28 Sep Amy Anderson – Co-Founder Of Wild Coffee Marketing
How do you make your brand stand out? Matthew Sullivan interviews Amy Anderson, the Co-Founder at Wild Coffee Marketing. Wild Coffee is dedicated to helping your business grow better. Amy discusses with Matthew how customers are hungry for authentic connection. The first step to establishing a real connection with your clients is to know who you are. What do you stand for? Next, understand who your client is. Get into their heart and mind and know what they need. Are you itching for more practical advice to make your brand stand out? Tune in!
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Amy Anderson – Co-Founder Of Wild Coffee Marketing
Amy Anderson, Cofounder Chief Cool Bean of the Wild Coffee Marketing Company. I stole that from your website. I just want you to know that I did actually look through your website.
That’s marvelous. Thank you for doing that pre-work.
I want to steal some of your designs and claim them as my own. It emerges out of the page and gives one a sense of immediate calm, purposefulness and wellbeing.
That was everything I was aiming for and more
I’ve got a bit of an eye for design. I wear stripes and plaid and I’m proud of it
I’m the boring black. You can take the girl out of New York City but it’s hard for me to give up all the black.
Where did you get the name Wild Coffee Marketing? Is it because coffee makes you wild?
It does sometimes but believe it or not, it is a plant that was growing outside of my window in Miami when I was developing my business plan. It’s this vibrant, fast-growing plant that has to be cut back with a machete. I said, “What an amazing sort of metaphor for this company.” That’s what we do for other firms and help them grow.
Without a machete, presumably. You don’t all go to your meetings with machetes in the back pocket. In case we get out of control here, use a machete on us.
We’ve run the company on Zoom for three and a half years. We were ahead of our time with COVID. We’ve started in Miami and we have employees all over. I’m obsessed with this plant. You can’t drink it. It’s bland but it works in terms of stopping power and describing the energy that’s me, the company, and my cofounder Salomon.
One of my buddies runs a company. He’s this fabulous musician and his group was called The Wild Ginger Group or something. He had red hair and I thought it was because of that. In fact, the wild ginger is part of the wild coffee. It’s amazing to see your background. It’s Calvin Klein, New York, skyscrapers. Did you move to Miami?
I escaped to Miami back in 2001. Right after 9/11, we got out and decided to try to make life work in the tropics. It was interesting because back then, Miami was mostly Latin-American outposts of big power corporations. I was in financial services and ran a team of twenty for a while. I then decided I wanted to go out on my own and benefit many companies at the same time and try this consulting gig.
Talk to customers and get in their hearts and minds.
You worked at the New York Times for a bit. Was that ancient history or was that stuff that still sticks with you now in terms of what you learned with some of these big brands?
It was 1995 so I am aging and dating myself. We were part of the group that launched NYTimes.com. We were New York Times’ digital inside of the larger newspaper group. We were figuring everything out for the first time. Where are we going to capitalize subscription rates? Speaking of redheads, the rest of the paper store saw us as the redheaded stepchild, as they used to call us. It was a time of figuring everything out for the first time in journalism and in media. It was exciting and I have carried a lot of that forward because figuring out, “Should you gate content?” That was one of the first media companies that required registration to view the content. Now it’s paid. They set the stage for that back then.
If you’ve been brought up with this concept of content, quality, brands, marketing is one of those strange animals that are vital but you don’t know it. In my experience, most small business owners and many C-level executives within the bigger companies think, “Marketing? Isn’t that where you come up with a logo, slogan or something?” Do you come across that? Tell me a bit about the people that you work with.
We’re industry agnostic. We do business-to-business. We do business-to-consumers. Carolina Skiff, the largest boat manufacturer of boats in the US under 30 feet, is one of our bigger clients. They have a production line that it’s hard to get access to materials. With COVID, boat sales went through the roof. They can’t make them fast enough, which has been an incredible ride to be on with them. Materials are hard to get your hands on right now.
One of the things we learned is that CEOs, COOs and executive teams who don’t believe in marketing bring us on and they say, “We need this growth strategy. We want to expand and we’re in this acceleration mode, but we don’t understand what marketing is and we don’t value it.” We can do the best work in the world and I can’t change their minds. That has happened because even they’ll look at it and they’ll say, “What is this amazing strategy for? I don’t even get it.” You can’t teach that to executives. They have to buy in before you work with them.
I was talking to someone about how marketing is about perspective and communication. This is my tiny mind trying to articulate a vast universe of knowledge. This incredibly talented guy starts with the message because what tends to happen is companies start somewhere and grow, and they don’t know who they are. They then try and layer on top of that a marketing, sales and customer acquisition strategy, further exacerbating that lack of knowledge. Do you try to bring them back and say, “Let’s try and figure out who you are to start with?”
One of the examples he had was he got three CEOs or C-level executives in a room and said, “No conferring but tell me what your company stands for.” They wrote it down and pounded in that bits of paper. They will have three completely different views of what their mission was or their key strategies should be. Do you start by banging your head against the wall with these people to saying, “Do you actually know who you are?”
That’s absolutely where you have to start because that does happen. If many of us walked into a C-suite, the same thing would happen. You have to do that initial positioning, understanding where you sit in the market, what’s your promise to customers, who you are and what your mission is. We do elevator pitches. We’d go deep into positioning in a market, and then you can understand who you’re talking to. We then do interviews with key customers because the reason that most executives think why people buy from them is not actually the reason they do.
Is that a common thread with all of the people that you work with? Do you find that pretty much with every client? They all have that big knowledge gap where they’ve grown to the point where they’ve either forgotten who they are or they never knew what they were in the first place?
It’s almost like, “Here’s a boat but it’s being one-degree off-course,” and then over time, you’re on the wrong continent. Everything is completely disjointed. We go in and do an audit, and it’s all over the place. You can’t see where they started to get off-course. You have to have that alignment. Executives can be very myopic, “These are why we’re good. This is what we do. This is why people buy from us.” When you talk to customers and get in their hearts and minds, it oftentimes is completely different. That’s what you need to play. The value proposition or the unique selling proposition oftentimes is done in a conference room and not in real life.
At what point do you find yourself coming in to meet your clients? Is it at the point where the red flags are hoisted? In other words, “We’re in danger. We’re sinking. God, there’s another one.” Is it at the point where you are at the very beginning where you’ve got your savvy entrepreneurs or savvy business owners who say, “We’ve got to get the technology done. We’ve got to get the marketing done? Let’s bring the experts in, so we start.” What’s the balance there?
People don’t usually call us when things are going swimmingly. It’s the well-funded early-stage startups who have an idea of who they are but they need to refine it and go to market. One of our clients was named The Startup to Watch in Miami. They are in the early stage, $6 million round. It’s interesting, mortgages for foreign nationals.
You wrote about that on your Facebook page. You can name them because it is public information.
They had a small marketing team and then a lot of freelancers or agencies, and a lot that doesn’t work. Everyone needs a CMO-type strategy and we collaborated with them. They have a savvy marketing person in-house and she needed support. We develop the strategy and then we have multiple channels happening at once. In this market, you know that the expertise required to run a marketing team needs maybe twelve different skillsets and you can’t carry that overhead. That is why outsourcing works.
The only reason I asked that is because there is this assumption that to grow B2C, direct-to-consumer or business-to-consumer market, you run some ads. Let’s run some Facebook ads or some ads on Google. On your side, you’re saying that you need to have a multi-discipline approach to this. Explain what you mean by that.
Some of our clients are unique in that they have a direct-to-consumer channel like Milo does, and they have a business-to-business channel. They’re reaching financial advisors, mortgage brokers and then going direct to consumers. Direct to consumer market is crowded in a lot of instances and you have to spend a lot of money to get there. We’re lucky to be able to supplement that from the wholesale side. If you’re talking about an eCommerce business of direct-to-consumer, do you know how to run a referral program? Do you know how to run an influencer strategy? Do you know digital well? How was your SEO going? How is your content writing? How have you optimized your website and done user testing and design? There are so many disciplines within the discipline of marketing now that it’s hard for medium-sized companies with $40 million, $50 million, $60 million in revenue to have their own marketing department because you can’t hire nine people.
The question is do I need all that stuff or was that you trying to sell me multiple things that I don’t need? This concept of influencer marketing or SEO, is that important? After you’ve torn your hair out and banged your head on the table and tried to explain in smaller words why it is, do you see that lack of knowledge a lot?
Sometimes. It’s interesting because we’re not a traditional agency. We are a true outsourcing firm. Our senior team works as the VP or CMO of maybe four companies at once. They’re in saying, “We don’t recommend this, but these three tactics are important in this strategy for this channel.” We partner with them. We’re not upselling and they know that from the beginning that we treat their funds our own. We go to executive meetings and we sit in the C-suite as consultants. A lot of our engagements are multiple years together.
Figure out who you are and what you’ll say to whom.
That’s important because that indicates a level of responsibility that comes with that. That’s what differentiates you from a lot of other companies. I would have thought that if you’re in here stepping into that role, then the typical consultant is a one-way ticket. I’ll give you advice but it’s up to you what you do with it.
They just drop it. We call that the seagull approach, fly over, drop and go. How are you going to implement that? Everyone has a fancy PowerPoint and you’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars. With us, we say, “This is a lot. Let’s get to know each other.” We’ll do multiple days of strategy together and then we’ll hand you a plan. If you like us and we think that we can make an impact on the business, then you can hire us to implement that and do an ongoing strategy. It’s a big trust factor. We’re not interested in upselling you things you don’t need. We don’t skim your media budgets. We’re not trying to sell you things and have you come to us and ask us why it’s not working.
We’re looking for the holy grail of what levers we can pull to grow the business. We are going to take risks in there but we’re doing it with you as partners. That’s why our model is I feel most of us are all client-side our whole career. We haven’t worked at agencies. We haven’t done this work. We’ve been in-house marketing VPs for a better part of our career.
That gives you the perspective that is missing from a lot of agencies. A lot of agencies are in the game working with that. You’re pushing data or information but without that responsibility to actually turn it into action.
You’re only as good as an agency as your marketing leads on the client side. If they’re not setting you up for success or giving you a strategy that works, we have control over the strategy. We’re doing the strategy and then the implementation. It’s a dual model that we find works well and it’s why we’re with our clients for a long time. We have a lot of fun. I couldn’t imagine going into a situation where I’m working on one brand anymore. Maybe it’s my ADD. Maybe it’s my energy level. I couldn’t imagine that.
Do you find that there’s commonality within multiple brands? They have different brands. Different products have different markets and different audiences. Are there themes and commonalities that you’ve discovered that allow you to provide insight where other agencies or other people that don’t have that experience would not be able to?
I think so because we’re in pretty deep. For example, customer data. Where does it sit? How is it tagged? How is it used? How do you communicate with your customers? When do you upsell? How do you upsell, frequency, cadence, and all of those things? We take experience from the boatbuilder from Carolina Skiff who has worked with dealers and direct to consumers. We’re applying some of those learnings to the formal wear business.
It’s an investment firm out of the UK that bought 90 tuxedo rental stores in the middle quarter of the US. They’re rolling it up into one brand. There are things that we’re using for multi-location and multiple dealers that we’re using for formal wear, that we’re using for another client also called Stretch Zone. We are they’re outsource marketing team for them. They have more than 100 locations nationwide and so multiple locations with a B2B plus B2C channels is where we thrive. It doesn’t matter if it’s boats, stretching or tuxedos, we’re able to cross-reference industries with clients.
You mentioned earlier that you’ve been on working remotely or working via Zoom for three and a half years. COVID comes along and now everyone’s on Zoom. Have you found that comfort with dealing with people over a call rather than having to meet up for coffee is helping your business?
I think so because people don’t value physical proximity as they did. People are simply like, “How can you be my CMO if you’re not sitting here physically?” Now, no one’s sitting there. It’s allowed us to expand our client base up into New York and the West Coast because they don’t feel that they need me driving around or getting on an airplane to come to spend time with them. I was on the road a lot.
I can imagine that because there is this feeling that if you are our CMO, then you have to come to meetings. We need to see you. You need to physically be there because we might have some ideas we want to kick around. That I think has all changed. It’s a necessity being the mother of invention to a certain extent. Do you find that now with those people that you spoke are saying, “I don’t actually need to be there” Now they’re saying, “I get it.” Is that the trigger for growth on your side? Do you see your type of model? Is that something where you are now seeing because of COVID and because of that change of approach? Is that now much more exciting for you?
Absolutely, because I don’t know that people want to or can hire a whole marketing team to address the skillsets or to have that commitment and overhead. You have six people sitting in an office and then they’re remote and you have to manage them. With us, you know we’re going to be accountable. With an outsourced team, we have that extra edge because we know that we want to keep our clients engaged and we want to keep these engagements going. We fight hard to produce results, to be accountable, to always be engaged in ideation. There’s some complacency sometimes with full-time teams that we have to fight a little harder.
This concept of full-time, the benefit that you have is you’re so connected to many other ideas and businesses that there has to be this overlap. You mentioned from one client you’re not competing but you’re using that innovation that comes from one industry and you’re applying it to another, which you probably wouldn’t get if you had an incumbent CMO who’s seeing the same four walls every day of the week.
We always have to be learning because if we’re not, imagine if clients are coming to us and saying, “What about this new platform? What if we integrate chat in these ways,” and it didn’t come from us, there’s some real shame there. We’re always learning. My team is phenomenal with that. We’re always getting new certifications by looking at different platforms and ways that we can help clients. That’s amazing but I have found it challenging to be fabulous on a small square on a screen since I can’t be in person. I’m presenting creative. I’m presenting strategy.
Particularly when you’re delivering creatives, it’s the grand unveiling. It’s the reveal. Try to do that if someone’s walking around with that mobile phone in their hand.
I did a presentation and we’re at the early age of this market, and I’m so excited. As a client, they’re installing supercharging stations in gas stations throughout the US to build out the charging network for EVs. They’re at the early end of this market and they gave us this bright and cheerful brand that they had developed. They then said, “Build something futuristic from that.” Sometimes clients give you a set of assets and think that they want something, but their brand lends itself to something cheery, bright, friendly, and that’s not what they want to be. I had to convince them that we were going to depart from their brand. They’re going to have to create some extra work but we were going to go in this edgy direction. To do that on Zoom is challenging. Sometimes I wear big earrings to try and keep people’s attention. Have you been in that situation where you’re trying to keep people’s attention and present your ideas?
The issue is you develop this sixth sense where you watch where people’s eyes are because you can’t hear the tapping of a keyboard necessarily. When you’re talking to people and they’re nodding, you know that they’re sending an email to their mother-in-law or something or they’re tapping away and checking their E-Trade account. You’re like, “I’m trying to do this reveal here.” It’s a bit like fast-forwarding to the end of a video to see how everyone dies and then reversing the back.
With all of this expense in this new age that I think is not going away, which is one of the few good things that came out of the pandemic, are there nuggets of things that you come across again and again when you meet people? If you were ever going to write a book or if I’m ever going to finish the sentence, would you write down the top ten things that people need to understand about marketing? Have you got 1 or 2 of those you could casually drop in?
You hit on it when you asked this question about understanding who you are. It’s very basic. Who are you? Who are you talking to? What are you going to say? It boils down to those fundamentals. People start diving into tactics and they start building things and campaigns and writing things, but they haven’t figured out who they are and what they’re going to say to whom. When you start to focus on those fundamentals and get those in order, then it provides a foundation to build on. You would be shocked at how many people just go in and do without having answered those basic questions.
Is that because they’re not actually solving a problem? How many people do you turn down where you do some research and you say, “It sounds good but we can’t work with you because you’re not doing anything of any use to anyone on the planet.”
Sometimes it’s somewhat useful but they don’t have the budget. You can’t just build things and expect you’re going to go viral on TikTok in two weeks and all of a sudden, you’re going to have a customer base. If you build this phenomenal website and you start posting on social media and you have this interesting campaign, that all of a sudden, you’re going to generate followers because you exist. That’s something we have to manage expectations that it has to be a budgeted, multi-pronged sophisticated approach to going to market and building customers. It’s not often you build things and then you have mandate there.
There’s a great cartoon that that’s my social media manager sent me. I think it was a Garfield cartoon. The bottom line is you have to be everywhere. You can’t just be on one platform. Is there any truth do you think in this concept that you have to build social credibility? You can’t just launch. People believe in you if you’ve been there a while. Is this longevity important? The fact that you’ve been active for a few months or a couple of years, how important is that?
Time is as important as what we call social proof. Are people talking about you? Are people following you? Are people using your product? What are they saying about it? I think reviews matter. That’s a form of social proof. Press matters. Where are people talking about you? Especially in a business environment, people use social media to vet you. Are you active? Are you publishing? Are you saying anything interesting? Do people seem to like you? That’s how people use that and you can’t go dark. That’s a real challenge for businesses. Who would have thought that a private mortgage lender has to be a publisher? It’s as if they had to turn into that.
If you check out someone’s Facebook page, it’s easy to do that, and the last time they wrote anything was in 1954. Even though they’re out there with that new up and coming blockchain-powered whatever the local buzzwords but if they’re not active, is that important?
People don’t want you to try to pretend. They want you to be authentic and genuine.
It looks like the lights are on and no one’s home. Are you being interesting? People don’t want you to be selling yourself all the time. Social media is not about advertising or talking about yourself. It’s about being useful, helpful, entertaining and interesting. We educate clients about that. We love videos.
Those are two things, interesting and video. Our team was having a chat and we talked about Steak-umm. It’s frozen beef sheets. Their marketing on Twitter is a joy. It’s funny, engaging, self-deprecating, educational, timely and informed. At the bottom, it says, “By the way, go and buy some beef sheets.”
That’s hard to do. How often do we see that? Some of the social media teams at Wendy’s are phenomenal. It’s hard to do it right, to infuse humor. Who can’t find things that are funny about beef sheets? I’m going to dream about them but it’s hard to do it right. How much humor can you inject without being too irreverent for a brand? You have to find that link because it can go terribly wrong.
The second thing you said, which is video, there is this common thread that one thing leads on to the other. In the sense that if you keep trying to drive a message home like you’re bashing someone over the head with a baseball bat over and over again saying, “Buy our stuff,” people don’t want to read that stuff anymore. One of the guys that I interviewed is a guy that set up a company called BombBomb. What they have said over the last few years is you’ve got to deliver messages through video. Let’s rehumanized people. Is that what you’re coming across as well? This concept of people don’t want carefully crafted content. They want to know who is on the other end of the phone.
Authenticity and transparency are some of the biggest trends that we’re seeing that it’s taking the veneer off. We’ve all had it ripped off unwittingly over the last few years. Nobody trusts a lot of the high gloss stuff. Even Nike is showing vulnerable athletes in many ways. There are conversations we’re having around mental health and athletes. I don’t think people want you to try to pretend to be something to sell you something. They want you to be authentic and genuine and say, “This is who we are. We’re the people behind it. This is what we developed. We think it might meet a need of yours and if it does great, let us help you.”
It’s the removal of the veneer. The one thing I hate is this vulnerability which is where people will start writing intensely personal stuff about themselves with a view to try and create this effect that they are being vulnerable. In fact, all it makes you want to do is reach for the bin so that you can vomit into it. There’s a bit of greenwashing where companies would pretend to be environmentally conscientious. They’d say, “We’re saving the world. We’re growing trees on the back of penguins or something so buy our stuff.” My pet hate is people or companies that are trying to appear to be “vulnerable” when it’s just part of this fake strategy.
People see through that. If it’s not authentic in its intention, then it will not work. It’s the same thing with using humor, you have to be careful. Trying vulnerability to show that you’re real will not work unless it’s authentic in its intention. Even when Pride Month comes, I believe you don’t capitalize on that symbol or the meaning of colors unless you are genuinely supporting that community.
The equivalent is stolen valor. It’s that thing. It’s appropriating constructs from other things.
I meant to mention this before. You mentioned you’re a social media person and manager that you work with. I find that journalists or people with journalism backgrounds make talented social media professionals. We have all learned that you cannot hire a young kid out of college to work on a brand because they’re good at social media. It requires authentic storytelling capabilities, understanding different voices and understanding a market well. I have hired some journalists in the company who are wildly talented and they tell good stories. They really get a market. They get people and can engage well. There are some of your most important hires because what they do is visible and they require a great bit of talent and experience, especially if you’re working across multiple markets.
That’s is insightful because that leads to the discussion. Is it content that makes ads work or is it delivery and audience selection? Your data-driven approach is to say, “Let’s segment this market. Let’s look at what demographics we believe and then let’s target that.” Does that get better results than, “Let’s focus on the content and the message and what we’re trying to say and hope that that resonates with people that want to listen?”
It’s that authentic connection you’re trying to make. Think about the scrolling and the speed of the scroll and the attention span now. How can you connect with someone in a short period of time to potentially identify a need they may have?
I got an email, which is the first email I stopped and read. It was from someone who in three sentences had taken the time to prove that he had read something about us. I did get back to him to say, “I’m sorry, we can’t work with you but I want to say what a brilliant email and thank you for taking the time.” I now feel obliged finally to speak to someone who’s approached me cold calling and not deleted it.
It wasn’t about design. It was just the connection he or she made by showing you that you were worth the research and that there was some thought put into that. That that matters. It’s a perfect example. I like Lyft and Uber emails and their use of color and a lot of the blocking they do with images but it’s the ones like that somebody took the time and connected with you. That makes sense.
It sounds like you agreed that the stuff that works is where you don’t say, “Let me introduce myself.” It’s the reams of homework that I have to pile through. That simple message, the short one-line or two-line email, “I’ve done my research. I know who you are. I’ve seen some of the stuff. Here are some numbers. You did this. You said that. You raised this. You partnered with this company. I’d love to work with you. Don’t worry if we can’t but here’s my number if we can.”
“Are we a good fit based on these things that I know about you?” That’s where myopia comes in where companies and brands think that they need to talk and talk through. I don’t think you need to say that much to connect or to identify a potential need. In the business-to-business environment, we’re like text-based emails a lot of times that we’ll give to people and say, “This is who we are and does this sound like a good fit to you?”
Less is more and I found that to be the most successful approach. It’s tempting to try and throw in graphics and images and links. “Here is a bucket full of stuff.” It’s the equivalent of the needle in the haystack.
People have to sit and decipher that. I saw some first pass of some work from my team and I was like, “These are great marketing emails.” It’s more top of the funnel. When someone’s in a consideration phase, you need to break through just to show who you are. I said, “When things are more transactionally oriented, please don’t make them do the work. Do this and make it simple for them.” That user experience comes in design, copy, layout and even execution to make things easy on whoever is working with you or might do business with you.
These are the things that are counterintuitive in the sense that you feel like you should have to justify yourself by proving that you have images and you have links. Coming back to what you were saying earlier, you lose the authenticity of that connection.
It’s like showing off. You don’t have to show off your marketing chops all the time. I know visual is fun to present and you think you’re doing the right thing, but put yourself in the shoes of the user. When you open that email and you’re like, “Not another one. Somebody is hitting me up to do business.” Maybe we’re not a good fit, but thanks for taking the time to try to get to know me, to show what kind of person you might be to do business with.
Being able to create that content and that message is a skill in the industry. It is a world unto itself, which you occupy and you’re an expert in. You’re great at building stuff, plumbing stuff or designing stuff, let us help you communicate that because you can’t be good at both things because your brain is not big enough.
Our favorite clients are ones that say, “I know where I’m trying to take this company. We have this concept. We have a legacy business we have had for 50 years but we don’t know that much about marketing and we trust you. We believe in the strategy that you developed for us. We know that you’re tracking 5 or 7 KPIs every month so that you can show how are we doing.” We give good news at the beginning of every meeting. Hopefully, it’s good. Sometimes market conditions change, or we try something that doesn’t work but we have data-driven decisions.
You got data exactly.
Find a better way to solve problems by thinking out of the box.
We have to. That’s our survival. We’re a cost center. When you’re doing business development, it’s a different story. Since I was 21 years old, I’ve had to prove my value. Now we have to do it exponentially as consultants and that’s what keeps us on top of our game. I don’t have a cush job where I can sit and stay for many years.
That’s why wherever I can, I always work with people like you where your motivation is different than it would be if you were on a salary. At that point, it’s natural for you to sit back because you’ve got that money coming in or you’ve got that comfort. If you’re in your position where you’re only as good as your last deal effectively. I don’t mean that disrespectfully.
I’m mentoring some high school entrepreneurship students and some collegiate level ones here in South Florida. One of the things that I talk to them about is that entrepreneurship is a mindset. You can work in a big company and be entrepreneurial, finding a better way, problem-solving, and thinking out of the box. In the environment in which I and my team work, we have a fire because we are only as good as our last deal or our last campaign. It creates motivation and a sense of urgency. Also to be efficient and to work effectively and quickly. Things can’t take a long time because clients need them. We then use too much capacity of the firm’s time on one client and we can’t work on other things. We move very quickly.
For any company, it doesn’t matter what the size, if you don’t have that core marketing capability in-house, then the only logical approach is to outsource it and not to try and build a team. If you bring the wrong person in at the top, then it’s going to be chaos underneath.
I identify people with commitment issues at the executive level. That’s a big commitment to make to a CMO and a team, and you’re paying their health insurance and supporting their families. When it’s not working with us, we can put different people on it. We can pivot quickly and we don’t lock people into an agreement.
The conversation is different because you have a different conversation with someone where you have that contractual relationship. It’s like, “This isn’t working. Fix it.” If it’s someone who’s an employee, you’ve got to approach it differently because there are different rules around what you have to do and how you have to approach employees. You’ve got a lot more freedom as a company owner to get the results that you want by working with people like you.
Do you know where that is tough? It’s with design because it is much like a job interview. You can’t get a pitch meeting for me and then sign me on as your CMO. You have to get to know me a little bit. I have been with my business partner off and on for seventeen years from a work perspective. He and I have worked together for that long. You have to get to know us and decide do I like them and trust them. It is a little bit like that but the design is tough. When we’re in this interview process with potential clients, I see an in-house designer and I’m like, “That whole brand is shackled by one person who’s your employee that you have to treat in a way when you’re giving feedback.” It’s tough with design if they didn’t hit the mark. That’s a tough position to have in the house.
We’d been through this process before where you start with somebody who is not hitting the mark.
You can art direct your way out of it either. When something misses the mark, you have to scrap it.
You can’t. Otherwise, you’re putting lipstick on a pig. All of that was a precursor to this. I have some questions here for you. You have the Hooked On Startups quick five questionnaires. Amy Anderson, are you ready? Fasten your safety belt. Question number one. What is your favorite word?
Ebullient. It’s fun to say. It’s great in the mouth. It means the most joyful of the joy. I’ve loved it since high school when I discovered it.
Question number two. What is your least favorite word?
Moist, for all the reasons.
You’re the second person to say that. It’s a word that has too many vowels.
Actually, my teenagers hate that word. Maybe that’s something that’s coming from all of them. They all hate moist.
It’s the way it’s constructed. It was badly made. Question three. What are you most excited about right now?
I am excited about where my business is going and emerging out of COVID and seeing all the good people doing all the good things and the opportunities that are coming out, finding the silver linings during a time that’s been hard on a lot of people. I’m seeing a lot of good and that’s exciting.
Question four. What turns you off right now?
People who are absolute in their opinions and are not willing to listen to anything else. That confirmation bias that we see happening all around us all the time is hard.
Number five, what sound or noise do you love?
As a Florida girl, it has to be the waves. We don’t have big ones here but I’ll still take them.
I know that’s the gentle wash, the irregular regularity of it.
Even the crashing ones. That’s fine. Crashing is fine.
My next question is, what sound or noise do you hate?
A different kind of crashing. People who drop weights hard at the gym. Why do they do that? Why is that necessary?
Together with the grunting.
The whole thing. Why not just put them down? Don’t drop them. Don’t throw them.
It’s the punctuation. It’s the period of “I have lifted 100 pounds,” crash.
It’s the statement I didn’t need to hear.
Take all the things you’ve learned and get people inspired.
Maybe it’s a demonstration of gravity.
Maybe they’re doing perpetual science experiments and not trying to show off that they lifted very heavy.
It’s the combination of kinetic energy into sound.
I’m like, “Sir, we’re in Orangetheory Fitness.”
I did bring my own weights. This is where the guy brings his own weights to Orangetheory so he can make the crashing noise.
We’re under soft orange lighting. We’re all friends here. There’s no crashing of weights. I don’t understand. It’s like, “You’re in the wrong gym. That’s the CrossFit box down the street.”
Thankfully I don’t get to any of those. It’s far too expensive. I workout and it costs me on average about $2,000 per visit. By the time you left the membership and the number of visits, it’s $2,000.
That’s that fear and that efficiency I need with my money that gets me up at 5:30 in the morning. I find that momentum is important with life and so I am an early riser. I believe if I start off productively, it’s okay if I taper off in the evenings.
I’m a great fan of the tapering off a bit. I like to set myself low standards and consistently fail to achieve them. Leading to question seven before I dig myself into an even deeper hole, what is your favorite curse word?
A lot of people will go with the F-bomb but I like jackass. I think it’s retro. I like how it sounds. I like that it denotes a mule image. It’s like, “What a jackass.” It works for me.
It can be a powerful word as well because, at the surface, it appears benign but underneath, the true meaning of the word jackass delivers that punch.
I know the F-bomb is very versatile but jackass, I like that.
I think I might use that for now.
I think you should but not with your family.
It should be a community in Facebook groups, Bring Back Jackass. Question number eight. What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?
I would love to teach. This entrepreneurship mentoring has been exciting for me. I wonder if I’m meant to be a teacher later in life and take all these things that I’ve learned and get people inspired. I was a kid in the ‘80s who loved Dead Poet’s Society and Robin Williams, and coming into the classroom with panache and making a difference. I wonder if I could do something like that. It’s something I think about.
Number nine, what profession would you not like to attempt?
You’re not the first person to say that. It’s a black art. It’s not because it’s dark. They speak a different language.
They get really excited about it and I envy that. I have good ones that are in my team but let them do all of that and then give me some data to help me make a decision. I want the top layer.
They are on the other side of the coin. We get excited about the metaphysical. They get excited about the absolute because numbers are absolute. It is perfection in mathematics.
I love all of the possibilities of what could be in this beautiful world. I live in a different place.
It’s the left-brain, right-brain thing.
Are you left-handed or right-handed?
I’m right-handed but I’m also a good liar. If the circumstances are appropriate, I will lie and say I’m left-handed.
My business partner and I are both lefties.
I still don’t get what is left-brain, right-brain thing means. I know that there are two sides to the brain.
The thing is it goes diagonally to one of the things. When I play golf, I bat righty and I cut with scissors righty. It’s weird. I wouldn’t consider it ambidextrous. I swing things better on the right-hand side of my body for whatever reason.
You’re universally talented. My final question, Amy. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
“Well done. Open bar to the left.”
The best answer I would say far goes to Amy’s answer.
Thank you so much.
This has been such a pleasure. Final question. How do people find out more about the Wild Coffee Marketing Company?
We are easy to find if you come to WildCoffeeMarketing.com. I’m also on LinkedIn as Amy Anderson and Wild Coffee. I’d love to chat with anyone who thinks that they might benefit from having some outside marketing help. It can be a lot of different kind of people. It’s exciting for us.
I’m sure that both of my readers will be stampeding.
Thank you to all two of you for being here. You’re a great host and interviewer. I’ve loved being here. Thank you so much.
Please come back again sometime. We look forward to following your progress.
- Wild Coffee Marketing Company
- Amy Anderson – LinkedIn
- Wild Coffee – LinkedIn