Get Scrappy – Book Interview

Heidi Cohen Interviews Nick Westergaard

New book: Get Scrappy – Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small

GetScrappy_Print-CO.inddQ: What’s your best piece of advice for readers looking to improve their marketing?

The first part of the book starts with a section bluntly titled — Smart Steps You Can’t Skip. Too often when we think of getting scrappy with our marketing we think about short-cuts and hacks. While Get Scrappy certainly includes several of these life-saving tips, the biggest idea at the heart of the book is starting with strategy.

Answering those big questions up front — Why are we doing this? What’s the business objective here? If we don’t answer these we’ll be haunted later in the game with ineffective execution and measurement.

Q: What was the inspiration for Get Scrappy?

My inspiration for Get Scrappy are the clients I’m fortunate enough to work with every day. At Brand Driven Digital, we work with clients of all shapes and sizes. From small businesses and start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. As one of them recently said, “We could all use a few extra people and a few dollars more.” No one has unlimited marketing resources today. To leverage today’s digital tools as effectively as possible we need a new mindset.

Q: What is the key concept behind your book?

This is directly related to the new mindset I was just talking about. Scrappy isn’t just a list of tactics and hacks. It’s a framework for reinventing your marketing as marketing reinvents itself. We can overcome those common obstacles we all face when we remember to put our brains before our budget, marketing like a mousetrap (effective and efficient), and see ideas everywhere.

Q: What do you want readers to take away from your book

Strategy doesn’t have to suck. Instead of thinking of it as a series of meetings resulting in a binder to stick up on your shelf next to the crisis plan, think of it as a map for helping you get your marketing where you want to go. Like a map, your strategy can also help you find your way if you get lost.

Q: How do you describe yourself professionally?

I help people build better brands online and off. I do this a in a lot of different ways I write, speak, consult, and teaching branding and marketing at the University of Iowa.

Q: What are 1-3 books that inspired your work/career?

  • On Writing by Stephen King — One of the best books on the art and science of writing mixed with an honest memoir.
  • To Sell Is Human by Daniel H. Pink — I love Pink’s style. I was so honored that he provided a blurb for Get Scrappy. A great mix of social science in a conversational tone with practical, tactical tips on sales.

Q: What is the biggest challenge that you’ve had to overcome?

It’s hard for me to not relate this back to marketing but every content creator today has to find their own unique voice. In the digital marketing space, this is magnified even further. In a sense, we’re all talking about the same things so you have to find your own style and voice. As a consultant, speaker, and teacher my goal is to help people. After interacting with my content in any form you should be better than you were before. That carries over to my writing as well.

Q: What’s something unusual or fun that most people don’t know about you?

I have five kids ranging in ages from 3 years old to 15. And my wife and I home office! On the show Game of Thrones the characters forebodingly lament that “winter is coming.” In our house we say, “summer is coming” as everyone is always around and underfoot.

Q: Is there a piece of content, a social media campaign or a marketing campaign that you worked on that you’re particularly proud of?

I was part of a team that assisted the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness with a job skills initiative for the advanced manufacturing sector. While we built the brand from the ground up, I’m most proud of the name. At my first meeting I was told it was called the “Rapid Ready Manufacturing Job Skills Accelerator.” I asked if there was leeway on the name and came back with Right Skills Now.

Nick-Westergaard-683x1024Contact information

Thanks, Nick.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
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