Being Well Known is Not Enough – Become the Leading Authority
Interview With Matt Gordon
Join the Conversation With Tiffany and Matt
In this episode of Next Up Nation,
Join your host Tiffany Youngren and master marketer, Matt Gordon, “the Authority Muse,” as they discuss the importance of storytelling in marketing, the history and pioneers of marketing, and building your legend in any industry.
Matt is an excellent guest for today as he is not only a historian and a marketeer but also loves to tell stories most interestingly. He is an accomplished businessman with humble beginnings in radio, where he met some fascinating and influential people. Plus, Gordon has been featured on such networks as FOX and CNBC and featured in the Wall Street Journal.
In this interview, Matt Gordon discusses his humble beginnings in radio and his fondness for history. Gordon has accrued an array of stories from fun bits of trivia (do you know what Amazon’s original name was, and does that website still work?) to his own experiences. Gordon shares a humorous story of how he taught former presidential hopeful Pat Buchanan to use his briefcase.
Each of the stories that he has, as host Tiffany Youngren expressed, brings a new and fascinating bit of human connection to the topic at hand. From bourbon, quite literally, creating branding as a marketing tool to the similarities between Walt Disney’s and Hugh Hefner’s media empires.
Guest Matt Gordon speaks very highly of Robert McKee’s book, Story. Robert McKee is a celebrated teacher in Hollywood, California, in the art of dialogue and screenwriting. He is so well-renown that when Pixar began to make films, their screenwriters went to McKee. Gordon states that McKee’s book speaks about the importance of constructing and delivering compelling stories.
The Two Keys to Great Marketing
During this interview, Matt Gordon expresses his belief that the most important keys to marketing are creating a context and providing a conclusion for the audience. Marketers provide context or an empathetic understanding of what an audience needs or is going through and thus creating a human connection. Marketers then provide conclusions to those needs or situations, helping the audience to overcome them.
Matt Gordon discusses how we can structure our content with the Gettysburg Model of marketing, a style adopted after analyzing the Gettysburg Address written by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Lincoln’s model also emphasizes using the keys of context and conclusion successfully.
Matt Gordon also mentions Seth Godin’s book – All Marketers are Liars. He is also quick to point out that although the title is eye-catching, it is inaccurate. In fact, the title was later changed to All Marketers Tell Stories. The book emphasizes the importance of authenticity in marketing and how our aspirations influence advertising.
Using History to Provide Context
Matt Gordon illustrates how valuable history serves as a connecting tool when we share the fun, personable social currency bits to connect people. He also describes how President Abraham Lincoln’s candidacy and the eventual win were fraught with chaos and unrest. He further mentions events such as John Brown’s revolution, the abolitionist movements, division between the political parties, and speaks openly of Lincoln’s election. Matt Gordon pointed out that an observant person could look at the history of Lincoln’s election and presidency and draw some parallels to our current national and social climate.
Being aware of our societal climate is also an essential aspect of marketing. Edward Bernays, a nephew to Sigmund Freud and “the father of public relations,” wrote the book Propaganda (1928) and brought awareness that by tying products or objects to ideas, people’s behavior could be altered.
Unfortunately, Bernays’ books were discovered in Nazi stronghold shortly after the end of World War II. True to his belief, Bernays realized that his theories would be associated with the National Socialist Party, and people would react negatively. Thus, as Matt Gordon mentioned, Bernays renamed his field of research into public relations. Bernays understood how his existing social climate would respond to any association with a group that spread war across two continents.
The Gettysburg Model
President Abraham Lincoln’s most famous address is short, sincere, and paints a picture of what is to come. According to Matt Gordon, this is an effective marketing model because it addresses our past, present, and future. And it does so authentically and sincerely with a unifying thematic thread.
As Gordon points out, whether you are on the radio, writing a blog, or making a video, the Gettysburg model allows you to speak to the past and transition into the present before discussing the future. Then, very quickly, draw your thread to what ties it together through all three parts. The process is quick and speaks powerfully about where we have been, who we are, where we are going, while still sharing our hopes. In a sense, the model helps build empathy between you and the audience.
The Importance of Being Known
It is believed that when building a brand, it is crucial to be known as the person who does something or a product that solves something. You might be known as the person who enjoys cooking. Or your product might be known as the fastest, most durable, or most scrumptious. But is that all there is to branding?
During the interview with Matt Gordon, he suggests two fundamental parts: Being known as something and being known for something. It is a bit like being a superhero. Gordon mentions that superheroes are first and foremost known as people and then also known for doing something. Consider Captain America, he is known as the leader, the soldier, and simply as the man with the shield. But then he is also known for being an avenger and stopping the evil organization Hydra.
For us, the mere mortals of Earth, it is crucial to be known as someone first and then for the achievement bagged. This gradual transition is key to building up the legend of you. The achievement you are known for doesn’t need to be as grand as removing a doomsday device from a secret government entity’s hands. But perhaps you have specific training within your career that is important, or you have headed a committee. Whatever it is you have done, make sure it is what you are known for having done.
In This Episode:
[00:04:31] Lincoln on the Verge and the relevance to today’s social climate. [00:06:00] The Pat Buchanan’s Briefcase Encounter [00:08:41] Storytelling in Marketing [00:11:14] “Being known as” and “Being known for” [00:12:43] Walt Disney and Hugh Hefner connection[00:13:50] The Gettysburg Model[00:15:10] Why Storytelling Is Important [00:17:10] A Necessity for Emotional Connection [00:25:55] Bourbon and Branding [00:29:11] Those Who Did It First
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For anyone who would prefer to read a transcript of the show, find it here.
About Our Guest
Matt Gordon is “the Authority Muse.” He’s been in the advertising and marketing fields since the early 1990s, working in online marketing since the late ’90s. He is a historian, focusing on marketers, marketing campaigns, business, cultural, and political leaders. He has also been featured on networks such as FOX and CNBC and the Wall Street Journal.
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Meet Our Host – Tiffany Youngren
Tiffany Youngren is the founder and owner of the OMH Agency. She has supported and encouraged untold entrepreneurs and business owners with the help of her husband.
- Story by Robert McKee
- Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz
- Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington by Ted Widmer
- All Marketers are Liars by Seth Godin
- The Everything Store by Brad Stone
- Propaganda by Edward Bernays
- Reality in Advertising by Rosser Reeves
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