kinds of You Tube videos and instructional things, like how to fight off a shark or whatever. I thought that that would be the best approach for me.
Adam: Now, interested iPad mini, not iPad. What’s the thinking there?
Jay: I prefer the iPad mini because you can hold in one hand. If you do have to fight off a shark, the ability to hold it with one hand is I think a definitive factor.
Adam: Jay, I appreciate the thought you clearly gave to that question. It’s been an honor to have you on the EchoJunction podcast. Jay, where would you like to send people who want to learn a bit will bet you and your activities?
Jay: Thanks so much. It’s been really my pleasure to be here. Terrific show, great questions. I’d love to come back sometime. Lots of places to find me. Probably the easiest is to go to www.convinceandconvert.com. You’ll find our blog, all of our podcast, our daily e-mail newsletters, etc. Also, if you’re interested in podcast and you probably are if you’re listening to the show, you might want to visit my other site, which is www.marketingpodcasts.com, which is Google for marketing podcasts. We have 600 shows in the database. It’s super fantastic.
Adam: That’s great. Jay, thanks so much for being with us.
Jay: My pleasure.
Adam: There we go, Mr. Jay Baer. I hope you enjoyed that interview and took a lot out of it. I know I certainly did. No surprises with someone of Jay’s caliber. Lots of incredible insights into the state of social and digital. Some really interesting analysis on a range of topics. Great stuff. Thank you once again to Jay for being on the show, and I will absolutely take Jay up on his offer to come on the podcast in the future.
Check out the show notes for this podcast with Jay Baer.