Paul Slack Show Notes Page
B2B Digital Marketing started as early as the internet boom in 1990’s. However, compared to that time, access to the internet and digital resources is much easier now and provides companies more opportunities to get into digital marketing. In this episode, Paul Slack shares 20+ years of his experience and helps us figure out how to leverage this new medium to its fullest.
Paul Slack is a serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years of digital marketing experience. He is the founder and CEO of Vende Social and the author of Social Rules! and Social Selling Rules! Paul is also a sought-after speaker in the digital marketing space. He has been featured in Success Magazine, Fox radio, and big stage events, and has trained tens of thousands of business leaders across the country on the best ways to leverage digital marketing for their businesses.
Today he leads a team of digital marketing pros who love to work with busy executives who understand digital marketing is critical, but just don’t have time or expertise to build & execute in a way that delivers real results. For more information on Paul’s background visit his LinkedIn profile – http://www.linkedin.com/in/paulslack
Paul leads a team of marketing professionals who work with top executives that understand the critical importance of Digital Marketing but don’t have the capacity to effectively execute to deliver tangible results.
00:36 – Paul Slack’s background in B2B Digital Marketing
05:23 – The planning pillars in B2B digital marketing
07:20 – Identifying your customers
08:51 – Activating your audience
09:35 – Establishing authority and empathy
10:25 – Nurturing relationships
11:25 – The contribution of digital before vs. now
15:15 – The B2B buying cycle
16:49 – Exercise of memorization and helping people implement the right behaviors
20:46 – Becoming a disruptor in your space
24:32 – Risks for being unable to build the authority pillar
27:09 – Budgetary constraints and reallocation
33:17 – The one question every B2B digital marketer should ask themselves
34:30 – Connect with Paul Slack
“Marketing is an exercise in memorization.”
“When you’re planning, you really want to get very clear on the problems that you solve and how you communicate those things.”
“What’s great today that we didn’t necessarily have so much in the past is how we can get the awareness that we need for all of our content marketing.”
“Buying awareness for B2B and super-targeted awareness has never been easier than it is right now.”
“When you’re trying to be everything to everybody, you’re nothing to nobody.”
“Communicating in the buyer’s language and giving them what they need to win and to solve their problems is the most important thing you can do right now.”
Links and Resources
Paul’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulslack/
Vende Digital: https://vendedigital.com/
Show TranscriptClick to access unedited transcript
Jim Rembach (00:00):
Okay, B2B DM gang. Uh, I’m excited about who the discussion we’re going to have today, because while we can go in a lot of different places, because we can mix strategy and tactical and stuff, uh, Paul Slack is going to help guide us into really focusing in on some things that, you know, we may be missing, uh, and some areas that we may, may need to be looking at. So, Paul, thanks for joining us on the show today. Hey, Jim, I’m super excited to be here.
Paul Slack (00:26):
Yeah. Excited to connect with your group and, uh, and talk to them about some digital marketing things. And so with that,
Jim Rembach (00:32):
Try to put some focus in on, and talk a little bit about your background, because you’ve had a lot of experience in this space and then talk a little bit about, um, you know, really, you know, what, what your, you know, your area, uh, and focus is on, you know, you know, I know it’s digital, I don’t know it’s digital marketing as a whole, um, but we really want to look at the B2B element.
Paul Slack (00:55):
Yeah, you bet. And you know, our focus is B2B digital marketing, so I’m happy to kind of get you to that story. My story kind of begins and I’m going to date myself right here, Jim, but I got into technology sales back in 1990. And so, you know, back when, you know, big iron and mainframes were kind of ruling the day I was brought in as a young sales guy and kind of taught how to, you know, sell in fact, you know, some of the best sales training around back then was in technology sales. And so I kind of grew up in that. And from 1990 to 98, I was involved in a few technology companies, some really big ones that aren’t really around anymore. Ultimately a 98. I found myself as the national account manager for a large storage company with a $21 million quota.
Paul Slack (01:42):
And, uh, and really kind of just at the top of my sales game, when this little thing called the internet happened, and I was recruited out of, uh, technology sales to help start this internet company that had a very interesting concept. And that was selling software over the internet and actually delivering the software through the internet. Because back then, Jim, you probably remember this before the internet, you could buy a software, but you had to go and buy the CD, stick it in your computer. Well, this is what was real revolutionary because you could actually buy the software over the internet, they’d deliver it right to your computer. And there was licensing and things like that, that we were managing. And so we’re really excited about that and went to work for this company in the about 98, 99, of course, you know, what happened in 2000 that wonderful internet bubble burst and, uh, the world, uh, kind of settled down from that.
Paul Slack (02:37):
And I discovered, well, you know, opportunity kind of becomes the mother of invention, right? So I’m out there, I’m trying to decide what am I going to do next? And I kind of looked at everything that I knew at that point, which was B2B sales and how to help customers acquire the things that they need from a business perspective. I knew internet marketing, but really what was amazing, Jim then, uh, everything was so transactional. Every, all the focus on the internet was, Hey, how to make a sale, how to get somebody’s credit card information. Nobody was focusing on, especially in the B to B space, the, the marketing side. So if you think of the internet economy, as the alphabet, everybody was focusing on X, Y, and Z. How do you, how do you get that customer across the finish line? Nobody was talking about a through w and so I decided to get out of that internet business and basically start my own business, which was helping companies really leverage the internet specifically B to B to get the right kind of buyers into their business, learn about their business and really help them generate leads for their sales team.
Paul Slack (03:43):
And that was back in 2000. And so, uh, did that for 10 years, uh, had the opportunity to sell that agency, which was a B2B focused agency and, uh, 2010, and went to work for the company that bought our agency and really discovered while I was there, Jim, that I just loved B2B. The company that bought us was B2B B to C social media. They did a little bit of everything. And, uh, and so I left there in 2014 and started Vindy digital and really focusing in, on helping that mid-market B2B company, uh, really leverage the internet, all the channels that are out there, how do you bring them together to help accomplish your business objectives? And so that’s how I got into this space. And what really gets us passionate today is working with that, that B2B company that has a sales organization that is trying to figure out what do I need to be doing digitally to really get in front of my targeted customer, tell them the right story, get them to want to take the next step and then really support my sales team once we’re actively involved in a deal.
Paul Slack (04:45):
So that’s kind of our backup.
Jim Rembach (04:47):
Well, and as you’re talking, I started thinking about the discussion that we had prior to this interview, where we were looking at and discussing that entire strategy and all the particular elements. And you talked about Omni channel, we talked about all of these different facets that could be part of my purview, or I like to use the word ecosystem. Right, right. And so, so when I start thinking about that, you know, in the discussion we started having was around, you know, let’s just say orphaned content, right. And how these things just kind of sit out there. And we just do a lot of this stuff and people say, Oh, Hey, I tried digital just didn’t work for us. And, you know, you’ve mentioned a client example. And so if you can try to talk about how this maturation process works, because I think that kind of gets into the strategy. It’s like, I just do this stuff and it doesn’t work. Right.
Paul Slack (05:37):
Absolutely. You know, we, when we start working with a client, oftentimes we’ll hear, you know, like you just said, Jim, Oh my gosh. You know, we tried to digital and it just didn’t work for us. And then the next question is, well, what did you do? And often we’ll find we’ll they tried one thing, you know, we call it the one trick pony. Um, yeah. We started blogging and, you know, we a blog every other week or so, and nothing really happened. We didn’t get any leads from that. Or, um, you know, we’re posting some stuff up on our LinkedIn page and, you know, nothing’s really happening. Or man, we tried pay-per-click and, uh, we ran some ads in Google and, uh, we got, we got a lot of traffic and spend a lot of money, but we didn’t get any value. And so the challenge with all of that is those are tactics and tactics need to tie into an overarching strategy.
Paul Slack (06:25):
And so one of the things that we try to help companies think through are these four pillars that we feel are critical for every, uh, B2B business to consider when they’re thinking about, well, how do I implement digital for my business? Because Jim, as you know, digital is a, is a big word, right? There’s a lot of things that go under neath digital. So one thing that businesses need to start with is kind of the planning pillar and the planning pillar, really, it begins with, you know, identifying who is my customer, right? Who are we trying to reach? You know, what it’s, you know, what kind of business, what industries, what SIC codes, what you know, uh, size of business, who are the functions and roles that we are trying to reach within those businesses. That’s kind of one Oh one stuff, but then really what are the things that are keeping that person awake at night and how are the services that we provide really meeting their needs?
Paul Slack (07:16):
How can we become their problem solver and how do we do that in a messaging framework? So when we’re planning, we’re trying to understand our customer and what, um, ways that we can message to them that are going to help them understand how we can solve problems for them. You know, one of the things we say here at Vandy gym is marketing is an exercise in memorization. So our job is really to communicate to our buyer, Hey, we solved this problem. If you have this problem, we solve this problem. Right? So when we’re planning, we really want to get very clear on the problems that we solve and how do we communicate those things. We also want to get very clear on how do we measure success? Like ultimately we want the business to grow. Um, and so digital has to be a contribution to our growth and we need to back into, well, how many new deals do we need?
Paul Slack (08:05):
What does that equate to opportunities all the way back to ultimately Lee, pardon me, leads and impressions. All that gets figured out and planning. And so you kind of have to go through that discipline first. And then from there, you move into the next pillar, which is all about activating your audience. Now that we know who we’re going after and the messaging that’s going to resonate with them and what winning looks like for us, let’s go hang out where they hang out and let’s go build awareness and start presenting that message so that we can start getting that memorization. We want to file away in their brain. Hey, this is who Vindy digital is. These are the problems that we solve. Every business has to do that. And that’s really the goal of that. Yeah. Debating our audience. That’s where we do post in social, or we do advertise in social, or we do run retargeting campaigns or advertising campaigns, all that becomes a function of goal that we’re trying to accomplish when we’re activating our audience.
Paul Slack (08:59):
And then the third pillar really is about establishing authority and empathy. So, you know, we’re doing these things to ultimately drive people to our website because Jim, we believe on our website, that’s where we have the best opportunity to convince a potential customer that a we’re qualified to solve their problem. And that we’re doing that in a very clear and concise way. And then B we have empathy that we actually not only are we qualified, but we want to solve their problem. We’re here to help you. And we want to help you. And the best place to do that is on our website. And quite frankly, the best place to do it on our website in our opinion is your blog. And so if you’re telling me, Hey, I’m blogging and I’m not getting any results. Well, maybe you’re not doing it in a way that’s aligned with your overall strategy where you’re really trying to establish empathy and authority with your blog content.
Paul Slack (09:49):
And then ultimately, because we are talking B2B Jim, the last pillar, the fourth pillar in the process is nurturing relationships because we cannot control when a buyer has that compelling event, that’s going to make them want to transact with us. And so our job as marketers in that fourth pillar is to make sure that we are top in top of mind, that we’re reinforcing over and over and over and over again, you know, our value proposition and doing it in a way that’s useful and helpful to the customer. And so if you want digital to work, you really have to work through those four pillars. And, you know, we were talking about this before we went on live today and you know, those are all things that, um, you know, it’s hard to get from one agency. We talked about full service agencies and really what does that mean? Ultimately, you’ve got to find people that are really good at delivering things within each of those pillars, if you’re going to succeed with a good digital strategy. So that’s, that’s my long winded answer to your question. Hopefully that helps
Jim Rembach (10:49):
Fun. And I think new Britain, there are a few things that have really stood out to me that I want us to dig a little bit deeper into. And I think that was a great overview and under contextual understanding of what we’re talking about in the pillars that we need to focus in on. You had talked about contribution and you talked about digital marketing, you know, being a contribution to the overall sales. Now, if we start thinking about contribution and the contribution that used to exist for digital just a year ago, versus the contribution that digital has to play now what’s changed.
Paul Slack (11:25):
Oh my gosh. So much has changed. Jim has, as you can imagine, especially for all of us, a B to BS, and I know that’s the audience here today. So I’m excited to talk to you about these things because you know, the internet has kind of served. I feel like the B to C transactional industries always first, right? And then we’re, we’re laggards if you will, in the B2B world. But you know, um, there, there are great avenues today where we can contribute to the overall using digital that we didn’t have before. And so, you know, when we think about some fundamental things like content marketing, you know, that’s been around for a long time and every business needs to be involved in content marketing. And when you hear me say content marketing, Jim, what I’m really talking about is being consistent in your blogging, being consistent in sharing content out in social, uh, that’s really reinforcing your value proposition, but what’s great today that we didn’t necessarily have so much in the past is how can we get the awareness that we need for all that content marketing?
Paul Slack (12:27):
You know, just a couple of years ago, if we’re blogging. I think one of our biggest hopes for getting traffic to our website with that blog would be like search engine optimization. Do we have the right keywords? Are we showing up in Google for the right words so that when a buyer is looking for information on that topic, they find our blog, they come to our website. That’s great, obviously, but today we can go to LinkedIn for example, and we can dial into that perfect size business and that perfect size, that perfect person within that business and make sure that, that person’s going to see our content. And a lot of people have thought that LinkedIn is a very expensive place to go buy attention and also submit to you, Jim, and you probably experienced this as well, 24 months ago. Absolutely. That was the case.
Paul Slack (13:13):
But, um, in today’s world, you know, uh, LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft and, uh, no knock on Microsoft, but they always have followed the suit of let somebody else figure out what works and then let’s kind of follow along. And so they let Facebook kind of determine what advertising venues or products really serve, uh, the digital space. And they’re emulating those very well today, um, for the B2B consumer. And so what’s great is we can create content and very affordably, get it in the hands of our target customer, through advertising channels like LinkedIn. Um, another great thing that they’re offering today is what we call, uh, intent-based marketing. And so, you know, instead of just creating a blog article, putting it on LinkedIn, putting some money behind it, so the right people are seeing it. I can now have secondary campaigns that fire off based on what happens when somebody sees that a blog post that we’re promoting.
Paul Slack (14:09):
For example, if they click on it, that can fire off a secondary campaign. If they actually click over to my website and do something there that can fire off a different campaign. And so I guess the, the, the summer to summarize this topic, you know, buying awareness for B to B and super targeted awareness has never been easier than it is right now. And awareness is the top of the funnel. If somebody doesn’t know that you exist and understand the problems that you can solve for them, you know, you’re the best kept secret in town.
Jim Rembach (14:38):
Well, I know as you’re talking, I started thinking about there are tons of pitfalls all along that pathway. Sure. You know, for me, even when you start talking about buying awareness, especially in B2B, because of lack of understanding of all those pillars, you’ll often find somebody go to trying to buy attention. Uh, and the tension that they’re trying to buy is here, take our demo. Right? Exactly.
Paul Slack (15:04):
Exactly. So, uh, and I’m glad you brought that up because you know, in the world of, uh, the B2B buying cycle, you know, it starts with awareness, right? And then we, we do what we call it, vendor nurture with knowledge, right? So we’ve, we’ve created the awareness. Now there’s this person that doesn’t know that you exist, that does know that you exist and you’re communicating to them, your value proposition, you know, marketing is an exercise in memorization. So we want to reinforce that, but then that’s really where the content marketing game comes into play because your job with content marketing, once you have that awareness is to reinforce, you know, how you are qualified to solve those problems. And so, uh, you can’t go from, Hey, um, here’s who we are. We now exist. Would you buy from me today that doesn’t work in the world of B2B it’s Hey, we exist. And now over time, I want to communicate to you. Yes, we can solve your problem. Here’s how we’ve done it for other companies. Here’s how we can do it for you. And Oh, by the way, when you’re ready to learn more, here’s how to take the next step with us. All of that’s got to be communicated and engaged with in your digital.
Jim Rembach (16:13):
Well, an eight. Okay. So I want to also dig a little bit deeper on this whole exercise in memorization. Okay. Because when you start talking about congruency, when you start talking about connection, when you start talking about taking people down a particular path, um, you know, that that whole exercise and memorization really could be leveraged and it really all of those pillars. Yeah, absolutely. For me, when you start talking about the exercise of memorization and helping people implement the right behaviors, you know, for that to happen, what are some of the things that you focus in on
Paul Slack (16:48):
Your question, Jim, you know, when you think about, um, memorizing and, and in the way I try to communicate it is, as I mentioned earlier, think of it like a file cabinet, right? All of us B2B buyers, we’re walking around, um, trying to do the best we can for the businesses that we serve. And we know that we’ve got obstacles and challenges and things that are preventing us from, you know, getting to where ultimately we need to drive the business. And so as we’re interacting online as human beings, um, we’re interacting with knowledge, right? We’re engaging and growing in knowledge, as we read a post on LinkedIn or do a search in Google. And so our job is as they run across our information to go, Oh, that like for Vindy, that’s the B2B lead generation company, or that’s the B2B company that can help me develop a strategy.
Paul Slack (17:35):
I’m going to file that name away in my file cabinet. So when I have that problem, I can remember to go there. And so the problem that we see businesses have today, Jim, is that they’re trying to be too many things to too many people. And because, you know, when you’re trying to be everything to everybody, you’re nothing to nobody. Right? And so let’s really hone in and add clarity to the four or five really big problems that you solve. I know you do everything. Um, but we don’t want to try to boil the ocean, right? Let’s pick four or five things that you do really, really well, that you’re very passionate about, that you can easily provide evidence and connect people to other clients that you’ve served very well in these four problem areas. And let’s hone in on those, because guess what your sales reps, when they’re engaged in the buying process can talk about all the other things that you can do for them.
Paul Slack (18:27):
But we need to pick those four or five really just best things that you do. That you’re the most quality. We kind of talked about this right before we jumped on today. You know, it’s, it’s, what are those key things we can all say we do digital marketing, but really there’s two or three things we’re really, really good at every business needs to go through that same exercise. And those are the things that we’re going to talk about. So for example, um, you know, a digital company you would think can do search engine optimization and absolutely we do that as a business, but we freelance that out. Jim. So we have agent other agencies that we work with for SEO. So you’re not going to see us talk a lot about search engine optimization in our digital, um, communication, uh, when we’re marketing our business, we’re going to be talking about strategy.
Paul Slack (19:13):
We’re going to be talking about, um, why problems and talking about problems are important because that’s really our bread and butter. That’s what we’re great at. So if we’re gonna really do well at exercise, you know, making marketing, and exercise and memorization, it’s pick those three or four things. And really, um, you know, you kind of can think of it this way. It may sound like, gosh, only three or four things. Well, there’s probably 25 ways you can talk about each one of those three or four things, and that becomes your content strategy. Does that make sense?
Jim Rembach (19:44):
Right? It does man. And I think it goes back to the all important pillar of doing that, right. I’m just saying, well, we tried it and it didn’t work.
Paul Slack (19:52):
Exactly, exactly. And that goes into, you know, consistency is key, right? So once you’ve got a strategy and you’re kind of committed to this stuff, um, you need to be committed to it, you know, giving it a try for 60 days, giving it a try for six months and then going, Oh, well it didn’t work. Um, that’s not going to get you where you need to go.
Jim Rembach (20:10):
Definitely not. Okay. So, but so for me, when I start thinking about, you know, how do I, you know, really, you know, get to the point where I can start making a difference. So, like for example, uh, there was a video that I was watching to gather information about you and your organization. Um, and the, the client who actually was had a video testimonial was talking about how, when they started and then over the course of their client for like a couple of years, three years. And they still are, I suspect, um, is that they went and had this maturation process and, and therefore continue to grow and now have
Paul Slack (20:48):
Essentially the primary presence in their market space. Right. So when you start talking about, you know, making that path and going down that, um, there’s an opportunity for an organization, even if they’re established, make a disruption, right. Um, but often times it doesn’t happen rapidly and then that’s overnight, it is a process. So how can an organization make moves to really disrupt their space? You know, that’s a, that’s a great question, Jim. And I think right now in the midst of where we find ourselves, we’re all kind of almost being forced to reconsider, um, and look at, for look at new moves that we have to make in terms of continuing to grow our businesses. And so, you know, even when you think about digital, um, and you think about your budgets, you know, I’m guessing people that are actually, uh, paying attention to this podcast are listening in, um, you know, they probably had their budgets, uh, taken away or reduced, or maybe they’re not, obviously you’re not going to trade shows like they have been in the past.
Paul Slack (21:49):
And so, you know, one of the things that you just need to think about is, you know, making a baby step in the process towards digital. So what are, um, a handful of things that I can do right now that are gonna help me, you know, kind of get that awareness going. Um, you certainly don’t want to try to do everything all at once because of, you know, a limited resources and B one of the things that I love the most about digital is, um, how much we can iterate and learn. You know, it’s, it’s not like, um, Oh, we’ve got this big trade show in Q one of next year. And you know, we’ve got to build a big booth and we’ve got to have all these, um, physical assets developed and ready to go. Uh, the thing I love about digital is we can come up with a creative, uh, idea on how to move people through the funnel.
Paul Slack (22:37):
We can actually engage on that because we get real time feedback. We can pivot learn, iterate, and grow. And so that’s why I always recommend a crawl walk, run strategy. When a client’s thinking about shifting dollars from what we would call traditional B to B marketing to digital marketing is, Hey, let’s not take half your budget. Let’s just make part of your budget. And let’s, let’s do some crawling things. You know, let’s start with fundamental elements that we know are important things you’ve got to have, like, is your website messaging correctly? Are you engaging in content marketing? And then let’s start getting some awareness going, let’s see how that goes. Then maybe let’s start running some, um, what we’d call mid-funnel lead generation campaigns and see how that goes. And then maybe we can start working on marketing automation, um, and, and email marketing and things like that. And so, you know, if you take it step by step and crawl, walk, run, you’re going to have much better success over the long haul. And I know that a particular testimonial you were talking about, I mean, we’ve been working with that client, believe it or not, since 2004. And so, you know, obviously in 2004,
Jim Rembach (23:47):
Um, Google was barely a household name and certainly there wasn’t LinkedIn or Facebook. So you have to be able to evolve and grow as the industry gives you new opportunities. Well, I think for me, when you started looking at, um, you know, talk about the budget constraints, you talked about where to focus, you know, a lot of organizations struggle to even break content for their needs. I’ll give you a quick example. Uh, there was a software startup, um, that was over in Europe trying to come into the U S market. And they had like 11 people that were part of the staff, but they’re all developed. Right? And so they came up with this particular product that was cool and they think would actually fit into this space. And so now they’re coming here and they want to essentially start gathering and capturing clients, but they had no subject matter experts.
Jim Rembach (24:32):
And so when you start looking at, you know, that domain expertise, and you mentioned one of those pillars being authority, no. What is the risk that organizations expose to themselves if they can’t actually build that pillar? Yeah, that’s um, at the end of the day that I don’t think you can be successful if you can’t effectively build that pillar gym, because, you know, um, we have to understand the climate that we’re in today and that is that buyers are on a self guided tour. So when I got started back in 1990, I was the, I was the door to knowledge. If somebody wanted to understand as a sales guy, um, Hey, how can I, uh, buy storage to help accomplish whatever goals I’m trying to accomplish in my data center? How do I buy this technology? The only place they could go was to a salesperson to get that knowledge.
Jim Rembach (25:23):
So they would come to somebody like me and go, Hey, my applications aren’t running fast enough. I have these challenges. What do you recommend? And then we would come in and say, well, this is how we would solve that problem. Well today because of ubiquitous access to information, um, our customers are doing that on their own. The salesperson is no longer the gatekeeper of knowledge, if you will. And so the challenge that you’re going to have, if you cannot establish authority in a digital way, is you’re never going to communicate to that buyer that you are qualified to solve their problem. Um, in fact, from a digital perspective, I just don’t know how you lend, because you have to communicate that you don’t know when they’re going to come to your website. In fact, Gartner has come out recently and said, the buyer is 83 or 80% through the buying process before they pick up the phone and talk to your sales guy, which means they’ve figured out what is my problem? What are the best options to solve my problem? How can you solve my problem? Okay, now I’m going to talk to you. And so all of that is happening online. And if you are not communicating and establishing authority and some kind of a digital format, I don’t think you’re going to win well, when I start thinking about that, I started looking at some of those budget issues. You know, you talk about constraints, talk about reallocation. Well, what if, you know, all those blinders are off and I said, okay, spend what you want to spend,
Paul Slack (26:44):
Where you want to spend it, where do they need to spend it? So, you know, I would start with, you know, absolutely making sure that you’ve spent a little bit of time and, you know, this is more resource allocation than necessarily dollars, but, you know, go through the process of understanding what is keeping my buyer awake at night and what are the problems that I can solve for them. And what are the different ways that I can communicate that? What are the different modalities from blogs to social posts, to infographs, to guides, things like that. Um, I would make sure that you’ve spent the time. We don’t want to throw spaghetti against the wall with limited budgets. We just don’t have that capability, right. We’ve gotta be pretty precise there. And that’s the beautiful thing about strategy is it’s just brainpower, right? We can get the right people in the room.
Paul Slack (27:28):
We can spend some time together. We can come out with a pretty good plan. It doesn’t cost any money to do that. Um, and then from there, if I had a limited budget, I would definitely start thinking about, you know, how can I push and buy a little bit of attention, uh, on sites like LinkedIn? The other thing that I would invest some money in right now, Jim is a, um, a gated asset. So, you know, some type of a downloadable PDF that continues to guide the customer through a buying decision that enforces our value proposition that would aid them. So it can’t be just a brochure. It has to be, Hey, download our white paper, our guide on options on that. You need to consider on how to solve this particular problem. Um, doesn’t cost a lot of money today to get a graphic artist, to kind of take your words and make them real pretty, and then make it something that somebody could download on your website.
Paul Slack (28:22):
Um, and once you have that in place, I would go and spend a little bit of money, um, advertising and promoting that gated asset, um, online. And we don’t have time to go into all the different ways that you can do that today, but there’s some very affordable, highly effective ways that you can do that on sites like LinkedIn and Twitter and other places. Um, and after you’ve done that, then what I would really focus on is now you’ve got somebody whose information, you know, let’s get our sales reps involved. Um, let’s engage in what we call social selling or digital selling. So every time somebody downloads that gated asset, you know, they’re an early cycle buyer. They may not be ready to talk to a sales rep, but Hey, have your sales reps reach out to them on LinkedIn, send them a connection request, say, Hey, I saw that you downloaded our PDF on XYZ topic.
Paul Slack (29:11):
You know, I’m your local rep or I’m the guy that covers whatever here I’d like to stay in contact with you. Let me know if you have any questions or comments, um, and then also start drip marketing to them. And those that’s a very basic rudimentary system that in today’s climate would not cost a lot of money, but I think would work really, really well. One last, um, comment on this mid funnel, uh, PDF downloadable PDF, put it on your website. I mean, I can’t believe how many websites I look at Jim that are B to B and the only call to action on their website is contact us or learn more. Um, and often they don’t even have that in the right place. I always like to see that top right, and an offset color on there, on their website, but then also include this mid funnel gated PDF because not everybody’s ready to talk to a sales rep. In fact, some of the best B2B websites out there today convert about three to 5% of their traffic. That means that 95% of the people are coming to your website, even on the best websites they’re going to come and go. But if you add a gated asset, you’re going to convert a bunch of those folks into downloading that asset, especially it’s useful for them. And so that’s a really good way to, you know, invest a few dollars now and get some good books.
Jim Rembach (30:27):
Well, and so for me, the thing that you said in that explanation in the, in the detail that I think is something we absolutely have to carry forward on an ongoing basis. And talk about that memorization piece is that, you know, our buyer is on the self guided Jordan. Yeah,
Paul Slack (30:44):
Absolutely. They’re they, um, now are in control, you know, there’s this power shift, you know, back when I started out, I kind of was in control and every salesman was because we had the answers right now, the buyer is in control. Um, and, and they don’t want to give it up jam. I’m promise you that that’s never going to come back to the sales rep. Right. And so rather than be disappointed about that, we can go back and this goes right back to planning, okay, they’re in control. What did they need? Honestly, what does a buyer need to help them make an informed decision that will solve this problem, that we are experts on solving, and let’s understand that buyer journey and make sure that we’ve created, we call them assets, but we’ve created assets for every step of the way. And that we are promoting those assets out there online.
Paul Slack (31:31):
They’re on our website. We’re promoting them as social posts. We’re promoting them in blogs and they’re available because they’re going to come to our website. We’re not going to know that they’re on our website necessarily until they opt into something or asked to talk to a sales rep, but let’s give them what we know. They need to help make that informed decision. And by the way, when we create those assets, we’re able to add bias to it that helps formulate their beliefs on how to solve their problems, that align with our features, advantages, and benefits. If we don’t create those assets, guess what they’re doing, they’re going to your competitor’s website, they’re reading their website, downloading their assets and their beliefs are getting formulated in a way that aligned with your competitors, features, advantage and benefits, and yeah.
Jim Rembach (32:17):
Yours, not to me, that’s also one of those, um, you know, requests for information or RFP processes as well. So in other words, if you get that blind RFP, uh, and your competitors verbiage don’t bother responding. Yeah,
Paul Slack (32:29):
Exactly. Exactly. In fact, if you get that blind RFP, and that’s the first time you’ve heard of that company probably don’t even need to open it.
Jim Rembach (32:37):
Don’t, don’t try to get in a you’re bound to lose. Absolutely. So when I started thinking about all, and we touched on several different points along those pillars and along strategy, you know, I started thinking about, okay, I need to get grounded. And I had to have a starting point. So what is an extremely important question that a B to B digital marketer needs to be asking themselves?
Paul Slack (32:58):
So, you know, that’s a, that’s a great question, Jim. One of the first things I would encourage everybody to ask themselves is, you know, just take a look at your current digital footprint and, and look at your footprint through the eyes of a buyer and ask yourself what’s missing. You know, if I were trying to buy from you today, what is what’s missing? What’s, what’s not there to answer the questions that they’re going to answer on their own, and that will begin to help you formulate the things you need to go and create. So, you know, one of the first things you need to do is just go look at, okay. Um, what’s missing on our blog, what’s missing on our website, what what’s missing in the way that we’re engaging in social media. Um, and that will begin to help you understand some of the work that you can get started on. That will make a big difference because communicating in the buyer’s language and giving them what they need to win and to solve their problems is the most
Jim Rembach (33:51):
Thing you can do right now. Most definitely Paul Slack. I had fun with you today. Can you please share with the B2B DM gang, how they can connect with you?
Paul Slack (33:58):
Yeah, absolutely. You know, our website is Bindi digital.com. So feel free to check us out there. Um, I’m very active on LinkedIn. So if you want to engage with me there, I’m posting one or two times a day. I really try to keep it focused on, you know, how to help the digital marketer, uh, succeed, how to help the digital seller succeed. So just look me up Paul Slack on LinkedIn, and those are really the two best ways. Jim
Jim Rembach (34:21):
Paul, thanks for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. And we all wish you the very best. Yeah. Thanks Jim.
Paul Slack (34:25):
Have a great day, everybody.
Jim Rembach is the Editor in Chief of the Customer Service Weekly and it’s Podcast host. He is President of CX Global Media and the creator of the Call Center Coach Virtual Leaders Academy. As the host of the Fast Leader Show Podcast, he has interviewed hundreds of experts, authors, academics, researchers, and practitioners on various angles, viewpoints, and perspectives for improving the customer experience. He has held positions in retail operations, contact centers, customer support, customer success, sales, and measured the customer experience. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner, Employee Retention Specialist, and recipient of numerous industry awards.