Curiosity has the power to help marketers challenge the status quo and make game-changing discoveries. When it comes to making data-driven decisions, curiosity pushes us to get to the why behind the whats, towards better outcomes and visionary innovation.
That’s why Skai dedicated a whole day to the theme in our first fully-virtual summit, CURIOUS 2020. 34 hours of content and 25 sessions later, CURIOUS 2020 has come to a close. If you weren’t able to watch the sessions live then don’t worry – they are now available to view on our on-demand hub in your own time.
One of our amazing speakers for CURIOUS 2020 was Kirk Perry, President – Global Client & Agency Solutions at Google. Before arriving at Google seven years ago, Kirk spent 24 years as a marketer at one of the largest advertisers in the world, Procter & Gamble (P&G)
In his CURIOUS 2020 session, Kirk relays that while being a marketer at P&G was a transformative experience, his time at a fast-paced, innovative company such as Google has been eye-opening. He has learned some things over the last seven years that would have made him think differently when he was at P&G.
In his session, entitled “If I Knew Then…”, Kirk shares the lessons that his younger self could have benefited from in hindsight.
He started his session by sharing this quote:
In this context, he was referring to himself. What did the person who came after him at P&G think about some of his practices? Would they have questioned his policies and processes? What would he have done differently if he knew then what he knows now?
Six Things Kirk Perry Would Have Done Differently Based on What He Has Learned at Google
“If I knew then…” #1 – Focused on digital
Early in his career, he was given a lot of intense training on the two most important channels at the time, TV and print. He shared going through some intense training about how to buy/plan offline media, and not enough of a focus on digital marketing.
“Digital marketing is complex,” he admits and wished his younger self had spent more time building up his online knowledge earlier.
“If I knew then…” #2 – Jumped on the mobile revolution
Although everyone saw the mobile revolution coming, the impact has been game-changing. Kirk Perry shared this picture below to hammer this point home. Both images are from St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican during the announcements of Pope Benedict in 2005 and Pope Francis in 2013. The second photo highlights the rapid proliferation of technology in just a handful of years.
Kirk shared that the latest research shows most people use their mobile devices more than 150 times a day. “The first thing you touch when you wake up and the last thing you touch when you go to bed is your phone,” he says.
Today’s marketers need to be building towards a mobile-first customer experience and he wishes that he had seen that coming as quickly as it did.
“If I knew then…” #3 – Spent more time connecting emotionally with customers
The younger Kirk Perry spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to appeal to consumers’ heads in order to encourage them to purchase P&G products. Today, he wishes that he had spent more attention on how to touch people’s hearts and create emotionally, “Magical Experiences” to help move the bottom line.
In the session, he shares his own experience ordering a Tesla in just “3 screens”—an amazingly simple process for being something like a car that has historically taken an in-person visit to the dealership over many hours.
Another example he shares is Hilton, which enables visitors to check-in online through its app and even downloads your virtual key to your phone. When he stays at Hiltons, he doesn’t even need to stop at the front desk. This is “a simple thing, but a magical experience.”
“If I knew then…” #4 – Led the charge to fail fast
At Google, the mantra is to fail fast. It is testing things all of the time. “Failure is a sign of progress,” he shares. “If you’re not failing then you’re probably not trying.”
At P&G it would take 2-3 years to launch a new product because of the exhaustive checklist that needed to be completed. While this slow process does help to minimize risk, the fear of failure could often minimize the reward as well. Kirk Perry has seen firsthand how a “fail fast” culture has benefited Google and would have certainly been a bit bolder at P&G based on what he knows now.
“If I knew then…” #5 – Would have been closer to the digital execution
At a giant company like P&G, Kirk would pass complexity down to his managers, his managers might then hire an agency to figure it out, who would then hand those tasks off to specialists to complete. Thus, instead of solving for complexity, this process would create even more complexity.
The Google mindset is to jump in feet first with complex tasks and build up your own knowledge rather than passing it down the chain. His advice to his younger self would be to partner with category leaders to attack the complexity head-on.
“If I knew then…” #6 – Lead, not follow
This is a famous quote from hockey legend, Wayne Gretzky when asked how he was able to become so great. Kirk Perry explains that Gretzky said that if you just rely on your speed and strength someone will always come along who is faster or stronger. Someone can always beat you. But, if you’re always adapting then you can stay ahead.
Kirk knows now that the best companies mine the signals to see where the world is heading and build towards that inevitable future. If you focus too much on the present, by the time you launch your product or marketing campaign, you’re already stale and it won’t be as successful.
Watch Kirk Perry’s session and other great CURIOUS 2020 content now
Maybe you joined us during the event and want to see Kirk’s presentation again or share it with a colleague—or maybe you missed CURIOUS 2020 and browse the session recordings? Visit the CURIOUS 2020 event page to check out the speakers, the panels, and more.
There are hours of on-demand videos for you to check out and it’s completely free for everyone.
I hope you enjoy what we’ve put together and—STAY CURIOUS!