To quote Matthew Kobach (@mkobach), "Twitter is a key that unlocks thousands of doors, some of which you never even knew existed." As a member of the Twitterverse for 13 years, I always enjoy meeting new people and learning from them. I recently connected with Suzanne Huber and invited her to appear here on my Blog in a Q&A format. Highlights of our conversation follow a brief introduction.
Suzanne Huber, based in Toronto, Canada, has worked as a digital marketing consultant for hundreds of companies and non-profits over the last decade. She's a trusted advisor to entrepreneurs and executives growing their companies with a proven track record. Today, her company trains leaders and their teams to strategize and implement their next level of growth by accelerating new client acquisition. Connect on Twitter @SuzyHuber and on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/suzanneleehuber); and check out her website at www.suzannehuber.com.
QUESTION: You use a term to describe what you do (just like I do): "Brand Strategist." How do you explain that term to people who don't live and breathe marketing?
SUZANNE HUBER: "Business Builder." I have launched over a dozen businesses and non-profits over the course of my career. Setting up the foundation or helping more mature organizations scale to their next level of growth has been what I have invested most of the time in my career in. If you are starting from scratch as an organization, you will need to get your baseline messages and collateral together as well as your go-to-market marketing plan. Alternatively, I have helped other more established businesses grow to new heights by accelerating their marketing tactics and their effectiveness, creating new revenue opportunities and fast client acquisition in the process. It's really fun to be a part of a fast growing organization. It's also very rewarding to create something from nothing that attracts the first batch of customers for an organization's brand.
QUESTION: You also describe yourself as an avid reader. What types of books do you enjoy, and what are you currently reading?
SUZANNE HUBER: I just bought the new Gabrielle Bernstein book "Happy Days" today. I have read most of her books and tend to read spiritual, business, and personal development books. A few others titles that I enjoyed lately are "The Big Leap" by Gay Hendrinks and "The Ride of a Lifetime" by Robert Iger.
I enjoy reading books that are education, business, and life wisdom oriented. I appreciate that you can read one book that summarized the expertise of someone's whole life and that they are willing to share these valuable insights. It's a pretty special opportunity and for those that read versus those that don't, it is also a huge advantage in a number of different ways: getting exposure to expertise, how people communicate and think, and their recommendations and approaches to different topics.
QUESTION: What marketing term annoys you the most, and why?
SUZANNE HUBER: "Personas." I think interviewing customers is more effective then making assumptions about people's interests, behaviours, and motivations. I can't tell you why Joe the CIO is staying up late at night or what he wants to read next or what motivates him. Customers can tell you what challenges they have that need to be solved and what outcomes they had working with your brand. Personas can be useful, but I wouldn't strictly rely on them or put a lot of time into them. Testing and learning what works for messaging is also another avenue I prefer to persona development.
TWEET THIS: Customers can tell you what challenges they have that need to be solved and what outcomes they had working with your brand. ~@SuzyHuber #DebbieLaskeysBlog
QUESTION: What are your three favorite brands, and why?
SUZANNE HUBER: Here are my three:
(1) Big Ass Fans: I love this one because they took feedback from customers and rebranded their company and built a brand personality around it. I joke that they are my marketing crush.
(2) Chanel: For the brand's ability to maintain and sustain a premium image over time.
(3) Disney, more specifically the Mickey Mouse character. Simple and timeless.
A brand is the connection to future and current customers. It sparks feelings, interests, and loyalty across products, industries, and services. It's the unique way that a brand stands out in the marketplace.
TWEET THIS: A brand is the connection to future and current customers. ~@SuzyHuber #DebbieLaskeysBlog
QUESTION: You wrote a great post on your blog entitled “Four Signs It's Time for a Marketing Makeover” (link provided below). Can you briefly highlight the four signs and explain which sign you consider the most important, and why?
SUZANNE HUBER: The sign that I think is most important is definitely number 1: the inability to attract new customers.
If your brand and messaging are missing the mark or are dated, you are missing out on valuable revenue opportunities and likely losing out to the competition. I have seen CEOs that have invested in growing sales teams and other resources that fell flat because the overall image of the company didn't resonate with the ideal buyer. The funny thing is, a dated brand identity issue was so clear to all of the employees who even made a new logo for a rec team sport because they didn't want to use the current one. It was that bad! New customers are the lifeblood of any business, and this disconnect can have a really negative affect on the bottom line. Plus, it is a problem that is easily fixed. So why wouldn't you do so before continuing on a path that clearly isn't working?
(Read the full post here: https://suzannehuber.com/4-signs-its-time-for-a-marketing-makeover/)
My thanks to Suzanne for sharing her marketing insights and for appearing here on my Blog.
Image Credit: Kadyn Pierce via Unsplash.