This is the second in our series of short interviews with some of our BOLO 2011 speakers. We’ll be showcasing as many of our amazing speaking guests as we can, right here on BOLO the Blog. Consider these posts a peek behind the curtain and we hope our charming speakers get you excited about the October event!
Kelly McDonald will be featured at the Targeting Super Forum, where she’ll be sharing her knowledge of diverse customers … and hoping you’ll read (better yet, buy) her book How To Market To People Not Like You. And, by the way, Kelly gets extra credit for answering ALL of our questions!
Here’s the official BOLO 2011 Kelly McDonald interview. Enjoy!
BOLO: What do you like to discuss with close friends?
Kelly: I love talking politics, travel, movies, business trends (especially new products and innovative and insightful marketing campaigns) and I love talking skincare. Yes, skincare. I am always looking for hope in a bottle!
BOLO: What do you love about the marketing industry?
Kelly: I love the type of person it attracts. You don’t find too many shy people in marketing. We tend to be high energy, outgoing, charismatic folk and that’s invigorating to be around. Plus, the funniest people I know are marketing people. Maybe it’s because the business is so demanding that you either have to laugh or cry, so you laugh. Marketing peeps can find humor in ANYTHING.
BOLO: What do you hate about it?
Kelly: I hate that anyone thinks they can do it. Most people would never dream of telling their lawyer how to practice law or their physician how to treat them, but those outside of our business think anyone can be a marketing professional. I hate it when people who have never worked in marketing, have no training in the field whatsoever, say to me, “I’d love to be in marketing – do you have any positions open at your firm?” as if just anyone can stroll in and do this. That kind of thinking really denigrates what we do. It’s happened so many times and I am mystified by it.
BOLO: Why do you think your BOLO topic is important in today’s marketing climate?
Kelly: The topic of super-targeting is important because we, as consumers, are no longer “one size fits all” and the traditional methods of identifying and defining your high-potential prospects don’t really work effectively anymore. We are more diverse as a country (in every way, not just racially and ethnically) and we have very specific lifestyles and preferred ways of communicating and gathering information. I also think that companies need to pay more attention to product and service offerings that should differ among various target groups, not just the messaging. The smartest businesses are growing because they are reaching new customers with relevance – whether that’s with the product or service they sell or the way in which they talk to consumers. But too much emphasis in marketing is put on the communication piece and I think opportunity abounds with examining product and service offerings too.
BOLO: What are 5 things about you that only your (best friend/spouse/dog) knows about you?
1. I hate pencils. I use pens for everything – even Sudoku or a crossword puzzle.
2. I have a slight fear of electricity. I always think I am going to be shocked by the toaster and I hate changing light bulbs.
3. I love doing laundry. I’ll come over to your house and do yours, if you’d like.
4. I can’t cook at all, but I am the best cleaner in the world. You can have your appendix taken out in my house … it’s THAT clean.
5. I read trashy tabloids on planes. Star, InTouch, US Weekly, I love them all. It’s my mindless brain candy, but I am ashamed of it, so only people who have traveled with me have ever seen me do this.
BOLO: What are you looking forward to the most at BOLO?
Kelly: I have not attended BOLO before, so I am looking forward to the camaraderie that is fostered at such an event and meeting some smart people who will undoubtedly make me laugh.
BOLO: What other BOLO speaker(s) are YOU excited to hear/see/drink under the table?
Kelly: “I’m looking forward to meeting/hearing all of the speakers” … but since I know that’s not the answer you want, I’ll answer this way: I can’t wait to hear Scott Stratten because he’s so irreverent and smart … Also Susan Baier because I’ve been corresponding with her for months and cannot wait to finally meet her in person … And Jay Baer, of course, because he’s a friend and super funny … And Sree Sreenivasin because I respect journalists … And Ken Bonham and Andrew Solmssen because they look really cute in their profile pics.
Kelly McDonald of McDonald Marketing, is the author of the book How To Market To People Not Like You. Her company specializes in diversity and multicultural marketing and has twice been named one of the top advertising agencies in the U.S. by Advertising Age magazine.