Mustard’s Creative Director Simon Dunn joined Priscilla Mckinney, President and CEO of Little Bird Marketing (based in Joplin, Missouri), for a chat to be included as an episode in Priscilla’s podcast ‘Ponderings from the Perch’. Topics of discussion included Simon’s role as a designer at Keen as Mustard, the importance of time and effort in marketing strategies, and even the origins of the name ‘Keen as Mustard’ (for our American readers, it means extremely enthusiastic).
In the podcast episode, Simon and Priscilla discussed the secret to achieving good marketing, which is the simple fact that you have to put in the leg work; you can’t achieve successful marketing overnight, and even once you start to see the results you still have to keep going. “I keep telling my team that if we work this hard for ten years we’ll be an overnight success,” Priscilla says, before comparing this consistent marketing effort to using ‘elbow grease.’
What’s more, this hard work has to be across multiple platforms, Simon says.
“You don’t just do a new brand, or launch a new website, sit back and wait for the work to come in. It’s all about actually doing all of those things, joining them up, having a plan – segmentations – targeting. It’s a whole joined-up web of stuff that you’re doing – and you do need to be doing all of them. And for quite a long time!”
But to supplement the hard work you also need expertise. Both Simon and Priscilla discourage the attitudes that push certain marketing activities onto the less experienced employees who might not understand the technicalities of the job. Jobs such as social media marketing shouldn’t be dismissed as easy and therefore passed over to an intern. Their lack of experience means they’re probably not the best person to be held fully responsible for promoting the content that you’ve spent time and effort on, especially when they need to condense the descriptions to fit the tight character requirements. “You wouldn’t let your intern do legal work for you, or sign a contract,” says Simon, questioning why marketing is not valued as highly as these tasks.
The undervaluing of design was also highlighted during their conversation.
“You can get a logo online for $200, it’s not that you can’t”, says Priscilla. “The question is if that is really the value that you place there.”
If you value an area of your company, such as its aesthetics, it’s important that you spend the right amount of money to do the job properly. Of course, with design, however, there is always a level of subjectivity, and with Simon’s role as Creative Director, it’s unsurprising that he had a lot to say on this topic.
“What makes it really hard is that a lot of it is down to personal opinion … you might hate a particular design, logo or website but it might actually be right for that business. A classic example is when someone relaunches a new brand and everyone says it’s horrible and they really dislike it – sometimes that criticism is valid but sometimes it’s just a reaction to something new, rather than an actual reaction to whether the logo is good or bad.’
This conversation may sound pretty serious – but don’t worry – Priscilla and Simon had plenty of time to chat about more casual topics, including scotch eggs, the importance of ‘social lubricant’ in networking, London foodie locations and, of course, Simon’s ‘classy’ British accent.