How Garmin Integrates Social Media and Product Design

Carla Meyer, Global Digital Advertising and Social Media Manager at Garmin, joins the Social Pros Podcast to discuss how integrating creative into strategy design makes for a flexible, impactful, and relevant brand.

In This Episode:

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Full Episode Details

Call ‘Em In Early

Figure out over-arching product strategy. Decide on approach. Come up with plan. Send it to creative.

That sounds about right. But is it… right? Is there a better way that ends in results that matter?

Through her work at the multi-national, multi-million dollar tech corp Garmin, Carla has recognized the value and necessity of bringing creative to the table at the strategic level.

By bringing them in early on in the process, creative can provide input and direction that saves time and money in the long run. It also means that when the rubber hits the road of marketing execution, they have a deep understanding of the message they are working to disseminate.

Carla has found that pairing this early creative involvement with a strategy that sources and consults with brand advocates through social is the magic combination approach that works.

Through customer content cultivation, partnering strategically with creative, and data to inform decisions Carla has created a flexible, impactful, and relevant brand.

In This Episode

  • How saving a seat at the strategic table for creatives leads to a holistic and flexible marketing plan
  • Why developing killer social content means sharing from your advocates
  • How partnering with like-minded brands leads to a cross-pollinating marketing collaboration
  • Why figuring out what makes sense means finding where your audience lives
  • How using data leads to taking advantage of trends that will actually work for your audience

 

Quotes From This Episode

“As we’re looking at how we’re planning our media digitally and socially, we’re building that strategy with creatives at the table too.” —@Meyer_Carla

“We were very fortunate that a lot of our content is from our users. We didn’t have to do it. We just had to find it.” —@Meyer_Carla

“We’re definitely looking at a full-funnel approach.” —@Meyer_Carla

“We’re looking to engage our audience and keep it motivated.” —@Meyer_Carla

“What’s that more authentic content that isn’t all about the ads that we may be running on the other side?” —@Meyer_Carla

“We have put the emphasis on working with other like-minded brands.” —@Meyer_Carla

“We’re trying to understand who is the audience we’re trying to reach?” —@Meyer_Carla

Data is really important to us. I’m constantly trying to evaluate performance through data.” —@Meyer_Carla

“We look at all the different platforms and each one has their purpose.” —@Meyer_Carla

“We definitely see different purposes for different platforms.” —@Meyer_Carla

“It’s definitely been an evolution and an educational process to bring social to the table early.” —@Meyer_Carla

Resources

 

See you next week!

Transcript

Jay: Welcome, everybody, to Social Pros, the podcast for real people doing real work in social media. I am, as always Jay Baer from Convince and Convert joined, as usual, by my special Texas friends. He clocks in as the executive strategist for Salesforce Marketing Cloud, hailing from the great city of Austin, Texas. Put your hands together, unless you’re driving, for Mr. Adam Brown.

 

Adam: Jay, great to speak with you. I don’t think I’ve ever been brought into a podcast with the term “clocked in”. I like that. I’m going to try very hard not to go on overtime.

 

Jay: Yeah, you bring your lunchbox to work every day. It’s sitting there.

 

Adam: Can’t go over 40 hours.

 

Jay: Sit in that digital break room, baby.

 

Adam: The supervisor will get on me for that. No, glad to be here, glad to be in, again, Austin, and glad to be a social pro.

 

Jay: You are indeed. You’re an OG social pro. You’ve been doing this a long time.

 

Adam: Yeah, just like you, my friend. Just like you.

 

Jay: You’ve been doing it so long you almost would need a compass to find the backstory of your job history. Fortunately, today’s special guest could help you with that and a lot more. She is the global digital advertising and social media manager from Garmin. It is Carla Meyer. Welcome to the show.

 

Carla: Hey, thanks. I’m excited to be here.

 

Jay: We’re delighted to have you. Do you have some sort of way-finding device right now? Can you give me your precise latitude and longitude as we’re doing the show?

 

Carla: No, I don’t have anything sitting here. We always joke when I get into my car or our coworkers, we’re like, “Wait, where are we going?” We’re like, “Oh my God, we work at Garmin, we should know where we’re going.”

 

Jay: Yeah, if you guys get lost, that is super, super-

 

Adam: It’s all on you.

 

Jay: Yeah, that is a bad brand experience.

 

Carla: Yeah.

 

Jay: Yeah, took a wrong turn. Tell everybody who listens to Social Pros all the things that Garmin does, because it’s more than they think.

 

Carla: Yeah, it’s crazy. When I started working here, I actually knew we had running products. My dad’s a runner, and so I grew up around the running products. Then obviously the in-car device, the Garmin Drive, used to be the new V. I was very familiar with those products, but once I started working here, I discovered we actually were founded in aviation. We completely have a whole line of aviation products. We have a line of marine products. You think boats, obviously they need to know where they’re going. Then outdoor products, and fishing, hunting, hiking, everything. Then obviously our fitness products with running watches, and wearables now, and activity trackers, and we even have a kid’s activity tracker now, too. You have to be very schizophrenic when you work in all of these things, because it’s awesome, because you really have to just really … You can change what you’re working on in a matter of seconds and focus on a completely different market.

 

Jay: Do you have a different array of products outside of the US? Is the global side of that fairly different from a product category perspective?

 

Carla: No. Globally we actually sell and market much of the same products. Some might a be a little more limited, depending on different regulations globally and things like that. Essentially it’s the same globally.

 

Jay: Let’s talk a little bit about your job role. It is very comprehensive. You are in charge of, frankly, a frightening number of things in your organization. Whatever they’re paying you, it’s not enough. Tell the folks listening all the stuff that you are in charge of, because it’s a long list.

 

Carla: Yeah, so it’s been a little bit crazy when I arrived. At Garmin three and a half years ago it was sort of there for the taking. It was ready to evolve. We had a great base, but certainly they weren’t using social for social marketing, and digital advertising wasn’t where I felt personally that it should be. I just came in, and we started building. I manage our digital advertising strategy. Then I also manage paid social and then organic social. The blog fits under that, so I have content creators on my team. I also do paid search. We have a varied team, but it’s actually really great, because we’re all working together. We definitely run the gamut on the online footprint for Garmin. While it seems like a lot, it definitely makes sense, because we all work together in the same space.

 

Jay: It’s interesting that you have both digital display, so banners and such and videos, and paid social and paid search. That triangle in one person’s hands is, frankly, unusual. Maybe it shouldn’t be. Maybe it makes a lot of sense to do that within the same group so you can cross-pollinate and do a lot of custom audiences and do message testing in different places and all those kind of things. Maybe it is actually much more efficient, and nobody has figured that out yet. What do you think?

 

Carla: Yeah, we’ve been really fortunate. We run as an internal agency. I don’t have a lot of outside help, and we run a pretty lean team internally. It’s been good for us, because another thing that we’ve worked really hard at while we have things cross-pollinating, as far as our media strategy, we also are working really closely with our creative teams. We bridged the gap this past year and brought them into it. As we’re looking at how we’re planning our media digitally and socially, we’re certainly building that strategy with creatives at the table, too. For us, it just makes a lot of sense, because we’re able to say, “Okay, here are the assets that we’re ready to run in the different pieces or the different channels.” Then we’re able to look at it very comprehensively. People talk about 360 planning and integrated campaigns, yadda yadda, but we actually really try to build them that way, and we are all at the table at the same time doing it.

 

  For us, it’s pretty efficient, I feel like. We’ve got someone who understands and knows what’s going on in all the channels, so I can look at it holistically and say, “Okay, this makes sense,” or, “Maybe we should shift here.” It also allows us to be pretty nimble and look at data very quickly and make shifts where we need to. I think in today’s world, it’s so important to be able to be like, “Okay, this is working. This is not working. All right, let’s adjust and move and get going again.” For us, it seems to work.

 

Jay: I noticed when we are prepping for the show that you have a quarter million fans on Instagram, which is fantastic, and doing some great photography there. How did you get all those fans? That’s a lot of people. Was it just, “Hey, we’re going to keep posting good photos and people are going to share it, and they’re going to organically just build,” and it went from 1,000 to 5 to 10 to 11 to 12 just day after day, or did you have some sort of “follow us on Instagram” campaign? How did you launch that channel?

 

Carla: Yeah. Instagram has been a lot of fun. That was kind of my baby. When I came, we really literally had 1,000 fans. We didn’t even have the name Garmin. It was my mission for a year to get Garmin as our handle. It used to be, I think, Garmin Pics or something. Somebody was squatting on our name, and I was like, “This is unacceptable. We have to have Garmin.” Finally, it got the name Garmin, but for me, for Instagram, it was really to kind of look at what was working in that channel? What were making the other big brand successful? For us, we have such a passionate user base. It really was about the UGC. People love, love, love their Garmins. We call them wristie shots. We don’t call them selfies. We call them wristies, because people share wrist shots of their device in these beautiful places and where their Garmin has taken them on their adventure. It’s really exciting. For us, it was really about that lifestyle and capturing those moments and sharing that.

 

  We really started to make a concerted effort to not only share some of Garmin pictures, but really focus on these advocates and these people who love our products, but were obviously adventurous and even photographers. They were out there taking these pictures for us. We were very, very fortunate that a lot of that content is from our users. We didn’t have to do it. We just had to find it. So many of them agreed to share with us. That’s really how we grew that community there is by sharing their own content. It’s been such a fun thing to see and grow. We have the Garmin account, like you said, it has 250, 260 on it, but we also have Garmin Fitness, Garmin Outdoor, Garmin Fish Hunt. We’re also customizing all of those channels, too. For us, it wasn’t like, “Follow us on Instagram.” It really was just kind of a more organic movement. We intentionally made the effort to share our advocates’ pictures and our biggest fans.

 

Jay: Wow. Just put good content out there that’s real, that is not fake, that’s content created by actual people who are advocates, and eventually good things will happen. That’s a terrific lesson, I think, for everybody listening to the show. From a social perspective, what do you feel like the objective is? Is it brand advocacy and keeping those people who like you motivated? Is it awareness generation? Is it driving people to e-commerce or a retail partner? Is it all of those? What’s the strategic thrust for social in the organization?

 

Carla: Yeah, I would say yes, yes, and yes to all of those. Obviously I’m looking at both paid and organic. For us, we’re in more competitive markets than we have been before. If you take our wellness products some or even wearables, smart watches, it’s a very competitive market. We’re definitely driving for awareness in those categories, but certainly we’re hoping to move people down the funnel as well. For us, I guess I would start on the paid side. We’re definitely looking at a full funnel approach. We know people are living on Facebook. You think about in the US, the average person is spending I think now 57 minutes on Facebook a day. You think about that, and where else do you get that kind of one-on-one attention with an audience? It’s pretty incredible. We’re trying to think of ways to reach our audience, and definitely make them aware of our products, and hopefully motivate them to purchase a product.

 

  Then when we think about it on the content side, we have a lot of amazing ambassadors that we work with. We’re certainly looking to engage our audience. We have great athletes that we work with as well and events. We’re certainly looking to keep that audience motivated or the community around it. We use the tagline “beat yesterday”, and that’s really what we’re trying to motivate our consumers is to use their devices, track yourself, beat yesterday, be better. When we look at that from the content side, we’re really looking for ambassadors or the content folks on my team. What’s that kind of more authentic content that isn’t all about the ads that maybe we might be running on the other side?

 

Jay: You talked about Facebook and the nearly one hour per day that people spend on Facebook on average. On the paid side, they continue to, I guess innovate is one of the words you could use for it, change their mind could be a different word used. There are several ways to describe it. I find it frustrating on our side, and I wonder if you do as well, that it’s different all the time, that there’s always a new ad form, and always a new targeting option, and always a new thing. It feels like every 15 days there’s a new thing you have to learn. I guess that’s job security for everybody listening to the show. That, I think, can get a little bit frustrating. What do you think?

 

Carla: I actually think it’s exciting. It keeps us on our toes. For me, you don’t have the chance to get bored. You got to pay attention, or you’re going to be behind.

 

Jay: You got that right.

 

Carla: For me, I think it’s an exciting opportunity. I talk about this when speaking to other folks, but we have this challenge. We’ve always talked about it’s going to eventually be a mobile first world, yadda yadda. It’s here. We talked about it, and then boom, we’re here. People are consuming. The way that their consumption is, it’s definitely mobile first. Now we have to think about how do we fit those biggest ideas into the palm of your hands? It’s awesome for me to think about that with our creative folks, and that’s our challenge. How do we reach people and engage them? Yeah, it is always changing, but I think that’s the cool part. You think about even how Snapchat has come in and changed the landscape completely. I am so excited to think about VR and 360 and those ad formats, and thinking about how do we use this great little thing in your hand nonstop? We’re all addicted to it. We’re never without it. To me, I think it’s exciting versus annoying.

 

Jay: You work with tons of retailers. Your products are sold in many different places by many different companies. How does that work in social? If a retail organization says, “We want to do a partnership with Garmin to focus on this particular product on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter or what have you,” do they reach out to you and your team, and you sit down and kind of hash that out? What does that process … It’s always interesting to me the channel conflict when people are in manufacturing as you are.

 

Carla: Yeah, so that’s definitely a more complicated topic for us. We have certainly leading retailers, the big box stores, but we also have a lot of mom-and-pop shops, if you think about all the custom retailers and running shops and things like that. It’s a balance for us. We do occasionally with retailers, for instance, we’ll have an exclusive deal with a retailer. That’s probably a little more prominent opportunity for us to work directly with a retailer and run our promotion on social. What we’ve put the emphasis on, honestly, for us is working with kind of like-minded brands. We’ll do partnerships with other brands, such as Saucony or Bob Strollers or things like that that make sense from an audience perspective for us that fans kind of cross-pollinate and cross-promote.

 

  Retailers is definitely a little more tricky, because certainly we have a lot of retailers. It’s hard to call out every single one of them. Typically, we’ll work with the main ones, but then too, if we have an exclusive deal, as far as an exclusive product coming from them, that’s definitely something we’ll focus on, too.

 

Adam: Carla, you mentioned those multiple partners, multiple retailers, multiple platforms upon which you market your multiple products that are everywhere from GPS devices for your car to wrist devices to, as you said, kid trackers and the likes. I know over the past couple of months, probably starting with Christmas, you’d see your TV ads for your automotive products, you look at a running magazine, you see the new watches and smart watches and things like that. How, as director of the trifecta of display, social, and SEO activities, how do you begin to create a plan and in kind of a multi-media mix of all the budget that you’re spending? Where do you start? Then how do you go from there, in terms of planning this out, not just with a budget, but also the allocation of the resources of your very important team?

 

Carla: Yeah, we basically run all the different segments as different business units. I’m typically looking at a media plan for each segment, instead of as a brand as a whole, because we know the audiences are very different from segment to segment.

 

Adam: A segment being like your automotive products versus your running products?

 

Carla: Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative). We’ll look at those folks very differently. Then we may look at the media breakdown. We’re definitely trying to understand who’s the audience we’re trying to reach? We know some products, they’ll skew younger. The TV buy might not be as great, but we know they’re on digital. There’s a lot of millennials who never even watch TV. They don’t even have one. Everything gets consumed on their phone or their iPad or their computer. We know the media mix is definitely different there.

 

  Then from that, we’ll look at history. Data is really important to us. I’m definitely constantly trying to evaluate performance and data, looking at what key learnings there are from what we’ve done in the past and what we can take forward into new campaigns. Then we also use a lot of what’s available in the platform. For instance, with Facebook and Instagram, you can cross-platform promote. We’ll definitely do, for instance, I think about the Phoenix 3 campaign we ran last year. Our Instagram audience was awesome and engaged, but at the time, Instagram wasn’t a more DR-focused platform for us. We actually ran video ads on Instagram to our audience there. Then we ended up pulling them over and retargeting on Facebook. What was great about that was then certainly we could create custom audiences off of that, but then as we started to segment down, then we were able to scale to lookalike audiences.

 

  There’s certain places that we know audiences will live more than, say, another platform. That’s really how we start to look at the media mix and what makes sense. From the full-frontal approach, we’re definitely allocating certain pieces. We know search needs to do X amount. We know with display, okay, we have some video ads that we’re going to run on display, or we’re doing a YouTube takeover or whatnot. Then all of the starring components that go around those takeover opportunities, too. Social is certainly a key piece of every campaign force, because we have such rich targeting there, and it’s certainly more one-on-one, and we can personalize it, too.

 

Adam: Have you found that the social platforms when you go back, as you said, looking at your data, the social platforms where you’ve had success from an organic standpoint are the same ones where you have the same level of efficacy with paid? Or are you finding that there are some platforms where, “Okay, this is really effective for us from a paid standpoint,” like you mentioned with like audiences and doing custom audiences with Facebook? Then other platforms you’re like, “That’s only a paid platform for us,” or, “That’s only an organic platform for us.” How do you wrestle with paid versus earned and owned on specific platforms?

 

Carla: Yeah, we certainly look at all of the different platforms, and each one has their purpose. We try not to run the exact same content on all platforms, because it just doesn’t work for us. We know audiences behave different with different content as well. I think, too, if you talk about how great Facebook’s targeting is, the organic reach on Facebook is not great. Even you think about Snapchat, their strategy is obviously moving into paid. With Snapchat, they don’t really care if brands are posting organic content. That’s not what they see Snapchat for. They’re considered the network of friends. They don’t really put a priority on people hearing from brands. They want to incorporate that into the ad pieces.

 

  I also think Twitter is so real-time, and so we definitely see more real-time coverage, events. That’s what works for us on Twitter, or product announcements, things like that. We see less effective content in other areas that aren’t in the now on Twitter. We definitely see different purposes for different platforms.

 

Adam: As you go in and sit down with either your chief marketing officer, chief communications officer, I can assume, because this is true for almost any organization these days, they’re beginning to see that the digital side of things is getting more of the media mix allocation. We’re taking money from newspaper or print. We’re giving it to digital. I’m going to surmise at that that is similar. My question for you, Carla, though, as you go into these meetings and you look at your annual budgets and things like that, how has the perception of the folks that are managing the more traditional or broadcast budgets changed? Are they having a different level of respect for social and digital? Is it an easier conversation now when you play the tug-of-war for budget? About the same? Just curious how it feels here in 2017.

 

Carla: I don’t know if I should answer that, honestly.

 

Adam: That’s right. I don’t know who’s going to be listening to this.

 

Carla: We definitely play the tug-of-war, I think, probably like any organization. Certainly there’s still a lot of value for us in print. You think about it. We’re in very endemic markets. You think about aviation and the target consumer for that is probably a little less digital than someone who’s in the market for a smart watch. It’s definitely give and take, and certainly it’s not like suddenly we have a new magical budget for digital and social. We’ve got the same money, and we have to figure out how to reallocate it.

 

  I think as an organization, it’s definitely there has been a priority put on digital and social, and how do we do it, how do we reach them? I think for me it’s also been about bringing the data to prove it. Yeah, we can say everyone’s doing it, everyone’s doing it, but why should we do it? That’s been, for me, that’s where data has been really important to help people understand this is what you can get when you use digital and social media. It’s measurable and trackable. You can also take this and use it going forward in future campaigns as well.

 

  That’s been the beauty of it. It’s also a double-edged sword, too, because if something doesn’t go as well as you want, you still have to report on it. In other traditional methods, there’s no reporting. You don’t really know the effectiveness. For us, there’s definitely difficult conversations. I don’t win every one, but certainly I’ve tried to use data as my friend to swing the votes.

 

Adam: Sure. It’s one of the, as you said, it can sometimes be the thorn in your side, but it’s usually one of the greatest assets that we have is the volume of data. I’ve got one more question, Carla, for you before I hand it back off to Jay. You being in a high technology company like Garmin, you’re probably always working on a new product launch. Each product has a tick-tock strategy. We’re going to refresh. We’re going to have 2.0, 3.0 of this particular product. In fact, even your naming conventions for a lot of your products kind of works that way.

 

  I’m curious what your flow chart or your plan looks like for a new product launch. Is there a very prescriptive way that you look at and approach it? Where do you get involved as it relates to the other marketers and the product and merchandisers to kind of set that up, make sure that you’re doing the product tease at the right time, you’re doing the product launch certainly simultaneously, and then kind of keeping that book-end of conversation going hopefully to drive awareness and drive clicks and purchases. What does that look like, and how do you keep so many of those in the air, because I’m sure at any given time you probably have a dozen products that are in development, about to launch?

 

Carla: Mm-hmm (affirmative). We do. We have a ton of products, and especially when you consider all five lines of business for us. There’s always something coming and multiple somethings coming. That’s the one great thing I will say as far as Garmin, the fabric of Garmin is engineering. They’re always innovating and coming up with something new. For us, it’s definitely been an evolution, an education process to really bring social to the table early. We definitely go and sit in the engineer’s … All hands, so we know even what’s being developed a year, two years out in the roadmap.

 

  We’re in on it from the very front, and we’re thinking about it. How is this going to be positioned? What are the new features? We can actually go back and look in social and say, “Okay, here’s some of the maybe spots where we see challenges from consumers,” or a complaint, or a suggestion, or something like that, and start to really relay that and think about that in messaging as new products are coming out, and maybe addressing some of those. We can start to think about what does our supporting content look like?

 

  We’re in on the front when they’re doing product marketing plans, and early on positioning to then … Here creative plays a really big role in advertising and strategy. We’re working very closely with the creative, and so we’re able to get the assets to help with some of those messages that we know will resonate with the consumers. We’re definitely in early on in the conversation now, and even how we’re using some of our ambassadors to test products and things like that. Social is certainly very close to the process.

 

Jay: I love the fact that you were involved that early in the product development scheme. That is spectacular, because usually it’s like, “Hey, guys, we’re doing a launch in 10 days. If you want to cook up some Facebook ads, that’d be dope.” That’s usually how it works.

 

Carla: Yeah. I’m not going to lie, that’s how it used to be.

 

Jay: Yeah, good for you. Way to train those people. You go. Go Carla.

 

Carla: I will say it was a collaborative effort. There’s a lot of people who wanted it at the table, but it used to be that. I don’t think people understood, or like, “Hey, can you just go post this on social?” Okay, do you want me just to post words, because no one is going to give a you-know-what about that?

 

Jay: Yeah, you got a picture for me?

 

Carla: I need some assets. Exactly. We have to create something and think about now with video. How can we do this? People are really eager. I think they love to see the products on social. Like I said with wristie shots and stuff, they know when they have a home run product, because they can easily go out there and see it. The engineers can see it. That’s, I will say, one of the beautiful things about the engineers here is they actually are users. It’s not rare to go out at lunchtime and see engineers leaving the building with three or four watches on their wrist, because they’re testing everything. They really do practice what they preach. They understand when they have a home run product. Then it’s popular on social, and they want to see that excitement and that kind of community around it as well.

 

Jay: I love that idea of using social to celebrate victories internally, that’s really terrific. So many of your products, of course, are used in an out-of-home environment, in a mobile environment. One of our sponsors of the show is the leader in mobile marketing solutions. It’s our pals at Yext, Y-E-X-T. They have a terrific ebook out now that’s all about how location and search are becoming the same thing, because as people use smart phones to find a restaurant, to find retail location, to see when the hours are open, that impacts your search engine results and vice versa. If you have a business that has a doorway that customers walk through, you need to read this ebook. Go to offers.yext.com/locationworld. Offers.yext.com/locationworld. Download that for me. You will appreciate it.

 

  Also this week, the show is brought to you by Salesforce Marketing Cloud, who employ my cohost, Adam Brown. In addition to that feather in their cap, they have their own terrific new ebook they just came out with recently called the future of ads. It’s all about the baseline effectiveness ratios in social and digital advertising, the kind of things that Carla does every day. They’ll give you charts in this report on global ad spend and appropriate click-through rates for Facebook ads, Google ads, Instagram ads, etc. They’ll tell you in this book how to increase your return on ad spend using CRM data, all kinds of cool case studies and use cases on lookalike ads, on retargeting ads. Good stuff in there for folks who are involved in paid social in particular. Go to bitly/salesforceads. That’s bitly/salesforceads and grab yourself a free copy of that.

 

  Show is also brought to you by Convince and Convert Media, the media division of my Convince and Convert company. We produce not only this show, Social Pros, but also our sister shows, Content Pros for content marketing professionals, Influence Pros for influence marketing professionals, the Business of Story, the Convince and Convert podcast, and returning for 2017, Jay Today, my twice weekly video podcast. Just three or four minutes each episode twice a week. Go to jaytoday.tv to subscribe. Adam, back to you.

 

Adam: Jay, thank you, and wow. The volume of publications, of content that you and your team are creating and Convince and Convert, nothing short of spectacular, Jay. Kudos to you, my good friend.

 

Jay: Thank you, sir.

 

Adam: Carla, great to have you on the show. One of the things that really interested me as I went through our pre-show was understanding that you are a voracious runner, you and your daughter. My question is has that been enhanced at all by working at Garmin? Is it the tail wagging the dog that you go to a company that, in many cases, manufactures some of the greatest running watches and other technology, is that helping you become a better runner, or were you already a pretty excited, enthusiastic runner before joining the organization?

 

Carla: Yeah, I grew up, my dad’s a runner. Like I said, I grew up around Garmin products. I wouldn’t call myself a great runner. I’m a slow runner, but I like to run. For me, it’s been really awesome to have access to all of these amazing running watches, wearables. My daughter is 9, and I think about how important activity and nutrition is, because the things that I market on, mobile devices, they want to spend so much time on those. To see her put on her Garmin watch and talk about that with her friends, it’s her goal. She’s running a race every single month this year. It’s her new year’s goal.

 

  I try to run anywhere between four and six half marathons a year. It’s one of those things where I can look at my data, and it’s actually great. I can look at it in a year in review, and it’s certainly something to be proud about. For me, running is my therapy. I’m never really looking so much at time as I am, I say when I’m at races I’m there to complete not compete, but it’s always nice to go back and look at my data, not only from just a mileage run standpoint, but where am I getting better? Now obviously with wrist-based heart rate and things like that, I can track all of those things. I will say having access to all these devices has been great, and I think drives me more. Before I worked at Garmin, I did not run as much as I do now, but it’s been a good marriage for me here, because I am so passionate about their products. It just makes my job that much easier, because I love what I do, but I love the products that I work on.

 

Adam: Kudos to you and your daughter committing to, at 9 years old, to do a 5K every month for the year. That is just fantastic. I want to kind of double click on that, if you will. You mentioned your 9 year old putting her wearable on every morning and things like that. We all know the statistics and facts around young people and older people alike, our lifestyles are getting more sedentary and things like that. The gamification, if you will, of running and outdoor activities because, in many instances, because of wearables, is it having and impact? Will we look at the young people right now, like your daughter’s age, that will have a different kind of outlook and approach on active lifestyles because of organizations like Garmin? Is that just purely aspirational, or is there any data that maybe shows that that could be the case?

 

Carla: Yeah. For us, and I obviously look at my daughter’s stuff very closely, but our accounts are linked. We love to sync our data at the end of the day, like who’s got more steps. It’s fun for us, and especially if we go to Disney World, she kicks our butt, because it takes three steps to [inaudible 00:36:39]. She absolutely loves doing that, because she’s like, “I know I’m going to beat you.” For us, I definitely see her moving more. She wants to beat myself and her dad, and my son, who’s three, he’s wanting to wear one already. He wants to play, too. With our Vivo Fit Junior product, there is an app, and it is gamified for them. Points are tied to rewards and different things like that. That’s what we’re hoping for is obviously to keep them moving and challenge each other.

 

  She has other kids in her class who wear the Vivo Fit Junior device or even a competitor brand. They are all working towards … It’s funny. Their teachers now at certain points of class, they make them take them off, because they’ve noticed the kids sitting there wanting to swing their arms or whatever, because they want to win. We’re definitely seeing that, I think, landscape change a little bit for kids to really help them understand what an active lifestyle is. I think it’s that, but it’s also coupled, I think, with education from parents, too. It’s the food choices as well. It’s the complete picture. For us-

 

Adam: Calories out.

 

Carla: Exactly. I will say even with my 9 year old, trying to help her understand the difference between food for fuel or food for fun. You think about sugar versus something healthy that’s going to fuel your body, and just that whole concept, but then too, how does activity help you balance that out? For her, I love that she’s 9 and she’s getting it. She wants to see how many steps she’s had, how much have I been active from day to day. She’s monitoring her sleep, too. She’s seeing, “How many hours am I sleeping. Is that good or bad?” Learning about her body and what makes it healthy. I think it’s an exciting thing for many companies who are helping drive that digital health piece.

 

Jay: Carla, I wanted to ask you one interesting question about your background, which is that you worked at ESPN at one point, and you also worked at the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Are you a huge hoops fan, or are those just coincidental Venn diagrams?

 

Carla: Certainly not coincidental. I am a Jayhawk girl through and through.

 

Jay: Oh God.

 

Carla: I know. Big win last night.

 

Jay: Is Bill Self your favorite basketball coach of all time?

 

Carla: No. I think John Wooden is. I love coach Self. Nothing taken away from him, but certainly John Wooden is somebody to be … He’s amazing.

 

Jay: Yeah, baller.

 

Carla: As a person. Yeah, exactly. I was fortunate when I worked at the NABC to get to know him and his family. I’ve never met a person who is so genuine and just amazing, I think, in his leadership style and his approach to life. It’s pretty incredible. He would definitely be my answer.

 

Jay: What a very cool job. You also mentioned off air that you are a Disney fanatic. In what context? You like to go to Disney World, you watch Disney movies, you go on Disney cruises, or just because ESPN is owned by Disney, so they paid your salary at one point? How is that fanaticism manifested?

 

Carla: Yeah, we go to Disney quite a bit. I live in Kansas City, but I am an annual pass holder.

 

Jay: Wow.

 

Carla: I know. It’s not like I go there-

 

Jay: You are flagged in that database. I guarantee it.

 

Adam: I wonder if they know Heike from our show last week?

 

Jay: Yeah, I was going to say, yeah. Heike Young from Salesforce is one of Adam’s colleagues. Two weeks ago on this podcast, we discovered that for a time for a couple years, wasn’t it? She was Sleeping Beauty for reals. She was Sleeping Beauty at the park.

 

Carla: That’s awesome.

 

Jay: Maybe at one point you could have interacted with her. Who knew?

 

Carla: Maybe, maybe. I like it. No, I always joke when I grow up I want to be one of the Disney social media moms, part of that group.

 

Jay: Yes.

 

Adam: [inaudible 00:41:04]. Yeah.

 

Carla: Please. I just love it. I was having this discussion with someone this morning about Disney World and just Disney in general. I just said, “Where else in the world can you go right now where everything is perfect? If you’re in a bubble for a couple of days and you’re happy and your kids have no idea,” I think about my Facebook feed right now, and all the stuff I don’t want to see in it. You get to get away from that. I just love the spirit of it. Truly from a marketing standpoint, what they accomplish every day is phenomenal. I’ve read a couple of their customer service books and stuff, and it is truly crazy to think these things lived in Walt Disney’s mind. Somehow he’s created this iconic destination. You think about everything else that goes into it, like you said, with the movies and things like that, but for me it’s great. It’s fun. I love it. My family loves it. I was in Disney World last week actually at the socialmedia.org conference.

 

Jay: Do you always go to the World, or do you go to the Land?

 

Carla: We typically go to World, but actually we’re taking a family vacation to Disney Land next week.

 

Jay: Nice.

 

Adam: Wow.

 

Carla: Yes.

 

Jay: I’ll be interested to know what you think. I’m a Land guy. I grew up in Arizona, so for us, Land was kind of a no brainer, and World was a world away. Land much smaller, but I think it’s much more quaint and approachable and less nutso, just in terms of crowds and logistics. I’ll be interested to see what you think.

 

Carla: Yeah, that’s actually why we’re going there. I have a three year old, so anybody with a three year old knows, oh my God. He’s crazy. I love him, but we did Disney World this summer, and it was just we were like, “Oh my gosh, what have we done to ourselves?” That’s why we’re going to Disney Land because we’re like, “It’s smaller. If we need to get back to the hotel, it’s easier,” and things like that.

 

Jay: It’s right there across the street. Yeah.

 

Carla: I think Cars land, awesome, they don’t have that in Florida. We’re pretty stoked, ready to see it.

 

Jay: If you lose your kid, I know a product that you could buy to help find him made by Garmin. I’m sure you’ve got something in the closet there that you could just strap on the lad, and you’ll be fine.

 

Carla: Yeah, we don’t do the child leash.

 

Jay: The child leash, you see a lot of child leashes at Disney, that’s fantastic.

 

Adam: Especially the ones that look like backpacks and monkeys.

 

Jay: Yeah, yeah.

 

Carla: They’re furry. No, we don’t do that.

 

Adam: Yeah, it’s kid camouflage.

 

Jay: Yeah, just trying to hide it. I’m going to ask you the two questions that we ask every one of our guests here, now six years into this podcast. The first question, Carla Meyer from Garmin, is what one tip would you give somebody looking to become a social pro?

 

Carla: Oh gosh, that’s really hard. I think that honestly, go into it listening. I think there’s so many pieces to put together. It takes listening and collaboration. You can’t pull social off by yourself. You can’t be a one-man band. There’s so much that goes into it. I think you’ve got to listen. You’ve got to collaborate in order to accomplish what you want to accomplish in the end.

 

Jay: That’s so true. I think back to the early episodes of this show when the role of the “social media” manager was so much more narrow. It was answering blog comments and sending some tweets. Now it’s you’re in video production, and you’re a media buyer, and you’re in customer service, and a bunch of other things that didn’t used to be on our plate. That is very well-said. Last question for you is if you could do a Skype call with any living person, who would it be?

 

Carla: Gosh, that one’s tough. I don’t know. I think it’d be interesting to Skype with the Pope. I’m not Catholic, but there’s such, I think, an importance placed on his position. It is such an important position, but I would love to understand how does he tackle his day, and how does he … It has to be overwhelming when you think about all the issues and problems that he deals with. I would love to understand his process and how he leads and leads with such compassion I think is always interesting. I can have a bad day, but I always try to sit back and think about I deal with digital and social media. I’m not saving lives. I think it would be interesting to understand their approach and how they deal with their crisis and their crisis management and things like that.

 

Jay: Great perspective. There is no such thing as a Pinterest emergency. It may seem that way sometimes, but in the big scheme of things, none of this matters.

 

Adam: Not so much.

 

Jay: Yeah. On that cheery note, the fact that none of our jobs actually matter, we’re going to sign off for this episode of Social Pros, the podcast for real people doing real work in social media. Carla, thanks so much. You were terrific. Congratulations on all the continued success at Garmin. Please have a fantastic time at Disney Land. Let us know how you like it in comparison to the World. Begrudging good luck to your Kansas Jayhawks in the forthcoming NCAA tournament. As an Arizona grad, perhaps we will square off somewhere down the road.

 

Carla: Oh, you’ve broken my heart before.

 

Jay: Indeed. I understand. Until next week, I guess, ladies and gentlemen, that’s it. I’m Jay Baer from Convince and Convert. He’s Adam Brown from Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and this has been social Pros

 

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