Eric Burgess: Making B2B Digital Marketing More Interactive | Episode 010

Eric Burgess: Making B2B Digital Marketing More Interactive | Episode 010

B2B Digital Marketing have traditionally been operated in a static way. For example, people would send an email blast and immediately end their campaigns. It’s impersonal and does not consider the customer’s emotion or personality. With the current advancements in technology today, communication channels are merging and the line between personal and business is becoming thinner and thinner. Eric Burgess, shares in this episode why B2B digital marketers need to communicate to customers the same way they would with their friends or family. Your customers are people, and people buy from people. According to Eric, B2B digital marketing should be conversational rather than static.

Chloë Thomas: How to Optimize Your B2B Digital Marketing | Episode 009

Chloë Thomas: How to Optimize Your B2B Digital Marketing | Episode 009

Chloë Thomas Show Notes Page

Show Description

Chloë Thomas shares strategies and insights on how you can optimize your B2B digital marketing campaigns. With the current situation of the world, more and more companies are transitioning to a virtual platform. Listen to this episode as Chloë explains how you can do better digitally on virtual summits, LinkedIn outreach, content repurposing, and more!

Best selling Author, International Speaker, and host of the Award-winning eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast.

Chloë is one of the Top 50 UK influencers in eCommerce and Shipping (Scurri 2019), and the podcast is regularly included in lists of the top eCommerce & marketing podcasts in the world.

Chloë Thomas has been in eCommerce since 2003, she’s worked client-side, agency-side, and adviser-side. Working with a wide variety of retailers from high street omnichannel operations, to fresh online only start-ups, covering international launches, subscription, B2B and even dabbling in marketplaces.

Chloë’s speciality is solving eCommerce Marketing Problems from how to increase new customer acquisition, to improving the performance of email marketing newsletters, or finding the right new website provider.



01:34 – How Chloë Thomas started in B2B digital marketing

04:10 – Chloë’s passion in networking and virtual summits

06:52 – How virtual summits are different from traditional conferences or summits

09:24 – Using incentives properly to attract the right customer

12:05 – Examples of bad marketing in LinkedIn

14:56 – Why LinkedIn outreach campaigns are overrated

16:33 – How the quality of a content makes a B2B digital marketer a disruptor

18:01 – The opportunity in content repurposing and podcasting

21:56 – Investing in great email campaigns

25:23 – Having unlimited budget in the business: Investing in good salespeople, creating workflows, and increasing advertising spend

28:03 – The importance of testing in marketing

28:56 – The question every digital marketer should ask themselves

31:32 – Learn more about Chloë Thomas and her new marketing podcast, Keep Optimising


Memorable Quotes

“If you cannot target your target customer with keywords that they might have put in their LinkedIn profile, it’s almost certainly going to fail for you.”

“Whether it’s the quality of a tweet, the quality of a Facebook ad, the quality of a podcast or a book or a report, if it’s something that’s high quality then you’re going to get results from it.”

“We’re entering into a space where less is more.”

“What’s going to disrupt is taking a step back and slowing down the content churn so you can actually make each piece pay and be worth creating in the first place.”

“If you want to get the story out there, podcasts are the way to go.”


Links and Resources

eCommerce Marketing How to Get Traffic that BUYS to Your Website

Chloë’s website:

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Chloë’s Books:

Chloë’s Twitter:

Chloë’s LinkedIn:

e-Commerce Master Plan Twitter:

e-Commerce Master Plan Facebook:

e-Commerce Master Plan Instagram:


Show Transcript

Click to access unedited transcript

Unedited Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay, B2B DM gang. I have somebody on the show today who is going to give us some great insight from her gosh, approaching. Well, we don’t want, we don’t want to date her, but many years of experience and B to B marketing, and we’re going to focus in on some digital aspects that are gonna really make a difference for you and give you a different perspective. Now, Chloe Thomas is also a bestselling author. She’s a speaker and a podcaster, and she’s actually getting ready to launch another podcast here, coming up shortly. And we may talk about that at the second. Um, but her book, her most recent book that is most apropos for you is the B2B eCommerce master plan, which is an Amazon bestseller that you can actually pick up a on your Kindle version as well as audio book, as well as, um, you know, just that the solid copy that you want to keep as a desk reference. So, Chloe, thanks for joining us on the B2B DM show. Tell us a little bit about your background and experience in this area and in how it actually can benefit our listeners today.

Chloë Thomas (00:58):

So thanks for that lovely intro, Jim, and you’re more than welcome to date me. Um, uh, in terms of age, uh, we’re far too much ocean in the way it’s date me any other way. I think it’d be 40 difficult distance relationship and in these circumstances over the sea, but it’d be, yes, I’ve been in the world of marketing for over 15 years and I probably it’d be more accurate to say nearly 20 years. Um, I started off on purely on the consumer side. So businesses selling to consumers. I worked for Barclay’s bank, one of the biggest banks here in the UK. Then I worked for a high street retailer doing a mix of digital and offline marketing. And then I set up a marketing agency and that was, that was my first experience of the world of B to B marketing and B2B digital marketing ran that for 10 years, uh, tried all sorts of things.

Chloë Thomas (01:46):

We ran our own events, we spoken about it. So we took stands at events, email, social media. You know, you think about how much happened. I think that was 2007 to 2017, how much development there was in the space. We tried all of it. Um, whilst running Google ads and email marketing and Facebook ads and LinkedIn advertising for businesses, both on the BTC and the B to B side of things. Then before selling that, um, I started the business. I now run, which is called eCommerce master plan, which is all about helping eCommerce business owners improve their businesses. So whilst I spend my life talking about e-commerce and selling to consumers, mostly apart from the book, you mentioned B to B eCommerce plan where that’s helping businesses sell to other businesses via the web. Most of what I do day to day is actually B to B marketing, you know, trying to get other business people, to listen to my podcast, to buy my courses, um, occasionally also to, to, um, you know, to buy my services, although these days I don’t do a lot of that.

Chloë Thomas (02:53):

Um, and then on the other side, I suppose the thing which I do, and I did quite a lot of work for other businesses selling to eCommerce businesses. I know it’s a complex world. I inhabit, I mean, you know, so the likes of the big email, SAS providers and other website providers and the big SAS businesses and helping them to sell to other businesses by speaking at their events, um, taking their sponsorship money and various things like that. So over the last 15 years, I’ve experienced B2B marketing from multiple different angles. And I suspect in this chat, we’re going to hit on quite a few of them and hopefully quite a few bits of pieces of that will be helpful to your audience.

Jim Rembach (03:33):

Well, and I think what you just mentioned is so important is that diversity of background and that what a lot of people may not see from a perspective is that while you’re focusing on one particular niche from a, your solutions that you’re offering perspective, you’re still doing a lot of the work that a lot of our listeners are really interested in is how, how do I attract, how do I build brand? How do I build relationship? You know, how do I convert? I mean, all those things that are important for that longer sales cycle, that most of our listeners are, are having to get over the hump on a, so when I talk about, you know, the passion that you have in this particular space, knowing, you know, who our audience is and what we focus in on, give us a little bit of insight into that.

Chloë Thomas (04:16):

Yeah, this is essentially cause my, my passions tend to change almost from day to day. Um, but I suppose the thing which, you know, in these, in these times where here in the UK, every conference has been canceled for this year and for my own sales process, when I’m, you know, a really important part of my business is selling to those SAS companies who sell to other, other businesses to sponsor the podcast, to sponsor my books, to pay me, to speak at events and webinars. And usually the me, the, um, the relationship with those begins at our biggie commerce, expos, you know, those big shows where I will very respectfully trawl my way around the stands going, Hey, do you need someone to speak at your event? Have you seen my book? Would you like some copies? Do you know what a podcast is that person wants to buy from you?

Chloë Thomas (05:06):

Stop talking to me, you know, very, very respectfully. Um, and the, uh, you know, I, it’s a really big experiment for me. Can I, this year will probably be okay, but will next year be all right if I haven’t got those face to face opportunities to make that first point of contact with people. And that’s, that’s something which I’ve really been mulling over this year and trying to, well, not this year in the last couple of months and trying to work out how I’m, how I’m going to fix it. And it’s what I’m, what I’m finding so far is that LinkedIn is doing great things. I don’t know if they’ve changed the algorithm or something, but there’s some really good engagement going on on LinkedIn. And then the other side of it is attending the big virtual conferences that are happening the big virtual summits, which in my industry, everyone’s a virtual summit now, you know, we seem to move past webinars to virtual summits. And within those, there’s some quite interesting networking going on. Some which I think is working in some, which just seems a bit blast everyone. You can find on the attendee list, but I’m currently trying to work out how those work. So I guess those would be my passions at the moment.

Jim Rembach (06:16):

Well, and I think you bring up some really interesting points in that a lot of organizations are taking what they’ve traditionally been doing and just trying to just force it up into the internet or into the cloud or whatever you want to refer to it as. And that has not worked for a lot of organizations. I mean, I’ve heard more horror stories and scenarios where people said, Oh, that was just a bad experience. Um, because it’s not the same thing. I mean, I did a virtual virtual summit, you know, a year and a half ago. Right. Um, before all of this stuff started happening and even then I know the whole user experience became a vital importance for me. You know, part of that is my background being in customer experience and contact centers and all that. But, um, I, you know, I see that the user experience is yet going to cause a whole lot of dropout in a lot of these companies or even trying to do some of the virtual things.

Chloë Thomas (07:07):

Yeah. And what we’re seeing from some of them that have happened in our industry so far is, um, there’s a few businesses who are trying to create a virtual summit and because they’ve never done one before and like you I’ve done a couple of my own in the past. And there are very different beasts to the offline event. And they’re trying to mirror the offline event, which leads to some quite impressive complexity. I spoke at one the other day and we had to log into one thing to move our slide deck. Another thing to meet up with people before we went live, another thing to be live. And there was like, it was just like, wow, this is quite common. I mean, it created a really pretty video screen for the person watching, but I’m not sure it was worth it for that amount of complexity and that amount of stress for quite frankly, everybody involved.

Chloë Thomas (07:55):

And I think the other side of it is how, you know, these big events, even when they’re virtual, they still take a lot of effort to put on. There’s still a lot of cost involved. You’ve still got people who want to sponsor, you want people to sponsor it. And the people who want to sponsor want people to come to their virtual booth. And you know, we, I’m speaking to one person who’s done one of these recently and they were doing a competition. If you come to our booth, you could win some crazy, really nice prize. And they got five people out of a conference that had 10, a thousand signed up and they were, they were hammering that during the day, you know, it was hard to avoid that message and still people weren’t going there, whether they couldn’t find it on the user experience wise on the screen or not. I don’t know, but it’s, it’s difficult. It’s, it’s a much, you’ve really got to change your head space and you can’t just copy and paste it on and offline cause it’s a very different beast. Yeah.

Jim Rembach (08:48):

Okay. So that brings up a really interesting point when you start talking about incentivization and incentivizing and a lot of people think, Hey, you give them a bigger prize and you know that we’re going to show up, but then again, who are the ones showing up for the prize? I mean, are they really prospects and easy to say, Hey, just incentivize. I mean, I was having the same issue and you and I, you know, talk about, you know, podcasting and podcast launches and how, um, you know, there’s some things that are important in regards to, you know, getting noticed as far as your podcast is concerned and there’s tactics and strategies and things like that. And you start asking yourself the question of incentivizing it’s like, Hmm. And the fact is, is that’s a very, very slippery slope, which could have a, you know, a negative boomerang.

Chloë Thomas (09:35):

Yeah. It’s something that we talk about in the eCommerce space a lot as well. It’s like, Oh yeah, you come on a competition to get email signups so you can give away, I don’t know, a big gift box to some big gift hamper or something. But when you, what you actually sell is I dunno, a water bottles. It’s not a very relevant prize. Whereas if you’re giving away a water bottle, then you know, the people are signing up at interested in water bottles. And that doesn’t necessarily correlate in the SAS space. If you’re selling email software, you’ve probably already got a free sign up running. So what’s the competition for, um, maybe it should be for, you know, six months free usage of the platform or something, or, or free consulting when you sign up. But it it’s difficult because I mean, you, I guess quite possibly like you, you like me and like many of our listeners, you go to a conference and you find out which piece of tech is invoked because every stand is giving away an iPad. And then they were all giving away an Amazon Alexa and it’s, you know, then it was an Apple watch came after that. And it’s like, Oh really? What? I’m interested in your software, but I don’t want to, when the Apple watch, it’s all a bit, gets a bit too generic.

Jim Rembach (10:42):

Yeah. It’s funny to even say that, um, I went to a large conference several years back and at the time I was, um, you know, um, a provider of services as well, uh, that happened to be there. And I happened to sit in on this short demo for this one, uh, organization, you know, that their did their little, you know, five, 10 minute, you know, here’s our solution, new updates, that kind of thing. And so I was curious, so I sat down, I listened and they did a drawing for the 15 people that were sitting there and I won a a hundred dollars gift card. Um, and I gave it back to him. I said, actually, I’m a solution provider too. He goes, are you, he didn’t, he almost didn’t want to take it back. And I’m like I said, give it to one of your people who are, you know, that are sitting here. That could be a potential customer. I said, because it’s not me. Um, but so I actually gave back money,

Chloë Thomas (11:28):

But it’s, it’s strange how, um, you know, one of the things which I learned early on in my kind of sales and marketing career was that, uh, no is as useful as a yes. Cause you can take that person off. You can stop wasting time and energy on them. Um, and you can just get on with it with other things. And at the moment, I’m fine. I’m pretty easy to find on LinkedIn. I’m quite visible. And because I have the word e-commerce in my, in my piece, I get a lot of communications that should for retailers. And a lot of people are bulk mailing, massive amount of bolt mailing on LinkedIn at the moment, you know, they’ll connect and then they sale and they sell it. They sell so, but I get some really good connections through LinkedIn as well. So I try and keep that inbox clear by going back to them, going look happy to be connected, but I am not your target customer.

Chloë Thomas (12:12):

So there’s no point in selling to me and you’ll be amazed. People who come back going, are you sure you’re not my target customer? And I’m like, wait, right. One, you were a bad marketer in the first place because you hadn’t looked at my profile yet. Cause I’m looking and I’m going well, you’d be a perfect sponsor for my podcast, but I’m not joining the dots for you. You can join the dots because you know, you clearly don’t know who I am. Um, cause you haven’t looked at my profile page and you kinda like, right. So I’ve gone back and I said, I’m not a good connection. You know, why not? You know, you can see certain amount on LinkedIn mail that this is, you know, podcast host, probably not a retailer. And then, you know, you’re like, all right, I’ve gone back and told you, I’m not a prospect. Why don’t you take a look at my site and go, Oh, hold on. You know? And they might go, Oh, maybe you’ve got clients. Maybe we could do something on the podcast. If they come back with a reason, you know, something that shows they’ve actually put some effort in that I’m all up for it. But yeah, it amazes me. How many salespeople, when you say, look, there’s no point in trying to sell to me, just hold on for grip grim. This is not good marketing. Good.

Jim Rembach (13:12):

Well, I think what you’re just stating right. There is an issue with a lot of B2B digital marketers right now is what do I do? You know, how do I spammy? How do I not, you know, create a situation where I get turned off, but I guess I do have to say this, you know, it also, it also not a situation where it’s, um, you know, if you miss once you’re dead, because there are so many things that are coming up people and, and the, the recall and memory, I mean, you know, I don’t think we can remember, you know, who tried to do something like that, you know, two months ago. So have a little bit of pause there.

Chloë Thomas (13:51):

Yeah, yeah, exactly. It’s a, I think that, I think actually the recall of people for me, I find is less when I’m not meeting them in the physical space. Somehow I remember people less when I’m only ever meeting them on line when I’m only ever meeting them via LinkedIn or email or something. So I have to really consciously try and work a bit harder at remembering the important people and forgetting the ones who keep trying to sell me things I’m never going to buy.

Jim Rembach (14:19):

So with that being said, I mean, we’re chasing a lot of different things, right. And you even talked about going to a show and it’s like, Hey, you know, it’s the brand new, you know, Apple something or the brand new, whatever, Alexa something. I mean, so when you start talking about, you know, B2B, digital marketing, what do you think right now is overrated?

Chloë Thomas (14:39):

Oh, that’s a tricky question. Cause at the moment there’s, um, there’s so many things which everyone’s getting used to and making better, you know, um, people, there’s a lot of webinars that are terrible. There’s a lot of, um, uh, virtual summits that are terrible at the moment as well. But I don’t think that necessarily means that overrated, I think, Oh shit, Oh, such a tricky question. This is the one that on which, which, which I find the most difficult, I suppose, I suppose actually for me in my, the worst thing I’ve done in the last 12 months is run one of those LinkedIn, each outreach campaigns that promises the earth and I can see it would work in some spaces, but if you cannot target your target customer with keywords that they might’ve put in their LinkedIn profile, it’s almost certainly going to fail for you. So I think that’s one of the, for me, that’s the worst one I’ve done in the last 12 months.

Jim Rembach (15:37):

Well, and a lot of people talk about the whole expense with LinkedIn and LinkedIn marketing and, but we’re, and then we’re also on the flip side here and a lot of backlash, for example, on Facebook and Facebook ads and, you know, companies pull in big dollars and, and, and, you know, you look at just some of the spend that is currently taking place and how it’s prioritized and things like that. I mean, you know, w what should a, B to B digital marketer do? I mean, so if I start talking about, I want to be someone who stands out, I want to do something different. I want to be the one that they are paying attention to when they have 10 other things that could potentially capture their attention. So how do I become that disruptor?

Chloë Thomas (16:16):

I’m not sure there’s a marketing method that would make you the disruptor. I think it has to be the quality of the content. Um, whether that’s the quality of a tweet, the quality of a Facebook ad, the quality of a podcast or a book or a report. If it’s something that’s high quality, then I think you’re going to get the results from it. And I think we’re entering a space where less is more so it’s no longer a case of, we need to release a report every month, this year in order to get our leads up and all the rest of it. It’s a case of we should release one report per quarter or one report every six months and really work at, you know, work on making sure it’s high quality and then work on making sure we’re promoting it in the right places. So as people hear about it, and they hear the stories that’s going on, podcasts going on, YouTube channels, doing interviews, getting into the press, but having real value to it and then getting it out in front of people. And I think that’s, that’s, what’s going to disrupt is taking a step back and slowing down the content churn. So you could actually make each piece pay and be worth creating in the first place.

Jim Rembach (17:24):

Yeah, I think that’s a really good point. I’ve seen, um, sometimes the whole, um, as they say, hamster wheel starts rolling. When you start talking about content then, and I, I mean, for me, I see all the time, you know, with clients and non-clients, uh, with my agency is that, um, they’ll create something and just deposit it and leave it behind. And I’m like, well, Whoa, wait a minute. Fantastic. Now let’s talk about repurposing. Let’s talk about, you know, actually leveraging this. And in other ways, um, you know, besides just the whole content, you know, repurposing, I mean, there’s so many different things that could happen, um, that I don’t think people just really look at it cause they’re too busy. Hey, I gotta go move on to the next thing. So I think that’s a really valid and important point. So when you start talking about that and that issue where some of the key opportunities that exist. So if I created something, what should I be looking at doing?

Chloë Thomas (18:19):

I think that the repurposing thing, just to add something in that, which, which comes from my, my second ever job, where I was doing catalog mailings. And if you’ve, if anyone who’s ever been a catalog, mailer will know that you release the catalog and then a month later you put a different cover on it and you send the customers exactly the same catalog and you get more sales from the same people because they think it’s new. And 99% of it was exactly the same. It’s really, really cost effective, very, very powerful. And the same thing happens with white papers and reports. Um, I wrote one, a couple of years ago for Trustpilot the reviews company. It was a thing of beauty. It was like 20 different ways to use your reviews. I was really proud of it, and it was based on all their case studies and they were giving it away at one of the big events in the UK.

Chloë Thomas (19:09):

And I, you know, the following year, when do you want me to do another one that no, that’s okay. Turn up to the event. And they just put a new cover on. And I was part of me was like, that’s awesome. He was like, got it lost is they’re never going to buy another one for me. They’re just going to keep recovering it every year. But so you can recover and relaunch as well. But I suppose if you want to get the story out that I’m slightly biased, but I think podcasts are a great way to go. I think at the moment, in particular, on the webinar front in the UK, everyone is wanting to do partnership webinars. You know, I’ll come on, let’s do a webinar together. We’ll both promote it to our list. We’ll get some clients and we’ll get something and we’ll talk about something interesting and we’ll do it with you, you and you, because that’s better.

Chloë Thomas (19:52):

And that’s what everyone’s up to because they are desperate for interesting content. And the clients are getting bored of having to go on webinars every five minutes. So to go to them and go, we’ve got this brilliant report. Can I come on your webinar and talk about it? If it’s high quality, they’ll agree because they want to put something which is targeted to, to the core audience in front of them. So I think that’s, that’s a good opportunity reaching out and asking if you can come and talk about it so people can hear about it.

Jim Rembach (20:20):

Well, and I think for some folks, uh, in the B2B space, I don’t hear it as much. I hear it, uh, definitely in the expert space where part of their core marketing activities is to get on as many podcasts as they possibly can.

Chloë Thomas (20:35):

Yeah. And it seems to be a few of the SAS people I know have started making moves in that direction. Um, a lot of, a lot of SAS business owners, according to the marketing and salespeople I talked to are very excited about podcasts, very excited about podcasts. So a lot of people are now doing it cause the boss has got excited about, which is a good thing because you know, it’s a great way to do it. So there’s there’s um, and I’m getting a lot more from SAS businesses who I, I would never kind of old world SAS businesses rather than new world SAS businesses, if that makes sense, um, who are, who’ve hired people to do the reach out and to try and get on shows. So it’s, um, yeah, there’s, there’s a lot of opportunity there, I think.

Jim Rembach (21:18):

No, most definitely. Okay. But with that being said, you know, there’s some constraints that we all have to work through. And one of the constraints is I only have a certain amount of money that I can leverage, uh, and all of our all resources in order to be able to accomplish my goal. And my goal from a B2B digital marketer perspective is to be able to present sales opportunities. So to the sales team. So if I were to say given constraints, I don’t have any more to spend. Where would you potentially look at reallocating some funds, uh, given where we are today?

Chloë Thomas (21:54):

I think, I think this is probably something I would have said before COVID-19 struck. Um, but certainly now when the big events are being canceled, which is a huge chunk of many marketers money, is those face to face events that, and that those, you get huge volume of leads, virtual events, you get much smaller volume of leads for similar amounts of effort, if not similar amounts of money. So the really crucial thing is to have great follow up in place. So I’d be investing in great email campaign sequences, potentially SMS sequences to make sure that both the new data is getting the best possible impression of the business and understanding of how they’re going to move into the sales process and want to move into the sales process. But also so that we’re, we’re, we’re picking the greatness out of the database we’ve already got, you know, it’s not about new, new news.

Chloë Thomas (22:46):

You know, we talk about the longterm sales process, certain alien e-commerce, you could have someone on your list for like two or three years before they decide it’s the right time to buy. You know, there’s only certain windows of the year when they’re going to put in place new software and there’s 20 different types of new software where they could put in place. And they can only put one in once a quarter maybe or one in once a month. So however much they like it if they like something else more. So there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of power in that, that kind of legacy database. So I’d be investing in the followup sequence is the work for that. I might even if the relationship with the sales team is strong enough and that’s where this one comes in, um, would you, could you then build some automations that help support the sales team, so to help their process to make sure that they’re right, they’re better equipped to convert because the marketing is really supporting them at that point. Cause that’s often a bit which, which people never quite get as far as working out because each sales person wants to do it differently and all the rest of it. So it can be, can be challenging to do that, but it can be very powerful if you, if you can make it work with your sales team.

Jim Rembach (23:52):

Yeah. I think that’s a such a vital point because much like we were talking about content that gets deposited and left behind the same thing happens with the contact or lead or a prospect. And, you know, it gets deposited and left behind all that was, that event is over. There is not a consideration of, you know, the fact that they may be a customer, you know, many, many of them months down the road. And I have to put that into my consideration set with whatever I’m doing and you’re right. I think that’s oftentimes the disconnect, you know, between the market sales activities is that there’s no continuation. It’s like, Hey, you know, um, first of all, are they quality leads? You know, that’s one thing, well, if you haven’t done any of that sequencing, if you haven’t done any of those automations, if you haven’t done any of that, how would you really ever know?

Jim Rembach (24:34):

Right. I mean, yeah, ends up happening is sales just says, Oh, you’re not giving me good stuff. Or we’re not going to sponsor that again. Or, and they just move on without actually really doing the work. So when I think about all of your background and experience, I started thinking about, you know, having fun with a lot of that and being able to leverage it. And so therefore let’s take off the blinders, let’s take off their constraints and you have unlimited budgets to do whatever you wanted. What would you love to do with that money?

Chloë Thomas (25:04):

Oh man, unlimited budget in my business. I would pay someone else to do the sales so I could spend more time on the marketing. I am, I’m a very well trained sales person, but I am not a natural salesperson. So, you know, to, to have the money, to be able to go out there and find a good sales person who fit in my business would be awesome. Cause it’s something I’ve never achieved today. So I guess that would be the first one on the list. Cause then, then you’ve got someone who can do the selling. So I can just concentrate on the marketing and generating them great leads to, well, Hey, there we go. Um, so that’s kind of the first thing I do then I would probably create some really good flows. Actually. It’s kind of like the, um, in the UK we say that the cobbler’s children’s shoes are always the worst shoes.

Chloë Thomas (25:53):

I don’t know if you have that same phrase in America. Um, so it would be a case of getting, um, getting my own email sequences up to speed and actually outsourcing that, which is something I can never justify because I should, should’ve done it well and I should have done it myself. So I think that that kind of piece I would definitely go after. And then once you’ve got that in place, it will be all about the advertising spend. Um, you mentioned Facebook ads being, um, an interesting space to be at the moment. Um, I think it’s July, everyone’s pulled back in and being very public about the fact they’re not gonna gonna use Facebook ads in July. I’m due to be launching my new podcast in July, which was about to have a huge spend on Facebook. There’s like, I’m not sure I can have brand new on a Facebook ad without potentially getting some negative repercussions.

Chloë Thomas (26:42):

So shifted that budget, um, into Twitter ads, which is something I’ve wanted to play around with for a long time. And, um, I’ve been playing around with that for about two days now and I’m seeing some quite interesting, I mean, far too early to tell really, but I’m seeing some quite interesting numbers on that. So I think, I think a lot would get spent on advertising on different platforms and working out the right thing to do on each. So if that answers your question, I’m not sure I’ve spent, spent a full million dollars, but um, yeah, that’s, that’s what I, what I do.

Jim Rembach (27:14):

Well, I would dare to say, um, some, one of the things that you’ve mentioned there that was really important and you didn’t carve it out per se, but, um, it’s testing. Yes,

Chloë Thomas (27:25):

It’s definitely. Yeah. It’s definitely not a case of here’s a load of money. Let’s spend it all this month. It would be a case of, you know, cause to go from, from a restricted budget to a massive budget is a dangerous thing. If you allocate all the money a month, one you’ve really got to go, right? We’ve got opportunities here, where would the best place be, and test and test and test and test and know. And the thing, the interesting thing is is your budget’s increasing, you start doing more than each of those things affects the other things more. So the whole, the whole, um, kind of structure changes simply because you’re doing more. So yeah. Yeah. There’d be a lot of testing involved as well.

Jim Rembach (28:01):

Well, and with that, you know, you talking about your background and experience and being so diverse in what you do for clients and what you’ve done in the past and your agency background and experience, and you know what you’re doing now and you’re speaking and I mean, you have all this, you know, diversity, which is, uh, you know, has significant amount of value in a lot of different ways. However, I think when you start looking at an individual digital marketer, you have to start saying, you know, what, what are some of the things that really they should be asking in order to be successful? So what are the, what is a question that a marketer should be asking themselves right now?

Chloë Thomas (28:35):

I think, you know, it should always be about taking a step back and seeing the wider picture, you know, right the way from where we get our leads through to retention at the other end and working at what point in that customer journey, your weakest, cause it’s really easy to go, Oh, Twitter ads. We’ll just keep working on the Twitter ads or all the events have been canceled. We need to generate leads, but actually there might be another point in the chain where you’re actually weakest, but the fact you’re able to pick up a few thousand leads at a big event. Do you spend a huge amount of money on every, every couple of months covered up the holes in the rest of the process. So just take a step back and go, where’s the weak point and then to focus in on improving that and to really focus in on improving that for a month or so before coming back up and taking it, that’s the question we should always be asking ourselves is where are we weakest?

Jim Rembach (29:29):

Yeah. And doing that throughout the year. Right? So it’s, when you start thinking about that, how often do we have to kind of do that review

Chloë Thomas (29:38):

In the old world? I would said about once every three months, I like to work on a quarterly planning process. And I find that gives you enough time to really make a difference. Cause we do it every week. Um, you know, you, you don’t make a difference. You, you know, you, you tweak something, you learn nothing and then you go and forget all about it and work on something else. Um, that’s so I’ll just say quarterly in a normal world, but because at the moment, behavior of the end consumer of whatever you’re doing, be their business will be their consumer of human beings. The way we’re living, the way where we’re adapting is changing so much, it’s gotta be a shorter time span than that. So if you’re going to do a less deep review to work out where you should focus because you can’t do, you know what you would do as a quarterly deep review every month, because you’d spent far too much time reviewing and not enough time doing, but you need to, to every month you should be asking the question is what I thought I should be working on this month, what I should be working on this month.

Chloë Thomas (30:35):

And it’s that speed of reassessment. And that speed of being able to adapt is what’s really, um, I think separating the winners from the losers at the moment.

Jim Rembach (30:45):

Most definitely Chloe I’ve had fun with you today. Um, can you please share with the B2B DM gang, how they can get in touch with you and share some information about that new podcast that you’re doing?

Chloë Thomas (30:54):

Yeah. Cool. So the, uh, the new podcast is called keep optimizing, which, because I’m British, I’m spelling with an ass, which I’m sure in a couple of years, time I would deeply regret. Um, but for now it’s spelled with an S a so keep optimizing. And that’s actually my personal mantra, which is kind of a combination of test, test, test, and a combination of where are you weakest? And it’s all about marketing. I mean, it’s coming at it from an eCommerce perspective, but there’s a lot of good stuff in there for any marketer, to be honest, because as you can tell my interest and a lot wider than just, just e-commerce and what we’re doing on that show, which is a bit different to others is each month we are focusing on a different topic. So our first month is all about email and I’ve got a different email expert every month. Second month is about SEO. And then on we go to, to pastor’s new each month, which is going to keep me interested. And I hope we’re getting the audience interested too. And you can find out everything, you know, how to get in contact with me about my podcast or my books and all the rest of it. Just go to eCommerce, master and you’ll find links to everything there.

Jim Rembach (31:56):

Chloe Thomas, thanks for sharing your knowledge and wisdom and the B2B D M gang wishes you the very best.

Chloë Thomas (32:01):

Thank you, Jim. It’s been an absolute pleasure to hang out with you too.

Samantha Stone: Understanding the Buyer's Voice and Why It Matters | Episode 008

Samantha Stone: Understanding the Buyer’s Voice and Why It Matters | Episode 008

Samantha Stone Show Notes Page

Show Description

Majority of B2B companies focus so much on finding huge opportunities that they forget to deliver on their promises and make a positive, lasting impact on their customers.

Samantha Stone shares on this episode why business should focus less on the quantity of leads they get and more on targeting the right customer and delivering deep and meaningful value to them. According to Samantha, everything you do in marketing is all about understanding the buyers and meeting their needs.

Samantha Stone, author of “Unleash Possible: A Marketing Playbook that Drives Sales”, is a revenue catalyst who helps unleash the possible in organizations that have complex selling processes.

She’s a fast-growth, B2B marketing strategist, researcher, speaker, consultant and persona coach who has also managed to find time to raise four children with her husband, David.

Throughout her career she has launched go-to-market initiatives and led marketing strategies for award-winning, high-growth companies including Netezza, SAP, Ascential Software and Powersoft.

In 2012 she founded The Marketing Advisory Network to help savvy business leaders unleash the possible within their enterprises.



01:01 – About Samantha Stone

01:56 – The test of endurance on long-term sales cycles

03:15 – Samantha’s passion in B2B digital marketing

04:34 – Why your company should deliver on what it promises

05:46 – Building a relationship with the buyer

07:50 – Making things easy for your customers

09:14 – Why the buyer’s journey is overrated

11:02 – Communicating with people who are in survival mode

13:19 – How often we go through the reengagement process

15:32 – Every company needs to know what it stands for.

19:35 – Shifting the budget from physical events to virtual events

21:32 – Quality vs. quantity content

23:09 – Asking your customers what they care about

24:46 – Understanding the buyer’s voice and balancing our point of view

26:57 – Why the buyer may not understand what you understand

28:24 – Where marketers should invest their money

32:15 – The one question every marketer should ask themselves

37:47 – Connect with Samantha Stone


Memorable Quotes

“Customers telling our stories are far more powerful than those product data sheets that we spend a lot of time on.”

“People don’t need 16 blog posts in their life, they need something deep and meaningful that they truly care about.”

“It’s not about a lot of stuff, it’s about the right, meaningful things.”


Links and Resources

Unleash Possible: A Marketing Playbook That Drives B2B Sales

The Curse of Knowledge by Chip and Dan Heath

Samantha’s LinkedIn:

Samantha’s website:


Show Transcript

Click to access unedited transcript

Unedited Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay, B2B DM gang. I’ve got somebody on the show today. Who’s now you need a hold on because she’s just full of energy. And she’s going to provide us with a lot of insights about many of the projects that she’s working on, both in client based as well as an interesting community service project that we may want to talk about. Cause I think that also may have some benefit and impact when you start thinking about your own digital marketing activities. Samantha Stone is actually also an author of unleash possible, a marketing playbook that drives sales. She is a revenue catalyst that works with fast growth B to B marketing are actually B2B software companies. Uh, and so she helps with both strategy research, persona building, you know, the things that are important and in order to make sure that you’re connecting with your customers in the most effective way, Samantha Stone, thanks for coming to the show.

Samantha Stone (00:54):

Thanks for having me. I always blush when I have somebody reads the formal bio, it sounds so big and, and um, probably more grandiose than it really is. I fundamentally come in and love working with companies to help them reach their growth strategies. And you know, those are often B2B software companies, sometimes services companies, anybody has a complex buying process. Those are the folks that we specialize in

Jim Rembach (01:19):

Well, and you know, and that’s why I want to join the show is because that’s really what, when you start talking about B to B marketing that we most focus in on, on the B2B digital marketer podcast show, because that sales cycle, you know, can be anywhere from, you know, a few months to maybe even sometimes a couple years for certain organisms, for certain organizations and certain solutions. And it’s a different path that you’d have to go down versus just, Hey, you know, I’m purchase my accounting services or something like that, right?

Samantha Stone (01:50):

Yeah. It’s a test and endurance, right.

Jim Rembach (01:53):

That’s a great, great way of explaining it. And I always talk about the whole marathon component. You know, the relationship building, uh, for me, I always joke how, even on the paid side, right, Hey, I’m trying to get more leads and stuff. And then companies, what they’ll do is, you know, put, put an ad out there and then take people straight to the whole, Hey, take a demo. I’m like, what? I mean,

Samantha Stone (02:16):

They forgot all the dating, right? They, you know, the cording part, the, you know, bill getting to know you, right beginning of this process is just getting to know that buyer and what their needs and wants and desires are and how they like to communicate. Then we get to ask you out on a date.

Jim Rembach (02:30):

Absolutely. Absolutely. Okay. So for me, um, you told us a little, but just give us a little bit more about your background and what your real passion is in this space.

Samantha Stone (02:39):

I, you know, I care really deeply about something that is, um, completely foundational and, um, and in some ways we, we know it, but we don’t always act on it. We fundamentally care about understanding the buyer at the end of the day, everything we do in marketing, every ad, we place every piece of collateral. We create every presentation we author, every website, copyright should be about understanding our buyers and communicating there in a way that needs and communicating to the right buyers. A lot of our products and services can serve lots and lots and lots of people. And we spend so much time, particularly software companies showing the biggest market opportunity on the planet, right? We were like, we go to get funding, whether it’s a loan or venture capital money or seed money, and we have to make it this big, big, big, big opportunity.

Samantha Stone (03:31):

But the reality is we can’t go after big, big, big opportunities. We have to narrow it down to the people that we can have the most impact with. And so we spend a lot of our time, are we focused on the right people? What do they care about? How do we serve them? And then of course, once they become customers, how do we turn them into raving fans? And how do we turn them into advocates? Because we all know that customers telling our stories are far more powerful than those product data sheets that we spend a lot, a lot of time on

Jim Rembach (03:58):

Bye, Tiffany. I mean, for me, what you just said there, I also think is very foundational. I often talking about the three very important components that will impact our digital marketing it’s yes, it’s sales, it’s the marketing that we do, but it’s also that client success, you know, and, and Hey, we have them now let’s keep them and turn them into raving fans.

Samantha Stone (04:18):

You know, that’s the fundamental difference for a lot of organizations. We talk with, we, they, they get very good at getting top of funnel and they may even get good at closing business. But if we’re not good at serving business where you hit a wall and you hit a wall around your profitability, right at the end of the day, you know, we’re here to make money. W w this is, you know, I don’t generally work with companies that are nonprofits that are there for some moral things. Hopefully most of the companies that work with have a moral value proposition and they care about the people that they serve. But fundamentally, we want to make money. You cannot make money. If your product or service doesn’t deliver what it promises, and you don’t have customers who help champion it and grow. It’s, it’s an absolute must for what we have to do. And we as marketers spend too much time at the top of the funnel and not enough working and supporting the backend of that.

Jim Rembach (05:08):

I love that because for me, I always talk about that. My job on that front end is to be able to serve up, you know, a lead or an opportunity that makes it very easy for sales to close. And it really is focusing in on that entire, Hey, how do we date? How do we connect? How do we build the rapport? How do we do it? That’s what we have to really focus in on that front end.

Samantha Stone (05:31):

Absolutely. They have to understand what we do. We need to know who they are, and if we can deliver those things and help salespeople have engaged conversations and dialogue, you know, really what we’re trying to create is dialogue, not a lead. I know lead is a term we need to use because that’s how our systems track things and they’re valuable, but I’m not looking to create a lead. I’m looking to create a dialogue with people who can use our product or service. And that is a very different way of thinking. I know Jim, that you think this way, and I know lots of people do, but it’s been a long, hard, um, challenge to bring sort of our industry along to thinking this way. Um, and I’m pleased to start seeing more and more signs of it. I, you know, we have a long way to go and this isn’t easy, but I’m reassured as I start to see, um, the rise of things like account based marketing and the better integration of sales and marketing and those things are really, really important to our customers. They, they, they care a lot about them.

Jim Rembach (06:28):

I think that’s a great point because a lot of times I talk I’ll refer to, and I’ve experienced it myself as the over promising and the under-delivering.

Samantha Stone (06:36):

Yeah. I want to go the other way. Right? I want to, I want to surprise you a little bit. I want to give you what you need and convince you of that, but I also want to make sure that we’re, um, in some ways, exceeding an expectation, whether that expectation is the same level of delivery, but how we do it as different, the relationships that I’m able to build with you as special, because look, we can all build good things that people need, but you don’t create fans by being good. You create fans by doing something that is special and unique, and that may not be the offering. It may be how we deliver that offering to our customers. And that’s really critical to think about

Jim Rembach (07:12):

Most definitely. And I can tell you for me, um, I received something that was extremely gratifying, uh, not too long ago that I didn’t even realize it would be when I received it. And what I received was a, uh, uh, a thank you from a sales person with one of my clients. And I’m like for, you know, why are you thanking me? And she said, you, and the work that you have done have made it significantly easier for me to make a sale.

Samantha Stone (07:44):

Oh, he’s still my heart. That’s right. Because, you know, that’s the sales person’s perspective, but on the other side, the buyer’s also thanking you. They probably didn’t know to reach out to you and send you a note, but it’s easier for the buyer as well, right? When they understand what we do, when they understand how it aligns to their needs, where they clearly can articulate, how are we different than the alternatives they may be considering? Whereas, where are we a good fit? That’s not easy. That’s really hard. We still complex things. Right? We sell things that are hard to explain, and if you can get that right in our marketing, wow. Like that is, that is incredible. And what a, what a lovely things. And by the way, nothing better than a, than a thank you note from anyone. Right? Like my favorite moments are when I wake up and I opened my email or I get my pile of mail. And there’s a thank you note from someone in any context of my life. And, um, it’s a great Testament to making a difference.

Jim Rembach (08:36):

Oh, most definitely. Okay. So when you start talking about, and you kind of, you’ve already hit on the passion that you have for B to B, but what do you think is quite overrated when it comes to B2B digital marketing?

Samantha Stone (08:48):

That’s a really good question. There’s candidly. I think we think of the buying process is linear, right? So we always draw it. Anybody say you, somebody starts here and they do this, and then they do this and then this, and I do it too. Look, I write buyer’s journeys and they do this and they do this and they do this and then do this because we need a framework by which we can act, right. And we need some way to capture the major milestones that people move through. But the reality is nothing is linear. Nothing is precise, things, move back and forth all along the way. And I think this notion of buyer’s journey is really important and we need to do it and we need to not guess it. And you can’t just sit down with salespeople and ask what the buyer’s journey is.

Samantha Stone (09:31):

Cause they don’t see 90% of the buyer’s journey. They only see the part that interacts with them. But I think how we simplify it is overrated. We want to create these, these, um, cursory understanding of it and start looking at it from our own perspective. And that’s not enough. We need to actually dig in there and, and go deep. Um, and we need to do the hard work of understanding all of the stuff, the buyers DOE that does not include me. They’re not visiting my website. They’re not talking to a salesperson. They’re not reading my literature through. They’re having conversations. They’re building requirements, documents, they’re debating with their boss about how much they can spend. Right? All of those things that our buyers do, I’m prioritizing this over the 50 other things on their, to do list. Um, and we need to do a better job of being empathetic to that and trying to serve those other things as much as we can.

Jim Rembach (10:25):

And what you just said right there to me is the biggest friction point that I often find is that, you know, Hey, you’re your number one priority. If you’re sales, right? You have to make that sale. However, you’re not there’s. Yeah.

Samantha Stone (10:41):

Yes. I mean, look, I would love to believe that the most important part of your day to day Jim is talking to me, it’s probably not. I’m hoping you are enjoying our conversation. I certainly am. And I hopefully our listeners and viewers, well as well, but at the end of the day, we all live in this complex context. Every day something’s going right now, it’s gotten, you know, even more right. Everybody is in survival mode. In one point, you know, we’ve never gone through a point in time and the world where this type of additional anxiety and pressure and stress has affected everyone. We’ve gone through moments in time where there was a crisis. There was a floods in Texas, or there were, um, tornadoes in Thailand or tsunamis in Thailand that affected people. Or there were, um, election dis you know, disruptions in another country.

Samantha Stone (11:31):

There are points in times where things happen and we as marketers react to them right now, the thing that is happening is literally impacting every single person in the world in some way. And every single person has had stress. They may be still working. They may not be working. They may be home. They may be in an office or on a manufacturing plant floor, but they are impacted in some way, but it’s happening in the pandemic. And we, as B to B, marketers have to recognize that people have gone into survival mode, right? They may have food, they may have shelter, but mentally our brain space is survival mode. And I’m not gonna, I can’t process 18 months from now. So it has, we’ve had to change how we communicate to people. And it’s an extreme example, but the same thing is true on an individual basis, what might be happening at a company, but be happening with a person, right? We’ve all sold to someone who just had a baby, a happy moment, but guess what? They’re distracted. And no matter how much they care about their job, there’s this outside context that is in fact affecting them. And we can’t pretend that the only thing that matters to them is that job in that moment.

Jim Rembach (12:42):

So I have to ask you, when you start talking about that buyer journey, right, is that, how often are you finding yourself to have to go through a reengagement process? So like, you know, when you start talking about all these different factors and, you know, Hey, we had a reorg, Hey, we had an acquisition, Hey, my job responsibilities change. You now have a new person who you’re interacting with. All of these things happen. I mean, so when you start talking about the buyer journey, how often do you see that come into play?

Samantha Stone (13:11):

Well, more often than not. So two of the most successful, short term revenue campaigns that I, that my clients run or that I was in house for a lot of years before I launched the marketing advisory network, nine years ago, two of the most successful campaigns that consistently perform to drive short term revenue boosts. It’s not necessarily as a closed loss campaign. People that we actually lost to whether they bought someone else or they didn’t buy anything. And we considered them out of our pipeline and pipeline acceleration programs that look at people who might be stalled at a particular stage and try and move them forward. Something has happened in both of those instances where we have lost some level of engagement with folks. And so always there is, um, in these complex buying processes where multiple people are making a decision, we’ve got to reengage and we have to build strategies into our marketing that is constantly reengaging.

Samantha Stone (14:10):

And re-engaging, by the way, isn’t just marketing. How do we help support sales in their reengagement? How do we help customers account management? Re-engage how do we reengage with our executives? In what ways? Sometimes it’s engaging because we’re at, I mean, we’re not at physical events right now, but under normal circumstances, we would be so sometimes an engagement isn’t about us, you know, sending about one where out of physical event, how do we reengage the people we lost touch with that are so happened to be there, right? So how do we create opportunities for people to say yes, to talking with us and dialoguing with us? And that’s absolutely critical to supporting long buying processes that months, weeks, sometimes to your point Jim years.

Jim Rembach (14:56):

Most definitely. So I think when you start talking about everything that is so chaotic at the moment, there are opportunities for some, you know, stability, consistency that are going to add value. So when you start looking at I’m here right now today, and I call this our new reality. I mean, I’m sorry, we’re going to have many cycles closer and closer to the things that we’re experiencing right now. It’s not, you know, I think if you go back to the H one N one that was a few years, a few years ago, you had the Bola issue. That was, and so what’s going to start happening is these events are going to happen more often. Um, we’re getting more globalized. I mean, we’re interacting more as an entire species. Um, we’re doing all kinds of other things as far as even creating radicals that maybe infusing some things. I mean, there’s just a whole lot, that’s not even getting into the whole natural disaster thing. So it’s our new reality, but there’s opportunities for us to stand out. Um, and I talk about, you know, Hey, what do I, what can I do in order to be a disruptor? So in your mind, what do you think a BTB digital marketer can do right now to maybe disrupt things and stand out?

Samantha Stone (16:07):

Yeah. One of the important things we have to do is figure out what we stand for. There’s a lot going on. We haven’t even talked about in America, the call for racial justice and getting rid of racism and the rise of the me too movement and all of these things, right? So we’ve sort of been, I’ve been talking about the pandemic and how sort of health crisis affects things. Talk a little bit about natural disasters could have a similar impact, but we also have these social movements that are happening. Every company doesn’t need to have something to say about a social movement, but every company does need to understand what it stands for and every company needs to live those values. So for me, sure, there’s parts of marketing that are disrupting people writing to get in front of people. So they see my message and we’ve got to be sensitive about how and where and why we do that.

Samantha Stone (16:52):

But none of that matters if we don’t really know our, our bigger meaning, our bigger calling, what are we trying to achieve and what are we trying to do? And how do we live those values in every interaction we have, and right now is the perfect opportunity to take a moment and pause and say, we all have some value chart. That’s on some poster in the cafeteria. And in, you know, in offices, we probably had meetings where we rolled it up, but take a step back. What do they really mean to us? And how do we really interact with that? And how do we take a moment to be real? One of the things that I hope stays after everything that we’ve been going through right now is customers are in fact more empathetic to businesses as well. They actually want to help businesses survive and thrive.

Samantha Stone (17:39):

They understand that we might not be able to deliver an overnight delivery of something like we did before. They know that they might have to leave a voicemail instead of a live person, picking up a phone for a customer support question, because they know that when they talk to somebody, they might have a little kids running around in the background or dogs barking or whatever’s going on. And so empathy goes both ways. Empathy goes to our customers and we as marketers, myself included, spent almost all of our time talking about that. But, you know, you’ve won when your customers and your buyers and your community are empathetic to you. And this is the opportunity. We have to be really clear about who we are, what we stand for and what we are as people. So we can build that kind of bi-directional empathy with our customers, because that’s what this is about building. And yes, they make rational business decisions, but we need an emotional connection to transfer from being a transaction, to being a, a partner and someone that they want to advocate for. And that is really hard, um, and really, really challenging, but completely doable. And we have the opportunity to do that. And we’ve seen lots and lots of companies model that behavior for us, and we have this great chance to stand up and, um, and leverage those models and to do some of that work ourselves.

Jim Rembach (18:58):

So I start thinking about, wow, we’ve had it a lot of different aspects of that buyer journey. Um, and it definitely has to align with how we set up our systems. And certainly it also has to align with where we’re investing in putting all of our effort. Now, when you start thinking about where we are today, um, and looking at maybe the beginning of the year, I have the same budget, maybe even less than I have to work with now because of revenues, numbers have been impacted. But if I was to say, I w I should think about reallocating investments from one place to another, where do you think you’d make that shift? Where do you want to invest more in right now with the same budget?

Samantha Stone (19:37):

That’s a really good question. I do want to, I’m going to answer that. I promise, but I do want to come make one comment on something you said, you know, we have to align around our systems. That is true, but one of the big mistakes I see companies making is if we can’t take all the manual steps out and we can’t, um, and we can’t scale it in an automated way, we tend to be afraid of doing it. There are things that are worth doing that require manual intervention that are imperfect. The system can’t do for us in these, particularly in these complex sales processes. And we have entire groups of people called salespeople to actually execute those manual steps for us. And we, as marketers need to do a better job of being okay with not being able to scale something and being okay with something being manual, because that’s how we built connections.

Samantha Stone (20:23):

So having said that, you know, look, physical events are not going to happen for the rest of the year. So whatever money we were spending on them, we have the opportunity to think about how can I create a better digital experience for someone. Some of that might be an investing in virtual events, which by the way, are not inexpensive to do well. If you want interactivity, if you want to create the proxy for networking, if you want to treat it like as bi-directional and not just to push communication, you have to invest in doing that. But I’m a big believer. This is an opportunity for us to take a moment to do that. I also think there’s an opportunity for us to take a step back and think about content. We often tend to be thinking about content as volume, how much stuff can I get out?

Samantha Stone (21:03):

I want to create a lot of things. I need a steady cadence in theory. That’s true. But actually, if you go back and you look at what matters in buying processes and what matters and changing the trajectory of campaigns, it’s always one or two really meaningful pieces. It’s always like this. There’s a, there’s a couple things that get shared a lot. There’s a couple things that really move the way a reader or watcher thinks. And so we need to take this moment to pause and say, what is that? What can I bring to the world that my buyers care about right now that is deep and important and changes the way somebody thinks about something and kind of throw out that editorial calendar right now, because people don’t need 16 blog posts right now in their life. They just, don’t, they’re busy, they’re exhausted. They’re working from home, or maybe they’re in an office and their anxiety is up because everybody’s wearing a mask and they’ve got barriers.

Samantha Stone (21:56):

And they’re standing far apart with, you know, all these things are affecting us. So we need to take the moment and say, it’s not about a lot of stuff. It’s about the right meaningful things. And it’s, it may take us longer to create those. It may be something we can’t whip out quickly. That’s okay. Now, just to listeners, don’t get confused. I’m not advocating, stopping short form things. I’m not saying don’t have some cadence. I’m just saying this is a perfect moment in time to pause and really think about what you can make a significant and meaningful difference for your community.

Jim Rembach (22:32):

You know, as you were saying that I find, uh, oftentimes what happens is people move on to the next thing. And what I mean by that is, so if I’m talking about just the blog post example, um, you know, I take an, I do that blog post, I move on to the next thing and we don’t think about chunking. And so it’s like, Hey, I had something. It was very impactful. Instead, I need to think about repurposing. And that creates all those little micro, you know, type of content components and elements, but it’s going back to that piece that was impactful. So I find that people oftentimes just spin their wheels, creating content and getting into that spiral of just cranking things out and not really seeing and taking advantage of the things that did have the impact.

Samantha Stone (23:16):

You know, the biggest thing we could do is actually ask people their opinion before we publish something. So I’m not talking about a small blog post or a social post, but when you have a meaningful chunk of content that you’re producing, you know, I don’t know about you, Jim, but I’ve been part of some pretty lengthy internal review cycles where we’d sometimes have eight, 10, 15 people internally reviewing and providing input. I’m not writing for those people. So sure. I get that. We have to have an internal workflow and a process. And some of those people are, but we actually ask the people it’s for go. I don’t care. If you ask to go find two people that you’re creating this content for and tell them, does this meaningful to you, did it answer questions that are important to you? What’s missing? Do you care? Like just go, you know, like even little, little samples of our actual buyers make a big difference on that piece of content ability to actually have an impact.

Jim Rembach (24:09):

I love that you said that one of the things I often find that I want to just say, but I can’t, uh, is when you people do review something internally and they start giving you this feedback, and I want to say, you know what? I don’t care about your opinion.

Samantha Stone (24:24):

I don’t quite say I don’t care, but I do often try and point out. We might make it, you know, we might be suffering from like these common denominator syndrome, right. Where like, you know, that’s not really the buyer’s voice, right? I mean, I’m sure Jim, you do the same thing. We get really good at the proxy for it doesn’t matter what you think, what matters is the person that we’re writing this for. And, um, that is, that is it really channeling thing for us to do as marketers is to balance, you know, our point of view and expressing our point of view to the world and understanding what the person who’s going to be consuming that content needs and wants from that.

Jim Rembach (25:01):

Yeah. It’s like, you’re not your customer.

Samantha Stone (25:04):

Right? Right. And, you know, look, I’ve been fortunate. I’ve worked for one or two companies where we were actually very much the persona of the person that we’re going, but most of us sell stuff that we don’t use. Most of us sell stuff that is, um, purchased from a very different person than ourselves. And we all do it. It is in our nature. You cannot help, but bring yourself to things that you review. Um, no matter how hard we try. So we have to do the research. We have to understand them. Number one. And then we have to practice putting ourselves in that lens. And it’s hard. I know that this is easier said than done.

Jim Rembach (25:37):

Most definitely. That’s one of the most, one of them, to me, it’s one of the most challenging elements, quite frankly. Um, and so chip and Dan Heath, uh, our authors, they wrote a book called made to stick. Um, and they’ve wrote, they’ve written a couple of others, but in that book, they introduced the curse of knowledge. And everybody is impacted by that whole curse of knowledge. It’s lot, especially when you’re starting to talk about a lot of the solution providers and service providers into the B2B space, because they’re experts in what they do and what they know and the products and services they created. However, being able to convey that to your target is, has to be done differently.

Samantha Stone (26:12):

Yeah. You know, it’s funny, you can’t see it. But, um, if I look to my left, there is that book on my shelf. Um, it’s a great book. I actually highly recommend it. Um, we, we have to understand it. And also we have to understand that, like we have to bring people, it took us years of building, whatever it is that we sell. And we, it took us years to get to this level of extra expertise about it. Right. And we have to remember, not only does our audience have a different point of view, they haven’t been there for this whole trail. Right. We also sometimes actually had this conversation yesterday with a client. We were creating a bunch of content. They said, Oh, this is getting boring. I’m like, timeout, you read 15 pieces of our content this week. I promise you not a single person that we’re marketing to has read anywhere near 15 pieces of our content this week.

Samantha Stone (26:57):

Right. So, no, we don’t want to be repetitive for repetitive statements. Think about, have all these pieces fit together. But we also have to recognize that our buyers don’t read our content in the order, by which we produce it. They don’t read it in concentrated times all together. They’re going to forget things we can’t say in paper three. Well, we take that out because we talked about that in paper. One, the people reading papers three don’t remember if they read paper one and often didn’t even see it. So, um, we, those are the things that we have to train ourselves to recognize and to try and take that step back. And it’s hard because the more we do, the more familiar we are with what we’re creating and it’s, it is a interesting step, which is why external people or people outside marketing should be reviewing content because they have a lens that, um, we as content creators can’t provide, we’re just too close to it.

Jim Rembach (27:48):

Most definitely. Okay. So let’s pull off the rains. Okay. Let’s pull off the constraints, right? So you have now a wealth of budget and resources to do whatever the heck you wanted to do. Right. Where would you invest?

Samantha Stone (28:00):

Oh, it’s impossible for me to answer that question because, um, um, well, here’s what I can tell you how I would make the decision about where to invest. So I would, um, look at my marketing, um, metrics at a very detailed level. I would look at three things I would look at, um, of the leads that are coming in. What, how are we converting to the next stage in our buying process, whether that’s a meeting a demo, it could be a variety of things. So what I would look at that, I would look at the length of time, it’s taking to move across the various stages of our buying process. So, you know, from demo to proposal, how long does that take, right? There’s, you know, whatever that process looks like for your product or service, how long between steps. And I would look at our goals as a business and how much, you know, we’re trying to do, whether it’s a profitability, primary goal, whether it’s more revenue growth, whether we’re trying to go after a new segments or whatever that strategic important business value is.

Samantha Stone (28:55):

And I would look at how are we performing? I would look at, um, then how do we, um, where are we stuck? Where are there, where are there places that we are struggling to move people? And I would put a lot of my attention on that. I’ll never tell somebody that, you know, Hey, um, take all your event money and move it to digital advertising. Almost never. Will that be the right thing to do? Is it likely that I’m going to move some shore, right. But we need to look holistically at how we are surrounding customers, you know, and we need to think about that. We also need to think about practical things right now, if you have a heavy, direct mail, um, strategy, um, which I believe in, by the way, I think direct mail can be meaningful and impactful at the right ways in the right places for B2B complex, long sales cycles.

Samantha Stone (29:43):

A lot of our buyers are not in their office. A lot of our buyers are not in wherever it is that they go to work right now. And I don’t where it’s going to send, sit on their desk. Like, so what do we do with that? So for me, I need to better understand the business and what we’re trying to achieve, but we do need to very much understand what we can’t do right now. Physical events, direct mail, the way we were going to do it. We have to reallocate things. And the closer I can get to creating a personalized dialogue with my buyers. That’s what I want to invest in. So maybe I keep doing the same, um, uh, placements for contents indication, for example, but what I might invest in creating some different kind of content, that’s going to be much more impactful and meaningful than what I’ve pushed there before, or maybe I’m going to increase the number of places that my advertisements are performing, or maybe I’m going to invest more heavily and really rethink my website and invest in how my website works.

Samantha Stone (30:41):

Or maybe I don’t really have an effective nurturing strategy. And I need to put some time and money and energy into that. So I can’t say prescriptively, this is the lever to push, but I can tell you, you have to look at that conversions along the way, find your bottlenecks, find the places where your stock and try and unstick those. The other thing is find, what’s working, find the people that you are successful with and look for the patterns. What makes it different? Did they consume certain types of content that others didn’t? Did we, um, are they a different kind of buyer? Do they, do we have clusters of success in one industry or one roll of people we target more than others. So maybe we’d find, Hey, people like this, don’t have double Proverbs in conversion. I’m going to go find more people like that. And I’m going to put that extra investment and finding more people like that. So it’s, um, it’s understanding that process very, very deeply.

Jim Rembach (31:38):

Okay. So one of the questions I ask is what do you think, you know, a digital B to B marketers, um, you know, really have to be asking themselves. And the reality is, I think you just ripped off about 10 questions.

Samantha Stone (31:52):

Yeah. You know, look, this isn’t easy. And, you know, we had to really take a look at our websites, you know, for the most part B to B websites are pretty awful. They’re beautiful these days, right? Because the technology that builds the infrastructure has been, um, much, much better. They’re rich and content because we all believe that it’s rich in content. We’re really lousy at creating dialogue. We throw a forum up all day long in front of people. And I do believe in this conversation of marketing, like drift is just one example of a company that enables it. But they did a really good job of saying like, don’t do forms to have conversations and we really need to do better at that in the B to B world, we need to have interactivity. We need to have a way to engage people. Look, people learn in multiple ways.

Samantha Stone (32:35):

Some people are auditory. Some people are visual. Some people are, have to do, but we were still too much push them through a form, push them, throw a form, push them through a form. And I get it. We want to know who’s consuming our stuff so we can follow up. But really what we want is we want people to come to us and think of us as an expert. So sure. We’ve got to capture some information, but we have a lot of control about how we capture that information and we’re not doing a good job. So if we could invest in technology and we can invest in infrastructure, to me, it would be about those places that we interact with those community and doing a much better job of making it feel like a relationship instead of putting up things that feel like barriers.

Jim Rembach (33:22):

Well, I think that’s a great point. So for me, what I’m finding more success in and more interested in is like interactive video, where it’s not just the push of a video. We’re actually people in a, where are some more of the sophisticated type types of, uh, um, you know, dial dialogue processes where people are actually giving you input and information about what their needs and desires and wants are. And then you’re actually taking that. And you’re automating that process. There’s more and more that that’s becoming available. And where I find a lot of my work going,

Samantha Stone (33:53):

I’m a big fan of video. I’m also a big fan of things like this. Like, why don’t you take a podcast or a video interview series or other things and talk to your buyers, right? Like it doesn’t every touch we have, doesn’t have to be about us and selling something. We’re just trying to build relationships with people. And if you’ve got a multi month or multi-year sales cycle, you’re going to have to talk about something other than yourself, because we’re going to get bored pretty quickly just talking about what we do. So we’ve got to provide those opportunities for people to engage and be real with each other and be human and acknowledge where we are. I also think that we as B2B marketers, don’t use enough of things like review sites that are out there, right? There’s these people who are talking about what their needs are, there’s these rich opportunities to see what they’re searching for.

Samantha Stone (34:36):

And we’re not fully utilizing those mechanisms to try and find people that we can serve. And it’s time for us to get a little bit more creative about that. And I get a little bit, again, it’s not about scale. A lot of the reasons I actually did a research project where I interviewed a whole bunch of people about B2B review sites and as marketers and how they’re using them and where they’re not. And one of the problems that can becoming is it’s not enough volume. The people that I meet are great, but I need six times as many. I’m like, why do you need six times? If these things convert a 10 times the rate of other things, I understand the desire to find things that are big, but we’ve got to stop, always looking for that. How do I scale it and how do I automate it and find the ways to engage. And sometimes that’s at small volume and sometimes that’s with a manual step that doesn’t mean we can’t scale and grow and other things, but we’ve got to find that balance better.

Jim Rembach (35:29):

Well, I think what you bring up though is oftentimes that pressure from outside of other words, you need to bring me more leads, need to bring me more leads, looking at the quality and the conversion aspect. Yeah.

Samantha Stone (35:41):

And whenever somebody says that, I look at them and I tell them, no, I don’t. I need to bring you more opportunities. The number of leads only matters because we have a math formula that we’ve created going down the path. And I could deliver you a thousand leads that generates 10 opportunities are going to do a hundred that generates 10, which do you want? I’d rather spend more and do the a hundred because I’m more efficient through the rest of the process. And I’m focused on the buyers who really really care, but those are hard discussions to have, right? That’s, that’s a, that’s a, um, our inclination is my need my business to grow. I need more at the top, but really what we need to be looking at. Sure. We may need some more at the top, but we also need to do a better job of moving people across the relationship with us.

Samantha Stone (36:22):

Because at the end, if those customers have really cared about us and we’ve moved them all the way through and they, they they’ve known us for months. We think about this. We as B2B, marketers are really lucky because our customers aren’t. We always talk about how hard it is, but think about the benefit of this. They are not impulse buying. We are building a multi month relationship with people that is way stickier than when I go into a store and I grab a cupcake off the shelf because Ooh, that looks good. And I’m hungry. I have no brand. As you know, I have no loyalty to that. It’s got loyalty and I’ve got investment. I’ve put months into deciding the solution that I’m going to choose. I’ve invested a lot. And I care a lot about that. That’s a gift to us as B to B marketers, and we need to do a better job of receiving that gift.

Jim Rembach (37:10):

Now, Samantha, I have, I’ve had a blast with you. Can you let the B to B digital marketing gang know how to get in touch with you?

Samantha Stone (37:18):

Yeah, absolutely. So, um, I’m on LinkedIn and very active there. Um, so please people should feel free to reach out to me there. Um, you can also visit marketing advisory and we’ve got tons of resources. And I think there’s almost nothing that has a form in front of it. I really believe in just sort of, you know, sort of eating my own words and living that. Um, the only time we really do a form is if somebody is registering for an event, because we need to be able to do ongoing communications about logistics, otherwise take it. There’s tons of great stuff there. I hope people use it, go to the resource section and, um, they’ll see lots of things that are the lessons that we’ve learned over the years that we want to make sure help marketers get better and better

Jim Rembach (37:58):

Samantha Stone. We appreciate you sharing your knowledge and wisdom, and we wish you the very best. Thanks for having me.

Dr. Cherie Rains: Human Connection is Still Key | Episode 007

Dr. Cherie Rains: Human Connection is Still Key | Episode 007

Dr. Cherie Rains Show Notes Page

Show Description

Dr. Cherie Rains expounds on the vital importance of human connection in today’s hyper-connected digital world. With technology moving forward faster and faster, companies are becoming dehumanized and are losing its human touch. Despite the advances in modern digital marketing, customers still want to connect with real people – the human aspect is still the most important element of any successful digital marketing campaign. According to Dr. Cherie Rains, human connection is still key.

Before joining Lander University, Dr. Rains spent several years working in business and non-profit organizations. This included being the VP of Client Services and Research as well as the Lead Research Director at two customer care consulting firms in Virginia.

There she specialized in diagnosing the customer experience, enhancing customer satisfaction and increasing loyalty, and turning Voice of the Customer data insights into actionable intelligence for organizations.

Similarly, she served as the Senior Research Director for two non-profit organizations, including SOCAP where her focus was bringing research resources to the membership and completing several benchmark studies for customer care centers.

Through her leadership, a landmark research report was conducted to give customer care centers actionable data to improve business strategies. After receiving her Ph.D. from Purdue University, she spent several years teaching and consulting throughout Europe, including serving as a lead researcher in the Academic Center for Services Research in charge of multi-national customer satisfaction studies for Global Fortune 100 companies.

Her focus has always been on bringing the Voice of the Customer into organizations through actionable consumer behavior insights, both quantitatively and qualitatively. She also advises organizations on ensuring their focus remains on the human element of their customers, not just their digital personas. Over her career, she has published over 30 business and academic articles.



01:30 – Dr. Cherie’s background in digital marketing

04:03 – What is exciting in B2B digital marketing?

06:27 – Standing out in a noisy digital environment

08:16 – Leveraging the power of analytics

12:44 – Qualitative vs. quantitative data

14:10 – Getting customers to engage with you

17:06 – Why Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence is overrated in digital marketing

19:03 – The importance of human connection in digital marketing

21:06 – Utilizing digital tools to build a relationship with the customer and becoming a disruptor

24:22 – Telling better stories in digital marketing

25:26 – Allocating limited resources to the right channels

28:21 – Investing in high quality videos to reach your customers

30:39 – The one question every B2B digital marketer must ask themselves


Key Takeaways

“In order to understand the numbers, you have to understand the consumer.”

“People want a connection to other people; people don’t want to talk to technology.”

“Storytelling is a huge piece in data and marketing. People resonate with stories, and it’s all about connections and relationships.”

“You don’t have to do everything. You have to do what’s important really, really well.”

Ask yourself: “Would I respond/use/open the content that I put out there?”


Links and Resources

Dr. Cherie Rains’ email:


Show Transcript

Click to access unedited transcript

Unedited Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay. B2B DM gang. I have somebody on the show today who I’ve known for a very long time and I just reconnected with, and it’s fantastic because she is actually a professor of marketing at the university level at Lander university, dr. Cherie Rains. And you may find her, if you do some research, um, on dr. Cherie keen, uh, because she has been responsible for writing several research studies on the customer experience, uh, for a number of years with a couple of different associations as well. We were with a former employer called customer relationship metrics. And that’s one of the things that I think that’s really important for us to talk about when we are talking about digital marketing companies. Ultimately it comes down to the customer, right? So Cherie, if you could tell us a little bit about your background and some of the work that you’re doing right now in regards to digital marketing and how we can leverage that in the B2B space.

Dr. Cherie Rains (00:55):

All right. Well, Jim, thank you so much. Um, yeah, I’m thrilled that we have reconnected after quite a lot of time learning that you’re just right up the road there in North Carolina as well. So that’s pretty exciting. Um, yeah, so my background really has all been in the customer experience realm, I would say. And while it’s, it’s hard for me to say, um, when I started this, um, going for my, got my masters in consumer behavior and decided I was going to get my PhD and swore that I would never teach and here I am a professor. Um, but I, I think what happened, um, when I went to Purdue was I really saw, you know, the area of internet was becoming really popular. And so he retailing, this was back when everything was, he, you know, now it’s like digital and no, this was E so there was really an opportunity to see how would people behave in the environment.

Dr. Cherie Rains (01:50):

And so it started off for me really in shopping and the retailing, because at that point, the sky was falling and, Oh my gosh, the malls, nobody would go shopping. Right. I mean, everybody would buy everything online and nobody would do that. Um, so that’s where I started my research and what it showed was no people wouldn’t do that, which has come to fruition, which is great. So thumbs up for dissertation research got me somewhere. Um, but then that really kind of, I mean, Hey, um, so that really got me excited in the consumer realm. And I started really thinking about behaviors and wanted to go into consulting. And I had a great opportunity to go to the Netherlands, um, after my PhD for three years. And I did a program extensively for Mercedes-Benz in contact centers and how people, you know, were using the contact center environment and how we could change that because at the time, you know, the contact center was seen as something way outside the box and something a company had to do, but didn’t realize the satisfaction, right.

Dr. Cherie Rains (02:53):

That research was just starting to come up. So I spent, you know, three years over there doing international research on customer satisfaction and contact centers. And then I brought that back. Like you said, I went to a couple of different, um, nonprofits and then also consulting companies, which brought me back to hi. I reached a point in my life where I said, I’m either going to go into teaching or I’m never going to do it again. And I went back for a year and loved it and came on down here to South Carolina, I’m teaching the young minds all about digital marketing. So it’s been really exciting.

Jim Rembach (03:27):

Well, and I can imagine when you see, you can go back to that whole EA tailing days and thinking about all this transformation and transition, you’ve got, gotten an opportunity to experience what is often referred to as you know, the Omni channel experience. You know, I’ve got some of the brick and mortar, I’ve got some of the tailing and now, like you say, it’s all involved to digital and the whole customer journey. And all of those things are all over the place for a lot of organizations. Now we are sitting here right now and just so kind of date. This is, you know, um, admits of the easing of the lockdown of the COVID-19. Uh, and so we have been forced to do more digital and more [inaudible] than we ever have before. And some of that will go back to the, to the brick and mortar, because there’s just certain products and services that are important to that. But I think marketing now has to play a very different role. And so when you think about B2B digital marketing specifically, and we can, we can take some of the benefits and insights and work that’s being done in the B to C space and leverage it for ours. We just, we can do that. But if you start talking about B2B digital marketing, where do you see excitement?

Dr. Cherie Rains (04:38):

I think the most exciting pieces are kind of intertwined. One is really the mobile environment. You know, again, like you said, w we see it in the BDC zone, but when you think about the applications that would have everybody has their phone, everybody’s using their phone and be cause of COVID, we’re even using it more than we probably ever thought before, or for things we never thought we would do. So at this point now, you know, did we shop a little on our phones? Maybe, did we look for information on our phones maybe, but once COBIT hit and we were forced to be inside. And that goes to all the people who are now working from home. So it translate into the B2B space really easily because that’s where people are going first. Right. You asked me a question, I whip out my phone, I put it in, where does it, where does it go? So I see that really being leveraged. And I really see the video marketing piece of it, you know, not just necessarily on YouTube, but putting, you know, the face to whether it’s the products or services, you know, and, and having that interaction with the consumer, whether it’s B to B or B to C, so that you feel like you have a relationship, it’s still about relationship building. It’s just shifting a little bit at this point.

Jim Rembach (05:51):

Okay. So you bring up a really interesting point, uh, in regards to the whole. Now I’m forced to do some, I didn’t do before, both from a producer perspective, content creator perspective. If we’re talking about B2B, digital marketing, as well as from know one, one that is doing all of that searching, right? So if, if everybody is now cranking out things, items, snippets, you know, and I mean, webinars and it goes on and on and on. And so now there’s significantly more noise online. How do I actually differentiate in that world?

Dr. Cherie Rains (06:27):

Yeah, I think, um, you know, part of it is again trying to build that relationship and it’s also utilizing the tools that we already have. So when you start talking about SEO and SEM, you know, now that I have, I’ll say live content, although it’s, it’s not live, but, you know, you’re trying to get that environment from them. It’s where do I go in terms of analytics to see where my customers are so that I make sure that that is what I’m promoting, you know, in the digital space so that they can find you, it goes back to kind of, it kind of goes backwards to where we’re trying to get people to find us online, you know, on a website, but now we’re moving that to a, more of an interactive fashion and how, you know, how do you do all the phrasing and the language that you use and things like that do, um, get people to those videos. So it’s a little bit different, cause we don’t want it to be static, right? We want it to be able to, you know, have momentum and build on that. So it’s kind of like, you know, two step forwards, one step back, I’ve got to do all this engaging content and then I need to step back and say, Oh, I got to go back to SEO SEM and how to make that work to get them to the right places.

Jim Rembach (07:41):

Okay. So now you bring up things that I am getting more insight into in regards to the opportunity that exists to stand out. Okay. And that is the whole analytics element. So as being, you know, somebody who is a researcher, I mean, lot of data, you know, you have to validate data, you’d have to make sure data is scrubbed. I mean, in the whole integrity piece and then leveraging it. I mean, the data is so vitally important. However, what I see is that a lot of B2B digital marketers really don’t do anything in regards to our very little in regards to data, even so much when we start talking about it from an SEO perspective, is there was one website that I reviewed for a B B2B company. They didn’t, none of their photo photos had all tags. None of them had had meta-tags, none of their pages had any, any information I’m like, how do you expect? And they were yet cranking out a lot of blog posts and articles, which had good thought-leader content, but I’m like, how do you expect anybody to find things? So, I mean, what are, what are you, what are you able to teach people and tell people about leveraging the power of analytics?

Dr. Cherie Rains (08:52):

Well, I think the power of analytics is changing, and this is something where I’m, I’m really outside the box on this. Now my, my background and trainings and marketing research and focus groups. So I’ve always kind of been a qualitative person. The quantum numbers that come with analytics are useful, but as we saw 20 years ago in context center, okay, I’m, I’m scoring my agents on four things and I’m measuring 4,000, well, those 4,000 things, right? We didn’t really look at it. It was just pages that came up. It’s the same concept with big data. And I think what’s going on now is everybody is saying big data is the disruptor and big data is going to solve the problem. Me personally, I don’t believe that. I think that there’s power in smaller analytics, that you can find simple analytics because what happens is people hear that word analytics.

Dr. Cherie Rains (09:46):

It’s just like saying regression in a consulting meeting, your client’s face goes white, right? They’re like, Oh, I don’t know what she’s talking about regression. Oh my gosh. But you want simple things that you can talk about. A lot of times what it is is with the big data who does that really well, Amazon, Amazon was built on big data. Nobody else can harness the fact that I’m purchasing. And again, when we go back to COVID, everything I’m purchasing is now going through Amazon. So they know me better than they, than I know myself. Right? They’re pushing out products to me. Same as that. They can use those analytics and use it. Well companies who are not based off of that, as simple as it sounds, it’s going to very simple analytics that you need to take and talking to your consumers, right? B to B, you have in some ways, a more defined customer.

Dr. Cherie Rains (10:37):

And then you do B to C because in B to C you could go across any demographics. And you know, your, your customer journey is really different. B2B. You have a little bit of a tighter space and it’s all really going back and saying, you know, what? Talk to your customers, where are they? What are they spending their money on? You know, w what are the types of things they want to see? And so when you hear analytics, it’s a little bit jarring because once people hear big data, I already I’m like, Nope, can’t do it. It’s big data. It’s too much. It’s too overwhelming. That’s true. But if you go to simple and I mean, you know, as simple as it sounds like, go to Google, get somebody in your office, certified in Google analytics, you will have all the information that you need to make really good decisions based off of the Google platforms, which most people will do. So that’s, you know, it’s free, it’s easy. And it’s going to give you the information you need to really push your, your data and then make really good decisions about what you want to do with the SEO and SEM.

Jim Rembach (11:38):

Well, but wait a minute, it’s just too easy to pay for certain, right?

Dr. Cherie Rains (11:42):

Right. Yes. That is the other. But, but again, if you’re paying for all the wrong words and you’re paying for all the wrong things, it’s a waste of money. Would it be better if you, you know, we go back to insights, insights used to be a big word for us. That’s kind of deteriorate. We want insights out of the data, not just data. So if we can garner that, yep. We push it forward. We move it more to the digital platform. It makes a lot more sense for the organization,

Jim Rembach (12:08):

But even part, partly of what you explained right. There is the need in order to do some of the qualitative. So he’d get a better understanding of the quantitative. Cause you were talking about talking to your customer, you’re talking about getting engaged and understanding and well, that makes those numbers come to life. So you still need qualitative and quantitative. It’s just how you’re collecting it. Right?

Dr. Cherie Rains (12:29):

Yeah. And I mean, you know, you know, and I teach marketing research. So for me, I see it as a process, right. You go out, you do your secondary research. What’s going on. Then for me, you’re really doing the qualitative piece first. So you’re talking to people and finding out what’s important. And then like you said, then you go to all the data and you say, alright, I know that out of these 20,000 things, if I pay attention to these 20, it’s gonna, you know, make, we’re gonna make way better investments, no matter how we use that, then what we would do if we started out with those 20,000 and tried to make decisions off of not talking to anybody. So, you know, it’s kind of a balancing act. And I think what, what happens is companies don’t see the value in qualitative, right? Because I mean, even you’re saying you got to go back to the numbers, the numbers say everything in my research and what I’ve seen, that’s not necessarily true, but you do need a balance of both. So in order to understand the numbers, you have to understand the consumer. And again, that’s B to B or B to C. So it’s a balancing act for sure.

Jim Rembach (13:35):

So for me, what I, I mean, I, I come to the thinking of customer wisdom in that is if I don’t, if I’m not wise, you know, and we can all talk about avatars and things like that. But what we’re talking about is something, even, whereas we’re talking even about getting an understanding of those avatar now and the B2B world, one of the difficult items of all of this or elements is being to get the opportunity to have people talk to you, to talk to them. So for me, I’m thinking about, I can’t get, you know, 20 observations. I can’t get people to talk to me. I can’t get them to complete surveys. I can’t get, I can’t get that information. And in order to get wise about my customer so that I can leverage for data. So how can I hijack it if I can’t get them to talk?

Dr. Cherie Rains (14:21):

Well, I think it’s, it goes back to, you know, basic research online is really, you know, who you want, you know, you know, who you want your top customers to be. When I take my students through a project, it’s really okay, go out there who are the five or 10 top customers that you wish you had? You know, again, if there was no constraints possible, who are they? You go out, you research them, you research the trends. We are gifted with an internet, like never before, right? I mean the amount of information I type it in, I get an answer. Well, if you leverage something like that in your organization, you talk about learning, you see learning from a different perspective. And what happens is the trends that you see over those 10 websites. I do the same thing for job search for students. It goes hand in hand.

Dr. Cherie Rains (15:09):

It doesn’t sound like it. What job, what is your perfect job? Who is your perfect customer, go out and find 10 or 12 job listings or customers. And you basically do like an analysis of their websites. After that. You see, these are the however many keywords that match up for all of these, either job postings or websites. And those are the keywords, you know, you have to hone in on to get there. And then you’re able to, you know, you say hijack, you know, that’s really easy to do now in, in terms of, you know, in terms of digital marketing and kind of going off that feed, it’s hard to know what the answers are without knowing how your customers are finding it. Because I think what we see in the B2B space, which is really unusual and, you know, everybody’s spending money on is email marketing.

Dr. Cherie Rains (15:58):

They still go back to that know, that’s where we started. If you send somebody an email that says, dear Jim, would you please consider us? You were like, Oh, personalization, this is great. But B to B companies haven’t gotten out of that trend. And I think that’s where some sort of mobile technology, the customer interaction piece, you’re, they’re missing that piece in order to get both data and to get leads and sales, which I think you can convert a lot easier than if you just, you know, again, like you said, randomly you’re out there in space.

Jim Rembach (16:31):

Okay. So that leads me to think about all the things that you’ll see from a promotional perspective of what you need to do. Hey, this is now going to actually increase your lead capture by X percent. This is going to do all of these, you know, we just bang things in, as you especially see it now because so many or B2B organizations, which we’re having to go to shows and events and things like that, and do the face to face for their lead capture on are getting forced to be digital. And so they’re searching for answers in order to be able to fill their sales funnels. So what do you think is really overrated with B2B digital marketing?

Dr. Cherie Rains (17:04):

Um, I think the one thing that’s overrated across the board is really virtual reality and artificial intelligence. You know, again, we go back to a few years ago, everybody was like, people are gonna want this. I really think, you know, for, for lack of a better term, it’s freaking people out. Right. They don’t want that. And, and, and I think we will, it’ll be interesting to see what happens after COVID because after COVID, it’s like, you know what, Jim, I really wanted to see you. So let’s do a zoom call. Cause I don’t feel like I’m connected to people. When you talk about AI and virtual reality, you see you’re taking the people out of all those processes and it may be cheaper, easier for companies, right. With their bots or AI or any of that. They set it up and it’s kind of like, Oh, I set it up, put it on the shelf. And hopefully everything goes great. We’re going back to that human connection that we actually need. So how can you utilize that in a digital environment? And I really think that that launch for AI and, you know, virtual reality, like it’s not really grabbing hold. And even now I think that, you know, we’ll see, I, I think that personal connection that people want is, is something that now we want even more. And that really is probably gonna fall off a lot more than it has right now.

Jim Rembach (18:27):

Okay. So that’s really interesting. And that is that out of box thinking that you were talking about even a moment ago is that, you know, most people would think, Oh gosh, everybody’s gone and now they’re remote. And so therefore now is our time to turn up those things. Um, and, but you’re saying just the opposite. I mean, people are gonna really want more human connection because of what we’re going through.

Dr. Cherie Rains (18:48):

Yeah. I mean, I think that, you know, if, if you even go back to some of the research, you know, AI, if you look, I think, you know, probably you could go back 10 years and it was like, when you go with, you know, you talk about going to the big conferences that we used to go to, you know, 20,000 people, Oh, the new thing, AI VR, you know, and then we saw it the year after, and the year after, and here we are 10 years down the road, nobody’s got it. And I really do think that whether it was COVID or not, I think COVID really brought it to light. People want a connection to other people. People don’t want to talk to technology. And if I’m doing some sort of service interaction, I want somebody to, you know, I want to feel like somebody really cares about me.

Dr. Cherie Rains (19:34):

So if I’m in a chat with somebody I know even from personal experience and some research I’ve done, if you know that the person you’re chatting with is a real person. So let’s say they say something like, Oh, you know, how’s the weather in South Carolina, or today is my birthday. I’m talking to your real person. This is awesome. They understand my problem. They can solve it fast. And Oh, by the way, we can have a nice, nice little chat while we do that. I think people want to see that they don’t want to be like, Jim, I have a problem with my bill collection and something comes back and you’re like, no, it’s just like the cost center tree. Right? No, that’s not what I’m saying. I want to talk to a person. I think we’re still in that frame of mind for our customers, that they want that interaction and they want that relationship. And, and now I think we’re really kind of starving for that with COVID, but you know, again, we’ll see, I still think it’s going to push it out though.

Jim Rembach (20:30):

Well, and maybe that’ll lead to my next, you answering. My next question is I need to be able to stand out. All this noise is happening right now. Everybody’s being forced to do digital marketing that at a much higher percentage than they’ve ever been, have to do it before. So how can I stand? How can I be a disruptor

Speaker 3 (20:48):

In this space?

Dr. Cherie Rains (20:50):

I think going back, you know, the destruction piece of it. Um, in some ways, again, kind of like I said before, it’s almost going back. It’s, it’s getting to be that, um, more direct kind of personalization that we’re seeing. So the disruption to me is really being able to, um, kind of go back to let’s say the live streaming, right? So there’s a lot of noise and a lot of things like that, if we can identify the people we want to be most connected with and where you can have a relationship with them. So again, this goes back to the whole idea of live streaming, even, you know, webinars, the virtual conferences. Okay. So we’re used to doing all these things virtually, how do I build that relationship as with a customer? Right. So how do I utilize that? I think that’ll be the, kind of the key there as well, and then being able to take it, if you can, you know, if you can get your, your customers on phones and be able to, um, I guess kind of swim with the sharks in the mobile environment, you’re, you’re going to be a bigger disruptor than you probably even realize at this point in time, because, you know, apps and everything are really easy to do.

Dr. Cherie Rains (22:04):

And if you think back to going to these shows so that you’re able to, you know, grab information from people as they walk by on their phones, that hasn’t really been implemented very well. And I think we can take kind of that technology and use it in terms of, you know, building things for the mobile technology. And, you know, again, trying to get people excited and involved while you’re doing it. I think what you’ll see from students or what, from what I see from students, you know, at this point in time, they they’ve never been without their phone or very, very rarely been at without their phone. These are the people who are going out into the job environment. And if you think about anything from B to B, B to C, they’re going to have those, you know, kind of entry level jobs. This is what they’re used to.

Dr. Cherie Rains (22:56):

They’re going to force us into the mobile technology. They’re going to force us into live streaming. Hey, I’m not in a, I’m not in an event because we can’t have events, but Hey, here I am at a customer we’re installing our new system, you know, look at this as great. What do you think of this? It’s a building that excitement that they’re used to personally, right? Like, Hey, I’m, you know, I’m at the tennis match, whatever, you know, that we see from our students putting that there, they’re going to drive that change, whether we’re ready for it or not. That’s why I think it’s going to be a huge disrupter, even though it sounds basic, but the people who are coming behind, that’s what they’re used to. And, and they’re, you know, that’s where they get their information. That’s how they communicate with people. And I think, again, going back to COVID, we’re going to see that that’s also going to launch that a lot forward. Well, also

Jim Rembach (23:46):

For me, what you just said right there is that we have to learn how to be better marketing journalists, right?

Dr. Cherie Rains (23:52):

Yes. I’m all about, you know, and it was interesting. I got something right before we came on. I I’m a huge storyteller. Right. And you know, when, when somebody asks me, what do I do for a living? I said, I tell stories. I mean, you are, I go to the data and I say, the data says this, but what does this really look like? Well, these are the types of customers you want. This is the story. This is how they’re going to purchase it. Right. Storytelling is a huge piece of it. And you want to get that story out there. But then I got this thing for a conference and it was like, Oh, the myths of storytelling. It’s not the way you, you know, it’s not the investment you want to make in digital marketing. And I just want to scream and be like, actually it is right. You want to tell the story all the way around. So that’ll be another interesting thing is it’s the journey, it’s the story. Those things are going to resonate with people. And, you know, again, going back to where we’ve been talking, it’s all really about people and connection and relationships.

Jim Rembach (24:50):

Okay. So you and I had the opportunity to talk a little bit about, um, something associated with the whole scarcity element. Um, like students, you know, even when they’re doing their projects, they don’t have funding in order to be able to, you know, test and apply and do all that. And a lot of us are in that position. But if so, if I was sitting there and saying, all right, I’ve got this budget and it’s currently allocated in these places, where would you say I should pull from and apply to where should I reallocate resources to?

Dr. Cherie Rains (25:21):

Yeah, I think so. We’re probably going back to that email. And I don’t know if it’s just something, you know, B to B, it’s like, well, we’ve always done it that way. We’ve always gone to email, or we’ve always gone to talking to people at the trade shows. That’s what we do. It’s really taking that piece of it and saying, you know what, let’s not spend all of our money over there. We really need to go into content creation. We need to go into, you know, the social media realm, but what they need to make sure is that they’re going to the right places. So one of the things, even with the students, right? So yeah, so for their projects, it’s like, you got nothing, you got no money, figure out how to put a campaign together. You can do it. And it’s really, really usually right on the money in terms of that.

Dr. Cherie Rains (26:08):

So even if companies have some sort of resources, they can pull in that, the thing is, you’ve got to figure out where your customers are. So people hear social media and they instantly think I need to go to Twitter. I need to go to Snapchat. I need to go to Instagram. I need to go to Facebook. Now, if you’re allocating, you know, let’s say 50% of your budget to online to social media, but where is it going? You need to make sure that it doesn’t all have to go to Facebook or it doesn’t have to go to everything you need to put it, which makes most sense for your business. So I think you’re going to be moving more towards social media, but I want to put a little asterix on that. That’s like, just, it’s not social media, everything. It’s like, okay, it’s really targeted social media.

Dr. Cherie Rains (26:55):

Again, going back to that storytelling, going back to that relationship building that you can do through social media, you see a lot of companies are really good at doing certain areas, but you don’t have to do every, that’s the thing, you know, you don’t have to do everything you have to do. What’s most important, really, really well. And that’s where you put your money in. Instead of, you know, across the, you know, across the board, let’s just put the money in social media and email management and some content marketing here and there, it doesn’t make sense, you know? And I think that’s what a lot of companies do again, cause it’s overwhelming. And again, because they say social media, I’ve got to be, you know, I’ve got to be on all these platforms. Otherwise, you know, our business will implode. If we’re not there and customers can’t find us, that’s not necessarily true. And I think we’ll see that maturing as we go forward.

Jim Rembach (27:46):

Okay. So let’s look at it from another lens. I have unlimited budget. I mean, I, I can spend wherever I want to spend and do whatever I want to do. What would you go after?

Dr. Cherie Rains (27:57):

I think the things that I would go after really, um, would be in terms of, um, trying to do a little bit more and again, in terms of the live streaming and the webinars, you know, if you’re able to put together kind of, um, movie quality videos, those types of things really start to pick up noise. Like you said, not noise. Not always, let me go back to that. So if they really start to pick up, you know, having people view them and go through it, cuts through the noise in order to get people to go there. So I think that if you had, you know, unlimited, you would really be talking about how do I go back to that Omni channel? You know, we go back to the same concept from before, how can I reach my customers through the mobile environment, through the computer environment, you know, through iPads, there really, haven’t been a lot of companies that have figured out this whole internet of things and how they’re connected.

Dr. Cherie Rains (28:52):

How do I connect my customers in every single aspect, right? I mean, you know, some companies again, do that well Google, or if I do a search, all of a sudden I go on my pad and I’m getting advertisements for whatever I searched for. We haven’t harnessed that really well. And B2B, I don’t think from what I’ve seen and from what research has shown. So it’s really, if I had unlimited budget, I want to see where my customers are, how to take that internet of things, put it all together so that I can reach them. However they want to be reached. And at multiple touch points again, that’s something I think B2B is really missed out on.

Jim Rembach (29:32):

Well, Sherry, I’ll tell you, um, you know, I’ve, I’ve had a ton time, uh, I mean really a wealth of influence from you for years and this, this particular episode right here just even takes it over the top. But you know, I have to come back to the person who’s actually listening and who’s that digital marketer. Um, and they have to ask themselves some questions, um, that are important. What is one question you think that all B to B digital marketers need to ask themselves?

Dr. Cherie Rains (30:03):

Okay, this is the simplest of the simple and nobody probably acid would I? Okay. So now we go back to, I’ve spent a million dollars. I’ve done all this now, would I, whether it’s respond, use, open the content that I have just put out there, it’s a simple thing that we never ask. Would you use that? Would you buy that if that content came to you, is that, does that stir enough in you that you’re going to make that purchase? We sometimes forget to go back to the, to me that’s like the core of the simple marketing. Would this marketing work on me? If it’s, yes. You’re probably doing a pretty good job if it’s no, you may want to go back because most likely you’re close to your target market or, you know, your, your customers more than anybody else. So it’s an extremely simple question, but it could probably save companies, a lot of money doing the wrong things.

Jim Rembach (31:01):

Well, thank you so much for meeting with us today and I appreciate you sharing your knowledge and wisdom and from the classroom and beyond, but how, how do B2BDM digital marketers get in touch with you?

Dr. Cherie Rains (31:13):

Oh, well, you know, again, now I’m back at the university. So, um, the easiest thing is just, you know, email me, Nice and simple. And I love to have any comments, any feedback, and you know, I’ve got students so we can ask them to do a little work too, if you need it.

Jim Rembach (31:31):

Doctor Cherie Rains, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. We wish you the very best.

Dr. Cherie Rains (31:36):

Thanks, Jim. This has been awesome. I appreciate it.

Mike Gospe : Why Marketers Should Be Customer Advocates | Episode 006

Mike Gospe: Why Marketers Should Be Customer Advocates | Episode 006

Mike Gospe Show Notes Page


Show Description

Mike Gospe shares the importance on why marketers should also be leaders and why advocating the customer is important. This episode will surely hit you with a curved ball as Mike shares a lot of insights in building a REAL strategy for your B2B digital marketing.

Mike Gospe is a B2B marketing strategist with 30 years of experience and a passion for inspiring CXOs and leadership teams to become more customer-focused.

He grew up in HP and Sun and advanced to senior marketing leadership positions at several start-ups before co-founding KickStart Alliance, a customer advisory and customer success leadership consulting team in 2002.

Mike follows a key mantra: whoever understands the customer best wins. To achieve this, he’s built a reputation of teaching marketers a variety of best practices, including how to build effective, well-rounded buyer personas, craft-focused positioning statements, and create customer-ready messaging.

He’s also the author of eight marketing best-practices books, including Marketing Campaign Development and The Marketing High Ground. To become a truly market-focused company, executives need to know how to talk with their customers so they can validate that their business strategies are aligned with the ever-changing customer needs and expectations.

Over the past two decades, Mike has become a well-respected facilitator of Customer Advisory Boards and Partner Advisory Councils. He’s helped more than 100 innovative companies harness the power of their advisory boards to define and sustain their competitive advantage. His teachings on advisory boards can be found on his CAB Resource Center. Connect with Mike on LinkedIn.



01:25 – Mike’s passion for B2B digital marketing

02:52 – How COVID-19 brought a huge spotlight on digital marketing

05:20 – Having a REAL digital marketing strategy

07:10 – True account-based marketing

08:42 – Aligning sales and marketing objectives

10:43 – Alignment case study: COVID-19

11:44 – Pivoting your marketing program to help customers and becoming customer advocates

13:09 – Putting spotlight on customer experience and customer success

15:37 – Why the shiny object syndrome is overrated

17:43 – The importance of culture and systems in your digital marketing strategy

20:01 – Training marketers to be leaders in the company

23:34 – Investing in a customer advisory board program

28:07 –  Determining where you’re failing in your marketing efforts

30:26 – The one question every b2b digital marketer should ask themselves

34:42 – Connect with Mike Gospe


Key Takeaways

“As a digital marketer, now is the perfect time to reflect on how we can bond with our customers and deliver more value to them.”

“Digital marketers need to be aware of what the landscape is, but they must not lose sight on the larger, integrated marketing strategy.”

“One of the best things a marketing leader can do is hire people who are smarter than they are.”

“What is it that you do and why do you do it? As a digital marketer, what value do you provide to a company?”


Links and Resources

Mike’s Twitter:

Mike’s LinkedIn:

Mike’s website:

The Marketing High Ground:

Show Transcript

Click to access unedited transcript

Unedited Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay, B2B DM gang. I have somebody on the show today and we’re going to have a fantastic conversation. And for those of you who are familiar with baseball, um, and if you are not aware, I love the game. Um, I’m actually a certified pitching coach. I coach at the middle school level. Um, for me, that’s my retirement plan. When I don’t have to work anymore, then I’m going to be a college coach. That’s what I want to do. Um, so I don’t, I’m just sharing that with you, but it’s important because that’s a strategy, right? And the person who’s on the show today, who’s going to throw you, they’re going to throw you some curve balls, probably about your B2B DM strategy that you need to be aware of. And Mike Gospe is actually a B2B marketing better and strategist. Uh, he is also the co founder of the kickstart Alliance and he’s an author of eight books. And the one that we’re really gonna be focusing in on today is the marketing high ground. Mike Gospe. Thanks for joining me. And if you could share us a little bit about your passion for B2B DM.

Mike Gospe (00:56):

Yeah. Thank you, Jim. I’m delighted to be here and to be with your audience. Yes. I do have a passion for digital marketing, but I’m going to take a step back to it because I think today all marketing is digital digital marketing in the past. Used to be kind of a, a precise, discreet kind of niche. Nowadays. I struggled to find, well, what element of marketing doesn’t have a digital element to it? Actually, they all do. And they all should. So my passion as a marketing strategist is about forming that integrated marketing strategy that follows the buyer’s journey and their digital elements to all of it.

Jim Rembach (01:36):

You know, it’s interesting that you say that. Um, I would also say that we probably would have even addressed that a little bit differently four or five months ago when we started talking about all of it being digital. Because I think to me, there’s a lot of things that have become more aware of being digital that we probably didn’t think about before. Like somebody was even chatting earlier about the whole LinkedIn messaging type of thing, you know? Well, that’s now a digital strategy. That’s extremely important for a lot of B2B marketers. And so how you go about that is vitally important. So how are some of these things that you’re seeing, you know, become automatically important, forced transformation? Um, you know, I mean, what are you seeing?

Mike Gospe (02:15):

Yeah, so, you know, Jim, you’re raising an excellent point because the COVID-19 and the lockdown has brought a huge spotlight on marketing and digital marketing elements. So from a personal perspective, let me share the short, short story. So we’re maybe, uh, six weeks into lockdown. And I happen to notice, I was looking at all my email that I’m getting, and I’m getting a ton of tone, deaf email marketing. I’m Ben, my company leases cars. So I get these emails from dealerships going, Hey, come on down to the dealership and check out our cars. It’s like really we’re in week four of lockdown and you want me to come? Or I got emails from a company trying to sell me a new payroll systems like, Hey, I run a small business. I have to deal with furloughing for loaning, uh, furloughing employees. And you want me to buy a, a payroll system?

Mike Gospe (03:14):

So, no, it’s not that the marketers were doing something intentionally bad, but what the spotlight’s on as these programs, I’m willing to bet, you know, dollars to donuts. These were automated before the lockdown digitized. And so, and then I go to my spam filter, Oh my God. Over the course of 10 weeks, I probably have a thousand of emails and I’m not talking about the Viagra’s over the Rolex watches. I’m talking about reputable companies from seasoned marketer, sending messages that just are out of touch. And so the, as a strategist, not only do we need to think clearly about what the buyer’s journey is and the right touch points and how to digitize those, but when, and as conditions change and as they change so quickly and they were changing all the time, even before COVID-19, but now with COVID-19, there was this lag of fat leg effect.

Mike Gospe (04:07):

So, and then you mentioned kind of LinkedIn new channels coming up, how people are communicating. Let’s talk about zoom and everybody now on the zoom overload, right? There’s this new dimension to our world, all of its digital, all of it has marketing implications, but we need to rethink what that strategy is. So what, as far as for me, my message to digital marketers is we need to be better. We need to be more attuned to what’s going on. We need to be more reflective and we need to rethink what that strategy is. And there are four dimensions of what the strategy is for today. And I call this about having a marketing program that’s real R E a L real, your strategy must be relevant and timely for the people we’re talking about. It’s the middle of COVID. Do you want to be talking to me about coming into a dealership or, or selling a payroll system?

Mike Gospe (05:04):

That’s not exactly timely. It needs to be empathetic to the situation, the buyer and the companies are going through a right now, there’s a huge lack of empathy in many marketing messages that are going on. Um, it needs to be authentic where we say what we mean, and we mean what we say, and then it needs to be legitimate in that, uh, get rid of the hyperbole. Let’s how use trustworthy evidence to support our claim. So as this marketing strategy in this new digital world, uh, where all the pieces are moving fast, I think marketers need to be driven to be real relevant, uh, empathetic, authentic, legitimate.

Jim Rembach (05:49):

Well, as you’re talking, I started thinking about, um, some of the things that have also changed from a strategy perspective. And I think your examples kind of point out a little bit, and that is we have to be careful about digital and the automation elements, and then therefore causing or creating invisibility. So in other words, I’m sure that those people that set all of those things up, like you’re talking about, yes, it probably I’m sure it was before, um, you know, all of this occurred, but now it was automated and it’s out of sight out of mind and this thing started running. Yeah, you can’t, and now I can’t pull it back. Cause I just went out to, you know, X many or whatever like that. So I think we have to probably do a better job when we start thinking about strategy of having visibility into all of our activities and all of our automations.

Mike Gospe (06:34):

Absolutely. And it’s not. So within a marketing community, boy, there’s huge visibility and emphasis on the whole funnel on the lead generation funnel and that’s and rightly so because companies need to kind of monitor that, but there’s been a lack of visibility about what’s really going on out in the real world. And I take, I take this issue with so many marketing teams that I deal with and I coach where they’re looking at what is driving them as an individual. I need to run 500 new leads per month. And I don’t care where I get them. And if I don’t get my funnel, I’m going to be in trouble. Meanwhile, what’s going on in the rest of the world. And have you addressed the right message by the way, this plays into this whole coach notion of account based marketing. Now account based marketing has been around for 20 years.

Mike Gospe (07:24):

And one of the pet peeves I have is that there are people out there who will say, Oh, it’s a brand new thing. No, it’s not a brand new thing, but the trick, uh, an account based marketing is not target marketing, target account marketing. You build your list and you go, Oh yes, I’m targeting these accounts. True account based marketing is understanding what the true issues are that the people you wanting to sell to are going through and being empathetic and then matching your messaging and your digital elements to them. It takes, you know, serious thought process to sketch those out and flow chose us. That’s the level of vigilance that we’ve not had nearly as much as what we need to have as a marketing community.

Jim Rembach (08:06):

Well, I, okay. So you and I had this discussion about what you do and what I do. And, you know, I work in the contact center and customer experience space with a lot of different solution providers. And one of the things that they always have as a major barrier is that relevance component. So for me, I was actually in operations, in a contact center, uh, you know, I supervised and managed and contact centers. And so I lifted, I know it. Uh, and when you start really talking about a lot of these companies who are trying to sell solutions, they don’t have that context. So relevance for them is really difficult. And so what ends up occurring is that we have marketing message and then a sales activity and in transition or handover that has a huge break and disconnect and a lot of, you know, mayhem for them to be able

Mike Gospe (08:56):

To close their funnel, have conversions. Yeah. And in fact, in, uh, the, the meetings that I’m most enjoyed and valued when in my career as a, either senior marketing director or VP of marketing was when we got together for sales and marketing summits. And these would happen on a, sometimes a quarterly basis at at least once a year, if not twice a year. And these meetings had a specific purpose of aligning with the sales objectives were and what the marketing objectives were to help support kind of sales and making sure that we had that story. We understood what a good qualified lead was. Many companies I had worked with us 10 different people. What do you think a good quality lead is? You get 10 different answers and no wonder that there’s there’s problems with that. But I think alignment and collaboration on this visibility element that I talked about starts there.

Mike Gospe (09:53):

It shouldn’t start before, but that should be a catch. All the saying, you know what? Let’s make sure that we’re, we’re aligned and we’re in sync with the story that we want to tell. We need to tell, especially now let’s, let’s take it now with the whole COVID-19 thing. Now, what so early on, uh, you know, four weeks into lockdown, EV lots of tone, deaf messages, lots of lack of alignment. And then afterwards, everybody started to get onto the obligatory during these difficult times. And now that’s kind of, I don’t want to say it’s backfired, but now it’s kind of, it doesn’t have the same effect as it had before. So instead of trying to play catch up for that, we need to start aligning with what comes next. How do we help the companies come out? And I’ve been delivering a hard message to companies.

Mike Gospe (10:43):

I said, unless you’re Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and a small handful of other companies, you’re not going to make your quarterly numbers. You’re not going to make your year numbers. You’ve lost too much revenue during this shutdown. And so instead of panicking, Oh, let’s throw more energy into marketing and sales and get any lead that, that breathe. We’ll do that. What if we didn’t do that? What if we shifted our marketing programs to be of service to customers, how can we actually help them make the best of the investments that they’ve already made with us? How can we help them solve problems and pivot their own business? What that essentially means is what if we all become customer advocates in marketing and sales, and we align our messages and our value from that, undoubtedly people will still want to buy and we’ll gladly sell to them.

Mike Gospe (11:36):

But I think that has a huge impact on how we treat marketing Kia, digital marketing, the stories that we tell the alignment with sales and marketing, and ultimately it will strengthen the relationships we have with the customers. So when get better, you’ll grow faster. And for anybody who is thinking, maybe I’m making this up, all you have to do is go back to 2008. When we had the great recession where a lot of the same things were happening, completely different situation, but businesses were shutting down marketing and sales. There were stagnation and programs, but those companies that kept a little bit of a lifeline on into understanding the customer journey and being there, if only to listen, help, they learned a ton about their customers that impacted their marketing programs. And they grew faster when times got better. So I think we’re, we’re dealing with a similar kind of opportunity.

Jim Rembach (12:33):

I would agree with that. And it’s a really good point. Uh, one of the things also I run into from a strategy perspective, as I talk to organizations about the, you know, before, during, and the after sale process and what you were talking about there is really what I know is client success customers, right? So you’re talking about taking those marketing people and now having them be part of your client success team. While the downside that I see is there’s a lot of organizations that I’ll talk to and I’m like, okay, let’s talk about your marketing is talk to your sales. And they’re like, yeah, yeah, yeah. And then I say, okay, let’s talk about your client’s success. And they’re like, what? What’s that?

Mike Gospe (13:09):

Yeah, no, that’s, that’s true. I, you know, if anything, again, talk about shining the spotlight on areas in digital marketing is a magnet for that. Cause it’s a hot topic and people are talking about this, but there are implications that go beyond that. And your notion of customer experience and customer success is exactly right. Because what if the future, what if the only customers you win this year are customers you already have? So, and everybody knows the saying is true. It’s lot easier to keep a current customer than to get new ones, but what does that mean for how we operate and where we go? So I, I’m a big fan of Simon Sinek. Uh who’s right. And as a strategist for Apple and many others, one of the things that he says a lot is take time to reflect on what you do and why you do it.

Mike Gospe (14:00):

And I think as marketers, and I don’t mean this as an existential question, although that has value in it of itself. But let’s say as a marketer, as a digital marketer, as a company executive moving to the future, I think now with all that’s going on in our crazy world is a perfect time to reflect on what do we do individually and as a company and why do we do it? And what’s that message. What’s that bond that we can have with our customers that will help them solve their problems, deliver more value to them. And if we can kind of get our finger on the pulse of that, our digital marketing programs are going to be more carefully defined. There’ll be more visible, more, more real right. Relevant, empathetic, authentic, legitimate. And I think that’s where the opportunity for leadership and marketing development is coming out of this pandemic. If that makes sense,

Jim Rembach (15:00):

It does make sense. So then I would dare to say with those types of, uh, you know, philosophies and, and, and opinions and strong emotions associated with all of this is that you probably have a lot of, uh, thoughts around things that are just overrated. So what do you think is B2B digital marketing?

Mike Gospe (15:16):

Yeah. You know what? I think that’s a great, great question. What is overrated? And I’m going to, uh, ne give you a generic reaction. It’s the shiny object syndrome. And I saw this happen when I give you an example, when Marquetto first came out and everybody thought Marquetto was going to be the silver, silver bullet to marketing campaigns, Oh, we’re going to automate all this stuff. It only became clear that if you automate garbage in, you’re going to get garbage out. And the tool in and of itself does not make the difference. So what I think is overrated is whatever is hot in the moment as Oh, Instagram, everybody’s moving to Instagram. It’s like, it’s, it’s a, it’s the hot thing of the day. Or just like Facebook was, or now people are thinking of, Oh, LinkedIn and different capacity. Yes. Digital marketers need to be aware of what the landscape is, but don’t lose sight about what the strategy is that integrated strategy of where do your buyers go to get information?

Mike Gospe (16:14):

What information do they use to make better decisions, purchase decisions, what information do they need? What content all of that plays in. And what I fear, what I’ve seen so often is a marketing organization is segmented. I’ve got somebody who deals with the website and they’re over here. I had somebody working on social media and they’re over here. Somebody is doing something and they’re just not, not connected. And so I think, Oh, those things are great, but they’re only great until they become obsolete. And what doesn’t become obsolete is this strategy. So I think pay attention to the larger landscape, but every marketer, I don’t care if you’re a, you’re a new hire you’re working on social media or website. Everybody needs to have one eye on the larger marketing strategy. That’s where we need the better investment.

Jim Rembach (17:08):

Well, and to add on to that, um, I was just reading something and I can’t recall it off the top of my head. I’m sorry. But, uh, it was, it was saying how, in order to be more resilient in times, you know, of, you know, the volatile and all of that stuff. And by the way, this is how it’s going to be going forward. And I mean, I think it’s, it’s the new reality, right? So we do have to be learn how to be more resilient and be galvanized and, and all of that. And as they talk about, there’s two things that you need to have that are vitally important. And I talked about culture and then systems. And so for me, when you’re talking strategy, I think that falls into both camps. You know, um, I need to have the proper culture, um, strategy, and then I need to have the proper systems. And when they’re saying systems, they’re not talking about tech, you know, they’re, they’re talking about, you know, how things operate in a systematic way, more holistic.

Mike Gospe (18:03):

Exactly. And so I can give you a perfect kid. I totally agree with what you’re saying, Jim, when, uh, I was a VP of marketing and, uh, with my current customers, uh, I’m a big fan of creating playbooks and a playbook covers both. Now, the culture comes out of that, but system realize we’re not talking about how do you, how are you using your system, do your utmost advantage, which has huge issues. Cause everybody’s not, but if you can blueprint out and I literally mean it like, uh, an expanded flow chart of how the pieces fit together and who does what, and what systems are tied in is huge. And so one, one client I worked with, we developed, you know, four or five different playbooks for different elements. And it was amazing because everybody had a fairly large marketing team. They would look at these and immediately they know what role they needed to play. It’s like, Oh, we’re going to go on the football field and play football. What, where do I need to stand? It’s like, Oh, now you know what position you’re going to play. So many companies don’t have this and this really helps. And you’re right. Future is not the past and we’re going to need new playbooks coming out of this.

Jim Rembach (19:14):

That’s a great point. Okay. So then I don’t want to answer this question for you. I want to make sure that it’s your perspective, although I think I know what I’m going to hear. Uh, so if I started talking about, um, you know, areas where a digital marketer can really be a disruptor and today, where is that?

Mike Gospe (19:33):

Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s a good question. I’ve given a lot of thought, a lot of thought to this and it ties into what we were talking about earlier in that I don’t, I’m not a big fan of shiny object syndrome as being the, uh, the, the end all be all deal. I think there’s a, a strategy element of that, that people need to embrace a little bit more. So what does that actually look like? How does, how does that happen? I see if you were to ask me, um, where would I spend some additional money to help my marketing marketing team? There’s, there’s two areas that I would have them invest in. When we talked about earlier, was this alignment with sales and marketing. But the other is in training and marketing training of marketers, not only to be better marketers, but to be better leaders across the company.

Mike Gospe (20:22):

And so when there is training and let’s take as an example, and there are tons of resources available out there to get more skilled on how to use and the many plugins and the tying in with this, that, and the other system, many companies, sadly, I think don’t take advantage of that. And either because training is an naughty, it’s like, well, Jim, I hired you to do that. I expect you to go figure that out. It’s like, no, you know what? I think one of the best things a marketing leader can do is hire people who are smarter than they are. So this is what I would do as a VP of marketing. I would hire somebody who’s smarter than I am and website design and SEO and Facebook, and even so, because technology is changing so fast, I would have a little bit better, the budget set aside, so they could go attend a course, get some additional teaching learning so they can become even better at that.

Mike Gospe (21:20):

So that would be number one, but there’s the flip side of that. And this is the longer term side is how do you build marketing bench strength to kind of grow as your business grows? Well, you need to invest not only training in understanding your products and how the products fit into the market landscape, but how to be a good customer, how to be a good corporate leader, a skilled in communications. One of my bosses, old bosses at the time said, it’s ironic that we, as marketers are not better communicators. And this was said in context of internal communications of sharing with sales and the leadership team, what exactly it is that we’re doing, and that doesn’t come naturally, you need some political savviness to figure this out, but you also need to understand the right ways in which to communicate internally or to build leadership skills or to, uh, uh, uh, expand and extend your curiosity.

Mike Gospe (22:26):

And to other parts of the organization, marketing should know what sales is doing, engineering customer service support, and they should know what marketing is done. And I see that as being kind of a, kind of a gap. So to invest in those kinds of areas, I think has not only opportunities to help a company, but to grow better marketers and right. That’s the next generation of leaders. So I, I’m not sure if I answered your question directly, but these are some of the things that I’m thinking about. Uh, you know, when I think about where we invest in and how do we get better.

Jim Rembach (22:58):

So I mean, how you did, I mean, so for me as an individual, if I’m looking at how can I actually make it that big difference, it’s doing the things that you’re talking about. And from an organizational perspective, you were talking about minor shifts. Let’s, let’s take, let’s take all the constraints off. So you’ve been given unlimited budget. You can do whatever you want, where are you going to invest your money?

Mike Gospe (23:18):

Yeah. That’s well, so we’d come back to the, I think in order to answer that, uh, first I would double down on making sure I’m understanding what the company’s value proposition is and where the growth opportunities, where we can provide the most, most value. And if we don’t know that I’d invest to figure that out, and it’s not just about, well, let me take a step back. I’m a big believer in having become the customer advocate and what I mean by the customer advocate, meaning that you’re the resources that actually know the trends and drivers driving your customer’s business better than anybody else. And it’s not that, Oh, what, when my gospel, my gospel knows all the answers I’m therefore Mike is going to dictate the answer. No, that’s not what I’m talking about, but what a customer advocate knows the right questions to ask and the way to bring in some of that knowledge.

Mike Gospe (24:11):

So one of the things that I would invest in, and one of the things that I currently advocate strongly with my customers is, do you have a customer advisory board program? Do you know, can you gather your customers to understand how they’re thinking about how their business is evolving, how their buying process is likely to evolve, uh, and what kind of information they need to solve their problems. All of that then impacts what our marketing engine needs to look like. So the last thing I’m going to do is jump to attack, stick without confirming and understanding completely kind of where we’re going. I’m making sure that we’re in alignment. So some of that money customer advisory board, which are being reshaped now because of COVID-19, that’s a great investment for that. I’ve look at other, I have a voice of the customer model that just briefly there it’s a pyramid model and there are three levels of customer engagement.

Mike Gospe (25:08):

All of this impacts digital marketing hugely at the Y access to the model are tactical topics at the bottom. I had a bad experience on Tuesday. What are you going to do to fix it to strategic at the top, which is how’s, COVID-19 affecting your business. And what is it going to look like by 2023 different questions that get asked to different people at different times at the base of the pyramid, which is the widest. There are many people in your company talking to many customers at any given time on tactical and operational, uh, elements and marketing must have an investment. Digital marketing is huge here to pay attention to customer survey forms, customer sat and PS scores, real time monitoring of social media need to make sure that there’s an investment in that that’s appropriately fit. So that’s part of where I’d spend my money, the middle level, it’s called product direction.

Mike Gospe (26:00):

You want to get feedback, that’s going to impact your medium term roadmaps, uh, six to 18 months out. You know, I’ve got my product here. I want to know if it’s tuned appropriately. Do I need to change some things, but largely the product is baked. You need to have some product, uh, uh, feedback and user groups as a traditional item here at the top of the pyramid is where the customer advisory board fits. This is where you get a dozen of your senior decision maker, customers to meet with your CEO and executive team to talk about the future and how their business is evolving and ultimately how your company tends support that as a marketer, where I make my investment is I need to make sure that every part of that model has an level of investment for both the systems. And you talked about systems and culture earlier, Jim, and you’re exactly right.

Mike Gospe (26:51):

The culture has to be set by the CEO who says, you know what? Understanding customers is really important. I’m dedicated to it. I expect my team to be dedicated to it because the more we know can help us be more empathetic. So there, there are a variety of tactics at each of those three levels, and it would become clear what those investments need to be based on that bit of analysis. So I would take I’d slowed down before I spend anything to take a little bit, to understand this picture and then put together a plan on how to use that money. And I think it’d become clear.

Jim Rembach (27:30):

Well, thanks for sharing that. I mean, for me, there are so many things that came out that are so vitally important, you know, first is the listening element, but there’s also the contextual element, but there’s a whole lot of wisdom that needs to be put in place there that you’re gaining from your customer because Hey, let’s face it. I mean, a lot of people who are in a, in a, you know, marketing position, you know, may not have had the opportunity to have the longterm exposure that I’ve had in my industry. Right. I think that’s really critical.

Mike Gospe (27:59):

So that, there’s, there’s a flip side to the question that you did. So you asked me, what would I do if I had a million bucks suspend, the flip side is, um, what do I think about the investment I’m currently spending? So let’s say I’m spending a million dollars and there’s this old saying that says, I, you know, I know half of my marketing budget is misspent. I just don’t know which half actually I can tell you which half, it’s pretty easy to find out what you have. All you have to do is take your marketing tactic, whatever it is, and take a step back and say, what’s the strategy behind this? Do I know who I’m targeting? Do it? What’s the persona. What’s my positioning statement. What’s the story. I’m trying to tell nine times out of 10, you look at that and it becomes clear, well, you’re wasting money here.

Mike Gospe (28:45):

Cause you don’t know who you’re talking to. You’re trying to be all things to all people, or like we talked about earlier in the episode about all these emails I’m getting that are tone deaf and out of sync with what, you know, no, I don’t want to go to a dealership or buy a payroll system. The timing is wrong. So there is a way, and I think through some gentle self-assessment and reflection, I’ve done this with marketing teams. They say, you know what? Let’s, let’s take over lunch. Let’s get together. Let’s, let’s put up on a wall, all the marketing tactics that are going on right now, let’s kind of look at them and see if they sync up and, and it becomes clear. Do you don’t have a persona? The messaging is all wrong, et cetera. This, by the way, was the reason why I wrote my book, the marketing high ground, because those marketers who understand the customers, Beth, it’s like, you’re climbing a mountain. And your view of market is so much better than if you’re down at the weeds and you don’t understand or see how the pictures pieces fit together.

Jim Rembach (29:50):

Man, I’ll tell you, Mike, I think you foreshadowed a lot of my questions, my friends. So I’ll tell you because ultimately it comes down to you. We have to stop and take some assessment and some inventory and ask ourselves the question, you know, what, what should, what should I be looking at? What is the question I should be asking myself as a B2B digital marketer. And I think you already hit it, but

Mike Gospe (30:11):

Yeah. So let me, let me try to be, um, practical and pragmatic on this for everybody. So I, I think there are, there are a couple of things that all of us are humans, humans are dealing with right now in COVID-19. And I think it’s important to recognize how stressful and the future is not going to be what we thought it was a lot of what we’re taking for granted yesterday. Doesn’t apply. So I’m thinking as a, for anybody, but let’s say as a digital marketer, the first question I think is a good opportunity. Maybe it’s over a glass of wine when the evening, just to reflect on what is it that you do personally and why do you do it? What, what do, what do I, as a digital marketer? What’s the value that I want to provide to a company? What’s the expertise that I want to invest in and to be really clear on that, uh, you know, sometimes we all fall into jobs kind of by chance.

Mike Gospe (31:12):

And I think because so much, you know, what a lot of what’s happening in the world is broken and it needs to be fixed. And I think what a great opportunity for us to kind of say, yeah, you know what I want to, I’m seeing marketing in a new light and I think there’s new value that I can add. So I think number one, personal assessment, no matter where you are. So number two, as a digital marketer, I think it would be good. Not only are you good in your current craft. And I think it’s really important cause we do need specific experts in that. And if you’ve got something you’re passionate about, technology-wise stick with it at the same time, I would say, give yourself a broader awareness of the pieces that surround you now. So I’ll give you, this is not a digital exercise, but this is where I personally was hit in the kidneys several times early in my career.

Mike Gospe (32:10):

And it’s the difference between advertising and press relations. So I worked for a large company, my buddy and colleague manage the advertising programs. I manage press and we had an upcoming launch that was coming new product introduction. We were all very excited about this. And at running the press, I had to drive the editorial community. I had to write the press releases and I wanted to get that great cover shot on you E times or whatever the magazine was to showcase our product. And I had negotiated with the, uh, the editor, this great photo. We were going to be on the cover. And I had told all the executives about this, and we’re going to be super excited about this. The day of the launch comes, the magazine hits. We’re not on the cover. So I’m going, Oh my God, what happened? So I call the editor and he tells me, he says, well, Mike, I thought this was going to be brand new news, but you been advertising this product for the last week and I’m going, Oh my God, what?

Mike Gospe (33:14):

So the ad and the ad guy, he sits bloody right next to me. And yet we didn’t synchronize. So he and I both got taken to the woodshed kind of thing, but it was a great learning experience. So let’s, let’s translate to the digital now and whether it’s search engine optimization, it’s Facebook ads, it’s YouTube channels, it’s LinkedIn, it’s whatever, it’s the apps, whatever you’re working on, make sure you understand how it fits with the broader, you know, landscape of the things pieces that connect together that’s worth taking the time. Not only will you become more attuned yourself, you’ll become a better asset to your company because you’ll be able to understand the implications that ripple throughout the marketing process. That’s my advice.

Jim Rembach (34:06):

As I told you, B2B DM guy gang, you’re going to have somebody who’s going to throw you a curve ball or two in regards to your strategy and Mike, you absolutely delivered. So Mike Gospe, how can the B2B DM gang get in touch with you?

Mike Gospe (34:20):

I, uh, so I run a kickstart Alliance. Uh we’re uh, and I’m available onto the site. We’ve got email. You can email me also directly at Uh, we’ve got a, a number of blogs. I’m also very, uh, somewhat verbose on LinkedIn. So if you go, I invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn. You’ll find out more of the best practices and the articles that I’ve written. And of course you can contact me directly through that as well. I am absolutely happy to answer any questions and even, you know, sit down and just brainstorm freely with my marketing colleagues at any time. So don’t be shy. Send me an email. We’ll set up a little time to chat.

Jim Rembach (35:06):

Mike Gospe, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, and we wish you the very best.

Mike Gospe (35:10):

It’s my pleasure. Thank you so much, Jim.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger: How to Leverage Data in B2B Digital Marketing | Episode 005

Patrick Schwerdtfeger: How to Leverage Data in B2B Digital Marketing | Episode 005

Patrick Schwerdtfeger Show Notes Page

Show Description

Patrick Schwerdtfeger shares his insights on how businesses can leverage data to improve their marketing campaigns. Patrick shares strategies and tactics using exclusion-based marketing, omni-channel opportunities, display ads, and PPC advertising. Listen to the episode and learn more how you can take advantage of the technology trends today to propel your business towards the future.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, and is the youngest of 4 kids: 2 older sisters and 1 brother. Parents together throughout, but both have already passed away.

As a young child, Patrick can be found exploring and talking to as many different people as possible, always looking to find a new perspective and a new treasure he had found before okay.

Patrick was never very good at school in grade school and high school meanwhile his sisters and brother were very smart in winning lots of scholarships and awards Patrick always wanted to learn from the real world and real people operating within the real world he only did well in school during his college years and was very happy to be finished with that when it was over.

Patrick’s degree is in finance and spent his early career in that field ranging from banking to real estate. But he became self-employed in 2002 and learned about marketing, and it was that learning process that led him to start teaching others write books and eventually develop a career as a professional speaker.

Patrick is the author of Anarchy, Inc.: Profiting in a Decentralized World with Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain (2018, Authority Publishing) as well as the award-winning Keynote Mastery: The Personal Journey of a Professional Speaker (2016, Authority Publishing), Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed (2011, John Wiley & Sons), Webify Your Business: Internet Marketing Secrets for the Self-Employed (2009), and Make Yourself Useful: Marketing in the 21st Century (2008). He has been featured by the New York Times, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, CNN Money, Reader’s Digest, Fortune, Bloomberg Businessweek, the Associated Press, MONEY Magazine, and Forbes, among others.

Patrick currently lives in Newport Beach, CA, with his girlfriend, Nadia, and her son Luke.



01:25 – Patrick’s experience with B2B Digital Marketing

02:47 – The impact of paid ads and SEO to small organizations

05:37 – Why business plans are a complete waste of time

07:20 – Learning SEO for Amazon

09:11 – Hype in paid advertising, SEO, and the influencer market

11:01 – Virtual influencers

12:02 – 9 trends that exist and are accelerating – Pandemic, Inc. and SALVAGED

15:18 – Leveraging data in B2B digital marketing

16:49 – Exclusion-based marketing

18:36 – Omni-channel opportunities

20:44 – Investing in the right keywords for PPC advertising.

23:36 – Running display ads at scale

28:03 – Where is the conversion the best?

31:56 – Connect with Patrick


Key Takeaways

“The road to being is through doing.”

“As far as B2B advertising goes, analytics is the opportunity.”

“Analyze the data like crazy.”

“There is value in taking small steps and iterating.”


Links and Resources

Patrick’s Facebook:

Patrick’s Twitter:

Patrick’s LinkedIn:

Patrick’s website:

Anarchy, Inc.:

Pandemic, Inc.:


Show Transcript

Click to access unedited transcript

Unedited Transcript

Jim Rembach (00:00):

Okay, B2B DM gang. I have somebody on the show who I actually had on my other podcast, the fast leader show, and we had such a great discussion about marketing and digital marketing. Then I had to ask him to become, to come on this show. And Patrick Schwerdtfeger is actually the author of anarchy, inc. And pandemic inc. And both of these books address some of the overall just chaos that is going on, that is going to continue to happen throughout our world. And that’s one reason why it’s so important to really tap into the mind of a person like Patrick and learn about his background and experience in B2B digital marketing and just the overall marketing and impact. So Patrick, if you could tell us a little bit about your experience with B2B digital marketing and the passions that you have for it.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (00:49):

Yeah. I mean, Jim, it’s great to be back. So thank you so much for the invite. Um, you know, my, my experience, uh, with, with paid digital ads came because I was promoting myself. Uh, but, but I learned a lot, uh, you know, along the way and, and paid advertising has completely changed my career. So I’m a huge, a huge fan of it. So along the way, I kind of became a student of, of some of the different techniques that people were using. And, and, and now, you know, I studied technology trends. That’s what I do. So I’m always looking at trends and of course data, you know, data’s the new oil, and then we’ve all heard these axioms now a million times. But, uh, but the reality is the data’s playing a bigger and bigger role and the whole, you know, follow the customer journey, the user experience, all of these other keyword phrases, which are popular as well are all being driven by data. So it’s, it’s, it’s turned into a game where some people are leveraging data that most are not. I mean, it’s incredible. I would say the vast majority of the economy is not effectively using data in their advertising, but some are, and they have a huge advantage going forward. So I’m trying to learn from their experience and incorporate some of those strategies into my own

Jim Rembach (02:00):

Well, but I think you and I, and this is one of the things that I have to be careful about with you. My friend is that you and I have such great discussion that we don’t get recorded. That for me, I’m trying to pull it back in. Right? So you and I about SEO, we talked about paid ads and you said something that was extremely profound in regards to maybe the maturity of an organization, as well as the size and spend capabilities and organization. So if you could please share, you know, really the impact of paid ads and SEO and how that plays out.

Speaker 3 (02:31):


Patrick Schwerdtfeger (02:31):

Well, you know, we’ve talked about a lot of things before we clicked record today, so I’m not even exactly sure what you’re

Jim Rembach (02:37):

Well, you, you said something like when an organization is small and growing the whole.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (02:41):

Okay. Got it. Now. Perfect. Thank you. Um, you know what I was saying before? So, you know, when you start out in business, if you’re self employed or if you’re just starting out as an individual to get started at the beginning, you’ve got no money, but you have time. Uh, and so you can use time. There’s a lot of things you can say. In other words, what’s the best use. What’s the best strategy? Well, it depends on what stage of your business you’re in. If you’re just getting started, you have no money. There’s no point trying to blow what little money you have on paid ads, because you can get a lot more bang for your buck, just doing things that are free, like SEO and optimizing your website. And you can optimize your position on the different social media platforms like Instagram and saw this all kinds of things you can do to even on Amazon.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (03:25):

There’s incredible things you can do to position your book or your other product for free. It doesn’t cost anything, but you’re playing with the keywords, but then later on that’s when you have money, but you no longer have time. Cause now your business has evolved. You’ve got a lot of stuff going on. And so at that point, doing the free stuff is kind of a waste of time. Cause you can buy your way in. You can, you can spend money and get there a lot faster and still have your time available to do all the other things that are required to keep the business going. So the best use the best marketing strategy or advertising strategy really depends on whether it’s kind of those two groups. If you’re an early stage, just getting started, where you have time, that’s one thing. But once you get past that, then it’s an entirely different ball game.

Jim Rembach (04:11):

Well, even when you say that, I start thinking of, you know, a lot of, uh, you know, tech, startups, you know, and a tech startup can last for a couple of years, right? Yeah, that’s for sure. Uh, and so, you know, they have, you know, some of those constraints and they may or may not have some of the money because they’re in between rounds or whatever the case may be. You also may even have a part of an organization that’s maybe more mature. Maybe they have some cash in other parts of the business, you know, and it hasn’t been allocated to you. So you still have to focus in that, Oh, while I may have a brig big brand behind me, I don’t have, you know, the budget behind me. Um, and so you, I think we often find ourselves, um, doing something that you said where it was critically important. And I wrote it, wrote it down is that you iterate, you navigate and you pivot. Tell us a little bit about,

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (05:00):

Well, this, this is a, you know, I have a lot of opinions that might be unique to me, but I think for example, a business client business plans are largely just a complete waste of time. Uh, because you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re mapping out step one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. But the truth is you’ve no idea what step two is going to really be until you finish step one, because your, your, your perception of the marketplace changes every time you do something. So there’s an Axiom I live by, which is the road to being is through doing, you have to do anything, even small things, just take action in the direction of your goals. Because if you take that first step, now you’ve got new insights, right? And so step two reveals itself to you. Step two becomes obvious once you’re finished step one.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (05:46):

And once he finished step two, step three becomes obvious. So you kind of have to, it’s an organic thing. You just have to go on the direction of your goals and then yeah, well, exactly what you said, iterate, pivot, iterate, pivot over and over and over again. And I see this happen in my own life, my own business. I mean, you know, I do think there’s value in kind of taking a long view and maybe putting a tree on the horizon and saying, okay, I want to go towards that tree. But, but aside from that, you got to look down and look at your feet in the ground, right in front of you. And just start taking steps. You as literally, if you’re taking a hike, you take three steps and there’s a big tree or a rock. You gotta go around it. The same thing happens in business, right?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (06:26):

You, you take steps and all of a sudden you realize, Oh my gosh, that didn’t work the way I expected it to work. And so now I got to change and I got to pivot, but you know, just recently, so my, my recent book, pandemic, ink, it literally went live on Amazon today. So it’s right in the middle of this, but you get, so I’ve, I’ve tried to learn about, you know, essentially SEO, right? Search engine optimization, but not search engine, it’s Amazon optimization. And how do you optimize your listing on Amazon? And I bought a little software for it, and I paid a membership to like a program that was teaching me about it. And I also went to YouTube and just search for videos on how to optimize a product on Amazon. I couldn’t believe that there was a video. I watched gym and they were, it was a guy who was putting a yoga mat.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (07:15):

Imagine how many yoga mats are on Amazon. I mean, there’s probably thousands, right? And he was putting on, on Amazon and he did all this keyword research and picked out which keywords had the largest potential, but the least competition and this information is all available. And he did it. He did the whole thing. And by the end of the video, I think it was a seven minute video. He showed that the end result and how this, this yoga mat was now ranking organically. It wasn’t paid, there was no pay. So even, you know, I’m going to go back and make a caveat to what I said earlier. Cause even when you you’re right, even when you do have money and maybe you don’t have any time, it probably makes sense to hire somebody. You don’t have to pay a lot of money who knows what they’re doing to do that optimization on your behalf. So maybe you’re too busy to do it yourself, but there are such amazing. My own business has literally been driven by SEO, which took an enormous amount of time years ago. But you know, like eight years ago, in 2012, I started trying to optimize my website and those listings that I created back then, those pages, those landing pages continue to bring me business today in 20, 20 that’s eight years later, I never would have imagined that they’d be active and effective for that long.

Jim Rembach (08:34):

Oh, and when you’re saying that, I mean, I start thinking about a lot of the things that we do have come out that says, Whoa, Hey, you need to do this now, Hey, you need to do this now, Hey, you need to do this now. Or, you know, all these things have changed and now you need to do that. And so there’s a lot of hype that just happens. Right. Um, so when I start thinking about B2B digital marketing, what do you think is just like really loaded with hype?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (08:57):

Well, I mean, I guess if I had to say anything I’d, I mean, we can go back to what I said before that, that, you know, if you’re, if you’re, if you have no money and you have time, then paid advertising is, is overblown. Uh, but meanwhile, if you’re, if you’ve got a lot of money, but no time, then maybe the SEO stuff is a little bit overblown, but I’ll throw one more in the mix, which might be controversial, but it’s, it’s a landscape that’s changed dramatically, literally within the last month. And that’s the influencer market. Uh, and in particular micro influencers, uh, you know, if you have the large influencers, there’s, there’s some opportunity there, but you got to play by their terms and you never know what’s going to come out of their mouth. And it’s a very tricky thing. And now, you know, Joe Rogan just got a hundred million bucks to move this stuff to Spotify.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (09:43):

That completely changed the landscape for him, influencers. And now influencers are going to be charging a lot more money because they think they have more value to bring some of them do some of them do. But you know, like for example, on Instagram, I have like maybe seven or 800 followers on Instagram, nothing, a very small audience. And I get these emails like inviting me to represent some product and try and help sell that product. I think that kind of micro influencer campaign for the most part is not going to deliver much. I might be wrong because I haven’t tested it. But my perception looking in from the outside is that it’s probably overblown. I might add by the way that there is a new trend and I can’t think of the names, but there are virtual influencers now, uh, there’s a number of them that have done quite well, like in it, like having millions of followers, uh, there’s a, uh, a model, a beautiful black model, very dark skin, a model, a woman.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (10:45):

I forget her name. And there’s another one that’s out of Asia. I think out of Japan, that’s done extremely well, but we’re going to see in the years to come, we’re going to see a proliferation of virtual influencers and you’re gonna have an entire team running these influencers, including like a comedic writer, like a humor writer, you know, to, to have personality. It’s all about character development. They have to be funny and clever and entertaining, but you can, you can completely map out. So you, you, you don’t have the risk of having Elon Musk smoke a joint on Joe Rogan’s podcast. And now you’ve got a huge problem on your hands. Like you don’t have that with virtual influencers. So we’re seeing that market pivot as well.

Jim Rembach (11:26):

That’s a very good point. Okay. So now the book that you talked about that was just released is called pandemic ink. And just like many of your other things, there’s always a, an acronym that kind of drives it. And so you talk about salvaged. What is South?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (11:40):

This whole thing started. I had a client asked me to do a webinar discussing, you know, the, the, the, the pandemic and the quarantine and how businesses could survive. So I started doing the research and I kind of ended up with, uh, nine trends, like ended these trends existed before. Okay. But that they’re accelerating as a result of this. So it’s not like this is anything new. In fact, a lot of the trends I even discussed in my previous book called anarchy. So there’s some overlap in that content, but the point is that they’re, that they’re accelerating as a result of the pandemic. And so I took the first letter of each trend and put it into one of those Scrabble sheet engines that you get online and just to see what it came up with. And it came up eight of the letters, uh, fit into the word salvaged.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (12:23):

And I was like, wow, that’s incredible. So I combined two into one and that’s the acronym. So the assets, these are, I’ll just run through them. But again, these are trends that existed before, but they’re accelerating. So the first one is self-sufficiency, uh, these are the off the grid, survival people. There’s more of them today than there were before. Number two analytics, that’s the, a data analytics is everything. And certainly here in advertising, what we’re talking about today, the Al liquidity priority. Number one right now is liquidity, just survival. Uh, what’s your cash position. For example, we’re going to see an increase in cash balances on company balance sheets, for example, uh, what’s the next one V is virtualization, which is obvious even just these zoom calls. It’s a good example of that. The second day is automation. So robotics and automation, uh, the G is a government.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (13:15):

And whether you like government or hate government, I’m, I’m fine either way, but they’re spending money. They got budgets and they’re spending money. So if you can sell something to support a government program, that could be a growth opportunity. Uh, the E has exponential thinking. Uh, so I mean, we’re living it for the first time. The population truly understands exponential progressions and that’s becoming more important. And then the last one is D for decentralization, which is kind of like the big trend that encompasses all the others, because we’re really going towards a more and more decentralized in so many ways. Open source is probably the best example, but we’re really going from centralized structures to more decentralized structures. The media is a great example. Like you’ve got these channels. We used to have a dozen primary media outlets today. There’s literally millions of blogs and podcasts and so on. So that’s again, centralized to decentralized, tapping into the power industry. We start these centralized power plants. Now we’ve got solar panels on millions of roofs around the entire world. That’s a decentralized power generation mechanism. So we see this all over the place.

Jim Rembach (14:25):

Well, and when you’re talking, I start thinking about that and pulling it back in the hole, you know, B2B, digital marketing world. And to say that, how, how can I take advantage of salvaged and all those elements and really become a disruptor myself?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (14:39):

Well, you know, so, you know, I love the paid, the paid advertising. Okay. And, and the paid advertising is a, so let me give you an example. And I, I like, I like clothing. I like nice jackets and boots and things like that. That’s something that I like. And of course the, you know, the data shows that. So, um, you know, whoever’s selling marketing like on Instagram, for example, I see these photographs on, on Instagram, these incredible leather jackets, and I just immediately loved them. And I go, I go, I click on it. So that’s the original, the first engagement. And then you end up in this kind of labyrinth and, and this is where the data really comes into play. And this, if you want to talk about B2B advertising, I mean, here it is right here. So you have an initial campaign, which is just designed to figure out who is interested in this space.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (15:29):

You’re not trying to make a sale. You’re not trying to make a sale on that first engagement. You’re trying to get that person to a landing page and then they either engage with it or they don’t. So the original group splits into two. Okay. So now you’ve got two advertising campaigns, one that targets the group that engaged and another campaign that targets the people that didn’t engage. Okay. And so then you’re, you have different offers. So the one goes to two, and then in each case, those people either engage or they don’t. So that splits into four. Okay. And then eight and 16 and 32. And, and the people, you know, we’ve got all these niche, fashion designers now that are thriving and doing well because they’re leveraging this type of exclusion based marketing. So you’ve got your original campaign, you’d get them to a landing page and, you know, group engaged in group B did.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (16:19):

So you exclude B and you do a new campaign to a, and then you do another one to B and you exclude a, so you’ve, it’s an exclusion. Okay. So you’ve segmented that the marketing from one to two, and then you segment further and further and further. So I have a friend of mine who actually called me today. I have to return his call and he is the voice, like the host of a quite successful, a video program. You pay for it. It’s not free. You pay for it, but it’s a video program about medicinal marijuana. And that’s not really a field that I’m passionate about, but he is. And it’s very like, you know, doctors and it’s very medicine oriented. It’s not at all like, you know, the more, you know, different types of genres within that space. But, but the bottom line is he goes into the studio here in Los Angeles from time to time.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (17:08):

And he records dozens and dozens of little short video clips designed for these little segments. Right? And so you ended up for one campaign, you can end up with 60 or 70 different paths. So what, when, when people say follow the customer journey, when people say user experience, this is what they’re talking about, right? They’re the people who engage with that advertising. They feel like they’re being held by the hand and walked through. And at every stage they’re getting a message, which is specifically tailored to what they’ve done so far. And the more intuitive you can make that process, the more trust you’re going to build and trust is an essential precursor to the purchase. So for the sale. So if you, if you want to sell stuff, you gotta use these exclusion based marketing channel and marketing opportunities. And the one last thing I’ll throw in there before just you’ll respond obviously, but is the omni-channel opportunity where, you know, the first advertising can take place on YouTube.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (18:10):

Okay. For example, and then you can send them, send them to a landing page. And now you’ve got a pixel, you’ve got a Facebook pixel on that landing page. So now you can target the same person on Facebook. And of course they own Instagram. So you can tag them there as well. And then you can do remarketing on the Google display network. So they see something on or or something. And it creates this impression that you’re huge. You’re a big player, even though it could be a small team, right? Like I do this myself. I’m a speaker. I earned my living by speaking at conferences. If people go to my website, it puts a pic, it puts a cookie on their machine. I follow them around for 30 days and they see my ad on different websites. And so they’re like, man, and I’ll tell you where this happened, by the way, because my fourth book, uh, I wa I wanted to get a cover quote from, uh, Brian, Tracy, the speaker.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (19:02):

And so I went to his website and I contacted him. He never even returned my email. That’s fine. But for the next two, three, four weeks, I started seeing ads for him all over the place on all these different websites. And I was like, you son of a gun, look what you’re doing. You’re remarketing meat. He looked like a rockstar. And now he kind of is a rockstar. I’m not right. I’m a small player, but now I’m doing the same thing. And people who interact with my website, they see my, my, my ads come up all over the place for the next 30 days. And by the time they, they, they actually connect with me. They’re like, wow, you’re, you’re a big deal. That’s the opportunity. You can be big when you’re small, that’s the opportunity and digital advertising this paves the way.

Jim Rembach (19:47):

Alright. So when I start thinking about, uh, you know, all of the, what you’re talking about, and, and even going back to the whole salvage piece and the way things that are accelerating at an ever increasing pace, the pivot that iterate, I mean, all of these elements, I started looking at what I currently have in front of me and what I have to work with.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (20:05):


Jim Rembach (20:06):

Legit. So if I am in a B to B digital marketing role, and I have to work within the same budget, what would I take away from and put into,

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (20:15):

Um, you know, I would just say that, that, you know, the beauty of the online world is you can throw 500 bucks at something or a thousand bucks at something and get a pretty good data of whether or not it’s going to, and by the way, I never even fully answered your previous question. It’s the first a and salvaged analytics, right? Analytics is the opportunity is as far as B2B advertising goes, leveraging data is the opportunity. And you can present yourself to be huge. But yeah, if you’re, if you’ve got a limited budget, like I’m doing this right now, Amazon, and so I’ve thrown a campaign, I think I’ve spent $600. And I already know that, you know, certain things are working. Like I’ve got one category, uh, where I’ve made five sales in that category. And it’s the most sales I’ve had in any one category, but they’re expensive sales.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (21:07):

I’ve got a whole bunch of other categories where I’m not making as many, but they’re cheaper. And so like right now on Amazon, I’m targeting like over 50,000 keyword phrases. I mean, it’s just an enormous amount of keyword phrases. And so immediately $600. Like that’s what I’ve spent so far. And I’ve already, you know, like I targeted, for example, uh, you know, Tim Ferris, okay. Or Daniel pink or some of these well known authors, Malcolm Gladwell, like you can target the keyword phrase, Malcolm Gladwell, or Tim Ferriss, or the titles of their books, for example. So, and they’ve all written many books, so you can get a lot of keyword phrases very, very quickly. Well, it turns out that everyone’s targeting Tim Ferris’s books. So the clicks are like $3, $3 a click, just so you’re never going to make money selling a book. I’ve only got, you know, four or $5 profit in a book period.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (21:58):

So, but meanwhile, I can target 50,000 other keyword phrases, which are quirky, weird period phrases they’re hardly ever get hit, but when they do, no one else is targeting them and I can get those clicks for 20, 25 cents. So it’s, you know, I can get the same traffic. So the beauty of this is by the way that, uh, that if other people are trying to like reverse engineer, what I’m doing or replicate what I’m doing, it’s highly unlikely that they’re even going to know what I’m doing because the keyword phrases I’m targeting are really like long tail keyword phrases. So, so my, my advice is test like just put $500 towards something, a thousand dollars towards something, and then analyze the data like crazy and figure out what’s the most. Then your step two becomes obvious. So it’s not that you take away from, from Facebook and give it to YouTube. I don’t have that answer. Cause I think they each target different audiences, but there’s, there’s value again in taking small steps and iterating small steps, iterating small steps. Right.

Jim Rembach (22:59):

Well then that leads me to ask the question because I mean, you a big guy thinker, uh, I I’m like, okay, no constraints on you, Patrick. You know, I give you all the money that you, you need, you know, where are you going to invest it as a B2B digital marker?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (23:14):

Yeah. I mean, this is, this is a great question, actually. So do you know by chance, do you know, Joel Olsteen Reacher is based in Texas. So that guy is on TV for a half hour, every Sunday with no commercials. Do you know what that costs? That’s expensive. I don’t know what it costs, but who pays for it? Joel, Olsteen pays for that. Okay. He pays for that. So, and then he knows, or by experience, he knows that he’s going to get enough in donations to pay for that and have some leftover, which goes to his ministry. Right. And Tony Robbins was on TV in the nineties, right. Who paid for that? Tony Robbins did Susie Orman. She did PBS specials, cost about 120 grand to be a, to do a PBS special Susie. Orman’s done that a couple of times. Wayne Dyer did that too.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (24:03):

So in, in my business, there’s a guy who I follow. Who’s a competitor of mine. His name is Jeremy Gucci’s from candidates. Great guy does an outstanding job as a speaker and as a futurist. But he has a video on YouTube, which is well optimized. And I also have well optimized videos on YouTube and it’s called like innovation, keynote speaker or something like that. And I’ve done that too. I’ve got a lot of videos. I’ve got 700 videos on YouTube. So I know roughly what kind of viewership you’re going to get just from an organic listing. Okay. And he might get 10, 20, 30,000 views, maybe 40,000 views of a video like that. Meanwhile, he has like six or 7 million views. Okay. On that. He bought those views. And I know he did cause I’ve seen the ads myself. So I’ve, I, I do ads on YouTube.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (24:50):

And for any kind of targeting here in the United States, you’re going to pay about 79 cents per view, roughly. Right. So you do the math. If he’s got 7 million views at 8 cents a piece, he spent $560,000 promoting the heck out of that video. So here’s the answer to the question, right? You never, you need to have a business model, which is good enough to pay for what you spent. Right. If you’re just throwing money away, there’s no point is no point in doing that. Okay. But like for example, a what’s that guy’s name grant Cardone, the 10 X rule, right? He has his book on the, on the very front table, in the Hudson bookstores of the airport that costs $70,000 a month to have your book there. Right. Good to great. Jim Collins. His book was there too. Why? Because both of them have big backends that can pay for it.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (25:44):

Right? So you have to find a business model where your conversion rate is enough to pay for the advertising you’re doing and then scale up as far and as fast as you possibly can. So a lot of people fantasize about how much money they want to make. Um, I fantasize about how much money I want to spend. Like I would love to spend a hundred thousand dollars a month profitably. I would love to do that right now. And what would I pick? Well, you just gotta test until you find one where you can scale up higher. So, and that’s what I’m trying to do on Amazon right now. I know a guy who’s spending thousands like five to 10,000 a month on Amazon and it’s not profitable, but it’s breakeven. It’s roughly break even. And his book is selling like crazy. It’s a book about gambling and horse racing and he he’s, he’s absolutely doing spectacularly well and it’s breakeven.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (26:36):

So he’s going to scale up as far as he can, until they won’t, there’s no more clicks left to buy. So that’s, that’s what I fantasize about is to have an advertising campaign that I could just scale and scale and scale. And if I had to pick one, just to answer your question, I would pick display ads, display ads on other websites. Cause you get implied credibility. If you’re running display ads on or whatever Fox news or whatever it is, people, they, it creates a certain effect. I’ve heard this so many times in my career that people think it’s a big deal. Little, do they know that you can pay to be there, but to be running display ads at scale? Uh, I think that’s a huge opportunity. That’s what I do.

Jim Rembach (27:25):

Okay. So you, I mean, in order to kind of bring this all back home, because we talked about a lot of different things. I, I have to S I have to say, okay, if self reflection, time talking about it for a B to B digital marker, what is one vitally important question they need to be asking themselves?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (27:42):

Mmm. I mean, conversion rate. I mean, it’s your conversion? Like where is the conversion the best. I mean, that that’s to, you know, I know that that’s just what I’m telling you is it’s not a question, that’s a destination. It’s a question. That’s the beginning of a journey, right? Because, and that’s always the way it is. Like, I, I don’t think it’s, I don’t think it’s responsible for someone to say, Hey, this is the answer to the problem, because it’s going to be literally different for every single product or service you try to sell. But if you always just look at that conversion rate, like what’s the conversion rate, and if you’re doing it at a loss, like you, you talk about the lifetime value of a customer. That’s another, uh, question that, that really cause, I mean, if you have a long life, so when you need is you need a series of products.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (28:29):

Like you got the front product that you’re selling, which is like your trip wire. It’s like, you’re in your lead magnet. Right. So it’s really good value. It’s cheap. And because the bottom line is like, if someone spends anything with you, $2, $1, $8, they’re eight times more likely to spend a second time than someone who’s never interacted with you at the beginning. So this, they call it a trip wire. So to have some sort of a trip wire where you’ve got a really good, you know, pretty good value, you might be selling it at a loss potentially, but it gets them in the funnel. And now you’ve got other things on the back end where you can get that you get more money from that same customer on average. I mean, not every single one, but on average, you’re going to get more money.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (29:10):

What does that allow you to do? It allows you to spend more for the initial interaction and still be breakeven or profitable, which means you can kill your competition. Like if your competition can spend $55 on a new per, on a new customer, but you can spend $85 on a new customer and still be breakeven or profitable, you’re going to rule the table. Right? So it’s always a question of like how much value can you get out of a customer? And in many times, if you’re, if you’re coming into the space with just one product or one service to sell, stop, don’t start there. Make sure you have at least three right. Three products where you’ve got a menu. You’ve got like, okay, there’s an always pick something more, more, more expensive. You know, like the most expensive gym, this is crazy. The most expensive iPhone that you can, or the Apple phone that you can buy is $114,000.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (30:04):

And it’s like encrusted with diamonds and all this crazy stuff always have a more expensive product. Like in the nineties, I studied marketing and finance when I went to university and that there was a very famous case history from the nineties, it’s in most marketing textbooks. And it talked about the grocery stores that had wine up until the nineties generally had wine in the $10 range and the $25 range in the mid nineties, early to mid nineties, they started carrying the $45 bottles. Nobody buys the $45 bottles, but it dramatically increases the sale of the $25 bottles. Okay. So you get a more expensive product not to sell it, but to have it available because it’s going to increase the sales of the ones lower down on the menu. So you have a menu of products, three, four, or five products in a, in a sliding scale from very cheap to very expensive. Then you go in right and start calculating that lifetime value, follow the data, make sure you maximize your conversion rate. And then you start to see, okay, I can spend $80, $200, a thousand dollars for a new customer, depending on what it is you’re selling. And then you can, you can make decisions that other people don’t even have access to.

Jim Rembach (31:18):

Oh, so Patrick, I’ll tell you your massive information. So his new book is pandemic inc, which was a written after the anarchy ink, and both of them are well worth your rate. So Patrick, I’ve enjoyed my time as usual. So how do B2B DM gang get in touch with you?

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (31:36):

You know, I mean, my website is, you know, I’m a speaker, so I, my website is geared towards that, but, but it’s a great way to get ahold of me if anyone has questions or they want to connect somehow the emails that get sent through the contact form. But my website, they literally come into my own email box and I still can get to most of them. Sometimes I offload a couple if it gets heavy, but for the most part, I reply to all the messages. So if anyone wants to get ahold of me, you know, it’s I know that’s a disaster, but it will get to me. You can even go to book, which is a shorter version, which should forward a, but sometimes that’s glitchy. But yeah, my full If anyone’s interested, I’d love to connect

Jim Rembach (32:16):

Patrick Schwerdtfeger Thanks for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. And we wish you the very best.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger (32:20):

Thanks so much, Jim. I appreciate it.

Frank Somma: Why B2B is actually P2P | Episode 004

Frank Somma: Why B2B is actually P2P | Episode 004

Frank Somma Show Notes Page

Show Description

What are the core elements you could be missing when you create that landing page, LinkedIn Post, Facebook Update, or Tweet?

Frank Somma, author of B2B is Really P2P: How to Win With High Touch in a High Tech World shares in this episode that he found the key differentiator is always him. But you can’t hire Frank – and you don’t need to.

What Frank refers to are the skills that need to be a more prevalent part of your digital marketing that frequently we may have viewed as obscure or not considered at all.

As a digital marketer, you have to move people to a sale by removing perceived risk and opening the potential for trust to enter your ideal client’s mind. You don’t need to learn to be a silver-tonged devil or a wizard of sales copy.

Frank shares insights into how to listen better, understand better and serve better. It’s about creating a connection.

Your ideal clients are sorting through so much information out there-many things coming at them all day every day. How do you help them to distinguish your organization’s solutions from another? Frank knows how, and he shares that in this episode.

Frank is a sales and communications expert, speaker, author and lifelong charity fundraiser.

His sales expertise is born from a varied background:

His discipline comes courtesy of his time with The United States Navy’s Presidential Honor Guard where he served under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan

His heart comes from his lifelong devotion charity work.   Frank was the longest sitting national president for The Cooley’s Anemia Foundation

His sales leadership expertise was developed during his long tenure as a partner and sales VP with CBS, an office automation company in New York and subsequently with Toshiba NY/NJ.

Frank took his NLP, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, education at the NY Institute for NLP and earned his practitioner degree in that communication science.

He has been speaking and training professionally for over 15 years winning accolades from such notable companies as DLL Bank, GE, Xerox, and K Hovnanian

His new book B2B is Really P2P how to win with high touch in a high tech world just came out in January of this year

Frank lives in Holmdel, NJ with his longtime love Deborah, and when he isn’t occupied with one of his businesses, he’s either out running with his dog, or in the kitchen cooking for his kids and grandkids.


01:16 – Frank’s background with B2B Digital Marketing

02:59 – The importance of being personal in digital

04:01 – How Neuro-Linguistics Programming helps you understand your customers

06:42 – How understanding your customers can help you differentiate your product.

08:20 – As a marketer, you are the differentiator

09:45 – The importance of tonality and body language in communication

11:23 – Why watching matters

12:57 – Everything you do must reflect the message you want to bring.

15:52 – The disconnect between marketing and sales

19:06 – Investing in personal connections on your digital pipes

21:36 – The importance of after sales

22:45 – Where Frank will invest the money if given an unlimited budget

24:35 – The one question every marketer must ask

27:19 – B2B is Really P2P: How to Win With High Touch in a High Tech World

29:59 – Connect with Frank Somma


Key Takeaways

“Selling happens when there’s trust and when you remove as much risk as possible from the buyer.”

“You have to make decisions from a place of success, not from a place of need.”

“Everything you do reflects the message you want to bring.”


Links and Resources

Frank’s Facebook:

Frank’s Twitter:

Frank’s LinkedIn:

Frank’s Instagram:

Frank’s website:

Frank’s book: B2B Is Really P2P: How to Win With High Touch in a High Tech World


Show Transcript

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Unedited Transcript


Steve Goldhaber: Marketing is About Solving Problems | Episode 003

Steve Goldhaber: Marketing is About Solving Problems | Episode 003

Steve Goldhaber Show Notes Page


Show Description

Steve Goldhaber shares his insights in how to effectively identify and solve your customer’s problems. Learn why it’s important to produce high-quality content that not only generates revenue, but also helps your customers move forward. Steve also shares some key takeaways from his book, “What’s Your Problem?”

Steve Goldhaber is one of a rare breed of marketers who is equally adept at, and equally passionate about, creativity and technology. In a digital age that has forever altered traditional marketing techniques, these dual skills give him an in-depth understanding of how technology can be used to execute more effective marketing programs.

In his work in a variety of corporate settings—from small startups to complex global organizations—Goldhaber has demonstrated an ability to break new ground, disrupt the status quo, and get results. His broad view of marketing in a digital world has been refined over nearly two decades in agency and corporate marketing positions in multiple industries.

In 2017, Goldhaber started 26 Characters, a marketing collective. Previously, Goldhaber was in charge of global digital marketing for two Fortune 500 companies, JLL and Aon, where he was responsible for web, social media, search, mobile, and content marketing. Prior to that, he spent nine years at Digitas, a global marketing and technology agency. As vice president, he led senior clients and internal teams in building marketing programs that embraced leading-edge tools to create better customer experiences.

With a bachelor’s degree in communications from Purdue University. He has been a judge for the Effie awards and on the advisory board for Social Media Week. He’s also a product adviser for LinkedIn, helping to shape the road map for future service enhancements. Goldhaber has also been a contributing writer for LinkedIn, the Content Marketing Institute, and B2B Marketing. He is also the author of What’s Your Problem?, a marketing book about problem solving.

As easily as Goldhaber can discuss solving a complex marketing problem with imaginative strategy, he can recount the challenges of completing four marathons, two urban adventure races, and travel to more than fifty countries.



01:43 – About Steve Goldhaber and

03:41 – Serving service-based businesses vs. hybrid models

04:34 – Steve’s passion in understanding and solving business problems

06:24 – What is overrated in B2B digital marketing?

07:59 – Why great marketing is all about well-thought strategies and good thinking

10:21 – Balancing getting good results vs. testing

11:34 – Working with budget constraints and investing in high quality content

14:36 – Why you should invest in making genuinely amazing content

17:40 – Assessing if your marketing is helping your customers move forward

19:21 – Steve’s book: “What’s Your Problem?”

21:40 – Key elements and tactics in problem-solving

23:46 – Working back and reverse-engineering the problem

27:31 – Connect with Steve Goldhaber


Key Takeaways

“The old model was to do something clever and interesting to get people’s attention. Now it’s about delivering true content and helping them.”

“The key takeaway is to ask yourself one question: “What’s your problem? What are you trying to solve?” If you keep asking that, it will provide so much clarity.”

“You have to separate yourself as a marketer into what your customers think. Things you may feel old and outdated may be loved by your customers.”


Links and Resources

Steve’s LinkedIn:

Steve’s Facebook:

Steve’s Twitter:

Steve’s website:

Steve’s book: What’s Your Problem? How Enhancing Your Problem-Solving Skills Can Make You a Better B2B Marketer


Show Transcript

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Unedited Transcript


Filip Galetic: Why Marketing is All About Being Honest and Helpful | Episode 002

Filip Galetic: Why Marketing is All About Being Honest and Helpful | Episode 002

Filip Galetic Show Notes Page


Show Description

Filip Galetic shares his insight in how marketing is all about being helpful to people and making their lives easier. According to Filip, trying to be the smartest person in the room or being the cleverest marketer out there is a poor strategy and will definitely not solve your customer’s problems.

Filip Galetic has been a digital marketer since 2010 and has since worked with big brands like Coca Cola, UNICEF, or Mars. His true passion, though, is helping fast-growing B2B tech scale-ups reach and exceed their revenue or customer acquisition growth targets through integrated marketing strategies. He’s a big fan of board games, nature walks, and meditation.



01:14 – How Filip Galetic started with B2B digital marketing in UNICEF

05:16 – Digital marketing applied to non-profit organizations

06:58 – The differences and similarities between non-profit and B2B digital marketing

09:38 – Why sticking to one tactic or channel is overrated

12:21 – How being honest and helpful can make you stand out

14:11 – The jobs-to-be-done framework

15:55 – Investing money in inbound marketing

18:01 – The importance of having top content that brings people organically, hiring topnotch writers, and investing in the best possible user experience on the website.

20:18 – The one question every B2B digital marketer must ask themselves

22:47 – The B2B Marketing Attribution Handbook

23:38 – Reach out to Filip Galetic


Key Takeaways

“Focusing on one specific channel, or one specific tactic, or whatever is hip at the moment is overrated.”

“The true value lies in end-to-end marketing campaigns that take traffic and lead creation and lead nurturing all at once.”

“The marketer that is helpful, clear, and direct is always going to outplay the marketer that is just trying to be clever and outsmart the competition.”

“It’s not about being the smartest person in the room, it’s about being helpful and making it simple.”

“At the end of the day, it’s all about who, what, and how you are helping.”


Links and Resources

Filip’s Facebook:

Filip’s Twitter:

Filip’s LinkedIn:

Filip’s website:

Filip’s book: The B2B Marketing Attribution Handbook: Unlocking the hidden ROI in your marketing funnel



Show Transcript

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Unedited Transcript


David Meerman Scott: Reimagining New Ways to Do Digital Marketing | Episode 001

David Meerman Scott: Reimagining New Ways to Do Digital Marketing | Episode 001

David Meerman Scott Show Notes Page


Show Description

David Meerman Scott shares his insights in how digital marketing can be differently. It’s not about taking something existing and just recreating it online; it’s all about finding new and different ways to do things and reimagining the unlimited possibilities of doing digital marketing. David also shares his insights from his book, Fanocracy, and how to turn your fans into customers and your customers into fans.

David Meerman Scott is an internationally acclaimed business strategist, entrepreneur, advisor to emerging companies, and public speaker.

He is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of ten previous books, including The New Rules of Marketing & PR (now in a 6th edition and available in 29 languages), Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead, The New Rules of Sales & Service and FANOCRACY: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans. In his spare time, he surfs and travels around the world for great live music.



01:10 – How David Meerman Scott started with B2B digital marketing

04:15 – Why B2B digital marketing is similar with B2C digital marketing

07:01 – Why stock photos are overrated and do not humanize your organization

08:13 – Why an aggressive approach to sales and marketing is a terrible mistake

09:18 – How the Grateful Dead’s example can help businesses generate more business

11:24 – The friction between sales and marketing

12:03 – The hybrid approach

14:42 – Reimagining what is possible vs. Recreating something existing

17:21 – Case study: Skillsoft

19:55 – Paying for attention and investing in journalists and storytellers

24:59 – Where David will spend the money if given an unlimited budget

28:27 – The one question every B2B digital marketer must ask themselves

30:22 – Fanocracy: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans

31:43 – How David met Brian Halligan, CEO of Hubspot, from a Grateful Dead concert

32:37 – How your fans can become your customers

34:06 – Connect with David Meerman Scott


Key Takeaways

“We need to realize that as B2B marketers, we are not marketing to businesses. We are marketing to people.”

“Giving gifts with no expectations is a better approach than setting up an adversarial relationship and demanding an email address for your content.”

“Being a digital marketing disruptor is about looking at the web and seeing what’s possible rather than just taking what happens offline and cramming it on to the web.”

“Are you a B2B marketer who’s truly communicating with other human beings?”


Links and Resources

David’s Twitter:

David’s LinkedIn:

David’s Instagram:

David’s website:

David’s book: Fanocracy: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans

Fanocracy website:


Show Transcript

Click to access edited transcript

Unedited Transcript