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115 | Data-driven strategies to maximize your marketing budget

40 min listen

How can you leverage your data to make informed marketing decisions?

Join Tony Condi, Sr Director of Global Portfolio and Brand Marketing at Zebra Technologies on the podcast this week. With a fascinating career trajectory, Tony shares his experiences and strategies from his direct mail days to harnessing the power of data in today's digital age.

This episode delves deep into how a data-driven approach not only optimizes your marketing budget but also ensures that every dollar spent is an investment towards measurable success.

Listen in to hear more about: 

  • Strategies for using data to optimise marketing budgets
  • How integrating data insights helps align marketing and sales objectives
  •  A practical example of how to approach a new quarter with a new budget

Tune in now, wherever you get your podcasts:


View the full transcript here

Jon Busby: Welcome again to another episode of the Tech Marketing Podcast. I'm joined, of course, in the booth by my fellow co host Harry. But also by a returning co host to the podcast Alex Norbury. So Alex say hello. Hey everybody. Yeah. Nice to be back. It's good to, it's good to have you back on the podcast.

And I'm really excited to announce our guest for today. Tony Conde, who's had probably one of the most we've just been geeking out in the green room beforehand about PDAs, but has had one of the most interesting and diverse marketing careers. Now landing, of course, as the senior director of Google.

Portfolio and brand marketing at Zebra or Zebra, depending on if you're British or American today, but Tony, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here. You've had this career that span, when you started in marketing, We were talking about this before, like you started with direct mail, you were, it feels like we've gone full circle.

It feels like we're doing more direct mail now than ever before. But how has all of that history influenced, getting, how you do marketing today?

Tony Condi: Early in my career I had the opportunity, Matt might say a little bit lucky to land in a pretty high level position.

Really early in my career putting on large business development programs. And our main marketing channel was direct mail, as you mentioned. And so when I looked at the direct mail, what we were doing as the business. It required that I take a look at our data. We had these objectives that were extraordinarily high.

And frankly, the data wasn't supporting hitting those objective based upon response rates. I had the challenge to say, if I'm going to hit these objectives, what do I need to do? And so I was pretty young, pretty brash at the time, and probably maybe a little too worried about making a mistake.

And I looked at the data and I said, look. If we're going to hit these numbers, we've got to actually target the right people. We've got to understand who we're going to get. What is our audience? What are the personas? What are the titles that we're going after? And what's the volume I need to get to based upon that?

So I made some pretty big, pretty bold decisions, and luckily they paid off and they paid off in a big way. So but what that did for me is it automatically Put in my mind that understanding that the data comes 1st, you got to look at the data. And from there, then you can determine what your next actions and what the, what your next goals and how you're going to hit those goals are.

Really influenced me very early on and it stuck with me to today. Obviously, there's more data available to us than ever. And so that, that kind of that desire to understand the data has really been formidable for me.

Jon Busby: I couldn't agree more when we're when we talk about some of these different marketing tactics, and I was reflecting on this with another podcast guest just this week, actually, around how much more.

Complex marketing has become, there's still some fundamentals that just never change. Yeah. And data's got to be one of those, like when you talked about smashing some of the targets can you give us any context of kind of what your expectations were back then and what you achieved?

Tony Condi: Sure. We were doing, I was getting success rates somewhere upwards of three and a half, sometimes even more percent. On 100, 000 direct mail pieces, that was 3, 500 purchasers. That's a buy rate, right? And so it was understanding again, the targets, understanding the data, understanding the need in the marketplace and getting these people to move to action with it.

So it was really exciting at the time. It was a high point in that space. And so it was really exciting and we had some that were North of that. We had some that were a little bit South of that, but when you're getting those rates, you're just trying to get as much of the data as you possibly can.

And as many of the targets that you can to achieve those numbers.

Alex Norbury: Yeah, that's pretty staggering. I was, I'd love to know what you were selling, Tony.

Tony Condi: Yeah, at the time it was the business development program. So we were selling, we we actually. Our product, we worked with the best authors and speakers and gurus in the business.

In fact Stephen Covey, the legends within the business to business the B2B training and development, the coaching space. And we brought, we had a product that was unique in the marketplace and we were able to bring it to the masses pretty much for the first time.

So that's, that, that's what enabled us to really achieve those rates.

Jon Busby: Those kinds of rates, I would be. I would say would be above benchmark for emails today. And we're talking direct mails. Like you, so you mentioned you brought that data driven approach to that campaign.

Like how did you target your direct mails in that day? And what, and I guess I'm going to ask the question, like, how do you transfer that to marketing today? Is this still relevant today?

Tony Condi: Sure. So a lot of it was sources of data. So where are the sources of data that, that I could get a hold of?

For the people that were in business that had the budgets to be able to make these buying decisions that had, so I had to target both the decision makers, but also the influencers. In this instance, the influencers had a strong ability to go to the decision makers to make that buy decision. And then some of it would just scale from there.

So it was understanding the sources of the data where I could acquire the data from. The titles, the personas, the businesses, the firmographics of the businesses, and then really understanding what that looked like in a specific geographic area. So all those pieces of the puzzle is no different than what we do today, right?

When we're acquiring intent data. We're trying to acquire the intent of people that are, that have a propensity to purchase what we're looking to sell them, right? So all of that information is 100 percent transferable to the way that we market today, there's so much more. One of the things that the challenge today that you have to do, you have to sift through so much more data to find out what's relevant versus what isn't.

But also putting it in the proper platforms. We did a lot of cleansing of our data at the time too, so that we weren't just wasting, sending bad bad information out there, if you will. And so by looking at all those aspects of it, it was just basically more of a manual way, but the, but no different than the way you have to look at data today.

Jon Busby: Okay, yeah, I couldn't completely agree. With marketing. With any kind of activity, but especially with marketing, there's always a few blips before you get to those successes. Tell us on the do you remember any of the journey you got to before you got to those amazing response rates were there?

Were there any fails? Was anything that went wrong as you tested out that strategy?

Tony Condi: Again, maybe I was too maybe I was too stupid to make some of those wrong decisions. There certainly might be a marketplace. There might be. I got a little aggressive at times and maybe I expanded the geography a little bit more and maybe I went into a marketplace that couldn't support it.

And I thought, hey, I'm going to get a 5 percent response right here, and I didn't quite get that, but on the scale of the way that we were doing it, I had the ability to make those mistakes and make those decisions. And so that's the way I would look at that. And there would also be some pieces of the data.

1 of the keys was evaluating the data. Afterwards, an understanding based upon my response rates, which ones worked, which ones didn't, which ones were getting me 4 percent which ones were getting me a half percent, which ones were not getting me anything. And so then was the quality of the data good?

Maybe that maybe it was, even though I cleansed the data, maybe there were too many duplicates in there. Did I look at all those types of things? So when I did some of that. Luckily, I had the skill to be able to make up for some of those, but it was understanding that the individual data sources and which ones are being successful versus which ones were not and making the proper adjustments as we move forward,

Jon Busby: which I mean, that's exactly how we would approach campaigns today, right?

All of that is 100 percent transferable.

Tony Condi: Yep. When you think about your channels, right? Your various different social channels, right? Some are going to work better than others, and some of the targeting might be better. So you have to evaluate each one individually. You can't look at them holistically because whether it's linked in or Facebook or whatever else it might be, each platform is very different.

So they must be evaluated individually.

Jon Busby: Is there, especially in today's kind of market, right? So we are Driven by those quarterly numbers, right? We are, at the end of each month, there's always that drive to say we need to close out this month. We need to do better than last quarter.

Is there ever the temptation to, ignore some of the data and spray and pray, if you will what kind of impact can that have?

Tony Condi: There's always that temptation. I think there's always that temptation as a marketer to do some of those things. And I think it's core it's core for us as marketers and as marketing leaders to resist that temptation, right?

And understand you got to stick to your metrics. You have to stick to the principles that have got you where you're expecting to go. And then understand some of those things. Try to avoid those things. That doesn't mean you can't pilot. You can't test. You can't try things. As I mentioned, when you look at various different sources of data, you're not always going to just really hit it way out of the park to use an American baseball term, you're not going to always, but sometimes, just, you might fail and that's okay.

As long as you fail forward and you learn from it and then you apply the principles that have worked. Yeah. Again and again. So just got to be careful with that. I think it's one of the pitfalls that marketers fall into and saying, Hey, I got to hit this number, but it, what number are you hitting?

Is it really driving the business forward? I think that's one of the things too when I make decisions, what's right for the business, is it right for me at the time? Because I need to hit a metric that may not prove to drive revenue or value for the business. Then that's not, then that's not a metric that I need to be focusing on.

Alex Norbury: In terms of the data set today, you, we talked to a minute ago about the level of complexity and depth changing now, based, just on the availability of information, especially around intent what's new what, where are you getting new levels of insight from, and also how does that relay it back into the sales team and the type of insights they're providing?

How's that working for you?

Tony Condi: So number one, you've got to have a strategic, strong partnership with sales. If you do not have that, then it's just not fun for anybody. But when you do have it, that relationship is as powerful as they can become. I always like to say, look. When I'm working with sales, we're providing information back and forth to one another, to the right people that they want to target, to the right campaigns, to the successes that I'm having.

Therefore, if I'm doing a campaign, that's not successful and sales is letting me know that the leads that I'm providing them are not providing value. They're not converting into opportunities and I need to stop that campaign. I need to do something different, right? So I've got to look at it. I got to look at it through that lens and that partnership with my sellers.

When you've got that partnership, then, I always like to say marketing doesn't close deal sales does right? And so I always try to take that approach with them. I want to provide you. With the proper contacts, the proper leads, the proper opportunities so that you can drive revenue for the business.

It's about pipeline creation, right? And so that's the way you look at those different pieces of data. That's the way that in terms of the tools, your systems have to be set up your CRM. Has to be set up to understand that it has to be able to provide you the information on what's working, what isn't, and actually how they're moving through the pipeline, because if you don't have that information, then you're beginning to fly blind.

Harry Radcliffe: I'm interested in the failing forward idea that you put down to us when you recognize something. Is failing, you know Do you? Withdraw that immediately and then minimize the losses of that or do you try and fail it all the way To get as much data from that failure as you can. I play a lot of like card games and stuff I like to do that and the really nerdy ones where there's 10 000 different cards and you put together like decks And if you're going to play five or six games with someone and you're losing this one You Rather than take a two, three percent chance at winning, you're often better to lose really hard and make the game go longer so you have more information on what cards they have.

Is that would you apply that strategy? Or would you rather cut losses as soon as you have the information that you're doing something wrong?

Tony Condi: It depends on the it depends on the particular activity and campaign once I've received enough information to know that this is not working and it's not going to work.

I cut my losses. Or I adjust, right? You don't necessarily have to completely cut and, cut and stop doing it. You can adjust to try to see if those additional efforts. We always talk about a B testing, right? That's core. That's core to a B testing. You look at what's working. What's not.

And then you adjust accordingly based upon that, right? So that's a midway type of thing. So you look at it based upon the activity that you're measuring against. If you're towards the end, maybe it doesn't make sense to stop it. But if you're halfway and you have enough information that you can speak with confidence that it's not working, go ahead and adjust and shift those dollars somewhere else.

Our resources are too precious today, right? We can't afford to just keep doing something for the sake of continuing to do it. And I think sometimes marketers do that. They get stuck in their brain. Why made this commitment? I need to keep, I need to keep doing it. But with resources being so precious and budgets being what they are, you want to maximize the value.

You want to maximize the ROI of every dollar that you have. And that's the way that I approach it.

Harry Radcliffe: Do you need to know why something isn't working before you cut it? Or just do you just need to know that it isn't working?

Tony Condi: No, I need to know. I need to know the why and I need to know it's not so I want to know the why it's not working because if I know the why then I can make the adjustments.

And then if it's if I can't make the adjustments or I can't figure it out. Then it becomes a decision point, right? Do I go ahead and stop it now and evaluate later? Or do I say maybe it just takes a little bit longer because there are absolutely programs that just take longer.

You can't automatically assume that, I mentioned the direct mail. That was a quick buy. I knew I would know immediately on that. But in the tech world, for example, you're buying cycles, three, six, a year, two years. It's going to take a bit longer to really understand those. So a lot of times from a marketing perspective, you're higher up the funnel and so you look at that from there, but you really, many times won't know the true success of a campaign or an activity until six, nine, 12 months down the road.

Alex Norbury: How long do the campaigns that you're delivering, how long do they last, Tony? Cause you know, we all know that those tech buying cycles are really quite long But in our experience, most technology companies, and you're launching products, all the time, often only run for a very short amount of time.

I don't know whether you've got any perspective or any view on how Zebra are doing it, or how you've done it or do you see, and do you see Changing, i. e. longer term thinking.

Tony Condi: Yeah, Zebra has gone through a journey and we actually today currently are actually taking the longer view of it and it's really exciting for us because we've evaluated the fact that maybe we weren't being as efficient as we possibly could with some of those shorter campaigns and some of the smaller budgets.

So one of the things that that working with our digital team, our campaigns team right now, I'm really excited about is the fact that we're We are taking that longer term approach. We're taking it across all campaigns, whether it be vertical campaigns and product led campaigns, and then there, therefore we can be in market at every point in time to drive the business forward.

So it really is more about that longer game in the tech space. And you're exactly right. If you're running a campaign shorter than three months. Unless it's just because you're just trying to recruit for a webinar and then you're doing a call out on top of that. Certainly those things are shorter term, but when you talk about a full blown campaign, they really need to be in market a quarter or more before you can actually start to derive value from them in the tech space.

Jon Busby: Yeah, I think that's what was going through my head is like, how do you balance, because some tactics today, especially when you start to include how and we talk about this a lot on the podcast, how the B2B buyer is doing their own research, like relying in investment in sowing a foundation that has to be there for 6, 9, 12 months before you start to sow results.

So being able to weigh up when you throw the towel on a particular tactic, can. Have you got any tips on when, on, on how you vary that? Or is it just down to intuition?

Tony Condi: No, again, it's down. It's not intuition. People say this all the time, marketing today is truly a science.

It really is a data science. And so again, you just have to be informed by what the data is telling you. You can know literally 30, 45 days in, if things are failing and you can make that adjustment just by looking at the data. If you've been in market 45 days, just mentioning the, this long view, we're going in market.

And I've got a 30 day checkpoint and at that 30 day checkpoint, we're going to be looking at the data and say, Hey, what's working because the systems themselves also have to learn too. So you've got to understand both your platforms and your systems. The systems have to learn. There's so much AI in the world today around marketing to go along with all this, it's just all there and then all is complimentary and they work together.

So again it's a science, it's a data science and you look at the data and from there you make a decision. If you don't have a, if you don't have enough data at that point in time, that's fine. I need another month's worth of data. I need another 15 days worth of data. And I, and then I can look at it from there.

Alex Norbury: I would love to understand. your view on AI and if you're using it and how you're using it. And is it providing any kind of difference that you can see right now?

Tony Condi: We're in the place. I think a lot of people are right now. We're doing a lot of testing, right? We're doing AI, maybe in, from a copy perspective, certainly AI from the perspective of, things like you're, Click to chat platforms and things of that nature we're testing the, we're testing the ability to use AI in, certainly translations is a great place where you can use AI looking at AI from a copy and a web perspective on those types of platforms and AI as always going to is always going to be a piece of the puzzle.

On any of the kind of the digital marketing efforts and some of the targeting targeting things, because it's a lot easier for the systems to learn than us as humans can do on some of those types of things. A lot of testing right now. I think the future is going to be very bright. I think the future is going to be a lot of opportunities, but that's really the same place that.

All spaces are trying to figure out where the proper niche is where I can apply AI. There's a specific email tool that's an AI platform that fooled me. And I was just like, you've got to be kidding me. I got fooled. I was sitting there chatting back and forth with with an AI and an AI prompt.

And so it's pretty robust. Some of the things that you can do today. I think it's important for us as marketers to stay abreast to what's available to us so that we can, so that we can apply them where appropriate. I also think it's important to understand where they're going to plug in and, and then from there that's how we can understand to build our processes and procedures around

Alex Norbury: that.

Everyone's in that kind of space of figuring it out, but not necessarily really understanding whether it's either saving the money Or whether it's increasing the quality of the output yet there, where we're all still figuring it out right now without anything measurable yet. But yeah, just wanted to ask you.

Thank you.

Tony Condi: Yeah, like, when I plug things into, the AI tools, I've been writing a long time. I'm a better writer than the AI tools. And it's easier and I, I'm actually probably a better editor than I am a writer. So that's why I sometimes apply that. But, but it's but really, the output is, it's, it's a lot of puffery and, it's just random words that are put in there.

I've never found the quality to be, To the level of a really great writer.

Jon Busby: Amazing. Yeah, I think, and I think that's the general approach we're seeing. We made it nearly 30 minutes without mentioning the AI word on today's podcast. But everything you just mentioned, you used a really important word there, Tony, which was testing.

Like it all comes back like right from the beginning of your career, all the way through to AI now, like those fundamentals haven't changed is what I'm learning. Is that you've got to have this data driven approach to objectively look at things. I want to come back actually to one, one minor comment you made really early on that just intrigued me.

Use the term influencer when it came to data. And I'm intrigued, like when, what do you mean when you say influencer? And how do you factor that into a campaign today? Like moving away from some of the AI elements, like how have you factored that into a marketing campaign for success?

Tony Condi: Yeah.

When I say influencer, so it's the, in the person that is going to influence the buying decision within the buying committee or the decision makers. And so that's what I, when I'm talking about influencer, I'm not talking about a social media influencer. I'm talking about an influencer within the buying group.

And those people may be the users of a specific technology because they're the ones that have to use it on a daily basis. And if they're not seeing the value and the quality, they're influencing the buying committee, they're influencing the decision maker. So it's important that you target those influencers and you understand.

Now, That being said, because budgets are what they are, you have to be careful what level of influencer that you can get to. I can't always get to every frontline worker, for example, and every frontline worker may not have access to the, they're, they're more folks that may be working in a warehouse or something like that.

And they're not on PCs where I can actually get to them. Not necessarily down to that level, but maybe their managers and things of that nature, who are, who are really looking at that and they're taking the feedback from their frontline people and you're including them in there.

So again, it comes down to targeting, understanding my buying group understanding the decision makers, what roles the influencers play in that decision making process, and then deciding my channels accordingly.

Jon Busby: Which is just, yeah, the only thing that's changed here is the channels. And even then, of course, direct mail, we can have the debate like, is direct mail coming back?

Because when Amazon is sending catalogs out, I believe direct mail is coming, catalogs now the world's long, the world's biggest one of the world's biggest digital portals and they're sending out catalogs now. Direct mail will stand out. I got a direct mail kit the other day, right?

Tony Condi: It was this box and it just had a postcard in it. They could have sent the postcard, but they know that postcards don't work. So they put it in a box and guess what? I opened up the box.

Jon Busby: I'm, we actually haven't seen any of those Amazon catalogs in the UK. Are they using you thinking about the.

The combination of the fact we can now personalize things at a hyper personalized scale, talking about data, but also the fact that they could probably print these on demand. Did you, if you've received one, was it heavily personalized based on your, or was it very much a kind of one shot to a whole set of zip codes?

Tony Condi: Yeah, this one was the ones that I have received and I've received the multiple ones and I've received them from other groups as well. It was a little bit more generalized around specific holidays, right? So around Christmas, around back to school, and it was more about the, the specific products they were targeting if in working with Amazon which I've done some work with Amazon over the years.

Obviously they're a huge and they're a great marketing engine. And so when you partner with them and depending on your level of advertising spend, they may include you in that if you're particularly right there or other types of outbound campaigns that they're doing or display campaigns.

I guess we always use the case study of the target. Personalized direct mail that unfortunately this case told told a family that that one of their daughters was expecting sooner than even she realized just based on the previous purchases. But do you bring data back into kind of some of the marketing tactics that we're talking about here?

Jon Busby: Like what role does personalization and how have you used personalization and data together to drive impact?

Tony Condi: Yeah, I think, personalization is personalization. Personalization is key, especially when you start talking about ABM types program type programs and campaigns. And that's where you can see the larger value.

You can personalize down the individual level. You can personalize down to more of the industry level rather than just the technology level. There's the various different levels of personalization. We try to use web personalization as possibly cancer that we're displaying to them.

We're getting them to the. The proper place faster with the verticals and the information that they're that they should be most interested in. We do a lot of that really at that vertical level and then try to bring in some of the individual pieces and components to it. Really more specifically at the ABM level, we do ABM one to one and we do ABM one to few and depending on the targets, both of them can be be successful.

But when you're doing it at that level, it allows that it allows you to hyper personalize a little bit more than saying, hey, I'm just doing more vertical. Targeting and personalizing that way. So it's the various different levels of personalization.

Jon Busby: And I think that's where some of the coming back to AI as well, that's where it's getting super interesting.

So we've covered bringing all of those elements together. So we've covered your background. We've covered the approach with data in the last few minutes. We've also talked about personalization, some of the different tactics, when to proceed and when to potentially call back or pull back on a campaign.

Let's bring this all together in a practical example. This is I don't, this is actually not something we've done the podcast before, but I'm super intrigued to see where we land here, right? So we're just about to finish off a quarter, right? We've got April 1st just on Monday here.

We've got a brand new budget and a new product to launch. Let's start building a campaign live and see where we land. Let's bring some of your experience in here, Tony. So from day one, like how, And let's use a physical product that we're selling as an example, but it's, we're gonna, we're gonna make it B2B like.

From day one, how do we ensure we're maximizing our white? What's the foundation that we need to set up?

Tony Condi: First off, you got to understand the objectives, right? If you're launching a new product, you have to ramp that product, right? Depending on if it's a new product introduction or that's bringing, that's completely too new to the market, or it's the next generation of the product, you have to understand what the objective Of that particular launch is going to be what the ramp period of that product is going to be.

And how does that product fit into your overall marketing mix completely? We try not to do point based, simple product campaigns, because. It's very, we don't necessarily know exactly what products we try to incorporate that more in our overarching marketing plans. So once we understand the objective, then we have to understand both our individual marketing channels, but then our go to market channels.

So we're a channel driven business, right? So we sell a lot of our products through our channel partners. So then we have to enable our sellers. We have to enable our channel partners. We have to enable our regions to help us. Launch this product, drive the campaigns. And so we build the plans in conjunction of thinking about all of those aspects and then the budget of applying the budget dollars accordingly, and then also thinking about pricing and promotions, right?

And once we understand the pricing and the promotions that we can then get to our. And we can get to our sellers. We can get to our partners. We can then understand how we're going to ramp those ramp that, that product off and then ultimately launch the product. Are we going to do a launch event?

Are we going to launch it at an event? And again, all these pieces are the various different channels that we have to the puzzle your social media channels that you're doing, your PR channels your sales channels, and then looking at that holistically building the plan about that. around that. We do a very good job as zebra.

We have a very defined product launch process that incorporates all aspects of the plan to help get us to that get that launch and also communicate it internally, but then also externally from there. So that's what's exciting about the way that we go about things. And then we think about, hey, if this is if this product is replacing another one, we've got to then end of life that product and look at our data.

Once again, to understand, we can target those people to upgrade to the latest and greatest product. And is there a condition of interest? Is there a reason why they need to upgrade from this product to that product? And if there is, we leverage that information and we apply that information to be successful with these particular products.

Alex Norbury: Just to follow up on that, Tony, how much of your investment is brand versus demand? So you launch a new product and you talked about, of course, going into existing customers, you might want to be upselling it, or you might be one of, upgrading it. But across the board, like how, on average, how much you investing in brand activity as part of this launch that we're going to do.

Versus, down the funnel events, linkedin demand content syndication. What's the split?

Tony Condi: When you think about brand as a whole, brand has to be complementary of everything we're doing at any demand level, at any product level. So if you've got a strong brand message, That brand message support should support everything else that you're doing further down the funnel from from a campaign perspective.

If you talk, if you're talking about simply a brand awareness campaign, in the B2B space, we we spend a small portion. We certainly have brand awareness campaigns that run globally, but those brand awareness campaigns are then supported by our individual. Demand campaigns, which are inclusive of our product campaigns that fall within them.

So we are, we are a big market leader in our spaces. So we are well known there, but we're certainly not known by everybody. And certainly some of the other verticals were much less net. And then some of our expansion verticals were not known at all for.

And so in those instances, we may spend a little bit more on brand awareness, let people know that zebra has a right to play in these spaces, and we're focusing a little bit more from there and from there. And from there, then we come back in with our demand types of programs with our regions, our portfolio types of programs that fit within that.

I think sometimes to, if it's just a general Super Bowl ad or something like that, or World Cup ad was just putting our logo out there. We don't spend a lot of money on those types of things because there's a lot. That's more of a spray and pray approach that a lot of those people aren't even our target audiences.

So we focus more down within when we're doing. Awareness type programs within our vertical spaces to understand that and then complimentary with our demand campaigns and our regional programs. And so it's, I would say it's more focused further down the funnel, but. It's complimentary to

Alex Norbury: everything that we're doing at the brand level.

Okay. Thanks, Tony. That's great. And I just want to, follow up with, as I say we're launching this new product. How do you go about ensuring that the campaign that you're going to be creating, how do you make sure it stands out, not just against what you've done before, but against the competitors and actually everyone else advertising to them?

How'd you go about that?

Tony Condi: Number one, you have to understand the outcomes that it can deliver for the customer. If my product is going to deliver an outcome that is superior to my competition. Now, I'm looking to differentiate myself from the competition. What are the outcomes that I can deliver that my competitors cannot?

What are the other differentiating factors that I can deliver that my competitors cannot? competitors cannot. And then from there, building my campaign accordingly to highlight those types of things. So it's, the valid business reason why is a term we're using a lot within zebra.

What are the reasons why you should choose us over anybody else? We, we like to always say that, if you choose zebra, you're not going to, you're not, you're going to be supported and you're not going to be, you're not going to make a mistake, right? So no one ever got fired from buying zebra, right?

One of those old adages is simply the case. Now, some of our folks internally don't like us saying that, but the reality of it is zebra is always going to be there to support you. We're going to always be there to drive innovation. We are going to, we are always going to have what I would say are the best products in the space.

Therefore, we command a certain level of trust. But beyond just saying those things, we have to prove it. We have to prove those out to our customers. And we have to be able to get inside and demonstrate that value. To the customers as well. So those are the types of things that we think about in terms of differentiation.

Certainly as a marketer, I like to be the most creative. I say really cool campaigns from there. Cool. Creative is always wonderful and great. But it only goes as far as the message and the value that I can deliver to my to my customers.

Alex Norbury: Yeah, I was going to say, I was going to see where Brett where the creative, the scale of your creative braveness was probably not a great word like where that was laying at the moment, Tony, you are you still continuing to push or are you finding yourself getting safer and safer?

Tony Condi: I'm never a, I'm never a safe marketer. It's called me a cowboy back in the day, pushing certainly it's critical to stay within a certain set of guidelines, but there's always the ability to push things forward. I think that I think within zebra, we have the ability to push things.

But also not get, get a little bit, crazy. I spent a lot of years at Motorola 100 year brand. Sometimes they had, the appetite was a little bit less I managed the brand for for Motorola. And so it was you had to be a little bit more careful at Motorola but we are trying to do.

New, innovative, creative types of things. And I think we've got an innovative brain right now. I think we continue to get more innovative and we have the opening and the ability to do some really nice and cool stuff.

Jon Busby: No. Okay. Sorry. I'll jump. So the So we've planned this campaign that obviously threads in from some of our brand activity, takes into account some of the customers new needs.

We've used our data driven approach to target them on. We know we want to do some bold creative as well. We're going to we're going to wear our cowboy hats for this one. As we just said, like, how do we go and get the board? On board with this plan especially now where we're being asked to do more with less how do we go and get them on board with something?

Especially if we need to be a bit experimental and we need to potentially, try some new tactics or technologies.

Tony Condi: Yeah it's goals and metrics, right? The board cares about revenue, right? And they care about what's going to get you to those and the executive team, they care about revenue and they care about the metrics.

They'll give you the opportunity if you're upfront and you're honest and you're clear and you have the same shared goals, the same shared metrics and the same shared timeline, right? If you hit your goals, you hit your metrics on those timelines, you're going to be given the ability to continue moving forward now, certainly.

Executive teams have a tendency to get a little bit impatient. But I think what I see and a lot of times with the most successful executive teams is they understand that I've got a product that is, is been in market for a while and I had to have a certain ramp expectation.

I should hit those ramp expectations. Absolutely. But if I'm going into an expansion place, I got to understand, I've got to build some of this brand awareness. I have to build some of this trust with the partner community. I have to build some of this trust with my customers. And then from there, if you're hitting your metrics along the line, then the board and then the executive team will support and buy in.

We've actually got that instance going on within zebra today. And it's really exciting because our executive team is very supportive of where, of where we're going. And really the future the future of zebra, we've got a lot of opportunity within our business and it's really exciting.

And so that's the way you do it. It's about being. Metrics, goal and timeline oriented.

Jon Busby: I completely agree. Having worked in so many different organizations and reported into so many different boards. I'm sure do one thing we've been debating on the podcast over the last six months or so has been how, that CMU start again, that CMO tenure, What is it?

What is it at the moment? Two to three years or might be less, right? But every CMO that you speak to has a different approach is a different set of metrics. Like having a port into so many different boards. Do you see that as a potential challenge? Like it doesn't need to be more standardization in marketing or is that just what comes with the complexity in dealing with this many channels and this many customers?

Tony Condi: I think, o over my years, thankfully, the C the CMO tenure has been longer than that. And so we've been a little bit more established. I, and I think the reason why is, I think sometimes CMOs they don't necessarily set the expectation, they don't set the metrics out. They they fall in love with metrics that may be the board and the sale and the sellers and the executive team.

Don't care about, right? But thankfully within my 10 year, the CMOs have been a bit different, right? They've understood that they've garnered the trust of the executive team. They've understood, and they're not talking to them about vanity metrics. They're talking about they're talking to them about things that are going to move and drive the business forward.

Therefore, and they're also willing to take their lumps at times. They're willing to say, I get it. This program didn't work and take responsibility and say, we're going to we're going to adjust and do better. When the CMOs do those types of things, I do believe that they get. A little bit more trust within the executive team and the board.

And thankfully we've had that at Zebra. We had that at Motorola and certainly we had that at Scion as well.

Jon Busby: Yeah. And I couldn't agree more. Like at the end of the day, it comes down to, and we've talked about this just in today's podcast, but in previous ones, it comes down to aligning with the business outcomes and you're not focusing on.

Vanity metrics or elements that just don't really impact the bottom line. So completely agree there, Tony. I think that was a really good, rich conversation, Tony. Thank you. Yeah let's bring us to a close. So it's been amazing picking your brains on how we might approach a campaign, how we might report, Build it, report on it, and even speak to our CMO about it.

But if you were to reflect on your rich career to date, what advice would you give a younger version of yourself or someone coming into this role with the same responsibilities as yours for the first time? What would you give them?

Tony Condi: Yeah, I'd say number one, be passionate about everything you do.

Be exciting, be excited about getting up every day. And going to work. I think at the same time to you, you want to always be learning. You want to, I had the ability to do that very early on in my career. You want to learn. What's being, what's enabling me to be successful?

And what opportunities do I have both personally and professionally to grow to help lead the business, to be more successful. Always think about the business first, what's driving the business. And if you put the business and what's going to help the business. You're going to be, you're going to be right much more often than not.

And I think one of the things I mentioned, early on my career, I had the opportunity to work with some of the top business authors and gurus and did a lot of work with Stephen Covey and, one of the, one of his famous quotes that always sticks with me. And I utilize every day is seek first to understand.

Then be understood when you understand what's going on. You understand people's points of view. You understand the marketplace, then you have the ability to act accordingly. And then people will have a tendency to understand what you're what your activities amount.

Alex Norbury: Awesome. Awesome, Tony.

Thank you.

Tony Condi: Y'all have a great one. I appreciate it. I appreciate the time and I enjoyed being here.

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