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

1 Aug

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

It’ s not just the physical change for better that is striking in these portrayals. A lot more so , it’ s the psychological transformation. Something clicked in that person’ s head, causing them to completely commit and make the difficult adjustments necessary to turn their goals straight into reality. Then, they did it.

Branding specialist Tamsen Webster saw this dynamic play away, in various forms, time and time again during the girl many years as a leader in the Bodyweight Watchers organization. And it’ s i9000 a big part of what drove the girl to create Red Thread , the messaging framework focused on tapping into those people deep, uniquely human motivations that will spark action (or, as the girl puts it, make inaction impossible).

At Content Marketing Globe in September, Tamsen will talk about Steps to make Your Ideas Irresistible . Within anticipation of her session, all of us chatted with her about unveiling shared values with your audience, getting rid of “ one-size-fits-most” messaging, and planning to change perspectives rather than beliefs.

What does your own role as Founder and Key Messaging Strategist at Find the Reddish Thread entail? What are your main parts of focus and key priorities?

Well, the particular nice thing about being a solitary practice is that it means what I require it to mean at the time! My times are spent in a mix of work together with clients, business development, and product/content development – I go exactly where my energy, inspiration, and requirements take me.


How would you concisely, pithily describe the “ Red Line Method” and why it makes sense designed for today’ s content marketers?

We can’ t change what people do till we change how they see. The particular Red Thread Method helps you find out that link for a particular market and business goal so you can create content and messaging around this.


What did your experience like a Weight Watchers leader teach you concerning the fundamentals of creating irresistible messaging?

Pretty much everything. I understand that sounds like a joke, but it’ s not. Week in, 7 days out at Weight Watchers, I could see what did and didn’ big t move people to make changes – what kinds of information they needed, and what combination. When I took these lessons and looked at the marketing and advertising around me (including marketing I had fashioned helped produce! ), I noticed how often we focused on what we should wanted people to do differently more than what they necessary to hear to see the differently. Once We started switching my marketing to suit the framework of messaging I actually built for myself at Bodyweight Watchers, lo and behold, We became a much more effective marketer.


How do marketers stop seeing change like a barrier and start seeing it being an opportunity? What’ s required to generate this shift in mindset?

That all depends upon why they see change like a barrier in the first place. The only thing that will change that mindset is understanding how this puts both something marketers would like and something they believe is in peril. For example , if a marketer wants to be seen as an specialist in social channels, they probably see change in those places as something to be overcome – the constantly shifting landscape causes it to be impossible to expert in all issues all the time. If they also believe , however , that “ the only continuous is change, ” making inaction impossible: they’ ll either have to change their goal, their mindset toward change, or how they start being seen as an expert. The key is definitely in finding that combination of wants plus beliefs that makes inaction impossible.


A few find it counterintuitive that in order to raise your reach and impact, you need to filter your message. Why is this essential in today’ s environment?

It’ h all about fit for the message. Consider the last time you bought something that has been “ one size fits all. ” Did it match? Probably yes – you could get in it. Depending on your size it was cavernous, achingly tight, or in the group of “ this’ ll do. ” But did fit like it had been your own ? Could you identify this blindfolded? Of course not. Now think about you’ ve had something customized to fit you – like a coat or a pair of pants. Done nicely, it should fit like a glove. In case you put it on, you’ d know immediately that it belonged to you.

Messages operate exactly the same way. We way we want clients to feel a part of the brand name. We want them to feel like the brand name belongs to them. But then too often we all send out “ one size suits most” messages… and wonder exactly why we don’ t get that will sense of belonging that’ t a hallmark of great brands.

Your brand name is not for everyone. It isn’ big t. It’ s for the people who really want something you can help them obtain, who value the same things you perform, and who see the world exactly the same way you do. And that’ ersus not everyone. Full stop.


Just how do the tenets of giving excellent presentations and speaking sessions affect the bigger picture of content advertising?

Any kind of truly great presentation doesn’ big t just inform and inspire… this implants a new way of seeing. It offers you something that you can’ big t unhear. Something that creates a permanent change in thinking, and thus in behaviour. Most content marketing doesn’ to need to inspire (at least not really in the go-climb-a-mountain or be-your-best-self sense), but it does need to create that same change.

I’ ll say it again: a person can’ t change what people perform until you change how they see. There’ s no better example compared to TED Talks that a very brief piece of content can do just that. (The longest TED Talks are only regarding 2500 words – not long! ) The more content marketers can follow those lessons from great speaks, the more powerful their messages is going to be, no matter the subject.

But hear me about this: those lessons aren’ t only the surface things like “ give it a good SEO-friendly title” or “ inform a personal story. ” Both of these techniques can be helpful.

But the lessons marketers really should learn are around where the greatest levers in messaging are. And here’ s what’ s counterintuitive: one of the most powerful levers at our convenience are the ones that don’ t move – people’ s wants and beliefs. However so much of marketing focuses on looking to get people to want something they don’ t actively want or think something they don’ t presently believe. The only things we’ lso are likely to change in the short term are perspectives . And that’ s exactly what great talks – and excellent content in any form – perform.


Looking back, is there a particular minute or juncture in your career that you simply view as transformative? What takeaways could other marketers learn plus apply?

It started with a mystery. Discover, I spent the first 15 yrs or so of my marketing profession working in and with nonprofits. Here in Birkenstock boston, where I live, those nonprofits share plenty of donors. What was fascinating to me: exactly why would one donor give to a wide variety of organizations? And what tied those various organizations together in the donor’ t mind? Was there a design I could see?

I wanted to know the answer to that particular question because, at the time, I was responsible for the fundraising communication strategy with Harvard Medical School – plus convincing people to give one of the world’ s richest institutions even more money was a none-too-simple challenge. I’ ll spare the whole story, but what I found out was this: while there wasn’ t an usable pattern to get why people gave money at all (that can range from self-serving to altruistic), there is something I discovered I could use.

There was the pattern to what kinds of things they will gave money to – even throughout very different nonprofits. There was a design to what they wanted to accomplish via their gifts. So , for instance, when someone tended to give money in one institution to solve a specific issue (say, to a hospital help treatment cancer), they tended to always give to resolve a problem (to a museum to enhance access for underserved youth). When they gave at one institution in order to expand the scope of effect, they tended to always give expand the scope of effect, etc .

Once I figured that away, it became simply a matter associated with putting what we did at the Healthcare School into terms that matched up what they were looking for. I could, for instance, take those same need we had at the healthcare school (say, to fund a new kind of high-powered microscope) and frame this through multiple lenses. It could assist solve a specific problem (age-related listening to loss), it could help expand range (because it could help us be familiar with mechanisms that caused hearing loss), it could improve training of healthcare students (because they could better view the mechanisms in questions).

The lesson for those marketers is this: what people want informs you what they’ re looking for out there in the world. Our job isn’ to shift their attention to something totally new. It’ s to show people the way we fit in that existing line of vision.


Which usually speaker presentations are you looking forward to the majority of at Content Marketing World 2018?

Tina Fey, of course. The panel upon longform content with Ann Handley, Mitch Joel, and Dorie Clark appears amazing. I’ d love to discover Brian Massey and his talk upon behavioral science talk, since I’ m such a junkie for that things. Ahava Leibtag’ s session upon lessons from songwriters is sure to end up being great, too. I wish I could see Kathy Klotz-Guest – she has such incredible content and I’ ve however to see her speak in person (but she and I are speaking simultaneously! ). I’ m also capable to Nichole Kelly coming back on the talking scene, and with an important perspective – something she calls “ mindful marketing. ”

Follow the Thread

We really appreciate Tamsen sharing these thoughtful and substantive responses. Make sure to catch her survive September 6th in Cleveland; even though she writes eloquently, there actually is no substitute for the energy and enthusiasm she brings onstage.

She’ ll become joined at CMWorld by lots of other speakers. You find thought-provoking nuggets from her and many others by discovering the slides below.

These insights probably won’ t change your fundamental beliefs… however they just might change your perspective.

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