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Creative Series: Teresa Heath-Wareing: Show Notes & Transcript

Post | Apr 23, 2024

Welcome back to Marketing Smarts! From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini (that’s us) comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. We deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from our combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. We tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.

In this episode, we continue our Creative Series with Teresa Heath-Wareing. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and your other favorite podcast spots – follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re exercising your Marketing Smarts!

  • Episode Summary & Player
  • Show Notes
  • Marketing Smarts Summary
  • Transcript

Marketing Smarts: Creative Series: Teresa Heath-Wareing

In this episode, we continue our Creative Series, focused on the issues facing creative agencies today and how they need to evolve to stay relevant. Our third special guest is Teresa Heath-Wareing, Online Business Owner, International Award-Winning Speaker, TEDx Speaker, Bestselling Author, and Host of Your Dream Business podcast. She’s been in marketing for 20 years and experienced every possible side of the marketing world. Hear how to handle the fast pace at which marketing changes, how to create quality creative that actually works for your brand, where agencies can find their superpower, how to showcase your skills as an agency, and what marketing careers will look like in the future. This episode covers everything from differentiating to content marketing. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:

  • How has marketing changed over the years?
  • What does Dove do so well?
  • How do you create quality creative?
  • Why is the Mad Men era different than today?
  • How do you find your superpower as an agency?
  • Should you use AI and ChatGPT?
  • How do you sell yourself to businesses?
  • Quick-Fire: If Teresa could do 1 job outside of marketing, what would it be?

And as always, if you need help in building your Marketing Smarts, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at:

Check out the episode, show notes, and transcript below:

Show Notes

What is Marketing Smarts?

From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. They deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from their combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. They tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.

How do I exercise my Marketing Smarts?

Thanks for listening to Marketing Smarts. Get in touch here to become a savvier marketer. 


Please note: this transcript is not 100% accurate.

Teresa Heath-Wareing 0:00
I think it’s about going, How do I want to spend my days and actually saying that’s what I’m brilliant at. And that’s why you want to work with me.

Anne Candido 0:07
This is Marketing Smarts – a podcast committed to helping you become a savvier marketing leader, no matter your level. In each episode, we will dive into a relevant topic or challenge that marketing leaders are currently facing. We will also give you practical tools and applications that will help you put what you learn into practice today. And if you missed anything, don’t worry, we put worksheets on our website that summarize the key points. Now, let’s get to it.

April Martini 0:34
Welcome to Marketing Smarts. I am Anne Candido and I am April martini and today we’re continuing our Marketing Smarts miniseries all around the topic of the issues facing creative agencies today, and how they need to evolve to stay relevant. This series brings together folks from both agency and corporate that all have different point of views on this topic, but are all experienced practitioners and thought leaders with decades of experience. Today we welcome special guest Teresa Heath-Waring, founder and director of Teresa Heath-Wareing Limited where she helps business owners achieve business growth, then get out of the marketing overwhelmed through online coaching and step by step training in the dream business club. She’s also founder and director of THW Marketing Limited where she works with directors and senior managers of small to medium sized businesses, who really want to ensure that their marketing budgets being used to the full effect through a range of various marketing tools. And finally, she is an international keynote speaker, and host of Your Dream Business podcast. And today’s conversation, we cover specific topics including the importance of knowing what a lead magnet is, or in other words how work ties to business goals. We talked about how creativity needs to be a company wide ethos, starting with directives from the top, and that agencies need to get very clear on what they can do and how they use the tools at their disposal to deliver for their clients. It isn’t just about the mechanics, it’s about creating the playbook on our client’s behalf. And finally, and perhaps my favorite quote of all, we should all be focusing on doing the bits that you love and are brilliant at and you can’t go wrong. So Teresa, we’re so glad to have you please introduce yourself and welcome to our show.

Teresa Heath-Wareing 2:11
Well, thank you. I’m very happy to be here. So as you’ve said, I’m Teresa Heath-Wareing and I basically have worked in marketing for a very long time. I’ve actually been in marketing now I guess, 20 years, which sounds have rific. And I wish it wasn’t that long in some ways. But basically, about 20 years ago, I did a degree in marketing. And I spent the next 10 years working for various different companies, really massive companies like heading up corporate marketing for Land Rover down to teeny tiny, strange companies that process chicken where I had to do everything. So I had every mix of marketing going and I worked client side and I worked agency side. So I’ve done a bit of that as well. And then about 10 years ago, I joke that I had a early midlife crisis, and decided that after some big changes in my life, one of them being that I separated from my husband, and I ended up as a single mom to a four year old. And I decided, I know what could make this whole situation better. Give up your job and start a business. Obviously, he really was going through a crisis at the time. So I decided to have my notes in and I actually thought I would get another job. That was the aim. I was head of marketing for an agency. And I was like, I’m really good at what I’ve done. Like do I know marketing inside I forgetting that I live in a fairly rural each part of England couldn’t find another job a few weeks into my notice. I thought what if I could do this to myself, and it was like the thought crossed my mind and then my boss at the time when you can leave now. So I had one week, I had no money coming in. I had no partner, no rich parents, her parents, they weren’t rich, basically no savings, and had to win money literally had to just bring in money and decided to start what I guess you could call as a kind of consultancy, as let me be your marketing manager. You know, these are companies that there’s an awkward size of like they can’t afford to bring in agencies because that’s a big cost. They can’t afford to bring in a marketing manager at a certain level because that’s a big cost. So I kind of worked in those businesses that had I don’t know 10 To 20 staff, and I helped them with their marketing. And then that turned from consultancy almost immediately into done for you agency. And then I had the agency for a couple of years and it was great and it worked really well and I earn money. But I was a mum to a young child and I was trying to do the school run and if you’ve ever tried to work in school hours, you will know it is impossible and I don’t know how anybody does it. And I realized that I went from having one boss to like 1820 bosses, like all these people who were wanted my time, my attention. Even when I started bringing in team members to do things, they still wanted me. And I created a bit of a monster, and the things that really lit me up, like speaking to people and training and like connecting with people, and podcasting, and all these things I just wasn’t getting time to do and I was so unhappy. And then I decided that I really loved those parts of my job. And I wanted to do that more. And I started to move into the online space, which didn’t quite turn out the way they sold it to, you know, I thought I’d be on a beach by now a millionaire. But that hasn’t quite happened, you know, but I’m still keeping my hopes up. And basically, after a few years in, I decided to hark effectively the agency, and just take on the online business. So that’s what I do today, I run an online business, I have a membership for business owners, I have various courses and group programs, I’m now a certified coach. So I kind of moved a little bit into that space, but marketing is still at the absolute essence of everything I do. And yeah, that’s what I get to do pretty much all day every day, which is awesome.

April Martini 6:15
Yeah, I mean, of course, everyone here is like, you tick the boxes on the breadth of interviews we’re covering with this series singly alone, whether it’s corporate agency, you know, working for yourself trying various new channels, all of these things. So I mean, one of the first things we’re talking to each of these guests about is really the evolution of what we call the creative agency. And we say that with quotations, right? Because that can be interpreted various ways. But I would love for you to just give some highlights or themes of things that looked different than they did before, or trends that you’re seeing, or challenges that are being faced, because obviously, that’s a big part of this discussion. What does the landscape look like, and a lot of folks are talking about in terms of like, it used to be like this. And now it’s like this, you know, kind of kind of give us a lay of the land there.

Teresa Heath-Wareing 7:05
I think this is the fascinating thing about this industry and about being in marketing. Because one, when I did my degree, none of what I did existed, like nothing, because it wasn’t the world we were in like 20 years ago, there was no social media, there was barely websites, like there were websites, but you were only the biggest and best companies that had websites that were actually any good. So we went through the whole Do I need a website? Yes, you do getting a website? Do I need social media? Yes, you do doing social media like, but the problem is it moves at such a pace. And I think it’s almost like how long do you want me to look back because I can literally look back even 12 months and go, there’s the change. So for instance, one of the most recent things that I’ve seen is agencies and people doing things like social media, which now that’s not even being seen as the value, you know, people are starting to realize the organic stuff that they can do themselves. So then it’s like, okay, rather than investing to do social media for people, which is still has a value, I want to be really careful kind of having these conversations, because that still hasn’t value. But I think that some companies are moving and shifting and going, Okay, actually, we don’t want you to do our social media, we’re going to bring a chunk of that in house. But what we want you to do is the more creative things. And the more personal things, which as an agency makes your job even harder than it’s ever been. Because one of the things of like, I remember years and years ago, when we did social media for people, like if they had any content, brilliant, we used to do social media for a realtor for an estate agent. And it was great, because we just used to post houses all the times. And then we would go to like a big blog that talks about how to buy a house. And we would post that, like we’d never had to post anything of any interest, which that sounds awful, but but it wasn’t because you just had to be there and you just had to post. Whereas now it’s like, okay, you need to stand out, you need to be different. You need to be personable. But trying to get an agency to work with or someone to work with you to do that is really, really hard. It’s really hard to do it for myself, let alone an agency or someone working with a company going right? How can we make you look really personal when when you’re not doing it? We are and one of the hardest jobs ever is getting content out of anybody, or getting you to do anything or convincing you to do anything. So I think that’s, I think the problem is and the biggest changes, you’re constantly having to move and tweak and change. And I know people you know, one of my best friends, he has an agency that is a full service agency and to the point where he’s like, right, we’ve got to stop doing that because that’s no longer getting it like people aren’t willing to pay chunks of money to put posts on social media anymore without a ton of other stuff behind it, you know? And also the other thing that I see which is so fascinating, weirdly this estate agent moment on about a he recently sold my dad’s house. So I had a conversation with him. I hadn’t seen him for years. And he said to me, you know, all the stuff you were telling us to do, we’re finally doing it. It’s like, oh, imagine it where you’d be if you’d done it back in the day when I said to do it, but like, I think one thing that’s fascinating for me, having been in all the roles almost is some of the stuff that I do. And I teach to small solopreneur businesses are faster and more ahead than the businesses that work with agencies. Like, I remember being interviewed for a podcast called Social chain, and social chain, basically are a big agency, I was gonna say, here in the UK, but they’re actually international now. And there’s a really big guy that’s massive over here, and it was his and he sold it. And anyway, it’s a big, big agency that has lots and lots of clients, big clients. And I was interviewed by them for their podcast, which is awesome. And I decided to talk about lead magnets. And I literally blew their mind. And I couldn’t believe that I was having this conversation with a marketing agency, who didn’t know what a lead magnet was. And I think, the solopreneur level marketing, whereas before, it would like drip down to small business owners, like oh, you can, we’ll create something massive here and a big company or a big agency, and you can try and do it, but you’re probably not going to do it very well, because you don’t have the budget and you don’t have the resources, and you don’t have the skills. Now it almost feels like actually some of these people who are taken on really good marketing strategies, it can almost go back up to some of the bigger companies and some of the bigger agencies. And we can move much faster and quicker because of that.

Anne Candido 11:52
I love what you’re saying here. And I think it aligns really well with what are the things that April and I debate a lot, which is with bending over or as a man and 2.0. Now like resurrecting, right. So when we talk about, like what creative looks like nowadays, we talk a lot, or maybe I talk a lot about this, like really big tension between creative for creative sake, and creative for business sake. Right? If you rewind, you know, back 40 or 50 years, even though that era of madmen is kind of it’s different now in a way that it looks. The objective is always creative. For business sake, even there was only one channel, which was advertising. So I feel like we’re kind of getting back to this place where it’s like, the creative is the most important thing. And you kind of said that, and we’re starting to really dilute the quality of creative or what good creative looks like, because we have so many channels, we have like this mentality that we just have to be there. And that’s all that matters more. And therefore, that should be enough. But it’s not enough. I’d love for you to speak a little bit more about how do you talk to these companies about how to really hone in on creating quality creative in their this world where they don’t get it? Or maybe they’re so desensitized to the fact that they don’t have it like how does that? How does that come along? How does How do you have that conversation?

Teresa Heath-Wareing 13:28
Difficulty? That’s a bad conversation.

April Martini 13:31
Good. It’s the same for us? Yes.

Teresa Heath-Wareing 13:34
I think this is the other thing, I think, again, there’s so much we can learn from each you know that different size businesses can have different size people, I think sometimes the smaller businesses hit on something amazing, because it was just so authentic and so natural, and so out of the box, that only they could have done it because it was one person doing it. And then what happens is sometimes the bigger companies try and replicate it, but it won’t quite replicate because that isn’t how it works, I think, but then trying to convince a bigger company to take some of those and I’m gonna who’s gonna use the word risks and it’s not even risks. It’s how can they show up creatively and authentically, which one is difficult because you’re not talking about one person or two people or even a small team? You know, I was saying that I did some training back in Greece a little while back and like some of the companies in the room were international, you Mungus companies and trying to have a conversation with them and go, Hey, why don’t you try singing on Tik Tok? I mean, I didn’t say that, by the way. But to have those conversations of you could just try it like you could just give it a go. And I think it is so difficult because it’s not. You can’t just go to a marketing department and go, Hey, you can be really creative and do this. It has to be a company wide ethos of this is how we’re willing to show up because that is the other thing about Any creativity that people are putting in any kind of content, it’s got to sit with who they are. So if you’re going to, like, you know, I don’t know, let’s take Landrover dealership, and you’re getting one presents by those people, and then you’re seeing the content is completely different. It can’t and I think that’s the difficulty. It’s, it’s almost like you need to have a conversation with the people at the very, very top and go, if you could just buy into this idea of doing it this way, or showing up or, and I think it goes deeper than that. It’s not even a case of singing and dance on Tik Tok. It’s a case of how do you want to show up what is creative to you What does look good, what you know, and when they get it. And when they buy into it. It filters through everything. A really good example that I gave that talk because the funny thing was, I obviously I talked about small businesses. And when I got the lineup for that, it was a whole day workshop on content, I was like, Oh, wow, I’m gonna have to tweak my presentation, because like, I’m talking about little so and so who’s got like one member of our team. So I bought in, I actually researched dove as a company. Now, the one thing that does do so brilliantly, from a marketing standpoint, is they have really kind of, and I know, they’ve not always been the case, but they now their content, and what they show to the world is absolutely steeped in what their company’s values are now, and that filters through everything, and they show up authentically and real and honest in everything they do. And that has to have come from a conversation right at the top that has to have come from, what do we want to stand for? What do we want to show up as how do we want the world to see us, and then that permission is almost given all the way through everything they do, whether it’s how they sell the places that they’re selling, the content they’re creating, like on YouTube, or their social media, or the you know, influencer content that they’re using, or the partners that they work with. But that can’t just come from the marketing department or the agency, like, it’s got to come from the top, because otherwise, it’s never going to quite sit. And I think that’s the that, for me is one of the biggest challenges putting that creativity behind, it has to come from the very top going, this is how we want to show up. And it’s a big thing to ask because not everyone’s gonna want to take a risk in terms of what they deem to be creative, or authentic or honest,

April Martini 17:32
you bring up a lot of fantastic points. And similarly, some of the things that we face. And a couple of things that came to mind, as you were talking is one, really starting with the brand Foundation, which I feel like can be a buzz term, right? Yeah, talking about is when it actually does happen and what that looks like. But then also, one of the things we’re constantly educating on is the internal out, which you talked about, it has to come from the top, and it’s the culture and then it eats to all the things and all the people and all the experiences. But I would be interested, especially given your you know, you’ve worked on both sides of the fence, right, and you’re working with all different sizes of companies. So one of the things that we’re finding when it comes to agencies, you touched on this briefly before, but the big ones, can’t keep up with doing all the things. So we get somebody you know, best case we get to bring in that’s like, okay, willing to do this, right? Yeah, the big agencies, we feel like, I feel like sometimes you’re trying to steal say they do all this stuff. Right? Yeah. Which they can’t, I just will firmly state they cannot keep up and do all the things to the previous company. But then it can become fragmented, if you’re selecting partners outside of that. So the way you were just talking about, you know, being driven from the top, like I said, best case, but is it the company’s responsibility? In some it is, you know, agency, like, how does that ecosystem work when it works at its best, because that’s, I think, one of the crux of one of the big struggles that’s happening in this industry right now, the creative industry.

Teresa Heath-Wareing 19:13
This is where the agencies and the creative agencies have got their power in terms of you can get, as we know, anybody almost I’m not saying it’s a good thing. I’m just saying we can to do the mechanics, okay. Posting the even some of the creation, we can get all of that, but what, as an agency can offer to a company into a big company is that the big stuff, the values, the brand, the what is it we stand for? How do we want to show up? And I think, for me, they have to be coming in at that level, to go and work with a company and go, Hey, I can do your social media for you. I think as an agency, that’s not where your powers lie. That’s not you know, even when I was talking about so today They didn’t realize someone who didn’t know about lead magnet, their powers let it I mean, it did blow my mind, I have to say,

April Martini 20:07
I’m still I’m still there, I’m still

Teresa Heath-Wareing 20:10
talk, we just go back to that. But like, they can talk about, you know, hey, do you want to show up? And they can do the blue sky thinking almost, you know, they can do the big stuff? And I think so one, it’s where, where you’re going in as an agency saying, yes, we could bring in all the partners, we could do all the things, we can do all the mechanics, but where we’re going to really help you is by creating the kind of rulebook and the strategy and the, you could effectively take this and go, This is who we are, this is how we show up. And it doesn’t matter what platform we use, it doesn’t matter what the latest trend is, or whether we need to go on threads or doing reels, or whatever it is. We know, whatever we produce, this is our playbook. This is our thing, because we’ve worked with an agency who’s helped us do that he’s helped us understand it. And not only do we understand it, and do it, we are sold and believe every single word they say, because as an agency, you have the skills to go in and have those conversations, which again, like when you think about, and this is something that always bothered me, I used to get so frustrated. And I’m sure you guys get frustrated of like, the typical either or there’s this kid in the office who’s really good at so and so. So we’re getting them to do that. Please don’t please do not like I can’t even like or the other one that drives me crazy, which is more on kind of the solopreneur front is someone gets really good and account. So someone happens to love Instagram, and they’ve created some reels, and they’ve had some big numbers. And now they’re going to teach everybody else, all the other companies how to do it. Whereas that’s not that’s a mechanic like that’s a yes, showing me how to physically do a reel, but you can’t necessarily tell me for my business, my customers, my audience, my tone of voice, how to do it, whereas that’s where the agency’s powers come in. So I think going almost at the top going, listen, whatever the marketing mechanics are, that’s by the by that is like the next thing we deal with, which we can deal with, if you need us to do that. But where we need to help you is getting all those things straight, and then whatever they choose to do. And then when a new platform comes up, or when actually shouldn’t be going into this thing, that’s fine. Choose those things. And if you work with an agency to do that, great. And if you don’t, and you do it in haste, fine, whatever, but you have this kind of theme, or this thing from the top that goes all the way down. And the other thing I was gonna say, you know, we’ve talked about the fact of, you know, there are things that I can do way quicker. Now, I don’t have the big companies, audiences, obviously, but I can make things happen much quicker in my business, because there’s only me and a small team, you know, or I can go, here’s the latest trend, I could jump on it tomorrow, whereas they not may not be able to however, they need to play to their strengths of they can do this brand work, they can do this values work, they can be consistent, I was only talking to someone today about never making a decision out of fear, because you’ll make a terrible one. And you’ll go, oh, I need to do this thing. And then suddenly, you’re producing something that you shouldn’t do. And it looks completely out of brand. And it’s off, you know, tone of voice and all that sort thing. Whereas go with those strengths that you can pay for those people to come in and help you with those things. And you can create really amazing stunning bits of creative like you can do the most well produced podcast you’ve ever done in your life, you can do the most beautiful YouTube videos, you can do the most curated. You know, a friend of mine owner owns an agency that just has videos, and specifically social media videos. And they’re very creative. And they’re very funny. So anybody that comes to them. And again, this is the other thing, like I think a full service agency isn’t going to wash because that’s all they do. So they know that industry inside and out, they know what’s working on social media, they know what’s funny, they know what’s and they know what brands they will never work with, because how they show up and what they produce is not going to work for those brands. So again, I think it’s working on the top stuff, and it’s playing to their strengths, which are, you’ve got some deep pockets and can do some really fancy stuff. I would love the most beautiful podcasting studio with all the right lighting and have someone sat opposite me when I interview them. That would be amazing. Thank you. I don’t have the budget for that, or the time or the energy. So do those things. Do those things where you have got that capacity. Don’t try and compete on a point where you’re just not quick enough to be able to do those things, like jump on the latest trend, or maybe you are but not in the same way maybe. Does that even answer the question?

Anne Candido 24:44
Yeah, I want to take Can I take a little bit of a pivot? Oh, no. Yeah, that’s fine. Since you brought up the duck campaign, I want to go back to campaigns for a second because I think this is a really, really important topic. Coming from png world and Being very steeped in how campaigns get developed and where all of that fodder comes from. I mean, thank you, Mom campaign, several NFL campaigns, to award winning Super Bowl ads. So like, all of those things seemed very esoteric to a lot of people. And so when you you bring up like the dove campaign, for example, I want to challenge one of the beliefs about that, that that is steeped in what the company actually believes. Because I actually think, and I can say, because I come from that world, that it comes from an insight and a really well executed piece of content that actually catches fire. Right, so that dove campaign if we go and we rewind back to actually how that started, that started with a piece of content. That was the sketch artist, and the sketch artist was sketching what a woman said she looked like, and you would get this one picture, right. And then he would sketch what her best friend said she looked like. And it was like a much more beautiful, complementary image of her. That was based on a huge, huge insight that was super relevant at the time. And through really well executed content. The smartness of what made that foundational and connected to dove is that they got it, they leveraged that and they continue to grow from it, which I think is really super important, because I don’t think anybody was sitting around saying, Well, what do we want to do? We’re who we do women. You know, we’re gonna stand for women empowerment. I’m like, I can tell you coming from like, either like a girl standpoint, all those sorts of things. That’s not like how these things kind of percolate. It’s more of like, what can we do in order to be authentically connected to our consumer in a way that nobody else has being able to do? And how do we use our brand, in order to be the conduit for that, and there’s a really fine line to be able to or have to walk on that because you have to do it in a way that doesn’t feel forced. And you have to do it in a way that feels relatable. And so well executed, content like that. And then the ability to take that as a strategy and the bill more around it. Because this is where when you said like, can you test it out a little bit, they did test a little bit, and they got some right, and they got some wrong, right. And it still has persevered. But I think now it’s become now more the foundation of the brand. And it was initially to begin with. And so I say that because I feel like as agencies, we kind of hang our hats on campaign development. Like that’s a big deal. And we use our previous experience to tout that we can do campaigns, I think it’s not just about the fact that you do one campaign, because I’ve talked to a lot of agencies who did one, it could never replicate that. And yeah, and so but the the art is in the process by which you really secure that insight and April’s really big on the difference between like an insight and just an observation, observation. But really, really secure that insight and really find a way I say clever, but I don’t mean clever, like haha, like, Ooh, you got me clever and clever in a way that kind of unites the brand essence with that insight to create a piece of content that then catches fire, and then the art of taking that and developing a strategy around that and keep on going with it. Because a lot of times, we’ll do it. And then we’re like, great, that was fantastic. A lot of the Superbowl spots and then they’re done. Right. So to me, it has to have some level of longevity. But I just bring that back in. Because I think it’s it’s a core of what agencies still hang their hat on with regards to creative chops. And I feel like the art of baby doing that has been lost a little bit. So I don’t know what you have to say about that. So such

Teresa Heath-Wareing 28:56
a good point. Such a good point. And again, that’s leveraging their superpowers and the agency superpowers. Yeah, because when, when someone does, you know, when a smaller business and you know, when I say small, I mean, you know, potentially up to like 50 to 100 staff, but when a smaller business does something, and it catches fire, and you’re like, oh, that’s that’s awesome. Like, look, we did this thing. There wasn’t necessarily the research beforehand, that and not even necessarily with some of the bigger businesses, there might not be the research plan. But also there’s not the unpacking of that campaign to go. So what was it that made it so good? What did people resonate with? Why did that pick up? Why was that brilliant? It’s almost like Awesome, let’s try this, you know, and again, like as a smaller business or even as a solopreneur. You can you can do those things you can tweak and move to the next thing but But what they’re not doing is they’re kind of like, you know, the being really scrappy about it and sometimes being scrappy is great, because it gets you some results. But when you’re a big business, you can’t be scrappy about it like, unlike you said, to be able to do something and to go, oh, hang on, there’s something here. And then also, you know, I think you’re right in the sense of, maybe it was idealistic of me to think that the values and the meaning of a company come down into the marketing, and then the campaigns get created. The truth is, they see something and they go, Oh, this would be good if this was more about us. And we did more of this. And again, that has to come from the smartness of the people in the room, and the agencies and the people they’re working with, which then they can go this and one of the things that smaller businesses don’t do, which I get, you know, I went from writing huge marketing plans to then work with myself, again, I’m never doing one of them again, and then realize there was some reason why I did it. But we don’t review stuff. Like we’re not doing the kind of debriefs of campaigns, we’re not doing the analytics, we’re not doing the, you know, we’re not looking at where people are finding us and what they’re doing and how they’re doing it so that we can take a very educated guess at, okay, those elements were working really well, that’s what hit? How can we take that maximise on it? And do it even better? Or how can we build more stuff around it? Whereas I think that’s exactly where the genius of working with an agency is. And I think, you know, it’s just such a great way of talking about it. And like you said, making one campaign fly, doesn’t necessarily mean, you’re amazing at what you’re doing, it’s being able to go, this is why we think it might, and this is, what we’ve learned from it, and how we’re going to replicate it.

April Martini 31:32
Yeah, I mean, I think you both bring up really good points. And I mean, part of this whole thing, right is like peeling back the curtain and showing both sides of the agency and the company. And what I’m hearing, both of you say is, number one, it’s never linear. I think that that’s a big misconception, too, is you do this, and then you do this, and then you do this, and then you’re off and running, and you can replicate the campaigns, or the values just come out in the organization. It’s like magic, you know, and you said Mad Men before. And I feel like that’s where a lot of that has died on the vine. And I think it should, is that it isn’t magic. And we do have to do the work together. And I think in hearing what both of you are having to say it’s leveraging the expertise on both sides, but then also the vulnerability to admit not when you don’t know things or when you’re not an expert in things. One of the things we talk about a lot of times is, our clients are going to know more about their business than we’re ever going to know and can’t profess to be smarter or better or more capable ever, because that’s what they do all day long. What we bring is a more generalist approach and perspective based on all the various businesses that we work on day to day, and the things that we can learn from all of them. But really, the crux of all of it is building a relationship where we trust each other, and making sure that we can have honest conversations, but also are willing to hear each other and push. This is something that I think has gotten really hard. And I think that there’s a lot of symptoms and a lot of different reasons. And it’s interesting when we’re talking to people, we hear it in different ways, right? Like for us a lot of times we get a project truly because of bad behavior on another agency’s side and so we’re working twofold to fix whatever happened and to prove our credibility and we’re on a you know, a bigger inclined to do so because they’ve been burned before or it’s the saying you can do it all and trying to keep up with that on the agency side. You know, there’s all these different reasons that happens. But I think that what has been eroded and lost in a lot of this is the trust factor and the willingness to get our hands dirty together and also take the time to slow down and do things right. I think we’re chasing you know, Tracy said before the channel or the execution Yeah, we’re and the next campaign or that one great, let’s move to the next one. But making sure that we’re holding each other accountable and honest to me is something that I think is broken in a lot of different ways and needs to be repaired. So I don’t know either one of you I opened it up just to get perspective but in listening to you talk that’s what came to mind for me.

Teresa Heath-Wareing 34:17
Again I agree with what you’re saying in terms of one there appears no time to slow down because the speed in which marketing the industry everything is and I think you’re right I think in this constant quest to be the next best thing or have the greatest latest idea or the the secret behind the thing which we all want. Like we would take it It’s like someone saying I could be half the size I am and my skin look perfect tomorrow if I take this pill I would do it in a heartbeat course I would like yeah, like and we all want it we all want the How Do I Get viral? How do I do this thing? But I think like you said it leads to not be Be honest about what you can achieve promising too much or hoping that you’re gonna get more and it not turning out that way. And sometimes as well, because we all know, you know, the world we’re in, there’s a level of manipulation in terms of numbers and how people do things, you know, and I know, again, I keep a competitor’s chain as if I’m bad mouthing them, I’m really not. But one of the reasons they got even to the level they did is because they created, they were very strategic. Basically, they created loaded Twitter accounts, and they created them for specialist things. So they created like a football one. And they created I can’t even think what else but like, almost industry or themes or whatever. And then when they had built a really bigger canes, they would go to an agent that to a company and go we can get you X amount of reach by tomorrow. Right. And of course, the companies weren’t really, and this is fairly early doors, or social media earliest or social media. And of course, they had the means because they had created their own means. But that didn’t necessarily mean they could replicate the other things. And it didn’t necessarily mean that they had great campaign ideas. And it didn’t necessarily mean that they could do marketing in line with you the company. Do you know what I mean? It’s like, I think I think we can manipulate things. And I think maybe we’re not as honest or not, we’re not as honest. Because that’s really sweeping statements. And I know, I am, I’m sure you’re very honest as well like, but in the question of, okay, we want to win this big account, or we want to win this big thing. It’s like, yeah, we can do that, again, coming back to that full service agency thing. And it’s not helping anybody, because no one’s going no, actually, this is what my expertise is, and this is what you’re going to pay for. And this is what you’re gonna get. And this is what I can do. And this is what I can’t do. And I think like you said, that is leaving them burn and then giving you a nightmare when you’re trying to take over from another agency that is screwed them over.

Anne Candido 36:56
Yeah, and I think it goes back to the a lot of what we see which is these agencies, you have niched down in order to deliver a specific service, a very specific tactical service, which sounds like what that is, but doesn’t know how to customize it for the client. Right? So it’s their one trick pony. And it’s like, this is what I so I’m gonna get you 10 million eyeballs, right? And don’t even ask you. What is your company? What is your business? What do you sell? What is it’s just like, No, I’m just gonna get you 10 million about I mean, we, we get emails over and over and over for people who are promising to do that for us and have no idea who we are, and have no idea what we’re trying to sell. And so it’s a little bit of responding to the market to some extent, because we as the market have trained people that that’s all we care about, we only care about the engagement of social media posts, we only care about how many eyeballs we’re getting, that’s all we care about, because that’s what we can measure, versus where I think agencies need to evolve back to and again, this goes back to the Mad Men model, which is, and you brought this up earlier today. So when you were talking about why you abandon a little bit of your, your solopreneur, or you agency piece, which was you, like as you as like the proverbial you become the brand, right? So you have the expertise, you have the skill, you have the ability to be able to do something that nobody else can quite do like you. And it’s not in the delivery of the tactics, which like you said, a lot of people can do it is how do you do it? What is going to really sell what is going to really get that attention, you’re really serving? What business problem? Are you really solving. Those are the skills of the people that I feel has been lost a little bit, especially when you’re talking about creativity, and you’re talking about the essence of creating a brand and campaigns that really, really work hard for businesses. It’s like it’s that skill that really associates the objective or the what you want to get out of it ultimately, with some sort of specific call it and say or call it an approach or a process or something that they see from another industry that they can pull in and they can reimagine it and disrupt a little bit like these are skills that people used to have that don’t seem like they’re cultivated anymore within the agencies because everybody’s become a practitioner of some sort of deliverable. And so I feel like me and April can kind of go through the same thing. It’s like we haven’t scaled because really what people are buying for fourth grade people are they’re buying me and April, it’s been really hard to pick out how to replicate that except for in specific pieces, which we have some fantastic bench and they do their job really, really well. But it is kind of the nature of the game. And so it is like that dilemma of Do you stay small? Do you get big How do you do that? So I’m curious to see it and hear from you about First, any response to what I had to say, but then as well as like, how do agencies take about cultivating their talent in order to really be able to hone in on what’s important to actually sell business, or sell to businesses?

Teresa Heath-Wareing 40:18
One of the things that came up as you were talking about, we’re losing the skills, right. So I did my degree 20 years ago, my marketing degree, that is the foundation of everything I still do today, right? Because I learned the basics, I learned the foundations, I learned how to talk to a customer, I hate to, you know, I joke that one of my superpowers is, you know, you tell me what your business is. And I can drop into being your customer and tell you what’s probably important and how I want to be spoken to and that sort of thing, and be able to go, you know, this is how you could connect with me. But one of the things that came up was like, we’re losing those skills, because like you said, people to tactic mechanic focused, and we’re picking up the wrong people thinking they’re the experts, someone who went viral on Tiktok, and now sells how to do tick tock, so some companies bring them in going, hey, this person has got 300 million followers, we Yeah, but they know nothing about marketing, or messaging or anything from that point of view, they know how to do what they did in their business. And then or not even a business at that point. And then things like AI. So I was thinking about the messaging and about understanding your customer and how that’s one of the skills that you too can offer. And the agency can offer to say, we can get under the skin and really understand it and really kind of make sure that everything is aimed, or we can look at the path of your customer takes in the points in which they’ve touch and how that might work. And, and then you’ve got AI that comes along goes yeah, I can read the whole sales page for you. Like, I can just write this stuff for you. And, and the problem is, I think the people who haven’t valued those skills, or maybe valued them a little bit, and now like we don’t need them anymore, like this is brilliant. Have you seen this? I showed my husband ChatGTP. And it was like it literally blew his mind. He’s not in my industry. He was in the military. And he’s like, how much do you pay for that? Like? It’s like, it’s free. And he was literally, I saw his brain explode, but that he’s definitely not in any industry anywhere near this. But that’s the problem. Like you’ve got people looking at that thinking, again, quick fix cheap, easy, easy solution. And I think that is going to be a battle for agencies and for experts to go, yeah, it is good. And these are the parameters, you can work with it. And I think that’s the thing, isn’t it? I think for the agencies wanting to showcase their skills, it’s about saying, all these other things are brilliant, if you know how to use them, and if you’re using them properly, and if you’re using them for the right reasons. And that’s where we come in, in terms of saying, Okay, if you don’t know what your messaging is, and you ask ChatGTP to write you a whatever, it’s going to be absolutely horrific, like it’s not going to work. Or if you get some kid in the office to go on reels because it is pretty good. And he knows what he’s doing, again, not going to work. So I think it’s about and as I say, as I’m talking about, I’m like this is hard, man, this is so hard. Like to re educate those people and go, no, there is a reason you need this level of skill in there. But then that comes back to your question of how do you scale that? How do you scale your brain, which was one of my reasons I went to an online business, but that means I very rarely do I have done the campaign stuff. I did some stuff not so long ago, where actually they bought me in and they had their agency, you can imagine how fun that was their agency, the clients and me just telling them what I thought right? Which is like, yeah, it didn’t get

Anne Candido 44:10
through. Yeah, from everybody. Yeah.

Teresa Heath-Wareing 44:16
That’s the thing. It’s like, either it’s more consultancy based, or, and this is the problem. I’m never going to sell my membership, my courses, my coaching my group programs to big companies, because they’re never going to join something like that. So it’s really hard. Like I don’t know that I have an answer or solution as to how you do it. I think there are different avenues you can go down for sure. But I think and for me and what I did, and what I would recommend to other people is do the bits that you love and the bits that I loved was less of the doing. I hated the doing like, like you said, and I will give you all the ideas in the world. I’ll have a lovely day. I’m doing it. And I, this is what I think this is one of our superpowers if you’ve worked in an agency, one of the things and why I really struggled to ever niche is because I loved doing the someone tells me what their businesses are my bed, my brain wakes up and goes, Listen to these ideas, right? And I love the speed in which like, I have to come up with things. I love exactly what you said in terms of seeing something done somewhere else and going, Oh, what if they did that over here for that industry? You know. So I think for me, I took the bits that I loved. And it meant that I do a little bit of the big corporate stuff, where I can talk to big massive businesses with ginormous budgets and go, you could do this and it’d be so cool. But I do a lot more of the small business stuff because of the path I’ve chose. I think it’s like my friend who’s got his agency, one of his things that he’s taking is literally talking strategy. And doing none of the mechanics like literally none, like I will walk in, I will go through I mean, he’s even trademarked a whole process and everything. Now, I will come in and work with your company. And we will do this, which will take a number of days, weeks, whatever it takes. And I will hand it to you. And then I’m okay, go and see you later. Bye. And yes, they can do some bits. But really, they’re not bothered about doing that either. So I think it’s about going hey, do I want to spend my days and actually saying that’s what I’m brilliant at. And that’s why you want to work with me, and being like almost a boutique agency, and charging a ton of money for those fields to work with you.

April Martini 46:39
Back to your very early comment about retiring on a beach right with all Yeah,

Teresa Heath-Wareing 46:42
exactly. Exactly. Which obviously is all right, well, I want to retire to a homestead. That’s what I want to do. Like, that’s my dream. So Beach is nice, but give me acres of land, a beautiful garden and some chickens. And I’d be happy forever. That

Anne Candido 46:59
sounds like your sister. Yeah.

April Martini 47:03
I would be the beach person. But she is that. Yeah. So sad. Yeah. But I think so when I think about, you know, and I don’t I’m not trying to get all dramatic, but like the things that quote unquote, keep me up at night. It is these kinds of gaps, right. And so the AI piece scares me because of the things that you said, right. And it’s not just AI, it’s things like Fiverr and other you know, putting Canva in everybody’s hands. And even I now know how to use Canva. And I see how brilliantly easy it is right? Like I I’m a believer, now I can get it. But there’s those things and the belief and you said it before Theresa that kind of anybody can do it, right? There’s the AI component, which in and of itself, I’m like, it’s never going to get it right. But there’s people who think it’s good enough, and it’s fine.

Teresa Heath-Wareing 47:46
Yeah. And some it will be fine. And

April Martini 47:49
some it will be fine. Yes. And then there’s this younger generation, when I look around, and you’ve said it a couple times, Teresa have the experience you got or the education you got or the things that you’ve picked up and learned along the way. We and I specifically enjoy mentoring the younger people just coming out of school. And so because people know that I get a lot of them. And the question that I get most often is great. I want to be you How do I go and learn to do that. And one of the things that existed in the big agency agencies as I was coming up, was the ability to learn how to do all the things we’ve talked about today, how to really think hard, how to, like you said figure out who is the actual customer consumer, how to do it on lots of different brands over and over and over again to build your toolkit, but also build the learning and awareness. And I share it with you when a new climbing I was just in the conversation this morning. And someone sat in front of me and said, Here’s the challenge. And I just went right well from this client, I saw this and from this I saw this and I would do this is all I don’t know where to tell the young people to go to get any of that because all of those agencies that I worked for that helps me learn those skills are either gone or they’re not doing that anymore because they’re chasing more of you know, we say tactics you know, you said mechanic’s, whatever the execution of the things instead of taking the time to do those foundational fundamental things and so to keep me up at night, that’s where I am I’m like, we have this whole set of tools plus all the AI robotic things you know, and this next generation who best case they want to learn how to do it and they want to do this job doesn’t even know where to go to get it. And so, you know, we’ve said with this series, we’re not going to solve it all but I would just be curious in your thoughts or you know, challenges are also just like well, you know, I’ve seen this work well whatever because, like you were trying to figure out what we want to do everyday to and we work with smaller clients for the same reasons. It fuels our passion. It is the reason to get up it’s not waiting six years for a package to show up on shelf for you know a client Have you forgotten worked with by the time it gets there? It’s

Anne Candido 50:01
having an impact, and we get to work on what we want to work on. Yeah, yeah. Is that what you said?

Teresa Heath-Wareing 50:06
Do you know when you said like, you know, if they want to come into I think, I don’t know. And this is quite a statement, but I’m not. I don’t know that there’s going to be when I think about my daughter’s 14, will there be people like us with the breadth and depth and education of marketing? In 2030 years time? I don’t know. Yeah, honestly, I really don’t know. Because like you said, so many of these people. So many of the big agencies, the, the people that we learn from, and they’re just not going to be doing it, they’re just not going to be doing the deep work, they’re going to be doing that. Okay, everyone dance for a real like, and I say that flippantly, but I don’t know that there is that. For me the only thing I would say. And when I think about my daughter, she’s just started working with me, actually, she’s done some stuff in camera. And start our how to design. Yeah, I had a designer designer, and then she’s, we’re doing a summit, and there’s like 38 speakers. So there’s 38 versions of every image that we’ve done. So she’s been doing them all. And she is so excited. Like she’s followed them on Instagram. And when they post it, she said, Look, man, look, they I did that. And it’s I love it, right. And the only thing I can imagine for her is that you do lots of things, you try lots of things, you go to lots of businesses, you, you experiment, and you test and you try a new and not that I want her to literally flip from one job to another to another to another. But one of the things that I think has helped me is I did have lots of different marketing jobs. Because in how I worked was, I was so ambitious that I would work for a company for a couple of years and go Can I can I be the boss now? And when they said no. Okay, let’s move on. And I’d move on to another one. But it meant that I did. I you know, I joke that in terms of all the tactics that there are out there, the only thing I never had my hands directly on was TV advertising. You know, I went to media buyers, and I saw it and I witnessed it from a distance. But like I did fax marketing a fax, man, could you imagine having fax marketing, now, there’s bad enough getting an email or something in your feed? Could you imagine a 15 page fax coming through every week without you even wanting it? absolute nightmare. But I’ve done all of it because like, honestly, it was like another world back then. And I think that’s what I would say is that you’re not going to find it in one place, you’re not going to find an amazing or it’s very unlikely that you’re going to find someone that you can work with that is going to be able to give you hands on experience, and learnings from lots of different places and lots of companies so that you can hone all those skills and all that education. I think you’ve almost got to be restricted to put yourself in front of all those places. And even things like I would never work. I read office, our own company, but I would never work for one company ever again. Like I you know, when I used to be a marketing manager, executive, whatever I was, in one company, talking about one thing, I don’t know how the hell I did that day, like but even that even going if you went to a humongous company, unless you’re going to someone, you know, like p&g, like, that have multiple brands and multiple businesses. Unless you’re gonna go someone like that, you’re not even going to get it from working for a marketing department in a company because they only know what they know, you know, so I think the only way they’re gonna do that is by going, Okay, I’ve tried this bit over here, this was lovely. Did that for a couple of years. And I’m gonna come out of here, and I’m gonna go and try this bit. And I’m gonna do that for a bit and I’m gonna come out and I’m gonna go over here, and then building up all that knowledge. But I would love I’d be fascinated to know what they teach you marketing. Now, I really, really would. Because I don’t even know how they keep up with that, like, literally don’t know how to keep up with it. So I this is the more we talk, the more I’m convinced that as an agency, if you want to be the agency that looks at the strategy, and you know, the smart stuff, the really smart stuff and not be too bothered about, okay, let’s what tech should we have on that reel? And I say these flippantly and I don’t mean it flippantly but I think that you are going to become a boutique agency for many reasons. One, you can’t sell your brain a million times over. You can’t teach this to people in five minutes. And there are less than less than less of you. So you are naturally going to become boutique high end and you know, quite exclusive. I was gonna say it’s a worry Isn’t it isn’t maybe the consumers are as fast paced and as fickle as some of the people doing some of the things you know, maybe that’s

April Martini 55:10
where the dinosaurs is that what I’m hearing now?

Teresa Heath-Wareing 55:13
Oh, no, no, I don’t I think we like the like the wise sages.

April Martini 55:19
There we go. That’s what I’ll take.

Teresa Heath-Wareing 55:22
It still sounds a bit old who looks incredibly young?

April Martini 55:27
Oh yeah, yes, we’re gonna take that magic pills what we’re gonna do? Yeah, sure exactly. All right. So this has been amazing. And Theresa, I think we could probably talk for hours, which for all of you before we got on here, we talked about how we need to all learn about Theresa April need to learn to be more brief and have a handle on it.

Teresa Heath-Wareing 55:47
We’re going to take some lessons from an who’s going to do an online course.

Anne Candido 55:51
Yes, engineer turn marketer and how that benefits. Yeah.

Teresa Heath-Wareing 55:54
Yeah, yeah, I love that.

April Martini 55:57
But before we leave, we like to ask each of our guests just a couple quickfire questions. So again, concise, which I’m also I’ll try. But just for people to get to know you a little bit better before we finish this up. All right, first one here. If you could only eat one thing forever. What would it be?

Teresa Heath-Wareing 56:16
Oh my god. You said concise and quick. And salmon en croute. Oh, I love a song. All right. Technically, I shouldn’t I’m celiac. I can’t eat pastry. But one thing I’m picking something I can’t know. That

April Martini 56:30
would be alright. I like it. All right. If you could do one job outside of marketing, what would it be?

Teresa Heath-Wareing 56:38
I guess this is a bit of a cheat but a full time speaker like I speak anyway. But if I could just be a speaker about something else. I’d speak about something else. Okay.

April Martini 56:46
All right, that that’s fair. All right. You talked about the chickens. But are you a dog or cat person?

Teresa Heath-Wareing 56:51
Oh, dogs. We have dogs? Yeah.

April Martini 56:55
Let’s see all of us too. All right. Kindred Spirits over here. Yeah. All right. Well, before we wrap up, Theresa, we want to say first, thanks for being here and talking to us. But please, any final thoughts? And if you want to let people know where they can find you, or, you know, connect with you to continue the conversation. Well,

Teresa Heath-Wareing 57:12
thank you, this has been so much fun. I’ve really, really enjoyed it. And it’s made me think really hard. So these are some great questions. And I was like, Okay, if I answered that, and each one which I haven’t done for a long time, so I appreciate that that was gonna burn. If you want to find me, you can just search Teresa Heath-Wareing – that’s the advantage of having a bit of an unusual name is that you’ll find me, I hang out most on Instagram. And I have a podcast too called your dream business. So if you wanna check that out, then please do.

April Martini 57:39
This has been an exceptionally insightful conversation. And we want to thank Teresa for being one of our experts in this Marketing Smarts Creative Series, the issues facing creative agencies today, and how they need to evolve to stay relevant.

We hope that coming out of this conversation all of you listeners take action on the insights we’ve discussed today to make your agency client partnerships stronger and more meaningful, as well as be honest with yourselves and clean up work clean up as needed. We can all change the industry for the better this way. Be on the lookout or listen for other episodes in this series. And if you have particular thoughts or feedback, we’d love to hear from you as always. And with that, we will say go and exercise your Marketing Smarts! Still need help in growing your Marketing Smarts?

contact us through our website: We can help you become a savvier marketer through coaching or training you and your team or doing the work on your behalf. Please also help us grow the podcast by rating and reviewing on your player of choice and sharing with at least one person. Now, go show off your Marketing Smarts!