This week I interviewed Lisa Nirell, author of the award winning book, The Mindful Marketer: How to Stay Present and Profitable in a Data-Driven World. Here is our conversation.
Libby: How do you see your work as the expert on “mindful marketing” as distinct from other marketing approaches?
Lisa: Unlike “how-to” marketing books that teach you how to DO more, I am showing you how to BE more. As digital marketing demands and workloads continue to evolve at the speed of sound, it has become more difficult for marketers to stop, breathe, and reflect mindfully on future opportunities and daily decisions. My book shows marketers pragmatic ways to accomplish that.
Libby: I often tell my leadership clients that they are participating in a new frontier for business and a movement away from old paradigms of leadership that are no longer sustaining. Why is mindful marketing the perfect complement to a more conscious way of leading?
Lisa: I would turn to what we’re observing at Uber. Their behaviors with drivers, customers, journalists, and employees have been called everything from misogynist, power-hungry, and unethical. Yet Wall Street just rewarded them by closing a $1.5B round of funding.
This tension between the “old power” and the “new power” that is emerging is palpable. Citizens and business professionals are raising concern, and seeking a new way to lead.
The real revolution in business leadership and marketing is clearly not happening much at the board level. It WILL happen at the individual and shareholder level, where collaboration and transparency rule. Marketers’ growing influence and natural affinity for communicating gives them a prime opportunity to lead the change.
Libby: Do you see mindful marketing as an extension of conscious capitalism? If so, how?
Lisa: While the two terms may work in harmony, leaders need to be cautious of too much jargon. Conscious capitalism may mean one thing to Whole Foods’ John Mackey, and another to an individual who walks the grocery aisles in search of organic baby food for their children.
Mindful marketing is a standalone way of being. A mindful marketer is someone who influences the hearts and minds of others to improve their condition, or the world at large. Their influence is guided by five qualities:
acceptance of who they are (their skills, presence and true nature)
aliveness (the level to which one’s passion is aligned with their vision)
articulateness (having a broad vocabulary and storytelling ability)
aggregation (gathering inspiration and innovative ideas from disparate sources)
adaptability (maintaining discipline without rigidity, and shifting gears during times of rapid change)
Mindful marketers exhibit several of the 20 qualities and actions that I outline in the Mindful Marketing Meter™. This 2 minute assessment can show you how mindful your current marketing practices are.
Libby: What about small businesses or entrepreneurs? Why is mindful marketing so important in their connection to clients and business growth?
Lisa: As you know, Libby, every small business owner and entrepreneur, or intrapreneur is in the marketing business! At a deep level, our customers can spot authenticity. And the digital economy has amplified our need to maintain consistency across our online and offline channels.
In both the B2B and B2C world, customers complete at least 60%-70% of their buying decision online before they will ever talk to a live person in your company. That’s why mindful marketing principles and language need to permeate every communications outlet you use.
In addition, studies show that more buyers trust answers about your product or service from other customers more than the answers they can find on your website. A mindful marketer understands this, and creates customer and peer communities to ensure regular idea exchange. Sonos, Procter & Gamble, HootSuite, and Salesforce.com understand this concept and are thriving–attributing much of their success to these open communities.
Some of our best growth ideas happen when we are doing other things, and are outside the office. Whether you are planning a live customer conference or an internal team meeting, create moments to unplug. If that means scheduling 10 minutes a day to turn off all mobile devices, and take a quiet walk in the park, do it. You will be amazed by the ideas that emerge. And your friends, family and customers will see the difference. I guarantee it.
Libby: Thanks Lisa! Everyone can find out more about Lisa, and order her book, at energizegrowth.com.