Marketing In Times of Recovery

Marketing In Times Of Crisis has changed its name to Marketing In Times of Recovery. It's still a bi-weekly interview-led podcast series featuring inspirational built environment business leaders but more with a look to the future. We’ve had to weather crisis’ before and podcast listeners hear lively conversations, jam-packed with hints, tips and takeaways that you can apply to your business now. Hosted by Ayo Abbas, Founder / Consultant, Abbas Marketing. Subscribe now, rate, review and help us to spread the word.

https://www.abbasmarketing.com/mitc-podcast

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episode 16: Ep 16: Campaigns, Strategy and Winning Work with Emily Binning from WSP [transcript]


Welcome to the latest episode of Marketing In Times of Crisis hosted by me, Ayo Abbas, a marketing consultant who specialises in all things built environment.  

Today's guest is Emily Binning who is the UK Head of Brand and Marketing at global engineering powerhouse WSP.  I know Emily from when we both worked at Arup and this interview was a lovely way to reconnect. 

Key takeaways

  • How strategy should be simple and, on a page
  • How to push back on BAU (Business As Usual) activity so that you can focus on the things that are strategically important to the business 
  • Building a high performing marketing team and create the right environment for them to flourish 
  • The importance of having a good  martech stack  (marketing technology) - it's been a lifeline during lockdown for her marketing team

Rate and review us
Please don’t forget to rate and review us if you’re listening on Apple podcasts as it’s lovely to hear what you think plus it helps us to spread the word. 

Resources
WSP UK site
WSP Hour / Changemakers Campaign
ALDI Twitter campaign
Abbas Marketing


Recorded on Monday 25 January 2021. 


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 2021-02-26  44m
 
 
00:05  Ayo Abbas
Hello, and welcome to
00:05
the latest episode of Marketing
00:07
In Times of Crisis. And I'm your
00:07
host Ayo Abbas, a marketing
00:10
consultant who specialises in
00:10
working with companies in the
00:14
built environment that's
00:14
basically architects, engineers
00:16
and contractors to you and me.
00:16
today. It's Monday the 25th
00:20
January 2021 and we are in
00:20
lockdown part three. My guest
00:24
today is Emily Binning from
00:24
engineering powerhouse WSP. I've
00:27
known Emily for years from when
00:27
we both work to Arup. And it was
00:30
really lovely to reconnect and
00:30
do this interview of her. In
00:33
this session, we touch on lots
00:33
including the importance of
00:36
strategic marketing, and its
00:36
alignment with winning work,
00:39
having the courage to push back
00:39
on business as usual. And why
00:43
it's really important to empower
00:43
your teams and let them do what
00:46
they do best. We also look at
00:46
marketing technology, and how
00:49
that can help us all do our
00:49
jobs. So if you're a regular
00:52
listener, please do me a favour
00:52
and leave us a lovely review. It
00:56
really is appreciated and helps
00:56
us to spread the word. Anyway,
01:00
let's get on with the show. And
01:00
I'll stop talking. So off you go
01:03
and enjoy the interview with
01:03
Emily.
01:10
Hi, welcome to the latest
01:10
episode of marketing in times of
01:13
crisis. Hi, Emily. Thanks so
01:13
much. And thanks for coming onto
01:16
the show. Can you give me a
01:16
brief intro to you and your role
01:19
at WSP, please?
01:21  Emily Binning
Yeah, hi, Ayo,
01:21
it's brilliant to be with you
01:23
today. And thanks for inviting
01:23
me on the podcast. So I have
01:28
about 23 years experience now,
01:28
gosh, in marketing and comms
01:34
which is terrifying in itself.
01:34
And I, the majority of my career
01:40
has actually been in
01:40
professional services. So I'm
01:42
really kind of rooted in that. I
01:42
joined WSP three years ago. And
01:47
at that time, I had a very, very
01:47
clear mandate. And it was simply
01:51
to show us a better way to do
01:51
strategic marketing. And so in
01:55
that time, I kind of refocused
01:55
the function and took it apart
01:59
and rebuilt it, essentially. And
01:59
we now have a strategic
02:02
marketing function in place that
02:02
helps the company win work, it's
02:06
really that simple. And profiles
02:06
and position us to when work and
02:11
be front of mind with our
02:11
clients and potential clients.
02:14
So my role, specifically, gosh,
02:14
I mean, you know, I'm sure many
02:20
people you speak to could talk
02:20
at length. But I'd say in
02:23
summary, ultimately, I'm
02:23
responsible for making sure that
02:27
the marketing strategy aligns to
02:27
the business growth strategy,
02:30
going back to that point about
02:30
winning work. I think it's vital
02:37
that I recruit and retain the
02:37
best people, because I could
02:41
have the best strategy in the
02:41
world. But if I haven't got the
02:43
best team working alongside me,
02:43
it's gonna be really tricky. And
02:47
so in doing that, I really sort
02:47
of try and create and foster
02:51
that learning environment. It's
02:51
a great environment where there
02:55
are no blockers, we get to
02:55
innovate, we get to try things,
02:57
we get to fail safely. All of
02:57
that great stuff. I'm also and I
03:02
encourage my team today. And it
03:02
sounds really easy. But it's not
03:07
we're the connectors, we join
03:07
the dots across what is a very
03:11
diverse matrix type of business,
03:11
hundreds of service lines,
03:16
hundreds of clients. And so
03:16
joining those dots that that
03:20
we're getting the best value we
03:20
can for WSP is really important.
03:24
And that could be within a piece
03:24
of marketing activity. But often
03:28
that could be around a growth
03:28
opportunity or something that's
03:31
business strategy, where we were
03:31
part of the conversation, but we
03:34
can bring others in to make that
03:34
much more rounded proposition.
03:38  Ayo Abbas
So how big are WSP?
03:38
In the UK now and your team? And
03:42
how big is your team as well?
03:43  Emily Binning
So in the UK, we
03:43
are 7000 people. Yeah, globally.
03:49
Gosh I mean, we're always
03:49
growing. We're always growing.
03:53
We're headquartered in Canada
03:53
through a Canadian company and
03:57
we're on the Canadian Stock
03:57
Exchange, we have grown
04:00
aggressively through M&A. So to
04:00
put it into context, when I
04:03
joined three years ago, the day
04:03
I joined, we were at 32,000
04:08
overnight, we literally
04:08
overnight, we announced we were
04:13
going to acquire Opus, and that
04:13
kind of put on I think it's like
04:17
another 8000 on top or something
04:17
it was huge. And yeah, we
04:22
continue to grow. We've recently
04:22
just acquired Golder, which will
04:25
kind of put us out there on the
04:25
kind of top end environmental
04:28
consultancy stage. And then I
04:28
also look after Africa and
04:32
Israel as well as part of my
04:32
remit and link in globally. The
04:36
team so we cover as a function.
04:36
We have the strategic marketing
04:42
piece also have internal comms,
04:42
public affairs, media relations,
04:46
and the digital marketing piece
04:46
falls within, of course, the
04:50
marketing team. We also cover as
04:50
you'd expect reputation, crisis
04:53
management and graphic design.
04:53
So there are about 18/19 of us.
04:59
Yeah. So, you know, we, we keep
04:59
it lean. We're very,
05:03  Ayo Abbas
I was gonna say it's
05:03
not a massive team for that
05:07
company.
05:09  Emily Binning
It's a very lean
05:09
team. But I think, if I'm honest
05:13
with you, I Oh, I think that's
05:13
one of our gifts. Because we
05:18
have to be incredibly pointed
05:18
about what we do. And the value
05:23
we add, and one of my key
05:23
drivers and changes at the
05:28
beginning of the creation of the
05:28
team was around we're not going
05:35
to be in that business as usual
05:35
layer. And that switch from
05:39
reactive to proactive, and
05:39
they're very easy statements to
05:43
make. But we've done it, we've
05:43
100% done that.
05:47  Ayo Abbas
So what sort of
05:47
things did you have to say no
05:49
to?
05:50  Emily Binning
Oh, gosh,
05:51  Ayo Abbas
I mean, you know,
05:51
it's an important question.
05:57  Emily Binning
It's a really
05:57
important question. And because
06:00
when I, I kind of took it apart
06:00
and rebuilt it, I made a
06:04
conscious decision that I had to
06:04
live and breathe that business
06:09
and what that function was to
06:09
become, because in order to do
06:13
that, I needed to know what was
06:13
required of the business, the
06:16
personalities, the growth
06:16
ambitions, and build it. So I
06:20
created the right environment to
06:20
attract the best people to come
06:24
and help me, and to also get it
06:24
to a point where the environment
06:28
was right for those really
06:28
capable, brilliant people to do
06:31
a fantastic job. And ifthey had
06:31
come in too early, they would
06:35
have been asked for green
06:35
brochures that he would have
06:37
been asked for all the basic
06:37
marketing things, and I had to
06:44
go through that process of
06:44
really pushing back on the
06:49
business in the right way, and
06:49
educating them to this new and
06:53
different way. And so, you know,
06:53
it was in the early days, and I
06:58
make it sound so basic, some of
06:58
the things, we look at awards,
07:01
and I'm sure you and I could
07:01
debate that at length, the value
07:03
of awards, you know, certainly
07:03
in the engineering industry.
07:08
There was a lot of awards. And
07:08
some of them, there was no
07:12
strategic plan. And it was
07:12
saying no to a lot of those it
07:15
was it was discussing how that
07:15
model could be the model of
07:18
central awards versus in the
07:18
business, to free us up to be
07:21
working on a major strategic bid
07:21
worth hundreds of millions of
07:26
pounds and as doing the
07:26
profiling and positioning for
07:28
that. And then when you're
07:28
saying no to that business, as
07:31
usual layer in the right way,
07:31
and you're putting your efforts
07:35
in that strategic piece, and
07:35
then the business can feel and
07:38
see the benefit of the activity,
07:38
it starts to kind of build up
07:44
and the pace and the momentum,
07:44
and people want more of it. But
07:48
it wasn't easy. I'm very
07:48
fortunate that WSP, genuinely,
07:54
it's an environment where you're
07:54
trusted for your skill set. And
08:00
there are no blockers. And it's
08:00
not the bureaucracy of writing a
08:05
paper and it has to go and get
08:05
signed off and all that stuff.
08:08
You know, we're trusted for our
08:08
skills, but we're also
08:12
accountable. Big time, you know.
08:15  Ayo Abbas
And there was a
08:15
phase. Like, I can't remember
08:17
when it was probably about five
08:17
years ago when you guys used to
08:20
like advertise in like, train
08:20
stations. Do you still do that?
08:26  Emily Binning
Yeah. So
08:29  Unknown
WSP is really
08:29
interesting from a corporate
08:31
brand perspective. Like, you
08:31
point out many, many years ago,
08:36
corporate brand campaigns and
08:36
advertising was what WSP did,
08:40
and it has a really playful
08:40
personality. And that, you know,
08:45
would be taking out adverts in
08:45
the Times. Yeah, that's what
08:50
they did. And, and so there is a
08:50
nice history and track record of
08:55
that. And we still do that, this
08:55
year. And last year, obviously,
09:01
behaviours have changed. But
09:01
we're still doing we invest a
09:05
lot in our corporate brand
09:05
activity. And when I say a lot,
09:08
I'm not just saying money out
09:08
the door, attention, you know,
09:14
resource as in the minds of the
09:14
team, making sure it is
09:17
implemented across everything we
09:17
do and is like that significant
09:21
factor in what we do. But yeah,
09:21
we really try and push the
09:27
boundaries actually, for
09:27
professional services and b2b in
09:31
terms of our brand, our
09:31
corporate brand.
09:34  Ayo Abbas
Yeah, coz it used to
09:34
be key, the key kind of terminal
09:37
kind of stations. I remember
09:37
seeing them at some point, you
09:39
know, now, because there's not
09:39
many, there's not many
09:42
engineering firms that actually
09:42
do that in that kind of thing.
09:45
So, it did always stand out to
09:45
me. So onto my next question, so
09:50
in terms of kind of locked down
09:50
part three, I mean, what
09:53
approach have you been taking in
09:53
terms of how you've been doing
09:55
your marketing over the various
09:55
lockdowns?
09:58  Emily Binning
Yeah, so it's
09:58
well, last March, when it all
10:04
kicked off. We very, very
10:04
quickly, I mean, within two
10:08
weeks had realigned our
10:08
marketing focus. So we have a
10:13
very disciplined rigorous
10:13
marketing planning cycle every
10:17
autumn. When we work with
10:17
business, we reflect on the
10:20
business growth strategy, and we
10:20
kind of create our plans for the
10:23
year. And there's like an
10:23
overlaid marketing strategy on
10:26
top of that. So, we very quickly
10:26
had to refocus, look at the
10:31
opportunities and priorities for
10:31
the business, our clients in the
10:34
market at that time, working
10:34
with the business working with
10:37
our strategic growth team, and
10:37
there was a bit of a two pronged
10:42
approach on that. So there's
10:42
that classic present forward,
10:45
what's in front of the nose?
10:45
What do we really need to chase
10:48
now? What were the client's
10:48
pinch points? Where are the
10:51
projects that need some more
10:51
attention? All marketers? And
10:57
then there was that kind of
10:57
still. And it's really
11:00
important, because I think in
11:00
times like this people and
11:03
organisations forget this, that
11:03
that kind of forward back
11:08
approach, still looking ahead of
11:08
that 6,12,18 months, because you
11:14
know, great opportunities can
11:14
come out of this for business, I
11:17
think, if they still keep that
11:17
lens on the future. I think it's
11:21
a really important point. So
11:21
we've been trying to balance
11:23
that we, as a team have focused
11:23
much more on the quality, not
11:30
quantity, again, easy statement.
11:30
But let's just do it really,
11:34
really well. Let's make sure our
11:34
targeting is bang on. In terms
11:39
of we are we reaching the
11:39
buyers? are we reaching their
11:42
circle of trust and influence?
11:42
We have worked very closely with
11:48
our strategic growth team,
11:48
because I feel in times like
11:51
this more than ever, we have to
11:51
be supporting our key account
11:55
managers and the seller doers,
11:55
helping them to have the
11:58
conversation starters how, you
11:58
know, back in March, it was like
12:01
pick up the phone and speak to
12:01
your client. Think it's
12:08
important not to forget the
12:08
importance of internal comms,
12:12
it's been a big thing for us,
12:12
because we're a people business,
12:15
our only asset is our brilliant
12:15
people. And we had to get our
12:19
confidence and guidance, how we
12:19
were going to navigate this and
12:24
keep close to our clients. That
12:24
was a big, big piece for us. And
12:28
then we zoned in I know, it's
12:28
predictable on our digital
12:31
marketing plan and our content
12:31
pipeline to make sure that was
12:37
robust. Everybody was feeding
12:37
into it. We, you know, I talked
12:43
about targeting a moment ago,
12:43
but that's fundamental to what
12:47
we do, and trying to find sort
12:47
of those new and creative ways
12:51
to do that. And
12:54  Ayo Abbas
how is your data?
12:54
Because I know that if you're
12:56
going to start targeting and
12:56
being more specific, which is
12:58
what this kind of pandemic has
12:58
thrown up? I mean, did you have
13:02
the data in place for that?
13:04  Emily Binning
Yeah, so So for
13:04
us, it's really a case of be it.
13:10
A strategic pursuit, or an
13:10
account based marketing piece,
13:15
we're just really close to the
13:15
Strategic Growth team, those key
13:18
account managers in the
13:18
business. And we have our
13:20
capture planning teams. So,
13:20
they're brilliant at doing that
13:24
capture planning piece at the
13:24
early part of the bid. And
13:27
that's when we start to map out
13:27
who we know. And then we'll do
13:30
our piece of well actually did
13:30
they know us? What are they
13:33
reading, what are they watching?
13:33
Are they following us
13:41
Stalking and tracking. And so
13:41
we just had to really, really
13:45
zone in on that. And we always
13:45
have but even more that critical
13:50
eye on that has been super
13:50
important. And I think I think
13:58
this is where my soapbox, but I
13:58
think one of my big learnings
14:02
throughout this whole whole
14:02
journey so far has been around.
14:07
I don't want and I fear
14:07
everybody potentially is sort of
14:13
navigating into this space. I
14:13
don't want social media,
14:17
particularly LinkedIn to be that
14:17
default complacent option. A bit
14:22
like to remember in the old days
14:22
where you do a nice flyer, and
14:25
you put a code on the back. You
14:25
put it in an envelope, and you'd
14:28
see what happened. No show by
14:28
age, but you know, that's what
14:32
we do it and we go, okay, job
14:32
done. Let's just see how many we
14:36
get back. And I fear that
14:36
LinkedIn in particular, is
14:43
starting to become like that.
14:43
And the reason why I raised that
14:47
is we recently had a very
14:47
important strategic bid. We were
14:52
doing our profiling and
14:52
positioning campaign and the
14:55
team were doing a great job and
14:55
it was just wrestling with me.
14:58
Are we reaching the buyers are
14:58
we reaching them? And actually,
15:02
when we really dug through the
15:02
the kind of the buyers and the
15:06
personas, many of them weren't
15:06
actually on LinkedIn, or they
15:10
weren't following us or that,
15:10
and we had to stop and go, how
15:14
else can we reach this? How else
15:14
do we reach them, and we've got
15:18
to find a way. And it just, it
15:18
just got me thinking, I don't
15:22
want us to be in that space
15:22
where we become complacent with
15:26
it as a channel.
15:29  Ayo Abbas
But what I kind of
15:29
think is also you don't own you
15:31
don't own that data. And like
15:31
you say, you don't know if
15:34
somebody is actually going onto
15:34
LinkedIn, they might not be all
15:37
linked to you. I think you only
15:37
see 10% of your contacts,
15:40
information and feed and
15:40
information. So it's easy to
15:43
miss. If you don't think to us,
15:43
you don't even know if you're
15:46
even in their stream of
15:46
information. So in some ways,
15:50
that's why I was asking you the
15:50
data question, because I was
15:51
kind of like, if you have their
15:51
emails, for example, you had
15:55
ways of connecting with them
15:55
outside social, where you're
15:58
more likely, you know, it's been
15:58
received, you know, you can have
16:01
a Read Receipt, you can that
16:01
kind of stuff. And that's that's
16:05
the cold data piece, isn't it?
16:05
In terms of at least you know,
16:08
you're hitting someone or, you
16:08
know, you're actually making
16:10
that contact? And I think social
16:10
media is a, it's a bit of a pay
16:14
and spray in a way isn't
16:15  Emily Binning
it is? Yeah,
16:15
gosh, that that phrase, you
16:18
know, I do remember that from
16:18
the old school marketing days.
16:24
So it is and I think it's so so
16:24
in the strategic marketing
16:28
piece, because that's what we're
16:28
specifically talking about
16:30
today, just at the function, we
16:30
focus on three things. And they
16:35
are the profiling and
16:35
positioning for key strategic
16:38
pursuits. And we were really
16:38
close to those bid teams to
16:43
understand the win themes
16:43
understand who's the influences
16:46
are? What they're buying, what's
16:46
keeping them awake at night, all
16:50
that great stuff. And then we
16:50
will profile and position to
16:53
help influence, then there's the
16:53
account based marketing. So
16:57
that's when we really dig down
16:57
into key accounts work with a
17:00
key client managers, and we have
17:00
bespoke marketing programmes. So
17:03
those key accounts, and then you
17:03
have like the one WSP themes,
17:06
and they're sort of the
17:06
contextual cross cutting themes.
17:09
So delivering Net zero is a
17:09
really, really good example.
17:13
Yeah. And I think that's where
17:13
just going back to the digital
17:16
marketing piece, and
17:16
specifically social media and
17:18
LinkedIn, you know, from a one
17:18
WSP themes that profiling that
17:23
contextual piece, I think it can
17:23
be really powerful. And it's
17:29
more so powerful when your
17:29
people employees are sharing
17:33
that content, you know, when
17:33
we're getting to 30%, sometimes
17:40
of our traffic to our campaign
17:40
pages come from our people
17:44
sharing our content. And that
17:44
number is on the increase. I
17:48
mean, it's phenomenal. So we
17:48
have our LinkedIn A teams. We
17:51
use smarp, which is an employee
17:51
advocacy platform, it is so
17:56
powerful, because they're the
17:56
ones that have the connections,
18:00
compellingly authentic coming
18:00
from them.
18:03  Ayo Abbas
Yeah. And then
18:03
sharing it because they want to
18:05
share it right.
18:06  Emily Binning
Yeah, exactly. So
18:06
it's a really interesting,
18:10
interesting space, I think to
18:10
debate.
18:14  Ayo Abbas
So what do you think?
18:14
I guess, I guess, let's move on
18:18
to campaigns in terms of you
18:18
talked about the kind of one
18:21
themes and those kind of cross
18:21
sector things that are global
18:23
for you. I know, one of the
18:23
campaigns you've recently
18:26
launched is the WSP Changemakers
18:26
Campaign. How does that work?
18:29
And what how did that one come
18:29
about?
18:31  Emily Binning
Yeah, so the
18:31
Changemakers Campaign, honestly,
18:34
Ayo has been a complete joy to
18:34
work on. It's one of those that
18:39
completely aligned to sort of my
18:39
my purpose, and why I love what
18:45
I do. And you and I know, like,
18:45
it's been proven that brands
18:50
that continue to invest in their
18:50
brand, during times of turmoil
18:56
and crisis come out stronger.
18:56
And we really believe in that we
19:00
really believe in it. So what we
19:00
did last September well it was
19:03
August, we had a bit of a
19:03
brainwave, within the team of a
19:09
kind of loose concept. And
19:09
traditionally, in the autumn, we
19:14
do a bit of an ad campaign sort
19:14
of push. So the timing was
19:18
right. And the campaign
19:18
basically celebrates each and
19:23
every one of the 7000 people in
19:23
the UK. And importantly, it's
19:28
not just our incredible
19:28
technical staff. It's everyone,
19:32
including our management
19:32
services teams too. And so, we
19:37
felt that during this pandemic,
19:37
more than ever, we needed to
19:42
create that sort of renewed
19:42
sense of community and spirit
19:45
and an appreciation for what we
19:45
do in the power of that and it
19:49
wasn't as important internally
19:49
for a cultural piece as it was
19:53
externally to the market. 100%
19:53
and we centre the campaign
19:58
around the WSP hour. And that
19:58
essentially is telling stories
20:02
about the combined time of 7000
20:02
people and what we can achieve
20:06
in an hour for our clients on
20:06
our projects, and quite frankly,
20:09
for society, because that's part
20:09
of our purpose and what we're
20:12
about. And it's just been a joy
20:12
to work on, we had the kind of
20:17
hero video, we're now doing our
20:17
change maker profiles of people
20:22
in our business, and we've got
20:22
big plans for this year. You
20:25
know, I think you'll agree,
20:25
challenge me if you don't, but
20:28
people content wins every time
20:28
we see it in our stats. And so
20:32
we're telling our stories
20:32
through our people. And that is
20:35
the key ingredient. And we have
20:35
great people, and they do
20:40
amazing things. And it's just a
20:40
joy to work on. And like I said,
20:44
we've got some great ideas,
20:44
we've also really challenged
20:47
ourselves and to experiment, the
20:47
digital marketing space. So you
20:52
know, paid for activity on
20:52
Twitter, which we haven't really
20:55
done before. And that's been
20:55
great and
20:58  Ayo Abbas
Twitter is relatively
20:58
cost effective as well.
21:00  Emily Binning
It was very cost
21:00
effective. And lots of
21:04
Google AdWords display ads we
21:04
have done, as you pointed out
21:10
earlier, we're used to a lot of
21:10
print ads. But what we've done
21:13
this year is worked with Reach
21:13
media, and doing regional ads.
21:19
Lots of exciting things. And
21:19
we've even trialled targeting
21:24
our employees through LinkedIn,
21:24
so they receive specific content
21:29
to them. So we've tweaked the
21:29
wording of the ads, for example,
21:33
you and your colleagues and
21:33
things like that. So it's really
21:35
targeted to our 7000 people. And
21:35
yeah, it as a concept. It's
21:42
really powerful, because you can
21:42
overlay it on so many things.
21:46
For example, imagine the Ws p
21:46
our and changemakers. Talking
21:50
about volunteering days and CSR.
21:50
It it really counts across
21:55
everything.
21:57  Ayo Abbas
campaign, you can go
21:57
actually we can apply in this
21:59
way.
22:00  Unknown
Yeah.
22:01  Ayo Abbas
I've got a question
22:01
for you, actually. So you
22:02
targeted your own employees on
22:02
LinkedIn, which is an external
22:05
channel? How can we didn't do it
22:05
via your intranet? I'm assuming
22:08
you have one?
22:09  Emily Binning
Yeah, it was
22:09
we've done it on the intranet.
22:12
We have, obviously, the one that
22:12
the Wire is our weekly kind of
22:15
gathering of all news. We have a
22:15
great Yammer site for it, all
22:20
sorts of stuff like that. But we
22:20
just wanted to try this on
22:23
LinkedIn. Because I said to you
22:23
earlier, you know, generally,
22:27
our people are quite active on
22:27
LinkedIn. They're our biggest
22:30
advocates, they share the
22:30
content. And I don't know about
22:34
you, but sometimes I have an
22:34
evening. I'm sad. Yeah, my
22:36
LinkedIn app. And we just wanted
22:36
to give it a go and actually,
22:41
with, obviously, looking at the
22:41
data, but it has been really
22:45
powerful for us to drive people.
22:45
And what happens is they click
22:48
on it, and then it drives them
22:48
to our Yammer site. Ah, okay,
22:53
yes. And then to our SharePoint
22:53
site, so they can see lots more
22:56
information. We've done various
22:56
activities internally, as well.
23:00
And we have these clever ads
23:00
where they're split screen, and
23:05
it'll be an hour. And that might
23:05
be your commute to work,
23:09
pre-pandemic, and not now and
23:09
the WSP hour, and that's
23:17
designing the network to get you
23:17
there. And a really beautiful
23:21
strong photography. And we
23:21
actually, again, our playful
23:24
personality. We did one around
23:24
the Bake Off, and how actually
23:29
the hydrogen piece and how we're
23:29
fueling ovens, but we had the
23:32
showstopper cake. So we did some
23:32
clever sort of an hour and our
23:37
hour so yeah, so fun, really
23:37
good fun to work on.
23:41  Ayo Abbas
That is brilliant.
23:41
And I love the LinkedIn idea of
23:44
targeting your own people I
23:44
hadn't thought of that. But
23:47
actually it makes sense is
23:47
another way to actually drive
23:50
traffic to your own internal
23:50
channels, because actually a lot
23:52
of people kind of bypass and
23:52
during them during day, don't
23:55
they kind of will just
23:55
generally, or is that just me?
24:01  Emily Binning
It's not just you
24:01
Ayo, I can assure you.
24:05  Ayo Abbas
That's all I gotta
24:05
say on to my next question,
24:08
which is around I guess lots of
24:08
people are, I guess, having to
24:12
embrace marketing, including
24:12
digital marketing much more now,
24:16
and in a different way. I mean,
24:16
are there any kind of tips you
24:18
want to give to people in terms
24:18
of those starting out? And they
24:21
might be small businesses as
24:21
well?
24:25  Emily Binning
Yeah, there's a
24:25
few tips actually. And by no
24:29
means am I saying these are
24:29
easy, but that I'd say steps
24:33
that you shouldn't skip more
24:33
than ever, I think, have a very
24:39
clear purpose. Just spend that
24:39
time Think about your purpose
24:43
and what your proposition is.
24:43
Yeah, I think it's come through
24:47
front and centre and our
24:47
conversation so far know your
24:50
audience. Know your audiene and
24:50
know their customer or end user
24:56
personas, customer journeys. I
24:56
really think you have to put the
25:01
time in on that. I think be
25:01
consistent with the look and
25:06
feel and tone and what your
25:06
brand personality is. But on
25:09
that point, I really liked your
25:09
recent share about your own
25:13
brand. And how, you know, it's
25:13
almost just rolling as you go a
25:17
little bit. And I think that's a
25:17
really interesting point,
25:22
because some of this happens as
25:22
you go. But I do think if you've
25:26
got a clear purpose from the
25:26
outset, you'll be okay. And
25:30
yeah,
25:32  Ayo Abbas
I think that's so
25:32
important as well, because,
25:34
yeah, cuz I mean, my own
25:34
branding story is I haven't
25:36
actually got a logo. Yeah, I've
25:36
got a website, I've got colours.
25:39
But I actually don't I haven't
25:39
done the kind of pure kind of
25:42
logo or visual identity piece.
25:42
And one of the reasons I haven't
25:45
done it, I guess it's because
25:45
I'm still finding my way. So I
25:48
set up my business year ago. And
25:48
I think it's been more about
25:52
learning about my business and
25:52
what people want from it, and
25:54
what I want from my business and
25:54
my purpose, my role. So it's
25:58
been a lot more on that rather
25:58
than, you know, and now
26:01
actually, I feel more in a
26:01
position where I know what that
26:03
is. For now. I'm taking that and
26:03
turning that into my marketing
26:07
kind of branding brief as it
26:07
were. Because I just kind of
26:10
think it's it makes more sense.
26:12  Emily Binning
Yeah, it does
26:12
make more sense in that
26:14
instance. Absolutely. And, and
26:14
you'll believe in it, it will be
26:20
authentic to you. And I think
26:20
that that from the beginning,
26:23
I'm sure you have that purpose
26:23
in my Why do I want to do this?
26:26
And Who is it for? And where's
26:26
that gap in the market? I'm not
26:30
finding this content. So hey, I
26:30
could create this content. And
26:34
so I think that's your guiding
26:34
principle, isn't it?
26:36  Ayo Abbas
Yeah, it's I know,
26:36
it's finding the right tone of
26:39
voice for me as well, you know,
26:39
what do I really care about? And
26:42
it's like, there are certain
26:42
things where I do get on a
26:44
soapbox like you do. And I think
26:44
that that is that is it? And you
26:48
know, so it's like, these are
26:48
the areas that that really
26:51
resonate with me. But yeah, so
26:51
that's kind of my journey.
26:56  Emily Binning
I think keep an
26:56
eye on the competitors, but
26:58
don't get distracted by them. I
26:58
really believe in that. And I'd
27:03
say, when you're looking at
27:03
strategy, at the beginning, keep
27:08
it simple. So I challenged the
27:08
team every year, we have a
27:13
marketing strategy on a page.
27:13
And the elements of that
27:17
includes that as a statement of
27:17
marketing strategies, that's the
27:20
top line, we would have a little
27:20
description of the key market
27:24
issues, we then have some
27:24
bullets of what our marketing
27:27
initiatives are, we then also
27:27
explore like the critical
27:30
underlying beliefs and
27:30
assumptions, yes, and sentences
27:33
which start with we must, we
27:33
should we know, and then have
27:37
some goals and metrics. And then
27:37
also, you'd also have the state
27:41
of marketing sort of in 2019,
27:41
and then what you want it to be
27:45
in 2020. And that's all on a
27:45
page. And just keep it really
27:49
simple. And sometimes I think
27:49
people think of strategy. And as
27:52
Oh, my goodness, this is reams
27:52
of reads. And it doesn't have to
27:56
be, it really doesn't. And then
27:56
I think the other tip would be
28:03
underpin what you're doing with
28:03
the tools to help you achieve
28:08
the goals. And in 2019, we took
28:08
a lot of time, and did our due
28:14
diligence around Martech stack.
28:14
And I went to ExCom and with a
28:19
proposal file. And sorry, ExCom
28:19
is our kind of top leadership
28:22
board. And I went in with a
28:22
proposal for our martech stack
28:25
and the level of investment. And
28:25
fortunately, they believed in me
28:30
and the function. And it's been
28:30
transformative for us. And I
28:33
really, you know, if we hadn't
28:33
have had that Martech stack when
28:37
this pandemic kicked off, it
28:37
would have really made it very
28:42
difficult for us to generate the
28:42
content and what we what we've
28:45
achieved during that time.
28:47  Ayo Abbas
Can you explain what
28:47
a martech stack is?
28:47  Emily Binning
Yeah, sure. So
28:47
it's marketing, marketing
28:52
technology stack. Essentially,
28:52
it's what tools do you need to
28:58
help do you create the marketin
28:58
outputs you need as a function
29:05
but also these tools, they kin
29:05
of link in together? And it'
29:09
about the data output you'l
29:09
get? Will it save time? Will i
29:13
save money. And what you do i
29:13
there's so many technologies ou
29:16
there. So by way of example
29:16
there's a product we were usin
29:20
called lumen five. It's a reall
29:20
clever little video platfor
29:26
where you can create shor
29:26
videos for social but anybody i
29:30
the team can use that reall
29:30
quickly. Yeah, and create thes
29:34
short videos. And that has bee
29:34
brilliant. And actuall
29:37
initially we thought of that a
29:37
an external tool, but we us
29:40
that as much internally as w
29:40
have externally. Then you migh
29:44
have, say Sprout Social would b
29:44
part of your stack. So that'
29:48
obviously our social media tool
29:48
where you can obviously monito
29:53
your social channels, uploa
29:53
your social posts, and all tha
29:57
great stuff. Then there'
29:57
there's pieces of kit lik
30:00
Turtl. And that's a really
30:00
interesting kit, the digital pub
30:05
ications. So what it is, it'
30:05
all those bits of tec
30:08
nology, and they form your tec
30:08
nology stack. They have to ser
30:12
e a purpose and objectives. And
30:12
what you do with that stack is
30:16
ou constantly refine and evo
30:16
ve every year based on wha
30:19
's working, what isn't. Are you
30:19
getting the right data out of
30:22
t? Are you getting the eff
30:22
ciency gains? And? Yeah, it'
30:25
been a game changer for us.
30:30  Ayo Abbas
Did you put that
30:30
togetehr with your IT team as
30:31
well, was that,
30:33  Emily Binning
yeah, so they
30:33
were great at just helping us, I
30:37
guess, go through the different
30:37
contracts and your will our
30:41
systems talk to their systems,
30:43  Ayo Abbas
integrations, massive
30:45  Emily Binning
operation?
30:45
Exactly.
30:48
Actually, it was very much
30:48
driven by us. And then, of
30:51
course, our procurement team. So
30:51
making sure we have the right
30:54
contracts and agreements in
30:54
place and negotiating. And
30:57
actually, for us, we're really
30:57
moving in this year, hopefully.
31:00
So the automation piece on our
31:00
website, our website is globally
31:05
owned, that we're really pushing
31:05
that side of things. So yeah,
31:09
underpin, I suppose the tip is
31:09
just make sure you look at the
31:13
tools you need that might
31:13
initially look like it got a bit
31:17
of an outlay. But my goodness,
31:17
in terms of time, agility,
31:21
resource efficiency. It's worth
31:21
serious consideration, I'd say.
31:27  Ayo Abbas
But I knew I think
31:27
that's absolutely right. But
31:30
when it comes to market calls,
31:30
as well, there's also this thing
31:33
where actually, there's a lot of
31:33
kind of subscription, relatively
31:37
low price things now on the
31:37
market, like, you know, VEED,
31:40
for example, for video editing
31:40
like that you can get, which you
31:43
know, don't cost that much each
31:43
month for smaller businesses as
31:46
well. And you can kind of do
31:46
similar things, I think it's
31:49
just always keeping an eye out,
31:49
I think on that kind of area.
31:52
There's
31:55  Emily Binning
always new
31:55
technologies coming out me,
31:57
gosh, look at us just now on
31:57
this podcast. And it's just,
32:01
it's been remarkable, and it's
32:01
ever changing. So a big request
32:04
for me for the team, and I bang
32:04
on about it quite a lot. We have
32:08
to be up there with the trends
32:08
that are coming, we have to
32:11
understand them. There'll be
32:11
some where we decide to let it
32:14
just walk on buy us we think
32:14
this is going to be a fad or
32:17
it's not for us. And there'll be
32:17
some we're like no that this we
32:20
need to zone in on and we have
32:20
to be on our toes the whole time
32:24
with this. We have to be.
32:27  Ayo Abbas
Anyway, I think the
32:27
other thing that in terms of
32:29
tips, I know we were talking
32:29
earlier, one of the things that
32:31
I kind of am on my soapbox, or
32:31
this week is very much about
32:35
context and relevancy. So for
32:35
me, it's around, I guess, people
32:39
giving people advice, but
32:39
actually making sure it's
32:41
relevant to that industry. And
32:41
that target audience is the
32:45
right thing to actually be
32:45
saying because I kind of, I'm
32:47
starting to feel that there's a
32:47
lot of kind of one size fits all
32:50
advice going on at the moment.
32:50
So yeah, I'm seeing that a lot
32:53
in Facebook groups and business
32:53
groups and things like that. So
32:56
that is my
32:57  Emily Binning
Yeah, and it's a
32:57
faceless. You know, anybody can
33:01
do I could be Julian, I'm a
33:01
pilot if I wanted to you
33:11
wouldn't want me flying a plane.
33:11
it's a different world now
33:17  Ayo Abbas
it iis context and
33:17
relevancy. That's one of mine.
33:20
Okay, so in terms of what's
33:20
coming up, are there any
33:23
particular things you've got
33:23
coming up as a business or alrge
33:26
come on large campaigns for the
33:26
next kind of quarter or so?
33:30  Emily Binning
Sure. So I think,
33:30
you know, we will have a clear
33:34
focus that aligns to the growth
33:34
opportunities. Full stop. Yeah,
33:38
we're upscaling our account
33:38
based marketing programme,
33:41
because that's something I
33:41
introduced, and it's really
33:44
starting to embed now we can see
33:44
the value in that. And I just
33:47
mentioned about the automation.
33:47
So there's more we can be doing
33:51
around that. I think I have
33:51
recently been appointed to the
33:58
strategic leadership team for
33:58
the UK. And that's an
34:02
opportunity to further cement
34:02
marketing at that table at that
34:08
level, where we're talking about
34:08
growth opportunities, and
34:11
actually having set the strategy
34:11
for the UK. And I think that's a
34:16
brilliant opportunity for the
34:16
team. huge opportunity. I think
34:21
that future back approach and
34:21
that, that present forward
34:24
getting that right balance that
34:24
we're spending the right amount
34:27
of time on those two things.
34:27
Yeah. And from a themes
34:31
perspective, delivering Net
34:31
Zero, huge for us and COP
34:37
happening in November. We've got
34:37
some really exciting plans for
34:42
that and our Changemakers
34:42
campaign, great ideas coming
34:46
forward from the team and our
34:46
agencies so that I just think we
34:50
can run and run with but we've
34:50
got to keep it fresh. Got to
34:57
keep it fresh. So that's one of
34:57
my soapboxes at the moment? And
35:02
you know what I think that
35:02
thought leadership piece. And I
35:05
kind of cringe a little bit when
35:05
I say thought leadership, but
35:09
we'll call it is the right word.
35:09
But I just want to continue
35:14
around that way and look at
35:14
thought leadership is this, it's
35:19
the best in class insight. How
35:19
can we creatively tell those
35:24
stories? And we must get this to
35:24
the right audience? And what are
35:28
the outcomes of that, I think
35:28
there are three outcomes that we
35:31
should be measured on. And that
35:31
is, maintaining and creating new
35:36
relationships for the business,
35:36
revenue, and reputation. And for
35:42
me, that is critical this year.
35:42
And those outcomes are
35:46
important. And so that's a real
35:46
focus. And then I suppose the
35:50
other key message I've been
35:50
given to the team is around, I
35:53
really want this year to see 1%
35:53
improvements here, there and
36:00
everywhere. And that compound
36:00
effect of that if you read the
36:03
James clear book about habits,
36:03
and he talks about the compound
36:06
impact of 1% improvements, and
36:06
it's just, it's just out there,
36:13
but then the balance of that
36:13
with those wow moments. And
36:16
every year, we have our wow
36:16
moments as a function. And, you
36:21
know, we need those aha moments
36:21
this year. But we also have this
36:24
great opportunity for those real
36:24
short, sharp improvements.
36:28  Ayo Abbas
incremental wins,
36:28
because of what you do miss out
36:33
on the small things, especially
36:33
now that we're kind of we're
36:35
working from home. And it's easy
36:35
to miss that. And it's like,
36:37
actually, no, this stuff is
36:37
good. We have to keep trying
36:40
little tweaks,
36:42  Emily Binning
trying to meet
36:42
you turning something off being
36:44
brave and going, that is
36:44
working. So let's not carry on.
36:47
Let's pause. Let's look at why
36:47
as trice meows. And as I said at
36:51
the beginning, we're very
36:51
fortunate that we work in an
36:53
environment as a team where we
36:53
can be brave, and we can try
36:57
things we can innovate. And I
36:57
would say to the guys think big,
37:00
we might need to rein it in a
37:00
bit. But think big first.
37:05
That's the important thing, and
37:05
then yeah, I might pull the
37:08
reins in but please think big
37:12  Ayo Abbas
TV campaign.
37:16  Emily Binning
And that goes
37:16
back to that creating the right
37:18
environment for these brilliant
37:18
people. And how do you retain
37:21
people? Because for more comms
37:21
professionals, genuinely, I feel
37:27
what a time to be alive in
37:27
marcomms. I just think it's such
37:33
a challenge ever changing market
37:33
conditions, the challenge of
37:38
reaching the right people,
37:38
everybody now has like the
37:41
attention span of two seconds on
37:41
something. So how do we break
37:44
that barrier? It's it. It's
37:44
there that challenge?
37:52
Completely? We don't want it to
37:52
be easy
37:56  Ayo Abbas
no, I mean, to be
37:56
honest, I think that's one of
37:57
the reasons I'm in b2b is that
37:57
it's that much of that bit more
38:01
of a challenge.
38:02  Emily Binning
Yeah,
38:02  Ayo Abbas
I'm okay. on to my
38:02
final two questions. So in terms
38:06
of marketing campaigns, during,
38:06
I guess, the past year in terms
38:09
of in and out of lockdown,
38:09
lockdown, what campaign has Have
38:12
you really admired or loved?
38:15  Emily Binning
So I, there's a
38:15
couple of things. But I think
38:20
it's probably more a kind of
38:20
sector view on this. I have been
38:24
closely watching supermarkets
38:24
and how they've handled this
38:30
crisis, because if you think
38:30
about it from a supermarket
38:34
point of view, hugely
38:34
complicated just from an
38:39
operations perspective, and
38:39
you're dealing with human beings
38:42
and the general public at large.
38:42
And they've had the continual
38:46
change of the rules. You know,
38:46
if you think back in the
38:49
beginning, it was all about
38:49
panic buying. At the moment,
38:51
it's about the safety of their
38:51
staff, because people aren't
38:54
wearing masks. So you've got
38:54
that ever changing rules and
38:57
messaging, you then also have
38:57
think how broad their audience
39:02
is, not everybody is on email.
39:02
So I get the CEO emails from
39:06
John Lewis and Sainsbury's and I
39:06
read them. BUt not everybody
39:08
accesses their email. Not
39:08
everyone's on social media. So
39:11
you've got to think about that.
39:11
What are the need to know
39:14
messages and how are we going to
39:14
get these to our, to our
39:16
audiences? And I, I've seen some
39:16
great, great comms, but I'm just
39:21
fascinated because it's a very
39:21
challenging space. And it's a
39:26
money making space because
39:26
they've been doing all right, I
39:28
think with all the panic buying.
39:28
I've been watching that with
39:32
great, great interest. And also,
39:32
I think the complexity of the
39:37
internal comms piece. They're
39:37
not just like all headquartered
39:40
in one office. We're talking
39:40
hundreds of stores with people
39:44
on the ground. So I've been
39:44
fascinated by that. And linking
39:49
to the supermarket, fascination.
39:52
Aldi
39:53
Did you see that Aldi Twitter,
39:53
Christmas party?
39:59  Ayo Abbas
Oh, that was
39:59
brillant.
40:00  Emily Binning
In amazing this
40:00
for your listeners, if you
40:04
haven't, go on Twitter go to
40:04
Aldi and step back to December
40:09
and find this kind of Twitter
40:09
moment. And what they did was
40:14
they can took a brilliant kind
40:14
of time in our culture, our
40:18
Christmas parties, they weren't
40:18
happening. And they started this
40:22
train Didn't they around the
40:22
Christmas party and they invited
40:26
their competitors to take and it
40:26
was banter and taking the
40:30
mickey. And what I loved about
40:30
it was one it stayed completely
40:35
true to their brand and their
40:35
personality. In cheeky. Two,
40:40
they very cleverly dropped the
40:40
competitive boundaries. And they
40:45
said come on, you can all have a
40:45
slice of this pie. Let's have a
40:47
bit of fun.
40:48  Ayo Abbas
And they were
40:48
literally using words like that:
40:54
"Come on Sainsbury's coming up.
40:54
I know coming. Morrison's is
40:57
coming"
40:59  Emily Binning
Iceland
40:59
Morrison's john lewis
41:01
Sainsbury's, I could go on and
41:01
it was so clever.
41:06
It hit on
41:07
the time, a sense that people
41:07
were feeling the cultural
41:11
reference of the Christmas
41:11
party. They dropped the
41:13
competitive boundaries, it
41:13
reflected their personality, the
41:17
speed, the agility. It was
41:17
brilliant. And if it doesn't
41:22
want them award, I'd be very
41:22
surprised.
41:25  Ayo Abbas
Did you see the one
41:25
that I did to journalists where
41:26
they were door stepping them?
41:26
They sent some of their PR teams
41:28
to them, which didn't work
41:29  Unknown
No I didn't fail.
41:33  Ayo Abbas
But that was one I
41:33
saw. I was like You shouldn't
41:35
have done like they said them
41:35
Carolyn, like.
41:42  Emily Binning
As I said
41:42
earlier, you know, we've all got
41:43
to be brave and try things and
41:43
fail safely. Their failing is a
41:47
bit more public than
41:50  Ayo Abbas
I'll send you a link
41:50
to that one that one? Oh, no.
41:55
That was the only thing. Okay,
41:55
onto my final question. What one
41:58
tip would you give to a business
41:58
leader at the moment in terms of
42:02
what they should be doing with
42:02
their marketing?
42:05  Emily Binning
So I think if I
42:05
were talking to a business
42:08
leader, yeah, it goes back to
42:08
what I was saying about being
42:12
really clear about, you know,
42:12
where are we going to win the
42:16
work? And who are we talking to?
42:16
And what's kind of our
42:18
differentiator, what's on our
42:18
client's mind, understanding our
42:21
clients, I think, to business
42:21
leaders, but more generally, I
42:24
suppose to our peers, people
42:24
listening to this podcast, and
42:28
and CEOs and leaders, I'd be
42:28
saying, like, stay true to your
42:33
purpose and vision right now,
42:33
it's so easy to steer away from
42:36
that, and keep telling stories.
42:36
And targeting is more important
42:41
than ever. And there's one thing
42:41
that I always sticks with me.
42:46
And that is your brand is what
42:46
people say about you, and you're
42:50
not in the room. And I just,
42:50
that's just so true Ayo
42:58  Ayo Abbas
feel like do they
43:00  Emily Binning
also a personal
43:00
brand perspective as well, isn't
43:02
it? Yeah. And I think if you
43:02
think about that, that guides
43:06
everything you're doing, what do
43:06
you want people to think, feel
43:10
and do? And that's in everything
43:10
we do? What do we want people to
43:14
think, feel and do?
43:17  Ayo Abbas
Brilliant. And on
43:17
that note, thank you very much
43:19
for coming on the show. It's
43:19
been a pleasure. Thank you.
43:27
Thanks for listening to the
43:27
latest episode of Marketing In
43:30
Times of Crisis. If you liked
43:30
what you heard, please do leave
43:33
us a review, as it helps us to
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spread the word and for more
43:36
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43:36
If you want to know more about
43:39
things mentioned in the episode,
43:39
do look at the show notes which
43:41
will give you more information
43:41
about where to find us and also
43:44
about our show website. In the
43:44
meantime, I hope you enjoyed it
43:48
and have a great day. Bye