spicing up b2b creative: building cost-effective content systems with kevin rapp

In this week’s episode of Digital Banter’ we engage in an eye-opening conversation with the award-winning creative director, Kevin Rapp. Together, we explore the world of B2B creative and how it often falls into the trap of being dull and overly logical, focusing more on selling to companies than connecting with people. We’ll challenge the notion of treating B2B audiences as robotic LinkedIn users and delve deep into the emotional side of B2B advertising. But that’s not all. We understand that creative development can be costly, which is why Kevin Rapp shares his winning strategy for crafting cost-effective content systems. These systems are built around the concept of creating content that’s not just a one-time use but can be repurposed and reimagined repeatedly.

Podcast Transcript

You’re listening to the Digital Banter Podcast, the show where we tackle the challenges of B2B marketing head on and aren’t afraid to tell it like it is. Join us weekly as we talk to industry leaders, explore opportunities that impact the bottom line, and rev your company’s marketing engine with actionable insights and tips.

It’s time to burn the old B2B playbook and build something that makes an impact. Here are your hosts, Andy and James.

What’s up everybody. Welcome back to another episode of the digital banter podcast. I’m excited today, to have another guest join us, Kevin Rapp. The infamous, infamous Kevin Rapp, as he is known in the circles of LinkedIn. Kevin, welcome to the show.

Glad to bring my infamy to the podcast. Happy to be here. Hey, it’s, we got, we can’t bring a mom without making fun of [00:01:00] his business name is the Kevin Rapp consulting, the most creative business name put together by a creative of all time, the most creative cobbled together on an LLC document a few minutes before I had to send it out to get all the legal liability sorted.

Just really, really stretching the bounds of creativity over here. It’s awesome. Kevin, give a little bit of a background on your experience and things like that, because it’s so diverse and I feel like I would do a unjust, injustice if I tried to do it on behalf of you. Yeah, so my background, I started in video production.

I began as a motion designer and editor and worked my way up the studio pipeline before I became a director where I worked with a bunch of big brands, entertainment and fortune 500 companies building a lot of brand films and Advertising content, broadcast, all sorts of stuff. And then I went in house and worked at a, at the time, 100 person tech, [00:02:00] tiny, Series B startup, that within three years became an 1800 person public company.

So, I was leading the video department there and eventually became. Kind of leading the creative department, learning a lot about not how to just technically execute creative work that executes the needs of the brief, but learning how to create brands and content that actually moves the business forward and helps the business achieve tangible growth, which was at that startup phase.

Like. An insane hyper mega growth monster, that, that I got to be a part of. And now I am out here doing my own thing, helping other brands create branding and content that helps them achieve business goals. And creating a story line on LinkedIn, the various communities that you’re active [00:03:00] in around how to do it the right way.

Right? Absolutely. Because there’s definitely a right and a wrong way. And there are a lot of brands that do it the wrong way. They’re still marketing like it is. 2007 rather than 2023 and not utilizing the resources available to them and not utilizing systems in ways that actually can help scale the business in, in what is really needed in content today.

I have seen some nice drop shadows on text still coming from clients. It’s pretty awesome. So I’m going to go very direct here with this question. You kind of touched on it a little bit, Kevin, but like, let’s go right for it in our opinion. And I think collectively here, I’m not going to speak necessarily on behalf of you, Kevin, but I know James and I share the sentiment.

Most B2B creative is boring as hell. Yeah. You got some brands that create some awesome, compelling stuff, but on average. It’s just terrible from stock photography to [00:04:00] save time and money. Great. Here’s your buy now button. It’s it’s so, out of place, so boring and it’s just not compelling. And I’m curious to get your opinion.

Like, why do you think that is? Why are, why is B2B so behind the eight ball here when it comes to creating good creative? You’re going right for the throat there, Andy. So I agree, right? Like, I don’t think I’m saying anything super revolutionary when I think that creative in the B2B space is missing the human element and the human element.

I don’t want to say anything trite like all marketing should be P2P person to person. I don’t want to give you any generic LinkedIn fortune cookie wisdom. But I do think there’s something even in the naming convention of B2B where we treat it like. We are marketing to a faceless corporation rather than to the human stakeholders that make those business decisions.

And I think that filters [00:05:00] into a lot of the actual creative, because instead of treating this like a B2C brand, where they think about who is the audience that we’re talking to, how can we motivate them to make this decision? How can we excite them about what they’re doing? How can we make them want what we have to sell?

In a B2B space, we’re thinking about how can we show that this will give this organization ROI, right? But that feels like the question they’re trying to answer. And so the techniques that they use and the creative that they build feels inherently inherently. Safer. It feels inherently more generic. It feels inherently like they are trying to show features rather than show how does this actually benefit a human being?

How does, how would a person look at this and say, Oh, that would actually make my life better. And here’s how. And the excuse [00:06:00] that I see a lot when I’m working with these people is like, Oh, we’re dealing with a sophisticated audience. A sophisticated audience! They have monogamous and everything because they’re chief financial officers.

And, like, let’s… Get rid of that mentality. Let’s get rid of that mentality because even a sophisticated audience is still human. They still have base instincts. They still have desires and needs, and they are still motivated by the same things that the hoi polloi also, are motivated by. And, and I think that’s where a lot of the B2B stuff tends to fall flat.

I was going to say the. It’s interesting because we get the same argument when it comes to like, the actual channels that we’re running on. Right? So B2B always defaults to paid search LinkedIn, right? Because that’s where the chief financial officer is hanging out because apparently they don’t stream anything [00:07:00] on television.

They don’t have a tick tock. They don’t go on Instagram that apparently they just You know, they’re not, they’re not real people. They just go on LinkedIn and they go to work and they search for business solutions. They’re, they’re all business robots. That’s what they all are. They’re all business robots that have absolutely no interest.

God forbid a chief financial officer would slum it on Facebook, right? There’s no way that could ever possibly happen. They don’t have friends from college that they check in on every once in a while, right? They’re chief financial officers. They are only concerned with ROI. Right? It’s, it’s, yeah, I, I see that a lot too, where they, they think of their audience like this very, very solid stoic box that has absolutely no life outside of their job title.

And so they only think in the most conservative possible terms of how they could reach them. They’ve it’s literally [00:08:00] like, Oh, search and LinkedIn, because those are the safe options. Those are the things where like, Oh, I know this about this audience. And so I’m going to go all in on literally the most safe and most conservative play that they could possibly make so that they have a guarantee that they’re going to reach this audience rather than.

Trying something could potentially reach them in a different way. So I was going to say, so how do you go about doing that then? So I know a couple of things, a couple of things that we’ve talked about in the past, both on the podcast and just kind of internally is the fact that, you know, as you create this omnipresent omni channel perspective of things.

You want to make sure that you do exactly what you said before, Kevin, right? Treat them as people. That doesn’t mean you stock photography and try to resonate with them because they have a laughing business guy, you know, in front of them, or, you know, if you’re targeting like pharma, some pharmaceutical exec or somebody in the [00:09:00] lab that’s stressing the lab code, you know, in their beakers going like this, but rather at that level of.

Personal impact, right? Engage, entice, excite, things like that. But how do you, how do you approach that then when you look at that omni channel perspective and try to engage those individuals when they’re outside of work hours or they’re on a platform that isn’t as professional and buttoned up as you would consider it on LinkedIn?

Absolutely. I think where you need to start. Is the realization that literally every piece of marketing is a gamble, right? I think every company is trying to say, Oh, I need to make sure that this is a buttoned up ROI before I try any kind of marketing technique whatsoever. I think everybody is looking for a silver bullet that they can guarantee is going to work.

Everything is a gamble. Even your safest, most tame option that you think is a surefire thing could completely fail. And [00:10:00] honestly, I think when you put the safe option out there, you’re honestly setting yourself up for failure because they might just look at it and go, this is so boring and I’m just going to scroll past because there’s just, there’s nothing about it that appeals to me.

So it starts with making a recon realization that all advertising is a gamble. So don’t hedge your bets on the safest option all the time. You have to try things that are outside of your comfort zone in order to find things that will perform better than you could have expected. Then the next step that you need to take is come up with reasonable hypotheses, right?

Because these are gambles. These are things that could work. You have to start from a place of okay. Let’s start to understand our audience. Let’s start to not just understand. This is the, the sector that we’re appealing, not just business to business. Sass decision makers at the sea level, right? [00:11:00] Not just like some kind of job title roundup.

You need to start understanding who are these people, what motivates them, and what are some reasonable hypotheses that we can develop on creative elements or. Channels that could reach them in a different way. And once you have those hypotheses, then you start to filter that down into, okay, what are some creative concepts that we can test?

And really, the only way to know whether these things could work or not is to put them out into the market and test them. So. Put a safe option out there, put, put a creative option out there, try something different and find ways to measure it so that you can see the impact of these new ideas that you’re trying.

So one thing that I quote, I think almost every episode. That we do here is like people buy based on emotion and then justify with logic. Right. And I always complained that on the B2B side, everything is [00:12:00] extremely logic based, right? Oh, save time and money or why everything that you just talked about 1 piece.

I’d like to dive into a little bit more is like, how. Where would you focus on the emotional elements when it comes to a B2B brand? Yeah, Andy, this is something that we’ve kind of like, you actually talk about quite a bit as far as like making, like, how is this going to enrich the life of the person who’s actually making that decision?

And it’s like, is it their personal life? Like, Oh, I can spend more time with my kids and do stuff like that. Is it, I’m going to get a promotion. Like, where do you find like the happy medium as far as like. motivating somebody who is in a business mindset without taking it like too far in the d2c way.

Yeah, that’s, that’s a great question. You’re right. We, we are. As human beings, we are feeling machines that think not thinking machines that also feel right. Like [00:13:00] we are largely motivated by emotional factors of, Ooh, I want that thing. And then we come back and say, Oh, I want that thing because of these reasons and use that to justify the decisions that we make.

So. When it comes to find it, it’s about finding that core center of what is that thing that makes them go, I want this, right? It’s, it’s finding a core emotional hook that’s outside of just here are our list of features that increase your ROI, right? It’s about finding what motivates those stakeholders, the things that motivate them as people and pulling those levers.

Some of the best creative work that I’ve ever done was for a car insurance company. And car insurance is literally one of those things that you purchase and want to forget about for the rest of your life. And [00:14:00] it’s a hard thing to market because number one, it’s a very crowded space. It’s one of the heaviest advertising industries in the world.

And in many States, it’s something that you are legally required to purchase in order to drive. So there’s a lot of factors of. Consumers don’t really want to have to have it, but they are legally required to have it, and it’s just literally something that’s holding them back. But we found an interesting story within there that had a human element that we really found a leverage on.

So most car insurance is priced based on demographics. Right. So your age, your gender, your zip code. And when you really analyze that, that means that people from marginalized communities are taxed higher because of car insurance. And when we thought about that a lot more, we thought about the systemic injustice of something that is one of the heaviest marketed industries in the [00:15:00] country.

So there was a human story there, right? We could talk about essentially injustice. We could talk about fairness. We could talk about the ways in which car insurance is a tax on the poor and how that affects individual people from marginalized communities. And we found ways to creatively tell that story and build our brand that invested in a real human story, rather than just saying.

We can save you up to X percent on car insurance like every other car insurance company that’s been around for almost a century, right? So, that’s how I recommend it, is find your story that’s rooted in a real human truth. And build some marketing materials around that real story and you’ll find ways to motivate people that are, are not just going to [00:16:00] say, okay, it’ll save me X amount of time or X amount of dollars.

There’s, there’s real human impact that, that can motivate people in it. In a more real, tangible and, and impactful way. So let’s flip that question then rather than motivating the consumer. What about motivating the brand side stakeholders that are holding you back from actually moving forward with that concept?

So I think the example you just gave, it’s kind of on the, on the surface, it feels like a no brainer. Like you would probably want to test that out. Yeah. But something, you know, in the B2B realm, where to your point before markings, a gamble, no matter how you look at it, it’s a matter of what risks are you willing to take?

So how do you go about motivating the brand stakeholders to take at least one of those risks? Especially if they are naturally going to be very conservative, which, which a lot of B2B marketers and stakeholders are, they’re inherently going to say, yeah, but this has been working for us. And. The question is, well, then [00:17:00] why are you coming to us if what you’re doing is working?

Why are you reaching out to somebody else? Right? And also what is working for you really mean, right? Have you actually broken through? Have you actually gained strong market share from some of your competitors? Like, what are the metrics that you say? Are working for you and the only real answer that can actually motivate a stakeholder to take drastic action right to, to shift outside of their comfort zone in a real way is to say, let’s test it.

Let’s let the data tell the story and the outcome. The only way that we’ll get real data that that will tell that story is to actually make a bet on it and set it up for success. So let’s start with small micro investments, right? Let’s, let’s start with increasing our paid search, messaging to add a more human story into it.

What if we try [00:18:00] not just hitting our benefits, but we’re just hitting our features and doing a laundry list of why our product works, but let’s try. Adding some different messaging, let’s test it on organic social. Let’s find low risk ways, add different levels of message and see what traction we get. And if you start to see some, some reasonable results from that, let’s increase our scale, right?

Let’s try different things and set a reasonable testing schedule so that you can test your safer creative against some new ideas and some new ways of telling that story. Go from there, so the way I recommend it is find ways to test it and constantly encourage those stakeholders and but give them enough safety that you can say, okay, we can’t we do have those other things.

in our pocket, right? Putting new creative out there doesn’t mean all of the other evergreen [00:19:00] inventory goes away. It just gives us new opportunities to find new ways to tell our story. There’s only upside there. You can find new opportunities. So how much money have you made by gambling and playing the odds that go to your favor when it comes to better creative?

Well, you know, I helped a company go from 100, 100 people to 1800 people in three years, right? I have them be the largest IPO in Ohio’s history, making 720 million on their IPO day. So there’s a lot of upside. In finding that human story, there’s a lot of upside in finding the ways to emotionally connect with your consumer.

It doesn’t just build. A revenue generating machine, it connects your brand to your consumers in a more tangible way. People have a, an emotional connection to the [00:20:00] brands that they really genuinely connect with. And if all you have to offer is features, you’re not building that connection. You have to invest in your brand and you have to invest in the way that you show up for your customers.

If you want to be a lasting brand, that’s just, that’s just literally look at the world around you and look at the way that you interact with every brand that you’re a part of, whether that’s B2B or B2C, you have a connection to the ones that really have an impact on you. And that’s because they’ve found a way to connect with you emotionally.

So I’ve got a question that’s more, I’ll call it like personal. And I think more geared towards people who are agency side that are on the creative team. One of the things that we run into more often than not, when it comes to creative is a. Difference in opinion when it comes to the stakeholders and them coming [00:21:00] to us for creative advice, I guess, like, what advice would you have for, I don’t know, say, a junior level creative person who is kind of batting their head against a client who kind of keeps bringing you back to.

Practicality. That’s what we deal with, right? We’re trying to, do something that evokes emotion is a little bit different and they’re reverting us back to practicality, right? Like what advice would you have for somebody in that position? Yeah, I’ve, I’ve been a part of a number of pitches and projects, both on the agency side and internally where we had this bold idea that eroded.

Each work in progress along the way to basically being. It’s the same exact message that we said, but we kind of introduced a little bit of fun in the visuals, right? Like, like, we found we found one little sprinkle of fun that we put on top of this very stale, [00:22:00] boring message that we’ve always said. And what I would suggest to people who’ve done, who are in that position, and what I’ve tried to implement myself as I try to get these types of projects over the finish line is, Continue to speak in the language of the stakeholders that you’re talking, right?

You are not going to get reasonable data on whether this performed if we’re not actually testing the thing that we’re trying to accomplish. Like, it has to start from a place of hypothesis. And our hypothesis is that when we try a bolder message, or when we, when we introduce more of a human element, or we introduce this, this new technique of telling our story, it will increase conversions.

And if you continue to soften it and get it more back towards what your control is, if there’s [00:23:00] not enough difference between your control and your variable, Those test results are invalid. You are not getting any reasonable learnings. And the thing that you should always be working towards as marketers is learnings.

The, if your only goal is to increase conversions and you’re just chasing CAC, if you’re just chasing, you know, LTV, whatever that is, if you’re just Chasing metrics that show that your campaigns are working, you’re ultimately going to fail in the long run because you’re not generating learnings on what truly works for you.

And so you have to build actual tests that generate learnings about what creative variables move the needle for you. And you’re never going to generate that if you continue to use the same safe messages over and over again, because I’ve. I’ve been in a place where I’ve seen the same safe message erode over time [00:24:00] because we were constantly cycling through the same type of customers that resonated with that one message and then fell off.

And so we were constantly trying to chase this growth engine of utilizing the same messages over and over again. And until we started adding more layers of brands that would bring a different type of customer into the funnel, we. We’re in this cycle of churn that wasn’t leading to, to the kind of growth that we really need.

That was amazing. And I think a lot of people need to hear that. I have your visual too. You have a stale cupcake that is bland and boring, no icing, nothing. And you’re just dropping a single sprinkle of fun on top. And your copy is just, you won’t learn anything from a single sprinkle. I love that. I love it.

Look at that creativity on the fly. Look at, look at this. We, we, we, we’ve just had the campaign. No, no fun sprinkles. There’s the [00:25:00] no fun sprinkle league. There you go. There it is. All right. So I’m going to hit you with like a fast mover here. A lot of the times we get brought into campaign development and get asked the question around creative comes back to you.

Well, how much creative do we need? So Kevin, how much creative does somebody need? Well, obviously the right answer is it depends, right? It depends on what the scale of the campaign is. It depends on your media buy. It depends on all of this, but the right answer is. More than you think a lot of the time, honestly, like you’re thinking that, you know, I can just try one video and I can throw in a banner ad or two and maybe just add some copy to throw into paid search and that’ll that’s a campaign.

That’s that’s the campaign. The problem when you do that is [00:26:00] you are expecting each individual asset to take an audience from, I have never heard of this company to, Oh, I have an interest in purchasing from this company. You’re expecting them to go on a very vast emotional journey with. A single asset, and that’s not a realistic expectation of your audience, especially in a B2B space where that purchasing journey is a lot longer.

And they have, they need a lot more data points. They need a lot more motivation to take them from, I’ve never heard of this company to, I have an intent to either learn more or have a full intent to purchase. So, what I always recommend is, what are the stages of the funnel for you? What, you know, some people just go, you know, awareness, consideration conversion.

Some people go, you know, [00:27:00] problem aware, solution aware. Like, there’s, there’s lots of different ways that you can slice that funnel. And lots of different iterative places in which. The customer goes from one step of the journey to the next, but I would say start with isolating what those phases are, and you need to have dedicated assets for each stage of that funnel.

That’s the bare minimum of what you need in terms of how much creative you need, because the more that you try to have one creative asset do multiple things, the muddier your message gets. The less effective it is, and the harder… It gets to reach that audience and get them to actively engage. So I would say build enough creative that you have enough assets for each stage of that funnel and then [00:28:00] add in a layer of testing within that.

So you should have multiple variables for each of those stages so that you can test and find out which of those messages is helping you achieve each of those individual goals as effectively as possible. One thing I would argue there too, is that the further up funnel you go, the more content that you need, because the message that’s required to have like an emotional trigger for somebody is going to be different for everybody, right?

So you have to have a lot more messages there where The logic behind your product, the justification pieces like that is going to be whatever your unique selling points are. And there’s only so many ways that you can slice and dice it. But that emotional trigger could be different for like, everybody’s personal life is different.

Everybody comes from a different background. Like That’s where you need a lot more creative. Yeah. Your, your core conversion message of what your like strongest, most individual offer is, is something that you probably have figured out [00:29:00] at this point. So you, you probably have a pretty good idea of what your strongest hook is from a conversion perspective.

But what your strongest emotional hook is for that audience that has no idea of who you are is probably something that you haven’t tested as much and should really be investing in. Oh, who knew that a creative conversation would point out the flaws of asset and channel based attribution again. Go ahead.

I think there’s, you’re hitting on something that. Well, it’s a good joke, but it’s also something that I see as a problem within marketing as a whole, which is marketing and creative are kind of siloed away from each other and creative, you know, especially at agencies. Often have no idea how well creative performed.

I’ve been at agencies and studios [00:30:00] where basically the only data point that we got was yes, the video played. I’m like, yeah, I’m glad that there were no technical difficulties that caused it to explode. But like, I need more data than yes, it played or the client came back. So we know the project was a success when.

Creatives get isolated from the marketing decisions when creatives are not a part of the media plan process. When creatives aren’t a part of the key marketing decisions, you’re really hampering your effectiveness. You’re hampering the ability for these campaigns to feel cohesive and holistic. You are Making your creatives order takers rather than key strategic partners.

And I see that as, as one of the major misses that is happening in marketing orgs across both B2B and B2C. I think that’s why we’ve found success [00:31:00] in, over the last, let’s say a year or two in kind of pitching and selling creative retainers and creative scopes within our marketing execution services, because it’s being done by.

People that have their finger on the pulse of the campaign. It’s not to your point, Kevin silos of creative decision makers over here that have no idea of what’s actually happening. What’s working. What’s not, or have the ability to look, I shouldn’t say ability, the willingness to learn about all those mechanisms they just care about.

Well, what’s it look like? What’s it, what’s it going to feel like? And does it hit the brand guidelines? Exactly. And that’s when creative becomes an afterthought rather than a key strategic element that makes the campaign successful. So we just talked about needing a lot of creative. So anybody who actually has a budget and is on that side is probably a little concerned about that statement.

Oh, I need a ton of creative and creative is expensive. I know one of [00:32:00] the things that you focus on is building creative systems. How do you go about that? Yeah, so this is really. Kind of a process that I developed when I was in house in that I, I figured out how to ship, around 250 video deliverables a year at an average cost of about 1, 500 per video, which is kind of insane when, when you.

Look at what a typical video costs. And when I did some kind of math on that, I was saving the business 5 million a year on creative production. And the way that I was going about that was. Not treating each individual piece of creative as like a whole cloth solution that I had had to come up with from the jump because that’s what you’re trained to do in the agency world, you are given a brief and you have to come up with a solution that fits that brief.

Specifically, and instead, [00:33:00] I was given the opportunity where I got to more think about this as more of a, this is the problem that the business is trying to solve. And I got to use my creative capabilities to figure out the right solution that would meet those needs and the needs that I saw that the business had were, how do we find ways to.

Test new messages to find high performing content. How do we test new strategic creative ideas? How do we build more evergreen content that can be used for social that can be iterated upon when we find things that are performing. And so I came up with a couple of solutions on how to build a more systematic approach to creative.

And the way I think about that is. When I’m planning a live action shoot, I don’t have one storyboard for one 30 second spot. Instead, I think about what are the types of content that I need that I can tell a bunch [00:34:00] of different stories around. So instead of a one day shoot where we execute a storyboard, I plan a five day shoot where I have an entire matrix of content that I say, okay, for a car insurance company, we need.

Driving footage. We need footage of, people interacting with our product. I need footage that shows general lifestyle. I need footage that shows what are the benefits that this customer is getting because they’re using our product. Okay. They’re saving money. They have more opportunities to spend time with their family.

So I, I captured all of this content and found ways that I could weave those stories in and out so that I was building a modular set of ingredients. That I could use instead of one 30 seconds, Bob, I’m getting hundreds of pieces of video content that can have different messages that can be different lengths that can be optimized for different channels because.

There’s so many different channels and different needs these days, having those ingredients at the ready that I could [00:35:00] create a lot of content really efficiently, really helped us get to scale very, very quickly. And so I was doing that for pretty much all of our set of creative needs. So I was building motion graphics templates that could help us.

Repackaged, you know, transitions, type elements, things like that. I was building us a library of 3d illustrations, which I built over 900 unique 3d renders within our first year. There’s all of these other ways in which I was, creating a ready inventory of assets that our creative team could utilize to build high quality creative at.

A 10 X production schedule.

It’s a lot of creative. It was a lot of creative. We made a lot of stuff and we made it in, you know, we were cutting our timelines [00:36:00] by two thirds. We were cutting our budgets by three fourths. Like we were, we were a content engine and it was because we were thinking in rather than each piece of creative needs to be.

You know, we start from zero every single time. So how does that affect, like, your planning process though, right? Because you’re thinking, like, are you, planning out the outputs? Like, I don’t know, I just think of it as, I almost see what you’re doing as, like, grocery shopping, right? Like, here are all the ingredients that I can use for different things that I’m going to make throughout the week.

But then… That’s very funny, okay? Because that is an analogy I use a lot. I talk about it like meal prep, right? Like, how much easier is it to make… You know, your meals throughout the week when you already have a bunch of sliced peppers and onions and mushrooms, right? Like you can make tacos, you can make, omelets.

You can, you have all of these things at the ready that make it so [00:37:00] much faster, cheaper, and easier to make things throughout the week, as long as you have your ingredients ready. So yeah, that’s, that’s exactly how I think about it is I think about every single component as a modular piece that filts within a larger overall system.

And I think about how I can reuse all of these different pieces in different contexts all the time. So yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s not that different from production because you have to make a lot of those decisions already when you’re on set. You’re thinking about lighting, composition, the action, the framing.

You’re thinking about the camera movement, what the actor’s doing. Like you have to think about all of these individual micro decisions that lead to a larger story. This is just kind of taking that. Idea and putting it at a larger scale so that each of those modular [00:38:00] individual decisions make up for a larger story that can be reused in a systemized way.

Do you find that there’s like any, like, I’ll use the food analogy, waste any fruit that goes bad at the end or, are there any cons to doing it that way? I guess there’s another way what I’m asking. Not really. I, I, I think probably one of the biggest challenges that we faced was that because I was able to produce it so much volume, it was like, okay, well, what do we test?

How do we make sure that we’re, we’re able to test each of these things to give each one it’s due diligence and, and give it its weight so that we can gain statistical significance on what’s working and what’s not like, If on anything, the downside was that creative was outpacing marketing, which is, which is not usually the, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that.

That’s not really the state of affairs. Usually, we were having so many ideas and so many different things that we could test and we made [00:39:00] so much content that, that marketing was, was kind of lagging behind creative sometimes. So that, that was honestly the only downside, is that, that we were able to outpace marketing.

But. At the end of the day, like that’s a really good problem to have because we didn’t really increase our content budget. We only increased our output. Yeah, that’s amazing. So with that output, I’m curious, kind of the, the overarching goal of what we’ve been talking about is, especially when you think about, you know, mobile devices and various channels stopping the scroll, right.

What makes scroll stopping creative? Like, what are the things that go into that and make somebody. Just take that action. Stop the scroll. Kevin. Yeah. So when I think about particularly video content, from about 10 years ago, the, the, the king of all content [00:40:00] was the 92nd explainer video, the 92nd explainer video that everyone threw on YouTube and threw on their website and used as the thing that was going to generate interest.

And there are a lot of techniques, but a lot of the common ones were you start with the problem and you build and build to the point of showing the solution. And sometimes that looked like me, James, James has a problem, right? Right. Like it was, it was like as cheesy as that sometimes. And so we got used to this idea of what storytelling looks like in a video format for digital marketing.

But then there were these things that came about, which is, you know, this little guy right here, the, the, the mobile phone came out, Facebook became an advertising channel. So there have been lots of things that have evolved in the way that digital marketing [00:41:00] communicates with consumers that have changed.

The way in which content needs to be built to effectively grab the attention of your audience. So instead of start with the problem and storytelling being the solution, a lot of the solutions lie in how can you capture that attention as quickly as possible. You’ve got maybe two seconds while someone is swiping through in their feed to get their attention.

So, starting with, make sure that your creative is optimized for the channel that it’s in. So, if it is in a feed, don’t do a 16×9 video. I know that a lot of you are cinema purists, but the widescreen video is only taking up A fourth of the overall frame that they’re going through. So you have way less opportunity to grab someone’s eye.

It needs to be either four by five or nine [00:42:00] by 16. Like that is just a no brainer right there. If you’re trying to stop the scroll, the more real estate of someone’s feed that you’re taking up, the more opportunity you have to grab their attention. The next is get your message out as quickly and clearly as possible.

If we’re talking about stopping the scroll, that means that there’s no audio. You’re not, you’re not going to be able to convey your message through audio only. You need to have large bold text and you need to have a very clear message that tells who your brand is and what and why the audience should care very, very quickly.

Those are, those are the kind of the first elements of stopping the scroll, get your message out and optimize it so that it actually is going to be seen and understood. In a single swipe. Good deal. All right. So now as we kind of bring today’s episode towards a close, my favorite question that I’ve been asking guests [00:43:00] is if you could wave your magic wand and change one thing about B2B marketing right now, what would it be and why?

It would be stakeholders minds. I, I’d want to change their minds to being more open. I would want them to have. The mentality of openness, and have a little bit more rebellion in them, right? I want them to have a little bit more of the attitude that instead of something unique and bold being a threat.

To the safe messaging that they are already using. I want them to view that as an exciting opportunity for growth. That is the single thing that I would change the most, because I think that would change our landscape in a way that would. Make everything more [00:44:00] interesting and give everybody more opportunity to build more compelling brands and tell more compelling stories.

So rather than a single sprinkle, more like a tablespoon of sprinkles, right? Let’s, let’s, let’s at least add a tablespoon. Let’s at least add a tablespoon. I want this to look like a funfetti, cupcake by the end. There you go. Well, Kevin, go ahead, James. I was just thinking of Dunkin Donuts with their like custom Dunkin logo sprinkles.

How can we do? We just need to sprinkle more of the logo in there. That’s the direction they’ll go. Duncan knows the fun sprinkle. Kevin, thanks so much for joining James and I today. How can people learn more about your consulting business and connect with you? Yeah. LinkedIn is the space that I am largely, A menace on and, screaming into the [00:45:00] void pretty regularly.

So, that’s probably the space where you can find and connect with me the most. You can also, see some of my work at my website, Kevin dash rap. com. Awesome. Well, thank you again, and everybody go check out Kevin’s website as you just described, go check him out on LinkedIn. He’s got lots of ideas, a lot of creativity, and we are so happy and excited to have had you on today’s episode.

And until next time, guys, thanks for listening to digital banter. Like, subscribe, go check out dragon360. com for more information. Catch you next time.

Thanks for listening to the Digital Vanter podcast. Make sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts so you don’t miss an episode. For more resources and to keep up with the show, visit dragon360. com. Until next time.


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