Flip the Switch Episode 6: C-Levels in Digital

John Saunders
By John Saunders

00:09 SOPHIA: today on Flip the Switch: bitcoin value passes 6000 in value, but then drops and rises again. Spotify puts the final dagger on SoundCloud. Microsoft introduces its sleek new Harmon Kardon Invoke. And we introduce a new segment: “You’re going to need to lawyer up.”

 

Our main topic revolves around the diversification of C-level executives as the digital world takes over. The new positions it brings and titles on their way up. Let’s get into it.

 

01:04 PAT: All right, everybody. Welcome to episode 6 of Flip the Switch podcast, presented by Power Digital marketing. This is your host Pat Kreidler. Austin Mahaffey is out sick today unfortunately, but with me in his place. I have John Saunders and Joe Hollerup. Boys, how we doing today?

 

01:21 JOE: Happy to be here Pat.

 

01:23 JOHN: Yup. Doing very well.

 

01:23 PAT: Awesome, awesome. So, taking a look at our episode today, we’ve got a lot of great stuff for you. We’ve got a couple tidbits about Bitcoin, with our business and news. In addition to some upcoming Microsoft news. As well as some Spotify news.

 

And then we’re going to get into a little bit of a main topic discussion, just as we do. Talking about how C-level executives are more focused on digital now than they ever were before.

 

Jumping right on into things. So, news came out last week… it was actually released by

 

Bloomberg… showing that Bitcoin surged to over $6,000 in price for the first time in its history. Now bear in mind… last week we were actually just covering a recent trend where it had dipped by about 8.4%. And from the time that we recorded that episode to Friday of last week, that price surged up over $6,000 for the first time ever. John, what is going on with this?

 

02:18 JOHN: So, the initial dip was coming from the commodity futures trading commission. Basically, coming out saying, “Yeah, all these digital currencies? Yeah, they still fall in our jurisdiction.”

 

So that was like everyone was just saying, “Oh no, regulation.” So then it dips, right?

 

02:37 PAT: Right. So if they can be traded as derivatives… or as ETFs, is that right?

 

02:41 JOHN: Right. So it dipped pretty hard. But then later in the week a couple news stories came out…not news stories–I want to say rumors. Cause there’s a lot of rumors around Bitcoin that drive the price. But basically, one in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe right now is kind of short on cash. So, they used to have a major inflation rate, where Zimbabwe had too much money and not enough goods. Now it’s the opposite. They have too many goods and not enough money to spend.

 

So, with that, people started saying, “Okay, well Bitcoin is doing pretty well in Zimbabwe. That’s going to start becoming a main way for people to buy these goods.” So, there’s reason number 1 that it jumps back up.

 

Reason number 2 came from Venezuela. Venezuela apparently has… and this is in quotation, “100,000 new Bitcoin miners.” So, with that, they’re saying… it’s getting international. There’s a lot more hype around it in other countries. And with that it goes and jumps up above $6,000.

 

03:39 PAT: That’s pretty crazy to see given the fact that just on Tuesday of last week, we were looking at about, what? A $5400 mark for Bitcoin. It kind of begs the question to me… all of our discussions around Bitcoin and cryptos since we’ve started the podcast have been around whether or not its a) a legitimate currency and b) whether or not its here to stay. I don’t know how much…. those are some pretty good reasons it’s being established and it’s essentially a usable currency in a country that has cash shortage.

 

But to me the fact that the price can fluctuate so much as a result of that in a 2-day span makes it a little bit unpredictable. And to me, not sustainable.

 

04:22 JOHN: No, I think for me this is good news in terms of it being more legitimate. Just because it’s news about an entire country, or entire 2 countries that come out in stories about them… are then driving this price so high. To me that seems like it’s starting to take its place as a more common this amongst people.

 

Whereas smaller news stories were driving the price, like a China ban. Stuff like that. I just think this is an upward trend where it’s going to continue to dip. But I think we’re going to see it start to settle out at a higher number.

 

04:57 PAT: That’s interesting. so out of curiosity, I just Googled what the current Bitcoin price is… and it’s dipped back down to almost the $5700 mark since last week. So, again, that just kind of… how much is it going to fluctuate? How much is a reasonable amount of variance? And then if I’m somebody that’s invested, how much is more than a reasonable amount of variance before I should consider taking my money out of here?

 

05:20 JOHN: Well, I think the attention span of people watching Bitcoin is just way to short. Because if we were talking about $5600 3 weeks ago, everyone would have gone crazy. And they were going crazy when it went above $5000. So now that it’s dipped down to $5600 and it’s people with speculation saying, “Oh, it’s dipping again.”

 

What are you talking about? It’s $5600 right now. So…

 

05:42 PAT: Right. Well, I guess we’re just going to have to wait and see just as we always do.

 

All right, moving into our second bit of business news and trends here. it just came out on fortune.com last week is where I’m reading this that Microsoft is set to release a Google home and Alexa competitor. Joe, what’s this all about?

 

05:58 JOE: So Microsoft released its version. Obviously, they’re a little bit late to the game here.  As the Amazon Echo’s been out for about 2 years now. And the Google Home shortly after. And the Amazon Echo is kind of running the marketplace right now. It’s sold about 15 million units since its release. And Google Home is kind of close, but not too close to anything that Amazon’s putting out.

 

So, Microsoft’s version of this in-home technology is called the Harman Kardon Invoke. It’s a bit of mouthful compared to the Amazon Echo or Google Home. Maybe that’s why they’re a little bit late to the game.

 

But this thing is fueled by Cortana, which is Microsoft’s version of Siri. Also named after the super-human computer in Halo.

 

06:45 PAT: (laughing) Nerd Alert.

 

06:46 JOE: So, Microsoft knows it’s late. And they’re kind of banking on it running the Windows 10 operating system. And Microsoft reps are coming out and saying that the big selling point of the Invoke is that it will automatically integrate with Office 365 applications and make your… if you work a lot in Microsoft Office, it’ll make your life easier. As kind of quoted here in Fortune magazine, you can ask the Invoke, for example to check your Outlook calendars and create reminders without pulling out a PC or phone.

 

As well Cortana can also run on the Apple iPhone and the Android devices. Although it is pretty unclear how much traction it has had behind Microsoft ecosystems. So, it fully integrates with all the different smart phones. Cortana has come out and really given Siri a run for its money. But all-in-all, I can’t see this thing being too successful just because it is so late to the game. Integrating to Office 365 applications isn’t anything too special.

 

07:49 JOHN: I don’t hear any appeal in that. One, the name is way too hard to say. What is it?

 

07:55 PAT: They’re just abbreviating it as the “Invoke.” It’s just the Invoke.

 

07:59 JOE: The full name is the “Harmon Kardon Invoke.”

 

08:01 PAT: Sounds like a research institute.

 

08:03 JOHN: The Office 365 thing… that doesn’t really get to me. The Google Home does Google calendars. I’m pretty sure Amazon does too. Or does something along the lines…

 

08:12 PAT: Yeah, it can keep reminders… which is essentially the same thing.

 

08:16 JOHN: So can I make a PowerPoint with this thing? (laughing) or is that not…?

 

08:18 PAT: I think that… that actually raises a pretty good point too.  In terms of integrating with the other devices and the other operating systems, too. How much… I mean, I’m looking at the article too. It says there’s a potential for misuse or sharing of data, and that’s something that kind of worries privacy advocates. I think that probably has to do with the way it’s trying to connect with these other operating systems, and these other pieces of pretty complicated technology.

 

You think about a Google device. If you have an Android it plugs right into your Google profile too.  Your whole identity is on Google… A lot of people’s whole identity is on Google. And so, if it’s plugging in there, there’s no way to know that it’s not going to share that information erroneously, extraneously, and potentially misuse it in a way or two. Just because while I do… my personal view on it–I’m a little biased. I don’t like Windows operating systems very much. But I think that there’s a reason why. It’s because it’s not super user-friendly. It’s buggy. It updates without asking. It just kind of… it doesn’t really enhance the consumer experience for me.

 

Whereas with Apple products, I’m a huge fan because it’s so easy to use that I’m not wasting my time just trying to find where things are at.

 

09:28 JOHN: So a Flip the Switch pre-emptive rating would be 2 thumbs down?

 

09:32 PAT: 2 huge thumbs down here. I don’t even really see the appeal here. It’s listing at 199.95 as well. It’s going to be available starting October 22nd at Best Buy, Microsoft stores and on their own harmonkardon.com website. Which is a really interesting name, and it doesn’t have the “Invoke” in it. Which is what they were calling it throughout the entire article. So maybe that domain had been bought.

 

09:54 JOHN: Yeah, it’s that brand alignment we were talking about last week.

 

09:57 PAT: It’s the brand alignment. There’s a classic misconnection there. We’re just going to have to track this and see. Especially with it being a last player moving into the market, with 2 big players… you have Google Home, Apple Siri… I’m sure they’re going to end up building a much more in-depth in-home appliance off that pretty soon. And if I had to bet my next paycheck on it, I would say that it’s going to be better than anything that Windows is going to come out with.

 

And then you have a first mover into the industry that’s powered by Amazon. It has essentially endless cash flow to put behind it and continually evolve its technology. I see this as more of a sunk cost for Microsoft as a whole. In the  sense that they’re going to sink a lot of money into research and development, a lot of money into marketing, a lot of money getting it placed into the right stores and available. Getting those units made.

 

I don’t see them moving enough of it to really move the needle for them. In terms of their stock prices or their overall company value. I just don’t see that.

 

10:53 JOHN: Well if the high price point doesn’t sell it for you, maybe the sleek name will do it.

 

10:56 PAT: The sleek name is definitely a point in its favor, but I  mean realistically I think there’s just no way I think that it’s going to have that type of an impact. But, you know, as it goes through the market we’re able to track it relevant to those competitors.  We’re going to report back to you guys and let you know exactly what we’re seeing. But pre-emptive predictions from here: I’m giving it 2 thumbs down. I think Joe’s going to give it 2 thumbs down, if I had to bet on it.

 

11:18 JOHN: I just pre-ordered mine.

 

11:21 PAT: That’s completely false.  John definitely gives it 2 thumbs down as well.

 

Moving into our last piece of business news and trends here, and this is one that I’ve been very, very excited to talk about. Came out last week… I’m reading this off of Tech-Crunch. Spotify launched a new emerging artist platform that’s called “Rise.”

 

The reason that this is significant is that it’s basically Spotify’s going to leverage its usable platform as it stands now. It has about 140 million listeners. Trying to market new talent and get them heard.

 

I think a good way to think about this and we’ve talked about this a little bit is “Is this really the final nail in the coffin for some other audio streaming services like namely, SoundCloud?

 

12:02 JOHN: Yeah, I mean, let’s not beat around the bush. Soundcloud is done after this one. Yeah, I mean it’s based on a couple things for Spotify that they’re going to have to make sure doesn’t happen. With Soundcloud the big failure has been the saturation of people just being like, “hey, if you share my song, I’ll share your song.”

 

And then that turns the entire platform into just this big incentive for people to share each other’s songs without that real authenticity or the real music that people want to hear.

 

So as long as they stay away from that, I think that they’re really… that they’re putting an end to Soundcloud as a whole.

 

12:36 JOE: Well, the one big thing that Soundcloud had the Spotify didn’t was Soundcloud was a means for younger or up-and-coming artists to get their start. Or get their first bit of exposure. And it sounds like Spotify is pretty much taking that away from them right now. And going to use Rise… and they already have a much bigger audience and a much bigger user pool. So that’s the one thing that SoundCloud had that Spotify didn’t. And it looks like it’s just gone, now. So they’re done.

 

13:00 JOHN: Yeah. Soundcloud has had issues forever.

 

13:01 JOE: And it’s been well documented in the news, too. It filed for basically refinancing or restructuring. Artists had to come out and basically say they were going to exclusively release music on Soundcloud even just to keep it relevant anymore. They laid a ton of people off. And it’s because of these other platforms. My question is a little bit around why that is the case though. On paper, it looks like Soundcloud should be just as viable of an option. You have the chance to showcase great album artwork… the user experience gets called into question though. I think that the user experience on the platform like Apple music or Spotify is just so much cleaner and so much better and so much easier to use that people are deciding to use that instead. I think the only people that I… I mean, there’s not very many people that even use Soundcloud paid service. A lot of people use the free version. Whereas people will pay the premium to get Atlas streams on Spotify specifically.

 

14:02 JOHN: Yeah, I think the quality control on Spotify is much better too. I mean, Soundcloud, you scroll through it and it’s just a big mess of things. And Spotify has… in my opinion, Spotify has changed the music industry in many different ways. And so in my eyes, Soundcloud hasn’t really been a contender. They’ve just been somebody holding onto this business model for a really long time with a lot of issues.  And now when you have the biggest dog in the game coming out with the exact thing that your business model is… as just an ancillary thing for them… I don’t see where they’re going to go, you know?

 

14:36 JOE: Funny enough, I remember about a year, maybe a year and a half ago when Soundcloud struck its deal with Universal. A lot of people were coming out and talking about how and why Soundcloud was going to be worth more than Spotify and bigger than Spotify. And clearly that hasn’t panned out, because I’ve seen nothing but tanking from Soundcloud over the last year.

 

14:56 PAT: I think what we’re seeing is a little bit of the same thing we’ve seen with Twitter. When it’s just overall lack of innovation. I think the basic model and structure of Soundcloud has not changed too much in its functionality. You can share songs, you can add them to your playlist. You can upload user submitted music. You can comment on stuff. It’s like a social network meets music streaming service.

 

15:16 JOE: And everything was free too.

 

15:17 PAT: and everything was free. And now you have these bigger movers coming into the game. Spotify is releasing new updates to either their UI or their UX on a weekly basis. There’s new functionality. Its super-mobile friendly which let’s be honest, Soundcloud isn’t unbelievably mobile friendly. And with digital going that direction and every kind of software platform and website and landing page needing to be mobile friendly because that’s where the majority of the traffic is. The fact that they weren’t even able to make that adaption the right way… it really, I think, kind of started the whole trend for them. And now you have these big movers that have money behind them now like Spotify coming into this space and really just squeezing them out. And they have artists that will strictly… even on the PR front… almost think of it like influence their marketing. You have Spotify who has these contract with artists that will specifically release music on Spotify. You know, they’ll do Spotify sessions. If somebody’s new album drops at midnight, it’s on Apple music by midnight, but by 3 in the morning, it’s on Spotify. And that just wouldn’t have been the case even 5 years ago. I think it’s the fact that they’re continually trying to improve their platform to adhere it to the user experience. That’s what’s separating them from Soundcloud and what’s really pushing Soundcloud out of the market.

 

16:33 JOHN: Yeah, I think we’re just watching a ticking clock on Soundcloud here. I don’t think it’s going to be around much longer. After all this. So we’ll see.

 

16:42 PAT: Well said.  Well said.

 

All right, segue-waying into our main topic of conversation for today. This is a trend that I feel that a lot of us were kind of familiar with. Especially working at a digital agency in particular, but an article came out recently on Marketing land, talking about how more C-level executives are focused on digital marketing than ever before. Obviously this is not crazy news, but the most interesting part about this is that new C-level titles being created that are specific to digital marketing.

 

I think that kind of has to do with the times. We talked about it a few episodes ago. This was the first year in history really where digital marketing spend exceeded that of traditional marketing. 76 billion dollars were put into digital marketing, 74 billion dollars were put into traditional. Next year that’s supposed to be 82 billion dollars for digital and 72 billion dollars for traditional. Again, spend is going up in general because people are understanding the importance of marketing as a sales function.

 

My question, and kind of what I want to raise the initial premise of this discussion around a little bit is why is this the case? Why are C-level executives more focused on digital now than before?

 

My personal take on it has to do with the fact that I just mentioned. The majority of spend is going toward digital. But I wonder about kind of outlying factors there and if there’s anything else at play.

 

18:16 JOHN: I think you said it. More dollars are going into it so more important people need to be on top of it. And I think that number that you said… it was like 74 versus 72… That surprises me. That there’s still that much money going into traditional versus digital. But yeah, I mean, all these new positions that are coming out. Like CAOs–Chief Analytics officers–CMTO–Chief Marketing Technology Officers. That is really cool to me… that there’s these top-level people that are coming and saying, “Okay, what are we doing? If we’re not doing digital then we need to get the hell out.”

 

I just think that there’s so many assets in a business now that are completely consumed by digital that there’s no way that your top guys can be against it. And if they’re not against it, then they should be on the side of more towards digital.

 

So I’m not surprised by this news. I do like it. I think it’s an awesome trend for businesses everywhere.

 

19:16 PAT: I agree with you. And I think that a part of the reason that this is occurring is because if you think about the typical C-level executive… this is somebody who has a highly analytical mind. Someone who is highly numbers and data driven. Somebody who understands the value of what they’re doing relative to their top-line revenue and their bottom-line revenue. And I think that, like what we’ve talked about before, digital marketing provides an avenue for so much attribution and measurability and reassurance that what you’re doing is truly working and truly impacting the bottom-line of your business, that it’s an opportunity that people just can’t really pass up anymore.

 

The fact that that kind of information exists is something that every company should be trying to leverage. And now we’re seeing C-level executives of long standing. Typically traditionally marketed companies in traditionally marketed industries coming out and hopping on board the digital train so to speak. And I think that like you talked about it is a very good trend for businesses as a whole.

 

But that being said, at the same time it raises the question to me of how long lasting this will be. In the sense that you have traditional C-level executive titles that may end up becoming a bit obsolete with the rise of digital marketing. You know, you have new C-level titles coming into play… Chief Marketing Technology Officer… you know, realistically couldn’t that skill set consume some of the aspects of the job of a CIO?

 

I’m curious as to what this is going to mean in terms of the C-level dynamic moving forward.

 

20:47 JOHN: I’m reading an article right now on businesstocommunity.com and it’s kind of outlining the traditional roles and how they change into the more digital world. so it’s saying, you know, the CIO, the Chief Information Officer must provide the right infrastructure and system integration to enable the business to control how they communicate and interact with their customers online. so they could have just added that word “online” to the end of it, but I just think it’s… everybody is shifting that way. Even the COO. Most of our HR stuff and everything like that is all through the internet, right?  And most of our customer service is all through the internet. So I think there’s a lot of roles coming into the traditional aspect that are either transforming into an internet based thing, or the old ones are getting cleared out completely.

 

21:37 PAT: The most interesting ones to me are the CISO and the CAO–the Chief Analytics Officer and a Chief Information Security officer. With how much data’s being collected now, and how… we’ve talked about before where in the digital world you can get so hyper-targeted and you collect so much user information with everything that you’re doing. These types of C-level executives in analytics and information collection and whatnot will be one of the most important because if you have someone in there that can solve a problem just by going into their analytics or looking at the trends of a business. Going in and just tearing these things apart and digging as deep as they possibly can. That I think, is going to be the most interesting and kind of integral part of a C-level executive. Because analytics and that type of information security is going to become so important in the coming future that this… I could easily see get rid of a CIO or even a CMO. Or not necessarily a CMO, but a CIO will definitely be out the door.

 

22:43 JOHN: Yeah, they’re saying CMO could transition to a “Chief Digital Officer.”

 

22:47 PAT: CDO. I’ve heard of that before.

 

22:47 JOHN: Yeah, where it’s basically just coming up with an entire digital strategy. That’s probably more for people who are entirely digital. But the one that’s interesting to me is the new CEO. The new CEO, it says, has to consider their entire customer journey from the start to the finish. So the customer’s perspective, where they’re supposed to see consistency in the brand, online, across channels, functions, products. So whether that’s your paid ads or SEO or your social channels or whatever it is that you’re throwing out there. The CEO is supposed to be in control of all of these different things that play into 1 experience for the customer. So I still see it as kind of like an overarching title.

 

23:26 PAT: Yeah. I totally disagree with that, though. I think that in no scenario should a business’ leader and face card and somebody who is supposed to make executive decisions be somebody that is an Experience Officer. I just… I don’t think that makes sense. I understand it… I understand the rationale. Everything is consumer-centric. A lot of things are customer experience-centric. It makes sense in some capacities.

 

In no way, shape, or form should that person be in charge of the entire company.

 

23:53 JOE: That reminds me of when people get to a certain point in their career and they call them self an “evangelist’ or a “Chief Evangelist Officer.” That is a huge pet-peeve of mine as well cause that makes no sense.

 

24:04 JOHN: can you explain that?

 

24:06 JOE: I can explain it. You’re just going to have to give me a second to pull it up because it’s just things that I’ve seen and I don’t really have any research to back up why they do it. So evangelism marketing is an advanced form of word-of-mouth marketing in which someone considers them self where if they talk about a product or a company so strongly that people will start buying into that company or that product and use it.

 

I think it’s very, very similar to the actual word of an “evangelist” was someone who was keen on converting people to a certain religion. So I guess they’re pulling that type of title from something that was traditionally used in religion into a business position. And an example of this–I knew I’d seen it somewhere–and Guy Kawasaki calls himself a “Chief Evangelist.”

 

24:56 JOHN: All right. Let’s just cut that off right there. We could go down that rabbit-hole for a long time. It might deserve its own other discussion. But I think the biggest point is that there’s these new C-level positions that are being created strictly to adhere to the digital experience and the predominance of not just their budget but the focus that these companies are putting onto digital marketing. And creating their footprint within the digital space. I mean, just taking a look of how things have been in the industry so far. And even with our experience at an agency. Almost every single time that a new Chief Marketing officer has come into the game or has come into play, they’re first thing that they would like to do is some type of digital overhaul. Whether that be an audit of all the channels. Or whether that be redoing their website. Creating a new digital brand for themselves. It’s just the first thing that a lot of these guys will do.

 

25:47 JOE: Yeah, I think… you see it all the time in what we do. I mean, people… our clients… somebody will drop off, somebody new comes in. And their main focus is working with us. And trying to figure that out. And that’s happened so much just over the past year. That’s why this news isn’t surprising. You’re seeing it happen right in front of our eyes. The importance has to be in digital right now, or you’re just… you’re doing something wrong.

 

26:10 PAT: I totally agree. And I think that the reason that a lot of new Chief marketing Officers in particular will come into the game and do something on digital is because while it is a little bit longer of a process than I think people think about. Or appreciate. To build a new website, get some new campaigns running–whether that be on any of the digital channels. Ads… specifically I see that. While it does take a little bit longer than people think, you can start measuring whether it’s good or bad right away. And with traditional marketing you used to just not be able to do that. So it’s almost a way for a new Chief marketing officer to come to the game and say, “hey, here’s the stamp that I’m gonna put on this company. I’m already doing X amount well, based on the measurements that I’m getting from these digital campaigns that I’m having this agency kind of run with. And I think that that’s an aspect of it to that shouldn’t be overlooked.

 

27:00 JOHN: what’s cool too is on Wednesday we’ll actually have our CEO–our Chief Experience Officer–on the podcast to talk a little bit more about this type of thing. And how digital plays into his position and the different tactics that he’s taken from somebody who’s been a traditional salesman into being a digital marketer. So I think that’ll be an interesting conversation.

 

27:24 PAT: It’ll definitely be a conversation worth having. And I think there’ll be a lot of good takeaways from this conversation that we’ll be able to have there. Again, wrapping things up a little bit, though. Biggest takeaway is more C-level execs than ever are focusing on the digital space. It’s not an accident. It’s intentional. It’s happening at a rate that is pretty much unparalleled in history. And it has to do with the fact that people are just putting more of a focus on digital because of its benefits. It’s measurable. There’s the metrics that’ll come through pretty quickly to help measure your success.

 

And if you’re well-versed in a lot of different digital channels, you do a get a good holistic sense of the entire eco-system. So that’s kind of what we’re seeing. We’ve seen it in our own experience but it’s been really interesting to see that it’s being kind of validified by some additional data points here as well.

 

28:09

 

PAT: Cool. So jumping onto our next segment here. This is a new one that we’re introducing on this episode. Especially, I think that it’s appropriate… there have been a lot of companies that have run into some legal troubles lately. Some companies that are having issues in terms of patents and things like that. They’re going to need to lawyer up. So, we decided to come up with a segment that’s called “You’re going to need to lawyer up.” What we’re going to do is call out one company that is running into legal trouble and is quite literally going to need to lawyer up. The very first one that we’re going to debut with is actually a TASER company called Axon Enterprise Incorporated. They make TASER stun-guns. Last Thursday it was announced… Axon actually announced this. Came out on Bloomberg that due to miscommunication issues they just became aware of the SECs requests regarding its previous financial reports. It is now scrambling to respond. They’re in a total time crunch.

 

Here’s the kicker. They say that the reason this occurred is because the SECs emails got sent to their spam folder. I’m serious. I… right off the bat that sounds a little iffy to me.

 

29:17 JOHN: They’re going to need to lawyer up.

 

29:18 PAT: they’re going to need to lawyer up in a major way. That sounds like the type of excuse that you give a junior High School teacher when you didn’t see a homework assignment that’s due. Something like that. You know what I mean?

 

This is a huge, huge deal and they’re paying major repercussions for it. The stock has fallen as much as 7% since that happened. It’s the biggest drop that they’ve seen the last 2 months. And their blame is the internal email filters that they have equipped on their emails. They say that… you know, the SEC sent their initial comments early August, and then a bunch of follow-up requests to Axon’s new CFO. And the way that they configured his email when he was on-boarded, it was sent to the spam folder instead of his actual inbox.

 

To me, this is a classic situation where you’re just going to need to pivot in a major way. You’re going to need to lawyer up because the SEC is nobody to screw around with.

 

30:05 JOHN: they might need to find a new CFO as well.

 

30:08 PAT: they’re going to need to find several new people. I’d almost venture to say they’re going to need to find a new General Council attorney too. Because this is not the type of job that any type of General Council wants to have on their hands. I guarantee whoever is their General Council right now says, “So what’s your story? It went to…? Right. The spam folder. Okay. Well, that’ll be my 2 weeks then.”

 

I don’t think that this is a winnable case in any way either. I think that they’re gonna keep tumbling too. 7% stock fall already. It’s just the beginning. If anything comes of this… and there’s no way this excuse will ever uphold in the court of law. It’s too bad to because apparently they made really cool products. And people really enjoyed the TASER stun-guns. I personally am not a consumer that would love to buy one of those, but, you know, there’s a huge market for it in law enforcement and things like that. So we’ll see what the major consequences are. But for the time being, they’re going to have to lawyer up.

 

31:02 JOE: All right, our last segment here is going to be our digital questions of the week that you can submit to us on social. That’s @flipswitchcast on both Twitter and Instagram. Our first one of the week is for Patrick. Patrick: is it worth advertising on Bing?

 

31:24 PAT: It depends. No, I just want to preface it by saying that. It very much depends on your business and who your target demographic is. Studies have shown across the board that the typical Bing user is somebody that falls within an older age demographic. It’s not… you know, no millennials are on Bing. A lot of millennials are on Google. So it depends on what your offering is and what your price point is. Because it’s also been shown… it correlates, but as a result of people being older on Bing, their income eligibility for purchase is higher as well.

 

That being said, what we also see on Bing… it’s a little bit harder to navigate in the sense of making optimizations and things like that. I’ve never seen unbelievably good results come from Bing. But I don’t think that it should be axed entirely from your marketing mix if you’re looking to advertise. I think that it’s worth the test always. And it’ll just kind of give you some insight into your target audience.

 

So, long story short, it depends on your business. Depends who your target audience is. And depends on your willingness to test and see what the market’s going to tell you.

 

32:24JOE: so don’t give up on Bing yet.

 

32:26 PAT: don’t give up on Bing yet. You can give up on it after a test, but don’t give up on it yet.

 

32:28 JOE: Okay. Sound good.

 

32:30 PAT: All right. Second question here is going to be mainly for John and Joe. What is the number one mistake that you guys see big brands making in the digital space?

 

32:40 JOE: I think with big brands who maybe haven’t had much experience in digital–and this kind of goes back to our main topic–the people they put in charge of it, making sure that that’s the right alignment of what you’re doing there.

 

And then also the cohesiveness of a big brand has to be perfect. Has to be just 100% on point. So I think when big brands enter that space a lot of the time they can lose a lot of that. They can have trouble approving things. They can have trouble getting the right message out there for who they actually are. So digital can be one of those spaces where things are getting lost in the mix of all the different things that are going on. And that seems to be a big problem nowadays.

 

33:26 PAT: All right everybody. That just about wraps things up from our end. Thank you for joining us for this rendition of Flip the Switch. On Thursday’s episode–very exciting day. We’re going to be having our first ever interview with our CEO and president Mr. Grayson Lafrenz. Basically on the impact of digital marketing and how that correlates to his experience in the sales world. Very excited to kind of talk to him about that. So stay tuned for that.

 

Always feel free to hit us with questions on our social handles. That’s @flipswitchcast for both Twitter and Instagram. Again that is @flipswitchcast. This has been Pat Kreidler, John Saunders and Joe Hollerup signing off.

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John is the Director of Web Development at Power Digital and thrives on the balance between creative and strategy. Using his experience in CRO, John approaches website builds with the user in mind, combining psychological and technical aspects of design.