Director of Marketing at MarketingProfs
MarketingProfs: Are Marketers Happy?
The Stats That Surprised and Startled Us
About This Episode
In this episode of The Content Coalition, we interview Matt Snodgrass, Director of Marketing at MarketingProfs, a marketing training company.
Matt used to work as a zookeeper, worked with the CDC on anthrax testing, and led the e-commerce charge at multiple medical device and informatics companies. After working in highly regulated industries for the first 10 years of his marketing life, he’s having a lot more fun with his creativity and career as part of the MarketingProfs team.
He’s a fan of board games, podcasts, gamification, and marketing research and will gladly talk with you about any of them at length.
Tune in as Matt shares his team’s surprising findings from their “Marketer Happiness Report,” and learn how you can make some adjustments in your life to become a more fulfilled marketer.
What You’ll Learn
- [01:02] Matt’s humble beginnings from being a zookeeper to anthrax tester, to joining MarketingProfs’ powerhouse team
- [05:30] Learn MarketingProfs’ strategy-driven content marketing plan
- [06:40] Shaina’s thoughts on the “Marketer Happiness Report” and surprising stats on the report about marketers
- [08:48] The primary concerning stat found about marketer
- [11:12] The percentage of marketers who are actively engaged in learning new things
- [12:08] The high percentage of marketers who don’t listen to any podcasts
- [13:13] Discover Matt’s findings on the five dimensions of being a fulfilled marketer
- [16:23] Shaina’s game-changing method on how you can reach your goals with a narrow focus to avoid distractions.
- [20:04] The concept behind the “Marketer Happiness Report”
Connect With Matt
Connect With MarketingProfs
Shaina Weisinger is the Founder and CEO of Repurpose House, which turns long-form content into optimized videos and images for high engagement social media strategies. Shaina has a background in video production for digital marketing and is on a mission to show content creators the untapped potential and repurposing power of the content that they already have. She has taught about content in many publications including DigitalMarketer, Inc., and Startup Nation, and continuously offers valuable takeaways by interviewing industry experts from world-recognized brands such as GoDaddy, HubSpot, MarketingProfs, and more through her video podcast, The Content Coalition. She loves to laugh loudly, be obnoxiously competitive on the volleyball court, treat her dogs as her kin, and recover from tripping on or running into almost everything within a five-foot radius. Learn more about Shaina here: ShainaWeisinger.com
Shaina: I’m Shaina. I love dogs. I trip a lot and I happen to have a knack for making pretty sleep videos for businesses. But the more videos we made, the more questions I got about how video and other content can be leveraged to make a bigger impact in their marketing. I mean 44% of marketers say that producing content is their biggest challenge. Get content marketing is 62% less expensive than outbound and produces three times more leads. Now I know a lot but I certainly don’t know it all. So I made it my mission to talk with content, kings, queens and bosses to learn as much as I could about crushing content marketing. And I’m taking you along with me. Welcome to the content coalition.
Shaina: Hey guys, welcome to another episode of the content coalition. I am here with Matt Snodgrass of MarketingProfs.com. Thank you for coming on the show today.
New Speaker: Thanks for having me Shane. I’m excited to be here.
New Speaker: Yeah. Awesome. Well. Okay, first and foremost, I was looking through your bio and I didn’t ask you this before we started rolling cause I have so many questions. Um, it says that in your prior lives you were as well, most notably a zookeeper.
Matt: True story
Shaina: cannot. I mean, before we dive into marketing, I feel like that’s very important. So let’s hear about that.
Matt: So I came out of college, uh, with a, with a biology degree. I wanted to go premed initially and undecided halfway through that this isn’t, this isn’t what I want to spend my life doing, but I ended up with a biology degree and a degree in humanities. And so I came out and thought, well, what’s way, what do I want to do? I don’t want to be a scientist. I don’t want to work in a lab. And I just happened to be home and Akron, Ohio. And uh, I saw an opening for the Akron Zoo for zookeeper. I thought this is great and I love the job. But then I realized after doing it for awhile, I’m, I have a college degree. I’m living in my parent’s basement and making minimum wage, like I can’t, I can’t exist. This is an amazing job, but I make five 15 and an hour and I can’t even pay off my student loans, let alone live a life outside of my parent’s basement. So then I had to go on and, and I did take a job at about a year later as a, uh, as a lab scientist. And, um, I, I got a real job. I guess it wasn’t nearly as fun as being a zookeeper, but it paid the bills.
Shaina: Yeah, we’ll pay the bills or play with animals. It’s kind of,
Matt: I mean it’s
Shaina: , you get a dog then, right? Yeah, exactly. Okay, perfect. So then how did you dive in? So you went into pharmaceuticals, pharmaceuticals, right? Or into the,
Matt: Yeah, I was working for a biotech company and then I figured, well, I kind of already have two of the pillars down. I have a science degree and I have a humanities degree, so want to go back to school and get a business degree so I can be, you know, a more well rounded person. Right. We went back and got a master’s degree in e commerce. Um, and I was working at this company and I moved into a sort of a technical support role for several years and then it moved into ecommerce role for several years and that’s, and then eventually just kind of morphed into marketing. I’ve over about 10 or 12 year span.
Shaina: That is quite a journey.
Matt: Yeah. I’ve done a little bit of everything.
Shaina: Oh. And also says anthrax testing like wow.
Matt: Yeah. So I was working for this company right in right around time of nine 11. And one of the things that we did, um, our company made a metal detectors and screening devices that they use as, as at airports. And then I don’t, you know, it was 18 years ago through a lot of anthrax scares at the time people were sending envelopes full of white powder.
Matt: And I was working for that company and they said, hey, we need someone to go to these state departments of health and help set up some of the testing equipment. Sure. I’ll, I’ll do it. I’m young, I’m single. I, you know, I’ll do it. If anything happens to me, it’s no big deal. So I worked for about a year going around the country and helping departments of health set up some of their, some of their test equipment for all these sort of, you know, bioterrorism attacks, anthrax being the biggest one.
Shaina: Wow. And so now we’re MarketingProfs.
Matt: Now we’re MarketingProfs. Yeah. So obviously it’s a very linear progression, right? Zookeeper to anthrax, the marketing processes
Shaina: It makes it makes perfect sense to me. So I mean, why not? Awesome. Well, now that we have the, uh, the nine lives of mat out of the way, let’s dive into a marketing process. So tell ’em everybody’s listening or watching what MarketingProfs.com is.
Matt: MarketingProfs, we are a training in education company and we are focused on learning. Um, and one of the, one of the pillars, the pillar of our organization is the fact that learning changes lives learning has the power to change lives. And we specifically focus on marketing, training and marketing learning. Whether it’s, you know, email marketing or your company’s marketing, we want you to get better. And we offer webinars and courses in person events and things like that. But the broader picture is this idea that learning can change lives. And we want to encourage learning of all types, right? We want you, we want our people, the people who have signed up for MarketingProfs, who are our members, our tribe, to really embrace the idea of learning. And it can be anything. It could be, you know, um, knitting or crocheting or, or woodworking or furniture reupholstery or whatever. We just love to hear stories about people learning. So if you go to our website each month we change. Do we have a different story on our website that talks about someone else and how they’ve learned and how that has impacted their lives. And they’re almost never, um, about marketing related stuff. I mean occasionally they are, cause we got to tie it back at some point. But the, usually it’s sort of life changing, learning events that’s happened to them. And so that’s our, that’s our focus and that’s our push. Just learning in general.
Shaina: That’s so awesome. I am a huge fan of education. Like, I’m Kinda like give away the farm and have, the more educated people are the, the easier they can make decisions on what’s good for their business. So that’s awesome that that’s all you guys are about. That’s super exciting.
Matt: Yeah. So it’s, it’s really, it’s really a great place to work. It’s a lot of fun and, and hearing stories, we get all kinds of, you know, we get tons and tons of submissions each month because we only feature one on the page a month. We’re going to have to expand that. But it’s great to hear these stories that are coming in. So that’s, that’s exciting part.
Shaina: That’s super cool. So then how does a company that trains that teaches and educates marketers market, what’s your content marketing strategy look like?
Matt: So, uh, it’s actually changed. Yeah, it was around this time last year that we transitioned to a real focus on, on training and learning. Prior to that we had been known as a publishing company. We put out content after tons and tons of content, but we really decided last year, um, to make a wholesale switch into focus on this idea of learning and training. So what we do each month, we pick a topic, what we don’t pick a topic, we have, you know, we’ve done research and we know what people are looking for, but we have a topic each month. This month is a account based marketing, but we’ve had, you know, email marketing, whatever the topic is that month. And we create our content around that. Again, not everything we do, but that’s the focus of, of that month. So we have a specific webinar. We do. Yeah. We launched a course about it. A lot of our articles and a lot of our content are all around whatever that specific topic is. So it’s really driven by the editorial calendar that we come up with, you know, six to 12 months in advance. So we already know what we’re going to be focusing on at the end of the year. We don’t have the content created for that, but we know what it’s going to be. So it’s easier to plan that out.
Shaina: That’s awesome. And so speaking of individual pieces of content, you guys released the Marketer Happiness Report and I’ve been reading through it for me, one of the principals at repurpose house is health, wellbeing, taking care of yourself and making sure that all decisions made revolve around the health and wellbeing of the people who work for us and the people who are our clients. And so it was really, really cool to see this report and I feel like we should just take a break from content for a hot minute and just talk about what this thing says and how we can all be more fulfilled and happier as marketers. I mean, does that sound game you game on that one? I love it. I’m on board. Let’s do it. Perfect. Cool. So first of all, there’s going to be a link in the show notes here on how to get this report. It is, and it’s pages and pages and it’s like sometimes when you download a document it, it’s like a billion pages is not a billion. And it’s like what 15 something like that. But when you get that many are like, oh gosh, this is a lot. But I was, I dove in and I was like in it until the very, very end, the last page. And it’s so much great information and some of the stats really surprised me.
Matt: So let me ask, when you, I’m going to turn the tables on a second here. What, what did you see in there that, that surprise you? Because I know what surprised us when we looked at it, but I’ve, you know, I’ve been looking at it for so long, I’m just curious as as a reader, what, what stuck out in your mind.
Shaina: Yeah. Well, what’s funny is it throughout the document only I know this cause I’ve been through it. It actually has a little tag that says this surprised us. They’re not the whole thing. I loved that you guys like drew attention to that. But for me, you know, it was interesting to me that, first of all I didn’t realize that as many marketers, um, that this many people actually look for new opportunities to learn. I think that’s great because marketing in general is an ever evolving field. Like it’s constantly changing. So it’s really cool to know that the majority of people are actually doing the due diligence and the research and learning more and more to keep up. Right. Um, that was surprising. The fact that only half of a marketers felt fulfilled was surprising and maybe a little sad, you know, cause we get into this field to be creative and to communicate with people and to find out that half art fulfills was, was interesting.
Matt: So those are two interesting points and I’ll hit them in reverse order. So, um, we saw that number and we had a very different reaction cause we saw that, you know, 51% of marketers are feeling happy and fulfilled. And we were, we’re pretty happy about that number to be honest because I think we had our expectations set pretty low because when you’re in this, it’s easy to kind of grumble amongst yourselves and say, oh, I’m feeling this and know, you know, I’m the only person who can be feeling this and it’s, it’s kind of easy. So how’d that piled on ceiling? So we were pretty excited to see that more than half of 51% are feeling fulfilled. But in that step, what, what concerned me most is there’s a group of people, and I think it’s about 18% who are in this sort of gray nether region, this sort of map area.
Matt: Not, not yet unhappy but not happy. And when we talk about it, I, I say like when you go to the doctors, if you have something wrong you, you tell the doctor what’s wrong and they try to fix it. And so the idea is that doctor can remedy whatever is ailing you. And if you are feeling good, you don’t need to go to the doctors. But if you go and you say, Eh, you know, I’m not feeling terrible but not feeling great, I’m just kind of feeling this, Eh, just sort of annuity this in between. How do you resolve that? When there’s an actual problem, we can fix that. We can identify the problem, we can work towards fixing it and we can get you, we want a path to fulfillment or happiness. When it’s kind of this gray zone, it’s a lot harder to identify what that is. And so that’s the part that’s more concerning for me is that that so many marketers, you know, 80% of us are kind of just in this gray zone of Eh, you know, I guess I guess things were fine. Who knows, kind of like a sort of, uh, an or type spike space that we’re in.
Shaina: Yeah. Well, and that’s interesting that, that the perspective is opposite. I don’t know if that’s like, am I, does that mean I’m a super optimistic glass like half full kind of person that like, I’m like, oh no, almost half of us are totally fulfilled. And then there’s like the realism of will really, let’s be honest, it, half of us are fulfilled. That’s positive thing. Funny you mentioned you are when I was little kid, um, it’s totally off topic and just segue. Um, when I would watch Winnie the Pooh, I would sit down on a little blanket in each area is out of a cup and the second you were would come on screen, I would just get up and leave because I just couldn’t handle it. His negativity had no place in tiny shade as world.
Matt: He’s very polarizing character that way. I guess his name.
Shaina: I Know, it’s, so that’s probably telling if my reaction to the stat. But anyhow, um, so go ahead. We were going to reverse onto the last one or the first one that I mentioned.
Matt: Yeah. And so that is is I’m also what we viewed as another positive and that’s, we sort of lead the report off with this, this sort of area is that what we found was that more than 80% of people are saying, yes, I actively want to learn new things. I’m actively trying to learn new skills, um, use new technologies, go out and actually take some courses or webinars or attend conferences to help me learn stuff. So marketers by and large are, are a group that is actively engaged in learning. And we structured that first question very specifically. We ask people, are they seeking it out? Not are they willing to do it? Or if your boss gives you something, will you go along with it? What are they actively seeking out and looking for it? And 80% of people said, yes, I am looking to learn new things. That’s what we love about this report is that there’s so much good stuff that came out of it.
Shaina: That’s super cool. So what were some of the other pieces that were interesting to you or that you think that most people um, would probably be surprised by?
Matt: I’ll tell you one thing that surprised me and I hope surprises you otherwise we, it shouldn’t be having this conversation is that more than 50% of the people marketers survey don’t listen to any podcasts. And I am a podcast junkie, I love podcast. It is my absolute most favorite medium of anything. I listened to so many different ones. And to find that half of us don’t listen to any, it’s like a, it was a knife in the heart for, for me personally
Shaina: That, well that’s interesting. And sad also at the same time.
Shaina: Oh Man. It’s such an easily consumable like type of content. Like for me that’s the easiest one to get the most value out of because generally speaking it’s a give platform, you know, you’re giving information. Um, wow. That’s,
Matt: I got to say probably almost every single person has the capabilities to listen to it because you have a phone in your pocket, you have a means of listening to a podcast and it’s free and you can do it while you’re cutting the grass or riding the bus to work or on the treadmill or whatever. It’s, it’s so easy, so easy to consume content that way. That’s why I love it.
Shaina: Yeah, definitely. Um, well one, it’s kind of ends up being two in one that I really wanted to touch on. Are the devices being like basically slaves, star devices and social media? Because I, I mean I’ve realized that the more inundated I get into social media without having like actual intention every single time, the worst my mentality like shifts and I when I am just like scrolling just to scroll and I’m not like there for a reason. All of a sudden I’m like bombed. Like if for some reason the day, right. So I’ve made changes in my life to adjust that behavior and I’ve seen like my mentality shift since I’ve done that. But what were your findings on social media specifically?
Matt: Yes. So what we found is that we asked this in a series of questions and I just all back up for a second, but we identified sort of five, um, it’s five kind of benchmarks, five dimensions that go into happy marketer, fulfilled marker. Um, one of them we touched about, touched on already is kind of the learning mindset, your willingness to learn. Another one is intention. And that’s what these, this falls into is the idea of intention. Do you know what you’re supposed to be doing? Are you able to focus Ken, you, you know, for lack of better words, get stuff done. And so what we found is that, um, majority of marketers, 80% of them said, yes, I have a clear idea of what I want to do each day. I know what I need to get accomplished. Then you sit down at your computer, you open your email, you look at your phone, you start checking social media and that just, that just goes out the window.
Matt: And so what we found is, as you mentioned, is that we ended up being kind of slaves to the technology. We found that the majority of people are kind of, their days are being run by their inbox. So controlled by whatever comes in, which is a very reactive way of doing things. There’s, as you noted, you have to have intention when you’re doing things. If you just are going into social emails or social media to scroll a, if you’re doing everything that is reactive, you know, just respond to emails. All you’re doing is reacting, reacting, reacting. You’re not able to fill in anything proactive. So we found that and that was concerning because a lot of us are stuck in there and I find myself getting stuck in, in that swamp quite frequently is that I ended up just spending my day responding to emails and not getting any of my work done and that is necessarily but can also be detrimental to completing longterm projects.
Matt: Go ahead.
Shaina: No, no, go ahead.
Matt: We also found that marketers, um, really are having trouble focusing on one task or having trouble getting things done and are being distracted by social media, by chat, by emails coming in by all these sort of digital distractions. And so one of the things we recommend is just press pause five once a day where you can press pause. And I’ve done that myself. Uh, almost every day either between two and three or between three and four, depending on what the schedule is. I just, I close things down. I shut my email down. I don’t have any meetings. I have most of the time I have it blocked off on my calendar. I took my, I put my phone on silent and I put it face down, move it away and I just focus on doing one thing and that one thing might actually be responding to, you know, a client email or something like that. But I’m not bombarded by 50 different things coming in at me and I’ve found in terms of making changes to kind of life and work flow, that just being able to set aside an hour to be interruption free is so helpful. It just, it clears your brain and let, it lets you sort of decompress and it lets you feel like you’ve got something accomplished.
Shaina: Yeah, absolutely. For me, one of the biggest items that really helped me kind of dial in sketch and don’t get me wrong, I fly off the beaten path. Often I’ll do it is what it is. But the thing that they had the most impact on me, it was my mentor got me living your best year ever. The Journal. Um, and that it, what we’ve done is created. What if for anybody who doesn’t know what that is, it’s basically like you set your goals for the year and you break it down by the quarter and then by the month and then you go into like your rhythm registered, which is what you do on a daily basis that creates habits that will allow you to achieve your goals. Right? So, um, you have like eight, eight or 10 boxes. I don’t know. It’s sitting over there like open staring at me in the face.
Shaina: I have to do that. Otherwise, I forget it exists sometimes. But you, you start to create habits. Like if I know that I, I check, you know, I’m going to check social media twice a day for an hour each time and you make that a goal for the day and you check it off the box and it’s like if you kind of stray off and ended up popping into Facebook randomly at two 15 because you’re bored and we shouldn’t be born first of all. But then like, you know, that’s kind of, that takes it away from your day. And so really like actually being like having an initiative to create goals for yourself too, to be on a schedule and to be intentional and to not let those things distract you. That’s really helped because saying you’re going to be like, oh, I’m not going to be distracted by that little red icon on the Facebook, you know, um, icon on my phone. It’s, it’s a lot easier to know that you’ve set goals for yourself and to also have somebody else keeping you accountable for it. That is a game changer too for me at least. It has been.
Matt: Yeah. It’s kind of the difference in sort of being there and being present, right. Because I mean you can, you can be there, but you’re not really there. So it’s the idea of, yeah, being able to focus on one thing and having some sort of you, it sounds silly, but you almost have to have structure around, you know, these, these seemingly structuralist things like you mentioned again social media and that’s what we found is that if you can put some structure to that, if you could put some limitations on some of these things, it ratchets up that, that happiness, that fulfillment factor pretty significantly.
Shaina: That’s awesome. Anything, any other part of this report that you wanted to talk about?
Matt: One of the things that we found that marketers aren’t doing a great job in terms of kind of taking care of themselves is making connections and specifically individual face to face or virtual face to face connections. You know, like we are here, um, outside of their company, we tend to get pigeonholed into the four walls. You know, we, we tend to talk to her coworkers and we talked to our team, we talked to our managers and our, our mentors or mentees. But there’s a whole different perspective you can get by just going outside those four walls. And so we are, we’re encouraging people to find a time where you can physically in real world space, meet up with someone who is a marketer who doesn’t work for your company. You can bounce ideas off, you can talk to you and get a whole different perspectives. Um, shouldn’t surprise you that marketers, okay, in terms of, you know, meeting in the real world, having telephone calls, digital markers are the best at social media, making connections and having conversations and passing and sharing ideas through social media. But there’s a lot that’s missing there. You know, there’s the, there’s a human element that even though we feel like at times we don’t need and don’t necessarily want, it does add a lot, you know, it adds a whole new dimension and it’s so helpful to get perspective from, from outside your company.
Shaina: That’s awesome. And I love that because we get so inundated with devices and not like it just, just emails like the most where the social media, which is really just everybody’s highlight reel. It’s not the real life stuff. So it’s like, I mean, come on, everybody’s awesome on Facebook. So, but 24, seven crushing it. So, um, but yeah, no, like actually making time to, to generate real, real in person relationship. So that’s, that’s huge. I’m glad that you guys touched on that in the report too. Um, what prompted the report? Like you guys are educating but like how did this, I love this. How did this happen?
Matt: So, um, we partner every year with the content marketing institute and we put out a big, a big survey, big study on kind of the state of content for each year. And so we were looking at, okay, what are the, what are the big reports that come out? What are the big things that are popular amongst marketers? And we found there’s a lot of sort of state of the world, state of content marketing, state of email, state of whatever. There’s a lot of things that talk about marketers budget. There’s a lot, there’s always like, here are the new tools you’re gonna need in 2019, here are the, here are the technologies that you need to be adopting moving into 2020. And then those are all great, but none of these things we found actually focused on the person focused on you as a market. Focus on me as a marketer and the things that that we are experiencing and what makes us tick.
Matt: And this, this dovetails so perfectly into our idea that learning changes lives because that’s what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about marketers in in the real world sense, not just from a professional marketing sense, but in their real world lives as well. And so we kind of had this germination of an idea and we tuck similar research partners who wanted to, who worked on it with us, mantis research. And this thing just kept snowballing and snowballing, snowballing. And honestly, if we, if we could’ve, it would’ve been probably five times the size because we had so much information that we wanted to share. And so much great content came out, but no one’s gonna read 150 page study. It’s, I think it’s 30 pages now and it’s, you know, there’s a lot of content there, but it just, it really, it took on a life of its own. And so I’m excited we’re going to be doing that again this year. We’re going to start putting surveys out probably next month for about two months and we’ll start working out for 2020 so we’re excited about this.
Shaina: That’s so awesome. I can’t, I, I mean, I’m going to start spreading the word about the things that I learned on here and some of my social media and be like go because I, I love that somebody took the time to look after the wellbeing of the marketers.
Matt: Yeah. I, I haven’t been able to find anything like this out there. It might exist. I just haven’t stumbled across it. But it’s cool. And the Nice thing what we did here is we not only presented the data, we also presented kind of what it means in real world context and then present some, some ways that you can focus on each of those areas and the areas of learning mindset and on intention and this idea of community. And so a personal energy. So we focus on these areas and provide some recommendations for how you can be a more fulfilled marketer or happier marketing.
Shaina: Awesome. Yeah. So anybody who’s listening, watching, go to click the link below, it’s a MarketingProfs for its last TCC, download the report, become a part of their tribe. I mean, if anything, you’re going to learn, you know, what’s happening in the lives of marketers and then you’re just going to get really cool content from them consistently. So there’s no reason not to, you’re just going to learn more. And we’re all, four out of five of us are doing that anyway. Right.
Matt: Sorry, just to clarify the, it’s a short link. So it’s mprofs.
Shaina: Okay. Got It. Perfect. I had a different like, yeah, there’s going to be some link below and you, that’s what you’re going to click and it’ll take you to this report. So I’m Matt, how do people connect with you and with marketing profs? Um, if they want to go check out what you guys are up to.
Matt: So if you want to follow any of the MarketingProfs properties, whether it’s Twitter or Instagram or Facebook or Linkedin, everything is just add marketing process really is one word. MarketingProfs, F as in Frank, Sam marketing process. And me, uh, I am at msnods on Twitter, so if you guys want to check that out and my linkedin profiles easy, it’s just Matt Snodgrass, so you can find me there too. If you want to connect, ask questions, I’m happy to answer anything that anybody has.
Shaina: Awesome. Right on. Well, Matt, thank you so much for coming on. This was awesome. I’m so glad we kinda got to segue off of content for a little bit to talk about something that I’m passionate about and clearly you are too.
Matt: Absolutely. Thanks so much for having me. It was a great conversation. I really appreciate the time.
Shaina: Yeah. Awesome. And thank you everybody for listening and watching and we will see you next week. Thank you so much for checking out this episode of the content coalition. Now, whether you’re listening, watching, make sure the eat subscribed to the youtube channel and to whatever platform you’re listening to it on because you’re not gonna want to miss out on the incredible things that I’m learning with these amazing content marketing pros. So make sure you subscribe and we will talk to you next week.