Do you want to fulfill your true marketing potential? In “B2B Marketing and More With Pam Didner,” you’ll learn actionable strategies and tips around digital marketing, sales enablement, MarTech, demand generation, and more. As a B2B Marketing consultant, author, and global speaker, Pam emphasizes…
A big hello from Portland, Oregon! Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More with Pam. I have a fantastic guest today - Kristina Jaramillo, and she is the president of Personal ABM. Kristina is also the co-host of the Stop The Sales Drop podcast. Today we talk about where marketers can better help sales boost revenue. In this episode: What are some of the biggest challenges when working with sales? How can marketers help sales define the problems at hand? Regarding trends, what can marketers do to help the sales in the middle of the purchase funnel? What is the course of action if companies want to be incredibly successful with ABM implementation? Why is it important for sales reps to have their social media presence in order, and how can marketing help? How to get to know the sales team better and how can marketing help sales boost revenue. How should marketers structure their impact? What should success metrics look like on the marketing side? How should marketers quantify the marketing's contribution to sales and sales revenue? What is the number one thing marketers need to do if they want to start or initiate ABM with the sales team? Quotes from the episode: "There has to be a stage check-in all the time on their top tier accounts. The middle of the funnel and the end of the funnel focus should be on the top tier accounts. And whoever owns it just needs to be a team player with everyone else." "Sales needs more help in the middle to the bottom of the funnel. I think the marketing's got top of the funnel nailed. It's marketing's job and their duty to create content, create case studies, create an article, whatever it is, to push that further so that they can have that very personalized approach." ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me at email@example.com. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
A big hello from Portland, Oregon. Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More. I have a very exciting guest: Ramon Ray. I actually met Ramon like literally four or five years ago at South by Southwest. And then we got connected on social media channels, but we never met in person until, well, now we are still not meeting in person! Ramon's with me on Zoom and he's a founder of a SmartHustle.com. And I'm going to ask him how to hustle intelligently. He's an author, writer and even producers. By the way, he started four companies and sold two of them. All right! So he deserves to have a conversation with us. So Ramon, welcome to my show. Ramon Ray: Hey Pam, thanks for having me here and good to reconnect with you after so many years. But I'm so glad you're still in the flow and groove of what you do and I am, as well. So it's an honor to be here and share this time with you and your community. So thank you, Pam. I appreciate it. Pam Didner: Thank you so much. And you talking about smart hustle and I would like to ask you, and personally, I need that as well: how do we hustle smartly? I know that's probably not right adjective but can you give us a definition of that? Ramon Ray: Everybody, Pam, I think that we get it's a given except for a few people are in the hustle. They work hard. All of us try to wake up early. We do everything we can, we're always working, working, working. But I think the concept of smart hustle, you know, what do they say? Work smarter not harder. Yeah. We've heard that many times before, but I think it's just the aspect of the strategy. How can I connect the dots? You and I had a conversation offline before we came on. That's part of the smart hustle. Okay. I do this; somebody does that; how can we either work together or how can I support them? How can I add value to them? You know, I have a spoon, they have a teabag, huh? Let's find somebody that has water. Pam Didner: Or a cup, for that matter (both laugh). Ramon Ray: I think we should do the cup first before we find the water yet. Let's find the cup first. But my point being, that's the smart, smart hustle where my passion is inspiring and educating because owners to grow their businesses. And of course, as you know, working with B2B brands. So that's what it means. It means to not just work harder, but kind of look for opportunities, create your own serendipity. It means to have an attitude of service to others and knowing that by me serving others and adding value to them, the same will be done to me. Pam Didner: Yes. So I really liked that in terms of connecting the dots, especially that when you network with someone or you are meeting someone or even just, you know, ex-colleagues and then see what you can do to actually help them or help each other. I think that's really the bottom line that way you are talking about is that. Ramon Ray: Correct. And that's networking. Right? I found that the big part of my smart hustle has been the power of networking. And networking is not always “here's my business card. Give me your business card.” No, that that's, that's transactional idioticy. But it's more so, “okay, let me listen.” Going back to our example: “Pam said spoon, she said teabag, she said water, but she didn't mention cup yet. You know what? I have three cups.” It's silly, but you people understand that's the listening. How can I add value? And then, you know what, maybe we can work together or loosely, whatever that may mean. Pam Didner: Yeah. And the way I look at hustle, I tend to look at from a different perspective in terms of how can I be productive? For example, um, you know, Tim Ferris has a book, like what four work hours per week, something to that extent. And, um, even with that, I read that book, you know, years ago, even with that, smart hustle requires a lot of thinking. Like I work all the time, 24-7, but if I really want to scale back, I need to think through what are the things I don't want to do. And I have to prioritize like a hard core prioritization. And then I also have to think through like how I can get other people to help me. So from my perspective, small hustling is actually not that easy to do. And if you want to be productive, what is your thought on that? Ramon Ray: No. I agree with you a hundred percent and I think that it's, it's a key thing that it does take, especially depends on where you're at. It's that aspect of being scrappy. Yes. Being scrappy. But if you're just a scrappy, you'll always be kind of low level. You'll always be fighting for survival. Pam Didner: You only focus on technical. Ramon Ray: Yes. And fighting, fighting. You want to be scrappy. You want to be nimble, but you want to be that scrappiness where it's always a 10x, always a plus one. A scrappiness, but with thought. And I think you said that best and that's really the key. Let me consider how I can do something. Yes. But always understand leverage. And not leverage in a bad way. I think, to your point, you're right. Let me think. “Okay. I need to do this action today. Is it worth me spending time with this?” And to underline what you said, Pam, saying no to things is important, as well. You can't, I mean, I I'm pulled--I'm sure you are--a thousand different ways. I'm asked to do free things, fee things or not. So every moment is an evaluation. “Okay. Is this the best use of my time? Or should I just do this? Because this person's awesome and I want to just serve them.” That's fine too. But at least that you went into it thinking. It's kind of like them, as I tell when I'm out with my friends, I'll just say, when my wife and were like “Honey, where do you want to eat at?” “Well, you know, I don't know. I don't know.” And we're driving and I'm like, “Sweetheart, we need to decide soon because in two minutes there's no more restaurants.” So by not deciding the decision is made for us. That was a lot packed in there, but being thoughtful, learning how to say no, and also as best we can making some decision, uh, proactive about it so you can have some control of that. Pam Didner: Yeah, I do agree. I do agree with that specifically. And, um, you know, I've been hustling just like you, both of us are working for ourselves and, uh, we have our own company. In every single moment, we have to make a decision in terms of how we want to use that specific hour or the time. And. I always feel like I'm trying to do too much, you know. As a content marketer, for example, I started writing blog and then I will like, “oh, I need to try a different format.” So I launched my YouTube channel. And I was like, “oh my God, I need to understand a little bit about podcasts and launch a podcast. All of a sudden I have three different formats of content I need to produce. And I think over a period of time, I end up overwhelmed myself. (And I started a webinar, as well). When 2021 started, I kind of gave myself a goal that what are the things can I pare down that I should not do it. And I also take into account in terms of, okay, what is the business impact if I'm not doing that. Right? Webinar was actually very good for me to gather a lot of leads, but I was not able to spend time to nurture those leads. Right. So I decided, you know what, maybe I should not get more leads. Maybe I should just focus on the existing pipelines that I have and continue to grow that. So a couple of months ago, I decided not to do webinars anymore. So I totally understand. Ramon Ray: What I like about that Pam was the aspect of deciding--Seth Godin says this quite a bit--to what extent do you want to scale? Which I think is important because I think as the small business owners we are, I've been on a similar journey to learn what can I do? Now, I have a team of five, but I also have to think what do I want people to do at my size that's revenue generating because both of us doing content for ourselves, ironically, Pam, I've taken back a lot of the content doing that I do for editorial. Now for our clients, I've expanded enough that I can have other people do it. But for myself, I realized, you know what, me paying somebody even 500 a month, a thousand a month to promote Ramon, since I don't have a clear dot to the revenue. Pam Didner: To connect to the revenue or the next stage! How are you going to nurture it? Does that make sense doing it? Ramon Ray: Correct. I'm like, you know what? I think this is, even though I'm the cheapest person, for this stage, it's better that I just do a lot of that from that's my own brand myself, unless I can prove, “oh, every time Ramon does a silly video, it generates $10,000.” That's another story; but I don't have that proof yet. So I agree with your journey and I think that's the smartness of it. What should I be doing? What should I delegate to others? Or what should I not do at this time? Or never? Smart. Pam Didner: So, you know, speaking of growing revenue, do you actually have a framework that you can help either small business owners or the marketing professional in terms of what they should do to grow revenue--either, you know, through marketing efforts or working with sales or working stuff on their own? Ramon Ray: Yeah, for sure. And it's probably not as smart as a framework as you can do. However, from my limited experience, I think, and I would talk to the small business owners, but also talk to many of your audience--those were the B2B marketers leveraging the power of content. Here's what I've seen in my experience. I think that a) What is it that your audience really wants? That's one that's important. Pam Didner: So you have to understand your audience well, and you have to define your audience. I, 100% agree with that. Do you know how many small business owners I talk to from time to time or they come to me and ask specific questions? I always ask “who is your target audience?” And, uh, I would say 85% of them cannot articulate that very well. They try to serve everybody. Ramon Ray: Something like “we're targeting female founders” is a favorite one I hear. And I get it. I understand it. But female founders, can you at least tell me, are they South American? Are they US-based? Are they in retail or are they in manufacturing? At least that, so I think who are you serving? But I think also Pam, the hard thing is to break through the noise because everybody is doing content. Pam's doing it. Ramon is doing it. New York Times is doing it. Inc Magazine is doing it. So I think that that's point number two, really which is where are you going to hone in on that you do best; that's two. And I think three Pam now what's that funnel that nurturing that you can do to educate them until going directly to sales until they're ready to make a purchase? And I think that's the best we can do to build up that fan base--to build up that funnel of people who see you as a thought leader. Of course direct sales is important, but I think those were in the content game--oh, and I must say Pam as well—please, content should be interesting. I'm not saying if you're, if you're dealing with children who have cancer, there, you may not want to have it “ha ha ha.” But for our tech people, right, sometimes they're so straight-laced, they're so serious. They're so on brand it's boring! Pam Didner: It's hard for us B2B marketers to break out of that mold. I'm the guilty one as well, but I always advise my client if you cannot make it interesting, of course you need a good writer to make that happen. And the one thing is make it relevant, make it useful. At minimal, you know, don't do self-serving content, but make it relevant to your target audience. Even you just do a show and tell about your product. Well, you know what? You don't actually have a creative or funny way to say it, but at least tailor that communication or the contents to address the audience's pain points and challenges. Ramon Ray: Yes. And Pam remember the customer. So many of the brands I work with, they have amazing customers, but I think they have a challenge either finding them, identifying them, getting permission to use their stuff. Pam Didner: Yeah. Getting the permission to actually use the logo or even have a case study created. Ramon Ray: And in the case study, even that, have it a little loose it's okay to say, you know, to have fun with it. But you're right. I think the customers, that's the story, shine a light on them. And then we as businesses, we look less at the product to some degree we do, but oh, I'm an accountant, they're an accountant. They use their product to grow 10%. Let me have a look at it. So I think that's kind of some way to consider that as well. Pam Didner: Yeah. So creating interesting content is always incredibly challenging. And another thing that comes to play in terms of content is the creative. And I also have come to realize on the B2B side, if you want to create a campaign that's creative and also try to break through the clutter. It does take time. It does take time to plan in it, to also execute it. And the problem is marketers. We don't have. Like we are always under the press deadline. “We need to get the blog done. What? We need to turn in around in 24 hours so legal can review it and approve it. Goddammit!” Ramon Ray: Legal! Pam, legal! Always slowing us down, Pam! Continue on, but I just have to say legal people (sighs). Oh, go ahead. Go ahead. Pam Didner: Yeah, but because of that, I think a lot of time on the B2B side, our hand are tied. Like there's so many review process that you have to go through. You know, even you have a creative idea, sometimes you have to pare that down whole lot more, just in reality that your management might have an issue, your salespeople might have issue, your PR team definitely. Or the legal team might actually have something to say. So I understand where you're coming from, at the same time, I also understand the reality on the B2B side, especially enterprise. There's just a lot of factors they have to take into account before they can actually finalize the content. And by the time that so many people approved it, all of a sudden the content is not fun anymore (laughs). Ramon Ray: Yeah. So, but I dunno, Pam, there seems like a business opportunity for you, Pam. What we, you know, fun. We use that word of course liberally, you know, it didn't have to be a comedian. But Pam, I think that is one thing I'm, you're on the marketing end as I am of all these things-- telephone services, cable services, computer services, all the stuff that we use as consumers or B2B, even airlines, whatever. And a lot of it is just. Blah. So at the same, so that's one, I think, way there is anybody willing to kind of break through the clutter. Is anybody willing to kind of, uh, you know, I, I, they have to be cautious. There's so many ways to offend people nowadays, you know, but it's just, that is a key point. Pam Didner: I totally agree. Yeah, exactly to me is just like, there's a fine line that B2B marketers, they have to walk. Yeah. And trying to find that fine line. From my perspective, I always tell my clients at minimal, can you address your target audience's pain point and challenges? Start it from that. That should be the very beginning, you know? And then from there, how far can you take it? That's a creative discussion. So, um, working with marketing in terms of creating the content and also grow revenue is actually very hard for marketing--especially when you do top of the funnel marketing outreach--to quantify or determine what is the conversion, or how does that impact, you know, your sales contribution. Do you have any suggestion in terms of what we should do? If the marketing people all focus on top of the funnel, how do they quantify in terms of their contribution to sales? Ramon Ray: It's very tough, Pam, extremely tough. But I think the best thing that could be done--any many people try this--is to have the tightest tracking you can. I think that's what I've learned from some of the best companies, a webinar just by itself is okay. But I mean, and it's a pain because influencers like me, right? we don't want to use your tracking all the time. We just throw up and say, “go to grass.com” and you're like, “no, Ramon go to grass.com/question mark slash this.” So it's hard, but that's really the best way. Because if you're able to track every piece of content you put out, your smart analytics team can then say, oh, this went to it. But here's the other thing that happens. And I'm getting a little out of my comfort zone, but I know you can help me with this. The thing about last attribution, I worked for a software company once and it made me so pissed off Pam, because I'd be like metaphorically. I'd be like, “wait a minute. I went to the webinar and what the appetite I did Ramon does, but then six months ago—“ Pam Didner: --at the last attribution. But you are the first attribution that people come in to and you're not getting credit for that. Ramon Ray: Yes! “You're giving it to Don because he closed the sale, but you forgot what we did six months ago, three months ago, two years ago.” And I know who can say. So I think that's the thing with these campaigns. Payment's hard, but I do know one thing, I think for sure, we know, year to year, quarter to quarter if you see your social engagement higher; year to year, quarter to quarter, you see more fans, more followers, more Facebook, more watch time. I know marketers won't like it; you want to see direct proof. But that is some indicator that clearly people are paying attention, if that makes sense. And I'll give credit--again if I have competing clients, forgive me, but credit where credit is due--HubSpot years ago, they were the leaders in marketing automation. I think many of us even, I hadn't even know they were a software company, Pam, because they were the leaders in the SEO website tracking and things like this. So giving them credit, HubSpot is an example of using a massive amount of content for that. So I got to give them great. Pam Didner: Yes. I agree with you. And, um, I think the couple of things that you said resonate with me tremendously and I've been preaching, but I'm using a slightly different terminology. So you mentioned about that if you want to try and get, especially top of the funnel and also the purchasing cycle is very long, you need to make sure that you have a very tight tracking methods or the process. The terms I've been using is “backend integration.” Basically, if you really want to track it from the top, you know, from the very beginning when people come to your website or even from the time that they register for your webinar, if you want to have the tracking mechanism in place, you need to make sure your marketing automation tools are very much connected with a CRM or any other tools that you are using for different marketing channels; those tools needs to be somehow connected otherwise, it has no way to track it. And that's actually very, very hard. I think a lot of marketers they feel sure is that they cannot do that very tight tracking. In order to do that, their back end needs to be integrated. And at the end of the day it's about MarTech stack—how you build that stack and how they are all talking to each other. Ramon Ray: For sure. And Pam, can I add one more thing? I just wanna add the value of things looking good. Another thing that I see some marketers make is the mistake of, and I want to be careful calling out tools here cause I know there's a lot of competing people who listen, but I'll just call out a tool because it's so famous, Zoom. Many marketers use Zoom for their webinars and things, but I noticed they leave the default. So one tip is when people go there, put images, put graphics, put your logo, make it look pretty. Sounds weird, but I've been to many webinars, Pam, where they just kind of they say “we're having a webinar with our executive,” but they don't put the guy or the gal's face. They don't take the time to make it look good. So I just wanted to add that, that when you're doing something like that, make it look legit, make it look good. Pam Didner: Yeah. You need to, when you create a registration page--doesn't matter if it's on the Zoom on the landing page, attention to detail. Right? Use the opportunity to promote your brand and use the opportunity to have a logo there, you know, to get people's attention or even have the image of your events. I got it. Yeah, you're totally right. Ramon Ray: When people have me and Pam for the next webinar, we charged them what Pam, a hundred thousand dollars or so? (Pam laughs) Pam Didner: You charge them $100,000. I charged them, I don't know, 50 bucks. Ramon Ray: Have our faces there to cause human face. So that's just a small tip, but I've seen too many times, people either afraid or too cautious of that. But GAP does it; Nike does it. Yeah. It's the face. Pam Didner: So, you know, what you are talking about, I think there's another term that I use on the B2B world is your “customer experience.” Right. If you actually going to promote your webinar and, uh, when you are promoting on social media channel and make sure your copy is very compelling, make sure your image is great; but when they register, come to your website, make sure they get exactly the coherent, seamless experience, and then you'll have exactly the similar logo and image and the, when they log in to listen to your webinar, provide a similar as seamless experience, as well. Yeah, I hear you. So there's a couple of things I want to just summarize, uh, before I let you go. There's one thing that you mentioned, I really like in terms of like what B2B marketers, especially for long purchasing cycle, they can leverage the content to drive traffic to the website. Once you do that, you need to find a way to nurture them. Right. Not just like, okay, get them and get them into your database and you let it go. And then you move on to the next campaigns. Really try to understand your audience and then find a weight and a very single focus in terms of building your nurturing campaign to nurture them to the point that they can be qualified as a lead. And I liked that a lot. And I think that is one thing that marketers tend to overlook, including myself. We like to get a lot of leads, but we are not necessarily spending time to actually try to make an effort to nurture them. So I really liked that. And that's one of my biggest takeaway by talking with you. And also, uh, deliver that seamless customer experience-- it doesn't matter what kind of promotion that you aren't doing, just make sure you pay attention entrance of a customer experience. Awesome. Awesome. Anything that you want to add? Ramon Ray: Yeah. Just to say, Pam, it's, it's been a delight to meet you and see you soar and work with you. I'm so excited and I'm so excited we can get reconnected today. And I just encourage my specialty of course, is the small business. B2B is a big category, but for the smaller businesses is my region. So I encourage the marketers listening to you, small business is very. It's different than of course the enterprise--you sell one thing and you get money. We're very fragmented, but I think it's a, it's a great market and we, small business owners need you. We need the products and services you're providing. So Pam, it's been great being on your podcast and thanks for letting me shine with you today. Thank you. Pam Didner: Yes. Yes. So how can people find you? Ramon Ray: Best way is Ramon ray.com R A M O N R A Y.com. Let me know how I can serve you or team up with Pam and do something together. We're here to serve you. Pam Didner: I would love that. So, this is fantastic. It's wonderful talking to you, Ramon. I hope that we will see each other soon, like in person. Ramon Ray: I hope so, indeed. Let's make it happen. Pam Didner: All right. Take care.
Hello from Portland, Oregon! Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More. Today I have another fantastic guest - Kevan Lee. Kevan is a product-led growth and SaaS leader and the head of marketing at Oyster, a distributor HR platform helping companies take care of the global teams. Today we are going to talk about growth hack strategies for startups. In this episode: How did Buffer ramp up its marketing and increased the number of users, readers and visitors? What is the system behind the high content production? What is the role of proper keyword research and optimization in content success? How can high-pace growth hack strategies keep the momentum over a more extended period? What tools should startups use, and business in general, to optimize their content? What are some growth hack strategies for startups and SaaS companies in the different business stages? How should sales and marketing work together in a startup? Is your business sales-led or product-led, and why should businesses care? How should marketers make a transition to support different business models? What tools should startups use for marketing automation and CRM, and should they integrate them? How can marketers measure the success and also a contribution to sales when it closes the deal? What is a daily routine of an effective leader, and why does it matter for business? What are the two books that marketers must read, primarily when they work in a startup environment? Quotes from the episode: "The strategy we took is to pitch something as if it was already written. And so we'd say we have written three things on these topics. Would you like them? And if they say "yes," then we go and write them real fast and get them over." "We have a couple of different ways that we do [to measure the success and also a contribution to sales when it closes the deal]. We have different pipeline targets that we measure at the top and then through the different stages. From lead to meeting to the opportunity to closed one, we have insight into each of those stages and how well we're moving people along." ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
A big hello from Portland, Oregon. Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More with Pam. Today I have a very special guest, Mark Emond. Mark is a long time IBMer, Founder and President of Demand Spring – a B2B revenue marketing consultancy. Today we are going to talk about sales and marketing alignment. In this episode: What does Demand Spring do, and what is the company about? Based on the current stage of sales and marketing (and how they work together), what are some of the challenges B2B marketers tend to encounter? What processes and tools should a CMO use to align sales and marketing? In what ways a suitable platform can improve and influence sales and marketing alignment strategy? What's next for marketers when they reach the MQL target? What does it take to create a seamless sales and marketing alignment strategy? Can marketers do sales and marketing alignment bottom up and without top management support? What is the critical role of sales and marketing alignment? What is it that salespeople and marketers still control in the world of empowered buyers? Quotes from the episode: “The buyers using digital channels, using the content available through digital channels, are self-educating through the buyer journey. They're engaging interdependently in a non-linear manner with marketing and sales. They're the ones calling the shots.” “To me, the heart of a good sales rep or a good marketer is solving people's problems. It's finding solutions to people's problems. I think having people who are more educated about what they're buying is a good thing. Because then you can have a true dialogue and discussion.” ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me at email@example.com. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More. My guest today is Tim Hughes. I met him when I was in London, probably four or five years ago. Tim is a CEO and Co Founder of DLA ignite, and author of two books about social selling and sales-marketing alignment - you can check them out on Amazon. He is also #1 Global social selling pioneer and innovator, and a speaker. Today we talk about social selling as the new business necessity. In this episode: How has the buying process changed? In what ways buyers' behaviors have changed? What are some of the specific changes that marketers and sales professionals need to make? In what ways is being on social is different from doing social? How can content help with social selling? What is humanizing content, and how to use it? How can a business pick the right social media channel? How can brands use their networks without abusing them? What is the role of employees in social selling, and how can companies empower them? What makes social selling challenging for corporations, and how can they overcome those difficulties? How to share and use corporate content on social media? Quotes from the episode: "First and foremost, social selling doesn't take as much time as cold calling does. And it doesn't take as much time as email. So for a start, you have efficiency savings. Some people think that somehow social selling is some sort of shortcut. It's not. But the problem with cold calling is that nobody answers the phone, and nobody responds to emails with email. With social, you can connect to people, have conversations." "We often see that people don't have a strategy in place. So understanding, why are we doing this and for what reason? Also, we can be empowering people in human resources. We can be empowering the CEO, but what we need to be doing is having a voice on social and empowering our people to be part of that conversation." ————— You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Hello from Portland, Oregon. Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More. Today, my guest is Amanda Milligan. Amanda is Marketing Director at Fractl, a marketing agency that helps brands build high-quality backlinks and brand authority through content marketing. Amanda is also a host of Fractl's Cashing in on Content Marketing podcast, and Head of Marketing at Stacker. Today we talk about content marketing and brand authority through earned media coverage. In this episode: What is earned media, and why should B2B brands care about earned media coverage? What makes publishers care about non paid content, and what makes them pick up the specific article and give it earned media coverage? How can B2B brands approach writers and pitch the idea of the content that could be beneficial for both sides? What is Tangential content, and what makes it different from usual content? What is the role of data focus on decision making and creating the perfect pitch? Fund Rocket Case Study: The complete process What are the benefits of earned media coverage? How to utilize visual assets to boost results? What are the best practices in pitching and promoting content for earner media efforts? What is the role of personalization and automation for a successful earned media coverage? How can small businesses utilize earned media efforts and stay on the budget? Quotes from the episode: "There are a lot of tools you can use to find writers. You can use tools to help you, and some will give you templates. But we are all about personalization. Even if you're sending the same project to multiple people, you're leading into it differently based on who they are." "Subscribe to everything that writer does, follow them on social, get a sense of their beat, and ask yourself how you can contribute to that. How can you contribute to those conversations? Offer something different and have those writers in mind that you're going to customize something for." ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Hello from Portland, Oregon. Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More with Pam. Today, I have an incredibly special guest - Scott Brinker. Scott is the VP Platform Ecosystem at HubSpot, Editor at chiefmartec.com, and Program Chair of MarTech Conference. Today we talk about Martech in practice - MarTech trends, opportunities and challenges. In this episode: What are the biggest trends of 2021 in terms of marketing technology development? What makes the digital marketing side so fragmented, and how can marketers navigate the landscape? How should marketers evaluate MarTech as a whole for a company without getting overwhelmed? What makes change and martech implementation difficult and slow? What can marketers do to pitch to management to invest in MarTech? Why should marketers evaluate their MarTech stack regularly, and how to do so? What are the marketing technology predictions for the second half of 2021 or even 2022? What kind of no-code platforms or tools can marketers use in their work? Quotes from the episode: "I'm very excited about this whole movement that people call 'no code.' And when I think about no code, I don't just mean things that don't require code anymore. I think of that category much more broadly as a new generation of tools. Tools that use a great UX and great AI engines to make it easy for ordinary people to build things without waiting for someone in IT or an agency to build it." "The fact that marketing is continually evolving in what it needs to execute and how it needs to reach people is tough because of the pace at which that evolution is happening; it's really hard to keep up with." ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me at email@example.com. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More with Pam. My guest today is Matt Brodie from Brodie Agency, a digital marketer, and he does all paid advertising. In 2020 he decided to branch out on his own, and that's when he started his agency. Today we talk about paid media, and what does it take to run successful Facebook ads. In this episode: What are the most common misconceptions about Facebook ads and paid ads in general? How can businesses, including small businesses, achieve their goals with paid Facebook ads? How can marketers leverage different optimizing objectives to run Facebook ads? What makes running successful Facebook ads difficult? What is the proper approach to Facebook ads, and what is the hidden reality businesses should pay attention to? How can businesses and marketing departments use Facebook ads to perform research and testing? What is the role of the copy and design in terms of running successful Facebook ads? What are the benefits of hiring a professional to do paid ads? How important is the budget size for successful Facebook ads, and how should businesses advertise on a small or limited budget? What is the optimal time for running a Facebook ad? How can Facebook ads be used for sales, and how for awareness campaigns? How can marketers learn about pay media, and where should they start their journey? Quotes from the episode: “If you're not selling something in demand, no ad will magically make it work if people don't want what you have to sell. People have to want what you have to offer.” “It's not necessarily so much that you require a large budget as you require the acquisition of data. There is a correlation inherently with that, between how much budget you need versus time. If you're working with a small budget, it's going to take longer to build data, and then it's going to take you longer to optimize.” If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More! Today I welcome a very special guest, Kyle Roof, the founder and Lead SEO of High Voltage SEO, co-founder and SEO instructor at Internet Marketing Gold, and inventor of PageOptimizer Pro. Kyle is joining me today to share expert tips that will help you increase your organic page ranking. In this episode: - Why is SEO important, especially in the realm of digital marketing? - What is the difference between adding keywords and content optimization - How to connect SEO to keywords, pages, and personas - What are the minimal requirements that anybody managing a website needs to consider in terms of search engine optimization? - What are the specific areas on the page that Google likes? - Basics of changing and not changing URLs - What are the basic requirements for marketers to do SEO? - What is the biggest problem with SEO? - How to choose the right SEO agency? - What is a good relationship between a client and an SEO agency? - How to do SEO for the content that is not text-driven? - What are some common KPIs that clients should track? - How to broaden the number of keywords? - How often should businesses update, refresh or add new content to your website? Quotes from the episode: "It comes down to understanding that SEO is a probabilities game. Put yourself into the position for the best opportunity for success. No SEO professional will be right 100% of the time, but the idea is that the most successful ones are 70 to 80% of the time." "One thing that I do is that I run tests on Google's algorithm, and I'm continually running tests on the algorithm to see what is or is not a ranking factor and which factors are the strongest. And what's interesting is that SEO basics stay relatively the same, and they are still also the strongest factors." ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me email@example.com. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More! Marketing leaders and managers often ask me how to lead a marketing team, especially new first-line managers. However, even very experienced marketing directors ask for advice when they have to respond to unfamiliar marketing disciplines. That's why in today's episode, I talk about leading a marketing team and making that team efficient and motivated. In this episode: What are the tangible and intangible elements of leadership? What makes leadership challenging and demanding? How to set clear goals and objectives, and how to use them to lead the marketing team? How creating a statement helps managers to lead effective marketing teams? What is the role of collaboration and what makes it efficient? How to clarify roles and responsibilities? How to define performance indicators on both individual and project levels? What should leaders do to motivate, encourage, and inspire their teams? Quotes from the episode: “Org structure, roles and responsibilities minimize confusion and avoid duplication, as well as stepping on each other's feet.” “Marketing is hard. Encourage your teams to learn from the mistakes, share the mistakes, and you will all grow together as a result. ” -------------------------------------------------- If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More! My guest today is Tommy Walker and he started Shopify Plus blog and after that, he became the Global Editor-in-Chief will QuickBooks. Now, he's a consultant and is sharing his knowledge that he gained over the past 15 years with other brands. Oh my God, Tommy. So happy to have you! Tommy Walker: Thanks so much for having me, Pam. It's great to be on here. Pam Didner: All right. Talk to us. Talk to us about your experience in Shopify. I mean, obviously it was a small mom and pop shop and to start with and you were employee number 14 and you got handed their blog post or whatever you want to call it. And became a content marketing machine. Can you share that experience with us in terms of the journey that you went through and, you know, the knowledge that you gain and the insight that you can share with our listeners. Tommy Walker: For sure. Absolutely. So, um, I was employee number 14 at Shopify Plus, um, and when I had… Pam Didner: OK. What are the differences between the two? Tommy Walker: So that was a great, that's a great question. At the time, there really wasn't too much of a difference. Um, and we had to figure that out. The difference now is very clear. Uh, Shopify Plus is basically Shopify plus a whole bunch of other stuff, right? For enterprises and high growth startups, which is great. Shopify is a little bit more of the standard merchant, right. People who are looking to get into e-commerce and we were looking at the more experienced e-commerce side of the house. So, yeah. How did I get there? I was the editor in chief at a website called Conversion XL at the time and was recruited over into Shopify. Craig Miller their CMO at the time had asked, “Hey, would you be interested in running the Shopify plus blog?” And I said, “yeah, that's great.” So I got over there and I was asking people, “Hey, what is the difference between Shopify and Shopify Plus? And they were like, “well, from a feature set, there's not really a huge difference. We have, you know, dedicated customer service and a more customizable checkout.” And that was pretty much it. And I said, “well, what about from a voice and tone perspective?” And they were like, “Well, we don't really know.” And this was at the time I was running the blog, which was the most frequent publishing arm of the entire company. We were the putting most stuff out into the market. Pam Didner: So how often do you guys publish at that time? Tommy Walker: Uh, at the time we were publishing three times a week. So every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And the way that that calendar worked every Friday, we were publishing a new case study. I tried to leverage the size of the part of the company to our advantage because we had much more direct access to our customers. So we were able to kind of tell these stories and make these case studies every week, which was really great. It was a great part of the calendar. Pam Didner: So how do you determine the editorial in general? What topics did you chose and also, do you actually have editorial meetings with your writers? How does that collaboration and communication go? Tommy Walker: With the picking the subjects it was kind of a combination of a few different things. Obviously you look at the search side of things, but that wasn't really a huge concern of mine, to be honest with you. The main thing that I was looking at at the time, and I still kind of look at this depending on where I am, what I'm looking at is taking an observation as I'm going through my own e-commerce experience, as I'm like buying stuff and kind of realizing like, “Hey, what part of this process, where is the friction here? Where am I seeing opportunities that these particular sites can do be better?” Making note of that and continuing to go about that. As I'm looking at a broader calendar though, uh, I'm starting to look at the year, right? I come from an acting background. I was an actor for 10 years. A lot of what we had done there was about learning subtext and creating story structure and looking at all of these different things to make a good performance. And the way I look at this computer screen that you and I are talking on right now, it's not very different than TV screens or movie screens of the past. Right? All of this is performance to a certain extent. So when I was looking at structuring my content calendar, I would break the year up into a four-act structure, right. Where we can say we're all heading into the very end of the year, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, like that's the big, that's the biggest… Pam Didner: That's a big deal for Shopify and how I build up that momentum to that specific month or that season. Tommy Walker: Right. So that's kind of how I was looking at the calendar, was telling the story over the course of four quarters and then breaking that down by each month to basically say here is how we can make the perfect website all the way up until the end, and then really get that story, make it really pop. Pam Didner: So do you followed that four act structure every single year? I mean, would the story kind of repeat itself or you are kind of talking about it from a different approach. Um, that is a story. Does the story, uh, , stall, you know, because it's exactly the same four acts? Tommy Walker: Uh, it can, it can, but the way I think about it is you've got one year and you've got that first sort of origin story, if you will. Right. And this was what I was looking at when we were there, cause at the time Shopify Plus primarily for people who felt like they were outgrowing Shopify as a product. Right? So what we were looking at at that time was like, you know, if to use a video game reference, it's what happens when Mario gets the power up mushroom for the first time, right? The world is completely different. People are moving out of their garages to do shifts. Into 3PLs so third-party logistics. They are starting to bring on employees, all sorts of new things like that. So we're dealing with that. And then knowing that that stuff is going to get picked up by Google or have its own natural discovery process, the next year, we can start to look at that as more of the sequel, if you will. And then start thinking about it like that year over year. Pam Didner: You're constantly going back to evaluate your past content? So it's not like you finish writing a blog post, you just like publish it, then you move on to the next one. You publish it and you move on to the next one. I think you constantly go back evaluating what has been published. And they either try to create a SQL or possibly, maybe I'm just like—maybe I'm putting words in your mouth--like go back and update and refresh it. Tommy Walker: I'm, actually I'll give you an example. So, at the beginning of the month, we would write a piece that would say, you know, “how to build the perfect webpage.” Right. And we'd go, here's navigation, here's a hero image. Here's a, you know how to write a great headline, right? And we'd break down the entire page in that. The following week, we would follow that up “How to make the perfect navigation” and then just focus specifically on that. Pam Didner: So very, very specific--I hate using the one narrow--but very specific topic. One very specific topic at a time, but it is a narrative it's very intentional in terms of what specific topic that you want to talk about. So how long did you plan your editorial? Did you plan that one quarter ahead or did you play in that whole year or how does that work? Tommy Walker: So I would plan it for the whole year, right. At least the loose themes that we would want to do for the full year. So, you know, uh, first quarter is this, second quarter, is that so forth and so, on. And we always have to build in room for flexibility, but yeah, we would try to plan loosely the entire year and then kind of break it down quarter to quarter and then month to month and then eventually week to week. Pam Didner: Yeah. So you do actually have something at a very high level, but like you said, very loosely, but you have some ideas and then every single quarter, every single month you hone into that. So how often do you change that news structure of your annual. editorial narrative? I mean, did you set it up and then you kind of just follow that or do you change it like in the middle of the year and then completely, sometimes you have to restructure it due to the new product launches or new features that's being added, you know, Shopify went IPO, I don't know, you know, something big things happened. So what is, how do you make that balance? Tommy Walker: So the way that I try to think about it and the try the way I think about it now, even now that I'm not at Shopify is that yeah. You have to anticipate that product marketing is going to come up with something that they want and they're going to want it two weeks before they, it comes out and yeah, yeah, Pam Didner: Yeah, all the time it was like, “oh, are we going to have a product launch? You know, but this has got to be a secret.” You will not know that product launch until like two days before. Tommy Walker: “Can we have a blog post?” (laughs) So, so knowing that that's gonna happen, try to have, you know, when I build out my freelance team have somebody that can write quickly. And have somebody who's really good at that. Um, but to answer the question yeah it's, it's about building in knowing that things are going to go sideways or, you know, things are going to change in the industry or things like that. There are always going to be constants, but then you have to also think about where that flexibility needs to be. So not always so rigid, but you try your best to stay on topic, um, and hit those points that you already know are gonna come up. Pam Didner: Got it. So how big is your freelance team if you will? Tommy Walker: Sure. So I always had to 2-10 people and the reason for that is, uh, I wanted to plan my calendar out. I always want to have at least a month worth of articles in the hopper, just in case product marketing comes up or there's a drought and somebody gets sick or any of that. Right. So I always have at least one week planned out and I want to have at least two people for each rotating week. So the more people you have, obviously the, the better you can go about it. Pam Didner: Does that mean you need a huge amount of money to budget this? Tommy Walker: Fortunately at Shopify, I wasn't restricted by budget. (Pam laughs) Pam Didner: Aha! (laughs) Tommy Walker: It's just, yeah. Uh, you know, throwing dollar bills out there. Um, but at QuickBooks I had a very strict budget that I had to follow. Um, and fortunately I had to, I got to make my own budget. So I would get to break it down by technology and authors and promotion and all of that. And, and yeah, I mean, that's something I consult on now too, is how you make that budgeting work and have the right amount of people. And the way that I like to think about this is the more money you're willing to spend--and this is going to be true across the board, right--but the more money you're willing to spend, the less time you're going to have to spend in revision. However, if you have the right deputy editor, which I've always had included with this stuff, they're going to have a more consistent salary and they'll be able to do some of those more consistent edits so you can balance it out. And you'll always have your lead writer. And this happens with a lot of editorial staff on, you know, newspapers and magazines. You have your lead author, and then you have other people that you work with that might need a little bit more massaging. But the idea is if you really get solid with the edit, you can help those people who need more, attention need a little bit more love to bring them up to a certain point where your not having to spend so much time in editorial. And what's always been important to me is making it so they become more valuable out to the rest of the market. Right. So I might not have to pay them as much, they're getting paid more, but there's a lot other places. But there's still loyalty internally because that relationship between author and editor is, I believe like it's, it's a very close bond and it has to be respected because as an editor, you're the first person that sees any of this work. Right. Pam Didner: So Tommy, did you do any other formats of content, such as a case study or podcast or a video? Tommy Walker: Yeah. Um, so we did case studies. We did the case study every week. And I'll talk about that a little bit more in a second, um, how we approach that, but we definitely did a lot of video, too. Pam Didner: You do write a video script yourself, or you have someone else to do? Tommy Walker: I was more in the creative development side of the script. If that makes sense more concepting. Now, because a lot of the, the video stuff we did was more live capturing--like it was more. With the merchant. There wasn't a lot of scripting that had to happen, but I did have to work with the people over in the agencies that I was working. To pull out certain narratives that we wanted to kind of talk about. So yeah. Pam Didner: What are some of the key objectives? What are some of the key messages that needs to come out and also is the closing? I think that very important, any kind of the video, or even podcasts from my perspective tend to be the opening and closing. Tommy Walker: Yeah. And like, what do we want to get for B roll? And, you know, let's like that type of thing where what's the, what's the background that's going on here? And with our case study, case studies were really important to me, especially in those early days, because we had access to customers, which as I started working for larger companies realized there are way more layers between you and the customer. Pam Didner: Oh yes. Tommy Walker: There was a whole team that I had to go through, uh, at, at one of the other positions to gain access to customers. It was a crazy process. Pam Didner: I am not surprised. (both laugh) Been there, done it, seen it. Yeah, all of it! Tommy Walker: Yeah, but fortunately, because Shopify Plus at the time was so small, we had direct access to our customers. And one of the things I noticed when I was doing my market research, before we, before we even wrote a single line of text was a lot of the competitors out there--and this isn't just in this space, this is any company really--it was always this problem solution. Results right. Company X works with company Y and see Z results. And that has its place. But at the time we were trying to differentiate. So what I was always looking at, and I, and I worked with this excellent author, Nick Winkler, give him a shout out. He was an Emmy award winner, which was great. He was able to pull out these really excellent stories from people. But what we did is instead of looking at problem solution results, I said what led to the problem? Obviously we know that you're a customer because we're doing a case study here and we know that you're going to have some amazing results because we have a bias, right? We're only going to show you the excellent results. But what led to the problem and what we found when we started to dig into some of these more personal stories, I wanted to treat them more like Rolling Stone interviews. So we would find out from one of my favorite cases was the problem was, was that the guy's server room was on fire and that meant he needed to go to a cloud-based solution and because he went to the cloud-based solution, didn't have to worry about server rooms catching on fire. (Pam laughs) Cool. But what was interesting about this guy's story is how he found out his server room was on fire. So he was at his bachelor party and it was about three o'clock in the morning, which already gives you the sort of frame of mind that somebody at a bachelor party at three o'clock in the morning would be in, when they find out that their server room is on fire. Right. So there's like there, that adds a little bit of extra color. There adds some context. Pam Didner: Yeah. It does add a little drama to it and the peak people's interest. Tommy Walker: Yeah. Right. And like, in some of the other stories, they got really emotional because we wanted to learn their origins, right? What led them to become this entrepreneur? And we wanted to speak to that entrepreneurial spark. So there are some people who were bullied their entire life and their business was almost a direct response to being bold. Some of these came from visits across the world and seeing completely different cultures and bad situations, and then finding ways to really help in that area. So there was some really excellent stories that came out of this and they're very human stories. And at the end of the day, like that's what we, as people really want to see is that the companies that we work with are invested in the humanity of, of you, right? We want to know that you care about what's going on in my life, not to like a creepy extent, but we want to know that the product that we're putting out there is going to help in some aspects, some real aspect and not just be another number. Right. Pam Didner: Speaking of number. I mean, all those are great content. How did you measure success? Tommy Walker: That was very difficult at the time. Pam Didner: Yeah, as a B2B marketer or being in the enterprise for a long period of time, we always want to quantify the marketing success. And sometimes it's very, very hard, especially your marketing campaigns or marketing tactic is a focus on top of the funnel, because you are building that brain awareness. You try to build that emotional connection, but it's very hard to quantify that. So how do you suggest for the brands would like to do something similar to quantify the success? Because ultimately they need to have a Come to Jesus meeting with the VP of marketing, VP of sales, even the, a CEO. Tommy Walker: Um, so it's been different depending on the company that I've worked. Shopify was a very different situation because it was just getting off the ground. There wasn't a ton for attribution modeling in place. We weren't able to look at that. So the metrics that I was really looking at at the time, because I did have access to this was returned visitors. Right. Um, and return visitors have always been sort of my true north metric that I, I try to look at because in a B2B context specifically, the more return visitors you have, the more return visits you have. That corresponds really well with the consideration area. Right. I want people to spend a lot more time with me. New visitors are cool. I love new visitors, but return visitors that's really where it's at. I want to know that I'm retaining people. So that was part of it at Shopify Plus moving over to QuickBooks, I got to work with this really excellent data scientist who helped model a number of different things. Like how many visits does it take for a person to actually convert to a customer? Right. Pam Didner: What is the magic number, according to QuickBooks? Tommy Walker: Um, that's proprietary. Pam Didner: Can you give me a range? Tommy Walker: I will tell you this, when we were able to double the amounts of, uh, return visits we had from individuals within a 90 day period, we were able to half the time it took to make a sale. That's about as much as I can say, uh, when it came to that, but it's a decent amount of visits, right. You know, maybe anywhere between 15 to 30. We'll kind of give, we'll kind of give that sort of a range. Pam Didner: You were like, okay, I'm going to give you a very wide range. Why don't you guys just do a test yourself? And I agree (both laugh). Tommy Walker: Yeah, 1 and 100. Um, no, it was really between 15 and 30 is what we would find it, especially in the 90-day period. And what we found was that, when you can increase the amount of return visits for a single user, um, and increase the amount of page views per session, then you're able to reduce that time to sale, um, really in half, which is incredible. And it makes total sense when you look at it beyond the numbers perspective, right? If I'm going to spend more time with you, that's time that I'm not spending with somebody else. And that makes me far more likely to like your stuff and trust you. Pam Didner: Yeah. The next question I have is in terms of the content that you created over a period of time, do you go back and repurpose some of the content or do you reuse some of the content? Can you share some of the examples with us? Tommy Walker: Sure. So, um, I didn't mention this earlier, but when we did at, uh, one of the different formats that we had explored when I was at Shopify Plus where a series of industry reports. Right. Pam Didner: So you guys do primary research? Tommy Walker: We would compile research from other outside sources. Pam Didner: Ah, I see. So is the base, uh, it's a, is the industry report that you compile based on the secondary resources that you have? Tommy Walker: Okay. Right. And what we did with these, because Shopify plus was not going to compete on features. Purposefully, we're not going to compete on features primarily because we couldn't, but we also decided that. We weren't going to, I had said we're going to compete on knowledge, right? So we would do these industry reports, which is a strategy they still use today, which makes me very happy with this. What would happen is we'd have all of that data and information, and then we could repurpose some of that into a blog post, you know, bring some of that stuff in. But the other thing that we would do is we would merchandise, if you will. We'd create trailers for the industry reports. So you have video going into that and now you're repurposing it over into a blog post. And then with the trailer, you can have these little gifts that come out of it. So there are a number of different ways that you can splice up this information. And with the industry reports themselves, there were, I think some of them had over a hundred pages worth of just pure information. And they were like— Pam Didner: How long did it take to create the industry report? Tommy Walker: Forever! Uh, several months, several months, Pam Didner: I would not be surprised. Tommy Walker: No. And we were projecting out for the next five years. Pam Didner: So the industry information. You gather, you projected the trends for the next five years? Tommy Walker: Correct. Yeah. And that was the depth that we were going into. And we were able to take our own internal knowledge, even though we weren't publishing that at the time and sort of apply that to what was going on here in, and really say that we were at the ground level on some of this stuff and bring in, you know, merchant quotes and stuff like that. And then we were able to repurpose a lot of that into other forms of content. Pam Didner: Definitely. But that requires a lot of planning and intentional effort. I want people to understand that repurposing a piece of content, it's not very simple, like, oh, okay. You pull, uh, several paragraphs from one white paper and you write a blog post. It's a very intentional effort. As of you creating a, not a piece of content, even though you are using existing content that you have. Tommy Walker: Right. And the way to think about it really is making it modular. Right. Like when you're thinking about the big piece, what are the smaller things that you can create that are modular and put that out there? Something I learned years ago is create soundbites within your content, right? Like in this is, this is totally different, but like, what are, what are some tweetables that you can put out there? And it's the same thing as like PR and you know, all of that is you get the, you put the little soundbites out there. What's the news going to pick up on? And when you're able to put that stuff in, then it becomes infinitely more shareable, but it's also, you can use it to repurpose in a number of different areas, especially if you're planning that ahead of time. Pam Didner: Being a content marketer myself, where a good period of time, especially in enterprise, it's a lot of work. And I think from editorial planning down to the content creation, or even once you create content, you have to repurpose the content is there's a lot of coordination that needs to happen within the company. And if you have a one lesson for enterprise marketers that actually trying to manage the content, what is that one lesson that you want to share? Tommy Walker: Ooh, that's a good question. Um, Content marketing is not a solo sports. It is very much a team sport and it's not just on the content team. So if you need to work with other parts of the company to get what you need done, try to understand their working cadence and how it is that you can fit into their day, so you're not bashing heads when it comes to getting stuff created. Pam Didner: I hear you. I hear try to understand how they work and their process and work with that. Tommy Walker: Exactly. Pam Didner: Very good. Hey, before I end our podcast, I would like to ask you to answer one silly question and you can pick one out of two. Number one: What is the most useless talent that you possess? The second one is, did you have a ridiculous goal in your life? Tommy Walker: (laughs) Um, yeah, the, the most useless I have a few use those talents. Um, the, the most useless talent I would say that I have is an encyclopedic knowledge of Marvel movies and movies in general, coming from the filmmaking background. Pam Didner: What about, uh, DC? You are more into the Marvel universe. Okay. Tommy Walker: The Marvel Universe. Um, but movies in general, that's just from my acting background. So, um, my wife hates watching movies with me sometimes because I'm like, did you know? Pam Didner: And you're like, shut up. Can I just enjoy the movie? Don't tell me! Tommy Walker: She, she wonders how I enjoy the movie. I'm like, “this is exactly how I enjoy the movie!” Pam Didner: Thank you so much, Tommy. So happy to have you on my show and you share a lot of insight with us and I enjoy our conversation.
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More! I've been reading many books about writing screenplays lately because there are many talks about bringing storytelling into content marketing. I thought I might also go to the sources and dig in on how to write a screenplay and how to tell stories effectively. The three books I was reading are: Story by Robert McKee, Screenplay Writing 434 from Lew Hunger, and Save the Cat from Blake Snyder. In this episode: Content must have a good sense of what it's about and who it's for The importance of structure Know your characters, and dig deep into your character development How screenplay writing relates to B2B marketing writing? How to apply screenplay structure to B2B Marketing? What is the best way for marketers to focus on what they want to say and how to say it? What can screenplays teach us about creating a customer journey? How to create a one-liner to express the essence of your brand? Quotes from the episode: “Another thing I've discovered is that every scene, every movement, and every word matters. Everything in a movie is intentional and purposeful.” “The structure of a screenplay is your foundation before you can create scenes and dialogues. The structure of your marketing is your marketing plan, processes and tools.” ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me email@example.com. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing and More with Pam! My guest today is Lee Judge. Lee is the co-founder and CMO of Content Monsta, specialized in digital content marketing and production. Lee is also a fellow speaker. I've often seen him at a different speaking circuit, talking passionately about content and content marketing. Today we talk about social media video content. In this episode: How to overcome the fear of being on camera and live video? How to get started with Linkedin videos, and what are some of the best practices? The list of tools to make good video content, from recording to editing. When to use scripts and how to use them. What is a cam link, and how to use it? Learn more about Wirecast and OBS and what are the differences. How to become and appear more natural on camera? What are some business benefits of TikTok video content? What if businesses need to create video content for multiple platforms – benefits and drawbacks When to use a teleprompter, and what are the benefits? How to set up the workspace for creating video content? Quotes from the episode: “I've practiced over time, learned how to read a script, and you wouldn't know that I'm reading a script. When I first tried to do video reading a script, and I watched myself, I realized there are specific little nuances – that make a difference – that I wasn't doing. So I had to learn, watch them on video, and make sure that I smiled and raised my eyebrows and be natural.” “If you're going to be a digital marketer and present yourself well on camera, you need to present yourself just as you would dress up to go somewhere. Whether you're at home or in your office, how you sound and how you look, not just how you look physically, but how you show up on camera, it's going to be very critical moving forward.” ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing and More with Pam! I have a very, very special guest today, Bernie Borges. Bernie is a Vice President of Global Content Marketing at iQor, content marketing strategist, and a co-founder and Chief Customer Officer of Vengreso. Also, he's a host of the Modern Marketing Engine podcast with over 300 episodes. Today we talk about account-based podcasting and why businesses need it. In this episode: What is account-based podcasting? What is the process for an ABM podcast? Is there such thing as a perfect frequency of podcast episodes, and what are some of the biggest takeaways from doing an ABM podcast? What are the sales and marketing benefits of the ABM podcasting approach? How can businesses use their strategy and goals for more successful podcasting? Two schools of podcasting postproduction, what are the recommendations in terms of editing a podcast? How to measure the success of ABM podcasting? Future trends and the next generation of podcasts and podcasting. Pros and cons of building presence using a third-party platform Quotes from the episode: “If someone is trying to get it [podcast] off the ground, or they're not quite sure where it's going, take some time to think about what do you want to achieve with your podcast? And then just put a plan around that and ask people what they want, then filter that advice.” “In the context of account-based podcasting, the way that we measure success is, are we building relationships? So we're measuring success by how many opportunities are we creating as a result of our podcast?” ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me at email@example.com. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Hey, a big hello, Portland, Oregon. Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More. Yay! I have a very special guest today. Tyler. I actually love his name. Tyler Lindley. Tyler is senior sales instructor and SDR coach at Vendition. Let's find out what SDR is. Okay? Vendition is a sales training company. Tyler also has his own podcast “Sales Lift” with more than 40 episodes. So you should check that out. So let's get started. Welcome Tyler. Tyler Lindley: Thank you, Pam. I'm going to bring you on my podcast and have you do that intro every single episode. (Pam laughs) That might just be my new episode forever. Pam Didner: More than happy to do you intro and outro but I think I am going to scare people away. Tyler Lindley: I loved it. I love it. Thank you. Thanks for having me on. Pam Didner: Oh my pleasure. So, SDR. I heard about SDR. Can you explain what that is? And also, you know, people talking about inside sales and outside sales. Can you also explain that as well so we on the same page before we move forward? Tyler Lindley: Yeah, certainly, certainly. So yeah, SDR for those that don't know is basically a sales development rep. Um, so if we think about what a sales development rep is, a sales development rep is someone that is qualifying, uh, prospects. They're doing a lot of prospecting, a lot of top of the funnel activity, basically sitting in between marketing and sales. So if we've got full cycle sales-- Pam Didner: Oh, that's a very tough, tough spot to be in. (laughs) Tyler Lindley: [00:01:44] Yeah. It's a tough role to fill. It is it is an interesting place to be. Um, just, because obviously marketing and sales and the alignment there is really important. And the SDR is actually a physical group of people that are signing up to be in between those two groups. So, uh, um, so very brave group of, of folks that do a lot of cold calling and prospecting and it's, uh, definitely a fun adventure being an SDR, for sure. Pam Didner: So, how is that different than inside sales and outside sales? Can you be a little bit clear about that one too? I have my own definition, but love, love, love to hear yours. Tyler Lindley: So yeah. Inside sales and outside sales, um, I guess the main difference is inside is typically done indoors. Uh, but it is, it is sales. Pam Didner: We don't go out. Tyler Lindley: They don't go out! Yeah, really a lot of sales is now inside sales, where, you know, used to, when you think of outside sales, that was a lot of field sales where you had higher value accounts, you needed to develop relationships. So you were investing a lot more time and energy to go meet with clients in person. Uh, with inside sales, it's kind of the new model that get popularized by tech and software companies, where a lot of sales is happening just on the phone, on the computer. There's very, very little travel if any, happening at all. So everything is done remotely. And as we know, with the big changes with COVID last year, you know, a lot of teams that were outside were forced to move inside. Uh, so now inside sales has become almost the default. Um, although as things continue to loosen, I'm sure, you know, some of those folks that were doing outside before will go back to that model, but I think you'll also see a lot more folks, you know, maybe that moved inside to inside sales model will likely stay there in the future just because it makes maybe more logistical sense for them. And maybe they saw good results. Pam Didner: So, is it fair to say that the role of SDR is kind of like a subcategory of inside sales to some extent? Tyler Lindley: To some extent, yeah. If we think about SDR, the reason the SDR role was created was because we decided to separate the prospecting and the top of the funnel activities. From the kind of moving people through the full sales cycle and closing, we decided to bifurcate those roles. Um, and the reason being is that it's two different skill sets really. It's a different skillset to do prospecting. It's high volume. The messaging really matters a lot. You don't have to have a ton of product knowledge because you're not having very in-depth conversations. Whereas when you move to an AE role, a closing role, you really need to have a lot more product knowledge. You need to learn how to manage a lot of different stakeholders. You've got to learn how to drive to the close, overcoming objections, getting through purchasing negotiations. I mean, it's a very different skillset. So the roles were bifurcated because it kind of just makes sense to do them separately. And then what happens is a lot of SDRs will graduate into an AE role, assuming they're successful. Pam Didner: So you mentioned that SDR is sitting between sales and marketing in that very, very cushy chair, which is between you and all the sales and the marketing department. Then the next question I would like to ask you is should SDR be part of sales or marketing? What is your thought on that? Tyler Lindley: It's a good question. I think it really depends. It depends on the structure of the organization, depends on what's the value of a customer? I mean, and, and how many leads are we talking to? A lot of folks have moved to an account-based model and account based marketing model. And in that kind of a model, you know, it might make sense for the SDRs to live under marketing because they're doing a lot of the nurturing, a lot of the qualification that is really just an extension of your marketing efforts. So we've seen some folks pull SDRs over to the marketing function, Pam Didner: Especially on demand gen side of things, Tyler Lindley: Yeah. Especially. Yeah. And if you're doing it, yeah. A lot of inbound. If you have a lot of inbound leads, you want to make sure that that speed, the lead, the speed of the SDR getting on the phone is very, very important. So sometimes it can make sense for that to live in marketing and more of a campaign-based environment versus in sales. Now the flip side of that is that this is actually a sales role. This requires you to get on the phone. This requires conversations, soft skills, things that are probably better nurtured under a sales leader. Um, that's what I think the best model is to actually have an SDR leader that is specific to the SDRs and that leader, I think, can work on the alignment between marketing, the marketing leader, the sales leader, and, and bridge that gap, I think a lot easier. So for me, it depends. It can go in either marketing live under marketing, live in or sales, but yeah. At the end of the day, the SD R team needs their own leader. Um, because it is such a unique role that's sitting in between those two groups. Pam Didner: Yeah. And the based on what I have seen so far, and you can comment on that as well. Majority of SDR tend to be part of sales organization. Would you agree? Tyler Lindley: I would agree. Yeah, I would agree. And it also makes sense more SDRs, I think become full cycle sales reps—AEs--than they do marketers. It doesn't mean that you can't become a marketer as starting as an SDR, but it's a more common path to stay in sales than to move to other parts of an organization. So it definitely, I think more likely than not is, is housed under sales, but you could make an argument for it to be housing or marketing depending on the circumstances. Pam Didner: Got it. So now we talk about, you know, the roles and responsibility. And the next question I would like to ask is the process. So, um, now obviously, uh, SDR can be part of the marketing organization or sales. In terms of the setting up the structure and process for outbound prospecting and also campaigns, what do you think is ideal process that put a marketing and SDR together and working together in terms of nurturing and also following up? Tyler Lindley: Yeah, I think that the SDRs the, the, the messaging that marketers are using to, to generate interest, to attract good fit potential prospects should be the same exact messaging that the SDRs are using as well. I think there needs to be alignment in that messaging and it needs to be cohesive to where you couldn't really tell if a message is coming from a marketer or from an SDR. Pam Didner: There's that seamless digital experience, right? So your customer experience, it doesn't matter what content you are using, what email you're using. It should be very seamless. Tyler Lindley: Very seamless. The only difference is the SDR can potentially add a little bit more context, a little bit more of a human-centric element because it's an actual individual. So they should be taking the messaging from marketing that might be a more of one-to-many message and contextualizing it for that specific client. However, it should be the same message. We should be speaking the same language across marketing, all the way to the SDR all the way to account executives, customer success, across all of your revenue-facing parts of the organization should see be the same. And the SDR plays a pivotal role because they're, they're the first person that's, that's really contextualizing that first specific account. I'm taking this maybe more broad messaging that marketing created, and I'm making it specific to this person at this account. Why is this relevant for them? or what is relevant for them? We have all of these different things that we can talk. What is Susie, who is the VP of Marketing going to care about? versus Jack who's the VP of sales? You know, what is he going to care about? How can I contextualize my message to make it relevant to that individual in that company? Pam Didner: Got it. So messaging should be consistent and seamless. And obviously there's a training element of that to make sure that the marketing and the sales--including SDR--are trained in terms of messagings and have that consistent talking point along the way. And who should take the lead? If you actually have inbound leads that's coming and, uh, who should kind of take over? Do you think the marketing team should do some sort of pre-qualification first? or should that be directly just passed to SDR and the SDR can take it and run it? Tyler Lindley: It depends on how fast that SDR can respond. Because as we know, inbound leads, the rate of drop-off and those converting, when it takes longer and longer to respond, it just continues to drop off. If the SDRs can't respond in real time--if you don't have a dedicated resource to be able to respond in real time,--then marketing should likely they should likely take a lead in terms of just doing some initial qualification. Now, do they need to do full qualification? No, but they should at least be moving the process forward immediately and maybe scheduling a call for that SDR. Now if the SDR can be a dedicated resource that can respond in real time, that's great. In my opinion, it's hard for that person to always be available, 24-7. Likely it's something you should maybe automate to some extent and then have the SDR manage the actual initial conversation, um, that should potentially be automated in terms of scheduling. Pam Didner: You know, you brought a very good point, too, you know, in terms of who should take what? And I think having a huddle meeting between say the demand generation team and SDR on regular basis probably doesn't hurt. They probably should get together like a Monday at 10 o'clock. Day 11, whatever, right early week, and kind of review the leads that came through the week before and kind of review that, maybe divide and conquer. “Hey, you know why these are the four leads you should take over and start looking into it. There's a five things. Five leads. I probably can just do a prequalification or making a call.” But I do agree with you in addition to all that, the communication, a weekly huddle meeting that having automation, uh, set up life, for example, there's auto responders, but make that, um, the, the email itself a whole lot more personal, uh, will be great. And having a certain kind of automation set up, I think is very important that will help both teams, but having a huddle meeting on a regular basis from my perspective is also truly beneficial, especially when I was in the client, on the corporate world, having that kind of meeting, just talking things through and before we move forward to a next week. And I think that was that that's actually efficient. What is your thought on that? Tyler Lindley: Yeah, I agree. And I think that huddle meeting should start with more of a service level agreement about the definitions of an SQL and an MQL. Pam Didner: I totally agree. Tyler Lindley: I think it should, it should start with what is our, you know, requirements, the business, how quickly are we going to respond to leads? If it's going to be a human driven resource, like how quickly are we going to do that? Just to make sure that everything is being followed up on. Every lead or prospect is getting the same experience regardless of when and how they're coming into the funnel. So I just think there needs to be alignment for a foundation set for that meeting to happen. And then I do agree that that always needs to be updated. We need to always be communicating about what are we seeing, right? What are we understanding? Like these SDRs are actually talking to customers. Listened to the gongs, listened to the conversation, relay the feedback. I mean, we have so much information. We're drowning in information right now, but, but are we actioning on it? Are we actually using that information to make positive change? And the SDRs could do that in two directions. They can do it backwards to the marketing team to talk about the demand gen or they can do it forwards to the AEs, closing the deals. And that part of the process, they really are bridging that gap, truly bridging the gap. They are the bridge. Um, so if you have an SDR team, treat them as such and, and meet with them regularly instead of just complaining and, “oh, man, this is not going well. They're not qualifying right. These leads are terrible, yada yada yada,” Pam Didner: What?!? I love complaining. Complaining is so much easier than doing the real work. Come on! (both laugh) Tyler Lindley: I mean, complaining is fine. It's going to happen naturally, but at least complained together, complain with each other--like SDRs complain with the marketing team, complain with the AEs because then you'll at least hopefully learn something that can affect change. Um, so that would be my 2 cents. Pam Didner: Do you think SDRs do any kind of cross-selling and, uh, and up-sale with existing customers or purely just focused on new logo? Tyler Lindley: I think SDRs should only. Prospect into existing logos if you know that if that logo, if it's maybe a dormant, Pam Didner: Really big company is a very big company. They have a totally different division that, you know, product division, not doing totally different things, ok. Tyler Lindley: Initially. Yeah. Potentially. Or if the, you know, the account has gone dormant and we're trying to reignite that account. I think that that should be owned, honestly, at that point by either the AE or even the customer success team because of that relationship; because we need the SDR focused on the top of the funnel and we need them focused on net new accounts. So I would lean for them, not that we can't teach the AEs and the CSMs how to prospect back into those existing accounts, but I think the SCR should kind of stay in their lane and focus on net new. Pam Didner: Got it. So with that being said, obviously the marketing and SDRs on the front lines and they actually have a lot of information in terms of what customer feel about the products sometimes. So what do you think the process should set up? Should SDR provide the feedback, the product feedback directly to the product team? Do you think there's a value to that? Or that's something that needs to be done say you do a survey, you kind of follow up with, uh, the outside sales team that actually have a more in-depth knowledge or AE to provide that information. Tyler Lindley: Yeah. I think you need to be learning it from both groups, because if you think about SDRs, they are both qualifying and disqualifying. So they are both learning the reasons for and the reasons people against people, you know, exploring your, your product or your solution further. So I think that there's a ton of value there in helping to go back and define your ICP to go back and define your target buyer, your different personas. Like, yeah, maybe we've got the perfect product, but we're just going after the wrong person in the organization, you know, wherever you're talking to the sales team, but we need to be talking to enablement or marketing. All of that information is contextual and it should be shared back across the organization--should be shared back to marketing should be shared back to product. Because all these things are related. I mean, your product, the messaging, and then all of the messaging that you're, you're marketing your enablement, your sales development team, your AEs, your customer success, like these are all related messages. So in my mind, the most effective revenue organizations are ones that are sharing across that spectrum. Anything that they're learning because they might learn. Pam Didner: You can share that back to the product team. Tyler Lindley: Yeah, you might learn something after someone's been a customer for five years from the customer success team that would impact, you know, product. But it might be something after a five minute conversation from someone who's not even a customer, they're just a potential prospect. So I think regardless of where you sit, all of that should be shared back to the product team and the ones closest to the actual prospects should be relaying that message. Pam Didner: Understood. Well said. When SDR is working through the potential prospects and the conversion rate tend to be pretty small and they got a lot of disqualified leads or even loss opportunities. So what do you think that marketing should do with some of those disqualified leads or loss opportunities? Do you think it's their job to actually kind of really try to revive the opportunities or this is something that the SDR should kind of take a second look? Tyler Lindley: So I think it's a shared responsibility. I think that the nurturing can happen from the marketing team or the SDR team. I think it depends on the value of the accounts, the amount of like, what is your total addressable market? You know, how many people are actually in your pipeline at a given time? If you have a very small addressable market, then a really valuable exercise for both marketing and for the SDR team to be trying to reignite those accounts, because there's not an unlimited number. Now, if you have a different product, maybe a lower, lower value product where you have a large total addressable market, I would then put that in marketing shoes to try to reignite, um, those type of accounts, um, making it more of a low touch, automated, automated, reignite fashion there. Uh, so I think it really depends on how big is your total addressable market? What's the value of a customer? And can we justify that being done by the SDR, that person, which is a lot harder to scale than having marketing do it in a potential automation. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So it really does depend. Pam Didner: So you bought a good point. I actually have additional insight I'd like to add to that specific question. There's another angle from my perspective, which is I talked to my client in terms of how to address disqualified leads or loss opportunities is determined by the causes of the loss opportunities or disqualify. Is it because of lack of budget? Is it because the timing is not right? Or is it because the feature doesn't, it doesn't work at this time. So because of different causes, and, uh, depending on the causes, you can also create different kind of nurturing while you can determine if you want to nurture or not. Does that make sense? Yeah, so I think the product part of it is really important, but the other one is the causes of disqualification. Tyler Lindley: I totally agree. And you've got to set up the, the engine to be able to put those causes, identify the causes. Let's make it a dropdown select option, make it very easy for the SDR to display. Pam Didner: I agree. Totally agree. (laughs) Tyler Lindley: “Because of this reason…” Do not make it a fill in the blank cause you'll get a bunch of garbage, Pam Didner: You'll get like a million choices. That's it! Tyler Lindley: Or you can't do it. Yeah. Give them five choices, the drop down select and then, yeah, based on what they answer, you could then determine maybe this bucket. We want to reignite with the SDR team, these we're going to do with marketing. But make it simple and easy to know what you're going to do with each group. Pam Didner: 100% agree. I think the biggest takeaway from today's episode, they are couple number one is the, uh, the close collaboration between sales and marketing, especially SDR and, uh, demand gen. And the second thing is have a process in place and keep that communication going. And I, 100% agree with you. Service level agreement is key, especially in enterprises. Another one is basically looking to if what any kind of disqualified leads and also lost opportunities and have a conversation with the SDRs and determine what the causes are. And also the products itself and then a set of a processing trends of if you want to nurture them or not. So those are great, great key takeaway, Tyler. You are fantastic! I'm going to ask you one more question. It's a silly question and I have two of them and you can choose one to answer. Number one. What is the most useless talent that you possess? Or you can choose to answer the next one. Did you have a ridiculous go in your life? Tyler Lindley: Um, Those are great questions. Uh, let's see the most useless, useless talent. I would say the most useless talent I possess is, um, the ability to buy a lot of technology things, kind of like we discussed the other day, Pam. Buy a lot of technology may not need it all, but, uh, but just buy it. And try to figure out the use case for it sometimes after the fact. So some have some buyer's remorse, uh, from time to time because. I like shiny new things in terms of technology. And, uh, and sometimes I, I either look at the return policy or try to figure out what am I going to actually do with this after the fact. So I guess that's a very useless skill and a very expensive one at that. (both laugh) Pam Didner: Well, you and I are the same thing. You and I will talk in about, um, just Tyler and I have a prep call and we will talk in about. How should I say it nicely? How much shit we have. (both laugh) Tyler Lindley: Way too much. Pam Didner: The, the A/V, you know, equipment, like I have three different microphones really. And I also have a lavalier microphone And then I have audio interface. Oh my God. And then I have webcams that we will talking about like the different, uh, equipment or the, the stuff that we buy, just, uh, just to set things up, especially for virtual communication is insane. Tyler Lindley: Exactly. And we tend to buy more than one. Yeah, you need to know what that other mic sounds like. Pam Didner: Tyler it's wonderful, wonderful to have you on my show. It's fantastic. And, uh, I love all the insights that you share. I hope that you will come back again! Tyler Lindley: Yeah, definitely. Yeah. If folks want to find out more about me online, check out the sales lift.com or Tyler lindley.com. I'm also active on LinkedIn. So just search me, Tyler Lindley, and I'd love to come back someday and chat, chat, more sales and marketing with you, Pam. Thanks so much for having me on. Pam Didner: Sounds good!
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More! Today I have a special guest, David Fortino, Chief Strategist for Netline. David is specialized in audience development, and retention with strength focused on the B2B market. Today we talk about a specific B2B Content and Demand Report that he managed for the fifth year in a row: the 2021 State of Content Consumption and Demand Report. For this report, David's team analyzed 4.3 million gated content at Netline. In this episode: Learn more about Netline and what is it that they do. The biggest takeaways from the report. Trends in content consumption. What are the most popular content formats? Trends in webinars and communication with the audience. Breakdown on webinar audience registration and attendance. How to reach a C-suite audience with content? What is first-party consumption, and why it's better than third-party consumption? How to use technology to collect accurate data from gated content and the challenges? How can marketers incorporate security, predictability, and simplicity in their content? Lessons from COVID and how they affect marketing. Is there are a way to narrow the gap for content consumption? The role of automation in content marketing and customer experience. Quotes from the episode: "If you want to educate a C-suite person, the best thing you could do is distil things into an ultra-fine brief, with quick-hitting topics and talking points." "COVID taught us that there was a necessity to move faster than we felt comfortable moving. And because of that, nothing could be produced in the way and the level of depth and refinement that maybe we would have typically felt comfortable doing or needing to do." ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More! My guest today is Anthony Gaenzle. Anthony is a marketing and business Leader, owner of Anthony Gaenzle Marketing. Serving in marketing leadership and multimedia roles for over 15 years, he has helped both established companies and startups achieve significant growth by providing marketing and business strategies that positively impact each company's bottom line. Today we talk about how B2B marketing pros can build relationships that drive business success. In this episode: What is a definition of partner marketing or partnership marketing? How can businesses scale or minimize some of the work and become more efficient? What are some specific processes or tools that people can use in the relationship-building process? What are some of the criteria that marketers can evaluate in terms of partnership marketing? Partnership and relationship-building case study of a health care software company What makes collaboration time consuming, and why it's all worth it. What are the biggest challenges for a successful partnership and collaboration? How should businesses do co-marketing, improve collaboration and communication? What is the role of partnership and relationship building in social selling and digital marketing? What tactics should people use to build a relationship online? Quotes from the episode: “It's not the same game as maybe 20 years ago when one person was making all the decisions. You have to go through five different layers and convince all those people in different ways why this partnership makes sense. And then, once you've convinced them and signed it, you have to get together and determine the best avenues for exploring collaboration.” “Everybody can add different value to everybody cause everybody has different goals, and you need to assess that first. Once you begin to build that relationship, another vital pillar is to be genuine. Don't come up with some crafty marketing scheme. Go in there, genuinely wanting to develop the relationship.” ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me at email@example.com. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More! My guest today is Leo Odden. Lee is a good friend, a CEO and Co-Founder of Top Rank Marketing, an excellent and fast-growing B2B marketing agency. He is also a speaker and the author of the book Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing. Today we talk about B2B influencer marketing and the best practices. In this episode: Different influencer marketing definitions and what does it mean from a B2B perspective. What questions should brands/businesses answer before launching a B2B influencer marketing campaign? Do brands always have to pay to engage with external influencers? What are the different types of influencers, and who are the "prospect influencers"? What is the role of internal influencer and subject matter experts? How can an enterprise or any B2B business start with influencer marketing? What kind of tools can businesses use to find influencers? How to collaborate with influencers and create a great experience for them? What are the biggest mistakes in implementing B2B influencer marketing? What are the three biggest takeaways from the first-ever B2B influencer marketing report? Quotes from the episode: "Many people think about influencer marketing and are now starting to look at it from a B2B lens and see it through how B2C works. B2C influencer marketing is almost exclusively paid engagement." 'There are many different things that you can do, but keeping that love alive, showing appreciation and building genuine relationships is an incredible investment in everyone's success when it comes to B2B influencer marketing." ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More! My special guest today is Felix Krueger. Felix is the CEO of Krueger Marketing. His company specializes in sales enablement, Account-Based Marketing for B2B enterprises, and he recently launched his podcast, The State of Sales Enablement. Today we talk about how to make sales content a competitive advantage. In this episode: The role of content in sales enablement. Definition of a sales enablement from a sales perspective? The evolution of content in the context of sales enablement and collaboration with marketing. What is the significant difference between marketing content and sales content? How can a content marketer support the sales team? What should they pay attention to? How the current pandemic changed sales and how salespeople build relationships with the customers. In what ways pandemic changed the content use. What are some of the content formats that tend to be a whole lot more popular right now? How can sales fight the distractions of remote work and the new landscape of buyers working from home? How can content help sales in online communication? What industries are impacted the most with the new digital communication, and how they make the transition? What are some of the quick content wins that marketers can use to achieve when collaborating with your sales team? Quotes from the episode: "The buyers have changed because a lot of people started working from home. Suddenly, they have all kinds of different distractions. Because people began communicating on their terms, which is often not real-time, buyers have had an increased need for content." "There is a big opportunity for [tech] companies to utilize content to deliver a more personalized experience to different roles. Also, if you think about penetrating organizations as a sales team in terms of account-based marketing, you can use content to do the networking." ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me at email@example.com. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More! I have a super, super special guest today – Ruth Stevens. Ruth is a president of eMarketing Strategy, B2B marketing consultant, author, keynote speaker, and educator. She is also an adjunct professor at NYU Stern School of Business, outside director at HIMSS. She helps mid to large B2B companies improve their marketing strategies and tactics for a stronger pipeline. Today we talk about must-have marketing skills for modern marketers. In this episode: Essential advice for marketing students. Why is it important for marketers to build a personal brand? What are the steps and specific actions to consider when building a personal brand? What are the most common challenges that students tend to encounter in their first jobs? How should students deal with those challenges? What is considered the communication in marketing and with other people? How can marketers improve their communication? How can marketers keep up with all the new technologies? Pros and cons of different marketing careers, and how can marketers decide which career path to pursue? Quotes from the episode: “I suggest that they get their LinkedIn profiles tightened up and active. One of the most important tips is to focus on their headlines with more deliberation than most people do today by packing many keywords in there. Most people just put their title and company names. That wastes the opportunity to be found for various capabilities that you have.” “Those who have their eyes open as they enter the workforce should remember that performance on the job, doing great work and delivering value is just the table stakes minimum. To really get to where they want to go career-wise is to remember that they should strive to be well-liked. They should be helpful, friendly, thoughtful, and perceived as someone we want to work with.” ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More! Today I have an excellent guest, Alex Lowe, from the UK. Alex is a Head of Enterprise Strategy & Operations at Lately, Founder and CEO of Beyond Sales, and the host of The Death of a Salesman podcast. Alex works with and mentor, startups, to scale up business and beyond to help with their go-to-market strategy and execution. Today we talk about social selling strategy for sales teams, what works and what doesn’t. In this episode: Definition of social selling and what’s wrong with the popular business terminology What makes salespeople socially awkward online and what can they do about that In-person vs written communication skills How to build social into sales and marketing strategy. The universal three principles of social selling strategy How to select and share corporate content? What should salespeople share on social media? How to pick and tie the right social channel(s) with social selling strategy? What to do when social selling doesn’t work? What are the post COVID changes in sales and the digital envoronment? How can the marketing team help with social selling? What is the future of social selling? Quotes from the episode: “Build a relationship, draw them into your network, get that conversation out of social as quickly as humanly possible into this environment that you are in, in a one-to-one environment, hopefully in a face-to-face physical environment. Then you go on your merry way in terms of your sales process.” “The thing about social selling actually, for me, the most effective social selling is referral selling. It’s using your social networks to get an introduction to someone, to start a conversation. That then has to be recorded in a CRM.” ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me email@example.com. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
A big hello from Portland, Oregon! With the fast deployment of vaccination, many of us marketers are gearing up for the full reopening and getting our team members back to the offices. Today I want to share the five trends that I think you need to pay attention to when you rework your plan and get ready for your post-COVID marketing efforts. In this episode: VIrtual communication and in-person interactions. Event marketing evolution. Content marketing and content prioritization. Changing strategies and marketing execution. Protocols and process changes to keep your customers safe. Digital customer experience as a product. Sales and marketing alignment in a fast-changing world. Process and workflow optimization as a competitive advantage. Quotes from the episode: “Modify your customer journeys and beef up your offerings online and on your websites. That means your budget for digital marketing and the website should not go down. It should go up.” “The key post-COVID is to determine which content to update and refresh because you might have a lot of content you need to prioritize in a repurposing refresh and the update.” “When digital marketing becomes complicated, marketers tend to get overwhelmed. To overcome that, understand processes and steps, how things are done, and how data moves from one point to another.” ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More! My guest is Katie Robbert, the CEO & Co-founder of Trust Insight, a digital marketing consulting firm. Today we talk about Artificial Intelligence, how you can take advantage of AI and implement it in your organization. In this episode: Definition of AI and why is it important? What makes machine learning important? What are the talents and skillset to consider before implementing AI? How to evaluate if a company is AI-ready, and where to start? Third-party tool vs in-house project? Which one is better? How to evaluate AI platforms? What should companies learn from other AI initiatives? Get familiar with a Mark Off chain model. The role of quality data for successful AI implementation. Will AI take our jobs? Quotes from the episode: "It takes a lot of planning. You can't just wake up one day and be like: "Let's introduce Artificial Intelligence to my team." There's a lot of planning that goes into it. And when we're talking about implementing AI within an organization, that step is often skipped over." "AI is really good at repetitive tasks. Your job as a marketer is to continue to learn, grow and be comfortable with AI taking those repetitive tasks because that makes room for those more valuable responsibilities that AI can't do - customer relationships, insights, and decision making." ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me email@example.com. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Hey, a big hello from Portland, Oregon! Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More. I have an exceptional guest today, incredibly special. Shelley Wagner. Shelly is the Chief of Staff for Intel's Client Security Division and a certified coach from the very prestigious Systematic Coaching Program. She's been a coach for more than 15 years, a passionate and collaborative change agent with extensive experience leading organizations using value-centered leadership and coach-based management. Today we talk about coaching, mentoring, and how can people decide which one they need. In this episode: Why are there so many different explanations of a coach ad coaching? What is a definition of a coach? How is a coach different from a mentor? Where do people who advocate or sponsor fit in? How to approach someone to ask for mentorship? In what ways can people define or discover if they need a coach or if they need a mentor? What is an "informal" mentor? What happens if a manager suggests coaching on mentorship? How can someone become a mentor or a certified coach? What is an excellent way to find a great mentor? What are some career tips for marketers who would like to explore a career in coaching or becoming mentors? Quotes from the episode: "When talking about coaching versus mentoring, there are some similarities, but there are some differences. A mentor is like a wise advisor. Often, they're almost always more experienced than you because they're imparting their knowledge to you. They support and encourage." When you think of your development, what's my learning edge or what I want to work on, a coach is someone specifically who is going to gauge a coaching objective, which is going to be goal-oriented." ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
A big hello from Portland, Oregon. Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing and More. I'm your host Pam Didner. I'm a B2B marketer through and through, and I know that our work can be complex. Today, I'm doing a solo episode, and I want to answer one specific question from one of my community members: "How do I put a content marketing plan together?" In this episode: What is content marketing? What are the different types of content? Why should businesses care about content marketing? What is the purpose of the content marketing plan? How to build the winning content marketing plan? What are some of the critical elements you need to incorporate into a successful content marketing plan? What are the benefits of content in addition to monetization, growing revenue, and gaining followers? How can businesses decide which content they should create? Ten questions any content marketing plan should answer. Quotes from the episode: "There are many benefits of content. One of them is that you control the narrative. You have total control over what you say, when and how. Also, use content to showcase your thought leadership, optimize for search and increase inbound traffic." "Content marketing in the digital world is complicated and messy. Just acknowledge that. Knowing how to put the plan together is a core capability that you need to have to think strategically and connect different thoughts." ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me email@example.com. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
A big hello from Portland, Oregon! Today, I have an excellent guest, John Nee, the President and the Principal of Act 1 Partners. With over 20 years of success as a marketing executive and business leader for fast-growing companies, John founded Act 1 Partners, a strategic marketing and experiential firm. The company is based in Portland, Oregon, and they have clients nationwide. They help businesses know their market, tell their story and live their brand through many different modules that they have primarily based around branding and strategy. Today, we will discuss my favorite topic, sales enablement, and the marketing and sales alignment. In this episode: Why is it so essential for B2B marketers to work with sales? What is the one thing marketers must do when they engage with a sales organization? What are the challenges of marketing and sales alignment, and what marketers can do to improve the collaboration? How can marketers improve the collaboration with sales, even change salespeople's behaviour? What can help marketers to understand what they can do to assist the sales team better? With everything being digital, where is the handoff between marketing and sales now? What is the role of technology in supporting sales? What are some low hanging fruits that marketers can do to support sales? In what ways a product affects marketing and sales alignment? Quotes from the episode: "Good salespeople are the ones who are open-minded and are willing to learn and try new things. It also pays to have some successful salespeople who have relied on the marketing materials or marketing campaigns to be successful." "Although marketing automation tools are very powerful and critical for what marketing needs to promote the brand and build awareness and generate demand, that handoff between the leads that come in through marketing automation and how they're managed in a CRM is critical. " ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Today, I have a fantastic and fabulous guest, Kerry O'Shea Gorgone, Educational Content Director at MarketingProfs. Kerry is a lawyer, content creator, educator, speaker and host of the Marketing Smarts podcast. She is also Consigliere, Co-Host and Showrunner for Chris Brogan Media, and co-host and producer of Punch Out With Katie and Kerry talk show. She's been helping businesspeople learn what they need to know so they can do the things they want to do. Today we talk about the legal aspect of marketing. In this episode: Apart from non-disclosure agreements, what are some other instances that legal needs to get involved in marketing? The role of transparency in influencer marketing. What are the legal ramifications for live streaming and copyrighted material? What is the role of technology in content monitoring and copyright protection? How to properly (and safely) do live streaming? How can marketers control their environment when they create content. What is the setup, process, must- do's or don'ts for the people interested in launching a podcast or a YouTube channel? Examples of resolving the unexpected bloopers while creating a show, podcast or live stream. Quotes from the episode: "In influence marketing, there is a lack of understanding that disclosure is even a thing you need to do. People don't understand that in some cases, an influencer has been paid to partner with a brand and promote their services." 'When you're live streaming, be aware of what you have in the background, be aware of it and music that might be playing. And speaking of backgrounds, make sure you don't have any trade secrets or personal information of your customers or anything like visible anywhere behind you." ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me email@example.com. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Today, I have a fantastic and fabulous guest – Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs. Author, speaker, and the most important title – my favorite title – writer. Ann started as a reporter for the Boston Globe, doing a bunch of news reporting and features. Features are really where her heart was because you can tell a story in Features in a different way than you can with a straight news report. She worked in journalism for a while, then started a company called ClickZ.com, which was one of the first sources of interactive marketing information. In 2000 Ann joined Marketing Profs, a training and education company, and the rest is history. Today we talk about content writing and everything in between. You should check out her book Everybody Writes. In this episode: What should writers, new or experienced ones, do to get started or improve their writing? Why should marketers in their writing focus on the message, and how to do that? How can marketers properly communicate and use the specific key points in their email marketing? What are the secrets of successful B2B email marketing What makes newsletters interesting, and how to tell a better story? How can B2B marketers crystallize and internalize the storytelling elements in their newsletters? What is the key to getting out of the writing comfort zone? What makes writing so important and how it can help thought leadership, and leadership development? Quotes from the episode: “We hear a lot of times “leaders are readers.” But I would say that “leaders are writers” because if you can articulate your ideas clearly and in a way that that will connect with others, then it’s an excellent foundation for any great career.” “We focus on what we want to say and all the amazing things we want to talk to our audience about. But in my opinion, that’s the wrong way to think about an email newsletter. It’s not about the news. It’s about the letter. It’s about that opportunity you have to speak directly to one person at one time, and that’s a very powerful place.” ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
A big hello from Portland, Oregon. Welcome to another episode, B2B Marketing & More. I have an excellent guest, Greg Matranga, the VP of Global Marketing at Infinity QS. Greg got started in marketing while still in college, as the PR guy for his local County fair, the Antelope Valley Fair and Alfalfa Festival, the 10th largest in California. Greg also worked on two congressional campaigns while he was still working and worked on the media relations side. From there, he got into high-tech marketing during the .com era. Today we talk about how to rebuild a marketing team in a legacy company. In this episode: Learn more about Infinity QS, what they do, and how they rebuilt the marketing department. How to start rebuilding the marketing department from the ground up? The role of talent management in rebuilding the marketing organization? What marketing skillsets should a business look for? What is the right approach with the management, and how to get their buy-in? With the rebranding and the right people, what is the next step in processes and tools? In what ways rebuilding the marketing department affects content creation? What is the best way to present the results? How to use rebuilding to redefine effective conversions and build on the demand generation? In what ways can digital marketing be used to gain results? Quotes from the episode: "We moved methodically, and we didn't try and do everything at once." "I didn't have the legacy knowledge about the company or the legacy brand messaging approach. So I was able to come in completely immersed in this new messaging, which made a big difference for us moving forward." ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me email@example.com. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Hi everyone, here's a big hello from Portland, Oregon. Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More! Today, I have another fantastic guest - David Meerman Scott. David is a marketing and business growth speaker, advisor to emerging companies, author of 12 books, including "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" and "Fanocracy" (PR and WSJ bestseller). Last year, pretty much during the pandemic's peak, he also published an ebook called "Standout Virtual Event". Today we talk about how to create a standout virtual event. In this episode: What does it take to create a stand out virtual event? What are some of the key elements that event managers should pay attention to when creating an online event? In what ways virtual presentations are different, and what should speakers do? Learn more about "theatrical" and "cinematic" types of experience. How to manage big virtual events and make connections with the audience? How to create and use the script for the virtual event? What are some features and platform considerations for a virtual event? How can marketers sharpen up their presentation skills? How to interact with the audience in an online event? Quotes from the episode: "I don't show slides through the event app. I show slides on a big secondary screen over my shoulder. Why? Because the default for the virtual event platforms is that the slides take over. People get bored. They don't want to look at slides. They want to look at human beings." "The world is always looking for new ways to learn about what's going on out there. To learn about what your area of expertise is. But what the world doesn't need is someone to just parrot what other people are saying." ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
A big hello from Portland, Oregon. Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More. I have a fantastic, I mean, fantastic guest for this episode, Emily Bendorf, she's a Senior Sales Enablement Manager for Southwest Airlines. Yes. Southwest Airlines! Can you believe it? She has been working actually with their sales team very, very closely? So we are going to talk about our favorite, favorite topics, sales enablement, and how to work with sales team. Let’s get started. All right. Emily how are you? Emily Bendorf: Hi Pam! It’s so great to be here. Thanks for having me. Pam Didner: Oh, that's the least I can do. I enjoyed working with you. So, um, how is the weather in Dallas right now? Talk to us, please (laughs). Emily Bendorf: The weather today and this week has been a bit crazy. Um, we've got the first few inches of snow, I think since 2011 and then the coldest temperature on record in 80+ years. So it's been quite the week here in Dallas. Pam Didner: Oh my God. I heard about the, what 150-car accident in Fort Worth? And that, that is ridiculous. But you are safe, right? I mean, nobody got hurt and you’re good and your team is good? Everybody's good? Emily Bendorf: Yes. Some of my team is still without power, so definitely keep them in your prayers. But, um, everyone is safe and healthy and huddling by the fire, trying to keep warm. Pam Didner: Very good. So talk to us a little bit about your job, your scope. Um, you are doing sales enablement and working very closely with sales and there's always a perception out there in terms of a sales enablement is a sales onboarding and sales training. Is it just that? Or is it a whole lot more than that? Emily Bendorf: So, um, sales enablement at Southwest and on the Southwest business team is mostly focused on, um, being the liaison between our marketing department, which is enterprise marketing for consumers, and then our B2B sales team. Um, so we have a sister team that focuses on training and development of our sales people that we work super closely with as well as our team that manages our sales enablement tool, our CRM tool, and all of that is within, uh, the Sales Ops organization. And we're a small but mighty team of about 10 people, um, that works very closely with our sales team, like you said and alluded to that, you know, sometimes at organizations, there can be a bit of a rift between sales and sales, enablement and marketing. And one thing that's so fortunate about our group is that we just have such a great working and personal relationship with both of those teams. So, um, that really sets us up for success and allows us to do our job really well. Pam Didner: Southwest Airlines is such a people company. And for the longest time, based on my perception of it, even flying Southwest Airlines and also reading a lot of literature. It tends to be very consumer focused. Why did you guys make the change to focus on enterprise on the B2B or even decided to have a sales enablement group? Emily Bendorf: Sure, absolutely. I can speak to that a bit. So, um, Southwest really has strong roots in business travel. Um, you know, even from our very beginning, that's the customer that we served here in Texas. Um, and I think as the years went on, we've been, uh, perceived as a bit more of a leisure airline who you want to fly for your vacation. Um, the airline really has a very strong value proposition for business travel. We're super flexible at the last minute if your meeting runs late and you need to change your flight, we have no change fees. You know, very, uh, very flexible, great, um, point-to-point network. And so for all those reasons and more, I think Southwest has always been a great option for business travel, but we've never really, or we hadn't until about five years ago, invested in growing the team that builds relationships with travel buyers and really nurturing that B2B customer experience. Five years ago, we did a study and identified that we were really just leaving a ton of opportunity on the table and there were so much more that we could do to build relationships with, uh, travel buyers at all companies--Fortune 500 companies, small-to-medium enterprise companies, universities, state, and local government, um, travel agencies and corporate travel booking tools. And so, uh, since then we've grown the team to now, um, just under 200 strong. And that is still very small compared to-- Pam Didner: Yeah, compared with the other carriers and airlines. Yes. Yes. Emily Bendorf: Definitely. Um, and then to answer your initial question, why sales enablement? My team's job is to make sure that the sales team and our account managers have the tools to build those relationships, to reduce friction with travel buyers and really, over time, uh, create a better, stronger, um, digital and in-person customer experience for the B2B audience since Southwest has always had such a strong B2C experience. Um, we really want to build on that and help our sales team create that for the business travelers and our travel buyers. Pam Didner: Yeah, that's fantastic. And I know that you talk to your sales people on regular basis and what are the one or two things that they usually request your team to do in general? Emily Bendorf: We get a lot of requests for collateral. Pam Didner: (laughs) I know you do! Emily Bendorf: As I’m sure most sales enablement, and marketing team do, um, and really to evolve that collateral from, you know, one-page handout to something that's a little bit more interactive and digital and personalized. And so that's something that we're definitely focused on improving. And then really this year, uh, you know, just given the environment that we've been in, uh, our travel managers and our sales team have tried to create engagement opportunities in the, in the virtual space. And so we've hosted quite a few, um, webinars or, uh, digital events. And that's something that has been really helpful, you know, to get information out to our customers en mass, especially things that are really hot topics for them. Yeah. So, um, so that's a way that we've been partnering very closely with our sales team this year, as well. Pam Didner: So you were one of the founding members I remember that vividly. And in terms of to start the sales enablement organization, and then, uh, kind of led, uh, the organization from the inception in terms of setting up the sales enablement group. Now you look back of your journey, what were the two things that, from your perspective you did right and you did very well? And what were the two things that you wish you have known earlier--that if you have a chance to go back, you would do it differently? Emily Bendorf: Great question. (Pam laughs) A loaded question. I think two things that I'm proud of and that looking back we've done right, is that we have hired a great team, um, and developed a great team. So some of that group, um, is new to Southwest and external. Um, but other folks joined our team from within the organization. And really, we just have such a strong group of folks who want to build something new and who are innovative and uh, tenacious and ready to go after, um, those new customers. And so it's, it's a really fun group as you got to experience firsthand, but also a really smart, hardworking, and, you know, I think one of the best in the business. So that would definitely be one of the things we did right. Pam Didner: You basically have a solid talent and I liked that, so that's good. Emily Bendorf: Yes. I think the second thing that we have done, right and it’s a challenge at any big organization. Um, I know you probably remember this from Intel and other groups you've worked with, but we've really tried to balance chase and perfection. So that can be hard to do. Um, and you know, it depends on the leaders that you work for, um, in terms of the grace given there, but we have a lot of initiatives and, things that we, we want to deliver to our customers and you have to balance getting all of those done with getting everything done perfectly. So that's something I think we've done well. And I'm proud of the team for continuing to do on a daily basis. Pam Didner: So basically is that coming from like prioritizations--how you are working very closely with your management to determine what to be prioritized, what needs to be done? Or is it coming from the perspective a team to be incredibly resilient and flexible or a combination of both? Emily Bendorf: Yeah, I think the combination of both, um, probably more the latter. Um, we definitely struggle with prioritization, um, as do probably many teams out there just because we're also passionate about this work and, um, you know, there's a lot to do and we're excited about doing a lot of things, but you definitely can't do a lot of things well, um, and so just balancing that with making progress, I think. And so a bit more of the latter when you said, you know, resiliency and, um, being focused and doing what it takes to get the job done. Pam Didner: Yeah. You know, by, I was, I had a great pleasure, um, and also opportunity to work with you and your team very closely last year. And there is one thing I think you guys did very, very well and, uh, probably you are too close to it that you don't see it. You guys stayed very, very close to the senior management. And I think that was, that's actually very important. So your constant conversation with the VP of sales and, um, and also even with the Senior Director and the VP of Marketing, and to make sure that they are actually engaged and updated in terms of what the things I'd done. I think that was actually super critical in terms of the team's success, as well. I mean, I see it as outsider. I kind of want to call that one out. Emily Bendorf: Thank you. I completely agree. And in fact, one of the things that I realized right away when I joined Southwest, um, and also I continue to appreciate on a daily basis is just how approachable, humble, um, and really invested our leadership team is all the way up to the executive. Um, and I think that's something that's really unique about our company. Pam Didner: True. True. True. So on the flip side, what are the two things that you wish you had more? Emily Bendorf: I thought you were going to forget about that! Pam Didner: (laughs) No! Are you kidding me? Emily Bendorf: Just kidding! So, one thing that I wished we had known from the start or thought about a bit more is that once you build something or once you launch something, you also need to staff the resources to maintain it. And so I think that sustainability exactly, um, and especially when you're moving quickly and growing fast, that's an important thing to remember. So we've added new platforms to our tools and we've built an amazing collateral library and you know, many examples I could list here, but we also have a small and mighty team that needs to continue building, but also maintain those, those great new resources. So, um, that's something I think that I wish we had recognized a bit more, um, early on, but, but we're getting there. Um, and then secondly, I think sales enablement as a term, as a team profile is still relatively new. And I think, you know, just pausing to really define what we want that to be at Southwest and within the Southwest business group. Um, just so that it didn't and doesn't become a catch-all. Um, I don't think, I don't think we risk that, um, today, but for a while there, you know, there was just so many things that didn't really seem to have a home. And, and so, um, you know, sales enablement and sales ops kind of can become that, um, the group that, that is responsible for those, you know, random ad hoc things. And I think we just really had to build out that roadmap, um, you know, in partnership with you, which was wonderful and then stay true to what those, um, key tenants of the plan are, uh, and, and get comfortable saying “no.” Pam Didner: Yeah, I hear you. I think you bought a very good point and you are not the only one by talking to many, uh, customers and clients. Uh, every company define sales enablement a little bit differently. Right? I remember I say it earlier, uh, in the, the industry, um, the, the convention definition tend to be sales onboarding, and sales training, but the way I see sales enablement is so much than that. And I think you take, you guys take the sales enablement to another level. It’s not just working directly with sales. You guys, also a conduit and working very closely with, uh, the marketing team within an organization. I think that is also another true essence of the sales enablement team that can offer. So I actually think that. For you on your team, trying to define what sales enablement is moving forward, so you don't take like all the requests from the sales team. I think that's very, very smart. You know, Given that you experience, uh, working with the sales team, right. And, uh, you stay very close to them and they tend to make a lot of requests. And what are some of the challenges that you encounter in terms of working with them? Emily Bendorf: Absolutely. Well, um, it's gotten a bit easier since we defined and established an intake process, so that at least if we're not able to deliver on all their requests from our team, they know that we have tracked it and logged it, and it is on record as something that we eventually want to prioritize and get to. So I will say that that has helped a lot. Um, but we have such a great sales team with so many great ideas that there are a lot of things that we just don't have the resources to build or to respond to. Um, and so I think that's probably one of the challenges we've encountered is just making sure that we deliver value to our internal customers, which is our sales organization. Um, and that even if we're not able to get them exactly what they're looking for, we can provide them with something similar that's already created or a timeline with when, um, we hope to be able to meet their needs. And I think probably the biggest requests, there is just for things that are a bit more personalized, um, for our, our external customers. Um, and so before the pandemic we were, and will at some point again, look at, um, uh, content management tool and, um, uh, plug into our CRM that will allow us to do that a bit more feasibly. Pam Didner: I think the challenge, the challenge that I do encounter is actually very consistent across many, many company, it's how to scale. It's how to scale, um, the content support, for example, uh, two different accounts. I have heard that actually from many, many clients in terms of, “Hey, what are some of the easiest way to actually scale and personalize content that sales people can actually take out and use it quickly.” Uh, to be honest with you, I don't think anybody has found an solid solution on this one yet. Even though they will create semi-standardized templates or presentation or sales collateral, it still requires some work on sale side and it's not something that they can automatically take out and use it. So the challenge that you encounter, what I'm trying to say is you are not alone. I think everybody's trying to figure it out that Holy Grail. (Pam laughs) Emily Bendorf: Yeah. Well, I hope we can, we can be one of the first to figure it out. Pam Didner: Oh, that would be great. If you do, can you just like ring me very quickly? I will love, love, love to bring you back and then share your biggest, uh, biggest secret with all us. Well, speaking of, um, you know, post-pandemic, given with the vaccination rollout of with this year and hopefully, um, that the majority of the population in the U.S will get vaccinated. And at the same time, looking ahead, what are the two things that your team is going to do in 2021 and 2022? Do you mind sharing them with them with us? Emily Bendorf: Sure. Our big focus as a company--and that definitely trickles down to our team--is a focus on getting new customers. So you may have seen in the news Southwest while other airlines are shrinking, Southwest is flying to 12 new cities. We'll be continuing to announce new cities over the coming weeks and months, and really just trying to capture travelers and, and demand where we can. And so our team is working on the right tools and the right resources and campaigns and alternative currency packages and promotions and loyalty and all of that to allow our sales team to go out and get that new business. So that's definitely a focus for us in 2021. And then a bit more tactically, we recently added Pardot to our tech stack at the end of 2020, um, which is super exciting. So we will be, um, working on a strategy for that tool and. Um, just building out a plan for how we can create a more automated, uh, campaign and email cadence for our customers that don't necessarily interact with the Southwest business account manager. Pam Didner: You know, I love, love, love the ideas that, um, you guys are rolling out new cities and new destination. And from my perspective, that's really the product offering. So you continue to update and refresh your products, and that gives, um, sales and also marketing team, something to work with and something to communicate with your customers. So your job of landing new accounts or working the B2B marketing team, and also sales team to do that, it's great. Because as long as you guys are rolling out to a new city, there's always an opportunity to bring new accounts, because that's a new product offering. So I think that's fantastic. And, uh, in addition to that, you are also having tools in place and you try to do the marketing outreach and marketing campaigns and working with a B2B marketing team to make the, a tie and the connection between the sales and marketing. Hey you all right. You know, sales enablement is definitely incredibly valuable for Southwest airlines. You guys are small and mighty indeed! Emily Bendorf: Thank you, Pam. I appreciate that. Pam Didner: So, um, any parting thoughts that you want to share with us? Like, um, you know, if anybody wants to do any kind of sales enablement, or if they are in the process supporting sales, do you have one or two kind of like, um, insight that you want to share with us? Emily Bendorf: I think business tends to think of empathy a lot of the times as more of a soft skill and, um, something that's maybe not as critical, but I think that you win a lot more friends and, um, you win more business I you consistently put yourself in the other person's shoes and deliver your pitch or your product or whatever it is that you are sharing, um, with that top of mind. And so, one thing that my team has started doing this year, um, because our internal customer is the sales team, is joining more of their meetings, their sales kickoffs, um they have weekly alignment calls. They have “wins of the week” calls where they celebrate successes. And we're very much a part of all of those, um, you know, not sharing necessarily, but just to be a fly on the wall so that we can be more empathetic of their challenges, their day-to-day priorities, and then we can layer that into how we structure our time and how we prioritize our work. And so, um, I think that that has been, um, really successful for us just to be so in tuned with what they're doing. Pam Didner: I think you brought up a very good point and I emphasize that actually, uh, in every single webinar I do, especially on sales enablement is a stay close to the sales team. And, um, be part of what they do and try to understand the challenges they encounter. And I totally agree, um, be empathetic because they, they have to meet monthly quota on regular basis. A lot of time they're mind and also their eyes are focusing on getting a customer, getting a new logo. So they are not necessary a lot of time can pay attention to how marketers feel in all, even though they really appreciate to everything we do, they don't really make an effort to say thank you. That doesn't mean that they don't appreciate you or that everything you do, it just because they are busy. Emily Bendorf: Uh huh. Pam Didner: And, uh, I do agree with you that be very empathetic about that and understand their needs and also where they come from and do what you can to support them. I really, really appreciate you share that insight. Thank you so much, Emily. Emily Bendorf: Thank you, Pam. Um, and I'd be remiss if I wouldn't be on a sales team if I didn't put a in for Southwest business and just remind our listeners that, you know, we, we offer travel solutions for companies of every size. So when people are ready to fly, we are the most reliable carrier out there. Um, and they should be choosing Southwest. Pam Didner: 100% agree with you. I fly. Yeah. I fly Southwest Airlines all the time. And, uh, yes, it's incredibly efficient. You guys, I mean, literally that you get, everybody bought it right away and you guys not waste a single minute when everybody's situated, you kind will ”Is everybody ready? Is it good? Is it good?” And then you guys like, “okay, now it's ready to go!” You don't wait. You know, it was incredibly efficient. So I really appreciate that. So thank you so much to put a plugin for Southwest Airlines, but before I let you go, I want to ask you one silly question. Okay. Did you have a ridiculous going in your life? What do you want to accomplish? Like you were like, Oh my God, this is outrageous. Emily Bendorf: I, I did have a goal, um, that I'm sad to say, I barely met. Um, but a few years ago, before my 30th birthday, I had a goal of visiting 30 countries before I was 30 years old. Um, and so… Pam Didner: That's, that's a big audacious goal. (laughs) Emily Bendorf: Yeah. I mean when you work for an airline, right? You, you, you usually love to travel and take advantage of those flight benefits. So, um, now I need a new goal, Pam. Now I'm well past 30 and, um, I need to set a new, ridiculous goal for my life that I need to get back to you on that next time I join your show. Pam Didner: I would love that. I will love to hear that from you. All right. Thank you so much, Emily, for joining me on my podcast. It's wonderful, wonderful to have you on my show and I promise you, and you will definitely come back and we'll talk a little bit more in terms of Phase Two of your sales enablement journey at Southwest Airlines. So now that's a wrap. Uh, again, thank you so much for listening to my podcast. It means a lot to me. If you can subscribe my show on your favorite channel. If you have a guest, you like me to invite, reach out to me anytime I will see what I can do. If you have any specific questions, reach out to me on any social media channel or email me email@example.com. You can also join my Facebook community, Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. I personally answer everybody's questions within my community. Okay. Again, love, love, love to hear from you. Take care. Bye.
Hey, a big hello from Portland, Oregon. Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More with Pam. I have a special guest today. Moni Oloyede. She’s Operations Manager for Fidelis Security. And this is a cyber security firm that sells cyber security and end-point solutions. So we are going to talk about our favorite topics, marketing, marketing operations, and also guess what? MarTech and how to build a MarTech stack for Account Based Marketing. So that's get started. Moni, welcome to the show! Moni Oloyede: Thanks for having me. Pam Didner: Yeah, I know that you asked me a Senior Marketing Operations Manager. And, uh, can you tell a little bit about yourself, uh, in terms of what you do and your experience. Love, love to hear that. Moni Oloyede: Absolutely. Thanks for having me appreciate it, Pam. Um, so I have been in the marketing technology space, my entire career. So almost 13 years, um, I got into it around say 2007ish, very early on in the start of the dawn of marketing technology platform. So some of the common ones you think of today are like Eloqua, Marketo, HubSpot, right? Yeah. And, and, uh, so I started at a cyber security company right out of college and they were early adopter of the platform. So they were doing a lot of like lead scoring and nurturing before that was even like coin terms. Um, so I got to learn very quickly and, uh, went on to consult, done consulting. So I got to see different environments B2B, B2C, large, medium and small. So that was a great learning for me. I did that for three years. That was awesome. And then it was just the travel. I just, I loved all my clients. It was great work I just how I was on the road all the time. So I came back in-house and more in-house marketing and just, you know, but helping companies build, you know, these marketing technology platforms. It's a very large undertaking. A lot of companies get into with the best of intentions and then I'm sure you've seen it, it just go sour at some point. So helping them get the processes right and put it on track is what I've been doing since then. Pam Didner: Awesome. Awesome. So MarTech marketing technology, stack and account-based marketing. Before we can dive that a little bit more. Can you tell us your definition of account-based marketing? Moni Oloyede: Yeah, absolutely. So this is one of my favorite things to do, too, because if you ever started a, an account based marketing strategy, just go around and ask the different people in the organization, what it means you're going to get 50,000 different answers. Pam Didner: Yep, yep. Moni Oloyede: A thousand percent. Um, so my definition starts with the definition of marketing, right? Definition marketing, simply put--communication of value. So, uh, account based marketing to me is that it's the communication of value to in-market or a target audience, basically. Pam Didner: So what do you mean by in-market? Moni Oloyede: So in-market means to meet people who you either know suspect, or have a, uh, an idea that they are actually actively looking for your products or solutions. Right. So that's the difference? In my opinion, it's just like, yes, marketing is marketing to your target market. That's part of the definition of it. But account-based is identifying those accounts or people who are actively looking to purchase something that you buy or sell. Pam Didner: Yeah. So with that being said, do you think it's important that, um, because you will, you own to identify a specific people or, uh, accounts that you need to align that with a salespeople first or your sales organization? Moni Oloyede: I think so. Definitely. That's your starting place for sure. Um, but what often happens is what sales thinks is their target is when you get into the account based marketing, you feel like you learned this, like there are other accounts that we didn't even think of that could be this, right? So that's the other thing that comes in with it. But yes, sales alignment is definitely kind of number one place to start as far as trying to get, uh, an idea of who your, your ideal customer profile is. Pam Didner: Got it. So when you tried to bill the MarTech stack, while you want to build, um, kind of like a marketing technology to support, uh, different stages of the customer engagement, many marketer's been doing the ABM for a while and, um, they are using different marketing channels, for example. Some people, are probably leveraging email campaigns and some, probably doing a lot of customer events. Do you think you can build kind of like a one MarTech stack to support all channels? And what is your, uh, point of view in terms of, um, evaluating MarTech or a different, uh, platform? What is the best way to set up kind of like a Martech stack. I know a lot of people are curious about that. And so you'll love to hear your thoughts. Moni Oloyede: Yeah. It's a great question. And I say, uh, no, you can't have one tool or technology that's gonna cover all of your channels. I actually advise you don't do that. Why do I say that? So one of the issues that marketers run into with marketing technology is they don't treat it like technology (laughs). So when you have a platform or solution, you're supposed to use that solution for what it was meant for, right? This is like technology basis, right? A lot of marketers want to get in there and start adding other features onto these technologies. And then they slow down and then they break and it does something you don't expect and you have more problems than you were expecting. So the number one thing I say is use the technology for what it was meant for, right? If you have an email marketing platform, you should be email marketing with that platform not doing lead assignment to sales. It can do that, but it's not what it was meant for. So then that's going to bog down your system and that's something you have to manage that's taking away from doing good email marketing. So that's how I, like, I just get back to the basics and simplify it. So, and then, so I guess the better question I think from, from my point of view is how do you build the stack? Right? So what pieces do you put in place in how you put it all together? So you normally start with like a main, your centerpiece kind of technology that everything's going to build around. So when a marketing— Pam Didner: So what are the centerpiece technology that everything should build around? What, what are like one or two, like centerpiece that, uh, that each company should have? Moni Oloyede: So in a marketing automation like this typical marketing tech, you think of it's your, your marketing automation platforms--this is your Eloqua and Marketo or HubSpot, that's your centerpiece. And a CRM solution this would be your Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics, something like that. And then, an account-based marketing tool would be like a Demandbase or Terminus or something like that. Can you have all three of these at the same time? Yes. But something has to be the centerpiece because you need a database of record per se, right, something that overrides something else. So that's often the organization with that. Is normally the CRM because so many people in the organization use that one tool. Um, but that's how you kind of have to start thinking about like, what's my centerpiece tool? And then what does that do? What does that purpose and then fill in the gaps with the other technologies. Because lots of people get like, um, they'll get, uh, a marketing automation platform and then like another like content platform and another like tracking platform. It's like. Well, then you have overlapping uses, right? This technology does this and this. So why do I need it's like, it's doing one thing, but I have overlapping uses for, they both do the same thing, essentially. Like a lot of technologies will send, have an email sending thing. Like I don't need four of those. I have the one. So what am I using this other tool for outside of just this? So that's how you kinda start to evaluate how to build the stack. The other thing of building a stack that you have to seriously take into consideration is who's managing it. That's the number one thing. Who's monitoring this on a day to day? Because then it's a technology. It's a evolving ,breathing thing, right, as we know. Software updates, constantly learning if it's a new feature functionality all the time. So if you don't have someone who's wanting to keep up with that and learn that I highly advise you don't get it because again, it's going to bog you down more than it's going to help you execute good marketing. Pam Didner: When you say monitoring, let me be a little bit clear. Um, Is it, somebody needs to managing it, does that mean that you have to assign the owner who actually owns that specific centerpiece? Moni Oloyede: 100% somebody has to own this because there's going to have to be decisions made around the technology that affect the entire business. So when those decisions are made, someone has to, if they fail or break or have to be updated someone, we need to look at someone who owns that and can manage that. Pam Didner: Do you think that should be part of the IT organization or should that be part of the marketing or sales organization? Of course, I'm talking about sales and the marketing tools. Moni Oloyede: Absolutely. Like that's what I mean. So if it's a marketing tool and marketers use it, marketing owns it. IT needs to be involved 100%, but this is a marketing tool used by the marketing department. So the best way-- you're going to the most you're going to get out of that tool was from a marketing standpoint. Pam Didner: Got it. Got it. That makes sense. I totally understand. And that one, another question I always, um, encounter, because I do actually work with the multiple different clients, uh, to actually help them to build MarTech stack. And the, some of them are very complicated and the stuff I'm working with them, it's only very small piece of those bigger, you know, that MarTech stack they are looking at. And I'm only focusing on one or two tools and then build a back-end integration. What I have come to realize. Is a lot of tools, especially SaaS- based platforms and because they are software and to every single tool tried to build additional features to serve their customers. So when you pick up a marketing automation tool, which is the centerpiece, then you pick a knowledge tool that you want to use safe for lead scoring. But unfortunately this company, they want to expand their product portfolio, so they build additional features that can also do the marketing automation tools that you are using. Then all of a sudden there's a, uh, there's a duplication features between those two tools. How do you make a call in terms of what features to use at what tool? That's one thing I'm always struggling. And your thought on that? Moni Oloyede: So I always go back with technology, the usage of the tool. Cause that's again, if not, if it's hard to use the tool or it's not executing properly, it's a waste. It's just a waste. So which tool is executing the best, most properly going to give us the best performance. That's what the one that we go with. So even though you may have a homegrown system that someone in there just loves to use and you know, that's their baby, if it's not performing optimally, it's wasting our time. So I try to be like unemotional about it and focus on the technology and how you are going to get the best marketing out of it, right? That's how I evaluate it. So sometimes that is the homegrown tool. Sometimes it's not, but that's how you kind of get like your emotions out of it and be more agnostic and do the best for the business. Pam Didner: Yeah. Is it so just being kind of like a devil's advocate for a minute. I 100% agree with you for both of us being, working with our internal stakeholders or my clients, for example, on setting the MarTech stack, one thing I have a hard time overcome or even help my clients overcome is it's very hard to change the behavior. You kinda allude to that, right? So they, they like to use the tool a certain way, even though it is most optimized, but it's so hard to change their behavior. Because they were like, “you know what? I just have to log in and then there's two automatically open, so I'm just using it” because they set up that way. Or they are so used to a certain kind of process that being set up 10 years ago. And now you have a new tool, you have a new process that you want them to change their behavior and they just not up for that. And I have so many issues--not issues, I have challenges, if you will--to help my clients overcome that. Do you have any suggestions in terms of how to do that? Moni Oloyede: So I'll give you two, two options. So number one is trying to upfront explain, and in a logical way, the best I can, what they're actually doing. So like, I always compare it to like Apple software updates or like new Apple phones. Like, if you want the functionality and the clear camera, then you need the iPhone 10, 11, 12. If you're on the 6, because you liked the 6, that's great but that's going to give you poor quality. It's the same kind of concept you have to give the give and take. Your comfort is sacrificing the best execution of the business, basically, you know what I mean? And then on the other end, uh, again, when like, like when interface has changed and stuff like that, like we hate it when you go from Microsoft XP to 10 to whatever the heck (Pam laughs), we hate it. But once you learn, you know, after a while, you know, a week or two and get used to it, you're fine. And it's the same thing. It's just like, they don't like change and new. It's not that it's bad or whatever. It's just, you don't like change. So I try to just calmly explain kind of like what is actually happening in that long-term they're affecting the business negatively by doing this. Pam Didner: You know what, the other thing that I do is just try to pull the cord. It’s like “you know what? That platform is going to be off. You are just going to use a new platform.” That's another, which is a very extreme way and forced them to change. But sometimes that does it, you know? Moni Oloyede: You have to sometimes because they will dig in. Absolutely. Sometimes you just have to cut it. Absolutely. Pam Didner: Yeah. And another question I would like to ask you is granted I, 100% agree with you have to know your centerpiece and then you bill your, uh, process and tools around that. And, um, another question I have is the integration. Yeah, man, I put so much time. I hated it. I have to drink. Just because of that so much time. It doesn't matter if he's API or without API; you always have to do custom coding to integrate or make two system to talk to each other. So Moni, I want to hear your experience on that. My experience has always been tough, tough, and it just, I cannot get this like two system to talk in a way that I wanted to, and always spend so much time and money on doing that. Moni Oloyede: So much. So this is one of my, like, core things about technology and kind of reiterating the points I was trying to make earlier because of this, this thing. So what is the technology for? what are you trying to get out of it? Like who's managing it? because the thing's just like this. If you haven't figured this out for your centerpiece, when you go to add technologies, you're going to exacerbate all of your problems. So the management is key. Who's managing this? Because I don't care what the integration is, how clean, how, whatever you're going to have to, at some point, go adjust something, fix something breaks something. It's just how it works. That's just technologies like cars. At some point, you're going to get a flat tire or something's going to break is just what it is. Machinery is how it works. So my biggest thing is like a lot of companies will do what I call “plan their technology for being most reliant.” Like I'm going to set up all these processes and I'm having this documentation and these rules in, you know what I mean? I'm going to set it up to the nth. So like nothing goes wrong. That never works, by the way. Pam Didner: That never works. Yeah. Something always goes wrong. Moni Oloyede: I say, set your technology up for resilience, right? Not reliance for resilience. So resilience is, if something goes wrong, we know something's about to go wrong, but we have, we can have a catch that it's not going to like break our whole system down. So that's how you got to start thinking about it. It's assume something is going wrong and then who's going to address it? So you can do this two ways. I like the preventative methods. So for all your technologies, right? all of them--especially they have integrations. I go, when I have a stack of probably I'm probably at a solid 10. I have a stack about 10 solid tools that I regularly am ? in. At some point regularly over the month, or the quarter--depending on how often I use this tool--I'm going in and checking certain indicators, right? Pam Didner: To make sure to make sure the tools are working. Moni Oloyede: Right. That’s preventative. Before something breaks. I'm already going to check in making sure da-da-da-da-duh. You have to do this. I've been doing this for 15 years. There's no other way around it. I haven't found it. Something's going to break. So you need to go in there and check on a regular basis before something does. Pam Didner: So with that being said, I have another thing I would like to ask you. So given that you've been doing, uh, marketing operations for a long period of time and dealing with, uh, technologies can you share with us like a perfect case study that you were doing either with the companies or the past experience that you launch this MarTech stack? And you can tell us a specific platform that you use and, uh, and it went very nicely. And granted, I have not encountered a situation I, I implemented them on tech stack (laughs) that's ran perfectly like run until the end. So, but it's like, it's meeting your expectation. Everything is going pretty much on schedule and it was on budget, which is unheard of as well. But anyway, can you share like a case study in terms of when you, how, what are some of the nuggets that you did very well? Moni Oloyede: So, this is also key and this is over my 15 years of learning. It's resetting expectations. Never listen to the technology company, sales person on their timeline. (Pam laughs) Ignore them completely. They’re lying. (laughs) Pam Didner: If they tell you it’s gonna be done in March, let’s bear in mind if that March 2021 on March 2022? Moni Oloyede: Seriously! 2,3 even? Seriously, throw their stuff out the window. So what you need to know is the bigger the centerpiece--so CRM is the longest marketing automation platform is the longest, so on and so forth. So it's going to take time. That's that's yeah. Sorry. You can't get away. This is the way it is. You want to have markers of progress. Right. Knock, never completion. Markers of progress. Pam Didner: It’s called job security, everybody (Moni laughs). Make sure you understand alright! That's called job security. Moni Oloyede: Facts! I also under promise over deliver. That's my motto (laughs). Pam Didner: Moni are you telling me we need to sandbag? Moni Oloyede: Just a little bit! You're gonna run into issues. The business is slow. They don't know what they're doing, especially when they're new. Right. If there's some there, these technologies are way more about business process and the technology itself, right? It's it's more of how the business is going to use it. What are they expecting out of it? Right? If they're expecting some $10 million in revenue. Well, let's see what we had to do here to like, make that happen. That's a long-term play. I also like remind people about marketing. What is marketing? Right? It's the communication of value. But over time, use any example. If there's, someone's not ready to buy your product. Okay. But what you're trying to do is trying to have enough brand impressions that when they already the purchase, whatever you're selling, you come to top of mind. That's really what your ultimate goal is really. So, you know, one of the things with technology that we've done over the last 10 years, I think that's now becoming a disservice is focusing too much on revenue and the bottom line and not enough about how to pull the right marketing levers, right? To then get your prospects to where you want them to be in the sales cycle. So we had to do a better job of that. Pam Didner: So trying to find that balance of a setting of the process up, but at the same time, still do marketing, right? Maximize your marketing efforts. Right. I hear you. Moni Oloyede: That’s what I actually try to do, Pam is like when I'm setting up these, these technologies for these organizations, I try to actually tie them to like marketing stuff. So we know that I was like, back in the day campaigns. “So let's get our first campaign out the door” and dah, dah, dah, dah. That's kinda like built over time for me to be more like, what is the messaging here? Who is our audience? What are we trying to be like, I have to go to now with these people. You think that like a lot of these organizations are there from a marketing standpoint and they're not. And they get these technologies and they hate them because they're not producing. It's like, “well, you're marketing stinks. There's nothing that's going to fix that.” Pam Didner: Yeah. True. True. I, 100% agree with you. You know, the campaigns, the content and the creative all needs to be pretty solid, pretty solid technology is important, but like there are basic elements, in terms of your creative, your content and how you do it, how do you segmentation of your customer? All that is actually all very critical. Moni Oloyede: And you can tie all of that to the platform, right? That’s Database cleanup that's database management, lead management process. Pam Didner: Oh god! Don’t talk to me about data base cleanup (Moni laughs) Look at my face. I’m crying tears in my eyes. Moni Oloyede: Yeah. I'll just say, I would say they're not independent. Right? You can tie all of these things to the performance of the tool, but we do it in my perspective is just backwards. Like we want the tool to do all this stuff. It's like, no, let's do the strategy and marketing properly and then apply that to the tool. You're gonna have a lot more success. Pam Didner: Find a balance between the technology stack and also do the marketing properly with the proper plans and the solid content and a strategy. Moni Oloyede: Win-win. Pam Didner: Very, very good. Um, this is a fantastic. Let me do a quick summary, uh, in terms of the, the wisdom you share with us. Obviously, um, Moni you talking about, uh, you need to have a key centerpiece and it doesn't matter if it’s your marketing automation tool on the marketing side or the CRM on the sales site? Know your centerpiece. And, uh, build your process and also your tool around that. And another thing is that the marketing technology, uh, implementation is never done. And granted you have a much bigger picture in terms of what you need to do. But set up the expectations and also different milestones and share that with your stakeholders. And another key thing that you share with us is somebody needs to own the tool needs to actively monitor managing, care for the tools. And then, and I think that person should also have a very good picture in terms of how different technology work together. Would you agree? Moni Oloyede: Yes. Absolutely. Pam Didner: Um, so, another key point that you mentioned about, uh, the technology usage, especially when you'll be able to process, uh, make sure that the users are actually using it and follow the process. And of course doing the right marketing and good marketing to go, uh, to compliment that. Moni Oloyede: Yes. Pam Didner: This is a great, great insight. Thank you so much for coming to my show and I would like to end with another question. So you can answer one of these two questions. What is your most useless talent? or do you have a ridiculous goal in your life that you really want to accomplish already accomplished? Moni Oloyede: I do have a ridiculous goal I want to accomplish. So, um, I am, uh, one of my passions and hobbies is weightlifting. And I want to be able to squat 500 pounds. Pam Didner: Okay. You are crazy. (Moni laughs) Go away! Don’t talk to me! (Pam laughs) 500 lbs.! Do you know how heavy that is? Moni Oloyede: I'll do. It’s crazy heavy. I'm only at 200, so I got a ways to go. Pam Didner: Oh my God. But you don't look very good. So for folks who are listening, we actually do a Zoom video recording, so I can actually see Moni. Moni looks solid. Not like me ugh. Never mind. Moni Oloyede: I can come to Oregon and get you together, Pam. No problem. (Pam laughs) Pam Didner: Fix me up! Please! So now it's 200 and you want to go to the 500 pounds. So I guess you have a routine that you actually do on a regular basis? Moni Oloyede: Yes, but by my schedule, I'm going to probably not get there till like 50 years old. I got to pick it up. Pam Didner: Well, the gyms need to open, too. I don't know about you, your area. I don't know about your areas. I mean, right now, and the time we are recording, the gyms are closed, uh, in the state of Oregon. So, and the, we just need to make sure that that's open now. It'll give me a proper excuse. So, “you know, this gyms closed… I mean…. “ Moni Oloyede: “What am I supposed to do?” Pam Didner: I cannot get to that! (both laugh) Well, thank you so much, Moni to come to my show and so happy to have you to share your wisdom and the insight. Moni Oloyede: Thank you. Pam Didner: It means a lot Moni you come to a show at the same time and people are listening. So in what means a lot to me, if you can subscribe to my show on your favorite channel. Moni Oloyede: OK. Pam Didner: Not you Moni! Everybody else. Well you can, too! (laughs) So, if you have any questions about sales and marketing, please reach out to me on any social media channels or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join my Facebook community, Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. Any kind of question you posted on that community, I will personally answer everybody's question. So that's a promise. Again, love, love, love to hear from you. Take care and bye until next time.
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More. I have a very unique guest today: Lindsay Baggett. She's a senior Field Marketing Manager from Couchbase. Lindsay will share more about what field marketing is and tips for creating a good field marketing plan. Couchbase creates the next generation of database platform that will take you… Take you to where? I don't know, you know. I'm going to have Lindsay tell me about it. So Lindsay it’s so good, so good to have you on the show! Lindsay Baggett: Thank you for having me. Pam Didner: Yeah, so I did not even finish a sentence about the Couchbase. Can you tell me a little bit about Couchbase in terms of next generation data-based platform and what it does? Lindsay Baggett: Yes, Couchbase is a NoSQL database platform. And we work with some of the largest companies, uh, large enterprise companies. I won't name them in case some of them are, uh, legally not allowed to be public, Pam Didner: Yeah, under NDA, I totally understand. Lindsay Baggett: But, um, but you probably use this every single day. Whenever you travel, whenever you use your phone, um, shopping online, all kinds of things. You probably don't even realize it. That's Couchbase. Pam Didner: Alright. So it's something that’s back-end and it makes our life easy. Lindsay Baggett: Oh yeah. Pam Didner: Can you also tell us a little bit about yourself, especially what is field marketing? Lindsay Baggett: Yeah, so I've been doing field marketing for almost, um, geez, over 10 years, 11, 12 years now. And filed marketing is, it's kind of, you think of—you know there’s lots of different aspects of marketing. I think of field marketing as like the shotgun and sometimes even sniper rifle of marketing. This goal of field marketing is to get our sales face to face with the right titles within their targeted accounts, so that they can have high level high interactions with those prospects, build their relationships and hopefully, you know, get into accounts. And also for their prospects where they already have established relationships and maybe are within the sales cycle, so marketing should be able to help them speed along that field, that sales cycle. Pam Didner: Got it. So field marketing is, um, a marketing role within the sales organization that really try to support sales so they can accelerate their conversion. And how is that different than account-based marketing or even a sales enablement or sales operations? Lindsay Baggett: Yeah, there are days where, um, it's kind of hard to distinguish field marketing from ABM or what people started saying like, “Oh, we need to start integrating more ABM tactics.” It's like, “well, wait a minute. Like, we're, we do this already.” Pam Didner: Yeah, so I'm pretty sure that's a part of your scope. Yes. (laughs) Lindsay Baggett: So while marketing is not ABM, um, we definitely utilize ABM day in and day out. It's definitely our bread and butter. Um, and also it may also depend, I guess, kind of along the lines of how mature your, your market is, how mature your, your prospects are and your relationships there. So, um, it, it delves into to sales enablement and operations as well. How well we can equip our sales teams with content and collateral tools for them to get in front of their, their prospects more effectively and increased engagement. Pam Didner: It sounds like the ABM is basically nests very nicely as a pod of your job scope. And depending on how organization is structured, you know, there are some overlapping, obviously among sales enablement, sales operation, and also field marketing. But in general, all three organizations, uh, work together collectively to support. Lindsay Baggett: Yep. Pam Didner: That's a fair statement? Lindsay Baggett: Yes. Pam Didner: Excellent. Excellent. What are some of the planning elements, uh, that should be incorporated when you create a field marketing plan? And how is that different than the overall say corporate marketing plan? Are they the same? Why are they different? Lindsay Baggett: So I think that they go hand in hand. I think like overall, the overarching plan is the marketing plan. And the field marketing plan should play alongside that. Right? Like we should be going after or strategizing with the same verticals, um, topics and that kind of thing, because you're going to be recycling a lot of content, or you want to be recycling a lot of the messaging and making sure that you're, you're sending out the same messaging at the same time. So it should be a cohesive plan. But how it differs is the field marketing plan is so much more targeted. We're not going after everybody. We're not just about brand awareness. We're about increasing engagement within our target accounts. So, um, the most important element, I would say the number one, the first thing that you should do, um, even before you start your field marketing plan is talk with your sales team and that's not just your sales rep-- Pam Didner: So true. I'm so happy you brought that up. I mean, my God, that's the most important thing to see when you want to create any kind of sales enablement, or even field marketing plans, number one, thing is talk to your sales. So true. Go ahead. Lindsay Baggett: Yeah, you can't, you can't begin anywhere unless you've talked to your sales team. So your sales reps, their BDR, SDR--whichever acronym you use--the area directors, even your VPs, what is their strategy? What are they going after? What is, how are they focusing their team? So you take their overall strategy, then you're going taking it to the rep level. You've hit. You're going to have a lot of one-on-ones and you hopefully you'll continue to have one-on-ones throughout the quarter. Um, who are their target accounts? This is the most important thing for you, too. It's tactical, but also from a planning perspective, who are their targeted accounts? Start with their top 25, top 25, top 50, and then on down that way you can prioritize, um, your activity around different accounts. If you do not know who your target accounts are, if you don't know what your sales team's tactics and strategies are for the quarter, for the year, you won't know where to begin with field marketing. So I would start there, Once you kind of get a feel for where their focus is, what verticals, um, what prospects, also where are they within these prospects? Do we need brand awareness? Are they in these accounts already? You have to understand the landscape of each rep's territory, because some reps may have an overwhelming amount of green fields or white space accounts where they don't know who your company is. Some may have very well established territories, where they have a lot of relationships with a lot of their prospects. They have a lot of customers and you're going to create tailored content and activity for them that's going to match the landscape of their, of their territory. So communicate, communicate, communicate, educate yourself as much as possible with your sales team on each of their territories. And then make sure that your ideas and everything arch back to the directors and what their strategies are for their overall team, for their particular region. Pam Didner: You mentioned about “green field.” What is that? That sounds like a very special terms. So can you explain that a little bit? Lindsay Baggett: Yeah. So depending on the sales organization, some of them we'll call them “white space accounts,” “green field territory,” and “green field accounts.” It's basically accounts that may not know who you are. We're not in there. They're not customers. They're completely brand new and maybe it's completely oblivious to your company. But they're within their target accounts. They're trying to get into, try to penetrate these accounts. Pam Didner: Understood, understood. So with that being said, I totally, I understand your point of view on I 100% agree with you that the corporate marketing tend to be like overarching marketing strategy, and then field marketing needs to compliment that and make sure that it aligned. And that's where you, you know, from corporate marketing, that's where you get the messaging. And that's why you get some of the support, as well, in terms of doing field marketing. You mentioned about fuel marketing is really very much account specific centric. That makes me think field marketing is very hard to scale. I mean, Lindsay, you are one person that's assumed you actually have a big team. That's only so many accounts that you can support. So what is the biggest drawback in terms of field marketing, especially in trends of a scalability? Lindsay Baggett: Yeah, so scalability is, is definitely a challenge. Um, I think that this is where we as field marketers are-- I mean, everyone we're all trying to do more, right? Every single day, we have to do more— Pam Didner: With less, I know. Uh-huh. Lindsay Baggett: The biggest, I think the biggest challenge is scalability. And, um, one thing that I do to, um, kind of help scale the activity is basically create a menu of activities that would be appropriate for different levels of engagement. So if you put your reps that have very green field territories, they're going to have more activities that are more around just brand awareness, maybe relying on third parties, um, things that are going to help increase awareness, increase engagement, and just get their foot in the door or, or get the notoriety that people may even answer an email. That's your goal. Then for those where they have maybe more mature of territories, where they have a lot of customers, they have a lot of relationships with their target prospects, um, you can have more hosted, networking, engaging high level high interaction, um, networking events where they're just establishing, um, or progressing their relationship within those accounts. Um, and so it was like create different buckets, essentially for the different personas and for the, um, different, um, maturity levels of each territory. Pam Didner: That makes a lot of sense. So it's basically, you have to find a balance between like very, very tailored type of, uh, support, uh, to a very standardized support. And the field marketing really depends on, obviously the level of the accounts, uh, that sales are engaging with them and also depending on different stage. You need to somehow find a balance. You cannot do 100% customize and tailor engagement all the time, but you cannot standardize everything that to the point that you cannot differentiate in terms of why you do for different accounts. So you need to find somehow that balance and create kind of, you know, ala carte type of menu and you as a team, you as a, uh, as an individual or as a, a team of the field marketers know how to engage and to support as many accounts as possible. Lindsay Baggett: I think a good analogy would be, um, almost like a prescription, right? You're the doctor, they’re the patient. They come to you and say, “Hey, here are all of my symptoms,” right? “These are my target accounts. These are the challenges that I'm having with them.” And then based on that, you can create, you know, once you've interviewed all of your, uh, your rep, we have different ideas too, for activities to address the different levels. And then from there, you can prescribe, essentially, an activity or activities, a sequence of activities for those particular symptoms for their situation. Pam Didner: That makes sense. That makes sense. And addition to the marketing team and the sales organization, are there any stakeholders that you need to work very closely to get your plan completed and approved? Lindsay Baggett: Yes. Pam Didner: Who are they? Lindsay Baggett: So I think the most important stakeholders are always going to be your sales organization, your sales team. Especially your number one stakeholder is your sales rep. Because you cannot do any activity without 100%. Buy-in from your sales rep. If they are not 100% committed (laughs) Pam Didner: So true! Amen to that! You know marketers can do whatever they want. Sales, if they’re not bought into it. Forget it. Don't support sales, period. They have to buy into it before you do anything. I'm 100% agree with that statement. I learned that the hard way (laughs). Lindsay Baggett: “Oh, I’m Marketing! I’ll just be able them this on a silver platter. They're going to have all these prospects there and it's going to be amazing.” At the end of the day, you are marketing, they are sales. They own the relationships with their prospects and I speak of it as it's my job to create the watering hole, right. “I build the watering hole. It's your job to get your prospects to the watering hole, and then hopefully it's your job to get them to drink it. It's not my job to get your prospects to drink water. I just built the watering hole.” So like, while obviously we do provide air cover, we're going to market it and everything else are going to try and make it as appealing of a waterhole as humanly possible, but it's (Pam laughs) their job to get them to the watering hole. (laughs) Pam Didner: So with that being said, what are some of the top challenges if someone wants to be a field marketer, what would be your advice? Lindsay Baggett: Scaling is a huge, huge challenge because I would say nine times out of 10 or 11 times out of 10, your sales organization is going to grow at a much more rapid pace than your field marketing organization. And what does that mean? That means that you're going to be handling a lot more reps very, very quickly, and that's going to grow very, very quickly. And so you're going to have to find ways to standardize your practices, the types of events. You're going to have to get really good at diagnosing what types of activities need to happen for different territories and different levels of, of activity? Um, so scaling number one, number one challenge, I would say. Um, especially when you have a rapidly growing company, especially in the high tech space, you know, they're, they're growing, you know, 60, 100%, 200% year over year. Um, it's an exciting space, but it's, it's fast paced. The other thing is I think, um, really taking the time to establish the relationships, build relationships with your sales organization, with your reps, with your area directors. They should feel like you are, um, as close to them as their sales development rep, you know, the people that are helping them, you know, make the calls and cold call and make meetings and prospecting, they should feel as close to you, I think as they do with, um, their SDR, their BDR. Um, and what that will do for you is, is not only be able to be more effective because your sales team will be on board with your activity, your, your activities with them be more successful. So I think that's, that's the number one challenge to get successful at your team is how well is your sales team driving traffic, attendance to your activity. And if they're not, they're not engaged because they don't have that relationship. And then you won't be successful. Pam Didner: So, you know, do you actually have any parting thoughts that you want to share with anybody in terms of if that they are supporting the field, uh, the field or the sales team, or even channel partners for that matter, that, uh, any thought that you want to share with them in terms of being, uh, as a field marketer in the past 10, 11 years? Lindsay Baggett: Yes. So I would say, um, I think it's easy to feel invisible as a field marketer, right? It's like you see all of your sales team going to President's Club and being able to party in the tropics and you're sitting back thinking like, “I hope against those deals!” (laughs) Pam Didner: “I mean, I’m doing all the work! (laughs) They get all the glory. What the hell? Lindsay Baggett: It’s not that they get all the glory. You know, obviously it's like we, I created the watering hole and I feel like we have-- I think it to be intrinsically motivated. I think the most thing is like, don't lose heart. It can be so hard. Right? It's like you take out, let's take a networking event, for example, right? Pre COVID (laughs). Pam Didner: I hear you. I get it. Lindsay Baggett: Because in person, it stings a little bit more when no one shows up or when you have a very bad turnout, like we all have those days. Um, and I think that it hurts it stings. I see you. I feel it. I feel your pain. It's like, no one's showing up to your birthday party when you were a little kid, but. Refine, refine, refine. Always have that follow-up. Always have the debrief. “What went wrong? What could we have done better? What do we think happened here?” You know, and not, and it's not, don't do it in a silo. Don't do it in a vacuum. Ask your sales team. Work with your other field marketing counterparts. Hopefully you're not the only one (laughs) right? And collaborate. And I think it's always, um, I think it's so easy, especially when you're feeling markings, not scaling as fast as sales to really just get, get bogged down in the day-to-day and, and, you know, it can feel very hand-to-mouth. But look up, find education, collaborate, ask for help, talk to people that are even in marketing. They may have some amazing ideas and talk to the people. Here's one more thing. Talk to the people that are in your target demographic for who you're marketing to, because I've been in the high-tech space for a long time. I am not my target demographic. Do not be a one person focus group. If you think like, “Oh, this would be so amazing! We could do custom handbag!” Guess what? Software engineers and enterprise architects? Not interested! Pam Didner: They don’t want custom handbags! (both laugh) Lindsay Baggett: That’s what I think would be an amazing event! So I think don't be a silo. Don't be a vacuum. Ask for help, collaborate. And really, really think about your target demographic. And talk to those people, get in front of those people. Um, especially when you're at one, you know, we're in-person and you're there you're onsite at an event. Talk to them. It's like, “Oh, what are you guys doing? What are some exciting things that are happening in the industry?” And they may talk to you about some of the exciting things that maybe a partner or a competitor is doing. And then maybe you can take it and make it even better. So always just to be on the lookout to for new, fresh ideas and creative content. Pam Didner: Yeah, I love it. I love it. Thank you so much for sharing your insight, Lindsay. So, um, I'm going to ask you a silly question. So now, too, and you can choose one to answer. Number one. What is your most useless talent? Like literally a talent that you have, and everybody was like, what? Now the question is, do you have a ridiculous goal in your life? Lindsay Baggett: Oh, well, I can answer both of those questions. I've got lots of ridiculous goals. Just asked my husband. So my most useless talent and it's one. I'm not sure if I'm proud of, but I have a lot of fun with it is I don't know if you're familiar with the card game Speed or California Speed? Pam Didner: No, I'm not. Lindsay Baggett: It's a card game where you're you, it's like there's two cards face up and it's, it's a two player game. It's very face to face. And, um, and you lay down cars and like sequential order as fast as possible. So you don't have any cards left. I am so amazingly good at this game that no one will play with me anymore! Like if there's like family holidays and the kids are like, “let's play speed” and I'll be like, “okay, I'll play” and I don’t let them win. Pam Didner: They're like, uh, ”no, you're not allowed to join us!” Lindsay Baggett: And then all the adults, all my brothers, all my, you know, my older nieces and my husband, no one. No one is willing to play with me because they know they're like, “no, there's just no point I'm going to lose.” And so, um, that's a useless talent I have. It's been like that since middle school or high school (laughs). Pam Didner: I know any listeners out there can would like to challenge you and California. Yeah. All right. You know why you guys can do it probably on Zoom together. I know I'm speaking on Lindsey's behalf. If you want to challenge Lindsey, reach out any time. (laughs) Lindsay Baggett: Yes, I would love, I would just love to play again. No, one's played with me for years. And as far as the ridiculous goal, um, I mean, maybe it's not ridiculous, but it's, I'll say a bucket list thing. I would love to challenge myself and not only live in a foreign country with my kids. I want them to experience living, not just visiting in a foreign country, but to be able to, um, be a field marketing manager or director in a foreign country, you know, with, uh, whether it's Europe, APAC. That a ridiculous goal. Um, if you were to ask anyone around me, but at the stretch goal and. You know, I think it's a unique market. So while I've done it from afar, I would love to be able to do it like within region. That's, that's a bucket list for me. Pam Didner: You know what now we are talking and that just put you a wish out there. And the universe is listening. So if anybody is listening, someone will like to actually be stationed in Asia, Pacific or EMEA. You know what looked out for Lindsay. All right, everybody. Excellent. This is a great, great conversation. Thank you so much for joining me. It’s wonderful to have you. So again, thank you for listening to my podcast. It means a lot to me. If you can subscribe my show on your favorite listening channel. If you have a guest that you would like me to invite or interview, please reach out and send me a quick email. Love to do that. If you have any questions, please reach out on any social media channels or email me hello@ pamdidner.com. You can also join my Facebook community Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. That's how Lindsay and I got to know each other. And as she is part of the, uh, the community member and she asks such an insightful question about field marketing, and I thought, you know what? I am going to invite Lindsay to my podcast. So, uh, in that community, I personally answer everyone's questions. So if you have any specific questions, I will definitely take care of that. Again, love, love, love to hear from you. Take care. Bye until next time.
A big hello from Portland, Oregon. Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More. Today I have an extraordinary guest, Joe Pulizzi, the godfather of Content Marketing, he began using the term “content marketing” back in 2001. Joe started a business in 2007, and that became the Content Marketing Institute. Probably best known for the event Content Marketing World that began in 2011. Now he is a co-founder and board member of the Orange Effect Foundation, which helps deliver funds to children with speech therapy needs and speech disorder who can't afford it. He is an entrepreneur, investor and marketing speaker. Also, Joe wrote and published several books: Content Inc., Killing Marketing, Epic Content Marketing, a novel The Will to Die, and Corona Marketing ebook. In this episode of B2B Marketing and More, we will talk about content marketing for startups. In this episode: What is Corona Marketing ebook about? What marketers need to do or how can they think differently in a changing business environment? In what ways Covid changed content marketing and strategy? What are the content strategy lessons for Startups? How can startups marketers make the adjustment and focus on the right content? How to build a minimum viable audience first, keep the focus, and when is the right time to diversify? What should be the startup team structure that wants to build a content marketing machine? How can startups with small or no budget build their audience? What is the future of content marketing, and what is the role of technology? Quotes from the episode: "We've got to start actually doing strategy when it comes to content creation and communication. The strategy is all about saying "no" to things and saying "yes" to a few things and then creating really good organized plans around those couple of yeses." "I'd rather have 10,000 email subscribers than 200,000 followers on Facebook. Not all followers are equal, so you have to make a decision. " ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me email@example.com. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
A big hello from Portland, Oregon! Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More with Pam! Today, my guest is Douglas Burdett, the host of the Marketing Book Podcast, and the Principal of Artillery Marketing, who will share tips and insight about a do’s and don’ts of a successful podcast. Douglas has been doing his podcast for six years. So far he has over 300 episodes. His marketing agency helps industrial and manufacturing companies to become better known, liked and trusted in an era when their customers don’t want to be sold or marketed to. In this episode: How to start the process of podcasting journey and how to generate ideas? What role does a podcast play in business development? Who should do a podcast, and what should be accomplished? How to measure a podcast’s success and how to determine if you want to measure it or not? What are the top three things that one must do when launching a podcast? What people have to do keep the focus on the podcast topic, and why is that important? How to promote a podcast, and how to get more listeners? What elements should people look for ahead of the time to refine and change the podcast? Quotes from the episode: “Podcasts are a great awareness building medium, but they are being misused a lot like a direct response. Don’t worry about your audience size. You don’t need everybody. You need the right audience.” “Once you’ve published an interview much like publishing a blog post, that is not the finish line. That is the starting gun.” ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
A big hello and welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing and More. I have a fantastic guest this time, Christoph Trappe from Voxpopme, a video feedback platform for companies. Today he’s going to talk about content performing culture. Christoph Trappe is a content strategist. In his role, Christoph develops, implements and measures the omnichannel content strategy including live video, podcasting, content development, SEO and conversion-flow optimization. He also has his podcast, and live stream. In this episode: What content performance culture is and how is that important? What are some of the barriers to create the right culture and create the performing content? If a business has to put the content performance team together, what kind of talent do they have to look for? How to decide what’s more important in the battle of quality vs quantity? In what ways setting up the right content culture apply to small businesses and enterprises? How to educate and set up the process that people can follow? How to build the culture that people can embrace? Quotes from the episode: “The reality is everybody wants everything to perform. So we, first of all, have to understand what does that mean? But most importantly, we have to set up the right culture.” “At the end of the day, you want to have the right people in the right seats with the right skill set and the right attitude and the right mindset. A big part of driving content performance comes back to having the right, the right attitude.” ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me email@example.com. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Hey, big hello from Portland, Oregon. Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing and More. I have a special guest today who will talk about collaboration. John Moore is “The Collaborator” and he is the VP of Revenue Enablement at Bigtincan, a sales enablement automation company. Yay! Welcome John. Thank you so much for coming to my show. It's fantastic to have you! John M: Hey, it is awesome to be here, Pam. I'm so excited. One of my bucket list items. I'm nearing the end of my bucket list. Yay! Pam D: Oh my God. John, you just made my day. (John laughs) So I want you to introduce yourself. Obviously. I mentioned about you in terms of Magellan, the collaborator, which is that you actually put that prominently--loud and clear--on your LinkedIn profile, right? And that's truly unique, but before we get to that, why you make that decision, a quick intro about yourself and the, what you do. John M: So I'm currently the VP of Revenue Enablement at a company called Big Tin Can. We’re a sales enablement automation company. Pam D: Is that company based in Australia? John M: Yes in Sydney, Australia and Waltham, Massachusetts and Glasgow, Scotland. But yeah, we have our headquarters in Sydney. Pam D: So you are always on the sales enablement space for the company, or, um, what else do you do? John M: So, so for me, so I'm run our internal revenue enablement practice. And what that really means is making sure that all of our sellers, all of our customer success, anybody who's talking to a customer is prepared to have a great conversation that delivers value to the prospect of the customer. Because at the end of the day, there's nothing worse than we've all had the experience where you pick up the phone let's say, you're, you're working with a cable company (that we shall not name, we shall not name) and you pick up the phone and they don't know what the heck they're talking about. And you keep repeating. Nobody likes those horrible experiences. So yeah, so my team is responsible for making sure that you get a great experience--that we are helpful to help you understand your problems, solve your problem. And if you don't buy with us, that's okay. At the very least, hopefully you're better informed, better prepared for solving a problem with whoever you're gonna from. So our goal is to make sure that you have a successful set of conversations and learn something and hopefully buy from us. I mean, let's be honest. We want you to buy from us, but, but the goal is to be helpful first and add value. Pam D: And, uh, so collaborate and the collaborator, and you say you are John and the collaborator. So can you elaborate a little bit more and do you, are you talking about elaborating with your sales team? with your customers? And is there any specific, you know, people that you go after in terms of sharing or communicating that message or that title? John M: So I started off by thinking John the Baptist, but that was taken! (Pam laughs) So you know just kidding, just kidding. So for enablement to be successful in my opinion, Pam, you have to collaborate wide and far, far and wide. So revenue enablement's about preparing the entire revenue facing team to be successful, which, which requires a lot of collaboration between marketing sales, customer success. But more broadly, you also have to collaborate well with product marketing, with engineering, in some cases, finance. And what you start to find out, do this intense collaborative effort, um, is you start to uncover both gems in the business like, “Oh crap, I didn't know this team was doing that. Why aren't we doing this over there?” You also start to uncover pain points in your own process and in the organization, whether it's duplicate effort or simply, you know, you're doing something so inefficient that this team can help you with. So enablement to be successful is kind of at the hub at the center point of the business for it to be successful. So for me, the key has always been about collaboration. I started my career, um, and then builds on this point. So I'll take you back 30 years. I started my career as an engineer. I Lotus development working on Lotus 123 for DOS. Pam D: The saddest part is I actually know what that is (laughs). John M: I know! You’ve heard stories. Then I worked on Lotus notes, which was as good and as bad as it was, was an entirely platform built on enterprise level collaboration; At the end of the day, that's what it was. So collaboration has always interested me. The collaborator really represents my vision for how enablement has to be done, done well, is unique. I also tend to think thought leadership is such an overrated concept and not to knock anybody who considers themselves a thought leader. Many people know their stuff in know it well. But there's so many self-proclaimed “thought leaders” that don't know crap. Honestly. So I tend to, sorry. I tend to beat up on the full thought leadership thing. So I said, “I want to brand myself as something that resonates with what I think is important--“collaborator”--and that doesn't talk about thought leadership, because to me, I'm trying to bring people together inside and outside the company. So the other half of the reason for the collaborator, Pam, as it revenue generation team--sales, marketing, customer success--we can learn a hell of a lot from each other. So the other part of my mission is to really bring people together, to share their insights that they can share with the community, catalog that and make it something that people can learn from one another. Not simply one thought leader in a corner, but from the community sort of collaborate to raise up people, the knowledge, the insights, and really put a spotlight on the people doing really good stuff. That's the reason for “The Collaborator.” Pam D: So can I be a devil's advocate for a second? John M: Of course you can! Pam D: Obviously, I, I agree with you 100%. And uh, most of the time when I get any kind of campaigns done or any projects done, it’s definitely a team collaboration. But from time to time, it will end up having too many cooks in the kitchen. John M: Oh, yeah. Pam D: And then, uh, the decisions are not made. Or the decision is delayed or the decision becomes a very much consensus or committee driven and it may not turn out to be a great decision. And how do you overcome that? And what is your point of view? John M: Well, my point of view is that collaboration means you get to share insight and input into the process. You may or may not get a vote in actually what's being done. So for me, collaboration is about, let's take a simple example. We're trying to make sure that a seller can have a great conversation, move the prospect through the funnel. So they'd buy something, right? That's a simple, simple example. Well, if we simply went off and created content and training for the sellers and didn't talk to the sellers about what problems they were having and what they actually needed, we'd fail. If we didn't talk to the marketing team to understand what are the higher level objectives that they're trying to accomplish? What messaging are they kind of drive and make sure that we align it together? Then again, we're going to miss the mark there. As a business, you want a really cohesive message going out to the field. So we have to be talking to marketing, we have to be talking to sales--or the sales leaders--to understand what their priorities are. Because maybe we're getting asked for this one pager by five sellers and we think that's the priority. But the reality is the sales leader says, “no, I don't care about those deals. This is the opportunity that I need help with. Can you do something entirely different?” So it's about having all of those conversations and open dialogues across the team to get input. But then you have to make the decisions usually in coordination with the leader-- whether it's a sales leader or the CRO, in an ideal case--about what the true priorities are. So collaboration, again, you get input, but it doesn't mean you get a vote and it doesn't mean you can actually say “this is what we're going to do.” Pam D: I think what you are saying is actually very clear in terms of during the collaboration environment, everybody can have input. But I mean, all of the team members also need to understand who is the decision maker. We call that “the D” you know. That person is going to make the call and the not everybody's input is going to be, uh, incorporated. Sometimes we have to make a hard decision and that's just the way it is. John M: Yeah, the reality is if you look at an organization with the chief revenue officer, they're the one who talks to the board. They're on the line. They're the one that has to make that decision. They want to gather all the input. Enablement plays a key role in facilitating that discovery and collaboration, and then they need to make the decision on what the priorities are and help the business move forward. Pam D: Got it. And have you encountered a situation that you it's a big initiative and you want to tackle a key strategic account and to do that as a part of net new. And, um, there's marketing involved, there is a sales operation involved. There's everybody is involved. Everybody is like, “okay, we need to do this.” And how do you, what are some of the challenges you run into when you are driving a biggest initiative or try to tackle the biggest account and everybody's on deck and everybody's working toward that, but there's so many people involved. (John laughs) How do you take charge of that? And to make sure that, you know, we all going to a right direction. I know it's pretty hard. I have my own thought, but I want to hear your point of view. John M: Yeah, my point of view it is simply that we all need to first align and understand what the objective is. What's the goal. Pam D: Yes! I love that! John M: Yes! Right Pam D: That’ll get you to first base. Now what’s next? (laughs) John M: I'm getting up to bat Pam. I'm ready. Okay. So I'll give you, I'll give you a real example of something I'm working on right now, collectively collaboratively with the team. So we have, and I'll just simplify it. We have one customer, one prospect that we would love to close this quarter. They've done a lot of analysis on this customer and they help along with the sales team they agreed that this was a ideal customer that they want to close. Yeah. We're involved in that conversation or that collaboration. They're analyzing the data on the marketing side. They're taking a look at how it fits with other customers we service before. They've taken a look at, you know, what's on their quarterly reports in terms of areas that they're looking for. All that good stuff. Pam D: Yeah. You're doing a lot of firmographics, technographics type analysis. Yes. John M: Yeah. So I think in great, we're going to know, get that customer. That's going to be a logo for us this quarter. So all of that collaboration is taking place and over here, you know, you have to coordinate them with the SDR team on, “okay, when we want to start doing the outreach First off, we need to agree we want to get this customer, how are we going to go about it? And usually what we do and what will you do 99% of the time--and we should do it a hundred percent--is we then work back from the goal through the steps, just so the team understands it. And it's a really ugly manual process, but I'll tell you if it works. So, you know, ultimately we've worked back to what's the messaging that the SDR team has gonna do? Pam D: Oh, messaging, uh, music to my ears. John M: Yeah. I have to go back to the SDR. You have to go back to, “okay do we, are we building an event this quarter or a webinar or something that's really timely. That's going to help us add more value so they show up and give us more right to talk to them? So, you know, it's marketing and the event team working on creating that. It's the messaging for the SDRs. It's, it's even on the website for this particular customer, it's like, well, are we talking about ourselves correctly? So that when they come to us as part of our messaging and outreach, or when we see them doing a search for “X,” we're going to show up and be there. So it's about bringing this whole picture together and saying, “if we do all of these activities in a collaborative, united way, do we have the best chance possible of getting this, this customer on board? Yeah. That's a 30 second-- no, it was probably 30 minutes-- I talked, but you know, I mean, that's the short answer. Pam D: It’s a 30 second answer, but it's six months of planning and execution. John M: Yeah. Yeah. It really is. It really is. But it's so I loved your reaction to the goal. Yeah. So often we forget that. And that's the thing that drives me crazy. Pam D: I 100% agree with you. What is the goal we want to accomplish? What is the objective? And the goal and objective on not necessarily the same thing. John M: Exactly. Pam D: They reach the same destination, but you know, objective objective is what do we want to accomplish? A lot of times, like building the relationship with our clients, that's objective. But achieve the $50 million revenue is a goal, right? But there are things that we need to do to get to that goal. But at the same time, there are things we need to do to achieve that objective may not want hundred percent align to the goal we wanted to go. John M: Absolutely. It's such a fun kind of project. Pam D: I know you mentioned about the, um, messaging and, and talking point. So I, uh, I'm, I'm a proponent of the messaging framework and I feel, I firmly believe that, uh, if we sell a product, you need to actually have a baseline. That baseline is what you want to say about your product. John M: Yes. Pam D: And I also believe the consistency in terms of why you need to say about that product. They also are three things we want to talk about. Let's make sure we dial up the three things. And with that you said, I ran into challenges with sales from time to time because they are different talking points they want to dial up and dial down. And how do you, um, really work with the sales team to maintain that consistency of the talking points yet at the same time, tailored it for different accounts? I found that, uh, difficult to do. John M: It's hard. And it's imperfect and we're far from having it nailed. Let's be honest, Pam. But what we have done and continue to do-- so we have a messaging framework. We built a messaging framework. We built a clear discovery process for the sales team to use based upon that framework. It guides how we write our blogs, how we do our marketing site, the whole, the whole thing, the whole enchilada. But the reality is you then, and I'll just take the simple example of the seller. Yeah. You if you take that messaging framework and I'll use us, you know, so we sell the multiple verticals. We sell into retail and life sciences, manufacturing, and so on and so forth. So those key message within the framework will have different weights of importance within each vertical. Pam D: I, that I, 100% agree. You, you, the, the, the change that actually for vertical, I get it. But it's very hard to scale to change that to different accounts. That to me, that’s another level. John M: Yeah. And I would say we're not 100% there yet. What we do so is leveraging our products. We have a document automation tool that allows us to use a whole lot of data to create a very customized account-specific messaging deck. But the reality is it's really good and it saves a lot of time, but you still need the seller to go in and tweak it. And that's what things can go off the rails. Honestly! Pam D: I want no, no, no. I mean, I would 100% agree with you (laughs). John M: You know, Sally may do a great job, but, but Bill may always throw in something that you just go “Bill. Why, why did you do that?” And the reality is, I don't know how you solve that. I don't know how you solve the Bill problem, meaning you give them the best possible, but the reality is we both know you still need to customize it a little bit more. Pam D: I don't have answer for this because I'm struggling with that when I supporting my sales team. They always want to customize the messaging actually for different accounts. And to be honest with you, there are times I 100% agree with it and sometimes was like, “really? You really don't need to do that.” But again, I'm not a sales person, right. I'm supporting the sales, so I want to make sure-- they know their clients, their accounts so much better than me. So I trust the instinct and I trust the direction they want to take. I have to, they all my sales team. But I don't have answer for that either, to be honest with you. I thought maybe you have some Holy Grail (laughs) you could share with us. John M: No, and you know, some of it is some of it, and this is not a perfect answer that we've tried. It depends on the success rate of the seller. There are some sellers that I really do understand their prospects and their customers better than we ever will. And you have to give them more leeway. There's other sellers that think they do, but their numbers and their batting average shows, they don't. So you don't give them the same right and you say “no soup for you just use what we give you.” Um, and that's not a perfect answer, Pam, either. It’s really not. Pam D: Yeah, I know. I know. I understand. We all humans, we deal with humans. You have to always except? “We do this, except.” There's always on that, “We do this, but…” Yeah, there's always exceptions. John M: Yeah, exactly. And I think it also, you have to on some types of content-- when we're talking about personalization--you simply have to say “you can't personalize it.” There are some types you can't. And there's some types where you have to say, “you know what, this needs to be personalizable. We use our tools, whether it's our document automation or other tools as part of our product to support that, but some of the things that we're able to do is lock in the messaging. So you can customize it to one of 10 approved messages.” And sometimes that works, but you always have the salespeople understandably that say, “but I need get 11th message.” (laughs) Yeah, I know. So there is no perfect answer. At least not that I’ve run into. Pam D: (sighs) Yeah. So very, very good. Um, any other additional insight in terms of a collaboration that you want to share with us and our listeners? John M: No, I the thing I, uh, that I think is important. You touched upon Pam. It's really easy to get to the point where you're like the U S Congress and you don't do anything. You don't want to be that collaborative. Um, but you do, you do want to be open and take input from people. It validates them as human beings, as part of the company, as part of the business. You will learn a lot. And you also get the morale boost, I think is big too. You just have to position it properly and then that's it. Pam D: Got it. Very nice. I'm going to ask one silly question. What is the most useless talent--you know, you are talented--but what is the most useless telling you have? John M: I used to be a fairly double jointed in my, in my elbows, and then I would freak people out with that. That's pretty useless. (Pam laughs) Um, I also, I consider myself-- I've been married for nearly 30 years and I have two grown daughters--I also feel like I'm pretty good at bad dad jokes. That's not a talent, though. Pam D: That's truly useless. I agree. John M: That’s truly useless! Nobody's ever wanted it. Pam D: I was like, “yeah, that's truly useless, John.” John M: I send a dad joke to my kids every day. And every day they go, “Oh… why? Why?” Pam D: “Seriously again! Dad you're like killing me!” John M: But I found a trick here. Pam, my oldest, they both have long-term boyfriends. And my oldest is dating someone who her boyfriend loves dad jokes. So he will send them back. I'm training the next generation for useless behavior. (laughs) Pam D: Way to go! (laughs) All right. Very, very good. Hey, so John, please tell our listeners where they can find you and what you can do to help them? John M: You know, um, you can find me on LinkedIn. You can find me on Twitter. You can find me almost any place. But the best places LinkedIn, simply look for “The Collaborator” I'm there. Uh, that's easy to find search term, there is no other, um, which is a good thing because my mother told me one was plenty. So there's only one of me. So just look for The Collaborator. And look, if you have any questions about enablement, in general, uh, you know, I'm always happy to get on the phone and just have a chat and see how I can help you out. Pam D: Very good. And thank you so much, John, for coming to my show. Really, really appreciate it and share your insight in terms of collaboration. John M: Thanks, Pam. It was fun. Pam D: Again, thank you so much for listening to my podcast. Podcasting is one-way communication. I don't know who you are, but your support means a great, great deal to me. ________________________________________________________ If you want to chat, reach out to me on any social media channels. You can also join my Facebook community, Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. And when you join, you can get a free tall Starbucks, on me. I place a gift card with a barcode in the Announcement tab. Again, love to hear from you. Take care.
A big, hello from Portland, Oregon. Yay! Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing and More. I have a fantastic guest today. Brooke Sellas. Welcome, Brook. Brook is a customer care expert, ‘Marketing Companion’ podcast co-host, horse and a dog mom. She is also a founder and CEO of B Squared Media. The company specialize in social media, media buy, and the key topic that we talk about today – customer care and social media. In this episode: Best Practice: Which brands are doing a great job on social media. What is the ideal response time to customers on social media and how that changes if a business has office hours? What makes taking care of a virtual customer support center expensive? Is there a specific channel that every business should be on? What is the role of customer support on social media? What are the platforms that businesses could use to complement or support customer care? How can businesses measure customer care on social media? Is there a difference between business and customers key performance indicators? How can businesses work with their customers’ internal teams? What are some of the best ways to deal with negative comments on social media? When do you hide? When do you ignore and when do you ban or mute someone? Chatbots as part of customer care and customer service. Quotes from the episode: “I want people to stop thinking about customer care as a cost center and think about it as the literal spine of your business; you cannot have a business without customers.” “Some of the more nuanced KPIs on our side and also on the client-side is sentiment. Are the conversations good, neutral, are they bad? And then also share of voice; looking at our competitors and understanding our share of voice.” ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Hey, big hello from Portland, Oregon. Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing and More with Pam. I have a very special guest today, Paul Roetzer, founder of the Marketing AI Institute and the PR2020. And he recently launched a very nice product. I want to get into that and we'll talk more about our favorite topic, Artificial Intelligence. Pam Didner: Alright, Paul, so happy to have you on my show. So tell me what's going on. Yeah, it's always very, very happy to see you. Paul Roetzer: Good to see you. What's going on? We're all sitting in our houses, in our offices. We're trying to get human interaction through Zoom. That's pretty much what's going on. I mean, it's, I don't remember the last time we were together, but it's been too long in- person. Pam Didner: It’s been awhile, definitely. It has been. Paul Roetzer: We've been able to connect a couple, a couple of times on Zoom, luckily over the last few months, but yeah, it's just not the same is it (laughs). Pam Didner: Yes. Yes. I can't wait--I don't know when this will be over—that we have a chance to see each other at the conferences again, but I noticed that you have been quite busy and you actually launch a new product. It's called the AI Academy for Marketers. How is that different than say the AI Marketing Institute/PR 2020? Paul Roetzer: Yeah, so the Marketing AI Institute is the business. So I, I spun it off out of PR 2020. So PR 2020 is my marketing agency. Some people may recognize that brand because we were HubSpot's first partner back in 2007. So my marketing agency is actually 15 years old next week. Pam Didner: Oh wow, amazing. Yay! So 15 years, I think that's a massive and major milestone. Paul Roetzer: Yeah, we'll do some social distance drinking. And, um, out of that agency, in 2016, we created a blog called marketing AI Institute, and we just started writing about AI. And the idea was if other people are interested in it also, we'll turn it into a business. And so fast forward to 2018, we had about 5,000 subscribers to that blog. Based on that growth and based on some prompting from you. You, I believe we were at, uh, where the Content Tech. I think maybe in like March of that year? Pam Didner: Yeah, I think it's 2017. Paul Roetzer: Right. Okay. And I won't use the exact language was something like “Paul, you have an event business”--with a couple other words in there. (Pam laughs) Pam Didner: Yeah, I think I was cursing too (laughs)! Paul Roetzer: Yeah, so you were prompting me, “you should really think about turning this into event business so that we actually did. So in 2019, we took Marketing AI Institute made it a separate business. And then we launched the Marketing AI conference, which, you know, you're familiar with in July of 2019. And then 2020 would have been year two of that conference, which is the main piece of marketing AI Institute. The plan was to introduce online education on day two. So on my day two keynote, I was going to go up on stage and say “thanks for being here” to these 500 people. You can now learn year round through our online Academy.” Well, when we had to cancel the conference in March of 2020, we realized like, “okay, we should probably go ahead and introduce the online education play anyway.” And so that's what we did. So we, what we wanted to do is our whole mission at the Institute is to make AI approachable and actionable to marketers around the world. By going to online education, we also made it accessible. And so the idea was matter who you are, where you are around the world we wanted it to make it easy for you to learn about AI so you could apply it to your business. Pam Didner: When I was meeting with you in back in 2017, we have that great conversation. I'm pretty sure I was interviewing for my book at that time. Right, I was publishing my second book, Effective Sales Enablement, and it has one specific chapter about technology and artificial intelligence, so thank you so much for your insight. Paul Roetzer: Thank YOU. Your words always stuck with me. Pam Didner: So, can I take you back, way back? How did you get interested in AI to start with. There’s got to be like a tipping point or a point that you were like, “okay, this is something that is going to have a big impact in any field sales or marketing or, you know, even our daily lives.” When did you get started interested in that specific topic? Paul Roetzer: 2011. The progression was, I mentioned we were HubSpot's first partner. So we were very, um, front row seat to marketing automation and the whole growth of that industry. So we were big in marketing technology. So 2011, it was late January, IBM Watson wins on Jeopardy. So beats Ken Jennings. Pam Didner: I remember that, yeah. Paul Roetzer: So, the world is now like, you know, it's the topic of more interest. That April I started writing the manuscript for my first book, The Marketing Agency Blueprint. When I came out of writing the book. I started being curious about the AI thing. What was Watson? Could that eventually be applied to marketing? So I shortly thereafter read a book called Automate This by Christopher Steiner and he talked about intelligent algorithms and how they disrupted all these industries. And so once I started comprehending what AI actually was, I was like, “well, it's obviously going to change marketing and sales, like it seems inevitable to me” and yet no one was talking about it. Pam Didner: 2011? No. Now were still talking about marketing automation and CRM. We're still talking about it, but that was still, you know, a major topic at that time. Paul Roetzer: Human powered automation, Human based rules. So then fast forward to 2014, I'm writing my second book and it's about marketing talent, tech and strategy, and in the tech section, there's about 500 words about what if AI were to get applied to marketing and sales? And if you remember back in 2014, HubSpot was IPOing, zero AI in their platform. At the time Salesforce bought Exact Target for two and a half billion, zero AI. At the time Exact Target had bought part off or 170 million. So literally like billions of dollars for marketing software that's dumb. Meaning, the only way it got smarter was if humans did it. And so on, I'm looking, thinking, “this makes no sense, like it's, it has to come to the marketing industry.” And so once I wrote it in the book that basically became everything I did public speaking about. So starting in 2015, I did a talk called Origin of the Marketing Intelligence Engine at South by Southwest. And then that became all I researched and talked about thereafter. Pam Didner: So the rest of it is history. Paul Roetzer: Pretty much. Pam Didner: So with that being said, can you be very specific and share some examples with us, how AI can apply to marketing? Paul Roetzer: We guide people to look for look for narrow use cases. Because AI-- So again, like if we take even a further step back, what is it? What is artificial intelligence? It's just a collection of tools and technologies that make machines smart. Pam Didner: Or anticipate I'll needs or answer our questions. Paul Roetzer: Yes. It gives the machine human-like abilities to, to see, to, to speak, to learn, to understand; the machine can't do any of that stuff on its own. And to make predictions about what we ask it to predict on. So what we always tell people is look at the things you do every day that are data-driven, repetitive and require you to predict an outcome or a behavior. So if you're going to send an email, you're at really the core of that is you're likely trying to get someone to take an action, whether it's to buy a product or read an article or whatever it may be. So you're subconsciously predicting. What subject lines should I use that's going to get them to open this? Once they open this, you're trying to predict what links you should put it have in there and what the copy should be and what the CTA button should be and what the image should be. And you're like, all of these are a collection of predictions that you're subconsciously making to drive an outcome. So we start looking at whether it's paid media and you're doing digital ad spend and which creative will work best, to social media--what should I share and when? and what hashtags should I use? To email, to content marketing--what blog posts should I write? And what should I include in the blog post. All of these daily activities for many of us really, you're trying to predict outcomes that then guys, what you do. That's the stuff where machines excel. Intelligent machines excel at data-driven repetitive, predictive things. Pam Didner: You are saying that we should look at our, where, uh, our job and we also, we always have a templates and process, right. To do our job, right. If we want to send the email campaigns, we have to select the content. We have to, uh, write a copy. We have images and that we have to select and we have to put that email together. We send it out. Because it's somehow a templates. I'm a process being set up. There are certain tasks also in portion of the job that AI can take over to do it for us. They probably can write a copy. They probably can select the images. They probably can also automatically send it to the people. So that sounds great. Do you think that AI will take over the marketer's jobs? Do you think some of the marketing's jobs will be eliminated because of that technology advancement? Paul Roetzer: Yes. Um, I think in the short term. I actually created something called the Marketer-to-machine Scale, and the idea is to do what you do, what happens in the autonomous vehicle industry. So a Tesla today is Level 3. This is an industry standard rating scale. There's goes zero to five. It's Level 3. What happens at Level 3 is the machine can drive itself in some conditions, but the human is actually there to oversee and correct if needed. Pam Didner: Yes. So we are not the primary driver anymore. We are kind of like a facilitator. We are helping. Yeah. Paul Roetzer: In, in an ideal world, that's where we're trying to get to with AI tools in marketing and sales today. We want the AI to assist the marketer, the salesperson at doing their job, in those repetitive data-driven tasks. It doesn't mean that we flip a switch and AI replaces the need for this role, this role in this role. It means those roles become more enjoyable because you don't have to do all of the repetitive things anymore. There is no full autonomy in marketing as there is no true full autonomy in cars today. I don't foresee a near term future where any AI, any marketing job can be truly automated to a full degree where the human isn't even overseeing the AI. I don't see that happening. Pam Didner: Yeah. Um, there is no marketing robot that I'm aware of. Are you aware of some start-up doing it? (laughs) Paul Roetzer: No, and if a vendor tells you they have it, go find a different vendor, because you should not see the words “full autonomy” on any vendor's site right now, because it's a lie. Pam Didner: 100% agree with that. Yeah. The way I see it, we have to co-exist with artificial intelligence. For the-- in the near future. And with that being said, as a marketer, what is the best way to learn about official intelligence? Why can't we learn about maybe not necessarily, we want to be a coders, but how does it operate? You know, what is the supervised learning? What is unsupervised learning? What's the machine learning? What's, you know, what is the opaque AI? You know, all that term is kind of important to understand and understand how artificial intelligence works, but not to the point that we become incredibly technical. So how do you suggest that the marketers learn more about AI and how AI functions? Paul Roetzer: I would argue the vast majority of marketers will never know nor care what unsupervised and supervised learning is. Nor will they care the eight common machine learning models of clustering and linear regression. And like the marketers don't need to know that generally speaking. What they need to know is what is AI capable of doing so that they can identify and prioritize use cases internally. And then they need to know who the go-to experts are, who do know what machine learning is and how it works. And the data scientists who can help them prepare the data properly and make sure that there's no bias built in. And like there are technical things. And so I kind of liken this to any other marketing technology you would buy. You don't have to become a true technologist. There will be those of us who are marketers by day and like, technologists because we're geeks and we like that stuff. And you figure out those other things that you were listing, but for a lot of marketers, like a content marketing manager, or maybe even like a VP of Marketing, you may never actually know the machine learning models. What, you know, though is you're right team spends a hundred hours a month doing this thing, that you now understand the machine could do 80% of that work. And you're able to go find the right tool, onboard that tool, upskill your team by getting them a base level understanding of what it is and how it works, and then redistribute those hours to some uniquely task human. Pam Didner: More productive and more strategic value add. Paul Roetzer: Yeah. So look, I think to answer your question real quick, what they need to do is remove the abstract nature of AI. They need to not be afraid of the topic because it isn't Sci-Fi, it is actually a pretty easy thing to understand what it is and what it does. And once you accept that, then you go read your book or you take an online course. You're like, now you embrace the idea that there's a smarter way to do marketing. Pam Didner: Yeah. I still feel as a marketer, um, that you need to have a certain understanding of the marketing technology. You know, you need to understand the terminology a little bit. You probably don't have to do it. You are totally right. You don't need to understand how the machine learning works, but you need to understand the term of machine learning. For example, and you don't need to understand how AI actually assists HubSpot or even Salesforce, but you need to understand what kind of methodology approaches they use to make that happen. So, um, I think we talking the same thing, but I always feel that the marketers needs to be able to be comfortable and also embrace the technology. And a lot of time that the best way to embrace that technology is trying to understand it. Does that make sense? So that's where I'm coming from. But I understand, like for example, I'm a marketer, you all might get a, we don't have to go down to the deep weeds to understand how that's done, but we need to understand what that is and then maybe the approaches that was taken. Paul Roetzer: And I'll give you an example. So I took Andrew Ng's Intro to Machine Learning class on Coursera a couple of years ago. After like the third week, it started going deep into statistical models. And like, I was like, “okay, I'm good.” Like, I actually now know everything I set out to know, which is what is machine learning and what does it do? And I get the different models and I understand the scenarios with which you would use them in marketing. And I'm done. Like I'm out now. I'm going to go call Chris Penn. Like if, if something comes up, like I'll just go find my friend who actually figured out the rest of it and let him help me. (laughs) Pam Didner: I love that! That's, that's actually a great point. Uh, you and I are probably on the same page about that, as well. So I took a couple of very technical courses on Coursera about AI, but after like two or three weeks, I say, “I'm done. I got the jist and also the understanding I need in terms of how things work.” Paul Roetzer: I think that's a good learning lesson for young professionals is like. You don't have to start-- like if you get into a book and it's dense and it's like, “okay, I'm not learning” don't force yourself to go 500 pages into it. Like get what you need out of it and move on to the next resource. Like just know what your outcome is. I didn't want to become a machine learning engineer, so I didn't need to go through Lessons 7-15. (laughs) I was good after. Pam Didner: Right. But that also come from the perspective that you need to know yourself. Yes. You need to know your skillset. You need to know who you are, and then you can make that decision and say, “okay, you know, this is my job. This is what I do. This amount of knowledge for the time being is good enough. And the rest of it, I have to let it go.” Paul Roetzer: You need a confidence level based on what it is you're trying to achieve in your career, I think is a good way to look at it. Pam Didner: Awesome. Excellent. Well said. So do you have any suggestions how marketers should implement or even incorporate artificial intelligence into their work? What are the couple of steps, Like from your perspective? You know, it can be a thinking process, it can be approach. Paul Roetzer: Yeah, so in AI Academy for Marketers, I actually teach a course called Piloting AI and it's a common talk I'll give at conferences when we're going to conferences. So what I guide people to do is take a spreadsheet. Write down in column a, all the things you do every month and then have a column B it's like, how frequently do you, as a daily? Weekly? Monthly? Then a column that says, how many hours did you spend doing it? And then a column that says, what would be the value to you if you could intelligent automate this? And just do a one to five rating, five being “it transformed my life.” One being, “yeah, it's all right.” Do that, go through it. Take the things that are level fives and then go search AI for that thing. So like just go find a tool that is built to do the thing you spend a bunch of time doing and you know it'd be valuable to you. Use that as your pilot project prove to yourself and your team that AI can have either an efficiency gain for you or a performance gain. Cause any AI you use, those would be the two reasons you would do it--you want to reduce it, reduce costs by increasing efficiency, or you want to accelerate performance or give yourself a greater probability of achieving success. Like otherwise you don't, you don't do it. You need a reason to put AI into something. Pam Didner: So sounds like the course and co-pilot AI can help you to conduct assessment and give our audience a templates to evaluate their workflows, evaluate the repetitive tasks that they do on a regular basis, and then determine what are the areas that they want to allocate or distribute that to AI and then source to technology accordingly. Paul Roetzer: Yeah, and we also have, there's a free tool. I'll give you, I'll send you the link you put in the show notes, but it's score.marketing.AIinstitute.com. And we actually built a use case assessment tool. So there's 49 use cases in their common AI use cases. And you can— Pam Didner: Can you say the name of that course again or the topics? Paul Roetzer: AI Score for Marketers, but it's score.marketing.AIinstitute.com. And it's un-gated. You can, you can give your contact information if you want, but what it'll do is it walks you through the 49 use cases. You rate them on a zero to five scale. And then on the results page, it shows you all the ones you rated a 3-5 and it actually recommends vendors if we have them in our database to do those things. Pam Didner: I love that. That's actually a great tool. I want to check that one out. Paul Roetzer: And we're actually using it right now to do a state of the industry survey with Drift. So we teamed up with Drift to take the data from that and turn it into a state of the industry report. Pam Didner: Excellent. So this is great. You are sharing a lot of useful information and the, from your online, um, uh, Marketing AI Institute, that the tools and also those templates that people can use. And I'm also very grateful that you launched the online platform, which is AI Academy for Marketers. If you are listening or you are watching the show, please check that out. Before we wrap this up, I want to ask you one parting question. And so what is the most useless talent that you have? That contributes nothing, literally nothing to the society? Paul Roetzer: I have thought about this before, and I don't-- to my daughter spinning a basketball on my finger. She thinks it's like, just like it's unicorn magic or something. Like, so we're playing basketball in the backyard (laughs) Pam Didner: Were you a basketball player before? Paul Roetzer: Yeah. Like globe Trotter style, just like spin a ball. Pam Didner: Yes, exactly. So you can do that? That's amazing! Paul Roetzer: She thinks it's amazing. I'll take it. When she was really young, I would dunk on an eight-foot hoop and she thought I was like LeBron James. So I have to find things that still impress her now that she's getting older. So apparently spinning a basketball works right now. (Pam laughs) Pam Didner: Well said, well said. So thank you so much for coming to my show, Paul, and to share a lot of useful information and relevant templates that, um, the audience can use really, really appreciate it. Paul Roetzer: It was fun. Do it again soon! Pam Didner: Thanks a lot, Paul. Again, thank you so much for listening to my podcast. Really, really appreciate it. If you want to chat, reach out on any social media channels or email me email@example.com. You can also join my Facebook community Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. Love, love, love to hear from you. Take care. Bye.
Hey, big hello from Portland, Oregon. Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More. I have a very special guest today Geoff Atkinson, and he's going to talk about SEO and a little bit of analytics. Geoff is a former Senior Vice President of Marketing for Overstock.com, with a lot of B2C experience. Now he is the B2B world, founder and CEO of a software company called Huckabuy. His company handles SEO's technical side for their clients, such as Salesforce and SAP and many big enterprise customers. In this episode: Where do companies or digital marketers fall short in SEO in general? Which better - to have an SEO manager in-house or as an outsource? What can businesses do to fix and improve their SEO? What is Google's intent for search and why it's an essential part of the digital marketing strategy? Learn more about Geoff's company Huckabuy, and what makes their approach to SEO different. What are some of the biggest SEO issues and suggestions on where and how to start resolving them? Definition of: "structured data," "dynamic renderings," and "rich results." and why do digital marketers need to take these terms seriously. What is happening with voice activation, and what are the current trends. What is 2021 Google Page Experience update and when to expect it? Quotes from the episode: "The mistake I see most companies make is that they're just throwing dollars at the solution. Instead, they should be thinking about having a strategy, executing that strategy, and making sure that it's successful, and measuring it." "Instead of just doing keyword research, take one of the keywords that you really care about. Search, search it on a mobile device and desktop and see what the search results look like." ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More. I have a very special guest today. Meet Mary Killelea, a Customer Story Strategist from Intel. She will be talking about career development and the pros and cons of working on either the agency side or the client-side. Mary is a businesswoman, a mom, wife, and a lover of adventure. She's been working in tech and marketing for about 25 years, and she has her own business for more than 15 of those years. Before all that, she worked for Web MD Radio and did sales for Nabisco. In this episode: Career tips for anybody just starting in the field of marketing and where to start What are the main differences between the agency and client-side marketing What it looks like working for a big corporation like Intel How working in a big company changes the perception of marketing. How can one tell if the working environment is good for career development What is the role of constant learning and what that really means What are some interesting career options for marketers - both corporations and agencies How can a marketer prepare for the specific marketing job position Quotes from the episode: "You need to figure out which area of interests you might want to excel at some point. To have a broad base at the beginning while you're learning and understanding, it really can be beneficial to have that holistic [marketing] viewpoint." "Just be persistent, continually evolving. Be completely open to learning. You can design your career any way you want if you have a growth mindset." ————— If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me email@example.com. You can also join my Facebook community: Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card.
I have a very, very special guest today, Stephanie Stahl General Manager of the Content Marketing Institute and Content Marketing World. And actually I have known her for several years, probably four or five years. And she is going to be with us and talk about the transition, the journey that she has gone through from doing physical events to a virtual events. So let’s get started. Hey, welcome Stephanie. So happy to have you on my show. Stephanie Stahl: I am so happy to be here, Pam, and yes, we have known each other now for five years, actually five years. Pam Didner: I was like, you know why she has to be several years, but I'm not sure. Amazing! And I have to tell the audience that you look exactly the same. You haven't changed. What the hell? What kind of night cream are you using? (laughs) Stephanie Stahl: (laughs) I think your camera needs to come into focus, but thank you! (both laugh). Pam Didner: And so, um, did I miss anything? Do you want to tell our audience a little bit more about yourself? Stephanie Stahl: I’ll tell you a little bit. So that's the way we've known each other for five of years, because I joined the content marketing Institute in 2016. Before that I had been to Content Marketing World as a consumer of content because I was running a content marketing group for UBM. So I'd actually been to two previous Content Marketing World. So we knew each other before we knew each other, you know? Pam Didner: Oh man, it was meant for us to meet at 2016. Stephanie Stahl: I think so. Absolutely. So, but yeah, so I've been, um, you know, with the brand since then and had, it's currently owned by a company called Informa. Uh, part of our, uh, global, uh, media and events company and, um, get to leverage lots of fun and great things from the company. And, um, you know, of course we've got the most amazing CMI team. They're just the best team ever. Pam Didner: I love Content Marketing World. And I've been there. I've been speaking, uh, ever since the inception. And it's really, really a true community. I mean, over a period of time now, I haven't seen everybody. There's a regular attendees. There also some speakers that talking about know-how on an annual basis and they continue to bring the new topics to the community. So can you share with us, you know, how do you make that transition? And when you make that decision, like to a virtual event in the midst of COVID? and how much of the time you and your team kind of worked through to make that transition? It was actually, has been hard for everybody. Stephanie Stahl: Yeah. It, it was very it's you're right. It's been hard on everybody. Anybody who is in the events business has a struggling, uh, past year with changes and that sort of thing. And, you know, we did a lot of hand ringing back in the spring. You know, “is it gonna get better? Is it going to get worse? Pam Didner: Everybody was guessing ,me too. I was like, am I going to Cleveland, am I not? Stephanie Stahl: I know it was a lot of, lot of hand-wringing a lot of stress, a lot of anxiety because there were so many unknowns. And you know, at that time are thinking, well, gosh, it's not until October. It's going to be better by then. Right. Well… Pam Didner: Yeah, no kidding! Stephanie Stahl: So we made the official decision in June. We'd already been doing some pre-work to try to figure out, can it take to do this because a virtual event is very different than a physical event, as you said, the time and the resources, everything is different because in the physical world, you know, we've got an operations team that is just amazing, right? Pam Didner: Amazing. You guys are like on target. Everybody knows exactly what need, what needs to be done and boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Stephanie Stahl: Everybody knows their roles and responsibilities. They've all dealt with issues. They know what to do. If there's an issue, there's like a book that's has, you know, contingency plans in it for this happens, you do- I mean, it's just all very. Everyone knows what to expect in their roles and responsibilities. It's completely different in the virtual world. Pam Didner: So is that the biggest challenge of going virtual because he completely different set of Martech to actually do a virtual event? Stephanie Stahl: You know, so the, the technology sourcing was a big part of it. Um, figuring out the project team and who was to do what was also a big part, cause process becomes a big part of it. Pam Didner: I agree. Technology and process, especially when you work for a 4,000 people, you know, it's almost like you have to take care of like 4,000 people's needs and not mentioning sponsors and everybody else. So do you, can you tell us what technology that, uh, did you guys decide to use and how did I? Stephanie Stahl: Sure. So we used a platform called Open Exchange and the reason that we felt so comfortable with it from the get-go, which like we sort of had a head start, I'll say. It's the same company that does our video on demand each year for Content Marketing World. So if people want to watch all the sessions after the physical show, there's a platform that we use to put all of the video on it. So they know us. They've worked with us. We know them so many years of a relationship. So we actually didn’t have huge hurdle to get over like a lot of companies, like a lot of events do when they have to source their technology because we had an existing relationship. We do also have, um, a group, a task force that's a global task force within Informa it's a hybrid events, task force. And everyone has been sharing what tech they're using, what they had, how did you solve them? What best practices do you have? So we actually have this really rich network of, of brands kind of helping everybody each other out. Pam Didner: You probably have maybe industry events, right? And everybody's doing the industry events on their own, but you guys got together and you share a lot of inflammation saying, “Hey, we use this technology? Nah, Not so much. We use that, Hey, that works very well.” So there is that information sharing. Stephanie Stahl: In fact, every week, a different event shares, you know, their experience and so we hear firsthand, you know how well it went, uh, how did the technology perform? Uh, what was the feedback from attendees? What was the feedback from sponsors? What would you do differently? So all the events that haven't happened yet, its such a great, great set of guidance, you know? Pam Didner: So they don't make the same mistakes like the previous witness did or tried to take care of anticipate some problems. Stephanie Stahl: Exactly. Exactly. Pam Didner: So with that being said, um, I know when I was talking to Andrea, you guys have to make a decision to scale back on number of attracts. I remember, um, when you guys did the physical events, you have over 200 sessions and on various different topics. And, uh, how do you guys decide in terms of how to scale the tracks and what tracks to scale back? Stephanie Stahl: Yeah, it was a pretty tough, tough decision. Uh, we knew there was no way we were going to be able to run that much content virtually. Pam Didner: In three days. Yeah. Yeah. Stephanie Stahl: And you know, part of it, it's just a very simple, simple reason, right. There were certain tracks, for example, where we hadn't filled them yet with speakers. We took a look at the data from the past few years, which tracks, where are the needs? You know, where are the needs? We want to make sure we do those. Um, in cases we consolidated some tracks where, you know, do we really need this one and this one, probably not, as long as we can get the right set of speakers, you know, we'll be good. So, I mean, you know, part of it just, it was easy because we're still working on it, right? And part of it was really just data-based. We want to make sure that we are covering the topics that we know are most important. And so that's looking at last year's data, that's looking at research that we do, you know, to try to factor … Pam Didner: … into it. So would that be said, can you share with us with 4,000 people event? Obviously it's a huge event. And how many tracks and also session did you guys decide it? I mean, you can give us a range. That's totally fine. Stephanie Stahl: We were about 20 Pam Didner: Oh, okay. 20 sessions or 20 tracks ? Stephanie Stahl: Tracks. And then, um, what we do another place we did scale back though, are our workshops and industry forums. Pam Didner: Yeah, that makes sense. Stephanie Stahl: And that's something we're taking a close look at too. Um, this year to see how much consumption there is because our workshops and forums tend to be longer all of our track sessions and keynotes 30 minutes. And we did some research beforehand, you know, what do attendees feel is the right amount? You know, the right amount of time. And without question, it was 30 minutes or less. And so we decided track sessions would be 30 minutes. Keynotes will be 30 minutes. Workshops and forums, however, are anywhere from an hour to two hours. We wanna see how people feel about watching something that long. And so far we're seeing some pretty good results. Um, but that was one thing when we went into it, it's like, “let's, you know, let's keep a close eye on that to see if people are willing to sit for an hour and a half or two,” when they know they've got, Oh, and this other content. Pam Didner: So you mentioned 20 tracks or audio 20 sessions. I mean, are they exactly the same? Stephanie Stahl: All the tracks have at least four sessions. Each track would have at least two hours of content. Pam Didner: You know, I did- I wasn't even manager actually full about five years and I did one of all events virtually just for, uh, not necessarily to replace the physical events, but it's kind of like a pilot. We did that about 10, 11 years ago and a man that we had. So many problems will virtual events glitches like the bandwidth not working right, and then people did not know where to go; or the design of that virtual event--which is when you walk into it and you see the virtual exhibit hall and then, you know, all of that stuff—they tried to actually create that, that virtual event experience, um, we use the tool but there was a lot of glitches. But that was about 15 years ago. And I think that things probably have improved tremendously. So, and speaking with a personal experience in terms of when we were doing that and many of my team, they are seasoned, very experienced physical event managers. But when we, they were doing that physical events, we just like tripping over each other. It just like not clear roles and responsibility and those, also the technology has a flaw. And how do you deal with your team that you are leading under your leadership? That they have to really make that transition because when you take care of speakers on site, like Andrea is stating, you know, me on site, it's really different than taking care of me virtually. So how do you help the team to deal with their frustration? Stephanie Stahl: Yeah. I got to tell you from the get-go. It was a “challenge accepted” from this team. I mean, just everybody. I was like… Pam Didner: We gonna do this! Alright! We’re just gonna do this! (laughs) Stephanie Stahl: We're going to make it the best we can possibly make it. We did a lot of learning alone way, of course, too. Um, but honestly the key was just, and this will sound cliché’, but it's just regular communication. You know, we started to see it. You know, this is the best focus for Erica. This is the best focus for Laura. Andrea knows where her focus is, with the speakers. You know, like we started to find, you know, the right paths. And then we got, just keep connecting the dots, you know, and we would have regular calls and we would have regular calls with, uh, the technology provider because, you know, we were testing, testing, testing. I mean, up to the minute. Pam Didner: That close communication is so critical, especially when you are working with a big team. Stephanie Stahl: Absolutely. And then we had, we tried to have, you know, um, a central point of contact too, between the CMI team and the production team. So that 20 of us weren't asking questions and, you know, we are not sharing answers. And, you know, we, we, we use a teams-based approach to, you know, like literally the technology teams, uh, so that we can track things. And, uh, it worked. I mean, very few things slipped through the cracks. Um, we didn't step on each other too much, you know, we just, I mean, we did some learning along the way. No question about it. Pam Didner: When you say regular communications, how often did you guys meet once a week or do we kind of like Agile 30 minutes every single day? How did that work? Stephanie Stahl: Yeah, so for some of us, it was every single day. Smaller groups met more frequently and that little dial button on our team's channel where you can just call somebody. It got used a lot, let’s just say. (both laugh) Pam Didner: “Hey, let me ask you this question? Can you answer right away please? Stephanie Stahl: I know! “I'm calling you now!” Um, we kind of joked internally a lot too. It's like, “All right. Great. Thanks. Thanks, Andrea. Okay. Talk to you tomorrow? Oh, no, probably (laughs) Okay.” Pam Didner: With the internal team, you can do a lot of, how should I say it, regular communication. Nobody is going to be bothered by it because you guys are part of the team. What about sponsors? You know, how do they adjust and how do you communicate with them? You probably cannot call them or have a daily call. They are all very busy. So they also have to make adjustments. So how do you deal with that challenges? And also in terms of packaging, obviously offline you'll have a sponsor package and now you probably have to modify that. So can you share with us in terms of the changes of the sponsor package and also how you communicate with them? Stephanie Stahl: Yeah. So it's very hard to replicate what a sponsor can do in the physical world. And so, you know, this is another place where we're learning, we're still learning. Right. Um, and you know, we saw high levels of engagement in certain places and not so much in other places. And so the idea of just having a virtual booth it's pretty difficult. It's pretty difficult to draw people in. Pam Didner: I agree. We actually tried that at 10 years old, 15 years ago, we really created a virtual booth. You know, we have this avatar walking in all within the virtual space and you can see everybody’s signs. But even with that back then, the engagement is still very, very low, even though you created that virtual booth. Stephanie Stahl: It's true. I mean, we, we actually want to create an advisory group with some of our sponsors and internal folks too, to kind of talk through it even more because we still haven't found the right solution. We haven't found the perfect solution. I should say. You know, we, we tried to build what we call “hubs,” You know, not, we didn't want to try to replicate like the booth per se, but we tried to create hubs for sponsors where they could be there for drop-in, I mean, you know, you can just pop in into a zoom, open Zoom meeting, you know, during office hours and talk, you know, do a demo for me or something where you could set up. There was a calendar function where you could set up one-on-one meetings. Sponsors offered up all sorts of assets with the same hub. So we try to make it rich with content. And, you know, but it's still, it's not the same as when somebody is walking past your booth and you can just engage. You make that eye contact. Pam Didner: I totally agree. You make the eye contact and see each other. “Hi! How are you?” And of course somebody has to respond and then we'll start a conversation, but you don't have that layer or that, you know, that intimacy. So that's been taken away. Stephanie Stahl: We did create a tech showcase to where it was fast paced, uh, where each of our sponsors had about, you know, 90 seconds or so, to like, talk about why their product is innovative or different or game game-changing or what it can do to help a customer. We tried, we, we sorta caught it like Shark Tank without the snarky investors. Pam Didner: Or something like a buyer chat is very quick. Get to the point, tell the audience what you do and if they are interested, they will be in touch with you. Stephanie Stahl: Right. Exactly. Yeah. So we're still looking at ways to help with that engagement for sponsors and to help them make meaningful connections within a virtual platform. And, um, like I say, we haven't found the perfect solution yet, but we're going to work really hard on getting, getting to it. Pam Didner: Content Marketing World is such a unique event for content marketers. And the many of them attended almost every single year. And I know some of them very, very well and dearly. Um, so there is a sense of a community, like see each other and we hug each other. And also you are, you know, dance party legendary. Legendary! (Stephanie laiughs). So guys, If we really like to dance, come to the Content Marketing World. It's very, very fun! So, how do you create the sense of a community of the physical event? I have a hard time imagining that. So talk to us, please. Stephanie Stahl: Such a great question. So we, we went about it in a couple of different ways. With pre-event thinking, time event, and post-event thinking. We used to call that POP--Pre Onsite Post--but now the Onsite is missing. (Pam laughs) So we don't have a good name for it right now. But, so, you know, pre-event, we created a private Facebook group for attendees only. Pam Didner: Yeah, I joined. Stephanie Stahl: Yes. I've seen you in there. So that was our pre-event to start, you know, getting people warmed up, introduce people to each other, the number of first-time attendees who came in there and said, “Oh, that's my first Content Marketing World. I'm from such and such…” And just to see some of the ones who have been there for five, six, seven years or whatever, just warmly welcomed them right away. So it was so nice. I mean, it is a sign of the community, right? So, and then during the event, of course, we had the group, the Facebook group running. We also had lots of activity on the Slack channel, our Twitter feed exploding with so much great stuff. Um, so we try to keep up those channels. But then within the platform itself, you know, we had, uh, six different “birds of a feather” sessions, small group discussions around certain topics. Um, we, you know, we have live AMA as you know, you were a part of “Ask Me Anything” that was live as a chance for people to, to ask questions directly for you. And so we looked for ways on the platform, as well, to- you know, when you bring a live aspect to things, it definitely makes you feel like you're part of a community. In hindsight, we wish we had done more “birds of a feather” sessions because they were very well received. And so that's a note for us for next year. So anybody who's planning a virtual event and you're thinking about doing, you know, “birds of a feather” sessions, do them. And do a lot of them. You know, give people lots of choices. And, uh, it's just a great place to gather. Pam Didner: Is that very similar to like, um, you know, I remember at events a lot of time, the event organizer will do kind of like a virtual round table during lunchtime. You know, they have a specific topics like, and, uh, and, uh, you can see, “Oh, Content Marketing World is this-“ Oh, I'm sorry. “Content marketing is this table. And the sales enablement is that table.” Is that very similar to type of stuff? Stephanie Stahl: Very similar. Yeah. You, you pick a topic, you have moderator. If we're doing Content Marketing World virtual next year- Pam Didner: Wait, no! Let’s not do that (pretends to cry)! Look at my face! Look at my face! Please I am crying, I am suffering. (Stephanie laughs) This will be like tragic, ok, for 2021 (laughs). Stephanie Stahl: We hope to be in-person, but at least we will do a hybrid, right. So we will offer virtual elements. And so we're going to keep in mind for anybody who can't travel or doesn't want to travel or whatever is going on in the world- Pam Didner: They have an opportunity. . Stephanie Stahl: Right. Exactly. And I think these kinds of, um, you know, small group “birds of a feather” sessions would, will be key to it. Pam Didner: Very good. So the last question is honestly, whenever I talked to event managers, um, in the past probably four or five months, I know that you guys went through hell. Actually, everybody, somehow it's called “The Good Place.” I'm kidding. I'm kidding. Know if you watch the show? Um, I love it. Do you have any one or two advice for people who are currently doing the virtual events or in the process exploring doing a virtual event, you know, if you have to give someone advice like one or two is like, “Oh my God, these are the things you have to have, have to do, what would that be? Stephanie Stahl: Um, definitely start early. The preparations are key. We made our move to, or decision for virtual in June for an October event. Pam Didner: You think that's enough time. I mean, now hindsight is 2020 where you thought did that decision a whole lot earlier? Stephanie Stahl: I wish we had. Yeah, I, now we got it done and I feel like that's, that's still a pretty significant amount of time, but in hindsight too, a little bit more time would have been great gust, you know, I mean- Pam Didner: I, I, 100% agree I do. Stephanie Stahl: The second thing is, um, we decided that we would prerecord the bulk of the content and have live sessions within. And the reason we did that is because it doesn't matter how much planning and organizing we do. We are at the mercy of the internet. Pam Didner: You are at the mercy of bandwidth. Stephanie Stahl: Exactly. And if something, you know, a speaker's bandwidth wasn't good, you know, if there's a Zoom outage, like there was back in September, you know, I mean, there's certain things that we can't control. And we knew that, too. I mean, even with all of the live elements we did have, it was, it was a risk, right. By prerecording we had very few technical glitches during the week. And, uh, so I would highly recommend that, you know, just have a mix. Have a mix of pre-records just to play it safe. So those would be the two things. And I would say to you just, you know, if, if it's a big event, like a big conference event, like we have to set some pretty firm and fair deadlines for content. Pam Didner: “Shame on Pam! Pam did not meet the deadline!” Stephanie Stahl: (Laughs) Pam met the deadline! You did, you did. Not everyone did (Pam laughs). Pam Didner: I work very very hard, to be honest with you. And I know Andrea is always on top of things. Oh, by the way. If y'all listening, Andrea is the, the speakership manager, and then she has been doing that for Content Marketing World for long time. And she's fantastic. Always on top of the things. Stephanie Stahl: She is amazing. Pam Didner: And to imagine that the peak of over 200, some 250 sessions and she literally has to manage--babysit, literally I use the word babysit--like 250 speakers. I mean, I cannot do that. I would kill all of them seriously (Stephanie laughs) includng myself. And she's always being so patient and I always want to accommodate her deadlines and whenever possible. But sometimes I can't and that she and I was “I'm sorry, please don't kill me! Please go kill me!” Stephanie Stahl: No, you were, you were great. I mean, you know, even in the physical world, some speakers were literally walking with a thumbdrive and say, “okay, here's my presentation.” So last minute. Pam Didner: Don't do that. Actually. I tried Stephanie Stahl: It happens, you know? Pam Didner: Um, I understand, I understand the pain point. So thank you so much, Stephanie, and so happy, so happy to have you on the show and you share a lot of good nuggets and, uh, for people who are interested and are exploring and, um, the virtual events. Really, really appreciate it. So I do have one last question I want to ask you, and this is kind of like a silly question. And so what is your most useless talent that you have that you contribute to this society nothing, literally? (laughs) Stephanie Stahl: Goodness. Um, that is such a tough question. I'm going to stay and people may think I I'm going to be a little weird. So I have a twin sister and- Pam Didner: I didn’t know that! Stephanie Stahl: You didn’t know that? Pam Didner: I didn’t know! Next time you have to bring a twin sister to, uh, to the event and just have to show that in two different places. Stephanie Stahl: Wouldn’t that be fun? That'd be fun. Yeah and so we're identical and, um, I'll be thinking about something in the past and for some reason, she's doing the same thing or something comes up in conversation and we're like, “Oh wait, were you thinking about that, too? That’s weird. Pam Didner: Wow. So it is real. It is real! Stephanie Stahl: And it's useless to anybody and everybody, except for the two of us, maybe (both laugh). Pam Didner: I love it! I love that answer. (laughs)
Today we’re going to talk with Chris Dickey, a search engine marketing expert. Chris is a veteran marketing professional, and also have experience on the PR side of things. His team created the tool Visably. Pam Didner: So can you tell us our listeners a little bit more about yourself in two minutes? Chris Dickey: Two minutes. All right. So I've been doing marketing for 17 years across like lots of different professions and roles. I've been in-house marketing direction. I worked in publishers or publishing, um, and we've been working in agencies for many, many years. The last decade I've been working, I've been managing inter-operating my own PR agency. And then a couple of years ago during that process and just really through the interactions with our clients and, and kind of doing, trying to push forward where is PR going get very interested in the intersection between public relations and search. Uh, we just, we started developing our own practices in house. And then that's kind of where this new company called Visably came out of--really a software solution to scale, uh, how brands can improve their brand visibility in search. PR being one of those channels. Pam Didner: So with that being said, obviously you are the expert in the search area, along with, you know, how to leverage the PR channel to make that happen. And I know that everyone--including myself--we want to rank higher organically. Right. And everybody tried different kind of methods. So why do you see people tend to fall short and also why obviously you launch your own product and how does your product address some of those questions I mentioned? Like in terms of like, you know, people are not doing it so well. How does your tool help? Chris Dickey: Yeah, Pam Didner: I know loaded question. Chris Dickey: Let me, let me start with SEO. Who's everyone's kind of heard that buzz term and a lot of people, a lot of your listeners will be familiar with SEO. SEO--search engine optimization--is the idea that how do you pull a bunch of levers to improve the ranking of your own website and search, or your own content within the website and search. It’s a great strategy and you should pursue it. And not saying that, not saying that you shouldn't do it at all. Um, I think that the, the thing too, for a lot of marketers at the end of the day, is that ranking well--for popular keywords or high traffic or high value keywords--with SEO is exceedingly challenging. Pam: I know! Talk to me, I know! Chris Dickey: Um, and so, so the first page of search is really the only page that matters. And so, “Hey, you're on, you're on page four and you go to page two, who cares? It doesn't matter. You're not going to anymore.” Pam Didner: Yeah. I know. How many of us actually go to like second or third page? Chris Dickey: Less than 1%. Go to the second. Pam Didner: Exactly. That’s actually a good stat. I like that. Chris Dickey: Well, another stat for you is that 70% of all the clicks for a keyword will select an organic link in the first five positions. So the first five organic links on the page received over 70% of all the traffic to that keyword. Pam Didner: Really? But not everybody can win. Right? Chris Dickey: Yeah, so that’s the challenge. I mean, sure, if you can get your own website and within the first five organic links for all your target keywords, then you're doing something really, really well, because nobody else can do that. So essentially the way that we started approaching as PR professionals was recognizing that, who was, who was a ranking in those first five organic positions? And oftentimes it was publishers or media outlets or e-commerce giants, or, you know, all these, all these companies that publish full-time--that's the core of their business. Or they are, they're massive E-commerce giants like say Best Buy or Lowe's or Home Depot or Amazon. They do very, very well in search. The recognition that there's so many potential customer touch points within the search engine results page, it doesn't need to be your own company. Doesn't need to be your own website. If you reach a customer through a review, a media review, that's it--super relevant way of reaching that customer. In same thing with, let's say like you're working with an e-commerce partner and that partner happens to say, happens to curate your product on their landing page for a very high traffic keyword. You're going to sell a lot of stuff, if you get that relationship and you get that product placement in place. So, I think the important thing for marketers to recognize is that they really need to move-- they really need to shift the goal line from saying, “how do I rank my, my website and search” to say, “how do I get a better ranking for my brand in search?” Pam Didner: Okay. Okay. So with that being said, let me paraphrase it. You mentioned a couple of things that was interesting. Obviously when people talking about search engine marketing, the things that pop into my mind, I cannot, you know, it's like, “Oh, you know what? My website needs to rank high for the keywords that people search for.” What you are trying to say is that can be a goal, but it doesn't have to be your end goal. There are other way to actually get yourself ranked higher. For example, you leverage your partner's website. For example, you do co-marketings and or maybe you do a media buys on certain publication. Is that your, is that what you are suggesting? Chris Dickey: Yes. Yeah. So I think that, I think the whole point is, is that, you know, the point of a marketer is to be discovered like what we're trying to do here is promote product discovery within search. Search should be seen as the largest product discovery platform in the world, specifically Google. Pam Didner: I 100% agree with that statement. Chris Dickey: I think there's about a 70,000 searches, every single second worldwide. Um, and all 70,000 are some form of a question and they will find their answers in a very predictable place at the top of search. If you can penetrate that real estate--it doesn't matter if it's your own website--as long as your brand is being recommended at the top of search, who cares, you know, and yeah, I mean, there'll be lovely if it was your website, but a lot of times it's not. And I think something in SEO, you know, there's a lot of, there's a huge science around how to pick your keywords. And one of the pieces- a big piece in SEO is picking keywords that you actually have the opportunity to rank for. Pam Didner: No, that's, that's actually very true. I understand that. But sometimes from my perspective, like, I have one piece of content I'm using myself as an example at this time. Um, I write content, right? So the way I get myself on my website up to date or current, or it keep that some sort of, you know, that Google can crawl on a regular basis. Find the stuff on my content is because I publish on regular basis. And there's one piece of content always stand out and that got a most organic search. One is called “Planning versus Replanning.” Right. So I talk about the differences between the planning versus replanning. And then there's another one is how to construct or How to Create a Messaging Framework. Um, and I say “A Complete Guide for B2B marketers.” And these two content pieces I created probably is more that most organic search and can rank actually pretty high for me. But unfortunately, you know, the messaging framework or creating how to create a messaging, how to create a value proposition is only one pillar of my product offering. So I kind of pick and choose my battle in terms of keywords. So I use that as a way for people to find me, right. Once they find me, they want to talk, they can talk to me if they will, they will say, “Oh yeah, Pam, Pam can do more stuff,” right? Then I'm using that opportunity that they talked to me to kind of educate them what I can do. Right. So I can totally understand in terms of, when you say, “Hey, you know what, you need to rank for your keywords,” but at the same time, what I have learned, and Chris, you can tell me I'm totally off. That there are certain keywords you can win, but there are certain keywords you can't. You just can't. Chris Dickey: And, and that's, that's kind of a shame, right? Because you're, cause you're saying, “Oh, we're just gonna, like, we're just gonna toss out these really viable keywords. We're just not even going to try because, um, our, our SEO platform is telling us that we're not going to get there.” And that's, and that's actually an important recognition that you're not like spending a bunch of time get somewhere that you never will be. But, the problem is it's like, sure, like maybe SEO isn't the best strategy for that keyword, but maybe there's an opportunity there to work with the other partners on the page. So it could be a pay-per-click strategy. Totally reasonable. Pam Didner: You do an SEM. You basically do a paid media effort to compensate. Chris Dickey: Nothing wrong with that. But I'll tell you right now that for non-branded search terms, so somebody who's looking for your product and services, but they're not, they're not typing in, you know, a specific brand name, those advertisements actually receive anywhere like a good advertisement is doing anywhere from two to 3% of the clicks on the page. That means 97% of the traffic is going somewhere else. So sure, you'll get a couple clicks, but you're not. You're not really reaching that customer in a meaningful way. Um, however, look at that first organic link on the page. Is it a media review? Is it an e-commerce website? What, who is it? Um, you know, is it a company blog that's talking about a subject? Can you be, um, an expert or somebody or somehow get it back link on that, on that page? These are the ways that you can create visibility within the search results page that can be very, very meaningful and can actually drive a lot of traffic. Pam Didner: So, you know, I personally spend a lot of time on my website and you have been to my website, you can tell, like I'm pretty intentional and purposeful about it. Chris Dickey: It's a gorgeous website. Pam Didner: Thank you! You make my day! (Chris laughs) Um, I spend a lot of time. I'm very intentional about it. And, um, but like you said, it's actually a lot of work. Right? Everything that you said, we talk about it, “Oh yeah, you can do a back link. Oh yeah. I'll do a product marketing. Oh yeah. You reach out or write a review.” But everything you said it does require time and effort, even budget. Would you agree? Chris Dickey: Oh, no question. Yeah. Pam Didner: With that being said, do you have a suggestion for a midsize company or a startup or a small businesses--that they have finite resources and budget--do you have any suggestions, like a specific steps or even, um, uh, tips or tricks or something that they have to do? Right. Yeah. And for me, one thing I told all my clients, you have to have a very clear value proposition. You need to know who you are, why you offer, and you need to articulate that very clearly. If you cannot do that, then you can have a beautiful website, but the value proposition, you still confusing. People cannot understand why you offer, then they will leave. So for SEO specifically, are there one or two things that, from your perspective, they have to get it down before they breach or expand, you know, other, um, methods to increase the organic search? Chris Dickey: I mean, the most important thing with SEO is understanding what your keywords are. Like, what are the key words that matter to you? And what are the keywords that mattered to your customers, because that's how you guys find each other, right. As like somebody looks at, looks up a keyword and then you're on the other end of that keyword. Um, and so doing that research is super critical. I'll tell you just a few kind of anecdotes around that. Number one, keyword research starts with reverse engineering how your customers find you or your products and services. You have to think about the ways, the questions that they'll ask their pain points. What are the, what are the phrases and terms somebody's going to use to find your stuff, assuming they don't know that you exist. So. Put all those into a list and get as far as you possibly can. And then if you need some help, pop those into Google and Google Auto Suggest will actually suggest a whole lot more. And then you look at the bottom of the page and they'll say “people also searched for,” and they'll tell you other actual keywords that are related to that pain point that you identified. And then, look at the questions that may be on the page. Like there's a, there's a little special thing that shows up sometimes called “People also ask.” And it's a question box, and Google's telling you, these are frequently asked questions and we've recognized that, and we have repopulated answers. So those are questions people are actually asking in that field. Grab all that stuff, throw it into a keyword list and then now you have reverse engineer that, that customer journey. And then you can start backfilling the actual metrics behind those keywords, figuring out how many people search for those keywords or this whole month. What's the engagement rate? Start looking at those search results on all those pages and figure out who is, who are the authorities in this space? like who are the people who constantly get rewarded with top search positions? Are they people who writing blogs? Are they people doing podcasts? Are they personalities? Are they writers? or is it somebody else? And then you start creating inroads with those influencers, as well. And so now you're really understanding the landscape that is not only how people are finding, but also the people who are, who are populated at content that Google is rewarding. And you can really develop a really nice communication strategy once you reach, reach out to those influencers, once you understand that keyword and you can create content on your own website, as well. Pam Didner: Yeah. So the one thing that you mentioned, especially I call it “prerequisites,” right? And that the most important things on the SEO or any kind of search engine marketing is you have to create your own keyword list. And from my perspective, that is very critical in terms of how much you understand your audience. Right. And also how much you understand your products. And as a brand, a lot of time, we feel like we understand the audience, but the way to test that is can you write 10 different questions In the form of a search that how people look for their answers? Does that make sense? So a lot of times when I do one-on-one mentoring and the one thing I always ask them to do, especially, the marketing professionals, I say, “can you write on 10 questions that your customers are asking?” By the way, not long form. But write it in a way that, how they search. So I, 100% agree with you in terms of the search keywords. And I did not understand that initially when I started my own business and I was about six years ago. Chris Dickey: Good keywords is just consumer behavior, right? Like it's not a Google coming up with the keywords. It's your customers coming in with the keywords. And so you're getting inside their head and you're really fully understanding how they process this, this question. Pam Didner: I totally agree. Yeah. Once you start writing things down, you kind of have a much clear ideas in terms of how your customer search and then that will help you in terms of what you need to do for your search strategy. I like that. Any additional things you want to add Chris? I know that you have a tool. Do you want to talk about your tool a little bit more? Is it free? Chris Dickey: It is free. Pam Didner: Yeah! Chris Dickey: Come check it out. Free accounts for everyone (laughs). Yeah. So, um, I come out of the public relations space. We started developing this, this software solution and we call it Visably. Obviously it's a play on the word visibility. Pam Didner: V-I-S-A-B-L-Y. Is that correct? Chris Dickey: Correct. Yeah. V-I-S-A-B-L-Y.com Pam Didner: V as in Victor? Yes. Chris Dickey: Yep. Yep. So just kind of like Visibility but Visably. The idea here is how do you become more visible within search results? And I, the way that I rephrase it is how do you improve the likelihood that a customer is going to find you? Period. And, you know, so we know search volume for any given keyword; that's a know. We know generally where people click on the search engine results page, depending on the position of the link people click and how many people click in terms of advertising. And so, you know, once you kind of identify- what Visably does is we look through every single link on the page and we look at all the page content behind every single link. So we don't just do— Pam Didner: So it’s kind of like the SEO audit? Chris Dickey: Yeah. It's a big, it's a big audit. It's a big SEO audit. Um, if you will, but SEV--search engine visibility--audit, because we're not looking for your website, we're looking for your brand. Um, and so, and, and the way to do that is you need to look at the page content. And funny enough, nobody does this. Nobody looks at page content. Like even though that's what consumers do, people. All the consumers look at page content… Pam Didner: Good question. Chris D: How many people just go to a page and look at the links? Like nobody does that. Everyone looks at the page content. So, but every SEO platform, all they do is go and they look at the links and they say, “is this your link? Yes or no?” And it's a very binary answer. But the question is, is like, it's not whether it's your link or not. It's whether your brand is featured on the other end of that link. And what we were seeing in PR is that quite often, yes. You would look up--I'll tell you a good example--so if you look up a term “best fleece jacket.” And the number one most dominant result on the page is the brand Patagonia. However, there's not a single patagonia.com anywhere on that first page of results. Pam Didner: That kinda sucks! So if you're an SEO engine and Patagonia said, “Hey, how am I doing for best fleece jacket?” The SEO pro platform would say, “well, you have zero hits on this page.” But from a consumer perspective, Patagonia is every single place you would look, which is a really important distinction because the touch points in that page are, are all over the place. And Patagonia is looking at a very good job there. So, you know, what would Visably it would tell you is, “Hey, not, is this your website or not? but is your brand present within the page or not?” Then we further segment and say, “Hey, was this a PR hit? Is this an e-commerce website? Is this a brand-owned site owned by a blog? Or is it something else?” And once you kind of segment the results in that way, you can say, “Oh, like we're doing really well in PR we could. We have some points of improvement with, you know, with e-commerce.” It becomes much clearer what that map looks like, what your footprint looks like in search, and you can actually do something about it. And then what's really interesting is when you scale it and you look at multiple keywords at once and you can see how you're doing across multiple categories. Pam Didner: In your free version, d you get that kind of recommendation? Chris Dickey: Yes. Pam Didner: Oh cool. That's what I want to hear! (Chris laughs) So boys and girls, if you all listening website out and Chris, can you tell us what the website is? Chris Dickey: V I S a B L y.com. Visably.com. Pam Didner: Excellent. Hey, I actually always ask my, guests like a silly, stupid question. Okay. And that's my job! (laughs) So I'm going to ask you a question. What is your, do you have any ridiculous goals in your life? is like something you want to accomplish, but it's like, we just do the point that people like you are crazy? Chris Dickey: So many ridiculous goals. So many, um, I guess, I guess first and foremost, um, I live in Wyoming. I live at the base of the Teton Mountain range and Jackson Hole. Pam Didner: I've been there. Chris Dickey: Oh you have? Pam Didner: Anybody is listening, if you have never been to Grand Teton National Park or Yellowstone, you have to go there. The scenery is majestic. When you drive, like, literally that road—oh, I don’t know that highway number--the road to the, to the entrance of the southern part of the national park. Oh my God. Oh my God. That drive is absolutely absolutely gorgeous. Chris Dickey: Yeah. It's insane. I live here. I see every single day and I, it's still impressive to me after being here for 17 years. Um, but I came here to climb those mountains and so maybe that's a ridiculous thing. Um, and I, and then after a while I was like, “why don't we ski down them too?” So I have ski down, like from the top of the Grand Tetons and that's pretty ridiculous. And now I want to ski down a whole lot of other things. Pam Didner: Okay. So that's ridiculous goal. Okay. You, you, you got, you got one down, keep going and keep going. (laughs) Chris Dickey: It says, yeah. So there's a long list of, uh, mountains that love to ski. Um, I think the other ridiculous goal is, um, I want, I would love to live in a van for a year with my family. Uh, so it was just myself, my wife. Pam Didner: Will they want to do that? Like my kids, are like “no I don’t think so!” Chris Dickey: No, I don't think, well, like my wife and daughter would love it. Like they, they're better at small spaces than I am. Um, and she's still, like, my daughter is still pretty young. She's only four years old so she can fit in small places (laughs). Pam Didner: Yeah. Tiny House Nation. Yes, I get it. Chris Dickey: Yeah. Pam Didner: So that is not, I think that goal is not ridiculous, by the way. Chris Dickey: Isn’t it like 20 square feet with a family of three or something? Pam Didner: It’s achievable. Well, and is it possible you rent, you know, it's, you can't even rent an RV if you want to. Chris Dickey: We want to be in a smaller, yeah, more like a, like an adventure, your van that we could take off road and we could, you know, take up mountain passes and things. I think the problem with RV uses they're tough to park. Um, they're, they're not good to drive on dirt roads. Um, things like that. Pam Didner: Very, very good. mean, no, it's fantastic. I hope that you get a chance to actually do that and, uh, and check that off on your bucket list and by the way, I think it's fantastic. It’s a great goal. Chris Dickey: Thank you. Thank you. Pam Didner: All right. Hey, thank you. So much for coming to my podcast. And, uh, I really appreciate that your insight about search engine, SEO search engine optimization. And you actually talk about it, the SEO in the much broader term and the look looking at it from, you know, marketing and the PR perspective. And I really liked that. Chris Dickey: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for having me. Pam Didner: And if you want to reach out to Chris, Chris, how can people reach out to you? Chris Dickey: Um, Hey, I'm at Viably.com, V-I-S-A-B-L-Y dot com. If you go and submit a query, there we're a small enough team that it will get to me. So thank you. Pam Didner: Thank you so much for listening to my podcast. And the podcast is one-way communication. I don't necessarily know who you are, but your support means a great deal to me. If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join my Facebook community, Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. Love to hear from you.
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More. I'm having a very special guest today. Kelly Hungerford from Switzerland. She’s Director of Digital Transformation and Services for Sunstar. Pam Didner: Hey, welcome Kelly. So good to have you! How are you doing? Kelly Hungerford: It's great to be here. Thank you. This is pretty fun. Right. We have nine hours between us and it's kind of like a coffee cocktail hour. Pam Didner: Exactly. Well, it's actually afternoon your time and the morning, my time. So you will start-- both of us willl start cocktail. I'm just going to start. Kelly Hungerford: (laughs) Yay! Pam Didner: No problem. (laughs) Kelly Hungerford: Cause it’s not coffee time here (laughs). Pam Didner: So Kelly tell our listeners about yourself. Kelly Hungerford: So I'm a Californian--and native Californian__living in Switzerland. I've been in Europe for 20 plus years. And I'm currently-- I've been through a lot of different roles. I've worked for the enterprise, then I've worked for startups and I'm back at the enterprise. And, um, now I'm taking a position. I went from consulting. I did the opposite. I went as an independent consultant and I joined a brand in an enterprise. And I'm now the Director of Digital Transformation, Strategy and Services for a global oral care brand called Sunstar. Pam Didner: Can you tell us a little bit about Sunstar. You know, you say it’s a global oral brand. What does that mean? What kind of products and selling? Kelly Hungerford: So, so this is a, this is a cool story. I mean, and I think this really, um, won me over to is, is why I joined them. Because, you know, as a consultant, we have a lot of flexibility and we get to meet so many cool people. And this company I thought was really special. They started in 1932 in Japan—in Osaka, Japan. And they didn't start as an oral care company. They started producing rubber glue in tubes for bicycles, so for bicycle repair. They manufactured the tubes, they obviously the glue also put it inside. They did their own packaging and that was a success. And then four years later when they still had denta-freeze in little cans, right? They said, “wait a minute, we can take this technology and what we know about rubber glue in tubes and actually let's put toothpaste in those tubes.” So they launched with that. I think they call it Sunstar cream and it was the toothpaste and that actually started their oral care division in 1936. So it was really interesting in Japan. Sunstar is a household name across everything. They're in many different divisions and in New York we represent the oral co-brand the U S also, uh, the flagship brand has GUM. So a lot of people are familiar with GUM. Pam Didner: Exactly the floss GUM, the floss. I mean, I use the floss line. Kelly Hungerford: Inter-dental picks. Pam Didner: Yes, exactly. Another one is a dental picks. Yes. My husband loves your brands. I mean, we use it-- well, he uses it everyday. Me, I’m just like… Kelly Hungerford: Yeah, it's cool. I've learned a lot about oral care. Yeah. So, no, it's, it's really cool. And then the people are wonderful and I think it's so incredible to be an American in Europe, working for a Japanese company. And it's just all of these cultures together. So culturally it's, it's really exciting and I'm learning a whole new side of business on a different side of the world. So it's, it's pretty cool. Pam Didner: Exciting. So the company is a Japanese company and I assume is conservative. Speaking of digital transformation, how did you help them understand the benefit of digital? and how did you get that kickoff? Kelly Hungerford: First of all, you're right. The cultures are completely different. And I think a lot of industries, companies and industries have this same issue, maybe, where sales might be good. Well, okay. Let's say pre COVID. (laughs) Until February, everything was saying perfectly and it was kind of like, “why do we need to change?” Pam Didner: Right. Kelly Hungerford: Back then it was more about listen in the future, if there's disruption and if something happened and you couldn't use your channels that your customer do today to sell, what would you do and how would you do it? And that was kind of like, that was a really for them--and I think for a lot of companies--that question just seems very abstract because we can't imagine not having these physical channels that, that we do. Right. And so it was really starting that conversation with them. Things are good now, but what happens when things change and things are changing as we move forward. Marketplaces are changing. And I think a lot of it came down to education and it was also mapping out it really starts in the beginning of, you know, “here's your ecosystem today and what pieces are missing?” For them the digital piece was missing and it was really sitting down and talking about “what does this mean to them?” If they look at the competition and the competition is there, what does it mean that you're not there? and what would be those very first steps to get going? And it wasn't even a matter of a company saying “we don't want to do it,” but it's “where do we get started?” And I think that's the biggest--I think the most logical--place sometimes, and it makes a lot of sense, right, is in the Marketing Department because the marketers are so close to the customer. So, or it could be Sales; also the entry could be there, but for Sunstar it really started in the marketing department in Europe. Pam Didner: So a very quick summary, it sounds like you guys did a very hypothetical exercise. You know, things are doing well. The company’s still very profitable. But definitely the way that we reach out to our customers, the senior management probably is aware of it, as well, like it's changing, everybody's going digital. And what would the world, uh, look like? And also how would the consumer, so even, uh, the, the future customers, how would they change? And you are using that hypothetical scenario to actually drive the conversation and engage with the management and also the marketing team and took them forward in leading that, uh, that effort. Kelly Hungerford: Oh yeah. I was just going to say with that, there, there was then the very pragmatic piece that went with it saying, “if you have this hypothetical then where you need to start is this audit. Like let's audit where you are really.” And out of that conversation came literally a mass audit on their digital ecosystem. Pam Didner: Oh, wow. Kelly Hungerford: Saying, this is what you're missing. So it was 130 pages across social web, you know, they had 44 different web presences for seven markets. I mean, right there it was already link phew. Pam Didner: Yeah, so that's another way to actually consolidate. Yeah. Kelly Hungerford: Yeah. To really just show them and say, “here's the landscape. And there you go.” Pam Didner: Sounds like the way that you craft, uh, which is my next question you answered, that if you craft that transformation plan is you did a massive audit and then you use that audit to drive the communications and the collaboration, or even the updates to the management to get buy-in. But digital transformation can be so expensive. And how do you deal with the budget part of it? And that's one question. Another one is, what were the top say two challenges that you encounter say during the audit or even getting a buy-in? and how did you overcome that? Kelly Hungerford: So I think one, one entry point that every company can do any size is really those quick wins. And that audit is very important to see where, hen the dust settles, where are you? And then there are some, I see it as like a fast, slow lane. So you have to, as quick wins that you can work on quickly, and then you have that slow lane that's a lot more strategic. And you know that that's going to take 24 to 36 months to, to move that. But along the way, you have various tracks that you can feed in. So we kind of worked on that methodology. So some of the quick wins and the way I structured the program was really what can we optimize? I mean, optimization was a big, was a big piece of, we have running operations. So how do you optimize your running operations and then also implement something new? Which was they had no technology and the technology, although it follows the strategy, it's a really important piece. If you don't have the technology to glue everything together, right. Pam Didner: I conquer. Amen! Man, just like music to my ears. I totally agree with you. That's talk about technology a little bit. Kelly Hungerford: In our case for the European region, they had the advantage and the disadvantage of not having any marketing technology in house. They pretty much had no, they had micro-sites so 44 different microsites plus or minus around the region, but they didn't really have technology as a core. So it was kind of outsourced to agencies and, and that was an opportunity there for sure, on the technology side and the strategic side. But what they really need was enablement. If we get this technology in house and when it comes, how do we use it? How do you use technology to reach goals? And that's something that I found, and I don't know what you see with this or how you feel about it, but I often find the enablement part is missing from all of the strategy. So we have these great goals of where we want to go. What kind of technology we're going to use to enable the teams? But where is the training piece? Often it's like a demo or it's like a one-off. Pam Didner: Yeah, I hear you. Kelly Hungerford: So we've put a drip in; it's like a continuous enablement drip as part of the foundation to continue this capability building. Right. Let's build that email marketing muscle. We need to build the social media listening muscle. And so we're building all these muscles, but it's really it's continuous. So I think, um, that's a huge, huge part. Pam Didner: It sounds like two challenges that you ran into, first one is the marketing technology. You need to make sure that technology is set up properly. And then the second thing is teach people how to use it, which is the enable enable part. And from your perspective, that it's not like a one-time training or it's a one-time activation; it's a matter of a continuous education And, you know, digital transformation, just like the term itself is a journey of its own and it's kind of long play and it's not something that you can do in a very short period of time. Kelly Hungerford: No, and I think it's interesting because when we think of digital transformation, we think of these really lofty initiatives, right? I don't think they have to be. I think if an organization says, “where do I start?” well, start with, if you have technology in house, let's come from the Martech. If you have technology in house, how well are you using it What's your adoption? Are you at 60, 70% of features and functionality? Are you getting everything out of it that to enable and power your journey to reach those goals. And I think that that's even transformative in its own way. So if you're talking about budget and where you need to go, maybe we just need to invest in some really hefty education within the organization. And what's interesting also is we don't need to lean on the HR department or another department to do it. We can pull together some really interesting programs ourselves with on-demand learning, collaborating with thought leaders with other experts in the area and in building in-house programs. And it doesn't have to be highly expensive. So I think you can do a lot that's budget-friendly, and then also start building that proof of concept of if we invest here and we're really strategic and focused about it and we know what our goal is, if we win here and can show the benefits, then let's scale that up and move that out. Pam Didner: So the martech—or marketing technology--we know that you cannot just use one tool and a lot of time you have to build a stack of the tools to compliment your process. How do you source martech? and how did you scale, you know, different regions and the countries? Like Europe is a huge region and multiple countries and how do you source that? And also scale it? I know you're talking about like training is important part of it. Any other elements that you have to take into account when you try to scale the martech stack? Kelly Hungerford: (deep sigh) Yeah, the training (laughs). Pam Didner: (laughs) Why don’t you just start drinking! Kelly Hungerford: The people. Pam, this journey. So with Sunstar I've been with them for four years now, one year as an employee, and then it was three years before that designing this program and this initiative. And, you know, we hear people saying, “Oh, transformation's all about the people.” It's all about the people. It's all about the people and how do you build in like that motivation, that change motivation, right, to get on board. But I think what's interesting- so going back to the technology piece. For Sunstar, we took the advantage of, because there was not a lot of technology, really centralized. We said, you know, “this is an opportunity for a platform.” So for Sunstar we took the platform approach and we brought Adobe in house. So that is our marketing stack. It’s analytics, we have a CMS, we have a dam, we have email marketing, uh, target for optimization and so forth. So that is our stack and how we build it, but what's interesting is, we took the approach of kind of, I like to say, um, “we were building the boat and sailing it, too.” Where sometimes you-- Pam Didner: (laughs) Building the boat and sailing it, too! “We are not sinking! We are not building it, it’s just magical! It's going to happen!” It is going to happen. (laughs) Kelly Hungerford: (laughs) It is going to happen! Pam Didner: That's actually everybody. Kelly Hungerford: Yeah, it is everybody, right? So it's, you have all of these different pieces and you have to learn how to navigate and somehow you have to reach your business goals, right? It's not like businesses saying, “Oh, we're going to give you three years. We're going to give you a break and build this up.” And then, so I think, you know, little by little it's almost, I feel like we're building layers, right? Like I would say the region is, is really together. We're kind of building these layers and it's going up and up. We're not really deep in expertise in one area. It's little by little. We go around and we tackle a bit and it's been really fun to watch. So I think in terms of adoption, we're becoming more and more proficient, but we're not, yeah it's 60% of any one piece of our stack yet because we're tackling all of it together. Pam Didner: All of it at the same time and also doing your day job. Kelly Hungerford: Yeah. I mean, I take my hat off to this team. I think they're incredible. It's just like, but, but it's pretty fun having said that, how can technology, because I think this is something that people might not think about also are more managers or decision makers when they're thinking about what kind of stack are they putting together? One advantage to a platform and having the same UI across many different solutions is if the UI is good, it's really enjoyable to use. And it's a huge motivator for the team, right? So I think, again, the transformation is a lot about how can we also make this easy for people? Because I think, you know, what's the saying, like, “people love progress, but they hate change.” So, how do you make those changes enjoyable? Pam Didner: (laughs) Kelly, you know, you were talking like a Sage today, Man. You know, “people like progress. They don't like change.” You know, “we are building a boat and sailing at the same time.” Kelly Hungerford: (laughs) Yeah. “Adapt or die was another one.” Yeah. But it's true. Google right. I mean, so I think that that's another success factor with the technology and the marketing stack. You could have many different silos or silos, single vendor solutions and weave them together, but think about what that means for the person using it. They're going to have different log-ins different interface. So it's kind of something to take into consideration. Pam Didner: Got it. So while are you going through this journey? And, uh, is there one or two takeaway you would like to share with our listeners? If they want to kick off the initiative like this, what are the one or two things that they should definitely pay attention to in the very beginning, driving the transformation initiative? Kelly Hungerford: So I think the, the one thing that's super important is the resources. Pam Didner: When you talking about resources that you talking about, people resources or budget? Kelly Hungerford: About people resources (laughs). Yeah, budget also. Ah, the budget. No, this is what I believe. First of all, compelling story. Like you need to understand what's the pain point and put the passion into selling that and sell big, right? I mean, if you, if you want to sell any transformative initiative in-house, you're not going to go out meek, man. You're, you're going out to make a big bang, right? Like you're selling the vision. And evangelize and I mean, like go big, like big, bold. Transformation isn't, it's not really incremental. I mean, the process itself it’s day in, day out, but the vision has to be so big. So I think one thing is don't be afraid to think big. Pam Didner: Got it. Kelly Hungerford: I mean, even when people tell you it's crazy, it's like, “Yep, and we're going to do this, and this is how we're going to do it.” And, really you have to believe in it, but go big. And then I think really understand the team that you have to work with and understand really well where your strengths are and yeah, where you need to build some muscle. Because that's the really difficult part. And you're going to have to sell these people, that they can do this. And if you can't get them on board, it's going to be difficult. Pam Didner: Any kind of, even for just a very simple tool adoption, like for example, I will implement the tool actually for salespeople to use. And if I don't get them on board, I can implement it. I can go live if they are not using the tool. Well, you know what? I fail miserably. So I totally understand the people part. Like, if you want to make some changes, you have to bring the people along the way, and if they are not coming along, there's no change that you can do. None! Kelly Hungerford: Nope. And I think the other-- I'm going to add one more in that I know you said two, but now I'm going to say three. So the other is early on, I think that internal the intro, and I'm really thinking about the beginnings of inception of the project, and that's why this initiative, that's why I come back to this really important is partnering with departments internally. So if you're a bigger organization— Pam Didner: Of course we are talking about enterprises. Kelly Hungerford: Yeah. But if we talk about budget, it's a really good point. I think everyone thinks of going up like, “oh, we need to sell up to maybe the Managing Director. We need to sell up to the VP. We need to sell up to the CEO.” But you need to sell across also. And I think you need to ask yourself, do I have IT involved? I mean, you have to have IT involved. Pam Didner: Yeah. Totally. Kelly Hungerford: And you have to have Finance involved. And I think that that's the department, everybody leaves out. Nobody wants to talk to finance. Pam Didner: Yeah. You have to get your money somewhere? (laughs) Kelly Hungerford: Exactly. I think the earlier you bring the finance team on board, then the easier of a go, because this is all about education, right? And especially if you're in a more conservative company or industry where maybe digital, like this whole ecosystem—manufacturing is an example--it's just not their bread and butter. So you have to educate them along the way. And that means every department needs to be educated. But Finance, they're holding the purse strings. I mean. Pam Didner: Yeah, I hear you. I get it. Kelly Hungerford: Hug em! Hug em! Pam Didner: Yeah, so the budget is important and that the people bring people along and, and at the same time sourcing the technology. They are every single element within the digital transformation that you need to actually explore and also pay attention to. Kelly Hungerford: Yeah. Pam Didner: I want to ask you one quick parting question. What is the most useless talent you have? Kelly Hungerford: (laughs) Yeah, sticking my foot in my mouth, (Pam laughs) for sure. That is my most useless talent. And I'm really, really good at it as an American in Europe. So it's gotten me nowhere. Pam Didner: Oh my God, you made me laugh. You know what , that's a very good answer. I don’t think anybody has ever said that to me (both laugh). You know, that applies to me too. There are times I will say things and I will thinking out loud and then I just said it. And I was like, “what am I doing? What are you doing, Pam? What are you doing?” Shut up. Kelly Hungerford: All the time. So I'd be like, “Oh, did I say that. Oh, I’m sorry.” (Pam laughs) Yeah, because I'm very direct, you know, but sometimes it's just to direct, so. Pam Didner: I understand. Kelly Hungerford: Yeah. I can learn a little discretion over here, European discretion. Pam Didner: You know what Kelly? Just be you. Just be you. You are fantastic! Kelly Hungerford: That's right. And see, I found a company that accepts me as me. They love me as me so I can thrive because we don't want to be somewhere where the company doesn't accept us, right? That's no fun. So I'm, I'm in love it. Pam Didner: Hey, thank you so much for joining me. I really appreciate it. Kelly Hungerford: Thank you, Pam. Thanks a lot. Pam Didner: Again, thank you so much for listening to my podcast. And the podcast is a one-way communication. I don't necessarily know who you are, but your support means a great deal to me. If you want to chat, reach out to any social media channels or email me email@example.com. You can also join my Facebook community, Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. Love to hear from you. Take care. Bye.
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More. I have a very special guest today, Catalina de León, a Product Designer at Feedly, Design Sprint Facilitator, and founder of Purple Bunny. Catalina will be talking to us about Design Sprint. Yes! Something completely different than any other marketing topics I have shared in my podcast. Let’s get started. So welcome to the show, Catalina! Catalina De Leon: Thank you, Pam. Thank you so much for having me. Pam Didner: So before we talk about what design sprint is, is a possible you can share with the listeners who you are and what you do? Catalina De Leon: Sure. So I'm a designer. I'm based in Bueno Aires, Argentina. Pam Didner: Yay!. I love that country. You guys have great food. Catalina De Leon: We do. We have great, great meat. I've been in the tech industry for over 15 years. This year, I joined Feedly as a product designer. And for those who don't know what Feedly is, Feedly is an AI powered news reader. Um, it helps people keep up with tech topics and trends that matter most to them. And it really helps you get rid of the information overload that comes with traditional ways of gathering news. And before Feedly I founded a remote agency called Purple Bunny where we do UX and branding workshops, like the design sprint, in order to create websites and digital products. Pam Didner: Got it. You have a wide array of experience. I love the way you describe yourself. “I'm a designer.” So, um, I am aware, uh, product sprint, I'm aware of Agile Scrum. As far as I understanding in terms of the any kind of a product sprint, it's a framework or a process that helped the team members work together and then quickly to achieve like a minimal viable product, right? So they can launch something very quickly. Then they will go back and refine and reiterate additional features that need to be added and they achieve some kind of milestone. And they continue to optimize it. Is that correct? Catalina De Leon: Yeah, Pam, you, I think you you're spot on in terms of what an Agile Sprint is. Design Sprint, there's a lot of confusion because of the fact that we're using the word “sprint.” And there's also a lot of confusion with a word like “design thinking” and “design sprint.” So. I think that the best way to put it together is that Design Sprint is a mix of Agile Sprint and Design Thinking. And in the term, in the sense that a Design Sprint is something that happens in a week. It's a methodology that was created by Jake Knapp when he was working in Google Ventures in 2010 (I think he launched his book in 2016, actually). But it's like a structured step-by-step system that mixes Agile with Design Thinking. And Design Thinking on the other hand, it's more of like a mindset. So it's a way of thinking about solving big problems. You have a lot of methodology, you have a lot of tools, but you always have to figure out which are the right tools for your project. Whereas the Design Sprint is like a recipe. You have the tools, this is a step-by-step they're like no questions asked there. And it's a very clear process and you use it generally to kick off a project or to validate an idea. But at the end of the week, you have a high fidelity prototype that you have validated with users and that learnings--all of those insights--you can then take it to implement ithem n your Agile process. So you use it at the start of the process. Um, Agile, I think you use it throughout the entire development of a product. Pam Didner: It does. It's, it's a continuous process, right? Catalina De Leon: Yes. More of like a disciplined project management system that gets the team aligned in terms of what are the guidelines the team has to do. Whereas the Design Sprint, you get together as a team, you get to gather like a team of five or seven people to work collaboratively in a problem and, and get validation of it at the end of the week. Pam Didner: Got it. So Design Sprint is kind of like a workshop and there's a three to four days or three to five days workshop, depending on how complex the product is or how complex the design is. With that being said, it probably requires face-to-face, right? Get together now sheltering plays and we cannot really get together. Everybody's working remotely and working from home. So how do you make it work for the environment that you know, many people calling in? Catalina De Leon: Uh, yeah, I mean, you can definitely do remote sprints. Since in our company, Purple Bunny, we always did sprints remotely because most of our clients are abroad in the U S and even for Feedly, we have a team members across different cities in the, in the U S and Europe. So as you said, and now in the midst of the pandemic, we're more forced than ever to do remote, um, so there are a few things that we had to adapt for sure, in, in terms of making-- I mean, we couldn't expect to have two full days of workshop. You cannot stay six hours in front of a computer and keep the same energy. Pam Didner: No. No, not at all. Catalina De Leon: I mean, if you even are in a two hour call, you can start getting, you know, your energy down, you start getting tired-- Pam Didner: Yeah, you need to take a break. Catalina De Leon: exactly. So we need to do breaks often. We split the workshops in multiple days. Like we do it in like two or three days. Pam Didner: Typically, how long is the day Catalina? So do you like do like four hours and then, then the next day, which is another four hours? or how do you structure a day and how long is it? Catalina De Leon: Yeah, when we do it in person, it's like a full day. We start at 10:00 AM and it's a 6:00 PM. But when we do it remote and it depends again, because we have different time zones in our case. So, we try to do no more than three or four hours tops. And we do breaks between that, of course. But like we, in person, you have breakfast together, you have lunch. So you have a different kind of relationship and that's harder to, to replicate remotely. So what we do is we always try to start up with warm-up exercises or icebreakers. Pam Didner: Right, break the ice. Catalina De Leon: Exactly. And, and there's other things like, um, in person, you, you get to removal of the devices from the room so everybody stays focused. And, of course, remote you're working with devices. So we need to ask, like, “let's put Slack to do not disturb, keep phones on silent mode.” You will have breaks obviously to go back to any priorities you might have. But, ultimately there's also a lot of benefits from doing it remote, actually. Pam Didner: Elaborate that a little bit more. Tell me what are some of the benefits I cannot think of any (laughs)! Catalina De Leon: (laughs) Actually, like you're reducing a lot of waste, for instance. Like in this workshops use tons of post-its, you do a lot of like writing paper. You're reducing waste on commute. Sometimes we had clients come to us and got on a plane to do a remote, like a workshop. You don't, you don't need to get on a plane. Um, you have like everlasting sticky notes. Everything is virtual because we use tools to replace the whiteboard. We have like Miro or Mural and you have these sticky notes, like you're not throwing away or putting them in a, I don't know, putting them in away in a folder. Like you can always access them. You can copy paste the text for like afterwards, when you creating reports with results of the sprint. When you're doing it in person, you need to look and type everything down again. Pam Didner: So what kind of virtual tools, what kind of tools do you use to manage the remote workshop? Catalina De Leon: So the main tools we like, we have the white board tool, which is either Miro or Mural. So these tools are very good to replace a whiteboard. Pam Didner: So how do you spell that? Catalina De Leon: M-I-R-O. And there's two competitors and they sound pretty much exactly the same, which is funny, but on the other one is M-U-R-A-L, Mural. Pam Didner: Okay. Mural. Okay. Catalina De Leon: So these two tools, uh, allows you to have everybody on a big whiteboard. You get to have sticky notes, you can do rectangles, draw things. Um, you can use, like we have sticky votes because a lot of the exercises require voting. Pam Didner: Require voting. Yes. I, 100% agree with that. So with that being said, does that mean that tool, uh, allows everybody to take control? You can basically take the pen--and everybody can take the pen to work on it. Is that right? Or somebody is like, needs to own the pin, uh, like 100% Catalina De Leon: Everybody gets to collaborate at the same time. You can see the name of the people move around. You can see the mouses. So it's pretty cool that you have you're far away, but these two type of tools are bringing you closer in that sense. And you can always come back to these, like, every time you're doing like a report or if you're like, sometimes we do a run through of a sprint prior to do some prep work and you can always come back to it. And look, we did this offline, take a look, uh, and, and it's already there, even for some things like, for instance, there's some storyboarding exercises during the Design Sprint where people draw things or they come like grab a pair of scissors and start cutting things from other solutions. So here you just copy paste. It's so much simpler. Um, you can bring inspiration from the web and just paste the screenshot. So yeah, in that sense— Pam Didner: --people can do the research in real time and because everybody's online and they can check on something and they can bring that ideas and the thoughts directly into the virtual collaboration. Catalina De Leon: Exactly. And you have more tangible examples, right? It's you're not describing it in a post-it, but you're actually showing the screenshots in the tool. So, in a lot of sense, um, I think it's even better. And since we're doing it, our remote, we need to reduce some of the time of the workshops. There's some exercises we do offline. So, um, even like giving homework or doing some like asynchronous communication is also beneficial because you save some time, uh, again, instead of like having longer workshops. Mural is where everything happens during the workshop. But then we use Notion, we use it as a project management tool. Pam Didner: Notion is N-O-T-I-O-N? Catalina De Leon: Yes. You can use others like a Asana or Trello or Base Camp. But it's really helpful to keep track of the progress of the sprint. Um, you know, alot of things can get lost in Slack or in email, so-- Pam Didner: I know! That's the problem with Slack. I just feel like it's good for the instant communication and if you have to pass information, you'd have to share a file, somebody needs to access some things, Slack is fantastic. But in terms of structuring the deliverables and the project, I don't think that's the right tool to do it. Catalina De Leon: Yeah, exactly. It's like, you're going to get lost trying to look for that delivery day to what was the task I had assigned to myself, or even if you want to come back and see, okay, what happened today? what was the summary like?” That Notion gives us the ability to summarize what happened every day and make sure that everybody is aligned and can see the progress. Pam Didner: For this workshop, do you usually have a person facilitating? Do you actually assign two people to manage in a workshop, or it's one person-type of show? Catalina De Leon: Oh yeah. That's a good question. Yeah, we always have one facilitator, um, then there's a decider. Somebody has to have like the final vote for all of the exercises. It's basically whoever gives the thumbs up or thumbs down to any exercise. But since we've gone remote, we've been doing a lot of, uh, assistance facilitation. So we have a main facilitator and a second facilitator and that really helps, especially when you have people that, this is might be the first online workshop. They might not have so much experience with the tools we're using, so we call it the “tech facilitator” because it really helps, uh, have somebody there assisting anybody who might have problems with the technology we're using. Pam Didner: Yeah. Catalina De Leon: There's some times where you have like some sketching or some drawing, and there's like 15 minutes where you're focused on that. So maybe that tech facilitator helps put music in Zoom, or keep track of time, like stays on top of each of the exercise are very time box. We need to stay on time. So it really helps to have somebody assisting the facilitator in that sense. Pam Didner: I 100% agree. I do a lot of workshop and training myself, not necessarily in a design sense, but I do a lot of planning sessions and I do a lot of training, as well. In the most ideal situation, I agree with you, two people to manage other workshop. One is the main person that I actually drive and guide everybody, and the other one is really focusing on the time and make sure all the logistics are taken care of. And, uh, or if the main facilitator is trying to drive the conversation, then the secondary facilitator can actually make sure to know it's not taken properly and, uh, or even prepare of what next, um, you know, the next topic or next, next agenda that is to come. Catalina De Leon: Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. I think that's super useful. And like, even in person, we like, we have that person also helping with, you know, making sure that everybody has something to drink or preparing the lunch— Pam Didner: Yeah, I totally agree. Exactly. Making sure the lunch is on time, making sure all the snacks are prepared— Catalina De Leon: Otherwise it's too much for the facilitator. Pam Didner: I totally agree. And I tried to do it once on my own and, oh my god, it almost, it almost killed me. And after that, I decided to do always bring somebody with me. That's the best way to do it. Catalina De Leon: Yeah. The thing is like, when we went remote, we thought, “Oh, maybe we don't need that role, right? Because you don't, you don't have the lunch, you don't have all of those things.” But then we realized, “okay, no, it definitely helps to have the sidekick.” Pam Didner: Yeah. I still think you need it. There’s still some virtual logistics you have to take care of. And you mentioned about Design Mindset. And I talk about marketing mindset very often. Sometimes I will say, I communicate with my clients or even some of, uh, I have a Facebook community and I will talk to them and that we need to have a marketing mindset. And one of the community members was asking me specifically, “Pam, what do you mean by marketing mindset?” I have my thought. I actually provided a response to Ryan who asked that question. So when people ask you that you need to have a design mindset, What does that mean to you? What kind of, you know, what is the thinking approach or what kind of, I guess maybe capabilities or, approach that this person needs to have to demonstrate that he or she has that design mindset? Catalina De Leon: Um, so yeah, I think the Design Mindset, and I'm going to think a lot about design thinking when, when talking about that, because, um, to me design is about solving a problem. And a lot of times the designer might want to jumping into the actual design, uh, like jump into that, like— Pam Didner: --right away. Yes. They get into the, uh, the solution mode. They want to solve the problem right now. Catalina De Leon: Yes, exactly. And I think it's about zooming out, like zoom out and and let's start thinking about the problem. And that's why when I got to, I got to know the Design Sprint, I fell in love with the methodology because it had this perfect system that's the first day you're, you're only focused about the problem. You're only focused about understanding and getting aligned as a team and making sure that's everybody's voice is being heard. And it's not just about the designer. Actually having the name Design Sprints, I think also tends to confuse people because they think that you need to be a designer to do a Design Sprint. Pam Didner: Yeah. I was thinking that, too. Yeah. Catalina De Leon: But no, no, not at all. I mean, of course a designer can participate, but you could even have a Design Sprint without a designer. You don't, you don't need a designer. You just need people. And I, I actually think a design mindset, anybody can have a design mindset. It's more about empathizing with whoever it's going to be using your product, your website, your marketing materials, just thinking about them and keep them in mind when thinking about the solution. Pam Didner: You know, interesting enough that that's how you define the mindset and my answer to Ryan. When Ryan asked me specifically, what is the marketing mindset? And, uh, I basically, you told me a while I thought about it like two or three days before I responded to Ryan's question. From my perspective, a marketing mindset is you need to keep your customers or your audience's needs in mind. And when you do any kind of marketing, you need to think through that your target audience, how are they going to react to that? And if you create a piece of content, is that helpful to them? And if you try to promote it to them, uh, is it, uh, kind of intrusive, right? So everything you do, you need to think through like, okay. From the OD, found the eyes of the audience, how do they perceive that? To me, that's a marketing mindset. It's with sense of, uh, your audience and your customer in mind when you do something. So it's kind of interesting the way you defined it is very similar to mine. So when you mentioned that, keep your audience in mind. I was like, “Oh my God., Catalina, I love you! I love YOU!” Catalina De Leon: (laughs) I think the way you put it is like spot on because, otherwise, what's the sense, like, what's the point of it? If you're going to be doing a marketing piece or a product that's, if you're not thinking about your audience on who's going to use it, then why do you do it? They're going to ignore it. It's not going to be useful for them. Pam Didner: I, I agree with you, but unfortunately, a lot of time, um, when I work with my clients and, uh, they basically say “Pam, I have to sell products. And it's about the product. I need to sell the product. I need to promote the products. I need to tell them how good I'll products are.” And, so the way they are thinking about it is, “okay, what can I say about the product?” But, and I agree that's actually important. And I'm not saying that's not important, but I always tell them, “can you turn that around a little bit? And, rather than say how good our products are, can you say, can you communicate how they can use your product effectively to solve their problems?” You stating in the same thing, but it's coming from that perspective, coming from the user's perspective. You are right. It needs to turn it around. Catalina De Leon: Exactly. Yeah, there's a very, um, interesting framework from Donald Miller. I think his book is called Storytelling. Pam Didner: Yeah, Storytelling. I love it. Catalina De Leon: I think what you're talking about is pretty similar because it's about not being the hero of the story, not being the brand, the hero of the story, but actually positioning yourself as the guide. So it's, “how can I help you with the problems?” And then you present the product; it's shifting the mindset a bit, and not talking about the product first. So, yeah, I totally resonate with, with how you just explained it. Pam Didner: What are some of the tips and tricks that you learn? Say if the listeners that they want to implement the Design Sprint process. Unfortunately they don't have a budget. To hire experts like you to help them, if this is something that they can do themselves in this, uh, is there some sort of DIY that they can do, or is a book that they can read or the website they can go to? Can you share some of that with us? Catalina De Leon: Absolutely. Yeah. And anybody can, can run a Design Sprint, to be honest. So my recommendation to start is read the book Sprint by Jake Knapp. Pam Didner: Jake Knapp. Uh, how would you spell N on that? Catalina De Leon: And that's K-N-A-P-P. Pam Didner: Got it. Got it. I was typing M-A-P-P (laughs). Catalina De Leon: That's where I would start. Um, you can also follow, uh, there's an agency in Berlin called AJ Smart. They publish tons of content. Tons of tips— Pam Didner: Can you say that? Can you say that again? Catalina De Leon: A-J and then smart. That's S-M-A-R-T. Pam Didner: Got it. Catalina De Leon: So they, they have tons of contents they have in YouTube and Instagram, and they actually have like a Masterclass that they offer and Jake Knapp participates and teaches the methodology. But it can be a bit pricey. So if you're getting started, I think that just the book, and just following--there's a lot of free content in there in their YouTube channel. You can also follow me, actually, if you want on Instagram at Purple Bunny. We also post a lot of tips about Design Sprints. Pam Didner: Wonderful. That's my next question to wrap it up so where people can find you and if they have any specific questions. You're already share that with us, basically follow you on Twitter or I'm pretty sure you all on the LinkedIn, on LinkedIn as well. If they have any specific questions they probably can reach out, right? Catalina De Leon: Absolutely. They can follow me actually on Instagram. There are so many social media accounts, that’s the one I focus on mainly. And also Purple Bunny, that's the agency I founded. We are posting a lot of also material about Design Sprints. Pam Didner: Purple Bunny. Excellent. Excellent, wonderful. So to close it, I actually have one silly question. I would like to ask you, what is the most useless talent you have? Like literally, like you have that talent. It's like not helping anybody at all. (laughs). Catalina De Leon: Um, so, I guess, I love watching TV shows with my wife at the end of the day and, uh, TV shows or movies. Uh, we always like kind of compete, in terms of to see who recognizes some actor in the show. I'm really good, actually like quickly recognizing a specific actor or character and recognize, “Oh, I know from where he is!” I guess that's the most useless talent I can have, honestly, because it doesn't help anyone, that's for sure (laughs). Pam Didner: (laughs) But I think that’s a talent. That's definitely a talent and wonderful. It’s so wonderful to have you on my podcast, on my show and is wonderful to hear you and talking about design sprint. And, uh, like I said, Anyone who is listening, and if you have any specific questions, so check out Catalina's Instagram. Catalina De Leon: Thank you so much, Pam, for having me, it's been a blast. It's been really fun. Pam Didner: Again, thank you so much for listening to my podcast. And the podcast is a one-way communication. If you have any specific questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join my Facebook community, building the marketing skills to get ahead. If you joined and you can ask me any questions, any questions, I will answer them directly. So love to hear from you and take care. Bye.
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More. I'm doing a sequel. Yes, sequel of my previous podcast, which I’ve never done before: The Business Benefit of Taking a Break. So I did that podcast and someone comment on it on LinkedIn. And I want you guys to hear what she has to say. Jen welcome to the show. So happy to have you. Jen Carroll: Hi Pam! Pam Didner: I published this podcast and obviously I took an intended break during COVID and I allow myself to kind of like simmer and the reflect and I talk about it in terms of that whole journey and how I use that time to kind of do a little modification of my business model, if you will. And you commented on that, it sounds like you did something similar. So before we dive into that, can you tell our listeners who you are and why you do? Jen Carroll: Well, my name is Jen Carroll and I'm a marketing strategist with Data Dames Marketing, a consultancy I own together with my business partner and Annalisa Hilliard. I've been in advertising and marketing since 1996. I've held both in-house and agency positions, basically all around content, social media and media relations. And I also owned my own freelance content marketing business for 10 years. Pam Didner: Excellent. So can you share with us why you and your partner’s adjusting your business model and enjoying that time- or this time. Jen Carroll: Well, I guess by saying that, you know, we really just started as partners in business in January. Pam Didner: Oh, wow. So it’s fairly new. Jen Carroll: She started the business in 2018, but for us to be in like a partner/business partner relationship, it just started in January. So yes, fairly new and it got us, like, you got us thinking about our business. We made some definitive changes. Pam Didner: Such as? Jen Carroll: We've made marketing strategy the focus of our business--redefining our ideal client, adding advising services, oh, and you'll love this part, creating completely new messaging. Pam Didner: I hear you. I hear you (laughs). Jen Carroll: So completely new messaging around the strategy and implementation we do offer. And then we just took a hard look. At the things that we knew we needed to eliminate if we were going to do what we wanted to do. And so the hardest decision we made was no longer offering standalone project-based SEO and content services, because that was one of our most common requests is like, “we hear you're good at SEO. We'd like you to do some work for us, or we want you to write some content” and we just decided to eliminate that piece of it. Pam Didner: Wow. But that's a cash cow, right? That's a cash cow of your company Jen Carroll: We'll offer those services. But they're only in the context of working with clients who want marketing strategy first. So we bring the marketing strategy first, and then we, we provide those, those areas of deep knowledge within the context of a strategy. And one of the things we've found is that SEO content, social media, data analytics, all of those things without a strategy, generally don't deliver results. They don't meet expectations. And then you have, a lot of churn. Also just writing, as you said, like you kind of took a break and stepped away for some content writing. I mean, content creation is intense. Pam Didner: Talk to me about that! Yes, totally interesting (laughs). Jen Carroll: So it's a lot of intense work and I feel like it's, um, something that a lot of companies don't necessarily recognize the amount of work that it takes and they don't necessarily want to pay for it. So, I mean, in terms of it being a cash cow, I think it really depends. Pam Didner: Good point, good point. Jen Carroll: Yeah. It really depends on, on what they're, you know, what companies are willing to pay for, so. Pam Didner: What is your ideal customer? Jen Carroll: Um, for us an ideal client would be, um, one that is, uh, employee number-- over 50 and they have an in-house marketer or a very small in-house marketing team, maybe of two to three, at most. So they're the kind of place, the kind of company where there they have a lot of things going and they, they having trouble covering all the bases with their, with their marketing. They also might be struggling with bringing together all of their online, offline, and offsite marketing and so they want a cohesive plan that brings all of that strategy together. And then finally, maybe most, most importantly, these days is they want to be able to tie their marketing to meaningful metrics that have business impact. Pam Didner: Yeah. The way I say it in a more plain English is that you have to tie to some, a metrics to sales and it has to quantify to some sort of sales contribution, um, especially in terms of revenue as. So yes. I hear you loud and clear. So with that being said, can you share kind of like your thinking process. Obviously you also take, uh, some sort of business break to kind of sit back and then, and you have to think through in terms of when your business model will look like. Can you share with us your thinking process during that time? Jen Carroll: We're always looking, how can we adjust and make the most of opportunities or overcome challenges? We want to make our work a good fit, not just for us professionally, but also personally. And of course with all that, we want to serve clients and we want to have long-term relationships with our clients, not just like a quick project-based type of work. So our thinking process started with zeroing in on business friction points. We started just being like, “what are the things we within the things that we do, what do we really love? And what do we really dread?” One of the things we recognize that I've already mentioned SEO and content without strategy does not yield good income (7:55) , excuse me. Pam Didner: 100% agree with that statement. I think a lot of people are creating content for the sake of creating content, but it has to serve a purpose. On top of that, even you serve a purpose, how you write content, one needs to be set on how to say it is super critical. And it took me a long time to actually understand that, to be honest with you. I mean, initially when I was creating content, at least for myself, like I will, like, I want to write what I like to write, but sometimes is not what I like to write is what it makes sense for the audience. Jen Carroll: Right. And obviously, I mean, you being so much of a proponent of messaging, you know yourself that you have to meet the clients where there are challenges are and that may not necessarily be what you want to write about (laughs). Pam Didner: I 100% agree with you. Of course on the enterprise side, there’s always buyer’s persona, you write to the buyer's persona. But when I started, I'd like to write what I like to write (laughs). Then I was like, no. Jen Carroll: For sure Pam Didner: It took me a little while to make that change. You know what I'm saying? Jen Carroll: right, but with that, we no longer wanted to be the order takers. You know, like “do some keyword research. Write me some content.” Again, we know that that doesn't produce meaningful results. And we've been in the business for a long time and we're just like that just doesn't work. That was kind of our thinking process when we were making these changes. Pam Didner: So that's good. So out of that, you're obviously come up with some ideas, you come up with some thoughts in terms of how you want to move things forward for your company. So what are the steps that you take to get to the certain point to move forward? Jen Carroll: Once we stopped bitching about the things that like frustrated us (laughs). We were like, okay, let's-- so the first step is you need to define some purpose in what we want to do. And I, that sounds basic— Pam Didner: It’s not. It’s very essential. I mean, it sounds basic, but it's super essential. Jen Carroll: Yeah. I mean, of course we need to cover our bills, we need to make some money, but this is not just about making a profit. We needed to understand and believe in ourselves about the value that we could bring to the table. And so that I know, like I said, that sounds super basic, but that was a first step for us. The second step, which you've already asked about our ideal client. That second step was actually going back and coming up with that whole definition of what our ideal client was. I mean, we had one before, but we're like off the table. It's completely, it's completely different we need to refocus. So, that led us to making lists of questions that we often use to vet our potential clients as well. We know now, like these are, these are some of the things we need to check off before we we've, we want to work with, with clients. And then three was, uh, establishing the ways, ways to deliver that value that we bring to the table. And I kind of wanted to give a shout out to a business coach that we have really enjoyed working with. Her name is Norma Rist. She's retired from the Pepsi Company. She was a general manager. And she has this wonderful decision-making tool that we have love you place a numeric value. You use weighted scores, uh, with each business idea you have, and as you evaluate, you evaluate them against criteria that you select that are important to you. And so basically the tool makes the process that's very abstract, makes it tangible and concrete. Pam Didner: Yeah. So it's basically, there is a metric stance and process to follow and a guide, your thinking process along the way. Jen Carroll: Yes. And then at the end, it basically lets you sift by score. Like you have a weighted score and then you're like immediately your best ideas rise to the top. And so it helps you just, again, it's just very tangible and concrete as opposed to always like abstract “what if” or “I kinda like this” or whatever. It’s a very useful tool. Pam Didner: So her name is Norma Rist, right? Norma R-I-S-T. Okay. Very good. After you done the whole process, what is the aha? What is the biggest takeaway and how does that, is that biggest takeaway very different than what you'll originally envisioned? Jen Carroll: We had probably one big aha for us. Uh, when we first, you know, went into partnership, we had this idea that we would make, I won't say great money, but selling, um, audits and assessments. You know, a lot of agencies and consultancies do that. And as we went through her decision-making process, we realized that they actually did not fit with this new business model that we wanted to have at all. Pam Didner: Really? Jen Carroll: Yep and we just, we just literally threw it off the table. We were like, “Okay, nope. We're not doing those. They are very time-intensive and they actually often don't yield the kind of long-term client relationship that we want. So off, out.” So yeah, that was a pretty big change for us. Pam Didner: So now talk to us one more time after that was done, what was the next step? Jen Carroll: Okay. So the next step will be your favorite. Now, I don't know if it's your favorite, but it was messaging. We actually reworked every word on our website on social media. Um, and again, I honestly love your templates and frameworks that you've provided. And so those were great guides. Pam Didner Thank you so much. I really appreciate it to actually hear that feedback. Yeah, that, How to Create Messaging Framework, that blog post is probably the most popular blog post on my website. And many people actually use that templates and came back to me and say, yeah, they liked that. I think if it's on the B2B side, it works well. For B2B marketers, they look at my template. They will like, okay, I get it. I understand. I know exactly what needs to be done. (laughs) Jen Carroll: Well, yeah, just well-directed and, just incredibly helpful. And so that's what we, that's what we used and basically redid our messaging completely. And then the last step was to establish exit plans for the things that we, you know, obviously it had to be gradual because we have a, you know, we have a mix of client still client. We still have a mix of clients and we love our clients. We love the people that we're working with, but we just know like with any new client, we were going to do certain things without-- we certainly do some of our work without the strategy piece. One of the things that we stopped doing was sub-contracting to other agencies. So we decided that that was also off the table, not something we were going to do. So that's, that was kind of the process. We expect that all to be by the complete by the end of 2020, so. Pam Didner: That's amazing. There's the one thing you say about messaging, I really love, and you just said you re-worked every word on your website and on your social media. That is the core of the messaging. Once that messaging framework is done, I always tell my clients, you have to go back and rework your web copy your social media, you rework every single word of it. Oh my God. Music to my ears! That just sounds sexy, okay? (laughs) Jen Carroll: (laughs) It is! Pam Didner: Obviously, you know, the next question I would like to ask you, you're probably gonna say budget and resources, but, what are the challenges you encountered during the implementation? I mean, we all encounter tons of challenges when we try to implement, doesn't matter if it's doing a content audit or redo our website. And now you are talking about the biggest thing, which is you are seriously reshaping your business models. So what are some of the challenges you encounter? Jen Carroll: So the biggest challenge honestly, is saying no saying no to the kind of work that we previously had said yes to and I don't know that anybody needs more fear in 2020. I think we're just have a shit ton of it (laughs). But then also having people come to you and you're telling them,” no, that's not what we do anymore.” We're referring them out. There was a lot of fear and some self-doubt actually that creeps in, doing that. Pam Didner: I hear you. I think you all walking that journey and all of us have that self-doubt. I mean, I remember when I left my corporate world, right? And I was like, corporate junkie for like 20 years. When I left, I kind of left without parachute. Right. It feels like I'm jumping off the cliff, right? Jen Carroll: Right. Pam Didner: And that whole first two years, you know, when I have a client, I was like, “Oh yeah, I'm the King of the world.” When I don't have the client and the pipeline is kind of dry I was like, “Oh my God. Nobody loves me! Oh my god they all hate me!” Then you have less self-doubt and I completely understand. And I dared not to turn, not any projects. I think Jen, you and I, we are kind of in a position that we need to say, no. It's not like we are busy all the time. I don't think that's the point. The point is we know what we want. Yes. Yeah. Jen Carroll: Yeah. So true. I was thinking didn't you, you recorded a podcast, I feel like it was maybe even, was it your new year's podcast or I'm trying to remember when, but you were just very transparent about some fears and struggles you had and self-doubt, and I wish I had it right up in front of me, but I love that podcast. Pam Didner: Oh thank you. Jen Carroll: I feel bad. Like I don't, I don't know the name of it right in front Pam Didner: Don't worry about it. I think it's something related to New Year's resolution. Jen Carroll: And I think you, and I think you recorded it before the impending doom. (laughs with Pam). But I just remember that was actually in addition to the messaging, the messaging podcasts, you've done the, um, that one was very meaningful. So thank you for being so transparent. Pam Didner: So sweet Jen. I mean, seriously, when I did that messaging framework is so freaking dry. You know, I was like, I was doing that podcast and I was like, “Oh my God, If anybody listens to this podcast, they're going to freaking fall asleep.” Jen Carroll: But your podcasts are short. So, you know, I mean, we've been like 30 minutes long. I'll read the transcript, but no, it was short. They were very doable. They were helpful. Pam Didner: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Very, very good. So, um, will you continue to take a break? to figure out your business moving forward? Jen Carroll: Um, yes, actually I am discovering the beauty of taking breaks. Because I'm a person that's very guilty of being busy all the time, I could, I can talk about a lot of years I've spent in my life just being very busy, but not being strategic. And I think taking a break, it allows you that space you need. Um, insights can happen in an instant, but yeah, you can't get those kinds of insights if you're constantly busy. So I would definitely take more breaks. I think the one thing that we did on-- so I said there were two kinds of breaks, so, so the first break was back during COVID time and just like rethinking our business model completely, but we've more recently took a break to talk about some new income streams of which are still very, very new and just kind of an idea for them. But we left our break, very unstructured and we spent some time actually being outside, like, uh, biking and hiking, which you can't get better than being out in nature, to be honest. And I think that's unstructured time was very fruitful for brainstorming, um, and just having a good conversation. Now, I think the next break, the third break we need to take would be to have more structured solution planning time as business partners. So I would recommend another break with more structure. Pam Didner: Excellent. Excellent. So obviously you were talking about taking a break. There's a structured approach. There's an unstructured approach. And I think you hit the core. If you are kind of looking at a brainstorming session, the brainstorming you want to look into a business model. You don't know what that is. Everything's kind of mushy. I think unstructured of actually helps. And then over time, and, but at the end of the day, you still have to bring some sort of structure thinking to move it forward, to re-shape it, to formalize- Jen Carroll: You have to have a strategy, right? (laughs) Pam Didner: Yeah, exactly! So tell our listeners where they can find you and how you can help them. Jen Carroll: Well, you can find out more about Data Dames marketing at DataDamesMarketing.com. We have a business page on LinkedIn. If you want to be more conversational, I always welcome people to reach out to me by message on LinkedIn. And I'm also on Twitter @jencwriter. Pam Didner: Okay. Very, very good. Excellent. So I have one funny question, a silly question. I would like to ask you. And so what is the most useless—seriously--the most useless talent you'll have? Jen Carroll: I have to be honest, that is a really hard question because I would like to believe all my talents are very useful. Um, I, if I look back to my younger days, um, I used to be really good at playing the alto saxophone— Pam Didner: Wow! Jen Carroll: --and singing solos in Italian, both of which have turned out to be completely useless in my life. So there you go.I enjoyed them. Well, I did that, but as not translated to, into much of anything now. Pam Didner: Well, okay. Yeah, those are kind of, I have to say. Yeah, in the marketing side might be useless to get clients in Italy. Jen Carroll: Well, the bad thing is you sing in Italian, but like, I don't know anything that I'm saying. (both laugh) Pam Didner: Alright, the truth comes out! Jen Carroll: No, no, just it's just something that you did when you were taking voice lessons. Sing songs in Italian, and I'd be like, “Oh great. I don't even know what I'm singing. Fantastic.” Pam Didner: It's so wonderful to have you, Jane, thank you so much for coming to the show and I wish you the best of luck about your new business and thrive! Jen Carroll: Thank you, Pam. I wish the same for you. Pam Didner: Thank you so much. I hope you enjoy the podcast. I’d appreciate that you leave a five-star review on Apple podcast or my website, PamDidner.com. If you think this is useful, please share with your colleagues and friends. I also love to hear from my listeners, so join my Facebook community, Build Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. I'd answer any marketing questions you may have. I mean, any marketing questions. You ask, I answer. All right. See you there. Have a great week.
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More. I have a very special guest today. Joining us to talk about rebuilding customer loyalty is Jay Baer. He is founder of Convince & Convert and an author and a speaker. In fact, a great, great speaker that was inducted to the Speaker Hall of Fame by National Speakers Association and has published four books. I think. I lost count. And the last one was Talk Triggers. So welcome, Jay! Jay Baer: Pam, fantastic to see you and talk to you. Thank you very much. Uh, I've been busy. You've been busy, you know, a pandemic got in the way, but other than that, uh, here we are. Pam Didner: So, how are you and what have you been doing? Jay Baer: What I haven't been doing is going to airports. I went from traveling 200 days a year to zero days a year, and I thought that would be a terrible, but I actually don't miss it at all, as it turns out. I've been fortunate. I've been doing a lot of virtual remote keynotes and MC assignments, which I like very much. And then, my consulting team at Convince and Convert, we've been really busy working with a lot of really interesting and exceptional brands--both B2B and B2--helping them with digital marketing and content marketing and social media strategy and customer experience. We're super thankful. My kids were both home from college unexpectedly, for, I guess it would have been six months. Uh, and, and that was terrific. Actually, it was, it was weird. We wouldn't have seen them ordinarily. Of course they would have been at school and probably internships this summer. And so they both came home and that was really terrific to have that kind of time with them that we just wouldn't have had. So they're, they're both back on campus now. Uh, so we are, we have renewed our originally scheduled empty nester program. Pam Didner: Join the club. I was happy to actually my, I have my sons at home as well, doing a summertime. Now they are actually off to campus. I'm very happy for that. So obviously COVID is reshaping our purchasing behavior, especially for— Jay Baer: Everything. Pam Didner: Everything, yeah. I remember seeing, um, a keynote deck from you that 54% of consumers have made a purchase from a new provider or a new brand since the pandemic. Jay Baer: And 89% of them plan to stay with this new provider. And I'll bet you Pam, most people tuning in, have had that experience. They said, “hey, you know what? Yeah, I'm using a different dentist now, or different restaurants or different software company or any number of things. And so the implication for this is that there are significant shifts in market share in every category of business happening right now in a way that has been unprecedented since the Internet itself was invented. What we're seeing is people making very different purchase decisions than they would have before. And this puts a lot of pressure on businesses, but also a tremendous opportunity. So nobody is pro-pandemic, obviously, but I will tell you this, Pam, this is the single greatest opportunity you will likely ever have in your business career to go out and take market share from competitors. Because the longstanding relationships between customers and companies, which were calcified over months or years or decades of relationships, they're now being frayed. People are like, “you know what? All bets are off. I'm starting from zero. I'm going to reassess all the things that I buy in from home and make different decisions if necessary.” It is an incredible time and there are going to be a ton of winners and some losers on the other side of this. Pam Didner: So why should brands do, what should marketers do, right, to actually take advantage of that opportunity? Jay Baer: The most important thing that marketers can do is to understand that in a way that we've never experienced before nobody knows nothing about nothing anymore. And I'll give you an example. It was probably three months ago now, I got my first haircut since the pandemic. Pam Didner: (laughs) Yeah. My, my husband has been cutting his own hair. Jay Baer: Yeah. I'm not going to do that, but I appreciate that kind of ingenuity. That's not going to happen for me. I'm a 50 year-old man. I, I sort of felt like, “Hey, at this point in my life, I know a haircuts work.” Turns out, I do not because to get my hair cut, I had to have like 16 questions successfully answered. Is the haircut place still open? Does the woman who cuts my hair at the haircut place? Does she still work there? Where do I park now? Do the parking meters downtown still work? Are the appointments the same length? Are they a different time cause they got to clean up between the appointments. Uh, how do I even make an appointment? Do I wear a mask? Does she wear a mask? Can I tap to pay my phone, or do I have to touch filthy paper, currency and on and on and on and on. This is just to get a haircut. But Pam, this is not just a small business, local business phenomenon. On my podcast “Social Pros” I had on the show a few weeks ago Laurie Meacham, who until recently was the head of social media customer care for Jet Blue Airlines. She told me on my show that their digital team had found a brand new search term in their Google organic spelunking. Pam Didner: What is that? Jay Baer: "Are airlines still in business?" Pam: (laughs) Oh my god. Jay Baer: That’s not a search term we would have had in February or anytime before that. Nobody knows nothing about nothing. So what we have right now, uh, in a way that I've never seen in my long career is information asymmetry. You know way more about your business and how it works post pandemic during the pandemic than your customers do. So there is this colossal uncertainty gap that all customers have now about how to buy things, where to buy them, what to pay, who to hire. Consumers are more uncertain than they've ever been and your job as a marketer needs to be to fill that uncertainty gap. And essentially what you need is the ultimate FAQ. Like if you think you've answered a lot of questions on your website, trust me, you have not because I had 16 questions just about a haircut. Pam Didner: Yeah. So that means is it to rewrite content, obviously, or content marketing becomes more important ?or do we need to rethink in terms of how we have to better engage with our potential customers or customers? Jay Baer: It's all those things. It's, rewiring your customer relationships using information. So it's, it's literally writing down all the questions that your customers have today, which are much more numerous than they would have had in the past. Starting with, are you still in business? Literally— Pam Didner: --very simple question. Yeah. Am I still open? How long do I open? Jay Baer: Yes. All of that. Cause they don't know. Nobody knows nothing about nothing anymore. So you got to start with that answer all of those questions with content and then two important things, Pam. Answer all the questions with the content and then. First make your FAQ portable. Pam Didner: Can you elaborate that a little bit more portable in terms of like it's not PDF, I assume, and the needs to be probably-- Jay Baer: --the PDF is great actually. Yeah, because what happens is most companies and I mean, like the overwhelming majority, they will answer customer questions with a series of web pages. And that's fine, but in these unprecedented times, a lot of times you need to communicate with somebody else, a spouse, a family member, a friend before making that purchase decision. And it may not be very likely that you're going to huddle around the laptop. So the best thing you can do is not only answered these key customer questions on your site, but also then create some longer form content that can be printed, shared, downloaded, that can actually transcend the laptop or the phone and be consumed offline or in a group in some other way. Pam Didner: So it's kind of like a one-pager— Jay Baer: Yeah, an Ultimate Guide to Getting a Haircut, for example. Something like that is a really good idea. And then the other piece of that, the kind of companion, is to take your top questions, the ones that are most likely to be asked, the ones that are kind of deal breakers if they're not answered sufficiently. And instead of relying on a pull strategy for customers to show up on your website and then find the questions in your navigation to push those questions and answers out: social email, maybe even some paid, right? Don't rely on your customers to say,” well, I got to get this question answered better go to their website first, I'll go through the navigation and find it.” If you know, it's that important to have a question, push it out to them. Don't make them have to go find it. Pam Didner: So with that being said, do you see that is marketing's job to actually, rewire customers in terms of their loyalty? What if, you know, the product needs to be changed and or additional features and needs to be add and that's really not marketing’s job. How do you address that? Jay Baer: Yeah. And it's so critical. Look, you have to offer the products and services in the ways that people want to buy now, which may very well, not be the ways that they wanted to buy from you last year. That's just the nature of a pandemic. You look at a company like Closet Factory and any of the closet companies. They send somebody to your house, they walk around your closet and they got a tape measure. They're like,” okay, how many ties do you have to tie rack over here?” And then they give you a sketch and say, “here’s what it’s gonna look like,” and you, and you write them a deposit check. Then they come back. Well, that doesn't work anymore. Most customers do not want random closet dude walking around their closet, touching all their clothes in the middle of a pandemic. So what most of these closet companies have had to do is pivot to virtual closet design, which gives customers what they want a perceived level of safety when designing the new closet-- Pam Didner: --and also probably communicate if they have to do an installation, what are some of the safety procedures that the installers will— Jay Baer: That's right. So the core of that, it's not really marketing's job to say, “Hey, we're going to have to go to virtual closet design.” That's probably not a marketing scenario. That's probably a ops scenario or an executive teams scenario. Pam Didner: Right. Jay Baer: But communicating all of that, nobody knows nothing about nothing is marketing with sort of a side order of CX and CS. And I will tell you this, the one thing that this pandemic has really brought into sharp focus is the absolute requirement of marketers to be working side by side cheek to jowl--not literally because everybody's working from home--but metaphorically side-by-side cheek to jowl with customer service and customer experience. Yes. Because we've always said, and it's always been true that it's two sides of the same coin and it is even more true right now. Pam Didner: True, true, true. I 100% agree with that. So it's very hard, obviously, to reeducate your customers. Right. So you actually have any suggestions or any ideas, what would be the best way or any kinds of specific content format that you should use? You're talking about making, you know, the, FAQ as a portable and a one-pager and any other format, would you suggest? Jay Baer: Well, especially when you're talking about safety concerns--like the closet design thing we just talked about, or even my haircut example--wherever possible, you should show instead of tell. And we've talked about that in marketing for a long time. Pam Didner: You also talk about you part of the Talk Triggers, as well. Jay Baer: Yeah, but it's really critical now. So I did a keynote, a couple months ago for a big group of hospital marketers. And of course convincing patients to come back to the hospital to get a knee replaced or, hand to surgery or, you know, Lasik or whatever. All the different procedures that are elective is an enormous challenge for them right now. Hospitals are having a tremendous problem with revenue because people are just delaying and delaying and delaying procedures because they're still concerned about catching coronavirus at the hospital. And so I actually did a side-by-side comparison of one hospital that had a really nice, comprehensive, written series of FAQ's about safety at the hospital. Here's our cleaning procedure. Here's how we're training the staff. And then on the other hand, here is a hospital who did that, but then also had three videos that actually showed people cleaning and showed the actual training program and showed a testimonials from patients saying “I've never felt safer.” And this idea of when you see it, you believe it more than when you read it is incredibly true, especially as it relates to people's perceived health and safety. Pam Didner: Yeah, I do agree with that. Like when I go to a shopping mall nowadays, like you could go to any, uh, store, right? They have limited amount of occupancy. They also will tell you in terms of, hey, you know, when you walk in, if you want to try certain products, what kind of procedure that you will do. Some of them, they don't even let you try you have to buy. And then you, you know, you go home and then you try it and then you come back and you returned it. So, yes, it's a lot of work to go shopping now. Can you imagine holiday shopping? Jay Baer: Hey, that's why so much is moving online, right? Like, you know, buying online was already debatably easier for most things, but now? Okay, so I don't have to wear a mask and I'm just sitting in line and I don't have to do all these things. I can just press a button. This is why this is one of the craziest stats: October 5th, we will surpass the totality of all of 2019 e-commerce revenue. Pam: Wow. Jay Baer: That's before Halloween, before Thanksgiving, before Black Friday before Cyber Monday before Christmas. Pam Didner: We have no choice! Everybody's buying online. Jay Baer: Yeah. So, and that's one of the things to think about, right? Not only do you need to kind of reconfigure your products and services to make sure that customers feel secure, but whatever you can do to move your products and services online/self-serve is obviously a best practice. One of the things that we've been talking to, a lot of our clients about, Pam, is certainly as a thought exercise and at some level, an actual recommendation, how can you build a company now where you never, ever, ever have to see customers face-to-face? Pam Didner: Yeah, that's actually a great question. I didn't think about that to be honest with you. So if you don't see them face-to-face and there's no, it's kind of like touchless, but virtual. Right? And how do you close the deal without even seeing them face-to-face? That's a great question. It's a hypothetical exercise I think mainly brands probably should consider and explore. I love that. Jay Baer: Well, even in B2B, right? So many companies have relied on salespeople having some kind of face-to-face interaction with clients at some point in the consideration funnel... Pam Didner: --it's kind of essential, in a way, before pandemic. Jay Baer: Yes, yes, yes. And, and so the, the face-to-face part used to often be the highlight of the customer journey. And now in many cases, it's the hindrance. Right nowm itt's the hangup. And then. If you can build a company that can successfully operate in those circumstances, then maybe once you do more face-to-face that becomes like a bonus, right? It's not a requirement. It's a bonus, right? Like, so, I have a Tesla. I had to take it in for service recently. And never saw human being now, Tesla was kind of a head on, um, touchless/contactless before just kind of the nature of the company. But on the app it was like: “here's what's wrong with the car? Here's the appointment.” Then they texted me to confirm, drop off the car. I get another text that says, “leave your keys in the car and just go. We've got a loaner car for you. Those keys are in that car. We've already wiped it down.” I brought the car back. They said “your keys are in the car” and they sent me another text and “here's what we did and the invoice is in the app.” I literally never saw a human being the entire time or talk to a person. Pam Didner: It’s very technology driven. That means you all the backend owning integration that needs to be done and very thoughtfully before they can provide that kind of experience to you. Jay Baer: Yeah. You just have to think, think it through it and look a lot of the things that we have engineered for face-to-face interaction there, just because it was easier or that was the legacy here, that's how we always did it. And we knew it was inefficient. It just, we didn't have enough motivation to change. And most of the things that have changed since the pandemic--as it relates to digital transformation--we're already going to happen, Pam. Telehealth was already happening. Working from home was already happening. E-commerce was already happening. Self-serve information was already happening. It was already happening in all of it. Pam Didner: It just accelerated. Jay Baer: Exactly. It was just happening- it was hard to kind of get critical mass because there was no forcing mechanism to drive adoption at any sort of velocity rate. And obviously now we certainly have a forcing mechanism, but that's the part that people are freaked out about all these changes to their customer journey because of the pandemic. I'm like, “How did you not see this coming?” You probably didn't see the pandemic coming, but the fact that customers are going to want everything digital and super fast and low touch and efficient, like we've been talking about this for a decade. Pam Didner: Yeah, they want fast, quick and cheap. They want all three. Jay Baer: That's it. Pam Didner: Exactly. So there's another question I wanted to ask you. During the pandemic, many brands--especially on the B2B side--they scale back on the marketing budget. They will like, “Oh, you know what, we're going to hold the marketing budget or they reduce it? And what is your suggestion on that, in terms of reducing the budget? or should they allocate their budget a little bit differently? Jay Baer: I think it's insane that you would reduce a marketing budget right now. Let me tell you a story. Um, when I was 22, I think. I was in ad to Phoenix when I live in Phoenix and we had a joint luncheon with the Ad Club, which are the older seasoned professional. I think that cutoff was 30 years old. So under 30 people over 30 people. And the Ad Club brought in as the keynote guest speaker for this luncheon, Herb Kelleher, who was the founder of Southwest Airlines, a curmudgeonly legend of business, you know, literally his drinking Jack Daniels onstage, and smoking a cigarette at 11:30 in the morning luncheon, right? And I was like, “wow, this guy, this guy gives zero F's.” But he said something, Pam that I never forgot. He said, “the worse the economy is, the more we advertise.” Pam Didner: I love that. I wish every single brand kind of take that into account! (laughs). Jay Baer: What he emphasized was if you believe in your company and you believe in the long-term future of your company-- Pam Didner: --also you believe in your product! Jay Baer: Right! Then when times are quote unquote “bad,” that's when you go out and take business from all your competitors who are scared. So what I would tell people and what I do tell my clients right now is the last thing you should do right now is cut your marketing budget. And you should double your marketing budget because you can't cut your way out of a pandemic. It doesn't work like that. You, you can delay your own demise. But nobody cuts themselves to growth. It’s not possible, right? So, so I told you at the outset of this conversation, that the thing that people aren't talking about enough is that is that market share is shifting. Customers of all types, have a wandering eye. Now there are willing to change horses in ways that they wouldn't have been willing to do before. And that is a huge opportunity. And if all your competitors are cutting their budgets and running scared, fantastic! Best possible situation. Pam Didner: Double down! Double down! Jay Baer: Yep. Pam Didner: Um, great. This is fantastic. Any additional parting thoughts that you want to share with us? And also tell our listeners where we can find you and the way you can do it. Jay Baer: One thing I would pay attention to that's also changed during the pandemic is customer attitudes around speed. Pam Didner: Okay. So they, they want things fast now. Is that right? Jay Baer: Faster. Because everybody's uncertain-- I talked about the uncertainty gap. When you're uncertain the entire time that you're uncertain it creates a lot of anguish and angst in your head. So if somebody has a question, how much does this cost or do I want to buy this or that? Or any other question like that, the whole time that they are processing that answer, they are, they are not in an idealized frame of mind. And so speed can actually be a competitive advantage right now, even more so than it was pre-pandemic. I would absolutely work on that. And again, that's another place where marketing and CX and CS, can collaborate. Pam Didner: Yeah. I, 100% agree with you. So where can they find you? Jay Baer: Three places. You can go to convinceandconvert.com which is the main site for our company. We have more than 3,000 articles and advice and videos for marketers and business owners: convinceandconvert.com. My personal site for speaking and such is Jay Baer.com. And my podcast is "Social Pros" that's social pros.com, for enterprise social media marketers. Pam Didner: Wonderful. Hey Jay, thank you so much for coming to my podcast. You've being fantastic and I hope, I sincerely hope, that we'll see each other soon and give each other a hug Jay Baer: One of these days. I believe in us. Thanks so much for having me. Pam Didner: Yes. Thank you. Again, thank you so much for listening to my podcast. And the podcasting is one-way communication, and I don't necessarily know who you are, but your support means a great deal to me. If you want to chat, reach out on any social media channel, you can also join my Facebook community. Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card. Love to hear from you. Take care. Bye-bye!
Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing & More. I am interviewing a special guest from Amazon: Darrell Alfonso. Let’s get started! So Darrell, welcome. So happy to actually have you on the show. And I know that you actually have a very, very strong, marketing technology background. Sounds like are certified for Salesforce. And you know multiple different--Marketo, like for example--marketing automation tool, very well. And you are Marketo champions, and you advise multiple different Fortune 500 companies. That's a very impressive. Many marketers are not necessarily having that technical capability that you have. So welcome to the show. Do you want to spend a couple minutes and give us any additional information about you? Darrell Alfonso: Yeah, sure. And I'm so happy to be here. I'm an avid listener of your show and I’m a reader of your content so honored to be here. So yeah, I've been in B2B marketing for about 10 years. Six years ago, I was introduced to Marketo and marketing automation, and that was really a turning point in my career. I found that people were having such a hard time with these complex marketing automation platforms. Pam Didner: I can concur. I do have a problem with that. I mean, seriously, and I cannot do a lot of stuff on my own. I have to work with a business consultant. Darrell Alfonso: Yeah. Yeah. And it's quite the same for a lot of marketers out there. So in addition to driving results at work, I also became a contributor to the community. So I wrote articles, I created how-to videos. I even ran the user group in Los Angeles when I was in Los Angeles. After that, I won a few industry awards for my work in that community. And so today, my team runs one of the largest marketing automation platforms in the world. And I work for Amazon Web Services. Pam Didner: Yeah, no kidding. Darrell Alfonso: And our goal is to really empower the hundreds on hundreds of marketers that work for AWS to give them the tools and processes they need to create exceptional experiences for our customers. Pam Didner: Got it. That makes a lot of sense. So speaking of marketing automation, Marketo Eloqua HubSpot, and that people tend to equate marketing automation with email marketing. So what is your definition of marketing automation? I'm curious. And then, what does that encompass? Darrell Alfonso: I define marketing automation as the programmatic management of the customer lifecycle. And that encompasses automating and managing marketing activities throughout the awareness stage, the buying stage, and then even after they already become a customer. Pam Didner: Got it. Darrell Alfonso: Now, traditionally, this isn't really the industry-wide accepted definition of, of marketing automation. In a traditional sense for most companies, marketing automation includes things like lead management, lead scoring, nurturing, working with sales, and other advanced features like web personalization and marketing reporting. Those are the components that you typically make up marketing automation. But it is a lot more than email marketing, Pam Didner: … email marketing. I 100% agree with that. The way I look at the marketing automation, you are totally right. You have to encompass and take into account the customer journey and that you are using customer life cycle, I like that. But I think it’s understand what are the different touch points that you are creating to reach out to your customer and to try to make it trackable and also make an effort to analyze it, to understand your customer a whole lot more. So with that being said, what are the top two challenges, from what you can see, either implementing marketing automation or maintaining it? Darrell Alfonso: That's a good question. One of them is more strategic or high level, and that's the trap of being too feature-driven. So, what I mean by that is it's common to buy a marketing automation platform and then figure out, based on the features available, what's going to be your marketing strategy and how you're going to do your marketing. So you're basing it off of what technology is available to you, that determines what you're going to do. And that's very backwards. The better way to do it is to figure out what your goals and objectives are first, and then figure out what are the specific features and technologies that's going to help you get there. That's one of the big problems that I see in organizations today. Pam Didner: So, when you are looking into a technology, it's important to understand why you want to accomplish and identify that first and then source the technology that will work with that. Darrell Alfonso: Absolutely. And I think it's easy to fall into that trap, especially for marketers that have never done it before. So they're very tempted to say, “okay, what can the tool do? So that's what we're going to do.” But the same set of features is not right for every company. Customers are different depending on your industry and depending on your product and service, the way that you implement marketing automation must be very custom and tailored to your organization. Pam Didner: You know, speaking of that, you say it has to be custom and tailored for your organization. So what is your take on make versus buy? Darrell Alfonso: Yeah. If you're just starting out, I, I think the only way to, to get some of the marketing technology that you need is to buy it. So if you really are in the situation of build versus buy, the way I think about it is to look down the road five or 10 years to see what that will look like and what the service or the activities that you're going to do will look like for both the vendor and then for you. And then you have to calculate all the costs. Pam Didner: What do you mean? We need to spend money? (laughs) Darrell Alfonso: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. And it's such an important thing to, to think about, because if your business doubles or triples in size, you may need a lot more than what your platform provides today. And if you get to that stage, when you're five years into the future, the marketing technology roadmap will be heavily driven by the vendor and not you, right? And there's only a handful of customers that can really drive a vendor's roadmap. Pam Didner: Right. Darrell Alfonso: And it may not fall in your favor. So that, that's how I kind of think about it. It's tough to do all those calculations, but I think if you list out the, the key things that you need and look ahead and anticipate the amount of service you're going to need in the future, that can really help you make a good decision. Pam Didner: Yeah, I hear you. I mean, it's nice, especially on the enterprise side, you can think ahead in terms of what your Martech stack roadmap will look like. And obviously just like you said, it just needs to be driven from the objectives and also your business directions that you want to go. Darrell Alfonso: Right. Pam Didner: But for small businesses, obviously a lot of time, even though they want to look ahead, they probably can't. They can see probably like a product roadmap of growth for next five years. But in terms of what, how marketing will morph a lot of time, the mid-size companies, or even small businesses, they probably don't have that ability or even can afford to look that much ahead. And, um, I'm using myself as an example, Darrell, here. When I started just using data management as an example, I used Dropbox when I started. And I have everything in Dropbox and I have that for four years. And then last year during Christmastime, I basically said, guess what? “I want to structure my Dropbox. And I want to put that in G Suite.” So I put everything kind of like in G Suite. So I made that massive transition, literally killed my January, sorry, my Christmas holiday, because I was doing that. That was kind of like a little bit dumb ass on my part, if you will. I'm trying to do that during the holiday and then, I discovered Zoho. Zoho is kind of like an office platform that actually they have as CRM, they have Zoho Forms, they have Zoho Campaigns, which is an email marketing automation tool. All of a sudden, I don't have to use Drip for my marketing automation and then use Salesforce as my separate tool. Those tools are wonderful, but if I want those tools to talk to each other, I actually have to hire someone else to actually write a code to ensure they talk to each other, in addition to connecting just API, right? So then in June I make a massive transition from G Suite to Zoho. So I transfer over 14,000 files from Google Drive to actually to their Zoho work drive. That was huge amount of work. But again, as a small business, I probably can’t afford to have that kind of roadmap, but having everything under one umbrella. Oh my God. Darrell. I have to tell you. Talk about efficiency! Darrell Alfonso: Yeah. I completely agree. Pam Didner: It makes a huge difference. But it's a lot of work. Martech in general is just a lot of work. So I drink a lot. (laughs) Okay. I drink a lot. I drink a lot of... tea! Come on. Darrell Alfonso: (laughs) There you go. There you go. Yeah. I mean, I totally agree with you. I think that that's one of the major problems today is the disparate systems that you have to work with. And having data in different areas. While I was running, I had this great sort of vision of what the future kind of would look like. I don't think it's going to be one platform to rule them all, but I do think it's going to be standardized. So you know how the Microsoft Office Suite of products, how you can just take a spreadsheet and then you can paste it into PowerPoint or paste it into Outlook and everything is always the same. And you can understand it and comprehend it. And it becomes more of like, just tools that you're familiar with using so you can get your work done. That's how I think the future is going to be when it comes to marketing technology. Like it's not going to be all in one place, but everything is going to be more standardized so that you can actually do stuff versus like what you said, like spending your entire Christmas holiday moving things around. (laughs) Yeah. So…. Pam Didner: Yeah, lot of the time, of course you can hire people to do that. But the reason I did that, I kind of want to be in the trenches that's because I kind of want to learn. I personally think Darrell, and I'm very jealous that you are the Marketo champions and you are certified Salesforce admin. I personally think that kind of skillset is important. I'm not saying that you must have, that's not my point. But it’s super critical to be a future or next generation of marketer. Darrell Alfonso: Yeah, I think so. One thing that I saw early on and why I chose marketing automation was because of how in-demand it was and how critical it was to most of the things that marketing does. Pam Didner: They touch everything because digital, because it's digital, you need to build a system that in the back end to talk to each other. Yes. Darrell Alfonso: Yeah. And, and that's, that's how I advise people, especially when they're coming out of college, is to develop those niche or really in-demand skills because you can then work anywhere. People always need technical marketers that know how to get the job done. I've truly benefited from that in my career. Though I do-- I'm still hoping that the platforms will become easier and they'll more of become just a tool versus something that you have to study hours and hours for. But, I completely agree with you. The technical skills are today, especially, is really in demand. Pam Didner: Yeah. There is another question I want to ask your opinion. When I talk to a lot of marketers and they focus on the front end, they focus on email marketing outreach. They focused on email marketing that's because, if you do email marketing that's very much tied with lead gen. You create leads for the sales team and you do email marketing, same thing. You capture the prospects and then you nurture them. Which is all good, right? It's much easier to quantify the marketing's contribution to, say, the sales and the business growth. And for marketing automation, a lot of them are really about the backend, is really about processes. And it's really about setting things up. So as a marketing automation manager, from your perspective, how do you quantify your impact to revenue? Darrell Alfonso: Right. So the first thing, though, that I definitely want to say is that though, that job is typically backend, I think that good marketing automation managers will find more and more ways to contribute to a better customer experience. Because the platform itself has a lot of areas that are more front facing, like landing pages and emails and advertising is often managed in these systems. Right? If you can take the data behind that and advise on making more strategic marketing decisions, I think that that can get you out of the back office all the time, so to speak. That's one thing that I want to preface, what I want to say, say first. Pam Didner: Okay. Darrell Alfonso: The next thing that I like to recommend if you're having trouble proving your impact, is to really get involved with the critical business reports the marketing teams… Pam Didner: Dashboards, building the dashboards. Darrell Alfonso: Right. So, marketing automation people are really well positioned for that because much of the data is already there. So you're looking at activity, data engagement, data that's in the marketing automation platform or, or the CRM. So often you are building the connection between the tools and then some sort of dashboard. And if you're the owner of reports, you're often looked at as the strategic advisor. Because leadership will say, “Well, Darrell, you know, I know that you didn't create this campaign, but why…” Pam Didner: “Why is the number down?” Darrell Alfonso: Why is the number down? Right. So then I have now become more of a strategic advisor versus someone that's just handling the technical stuff. So, I think that that's going to be a really big, important part if you want to try to show your impact. Pam Didner: I actually love your answer, not just focused on the process, but also getting involved on data analytics. Because you know, the data and the tools inside and out might as well just take it one step further. And another thing that you suggested--which is, I love it, I love it so much--is like, yeah, I'd be the owner of dashboard. Again, you know, the tools, you know, the processes. Why don't you just build a dashboard for everybody? I love these two! Excellent, excellent ideas. Before I was like, “I'm just doing the process. You are on the backend, you know, like you are invisible. How do you make yourself visible?” Darrell Alfonso: Yeah. Pam Didner: You know, so the last question I wanted to ask you, Is you touch a little bit on this and it's, what's ahead for the marketing automation, from your perspective. And you touch a little bit in terms of standardization and the pretty much all the big players need to have a come-to-Jesus meeting. Right? (Darrell laughs) Some things like standardized to make the end-user's job a whole lot easier. I agree with that. And hopefully they will do that. What else? What else from your perspective that, using your crystal ball, that you can see ahead? Darrell Alfonso: I mean, it's sort of aligned, but, one of the big problems today is within your marketing automation platform you usually have email marketing and maybe web personalization. But today, especially as the buyer journey changes, you need a lot more. So you need content discovery, you need advanced lead routing, which is a little bit in the weeds there… Pam Didner: No it’s not! That’s the most important part-- high quality leads for your sales people. Darrell Alfonso: Yeah. So you, you need that. And then, you need customizable reporting that works well for your organization. To get that, you need to build literally a stack of marketing technology and then weave it in, stitch it together. So, yeah, that's very limiting from a cost standpoint, from a resources standpoint. You have to learn all these different tools. So, so I do see the core marketing automation platforms either buying or building those new technologies or new services that really work with the way people buy today, you know? And then that’s through things like content and social media. That's a big thing that I can see is probably going to happen. Pam Didner: Very, very good. So to wrap it up, why don't you tell our listeners how they can find you? Darrell Alfonso: Yeah. So LinkedIn is my favorite Twitter, probably my second favorite and yeah, absolutely. They can reach out to me. I post a lot of my thoughts on how to do marketing automation and operations. So I do think that if they have questions on how I think about it and how I strategize it, you pretty much just have to look at my content. I don't mind people reaching out to me. I might be a little slow to respond, Pam Didner: You work full-time, so totally understandable. It's all good. So very good. Excellent. So I have one silly question I want to ask you. Darrell Alfonso: Yes Pam Didner: So what is the most, I'm talking about the most useless talent you have? Darrell Alfonso: Useless talent... Pam Didner: Yeah. Useless (laughs) Darrell Alfonso: Okay. So, actually I haven't told many people this, but I can do tarot card readings. (laughs) Pam Didner: Really? Darrell Alfonso: Yeah. So I have a deck and then maybe one day I'll have to go practice a little bit, but you know, I'd be happy to read your fortune (both laugh). And I'll tell you exactly what's going to happen to you (laugh). Pam Didner: That's useless? I actually think that's very useful. Darrell Alfonso: Yeah, well, I think my friends and family think it might be useless, but you know, it's definitely fun. (laughs) Pam Didner: I love it. Did you learn that somewhere? Darrell Alfonso: I actually did. Yeah. I have a book on how to do it. And then, I watched a lot of videos. You know, there's a lot of depth when it comes to it, and also it's a little bit personal with who you do the reading for, right? Because if I read your fortune versus my brother’s, you know, and a card like the tower comes up or something like that, I would read it differently because it depends on the person. Pam Didner: It depends on who. I 100% agree with you. So a friend of mine now we got just dragging it a little bit. Just bear with us. And I have a very good friend, her name's Donna. And, she firmly believed she was a witch, like in her previous life. Right? And she can, she does, uh, the toro--, it's called tarot cards, right? I have to say there was a couple of times when she read my fortune, not necessarily like, Oh, like when you're going to die, but it's like, Oh, this is whatever she didn’t necessarily needs to be very specific, but like certain things is going to happen right, at a certain time. And she would call that out and, well, it actually happened! Darrell Alfonso: Yeah. Pam Didner: I actually think that's very useful. Darrell Alfonso: Yeah. So anyway, I won't make your listeners listen to more of this tarot episode (laughs) Pam Didner: (laughs) So if you are interested to have your fortune read, you can also reach out to Darrell through LinkedIn. Thank you so much for coming to my show. Really, really appreciate it, Darrell, and your insight about marketing automation is spot on and really, really appreciate that you can join us. Darrell Alfonso: Thanks a lot for having me, Pam Pam Didner: Again, thank you so much for listening to my podcast. And the podcasting is one-way communication, and I don't necessarily know who you are, but your support means a great deal to me. If you want to chat, reach out on any social media channel, you can also join my Facebook community. Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. When you join, you get a free Starbucks on me. You can go to the Announcement tab and click on the barcode of the gift card. Love to hear from you. Take care. Bye-bye!
Today I have a very special guest: Jeff Coyle. I'm not going to tell you what he does. I'm going to have him tell his story and we will be talking about AI-based content management tool and let's get started. So welcome, Jeff! So happy to have you on my show. Why don't you tell everybody, who you are and what you do? I know you have awesome, awesome product. And I have seen the demo in the past and I loved it. I can't afford it, but I love it. Jeff Coyle: Well maybe we'll talk about that today, too. I'm Jeff Coyle. I'm the co founder and Chief Product Officer for Market Muse and a little bit about my background. I've been fortunately or unfortunately in the content strategy, content marketing lead gen and search engine optimization game for about 21 years. Pam Didner: All good things. I love everything you said: lead gen, the content marketing, the demand gen. Yay. My favorite topics. Hard to do it well, but you have a lot to share. Jeff Coyle: Yeah, I worked at, I’m one of the first people who were selling leads to B2B technology companies before he believe in that people even had content. You know, we were convincing large multinational B2B companies to write white papers and syndicate them like, cause they even have them at the time, you know. Pam Didner: They probably focus on sales, collateral. That's only thing (laughs) Jeff Coyle: A lot of white papers and that's it. Right? And so we kind of enhanced that space. And then we were acquired by a major publisher. I worked with them in house for a number of years and during the late phase of that, I was doing basically editorial teams, content teams, product marketing teams, and SEO teams don't always work together. Pam, are you aware of that? They don't always work together? Pam Didner: My God. Don't talk to me. Whenever you talk about those topics in terms of how to create a good content and the multiple teams that needs to come together. Yes, I understand. I understand the pain so well. Jeff Coyle: And so I went through that, right? And I knew, that there was a better way to provide insights from research. And I found my cofounder at Market Muse had taken one of those workflows and automated it, the workflow researching topics. So truly telling the story about what it means to be an expert on a topic. And when you turn that and you integrate that information into a research process that speaks the language of the editorial leadership, that speaks the language of the subject matter expert, because you're not giving them a word because of some esoteric data point. You're saying, “Hey, if you're going to cover this topic comprehensively, you want to make sure that we have pages about this, sections about that--the language of the user” and that became Market Muse was the solution that brings those teams together by providing insights that are going to be awesome, exciting amplifiers for editorial leaders, writers, but also have the same benefits that SEO want--traffic conversions, leads engagement. So everyone's happy and everyone's working together towards the same data driven goal for the first time. So we've created an objective measure of content quality and comprehensiveness. So because, hey Pam, I can look at your site and I can say “you are obviously the expert on sales enablement, but here's a few things you haven't really covered comprehensively. And you're like, “Oh yeah, those are obvious that I should write about, but I just shot you a spreadsheet with words in it it’s like, “yeah, I'll get to that next year.” That's the difference? Pam Didner: I hear you. So I actually, for listeners, I have seen the demo is actually pretty impressive in terms of taking SEO, taking the initial preparation that you need to do to determine a topic and also create a draft and then move your content along the production stage, if you will, not necessarily like when I say production and it's not video production, but like creating that draft to get to the finish line. Jeff Coyle: Yeah. So if you are the person who's coming up with, what should we create or what should we update today that's going to have the biggest impact on a business? or let's say you have a business goal: I want to own this topic by the end of the year. Market Muse can tell you what articles need to be built or what articles need to be updated. And then we follow through with the content briefs. So we actually build the content briefs at scale. We have teams that get thousands of content groups and they basically provide an outline or a single source of truth for the writer. So when the writer produces, they can focus on being creative. They can focus on being the expert that you're paying them for, not doing stuff that they don't want to do. Pam Didner: Like SEO, like doing a lot of research and finding the title. What works whatnot. Jeff Coyle: Yeah, exactly. So then when they give you that draft, it's highly likely, because you built the brief, you ordered the content with the brief, they're going to give you something that's going to have less feedback cycles. And it's likely going to meet the guardrails, the guidelines that you've set. That's what a brief does. It creates a point of reference. We automated all of those processes, so you can say, “okay, the best article I can write today, Pam, is on how do you make the best product marketing materials for events. I just made that up. Maybe that's not a good idea that it is, and we will build the outline and you can write it and you know that it's going to be successful. Pam Didner: Awesome. Love it. Love it. And one of the key product features is to use artificial intelligence, AI, to build content planning, optimized content. Like you said, such as your blog, white paper, your thought leadership pieces. So, can you elaborate a little bit how Market Muse uses AI and how does that help, uh, the content marketers? Jeff Coyle: Sure thing. So we built our own natural language processing platform effectively. One of the components is in a branch of AI called topic modeling, in natural language processing. And we are a machine learning think tank. We have our own data science lab in Montreal called the M4 Lab. Those are spending nearly all of their time on back in engineering on this platform that can assess effectively what it means to be an expert on a topic. We tell the story that if you were to cover this topic comprehensively and truly be an expert, how would you do it on one page? How would you do it in one cluster of content? How would you do it across the entire site? And then we're able to overlay that information into common workflows. So we can take that model and map it to your page and say, “Hey Pam, here's a, here's a page level audit of thing you wrote. You had a few blind spots.” Pam Didner: Okay, we'll fix it. Jeff Coyle: Or we can go up to the competitive dynamic and go, “Oh, across the 20 competitors who you're researching, here's the stuff they did and here's the stuff that Market Muse says is very relevant and no one's done. And there's your area of differentiation. So we don't just tell you how to do everything like everybody else. We tell you how to differentiate yourself from them. That's very special. That's unique to Market Muse. At the site level, or the network level if you've got a lot of sites (we work with a lot of large publishers) we give you basically an on-demand content inventory and audit and all the value that goes along with that. And it's all personalized. So we're the only in-market application that can tell you how hard it will be for you to rank for a topic. Not just how hard it is, cause that's not valuable to me. If I have a brand new website and I go write the best review of the new iPhone ever. I have no chance of getting any traffic from market, but I've seen that, I go write that article and I win. Market Muse answers the question of why behind that dynamic. So Pam, if you go write sales enablement tactics for first year BDRs, it's going to rank. Pam Didner: Your platform or you are tool can actually identify some of the gap Jeff Coyle: Areas of opportunity as well. Pam Didner: That's what I call it a niche, but you say “areas for opportunities.” I like that term much better. Jeff Coyle: And the gaps and the gaps, too. And the gap could be a variant. So you covered this with a great long -form thought leadership piece, but you missed a few details or it could be vice versa. You wrote a, something that answered one question and you never spoke to the big picture. So we tell a story of what that true user intent profile is and everywhere you've done it everywhere you haven't. Where are you the most important pages to lean into for links, uh, to point new pages to, what are your, um, your risk areas? So we, this is a big area for us. It's risk. You have a page out there it's doing well, you don't even know why, and you can need to support it. You might have a page that's out there--I call it the arm, a hand without an arm it's just out there. It just gets a bunch of traffic and you have never supported, you never built the foundation. You’ve gotta build that foundation. Pam Didner: Yeah to amplify and expand that. So it sounds like that your are using artificial intelligence to do kind of like a very holistic assessment, identify the areas for improvements, identify the gaps that you need to do you look at a site level at a page level, or even at a specific content. Is that correct? Jeff Coyle: Any level of specificity, even networks we can say, like we tell our publisher, if you're going to write an article about this TV show, right? And you're going to write about the actors on the TV show. You put that over here, and if you're going to write about ways to stream it, you know, put that over on the other side, right? So we can even get into that level of detail. We set guidelines for content. We set guardrails for intent. We build a topic model. The next step is obviously to start to build out drafts. Pam Didner: It's a virtual editorial assistant, in a way. Jeff Coyle: Absolutely. Giving you the inspiration so that you know, if I focus on this and really put my energy towards it and I write it, great production value, high quality, wonderful narrative that meets these guidelines, it's going to be so successful. And now we're building out drafts that give you inspiration form of completely original drafts. Pam Didner: Yes. Yes. With that being said, you kind of touched the topics I want to ask you next. Obviously the latest buzz in the field of AI is GPT3. And I read article, or a blog post you guys wrote about expose GPT, in terms of what it can or can't do. And the GPT3 is this very powerful language model that uses machine learning to generate human-like text. Are you leveraging GPT3 at all? Or you are doing stuff on your own? Jeff Coyle: All of our natural language processing and natural language generation is all proprietary, built by us. All the models built by us. GPT3 is one of the most amazing innovations in artificial intelligence, of all time! Pam Didner: Yeah. Up to date. Yeah. There may be something that's coming in the next year, but as of now, yes, it's quite amazing. Jeff Coyle: It's, it's amazing. And it, the amazing scale that it works at in the applications out of it are significant. Pam Didner: I 100% agree with you. I address that a little bit at my general session at Content Marketing World 2020. And I specifically talk about content pretty much can be written for you if you use artificial intelligence. Jeff Coyle: Yeah. And so that's the thing. It can be written. But is it telling the story you want it to tell? Pam Didner: Yes. Does that meet your objective? Does that resonate with your audience? You know, does that bring a hook? Yes. I hear you. Jeff Coyle: It's a general purpose language model. And so it's not a solution. It is an API. It requires, you know, now in its current form, a lot of programming skills. It lacks structure, it degrades over time. It is, you know, not considering your workflows. It suffers from degradation. GPT2 suffered from degradation, a severe rate, right? It was, it was “Pam, Pam, Pam, Pam” and makes some really kooky stuff. GPT3 is shockingly better. And there you can begin to work with it, but it is still subject to that degradation in long form content and a short form content. Pam Didner: I do agree with you. I think having a machine generate say a draft, just like you said, is a draft that humans still needs to take over and to do conduct the quality checks. Still need to edit as you see fit. You still need to make sure that you read it, that aligned with your objectives and what you want to accomplish. Jeff Coyle: Yeah, exactly. And that's where, so the solution Market Muse First Draft versus of GPT3. First of all, you know, like you were, you mentioned, I believe that, you know, the Guardian post. That is an output of eight generations and it's curated by editors. Pam Didner: They provided, they brief GPT3, they provide a specific instruction, you know what they want GPT3s to write at the same time, they also provided the opening paragraph. So they provide kind of like in depth instruction for the machine. So machine can process and determine how they want to write it. Jeff Coyle: Yeah, what I'll tell you, though, is if you saw all eight of those generations back to back, you wouldn't have been all that impressed. The outcome's amazing. It's curation, right? You had to do work on it. So the human brain now has never experienced the outcome of generation at this level. Washington Post--these are the problems that content marketing people need to solve, or like Washington Post solved with Helio. Pam Didner: Right. I was, and they did that back in 2016 and 2017. Jeff Coyle: Right. But the thing about the problems, right? The problem was: I can't cover the election. Pam Didner: On the local level, right? Jeff Coyle: Right. I cover 8%, but now Heliograph lets us solve all of it. That's solving a business problem. You've got platforms out there that can do data-driven template content. It's not this right. But GPT3 isn't doing either. It's not producing content that is meeting specifications. It's not producing content that is connecting with your goals as a content marketer. aAtemplate might even do a better job than that, but you're not hitting targets for tone. It's not training it, training on your content either. So Market Muse First Draft’s value is we can train it on your blog. It can write like Pam. Pam Didner: Yeah, understood. Jeff Coyle: It can write on spec. Pam Didner: There's another question I would like to ask you. Can you tell us what features your teams are working on in the next six to eight months that you see is additional features that you want to add? I understand that’s a product roadmap tend to be confidential and, uh, but if there's anything that you can share, that would be fantastic. Jeff Coyle: Yeah. So the big things that we will be, first of all, Marketing Muse First Draft, it's in private alpha right now. It launches into public beta, most likely, Q4 it’s coming out. That's a big splash for us. Also for the first time Market Muse is putting new offerings for at a couple of lower price points. Pam: Yay! Jeff Coyle: I know. I know. Pam Didner: Jeff I remember I was talking to you guys last year and you will tell me like, “Oh, we focus on enterprises and our average price is this.” And I was like “I thank you so much. It's very nice talking to you” and that quiet walk away. (laughs) I love your product. I still went and did a demo to me. I was like, “Oh my God, this is amazing.” Jeff Coyle: Yeah, it'd be, so that's going to be a big deal. So we have those things. That's all happening in October. So many people who, you know, we have some demand and we didn't have a place for a solopreneur, or a small team, even, you know, a startup or a small agency. Now easy decisions are there for you. We're also upgrading a lot of our current clients based on that. That's exciting. So those are huge things. Pam Didner: What are two pricing points? Can you say that again? 79 and … Jeff Coyle: $79 a month, $179 and $499 a month are our self-service agreements and then we have our premium product line, which will remain at those price points. One of the exciting things, there are some options for going annual, which makes us even more attractive. And so some of those features that I'll mention: we're going to have the most accurate measure for potential upside with content and topics. Pam Didner: So you can actually forecast how the content will perform? Jeff Coyle: Yeah, we're going to have to get where to basically say you are here. Here's the estimated traffic and value that this page has. And the value is if you had to buy that traffic. We're going to have some customization for getting even more specific into the actual return on investment, right in the application. And you're able to see what Market Muse thinks your potential upside is right now. And then what's your upside is if you were the best. So we don't think you maybe might not think you can be the best, yet. But this is where you could get with an easy, quick win. So we're basically trying to get into predicting your likelihood of success, because then that tells the story of when you using it you can justify the expense very easily. Pam Didner: Yeah, exactly. So you actually quantify that ROI? Jeff Coyle: Direct quantification of value. We already do it for our clients with things like QBRs--quarterly business reviews--through custom reporting. But we need that in the self-service offering, right? It has to be automated. And so we've really focused on that. You know, it's so fun to go in and look at your content and go, “Oh, wow. Like, if I had to go buy the same traffic that this page generated, it would cost me 10 grand a month.” Holy cow, right? So all of that is those are our big, our big moves. We're really stretching the market down market as well as releasing innovation for the generation side. Pam Didner: Very, very good. Jeff is so wonderful, so wonderful to have you on my podcast and the show. You know, I hope to see you soon, hopefully at Content Marketing World or like in a physical events. Jeff Coyle: Yeah, I did my Content Marketing World presentation. I think we're going to be one and two in the best. I’m the second best one, you obviously the best one. (Pam laughs) We'll see how that goes. Yeah, Content Marketing World going to be amazing. The lineup, I'm so excited to just veg out and watch all the recordings, frankly. Pam Didner: Very, very good. I'm going to see you at the virtual event. Jeff Coyle: Thank you so much, Dan. We really appreciate it. Pam Didner: I hope you enjoy the podcast. I’d appreciate that you leave a five star review on Apple Podcasts or my website, pamdidner.com. If you think this is useful, please share with your colleagues and friends. I also love to hear from my listeners. So join my Facebook community, Build Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. I'd answer any marketing questions you may have. I mean, any marketing questions you ask? I answer. All right? See you there. Have a great week.
Hello, everyone! A listener, Ron, sent me a question. He asked me, “Hey, my company doesn't have sales enablement group. Do we need one?” Well, Ron, that's a great question. The need of sales enablement really depends on your sales team and who is doing what to support sales. Chances are, I would say that you already have sales enablement type of functions in your company, but it's really not called sales enablement. Does that make sense? Probably it's part of sales, operations, it's part of marketing or it's part of the product marketing team. They are jobs being done, but it's just not necessarily calling it sales enablement. For example, most of the sales enablement is about training sales how to sell and to know the products or even onboard them when they start. Someone or a group of people are probably already doing that. Right? In some cases, marketers are working very closely with inside sales to supply them messaging, sales collateral, a sales deck, or email templates to enable the sales team. Maybe you have marketing people pretty much stay on top of that and doing a certain function or portion of a sales enablement job, but they are not part of the sales team. Part of sales is about making sure that sales have necessary sales tools and the processes so they can do their jobs. And that can also be part of a sales enablement or sales operations job. Possibly somebody is already working on sales tools and sales process sourcing and also implementation. I suggest that you check who is doing what and how the sales team is supported to determine if you need a sales enablement group. Like I said, sales enablement is defined differently by different companies. Also many companies have sales supports being done by different internal groups. Right? Kind of like a virtual team: marketing is working on collateral finance, maybe helping on sales forecast, HR is working on sales incentive. They are all doing their job to support sales. You need to identify the gaps that the sales need help and then determine who should do it. If you can get other stakeholders to do it, great. If not, do you need to hire someone or build a team? And that's pretty much a head count and budget discussion with the management. So I hope I answer your question Ron. Do you have a sales enablement team in your company? And what do they do? Share that with me. If you enjoy my podcast, I’d appreciate it if you leave a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or my website: pamdidner.com. If you think this is useful, please share it with your colleagues and friends. I also love to hear from my listeners. Join my Facebook Community Build Your Marketing Skills to Get Ahead. I’d answer any marketing questions you had—I mean any marketing questions. You ask, I answer. See you there. Have a great week.