Heidi Cohen Interviews Jason Miller
What’s your best piece of advice for readers looking to improve their marketing?
The number one thing you can do to improve your marketing is to become a better writer. At the core of good content is great writing. Focus there first, because at the end of the day, we can all be better writers.
Secondly I would recommend broadening your marketing skillset in order to become what I call a hybrid marketer. For example, a good hybrid marketer isn’t an expert in only one thing; they understand multiple disciplines and apply that daily to their marketing campaigns.
Understanding how demand generation, social, PR, content, SEO and email marketing all work together is now essential for all marketers on the team. If you are a one-dimensional marketer, you are easily disposable.
What was the inspiration for Welcome to the Funnel?
The inspiration from my book came from both my love of marketing and my love of rock ‘n’ roll. It’s based on how I learn things by taking complex marketing ideas and simplifying them using rock ‘n’ roll stories and analogies. It’s both memorable and actionable, oh and fun as well. Personality in marketing is terribly underrated.
What is the key concept behind your book?
The key concept behind the book is to drive engagement and revenue using the one-two punch of content and social media. The book is based on my success leading social and content strategies at both at Marketo and LinkedIn.
This isn’t a philosophical approach, but instead this is the playbook that I used on the front lines. The tactics and strategies here work whether you are a start up, enterprise or somewhere in between. If you want to learn how to drive real revenue using content and social as part of your overall integrated marketing approach, then this book is for you.
What do you want readers to take away from your book?
I want them to think about content and social in a different way. Stop over complicating things and get to the core of what works and what doesn’t. I’ve done a tremendous amount of trial and error to find out what works and how to scale it. Along the way I’ve come up with some fun analogies that can help buy-in and adoption across an organization.
How do you describe yourself professionally?
A heavy metal, rock ‘n’ roll guy trapped in a B2B marketer. I create content sort of how Axl Rose writes music and performs on stage. Epic songs delivered with an edgy performance. B2B marketing has been boring for way to long and someone needs to shake things up a bit and disrupt the norm.
What are 1-3 books that inspired your work/career?
Ignore Everyone: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod. This book not only changed the way I think about marketing, but creativity and life as well. Probably my favorite book of all time.
Content Rules by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman – The Bible for content marketers. I have three copies of this book and one signed by Ann that is displayed on my desk today.
Unselling is the latest book I read. Scott Stratten is brilliant and this book is something I would recommend that all sales and marketing professionals read cover to cover. Brilliant advice alongside inspiring anecdotes, I loved it.
What is the biggest challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your life or career?
The biggest challenge for me in my career was transitioning from an industry that was dying, the music industry where I had spent over a decade, to one that was thriving, tech marketing.
It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I had to go back to school to sharpen my digital marketing chops then network like crazy. The only reason I’m here today is because of the relationships I built along the way. Those matter more than anything.
What’s something unusual or fun that most people don’t know about you?
I used to play in a hair metal band that later turned into a sort of Black Crowes type sound. We played a showcase for Mercury Records hoping to get a deal, but the agent came to the show and offered a record deal to the opening band and left before we came on the stage.
Hence I quit and decided to finish college. Now I live vicariously through my concert photography and music blog at www.rocknrollcocktail.com
Is there a piece of content, a social media campaign or a marketing campaign that you worked on that you’re particularly proud of?
Yes, Behind the Content. One of my all-time favorite campaigns I have even been a part of. The CEO of Dollar Shave Club personally responded to our request to be featured in the piece. It was EPIC.
Is there anything else that we haven’t covered that you’d like to share?
Yes, the best advice I ever received in my marketing career.
- “Don’t come to me with problems, come with solutions.” – Maria Pergolino (Who hired me at Marketo)
- “Don’t be an idiot” – Drew Kantor (My boss at Sony Music)
- “If you can figure out how to inject your personality into your content, you might have something there.” – Ann Handley
- “The number one metric I want you to focus on is just getting people to like us” – Jon Miller (Marketo/ Engagio)
- Name: Jason Miller
- Company: LinkedIn
- Blog: marketing.linkedin.com/blog
- Personal Blog: www.rocknrollcocktail.com
- Book(s): Welcome to the Funnel: Proven Tactics to Turn Your Content and Social Marketing up to 11
- Facebook: Facebook.com/jasonmillerca
- Twitter: @jasonmillerca
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jsnmiller
Photos curtesy of Jason Miller, all right reserved.
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