With two decades of experience in the industry, Michael Lonnon is a veritable master of marketing. In his current role as EMEA Marketing Manager for Stibo Systems, a Danish master data management company, he helps chief data officers understand how to utilize the information at their disposal. In this interview with Shaheen Samavati, Michael shares his top tips for connecting with your audience, crafting compelling stories and measuring the metrics that matter.

You can watch the full conversation in the video above or on our YouTube channel, listen to the podcast on Apple and Spotify, and read our recap below.

Key takeaways

  • Content has to be at the center of any strategy—whether you’re creating a campaign, event or product, the copy and the message are the most important aspects.
  • At the end of the day, what matters is sales. Make sure you track and measure metrics that directly reflect or predict sales results, such as qualified leads.
  • Tools don’t mean anything unless you understand the process that people are actually going through, and can build that understanding into how you utilize those tools.
  • Whether it’s B2B or B2C, you’re always writing to an individual who will eventually make an emotional decision. Tell them a story that they can relate to; what benefit will they get from whatever you’re selling?
  • Good writing starts with good reading, so read as much and as varied as you can. The more experiences you can incorporate into your writing, the better stories you can tell.
  • None of what we do matters unless you get a sale, because nothing happens until something is sold.

Stop talking about yourself, and write to the individual. The most important word in content is “you”.

Rapid-fire recs

What’s an app or tool that you can’t work without?

HubSpot is so wired into my daily existence that I can’t do without it. We use it to manage our content and see who’s engaging with it, so that we can follow up with them later.

Also check out: Top 10 apps for content and marketing professionals

A marketing influencer in Europe who you follow?

Drayton Bird, an 80-year-old copywriter who used to work at Ogilvy & Mather. He’s brilliant, and the things he says are often outrageous but always on point. One of the main lessons I’ve gotten from him is that you can’t influence or persuade people, or get your message across, if you haven’t read enough to understand how copy works—you have to read. Right now I’m reading “One Plus One Equals Three: A Masterclass in Creative Thinking” by Dave Trott.

Also check out: 8 inspiring content and marketing influencers to follow

A valuable resource, event or group?

I work with chief data officers of large organizations, so I spend a lot of my time at a group called CDO Exchange, where these people go to talk and network. I get to understand what they’re going through and adapt my messages accordingly. It also helps me become a familiar face, which makes it easier to talk to them about buying decisions.

Connect with Michael and Shaheen on LinkedIn.

This post was edited by Melissa Haun, a freelance content creator based in Lisbon.

For more insights into the latest trends from masters of marketing, check out:

Sound marketing strategies – Peter Holmberg, global marketing communications manager

Challenge the status quo – Steevan Glover, brand director and marketing expert

To see the full transcript, click on page number 2 below.