Hey everybody! Welcome to episode number one of the Make Marketing Easy Podcast, your go-to source for selling and marketing tools, tips, strategies, stories and even the occasional rant.Since this is the maiden voyage of the podcast, I am grateful you’re here and humbled that you will take a chance on listening to my work.
Today’s episode will be a little different because I believe I owe you the answers to three questions before you give me the privilege of a second listen to the show. The three question we’ll answer are: Why listen to the podcast? Can you really make marketing easy And, who am I deliver this podcast and why now? I guess that’s four questions but 3 and 4 are kind of linked….het, it’s my show and you get a sense for this whole thing is going to go! My promise to you is that this is the only podcast episode that will be sort of focused on me. I’m really not that vain or narcissistic and I hope you understand what I’m trying to do here….so let’s get started!
Why listen to this podcast?
Have you ever looked at your cell phone and, if you’re of a certain age, wondered how it is so much smarter, smaller and useful than the old one you used to lug around? It’s ok if you haven’t. I have pondered this question, researched it and arrived at the conclusion that the foundation of improvement in this technology is in it’s software and how it runs.
Like so many things in my life, this question led me to another question. You know, sort of along the lines of the book I used to read to my kids when they were little called, “If you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to want a glass of milk.” The question, or quest depending on with whom you speak, especially if it’s my wife, Jean, for me became, “What is happening in the selling and marketing world that is like this?” It turns out, a lot!
This podcast will teach you about selling and marketing through research, interviews, stories and occasional rants from everyday people who are working to get something done. Myself included. Will they be famous? I don’t know, it depends a little bit on your definition of famous. My definition is anyone who is making good progress on a goal they’ve set for themselves, maybe gets knocked down, gets up to do it all over again with a new strategy or tactic and finally succeeds. If you’re as interested as I am in talking about stuff like this, hang on because it’s going to be a fun ride! I want to learn about how these people are doing what they’re doing, share it with you and add whatever value I can to the idea, story, tool or strategy.
Back to the original thought about the cell phone…Most things today utilize some form of an Object Oriented Program (OOP) to operate because it is efficient, flexible and powerful. It’s also powering internet based software and driving the Internet of Things revolution. The basics of the software lie in featuring classes of objects that utilize different methods to create some output. That’s my simple definition, anyway, and I’m sure someone with much more knowledge than me can go on an interesting rant about this topic (I hope to one day interview someone who can do that in an engaging way).
So, when I began thinking about all of this, I started putting my thoughts into notebooks, notecards, sticky notes and in the margins of books I was reading. I’m still doing this today and decided I am going to write a book and publish it myself. The working title is, “Object Oriented Marketing and Selling.” I liked it because it captured, in a native sense, what I was thinking about selling and marketing for 2019 and beyond. It is not, however, super catchy so I’ll keep working on it…
If you’re at all like me, you’ve listened to different podcasts and audiobooks. And perhaps you wonder what is different about this one and what will I get out of listening to it? That’s a great question and my answer is, “It depends?”
It depends on what you are looking for and what you’re willing to put into it. If you, at some point in the podcast, hear something and think, “I hadn’t thought of it that way or thought of doing it that way,” you’ve helped me accomplish what I’ve set out to do with the Make Marketing Easy Podcast. More importantly, if I can interview someone, offer an opinion or share some research that helps you have this thought, YOU WIN because thinking that way will change your business and your life. We must come to new conclusions and derive novel solutions to opportunities in our lives if we want to achieve our own definitions of success. And your definition of success doesn’t matter, this remains true.
My own experience with podcasts is varied and diverse. I like mostly business related feeds because that’s where my career and hobbies sort of come together – weird as that may seem. And I know also there are podcasts available on pretty much any topic you may be interested in so I like that variety.
Where I lose interest in podcasts is when the episodes are crammed with advertisements and self-promotional materials talking with people who have vast resources. Don’t get me wrong, I understand there is an economic reality that nothing is done for free very well or very long so having affiliate relationships and some sort of sponsor for the podcast may be necessary at some point. In fact these folks have worked hard and produced good work to get to the platform on which they stand.
And since I’m just starting my podcast, have few subscribers and nothing more than a desire to produce good content, perhaps one day I will understand the dilemma some of the “big guys and gals” face. So, since I like to avoid absolutes, I’ll just say that we have no ads and no sponsors. And that’s not passive aggressive begging for one, it’s simply a statement of the way things are today.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to produce this podcast all on my own today.
My promise to you, the listener, is that the Make Marketing Easy Podcast will provide thought provoking and actionable content with research and interviews focused on the subjects of physician marketing, corporate (B2B) marketing and selling in a territory. All of these subjects are near and dear to my heart and are the arenas where I earn a living to feed my family today. You’ll hear from real people who are practicing what they’re talking about.
I’ll tell you more in a few minutes about why I’m qualified to talk about, and interview people getting it done in the trenches, within these exciting areas of business.
What happened to the name, “Cognified?”
I came up with “Cognified” while I was reading the excellent book by Kevin Kelly called, “The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future.” In this book, the second force Kelly writes about is “Cognifying.”
If you’ve ever had a book passage that hits you like a “ton of bricks,” that’s what happened to me with the first paragraph. Here’s what it says:
“It is hard to imagine anything that would “change everything” as much as cheap, powerful, ubiquitous artificial intelligence. To begin with, there’s nothing as consequential as a dumb thing made smarter. Even a very tiny amount of useful intelligence embedded into an existing process boosts its effectiveness to a whole other level. The advantages gained from cognifying inert things would be hundreds of times more disruptive to our lives than the transformation gained by industrialization.”
After reading that part, I devoured the rest of his book and bought up all of the URLs I could around “Cognified.” AS an aside, I’m a bit of a URL hoarder and my hope is that one day I can monetize that little quirk…what I am obsessed with is that I think the concept of cognifying aspects of our work and lives so that we live in a “Cognified Age” is an exhilarating possibility. To add “smarts” to our marketing and selling processes may be just that little change that leads to a monumental improvement in outcomes.
Prior to reading Kelly’s book, I was doing some thinking, reading and research to increase my understanding of a type of software development called, Object Oriented Programming. I was thinking about this strategy as a means to help the Marketing and Selling teams at Sightpath Medical (Where I serve as the EVP of Sales and Marketing) improve our results. While doing this, I came across an interesting book by Matt Weisfeld called, “The Object Oriented Thought Process.”
I was interested in this book for the same reasons that OOP is prevalent in so much of the software that touches our lives today. OOP is an efficient method of development that features objects and uses Encapsulation, Inheritance, Polymorphism and Composition. I was struck by the utility of these concepts and how they might apply to marketing and selling.
They’re esoteric concepts, for sure. So I will teach a lot about these important terms and how they apply as I roll out the podcast and ultimately, the book. Maybe I should keep this a secret, but I haven’t seen anyone else writing about marketing and selling this way and I want to share it with everyone.
How does this apply to physician marketing? I am privileged over the last 26 years to work with hundreds of physician practices on a variety of subjects. Most, are terrible marketers.
They’re terrible not because they can’t be good, most just don’t work at it, want to write a check for results and give-up too soon when what they paid for doesn’t work. My team hears me say all of the time that, “We’re selling gym memberships. Paying your bill doesn’t get the job done. Exercising and controlling what you put in your mouth does!” It’s not what our clients always want to hear, but it’s the truth.
When we bootstrapped Sightpath Creative (An internal agency created to help the clients of Sightpath Medical) we began searching for a simple approach to make marketing smarter, metrics driven and cost effective. We accomplished this with a campaign-based approach. We help practices understand their markets (Classes), develop ideal personas (Attributes) and create programs (methods) to yield desired outputs.
We have now helped more than 80 of our clients grow their practices, reduce headaches associated with marketing and rest easier knowing they were using a smarter approach with an agency who only works on ophthalmology. Essentially, we’re harnessing the power of focus, data and agility.
So, what about “Cognified,” where did it go? Good question. I attended the Podcast Movement conference last summer in Philadelphia and while I was there, one thing I learned was that the title of your podcast must tell people what you will deliver. I immediately thought, Cognified doesn’t tell anyone anything!
As a result, and a few other work related distractions, I took a hiatus from publishing the show, did some thinking and changed the show to Make Marketing Easy. That’s a bit of euphemism because marketing isn’t easy. And by asking good questions and building systems, I believe it can be easier with a path to easy.
- Why am I qualified to deliver a podcast like this and why now?
I’m not sure that I am. I do know that, like you, every day I get up, work my priorities and look for ways to “crack-the-code” of success.
Your particular endeavor may be quite different than mine and still I believe we are all in this together and we can, dare I say must, learn from each other.
What gives me the audacity to start something like a podcast? Well, for starters, I don’t believe there is one like this that exists today and I aim to give it my all and deliver something of value that will help people and, as I mentioned earlier, get them to think, “I’ve never thought of it like that or heard it put that way before.”
I’m not doing this alone, I’m doing this to serve others and I will stand on their shoulders to achieve anything with this initiative. I don’t purport to have all of the answers but I have demonstrated throughout a 28 year career in the field of medical device sales and marketing (Ophthalmology, specifically) the ability to grow a territory, product line and an enterprise. I believe I have accomplished all of this because of a fervent desire to serve, the ability to listen, and the discipline to take a step into the unknown.
As an example of this, I had a stint owning a math game and activity development and publishing company for 12 years that allowed me to draw upon pretty much every skill I have – personal and professional. I am grateful for the twelve years I spent growing this business because it was completely unrelated to my chosen field and yet I believe it helped me a better ophthalmology marketing and selling professional.
I love the field of ophthalmology and am grateful for all it has provided for my family and me. Since the benchmark most of us use for success is dollars earned, I feel confident that my career earnings place me in the top 2% of lifetime earners for sales and marketing in the business side of ophthalmology.
This isn’t bragging, or giving away a secret. Regrettably, I was involved in some litigation a couple of years ago where all of my earnings were made public. This was a difficult time following a break from a person I was once very close to and I am grateful I came out victorious. Not without bumps and bruises, but certainly wiser for the experience. If you’re interested, I wrote an article about this experience for Success Magazine’s blog. You may find the article, “10 Things I Learned When I Was Knocked From My White Horse” on success.com
When I was going away to college at the University of Minnesota, I had a conversation with my dad (He holds a PhD in mathematics education) about what I was thinking about majoring in when I got to school. I mentioned a few different ideas and my dad calmly said, “You may major in whatever you want to as long as it’s math or science.”
Incredulously, I replied, “Why is that?” His response sticks with me to this day and it was, “Because math and science teach you how to think. You learn to form hypotheses, isolate variables and solve problems. All of these are skills you may apply to anything once you have that foundation.” I earned a bachelor of science in Biochemistry and I am forever grateful for his advice.
Couple this with my mom who was a nurse and constantly badgered me to “see what needs to be done” and you can see why I am working on this project.
To tie this back to how I think and demonstrate that my dad’s logic worked, here’s another example of something I learned in biochemistry that has found it’s way into my metaphor quiver after all of these years: I am astounded by the similarity of a need and product or service coming together at just the right time to yield a desired response. You know, it’s the age old marketing dilemma, “How do i find someone who’s need is aligned with competencies of my service or product at just the right time?”
This a lot like the “Lock and Key Theory” I learned in biochemistry. I know, this is super geeky but stay with me for moment..
First, a bit of background and terminology: An enzyme is a protein that acts as a catalyst to initiate some mechanism of action. Floating around all by itself, it can’t do anything. Once it finds a place to land with an acceptable binding site, this is called the substrate, the fun starts to happen.
In the Lock and Key Theory, only the correctly sized key (substrate) will fit into a key hole and actuate the lock (Enzyme). As I said, this is a little geeky, but you get a sense for how my brain works and why I am grateful for the seemingly strange boundaries my dad placed on my college major choices. If you decide to become a loyal listener, you’ll hear more about this analogy.
So, you see, this fits with what I am interested in with Make Marketing Easy. Can we discover ways to help put the right key in the lock to accomplish our objectives? In my experience, it’s not a huge iteration that drives change, it’s little bouts of getting smarter and thinking about possibilities along the path of learning and serving.
Finally, I believe the confluence of technology, an aging population, the Internet as a neural network and the human need for connection will all come together to create the next age – The Cognified Age.
I am starting this podcast now because I feel called to do it. I can’t say “why.” I have a burning desire to help others see what I am seeing. My hope by doing that is they will add to what I am thinking about and together we all end up in a better place. It’s a lot of work, a bit scary because I’ve struggled in my first try, but hey, you never know, it might just work this time!
Alright, if you’ve gotten this far, please know I am grateful for the gift of your time and attention. If you believe you have something to say that may offer value to others, want to share a story that ends with you or someone you know winning or just have a rant about something interesting going on in the selling and marketing world, please connect with me. You can easily find me via Twitter @Joelgaslin, on LinkedIn or send me an email at [email protected] – we can get together for a discussion and/or an interview.
And, of course, please go to iTunes, leave whatever review of this podcast you believe is appropriate and sign-up at makemarketingeasy.com to be notified every time a new episode comes available.
My plan is to publish weekly on Fridays. I am working on my topic and guest list now so please stay with me if I’m a little sporadic at first. The data says that people stop producing podcasts after they make their first 5 episodes. My experience is a little different than that because I did 6, stopped for almost a year, did ten, stopped for four months and now I’m starting again.
For those of you who followed the podcast before, the next 15 episodes are ported over from the old one so wait a couple of weeks and jump back in on episode 17!
Thanks again for listening and make marketing easy!