MK: [00:00:00] I had the privilege of actually being a guest on your show, which I really appreciate that experience first off, you’re both phenomenal hosts. You and Chris. It was so great. And the dialogue just flowed so naturally, so maybe we’ll do another episode one day where I can learn how to be at a good, a good, good ish host of a show and help facilitate conversations.
Kerry: [00:00:41] And you were doing it right?
MK: [00:00:44] Oh. Just try it. I’m trying, I had big shoes to fill here. Come on.
Kerry: [00:00:48] This is as good as we’ll ever get because Katie and I are like the best guests ever. So.
Katie: [00:00:55] Okay.
Kerry: [00:00:56] So your editors like to do kind of much of this stuff out
Intro: [00:01:01] as if it was near this, don’t
MK: [00:01:02] edit out. This is the best part.
This is what best shows are made up. But so, so I wanted to double back on something. So that is the secret to your sauce as incredible hosts. But also part of what actually unlocks the vulnerability, if you will, inside of the guests that come to your show is just both of your authenticity. The authenticity is just palpable and what you do, and it could be the dying plants or the non dying plants, whatever it’s yet to be determined.
But also just like how you both.
Katie: [00:01:31] Yeah,
MK: [00:01:31] just so yourselves in these situations and that draws out the certain level of comfortability in folks that you meet. Do, do you think that that’s part of your secret sauces as just individuals, as human beings? Is that innate or is that learned? That’s the part that I think a lot of folks struggle with.
Kerry: [00:01:49] Katie is such a good listener. You’re such a good listener, Katie, and you don’t even actually a really good observer because people will come in and they’ll look really stressed or something. And Katie picks up on it right away. Even if we don’t know them really, really well. Even if it’s the first time Katie’s meeting them, like she gets the vibrate away and.
Adjusts accordingly. And so right out of the gate, she’s very, very good. Just really observant, whereas I’m more like smashing it with my symbols. Ready to go. Thank God for you, Katie.
Katie: [00:02:20] Well, thank you. But I think that one of the things that make sort of our dynamics so unique is. You know, Kerry, you are definitely more extroverted and ready to jump into the conversation and get people warmed up and comfortable and talking and you’re right.
I am more introverted and I tend to sort of sit back and listen and try to like gauge the situation. And so I think between the two of us. You know, you and I carry, like we were friends within 30 seconds of like eyesight. And so the first thing Carrie did was like, take a picture of me, put in her phone and say, give me your phone number.
And I was like, what what’s happening now? And we’ve been like thick as thieves ever since. And it was one of those instant connections and chemistry and that Carrie and I can just sort of with a glance or a little bit of body language over video when we’re interviewing people. Determine how we need to, you know, speed up the conversation, slowed down the conversation, dig into more, pull back, whatever the cue can be.
And we’re really good at figuring that out together. And. You know, I think that it helps people feel more comfortable to open up because we try to really meet them where they are not trying to bring them to where we expect them to be. And so one of the things that we always try to do is, you know, we give them obviously the instructions, the format, everything ready to do, but then Carrie and I riff on one of their hobbies just with each other.
And we have no shame in making fun of each other as you’ve seen, but it also helps to put people at ease of like, okay, this is going to be casual a little bit, you know, looser, less boundaries, less formal. And we, yeah, we really try to put them at ease within the first 30 seconds if possible. And sometimes it takes a little bit longer to draw them out.
But I mean, the key, at least that I’ve found in my both professional and personal life is, you know, people just want to be heard. Whether or not, they realize that that’s what they need. They just want to be heard. And so really just giving them that platform to really, to talk about whatever they want.
If they do start to talk about work, we try to steer them back to not work, but they just want to be heard. Yeah.
Kerry: [00:04:28] And Katie you’re so good about observing patterns and what they say. So I’m really good at being present like moment to moment to moment fully present and having a lot of fun. And you’re really good at remembering, you know, what they said at the very beginning, which may be by then, I’ve forgotten.
Cause it was like onto the next day, really, because of, so there’s a way to be present. That makes the person feel like they’re the only other person in the world and that this is the way I talked to people, but it also means that 10 minutes ago it was like 10 years ago. And I’ve kind of forgotten about it because now we’re onto the next thing, but Katie’s always got it in mind.
So it helps to have people on your team, any kind of team with a compliment of skills.
Katie: [00:05:05] I agree. Yeah. I think Carrie, you are definitely more of the, I’m going to keep this thing going and I’m the, okay. Here’s that thing you said 10 minutes ago, let’s go revisit that thing.
MK: [00:05:16] I love that. I mean, that dynamic is so important and I think that the two pieces help unlock, especially what you see in your guests is this whole other side, this whole other dimension of who they are as a person who they are probably inside their own heads instead of who they are on the exterior.
And I think that that really goes a long way. So with your podcast, It’s being aimed at helping to bring down, GARS bring down a veneer, bring down, but bring a seven to a certain sense of vulnerability. How do you turn that into key learning for audiences that actually enhance the marketing that they put out there?
Because that, that lack is still everywhere. We go on people’s marketing efforts. If I get yet, I mean, the amount of emails I got during COVID where people were just like, Hmm. In these
Kerry: [00:06:01] trying times ever,
MK: [00:06:06] you know, they, that shall lack is not going to get my attention. It’s going to get yourself right into the spam folder and filter.
And how do you teach marketers that by investing in themselves, in that way of allowing themselves to be their full selves, allow themselves to be authentic, then that actually enhances and accelerates their mortgage. Big jump for marketers to take.
Kerry: [00:06:27] I think having the experience in the first place helps a lot because we have talked to marketers before on the show that are like very, their presence online is very polished and professional and they almost never let any of their personal interests bleed out there.
They’re very sanitized. And so some of them are unprepared. Like they know there’s, they’re going to talk about their hobbies and stuff, but. They’re not prepared for us. I mean, and so a few minutes in, I think they realize it’s completely different show, a completely different conversation and they loosen up and we get into all kinds of crazy stuff, surface things that they didn’t even plan on talking about.
And then by the time it’s over, I think they realized how much value there is in that for people, you know, that, that they’ve let loose and they feel so good afterwards talking about these totally on work-related things and that maybe there’s value in that. For other people. So I think having the experience helps, but also sometimes in preparation they’ll watch other episodes, not always, but sometimes.
And if they do, then they learn things about people that we work with all the time in the marketing space that they never knew, even though they worked with them pretty closely on projects or seeing them at event, after event, after event for like 10 years. And they didn’t know these things. And then they wonder why they didn’t know.
And that kind of changes the way they interact with other people.
Katie: [00:07:45] I think the thing that, you know, marketers could and should also take away on top of, you know, as Carrie’s saying that, you know, having that experience helps is remembering that every single individual person has their own unique story to tell.
So no two episodes of punch out have been the same, even if people have had. Similar type hobbies, their experiences have been different. And you know, people are always talking about, you know, content, personalization, personalized marketing, marketing, and, you know, what’s still happening is that we’re still bucketing large numbers of people into these segments where, you know, maybe they like animals and maybe they like whole foods, but like we’re not taking the time and doing the work to really understand.
That individual unique story that would actually lend itself to that personalized content marketing that people are always talking about. You know, I want the single view of the customer. Okay, cool. You have to do the work to get to that single view of the customer. You can’t just, you know, look at Facebook and go, okay, these 10 people have said they like H and M.
So therefore they go into this bucket. That’s not content personalization. You know, you can’t. Skip over those one-to-one conversations. You can’t skip over those consumer feedback surveys, hearing the bad as long as well as hearing the good, like, those are the things that people are not doing. They just want to get to, okay.
I just want to do more. I want it to go viral and I want everybody to love it. Well, you don’t even know what they want because you haven’t asked them. You haven’t talked to them. You haven’t taken the time. And that I’m hoping is some of also what they get from. Punching out is that everyone has a different story.
And I know that was a bit of a soap box, but this is actually something that I’m working on right now. So I’m like, ah, people just talk to people. It’s okay.
MK: [00:09:40] You know, I think you made a really clear distinction here and I think language really does matter when we talk about personalized. And versus personal, like the suffix ized means it’s a process.
It’s about repeatability. It’s about efficiency. It’s about scale, but
Katie: [00:09:56] what you just said is being
MK: [00:09:58] personal. It’s not about scale. There is no scale in being personal because the data points that you want, whatever that insight is. And like, yes, arguably the data points that you’ve got from, let’s just learning about what motivates people outside.
When they have worked, when they punch out, that’s a really valuable nugget of data. That you can use in so many different ways to build sustainability and authenticity in that relationship. But if you go about thinking about this as an exercise of scale of izing, of ization, whatever that Suffolk suffix may be, you’re going to have bad time,
Katie: [00:10:32] right.
MK: [00:10:33] wrong
Katie: [00:10:33] priority here. You’ve kind of lost sight of the customer at that point. Yeah. You never really had it.
Kerry: [00:10:40] You know, you just Demographics or behaviors or segments, you never really saw the people. And that’s the problem you don’t and not every single thing has to be scalable. You know, not every single thing has to be.
And that was one good thing that came out of the whole, you know, surprise and delight sort of phase that people went through was that it forced them to think about one-to-one what would change someone’s life today? You know, what would surprise them and be so unexpected that other people would respond to that person surprised and be like, I love this person.
They didn’t get a TV. You know, they didn’t get surprised at the gate with whatever. At the airport, but they feel that emotion too. They connect to it. And for them it’s nearly as powerful that positive association with the brand. So it’s like not everything has to be scalable to make an impact
MK: [00:11:28] going back to our conversation too, about AI and introducing automation into the equation.
Right. It’s so funny to see the juxtaposition of people who were like, no, I don’t want automation that reduces the level of quality in the relationship we have. And then when you ask them to go out there and invest that time and energy into the book, they’re like, I’m sorry that doesn’t keep it too busy.
I can’t do that. What is it that, what is the dissonance between these two ports of call? What, what, why are people stuck in these two worlds and what is the bridge to help bond that and bring that, bring that together.
Katie: [00:12:00] Ooh, I know this one. You know, what I found a lot is it comes down to insecurity. And so when I worked in a more academic field the team and I were always trying to introduce a lot of data processing automation to the epidemiology team, and they fought it as hard as they could, because with that automation, they wouldn’t need, you know, as much money or as many hours or as many people.
But the trade-off is that they would have been able to service the clients and deepen those relationships. And so what I’ve. Witnessed and experienced is a lot of the resistance to that. Automation is, comes from security of, will this take my job? What other value do I then provide? And it’s something that we try to do a lot of education on, but also really encourage our clients to do because the number one problem we see that they have is they are so buried in pulling data and reporting and putting together the PowerPoint slides over and over.
And it’s so repetitive. And we really try to counsel them through, if you could automate that and get an hour back a week, here’s what else you could be doing. And we’re really trying to help them see the other valuable things that they could upskill with or things. They already have skills with that they could provide more insights and actions.
They could do more things, and that would allow them to. Personalize their content allow them to scale if they did some of that automation. And if they just embraced it, it’s not going to take their job anytime soon. It all it does. Is it automates repetitive tasks? Yeah. That’s the stuff
Kerry: [00:13:35] you don’t want to do anyway.
Katie: [00:13:38] Exactly. And that’s where the most error comes in is when you do the same repetitive task over and over again, your brain kind of shuts down and that’s when you start to introduce human error. So if you can automate that, then you can use your brain to do more creative and valuable things.
MK: [00:13:53] Hmm. I think that’s such an interesting point about the insecurity here.
And the insecurity is, is stemmed from someone not thinking that they’re just a commodity that can be replaced for easily when really what they’ve not realized is the fact that they actually have way more value to offer. They’re just not tapping into an actualizing, the value and potential that they have.
Kerry: [00:14:13] You need people to see that too at your organization, because if they’re treating you like they don’t value you as an individual, you should probably be somewhere else or you need to do a better job of doing the things that only you can do in a way that’s, you know, more visible. If they just treat you like a warm body that can do a thing.
You’re, that’s not the right place for you. Like you’re never going to be the best marketer. You’re never going to shine that way.
Katie: [00:14:38] It’s a really
MK: [00:14:39] important point. And I think that goes back to what you’re talking about, Katie with the insecurity as well, too, right? Some people are too insecure to call spade as bait and say like this company’s values and how they treat people does not map or align with how I believe I should be treated as an employee.
And as an extension, how I should be marketing and selling to our customers, this goes like, We’re getting, we’re getting deep here, this as well, too. So like, there’s, there’s a side of like the people operations or the HR side of the organization, how you treat your employees, is how they’re going to, as an extension, treat your prospects and customers.
And if you don’t give them those moments of reprieve to be insecure and, or not such like insecure about where they stand in relation to their, their job or their role or their, you know, our hiring and firing. That’s actually going to have impede their progress at delivering personal experiences and really building those bonds and authenticity with the people that they, you want to do business with.
Kerry: [00:15:35] Absolutely. Absolutely. So, yeah. And you’re right. It is uncomfortable to be like, Hey, there’s a problem. And it’s kind of, you. Like that’s always uncomfortable at any organization, but I just, this morning was talking with Ralph stair of Johnsonville. So like the sausage King, you know, Abe Froman from Ferris Bueller, when they joked about the sausage King, right.
That’s him, he realized at a certain point that his, his. People weren’t innovating and that the problem had to be him. You know, he wanted geese that all fly in the same direction in pursuit of the same objective. And instead what he had, where he noticed these wandering like moose that would just one goes off a cliff, they all follow him off a cliff.
And he was like, that’s not the team I want. So that step is hard. And I don’t know if at some companies leadership will never get there. There’s not set up for that. But if they’re willing to take a look at what’s happening and. Change things so that people feel freer to innovate than the kind of automation Katie’s talking about to take away some of the repetitive tasks that like literally any warm body could do an AI could do it too.
They’d see the value in letting their team innovate and bring the company to some completely different level. Hmm.
Katie: [00:16:46] I wonder if
MK: [00:16:47] that realization happened to when some of their advertising as well, started to change and evolve, to pull in some of the voices of their employees. Johnsonville brats commercials were really, really funny in the last couple of years.
And it’s because they actually asked their employees to source like how, like the storyline should be. I wonder if that was a direct correlation between his, you know, aha moment about his impact on stagnating innovation and growth and how he actually went about solving that problem and, and pulling in employees and to create more compelling marketing, which still, I still remember because it was hilarious.
It was really funny advertising.
Kerry: [00:17:21] Yeah. And it’s something he did have to go back and revisit, you know, even after retirement, things would kind of snap back because traditional leadership is traditional. Right. And so you’ve got to go back and say, Nope, that’s not how we do it here. I know. That’s like, however, everybody else wants to give orders and have them followed.
That’s not how we do here. And he kept having to go kind of stir that pot again. And he’s been able to do it, but it’s like setting boundaries in your personal and professional life. You don’t just set a boundary once and everybody respect it. No, one’s like, Hey, thanks. Good. Now I know exactly what to do, but you have to set it again and again and again and again and again.
So it’s like that in business too. Yeah. That’s what you do at Rob. You got to keep having those uncomfortable conversations again and again and again. So like, if you’re going to take every Thursday afternoon, you’re going to leave at four, right? To go to your kid’s softball game or to go golfing, or did you, whatever thing fulfills you, you know, so it makes you a better person, a better marketer, then you need to do it.
And if somebody is going to keep scheduling over that, then you’re going to have to tell them every time I’m not coming, I’m not coming. I’m not coming. You know, it’s just one of those things we all have to do. That’s the value in it though, of valuing yourself is that everybody else will start to value your boundaries then and respect them.
MK: [00:18:29] I think one thing that’s also really important about that too, is that like hustle culture is, is rooted in the insecurities that you were talking about earlier as well. OKT too, but how we can all mitigate those insecurities by actually vocalizing and saying like, yeah, hell yeah, go out there. Golf.
Hell yeah. What position does you know, your, your superstar, softball player play like and, and just give someone that not of encouragement to actually go out there and mitigate any insecurities. It could be in the back of their minds. I think hustle culture is not just how we ourselves are pushing and pushing and pushing.
I also think that there’s societal pressure saying, like, what are other people thinking? Like when I sign off at four 30 instead of six 30 every single day, like, what do you think you want to be doing? I also hear a lot of parents who’ve come back from maternity leave who have. Their time just being present with their newborn, being present with their child and actually feeling like that was a bad investment of their time and energy.
When they came back into the workforce, there is systemics that like pressure from our society that actually foster the insecurity and actually just exacerbated as time goes on as well too.
Katie: [00:19:34] I agree. Yeah. You know, I’ve actually, I struggled with this still. To this day of that, am I doing enough? Am I enough?
And you know, one of the reasons why we started our own company was so that we could make our own rules and do whatever we wanted to do. And my schedule is not a traditional nine to five, and it’s actually worked better for that balance, but I still have guilt because a lot of our clients are traditional nine to five.
And if I’m not available from like, 12 to one, because I’m walking my dog or running an errand, I feel guilty. And I feel like I’m not doing my part as, you know, the person providing a service to them. If I’m not available, when they expect me to be, even though I have told them, I’m not going to be available.
Here’s how all of your work get done, you know, with a certain amount of quality and the value and everything else. But I still carry that guilt that I’m not doing enough. My husband. Works non-traditional schedule. And so his days off tend to be weekdays. And so I only get to spend time with him when he’s off.
And it happens to be like a Tuesday or Wednesday. I still get guilty about taking that time away with him, because it means that I’m not paying attention to my business. I’m not paying attention to my clients because everybody else is working on a Tuesday, but I’m not working on a Tuesday. And it’s not something that you can overcome.
In, in like in women, it’s something that takes, but it takes, it does take time.
Kerry: [00:21:07] And guilt is a learned response. Katie and unlearning it is possible, but like you’re saying, it does take
Katie: [00:21:12] time and it takes surrounding yourself with a team who are supportive and respect your value to say, Hey guys, I’m going to take off on Tuesday.
And the response I get is okay, they don’t care. They know the work is going to get done. I’m the one who’s carrying the guilt. They don’t care what I do. And so it’s now become my personal issue that I need to overcome. And I think that one of the things that Carrie and I are trying to do is help others see that the traditional nine to five works for some people doesn’t work for other people, regardless at the end of the day, if your work gets done, who cares, what you do outside of those hours, if it takes you one hour a day to do your job and you do it.
Amazing. Great. Do that. If it takes you 10 hours a day. Great do that. But there’s no one size fits all because again, everybody’s story is unique.
MK: [00:22:05] I, this conversation has been all over the place, but it’s awesome.
Katie: [00:22:09] So I expected it to be more orderly,
MK: [00:22:14] but like, that’s not how life is, right? Like life is not orderly.
Life doesn’t happen outside of 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Life happens when your dog has to go for a walk and talk to one, or when your partner works non traditional business hours and you got to invest time and energy in that relationship as well too,
Kerry: [00:22:29] when your kids are homeschooling and they need help right now. Yeah, right, right.
MK: [00:22:32] Yeah. I just want to thank you both. So, so much for joining me on this episode of office hours. What I learned from this episode is first and foremost just have patience with yourself and make sure that you spend time celebrating your own five to nine hustle. Culture is real, but it doesn’t have to be real.
Some of it is deep rooted to guilt that seated in the back of our mind. And some of it is also external reinforcement as well, trying to push us into the constraints. Of the five to nine, but the more we spend our time actually pushing ourselves and allowing ourselves to have this space for our five to nines or whatever those life-giving moments are in our days.
That’s when we can be our best. Whole selves by ourselves as individuals, which that means we produce better results at our workplace, better marketing efforts, better selling efforts. And it probably also make, we didn’t go into this room yet, but probably makes us better partners that are friends that are co-hosts on a
Katie: [00:23:27] podcast
Kerry: [00:23:28] together.
Nothing great comes out of like the drudgery of feeling like you have to do it. You know, you got to fill yourself up.
Katie: [00:23:36] Never. I love it. Thank you both. So, so
MK: [00:23:39] much for joining me on this episode of office hours, it was so great to get to spend some more time with you, Carrie, but also Katie, get to meet you and spend time with you as well.
Kerry: [00:23:48] I knew you’d love her.
MK: [00:23:52] And,
Katie: [00:23:52] Cornelius, Cornelius, not Yukon
MK: [00:23:54] Cornelius. Right? Like it’s not named after like Rankin bass
Katie: [00:23:59] Rudolph. You don’t know
Kerry: [00:24:01] you kind of
Katie: [00:24:01] Cornelius. So my husband gave him the name and I think it might actually be named after something along those lines. It’s been so long. I have to ask him again, but I know that there’s.
A reason his full name is Cornelius thunder. And I don’t even remember why I
MK: [00:24:20] normally and your husband to name anything else in my
Katie: [00:24:24] life. Cornelius.
Kerry: [00:24:27] This is Allison’s new product to the heat miser
Intro: [00:24:35] come back next week.
Katie: [00:24:41] Love it. Thank you both again. It sounds like thunder. Okay. Okay. I get it. I get it. Now the heat maps are coming to you in 2021.
MK: [00:24:54] All right. Y’all thank you so much. It was so great to meet you and spend time with you today. Thank you again for doing another episode of office hours.
Kerry: [00:25:02] Thank you. It’s great to be here. .