How to be world-class in marketing - Interview with Kyle Lacy Point of View Show ep 34

How do you becoming world-class in your career, but in particular, marketing? On this episode, I chat to Kyle Lacy who is a seasoned executive and is currently the Chief Marketing Officer at Lessonly, a training and enablement software company based in Indianapolis.

Just to give you some background on Kyle, he's a published author with three books - Twitter Marketing for Dummies (Wiley, 2010), Branding Yourself (Pearson, 2011), and Social CRM for Dummies (Wiley, 2012).

He's also a keynote speaker on topics including:

  • Content marketing
  • Collaborative consumption
  • Consumer behavior
  • Email marketing and more.

This chat was a really insightful experience as we dived into various topics regarding the development of skills needed to become world-class within marketing, and we also talked around the convergence of product-led businesses shaping the way we communicate to our audiences.

Hope you like this episode, check out the chapters and notes below.

Here are the key chapters of our podcast

  • 0:00 - Intro
  • 3:05 - Lessonly during COVID-19 situation regarding the remote training industry
  • 4:30 - The fundamentals in becoming world-class in marketing
  • 4:55 - Why being irrational is a good thing as a marketer
  • 5:20 - Displaying empathy as a marketer
  • 5:48 - Storytelling
  • 7:00 - The process of becoming world-class as a marketer
  • 8:53 - B2B and B2C convergence in marketing - Product led growth
  • 11:19 - Post-COVID era sales-led approach will dominate?
  • 13:24 - How CMOs handle stressful situations
  • 15:50 - Advice to other CMOs on reframing marketing and sales problem
  • 17:45 - Marketing has to be fun

COVID has disrupted businesses worldwide across all industries, with Lessonly, as a software training and enablement platform, I asked Kyle how the pandemic has affected his business and sector as a whole, his answer gave us a refreshing angle how COVID has highlighted the need for businesses to think and act differently towards training and the Work From Home (WFM) economy that we are in as we learn to adapt in this COVID era world.

This led to the emphasis for business to change and rapidly digitize or transform their processes, upskill their people and enable their workforce through strategic platform integration.

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The fundamentals in becoming world-class as a marketer

I asked Kyle a question that marketers all around the world want to know - how does one become world-class in this field? And is there a fundamental skills element that needs to be incorporated to reach this level?

In his answer, Kyle breaks this down to essentially three pillars - Proactivity, Irrationality, and developing acute empathy.

  • Proactivity - stepping out of your comfort zone, seeking more and constantly looking to improve
  • Irrationality - quoting a book from Alchemy by Rory Sullivan, having some irrationality breads that ‘magic’ that enables us to develop creativity and differentiation against the mold
  • Empathy - understanding the customer intimately not just statistically, but investigating how customers think, what their paint points and how do they engage in solving their challenges.

It’s a process to become a world-class marketer

With our interview with Kyle, I asked him was there a point in his career where everything “click” and he is able to excel as a marketer, his reiterated that there wasn’t one thing that occurred it was a process of developing those skill sets to be proactive, using irrationality and developing empathy in his approach to solving and creating great marketing experiences.

“Great marketers are fluid”

I love that quote from Kyle as he goes to describe the process especially when it came to developing empathy and irrationality through experiences over time. Staying fluid means adapting with the times, as customers needs and wants change and constantly learning.

The convergence between B2B and B2C marketing

This followed on from talking about the process of becoming a world-class marketer to the convergence of B2B and B2C marketing as brands become more product-led and customer centric.

I followed up by asking Kyle if there’s challenges ahead for brands looking to adopt a product-led approach. Kyle responds by providing an example how Amazon’s ‘one-click’ purchase has dramatically changed the way consumers expect their purchasing experience whether it’s B2C or B2B led, the expectation of a simple buying process.

“If you can simplify the buying process, it’s better”

Product-led vs sales-led organizations

An interesting take from Kyle when I asked him whether or not brands will temporarily take a sales-led approach to their marketing and communication during COVID as a tactic to recoup and maximise revenue lost over 2020.

His response was that temporarily you can, however, it depends on the organization and how they are set up. His belief is that it is easier for brands to transition from a product-led approach to a sales-led approach because the workforce is geared towards the customer and therefore responding to the needs and wants is easier, than if you were an organization that was initially set up as sales-led and looking to transition towards a product-led.

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What is Point of View (POV) Show?

The Point of View business Show highlights business professionals in Asia and around the world to get an understanding on what makes them effective, how they do it and advice to help you grow in Leadership, Branding, Marketing and Sales. Follow the journey and connect with me on LinkedIn.

This is Andy Tran

A strategist, marketer and problem solver. 

Focusing on sharing topics and resources to help students and business professionals in leadership, branding, marketing and sales 
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