On this week on Explicit Content, Joe Cox and Demian Ross discuss social media marketing and the nuanced dynamics of quality content.Read More
Do you have integrity? Are you authentic?
Recent rulings have brought social media to its knees. Our subscribers are increasingly perceptive. The theatre of sale, in our digital marketing era, is evolving toward honesty and respect for the consumer.
Carefully targeted research is an excellent tool. Privacy avoids outcry. Influencers foster transparency. Honesty is imperative.
Building trust nourishes familiarity with the public. Marketing magic, properly done, is cathartically profitable. In the new paradigm, we will look for ethical content. Gone are the days of reliance on mass metrics. To understand our base is to grow our business.
Advertising is costly. Without subscribers; we fail.
This week, on Explicit Content your MC’s for the 2019 Enterprise Marketer Conference: Joe Cox and Megan Zander promote the kick-off of this event.
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Welcome to the Explicit Content Podcast. Here are your hosts, Joe Cox and Megan Zander.
Joe Cox: Hello, marketers. Welcome to another episode of Explicit Content Podcast. This is a place you get real talk from a bunch of real marketers on all of the nerdy marketing topics you love; content, social, native, SCO, et cetera. I'm Joe Cox. I'm the founder of Pop Marketer. It's a place where I talk about and help brands that want to integrate with culture and pop culture, that kind of cool stuff. I've worked with a ton of consumer brands and content and social strategy as well as experiential and some youth marketing.
Joe Cox: You know what? Today, folks, we're going to mix it up. I'm usually on with Demian Ross, my co-host, when we talk about social media, but today, today is a special day. Today I'm joined by the very brilliant, extremely talented, awfully lovely, content strategist with the mostest, Megan Zander. Say hello.
Megan Zander: Oh, aw, thank you. That was a very nice introduction.
Joe Cox: Yes, nailed it.
Megan Zander: Yeah, Megan Zander. I'm a content strategist. I work at Sullivan Higdon & Sink here in Kansas City, Missouri, primarily on food and animal health verticals. I specialize in the social media channels, so I'm very excited to get to talk to you today.
Joe Cox: Yeah, animal health. I've been into that world recently myself.
Megan Zander: Yeah.
Joe Cox: It's such an interesting place.
Megan Zander: It's challenging.
Joe Cox: It's totally got its challenges. If you haven't been in it, it's been nice to jump into. No matter what, you always have a secret weapon, which is dogs and cats.
Megan Zander: You feel like you can do anything after animal health, especially with social media.
Joe Cox: Oh, yeah. It's definitely creativity by constraints. Megan and I, we are the emcees, and the reason we're going to be doing this together, we're the emcees of the very first Enterprise Marketing Conference here in Kansas City. It will be on March 1st, next year, 2019.
Megan Zander: Yeah, I'm so excited.
Joe Cox: It's a one-day conference, a ton of great speakers, and we'll be treating it kind of like a living workshop, so it will be speakers speaking. Then you're actually going to have actionable items that you can leave and begin to put into action with your team the next day if you wanted to, which is cool.
Megan Zander: Yeah.
Joe Cox: You don't get that a ton. You get a lot of inspiration at conferences. You do not usually get things that I could really know exactly how to put into place. I think that was a lot of the thinking behind what we'll get here at the Enterprise Marketing Conference.
Megan Zander: Yeah. I'm stoked. I'm really excited about the speakers that are coming out. These guys are near and dear to Enterprise Marketer. We've seen them, you and I got to go meet some of them at Content Marketing World this year, which was great.
Joe Cox: Yeah, it was fun.
Megan Zander: These guys are from all over, all over the nation. The speakers at the conference are Katie Martell, who is a ... What does she call herself? The earless marketer, or the unapologetic truth teller, I think is her elevator pitch.
Joe Cox: Ooh, I like that.
Megan Zander: She's a great speaker. She's spoken at tons of conferences. I'm not going to name them all, but very smart, and she specializes in on demanding marketing. Then we have Andy Crestodina, who is the chief marketing officer, co-founder, at Orbit Media. He is so smart. He's a part of the Explicit ... Sorry, all of these speakers are part of our Explicit Podcast, Content Podcast.
Joe Cox: Yeah. If you listen to the podcast and you always wanted to be see these people's faces, this is the ticket.
Megan Zander: Yes.
Joe Cox: Andy is so smart. He's a dapper man and extremely, is extremely smart. I just went out and had some coffee with him in Chicago.
Megan Zander: Oh, cool.
Joe Cox: Yeah, man, he is an incredible speaker. You'll be taking tons of notes the entire time, but super excited to see him [crosstalk 00: 04: 37].
Megan Zander: Yeah, he'll have some great things to say about search engine optimization. I mean, tons of stuff.
Joe Cox: Oh, it is completely the opposite of my skillset.
Megan Zander: Then we've got Melanie Deziel, and she is the founder of Storyfuel, which has a cool story. I'm sure she'll tell us a little bit about it at the conference. She is the wizard with native advertising. She's done a lot of cool work. So If you have a chance to check her out on the Explicit Content Podcast too, she talks a lot about some of the work she's done with ... Oh, what was the publication? Was it The New York Times?
Joe Cox: I believe so.
Megan Zander: Or just Midwest?
Joe Cox: I think she's the one that did the Orange is the New Black piece, which was the first native piece that was actually a really big journalistic story that was wrapped into the Orange is the New Black new season coming out. I remember when that came out. That is the native anchor piece that whenever people talk about how you do native right, that's it. Pretty rad to have her.
Megan Zander: We are lucky. Then finally, Carlos Abler, who is a content marketing strategy leader, and he works at 3M. He does a lot of speaking too, a really smart guy. Very excited to see what he has to say, has to bring to the conference.
Joe Cox: He's over hundreds, I want to say ... I'm completely making that up, but I think his team is ...
Megan Zander: Millions.
Joe Cox: His team is ginormous. What he brings is a how do you build and keep process around that content machine when you build it. As both of us know, it's extremely challenging with one person, let alone hundreds. Definitely a good get from Minneapolis.
Megan Zander: Yeah, he'll be able to talk about scaling and growing your team. I'm really excited to see what he has to say. Four amazing speakers and all great, everybody except for Carlos, they're our Explicit Content Podcast co-hosts.
Joe Cox: Yeah, so no matter what, check out the episodes and the episodes leading up to March, you'll hear a lot from these speakers. If you're able to come out to Kansas City, tickets are up now. Totally get them, and come and visit us. I have plenty of room at the front of my house, so, please.
Megan Zander: We're all going to stay at Joe's.
Joe Cox: Totally. It's a pre-party. The reason that we are hosting, the reason that you and I are doing this podcast now, is we're actually, we're going to be emcees, which I'm completely one hundred and fifty percent stoked on. We've done, yeah, we're totally ready, and it's going to be intense. We're going to really put some showmanship on. We're going to pass around some ideas. We haven't done that yet. I'm thinking smoke machines.
Megan Zander: No, not yet.
Joe Cox: Some lasers. It's going to be great.
Megan Zander: Just that. We won't prepare beyond that. We're just going to show up with a smoke machine and the lasers.
Joe Cox: Improv and lasers.
Megan Zander: Maybe some dancing, improv dancing.
Joe Cox: Yep.
Megan Zander: Get ready.
Joe Cox: Just put on the right song. We've done a couple episodes of Marketer to Marketer, which you should totally check out. We did a Password game show for marketers talking to each other, which was super fun, and those are starting to come out now, so you can check out those videos if you want to see our faces. But we only did that, we had to prepare ourselves for the dual MC'ing event, to build the relationship, to get that candor. We like to call it [inaudible 00: 08: 22], our ability to ham and egg. What better medium to ham and egg than do that, than this podcast.
Megan Zander: It's great. It's [inaudible 00: 08: 36].
Joe Cox: That's right. Let's get to it. What are we going to be talking about today, Megan? What are we starting out? I've been reading some of your social posts about your adventures in Facebook ad platform. What's going on there?
Megan Zander: Yeah. I started down the path of just talking about some of the ad types that we've been running, we've been seeing with the creator tools that they're coming out with right now, and the video platform and how they're changing the video platform to be geared towards a younger demographic. I think probably what everybody's going to be most interested in hearing about is Mark Zuckerberg on trial for these emails that just got released, actually, I'm not sure when this podcast will launch, but it just happened yesterday as of the recording time for this.
Megan Zander: How far into the story are you? Have you heard anything about it yet?
Joe Cox: I haven't read anything about this. It feels like there's a, it has not been a good couple months, at least headlines. It's really tough to say, because you don't know how ... It's really tough to how it actually is impacting or feeling over at the Facebook headquarters, but, wow. I have not heard anything on this, so please, what actually was released? All I heard was a couple headlines on it's kind of more practices that are like, hey, they're extremely shrewd business, like a business, is willing to stop at nothing to make a buck, which Wall Street loves. I don't know. Last time I heard, Wall Street loves that stuff. I don't know if the users are big fans.
Megan Zander: Well, yeah. I have an opinion on it, and I haven't completely formed it yet, because I need to dive into a little bit more about what they actually released. From just day one scrolling the headlines, they are true shrewd business people, just as you've said. What I think is happening is, we as users, as a group, globally, are realizing that this thing that we were scared of that we thought was happening but we didn't really want to talk about it, where our personal data is not just being used but is, there's this giant market out there for it, and there's no control we have over it despite privacy policies and us being able to check yes or no. We're realizing that it's actually true.
Megan Zander: I think a lot of savvy platform users, social media platform users, have known this, but to see it in email form, these personal communications that are happening between the executives at Facebook, it's just kind of shocking and jarring. It doesn't appear that they're doing anything illegal. I've seen a couple of articles talking about how Mark might have ... I'm calling him Mark like he's my friend ... Mr. Zuckerberg might have perjured himself during the investigation into Cambridge Analytica, but, yeah, it's jarring.
Megan Zander: I think we're going to see some more opinion about this over the next couple of days, people guessing at what this means for the future of the company. I think that's the biggest implication, is that ... Just recently there was an article that came out ...
Joe Cox: It was an old school journalism. They had five hundred fifty sources, five thousand documents. It was just a buildup of stuff, a lot of it, that gave you that kind of insider look at the whole leadership group, and put Sandberg under a lot of pressure too, which was kind of [the Darwin 00: 12: 36].
Megan Zander: Yeah. The biggest takeaway I got from that was that obviously investors are worried. They want him to step down as chief executive officer. Now this is happening. Now these emails are released. There's going to be a little bit of a public outcry. We're already seeing all these opinion articles on it.
Megan Zander: Basically, we might see a shift in how the Facebook ad platform is used is my guess. We've already seen the warnings that the cost of Facebook ads is going to go up exponentially next year. It has investors worried. There's only so much growth that can happen within a finite market, and so their growth has slowed, their user growth has slowed on the Facebook platform. Instagram is really starting to pick up, more and more users on Instagram every day. I think there's going to be a shift in how the platform is used by advertisers. I think we're going to see a different kind of ad execution, and people are going to start getting smarter about how they spend their money on the platform, hopefully.
Megan Zander: That's what we're telling our clients. We're trying to go through a process now every time we get a campaign request for Facebook, do we actually need to be on this platform, or is there a better way to spend our money, especially for a long-term solution. I think that's what's really interesting is what's going to happen with their leadership at Facebook and what will that mean for the ad platform itself. I think people will continue to use the content platform in the same way that they've always used it.
Megan Zander: I don't know. What do you think about that?
Joe Cox: I think a lot of this was already in motion. I will commend to say, he made, or they made, some really drastic changes to the algorithm after the Cambridge Analytica got ... so drastic that it dropped profits by forty percent on the Facebook side. Then you have not weirdness, but you could kind of see some writing on the wall when you had the original Instagram creators and leaders step down, and you had some other leaders step down, because it's like the plan was, "Hey, gang, Facebook is going to have to change. There's going to have to be some things changed drastically about this, and we are a public company, and we have that quarterly report, like it or not, we need to show our shareholders our plan to get out of this." To your point, it's clear. It's like, okay, Facebook is going to have to change some of the ways in which it's advertising, but somebody has to fit that load and put that load on their shoulders. That needs to be Instagram.
Joe Cox: On my side, we are in the Midwest, and it's incredible. Both of us have pharma clients as well as CPG and ... It was really going well. Their platform is incredible. The ability to build personalized funnels and bring people through this experience is unmatched. They built something extremely powerful, but I'm getting the same questions, like, "Should we spend our money?" The power of it is a moot point, I guess, in more of, "Is this somewhere where we want to run and spend money," which is a crazy about-face. I still don't know if people really even understand that Instagram and Facebook are kind of the same thing.
Megan Zander: Yeah.
Joe Cox: Not us. I'm saying our, in general, leadership, and C-suite in companies, big and small.
Megan Zander: You have to educate every time we run a Facebook campaign that Instagram becomes a placement option when you're running a campaign from the Facebook ad platform, and did the right columns ad type, and then they also have their network. I wonder if the network will become more valuable. Programmatic isn't going away. Maybe it's just been the context that Facebook audience network provides. Maybe these partners that they have out there on the web become more valuable, because it's within that realm of social media platform user experience. Maybe we're just giving them ... I'm sorry ... giving our target audience context, the right context, to receive the ad content, and that's the value in using Facebook's ad platform. Maybe it's the real value in using Facebook over other ad mediums is that, the ad types. They continue to improve their ad types.
Megan Zander: One thing I keep coming back to, though, is that Facebook users are becoming more and more wary of ad content in their feed. They're not engaging with it. They're not consuming it. It's harder to raise awareness, because it's just something you wish wasn't there. Influencers are going to become more and more important. More spending is happening in the influencer realm across marketing teams all over the world for a good reason, and that's because people don't want to engage with ad content, especially not in a social context. They would rather see it from somebody they know and trust or somebody who's an authority on the matter.
Joe Cox: You can't skip an influencer class.
Megan Zander: Not when you're fumbling anyway.
Joe Cox: That's unskippable. Yeah, you're totally right on. I don't know if people understand how ... It feels like they, a lot of the conversation is on reaching frequency and treating NVs, influencers, or content creators that have followings as, like, "Hey, can we shove this into media?" I think it's going to be ... It already is an extremely powerful channel, but we are so on the edge of what it will be. I just read a headline that was fifty-four percent of Chinese youth want to be online influencers.
Megan Zander: Oh, yeah. I wish I had it in front of me.
Joe Cox: It's not just here. It's not just here. It's everywhere. This technology and this connection with everybody, we have to understand how powerful that is. [Ivy grass 00: 19: 30]. I will say this, it is not going away. We need to keep up with it.
Joe Cox: I know, his name's Ben Smith, I'm going to have him on an interview Explicit Content, and he is a Facebook dynamo, and he's closer to them than I've ever, closer to internal workings and what's going on over there, than anybody I've ever met, so I'm looking forward to talking with him. He's definitely got a point of view on everything that is ...
Joe Cox: It's really effective and smart, what they've done. It's just now they have to understand that their practices, and you can't just be a Wall Street business that stops at nothing to get the quarterly, to get everything that they want, and then have two billion users that you are making, that are kind of your value. It's definitely a balancing act. It's a kind of experiment happening in real time, because there's nothing on the books to say what do you do in this ... "I have two billion users and they're starting to go away. How do I deal with it?"
Megan Zander: To bring it full circle, I just think it's this global thing that's happening. Mark Zuckerberg is the mermaid slapped on the front of the ship sailing through. It's the first thing we're seeing, to kind of a huge change.
Megan Zander: I'll say this one more thing, and then we should move on. I saw a really great talk once, the session at a local marketing conference, where a gentleman, I can't remember his exact vertical, but he described a future in which we would have the ability to broker our own data, our own personal data, so that we could provide our own personal data to vendors who would then use that to do studies or to understand our consumer behaviors or ...
Joe Cox: It exists, and, of course, the answer to all this is blockchain, of course. The answer to any problem in 2018 is blockchain. I think blockchain's is going to find its way to get that. I am unabashedly just live my life like it's all social. I don't care, but if I could make a little bit of cash on it, that's fantastic. Go ahead, have my credit card information. I say this, but then my insurance would skyrocket because of my diet habits. Then I would be cursing the sky.
Joe Cox: Speaking of influencers, I love the story, did you hear about the Palessi, Bruno Palessi shoe line that came out last week?
Megan Zander: It was great, yeah.
Joe Cox: It was great. It's so great. It was actually a ... I'm going to call it a stunt, like a culture hacking stunt, that Payless Shoes put together. It was pretty easy. They straight out, and everybody knows Payless Shoes, cheap shoes, right? It's cheap shoes, really not the most stunning place to go shopping. Not the best, but they're like, "Hey, that's not what you're paying for. You're paying extremely low prices for shoes, and you need some for your kids and yourself, so why pay a hundred dollars when you can pay thirty?"
Joe Cox: Anyway, in order to show this, they actually started an entire luxury Italian retail brand that was very comically named Palessi, from a fake designer named Bruno Palessi, and they did everything. They kicked up an Instagram, kicked up a website, all looking super legit. Then it gets good. Here is where the theater comes in. They took an old Armani store that was in Santa Monica, and I guess before they were saying, they were thinking that they were going to do it in Brooklyn. They had another name and everything. It was kind of like a Brooklyn vibe, but they ended up doing it at an old Armani store and going Italian in Santa Monica, which is perfect, and they filled it with all their twenty dollar pumps and heels and all their Payless products. Then they slapped four hundred to six hundred dollar price tags on everything and then opened the doors. So great.
Joe Cox: It could have been bad, I guess, but of course what they did is they invited a lot of, you could use "influencers." There's some details there that they weren't really high-level influencers by any means. Anyway, they brought people in, interviewed them, and of course got those people saying, "Oh, my gosh, the stitching on this, you can tell it's Italian." "Of course I would pay six hundred dollars for content." They're soaking it all up. They got tons of great content out of it, and they actually sold thirty thousand dollars worth of product before they dropped the other shoe, if you know what I mean.
Megan Zander: Yeah.
Joe Cox: Thanks. Then they told everyone, "Yeah, it's just a show for Payless." It's not like it's the newest idea in the world. It's the good old-fashioned "Gotcha" moment, right? It's like my favorite skit ever on Saturday Night Live, the Chris Farley Folgers Crystals campaign.
Megan Zander: Oh, no, I don't know that one, no.
Joe Cox: Look it up on YouTube. There was an old school one, and I think it was seventies, if not early seventies, when it was Folgers Crystals came out. By the way, Folgers Crystals is not a good coffee, if you could even call it coffee. But they did a quick TV commercial where they gave a couple sitting at a restaurant Folgers Crystals. Then they told this very hoity-toity couple that they were drinking Folgers Crystals, and they were very surprised. But that was TV. That was a TV commercial, so probably ninety-nine percent fake as all hell.
Joe Cox: Then I think Walmart did something similar, TV, with their meat, like a steakhouse or something. I was looking it up, and actually Fruit of the Loom did something pretty similar two years ago with their underwear. They did a pop-up shop that was startup, like really expensive underwear, and it turned out to be Fruit of the Loom.
Joe Cox: I don't know if it's the new thing, but I do give ... I've worked with Payless. I've worked around Payless a lot in my past, and this is a really big step for this ... This was a big move for this brand and a really courageous one. First off, it's like it's really a different channel and different times, so I really like this one, because it kind of, whether they meant for this or not, it showed their brand positioning really well, and then as well, it's shed light on this whole fakery and that people love to hate of influencers in general, right, like hoity-toity lifestyle influencers, and then seeing them get tricked, I think everybody really liked it.
Megan Zander: Yes. I think that was the most clever part of this whole execution. They did a great job establishing the content before they launched anything, so there was a place for people to go search. I loved that. The videos were great. They weren't over produced. It very much felt like you were in that nineties mall shopping at the fancy shoe store. Yeah, I think the relevant kind of turn on influencers and content creators was very clever. Out of all of the things, that was the most clever. I have to say I wasn't completely convinced or sold on their positioning after watching the videos, though, as an admitted Payless shoe shopper.
Joe Cox: Awesome.
Megan Zander: Something that struck me with that, I actually shop there, and I do so because I know their shoes are cheap. I would prefer to see a brand like that lean into ... Yes, you want a shoe that isn't going to fall apart on you as soon as you put it on, but I didn't necessarily need the connection to a finer quality product. I buy shoes there because I have toddlers, and I know that we're going to be buying new shoes in a month. You go to Payless to get the thing you need just like you got to Walmart to get the thing you need or the grocery store to get what you need.
Joe Cox: Amen. That's right. That's right.
Megan Zander: I appreciate it, though.
Joe Cox: Yeah. I think to that point, here's what I would love. I will say, yes, and the craft and design of it, I've pulled a lot of stunts in my day and have done a lot of experiential. The difference between really good and really bad are devils in the details, right?
Megan Zander: Yeah.
Joe Cox: I will give it out to a couple people. Sara Couch is the new CMO at Payless, and so anything outside ... because they've done the same thing for so long, and it's like, especially when they're closing a hundred stores, it's a really tough time. It's tough. It's easy for us on our side to say, "Hey, you need to do something big," but for that business, that's a really hard jump to make.
Megan Zander: Oh, yeah.
Joe Cox: Some claps and high fives for Sara, and she hired the right people. I looked into it, and it's a place called DCX Growth Accelerator.
Megan Zander: Huh.
Joe Cox: Not the coolest name in the entire world, but I think it's on purpose, you're supposed to not sound like an agency, right? We're something different. It was this dude, and this is a great book, by the way, his name's Doug Cameron, who runs that shop, and he wrote Cultural Strategy with Douglas Holt, a great book, and kind of like this is straight out of there, how do you culture hack culture media jack of what's going on in the real world and in pop culture and make that thing come to life. I think they did great.
Joe Cox: To your point, what's next? That was a good one to say, "Hey, people don't actually know. People can't actually tell. They think they can, but they really can't." Between six hundred dollars and thirty dollars. I think they could do stuff like this all day. The problem is most don't. Most brands don't. It's one stunt, and then everybody gets their handshake and, "Great work," and then it's back off to the regular stuff.
Joe Cox: I hope this is a new voice and tone for Payless, because I think, like you said, there is a ton of people that shop there, and if they get it out that it's like, "Hey, the quality's good enough. It's good enough.
Megan Zander: "Payless: Good enough."
Joe Cox: "Payless, it's good enough." Hey, if you need a copywriter, Payless, I am right down the street, right down the street. It was cool. It was a fun story. It will I'm sure get a couple of prestigious marketing awards [crosstalk 00: 31: 33].
Megan Zander: Oh, definitely, yeah. It was really well done, yeah.
Joe Cox: Why are we talking about shoes when we could talk about Micky Mouse in Disney?
Megan Zander: Oh, my goodness.
Joe Cox: I'll say it right now. There's no way. There's no way to cover all this, but I know you've been digging into the rabbit hole that is Disney and their influencer programs, and it's something that I've had some experience with too, so I'd love to, let's chat about it.
Megan Zander: Yeah, I'm excited to hear your experience on the other side of this, because this has more happened to me than ...
Joe Cox: Oh, tell me, yeah. You've experienced it. You've experienced it?
Megan Zander: It all started with a hashtag. It all started with a hashtag. I spend a lot of time on Instagram and not just because I scroll and [inaudible 00: 32: 26] phones on me like some of us do. I do still do that, but I specifically spend a lot of time on Instagram, because recently I've just been exploring the world of content creators and the small, odd, niche little communities that are out there that are defining culture as they go. It's just so fascinating.
Megan Zander: I recently discovered a hashtag ... Actually, by "recently," I mean about two or three months ago, hashtag called ColorHunter, and ColorHunter is the hashtag, led me to an individual named, her handle is Teen Sparkle. She's so great. I immediately fell in love with her. She's very sweet. She's obviously a creator. She comes out and says it in her bio. She's looking for brands to partner with, but she's also a pastel princess. Pastel princesses are color hunters. They're influencers on Instagram, content creators, who love color and specifically pastels.
Megan Zander: Pink is going to be a primary one, and there's this whole world of influencers, particularly women out there, who that is their whole thing. They search out color walls. They search out interesting locations, coffee shops, bakeries, things like that. They'll usually be invited by the location to take pictures and talk about the products that are there. It's just so fascinating to see the things that you would not normally see. It's a window into a world basically.
Megan Zander: While I was diving even deeper down this ColorHunter rabbit hole with Teen Sparkle, I realized that she is also a Disneyland influencer, a Disneyland ... not a spokesperson ... a Disneyland ambassador. I can't really tell if she's officially an ambassador at Disney or if she just partners with them as a sort of park ambassador. I use that term loosely. I'm not sure exactly what they call it, but they have a very open PR policy where if you are an influencer, and really they'll take any range of influencer, from just a brand advocate, all the way up to macro influencer, any number of followers, any type of content, you can reach out to them and request a free ticket for content basically. The trade is ticket for content.
Megan Zander: They have built an army of loyal influencers. The content library that they have must be unmanageable, and it's not just for Disneyland. It's for all the parks all over the globe, so you'll find influencers who, that is just all they do. They visit Disney parks. They go to Disney experiences, and they have very loyal followings of people who intend to one day go to Disney World or Disneyland or Disney Paris, wherever they end up going.
Megan Zander: I think this is so fascinating, because a Disney experience is not an inexpensive experience. It's very expensive, and the more expensive something is, the longer the pipeline to get somebody to actually purchase will be. To have culture communities just out there feeding themselves is so brilliant and so, I'm assuming, easy and inexpensive compared to other marketing strategies. I think that's why we don't see huge Disney park campaigns. They really sell themselves now.
Megan Zander: I don't know if you were able to look at any of those profiles I sent you, but it's fascinating.
Joe Cox: Disney is, I'll tell you what it really was. It's almost like, at one time they purchased Maker Studio, which was the biggest YouTube network out there. I was like, "Really smart." Then it started to get to where I think they just really figured out what their superpower that no one else on the planet has. It's a great case study. A lot of people would say, "Well, of course, it's Disney," but, no, they had to start somewhere. The truth is, they've been doing this kind of stuff with the press and with different people.
Joe Cox: I know a girl that I worked with, and she went every year with her family. She's a creative, and she had her own Instagram. It was a hundred percent Disney. You want to talk about these little worlds that are all brought together by Disney. If you look at Disney as a whole, they're so ... Now with Avengers, are you kidding? Like Marvel, and then you bring in Star Wars. What? I don't even understand what's happening right now. Then you have The Six, which is Disney, and all of the princesses and all of the different worlds. It's all these little subcultures and the people that lead them, they've really gotten good at saying, "Hey, whatever brings you here, whatever you're into, we bring this army of creators and makers and wield it instead of trying to control it." It's super cool. It's super cool, but it's still a giant company.
Joe Cox: It's incredible to me that anything ever gets done, because I have been into the whirlwind. I can't talk about the exact thing, some video game stuff I was working on pretty recently, and it's still unbelievable that anything actually gets done, just because ... They have an entire business, entire company, entire, hundreds of people, that are basically the integration shop, and their one job is to make sure that all the other Disney properties ... and properties are completely different from all the other things that they own, to make sure they're all talking to each other.
Joe Cox: To your point, I think the reason they don't have to advertise is they own so many networks, so many creator YouTube channels, so much stuff that, you're right, they've created a perpetual engine that just goes nonstop. I'm right there. I have a five-year-old. I know all about it. I just saw Wreck-It Ralph. Her dream is, I heard it three times tonight, so my time is running close, and I'm just trying to hold out until the Millennium Falcon gets there, and then if I could just hold out for another year or two.
Joe Cox: I do, I think this is their time. They are the kings of experiential and then the kings of enchantment and magic and wonder. They do know that. I think this is their time, because now they can take all those experiences that are in the grounds, and now it can amplify out to everyone in the world.
Megan Zander: Yeah, it's just impressive, the number of touch-points, of Disney touch-points, that any one person has in a day.
Joe Cox: Incredible. Avengers and Star Wars ... I say Avengers. I mean Marvel in general. These add-ons were very strategic. They have it all.
Megan Zander: Tangent, I've noticed they've also been pulling in interesting little niche, little culture directors and writers, who are off the beaten path, as James Gunn and like ... Oh, I can't pronounce his name, Waititi, whoever directed the latest Thor movie, Thor: Ragnarok.
Joe Cox: Yeah. That was a crazy one.
Megan Zander: Yeah, they keep bringing in these elements of subculture into their movies, and it's just great. It makes for great content. It's just impressive how you see some storylines where a giant content producer like Disney brings in something that people love from a comic book and destroys it, but that's not the case with any of this. They've done such a good job of making it great. Anyway [crosstalk 00: 41: 13].
Joe Cox: I think they're truly led at the heart of it by people that believe in what they're doing. The creativity and the magic of childhood, and we're living in a world where technology can get us closer there than ever. I do. Now they're also, they're a little bit, they're soaking up money like a vacuum. Their stock's not doing bad. They do. They stick to what they do, and there's no beating the experience. If you've been to a park, nobody touches it, right? I think that they can take that to a new level in the next five years. What they'll be able to do with experiences and how people will be able to share that with people that aren't there, it can only get crazy.
Megan Zander: It's brilliant in its simplicity. The people who are creating the content, the content creators, the influencers, are going to be more savvy about what their audience wants to see and what is interesting to them, so they're able to show off elements of the parks that you wouldn't ever probably see, through an advertisement, more or less at the park itself. So you're able to map out, if you're savvy and you're a researcher, like I am, if you're able to map out what you would be interested in going to see, like what the most valuable thing is, what's the thing that's going to make you sign the check for the five thousand dollar vacation or whatever.
Megan Zander: I encourage our, whenever we start to do anything on social media channels, I encourage our team to look into the subcultures or the small communities that might be affected by our content, because it's never up there on the surface. It requires a little bit of digging and hunting a hashtag for a while or following somebody that you normally wouldn't follow and discovering these small worlds, like the tiny ... actually huge world of Disneyland parks, on Instagram and on YouTube. It's just so interesting.
Joe Cox: Being able to ... That's the best part of the job. That's it.
Megan Zander: Yeah.
Joe Cox: There is dopamine when you find new color chases. Okay, awesome. Then you find out, oh, they have a whole language, and they have a whole community that is a based on this very really specific thing that they've gone really deep with because that's their [inaudible 00: 43: 59]. Then you get to see how that is connected to this giant, big corporate Disney, and how it's the best part of the gig. That's it. That is it, finding those places.
Joe Cox: That's the best, is finding people that love, really love the thing that they're doing. Just nerds of anything is my absolute favorite thing, and finding a new thing. I keep getting so scared that I'm going to run out of things. I really do. Sometimes I'm like, "Ugh." I will watch a Netflix thing that I really love, slow, like The Toys Who Made Us, I'll watch it slow, because I don't want to get through it too quickly, because I'm afraid another thing won't, I won't discover another hook. Yeah, I have a feeling that's ...
Megan Zander: It depends on the season.
Joe Cox: Depends on the seasons, true.
Megan Zander: Christmas season, you will never run out of things to watch.
Joe Cox: It's been so fun. Thank you. I will see you soon, because we're going to be practicing our act for the Enterprise Marketer Conference coming up.
Megan Zander: Smoke machines, lasers.
Joe Cox: Top hats. It's going to seem great. All right. Have an awesome week and weekend. See everybody there.
Megan Zander: Thanks.
Joe Cox: Bye-bye.
Joe Cox: (Music Plays)
Show Outro: Thanks you for listening to the Explicit Content Podcast. For more information, check out EnterpriseMarketer.com.
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