The Surprising Story of Marketing Made Simple TV – by Jeff Ogden

Like most things, my TV career started unexpectedly.

One day in November 2011, my phone rang. When I answered, I was surprised to hear from David Appelbaum, VP of Marketing at Act-On Software.  I had done a webinar for Act-On and had posted and narrated the slides at SlideShare too.  David said to me, “Jeff, I like what you did on the webinar, and I’d like to do Phase 2 with you.” I said, “Sounds great, David. What the heck is Phase 2?” He replied, “I want to create an online TV show, and I’d like you to host the show.”

I was floored. I had never hosted a TV show, but I relish a challenge and shyness is not an issue for me, so Mad Marketing TV was born. Act-On did everything–name the show, order equipment (HD webcam, studio microphone), build a website, create custom YouTube channel and more. They planned to use Skype, but I liked the TV feel I got from Watchtioo.

Adele Revella of the Buyer Persona Institute was the first guest on Mad Marketing TV. The show was directed by an Act-On marketing person and Act-On’s PR firm handled the editing and posting to YouTube. I simply booked guests on the show and interviewed them. I felt like a hired gun, but things were going swimmingly. I was finding the show a lot of fun and I was getting big checks.

Then everything changed. David left Act-On Software. A new CMO came on board and he decided to bring in his own marketing team–I lost both my champion and director. Then he decided the weekly Mad Marketing TV show would switch to monthly shows. Switching from weekly to monthly meant the shows we had “in the can” would last for months. I was no longer needed to host shows–at least through 2012.

Marketing Made Simple TV is born

Now what do I do? I was a host without a show. And upon reflection, I knew that that Mad Marketing TV was not the ideal. I had little control and it was not my show.

One day I was speaking with a good friend, Jim Burns, of the video content marketing firm Avitage. Jim said, “Jeff, you were the inspiration of the show and you made it all work. Why do you need Act-On? Create your own show.” Jim was right.

Marketing Made Simple TV was born, and I was determined to use all the lessons I had learned to create a vastly better show.

Here are some key changes between the earlier show, Mad Marketing TV and the new show, Marketing Made Simple TV:

Mad Marketing TV Marketing Made Simple TV
Sponsors 1 Up to 8
Posting Sites 2 – YouTube and Blog At least 8 popular site
Video quality Good Improved–HD webcams
Frequency Monthly Weekly
Call to Action None Yes–button in the show

Still, a lot of work was needed to set up the show–a new show logo and main website had to be built. We also standardized on HD webcams and purchased 2 to share with guests. We also documented new processes and lined up new team members for editing and directing. We also worked to find the best way of creating Calls to Action in our videos.

Marketing Made Simple TV premiered its first show in May of 2012, with Mitch Joel of TwistImage.

Sponsors want exposure, so I worked very hard to line up syndication sites to publish the show–Digital Ethos, Social Media Today, Fearless Competitor, Business2Community and all liked the show and decided to publish it. As we kept posting shows and recruiting syndications sites, the show grew and grew.

Today, Marketing Made Simple TV is more popular than it has ever been. Case in point, I found a top business author and contacted him about the show. To my surprise, the author said, “Jeff, I love your show.” I had never spoken to him or shared a show, but he knew me by reputation.

The popularity also comes from the fame of guests. We’ve had some real pros, like Brian Solis of Altimeter Group and Don Peppers of Peppers and Rogers. We’ve had high powered executives, like Beth Comstock, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer of General Electric. And we’ve had celebrities in business too, like Ted Rubin (Top CMO on Twitter), Jeffrey Hayzlett (Celebrity CMO and Cowboy) and Scott Stratten (Unmarketing). And top authors are coming on the show, like Chris Brogan and Gary Vaynerchuck.

I’ve known Robert Terson for some time, and when I learned he had a new book, Selling Fearlessly, I invited him to appear on the show. He was a really fun guest on the show.

You never know when an opportunity is going to come knocking at your door; and even after you’ve accepted that opportunity, you just might be able to vastly improve it and make it far better than your original vision. Keep your eyes and ears open, always be open minded to new ideas, and be ready to pounce when when that opportunity arises.


Jeff Ogden, President of Find New Customers is an award-winning B2B marketing expert with deep knowledge of B2B demand generation. He was named a top 25 Sales Influencer for 2012 by OpenView Labs. He was also named one of the Top 50 Most Influential in Sales Lead Management by the Sales Lead Management Association. And his blog was named the top B2B blog of 2012 by BuyerZone. He also holds a degree in Marketing from the University of Notre Dame. We hope you check out Marketing Made Simple TV and become a fan of the show!