Interview with Jay Baer
What got you interested in digital marketing?
My first career was politics. I was a political campaign manager, including America’s youngest Congressional campaign manager at the wizened age of 22 (we lost)! What I loved most about politics was the measurability and finality of it. On election day, you are very happy or very sad. That’s what I like about digital, as well. It’s measurable and testable and knowable in a way that traditional marketing really is not.
What types of unique experiences have you had as a result of your profession?
So many! As a digital marketer, I’ve seen it all. I started in 1993, when domain names were FREE. I’ve handled digital for a Presidential campaign. I’ve handled social media for the United Nations. As a speaker, I’ve been all around the world, and met amazing, interesting people. I have the best “job” in the world.
What do you think is the ideal customer experience?
The ideal customer experience anticipates what you need at every step of the customer journey, and delivers it before you know you want it. Predictive, proactive, personalized. Those are the 3 Ps of customer experience. (Hey! I just made that up, I’ll have to include that in a keynote)
What habits do you have that help you to be productive?
I’ve learned to be a good delegator, and that’s critical. I’m also good at switching gears immediately, so I don’t need time to reset my head when I jump from topic to topic, or client to client, or event to event. Also, always buy the annual, in-air Wi-Fi plan!
What advice would you give someone starting a business?
Same is lame. The big mistake people make when starting a business is to look at the leading company in the category, and try to do what they do. You end up being a third-rate knockoff, and it’s pretty tough to find meaningful success that way. Do something different enough that your customers will tell their friends. Word of mouth is the most powerful propellant in business, and it’s chronically under-strategized. That’s why my new keynote and my book are called Talk Triggers, and are about word of mouth, and how to get it rolling for your business.
How do you prepare for speaking engagements?
I do a lot of research with the client, and include examples from the industry and people sitting in the room. For most talks, I’ll examine the digital marketing and online customer experience of 25+ companies in the category. You have to know the landscape before the microphone goes on! As a consultant, my goal is that my keynotes are massively relevant and useful. What I’m really doing isn’t just giving a presentation, it’s real-time consulting, on a stage.