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Episode 5: Cristina Porter, Mohawk Ind.
Episode 512th April 2022 • The Backstory on Marketing • Guy Powell
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About Cristina:

Cristina Porter is an experienced marketer that has worked across a wide variety of industries, including flooring, telecommunications, consumer electronics, agriculture, and building materials. She is passionate about branding and digital marketing and loves learning new things. Originally from Mexico, Cristina has lived in Georgia for the past 10 years and she's still looking for the perfect taco in the state.  

Guy and Cristina discuss the evolution of digital marketing, the mysterious metaverse, and the challenges of the great resignation in this episode of The Backstory on Marketing.

Links:

Mohawk website

Cristina Porter Linkedin

Guy's special offer

Video of interview

Transcripts

Guy Powell:

Hi, I'm Guy Powell and welcome to the April episode

Guy Powell:

of the backstory on marketing. If you haven't already done so,

Guy Powell:

please visit pro relevant.com and sign up for all of these

Guy Powell:

episodes and podcasts. I am the author of the upcoming book, the

Guy Powell:

post COVID marketing machine, prepare your team to win. You

Guy Powell:

can find more information on this at marketing machine dot

Guy Powell:

pro relevant.com. Today we'll be speaking with Christina Porter.

Guy Powell:

She is the Senior Manager of digital brand strategy for the

Guy Powell:

Mohawk group. She's an experienced marketer that has

Guy Powell:

worked across a wide variety, variety of industries, including

Guy Powell:

flooring, telecommunications, consumer electronics,

Guy Powell:

agriculture and building materials. She is passionate

Guy Powell:

about branding and digital marketing and loves learning new

Guy Powell:

things. Originally from Mexico, Christina has lived in Georgia

Guy Powell:

for the past 10 years. And she's still looking for the perfect

Guy Powell:

taco in the state. When you find that I want to have it so I'm

Guy Powell:

ready for that. Welcome, Christina.

Cristina Porter:

Thank you guys. Thank you for having me on. i

Cristina Porter:

Yes, I am still looking for it. I've found some really good ones

Cristina Porter:

and Dalton, actually, but still looking.

Guy Powell:

Yeah, exactly. Well, I love I love tacos. I love

Guy Powell:

Mexican food. Well, I hate to say it, I love to eat. And I

Guy Powell:

have to keep holding myself back. But anyway, so let's get

Guy Powell:

started. So tell us a little bit about yourself. So what is your

Guy Powell:

backstory on getting into marketing?

Cristina Porter:

That's an interesting one, actually.

Cristina Porter:

Because I didn't start in marketing. I didn't even study

Cristina Porter:

marketing, I started, I studied communications. And I started in

Cristina Porter:

editorial, actually, I was the editor of the children's section

Cristina Porter:

in a newspaper in Mexico and sports newspaper. And then

Cristina Porter:

afterwards, I went into journalism, and I decided that I

Cristina Porter:

did not like journalism as much as I thought I did. So I went

Cristina Porter:

into PR and PR kind of launched me into the marketing world

Cristina Porter:

fully. I started doing I started being the PR manager for Sony

Cristina Porter:

Ericsson and Mexico. And then I started getting interested in

Cristina Porter:

other parts of the of the business really, digital

Cristina Porter:

marketing been my my core passion because it was this was

Cristina Porter:

you know, 1817 years ago, where digital marketing was taken on a

Cristina Porter:

different flair, flavor. It was before the social media

Cristina Porter:

explosion. That's where I started going, going into

Cristina Porter:

actually social media once it started into Twitter. I mean,

Cristina Porter:

my, my handle is still four letters long. So it tells you a

Cristina Porter:

little bit of how long I've had Twitter for. And then going into

Cristina Porter:

Instagram, Pinterest and all the other ones, I'm still trying to

Cristina Porter:

get more into Tik Tok. I am a viewer, not a creator there. But

Cristina Porter:

I'm still learning and that's what I liked about digital

Cristina Porter:

marketing in general was that it was always changing. So once you

Cristina Porter:

thought that you were an expert on something that changed then

Cristina Porter:

you were not an expert anymore. And then I'd like all the other

Cristina Porter:

parts of marketing, of course, and I've done all of the all of

Cristina Porter:

the things in marketing, which makes it's very fun. Because one

Cristina Porter:

of the things that we actually learned a lot during my time in

Cristina Porter:

Sony mobile, on their a great CEO, cmo story, Steve Walker was

Cristina Porter:

that you needed to see everything as integrated, and

Cristina Porter:

everything needs to be connected and make sense, depending

Cristina Porter:

depending on the channels and the audiences. And that has

Cristina Porter:

carried over basically my whole life afterwards.

Guy Powell:

Yeah, fantastic. Well, it's certainly changed

Guy Powell:

since the last 17 years. And I got into marketing as well at

Guy Powell:

roughly the same time. And, and, you know, and I and you came at

Guy Powell:

least from something that was closely related. I came from

Guy Powell:

engineering and then got into product management. And then

Guy Powell:

finally in the marketing and now I do more marketing than then

Guy Powell:

than I ever thought I would but yeah, so now you didn't mention

Guy Powell:

the metaverse. I thought I'd just bring that up. Do you see

Guy Powell:

any opportunity for you at at Mohawk are generally with the

Guy Powell:

metaverse?

Cristina Porter:

I think we do. That is one of the questions I

Cristina Porter:

it's as I said, it's always evolving, right? So the

Cristina Porter:

metaverse is something that to me is a little bit of a funny

Cristina Porter:

situation because I don't know if you remember that about 15

Cristina Porter:

years ago. Second live was a big thing. And it was kind of

Cristina Porter:

Metaverse, but it wasn't as interactive or won't immerse

Cristina Porter:

serve as it is nowadays. So we saw that second life was like a

Cristina Porter:

big thing for a couple of years, and then it fizzled out and

Cristina Porter:

died. So I am wondering about the metaverse, I know that

Cristina Porter:

there's there's always that support of big companies, and

Cristina Porter:

that's going to drive it. I do think that the way they're doing

Cristina Porter:

things related to being more immersive and how we're going

Cristina Porter:

towards that virtual world is very, it's very different from

Cristina Porter:

the experiences that we've had in the past. I think that there

Cristina Porter:

are there are opportunities. So one of the conversations that is

Cristina Porter:

that right now we're having is like people are actually be

Cristina Porter:

buying real estate in the metaverse, so who's actually,

Cristina Porter:

you know, providing the furnishings and flooring for it,

Cristina Porter:

and how does that even work? So there are opportunities. I think

Cristina Porter:

that more than anything, we need to understand what is happening

Cristina Porter:

before we jump into anything. But I do think that there's

Cristina Porter:

opportunities for companies in general. In my case, in my

Cristina Porter:

industry, I do see some opportunities, because as I

Cristina Porter:

mentioned, it's like, how are you going to create those

Cristina Porter:

environments to be realistic? Because that's what you want or

Cristina Porter:

non realistic, right? Right. That's the part of the metaverse

Cristina Porter:

is like you can actually exist within not a realistic space. So

Cristina Porter:

yeah, I that's such a good question. And I think it's

Cristina Porter:

evolving. So it's very difficult to right now tell you Oh, yeah,

Cristina Porter:

this is the future that we see. And this is the opportunities, I

Cristina Porter:

think it's all evolving. And I think in the next couple of

Cristina Porter:

years, we'll see a lot more of what it really means.

Guy Powell:

Yeah, I think you're right. You know, it's funny,

Guy Powell:

when you talk about, you know, the evolution, you had Second

Guy Powell:

Life, and it did well for a year or two, and then it kind of

Guy Powell:

faded out but but now I think with the communications speeds

Guy Powell:

and qualities that are available to the home, that the this

Guy Powell:

Metaverse can really be able to take advantage of that. And so

Guy Powell:

it's kind of like there's a trial like it gets its gets a

Guy Powell:

little bit off the ground, and then it kind of fades because it

Guy Powell:

just, you know, get there. And you know, it's almost what

Guy Powell:

really amazed me, even with COVID was how much the use of QR

Guy Powell:

codes took off QR codes. Nobody was using them, they are such a

Guy Powell:

great idea. And then all of a sudden they you know, they with

Guy Powell:

the with COVID. Now everybody's using them. So it really amazes

Guy Powell:

me how you know, things really just take off, you know, for

Guy Powell:

whatever reason that's driving it?

Cristina Porter:

Well, it's a lot. I think all of those are

Cristina Porter:

related also, with technology, education and technology. It

Cristina Porter:

people really taken on technology differently, and also

Cristina Porter:

the technological barriers. So when when QR codes existed in

Cristina Porter:

the beginning, you had to download an app to use a QR

Cristina Porter:

codes. And it made it a lot more complicated and complex for

Cristina Porter:

people you want. Especially with technology. You want things

Cristina Porter:

easier and faster, and you just need one click one set got

Cristina Porter:

embedded into the cameras natively, then that reduced the

Cristina Porter:

amount of barriers that the user had to have, or jump through to

Cristina Porter:

get it done. And I think that helped a lot with QR codes.

Cristina Porter:

Yeah, basically, and that's helping with the metaverse to,

Cristina Porter:

once it, you make it easier for the consumer to have a VR

Cristina Porter:

headset and to access that Metaverse, then then you see

Cristina Porter:

that really, you get that you moved from early adopters into

Cristina Porter:

kind of like the mainstream.

Guy Powell:

Yeah. And I think you're right, because initially

Guy Powell:

the QR code, you had to buy a, you know, download a QR code

Guy Powell:

reader. And then now I'd like you said, it's native on your

Guy Powell:

camera, you just, you know, click at it, and then all of a

Guy Powell:

sudden that link comes up. And it's totally, you know, the

Guy Powell:

experience and the barriers to that experience are totally

Guy Powell:

gone. So, yeah, yeah, absolutely. So what do you see

Guy Powell:

as the big challenge now for marketers and for you for 2022?

Cristina Porter:

Oh, I see so many. It's, it's really

Cristina Porter:

interesting, because I think that one of the most challenging

Cristina Porter:

things is really figuring out what's next. Right? So the

Cristina Porter:

pandemic has accelerated and a lot of the technology

Cristina Porter:

acquisition and education basically. So you are, you have

Cristina Porter:

a lot of shifts that are happening that started two years

Cristina Porter:

ago and you were still seeing kind of like the results to it.

Cristina Porter:

I'm still having a lot of challenge with for example,

Cristina Porter:

trade shows and in person meetings and things like that.

Cristina Porter:

You have this combination of people that Just want to go back

Cristina Porter:

to normal want to go back to the way everything was and then you

Cristina Porter:

can't really go back to that you need to shift a little bit into

Cristina Porter:

that virtual or digital world and combine it with the real

Cristina Porter:

world. So I think that's one of the challenges and figuring out

Cristina Porter:

where the consumers are in any kind of way, like in the b2b or

Cristina Porter:

the b2c, it doesn't matter. I think that we don't really know

Cristina Porter:

what consumers are doing right now and where things are going.

Cristina Porter:

There's a lot of challenges also, with supply chain and

Cristina Porter:

inflation in which the consumer power and I mean, again, b2b or

Cristina Porter:

b2c is being reduced. And people are, they're kind of waiting to

Cristina Porter:

make purchases a lot. So things that were clear for us in the

Cristina Porter:

beginning of the year are not so clear. That is, to me

Cristina Porter:

fascinating. And it goes back to data, right, that's a

Cristina Porter:

conversation that I always had with you. But the part of IMC in

Cristina Porter:

certain data, but I still don't know what that will mean. So

Cristina Porter:

having prescriptive decisions is very difficult at this point.

Cristina Porter:

It's kind of like a wait and see situation. Yeah, no, that makes

Cristina Porter:

budgets as well. And because when you don't see where the

Cristina Porter:

consumer is going, then the budgets get reduced, or you have

Cristina Porter:

to kind of be more wary of spending money in general. Yep.

Guy Powell:

Well, I've seen though, for for trade shows and

Guy Powell:

conferences. A lot of them now are online and virtual. And I

Guy Powell:

just signed up for one yesterday, and I'm a little bit

Guy Powell:

leery because when I sit there and want to watch the

Guy Powell:

conference, and I kind of say, well, you know, I got all these

Guy Powell:

emails I got to do yes. And so you're kind of listening, but

Guy Powell:

then you're not if they're not a good speaker, then, you know,

Guy Powell:

you totally tune it out. And so, you know, I think it'd be great

Guy Powell:

to get back to the in person conferences, but I don't know,

Guy Powell:

are you seeing that there's still a lot of reticence to go

Guy Powell:

back

Cristina Porter:

at it. At flipflops. Actually, I see

Cristina Porter:

certain people like we live in Georgia, right. And Georgia is I

Cristina Porter:

feel a little bit of an outlier on how everything is going on

Cristina Porter:

with a pandemic, because we tried to get back to normal

Cristina Porter:

earlier than you would have seen for example, in in cities like

Cristina Porter:

New York, or Chicago or Philadelphia. So to me, it's

Cristina Porter:

really difficult to gauge that because I live in a different

Cristina Porter:

environment. But I have seen that at least in our industry,

Cristina Porter:

we're going back to trade shows in person. So it actually

Cristina Porter:

started earlier during the year where multiple events that used

Cristina Porter:

to be they went fully digital are going back to in person. So

Cristina Porter:

things like neocon, which is happening in June, is actually

Cristina Porter:

going to be fully in person, there's going to be virtual

Cristina Porter:

elements to it. So a lot of the convert the talks and panels are

Cristina Porter:

going to be online as well. But most of the people are going

Cristina Porter:

back and apparently, everybody's really excited about it. So you

Cristina Porter:

you see that combination of people that are still worried

Cristina Porter:

about it. But most of the people that I've talked to, are really

Cristina Porter:

excited about being in person again. And they're all really

Cristina Porter:

excited about going and traveling and everything. I

Cristina Porter:

actually started traveling last last week. And it was to me I

Cristina Porter:

hadn't traveled for a long time. And it was a little bit

Cristina Porter:

unnerving. But everybody's going back to normal, slowly. But I it

Cristina Porter:

was really interesting. The airport was like super full. And

Cristina Porter:

it was before spring break. So it was full of family is

Cristina Porter:

traveling. So it was to me was a little bit unnerving. But it was

Cristina Porter:

like, people are really going back trying to go back to

Cristina Porter:

normal.

Guy Powell:

Yeah, yeah. Well, I do my first business trip this

Guy Powell:

coming weekend, Sunday night and then gone for two days. So and

Guy Powell:

that's been sincere, you know, for two years. As a matter of

Guy Powell:

fact, in March 6, that writing 2020 was our last business trip.

Guy Powell:

And I think one of the guys that works for me got COVID on the

Guy Powell:

flight coming back, because he was sick for about almost two

Guy Powell:

weeks. And yeah, we ended up and at the time, there were no tests

Guy Powell:

or nothing. So you know, you don't know whether he had it or

Guy Powell:

not.

Cristina Porter:

Yeah, we suspect the same thing with my

Cristina Porter:

husband. The last trip that he took was to a trade show. And he

Cristina Porter:

got back and he got really, really sick. And then he made

Cristina Porter:

everybody else sick. And we suspect that he got COVID. And

Cristina Porter:

that wasn't the beginning. It was on March 2020 as well.

Guy Powell:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, really just amazing. It's hard

Guy Powell:

to believe that was two years ago, just and it's just now

Guy Powell:

coming out of just coming out of it, man. Oh, man. So anyway, so

Guy Powell:

tell me about what do you see you've been in on the consumer

Guy Powell:

side of marketing to see and b2b. So what are kind of the

Guy Powell:

differences so that you see now, or if any, because between b2c

Guy Powell:

marketing and b2b marketing,

Cristina Porter:

I think it has to do with the complexity. So,

Cristina Porter:

and it depends on the product, right. So my experience would be

Cristina Porter:

to see was mostly with products that don't require. I mean, they

Cristina Porter:

required a lot of research online because it was mobile

Cristina Porter:

phones or consumer electronics. But the decision was made by one

Cristina Porter:

person basically. So you had a centralized point of contact

Cristina Porter:

that you would have to organize all your communications around

Cristina Porter:

versus b2c and b2b usually has, you have one person that makes a

Cristina Porter:

decision. But that's not really true, because you have usually

Cristina Porter:

several people that influence or are related to, to that purchase

Cristina Porter:

decision. So it's either you're going towards one person that is

Cristina Porter:

in this case, for example, in flooring, the person that's

Cristina Porter:

making the specifications, spec in the product, which is the

Cristina Porter:

architect or designer, but then the decision doesn't necessarily

Cristina Porter:

fall on him, it falls on three or four other people like the,

Cristina Porter:

which I related to the to their own clients. So it is more the

Cristina Porter:

complexity and the different touchpoints that you have, based

Cristina Porter:

on the different types of personas and influencers, I

Cristina Porter:

think it's just that's the main difference, basically. And

Cristina Porter:

probably, in certain consumer products, you have more that

Cristina Porter:

complexity, like thinking about in construction materials, like

Cristina Porter:

I used to be the brand manager over Hart's surfaces product.

Cristina Porter:

And that requires a lot more touch points. And it was more

Cristina Porter:

b2b to see in which you would have to deal with also the

Cristina Porter:

installer or the hardscape architect, and then back to the

Cristina Porter:

consumer. But it was still a lot less complex than what you'd see

Cristina Porter:

in b2b. So b2b, you have a lot more really touch points and,

Cristina Porter:

and it's longer lead time. So some of the deals that would

Cristina Porter:

happen, they can happen for more than two years, like you from

Cristina Porter:

the first touch point until you have that conversion or that

Cristina Porter:

sale. So that's the other part that I see that is really,

Cristina Porter:

really important and different.

Guy Powell:

Yeah, and I think, I think, because of the lead time,

Guy Powell:

because of the multiple decision makers, and because of typically

Guy Powell:

the limited budgets, b2b marketing is much more

Guy Powell:

challenging than consumer marketing, you know, you might

Guy Powell:

be able to get a lot more detailed and really defining,

Guy Powell:

you know, who your target consumer is, and be able to then

Guy Powell:

really find the right media for that, you know, that, you know,

Guy Powell:

that male, aged 25 to 35. And living in Atlanta, Georgia, or

Guy Powell:

whatever. But b2b Because of the lead times, it's, I think it's

Guy Powell:

just a, you know, it's a much more challenging marketing

Guy Powell:

environment.

Cristina Porter:

Correct. And if you think about attribution, and

Cristina Porter:

it is very difficult to determine when your campaigns

Cristina Porter:

have a really clear return over investment, just because, like

Cristina Porter:

in our case, is very difficult to determine if the person that

Cristina Porter:

we first touched on versus, for example, social media, or the

Cristina Porter:

website ended up being a project that they purchased, just

Cristina Porter:

because of the the amount of touch points and the handoff

Cristina Porter:

into sales and all that those pieces that you start getting,

Cristina Porter:

kind of you start losing that, that that information within

Cristina Porter:

that journey. Yeah,

Guy Powell:

yeah. And to your point about attribution. But

Guy Powell:

even on the consumer side, people make or marketers make

Guy Powell:

mistakes, you know, you've got last touch attribution versus a

Guy Powell:

more kind of a model approach. And I've been surprised at how,

Guy Powell:

how many mistakes the attribution is, so I'll call

Guy Powell:

them make in in trying to different determine what the

Guy Powell:

actual marketing ROI is. And we just did a project with a in a

Guy Powell:

furniture industry. And we've been, I was shocked to see that

Guy Powell:

what they thought was the most productive media channel was

Guy Powell:

actually the worst one to be investing. And, you know, and

Guy Powell:

it's just, it's just amazing. And so, and that, I think, is

Guy Powell:

also one of the challenges as well for b2b is you don't have

Guy Powell:

the tools or you don't have the money to be able to invest in

Guy Powell:

all the tools like you might do on the consumer side.

Cristina Porter:

Yeah, well and investment and media right.

Cristina Porter:

Comparing, like going back from again, the the comparison that

Cristina Porter:

we used to look at how much money competitors would spend in

Cristina Porter:

media for example, in the In the consumer electronics side, and

Cristina Porter:

the amount that is spent in media is insane. Like this is,

Cristina Porter:

again 15 years ago how much apple was spending, and we would

Cristina Porter:

compare it against what we were spending. And it was like, oh,

Cristina Porter:

yeah, no, you can't even try to mimic what they're doing because

Cristina Porter:

it's insane the amount of of money. So yeah, and b2b, you

Cristina Porter:

have to be a little bit smarter on what you do and things that

Cristina Porter:

have. You have to be also, using that combination of you are

Cristina Porter:

increasing your awareness. And you're also increasing your

Cristina Porter:

standing in the industry, because you have to become an

Cristina Porter:

expert. In b2b, you have to be seen as an expert, otherwise, it

Cristina Porter:

doesn't work. Or at least in the industry that I've been in. And

Cristina Porter:

that relates a lot more into content marketing, which could

Cristina Porter:

be important in in the b2c environment, but not as much as

Cristina Porter:

it is in the b2b. So one of the things that I've seen a lot is

Cristina Porter:

the increase of content marketing and making sure that

Cristina Porter:

you are creating the content that matters for your consumers

Cristina Porter:

and the right time and the right moment. And that's another

Cristina Porter:

challenge on itself. But it's a fun one, though.

Guy Powell:

Yeah. You know, although I think there's no

Guy Powell:

question that content marketing today is critical. But, you

Guy Powell:

know, there's now so many people putting out content content, how

Guy Powell:

do you actually find what you're looking for? And know that, you

Guy Powell:

know, you've got the right thing? Because there's just so

Guy Powell:

much stuff out there.

Cristina Porter:

Yes, and I agree. So I think research helps

Cristina Porter:

a lot. And having a really close here to your, your consumer,

Cristina Porter:

right. So we have conversations with our not only our field,

Cristina Porter:

like sales, which always are very connected to their

Cristina Porter:

customers, but also directly to the customers. And we also talk

Cristina Porter:

about this items with trade media. So we reach out to the

Cristina Porter:

media, who are always a little bit ahead of really the the

Cristina Porter:

manufacturers, or the companies on what is resounding with their

Cristina Porter:

audiences. So we go back to them and ask them what is going on

Cristina Porter:

what is what are people interested in? And that's how we

Cristina Porter:

do it, at least on our side. And I think that's, that's the main

Cristina Porter:

thing is like, doing a lot of research helps to make sure that

Cristina Porter:

whatever you're creating is, is interesting for your consumer

Cristina Porter:

versus just putting out something because, you know, you

Cristina Porter:

need to put out content.

Guy Powell:

Yeah, that's, that is definitely true, and really

Guy Powell:

makes a difference in in what's really valuable to that decision

Guy Powell:

of how that consumer you know, whether it's a business or a

Guy Powell:

consumer consumer is going to make that purchase decision or

Guy Powell:

not. Let me just shift a little bit. What about people, you

Guy Powell:

know, you hear about, you know, the challenges of hiring folks

Guy Powell:

and getting them when you need them and being able to grow your

Guy Powell:

team or whatever? What kind of challenges have you had to

Guy Powell:

fulfill, fulfill your team or fulfill the teams in general? In

Guy Powell:

marketing?

Cristina Porter:

A lot? Actually. You're hitting, you're

Cristina Porter:

hitting one of my my main issues this year, actually, we, my team

Cristina Porter:

increased? A lot now. Well, yeah, a lot. 50%. So when I

Cristina Porter:

started trying to find people to fill those positions, it's it's

Cristina Porter:

been a challenge I've been I've had an open position since

Cristina Porter:

December last year. And I just seem, I can't find the right

Cristina Porter:

person. And I might, I'm very picky on what I want for that

Cristina Porter:

position. So that's affecting part of it. But I also know, our

Cristina Porter:

culture and what I need that person to do. So if I can't find

Cristina Porter:

that right person, I'm not going to hire somebody just because I

Cristina Porter:

can't find exactly what I what I want. And I am flexible. Because

Cristina Porter:

we need to be flexible at this point. And the market is super

Cristina Porter:

hot, especially in at least in around Atlanta is is insane how

Cristina Porter:

many people are hiring, and they're hiring on better

Cristina Porter:

benefits and, and a lot more money. And that makes complete

Cristina Porter:

sense. And I think that's great. I think that's part of it,

Cristina Porter:

though. I think that because of how the market is going and all

Cristina Porter:

the the priorities shift, because in the end, the end what

Cristina Porter:

what we saw in the pandemic is there was a priority shift. And

Cristina Porter:

people are leaving. The companies are not aligning with

Cristina Porter:

their vision or what they want from work. That's what we keep

Cristina Porter:

seeing, like all the people that have been leaving my companies

Cristina Porter:

because they're going for more money and fully remote. Right.

Cristina Porter:

Which is great. I think that's great because it's shift thing

Cristina Porter:

back into the priorities of that work, work life balance and

Cristina Porter:

having more flexibility. And I think that was a shift that was

Cristina Porter:

needed. And the other part is the salaries, I think that this

Cristina Porter:

actually pushed on making sure that people are remunerated as

Cristina Porter:

much as they deserve. Which is something that we haven't seen

Cristina Porter:

in forever, like, I've never in my career have never seen this

Cristina Porter:

shift of people are getting more money, better seats, way better

Cristina Porter:

benefits and better flexibility. Which is, I think it's great.

Cristina Porter:

It's also very difficult, because I can't find the right

Cristina Porter:

people, because everybody else is getting a lot of offers out

Cristina Porter:

there.

Guy Powell:

Yeah, yeah. Well, and that's, I think that's

Guy Powell:

definitely, you know, a challenge. And it's also a

Guy Powell:

challenge for, for keeping people because then you've got

Guy Powell:

to raise everybody to kind of get to the same level. So that,

Guy Powell:

you know, you've got this demand this enormous demand for a

Guy Powell:

limited pool of, of employees. And, you know, you've got to

Guy Powell:

keep your current employees and then you got to, you know, make

Guy Powell:

sure that you can find the right ones. Have you have you tried,

Guy Powell:

like, being a little bit more flexible in the job description.

Guy Powell:

So potentially taking one or two positions and reshuffling things

Guy Powell:

so that you can maybe narrow the focus to make it easier to hire

Guy Powell:

the, the persons you're looking for?

Cristina Porter:

Yes. And I actually, when I worked on the

Cristina Porter:

job descriptions for the new positions, I shifted a lot of

Cristina Porter:

the responsibilities. And it's really interesting for me,

Cristina Porter:

because that's why I think I'm having issues with finding the

Cristina Porter:

right person, because I need somebody that is very flexible

Cristina Porter:

on. Yes, your role is this, but we are really small. Team, like

Cristina Porter:

in the end, my company works kind of like a startup. And

Cristina Porter:

we're a really slim, slim, Lean and Agile team. So you kind of

Cristina Porter:

have to shift caps all the time. And I think that that happens

Cristina Porter:

with most of the companies, I don't think that I've ever been

Cristina Porter:

in a company that you have a role and you only do what is in

Cristina Porter:

your job description. So I need somebody that can actually jump

Cristina Porter:

and do other things, just because our responsibilities are

Cristina Porter:

constantly growing and shifting. And it's a very fluid situation

Cristina Porter:

all the time. So like, I still do a lot of things that I go

Cristina Porter:

like, Oh, okay, well, I'm back to, you know, being the

Cristina Porter:

community manager for all the social media channels, and I

Cristina Porter:

kind of don't want to do that anymore, but I'm still doing it.

Cristina Porter:

Because that's, that's what it is, everything is put away, then

Cristina Porter:

everything moves.

Guy Powell:

Yeah, you know, it's interesting. One of the things

Guy Powell:

too, that I think is an interesting challenge, so we

Guy Powell:

were talking with another friend of ours, and he's the CMO of a

Guy Powell:

trucking company. And they want to hire, and I don't remember

Guy Powell:

the exact numbers 2000 drivers. And if your growth plan is and

Guy Powell:

revenue plan is contingent upon hiring, you know, 2000 drivers,

Guy Powell:

so you got to get from whatever you have today to another 2000,

Guy Powell:

which is a big number. And then what's kind of interesting is

Guy Powell:

the marketing to hire those 2000 employees is more important than

Guy Powell:

the art marketing to drive demand. Right. And so almost in

Guy Powell:

your case, as well, the marketing needed to hire the

Guy Powell:

right kind of employees to be able to, you know, offer the

Guy Powell:

right product to the consumer, the employee, to market to them

Guy Powell:

to make sure that you have the right benefits, the right

Guy Powell:

flexibility, the right pay, and everything else is almost more

Guy Powell:

important than the actual marketing to create demand. And,

Guy Powell:

you know, and we used to say, you know, like, if you were

Guy Powell:

going to market to, you know, to create demand, that when you put

Guy Powell:

some analytics behind it, the analytics is always a better

Guy Powell:

investment than the than the demand creation. Well, now, it's

Guy Powell:

almost like that has to even take a backseat to being able to

Guy Powell:

hire the right employees, so that you can finally create the

Guy Powell:

marketing so that you can actually measure and analyze the

Guy Powell:

marketing to see if it's working.

Cristina Porter:

Yeah, and I do, it's really funny, because once

Cristina Porter:

we started planning for 2022 A lot of the things that we

Cristina Porter:

discussed was like, Can we get it done with the resources that

Cristina Porter:

we have? I mean, in the resources, meeting the people,

Cristina Porter:

and there's a lot of things that I always push back on, no, we

Cristina Porter:

can't get that done. Because I don't I don't have the people to

Cristina Porter:

get it done. Let's be let's be completely realistic and let's

Cristina Porter:

be better to deliver great things but and the time and with

Cristina Porter:

the resources that you have than promised that you will deliver

Cristina Porter:

the deliver poorly and get everybody burnt out and the

Cristina Porter:

process which we don't want.

Guy Powell:

Yeah, yeah, well, you know, and the problem too

Guy Powell:

is, you know, the shareholders who in the end we all report to,

Guy Powell:

you know, they really don't care. You know, they really just

Guy Powell:

say, Listen, you got a profit goal, you got a sales goal, if

Guy Powell:

you guys want to keep working there, yes, you know, at the C

Guy Powell:

level anyway, then, you know, get get it done, get her done,

Guy Powell:

you know. And now, I will admit, you know, when I was talking

Guy Powell:

about analytics, and employee marketing, and then of course,

Guy Powell:

demand generation, I wonder, too, if there's a price

Guy Powell:

component to that. So if you don't have the supply chain, and

Guy Powell:

in this case, you don't have maybe the employees to do it

Guy Powell:

exactly right. I'm wondering if there's a way to kind of

Guy Powell:

restructure what you are able to do, but do it at a higher price,

Guy Powell:

because then you can, like you said, do it and do the

Guy Powell:

marketing, but also then the product at a much higher

Guy Powell:

quality, and then demand a higher price for that.

Cristina Porter:

Well, and I think that's happening, just by

Cristina Porter:

itself. So at least in the in my, in our industry, because of

Cristina Porter:

the the supply chain, and the availability of certain products

Cristina Porter:

that we use to manufacture products. There's, there's been

Cristina Porter:

a constant price increase, without even hitting on getting

Cristina Porter:

benefits out of it, really. So I think that's happening overall.

Cristina Porter:

Price is getting increased, not necessarily to, to improve

Cristina Porter:

situations within the company, but just to kind of survive. At

Cristina Porter:

least that's what I've been seeing across the board. I've

Cristina Porter:

seen it a lot in our industry, obviously. But I've seen it

Cristina Porter:

along, like given food, which, you know, it's increasing the

Cristina Porter:

production and everything. You're not You're just it's

Cristina Porter:

everything is becoming more expensive, and how things are

Cristina Porter:

right now, who knows what's going to happen in the next six

Cristina Porter:

months? Right? Everything is kind of like up in the air?

Guy Powell:

Yeah, well, especially with energy. But

Guy Powell:

where I was going, though, on the pricing is because I agree

Guy Powell:

with you, you know, if you don't have the, the raw materials, or

Guy Powell:

you don't have the energy, or they've gotten more expensive

Guy Powell:

than certainly you do have to charge more, or try to charge

Guy Powell:

more. And but if you're limited in other ways, then you know,

Guy Powell:

limited supply can usually translate into higher in some

Guy Powell:

way to higher prices. Yep. And so so it's not just not having

Guy Powell:

the products, but it's also you know, having more expensive, raw

Guy Powell:

materials. And then can you even go higher than what those are

Guy Powell:

asking for? Because you actually have some limited supply that

Guy Powell:

you can now, you know, take advantage of.

Cristina Porter:

Yeah. When it will depend on the demand. Well,

Cristina Porter:

yeah,

Guy Powell:

yeah, yeah. But you know, what's funny is the

Guy Powell:

economy, the if the economy is so messed up, right now you have

Guy Powell:

this enormous demand, you know, there's people just, you know,

Guy Powell:

buying and buying and buying, which is great, I love it. But

Guy Powell:

then you have all these prices going up, because the raw

Guy Powell:

materials are going up, because the, you know, the the wages are

Guy Powell:

going up, and the salaries are going up. And it's just funny

Guy Powell:

how it how it's all kind of, you know, leading to even this high

Guy Powell:

demand, but also at higher prices.

Cristina Porter:

Yeah, well, and that's the thing, if, if

Cristina Porter:

salaries go up, then people have more money to spend. And that's

Cristina Porter:

great. That's what you want, frankly. Yeah, I worry more

Cristina Porter:

about the the man kind of slowing down. Yeah, with

Cristina Porter:

everything being more expensive. So it is it is kind of like a

Cristina Porter:

very thin line between between the prices going up and then

Cristina Porter:

affecting demand as well. So I mean, that's, that's above my

Cristina Porter:

my, you know, understanding of economics, because I took

Cristina Porter:

economics a long time ago. But I do I do worry about that. And I

Cristina Porter:

think that companies are also worried about that. So they're

Cristina Porter:

they're also being very careful with investments and very

Cristina Porter:

careful with their budgets. And that's kind of like a cycle that

Cristina Porter:

that at least I've started to see.

Guy Powell:

Yeah, and I agree with you, though. And I don't

Guy Powell:

know what your right is whether this is temporary right now. And

Guy Powell:

then there's going to be a cliff that we all fall off of, and

Guy Powell:

then demand goes away, because the prices are just too high.

Guy Powell:

Yeah, I'm very, very worried about that. And I think you're

Guy Powell:

not the only one that's worried about that. Same topic, so on

Guy Powell:

you. So one of the things that that is also a huge trend and

Guy Powell:

marketing is everything is moving digital. And yet that

Guy Powell:

also leaves some opportunity on the on the on the traditional

Guy Powell:

media, the offline media. And certainly when you're in a b2b

Guy Powell:

environment where you have sales salespeople are offline. They're

Guy Powell:

not you know, they're not digital salespeople, although at

Guy Powell:

least not yet. We don't have robots to take, take that over.

Guy Powell:

But you know, so you have that have, you know a strong offline

Guy Powell:

component? And yet, then the value that the digital marketing

Guy Powell:

can offer just seems to continue to grow and continue to be more

Guy Powell:

valuable? Where do you see that balance? Shifting here over

Guy Powell:

time?

Cristina Porter:

See, that's a that's a? That's an interesting

Cristina Porter:

question. It's a difficult question for me to respond.

Cristina Porter:

Because I do think, again, I'm, I'm a really passionate person

Cristina Porter:

for digital. And that's basically my core. But I do see

Cristina Porter:

that with the pandemic, it was very difficult because

Cristina Porter:

everything went completely digital. So all the the offline

Cristina Porter:

components that we usually see with salespeople kind of shifted

Cristina Porter:

completely, and it was very challenging for for a lot of

Cristina Porter:

people, we had tools in place, we use a sales enablement tool

Cristina Porter:

called Shoba, that we used a lot with the salespeople. And that

Cristina Porter:

helped, because you could, they could create presentations that

Cristina Porter:

are very customized for them and send them over and then have

Cristina Porter:

calls to present them and then follow up with some kind of

Cristina Porter:

offline treat. So I discussed this one with you. But there

Cristina Porter:

was, there was one of our sales reps that did send back by a

Cristina Porter:

Ballantine's they palette that he they sent through Shoebat.

Cristina Porter:

And then they followed up with with some chocolates that were

Cristina Porter:

inspired. And that's about it. And I see that a lot. And that

Cristina Porter:

combination, that it doesn't matter that everybody is still

Cristina Porter:

home. working remotely, they still can have those kind of

Cristina Porter:

offline touch points that help with building the relationships

Cristina Porter:

or making the customers more interested. The other part was

Cristina Porter:

samples, we are very heavily tactile industry. So one of the

Cristina Porter:

great examples that I've seen on that balance between offline and

Cristina Porter:

online is this company called material bank. And it's a

Cristina Porter:

website that what they do is that they ship samples

Cristina Porter:

overnight. And it's not only samples, flooring samples, it is

Cristina Porter:

samples for all of the types of building materials that you

Cristina Porter:

would spec within a project. And by centralizing that in one

Cristina Porter:

place and making it overnight and adding some personal

Cristina Porter:

touches. Because every time that you get your box it has like

Cristina Porter:

other giveaways and cute things that you would want to include

Cristina Porter:

to enhance this experience. It's been very successful, because

Cristina Porter:

again, it combines that digital experience in which you don't

Cristina Porter:

have to wait or reach out to your sales rep. You just go

Cristina Porter:

online, you order the samples that you want, and you get them

Cristina Porter:

immediately the next day, which is super important for people,

Cristina Porter:

especially in an industry as tactile as this is. So I do see

Cristina Porter:

that that combination of experiences in which you have a

Cristina Porter:

digital component, and then goes into offline, to make the

Cristina Porter:

experience better and to also respond to the needs of the

Cristina Porter:

customers. In the end, you know that architects and designers

Cristina Porter:

will need to touch and see the physical example of it. Another

Cristina Porter:

example that I see that it's, it's great, there's one of our

Cristina Porter:

we launched this personalization and visualization tool called

Cristina Porter:

personal studio, which what it does is that you take on all of

Cristina Porter:

our products, carpet products that are running online, and you

Cristina Porter:

can go in and recolor them, you can see them in photorealistic

Cristina Porter:

environments, so room scenes, you can download those, you can

Cristina Porter:

order printed samples. And you can also order the set a

Cristina Porter:

physical sample right there from there. And why I think it's

Cristina Porter:

really interesting that again, it combines that online

Cristina Porter:

experience with the offline, but it makes personalization in an

Cristina Porter:

industry that is very difficult to think about personalization,

Cristina Porter:

very easy and, and really easy to access really. So that that

Cristina Porter:

is a really cool example of things that I'm seeing that are

Cristina Porter:

kind of meshing those, those limits. With personal studio, we

Cristina Porter:

also created a personal study hub, which is basically a

Cristina Porter:

physical place where you can go and you will do the

Cristina Porter:

personalization quickly in a computer, and then they print

Cristina Porter:

out your sample right there, which I think is really, really

Cristina Porter:

cool. Because you don't have to wait or anything. You just get

Cristina Porter:

it from there. And, again, it's that mission and that balance

Cristina Porter:

between the offline experience going into I mean, the online

Cristina Porter:

world offline, going online going offline in this case, I

Cristina Porter:

think there there is a lot of opportunities there. For an

Cristina Porter:

industry that is very tactile, right. In which you're showing

Cristina Porter:

things, visualizing things, and then you get something back that

Cristina Porter:

you can then touch

Guy Powell:

it Yeah, absolutely. You know, as you were talking, I

Guy Powell:

was thinking about way back when when I was an engineer, you

Guy Powell:

know, and I had to order samples and whatever it was, and you

Guy Powell:

know, and I, maybe you'd get them in a week, maybe you'd get

Guy Powell:

two weeks. And, and now, as a consumer, when I go on Amazon,

Guy Powell:

if if I can't get it tomorrow, then I go home, man, I'm you

Guy Powell:

know, so it's that my whole mindset is that I should be able

Guy Powell:

to get this stuff tomorrow.

Cristina Porter:

Yep. And that's the Amazon effect. That's what

Cristina Porter:

the Amazon effect. Yeah. And because we are all consumers, it

Cristina Porter:

doesn't matter that you're b2b, the expectations are those. So

Cristina Porter:

we, as a company need to kind of respond to that, as well.

Guy Powell:

Well, and now, of course, Amazon and Walmart are

Guy Powell:

trying to do same day, they'll get ready.

Cristina Porter:

Well, that's, that's why I think the personal

Cristina Porter:

studio hub is so cool, because if you live in Chicago, you can

Cristina Porter:

just go there, and you can get it the same day, which is

Cristina Porter:

really, really cool. And it's unheard of,

Guy Powell:

yeah. Well, you know, in my book to, which, as

Guy Powell:

an aside, is almost ready to come out very, very close. But,

Guy Powell:

you know, when you now the way books or even physical books, so

Guy Powell:

a paperback and the hardback book, I can order it today. And

Guy Powell:

Amazon or Ingram will print it today, and then have it

Guy Powell:

delivered tomorrow, it's a whole the whole publishing industry

Guy Powell:

is, is been turned up on its upon its head, you know,

Guy Powell:

1000 3000 20,000 however many, you know, for books in like in,

Guy Powell:

you know, in the business side of things, and nowadays, they

Guy Powell:

don't print any, they you just upload your file, and they'll

Guy Powell:

print on demand with a color copy, which on the with the

Guy Powell:

color copy, even on the inside, as well as as the cover. And

Guy Powell:

that's just, it's just incredible how how well that's

Guy Powell:

now done.

Cristina Porter:

Well, and if you think about the, I still

Cristina Porter:

love the part of 3d printing, because I feel like that is also

Cristina Porter:

gonna revolutionize all of the supply chains for things. When I

Cristina Porter:

was in the agriculture equipment company, we were looking at 3d

Cristina Porter:

printing for for accessories and things that had to do with

Cristina Porter:

repairs and things like that, when, especially with that

Cristina Porter:

industry, time is really important. Because if you're not

Cristina Porter:

out in the field, doing things, you're losing money, basically.

Cristina Porter:

So having on 3d printing and on demand printing for pieces and

Cristina Porter:

stuff like that would make complete sense. So I think that

Cristina Porter:

that's the other. That's the other element that I find

Cristina Porter:

fascinating about 3d printing and printing on demand.

Guy Powell:

Yeah, absolutely. So that'll be the next challenge

Guy Powell:

for you. You know, because one of the things that I've seen is,

Guy Powell:

if you go into the UPS store, they have 3d printers there.

Guy Powell:

They ask the people, you know, the people behind the camera,

Guy Powell:

and I see anybody using them, they go no, not really. And yet

Guy Powell:

that is available. So you can almost do like what you're

Guy Powell:

talking about. And I don't know how easy that would be. But for

Guy Powell:

certain industries, maybe where you just send a file to the 3d

Guy Powell:

printer. And hey, have you you know, go pick that up? It'll be

Guy Powell:

there this afternoon. So so maybe you could actually get

Guy Powell:

same day delivery on that.

Cristina Porter:

Exactly. Same day printing and delivery? Yeah,

Guy Powell:

exactly. Well, I've taken a lot of your time, but I

Guy Powell:

really appreciate it. Is there one thing that you think is

Guy Powell:

gonna be the superduper aha moment for 2022 or 2023?

Guy Powell:

Marketing?

Cristina Porter:

God, I don't know I keep. I think you touched

Cristina Porter:

on the metaverse, and I think that we need to keep an eye on

Cristina Porter:

on the metaverse. In general on digital I also think that what's

Cristina Porter:

going to change a lot of how we do especially advertising will

Cristina Porter:

be the cookie situation in which cookies are disappearing and how

Cristina Porter:

we're going to deal with that. I am keeping a really close eye on

Cristina Porter:

that. And I am also keeping an eye on social media because

Cristina Porter:

social media is shifting a lot. What we see what we saw in 2022

Cristina Porter:

is that video is more important with you know, with tick tock

Cristina Porter:

and and reels. And Facebook has seen massive slowdown as well.

Cristina Porter:

But I still am looking forward to seeing what what else comes

Cristina Porter:

out. There's also you know, sound only social media with

Cristina Porter:

clubhouse which I still don't think that has exploded as it

Cristina Porter:

ought to be. So there's a lot of elements in social media that

Cristina Porter:

I'm keeping my eye on just because it's very different. And

Cristina Porter:

then there is the whole blockchain and NFT story that we

Cristina Porter:

Don't even touch. And that's another thing that I'm keeping

Cristina Porter:

an eye, especially to see what companies are doing with it. And

Cristina Porter:

not necessarily because I've seen a lot of the entertainment

Cristina Porter:

industry companies going into it, like, for example, the

Cristina Porter:

Atlanta Hawks had several NF T's released and things like that,

Cristina Porter:

which makes complete sense because their product is very

Cristina Porter:

different. But what happens with companies that their product is

Cristina Porter:

physical and completely specific to certain industry that really

Cristina Porter:

nfts don't make sense. But they might make sense. So that's

Cristina Porter:

another one that I'm looking forward to seeing what happens

Cristina Porter:

and how it gets released into other industries that are not

Cristina Porter:

really entertainment or content.

Guy Powell:

Exactly, exactly. So yeah, I think I think you're

Guy Powell:

right, we didn't even talk about and I hate to say it, I'm not an

Guy Powell:

expert, or,

Cristina Porter:

No, me neither, I just keep my eye on those

Cristina Porter:

things.

Guy Powell:

But, you know, it's, it's just funny how things are

Guy Powell:

changing. And I just wrote a post this morning, you mentioned

Guy Powell:

podcasts, and this is going to be a podcast, and the podcasts

Guy Powell:

are actually exploding. And yet, it's people are not in the car

Guy Powell:

as much anymore. Yeah. But then the use of audio is been

Guy Powell:

significantly reduced. And so you know, if you're home, I

Guy Powell:

don't know about you, but I can't listen to a podcast and

Guy Powell:

try and get work done. It's it. It's just too distracting. i You

Guy Powell:

can do the other.

Cristina Porter:

Yeah. And I find it fascinating because I, I

Cristina Porter:

come from Mexico, and most of my friends were into podcasts, like

Cristina Porter:

producing podcasts 15 years ago. So I actually am on podcasts are

Cristina Porter:

15 years old. Because that's what my friends used to do. So I

Cristina Porter:

was in multiple podcasts. And it's really fascinating to me

Cristina Porter:

that out, like the last five years, just podcasts have

Cristina Porter:

exploded. And to me, it's it's very fascinating, because I've

Cristina Porter:

been expecting this to happen for the last 15 years. And I'm

Cristina Porter:

really look, I'm really excited that it is happening. Because I

Cristina Porter:

think that podcasts are great. Just a great media opportunity,

Cristina Porter:

not only not only as thought leadership, but also they're

Cristina Porter:

very entertaining. So we're actually going back to the the

Cristina Porter:

radio, the base of the radio shows where it was all theater,

Cristina Porter:

basically. I mean, most of the podcasts that I listen are like

Cristina Porter:

history or business or et cetera. And they're all telling

Cristina Porter:

you a story, which is great.

Guy Powell:

Yeah, no, absolutely. And I think that's

Guy Powell:

what, you know, makes them valuable. So I think you're

Guy Powell:

right, I think right now is kind of the time for podcasts. And I

Guy Powell:

think the year over the next couple of years, it's definitely

Guy Powell:

going to be, you know, be the one of the new mediums that that

Guy Powell:

we'll all have to try and figure out. So

Cristina Porter:

yeah, and I'm glad that you're doing it. Yeah.

Cristina Porter:

I listen to your podcasts. So Oh, great. I'm always learning

Cristina Porter:

new things with podcasts, and I listen to yours.

Guy Powell:

Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate that.

Guy Powell:

So And with that, though, let me let's break right here. And

Guy Powell:

maybe we'll do another one. We'll continue on the next one,

Guy Powell:

which will be NF T's and blockchain and how we can figure

Guy Powell:

that out. But thank you so much. It's really been really been

Guy Powell:

awesome and definitely appreciate your time. Otherwise,

Guy Powell:

please stay tuned for other videos in this series of the

Guy Powell:

backstory on marketing, please visit marketing machine dot pro

Guy Powell:

relevant.com/getting started to download the first chapter of my

Guy Powell:

book and other valuable excerpts. And don't forget to

Guy Powell:

sign up for more episodes and in this podcast series, and if you

Guy Powell:

can, of course rate this podcast with five stars. Christina,

Guy Powell:

thank you so much. Really appreciate it. Thank you, Guy