Using Simplicity In Marketing To Drive Results

June

9

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“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” - Leonardo Da Vinci This is one of my favorite quotes. When it comes to marketing, so many of us overcomplicate it at the expense of results. We’ve got an amazing special guest today, Brian Wallace from Now Sourcing, to discuss simplicity with marketing.

Join Tim Fitzpatrick and Brian Wallace for this week’s episode of The Rialto Marketing Podcast!

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Using Simplicity In Marketing To Drive Results

Tim Fitzpatrick
Leonardo Da Vinci said, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." This happens to be one of my favorite quotes. When it comes to marketing, so many of us overcomplicate marketing at the expense of our results. We've got an amazing special guest with us today to discuss Simplicity with marketing. Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing, where we believe you must remove your revenue roadblocks to accelerate growth, and marketing shouldn't be difficult. I am super excited to have with me today Brian Wallace from Now sourcing. Brian, welcome and thanks for being here.

Brian Wallace
Hey, Tim. Pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, absolutely. I know we talked off air. You've been off for a couple of weeks for Passover, so welcome back. Thanks for spending this first initial time back with me.

Brian Wallace
Yeah. Usually when I'm offline this much, I'm a little bit much. Not that I'm rusty, but it's just like I haven't been peopleing in this regard for a while. So if it gets a little weird, that's what the live streams are for. And if it looks like I'm doing other things in the background here, I'm not multitasking, I'm multitasking on you because I'm sharing to my Facebook about your Facebook Live and LinkedIn about your LinkedIn Live.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome, man. I appreciate it. It's going to be fun. So before we jump into talking about simplicity with marketing, I want to ask you a few rapid fire questions, help people get to know you a little bit. You ready to jump in with both feet here?

Brian Wallace
Yeah.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay. When you're not working, how do you like to spend your time?

Brian Wallace
Boy, when I'm not working, chances are I'm sleeping. I also have a large family. I'm a person of faith, so I like to keep myself grounded when it comes to that. I enjoy films, I enjoy music, I enjoy nature a lot. I think a lot of the world gets obsessed with tech, and a lot of times when I'm not working, I'm happy to not be in front of this thing.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes. Yeah, you and me both. What would you say is your hidden talent?

Brian Wallace
Hidden talent? Well, I think it's the simplicity thing that we're talking about here, not to take away from the actual show header. But you said it, or Leonardo DA Vinci said it well, that a lot of people overthink things, and that's not how we actually think. Malcolm Gladwell in his book Blank talks about this a lot. Just really, the ability of intuition or wisdom or knowledge attained over time allows you to cut through some of the nonsense because there's two paths in life, or at least in your business life, that you could pick. One is that you look really fancy and I can put on a bow tie instead of a regular shirt like I'm wearing today for a live stream, and I can look all fancy and I can have a fancy lexicon of knowledge that nobody really understands, and I get you completely lost in a sea of acronyms and words that a few people understand. Or instead of trying to get into some mental debate with somebody that doesn't really understand what we're talking about, I can explain it to you like the internet say, I'm five. We're not insulting people, but we're making it clear that when people are confused, in the world of sales, say this a lot, when a person has a confused mind, they say no. So whether we're talking about sales, whether we're talking about marketing, whatever we're talking about, when you're trying to communicate a message with somebody and you're just going to over tax their brain. Instead of communicate on their level, you're going to get people to lose. I like to say that simplicity is my gift in the sense that lots of the world's most innovative companies come to me and they have these really complicated messages that they want to share to people. And a lot of times by the time they explain it to me, I'm able to recast what they are trying to explain to me in a simpler matter to understand, to help them connect to their audiences. And I know this is supposed to be rapid fire. So if you want me to.

Tim Fitzpatrick
No, it's all good. It's all good. I love it. And we're going to dig into simplicity, which is near and dear to my heart as well. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Brian Wallace
Best piece of advice, man

Tim Fitzpatrick
There's a lot of it. I usually tell people, I'm like, Hey, what's the first thing that comes to mind?

Brian Wallace
Man, I don't even know. I think make incremental progress every day is the one that we're going to go with right now.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That's a good one. Did you ever read the book The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson?

Brian Wallace
No, but I'm making a note. What is it? The Slight Edge?

Tim Fitzpatrick
The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. He talks about that concept there. It's the seemingly little insignificant things that we do each and every day that help us either reach success exponentially or go downhill exponentially. Are we making the right little choices or the wrong little choices each and every day? That's what that reminds me of. What's one thing about you that surprises people?

Brian Wallace
That I look like a regular person and sometimes I say things that are utterly absurd. I think I tell my little girl a lot when it comes to that. I guess it's unexpected. I look like I'm just supposed to be this real strait laced corporate American guy. I used to be a corporate suit in a former life, so I guess I get to play both ends of that, which is fun, at least in my own mind.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What does success mean to you?

Brian Wallace
What does success mean? Well, who said this one? Frank Sinatra, maybe? That the best revenge is massive success. I think that the world is very distorted when it comes to a lot of metrics when it comes to this. So a lot of people measure it in how big is your office? How many people in your team? What is your revenue? And this and that. But are you actually happy and fulfilled in what you're doing in all the dimensions of your life? We keep playing author bingo here. So let's go with James Clear on this one. Okay. People know James Clear from Atomic Habits. But James Clear also has other stuff to say, as you can imagine, because he's a smart guy. And he talks about the four burner theory of life, which I'm probably going to butcher because I don't have it up on the screen in front of me. And like I said, I'm just coming back from a long time without all this peopleing and live streaming. So let me try my best. So invision in your mind's eye, if you will, or run off into the kitchen, if you will. I'm pulling it that way because my kitchen is that way and I'm working from home and that's today's world of offices.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes.

Brian Wallace
Now, imagine your stove. A traditional stove has four burners, nothing complicated. And those are your four dimensions of life, one of which is your health, one of which is business, one of which is family, one of which I think he says is spiritual. So the reality is that you never get to use all four burners. And really, I think you get to use three, but most people over burn on the one burner and they just work themselves to death. So I think learning how to cook for everybody and use all of the available burners to keep everything humming efficiently is good. I feel like we all have seasons when we must have sprints where certain things are going to be more or less urgent. But I think a lot of the urgency allocation falls on us. The onus is on us to protect ourselves because as Steven Covey would tell us in the four quadrant system, we should be taking care of that quadrant two stuff. For those of you who can imagine the X, Y axis over here. I guess I should go this way for the camera. X, Y axis over here where your top right is the stuff that is not yet urgent but important. That's all the futuristic stuff that you should be working on. Not all of the things on fire, not all the things that are time vampires and people sucking away at your life, and not just endless emergencies.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Where's your happy place?

Brian Wallace
Where's my happy place? That's a good one. Where's my happy place? There's a lot of ways I could answer that. I actually went to Israel for the first time in January, and wow, blew my mind. Guess I said for the first time. So I think we're going to go with that.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I love it. What qualities do you value in the people you spend time with?

Brian Wallace
Man, trust and loyalty. I think a lot of people can be clever and intelligent, and a lot of them are sociopaths. I was just at a meeting and I found that I was having a discussion about how do we not let sociopaths in our circle? So I really am into trust and loyalty. So a lot of people do business with me or travel with me around the world at conferences, on stages, on the internet, and you'll see, even just the people who are liking the stuff that we're just live streaming right now probably have been following me or in some communication with me for a year, two years, five years, depending on where they saw me. Some people have been watching me on the internet for a decade and a half or more. I think that given all of the talents that are in the world, there's such a lack of trust in today's world. Social media networks certainly aren't helping. Politicians aren't really doing a great job. The media networks certainly aren't. If I may diverge on that for a second.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Sure. Yeah, absolutely.

Brian Wallace
I think is the dictionary that comes out with the dictionary of the Year every year where they come up with a new word thing. I guess even dictionaries need to be viral these days or something. I don't know. Well, we love your dictionary people because words are important and precision of words and using the right words is important. I believe there last year or the year before, sometime in the time of work that is the COVID years or the post-COVID years or whatever we're going to say there, they said that there's a thing called goblin mode. And goblin mode is not a nice thing to say about humanity. Goblin mode is our lowest echelon of no longer practicing self care, whether we're talking about mental, literal, rooming, showering, you name it, sitting around in sweatpants, never getting dressed again, don't go out anymore. So basically looking like a giant goblin, if you will, even if you don't like fantasy genre stuff. What I found at this major world conference, and a lot of interactions I've had lately, Tim and anybody listening, when was the last time anybody out there said, Hey, Tim, how are you today? And Tim just said, Fine. That veneer of false dialog has not been a thing since at least 2019. So rest in peace when it comes to that. So if the global pandemic did anything good, at least it got us a little bit more real. Or people who don't know how to be real and don't know how to be authentic and don't know how to understand that life, business or otherwise, is not transactional, it's relational. So really understanding that so much of the world is still stuck in that goblin mode, whereas I noticed at this major world festival, I haven't released some of my new stories on it yet, so I don't want to spoil the punchline, but I will say at least this, the human mind is still stuck in goblin mode, even if we're dressed up better. I may be wearing a shirt, but does that mean that I'm fine? Does that mean that I'm whole? Does that mean that I am the way that I was before? I don't think that we're going back to the way things were. I think that we've found a new way to communicate. And the people who really, truly understand the art of communication and understand the value of these relationships and the value of having that level of communication or being able to create a sense of trust and intimacy and not as a fake thing that you shouldn't really trust them, but an action thing where they can feel safe and they can trust you is rare. And that's sad to me.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. I love how you mentioned life is relational. It's so easy for us to overlook that sometimes. But it's, gosh, I mean, in our personal and our business lives, the relationships that we build and we foster are absolutely critical. So tell me a little bit more about what you're doing with Now Sourcing. This has been in this business for a while.

Brian Wallace
Yeah, 17 years this August.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Good for you.

Brian Wallace
So I think that counts as a while. I think that's good. We're still doing it. I feel like a lot of businesses fail in their first year and certainly by their seventh year. Are we doing exactly what we used to do? No. But I think although we've been through a few iterations, I think we've really fine tuned our niche in the sense that we are a real global name in the industry these days, which is pretty cool. So if we roll it all the way up to what we are, I would say that we loosely fall under content marketing. So if you Google the world's top content marketing agencies I could Google it now, but like I said, we're not multitasking, we're on your show right now, so come on. So you'd find this global rating system and you'd find that our company is probably number one, two or three in the world out of the 20,000 or so that they rank. More specifically, we really wrote the book on visual storytelling and infographics, or as we like to say, simplicity, because rather than over explaining stuff in the details that do not matter because we haven't developed that sense of trust and relationship, we help focus on the emotional side and on the visual side of the brain that actually cares about what we're doing before we understand a bit more to get to that level of trust. Another way that I like to say it is that we make the world's ideas better by making them simple, visual, and influential. We can talk about the influence side later, but so far, we've really been focused and fine tuned on the simplicity side and on the visual side.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love the fact that you said we've had multiple iterations. I don't know how you can be in business for 17 years and not have multiple iterations. Man, things are constantly changing. The market's evolving. And if we're going to thrive, we've got to morph and adapt.

Brian Wallace
Yes and no. Let's play Devil's advocate, shall we?

Brian Wallace
Sure. Please.

Tim Fitzpatrick
There's a reason to what you're saying because a lot of times there is a very large cost to pivot because one, it might not work. And two, you might look like an idiot if you're constantly changing course. When Bitcoin went down, everybody threw their NFTs in the garbage, and then all of a sudden they were VR or now ChatGPT experts or something. And it's like, you can tell when somebody is just a trend wave writer, and I don't think that's enough. I think that you shouldn't just immediately jump on a trend. You should always be mindful of it. So I like to spend a lot of time on research and development or what I like to call visioneering to see what's next. So a lot of people would say I'm in the infographics business or I'm in the content marketing business. I never look at it like that. I look at what is the future of influence on the internet. I actually have a better word than influence because there's too many people that are called influencers that have burned that word to the ground. Remember, Fyre Festival?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah.

Brian Wallace
Did you know that guy's out of prison and he's in the middle of working on Fyre Festival 2, allegedly?

Tim Fitzpatrick
I didn't know that.

Brian Wallace
I just saw that literally this morning. I'm like, Is this a joke? Is this a parity account? No, it's actually the guy. I don't know if.

Tim Fitzpatrick
It's crazy.

Brian Wallace
I'm going to throw a different word there because I do believe that the world of influence is important. If you are an individual and you're trying to get on stages, if you're a company and you're trying to sell product, if you're a politician and you're trying to run for office, obviously you need some level of influence. But like I said, influence, as a word, has been completely scorched or burned to the ground, ruined. There is a wonderful word, it sounds a little timey, but give me a chance, because I'm looking at that, called renown. So if somebody is renowned, they're probably not a scam artist. So a Ponzi scheme that goes to jail could be influential but probably isn't well respected, or maybe is a well respected con artist or something, but that's too weird. Like I said, I'm going to be a little extra today.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That's all good.

Brian Wallace
So you get what I'm saying. Just because somebody has influence doesn't mean that it's automatically positive. And very often we find that the people we trust don't deserve it. But if somebody is a person of renown, that means that they are influential, but they themselves are respected and should be trusted. That's what we need to go with.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love that. It's an interesting twist on it. Because like you said, there's just so many people that are calling themselves influencers. And sometimes, honestly, I don't even know what to think.

Brian Wallace
Just call yourself it today.

Why People Overcomplicate Marketing

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, that's it. When it comes to marketing, when I initially got into business, the start of my professional career was in the early to mid '90s. At the time, websites were informational brochures. I think the fundamentals of marketing haven't changed. Those won't change. But gosh, there are so many more marketing channels today. Why do you think so many of us overcomplicate marketing?

Brian Wallace
Because most of it is BS. There's just so many things to focus on. Let's look at it from the POV of the business owner or the small business owner. These people are hopelessly getting spammed on every possible network and email everywhere they go, ads, ads everywhere. And everybody's an expert and take my course and do this thing and blah, blah, blah. And everybody's just pitching what they want. And you have no idea if you know if they're good. I mean, it is a mess. So a lot of it comes to expertise. So, oh, well, ChatGPT is big this week, and artificial intelligence is big this week, and virtual reality is big this week. So everybody thinks that they have to run and be everywhere. And if you find even the people who are great at, let's say, Facebook or LinkedIn or TikTok or ads or content marketing or infographics or Lead Gen or B2B or whatever it is, you'll find that the experts don't spend all day on every single network doing every single thing. So I think a lot of this is alchemy. A lot of this is trial and error. A lot of it has to do with the skill and personality of you and your extended team. So I am very big into organic and earned and not ads and not outbound. Ideologically, if I'm good and I can get everybody to come to me, including some of the largest companies in the world, why should I do the other things? Again, I'm not selling somebody on something. I'm just explaining my rationale. I haven't spent a dollar on advertising, and I don't even remember at least a decade, probably 15 years, who knows, some ridiculous amount of time. And that's okay. But a lot of companies, when they haven't built their reputation, they're just like, Well, I have to try this. I have to try this. I have to try this. A lot of people, they just get wrapped up in, Well, we have to get this many likes. And they don't really look at the KPIs and they don't look at it from a business fundamentals lens. We're just all busy focusing on the stats that do not matter. And for what?

Tim Fitzpatrick
I talk about this all the time. Do you.

Brian Wallace
Want to do something fancy or do you want to actually do something that matters?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Tracking the vanity metrics and not really digging deep to look at, Well, are those metrics actually driving leads in business for us? If they're not, then what's the point?

Brian Wallace
And a lot of them can be artificially generated.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I think you brought up a couple of things here that I think are super important. You talked about trial and error. One of the things I... Look, marketing, the reality is a lot of marketing people do is not going to work, but you got to test. You're testing things, you're learning, and you're making course corrections. You also talked about, Look, I focus on organic and earned. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. I think a lot of people see all these marketing channels and feel like they've got to be everywhere. And the reality is we do not. We need to make choices and choose those channels that we're going to focus on. You can always expand out, but you got to focus. I think it's so important to... A lot of people struggle with overcomplication because they have no plan. They're just their winging it. When we wing it, if we don't have a plan and we don't know what our priorities are, we don't have clarity, and it's very easy to get distracted. Tomorrow, when I see somebody on LinkedIn or wherever it is saying, I got to do this, it's very easy to chase that and go down that path. What are your thoughts on that?

Brian Wallace
Let's talk about the word focus right now because a lot of people suffer from a lack of it. But here's the thing. I don't know if you've noticed, but the world is like falling off of a financial cliff. Silicon Valley Bank and a couple of other banks melted down, followed by basically all of Switzerland. I'm still trying to understand that one. All this to say, and this isn't the doom and gloom podcast, right? I think you've a better thing to learn. So the reality that I'm trying to convey here is companies are worried about the bottom line. Lots of companies are laying off. Entire industries are really getting hit hard and people are going out of business. But of the people who aren't that are spending time and focus and money and attention on marketing, all this comes to say that they have to do more with less. So they have to focus now. So if you had a hundred million dollar budget and now you have eight, well, you better make everything count because you don't have the runway to be sloppy anymore. Because any idiot with a pile of money can do something. Right? You ever hear the joke about the guy with a small fortune?

Tim Fitzpatrick
No.

Brian Wallace
Used to have a large fortune, right? Any of these people that are claiming success, yeah, if I had $10 million dollars to spend on TikTok ads, I'd have something to show for it. What's the most effective thing you should be doing?

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Why Delight is Such an Important Word in Marketing

Tim Fitzpatrick
As budgets shrink, we have to get hyper focused in what we're doing to make sure we maximize the return on that smaller budget. So how can we... Knowing that we have a tendency to overcomplicate, what are some of the things that we can do with marketing to keep it simple and drive results?

Brian Wallace
Let's think about this. I'm going to put my editorial hat slash yamaka on because I obviously don't have a good time. I find that everybody thinks that they're so special, and every company is so innovative, and it's incredible. The amount of superlatives that hit my inbox when it comes to the headline and their pitch is deafening. I barely run any of the pitches that people send to me because they're bad. They think that everything that they do is unique. And honestly, there's nothing new under the sun. I think that we have to be a bit more realistic as to the fact that a lot of the stuff that we all do is not remarkable. But how should we be known? How do we differentiate? There is a common thread. There is a reason that people hire you. I recall when doing an exercise when we were really building up a lot of reviews about our company. I had the team and we spent a lot of time really looking at word patterns and specific tonation about why do people like us? What is it about us? And beyond the results, what is it that you like working with the team? What characteristics are repeatable that make you stand out? And I don't think people are honest enough with themselves to really sit and think about how they're different. People just like to say, Well, we're the Uber of this, and we're going to 10 X that. And it's no, people don't care about that because all you're doing is just talking about some other company. How is it that you stand out? And how is it that we try to make more personal connections with whatever it is we're trying to influence? I know I said influence is a bad word, but in that usage, we're going to...

Tim Fitzpatrick
No, it's okay. Here's what I'm gathering from what you just shared. To keep things simple, we need to go back to the fundamentals. I think a lot of people skip fundamentals when it comes to marketing because it's so easy to just have this bias toward action. But if we're going to be successful long term, the marketing that we use, the vehicles we choose to use need to have fuel. To me, the fuel with marketing is understanding. You talked about your clients, your ideal clients, and why they chose to work with you, what makes you different, and all that. Once you understand who those ideal clients are, it starts to shift to, Okay, how are we different? But it's about your message, your marketing message. And to me, one of the things in your marketing message is how you're different and what you do and keeping that message simple. If we focus on those fundamentals, that I think makes all the other marketing activities you take much simpler at its base. Do you agree with that or do you think differently?

Brian Wallace
Well, I'm not a natural contrarian, but a lot of people tend to think that I think differently. I don't think differently from what you're saying, but I think that a lot of folks don't think enough about delight. I'm going to do the job and that's it. That's fine. As an example, I recently had a home service at my house yesterday. I thought my expectation was X because I was paying some small monthly amount for maintenance or membership, whatever it was. I thought there might have been something wrong. Lo and behold, luckily, nothing was wrong. And they're like, Hey, do you want us to do maintenance? Do you want us to do this and that? I'm like, Yeah, sure. While you're here, why not? So this is a company that never proactively, even though I'm paying monthly membership, ever calls me to schedule the servicing and stuff. That's red flag number one. Then the service person is here and says, Hey, would you like while I'm here to do diagnostics and this and that? I'm like, Yeah, sure. We pay monthly membership thing. Then they're like, Oh, well, you're not paying the such and such monthly membership, and that only includes the trip fee, and it's still going to be this much money. Because you have two of them, then it's a rule. I'm like, What? What are you talking? I'm not going to pay you anything for this. Just the principle of it. You're basically lining this up that you are a scam. And then I'm like, Well, listen, I'm just the tech. You're going to have to talk to the office. I'm like, Oh, boy, I know where this is going. Ring, ring. Okay, put it on with so and so. And then this person is almost berating me. And I'm getting, not really loud, but I'm getting a little frustrated. Not going to lie, I'm not being disrespectful, but I'm just like, Hey, I don't think you're really listening to me. I did a major purchase with you guys and I pay a monthly thing. What's going on here? Why are you trying to charge me money? Why did I pay all of the amount? It should be covered. And then I'm doing a membership thing. And they're like, Oh, well, that's just for so and so. And then they even just said something like, Well, I'm not responsible for that. I wasn't working here then. Just all these blow off answers. I felt that they were not listening to me at all and were waiting for me to just finish talking. I felt like I was crazy because, again, I was just coming back from work after two weeks. I'm like, am I being just absurd or is this just terrible? We're not even talking about reaching the baseline of average customer service and expectation of service. So there's no delight in that. And I think a lot of companies think that they have you behind the eight ball where it's like, Well, you're already in with us, so we can just treat you however? No, you really can't do that. Remember how I said we analyzed a lot of stuff that people said about us? One of the qualities, if you could have blood work of a company and look at its DNA, one of the things that comes out in the DNA is that we care. Not that we seem to care or that we come up with some little clever automated email or something, but people actually care about that. Wouldn't you know it? Since we've been quoting a lot of people, I think, hopefully, a lot of you who are listening to this have heard of Zit Xiglar, who was pretty incredible back in his day. It's been a few decades now. But he talks about that nobody really cares about what you have to sell or think or talk about until they know that you care about them. So why would you do what you do for... Unless you're being held against your will or something, why would you do something out there for everybody in the world if you don't actually care about them? It's highly obvious when you don't. You ever notice a lot of people leave five stars or one star? People are very passionate about when somebody cares about your company and about what you're trying to do for the world and when you don't.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Well, if you're going to delight your customers, clients, patients, whatever you call them, you have to first understand them and what they want and what they expect. Gosh, we could really go down a rabbit hole with this one, Brian, but I think this is an easy industry to focus on is the airline industry. When you talk about delight in the airline industry, man, there's a lot that are not and no airline is perfect. But when you look at the airline industry, does anybody like to pay baggage fees? Does anybody like to be charged extra to choose a specific seat that's still in economy? I don't know. What else is coming to mind in the airline industry?

Brian Wallace
No, we're going to go right there. I already have something locked and loaded, ready to go about the airfield. Okay, cool. I'm going to say a specific name because it's something of praise because I'm not here to throw people under the bus here. I get what you're trying to say, Tim, about nobody likes to pay these fees and this and that. But the reality is that airlines and their staff have so much autonomy that has nothing to do with how much you're paying to give you delight. I live in Cincinnati. I have lived in New York in the past. I'm pretty sure it was a short trip between here and there. Let's just say, I don't know. I've been traveling a lot lately. Let's just assume it's that one. And I was flying on Delta. And you ask different people, Oh, I like this one. I like this one. This mileage, this, this, this, that, whatever. And I remember the person saw I was Jewish and I guess assumed that I keep kosher. And I think before I even said anything about a snack, she took a look and there was a particular brand that Delta has called nuts.com. It's a very bright yellow and it has these cutesy little cartoons and stuff. She went out of her way to say, Hey, have this. This is kosher. She went and got me extra packs of it. I don't even know if she was giving that out as part of some of the other snacks. It's like, Wow, to be like that on the ball, I was all over it. Literally while I was in flight, I'm like, Let me photograph this. I didn't want to photograph the person. I wanted to be in the picture or not. But let me immediately give credit to the airline and its resultant snack success. And everybody was jumping for joy. And it's like, Wow. What does it cost them to just throw somebody a dumb bag of 25 cent lemons? I shouldn't say they're dumb. They were actually pretty good. But you hear what I'm saying? It's like for something that costs nothing to them because they just have it all on the plane already.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. So she was paying attention. And she. Cared enough to act on that, right?

Brian Wallace
That's how you create delight. There's an unexpected level of overperformance just when you least expect it, which I guess is what I just said with unexpected, but yeah.

Tim Fitzpatrick
But for that to happen in an organization consistently, it has to be baked into the culture in some way, shape, or form.

Brian Wallace
It's really not that hard to do that. That's the thing. Everybody thinks that they have to throw a bunch of money at it or do something, but it really isn't. It's just that human level of interaction. There's a great book about this, by the way. There's a book called Be Like Amazon, Even a Lemonade Stand Can Do It by the Eisenberg Brothers and Roy G. Williams. The three people wrote it together. And it's just this awesome story about just how to really bring out this unexpected delight. And they go through all sorts of different companies that do it. And it's not that hard. I mean, here, I'll just tell you something that we do. So when we send somebody a contract, have you ever sent somebody a contract? Have you ever received a contract, whether it's for business or real estate, whatever it is, they're always so boring. They're just black and white. Nobody thinks about them. Every page, I guess we've changed it a little bit over the years, but every page used to just have ridiculous goofy graphics all over it, but it's highly visual. And people have said stuff like, Wow, I never thought to make this look good. It's like, Well, why can't it look good? I mean, you're signing your name digitally or otherwise on a thing to give us money. Can I at least try a little bit? Why is this so shocking? But it is. And why? Feel free to steal that, everybody. I'll come up with something else. But you hear what I'm saying? Yeah. It's absurd, right?

Tim Fitzpatrick
It's different. It catches people off guard and they remember it. Just like you remembered the flight attendant giving you kosher because she was paying attention. I love it. I want to add.

Brian Wallace
Something, but that I didn't even ask.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes, you didn't even ask.

Brian Wallace
Nobody said, Make the contract more visual. If you can come up with something amazing, or at least above average, that they didn't even ask, that's when you win. You've seen that I make these gigantic long form visual infographic things. But try this on for size. I have done it where... There was somebody in town that I became friends with and we were doing a whole campaign for them. I remember we met up for lunch not that long after we had deployed this whole campaign. And I went to a print shop and I got one of those gigantic long form vinyl banners, and I just rolled it out in front of him. It was like 6 feet tall. His eyes popped out of his head. And it's just like, Wow, I can't believe that. And how much did it cost? What is the price of delighting somebody that they can't believe it, and he probably has it sitting in his office on his wall or something forever? $20? It's hilarious. It doesn't mean that you have to have a huge money commitment, a huge time commitment. People just don't think about going the extra mile because, like we said before, they're just all wrapped up and trying to keep up with all the latest and greatest and not doing it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Well, which goes back to your point earlier about things being relational. Right. That's what you're doing. God, where did I read this? Yeah. Have you ever read Giftology?

Brian Wallace
Sure sounds like I should.

Tim Fitzpatrick
God, I... And I... Forgive me, I don't know. I didn't I cannot remember the author's name, but I was reading an excerpt from that where he talks about an instance there of something that he did... God, I hope I don't butcher this too bad.

Brian Wallace
I don't even know the book so you can't tell.

Tim Fitzpatrick
But it was such a great example of being relational and just doing something that most people would never think of to just build, continue to build that relationship and stand out. The guy that he was trying to connect with, he knew that he loved Brooks Brothers shirts and he knew that he was going to be meeting him. I guess he was coming to visit him or something. Well, he went in and he decked out the guy's hotel room like it was a Brooks Brothers showroom and said, Just pick and keep any of the shirts that you want. And the guy was absolutely...

Brian Wallace
I think I've heard of this story before.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. He was absolutely blown away. And he said, Look, I'm going to keep some of these shirts, but I'm going to pay for them. But after that, the guy was just like, Dude, anybody that I know that you want to meet, you just let me know.

Brian Wallace
His heart just melted because he's like, Wow, I could trust somebody like this. Again, you could be a sociopath that shows up with all the shirts and turn off the show right now. We're not giving you any ideas. Get out of here. But I think he knows, honestly, I feel like you could rename this podcast to Name a Book Showdown or something. I've got it. It reminds me of one that I think will also add value to this. Please keep going.

Tim Fitzpatrick
No, it's just as we talk, some of these things are popping into my head.

Brian Wallace
Can I throw one in before you go?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Please do.

Brian Wallace
There is a guy who is a Wall Street Journal columnist by the name of Stewart Hynek. Stewart wrote a pretty famous book called How to Get a Meeting with Anyone. It talks a lot about a lot of these tools and strategies. Something that he does that I think is really fascinating, because I said he's a Wall Street Journal, I think I said columnist, but I meant cartoonist. He makes all these little editorial cartoon things. If he wants to get a meeting with somebody, he can just literally send them art. They just keep it forever. Of course, they're going to call him back and stuff. It's amazing.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Does he send them one offs or caricatures?

Brian Wallace
A lot of times what he'll do is he'll have a standard template, but he'll change what it is. And it'll be something like, oh, man, I sure hope that I reach my 2023 goals to be like Tim Fitzpatrick. He could literally just have the same cartoon a hundred times, but you're going to keep it because you put a new name on it. I love it. Isn't that fascinating?


Exciting Trends in Marketing Right Now

Tim Fitzpatrick
I want to end by talking about... There's a lot going on with AI in the marketing space at this point. It's all most people can talk about. We don't have to talk about it. But I'm curious, just what are you most excited about in the marketing space right now?

Brian Wallace
Well, why don't we just go with AI? Because I feel like that's something that people need some help with. Because of what I do for a living, because I'm pretty narrow, the other sense of what I do is actually very wide. Imagine playing Trivial Pursuit and my company is the little thing with all the pie pieces in it. I get to play around with a lot of different kinds of markets and technologies. We've done stuff in the AI space, probably for at least the last five years, maybe more. I didn't just wake up one day and start playing with ChatGPT, right? I actually have a lot of stuff to say in the matter. I think AI is overhyped and we have not reached anywhere near its capacity of how it will be helpful in the future. Because here, let's say I told you that there was a box that I type in a question and then it answers me. I could be talking about ChatGPT or I could be talking about Google. So a lot of what we see is just it's looking up something on the internet for you and spitting it back. And often it's not even right because you're just feeding it the internet. If you're meet the internet? It's not always great. It's not always right. It's horrifying. So there's going to be probably some event horizon where we could get really weird. I'm going to not go all that way. But there's something called AGI, artificial general intelligence. So the systems aren't thinking for themselves. The thing that we should be thinking about, aside from all this generative AI, which in a lot of ways just ups the bar of mediocrity. So if you're stuck and you can't think of some ideas, you could go do that, but you can also Google it. I don't understand why people are so excited about that. But then again, I'm a specialist, so I have to think in a really world class capacity on stuff. I'm not really stuck in that capacity. I like thinking about artificial artificial intelligence. And no, I did not just stutter. Artificial artificial intelligence means the intelligence by the humans that is programmed into the artificial intelligence to making it seemingly artificially intelligent. Got that sentence? So once upon a time, for instance, there was something called the Google image labeler. Now you know what is Google images. Back in the day, let's say that Tim was in Singapore and Brian was in Cincinnati, and we didn't know each other and we're not talking to each other, but we both see a picture of people sunbathing on the beach, and there's some sea gulls flying in the air and the sun is out and the waves are going on, and there's a beach ball floating across the scene. So the program says, Okay, guys that don't know each other, tell me what's going on. And then when we have a commonality in what we are saying, it has some match pair that it considers intelligence. And that's what gets pushed into that. There's another guy named Louis Van Ahne, who's a professor at Carnegie Mellon, who invented the capcha. So that annoying thing where it's like human. I think it's like a TED Talk or something he gives on this. He talks about how he felt guilty that he was wasting millions of man hours of people filling out that box. Did you know that humanity, as an unpaid intern digitized the history of the New York Times of a hundred years? Because remember when there was that moment where it's like, I'm not a robot and put in this number and it was a picture? We were literally digitizing the archival records of The New York Times. It's really interesting to me a lot of what humanity can do to make some of these things grow at scale. Because a lot of times I wonder, is it giving you the right information? Is it giving you misinformation? Is it giving you biased information? While I appreciate what it could do for, let's say, somebody that English isn't their first language, and it says, ChatGPT, write a perfect email to my boss about a status update. Okay, great. We're definitely upping the game, but we're not really upping the game. We're just upping the bottom part of the bell curve, which is good, but not good enough. There you go. Thank you for coming to my AI TED Talk. There you go.

Conclusion: Using Simplicity In Marketing To Drive Results

Tim Fitzpatrick
This has been a great conversation, Brian. I've enjoyed it. Any last minute thoughts you want to leave us with today?

Brian Wallace
I want you all to think about some of the things that we talked about today about actually going to build relationships. I'm going to leave you with one thing to think about doing. Like I said earlier on, nobody's really been saying, Hey, how are you? I'm fine since at least 2019, which is however many years ago. We've stopped counting in how many years ago things were. You ever done that since COVID, by the way, Tim? Where you just say that such and such thing happened in 2019, rather than thinking horrifically how many years we were all stunted?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Gosh, I don't know. I've never really thought about it that way.

Brian Wallace
I'm sorry to ruin your day, but

Tim Fitzpatrick
No, it's all good.

Brian Wallace
Forget that I just said that. But yeah, a little bit. Remember that we very much are relational as humans. If we take something as impactful and important as LinkedIn, how many times are we so excited to build connections and network and go to events and all of that? How often do we treat LinkedIn as a video game to get the high score of how many connections as opposed to keeping up with people that we haven't talked to in a while? I can almost guarantee you that there are people that fell off your radar a year ago, two years ago, three years ago, five years ago. You're going to look back to the last time you communicated, and you almost won't even believe it. And it means the world to people. You don't know what they're going through. Rather than always thinking ahead, think about everybody that got you here. Check in with everybody that you've already worked with, that you've already had connections with. And it is so valuable because these are people that you could have already done business with. These are people that you've already built trust with. And it is, in a lot of sense, everything wrong with the world. We're constantly looking for future and progress as opposed to actually caring and looking over our shoulder and helping people out.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love that, man. I just did an interview with April Brum where we talked about creating genuine connection. A lot of the stuff she shared was right in line with what you just said. Oh, cool. Yeah, I love it. Thank you so much for taking the time, Brian. I've enjoyed the conversation. We covered a lot of different topics today, so I know people are going to get... There's a ton of value in there, and I know at least something that we talked about is really going to resonate with people, and they'll get to take some action on it. So thank you for that. Where can people learn more about you? I know we got nowsourcing.com. Are there any other places that you would love for people to be able to connect with you? Yeah.

Brian Wallace
In terms of my social presence and footprint, I write on a number of different sites. So if you look on MuckRack, you'll see a lot of the places that I write for. But if you're looking to connect with me on socials and stuff, while I'm on most of the world's socials, I spend most of my time on LinkedIn. So if you look me up over there, that's usually where you'll find me.

Tim Fitzpatrick
We will make sure that is in the show notes along with nowsourcing.com. Again, Brian, thank you so much for taking the time. It was great to chat with you. Those of you that are watching, listening, I appreciate you. We've covered a lot of different topics here with marketing today. Hope you got a ton of value from it. If you want to connect with us, you can do that over at rialtomarketing.com. You can also, if you are interested in accelerating your revenue growth, you need to remove your revenue roadblocks. If you want to discover which of the nine roadblocks are slowing down your growth, you can do that over at revenueroadblockscorecard.com. Thank you so much. Until next time, take care.


Connect With Brian Wallace


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About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

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