Interview with Liz High: The largest content event in the world, Tina Fey, and the New Truths for Brands

Carrie McIlveen

27 August 2018

For many content marketers, Content Marketing World (CMW) is the mecca—THE event—to attend every year. And it’s right around the corner. This year’s event is being held in Cleveland, Ohio, September 4–7, at the Huntington Convention Center.

It's a gathering where content marketers can learn, grow, and network with colleagues. Some of the best and brightest from companies such as Apple, Coca-Cola, Marriot, and the New York Times are invited to speak. And then there are Tina Fey, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and Liz High, Metia’s own VP of CX Insights & Delivery. 

Liz’s presentation is titled “Social truth: Revealing what truly matters to customers.” We were able to catch up with Liz to get a sneak peek of how’s she’s preparing for the event and what attendees should expect.

What are you most looking forward to at the event? 
Meeting people who work in the same fields as me. There’s such a diversity of topics, people, and businesses under one roof—all very focused for three to four days on really getting great at our craft. It’s something that happens very rarely in our busy working lives. So, this is an opportunity for me to work with, learn from, and to talk to people who are at the top of their profession. 

You’re part of the “Analytics & Data” track at CMW. Can you tell us why that is important to you? 
I’m very passionate about connecting with customers through data-driven content. It’s important that data isn’t just about numbers, you’re looking at linguistics and pictures. The whole thing around social truth is we’re using visual language as our data points to take us deeper. For companies, this rich collection of “human data” is a huge untapped resource of insights that provide clues to how to influence the emotions of your customer. Applying visual language to inform marketing strategies ensures customers are met with compelling, consistent, and relevant experiences every step along the purchasing path.

What will be the focus of your discussion? 
Consumer trust in brands is shifting. This generational force is changing the way companies earn loyalty and build trust. This shift has fundamental implications for brands and businesses.

To help business find a path through this transition, I will be sharing key findings from “New Truths for Brands,” a study published by Metia’s Insights and Strategy group. The study gives brands a behavioral blueprint to guide them as they try to build trust with contemporary consumers.

What was the most impactful thing you learned from the New Truths for Brands study?
The way the study was conducted was really trying to get underneath surface reactions to brands by asking people to use visual language to represent them. For me, that really uncovered different truths we hadn’t seen before.

Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, states that 95% of your brain’s decision making activity is focused on emotional and emotive things, leaving only 5% focused on logic. And out of that 95%, 90% of decision making is visual—which means that a brand’s visual identity is just as important as what it says. So, if you want to understand how people connect with you more, start by understanding how your visual brand hits the marketplace. The reason we did the study is that we wanted to take a new approach to how we collected data to really understand what truly mattered to that 90% of the brain function that isn’t tangible—it’s not about words, it’s about what you see and feel.

What will brands be most surprised about from the research?
While many brands recognize there is a problem surrounding trust, few have actionable insight into the source of the issue and what they can do to address it. The New Truths for Brands study offers businesses the sort of practical guidance they value most highly. 

What advice would you give content marketers who are attending the event? 
Go with a plan and stick with it. There’s so much you can do there. Decide what is going to be valuable to you and invest the time to go to those presentations.

Anything you would like to add regarding the event or your presentation?
If you're curious to learn more, please get in touch. I’d be pleased to chat data and analytics over a coffee or wine during the event. Hope to see you there!

Registration is still open for Content Marketing World. According to the organization’s website: “No matter what role you play—from CEO to content creator and everyone between—this is the place to learn from the people who are not only succeeding at content marketing today but can tell you how things will evolve tomorrow.”