In this episode, I’m continuing the discussion on why this shift to Mindful Marketing is needed now more than ever.

We’re in an era where shouting has replaced conversation, where artificial intelligence threatens the authenticity of our content, and consumers are bombarded with too many choices.

How do we rise above the noise instead of getting stuck in the middle of it all?

Let’s talk about it in this episode.

We'll discuss the shift from building audiences to nurturing communities, the significance of human connections, and the power of casually curated content. As we aim to resonate deep within the hearts of our community members, we'll ditch artificiality for genuine, human-centric marketing.

I'll also share exciting plans for the podcast, including introducing “round tables” for diverse insights and perspectives.

With our 10-year business anniversary and a renewed focus on real stories from online business owners, we're embracing human experience over formulas.

In this episode of the podcast, I talk about:

  • The era of information overload
  • The shift from conversational to “shouting” marketing tactics
  • The need for humanity-centered marketing approaches
  • The concept of “casually curated content”
  • Human storytelling as a brand representation tool
  • My plans for fostering open, vulnerable communication

This Episode Was Made Possible By:

Riverside All-in-One Podcast & Video Platform
Visit Riverside and use the code DREA to get 15% off any Riverside individual plan. We use it to record all our podcast interviews!

Fab Fiesta
To celebrate my 10 year anniversary, I'm throwing a Fab Fiesta from April 15-24, 2024. 

For 10 days, I'm rolling out 10 exclusive offers – each day, a new surprise. And because I love a good party, I’m slicing prices by 50%. Want in?

Watch the Episode Below:


Andréa Jones (00:00):
I did it. I completely changed the name of this podcast, and in this episode I want to talk about what this means for the future of our industry. Just a low key casual conversation. Let's get into it.

Before we get into it, this episode is sponsored by Riverside, which is the all in one podcasting tool we now use for our show. And y'all, they feel super luxurious. Riverside is the All-in-one podcasting and video platform that gives you studio quality recordings right inside your browser and y'all, it's super intuitive and easy to use. Once your recording is done, you'll be able to automatically download separate audio and video tracks and edit it all within a few clicks. It's really very easy. So head over to Riverside and you'll get 15% off. That's one 5% off using my code Drea, DREA at checkout. But y'all, it's free to get started. So click the link in the show notes and get started today.

So if you have it yet, listen to the first episode in this three part series. Go back to yesterday's episode. Listen to that interview. My friend Meg Casebolt amazingly took the time to interview me about this change that we're making and celebrate tenures in business and all of the things that go along with that, because that celebration really was the catalyst of changing the name here now and today. So you're listening to the Mindful Marketing Podcast now instead of the Savvy Social Podcast, just note that some episodes coming up. I'll still say Savvy Social Podcast. That may be in there somewhere because at the time of this recording, I will have just had a baby. So we are coming to you from the past here, but I want to use this episode as an opportunity to talk about the state of the industry and where I see things going, both social media and then marketing, digital marketing at large, because things are changing so freaking fast and think about it.

So do you remember when the iPhone was first invented and you think back to the date hop quiz? I'll give you the answer though. 2007 was when the first iPhone came out. That was the year that I also graduated from university. I went to Georgia State University, go Panthers, and graduated with my degree in English literature. 2007 was also the year that Facebook became public to anyone. So prior to 2007, you had to be a university or college student at very specific schools, by the way, to even get access to the platform. And I remember waiting for my access, and then it felt like as soon as I graduated, they were like, you know what? All of you, come on it. Anyone can come on it. So that was 2007. That was 16 years ago. Instagram was not even a thing. There was definitely no TikTok.

We weren't even really taking our phones to the bathroom with us. And now we have a whole poop scrolling situation where I don't know about y'all. I actually, I do know about y'all. I know we're doing this. We're taking the phone with us to the bathroom, and if we don't, we feel like what were we even doing before? Remember, we used to have books in the bathroom or magazines. It was very common. If you went to someone's, your rich friend's house, they had magazines in the bathroom. Maybe that was just me. Now, we very consciously take our phones to the bathroom, and that means we're consuming content at a much faster rate than we ever have in history. Darling, we've never had this much digital content to consume because back in 2007, if we wanted to send an email, if you didn't have a Blackberry, which back then it was like Blackberry was the thing before iPhones, right?

You didn't have a Blackberry. And even if you did, you weren't really sending emails on Blackberry unless you thought you were very important. You would have to go to your computer. Facebook was on the computer. I remember you could text your Facebook status to a number and then that would post as your Facebook. But to check comments and stuff, you'd have to log on to the internet to see it. And now we live in the day and age where that's all just in our pockets. It's constantly with us. If we have a moment of boredom, we're scrolling. And I think this is important for this current state of marketing in the current state of social media, because we're over consuming. We're consuming more than we ever have in history. And we can be very discerning, very discerning. We can say, I'm bored with this because we know that there's unlimited amounts of entertainment education ready at our fingertips.

So for a business owner, this means that we have huge challenges ahead of us. We are in the age of information overload. So if you don't have the answer to something, your people can go find it somewhere else. They can go get the answer somewhere else. They can also find the answer to anything that they want, whether it's the right answer or not. I remember I listened to a comedian one time who said, I think this was George Carlin who said, you can go to www dot. I'm right, you're wrong. Dot com and find your information not far off. If there's anything that you want an answer to or anything you want to use to prove your point, it's out there on the, so we're in this stage of information overload. We're also in a stage a phase of marketing that is becoming increasingly complex, increasingly complex.

So I used to work at Marriott Hotels. I was the manager of the spa and fitness center at the Marriott Marquee, downtown Atlanta, if you know, yes, I was there for Dragon Con, which was really fun, being one of the youngest managers on the team. I was put on the social media team just arbitrarily. They're like, Facebook and Instagram, come on in. And so we worked on the social media team trying to develop strategies, and we had a monthly meeting with our marketing agency to talk about how we're going to show up on social. And at the time, it was Facebook and Instagram and the decisions we were making, or should we use this photo or that photo? Should we highlight the spa or should we highlight the restaurant? Very simple. We were posting the same thing to both platforms, same image, same copy. We were using Hootsuite.

Very, very simple. And even when I started my business in 2014, the way that I posted social media then was a lot simpler than it is now. And in fact, my tagline for my YouTube channel at the time was Helping you keep social media simple and easy and fun for business owners, simple and easy and fun. And I kept saying that simple and easy and fun. And then at some point in the past four or five, six years, it was no longer simple, wasn't easy and fun became a huge question mark for a lot of business owners. And it's only become increasingly more complex. We think about something like Instagram. We have Instagram feed posts, we have carousels that could go as a feed post. We could do one image, multiple images, we could even throw a video in there. But if you post a video by itself, it now becomes an Instagram reel.

So now we have feed, we have real posts, we have broadcast channels, we have stories. Now we have Flipster, which is a whole private Instagram. Let's not even started with threads, which is not Instagram technically, but kind of like its own thing. It's definitely connected to Instagram. It's in the Meta family. We have Instagram ads, we have Instagram notes. There's just so much happening on the app that if you as a business owner are starting today on Instagram, I'm like, yeah, I can see why you need help sorting this out because it's so complex. So information overload, increased complexity. And then we have this situation that we get into as marketers and business owners where because things are so, it's so loud, it's so complicated. We end up shouting to get our point across. Back 10 years ago, back in my day when I first started, you could post something and just have a conversation with someone and be like, Hey, yeah, so I'm hosting an event this weekend.

Would you like to come? Yeah, sure. But now it feels like, Hey, over here. Hello, hello. Can you see? Yes, hi. Yeah, I'm having an event. I'm having an event. And it's like we feel like we're shouting at people. And so it ends up not being a conversation we can't even hear because it's so loud, but it ends up becoming this monologue situation that can be very challenging for business owners to navigate. So not only are we in information overload, we have this increasing complexity. We're monologuing and screaming over here trying to be heard. Then add the whole subset layer of current events and politics and being canceled and saying the right thing, saying the wrong thing, making a statement. Can we use this meme or not? It is challenging. This is why I want to talk about the future of marketing, because I think that the reason I'm doubling, tripling, quadrupling down on mindful marketing is that while I don't no longer believe social media is simple or easy, I do think it can be fun. And I think if we take this mindful approach to it and be very intentional about the things that we're doing in our business, it can have a huge impact on how we show up and a huge impact on how we feel about marketing.

And also help us be more realistic about what we can achieve with marketing. Because when I started in 2014, you could put $1 into that Facebook ad machine and it would spit out 10, and we were over there like a game of slots, putting a dollar in, getting $10 out. But right now, Facebook ads, the house always wins. I know we're playing the slots game, but they're on a whole different, they run the rules, the house wins. So that means a lot of us are pulling the slot machine, not making any money, or sometimes we do, sometimes we don't. And that's how all of social media feels right. Now, we post, we roll the die. Are we going to get big money, big money, or is it going to be another want fail of a post? Right? And I'm not saying that to be overly negative. I think it's just where we are right now. So there are three things that I believe will make a difference in the future of marketing. So we're going to take a quick break When we come back, let's talk about those things.

[Podcast Ad break] It's our birthday and I'm hosting a birthday party. So OnlineDrea is celebrating 10 years of business. I cannot believe. I started this business in March, 2014, and here we are 10 years later with this birthday celebration. I am doing a 10 day super sale. And I'm not talking about little 10% off here, little 20% off there. No ma'am. We are doing 5 0, 50% off select of offers throughout this 10 day birthday sale. But the catch the kicker is you have to be signed up to our email list to get the offers that are coming out every day. So you can sign up by going to online That's Sign up, put your little email address in there, and then every day of the sale, I'm going to email you what's on sale for that day. And you only have 24 hours to grab that offer and away you go. Away you go. So if you're ready to celebrate our birthday with us, come to our Fab Fiesta and let's have fun. Let's have a party. I'll see you there. [Podcast Ad break]

Future of marketing. I believe that the future of marketing is humanity. It's humanity. It's focusing on humanity centered, human-centered marketing strategies. And this is what I'm all about already. And I'm just, again, doubling, tripling, quadrupling down on keeping people in the center of everything we do community, the center of everything we do. And that means, especially in the age of artificial intelligence, there is an innate power in being a human being. That means it's us against the robots. We're fighting the algorithm, we're fighting to add GPT. And while those two things feel seductive at the moment, I think the more that we can show that we're human, the more that people will go, yes, yes, yes, I want the ones that get it.

And this is why trending content works so well. This is why platforms like TikTok works so well because there is this, it's not polished, it doesn't feel overly produced, it doesn't feel contrived. It just feels like a human moment. And the more that we can mirror those human moments in our marketing, the more that we'll have success in marketing in the future. It's what I believe. So I've been playing around with how to name this and I'm landed on casually curated content. Okay, casually curated content. So casually meaning that it's not glamorous, it's not polished. Maybe you stumble on your words or maybe your dog's in the background like me, or maybe there's a kid screaming and maybe you're in your car and it feels casual, but it's curated in the sense that as a personal brand, you're standing in your expertise, you're talking about the things that you believe in, you're impassioned about the work that you do, and you have a position, a perspective that you're offering to the world.

It's not you talking about your day with no beginning, middle, end, no next step or call to action. There's a purpose behind it, but it's not sharing your meal from last night. So casual in the sense that maybe you're in your car, curated in the sense that you're an expert and you're talking about a very specific angle. And that's a content that I think will win human-centered content. I had a disagreement with a fellow marketer on this. They were talking about AI and how interesting it will be to have mascots that are representing brands that are artificial intelligence. Now, while I think on the surface I'm like, oh, interesting, sure, but I think that could be very one dangerous. I'm not even going to get into that side of it. But two, I think that as a person on the other side, I don't know if I would connect to that particularly.

I could be wrong, but if some, let's say there was someone who built an app around period tracking, and instead of having a person explain how the app works, we're going to have this, what looks like a person, simulation of a person. Say what the app does in a video and it's going to be almost human, but then we can tell that it's artificially produced. I don't know how I feel about that. I don't think as humans we would connect to it could be wrong. Again, it could be wrong, but I think it will lead to more mistrust in emerging products because there isn't that story behind it. And I think this really works for us as humans. One of my favorite shows is Shark Tank. I haven't watched in a few last few seasons. I mean, when you have toddlers and young kids, I don't know where you find time to watch tv, but one of the things that they very consistently do on the show is almost every single person has a story, a backstory, a sob story, something that pulls on the heartstrings.

And we want to see their family. We want to see their interactions. And I don't think as humans, we want to see the robot. We don't want to see the artificial intelligence. We want to see the human. Okay. This also leads me to value centered marketing. So this has really become apparent with the next generation. For me, gen Z, gen Z is very value centered. And if a brand stumbles, they're out. If you post the wrong thing, if you say the wrong thing, it seems like you are just trying to be pandering to a certain audience no more. And so I think value centered marketing is going to be even more important, and not just values to make that company more money. I'm looking at U Target with that pride campaign last year, their pride campaign in 2023 was terrible to me. This is again, a company not value centered, just a company going, oh, this is a value.

I think I know just 1% of let me go ahead and create a campaign around it to make more money. No, no, no, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about true value centered marketing where it's lived, breathed, consumed by your company first, then shared with the world. Okay, so future of marketing, it's humanity all. Which leads me to the next point. The future of marketing is community. The future of marketing is community. So the humanity piece focuses on the humanity of the brand itself. The community piece focuses on the people that make up the buyers, potential buyers, customers, and advocates of that brand. They're your people. They're the people that you're speaking to on social media. They're the people signing up for your email list. They're the people liking and commenting on your posts. They're the people listening to your podcast. They're the people buying your offers.

They're the people who are telling other people about what you do. That's your community. And I think there's a difference between a community and an audience. And when I talk about social media, sometimes I use these terms interchangeably. I'm going to really try to not use that in the future because to me, there's a really strong difference, and I'm going to say an audience for 10 years, so it may take me some time, but to me, an audience is, I think of it more of like a musician who's performing and there's someone sitting and enjoying the performance. They're sitting, they're listening, they're like, this is great. And then they go about their day, they're not contributing. Maybe they'll sing some lyrics. Maybe sometimes one person will go up on stage, but it really is all about the person on the stage. Okay? Community to me is more about the collective experience.

It's more about collective contributions. So it's not so much about the person creating the thing, it's about the other people around them contributing to that creation. And it's a little more abstract, but I think about some of the trends that we're seeing on TikTok and how that had such a great impact on social media at large, or even why platforms like Threads, in my opinion, is taking off. It's because of community. It feels like we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves. So let's take threads as an example. Threads to feels like old school Twitter in the sense that we're not on there to consume content. We're not on there to shout and scream about ourselves. We are on there to find ways to contribute subconsciously because we see something and we go, oh, I have a joke for this. I have a meme for this.

I have a comment for this. I have something to share. I have my own experience. I think Reddit is very much the same way in that you have these Reddit communities as well, and the goal is to have it not centered on one person, but to have everyone contributing. I think that has a difference between audience and community. And so the future of marketing to me is all about building stronger communities. I think about this a lot with my own community. I don't know how you found this podcast, but I bet you follow me in a few different areas. So typically my community members, they may watch this on YouTube or listen to the podcast, but then they also follow me on Instagram. And maybe you're on the email list. You're not looking at all of those things at the same time. Sometimes you see my email, sometimes you see my social posts, and then you listen to the podcast, great.

There's not a linear path for my community members because y'all come in and you consume what you consume and you contribute, you participate, you leave comments on YouTube, you send me a DM on Instagram, you respond to my email, but it's not like you found me on Instagram, then went through a funnel on my email list and listened to the podcast. And that's it. It's very much a non-linear experience, and I love that. And that's part of why I wanted to make some of these changes with the podcast and eventually with my business, is because I firmly believe that the concept of something like a sales funnel, for instance, can be boiled down to its simplest terms so that you understand it, of course. And it never quite works. Just that specific way. It never is quite that perfect. And even for me, in my content, I am a social media strategist.

I own an agency. We have our programming, we have this podcast, and yet my largest community is email. We have just about 20,000 people on the email list, which is more than any social media platform, more than all of them combined, which is wild to me. And so to me, I'm like, well, this is all about building deeper connections with the people who are in my community, and they're showing up in their inbox in the inbox, which I love. I love that. For me, the future of marketing is all about experience. So it's humanity, it's community, and then experience. And I think the experience piece is the hardest piece for business owners. It's why we create content, first of all. First and foremost, we don't think about it this way sometimes, but we're really creating many experiences with our community members as we are engaging with them online in digital.

So to me, there's difference between passive and active experiences. So passive experiences to me, something like posting about an event on social media. Here's the event, here's the information. To me that's very passive. It feels like you're hoping someone will see it and interact with it, but really your goal is to sell seats at the event. Active experiences are ones that encourage humanity and community, asking questions, creating conversation around current events. It is hard to batch these things. It's hard to get ahead on this type of content, but it's very much about how can I draw my community in instead of shouting at them what I want them to hear. And I think it plays around a lot with this dichotomy between informational content and entertaining content. So the informational content is the type of stuff that we love. I love it too. Puts us in the expert seat.

We're sharing our knowledge, we're informing our audience informational. And yet the content that wins social media oftentimes is entertaining. It's someone telling a joke. It's a cute cat. I saw one today. It was the cutest little video of this little girl going to Disney and getting the princess experience. And I texted to my husband and I was like, we absolutely need to do this for our girls. When they're old enough for Disney, I want to go and give them the Disney princess experience. That was entertaining to me. It was so cute to watch. It had nothing to do with business. And so as a business owner, we're staring at this, where does my content fit in here? Where does it fit in? How can I create an experience for my community? And I think the answer is it creating content that helps them feel seen, it helps them feel seen.

It's so specific. It's like a very specific type of content where someone sees it and they go, that's me. That's it. That's what I'm thinking and feeling and going through right now. And it takes a lot of thought. It takes a deep understanding of your audience. It takes a deep understanding of marketing platforms and creating content that feels like it fits with the platform. I think we're beyond the point now where we could take the exact same post and post it the exact same way across all platforms. Usually some things need to be tweaked so that it fits with the platform and the flow of things. Something usually has to be tweaked along the way. It can't be the exact exact same post anymore usually. So in order to not check off all the boxes where it feels like, oh, this is just a company trying to market it to me, and instead check off the boxes of, oh, I feel like I was informed and entertained, and I feel like this company really understands me.

I feel seen takes a lot of finesse. It takes a lot of finesse. But I think that that's a future of marketing, I think, is creating these experiences that aren't just adding more posts to the feed for the sake of adding posts. They're not just emailing out your latest and greatest for the chance to email it out. Instead, it's intentionally creating moments, experiential moments where your community feels understood at a deeper level. So that's why all that to say, that's why I'm here now talking about mindful marketing, because to create those experiences, to build a community, to layer in humanity, it takes some time and effort, energy, and I don't want this show to be all about me and my thoughts and experiences. So here's what you can expect from the show going forward. Yes, I will still have episodes like this. I love these episodes.

I love sharing my thoughts, my observations. I will continue to do so. In fact, I already have some batch recorded, so you're going to get 'em anyways. I also still want to have conversation. So over the next couple of months while I go through my backlog, these are conversations I had before changing the name, before going through this whole existential crisis moment. And those are still there. But future conversations, I really want to go deeper into these three things, humanity, community and experience, specifically the experience piece, I think it's challenging to do. And if someone I observe is doing it well, I want to have that conversation. And I really want to focus in on conversations from real business owners, specifically online business owners. I think there's something powerful about talking to business owners versus marketers. No shade to my marketers, I love y'all will still be here on this show.

However, I feel like marketers, we know too much. We know what we should be doing, and we focus too much on the formula. And I want to kind of break away from that a little bit. It's not about the formula. It's about what actually is working, which yes, can have a formula to it, but let's get the real story. So that's my goal. And then the last thing is I'm adding in a new type of show. You'll actually get a sample of it in tomorrow's episode where I am calling them Roundtables. Roundtables. So instead of me talking to one, I'm going to bring on a group of business owners, experts in their own space, and we're going to have a focused conversation around a specific topic. And the reason I want to do round table is because I want varying perspectives to show up and share their experience about something that I'm seeing in the market.

I think this new type of content is going to be so powerful for you all watching and listening to this podcast because it's not about one person's experience, it's not about my experience, it's about our collective experience in marketing. And there's something magical that happens, and I noticed this at the retreat that I hosted in 2023. When we get together and we talk amongst ourselves about the challenges we're having, and we have a chance to be vulnerable and open, and we share our experiences, there's something intangibly magical that happens in our understanding of a certain topic.

So that's what I'm doing, is I'm going to bring those round table discussions here to the podcast. But for now, I'm off to take care of a newborn baby at speaking from the future. I'm still pregnant right now at the time of recording this, but when it goes live, I'll have a newborn baby and we'll be celebrating 10 years of business. We're celebrating the rebrand of the podcast. I still have a backlog of episodes to get through. So over the next couple of months, the podcast may feel the same or similar, but you'll notice a shift. And I'm excited to take you all on this journey with me. Thank you so much for trusting in me. I'll be back soon. Bye for now.