For Partnership Leaders

Episode 26: How to Build Your 'Brandscape' with Andrew Davis

Renowned keynote speaker & bestselling author Andrew Davis talks about Fractal Marketing, making partnerships People Powered and the Curiosity Factor.


This week on The CoSell Show we are thrilled to have with us renowned keynote speaker & Bestselling Author of Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships, Andrew Davis!

 

Topics Covered:

    • What Tony Bennett, The Backstreet Boys, and Elmo have in Common

    • How to use “Fractal Marketing” to Grow an Authentic Customer Base

    • Why You Should Make Your Partnerships “People Powered” vs Brand Driven

    • How to Grab and Hold your Audience’s Attention with the “Curiosity Factor”

Connect with Andrew on InstagramYouTubeTwitterLinkedIn, and his website. Learn more about his book, Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships, here

Brought to you by our host Taylor Baker for CoSell.io

 

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Follow Along With The Podcast Transcript

Taylor:
Hello listeners and welcome back to the CoSell Show. Today we are going to talk about how to use fractal marketing to grow an authentic customer base. Why you should make your partnerships people powered instead of brand driven and how to grab hold of your audience's attention with the curiosity factor and who better to talk to you about all of this and more with than bestselling author of Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships and keynote speaker, Andrew Davis. Welcome Andrew.

Andrew Davis:
Hey, thanks Taylor. Thanks for having me.

Taylor:
Absolutely. We are so jazzed to have you here on the show today. So to kick things off, can you tell our listeners a little bit about your background and what you're currently up to right now?

Andrew Davis:
Yeah, sure. Well, so I started in the television business actually and come out of entertainment much like you. So my career basically, you can just split in half. So I spent about half my time working in the television business. I wrote for the Today show, I was a producer for the Today show for NBC. I wrote for a guy named Charles Kuralt, which a lot of people don't know, but if you don't know him I suggest after the podcast, when you get home, if you're driving while listening to this, just search who Charles Kuralt was. He was like an amazing television storyteller and he's the guy who started CBS Sunday Morning, so if you ever watch CBS Sunday Morning you kind of get the vibe of what he was about. And I worked for the Muppets for the Jim Henson company for a couple of years. The best part of that job, by the way, was I met my wife there.

Andrew Davis:
Yeah, Elizabeth. So she was working there at the same time as me, and that was pretty cool. And then in the late 1990s, when the .com boom, the first one happened and pets.com was like a big deal, that's when I left television, because everybody that was in television was leaving television to organ startups. And they were making like four times as much as we were in television, and no one really knew what they were doing, but they were all working in marketing. I got a job as a marketing guy for a success in of startups that got either bought or acquired or fell apart and folded, and learned a ton about marketing. And after the last one of those kind of got acquired by Lycos.

Andrew Davis:
I started my own agency with a journalist, actually a guy that I had met at Boston University. About 10 years before that, we started an agency called Tipping Point Labs as a marketing agency, and we built that over the course of 12 years and then sold it in 2012. And since 2012 I've just been writing books and speaking at conferences and events all over the country, or maybe the world, I guess I should say.

Taylor:
Well, I've read all of the exciting things and I will link to all of your exciting things because I mean, I can't say the word excited enough that you are here today, and I just want to make sure everyone listening-

Andrew Davis:
I'm excited too.

Taylor:
... knows how excited then they should be. So one of our favorite questions to ask here at the CoSell Show is, what is something fun about you that our listeners cannot find on your LinkedIn?

Andrew Davis:
Oh man. Well, because I spent the last eight or nine years speaking around the country, I started tracking all the data from all these speaking engagements that I did and I started showing it to other speakers and they were like, wow, this is so cool, you should build some software. So over the last three years, I've built a software product that speakers use to close more speaking gigs and make more money and it's top secret. And no one knows about it, it's not on my LinkedIn profile. It's totally like, it's an undercover, super secret project.

Taylor:
Well thank you for telling us that super secret here.

Andrew Davis:
Yeah, I know. Don't tell anyone.

Taylor:
I won't tell anyone.

Andrew Davis:
I know, it's not on LinkedIn.

Taylor:
This is not anywhere and it's not going to go anywhere.

Andrew Davis:
Okay, good.

Taylor:
Oh, wow, how interesting.

Andrew Davis:
Yeah, it's cool.

Taylor:
You're like a renegade for speakers, helping them get better. That's amazing.

Andrew Davis:
I'm trying. It's actually been really fun and I don't consider myself a numbers person, but after I started tracking all this data in Excel spreadsheets and stuff, I realized there was a lot of power and insight that you could glean from it. Yeah, so I've been really having fun building it. It's been really cool.

Taylor:
That is really awesome. I, myself am not quite the data numbers, aficionado, but it is a very powerful tool. And if you have super secretly found a way to interpret it and measure it in a way that is interesting and engaging, that is definitely a very useful tool.

Andrew Davis:
It's really cool. Yeah, it's really neat.

Taylor:
So I would love to dive right into some of your awesomeness. You released a book called Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships back in 2012 and I hear that the inspiration behind not only this book, but your career shift that you mentioned from TV into speaking and whatnot started with a little character named Elmo and a certain singer called Tony Bennett.

Andrew Davis:
Yeah, it did. It did.

Taylor:
What is the story there? What were they doing together, just having happy hour on a Friday?

Andrew Davis:
No, no. And there's even a super secret third big name that was involved in this whole thing. So back at that time when I was working at the Jim Henson company with the Muppets in the late 1990s, my job was to basically manage the workshop. The workshop is where they make all the Muppets, so every morning I would come in and like Miss Piggy was sitting right there and I give Miss Piggy a kiss and get to work. It was that kind of environment. And it was 40 of the most creative artists that you've ever heard of. And like budget meeting discussions where like, hey, how can we reduce the price of what it costs, the time and effort it takes to make a Miss Piggy head, like these were the very serious conversations we were having.

Andrew Davis:
And I'd only been working there maybe three or four weeks when Elizabeth who became my wife actually called over to the workshop and told me that we needed to get Elmo down to the Sony Studios on the West side of Manhattan by like 5:00. And I can't remember the exact time, but I had like 45 minutes and everybody had already left the office. And I was like, "Well, there's no one here to take Elmo." And the deal is there's a title for the type of person that carries around the Muppets, it's called a Muppet Wrangler. So I didn't have a Muppet Wrangler available and Elizabeth was like, "I don't care. You need to get Elmo to the Sony Studios shoot right now." And I was like, "Well, I guess I can take it." And she was like, "You can?" I was like, "Sure." Like I know where Elmo is, I know the boxes to put him in.

Taylor:
I know where Elmo is.

Andrew Davis:
Yeah. So like I hung up the phone, I like packed up Elmo and I raced down to the Sony Studios. I had no idea what I was doing and I just was like, you know what? Let's just make it work. So I got there and I get to a dressing room that says Elmo. I meet Kevin Clash who's the puppeteer who does Elmo. He gets all set up with Elmo and I'm like, "Hey, Kevin, I feel stupid, but what are we doing here?" He's like, "Oh, we're doing VH1 Behind the Music with Tony Bennett. And I love Tony Bennett. If you don't know who Tony Bennett is, you're really missing out. You know Tony Bennett, right Taylor?

Taylor:
I know Tony Bennett.

Andrew Davis:
Okay, good.

Taylor:
And I am ashamed slightly to say that half of it has to do with Lady Gaga having performed with Tony Bennett-

Andrew Davis:
Yes, okay. So this-

Taylor:
But I did know Tony Bennett before that, I just can't recite his full [inaudible 00:07:30].

Andrew Davis:
Okay, well, so here's the deal. When I was at this event I knew who Tony Bennett was also, but not because I knew Tony Bennett's music. I knew other people's music that Tony had sang duets with, right? And so on this VH1 special, it was Tony Bennett special, but he was going to sing a duet with Elmo and the other super secret people he was singing a duet with was the Backstreet Boys.

Taylor:
What?

Andrew Davis:
Backstreet Boys, yes.

Taylor:
That is a name I'm very familiar with although I'm a diehard N-sync fan, but Backstreet Boys were also awesome.

Andrew Davis:
The Backstreet Boys were like the thing at the time and when I was at this event, watching them record this stuff, I was like, you know what? This is amazing. This audience, the studio audience that was there ranged from little kids, like kindergarten kids who wanted to see Elmo all the way up to grandparents who were there to see Tony Bennett. And then a bunch of like teenage screaming girls that were there to see the Backstreet Boys. And I thought, this is amazing that Tony Bennett can get everyone by partnering with other people like Elmo and the Backstreet Boys. And that was really my first introduction to the idea that you can partner with other people to get to audiences you'd never have gotten to before. And when I dove into Tony Bennett's story, I was shocked.

Andrew Davis:
Like basically Tony Bennett in the 1960s was a pretty big deal. Like he won two Grammy awards in the 1960s. He had some big hits, but then from 1960 to 1990, he was basically in Las Vegas and by 1990 he was struggling. He could barely get a gig. He was broke, he had no money. And he sat down with his son, Danny Bennett and they said, "Look, what should we do?" And Danny Bennett said, "I don't know what to do, but I have some ideas." Lots of other managers had said, "Well, Tony, you need to rebrand. You need to be more modern, you need to get away from singing your classic songs." And Tony Bennett didn't want to do this, and Danny Bennett was like, "Hey, I've got an idea. Here's what we're going to do. We're going to approach the biggest names in the business and ask them if they want to sing a duet with you.

Andrew Davis:
And we're going to introduce their audience to your songs by singing their classic songs but with people like Bano and Backstreet Boys and Elmo." And he released three albums over the course of a decade, all duet albums and they were unbelievably successful. He went on to win seven more Grammy's. He won a Tony Award, he won two Emmy Awards for some television specials. And he was back in the limelight and still is because of this very simple strategy of partnering with other people to get access to a new audience. And the question Danny Bennett asked was very simple, who has your next customer as their current customer? So like Lady Gaga has access to Taylor and if I want access to Taylor, I need to actually get Tony Bennett to partner with Lady Gaga so that Taylor is now introduced to who Tony Bennett is. And that's the simple concept that Brandscaping was built around, but also a lot of the marketing we did at the agency was built around. That was a really long story. I hope everybody enjoyed it.

Taylor:
I mean, you had a lot of key players in there that are just characters I want to keep hearing about, I could spend this whole time talking about Tony Bennett and Backstreet Boys and Elmo too. I mean, that's the trifecta.

Andrew Davis:
It was pretty awesome.

Taylor:
So I'm actually curious when you, in that case, like they always talk about target audience, target audience, target audience, but that's like hitting three very different niches, kindergartners, grandparents, tweens that are screaming over boys. So like, is that diluting an audience by going that far? Or like, how do you kind of in that scope find the best way to play both sides without falling too far?

Andrew Davis:
Yeah, I mean, I call it fractal marketing. So fractal is just a self-similar repeating pattern. It's like imagine a tree in your mind, all right? The trunk of the tree is the audience you're trying to target. Let's just say it's people, I'll do an easy example. People who like, like to ... Let's do farmers. How about that? Farmers as the trunk of your tree.

Taylor:
Makes sense.

Andrew Davis:
And you can try to target all the farmers in the world. You could advertise to them. You could buy lists, you could try to get some sort of great content together and get everybody to sign up for your content and then market your products and services to them. And that will work eventually, but it's very costly and it takes a lot of time. What Tony Bennett did and what great brand scrapers do is they actually start dividing and subdividing the audience. So imagine how the tree branches, let's just branch it into two branches. On one side, you have commercial farmers and on the other side you have hobby farmers. Okay? So commercial farmers have a totally different set of needs than a hobby farmer, like somebody who just likes to grow some stuff in their yard on the weekend, right?

Andrew Davis:
So if you want to target hobby farmers, you then have to divide hobby farmers up into like different kinds of hobby farmers. There are people who grow things, and there are people who raise animals, right? Now, if you go down the raise animals tree, you can divide it even further. There are people who raise horses, there are people ... Like I have a friend actually in Houston, you and I are both from Houston. I have a friend in Houston, he lives just outside of Houston and he's really into hobby farming, but he raises horses. His wife is really into horses. So he would be on that hobby horse tree. And there are people who already have that tree and that audience and access to that audience, even though they're both "Farmers."

Andrew Davis:
So you're not diluting the audience you're going after, you're just trying to understand where can you find the partner who can target a segment of your audience that they've already built trust with that you don't have to spend a ton of money to get access to. And the art of it just like Tony Bennett comes in the volume of partnerships you can create where you're constantly adding value. So instead of just targeting just the horse farmers, like by the way, this example is of an example from the book, but it's Tractor Supply, Tractor Supply tried to target everybody in the world to come to Tractor Supply stores. Tractor Supply, it's like the Walmart of the agricultural world. You can like buy Skittles and overalls and a lawn mower and you eat like a rabbit on your way out. Like that's how-

Taylor:
Unusual shopping list.

Andrew Davis:
That's right, exactly.

Taylor:
I never leave stores without a [crosstalk]

Andrew Davis:
So Tractor Supply has very high brand awareness, actually. In fact, a lot of people like, I don't know Taylor, do you have a Tractor Supply near you in Austin? Or you know where one is?

Taylor:
I can't tell you where one is, but I'm certain I've passed one before in my life living in Texas especially.

Andrew Davis:
Yes, of course. Yes. So a lot of people are aware of Tractor Supply, but very few of those people that are aware of it have actually ever been into a Tractor Supply. So Tractor Supply decided they wanted to target this growing audience of people who are interested in raising backyard poultry, having chickens, just in their backyard, right? That's a perfect hobby farmer. And they partnered with a guy named the chicken whisperer, his name is Andy Schneider, and he creates a daily, four days a week. He has a live radio talk show on Blog Talk Radio that's all about raising chickens.

Andrew Davis:
So he partnered with them with, with Tractor Supply to get access to that audience so that more and more people would come into Tractor Supply and introduce their friends to the power of raising backyard poultry and it was unbelievably successful. So they've replicated that down other branches of the tree so that the tree eventually gets to the trunk. Most people are building their audience from the trunk up instead of from the branches down. So you really want to start to look at your partnerships by trying to find the people who have access to an audience you've never been able to get access to, even if the audience is smaller than you wish it was because the art is in the trust that, that brand has built already with their customers.

Taylor:
Absolutely. And there's something to be sad about on those branches. People like aren't perfectly fit into a box. Sure, there's demographics, but who's to say that hobby farmer is not also a huge Lady Gaga fan? That is some crossover.

Andrew Davis:
That's exactly right, that's exactly right. I think as marketers and sellers we've always tried to generalize who our audience is. And until the internet came around, we didn't have the ability to target the fractals, the small branches of the tree, but now we do. And there's just no reason for us to treat everybody the same and believe we have access to them. Instead of buying advertising on the chicken whisperer show, trying to build a partnership with the chicken whisper is a much deeper, faster and more rewarding way to build trust with the audience you're trying to garner favor with. And it's much longer lasting. So yeah, so there's just no ... You have greater flexibility if you start ... You know what is a great analogy for this, is the Amazon you also bought or people like you also bought thing on Amazon.

Andrew Davis:
So if you're on Amazon and you're looking at something, a printer, it'll show you at the bottom like people who bought this also bought this stuff. You need to think about your marketing and your relationships and your partnerships that way. What else has my audience probably already bought? And if you're going to their office or you meet them, or you see them on a Zoom call, what's in the background of their Zoom call, what's in their office? Do they like coffee? Do they not like coffee? Because all of a sudden you have this opportunity to go outside of the traditional partnerships that everybody else is going after and looking for partnerships that add value and bring in new kinds of customers that never would have considered you in the past.

Taylor:
Wow. So I think you may have given us maybe one or two in there with fractal marketing, but what are three or in this case one, because I think you've already given us some of these super secret tips, that a business can build an effective brand scape?

Andrew Davis:
The, you also bought one is the easiest one. So like immediately right now while we're just chatting you can start writing down the other things your target customer or client has also bought. Right? So if you sell accounting software, what other things has that person bought? If you target small businesses and you sell accounting software, I bet that small business owner has bought a book called like accounting for dummies, right? So start there. Maybe you should build a partnership with accounting for dummies. Build that map out. The second thing I would say is whenever you're building a partnership with someone don't reach out for the partnership first, prove the value of your audience to the partner before you've reached out.

Andrew Davis:
So for example, in that exact case, let's say you sell small business accounting software. You want to first maybe email your existing customers and clients and say, "Hey gang, here's a quick question for you, have you read accounting for dummies? If you have, did you like it? Thumbs up or thumbs down, we'd love to know." Right? Now if 90% of the audience has not read the book, you've got a perfect opportunity to build a partnership because then when you make that first phone call or you have that first interaction, you can say, "Hey, we love your book. We think our clients should read your book. And 90% of them have not read it." And if it goes the other way and they say, 90% have read it and they all gave it a thumbs up, you still have a great arsenal to prove the value of your audience to that partner. Does that makes sense?

Taylor:
Absolutely.

Andrew Davis:
Okay. And then the last one is when you start a partnership conversation, most people start those partnership calls or discussions with, "Hey, we have a great idea for a partnership and here's what we think is in it for us." If you just ignore that question or that discussion for the third, fourth or fifth call, the first thing you need to try to figure out is how can you add value to the partners business? Because you need to explore that to its fullest so that they understand the value of your audience and how you think they think you can add value. And until you can prove that, or you have a good understanding of it, it's not worth discussing the rest of the partnership because I can't tell you how many times I've thought this would be a great partnership for me or for a client or for a customer or for a friend.

Andrew Davis:
And when we start the discussion and you just say, "Hey, how can we help you?" The things they suggest are things we either wouldn't want to do, haven't ever done or don't think would be successful and it's really hard to convince them to do a different thing than they've already pictured in their mind. So start with that conversation first, and you'll be much more successful in quickly picking the people that you are going to work best with over the long term.

Taylor:
So what is it exactly in addition to finding partners who have that super secret target audience you're trying to acquire and making sure it's mutually beneficial, how exactly do you really pinpoint that ideal partner? Is there a way, like a secret way before you get down the road or do you just have to have all of these meetings and then at some point people are like, this isn't right, nevermind.

Andrew Davis:
No, I think that yeah, you don't want to go too far too fast. Informal partnerships are sometimes the best partnerships to be honest. And you should think of it as an organic process. Like not everybody you approach to partner with, should you expect to be a great partner. So you should think of it as a minor league. Like how many people can I partner with and just try some simple experiments. So for example, if you approach someone and they say, you know what? It would be great if we had a guide for our small business community on the top 10 mistakes that small businesses make when they start their accounting process, right? If you say, "Hey, that's great. Guess what? We have a blog post that we created with the top 10 mistakes small business owners make, you know what we'll do? We'll put together a little PDF guide that you can offer to your audience.

Andrew Davis:
And you should tell us if number one, they find it valuable. Number two, if they are interested in learning more about us or if we can help. And then three, find a way for us to share the information about our product with those consumers to see if this is a good fit." Try a small test first instead of a big partnership relationship and always be willing to give first, instead of get first, which most people are really interested in the what's in it for me when they're trying to start a partnership. And I think if you can first find a way to add value for your partner, you're going to be much more successful and know if it's valuable to you.

Taylor:
That's ultimately great advice for life and relationships of all kinds.

Andrew Davis:
Isn't it? I wished my wife was listening right now.

Taylor:
I'm sure we can get her to listen to it later. So once you have found this partner and you've gone through this thing, is there sort of a best timeline for a partnership? Do you want it to be in a partnership that lasts for 20 years and you guys are doing great job. You've done a great campaign in 2020 and now let's do another great campaign in 2025, which seems insane that, that's a year that's five years away from now. But is it length of time that you should partner with people and how can you make sure that you are being mutually beneficial throughout the whole process and the scales aren't tipping too far to one side or the other?

Andrew Davis:
What I've found is the most successful partnerships are longterm partnerships. They're not campaigns, they're not one-offs, they're not one year, they're multiple year relationships where there's a clear understanding that we both value the same things, which is really important in a longterm relationship, but it grows from small to big, to really deep partnerships. And so I always try to approach a partnership with the idea that this could be a five to 10 year partnership, may be longer. And when you come in with that kind of mindset, it's not how fast can we execute a campaign and then close your clients as our clients. It becomes, how can we add value on a regular basis? And the most successful people that are creating partnerships today are creating a kind of a content exchange that lasts longer and is more frequent and is scheduled in a much more organized way.

Andrew Davis:
So for example, Converse partnered with Guitar Center and every month they both share content to their audiences. Now, sounds weird that Converse, a shoe company would be interested in helping Guitar Center and vice versa, but they also realized that the same people they're targeting are like a fractal that they both have a relationship with. And there's no reason a shoe company can't have studio. So actually Converse built studios all over the world, I think they have 12 now where people who are musicians can come in and record their music. In fact, we were talking about South by Southwest before we started the podcast and Converse actually brought their Guitar Center studio, their mobile one to South by Southwest a few years ago.

Andrew Davis:
It's a really interesting partnership, but they're both creating content every single month that goes to both of their subscribers and it's meant to help the intersection of those two branches meet and both increase their business. So more Guitar Center customers today own Converse than they did five years ago. And vice versa, more people that own Converse are making music than five years ago. And that's the deep value that they both bring too. So longterm is special. Content based is special. The third one is people-based. You want to really think about a relationship that isn't just brand-based like, hey, Converse and Guitar Center are bringing you content, but there are people attached to both of the brands that help foster a real relationship with consumers in a social media driven kind of age. We really need to kind of people power the relationships we're building.

Andrew Davis:
And then the last one is just making sure, like you said, at the beginning that it's mutually beneficial through its maturity. Like look, there's a time and point at which the relationship isn't working very often for most partnerships and for whatever reason, sometimes the audience has changed. Sometimes the content has changed. Sometimes the business has changed or the strategy has changed and it's okay to say, "Hey, look, let's sunset this idea, but let's find a way to close it out nicely and make sure that our audience understands the reason we're ending the relationship instead of just letting it disappear." That's really, really important. And one last thing I should say is I think the best partnerships are the ones that are only focused on one thing, are we both increasing our revenue as a result of this partnership? And if we're not, it's probably not something we should continue to embark on.

Taylor:
Wow. That is all around great advice. And it really resonates with me, as a child of the emo kid age I very much associate Converse with Guitar Center and-

Andrew Davis:
There you go. Hey, good. I'm so glad.

Taylor:
Those things have always gone hand in hand for me.

Andrew Davis:
That's awesome.

Taylor:
And it's fascinating. I love the way its different brands like you wouldn't expect Converse being affiliated necessarily with music, but Red Bull is a huge-

Andrew Davis:
Another great one.

Taylor:
Action sports company now and it's just like so interesting seeing how brands that are essentially a product have now found themselves finding new ways to partner and making it real life events. Or like, oh, well obviously if I'm going to go ski down some mountain into a Lake, I'm going to do it with a Red Bull in my hand because why not?

Andrew Davis:
Red Bull is such a great example because like the whole idea with brandscaping in general is that you can gain access to these audiences at a much lower cost than you can in any other way. And Red Bull, when it was starting out, I had a chance when I was in Austria, I was speaking in Austria a few years ago and I had a chance to hang out with the Red Bull team to talk about their kind of early strategy and the founder of ed Bull is kind of a weird guy, he's a recluse and no one ever gets to interview or meet him, which is actually just a fascinating idea to me. Anyway, Red Bull was struggling in the beginning because it tastes bad, right? People like really didn't want to drink Red Bull, so you couldn't like get people to give him a thumbs up on a taste test and then say, people loved it when compared to any other energy drink and they really had no idea how to get it into the hands of the audience they thought would like it.

Andrew Davis:
And when they realized that they couldn't sponsor any of the sports that these people were watching, they were like, well, what sport is no one watching, but everybody wants to do. And that's when the founder of Red Bull was like, you know what? Snowboarding seems like a big deal and no one's sponsoring snowboarders. Let's go find some of the best snowboarders in the world, and here's the central question they asked, how can we help you? They didn't say, do you want to wear a Red Bull shirt? Do you want to wear a Red Bull helmet? Do you want some stickers? They said, "Look, how can we help you?" And when they said, "Well, we'd love a dedicated half pipe." They were like, "Well, let's build one." And they built one in Austria for them and said, come on down.

Andrew Davis:
And then they said, "Well, what can we do to help you since you helped us?" And they were like, "Well, I'm glad you asked." And that's when they all of a sudden were creating content that was showing these crazy snowboarding tricks to an audience of people who'd never heard of Red Bull and were now in it. So, yeah. Great example.

Taylor:
And I don't even really think of the nasty energy drink when I think of Red Bull anymore. I think of like a really cool action sports.

Andrew Davis:
Me too. They completely rebranded. Yeah, it's an amazing, amazing brand story. And by the way, their content today, I can't remember what year. I want to say 2016. In 2016 they licensed their content now. So you can buy their shows, they broadcast them on television stations all over the world and they own an Indy racing car, which is pretty fascinating. But Red Bull, I think it's 2016, predicted that by 2021 they would make more money on the content they generate than on their sales of an energy drink.

Taylor:
Oh, I have no doubt. It's not like anybody's go to drink that I know of, but it's everywhere. And it's clearly doing well. And I honestly think of Red Bull more as like an entertainment company than I do an energy drink, which is interesting because I think I very much grew up in a notion that you have to be really good at something. Like be good at one thing, don't be a Jack of all trades and a master of none. And now I feel like you can't be a brand without having your fingers in all the pies. Amazon is obviously a huge example. Like how are they the biggest like shipping and assets company in the world, but also have some of the best TV shows?

Andrew Davis:
Exactly.

Taylor:
Like why are those two things related? How did we get here? Every commercial I see now is like an Amazon company. It's just-

Andrew Davis:
So true.

Taylor:
Everyone is doing a little bit of everything now, the landscape has changed quite a bit.

Andrew Davis:
It really has. It really has. And a great way to give your audience or customers that feeling is to really find the right partners who can actually build that eco scape, like really help make a great relationship. It's not just about you, if you sell a B2B product, they just want to be better business people. Okay, well then help them. It's not just your product that's going to solve all their problems.

Taylor:
Well, I mean, we have so much to unpack there, but I do want to switch gears a little bit. You are known for an inspiring talk called the curiosity factor, which is known as the psychological phenomenon, creative brands employ to earn and own attention in a noisy world. And clearly, I mean, there's a lot going on in the world and in a lot of different ways. And with the current pandemic, people are spending a lot more time on the internet and absorbing content and creating content. So how is it with this bigger sea than we've ever had of content that brands can stand out?

Andrew Davis:
I mean, the curiosity factor is an interesting idea because at the end of the day I think most people are trying to create shorter and shorter content to get their audience's attention, which is kind of a direct response to the overwhelming feel I think that most of us have that there's a ton of content out there and we don't have enough time to consume it all. So the idea is let's make it shorter. And I spent a couple of years trying to figure out why we think we need to make it shorter and it turns out we don't. And that's the real problem. Like most of us have made our content so short and we've sometimes been forced to on the social channels that we're participating on, that we've actually eliminated all the elements of the content that actually make it interesting.

Andrew Davis:
So the real idea behind grabbing and then holding your audience's attention is that you can't worry about the length of the content. You have to first worry about grabbing and then holding your audience's attention. And that's exactly what Netflix has figured out, is what Amazon ... This is why you binge watch an entire season of a show in a weekend, right? It's why the entire world all of a sudden watched six episodes of Tiger King, because the content isn't short, it's just unbelievably really well like crafted so that it grabs and then holds your attention. And that's what the curiosity factor is. It's the simple psychological idea that if you create a curiosity gap in the mind of your audience, I don't care if you're writing an email to a prospect right now, if you're going to write an email to your prospect, if you want to grab and then hold their attention, what you have to do is create a curiosity gap.

Andrew Davis:
And a curiosity gap is just a gap between what you know and what you want to know. So let's just go back to a television show. If you're watching Tiger King or you're watching Stranger Things, or you're watching Blue Bloods, or you're watching Law and Order, it doesn't matter what you binge watch. You're watching Friends, there is a question that pops into your mind even subconsciously, and you have to have the answer to that question before the show ends, right? And if it's a really good show and it's episodic, and they're trying to get you to binge watch it at the very end of the show, they introduce a new subconscious question in your mind, and that's why you have to watch the next episode. And that's all you have to do if you want to grab and hold your audience's attention.

Andrew Davis:
So if you're writing an email and you say, "Hey, Taylor, I really enjoyed being on the podcast. There are three things I just wanted to tell you about being on the podcast that I thought might help you out." If I tell you item number one, then I tell you item number two. And let's just say, I forget to tell you item number three, do you think you're going to want to know what item number three is?

Taylor:
Sure.

Andrew Davis:
That's a curiosity gap and that I can expect a response to. Now, I should caution you by the way, that was a really not a nice example, because that's exactly what clickbait does. Clickbait creates a curiosity gap in your mind. They make you want to know what the payoff to that content is. So they say like, you're never going to believe what happened in this video with a lion, right? And then you click it and you watch seven minutes of this video and you can believe what happens, then you feel cheated, right? You feel like they manipulated you. That's what clickbait is.

Andrew Davis:
So you can either use curiosity gaps for good, or for evil. You just have to ... I have to trust that the people who are listening right now are going to use it for good. They understand that you can hold an audience's attention by creating the right kind of curiosity gaps, and you'll be much more successful on every single platform. Even if it's 140 characters on Twitter, or it's a minute on Instagram, or you're creating YouTube videos, forget about how long it's supposed to be and just start crafting better content that really uses curiosity gaps to your advantage. That was long winded.

Taylor:
Yeah, but it was a good wind to ride.

Andrew Davis:
Oh, good.

Taylor:
When you're riding the wind in the hide, take it because it's an important ... I mean, that's the question everyone is looking for. Like, no one types in, I mean, maybe people do, but no one's like, how can I create engaging content? They type, what is the ideal links for a video on Facebook?

Andrew Davis:
That's right.

Taylor:
How long should my video be to make people watch it?

Andrew Davis:
Exactly. And nothing infuriates me more than people say like, well, what's the ideal length for a video on YouTube. The ideal length for a video on YouTube is two minutes and 24 seconds. Like, that's just a fact.

Taylor:
Is it? I didn't know that, wow.

Andrew Davis:
Well yeah, but it's a stupid fact because it's-

Taylor:
Shorter than I thought it would be for YouTube.

Andrew Davis:
Well, I mean, yeah, but it's because most videos on YouTube have an unbelievably short audience retention rate. Most people start a video, they wait like 12 seconds and then they decide that's not the video they wanted. But when they find the video they wanted, the video that does grab and hold their attention, they'll watch 23 minutes of it. So most videos have this like unbelievably precipitous audience drop off rate and that brings the average down. So if you watch a 20 minute video, but it took you 14 videos where you just watched the first seven seconds and bailed, that's why you get two minutes and 24 seconds. The videos that really work that have high audience retention rates keep people all the way through because they understand the curiosity gap. That's it.

Taylor:
So in that vein, how can brands, because there are so many different, there's so much noise, not only in the amount of content, but there's so much noise in like what you're supposed to do and what works and the proven way you get more followers on Instagram, like how can a brand consistently create authentic and engaging content across all of these different platforms that allegedly have all of these different things that you're supposed to do?

Andrew Davis:
You just can't, its bad advice.

Taylor:
That's the most honest way I answer to that question, I say, you just can't.

Andrew Davis:
It's just impossible. And it's really idiotic to believe that you're going to be successful on every platform. Here's my advice. My advice is to kill it on one channel at a time. That's it. So if your audience is on Instagram, then just focus on Instagram. Don't worry about being on Facebook. Don't try to post on LinkedIn every Wednesday at 3:00 PM, don't try to send out an email newsletter. Don't try to have a YouTube channel with a billion followers. It's not going to happen. Pick one channel and kill it on that channel. Your content has to be better than any of your competitors on that one channel and I guarantee you will kill it.

Andrew Davis:
Now, once you've killed it on Instagram, let's say you get your billion followers and you're doing amazing things and it's driving a ton of revenue for your business on Instagram. And you decide, hey, I want to try YouTube, go for it, give it a shot. But remember you can only kill it on one channel at a time.

Taylor:
That is really good advice because I think a lot of people try and fail to be killing it on all the platforms. And they're even huge influencers that have millions of followers on, let's say Instagram, and you pop over to their YouTube and they've got like 10,000, you know?

Andrew Davis:
Yeah, exactly.

Taylor:
I mean, that's still a respectable following, but it's not translating. That is such great advice. Just pick one and [inaudible 00:38:49].

Andrew Davis:
Pick one, pick one. Yeah. Just ignore the rest. And if you're worried about it, just put a note, like I've done this on Facebook. If you go to like my Facebook author page or whatever, it says like, hey, I'd never post here, but if you want to know what's going on, check it out on Instagram.

Taylor:
I love that. Just cut through it and go straight to it.

Andrew Davis:
Yeah, just be honest, like-

Taylor:
This isn't my platform. There has been an enigma for me my whole life, it's never been one, I just don't like understand being committed to so ... Like, what do you say with so few words? It's just one I've never really been able crack and I think I feel this pressure now. And with tick ... there's always a new thing.

Andrew Davis:
There's always something new and there's always something next. And so like, if you feel ... I actually, there's one of my most popular that I do as a speaker is called CMO pizza. And then we basically just slice up a pizza over the course of like seven minutes to show how, since 2000 how the marketing pizza pie has changed, right? There is always something you're supposed to be doing.

Andrew Davis:
Like I was at an event in March where somebody said that Chipotle made a million dollars in one day with their TikTok campaign. Right? And so if you're sitting there in the audience going, oh my God, I got to be on TikTok now, you're now just dividing the time and energy you have into one more slice of a small slice of a pizza pie. And it's just not getting any easier. The people who are really successful are just basically eliminating slices of that pie that they don't have time for, don't have energy for, or know that it isn't going to have an impact on your business. And they're focusing on the ones that really deliver something. So the question you really should be asking is what should I stop doing? Right? Like if your email newsletter has never driven any business for you, stop doing an email newsletter because that'll free up some time to try TikTok, but you can't keep doing everything.

Taylor:
That again, so applicable to life and business, I'd be like, people constantly overwhelm themselves and there's so much of that, oh, I should be doing this. I should be doing this. Why haven't I done this? And then you just like waste time harping on yourself for not doing these things and then you're treading water. So, oh, you are a visionary. Thank you. Cutting straight through that pizza pie.

Andrew Davis:
I'm trying.

Taylor:
So again, you have such an amazing career and I want to sort of like go toward the end of our hour talking a little bit about how your background in entertainment helped or maybe hurt, prepare you for the world of business and entrepreneurship.

Andrew Davis:
I think the main way is that it's always kept me customer focused, because like in the television business you're always focused on the audience, right? Like what does the audience want? What does the audience need? Where are the holes in the market for the audience? What kind of content can we create a hook for? Like a hook is just a simple twist on a familiar theme, right? So in the television business, there are no new ideas and no one wants to buy a new idea quite frankly, because it's too risky. So when you're pitching television shows in the television business, it's all about saying, hey, like we're going to match up to things that are wildly successful and target it towards a new audience. What do you think? And that's when they're like, "Well, yay, I'd love to do that."

Andrew Davis:
So I think that's what's really helped me. The television business, the entertainment world helped me understand that nothing else really matters if you're not audience focused and you don't understand how to add value to the audience's life to create something that is familiar enough, that they can understand it and like it, but new enough that they're excited to give it a shot. You don't have much. So I think at the end of the day, thinking like a television producer helps really keep you audience focused or customer focused.

Taylor:
I love that. And I do have to ask because both of us and I'm sure a couple of our listeners, because a lot of the people I've actually had on the show have had backgrounds in entertainment. What have you learned on the other side of it, like in foraying into business, like maybe that you think would help television producers or like on the other side of things, because the entertainment, we discussed this a little bit before we started recording, like people tend to get so into the creative and the craft and they don't know how to do the business. So like what is the flip side away that you could ...

Andrew Davis:
Yeah, I think on the entertainment side, I wish they were more creative with their revenue models. And I think it comes from a lack of understanding about the potential, especially in a new market, and a new world. How to think about driving revenue for a content rich world, where a lot of content is free. A lot of really good content actually is free and how you can actually find new ways to monetize the audience or work with a brand. I think that's where the problems have really lay.

Andrew Davis:
So yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, you and I both admitted that we didn't get much of an education when it came to, you went to film school and I went to television and film school as well. There wasn't, like no one showed me how to create a budget for a movie or a television show. And it was kind of a disaster when I got into the real world and I was like, wait a second, we have to make money doing this. I thought we were just going to make puppet shows. So I think a better focus on the business aspects of creating content would have helped a lot.

Taylor:
Yeah. And I mean, I think that's really applicable to any creative person, whether you run an Etsy shop selling hats or-

Andrew Davis:
So true.

Taylor:
... or a musician, there's so many creatives that get really bogged down with the, I'm an artist. Like artists must make art, which is so true, but you also have to be the CEO of your own art. And it is great to create art for the sake of creating art, but if you do want to make a living out of it, money does unfortunately play a hand in that.

Andrew Davis:
Yeah. I'm also a big fan of ... I'm a history buff, so I like reading about what's been done before and I always think it informs the future. So like, yeah. So maybe even ... Spending some time to think about, even as an artist, what have people done in the past to generate income for the art they're creating.

Taylor:
Sure. And that might be partnering with someone who knows how to do that, you don't necessarily have to do it all yourself. If you're really good at the art, focus on the art.

Andrew Davis:
Seriously, like the best artists in the world were basically supported by patrons, which at the end of the day is a deep partnership. They were like, hey, I want a picture of my wife. I'll pay you a lot of money and support you for the years so that you can make your own art, but make sure you deliver that picture of my wife. Right?

Taylor:
Sure.

Andrew Davis:
Like that's how it worked. So at the end of the day, I think it's just a great partnership. Like they were funding your ability to create some really cool stuff. And they also got out what they needed, which was the painting or the sculpture or whatever.

Taylor:
Absolutely. So since you have done this, the proverbial career shift, with so many people having a lot of time on their hands, there are a lot of people that are sort of re-evaluating their priorities, whether that's wanting to spend more time with family and less on their career, or just maybe realizing they don't love their career anymore. What advice would you give to people who are maybe looking to make that shift in career, especially when the employment statistics are so shaky right now?

Andrew Davis:
Yeah. I mean, my advice is always to first focus on a problem that really bothers you. So like the first thing I do is I always start, like when I'm reading things or watching the news or listening to a podcast, like the phrases or ideas that annoy me, I think I find a lot of excitement and interest in and they always bring up a bunch of questions. Like the curiosity factor is a good example. Like why do people say the two minutes and 24 seconds is the best length for a video? And as soon as you start asking yourself questions Google can't answer, I think you start going on a journey you never expected looking for a solution or a partner or an employer that is solving a problem that really number one bothers you, but number two can make an impact in the world.

Andrew Davis:
And I think those are the things that really I've found the most exciting in my career. Every time where I've said like, wow, like why is it that this works like that? Or how can or who does, or why is it that? And I go down this rabbit hole, I start finding companies and people that I just want to talk to, and that fire me up and get me invigorated. So I would say to anyone right now who's like, ugh, I hate my job. Or I lost my job or what do I do next? I would just say, find something that annoys you first and then go on a journey, go on an investigative journey trying to find out why it is that way and who is trying to change it for the better.

Taylor:
You are just an unstoppable, good advice machine. So thank you.

Andrew Davis:
That's so nice.

Taylor:
Well, I know we're all kind of in a weird situation in the world, and you're not able to travel as much, but do you have anything exciting coming up that you maybe want to share with our listeners?

Andrew Davis:
Let's see, I have a new book coming out hopefully soon called the Loyalty Loop, which is based on my like weekly YouTube video series that I do. And that's probably the most exciting thing I'm working on. I have a super secret speaker project that's related to my super secret software project, so if there are speakers out there, they want to learn more about the speaker software they can email me or find me online and I'll hook them up with the super secret password.

Taylor:
So much secrecy, I love it.

Andrew Davis:
I know, right? That's a curiosity gap.

Taylor:
I mean, we're all ... our gaps are very curious right now.

Andrew Davis:
There you go.

Taylor:
Well, worry not listeners, I will link to all of Andrew's amazing content. He is killing it across a lot of channels, how you can reach him. All of that information will be available in the show notes, so you can keep asking him questions, keep these conversations going. Andrew, you have been an absolute dream, and I cannot thank you enough for being on the show.

Andrew Davis:
Of course, thanks so much for having me. This has been a blast Taylor.

Taylor:
And to all of our listeners out there, thank you for listening and be sure to tune in next week for even more exciting content. Now, go get your partnership on.

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