John Gargiulo, (Twitter | LinkedIn) Global Product Marketing Lead at Airbnb, joined Marketing Trends to discuss a problem he has seen that needs to be addressed: A vast chasm right in the middle of the marketing funnel.
John's start in marketing - (03:10)
- John went from film production to advertising.
- He didn’t even know what copy was when he started, but he committed to learning more and eventually became successful.
John starts a sandwich shop - (5:00) - He left advertising to start Swich, a chain of healthy sandwiches.
- He had recently seen a restaurant sell for $8 million and decided to make the jump.
John goes West - (7:15) - He had some friends in tech who persuaded him he should come out to California and try tech.
- John had to choose between Facebook and BlueStacks, and he chose Bluestacks, because he liked the founders.
- John quickly began to specialize in performance marketing.
- He then took his talents to Airbnb, where he has learned more about how to mix performance and brand marketing.
- “They don't typically gel but they really should. The funnel is the funnel. You need to be aware of something, you need to consider it before you're going to click on those AdWords ads.”
- “I think one of the reasons that tech, and Silicon Valley in particular, really is still the Wild West of business, is because it is still early days. It's like the auto industry in the early 1930s. Yes, it's been around for twenty years, but we're really about to take off for the next hundred.”
The mid-funnel chasm (15:30) - Marketers who place different kinds of ads like social and out-of-home tend to communicate very infrequently.
- The middle of the funnel is the step when a consumer knows about a product and is considering purchasing it, but they don’t know how it works and there are multiple obstacles to purchase.
- For Airbnb, the mid-funnel mostly centers around trust and safety.
- “Customer education is not sexy, but that's how I see a lot of mid-funnel stuff.”
- Every level of the funnel is important. This includes the top of the funnel, which is sometimes neglected because it is difficult to track.
- “Coca-cola started running TV ads in 1952. They didn't run them for a month and then have a big meeting about the 30-day payback period on the two million dollars they spent, and say, "Well this is not working let’s forget it." They spent decades making sure that any time you walk up to that case you know, and trust, and grab that red logo.”
A trip to App World - (25:50) - Performance marketing got invented, in part, as a way to help brands get their apps installed.
- John believes that app marketing is still in its infancy.
- Many verticals outside of tech don’t know what to do with their mobile app. Not every company needs an app, but too often mobile apps are built out and then neglected.
- It’s not enough to push your product on mobile. A successful strategy centers around helping consumers and providing them with useful information.
John's stay at Airbnb - (32:30) - John is working on the new Super Guest program. It’s a program intended to make frequent travelers feel more valued.
- One focus of this rewards program was to be transparent. People in rewards programs rarely know what they are getting.
- Another big focus has been solving the mid-funnel chasm.
- Brand trust can cover up for a lot of other shortcomings.
General questions & lightning round - (41:30) - Since marketing is changing so quickly, where does John get his education? “We get to invent it. No one has the answers. We’re all figuring it out as we go.”
- He also learns through going to conferences and listening to podcasts. It’s always good to hear ideas from other leaders and marketers.
- Favorite campaign: Colin Kaepernick, Nike - Most fun app: Helix Jump - Favorite vacation spot: Mexico
- Favorite recent podcast: Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend - Thing he’s most excited for about the future of marketing? “The advent of mobile, the fact that for better or worse that we're all staring at these little glowing boxes in our pockets all day. All the new frontiers that that's opened up for video, for social networks, for YouTube. I think it couldn't be a more exciting time.”
- Best advice for a first time head of marketing? “Don’t feel like you have to do what everyone else has done in the space. Step back and think what makes the most sense for your vertical, your company, your brand, your specific product.”
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