We have two special treats in the RSS feed for loyal marketing listeners – a What if? So What? podcast drop with Alan as a guest and a Bonus episode with the hosts of What if? So What?, Kim Williams-Czopek and Jim Hertzfeld, asking Alan his own questions he asks all his guests.
What if the key to digital success is getting back to basics? An Interview With Alan Hart.
This is a special feed drop from What if? So what? podcast. Check them out! Episode embedded below.
In this episode, Kim talks with Alan Hart, creator, and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” about why he thinks marketing teams need to be blown up, re-organized, and get back to basics to succeed in today’s environment.
Connect with Alan Hart, the creator, and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders.
Alan answers his own questions he asks all his guests
Alan thought it would be fun to turn the tables. So today, Kim and Jim are going to pose questions to Alan.
- Kim asks Alan, you are a seasoned marketer now, but what experience of your past defines and makes up who you are today?
- Alan talks about his personal experience and family background. He and his dad had a great relationship; more importantly, it taught him empathy to better understand people as a marketer. And since then, what is going on in certain situations, he calls it his Spidey sense. The other thing that happened to Alan in his professional career was mentors or people along the way.
- Alan was a psych major in undergrad. Alan had two companies. He sold one, and the other one was struggling. He used to scan documents for coursepacks at the college. One of his colleagues Mandy Hurt, recognized his talent, and she played a very important role in shaping Alan’s career.
- Jim asks Alan, what advice would you give to your younger self if you could go back in time and share it?
- It wasn’t until grad school Alan learned about networking, and Alan hates that term because it sounds dirty.
- The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill the Business School there they brought in a speaker, Keith Ferrazzi, who wrote Never Eat alone, which is a book Alan recommended to a lot of people, and he spoke to our class and just knowing what the power of meeting people can do for you; learning from their experiences is also building your network.
- As per Jim, networking is about learning about others, going back to building empathy, understanding how to relate to different people, communicating in different ways.
- Today, Kim asks, what one topic, if not networking, do you believe marketers need to be learning more about?
- Most marketers are not engineers, but there are some, says Alan.
- According to Alan, anything related to system dynamics or systems thinking is the study of complex systems and how they drive specific outcomes.
- Marketing is a complex system, and we are trying to achieve an outcome that is not linear in many cases, and if we could learn from that type of thinking, we could build better marketing systems.
- Jim asks Alan, if you step back from your perspective, what brands, companies, or clothes do you follow or think others should notice?
- Alan praises the marketing approach of Lindt chocolate and how they have maintained consistency across the years.
- There are marketing teams that change things because they get bored with it versus trying to figure out whether the approach is working for their customers or not, says Kim.
- Alan interviewed Raja Rajamanar, the MasterCard CMO, and he calls it “new bride” syndrome, where a new CMO comes in and says, oh, I’ve got to change everything.
- Kim asks, what is the largest opportunity or threat to marketers today if not new bride syndrome?
- Some of the things that have impressed me the most are those highly successful team’s organizations who always have some sort of consistent reflection that goes on to help them focus and figure out how to get to the next level or improve says, Alan.
3 Key Points
- Alan talks about his sense of resiliency and how he depends on himself to get things done.
- The book (Never Eat Alone) changed the trajectory of Alan’s career, and he since got to cross paths with Keith in real life, and then they worked together for a little bit of time. So, it was like a bucket list item.
- The Brain and Behavior Research Institute focuses a lot on raw research, and 100% of any donations they get go directly to the research because a family fund underwrites their operations, says Alan.
- “It kind of echoes something I thought about in this question, which is kind of building an understanding of people’s needs. I always thought that was one of the understated values of networking – it’s you.” – Jim
- “The best way to network is to help somebody, honestly if you bring that to networking, you can do a great job, and you will meet a lot of interesting people along the way.” – Alan
- “We need to constantly get better and reflect on what is working and what is not working.” – Alan
- Alan Hart: Linkedin
- Mandy Hurt & Alan Johnson
- Never Eat Alone (book) by Keith Ferrazzi
- The Culture Code (book) by Daniel Coyle
- Gregg Popovich – breaking down his success
- Systems dynamics and systems thinking
- Roger Martin (academic, thinker), When More is Not Better (book)
- Lindt Chocolate Advertising
- Shaker & Spoon (subscription box)
- Brain & Behavior Research Institute (research organization)
- MAPS (research organization)