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Guest: Bob Armour Chief Marketing Officer, Jellyvision

As of last week, Renegade Thinkers Unite has moved to renegade.com, and will no longer be published on thedrewblog.com. As a subscriber, you should have received an email with the subject line ‘Activate your Email Subscription to: Renegade Thinkers Unite’. It may be buried in your inbox, or even the spam folder, but if you click the link in that email, you’ll continue getting notifications when each week’s new episode is published, only now it’ll be to renegade.com.

Here’s the great episode on the keys to effective communication that was published on Friday:

115: Breaking The Curse of Knowledge, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Comms

Have you ever read through healthcare plans in an effort to sign-up? They’re generally pretty important, but given how jargonistic and dense they are, they can be a real snooze-fest. That’s where Jellyvision comes in. This week’s guest, Bob Armour, is CMO of a company that creates a software named Alex that helps people make sense of their healthcare benefits and select the best plan by communicating with them in plain english.

 

 

The efficacy of Alex speaks to a few types of effective communication, but a big portion of it, ties to how Jellyvision helps companies communicate with their employees. Whether discussing a new campaign, product, or in this case, health benefits, effective internal communication is absolutely crucial. If done well—and in this episode, Bob shares some tips for success—employee communications can help make employees love their jobs, treat their customers well, and advocate for the company. Check out the full interview to learn more!

This episode is extremely relevant in today’s market. Be sure to listen in!

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What You’ll Learn

What it takes to communicate effectively with employees

Jellyvision’s software, Alex, communicates with employees on healthcare. It talks to the users about demographics and needs. Alex creates the illusion that someone is truly listening behind the screen and reacting in human ways. In employee communication, you need to really listen and react in a human way – customized, with a personal response.

Bob also says that to succeed in communicating with his customer’s employees about benefits, his program must strip away the jargon associated with healthcare, insurance, and 401ks. Employees need to make the right decisions, but they have to understand what they are talking about to make a decision. By speaking in a simple way that employees can understand, they can make better informed decisions.

Employee engagement: how to succeed and measure success

Bob shares that Jellyvision helps its clients market Alex internally to their employees. Clients are provided with resources such as pre-written emails, collateral for signing up, and content to help them effectively communicate with employees. Jellyvision helps HR departments focus on what employees have to gain by using Alex, not just a message of “you should sign up for benefits.”

Jellyvision helps customers measure success with its software. It isn’t important to Jellyvision to just sell Alex. They want to know how many of their customers’ employees have been helped by the software. Bob encourages listeners to align their company’s marketing efforts with the goals they are hoping to achieve. For example, Jellyvision chooses to measure how helpful they were as employees signed up for benefits.

The Do’s and Don’ts of employee communication

Bob says to be straightforward and to use humor in employee communication. Put the details somewhere else where those who would like to read more can access them and dig in, but don’t clutter the main message. Be helpful, and don’t be boring or condescending. Avoid using jargon at all cost. Your own employees are also a meaningful tool in crafting a measure to communicate with others. They can offer feedback on whether wording is confusing or relatable.

Timeline

  • [2:19] All about Bob Armour
  • [11:44] What it takes to communicate effectively with employees
  • [17:14] How Jellyvision works with HR departments to make sure employees see Alex
  • [26:38] How Bob advises customers to measure their employee engagement
  • [31:07] Your own employees feedback in crafting your message is huge
  • [34:36] What not to do when communicating with employees

Connect With Guest:

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Drew

Meet the Guest

Bob Armour is the chief marketing officer of Jellyvision, the award-winning technology company and maker of benefits communication software ALEX®. Trusted by more than 1,500 companies – including 114 of the Fortune 500 and two-fifths of the country’s 25 largest companies – ALEX helps millions of employees make smart decisions about complex and potentially snooze-inducing, but important, topics like choosing a health insurance plan, saving money in a health savings account, planning for retirement and navigating a leave of absence.

Bob has more than 25 years of marketing experience at companies ranging from startups to multi-national firms. He got his BA from the University of Notre Dame, his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and his accent from the suburbs of Boston. He’s a lover of ‘80’s music – especially one-hit wonders – and a connoisseur of Greek yogurt. 

Quotes from Bob Armour

  • You need to be aware that you are a victim to the curse of knowledge, which basically says: you, as an expert, cannot really explain something to a beginner very easily, because you think about all of the nooks and crannies where the beginner usually doesn't.
  • I would argue there are two things that motivate people: love or fear. Love of their families, love of saving money, fear of making the wrong choice.
  • The feedback that your own employees can give to you in crafting the message is crucial.

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