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How Data And Creativity Can Drive Demand

How can you balance empathy for the emotional side of decision-making with the all-important messages that your rational business needs cherish and champion? Watch this episode of ARS to receive tactics tips from Guest Speaker, Ben Grossman, Chief Strategy Officer of Doner Partners Network.

See the specific chapters below:
1:43: Ben’s Work Experience
5:16: The 5 Buckets of Data
8:24: How to Use Inspiration Data
9:57: Use Case: Before You Change the World – Bloomberg
12:00: Unlocking the Empathy in Data
15:02: How to Implement Flexibility into Your Campaigns
21:16: The Sources of Formation and Inspiration Data
26:00: Measuring the Success of Creativity in Demand Campaigns
30:25: 3 Ways to Spark Creativity Within Your Team

[00:00:00] Tricia: Welcome back to the Accelerating Revenue Series, live conversations with B2B marketing practitioners about the challenges of the modern-day market. Our goal on this series is to add value, to bring you tactical moves and tips that you can use to improve the work that you do every single day, which is reaching your customer.

[00:00:34] My name is Tricia Ruiz. I’m one of the hosts today, and I’m so excited to be joined by another co-host our very own Nikki Candito. VP of Demand Strategy here at Anteriad. Nikki, get on up here, come and join the show.

Nikki: Hello, it is so, great to be here with you, Tricia and partnering with you on ARS. I have spent the last 20 years trying to figure out this space, and this is gonna be a really cool opportunity to partner with you and learn from our guests.

[00:01:03] And we’re gonna get right to it. Today, we are talking with Ben Grossman, Chief Strategy of Doner Partners Network. And we’re gonna be talking about how data and creativity can drive demand. Ben, welcome.

[00:01:19] Ben: Hello, there. Good to be with you all. Thanks for having me.

[00:01:21] Nikki: It’s great to see you. Um, Ben, I realized this morning that we have known each other for over 10 years. I cannot believe it’s been that long.

[00:01:31] Ben: It’s true. So you could probably say all the things that I’m about to say, but more fun to have both of us here for it, I guess.

[00:01:37] Nikki: Absolutely. And sometimes you’re a little bit more succinct than I am.

[00:01:42] Tricia: I love it

[00:01:43] So, Ben, to kick us off, can you share a little bit with the audience about how you work with brands to drive demand?

[00:01:50] Ben: Sure. So I worked in creative agency environments for my entire career, helping brands reach the people who matter most to them and matter most to their bottom lines. And, of course over the 11 years that Nikki, you and I have known each other, that’s changed a lot. And the best ways to do that has changed a lot.

[00:02:08] And that’s why this intersection between data and creativity is something that I’m so passionate about and think is so fertile for exploration for modern marketers today. That said Nikki, as you’re indicating, you know, when we hear the word data, it’s a pretty big tent, like data can mean a ton of different types of data.

[00:02:29] It can come from so many sources. It can feel really inspiring at times, but it can also feel really overwhelming at times. And sometimes when everyone’s constantly saying, well, I want my marketing to be ‘data driven’, there’s not really a level of specificity around what that means or how to get it done so that you get the best possible way.

[00:02:49] So I start, by trying to clarify a little bit what data means and what it means to be data driven. So what I find is that it really comes down to making sure that you’re asking the right questions at the right data at the right times. And the way I just break it down for myself, my teams, my clients is into five types of data.

[00:03:12] Think about formation data, inspiration data, validation data, optimization data and evaluation data. And those things are probably somewhat, self-evident what they all are, but basically formation data helps you decide what’s the right problem to solve? How do we make sure that we’re having empathy for our target audiences, rational and emotional state, what’s the right moment and message?

[00:03:40] All of those things help you form a piece of communication, right? But if we just started there and just formed a piece of communication, that way it would be fairly generic, right? It would look like the same thing that all of our competitors do. And, might be relevant, but might not be distinctive to our brand.

[00:04:01] So that’s where the second type of data comes in inspiration data. This is where you really get to shake things up a little bit and think outside the box and come up with net new ways of doing things that can be more distinctive for your brand. So, the way I think about inspiration data is oftentimes kind of hunting for a piece of data, that’s obviously true. When you see it, you say, well, of course that makes complete sense, but it wasn’t obvious to everyone until you were able to shine a light on that. Sometimes that’s what can spark a little bit of creativity, to take you in a new direction. And then the other types of validation data, you know, once you actually put this into market, is it working in practice or is it performing under be.

[00:04:45] Optimization data. How can we make it better? How do we beat, uh, maybe a winner that we have in market by bringing in a challenger and then evaluation data may be the most obvious one, we need to measure what we do. We need to show the business impact. We need to show that it’s working. So those are the kind five types of data that I find just when you start with, Hey, we wanna be data driven in our marketing, we’ll start by breaking it down into those five types of data and saying, what data can we use when and what data should we be asking, what questions?

[00:05:15] Nikki: I love that, Ben breaking it into those five buckets makes it really tangible for teams to be able to analyze the data. Because my guess is that there’s a lot of different data elements that go into each of those buckets.

[00:05:27] Ben: Yeah. I think that’s true. And I think that if you try to process all of the data at once, again, working with creative people, as I do can be a creativity killer. Yeah. And we all know that creativity can actually be an amplifier, an economic amplifier of impact. But if you’re faced with a wall of kind of unwieldy data and you don’t know when to look at which one, it can feel kind of demoralizing and anchor you to a spreadsheet rather than a whiteboard.

[00:05:54] Nikki: I get that

[00:05:55] Tricia: Mmm-hmm.

[00:05:55] Nikki: So can you give the audience an example of how you’ve used those five buckets and kind of where you start when you’re designing a program?

[00:06:03] Ben: Yeah, I think start with the first couple of buckets. Think about your formation data and your inspiration data. Those are a good reason to start there. With formation data, you wanna make sure that whatever your demand gen program is, is based in business realities. So, formation data can help you understand what’s the right business problem to solve right now. Where are we struggling the most or where’s the most upside growth potential, If we were to solve this problem.

[00:06:31] And that same level of formation data can also also help you understand along a customer journey from, you know, a moment when they’re just living and working their day to day lives to actually shopping for something that might be in your category to actually buying something, you can start to understand well where along that journey, is it right for our brand to intercept people, or do we need to be with them for the whole journey and how?

[00:06:57] Ben: So, I think formation data: really useful at the start. And then the next place I go is inspiration data. So let me give you a real life example of, of how this is played out with one of our clients.

[00:07:07] Tricia: Great.

[00:07:07] Ben: Within Doner Partners Network. We have an agency donor, which is a creative agency and Bloomberg came to us to ask for our help.

[00:07:15] And I think everyone kind of has heard the word Bloomberg before we understand that brand. Um, but when Bloomberg launched their subscription service in 2018, essentially becoming a media outlet, what they realized a few years later was, um, you know, we’re getting a great traction with subscribers, but when it comes to modern business leaders, uh, who are their audience, they actually don’t really know Bloomberg very well.

[00:07:44] So we’re, we’re gaining subscriptions within one segment of our population, but when it comes to 20 and 30 year olds, they have about 5% awareness of Bloomberg subscription service and 0% understanding. So that’s actually a really good example of a piece of formation data, right? All of a sudden it took, you know, what could have been a big demand gen challenge, which is, you know, get us subscribers for this service from modern business leaders, down to a really clear point of we’re after developing more awareness and understanding with 20 and 30 year olds. So they understand what Bloomberg media is and aren’t confused anymore.

[00:08:22] Tricia: Mm-hmm how did you bring then, then that next step of that inspiration data that you were talking about? The things that were obviously true of that 0% that actually was considering Bloomberg. Was that where you started next? Because it was that obvious, like that’s a big old goose egg, right there?

[00:08:41] Ben: Tricia’s already nailed the, breaking the data into five fronts part. Right. She already knows where we’re going next. That structure is so clarifying it, right? It’s like, okay, well, once we have the formation data down, let’s move on to the inspiration data and you’re right, Tricia.

[00:08:56] So we all know how competitive it is with subscription services today. And us just going out there and saying, we have great coverage of these issues could have sounded just like any competitor in this space, right. It may not have broken through at. Or honestly, with a lot of demand gen programs. Now we resort to so many of the same channels that are live bid against our competition, that you can do it in a generic way, but it becomes very expensive, right?

[00:09:23] Because everyone’s competing over the same paid search clicks, or everyone’s competing over the same trade publications or trade show booths or programmatic media suddenly the cost per lead goes up, up, up. So that’s where the inspiration data comes in. It really helps. Break through and ensure that you’re coming to market with a message that yes is the right message at the right time to the right person.

[00:09:47] But then you, you have some kind of unique unlock. That’s going to separate you from the crowd and drive more efficiency. So for Bloomberg, when we transition to looking at inspiration data, what we saw was really interesting. We saw that when it comes to modern leaders, these folks who have a very poor understanding or had a very poor understanding of what Bloomberg subscription model.

[00:10:09] We saw that 80% of them, which is a huge proportion of them said that it was important for them to play a role in changing the world. This is a pretty idealistic and optimistic era of business leaders who really think they’re going to have an impact. But the kicker was okay, even though that’s a widely held belief and something that is emotionally important to these people, only 46% of them actually feel prepared to do it. So huge difference between 80% of people who wanna change the world and who see that as very important to them all the way down to 46%, who actually feel prepared to do it. So there was an interesting gap, right? And that can be, uh, not only interesting, but creatively inspiring.

[00:10:58] And what we saw when we broke down that data further is. Their definitions of what it meant to change the world, were also very different. So when we looked at a modern business leader who was in the boomer generation, they really defined it as, contributing small actions. You know, what are those things that I can do every day to have an incremental impact that make the world a better place?

[00:11:21] Meanwhile, millennials said that they define change in the world as making a positive impact through their jobs at work and then Gen Z said, no, my ambition is even bigger. I wanna solve a major global challenge. So in that, not only did we now have an understanding of emotionally what matters to the modern business decision maker and leader, but we also started to understand if that’s going to be our mega message, there’s actually a little bit of refining we can do, generationally, based on the different emotional relationships people have with the idea of changing the world, as we go to market.

[00:11:57] Tricia: It’s just phenomenal because it’s looking at that problem with that, um, formation data and then actually changing it. I love the clarity that you’ve given about how you’re looking at these different generations and looking at their perspectives yet. They’re all coming to the table and all a part of that decision making process.

[00:12:19] Ben: It’s true. I mean, the other half of course our session title is not just the data, but also the creativity.

[00:12:26] Tricia: Hmm

[00:12:26] Ben: Tricia to your point, with that really clear outline of the formation data and inspiration data that then unlocked the creativity that led to our campaign for, driving subscriptions to Bloomberg media. So that campaign ended up being called “Before You Change the World – Bloomberg”. Basically positioning Bloomberg as not just another subscription service that you have to pay to access, which no one likes, but actually is a way to make you an informed modern leader because you know, you’re gonna change the world in whatever way is meaningful to you. But before you do that, make sure that you have the backing of a really trusted resource in Bloomberg.

[00:13:08] Tricia: That’s really cool Ben.

[00:13:10] Ben: Yeah, the, the results have been off the chart. The nice thing about something like that is that we still did all of the hard work to drive subscriptions that we know work, that we as demand marketers know there are certain tools and tips. But it gave a creative through line across all of those different elements so that we were building an understanding of what Bloomberg media was in a differentiated and distinctive way along the way.

[00:13:33] Ben: So the result is we’ve hit the 400,000 paid subscriber mark, which is tremendous growth of tens of thousands of subscribers. Since this campaign had launched, they’re delivering a hundred million dollars in subscription revenue now. But all backed by a long-term campaign that they can really get behind, that does two things at once. It is driving the demand, as we just talked about it delivered against all of their subscriber objectives, but it’s also building their brand and helping them be more meaningful to that generation of folks who had pretty low awareness and almost zero understanding of what Bloomberg Media was.

[00:14:09] Nikki: And I think what I’m hearing from you is there’s probably something that is connecting the data and the creativity and it’s empathy. You’re paying attention to the human and what really matters to them. And that’s really gonna grab hold, and you’re gonna start building that emotional connection with your user.

[00:14:27] Tricia: Yeah. You’re making me think too, Ben, that, that empathy is like the playground. Like if data is the box of the sand and the creativity’s actually like the sandbox you’re playing in. You get to have that structure that you’re inside, so you can feel free to, as the creators of the program to use that creativity, to use that empathy, to speak to your audience. But you know, that outline that you’re inside. So you don’t have to worry about spilling over because you’re like, oh yeah, I see the edge over there. Cool. I’m gonna build my sand castle as tall as I can, right? You get to go up versus worry about going over and using those two things together. That’s awesome.

[00:15:03] So then my question comes next. Flexibility and creativity as somebody who’s a creative myself – sometimes that, that thought of, okay, I have to use data even in the sandbox example of like, how big do I make my sandbox? How, how far apart do I make these walls? Where can flexibility of creativity connect with the data when you’re actually using these demand programs and building them?

[00:15:28] Ben: I love that you both picked up on the theme of empathy, um, because I think that comes down to the flexibility that needs to be inherent in the creativity. Right? Um, we’re in an era now where creativity does not need to be a one size fits all, or even a one size fits most solution. Thanks to all of the data, we have access to, marketing automation, technology, and marketing technology period. You can really, I, I mean, empathy is not a word that comes to mind for most. I think when you say data, but you can really use data as an empathy tool, right? To understand the values, beliefs, priorities of your audience, and then speak to them in a way that reflects that you understand all of that, which is of course more attractive.

[00:16:14] Look when, when I think about creativity and what makes great creativity, a really great creative partner of mine had a really simple definition of it: Great creative is three things: It’s simple, it’s moving and it’s original. And, you all tapped on into the moving part. And that really comes from empathy.

[00:16:35] The original part is something that I talked about, you know, that’s why inspiration data is so important and then the creativity goes with it to do something no one’s ever done before. And then, uh, to Tricia your most recent question, simplicity is I think what unlocks flexibility. So, so often with data driven programs and all of the automation and technology behind it, it can feel really complex, but the reality is that great creativity is simple enough to allow it to flex across a whole series of different use cases.

[00:17:06] So one of our other agencies within Doner Partners Network, Yamamoto, is really, really good at taking very complex businesses and making them compelling through the art of creativity and simplicity. Um, and one of those clients is Analog Devices or ADI. You may have heard of them before, because they’ve been around for a long time and they’ve played a really big role in the world with engineers.

[00:17:32] But when ADI came to us, they were really widely known as a microchip manufacturer. But you can imagine was new and hot at one point in our world. But these days, microchip manufacturing has gotten more and more commoditized and is seen as some kind of an interchangeable part that you might be able to get anywhere.

[00:17:50] Um, but ADI is quite special. We just needed to get their target audience. So, uh, engineers and, and high level technology decision makers to understand why they’re so special. And, and just to give you a sense of what we’re talking about here: Analog Devices has played a role in, uh, the Mars Perseverance mission, that Thailand cave rescue that happened years ago.

[00:18:14] And they’re doing amazing things for the world. But then we talked to their B2B buyers and talked about empathy and asked them what ADI meant to them, it was like, well, they’re micro chips. Which of course was not making us the trusted partner, that innovation partner that our work actually expressed.

[00:18:34] I think part of the challenge here, around the, the creativity too, is that engineers are inherently ambitious people. Like they wanna solve problems. But they’re also very modest people who don’t wanna go around chest-beating and all of the things that they’re responsible for because engineers, better than most, understand that they play oftentimes a small part in a much larger achievement.

[00:18:59] So, um, that was part of the challenge with ADI is, is how do you, you know, take credit for what ADI is so great at, but make sure to also be realistic, so an engineer would appreciate it and, and believe it so that we’re not the breakthrough. Obviously the engineers required for that, but we are a bridge to human breakthrough.

[00:19:20] All of those big things that have happened in the world and those big human achievements that we’ve had, certainly engineers have had a role in them and we wanna honor their role, but ADI has had a role in it too. So anyway, we had this fairly empathetic understanding of what’s going on with these people.

[00:19:37] We had these great stories to tell and again, Tricia, this is where the inspiration data led to the creativity that led to a really simple idea, which was: well, every big, important change or achievement in the world has started with one engineer’s question somewhere, which is: What If?

[00:20:00] Ben: And to that end, what if we could make ADI, where, What If becomes What Is. What if ADI was that pivot point along with our engineer partners, where those big questions, those big ambitions that you have of What If this were possible becomes What Is possible and actually what has happened in the world. So anyway, just going back to great creativity, it’s simple moving original, but also to Tricia’s question: also flexible. Because “what if?” Is a question that could start a provocation that we can then use data to serve up to the right audiences?

[00:20:44] Because not all audiences are asking the same. What if questions? Yeah. So what if we can show that audience empathy through the power of data, connective tissue, across everything, all starting with where, what if becomes What Is. Always a relevant question to you. And what if this happened in your specific vertical, your specific industry and that kind of data driven empathy.

[00:21:07] Of course, as we all know, increases response rates increases engagement, increases relevance, which then drives demand efficiency.

[00:21:16] Nikki: Well, speaking of engagement, we have a question from the audience. So I’m gonna throw that in right now. If that’s okay with you.

[00:21:23] Tricia: Let’s do it.

[00:21:24] Ben: Do it!

[00:21:25] Nikki: Um, so this comes from Dave Spencer. Thanks Dave, for being here. “Were the insights that informed the formation and inspiration data, primarily derived from qualitative and or quantitative studies? And were there any other sources that were leveraged?”

[00:21:42] Ben: Yeah. So this is a, a great question. And it’s like, well, where does all that data come from and also, I think importantly: What data do I already have versus what data do I need?

[00:21:53] Ben: So at the beginning of every project, and maybe this is part of the question, what I like to do is say to the teams, the clients I’m working with, like, look, I’m here to make your life easier as you’re a strategist.

[00:22:04] And that’s what our whole team of strategists at DPN are here to do, throw everything at us, give us all the data you have, and then we’ll spend time ingesting tons of data, it’s what they do every day, and breaking it into those five buckets that we talked about. So it’s never the same process over and over to go after Dave’s question, it really starts with a data audit of what data do you have and how can it be used?

[00:22:31] And that’s a really important first step. So once you’ve done that audit and sorted it into the five categories, then to Dave’s question, you can go after where are the holes? Where are the strengths? Where are the weaknesses in the data that we have in front of us. So in the examples that I’ve given: a lot of times I find that the formation data is hiding somewhere within the organization already. A lot of organizations have a fairly sophisticated understanding of where leads are coming from, why the leads are coming, what the profile of those leads are. Maybe it’s not served up in the right way yet to be used, but with the help of a good strategist or internal analyst, maybe you can make something of it and paint a fairly vivid picture of the foundational business issue that you’re trying to solve. And then Dave already hinted at the idea of using qual and quant for additional data. I find that that a lot of times is, is necessary. You have the formation data already. Typically you don’t need a ton of extra work to get that, but I find that the inspiration data, some orgs have and some don’t and quant and qual are really good resources for that.

[00:23:37] Specifically with B2B highly complex audiences. My personal favorite one, to punch, assuming this hasn’t already been. Is start with some qual. It doesn’t need to be a huge sample size and do ethnographies meaning if, if you don’t already work with these people who you’re trying to reach every. Go live with them for a day, go to work with them for a day, follow them around their offices.

[00:24:02] And actually 11 years ago, Nikki, when you and I started working together, formative insight, inspirational insight, they came from one of our campaigns came from going and sitting at I.T. Professionals, desks with them.

[00:24:13] Nikki: Yeah.

[00:24:13] Ben: And looking at how they had decorated their cubicles. So I love starting with an ethnographic qualitative research approach to begin kind of orients you and gets you asking the right question.

[00:24:24] And then for inspiration data, just to make sure that whatever that insight is that you’ve grabbed out is not just kind of the sample of one or two people or five people who you saw it with, then use the quant to validate that your initial sort of hunch or insight is actually right at a scale that’s meaningful to the business.

[00:24:44] So, um, hope that answers Dave’s questions and, and of course, comment with anything else, Dave and happy to go into more.

[00:24:51] Tricia: Yeah. Great question, Dave. I love getting into the specifics and Ben, which you said earlier, too. What data do you have? What can you use? It is good to take that internal stock, that internal audit, cause your, your experience at Doner Partners Network is gonna be different from where Dave is or where Nikki and I are.

[00:25:08] Every company’s built differently with those teams too. So what can you do with that data?

[00:25:13] Ben: And it doesn’t always take extra work to Dave’s point. Like, I’ll tell you there’s though. I, think, uh, a couple of the cases that I’ve talked through today with Bloomberg and ADI, we did some additional research.

[00:25:25] I have another client that I’m thinking of right now where the inspirational data that gave us the entire campaign idea was hiding in 124 page deck of data. They already had. But it just took like a fresh perspective, a fresh set of eyes to be like, hold on everyone. I know that most of this, you all know and expected, this piece is really interesting.

[00:25:50] And let’s see what we could do with that. And that kind of set us off on a whole new trajectory. So sometimes it’s just getting the right perspective on your data too.

[00:25:59] Nikki: That’s a great point, Ben. So you did a great job of kind of talking about the data elements and how you bring it apart upfront. I am super curious on the back end, what are the data elements you use to measure success and particularly measuring the success of the creativity of a campaign? I feel like that can be really challenging.

[00:26:19] Ben: Yeah. Uh, it definitely can be challenging. And let me start at the end and then back up to the beginning where you were with your question, you know, of course like any demand marketer with these campaigns that we’re talking about. Money talks at the end of the day, we have to have business impact. So we all the way at the end are of course, looking at return on investment of the overall initiative, backing up from there, we’re looking at the number of qualified leads we delivered backing up from them. The total of leads, the marketing qualified leads.

[00:26:50] So you’re looking at that total typical lead funnel that you would in any demand program, but Nikki, to your point about how do you judge the creativity? A lot of times you have to go a little bit more upstream than that. To start to understand how the creativity might be giving you an unfair advantage.

[00:27:07] So sometimes what you’ll begin to see is most demand marketers know what a fairly predictable type of demand gen campaign will do, how much those leads will cost. The question becomes when you add a bit of creativity or do something original, unexpected, particularly empathetic, are you getting more engagement rate? Are you getting more efficient cost per lead?

[00:27:30] Ben: Because with a lot of our clients, what we find is when you introduce an element of creativity and a creative through line specifically, you’re building demand, sure, but you’re also building brand and the whole benefit of building a brand that has an emotional connection with people is that the demand gets cheaper. Because you’re suddenly not on a level playing field with your competitors, paying the same competitive rates for all of that demand, that they are, you have an unfair advantage that’s uniquely and distinctly yours. And, we see this on individual clients. We also see it at large. The corporate executive board CEB did a large scale study of a lot of demand gen programs.

[00:28:14] And they basically said, look, demand gen programs are good. We, we all wouldn’t be employed if we weren’t doing a good job at demand gen. If you do a kind of traditional non-creative let’s call it demand gen program that focuses kind of on bits and bites, uh, functional benefits, the business outcomes you deliver.

[00:28:32] It’s not that that’s bad or unproductive, for your organization, typically those types of programs lead to on average, a 21% commercial impact on the bottom line, just by focusing on functional benefits and business outcomes, the stuff that any good B2B marketer would. But if you level it up to that place of empathy and creativity that Nikki, Tricia, and I have been talking about, and instead start focusing that campaign, not just on the functional business outcomes, and the benefits, but on the professional benefits to the individual person. On the other side, that individual engineer who ADI was talking to, um, the social benefits, the emotional benefits, like how safe do I feel doing business with you? How inspired do I feel doing business with you? How important to the world do I feel doing business with you?

[00:29:23] Um, and what that can all do to our self image and really crank up the creativity like that. That delivers a 42% commercial impact on average. So the functional stuff, the non-creative stuff, 21% impact still pretty good and: hey, I’m a good marketer, but the creative and emotional work, 42% impact, which is pretty much double.

[00:29:47] Tricia: Yeah.

[00:29:47] Nikki: That’s amazing.

[00:29:49] Tricia: And Ben, you called it an unfair advantage, but I would say that it’s, it’s, it’s an earned advantage. You did the work’s it’s an earned advantage.

[00:29:55] Ben: That’s right!

[00:29:58] Data auditing and following the process.

[00:29:59] Tricia: Yeah!

[00:30:01] Ben: That is hard work, but it’s worth it to your point.

[00:30:03] Tricia: Oh man. All right. So I’m gonna ask this question.

[00:30:06] We’ve reached our 30 minute mark Ben. You okay to stay on for like one more last Roundup question.

[00:30:11] Ben: Do it. Yeah. All right.

[00:30:13] Tricia: So exercises in all these conversations, exercises that you and your team do to actually spark that creativity. So you can get that 42% advantage that you have earned versus just that regular non one.

[00:30:26] Ben: Okay. Here are three super simple, very, very actionable ways to spark some creativity in your organization. One, Dave was already smart enough to ask about. I think ethnography’s often spark a ton of creativity within organizations. Just because when you’re looking at the data all day and doing that hard work at a desk or Googling things, nothing can really give you as original a thought as lived experience.

[00:30:52] So think about who your customers are or your desired customers reach out to 10 of them over the next month and find a way to spend. You know, a day at the office with a couple of them and just start to get into that muscle memory that empathizing that doing an ethnography can bring. And I swear, you’ll walk away with so many new ideas, fresh thoughts, and more just creative ideas.

[00:31:19] Total that’s idea number one. Second idea is empathy mapping. And this is a tool you can reach out to me directly, and I can give you a template or you can find it online, but basically it puts a little bit of pressure on you to not just define your audience by firmographics. Like what’s their title, what’s their budget level,

[00:31:37] how often do they need this? But it asks you to start to put together what’s their head and their heart doing? Like, what are those functional things that we definitely need to say because it’s table stakes and you can’t be in business without them. But what are those heart things going on for them too? What are those unmet emotional needs? The self-image needs? What are their career aspirations? How do they wanna be seen by their colleagues, their friends, their families, their bosses? Um, so I love an empathy map. That’s the second actionable tip. And then the third one, those who have worked with me as clients, those who have worked with me as colleagues know this pops up all the time.

[00:32:14] I call it mild-to-wild. It’s basically me saying, don’t try to just come up with the idea. Don’t just nail one thing that’s exactly right. Let me see a range of somewhere between three and five ideas. Start with the mild ones where you’re basically operating the best practice playbook, right? Nothing original here, exactly what you might have expected. Super table stakes. Do the mild one. Show me the medium, but show me the wild. Like, what do you think no one will green light because it’s a little crazy. What you’ll find is that sometimes you end up with something that’s surprisingly right. And, and hyper creative that comes out of the wild, that makes it into the real world.

[00:32:55] So ethnography, empathy map, mild to wild. Go use them, try them, see how they go, holler back if they don’t work for you and we’ll come up with something else, but that’s at least a place to start.

[00:33:07] Nikki: That’s fantastic advice, Ben, thank you so much. Um, I’m so sad that we’re at time. I feel like I can do this […]

[00:33:14] Ben: This has been so fun!

[00:33:15] Nikki: Like all day! Um, but Ben, thank you so much for joining us. Um, and hopefully we’ll be talking to you real soon. And then can you just tell the audience where they can find you if they have any follow up questions?

[00:33:28] Ben: Sure! I am pretty easy to find. You can just Google search Ben Grossman and you’ll find me, what good demand marketer wouldn’t have that capability.

[00:33:36] Uh, but you can find me on LinkedIn as well. I’m Ben Grossman. There, you can find me on Twitter @BenGrossman, and feel free to reach out. Obviously comment in the section here on LinkedIn Live and happy to answer things over at LinkedIn as well. And you know, if you’re ever looking for an agency or an agency partner, we’d love to talk to you about Doner Partners Network and introduce you to some of my smart colleagues, too.

[00:33:59] Tricia: Phenomenal. Ben, Nikki. Thanks for being here today. Thank you everyone who made comments and questions in the chat and let’s go get to work. Y’all let’s do it.

[00:34:08] Ben: Yeah! Let’s do it!

[00:34:11] Tricia: We’ll see you next time.