During this 216th episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Lisa Roberts,  the chief marketing officer at Yonder, an AI SaaS company.

Today, we talk about Roberts’ long history in Texas and then move into how her work at Yonder applies to recent waves of communication about coronavirus and the protests for racial equality and social justice. We talk about the implications these waves have for brands and marketers and what Roberts thinks we need to be watching.

Roberts shares how Yonder helps brands understand their market by looking at the activity of highly aligned online groups. She says, “If you can understand how ideas originate and take hold online, you can understand the groups and motivation behind those ideas.” We talk about how marketers can break down complex conversations to understand where individual narratives emerge and spread. Roberts discusses the reality of what brands will need to go through as they decide how to respond to current events. She reminds us, “There is no playbook for what we’re going through right now.” She shares the advice she’s giving to brands as they navigate this new territory. This discussion underscores the importance of knowing which conversations to pay attention to today.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Lisa’s long history living in Texas. 01:44
  • Yonder’s mission. 04:02
  • How Yolo got into understanding factions. 06:04
  • How marketers can think about breaking down complex conversations. 08:21
  • High emotions are impacting the spread of information. 12:47
  • The Costco face mask policy. 13:54
  • How narratives around protests for racial equality and social justice have been shaped online. 18:49
  • Brands need to be thinking about their actions as much as their words. 23:04
  • The advice Yonder is giving brands about how to understand factions. 24:47
  • Backlash in the NFL over executive actions. 29:47
  • Is there an experience in her past that defines who she is today? 30:52
  • What is the advice Lisa would give to her younger self? 33:25
  • The most impactful purchase she has made in the last 6-12 months of $100 or less. 35:06
  • Are there any brands, companies, or causes that Lisa follows that she thinks other people should take notice of? 37:01
  • Lisa’s take on the top opportunity and threat facing marketers today. 39:52

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Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.