The CMO Show:
The CMO Show: Tina Walsberger...

How do you market a massive event on a slim budget when getting cut through is more difficult than ever? Sydney Festival’s Tina Walsberger knows a thing or two… 

Every January, as the weather hits peak wonderful and the city truly comes to life, Sydney delivers a summer celebration like no other.

For Tina Walsberger, chief marketing and customer service officer at Sydney Festival, it’s a race against time (and money) to create the cut through needed to pique interest and attract visitors. After all, what she’s selling isn’t physical; It’s experiential!

With more than 700,000 people in attendance across the 146 events held as part of this year’s Sydney Festival, Walsberger says she knew that traditional marketing methods just weren’t going to cut it in 2017.

“We’re in an era now where 89 percent of marketing falls completely on deaf ears,” she says. “Marketing in its traditional sense is just much, much less effective than it ever has been.”

Her response to this revelation? Authenticity.

Shifting gears to make the most of having a small team with minimal budget, Walsberger took to engaging influencers to spread the word. A strategy, which she says, paid massive dividends with more than 20 million views for one video alone.

Listen along as Mark Jones and JV Douglas discuss the changing role of influencers in marketing communications, how Walsberger uses surprise and sensory experience to increase participation, and why the most authentic messaging occurs when CMOs immerse themselves in the experience.

Listen to the podcast above and subscribe on iTunes and SoundCloud.



The CMO Show production team

Producers – Megan Wright & Tom van Leeuwen

Audio Engineers – Jonny McNee & Daniel Marr

Got an idea for an upcoming episode or want to be a guest on The CMO Show? We’d love to hear from you:




Hosts: Mark Jones (MJ) and Jeanne-Vida Douglas (JVD)

Guest: Tina Walsberger (TW)

JVD: Welcome back to the CMO show.  I’m JV Douglas and I’m here with…

MJ:   Mark Jones.  Hello.

JVD: Hello.  And today I’m super excited because we have Tina Walsberger, who is the head of marketing and customer service for Sydney Festival.  And you know why I’m really excited about it Mark?

MJ:   Tell me JV.

JVD: Because Sydney Fest…

MJ:   You love this Syd – Sydney Festival, right…

JVD: …because I love Sydney Festival.  Like some of my best memories are from Sydney Festival and every year I pick an event to go to with my kids and they’re forming some of their most impactful memories at Sydney Festival events as well.  

MJ:   Yeah and I think, you know, as marketers looking at this massive cultural event, that is the Sydney Festival, it’s fascinating to hear Tina talk about what’s involved in creating an experiential marketing event of this scale.  It’s huge, right?

JVD: It’s massive, yeah.

MJ:   Let’s have listen to Tina, hey?

JVD: Yeah.  Let’s switch over.

We’re here with Tina Walsberger.  She’s the head of marketing and customer service at one of my all-time favourite events, the Sydney Festival.  Welcome.

TW: Thank you very much for having me.

MJ:   Yes.  Great to have you in the studio.  Now we want to get things going and for those who maybe either outside of Sydney or on an alternative planet, you want to just define and let us know what in fact is the Sydney Festival.

TW: Absolutely.  Look, Sydney Festival is a cultural festival that takes place in Sydney in January.  This year we had around 700,000 attendances across, I think it was 146 different events, in 46 different venues across 23 days.  So the kind of events that you would have heard about, far and wide are the kind of the major events that we do.  So, majors concerts in the Domain, our festival village that we have Hyde Park, which is super fun.  You know years ago we had the rubber duck.  Years before that we had Festival First night where we shut down the whole of the Sydney CBD for whole day of, you know, cultural celebrations.  And this year we had the enormous beach at Barangaroo, which was just incredible.  So we kind of do everything.  We do theatre, dance, opera, you know large scale works all the way down to one-on-one theatre shows.

MJ:   And so we’re speaking to you now after the event, so is it kind of like this… ‘aahh’, you know, I can breathe again?  Or you’re already into it?

TW: Oh my god.  There definitely is a moment of sighing so we go off on holiday for a week, where the whole office shuts down and we’re just comatose.  And now we’re just kind of just wrapping up doing a lot of reporting.  Because we are non-profit, the reporting phase is longer than you might have for any other organisation, because we’re reporting back on all of the funding that we’ve gotten.  And then we are actually already planning for the next 2 or 3 years now.

JVD: That’s so exciting.

MJ:   Amazing.

JVD: What does it feel like holding an icon in your grasp, and not so much not breaking it but also making sure that it remains that iconic memorable experience for so many Australians and visitors from around the world?

TW: Yeah, that’s a great question.  So we kind of talk about having like 4 key identities to our brands.  So we have the heritage brand, which is about us being 41 years old and being in the hearts so people like you say.  One of them is about being an international Arts festival, so really about showcasing the world’s best art and really putting Sydney on the stage, you know, on the world art stage.  The other one is about – it’s about disruption, so it’s about kicking people’s arses and kicking people’s minds into gear.  And the final kind of pillar of our existence, which is so important is summer.  So we are absolutely a summer festival.  We are about getting out there, having a great time and really showcasing the city at its best.  So it absolutely is an enormous responsibility to make sure that we’re fulfilling all of those kind of key pillars of who we are, but also still keeping it fresh.

JVD: Art, so much in our culture, tends to be something that happens in museums or in art galleries, you know what I mean?  It’s something that’s removed.  How do you – how do you maintain and how do you identify events that really make art experiential for so many Australians?

TW: Yeah.  So I mean the arts are actually in such a fascinating place.  Actually just like brands are at the moment.  There’s a real kind of cultural response to the fact that we are so glued to our tablets and glued to our screens at the moment.  The fact that our experience is increasingly less connected, even though we feel like we’re more connected.  The arts is constantly creating more kind of sensory responses to that.  So there’s a real kind of generation of participation in art works that we’re seeing now.  So it’s actually, you know, the hardest part is picking the ones that we want because there’s so many.

JVD: Mm-hm.  So this year for the first time, I went along to the symphony in not the…  I’ve always been to symphony in Domain but went along to symphony at Parramatta.  And that point of which and anyone who’s been there will know this, that point of which the cannons go off and everybody cheers and cries and you’re just there and you’re in the moment and you’re sharing with so many people.  This experience has become core to what every brand is craving.  What have you learnt in being part of the Sydney Festival that you could take into other brands and other marketing roles?

TW: Well, the thing that I’m so, so passionate about is this idea of providing experiences for people, right?  So we’re in an era now where I think the stat is something like 89 percent of marketing is completely, falls completely on deaf ears. So people are not realising that there’s advertising. People are using ad blocking software increasingly. So marketing in its traditional sense is just much, much less effective than it ever has been.

So really what we are about is creating participatory and really engaging experiences. And that’s what the arts do. That’s what the arts do but that’s absolutely what brands need to be able to do now. And so what I – what I would bring to any other brand is the fact that we are not here for the audience, we are a part of the audience. You know, the audience creates our brand.

JVD: And what’s fascinating too is your title isn’t head of marketing.  It’s head of marketing and customer service.  Can you unpack that a little bit and just explain sort of where that comes from and how the two relate to each other.

TW: Yeah how interesting.  Yeah.  Look I mean the philosophy is about customer experience being at the absolute core of the marketing role, right?  So marketing and customer service just doesn’t live separately anymore.  We are an experience company, we are a cultural organisation so the audience experience on the ground is just as important if not more important than the marketing leading up to that experience.  

JVD: And how you kind of – how do you go about measuring and tracking that and finding out what that experience has been like for the individuals?  

TW: Yeah we do.  We try and count as much as we can.  I mean we are always trying to fine tune how we count that.  It used to be social mentions, now we are taking into account things like local measure where you’re actually geo-fencing the social commentary of a certain venue.  So we’re constantly trying to track how much people are talking about us and the general kind of sentiment about what people are saying about us.  I guess the most obvious idea when something isn’t working well is when people don’t talk at all.

MJ:   Yeah…  yeah.

TW: It’s really…

JVD: Silence is deadly, hey?

TW: That’s the saddest thing for us.  I mean, you know we’re the arts, so we are not in a business where we’re trying to keep people happy, absolutely not.  I mean surely from a customer experience perspective, we want to keep people happy but we want to provoke, we want to engage, we want to create conversation.  So when you’re not creating conversation, I think that the most heartbreaking time for me.

MJ:   How do you wrestle those competing ideas that there’s the artistic expression and then – but then I must have an outcome.  I must have a…  You know, this is if you like, the great artistic dilemma, how do I prove that this is actually worthwhile in some way?

TW: Yeah look, that’s a really interesting discussion because actually what I’ve sometimes said to some of my kind of brand manager friends is that working in the arts can sometimes be less creative from a storytelling angle…

MJ:   Oh really?

TW: ….than actually working for a brand.  And I don’t mean that in the way that it’s coming out directly.  The way that I mean that is we work on an inherently creative product so the marketing department doesn’t have to be…

JVD: Work as hard… [Laughs]

TW: …more creative on top of that.

JVD: Yeah.

TW: What we have to be able to do is get out of the way of the creative people and let them tell the stories that then are authentic again.

MJ:   Fascinating.

TW: So really what you need to know is when to butt out and let this thing be authentic and when it is that you just will need to wrap it up and pull it together for the audiences.  So our job is not to be the actor.  Is not to be the playwright.  It’s not to write a new story about a story because what I – what I very often say at Sydney Festival, unfortunately to the point where the people are just going, “Go away!”, is stop marketing the marketing.

MJ:   Yeah.

TW: You know.  So we sometimes find ourselves in the situation where we’re creating art about art, just to market the art and you going, whoa! Two steps…

MJ:   That’s a bit of a mess up.

JVD: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

TW: Isn’t it?  So you know, if I’m marketing Scotch tape, I can find some really nice ways of telling you a story about Scotch tape.  But if I’m marketing, you know, a really fundamental story about gay rights, I don’t then need to find more stories about gay rights.  I need to find a way for this story to kind of tell itself.

JVD: Tell me about your marketing team.  Like what are the skills you bring together, in order to sort of promote and measure and track this event?

TW: So what we have at our table is, we have every single role sitting right next to each other and in constant conversation.  So the publicity manager is constantly speaking to the digital manager about how are we announcing things, when are we announcing things.  When something starts to become a storm on social media, what does the publicist needs to do about it or vice versa.  So we’re this very kind of tight knit organisation that is actually very function because of its size and everyone being seen in such close proximity.

MJ:   Sounds like an old school integrated marketing communications team.

TW: I know!

MJ:   Right?

TW: It’s a bit retro.

MJ:   Now another interesting part of the Sydney Festival and your marketing role is the influencers.  Can you give us an insight as to what you did and perhaps what was different about, you know, how you approached it this year?

TW: Yeah, absolutely.  One of the things about a non-profit organisation is that you have a very, very small amount of budget, right?  So I have to admit that I was more naïve about this than I originally thought but I was having this conversation with a friend going, okay, so what kind of roughly, what do you guys spend on a, you know, let’s just call it a TV campaign. And we realised that our entire year’s marketing budget is roughly the size of a large brand’s TV production.  So it’s – it’s a very small amount.

So we spend a lot of time going, okay, (a), what’s the product, and how is the product best articulating our brand values.  What is it that we stand for and is whole program really communicating that.  How am I communicating to the right people that this is on?  And then how do I make sure that right on the first day of the festival that we’ve got enough of the right people communicating that for me?

So when we were planning this year’s festival, we knew that we had the beach, which was an absolute, you know, incredible gangbuster of  work for us.  And we knew that we had an extraordinary amount of tickets for the whole festival still to sell.  So we sell about 30 to 40 percent of our total tickets in January over three week period.

JVD: [Laughs]

MJ:   Huge.

TW: Yeah.

JVD: Wow.

TW: It’s pretty – it’s pretty nerve wrecking.  We don’t do a lot of sleeping.  And of course, we are like an airline, right?  So as soon as the day is past, that’s thousands of tickets or thousands of empty seats that you could have sold, that you’re then not selling.

JVD: They’re not gone, yeah, yeah, yeah.

TW: So it’s a race against time.  So the main thing that we have to do is, from the very first day that we’re on, we have to make sure that people know about it in a really big way.  

So I sat down these amazing influencers who are very passionate about what we do.  And I said, “I want to give you an opportunity to see one of our works before anybody else can, before the media does, before even some of the staff did.  And I want to create an environment where you can do with it almost what you want but you have to promise me one thing.  You have to post at least one picture within 24 hours and here’s the hashtags you have to use about that.”

And so I wasn’t sure whether it would work but we kind of got this school of 25 major Instagram influencers together and they all rocked up and they were just so excited and so passionate and they all brought all sorts of props and things.  And they were ready to do exactly what we had agreed to go in and make this thing look absolutely extraordinary and be the very first people to post about it and off they went.  And so they got to see it before the media did.  They had a ball.

MJ:   And was it a paid or free thing from an influencer point of view.

TW: Yeah, look, it was free for us actually.

MJ:   Yeah.

TW: And I have been thinking about what this means for other brands because of course you can’t – you can’t expect influencers to work for free.

MJ:   Yeah.

TW: I think when you’re a non-profit, you do have a whole other loophole.  And when you’re something that people so passionately want to advocate for, it’s much easier than when you’re selling Scotch tape.

JVD: And it’s very much recognition of the role they’re now playing, in that whole communication space, which is probably why you got that really passionate response from them as well.

MJ:   So what did you in terms of how the influencers think and see the world in the context of if you like, their growing importance or influence, ironically.  Influencers becoming more influential, and I’m thinking in part about these larger distribution platforms.  Ostensibly they’re getting organised, and there’s software and there’s apps and there’s all sorts of stuff, which allow marketer to scale up their use of influencers.

TW: Yeah, I have been thinking about that.  I have been thinking about how it really, the fact that we had very one-on-one relationships with the influencers and we really had a very kind of hands on involvement this time, meant that we had a very, very strong and tailored outcome.  I mean we obviously weren’t telling them exactly what to do but we – we knew roughly what to expect.  I have been having a look at all of these amazing influencer platforms where you can just put the word out and you know thousands of people will come and I think I would be willing to use them but I think you’d be getting a much less crafted response early – early on, which may or may not be a bad thing depends on what it is that you’re trying to achieve.  So…

MJ:   You mean like as in, you don’t get the nuance or the, sort of the…

JVD: I guess spray or pray as opposed to…

MJ:   Yeah.

JVD: …something that’s more tailored and focused.

TW: Yeah I mean for us for instance, it was important to remain positioned as a brand that everybody wants to experience and something that look really, really fun.  I mean we had some hilarious conversations with one photographer who I love dearly and respect so much, she does a lot of nudity.  And I said, “Now listen.  I love what you do.  You probably shouldn’t do any nudity and maybe no blood…  maybe no…

JVD: [overtalking 00:23:56].  [Laughs]

TW: Maybe no rude things, you know, just keep it above the belly button.” You know, and it was…

JVD: Keep it above the belly button. [laughs]

TW: And those were conversations that…

JVD: I shared keep it above the belly button, I love it!  [laughs]

MJ:   Yeah.  It’s kind of like a little quiet aside, you know.

TW: [Laughs] Yeah and somebody else I knew loves to use drones and of course, you know, they asked whether they could, and I said no, and then they did it anyway.  And I went over and I said, “You still can’t.” So I do wonder, when it starts to get to a scale where you’re not entirely sure what to expect anymore, whether you’re able to keep it within bounds.  I don’t really know that, that’s really that relevant.  I mean I would be absolutely willing to use it.

One of the best things for – one of the best things that came out of our whole influencer experience was that other influencers saw what they did and then were in the next day without even telling us.  So they, because it was a free artwork, anybody could walk in.  And on day two, we saw you know, kind of 2.0 coming in and everyone did their own thing and had their own very authentic kind of message around what the beach was.

If I hadn’t use influencers, what I would have had is a very family oriented set of first posts.  So I think one of our – one of the things we were really worried about with the beach was that if the first three days of posts were all families having the best time ever, you then would frighten people our age from going in because it looks like you really can’t experience this thing without a family.

JVD: Just a bunch of breeders.  [Laughs]  Hey! I’m breeder, I get to use that term.

TW: You said it, you said it.

MJ:   Yeah, and again, you wanted to be inclusive of all demographics, right?

TW: Yeah, that’s it.

MJ:   And so…

JVD: That’s what Sydney Festival is, so…

MJ:   But then it sounds like to me if you were to scale up what you’ve done, you’d actually need more people.  Like you’d need an influencer marketing team so getting to that you know…  where is this going?

TW: Absolutely.  But look actually, the huge learning from the beach for us was that once you got that ball rolling, as soon as you had that extraordinary amount of content going out in the first few days, it had a life of its own.  And we were contacted by the Insider Group in the US, who wanted to use some of our content and we didn’t get back within 3 hours and they said, don’t worry about it what we’ve done is we’ve taken a whole bunch of user generated content, we’ve tailored our own video and within a few days it had 60 million views.

JVD: Oh my goodness.

TW: It was extraordinary.

MJ:   Amazing.

MJ:   What does it teach you about the importance or the appetite for really good quality content?

TW: I think content is absolutely key.  I mean we are an experience organisation and we have to be providing really incredible, memorable, challenging experiences all the time.  If you don’t have content, I don’t believe that you’re going to go very far.  But you know, I’ve just been reading about this really fascinating bit of research from a company called, Iris.  They did a participation brand index, which I’m not sure whether you’ve heard about.

JVD: Okay, yeah.

TW: But so they’re – they’re really making this point about the fact that you know, we’re not paying attention to marketing anymore.  We’re really not seeing any of the ads anymore.  So what we absolutely need to be doing now is make sure that the audience is creating content for us and the audience is advocating on an authentic level for us.  And so they’re pulling out a whole bunch of brands, which is – which are participatory companies who are creating experiences but also creating community as part of their experiences.  And so they highlight, you know, the most successful companies that are doing this are the Nikes, the Teslas, the Apples, the Amazons, companies like that who have created not just the right content but content that is so amazing that you are building a community around it.

MJ:   Yeah and building the value around that.  The other part of course this is that, I’m kind of the opinion, that actually it’s distribution that’s king these days, not content, right?

TW: Yeah, yeah.

MJ:   Yeah, because it’s – the interesting dynamic is that as the reach goes down per Instagram or influencers, you need more influencers to get the reach.  Does that makes sense?  The each person so you kind of have to work harder and harder and harder for your distribution, it must be a real challenge.

TW: Sure but then I hadn’t experience until this year these, you know, all of these sites that have just taken user generated content and then repurposing them and then pushing them out for you.  So that’s a whole new era for me as well.  So I do think that – that the word is getting out to people but it’s getting out in increasingly different ways.  But what you’re also finding out is that it’s so important to have a really core fan base, who is deeply, deeply, engaged and who is advocating for you, probably to a smaller audience than before, but in a very solid way.  In a way that is continuing to reach the right audiences at the right time.

At the very heart of our influencer marketing is this thing about working with existing audiences and existing fans.  I think there’s a massive topic in building a very, very strong fan base.  So years ago we did, we started this kind of Tinder program tool so again it was just a quick rip off, oh my god, everybody is on Tinder…


JVD: What amount of your energy goes to the traditional things that have to be there and have to in place?  And – and how much energy do you spend on the edge, on this year would have been focusing on really creating a great experience for influencers.  

TW: Yeah, absolutely.  

TW: So we obviously knew that Facebook was doing an extraordinary job pushing Facebook live out to absolutely everybody, so suddenly it was the first way that we can – or the only way that we can really speak to our full Facebook audience again.  So we – we jumped onto that and went right let’s do two of our major events and let’s broadcast them live.  And immediately you are reaching 12,000 people who are watching symphony in the Domain, which was incredible and one of our indigenous events on Australia day, we broadcast live as well.

We were also using Instagram live at absolutely every opportunity we had so you were constantly seeing, you know, 20 venues a day and what was going on there.  We learnt from that you basically need to be incredibly nimble and you need to have enough time to deal with whatever is the most cutting edge, you know, medium at the time.  

MJ:   Yeah. So what’s the biggest lesson you’re taking into next year?

TW: The biggest lesson for me is the power of working with sensory art.  The fact that we are…  you know, the approach that we took this year about wanting to reach our audience’s senses was a really interesting one for me.  The fact that we were really catching people by surprise and surprise is an emotion I love.  The other thing is the power of using your marketing in more unpredictable ways.  So one of the things we did, we had a whole project about teaching Sydney indigenous language again…

JVD: Yep.

TW: …called Biala.

JVD: Yep, all about a bit of Darug yeah?

TW: Yeah, yeah exactly.  So what we did is we went, well listen, you know if we just go hey indigenous language classes are happening in the state library. That really not a very exciting lesson.  So what we did was we used some of our out of home advertising to actually teach people waiting for training in Darug language.  So that was much more engaging and much more interesting and people had a real hunger for that kind of educational aspect of marketing.  Or it wasn’t marketing any more at that point, it was authentic, you know, something we really stood for.  So again, it’s coming back to that stop trying to be clever, stop trying to be telling a story that isn’t particularly authentic, just say what it is.  Just do it.  Just engage people.  So that was a really big one for me.

JVD: And using some of the world’s most I guess, contemporary techniques to teach one of the world’s oldest languages is just such a beautiful story in itself.

TW: Yeah, yeah

MJ:   Well it’s great to hear how you’ve pulled together firstly this whole stakeholder group and then experimenting with other different things.  Clearly it was great success, so well done.  As a listener of the CMO show, you’re probably aware that we have our 21 questions.  So are you ready? What are you grateful for?

TW: My health.

JVD: Do you like rain?

TW: Sometimes.  I feel like…

JVD: Not when it rains at the festival. [Laughs]

TW: That’s exactly right.  Do you know we had ducks swimming in the Domain, before one of the Domain concerts recently and it…

JVD: Oh my lord.

TW: …broke my heart.  So sometimes rain is not as great as other times.

JVD: But heat this year would have been an issue too hey?

TW: It was really, really hot.

JVD: Oh my goodness.  Yep, yep, yep.

MJ:   In the movie of your life, who would play you?

TW: Okay look I’m Austrian.  So I want to pull – I want to say someone Austrian.  I want to say Conchita Wurst.

JVD: Oh my goodness [laughs] What your greatest career fail?

TW: Oh tricky.  You know, when I had my first kind of longer internship, it was in Munich for a record company, a major record company and they put me in the A&R department and they said, sit down with an entire roomful of demo tapes.  And they said, listen to them.  Good luck.  See you in a few weeks.  And I swear to god I missed one of the biggest bands that now plays in tours and makes a million of bucks.  But they promised me that they don’t think that, that tape was in there but I’m pretty sure that it was.

MJ:   Wow.

JVD: Which band was it?

TW: It’s the Rasmus.

JVD: Okay.

MJ:   Good luck.  What was the next one sorry?

JVD: Beach or mountain.

MJ:   Oh, yeah, beach or mountain?

TW: Mountain.

JVD: Best ever career advice.  

TW: Make sure you’re having fun.

JVD: Yeah.

TW: Yeah because I work really hard as we all do and I love working really hard but I think if I was selling completely I didn’t believe in, I just couldn’t do it.

MJ:   Summer or winter?

TW: Tricky…  summer,

JVD: Who is your…

MJ:   Good time for festivals

TW: Correct.  Yes.

JVD: Who is your hero?

TW: I’m going to be so cheesy.  My mum.  My mum is a massive hero of mine.  She’s an incredible woman.

MJ:   If you weren’t a marketer, you’d be a…  ?

TW: Acrobat.

JVD: [Laughs] That’s perfect.

MJ:   Obviously.

JVD: Chocolate or strawberry?

TW: Chocolate

MJ:   What did you have for breakfast?

TW: Muesli.

JVD: What would you rather have had?

TW: Eggs benny.

MJ:   Yes.  Last conversation with your parents?

TW: I’m on an island in the Palawan, in the Philippines, and I’m safe, and I’m sorry I was off line for 5 days.

JVD: Oh goodness me.  Scrunch or fold?

TW: Fold

MJ:   If you could change one thing about the marketing industry, what would it be?

TW: I would be looking for more collaboration.  I think we’re not necessarily as friendly to each other as we could be and I think we could be not wasting half as much time as we do by having to learn everything ourselves.

MJ:   Amen.

JVD: Can you ride a bike?

TW: Yes

MJ:   What’s your greatest frustration?

TW: Egos.

JVD: Touch, taste, sight, hearing or smell, which would you sacrifice, in order to save the rest?

TW: I would have to sacrifice hearing but that’s a hard one.

JVD: It is.  Isn’t it?

MJ:   Dogs or cats?

TW: Dogs

JVD: Favourite book?

TW: Shantaram.

JVD: Ah, wow.

MJ:   If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?

TW: Oh I always wanted a longer name.  My parents called me Tina because my dad’s Austrian and my mum is English, and Tina was one of those names that didn’t get pronounced different in different languages.  So when everyone’s in one room at Christmas, you wouldn’t have different names being yelled from different sides of the room.  And it just means that I’ve always had 4 letters to my name.  I’ve always wanted to have a really long, you know, name, anything from Elizabeth and longer so that I could pick who I wanted to be in any day.

JVD: I do know a Tina who is actually Konstantina.

TW: There you go.  There you go.  It could have been so good.  I could have been Connie, I could have been, yeah…

MJ:   Speaking as a Mark, I can understand, with 4 letters…  or Marcus maybe?

TW: There you go.  There you go.  Are your nicknames are always longer than your actual name?

MJ:   Oh look it was Jonesy.

TW: Yeah

MJ:   Obviously you know, play with the one that’s longer.  Isn’t that how it works?

TW: Yeah, sure.

JVD: Well Tina, thank you very much for coming on the show.  I hope you’ve had an awesome time, this has been a fascinating conversation.

TW: Thank you so much for having me.  It’s been great.

MJ:   So JV.  Did Tina meet up to all of your expectations?

JVD: Yeah, she did and so much more too.  I think we are actually going to have to get her back on at some stage because I know there was so much more that she wanted to tell us about experiential marketing that we didn’t have a change to include.  She just have so much insight.

MJ:   It’s also a great lesson for me in just how much you can get done on tiny budgets…

JVD: And have a tiny team.

MJ:   Right, which… Yeah and you know, look, as much as we’d all love massive budgets the reality of the world is marketing is being asked to work much harder than perhaps it ever has.  The good news is there’s lots of digital channels and things you can do, creative ways to get the message out there.  So some really fantastic lessons from Tina.

JVD: And I found it fascinating idea that her not having to invent a story.  She’s got so many artists she works with and so many amazing stories, what she has to do is actually step back and let the story tell itself, which is – it’s a really interesting position to be in.

MJ:   Yeah it just let the art be, you know, the messenger.

JVD: Yeah totally

MJ:   Which I think perhaps is probably a real mind blown moment for a lot of marketers where we’re coming from this perspective of how do I either take, reshape, spin this concept into something, you know, different.  It’s a real shift in thinking so…

JVD: It very much is but I think that it’s relevant still to marketers in sort of large organisations even because what our role is really to dig right in and find that story.  Find that authenticity and then give it a chance to be expressed.

MJ:   That idea of being a truth teller.

JVD: Absolutely.  [Laughs]

MJ:   Amazing.

JVD: Ooh, wow, that went deep. [Laughs]

MJ:   That’s what we do here at the CMO show.

JVD: Absolutely.

MJ:   Thank for joining us this week.

JVD: It’s been a wonderful year so far, looking forward to delivering just so many more awesome interviews to you.

MJ:   Till next time.

JVD: Bye


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