Brands Need to Listen Up Says Jason Falls

jason falls on brand

“Branding today isn’t that different. It’s just harder.” Jason Falls is a branding, digital marketing and PR expert. The founder of Social Media Explorer, author of No Bullshit Social Media and The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing, and VP at Elasticity joined us for a raucous “Jason Falls” brand conversation around social listening, branding with attitude, and more on this week’s episode of the On Brand podcast.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the no-nonsense, loud, brash, straight-shooter who is more apt to tell you the truth about digital marketing, public relations and social media than try to sell you something. Sure, he drives strategy and content for clients through his work with Elasticity, but when Falls talks, people listen. Unabashed, unafraid and unfiltered, Falls leaves audiences thinking, laughing and wanting more. Aside from his engaging talks, he is a well-respected social industry analyst, oft-interviewed and quoted by the likes of the BBC, Reuters, Forbes and more. Falls writes at, and for, among others. He has authored two books, neither of which are about his favorite topic (bourbon) and is an unabashed fan, resident and advocate for the city of Louisville and the State of Kentucky.

Episode Highlights

Why do we have trouble taking social listening to the next level? “We’ve been keyword centric for too long instead of audience centric. A focus group used to be 10 people in a room. Social media can be a focus group if you can map your way back to the questions you want answers to.”

What’s next? “Everyone’s always looking for what’s next … what’s the next Facebook? Is it Snapchat?? What’s next is figuring out how to use all of the stuff we’ve got. There are no easy buttons — you know what you need to know right now.”

Is it back to basics for marketers? “I’ve felt things have been settling down for the last 12–18 months.” Another factor? “The average CMO lifespan was only 24 months. The hyperactivity of the marketplace has been hard on marketers. But that’s starting to settle down too.”

With quantitative marketing out of the way, we got qualitative with our marketing. Do too many brands round out their rough edges today? “Yes. When you round out your rough edges you end up very cold, very sterile. People cringe when I bring it up but when brands take a stand there are both pros and cons.” We then shared examples from Chick-Fil-A and Barkbox (the image below will make more sense once you listen — trust us).

What’s one thing Jason would tell brand builders today? “Listen. Dig deeper into social conversations. A lion’s share of brands are only scratching the surface. We’re missing the bigger possibilities.”

What brand has made Jason smile recently? “Charmin. If I could only follow one brand I’d follow Charmin. They do potty humor but in a fun way I can share with my kids. And when I’m walking down the big white aisle I look for Charmin. Why? Because they make me laugh on the internet!”

To learn more about Jason, check out the website for his firm, Elasticity. You can also go to his personal website and follow him on Twitter.

As We Wrap …

Before we go, I want to flip the microphone around to our community …
Recently our mutual friend Kellye Crane gave a shout out to our recent episode featuring Lisa Grimm of Whole Foods. Thanks for listening, Kellye!

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

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