How to Become a Better Marketer by #BeingABetterPerson: with Bernie Fussenegger @B2the7 #VCBuzz

How to Become a Better Marketer by #BeingABetterPerson: with Bernie Fussenegger @B2the7 #VCBuzzThere’s a myth that good people are mostly poor… that you need to make at least some people miserable in order to achieve success. This week we are changing this mindset by learning how to become a better – and a more successful – marketer by #BeingABetterPerson

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About Bernie Fussenegger @B2the7

Bernie Fussenegger @B2the7 is the Director of Digital Marketing at Papa John’s International. He has 25 years of experience in marketing and his current focus is building and scaling a progressive digital marketing foundation that balances the needs of both consumers and national/local stakeholders

Bernie is a host of #Digital360Chat (which runs every first Wednesday of the Month @ 7pm ET)

Connect to Bernie via his blog and make sure to add his chat to your monthly calendar!

Questions we discussed

Q1 How did you become a digital marketer? Please share your career story!

My career started 25 years ago when there wasn’t “the internet, email, SEO/SEM, social and digital.” I started out with graphic and advertising design on the agency side doing logos, print pieces and brochures.

After about five years into my career, I had a choice to make – continue with print or go with website design…the new digital frontier. I went all in with digital and completely jumped into the learning of html, web design, banner creation and early SEO.

I have been with Papa John’s for the last 18 years starting as a web designer and advancing to a Director of Digital over Customer Identity. Past responsibilities within Digital have been eCRM (email, SMS and Push programs), website strategy/content. In the early stages of my PJ career, was also involved with our first Facebook and Twitter social channels along with early SEO & CRO. Today, involved in the technical side of who our customer is, how do we reach that customer via the channel they want the message in. It is building out the marketing tool set to more efficiently market to our customers via multi-channels. W/ Digital, it has been an evolution of channels & adoptions of the customer and how they now engage with brands via digital.

That is funny!!!! Lots has changed in how we engage with our customers and how they also engage with brands!

Q2 What does #BeingABetterPerson entail in the marketing context? How can a marketer become a good person and at the same time more successful?

It is being genuine, honest & building trustful relationships with your customers in the way you talk/communicate with them, the service you provide and how you treat them when you are in the wrong – how you respond if something goes wrong.

It is more than just the marketing message, it is the people behind the message. You are a reflection of the brand. If you are a jerk, your customers will pick up on that. Customer will see through fake & take their business elsewhere. Customers have many options to choose from. Success will follow if you are acting and doing the right things as a person for your customers. I always look at Chick-fil-A as a great example of a business that is “nice” and successful.

Q3 Please tag some marketers who you think are also very good people? What’s so good about each one?

I look at the first two mentors that I had, Miriam Hansen and Bob Ford – neither of which are on Twitter. The backbone of what they did was respect, accountability and taking responsibility for ones actions. They were great at what they did, but also great individuals who got the most out of their teams. They were also willing to get into the weeds with you and didn’t put themselves of upon a pedestal. They wanted collaboration, team work and they listened.

You have nailed it! I look at all the bosses/leaders that I have had over the years and have taken the good and bad of each to help form the type of leader I want to be. Several thinks always come out and that is what you mentioned above.

Q4 How to maintain a fine balance between being a good person and a pushover? I mean, you cannot possibly find time to help everyone. Plus good people can be easier scammed…

I have had many bosses over the last 25 years…some good, some bad. I have taken what I have learned from each to create my own style of leadership that fits me. I do believe in hiring the right cultural fit, empowering those around me, providing support, having their back, letting them make mistakes & learning from those mistakes, letting them provide feedback, calling attention to their achievements, just treating them the way I want to be treated – listening to and respecting their thoughts and opinions.

This doesn’t mean you are a pushover, but it means you are a good coach, mentor or leader. If what I’m doing can help guide one person, then I’m happy. There is no way to keep everyone happy all the time.

I always look at ways that I can improve with my approach and my team. We meet a few times a week. When issues come up, we address right then so we can move past it

It is good to have people that are close to help keep you grounded and to talk about issue like this – helps you to become a better leader.

I have a couple people on my team whom I have worked with for many years and we can be completely honest with each other – great trust and respect build over the years to where we can be open and honest.

Communication is key and setting expectations.

Q5 Are there any marketing resources and books that also promote the #BeingABetterPerson philosophy?

A couple books that I like to reference that have helped reinforce what I’m doing and my beliefs – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson.

Another book I like is Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype by Jay Baer.

With , you can’t teach it & you can’t fake it, you either are a good person or you are not. I have a good foundation from my parents and those around me that keep me grounded and I also use lots of self-reflection for personal improvement.

Twitter chats w/ really good people & excellent marketers:


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