Seth Godin at Ad World 2021! If you haven't heard of him, just type "Seth" into Google and his blog will be on page one. We are not even kidding. Seth is one of those people who just merged the creativity and innovation within marketing, with such revolutionary insights into the minutiae of human behaviour. Like Malcolm Gladwell, he is one of those people who finds the quirks, and the bits that others missed, and shows you why they are actually the most important bits.
OK, we are fanning out just a bit here, but this was a great talk. The format was actually an interview, which drew out a lot of key insights, and we hope conferences do this a bit more in future as "keynotes" can often be dry unless the speaker is really skilled in public speaking and communication strategies.
Seth (yes, we are on first name terms) is so down to earth and authentic that his lessons and insights always resonate. He really just cuts through the noise, telling us to stop trying so hard to "sell average stuff to average people". He raised an interesting point when he said that TV and Radio were actually created to run ads in, but the internet was not. This means that advertising online can often feel annoying, unwanted and forced. A balance must be found between privacy and personalization.
Flying in the face of the established norms, he tells us not to aim for massive scale. "Get selective", says Seth, and find your tribe. Find people who want to come with you and stop trying to force people into a conversion funnel.
If you are good at what you do, have integrity and passionate about what you do, people will talk about you.
"You will know you are doing well if people miss you when you're gone" sounds simple but is such a powerful message to check in with yourself and ask what difference am I actually making to people's lives?
Seth ended with a phrase we won't forget: "Stop trying so hard to convert and try harder to be yourself". We won't tell you what he said about Clubhouse. You'll have to ask him yourself.
We love video, and if the presenter of this talk, Chris Erthel, was correct, then so do you. We all know video is king when it comes to content, but it was great to hear a bit more about what really appeals to us in an age where we are really reaching saturation point with the content coming our way, and all of the things competing for our attention.
We have never liked the clickbait stuff. "You'll never guess what happened next" is not something you will ever see to introduce a NEO video, but we did like some of the ideas in here.
Build suspense with the "heartbeat" technique, which means changing the visual every 1.5 seconds. Definitely effective. Use Humour...also great but what is funny in Germany isn't always raising a smile in Peru, so that can be tricky. Use bold statements and ask questions are again very good suggestions, but certainly not anything new.
Our key takeaway from this was to make sure passion comes through in your video content, and to use the pattern interrupt technique, which is when there is a new twist on the familiar and shows the viewer something they did not expect. Passion is something that should always come through if you really are doing something you care about, and people will be able to see that easily as authentic and unforced in any video. We are neurologically hardwired to detect a false note, such as when politicians pretend to cry on television. Only use passion if you mean it. A new twist on the familiar is also excellent. The brain is very good at pattern prediction, because that kind of thing keeps us alive. When that predicted pattern is broken and something different happens, the pre frontal cortex jumps in to really pay attention and process every aspect of what's happening.
If you want to get someone's attention and get them to remember something and be present with you, get past the lazy brain and talk directly to the boss. The prefrontal cortex is definitely in charge.
Oh, and Chris said the best time to post this was just after lunch. Time zones complicate this a lot, but we'll give this a try. Next week's #NEOchats is coming up at 2pm on Thursday instead of 9am, and we'll tell you if more people watch it.
No, we're not going to start talking about Facebook ads or 2021 updates related to the iOS14 changes. Patrick Wind already did that in his talk, and it was fantastic. We are giving space here instead to say that Patrick himself is a fascinating example of someone who is just out there innovating and doing some things that are worth dedicating a proper discussion to.
We're on it. Very soon, we are going to share the lowdown on an online course created by Patrick, and we're doing this because we are taking this course ourselves, and it is extraordinarily enjoyable. In a world where so many online courses just lack pizzazz and leave us feeling that we should have just done something else with our time and money, this one really works. So check back soon for our reflections on why this learning experience works so well, and what other education institutions might take away from this. Being at Ad World 2021 reminded us just how creative the world of marketing is, and that despite all the noise about funneling and selling, converting, and cajoling, the best thing to do is find something you care about, find others who care about it too, and keep doing it well. The rest will follow.