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"Visual Storytelling Featuring David Hooker of Prezi" (Inbound Success Ep. 49)

By Kathleen Booth

Kathleen Booth also recommends this free guide: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2021.

"Visual Storytelling Featuring David Hooker of Prezi" (Inbound Success Ep. 49) Blog Feature

What do Bono, Nev Schulman, Ne-Yo, TED and SXSW have in common? They all rely on visual storytelling using Prezi to deliver impactful presentations.

David-Hooker_BW
David Hooker

On this week's episode of The Inbound Success Podcast, Prezi Head of Creative Services and Chief Evangelist David Hooker shares his process for taking a presentation topic and building a narrative and visual story around it. In addition, he goes into detail about the science behind effective presentations, and how that influences the ways in which the best public speakers deliver their talks.

Free Guide: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2021

Listen to the podcast to learn more about David's approach to visual storytelling, and learn how to apply these lessons to your own presentations.



Transcript

Kathleen Booth (host): Welcome back to The Inbound Success podcast. My name's Kathleen Booth and I'm your host.

Before we get started today, just one quick announcement. As you may have heard if you've listened to the last few episodes, the podcast now has an Alexa skill. So if you have any desire to hear me in your Alexa speaking once a week about inbound marketing and talking to really interesting practicing marketers, simply go to your Alexa app, under skills search "Inbound Success," and you'll find us there.

With that, I'd like to introduce my guest for this week who is David Hooker, is the Head of Creative Services and Evangelism at Prezi.

Welcome, David.

David Hooker (guest): Hi, Kathleen. Congrats on being Alexa compatible.

Kathleen: Thank you. I'm not sure anybody actually wants to hear me talk for an hour every week on Alexa, but it's there for those who want it, right?

David: Yeah. Slowly Alexa's starting to do everything around my house, so I can see myself saying, "Alexa, play that podcast."

Kathleen: Yeah. It's pretty neat. It's fun to play around with.

Well, for those who don't know who David is, or don't know what Prezi is, David is with Prezi which is a cloud based presentation platform. And in addition to being their Head of Creative Services, he also is the cohost of Prezi's podcast which is called The Narrative

One of the reasons I'm so excited to talk to you, David, is that you have such an interesting background. You've worked with some really interesting individuals and brands to convert their stories into a more visual format, and you've given a TEDx talk. So I feel like we have a lot of ground to cover.

Before we jump into it, can you tell our audience a little bit more about yourself, your background, and maybe a little bit about Prezi?

About Prezi

David: Thank you very much, Kathleen. I'll be more than happy to. As you mentioned, I am the Head of Creative Services and Evangelism at Prezi. And what that means on a day-to-day basis, what I do on a day-to-day basis, is that I'm making presentations.

So, I'm making them obviously sometimes for myself, like you mentioned the TEDx talk, but more commonly I'm making them for the speakers that we work with.

The wonderful thing about being a marketer for a product like Prezi is that Prezi has this inbuilt plurality, right? It's a presentation tool. Most of the time you do a presentation, you are presenting to people other than yourself. There aren't many mirror-based presentations. There's usually two or three people in the audience.

So, we work with some really great, fantastic speakers. We've done around 30 talks with TED. We've worked with people like SXSW. I've been lucky enough to work with likes of Bono and Nev Schulman on MTV. We know that Ne-Yo is a big Prezi fan, that's the singer who's still pretty popular but was really popular in the 90s when I was growing up.

And so yeah, I'm working with them to take the narrative or the story they want to tell and build the visuals that go with that presentation.

The creative services part of my title means that I'm doing that exact same thing but with our top clients which are many of the Fortune 500 companies who have a message, a story, a product to sell.

And we do do this same activity with SMBs -- smaller companies who come to us who have a message, story, or product that they want to sell, that they want to get out there. And we work with them on the narrative of that. In particular, we work with them on the visuals that accompany and tell their story. And of course we do that with Prezi.

So, the unique thing about Prezi is that rather than taking the slides "A, B, C, D, E, this happened, then that happened, then that happened, then that happened, then that happened, then that happened" approach to presentations -- that very linear based way of thinking -- Prezi uses an entire canvas, and you can lay out all of your information on one canvas and then move around it in a way that makes sense.

That really helps your audience remember.

You don't have to take my word for that. We actually were lucky enough to be on the receiving end of a study from Harvard which shows that when you take a Prezi presentation and compare it to no presentation or a PowerPoint presentation, we actually came out on top as more than 25% more engaging, which I think everybody wants to be more engaging, so that's super cool.

And so yeah, that's me and that's what I do, and that's a little bit about Prezi.

Kathleen: Prezi is fascinating to me because I've done a lot of public speaking in my time, and it does get really, really boring after a while to do PowerPoints, and you sort of feel like the creative life is getting sucked out of you.

I've used Prezi, and I remember looking at examples. I don't remember if I saw them on SlideShare -- I'm not sure exactly where they were at the time. But what fascinated me about Prezi, at least in the way that I was looking at using it, was that when you zoom out, you can create one larger picture or image if you will. In my case, I think I wound up using the image of somebody hitting a baseball out of a baseball park. And then when you zoom in, you can take each element in that bigger image and turn each element into almost like the equivalent of a slide, like it's own individual message or thought.

And I just thought it was so interesting how it's almost like these layers. I think of it almost like the Russian dolls that come one out of the other.

And the way that I had seen Prezi used and that I really loved was in particular those presentations that had the big image where you zoom out, and then every time you zoom in, it revealed something new, which I thought was so interesting. But I'm sure there a million of other ways that people have used it.

David: It's wonderful that you should think of it in that way because what you've done is you've associated Prezi with a metaphor. In your case, it's the Russian dolls. I'm sure there's proper word for that but I honestly can't remember it at the moment. The dolls that come out of each other, you've associated it with a metaphor.

That's one of the great things about Prezi is that you can build that visual metaphor. On a really simple level, that can be, "I want to talk to you about this product that we made, and here's the journey that we went on to make it." Or, "I want to talk to you as a customer and establish empathy with you and here's the journey that I see you on."

The journey, if we're gonna relate a visual metaphor to it, the most common one that we would do with that is something like a mountain. You start at the bottom of the mountain, you get to the top of the mountain. But by showing everybody the whole, and then like you said, zooming to certain parts of it in a way that makes sense to the story you're telling, it helps people remember because they associate the visual with where you were at the time, and they're like, "Oh yeah, I remember this because I was at this point in the mountain, and I've gone up this far but I still have this far to go."

It's a technique that memory champions ... I'm sure everyone's heard of techniques like the memory palettes or the method of loci. Memory champions don't just associate a visual with something they have to memorize, they associate a series of visuals in a space. Commonly it's their house or their front room, it can be their kitchen, whatever it may be. And it's the fact that you remember where one thing is helps you remember the thing next to it.

Kathleen: That's so interesting. I think about the types of conversations we have on this podcast, and I'm always interviewing marketers. And sometimes they are dealing with challenges like we're going to have somebody speaking at a conference, how do we make an impact? How do we generate leads? How do we take away value from this talk that someone's giving?

And then other times, I've done plenty of interviews with people who themselves are thought leaders and they're building personal brands and going out and speaking, and they want to be different and they want to stand out from the usual boring crowd of PowerPoint, the sea of PowerPoint lameness.

I think that this topic is gonna resonate with a lot of people listening because there's a massive chasm between throwing up a PowerPoint template with five bullets and going to what you're talking about. And I think what fills in that chasm is an understanding of how to tell a story.

You kind of touched on that. It's not just about changing what something looks like visually, it's about weaving a narrative.

How to Build Visual Stories

Maybe you could just start by talking about when you work with some of the clients that Prezi has. The people like Bono that you've helped, how do you start? I assume they come to you with, "I need to give a presentation on X." Where do you go from there?

David: Yeah. Commonly, and I think probably the people listening to this podcast are in a little bit of a different life situation from Bono ...

Kathleen: Maybe not.

David: Maybe not. Rock stars of the world, if you are listening, hello. But I'm gonna make that jump and say that they probably are. So, someone like Bono would probably come at it in quite a different way.

Another common question I receive a lot is "What's the one thing that you've attained about presentations?" And for me, it's the apathy with which people approach their presentations generally speaking.

It's getting a little bit better, but there are still so many people who approach a presentation with, "If I can just get through this without embarrassing myself, that will be enough." And the problem is when you set the bar there, where you set the bar at acceptable or okay or not so bad, then you're never gonna get above that.

I understand why people do do that. Presentations and public speaking, they're scary things to do. We've done a lot of research into phobias because we know that people find public speaking scary. And I've seen studies where public speaking has been listed as a phobia on the list above death, which when you think about it is really silly, because the worst thing that can happen to you on stage is that you die. So it doesn't make sense to be more afraid of public speaking than death. But somehow, irrationally, that is what happens to us.

So, that's what leads to the apathy. So to make that comparison back to someone like Bono, Bono is approaching his presentation with ... and it was TED presentation, with TED obviously having a huge platform, but he was approaching it with, "This is my opportunity to make that ... my opportunity to have that impact."

If we were to approach every presentation with, "The reason I'm doing this is so that I can make an impact. This is an opportunity. I have to stand out."

As marketers, so much of what we do is about telling stories and it's about standing out, but we don't always take that same approach to our presentations. So the very first thing that I try to work with with any client is, "Why are you doing this? What's your motivation for doing this?" And some people really commonly come to us with, "Well, I kind of have to and I just wanna get through it." And we try and get rid of that. That's the first place we get rid of. "Why are you doing it? What impact do you want to make? What do you want the audience to walk away with? Let's just focus on that."

The other common kind of secondary mistake that people make is they think a presentation is all about them. "This is my time to shine. This is my time to stand out." That's better than being apathetic and just wanting to get off stage, but the best presentations are about the audience. You can be a really super engaging speaker, you can be funny, but if you don't achieve the thing that your audience want to get out of this presentation ...

I can walk into a sales pitch, be super funny, engaging, people think I'm cool, but if I haven't talked about my product at all it's a waste of their time and my time.

So, always start there as well. What do you want the audience to get out of this presentation? What do you think that they're coming into the room wanting to hear and how are you gonna change their mind or influence them or any of that stuff? You start with that, build your presentation from that point of view, always come back to that. And you'll find that you'll end up shining because you've put them at the center.

Kathleen: And how do you shift from presenting to storytelling?

David: Well, I think there's this kind of ... I don't know the right word, there's this mystique now that's being increasingly attached to storytelling. I see lots of storytelling as a title, we're seeing more and more chief storyteller or storyteller-in-residence. It's a skill linked on LinkedIn. Everybody is a storyteller. It's a democratized thing that everybody does on some level, except for maybe teenagers who are going through that phase that we all went through where you don't really talk to anyone.

My point is when you come home at the end of the day at work and you talk to your significant other, family member, child, brother, sister -- whoever it is, and they say to you, "How was your day?" -- that's an opportunity to tell a story. Unless you just go with, "It was okay ..."

Kathleen: Which a lot of people do.

David: Which a lot of people do. The moment you do more than that, you're a storyteller. The moment you meet up with a friend and you tell them about what happened last week, you're a storyteller. What I would encourage people to do is those moments where you're having a great conversation or someone is reacting really positively to what you said, what is it that you're doing there and taking that and translating and putting it into your presentation.

That's what people want. They want stories. They want anecdotes. People love stories. There's this common misconception that we have that our attention span is shrinking. You've probably seen that stat that our attention span is now down to eight seconds. A goldfish's is nine seconds. All millennials are, therefore, worse than goldfish.

Kathleen: Yeah.

David: I don't think this is really true. I had a goldfish when I was younger, and I never really had that much of a great conversation with it, despite some trying late night.

Kathleen: Yeah. I wonder how they get the data on how long the goldfish is paying attention. Really how are they measuring that?

David: Yeah. The point of that stat is that you've got eight to nine seconds to make an impact. The amount of time that you have at the beginning of a presentation to really capture people's attention is shrinking. At the same time, I mean do you have a subscription to something like Netflix or Hulu? One of those.

Kathleen: Oh yeah. Yeah.

David: Yeah? What's your favorite show?

Kathleen: I'm going to answer that a little differently and tell you what my husband's favorite show is, because he's so obsessed that he's taken over our television. Currently, he is binging on Vikings.

David: Okay. How many episodes of Vikings does he watch in a night?

Kathleen: I mean three or four, depending upon how early he starts.

David: Okay. I'm saying probably he's spending about four hours of his undivided attention on Vikings, right?

Kathleen: Yeah.

David: That's not an eight second goldfish amount of attention. Four hours is a long period of time. I bet if you watched something like Vikings -- I've never seen it, but the things that I'm binge hooked on -- what they're really great is that first eight to nine seconds will be fantastic, will be captivating, will hook you in and keep you there.

We are really, really looking for great quality content. We want to be engaged. We want to hear these stories. The thing that we're up against is that there's more competition than ever before.

Your phone in your pocket right now, people listening to us speaking right now, if we're not interesting enough, they can take out their phone -- don't do this people listening -- you can take out your phone and start looking through Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, news app, whatever it maybe, for something more interesting than what we're doing now.

It means that we have to raise our level and be more engaging. Don't blame the lack of attention on phones and the way it's trending. You need to up your game and really come at it. Storytelling is one great way of doing that. You story tell all the time.

Think of those times when you're storytelling and watch what you do and watch what other great people who tell stories do, and learn from it.

Nick Hornby is one of my favorite writers. I was once at a recording of a podcast in London and Nick was reading from his new book. People had the opportunity to ask him questions. Inevitably, the first question was, "Nick. How do I become a better writer?" The first thing he said, "You need to read more."

Kathleen: Yeah.

Becoming a Better Storyteller

David: That's the first thing you need to do, you need to read more. If you feel that you're not a great storyteller, it's not something that you do often, start by consuming. Yeah, you can watch things like Netflix and movies and --

Kathleen: TED Talks.

David: TED Talks. Screenwriting books are very good places as well to look at techniques for things. I would also encourage you that when you're out with your friends and you notice that one of your friend's stories are better than other people's stories, what is it about that friend that's engaging? How are they structuring their story? I bet you that that story that they're telling, it's not the first time they've told it. It might not even be the first time you've heard it, but you love hearing it.

What is it about it? How are they structuring it? Which elements do they bring in when? Are they using comedy? Are they building up drama? Are they using juxtaposition between one thing and another? Just analyze it a little bit. You don't have to do it openly. Please don't do it openly, you'll just ruin the story for everyone. Think about it yourself.

Kathleen: I wonder if people don't spend more time on this because they get intimidated. What I mean by that is that, for example, I've seen so many articles on storytelling and talks on storytelling and, a lot of the time, what it focuses on is you need to create these story arcs. You have to understand the construct of the hero's journey and apply it to what you're talking about. These can be fairly abstract concepts.

I think sometimes people hear that and they think, I don't have the time to learn all that. I'm just not even going to start. Whereas what you're saying, it sounds like it's really more about, think about what's happening and working in your real-life and just start to test some of those strategies out. Would you say that's accurate?

David: Yeah. That's definitely a way you can look at it if you do find something like that intimidating. I would also say that things like that are not quite as intimidating as you think they are.

If you actually get into them and read them, you'll see that they're telling you to do things that you've seen before, like you've seen that in a movie or you've heard it in a bar conversation. Just because they've got technical language attached to them doesn't mean that you should find them frightening or difficult. Try and look at them as a way of enlightening yourself.

This is getting back to that point about apathy, that people try and approach their presentation as "this is something I just want to get done." If you just want to get it done, then don't bother doing it. Put time and effort into it.

It always amazes me. I've worked at, for example, startup pitch competitions, some of which have had huge prize money available to get pitching. I've seen people walk in and they haven't got their slides ready and they present the next day. You're like, "This could change your life." They're like, "Yeah, but I just kind of want to get it done." You're like, "How? Just how about taking the time to think it through and put a real conscious effort into it? This is really, genuinely the moment that could change your life."

Kathleen: I would 100% second that. A few years back, I participated in a program through Goldman Sachs, because I had a startup at the time. They ran us through pitch coaching for a three slide, three minute rocket pitch. Not only did we go through pitch coaching, but then we had to do successive rounds of almost competitively pitching leading up to the big event.

What I started with, in terms of my presentation and my verbal delivery, was so dramatically different than what I ended with. It was like, unrecognizable.

I couldn't agree more. It's amazing what advance preparation and vetting things in front of other people and getting feedback etc, what that can do for refining your delivery.

David: Most things we do in life benefit from putting hard work into them. Books go through endless iterations and rewrites and edits on them. Movies, the same. They go through focus groups and all of that stuff. I think what happens is that we see some of our favorite speakers speaking on stage and they have this magnetism or charisma, and we mistake that for thinking that they just have that. It's just that mystical X factor that they just have. If I don't have it, then there's nothing I can do. It's not true in any way, shape or form.

I think one of the big favorites of business pitching and product pitching is, of course, Steve Jobs. If you look, even do the smallest modicum of research into how he put his pitches together, they were rehearsed within an inch of their life. They were done again and again and again. He insisted on doing them in the space. He would get part of the way into his pitch presentation, do something he didn't like and do it again from the beginning until he did like it, again and again and again and again. He put a lot of work and effort into it.

Like you did with your three minute thing, when I did my TEDx presentation, I wrote 14 versions of the script. I did one general pitch. I then practiced in front of people on Skype calls and in person. On the day, I was pacing around the venue practicing again and again and again. If you want to be good and if you want to do it well, you've got to put the work in, and don't think that other people who look effortless got there because they didn't work. That's not true. There are very, very few people who can get up on stage and just wing it.

Kathleen: Yeah, absolutely.

Turning Stories Into Visuals

Kathleen: Now, shifting gears for a second, one aspect of this is preparation and the work that goes into creating a great presentation and being able to deliver it verbally in a way that is flawless and that is tight. I would love to talk a little bit more about the visual aspects of this. One of the things that you do so well is help people take what's inside of their head and instead of vomiting out 10 slides full of bullets, you help them turn it into a more visual story. Can you talk a little bit about how that process works? How do you start to transform these concepts into visuals?

David: We always start with narrative or story. We start with the scope of the content, like, how many things do you have to say within this talk? I've got three things, I've got four things, I've got five things...

We always start with knowing what that is and what the milestones you want to hit along your journey are. I want to talk about the product, I want to talk about how it's going to help you live a better life, and I want to talk to you about the pricing. Then, I want to talk to you about the timeline should you choose to go for it. Okay, I've got my four things.

Then, when you know the scope of content, you start thinking about the hierarchy of content. This is more important than this. That's more important than the other. Even my graphic visual designers, people who spend their entire lives in visuals, start that way.

There's different ways to plan. I follow like an essay plan kind of thing. I spent a lot of my time in university writing English and history papers. I'm used to planning my content that way.

My designers use Post-it notes and put things up on a board. Some of them do really rudimentary sketches.

Don't think to be a great visual designer or a person who is really great with visuals you have to know how to draw. I can tell you, I have some designers on my team whose drawings are really laughably bad. That's not really about it. Don't think that you need to be an artist to be a good designer or a good visual person.

Then, once you know the scope of the content and the hierarchy of the content, then you can start looking for visuals that fit that. If you start with a visual that you like and then try and make your content fit that visual, you're going to end up in a world of trouble and it won't work. My point here is that visuals supplement narrative. They don't dictate it.

Then, when it comes to choosing, that's the part of the process that we invest the most amount of time into. We look at an incredible amount.

It's getting back to that Nick Hornby part about consumption, we look at a lot. We make mood boards. We scroll through Google Images, through things like Getty and Shutterstock and Unsplash and all of these wonderful resources. We look and look and look and look and look.

Then, we try and match it with the scope and the hierarchy, this fit, the mood of this is the same. Almost every company has a mood that they want to hit.

You'll be surprised what you can do with typing an adjective into Google Images and seeing what you find and seeing what other people are doing. You're not going to really change the world with graphic design. It's a wonderful place to be a non-designer designer, like someone who hasn't been to school, because there's so many resources open to you. So many of them are free.

Something like Unsplash is just free photography that anyone can go use, and it's just beautiful. We spend hours just looking through, just seeing what there is and becoming inspired and using what you like.

There's so much out there that you don't need to go back to 1980s clip art. The world has moved on from there. Things like The Noun Project do icons and iconography on a much better scale than anyone has ever done them before.

Kathleen: Yeah. There is so much available these days, it's really true. Between icons and illustrations and photos and clip art, what have you -- I mean, there's almost no excuse not to have great visuals because there is so much out there to pick from. There is a lot of free stuff, but there's also a lot of very low priced imagery.

David: Yeah, absolutely, and there's so many great libraries of content.

For example, if you're an email marketer and you want to make a really nice looking email, there's a website called Really Good Emails, and it's free to use, and you can just look through what other people have done.

Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Everything is stolen from something else somewhere along the line, more or less. Usually, it's very difficult to be truly original. It kind of doesn't matter. I mean, not copy it like pixel for pixel, but be inspired, for sure.

Kathleen: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I would think it's in some ways the same as telling stories. Don't they say there is no original story?

David: Absolutely.

Kathleen: Every story follows some kind of a pattern that's been used before.

David: Yeah, absolutely.

Kathleen: Yeah. I was talking with somebody the other day about this. It's somebody who's a mentor of mine. I have an idea for something I may want to pursue as far as writing and speaking about, and I said to him, "But I feel like people have talked about this before," and he's like, "Let me just tell you. There is nothing new that anybody is talking about." He was like, "It is all about the delivery. It is all about how engaging you are, and if you can tell the story better than anybody else, then it feels like it's the first time it's ever been told." I do think there is definitely something to that.

David: Yeah and some people like to hear stories more than once. I think it's that's why people who watch Game of Thrones also love Lord of the Rings. Right?

Kathleen: Yeah.

David: There's not a huge difference between them. Lord of the Rings and Game of Throne fans are probably throwing stuff at walls right now. Those are very common themes in there, like of feeling and mood. That's why people say, "I'm a sci-fi fan," because they enjoy that kind of thing.

So you can tell the same story again if you just put your slight tweak on it, for sure.

Kathleen: Yeah, absolutely. Well, one of the things that I think would be really interesting for people listening is if they could see examples of what you think are some of the better presentations or some of the better Prezis they have been done. Is that something that we can include in the show notes, some links to some great presentations?

David: Absolutely. How could I turn down such an invitation?

Kathleen: I mean, I want to see them. I'm sure other people do as well.

David: Sure. Sure. I'll definitely send those over. It's as simple as going to prezi.com/gallery. That has a "greatest and best." Some of our most famous ones are on there and that would be a great place for anyone to start.

Kathleen: That's great. IMPACT has a big conference coming up in August, and I'm going to be doing some talks there, and so your timing is really good because I have a feeling I'm going to spend a lot of time in the gallery getting inspiration for my own talk, so that's great and I can't wait to check those out.

David Answers Kathleen's Two Questions

Now, before we close, two questions I want to make sure to ask you that I ask all of my guests. First is -- and you work with lots of marketers and brands doing marketing -- company or individual, who do you think is doing inbound marketing really well right now?

David: For that I think I'm probably going to have to kind of go with something that has had an effect on me personally.

The world has changed. There's a lot of new apps and things out there, and we do things very differently, but I think the one that's had the kind of most profound effect on me is Airbnb. It's really changed the way I travel. I don't think I've stayed in a hotel for quite a while, and I travel a lot for my job because I love travel. I've lived in Asia. I've obviously lived in Europe and, now, I live in the U.S.

A really great travel experience for me is one where you feel at home. Right? It's almost like cheating. I'm here in Italy now, and I'm kind of Italian because I live in a flat above there. I live here. I'm not a tourist, right? People hate to feel like a tourist, and I hate to stand out as a tourist.

Airbnb has really helped me achieve that feeling. What I love about their inbound marketing is they realize this. Right? They know what it is that I love about being there, their campaigns, their hashtags, their recommendations that come to me, not just for homes, but for experiences as well. It's all done very timely, very well, and very accurately. Whatever they're doing is really working.

Kathleen: Yeah. You know, it's very interesting because that notion of the recommendations, and these brands that are able to feed things to you that they can tell that you love.

One of the things that I've really begun to notice more is just what a game changer the use of artificial intelligence is, and having a great recommendation and it's the same thing you mentioned, Netflix earlier or Hulu, or I see it on Spotify. These platforms that are able to watch your behavior and then feed you things that are great matches to what you're already consuming.

They develop such an innate virality, and they're so sticky because you can't help yourself, and I think there is an opportunity there for marketers who are not maybe in that same kind of an entertainment world to apply that same principle. I think Airbnb is a great example of a company that's gone that really well.

David: Yeah. It's another thing that people put a lot of effort into. You mentioned Netflix. Netflix have the fantastic blog on Medium where you can read what their growth department are doing with thumbnail images, geo locations, all of that stuff, and they can have a dramatic effect on how much of the series you're going to consume just by that first thumbnail image that they show you, and they're spotting patterns and things like that, and that put a lot of time and effort into that. So that doesn't happen by mistake.

Kathleen: Well, now, I'm going to have to dig up the link to their Medium blog and put that in as well because you have me intrigued. I haven't read that.

David: It's fantastic reading, and they're very transparent about what they can do. It's honestly quite frightening about what influence it has. Everything from whether it's a man's face, a woman's face, certain series. I can't remember the specifics, but there are certain series which do better in certain locations with a woman's face versus a man's face. It's really impactful to read that and see our inherent biases at play.

Kathleen: Fascinating. Yeah. It's fascinating. That's a rabbit hole that we could go down for an entire other podcast.

David: Yeah. We should probably get someone from Netflix on to do that.

Kathleen: Yeah. I would love that. Netflix, if you're listening, I would like to talk to your growth hacker.

So the second question I want to ask you, and this is the perfect segue because, I mean, things are changing so quickly in the world of digital marketing, and it's so technologically driven in terms of the data that's available. How do you stay up to date? How do you keep abreast of all of that?

David: I'm going to have to admit to being a little bit lazy. I'm not the only one, though, to say I really do wait for content to find me, and I think that goes back to the point we were making before about recommendations engines and stuff. I'll open up my feed, and trust that the right thing comes in, but I do consume those feeds a lot, especially my LinkedIn feed is something that I spend more time on than I ever used to. I think they're getting better and better at feeding me the right stuff.

I spend a lot of time there and Facebook, and wherever it is, news apps and that stuff, waiting for things to come in. Personal recommendations that come in from colleagues play a big role in what I get, but I know that they're consuming content in the same way.

We did a study recently into the way people get their content, and that percentage of people who wait for it to come to them is growing, and growing, and growing. I think that marks an opportunity for us as marketers that the people are almost sitting back and saying, "Okay. Give me what you got."

Kathleen: Yeah. It's interesting that you mentioned LinkedIn and I'm a big LinkedIn fan, but I'm also a big Twitter fan.

When it comes to feeds, one of the things that I've observed is, regardless of where you are, there's a lot of people out there who will say things like, "LinkedIn doesn't give me any value" or "Twitter doesn't give me any value."

I think the other element to how much value you derive out of those feeds is like the quality of what you're putting into it. If you're somebody who's going out and just following everybody and anybody, then your feed is going to be cluttered up with all the information from anybody and everybody, whereas, if you're more selective, if you curate the people that you follow, et cetera, I think you can really construct a very high quality feed of information.

David: Yeah, absolutely. If I think about it, when I'm looking for things on Twitter for that, I will commonly go to the Prezi feed because we curate that and we see what's coming in. My own personal feed probably has more of my own personal interests, so things like the World Cup, which is going on at the moment. If I were to read that, it's just endless amounts of that.

The point you make about being selective over who you follow I think is a very valid one.

Kathleen: Yeah and I've seen LinkedIn making a big resurgence lately. You're one of many people recently who's been mentioning that more when I ask that question, so there's definitely a lot of good buzz going on with LinkedIn these days.

David: Yay! I'm not alone.

How to Get In Touch With David

Kathleen: Yeah. Well, this has been so interesting. I can't wait to check out the gallery on the Prezi website. If somebody wants to learn more about any of this or get in touch, tell us the best way to find you online.

David: So you can start with LinkedIn. I respond to everybody who writes to me, so it's David Hooker Prezi on LinkedIn. I'm the only David Hooker here. I checked again this morning. It's just me. At Twitter, I'm @HookerDavidJ, and then if you want to check out Prezi, you just go to the Prezi.com website.

Kathleen: Great! I should also mention before we go that David does have a podcast himself. He and a cohost are the faces behind The Narrative, which is all about storytelling and narrative strategy, and data visualization, et cetera. So some really good stuff there. If that's a topic you want to dive more into, check out his podcast.

If you liked this podcast and learned something, I would really appreciate if you would consider giving it a review on iTunes or Stitcher, or the platform of your choice. And, finally, if you know somebody doing kick ass inbound marketing work, please Tweet me @WorkMommyWork because I would love to interview them.

Thanks, David.

David: Thanks, Kathleen.

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Inbound Success
Published on July 30, 2018

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