Matt O'Leary (00:00):
This is Matt O'Leary and you're listening to The Influence Hacker podcast. In this Capstone episode, we're going to tell you why we started this podcast in the first place, wwhat we learned through the first season, and what we're going to do differently for season 2 in 2023. Like any of the millions of podcasts out there, we started this with the grandest intentions, a marketing podcast that would change the course of history. Okay. That's overstating it a bit but you get it. In a signature metaphorical style, John explains what was at the heart of this podcast to begin with.
John Lenker (00:57):
Once I saw a picture of a person's house, that started out some little 800 square foot little kind of hut and over time they just kind of added on and added on and added on and the net effect of the structure, after some time of adding on, is that it looks kind of like a Frankenstein house. Right? There's no design intention, there's no overarching vision, it's just kind of become what it is. And I feel like the marketing industry is kind of developed in a similar fashion. There wasn't some kind of overarching vision, you know, especially in digital marketing. It was more like what the industry became as a result of what happened to us in marketing. It wasn't a result of intention. It was just a series of reactions to what had come before.
Matt O'Leary (01:54):
According to John, the marketing profession, or field, has always lacked a foundation. You look at the marketing programs and Academia or around the internet for influencers, or YouTubers under the marketing umbrella and I think it supports this, it's really a hodgepodge of knowledge and information. A patchwork.
John Lenker (02:14):
My vision for The Influence Hacker podcast and journals, has been to, to do something that has more of a foundation that takes a really broad view and also kind of looks back into history at what has been effective in terms of persuasive communication since, you know, classical era number one, you know, back to Aristotle. Then try to transform it from a Frankenstein monster to something, that's beautiful and elegant and very cohesive.
Matt O'Leary (02:47):
While John's been in the marketing profession for many years, Kevin brought the consumer perspective as a former academic.
Kevin deLaplante (02:55):
I want to know, what does an ethical and effective American look like at the professional level. So that there is unity so that there's a coherent whole, as John said, it's something coherent between how we practice this profession, and our concerns for advocating, for the welfare of everyone who's impacted by marketing messaging.
Matt O'Leary (03:17):
So beyond bringing cohesion to the marketing profession through enlightening interviews and conversations. This was our other major goal to confront moral and ethical dilemmas in the business and marketing world. Up to this point, we've done this in various fields, including affiliate marketing and Healthcare and the food industry, all of which involve marketing and persuasion in some way.
John Lenker (03:40):
There just didn't seem to be anything that was academically rigorous about what exists in the marketing industry. It seems like a lot of the material that's produced is very utilitarian. It doesn't step back and take more of a philosophical view of the situation the industry is in. And so, as a result, it seems like there's a lot of stuff that goes just like a few inches deep. It's like a mile wide and a couple of inches deep and I wanted to see if we could come up with something that was a little bit more structured that the top level was not quite so wide but, you know, layered deeper, and deeper, and deeper in the somehow we would facilitate conversations that would lead to that and that we could kind of construct a map of the disciplines involved in marketing that would somehow be useful not only to people in the industry but that would somehow give some insight to people who are consumers.
Matt O'Leary (04:36):
One of the things we realize in making this show is that, despite our best intentions to bring depth and sophistication to the marketing conversation, as John notes here, the reality is that most professionals like you and I are interested in this type of content for something very specific, you know, that will help them tackle a specific problem hat's facing them right now in this moment. In other words, most people are looking for practical tools and advice to help them do their job better.
John Lenker (05:07):
We broke our own rule in that we started with what we wanted to say and what we wanted to do versus meeting our audiences where they're at, and understanding what they are searching for and what they're hungry to hear. I'm going to give an example of something that is analogous to what I think we are doing and it's recipes, right? The modern trend for recipes is that you do a search for something, you know, how to make a garlic cream sauce, you know, I just did this recently and, in an effort to provide as much value as they can to other consumers, to their audiences, these recipe sites have these gigantic value add components to the recipe there's a like this whole explanation, this whole preamble about why I like to make chocolate chip cookies and my grandmother and my mom and summers are Grandma's house where we do all this stuff and there's pictures and process, and it's like you're scrolling and scrolling and scrolling to get to the recipe. Like, I need to make. I just where is the list of ingredients? And it's like way down the page, you know, it's like, you respect what people are trying to do, they're trying to add value to, trying to differentiate themselves. Trying to go deep like we've tried to do, but they've also kind of missed the point of, you know, the utility of a recipe. Like, it's got to be actionable.
Matt O'Leary (06:32):
In order to give you some actionable insights. And not just this Winding Road of pontification, we're going to focus episodes on the same pillars we use in our Consulting Practice. That is, the job of any business leader.
John Lenker (06:48):
Attract more attention. That's number one, convert prospects to customers, maximize revenues, minimize expenses, retain customers longer and make the world better. If you do those six things, you win. If the things that we want to cover and discuss don't directly affect one of those pillars. It may not be very immediately useful.
Kevin deLaplante (07:12):
We're interested in ethical and effective influence hacking within the context of a market economy. Within the context of individuals and businesses trying to create influence within the economy that we, in fact, have and in which case business considerations become inevitable then.
Matt O'Leary (07:33):
To recap. Our goal is to retain the initial reflective and philosophical Spirit of the podcast while pushing things in a much more practical direction. Instead of just inviting people with big-time resumes and internationally recognized works and achievements, we're going to bring in people who have their boots on the ground.
John Lenker (07:55):
So the bottom line is we want to talk to influence hackers about influence hacking.
Kevin deLaplante (07:60):
It really is. And that means that the category is broader than just marketing, right? Because anyone who's trying to create influence within an audience, typically it'll be businesses. But if you're in the profession of creating influence, then that could include things like speech writers. We're very interested in the professional marketers but also brand managers creating products that are going to be engaging or people. Those who are working in this modern marketing ecosystem, but it could be all kinds of different sorts of tasks and professions. My thinking about this is that people really want an opportunity to talk about the things that matter to them. But the work they're doing and why they're doing it and the the struggles, they face and the obstacles, they're trying to overcome and what's making them excited about it.
John Lenker (08:47):
So I think both of those things. So, you know, to kind of showcase stories of people in the marketing industry who are finding success through things that they've kind of struggled to work out and they've gotten results. on the other hand, have conversations with people who may be up against the wall on something and they're struggling and they're trying to figure it out.
Kevin deLaplante (09:10):
I'm also interested in people who've been around the business for a while and also people who are just new to it because Marketing in 2023 is a very different beast than it was 10 years ago or 20 years ago. And certainly we're on the cusp of a new era for sure. Just the sort of AI influence and marketing is we're on the cusp of something new. And there's lots of opportunities. To talk to people about how creating influence within certain audiences, how that goal and those methods have changed and we can anticipate changing over time.
Matt O'Leary (09:44):
Besides adjusting our content focus and who we're talking to. We're also going to go for a much more conversational tone and format without as much editing for interviews because it turns out that producing something akin to This American Life. Without an MPR sized team is pretty difficult. And let's be real. We ran into that common 6 episode wall where most podcasts fizzle out with a little less editing. Our hope is to give you much more content
John Lenker (10:13):
You know, again, we're going to keep trying to inject all of these conversations with the elements that we think are important to influence hacking and in terms of laying a comprehensive Foundation, but we're going to dial into the practical needs that people have right now every day and kind of Influence from there, you know, expand out from there. That's the game plan for 2023.
Matt O'Leary (10:39):
Thank you so much to our listeners and subscribers, happy New Year and we'll see you soon for season 2. For a little deeper, dive into the influence hacker mindset. You can read our companion, piece on medium the influence hacker journal, the influence hacker podcast is executive produced by John Lenker and Kevin deLaplante. Our mixing and mastering engineer is Patrick Dobrinin. The producer of this podcast, as well. Well, as the writer of The Narrative and the original music is yours. Truly Matt. O'Leary.