Businesses Need to STOP Chasing Unicorns According to Tyler Chisholm, Ep #19

Businesses Need to STOP Chasing Unicorns According to Tyler Chisholm, Ep #19

Kayla Graham

Marketers are often treated as the jack-of-all-trades in a business. Their role is constantly changing and morphing and more and more is expected of them. The reality is that the expectation of a marketing professional to be a “unicorn” may not change anytime soon. What can businesses do to create an environment where markets can thrive? Tyler Chisholm shares his take in this episode of Content Callout. Tyler is the CEO at clearmotive, a full-service marketing agency based in Calgary. He is also the creator and host of two podcasts: Collisions YYC and They Just Get It. His unique perspective on the marketing industry is one you don’t want to miss.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:08] Hosting versus being a guest
  • [2:58] All about Collisions YYC – Tyler’s best “yes” ever
  • [5:58] How to overcome imposter syndrome
  • [7:17] The gumball machine of marketing
  • [10:34] Marketers: the Unicorn of all trades
  • [12:29] How to combat unrealistic expectations
  • [14:26] Why clearmotive has two locations
  • [19:08] The clearmotive competitive advantage
  • [22:59] How to accelerate the partnership process
  • [25:11] What if your team isn’t a good fit
  • [26:34] Tyler’s initiative: Red Express

The gumball machine that is marketing

Tyler grew up on a farm in Quebec where he learned how to fly. He came to Calgary to get into aviation but ended up launching his own fitness business and eventually transitioned into marketing. It sounds like a huge leap, but he found that fitness and marketing were quite similar. You constantly meet people that want to be in a different place than where they are now. They have unrealistic expectations and want to reach their goals as fast as possible. They think there’s a magic pill.

We’ve found that people treat marketing like a gumball machine: they want to put in a coin, turn it, and expect an immediate gumball of results. When COVID-19 first hit, a lot of people slashed their marketing budgets. We believe you can have the best product or service in the world, but if you don’t tell anybody about it, no one will remember you—and you won’t get new customers. Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Nike, etc. are world-renowned brands that still spend millions of dollars on ads to remind people that they still have a product or service. You still need to put dollars into marketing. People may not fully understand the importance of marketing, so a lot of education comes with this role.

Businesses need to stop chasing unicorns

Tyler has been involved with clearmotive since 2005, and in a senior leadership role since 2009. He’s seen that the roles they’ve laid out are intense. So much is expected of “digital media planners” or “strategists.” Businesses expect these individuals to know all the things. They want to hire a coordinator and pay them $50,000 a year—but they expect them to be able to code, do SEO, know SEM, run social media, have design skills, and be a copywriter.

The creatives in the corporate world are under-valued because no one wants to pay them for the work, but yet they have to know all of these things.

The unicorn model isn’t realistic, but it’s almost required because of the pace of change happening in the industry. So what are businesses to do? Tyler emphasizes we need to create a culture that allows people to only know a portion of their job description and enable them to constantly learn. Some companies do this well but others set their employees up for failure.

How to combat unrealistic expectations

The pace of change happens because marketing is told something needs to happen the week before it goes live. Product planning knew about it. Sales knew about it. Yet somehow marketing is the last to find out. Tyler emphasizes that you have to break down silos and get the marketing team at the table from the moment the product is conceptualized. They need to be involved in the whole process. Businesses need more integration and must stop expecting their marketers to know everything. It’s talked about often, but Tyler has seen it fail many times in the boardroom.

How can a marketing agency compete in a crowded market? How can you accelerate the process of forming a relationship with your clients? What do you do if your team isn’t a good fit? We cover a lot of deep topics with Tyler in this episode of Content Callout that every marketing professional and business owner can benefit from. Make sure you listen!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Tyler Chisholm

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