We're all influential, all of us. The Kim foundations of the world only have a moderate amount of more influence than we do. And you go, How can that be? They're so famous. Sure, they have greater reach, but reach doesn't always mean influence. The mass media gets my attention, but it's my people that get things to stick. And the same thing goes in our organizations. That's where the power lies.
I'm Patrick Pacheco. You're listening to season four of In Good Companies from Cadenes Bank, the podcast where we share a wealth of knowledge to help you navigate the opportunities ahead. Because that's what Cadenes is all about, the expertise and flexibility to do business on your terms. We're empowered to help, whether it's through our podcast or any one of our more than 350 locations across the south and Texas. Hey, folks, I have news for you. We're officially halfway through Season 4. I know, right? Time flies when you're in good company. If you've been with us for a while, you know that sometimes we like to shake things up. So today we have something a little different for you. And for a special episode, we had to bring back a special guest.
Marcus Collins, I'm a marketing professor at the Raw School of Business and the author of the bestselling book for the culture.
Remember, Marcus? Culture expert, Marcus. Great marketing mind, Marcus? In our latest episode, he told us about the power of culture and business. It was inspiring, and if you haven't heard it yet, give it a listen. In fact, here's a refresher.
There is no external force more influential to human behavior than culture, so culture becomes the cheat code to getting people to adopt behavior. When you talk about the world through your cultural lenses, the way you see the world, your ideologies, the stories that you tell yourself and tell the world about the world, people go, Finally, someone said it. Man, I've been feeling that way forever. Finally, someone said it. So then the job of you, marketer, leader, manager, activist, politician, your job then is just to preach the gospel. Then they go take your message, your cultural production, and they go share with people who are just like themselves as a way to present and project their own identity. That's unbelievably powerful.
Marcus had a lot to say about culture. So today we go for a second helping, too. In this bonus episode, Marcus pulls back the curtain on influential strategies we find every day in pop culture. There's a lot we can learn from public personalities, starting with our bona fide favorite here in Texas, Ms. Beyonce Knowles. That's right, the Queen herself. Marcus's journey into culture as a strategy started with her at Music World Entertainment.
I was a recent graduate from the Raw School of Business, University of Michigan, where I teach now, but I was an MBA student there. I went to New York to beat the bushes to really try my hand in the world of music. And I felt like I wanted to be more upstream into the content creation world. I want to be closer to the artist. I, myself being an unsuccessful songwriter, producer, I really wanted to be babyface, but that didn't work out for me. But so I thought in my mind that I'd probably better suit it helping artists break through since I couldn't break through it myself. And as the legend goes, I wasn't finding any luck. I was meeting all the biggest names in the music industry, but nothing was really happening. And my now wife, then-girlfriend, her cousin used to work for Ticketmaster. And she said, Hey, I used to do work with the folks over on Beyonce's team. I'd be happy to introduce you. I go, Sure, fine, whatever. Not whatever, but I had been so disappointed by the industry that I didn't think it was going to work out for me anyway.
So I go, Sure, might as well give it a shot. So she emails Music World Entertainment, that's her record label and management company at the time. And the email bounces back because the guy she was introducing me to no longer work there. So when it bounced back, I was like, Of course, it's the universe telling me this isn't going to work. No surprise. But shortly thereafter, we got an email from the general manager of Musicworld, a woman named Liz Pakora, who is awesome. And she says, Hey, so-and-so no longer works here, but we'd love to meet Marcus. And that turned into my first interview, which then turned into Liz Pakora calling Matthew Knowles, who was the CEO of Musicworld, Beyonce's day-to-day manager. And he says, Hey, Matthew, we met this guy. He's an engineer. He started a music company. He has an MBA, and he used to work at Apple, and he's black. And Matthew goes, Yeah, right. He doesn't exist. It's not true. And she goes, No, he's real. And Matthew goes, I want to meet him. So I flew down to Houston to go meet Matthew Knowles as my second interview for a job I didn't even know I was even in the running to get.
I just thought this was like, they're looking for someone to do digital marketing and let's just meet this guy. That interview turned into another trip to Houston to spend some time with Matthew, and he gave me the offer to run digital strategy for Beyonce and for all the artists that were under the music world umbrella.
Working for Beyonce, Marcus witnessed firsthand how influence works. It's not just about being a good performer or a good leader. You need identity to have an impact. For fans all over the world, Beyonce represents something they can bond over, and that's a great tool for business.
So part of my job, work for Beyonce. This is in the I Am Sasha Fears days, which is a great time to be in the Beyonce business. Not like there's ever a bad time to be in the Beyonce business. It's a particularly good time because in my purview, Beyonce, she was transcending being a musician, being a performer, to being something much more iconic. She was moving from artist Beyonce to Queen B or Queendom. And I had front row tickets to that show, and able to lay one small brick on that edifice. And a part of the job was taking her offline fan club and moving it online, taking the people who write in letters, Love you so much, Beyonce. Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh. And move them online so we can engage them in an open forum that we would call social networking platforms and the like. And I'm thinking, Oh, this is going to be easy peasy. This is 2009. I've got Facebook at my disposal. I've got Twitter at my disposal. The Foursquare was around then, too. This is got it done. And we were trying to collectively, as a team, as a lot of us, trying to build this thing for her that just was not happening.
It was not as big, and robust, and active as we thought it would be considering her queendom, considering the stature of celebrity as she was like, What's going on here? And the team started to scour the Internet and they found this small group of people who called themselves the Beehive. And they weren't just fans of Beyonce, but they saw the world similarly to Beyonce. Beyonce believed in women's empowerment. We know that. Every sentence she told No, no, no, no, no, no, can you pay my bills? I'm a survivor. To the left, who runs the world, Girls, get information, you're going to break my soul. Beyonce's entire existence, since we've known her since Destiny's Child, has always been about women's empowerment. And the people who were in the Beehive, those people saw the world similarly. And Beyonce became the cultural product by which they were able to communicate who they were. They had their own artifacts, they had their own language, they had their own norms, their own behaviors. And so the team said, Let's cut bait in this thing that we were creating. Let's partner with them and make The Beehive the official fan club.
And that's what you got. And if you look at the difference between an artist like Beyonce and a popular artist, the biggest difference is that Beyonce doesn't have just fans. She has a community. She's a tribe of people who self-identify by Beyonce and her cultural output because who she is, what she represents, and what she puts in the world are representations of who these people are and how they want to present themselves to the world. At Cadence Bank, we're here to help the.
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During the interview, you mentioned preaching the gospel. Today in the YouTube world, and obviously you hear this of the influencers. Other people start to buy into their culture, their vibe. What are some influencers that you think are preaching the gospel? I always found it very odd that some of these people get to be very popular.
Yeah, we're all influential, all of us. In fact, if you look at some of the early work on social contagion, a duo by the name of laser, Phil and Katz did a study in 1950s, and out of it came what they call the two-step communications model. And the idea is that mass media influences opinion leaders and then opinion leaders influence their people. But then about 50 years later, a group of scholars, Watts and Dobbs, they replicated that research with more sophisticated technology. What they realized is not just mass media talking to opinion leaders, the Kim Kardashians of the world, who we think are super influential, those folks only have a moderate amount of more influence than we do. And you go, How can that be? They're so famous, they reach more people. Sure, they have greater reach, but reach doesn't always mean influence. That is, I could see something like a mass media thing and go, Oh, that hat is really cool. And I buy the hat. So now mass media has influenced me to consume. Then I go out to brunch with my friends, and I'm wearing the hat. My friends go, You're like an idiot.
Take that hat off. What am I going to do? I'm taking that hat off, and I'm never wearing that hat again, right? But my friends go, Marcus, that hat is so dope. Where you get it? I'm never taking that hat off. What do we see here? That the mass media gets my attention and influences an individual, but it's my people that get things to stick. What happens is people go, I love that hat. Where did you get that hat? And then they go buy the hat, and so on, and so on, and so on.
This year, there's one artist everyone's been looking at because somehow she never goes out of style. But who's really been shaping the trends?
This is interestingly the recent conversations about the Taylor Swift effect, that Taylor Swift and her outsized celebrityom, she goes to afootball game. And now everyone's watching football game, and now everyone watching football, and everyone's buying these jerseys. And I go, Yeah, that's pretty cool. But here's the thing. Taylor Swift's influence is most directly on Swifties. And now Swifties are influence, and they consume, they watch, they buy, and then they ripple their influence out to other people to get the scale that we see that is the Taylor Swift effect. Taylor Swift didn't even wear a Travis, Kelsey jersey. In that first game, but Jersey sales went up. So it tells you that it's not Taylor Swift saying, Hey, go do this. It's people collectively in this community that are acting in concert and it's beginning to reverberate. And the same thing goes in our organizations. There are people who are influential. They're the one step. They're influenced by something, and then they influence their people. They are influential, but it's the collective that are influencing each other, that's where the power lies. And that's where I would give credit to the Taylor Swift effect, that her ability to facilitate a community and they influence each other, that's where you get the slow clap, standing ovation.
You heard it here, folks. If you want to grow your influence, just look at your favorite artists. A fan base is a community full of resources and potential. As people, we identify with an artist because they represent something. Empowerment. Trust. Strength. And in business, it's the same ball game. Figure out your values and wear them like a badge of honor. That's how you'll find your public. Understand also that your community has power. Even the biggest artists in our time didn't make it alone. We're all influential. So work with your community and trust your people to carry your message. They'll bring you farther than you can imagine. Thanks again to Marcus Collins for preaching his gospel here with us. We'll be back next week with another episode. Do you want to hear more In Good Companies? Of course you do. Rate and review the show so we can bring you more episodes and even bigger guests. It only takes a second, so pause the podcast and do it right now. I'll wait. Still waiting. I haven't got all day here, guys.
In Good Companies is a podcast from Cadenes Bank, member of FDIC, equal opportunity lender. Our production team is Sheena Cochran, Edie Pengelly, and Natalie Barron. Our executive producer is Danielle Connell. This podcast is made in collaboration with a team at Lower Street, writing and production from Andrew Gannam and Lee Zlavodi, sound design and mixing by Ben Cranel.
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