A Conversation with Marketing Guru, David Berkowitz, Serial MarketerDecember 15, 2021
Podcast link available HERE.
Podcast Transcript below:
Bill : Hey and welcome to the belly2belly podcast. This is the podcast that’s focused on Confessions of an in person marketer. So, today it’s a real privilege to welcome David Berkowitz from serial marketer. Welcome David.
David : So much. Great to be here, Bill.
Bill : It’s, it’s super to be with you today and you know, so our audience are our b2b companies who are either entering the US or already in the US and and expanding so these are international companies that again are either on their way here or are already here and and really working hard to develop a strong base of customers so they’re, they’re always super concerned about making sure their marketing is is spot on and very focused on the US customer and you know how to engage and enroll those customers most efficiently. So I’d love to dive into a variety of topics today that would really help those, our audience and those customers. And I guess you’re probably the best place to start is really to learn a little bit more about you and serial marketer. But do you want to just take a minute or two and share kind of a little of your background and serial marketer?
David : Yeah, sure. Thanks. So, I’ve had a mix of roles over the past 20 years where I spent most of my career so far on the agency side working on working at 360 i Under Densu and Mri under publicis group and in strategy and marketing leadership roles. Then when on past five years I’ve been focused on working with a lot of tech and product companies and trying to help them figure out how to generate demand and work with expanding their presence in the US. We’re work with a number of international companies that that that were either overseas initially or or had already come here, but then yeah, but this was still a very new market for them in the States and, and helping out with positioning and strategy, some outright business development. And along the way a few years ago, I started this marketing community Serial marketers, that’s just been a lot of fun to build out and so so now we have more than 2000 marketers in the community and it’s just been a great way to go and, and connect a lot of talented folks with each other and source ideas. And gigs and opportunities, recommendations, things like that.
Bill : That’s fantastic. Well, and you know, I think besides that you’re very modest. For the audience. You should know that David is one of the most sought after mentors in the New York ecosystem to help companies entering the US with marketing. So, you know, we’re very fortunate to have you here with us today, David. And so, you know, with that, you know, let’s talk about, you know, the, obviously they’re an ever expanding array of tools that a marketer has sort of at their disposal to help create awareness and create opportunity with with various markets, but when you you sort of survey the current landscape of tools that are available for, for marketers, and particularly, you know, companies coming into the US what are what are the kind of the top tools that are top modes that you would point to as as where maybe companies should look first to begin creating connection into the US market?
David : Well, yeah, so, so a lot of what I see is that companies either try to get a lot of their marketing in place and then but then not have a great way to distribute that and get that in front of the right buyers. Or on the flip side, is a lot of companies that right? They start with getting a salesperson on the ground but then don’t have any kind of presence. And, and so I think one of the things that that a lot especially a lot of newer businesses to this to the states, and this is true more broadly, that they don’t always appreciate is that people like to buy from someone they’ve heard of, and so so so it’s like when you’re just a lot of it is just finding that right balance. And so you do it, you do need relationships, I mean that that like like, that’s just the best shortcut if there is any where you can get directly in front of the target buyer. But if you don’t have great messaging, if you don’t have any friends, if you’re not doing anything to say, calm mind beyond that, then that’s going to fizzle really quickly. You’re gonna max out on typically those low hanging fruit and then it’s like, what are you doing with the rest of that time? And then and also, a lot of the work on the marketing front isn’t going to immediately bear fruit, but it’s stuff that kind of like you have that compound interest over time and so so the more content you put out there, for instance, then the more materials you have for sales team when they’re following up with folks, the more hooks you have out there for marketers who are looking for something related to what you do to actually find you and so the more opportunities you have to have that third or fifth third, or 10th touchpoint with a prospect All of this adds up and and it’s and the one thing I really appreciate as a business owner and and someone worked with a lot of companies like this is that it’s it’s tough to juggle all that especially when you have limited resources. We’re new to a market.
Bill : Right so so in terms of the modes, I heard content so you’re talking about either online content, or, or offline content, things that you might distribute, and so on. What other modes might accompany avail themselves of when they’re coming into the US market again, thinking specifically of b2b type companies.
David : What well so much of it is is fishing where the fish are so like, like the event space is so weird right now is you know, better than I do, but But trying to, you know, try to take part in these events and having the best possible presence that where things are still going to be virtual looks like even as, even as vaccines pick up in the States and other Western markets. It’s like, there gonna be a lot of people who are skittish for the rest of the year. Kind of writing this off, even if we have some events come back online as well. But finding finding new ways to meet those prospects is so key. I mean, I’ve, I’ve learned about a ton of great businesses through virtual events this year. And trying to find the ones that are most relevant, most relevant to your business and feel where you can also provide a lot of value to them and to their attendees. It’s huge because it is with the right kinds of events and look, I’m biased to it there. There are tremendous communities out there, right like and and and there that what’s great is that their communities for anything and everything right now so if you’re trying to reach the CRO or that head of HR or the head of procurement, like there are ways to find them and and, and also ways that aren’t just an add by aren’t just like putting your logo on something. So it’s I mean, they’re just tremendous ways to add value to people who really need it.
Bill : I’m so glad that you use a fish metaphor and we’re actually going to come back to that in just a moment. But before we do it, I’d love to get your thoughts in terms of you know, when you’re whether you’re mentoring or working with a company entering the US what are the biggest mistakes that you see them make or the biggest challenges you see them have?
David : So I think that their mistakes a lot of different points and the whole sales and marketing cycle. Is it some of it is just talking so much about what the company does and not solve it and not clearly trying to solve anyone’s problems. Sometimes there’s just a lack of focus, like this company did. A lot of companies have developed a lot of products, a lot of features and it was like trying to throw all that out there. It’s like I What’s the one that’s going to get someone to pay attention. Just get them in or get someone into that process so that you can you know, with that lead and expand type of approach, like how do you at least just get to have that first meeting, and then where appropriate, you can find out more about what they’re doing and see if you have something else that that can expand on that and serve more of their needs. So So is there a lot of great companies on the on the tech side that are just started by engineers and and folks who, who just don’t necessarily prioritize the role of language and, and just tightening up those kinds of messages just making sure that that even I mean, there was a major consulting firm I was looking at recently and I was given them some advice and of course of just this conversation of what we could do together. And I said look like I for a firm like this trying to cast really impressive presence and they’re coming in from overseas. It’s like you just have rule that you are not going to use paid stock photos on your site like just and and every page of their site look like the same WordPress tablet. Yeah, I could have my developer in the Philippines who’s amazing like, like she could do what they did in like three hours of work. And they probably spent billions of dollars on their own presence on that side of it. And so, and I think there’s also one of the things that comes up a lot on the as you skew into the sales side of it because for me, that line between marketing and sales blurs more and more all the time. And often my favorite client is the head of sales or revenue and not necessarily the CEOs doing a lot of things like how can I help that CRO do their job better? But, but on that sales front? There’s so many especially early stage companies who just want to throw out a lot of commission agreements and say, yeah, so I’ll give you 5% 10% For the deal but not put any money on the table and not actually pay for people’s time. And so you just wind up being last on the priority list with that and so just making some concerted investment. It doesn’t mean you necessarily have to spend six figures on higher here either but, but having a little more. A little more skin in the game and having that right kind of structure goes a very long way.
Bill : Yeah, they pay the adage you get what you pay for, right? It’s and yeah, no and salespeople in the US are certainly used to earning a lot of money. The best performers are well into six figures and some even approaching seven. So yeah, no, it’s a really great point. So the idea of messaging, the idea of having a strong sales effort and strong sales comp and a strong team. And now those are all sound really important in your I guess. Yeah. As we think through the challenges that companies coming in have, do you get I guess one of the things that we’ve seen is maybe and maybe it’s partly a reticence to sell. In place of that just sort of more marketing and more sort of E marketing whether that’s sort of bludgeoning the prospect with E newsletters or you know, just relying on content or search to create opportunity and I’m a huge advocate of inbound marketing. And it’s certainly brilliant. But I people just aren’t picking up the phone like they used to write I mean, now we’re on Zoom and so on. But you know, we don’t see a lot of that and there seems to be a great fear of actually talking to a customer. But what are your thoughts about that? Do you see much of this?
David : I see a lot of that I saw with you know, with my own outreach for clients. Last spring came really unpredictable and I applied and said to be parently seriously like that, that they’ve taught me in 2020. They’re like, like January, February. We’re getting such amazing responses and then March came what happened,
Bill : Really.
David : And by the way, they’re targeting a brick and mortar businesses. So the hardest is sector this wasn’t someone that was in some suddenly booming field right now. And but but I think I’ll also in some of it also might be like, I feel everyone at all sales on all sides is just getting bombarded by so much bad messaging, bad marketing, like bad sales materials that that I think there’s that there’s this added appreciation for someone’s coming in and actually sending something that is clearly a personalized message, you know, even if it’s a cold message, that this is someone who’s taking a little bit of time to try to understand what that what that potential customer is doing. What they’re going through and how you’re maybe that day it’s it’s usually pretty clear to be able to go and and see what passes that sniff test and so so I think on the flip side, just like how, how people are so many folks I know like like you and I who are craving to get back in person events and, and and make some of those connections and and, and just like get those muscles working. And I think there’s also this appreciation for just people who are taking the time to just hear I hear something that is meant just for you. And I and I see this all the time, like I’ll post products on Fiverr right, like really like, like low end thing. And for the handful of posts that aren’t copy and paste jobs. I’m like, Yeah, I get so upset and you can tell them right away and this is also true on that enterprise sales fraud. So it’s like, I’m not being skittish especially, can you actually provide value to the person on the receiving end? And it’s like, like, if you can, then you should be really confident about that. I like I know, I’m excited when I get on call someone I’m like, like, this is exactly what I do. This is exactly how I can help. And I know the other end of that field. And it’s like, do I want to bother pitching this because I’m just going to be some also read or I happen to be the person they called but like, I don’t know why they’re really calling me right? Those are totally different follow so but but when when you’ve got something of value, make sure that’s clear. There. Then odds are they’re gonna need it and or at least appreciate the conversation. Maybe they’ll learn something new.
Bill : You know, it’s funny, as you were talking, I was just having this flashback to all the terrible messages I get on LinkedIn. And it’s probably I don’t know, maybe five a day messages of somebody selling trying to sell me something and everything from you know, personal financial planning to, you know, some something for the office, or, you know, there’s probably two messages a day for people that can help us somehow with SEO or, or, you know, redesigning our website or whatever, but it’s just, yeah, the barrage that the number of messages today, you know, I think you’re absolutely right, we’ve got to find ways to differentiate ourselves. And it may be having unique modes or it may be having unique messages, but the thoughts on on that you get a lot of messages on LinkedIn of people trying to sell you something
David : Tons and so much of it is like oh, it’s it’s, you know, we’re like minded I don’t know. And by the way, I really like different minded people to lose emphasis and this stuff like oh, well we have lots of mutual connections, which that means absolutely nothing and so many of these that are just just outright spam. I mean, I had someone today that said to me, yeah, well, like because of your focus on resume writing. Yeah, these aren’t even keywords that are in my profile. So at least if you’re good to go and do this, then like, I just get your filters in order I get a little bit of that personalization layer in place. And so and so and sometimes you do want to figure out ways to scale this but spending spending a little more time on your targets goes a very long way. And, and I think so much of it is going to come down to the golden rule, right? Do one to others as others do, and it’s like, market and sell to others. Like you want people to market and sell to you. And I get that’s, that’s gonna go a very long way.
Bill : No, good. Good point. So off the top you talked about the importance of messaging, and if we can, I’d love to dive into that more and you began down the road of using a fishing metaphor, and we always in kind of our world, always talk about sort of the three decisions. Somebody that fishes makes in how actually that resembles marketing and it sounds like that’s sort of the metaphor that you work on too. So you know, first obviously, they decide what they want to catch. And then that informs where they’re going to go fishing. And then, of course, third, what bait they’re going to put in the water. And it’s, you know, obviously the selecting of the fish is critical. And I think what most people don’t appreciate is that there are 34,000 species of fish. So the good marketer, the good person that fishes actually, the harder decision they make is the 33,999 species they don’t want to catch right because that you as you know, as a, as a marketer, having that clarity really changes your ability to choose where you’re fishing, and what bait you’re going to put in the water. And I think in maybe in terms of the messaging, we’re really talking about the bait that’s, you know, whether it’s the value proposition or call to action or in sort of any of the other elements that would draw and convert attention to our product or service. But when you think of messaging, and you think of maybe some of the challenges that you see companies having and I think you gave a little bit of a an overview of it in kind of your first comments, but what are the when you think about messaging and whatnot, what are the challenges you see international companies having when they’re building or or relating their messaging into the marketplace?
David : It usually comes down to just not having any clarity in terms of what they actually do, what problem they’re solving. Might be some industry buzzwords there, but it’s like, okay, so, it, so you’ve got this thing and this is what you’re saying like the category that it’s in, but But is this designed to go and get people into my store? Is it or is it designed to get people to my website? Is it designed to go and get me more leads or more sales ? Who is the right person who should be reading this and like are those solve their problem? I’m also glad you brought up the call to action piece of it because it’s amazing how often that is buried. It’s it’s also funny how they’re often words that are used, like learn more that are just a contact form. But and, and to your other point, it’s okay to just say what you want them to do when they get there. So, so getting a sense of how you’re actually going to go and provide that a find that value and what you want someone to do with this information. Also, I think with a call to action, even when it’s there can often be buried, and so if someone does think that this could be relevant for them, just like give them a chance to go and share some of that info with you right away and express that interest. And then not wind up having them to consume all these other things. Get there. I think just another mistake can be relying overly heavy, heavily on just one type of communication. Like I just saw some sort of pitch the other day that was full of video links and case studies and things like that. But there was no text associated with it. And so videos terrific when, when produced remotely well and yes, you can sum up a very long page of content in maybe a 62nd video clip. That’s terrific. There’s so many people like myself, who just don’t like clicking video, don’t like watching some kind of demo unless we’re really, really into this and like already committed. So and on the flip side, you have some of these pages that are just like all attacks all just like, is there just a really concise way to sum this up. Can you use some imagery? Can you some video that just go and tell that story a little bit better, but accepting that there are different types of buyers just like there are different types of learners and how do you go and meet their needs and this doesn’t have to be overly confident. I know it’s talking about a lot but this can be delivered in really, really concise ways that it’s just give enough of this information and then make it very easy for someone to follow up and get more as needed. It doesn’t all have to be like you don’t need every last page of your documentation out there on your website for everyone to see before they’re even working with it.
Bill : I think that’s some really great points in there. So if we were gonna sort of unpack it and sort of look at you know, from a practical sense, how do we go about, let’s just take, you know, it could be maybe let’s just go with that. If we wanted to create a one page sell sheet and we wanted to sort of look at a schematic of what might be the elements of that. And then you know, what order should they go in. So, and I quite I quite often think about you know, the techniques that are used in inbound marketing when I think about you know, the, you know, how do we how do we get this so, it makes the most sense to the receiver but we were creating a headline for you know, we use the ubiquitous widget, you know, the industrial widget, let’s say, and, you know, how would you get the, you know, sort of the attention of the potential reader what might be the the headline of that and obviously not we don’t need the actual physical headline, but what would you know, what would be the attitude and focus of that headline? Well,
David : Well, two things First of all, before even getting into the headline, what one of those mistakes that I see companies make is that collateral often feels like some really Junior person’s job. And it’s like, yeah, let’s get a marketing coordinator or some. Some really like just cheap, outsource, hire to go work on this thing. Like who’s the most junior person on the team who can do this? And this, it’s such a crucial tool for the sales team that even in marketing roles that I’ve had, I get very hands on when it comes to something like a one sheet. And I have just come to appreciate that. I have experience in having an ear for what the customer wants that someone who’s a year in the field might be even a gifted writer like they’re just not likely to have that. So what is it making sure that you have that you just appreciate the value of it because it can make a difference. If someone is going to follow up with you. It can make a difference in how well a salesperson to present what you do and give the sales team that confidence to do their jobs. Well. So with that headline, the first piece of it is, is what problem are you solving. And so, so So in this industrial widget company, so So if this widget is used to lower manufacturing costs by 25%, if it’s if it’s used to speed up your efficiency by 40% if it’s used to go and and penetrate new markets, like I then then make that really clear. And ideally like for also for one sheet, I really like a verticalized focus for him. So even little things like Like, is there some photography or iconography that just makes it clear that okay, this is like this one’s for the real estate industry, but this one’s for the back industry. And just if you saw these pieces of collateral just spread out on a table somewhere, you could easily pick up the one that was most relevant at all, have you these little hints of it go a very long way and also it helps assure the buyer that you’re sharing something that was meant for them.
Bill : So what I heard there is is really have number one, have a really clear buyer persona, who who is being written for that archetype, and also making sure that there’s in the on the design side, the maturity level, experience level, to be able to both have that empathic year to understand that archetype. That buyer and also be able to articulate the message in a way that’s effective and the message being something that is somehow provocative to either the problem or the opportunity. So what’s maybe what’s keeping the buyer awake at night, or what the strongest part of the value proposition as you said, save 25% or 25% more efficiency or something that is provocative in terms of in terms of the value proposition for the for the buyer, is that a reasonable summary? Absolutely. Yeah. And so, so it cuz it’s interesting, is it you know, I mean, there are lots of ways that we sort of evidence, how companies communicate, certainly looking at their excel sheets, walking through a trade show and looking at sort of the whether it’s the large banners that are hanging from the ceiling or, you know, the tops of the booths that have all the messaging, and it’s so rare that we see clear messaging about what a company does, or the value proposition for the customer. It’s generally taglines or slogans that really have nothing to do with the customer’s benefit. And and so, I think there’s a really interesting way to approach the design of communication it’s much more empathic and certainly one that much more resembles what happens in inbound marketing, inbound marketing, right is it’s all sort of all about putting some bait out and seeing, you know, essentially by the quality of your bait and the alignment with your persona. Your you’ll get nibbles
Is there some photography or iconography that just makes it clear that okay, this is like this one for the real estate industry, but this one’s the back industry and just, if you saw this piece of collateral just spread out on a table somewhere, you could easily pick up the one that was most relevant at these little hints of it go a very long way. And also it helps assure the buyer that you’re sharing something that was meant for them.
Bill : So what I heard there is really have number one have a really clear buyer persona, who it’s being written for that archetype. And also making sure that there’s in the on the design side, the maturity level, experience level, to be able to both have that empathic year to understand that archetype, that buyer and also be able to articulate the message in a way that’s that’s effective and the message being something that is somehow provocative to either the, the problem or the opportunity. So what maybe what’s keeping the buyer awake at night, or what the strongest part of the value proposition as you said, save 25% or 25% more efficiency or something that is provocative in terms of in terms of the value proposition for the, for the buyer? Is that a reasonable summary?
David : Absolutely.
Bill : Yeah. And so, so it’s because it’s interesting, is it you know, I mean, there are lots of ways that we sort of evidence, how companies communicate, certainly looking at their sell sheets, walking through a trade show and looking at sort of, whether it’s the large banners that are hanging from the ceiling, or, you know, the tops of the booths that have all the messaging, and it’s so rare that we see clear messaging about what a company does, or the value proposition for the customer. It is. It’s generally taglines or slogans that really have nothing to do with the customers benefit and and so, I think there’s a really interesting way to approach the design of communication. It’s much more empathic and certainly one that much more resembles what happens in inbound marketing, inbound marketing, right is it’s all sort of all about putting some bait out and seeing, you know, essentially by the quality of your bait and the alignment with your persona. You’ll get nibbles and everybody else sort of swims by and it’s, it’s sort of a really interesting way to market so it’s we’re looking more at that sell sheet, we’re going to have good imagery or iconography. We’ll have that good headline that is sort of targeted at our specific audience in terms of value proposition or problem statement. And then what do we do with the sort of the rest of that document? What are the other elements that need to be included?
David : So those are the other elements you Yes, you want to describe? Very clearly, what you do is a very small taste of your company’s story and that elevator pitch for, for why you even exist in the first place. You’re gonna have a little bit of that, dare I say personality come through and, and make this something that someone is actually interested in reading. It having a having a concise, concise, roundup of some of the features that you have, and usually a bullet list works well for that is just making sure that this is like as plain English as possible. It it’s, it’s debatable to the extent where visuals of work from your product can be really helpful. Like I’ve dealt with a lot of data heavy companies, for instance, that you shrink something down to something that’s, you know, 1/16 the size of this one pager, and it’s totally useless. So, sometimes product shots are great. Sometimes you don’t have a very visual product or one that you can’t really sell at or can you at least do something that like, were for someone that really likes showing off a whole dashboard, for instance, just cut that one tiny little visual hook from it. Yes, you know, it feels so tough to do that because you’re not showing all of it. But that’s not what this kind of watch it’s for. And if there’s something where visuals become extremely important, then you can have a page two or even a page three. That’s just a few of these very strong images and to have them front and center and just allow more space for there. There isn’t this hard and fast rule that uh, one sheet has to be one sheet. Often, you don’t, you’re gonna lose people if there’s more, too much text to go more than one page. If you have a couple of supporting materials out there, then it’s sort of like writing a resume. So most can be done one page is pretty much all done to once in a while you get a certain circumstance where it warrants like having all your supporting materials that are included there to show your credentials. Speaking of credentials, the client logos are huge. Not everyone has them and sometimes also, I’ve seen client logos work against some businesses where say, a business a business that only targeted financial services. Brands and now wants to expand into healthcare, then, then seeing a lot of those financial services brands can be confusing, especially if you have too many of them. So you may even want to then include Okay, so you put Goldman Sachs you put Citibank on it but you don’t put the five others because then you just is actually doing less, or, or putting a kind of random brand than you have dug this element from the real estate industry. Okay, well, that doesn’t really fit but it actually shows more diversity of what you’re doing and so, so it doesn’t pigeonhole you in a way. It’s just trying to tell that story the best way possible.
David : Ideally, if if you have a good line or two from a Client Testimonial, that kind of social proof, very helpful. And, also going back to the call to action piece. What do you do with this information? How do you make it somewhat and make it so easy for someone to follow up? Say you’ve done a really good job with this sell sheet and now you’ve someone is actually forwarded that to someone else in their company to take a look at it or we’re back to live events and and this gets passed around you know, most of them get, like littered on the show floor. But there are a few of those that actually people are reading but it’s disconnected from when they’re having that conversation with you at the booth or or in any other contact. Can we stand on its own and kind of be very clear what you can do with this information that just some of the basics like that often fall by the wayside because they’re like, Oh, well this will just be attached to an email. And so of course, we’ll just be able to email that person directly and forget what else can happen with this once it could potentially have a life of its own.
Bill : Huh? No. Yeah, I mean, that idea that one person is going to hand it to another or even that person who takes it originally. You know, they don’t actually look at it or act on it for a couple of weeks and the memories faded a bit. So it’s almost like new information. You know, there were several things I thought they were really profound that you mentioned number one is, is bringing up resumes and yeah, so as you were talking about that, you know, I think of the the sort of purpose of a resume and you know, I wonder if this also applies to sell sheet. So the purpose very simple purpose of a resume is simply to get an interview and once you have the interview, the resume becomes a lot less a part of the process. It’s simply to open the door and I you know, thinking of b2b sales, you know, is it similar in terms of that sell sheet, really the only job of that sell sheet is to be a tool in the process. Of getting that first appointment with a prospect and once you have it, you know, that may be a part of additional information or whatnot that you you’d supply but, but ultimately, it’s sort of served its purpose. And so the information on it just like a resume, should be simple enough that it opens that door but not so complex that it stops the process in some way does that is that resonate at all with kind of your thoughts and philosophy?
David : Very much, if for any of this is just how can it move things forward? How can it contribute to momentum and that means that most of the time it doesn’t have to go and close that deal. It has to share enough to generate some that interest. It doesn’t have to go and help them completely decide everything right then in there. There there are lots of valid reasons why some businesses are very transparent with pricing, and some are not and that’s and not having pricing might turn off some potential buyers, but it but if that doesn’t work for you there, there isn’t a hard and fast rule for that either. But if your pricing makes it very easy for someone to convert quickly then then short Yeah, showcase that. So yeah, like how do you get that next step to happen and on the b2b side, the next step is usually a series of conversations and meetings before a deal is closed.
Bill : Right? So the resume doesn’t get the job and the sell sheet doesn’t close the deal. It’s just it’s just a sort of an early stage part of the process. That helps create, first, a little bit of awareness. Maybe it begins the process of trust building and hopefully helps you on the road to getting getting that conversation or that series
David : Is that and and there is also that that rule of you want the resume to do no harm. You don’t want it to hurt your chances of getting a job. So in the past, I remember looking at my resume, fortunately, quite a number of years ago, but I caught all these typos and I’m like, I’m a writer and editor. So so for me it’s especially sloppy and at the time, it was something where my resume clearly not my priority, and it showed but my resume clearly was doing me harm. And I’ve seen sell sheet sheets like that too. So it’s just just making sure that it’s not working against you in some way. And and and you know refer also to the point of just not making it the lowest priority of what you have to do and often signaled by having the lowest paid person you deal with working on it’s like, like just elevate it, elevate that, give it some that respect, make sure that if you do have a whether it’s a head of marketing might not even have one or just like that, that that even that junior person knows if you have to have them do this, that the founder is actually going to go and review it it just makes it clear that that this is something of importance something of value.
Bill : Hmm, no, it totally makes sense. So kind of going and just finishing up on this topic going along your lines of sort of wordsmithing and getting that correct. What are your thoughts about jargon and technical terms?
David : Depends on the audience. And, and so so how technical is your audience or not like if you’re dealing with salespeople, having the abbreviation ROI makes a lot of sense to deal with marketing folks then then saying that this is designed for the CMO instead of spelling out Chief Marketing Officer it makes a lot of sense. But then I was talking to a doctor the other day and mentioned my work as a CMO. And she said well, that’s that, to me just always means chief medical officer Yeah. And so, except it so so even if you’re dealing with say marketers at a hospital, having some of that clarity in terms of what you’re referring to, like just trying to get in the other person’s shoes. Really important. And yeah, like a CTO CIO, get as technical as you want and were being a little too generic and make them think that you don’t understand what your own product does. Let alone what what they do, simply but can also be the seniority or or lack thereof of like a major corporation A is someone who is speak to the roles. I understand best like a chief market officer is not necessarily going to understand the ins and outs of are not necessarily going to get the ins and outs of certain kinds of tactics and certain kinds of media they that someone might cmo might approve what goes on a billboard but they might not have actually bought an out of home ad campaign and so so it depending on if you’re targeting the buyer or the decision maker can also be a big factor in terms of of what kind of jargon you use and how deeper or broad you get there.
Bill : That’s good. It’s all good. And yeah, so in the end, I think what I heard is, be audience centered. So who has it written for and making sure you’re communicating in terms that that they understand and can respond to? So maybe one last topic and actually you use the term ROI return on investment, just a couple of moments ago? So let’s talk about metrics because obviously, you know, there are all these modes and they’re all these ways to create attention and, and to engage prospects. But how do you begin to quantify sort of what’s working and what is and you know, I think online, there are certainly lots of tools for that to metric both the opting in and the conversions. But, you know, in a general sense, what are the other you know, how do we measure some of the other maybe less tangible ways to market?
David : Well, they’re the they’re things you can measure and things that are a little harder to do. So So sales cycle overall becomes really key. Does it actually shorten sales cycle it does it is the order value or order size, it’s that treading the right direction. Those can be really helpful and just looking at things like meetings generated, the quality of the leads, if you’re qualifying them in some way Is it is it leading to the right kinds of at least mid, mid process conversion? Those are really important. Sometimes. The intangibles become really important. I worked for CEO once on the agency side who, who his biggest KPI was when he picked up the phone with a prospect or client or someone else in the industry. And they said that they’ve heard a lot about the agency lately. To him, that was huge. And I didn’t really need to measure anything. Yeah, I I told my team, we’re gonna measure all the stuff that my boss is not telling me to measure. This, I think is important in saying the same thing with if a salesperson saying if this is really helpful to them, it’s just helping them do their jobs better than it might not initially show up in terms of their close rates, even how fast they close a deal. But, if the salesperson is saying that that marketing is helpful, like they’re not going to blow smoke, they’re extremely tough critic often it’s the founder themselves doing sales and in early stage environment, then you’re just going to know is this working for you or not? And then like, Great, yeah. Then they’ll figure out some of the measurement pieces later because Because especially seven where you have when you do have a longer sales cycle, then then it can be really hard, especially when you’re just doing a lot of things like like it’s okay that you don’t measure everything that is that your tools for doing so are imperfect. Like you can get there as you scale. You can invest more in that later on, but just having some sense at the outset of saying, here’s what your goals are. How can you at least try to go and get a sense of if it’s meeting them and then sometimes you could just be like, You know what the the this actually doing a lot but it does, I’m not feeling it in the business so something’s off or it’s or I can’t really tell how much to but this is really it’s just making us come off as a stronger company we have we look better out that we look like we can compete against the major players in our space that are so then you probably want to keep doing that and then and then by some more time to figure out the measurements
Bill : Yeah, no, it’s all good points. The measurement is kind of one of those things, at least my observation has been usually if you don’t know what measurements early, early on are going to be the real drivers in the business. And so having sort of a broad view on measures can be really important and as you go forward, the right sort of metrics sort of come to the surface and one that we for most clients now seems to be a really good and probably the top indicator of success is the number of first appointments created and and that gives us a couple of different views right so number one is we know how many interactions in a trade show it takes to get that that that first appointment cuz we can simply, you know, look at you know, 30 days after a trade show and say how many first appointments were created from you know, this list, and you go, Okay, well, there were five and we met 40 people, you know, we know that you know, it’s a one in eight become become first appointments, and and then it’s pretty simple math from there to know how many first appointments end up converting and you know, the unfortunate and the reason we kind of have gone to first appointments is because our clients typically have a six to 24 month sales cycle and it’s, you know, we don’t want to begin, we don’t want to wait 24 months to know the effectiveness of a trade show. When when it’s really just a formula from you know, sort of first appointments to close we know that a certain number of those first appointments are going to make it to the proposal stage and a certain number of those proposals will end up getting a yes and and so from there, you know, those are just you know, ratios that that we’ll understand over time and be able to become very predictable. And the cool thing is when that becomes predictable and we know that you know this number of first appointments creates this number of sales. We can actually what we’ve been able to do with some clients is set sales targets for given shows. So we can actually back into how many new prospects need to be generated at the booth each day in an event to create that number of appointments that we know is going to create that number of sales. And so you can actually the kind of the cool thing is that you can actually measure your success on the show floor each day and actually give each individual sort of a target number of prospects that they’re responsible to, to generate. And so it’s a really it’s using the metrics in that way. Is really kind of helped empower the booth team to be more productive and also to know when they’re successful to know when they’ve kind of done a good job versus that sort of, hey, I got a big stack of cards, which is the normal as opposed to you know, really focusing on high quality prospects and and, you know, in looking at that prospect generation, as an integral part of you sort of accomplishing a certain sales outcome.
David : Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And it’s a very useful metric.
Bill : Yeah. And I think, I think unless at least what we found is you have to have the patience with it to to, you know, let it you know, sort of mature over a couple of quarters, maybe even a year, so that you get all of the sort of the parts of that system in place, and you can, you know, we’ve actually even used the so if you look at let’s say, a company does, you know, say 10 trade shows in a year or whatever the number is measuring the success of each trade show and so that you you know, you know, the number of first appointments generated by event and you know, the costs both the heart and the soft costs, the the time and or the, the dollars and the time, but the ability to be able to then rank those shows and we we’ve actually made it a practice now to go to the bottom five of the 10 producers to go to the bottom five and say, hey, you know, we’d like your audience, we’d like your show. Can you help us get this? We want to do your show again next year, but we can’t do it. If you’re in the bottom five, though, how do we get your show to be more productive? You know, it’s not, it’s two functions, right? It’s either going to be lowering the cost or improving the visibility in that event. And so you know, that’s might be booth location, it might be additional things that they can add in or it might be a reduction of costume or a combination that so that the metrics can be it seems like they can be used in a very informative way to better partner with your media, you know, with all your media sources or your mode, the various mode sources to also optimize the modes you’re using, but I don’t know if you’ve had experience with that or you’ve seen other applications of that.
David : I mean, I get what you’re saying spot on so it Yeah, and that’s not a dad that but yeah, I think it’s a really smart direction.
Bill : It Yeah, it’s interesting to see but yeah, sometimes the Yeah, obviously, all the companies that are coming into the US, you know, sort of, you know, traction and most are venture backed so they need to have a pathway to scale. So having that you know, sort of greater predictability. So we can almost look at it like, you know, when they’re entering it’s maybe like a, you know, between where they are and that first customer is sort of a very circuitous serpentine dirt path, and it’s, you know, there are a lot of mistakes made along the way there are a lot of wrong turns. And sort of by the end of that first you know, six or 12 months, that we need to know enough that it’s a straight one lane paved road, you know, so we can repeat the sales process and generate additional sales and then sort of after that, you know, that phase two is how do we how do we make this you know, multi lane and ideally, the Autobahn so that there are, you know, 6, 10, 12 lanes, so we’ve scaled can scale sideways, the number of salespeople swallowing the same process down the same road. And so that, or maybe it’s multiple locations within the US, but then that you can scale and expand that so so that not everybody is discovering their and pioneering the process to create customers but but they’re more following a process and, but it seems like metrics can add a lot to be able to sort of optimize and and sort of prove and disprove the various hypotheses around kind of what what works if that makes sense. But this is a date I gotta say, this has been really fantastic. I you know, you gave somebody great insights or they’re, you know, when you when you look at, you know, the b2b companies that are our most successful in entering the US market, are there two or three things that kind of come to mind that they absolutely do that separates them apart from the companies that maybe don’t do quite as well?
David : So, so much better, it goes back to that balance, it’s being able to, to pay attention to solve in some solving some immediate need and and also focus on what what’s that long term goal that they’re also shooting for and where they want to be and what that like that even just how they’re that they’ll, the competitive landscape will will shift over time. The idea of just being so clear in that there’s that there’s that phrase that comes up more from the venture capital side that that where it can’t just be, it can’t just be better. than what’s out there. Like, you know, if you’re coming in as a, as an upstart, you have to be 10 times better than what’s out there. And so, so whatever that means, exactly. And clearly, it’s not like every new startup improve something by 1,000%. But having some of that coming in, I say like, I even a bit of that swagger behind it and said, This is what you do better than anyone else. And and here’s how and just making sure that you as as people like say on on Twitter a lot these days, you should you bring receipts, you know, you you show it show some of the proof of that statement, then that, that goes a really long way and it’s amazing to see how much success there is on the b2b front these days and addressing both a lot of pain points on the enterprise side, but you also have people who never millions of people who never planned to be in business for themselves and now need access to all the tools and services to be able to do so. So yeah, I’ve spent more on my business over the past year than I ever have. And I know I’m not alone in that case, so it’s a I so I really appreciate when and it’s been a mix of services and technologies. So I really appreciate when there are folks that are solving real problems out there. I’ve got more pain points and I can list so and I know that that’s true at every level and so it’s only going to be more true as some more that that optimism comes back as people get together again as people are just just just really hungry to also support people that they like working with and see to each other’s success. And so I think that there’s that, that there that that as we come out of this hibernation that there’s a lot of opportunity to seize if you’ve got something real to offer.
Bill : Brilliant now. That’s fantastic. So we’re gonna close up before we do. I certainly will share your contact info in the description below. But is there a favorite way for people to communicate with you?
David : Yeah, well, most channels I’m on Deeper Definitely like Linked, it’s easy. Anyone who’s interested in the community side and learn from other marketers to whatever extent that’s actually in your title today. I like having a mix of people. So whether that’s true or not, but serialmarketers.net and and that’s it yeah to add if you just even mentions context that there’s a join now for free button like you just mentioned that you heard about on this show that great like all the better so I can make sure to fast track that and it’s and it’s just good to know who you know who’s influencing your decisions out there. So I know that Billy referred some tremendous people, by the way, and I’m such a big fan of the community and network you’ve built so I know people who are tuning into you are just precisely people I like dealing with.
Bill : That’s very kind David. So it’s just fantastic to spend some time with you today and really appreciate all the wisdom you shared. But thank you so much for doing that.
David : Thank you really appreciate you going to be for this and having me here.
Bill : Great stuff. So to our audience, make sure that you like this podcast, like this video, and please subscribe as well. So you keep up to date on what we’re doing and, as always, keep working hard and keep slaying the dragons. So thank you all for paying attention and your attention today.