CMWorld Interview: How Tamsen Webster Hard disks Irresistible Change in Marketing

1 Aug

Few things are more inspiring than the before-and-after weight loss photo: two drastically different figures juxtaposed against one another, frequently connected by an impossibly short span of time.

It’ s not only the physical transformation that is striking in these portrayals. Even more therefore , it’ s the mental transformation. Something clicked in that person’ s head, causing them to fully commit and make the difficult changes necessary to turn their goals in to reality. Then, they did it.

Branding expert Tamsen Webster saw this dynamic play out, in various forms, time and time again during her many years as a leader in the Weight Watchers organization. And it’ s a big part of exactly what drove her to create Red Thread , a messaging framework centered on tapping into those deep, uniquely individual motivations that spark action (or, as she puts it, make inaction impossible).

At Content material Marketing World in September, Tamsen will speak about How to Make Your Ideas Irresistible . In anticipation of the girl session, we chatted with the girl about uncovering shared values together with your audience, eliminating “ one-size-fits-most” messages, and aiming to change perspectives instead of beliefs.

What does your role as Originator and Chief Messaging Strategist on Find the Red Thread entail? What do you think are the most effective main areas of focus and important priorities?

Well, the nice thing regarding being a solo practice is that it indicates what I need it to mean at that time! My days are spent inside a mix of work with clients, business growth, and product/content development – I actually go where my energy, motivation, and needs take me.


Exactly how would you succinctly describe the “ Red Thread Method” and exactly why it makes sense for today’ s articles marketers?

We can’ t change what individuals do until we change the way they see. The Red Thread Technique helps you uncover that link to get a particular audience and business objective so you can build content and messages around it.


What did your own experience as a Weight Watchers innovator teach you about the fundamentals of creating amazing messaging?

Pretty much everything. I know that sounds like a tale, but it’ s not. 7 days in, week out at Bodyweight Watchers, I saw what did plus didn’ t move people to create changes – what kinds of information these people needed, and in what combination. After i took those lessons and viewed the marketing around me (including marketing I had helped produce! ), I realized how often we all focused on what we wanted people to do differently over what they needed to hear to see the in a different way. Once I started switching our marketing to match the framework associated with messaging I built for me personally at Weight Watchers, lo plus behold, I became a much more efficient marketer.


How can marketers stop viewing change as a barrier and start viewing it as an opportunity? What’ s i9000 required to drive this shift within mindset?

That all depends on why they find change as a barrier in the first place. Everything will shift that mindset is usually understanding how it puts both some thing marketers want and something they think is in jeopardy. For example , if an online marketer desires to appear as an expert in social stations, they likely see change within those areas as something to become overcome – the constantly moving landscape makes it impossible to specialist in all things all the time. If they furthermore think , however , that “ the only constant is change, ” making inaction impossible: they’ lmost all either need to change their objective, their attitude toward change, or even how they go about being seen as a professional. The key is always in finding that mixture of wants and beliefs that makes inaction impossible.


Some find it counterintuitive that will in order to increase your reach and influence, you need to narrow your message. Exactly why is this important in today’ t environment?

It’ s all about fit for your message. Think about the last time you purchased something that was “ one size fits all. ” Did it fit? Probably yes – you could get into it. Depending on your dimension it was cavernous, achingly tight, or even in the category of “ this’ lmost all do. ” But did match like it was yours ? Would you identify it blindfolded? Of course not really. Now imagine you’ ve acquired something tailored to fit you – like a jacket or a pair of jeans. Done well, it should fit just like a glove. If you put it on, you’ g know instantly that it belonged to a person.

Communications operate the same way. We method we want customers to feel part of the brand. We want them to feel as if the brand belongs to them. However too often we send out “ one particular size fits most” messages… plus wonder why we don’ capital t get that sense of that belong that’ s a hallmark of big brands.

Your brand is not for everyone. This isn’ t. It’ s for your people who want something you can assist them get, who value exactly the same things you do, and who view the world the same way you do. Plus that’ s not everyone. Complete stop.


How do the tenets associated with giving great presentations and talking sessions apply to the bigger picture associated with content marketing?

Any truly great display doesn’ t just inform plus inspire… it implants a new way associated with seeing. It gives you something that a person can’ t unhear. Something that produces a permanent shift in thinking, and therefore in behavior. Most content advertising doesn’ t need to inspire (at least not in the go-climb-a-mountain or even be-your-best-self sense), but it does need to create that will same shift.

I’ ll say this again: you can’ t modify what people do until you change the way they see. There’ s no much better example than TED Talks that the very short piece of content can perform just that. (The longest TED Speaks are only about 2500 words – not long! ) The more content entrepreneurs can adopt those lessons through great talks, the more powerful their particular messages will be, no matter the subject.

But listen to me on this: those lessons aren’ t just the surface things like “ give it an SEO-friendly title” or even “ tell a personal story. ” Both of those techniques can be helpful.

But the classes marketers really need to learn are around in which the greatest levers in messaging are usually. And here’ s what’ ersus counterintuitive: the most powerful levers from our disposal are the ones that don’ big t move – people’ s wants plus beliefs. Yet so much of marketing and advertising focuses on trying to get people to want some thing they don’ t actively really want or believe something they don’ t currently believe. The only factors we’ re likely to change for the short term are perspectives . And that’ s what great talks – and great content in any type – do.


Looking back, will there be a particular moment or juncture within your career that you view as transformative? What takeaways could other entrepreneurs learn and apply?

It started using a mystery. See, I spent the very first 15 years or so of our marketing career working in and with nonprofits. Here in Boston, where I live, those nonprofits share a lot of donors. What was intriguing to me: why would one subscriber give to so many different organizations? And what linked those different organizations together within the donor’ s mind? Was generally there a pattern I could see?

I wanted to find out the answer to that question because, at that time, I was in charge of the fundraising conversation strategy at Harvard Medical College – and convincing people to provide one of the world’ s richest organizations a lot more money was a none-too-simple challenge. I’ lmost all spare you the whole story, yet what I discovered was this: whilst there wasn’ t a functional pattern for why people offered money at all (that could range from self-serving in order to altruistic), there was something I discovered I can use.

There was a pattern to what types of things they gave money in order to – even across very different nonprofits. There was clearly a pattern to what they desired to accomplish through their gifts. Therefore , for instance, if someone tended to provide money at one institution to resolve a specific problem (say, to a medical center help cure cancer), they were known to always give to solve a problem (to the museum to improve access for underserved youth). If they gave at one particular institution to expand the range of impact, they tended in order to always give to expand the range of impact, etc .

Once I thought that out, it became merely a matter of putting what we do at the Medical School into conditions that matched what they were looking for. I can, for instance, take the same need there were at the medical school (say, to finance a new type of high-powered microscope) plus frame it through multiple lens. It could help solve a specific issue (age-related hearing loss), it could assist expand scope (because it could assist us understand the mechanisms that triggered hearing loss), it could improve teaching of medical students (because they can better see the mechanisms in questions).

The particular lesson for all marketers is this: what individuals want tells you what they’ lso are looking for out in the world. Our work isn’ t to shift their particular attention to something new. It’ s to demonstrate people how we fit in that existing type of vision.


Which speaker presentations are you searching forward to most at Content Marketing and advertising World 2018?

Tina Fey, of course. The particular panel on longform content with Ann Handley, Mitch Joel, and Dorie Clark looks amazing. I’ g love to see Brian Massey great talk on behavioral science speak, since I’ m such a junkie for that stuff. Ahava Leibtag’ t session on lessons from songwriters is sure to be great, too. We desire I possibly could see Kathy Klotz-Guest – this wounderful woman has such amazing content and I’ ve yet to see her talk in person (but she and I are usually speaking at the same time! ). I’ meters also excited to Nichole Kelly returning on the speaking scene, and with an essential perspective – something she phone calls “ conscious marketing. ”

Follow the Twine

We appreciate Tamsen sharing these innovative and substantive responses. Make sure to capture her live on September 6th within Cleveland; although she writes eloquently, there really is no substitute for the power and passion she brings onstage.

She’ ll be joined at CMWorld by dozens of other speakers. You discover thought-provoking nuggets from her and many more by exploring the slides beneath.

This probably won’ t change your essential beliefs… but they just might change your viewpoint.

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