The Strategic Marketer
The Strategic Marketer

Episode 25 · 8 months ago

Build relationships at scale - Mike Grinberg : 25


In this episode, Joseph Lewin chats with Mike Grinberg, the CEO of Proofpoint Marketing and co-host of the Master Marketer podcast. Josep h and Mike discuss how marketing helps B2B companies build trusted relationships at scale.

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Welcome to the strategic marketer, where we talk about strategies, tactics in practical steps to help you become a more strategic marketer. I'm your host, Joseph Lewin, and today's conversation is with Mike Grinberg. This conversation is fairly unique because it actually led to me interviewing with Mike's Company, proofpoint marketing, and this week is my first week as a director of demand generation with proof point marketing. Mike and I talk in this conversation about what is bdbe marketing and how do you do it effectively, and essentially it gets down to how do you build relationships at scale? Any references I make in this conversation to my company? I was working at Kiddeinas part solutions at the time. So, without further ado, let's dive in the conversation and learn from Mike about how to build relationships at scale. Mike, Thanks so much for joining me on the show today. Really appreciate you being on. Glad to be here. So what is the goal of marketing? Love the question because I've I've changed the definition for think a number of times at this point as a sort of as my thinking as of Alved as of right now, and it could have holved again, but as of right now I believe that marketing job is to build relationships at scale. I go you know, a lot of people there's I've heard people say like, you know, marketing should be doing sales at scale or things like that, which I can kind of get behind, but I do feel like there is a there is a point where that handoff has to happen. Actually, we were prior to the recording this. We're kind of talking about something similar to that, where at some point you do have to have that one to one sales conversation. I mean at least an enterprise sales and be to be obviously not not all the time they are. If you're sewing thirty online courses, you probably don't need, wonder one salesperson. Where you that? But I think even in that case, you know, I believe that their people buy from people who they know, like and trust, right, we've all heard that, and the way you do that is by building relationships. I guess that's the simplest way I can I can sort of put it. You know, I think this also applies to companies, right, like it's people buy from companies they know, like and trust. There's a reason why. You know, branding is kind of, want to call it a resurgence, necessarily but sort of right. There's there's a period of time where branding and brand advertising was all the rage then in like the early to maybe even like mid twenty, early Swen's, early twenty tens, like it was allba performance, and now we're going to having this resurgence. Aroun will wait a second. Brand matters again. Let's do brand and I think again it's because brands build trust. Yeah, that's excellent, and relationships are built on trust. So if you don't have that trust factor, that no, I can trust factor. It's kind of what separates out the used car salesperson from, you know, somebody at a Mercedes dealership. They're totally different. You're treated differently for the most part. I mean you've, if you've ever going to buy a car at a dealership, you can disagree with me on that, but for the most part the image of the used car sales person, it's that there isn't trust. So you really don't trust anything they're saying. You don't trust that that the car is going to turn out how you want. And that's based on years of experience from working with you know running into that and you know many people running into that. Whereas I said, there's funny are directly in the front of the funny story about, at least on a personal note, about car salesman. The only people, the only person I've bought a car from directly is actually been a family friend. So there's a lot of trust, like I know this guy's not going to screw me over. Like there's like, you know, one of my parents really good friends and that was the Guy I bought my first and second... from. I guess the last car we bout was I suld take that back, and then the car bout recently was all was from a friend of a friend. Right. So again the same thing. Like I'm I generally, I personal least, have never walked on a dealership and gone to the first guy saw and bought a car like that's just never happened because because of that, right. Yeah, I mean and you it's really easy to get screwed over and something like cars. And if you go to, just to kind of finish that analogy, if you go to a Mercedes dealership, there is just a certain level of trust that's built with the Mercedes brand and the fact that you're going to a lot where they've put a lot of investment into building this lot and the brand around that lot. So if they treat you terrible and they sell you a woman, it comes back to them and it roads trust, and so you can kind of see the difference between it's just kind of an interesting illustration to look at the difference between working with somebody that there's automatic distrust versus somebody that there's automatic trust. And, like you're talking about with building marketing at scale, something I've thought about a lot recently working with my sales team, is marketing really does help to build those relationships so that when the salesperson gets on the phone there's already trust built, so the customer doesn't put up there their shield right away and say, all this person is just trying to screw me over and sell me something. Instead, they kind of have this relationship and trust with the brand already that makes that relationship continually naturally even if they haven't talked to the salesperson before. Yeah, for sure, I think there's the love the analogy and then the other thing I'll throw out there is like I think, you know, words matter, and the word relationship a lot of people kind of have this connotation, though. It's like it's your best friend and warm fuzzies and things like that. But you know, I've got a relationship with my plumber right that's still a relationship. It's not like a family relationship, it's not a friend relationship. Could be a business relationship, it could be a professional relationship whatever. So it kind of the way I think about the word relationship is they con a like a you know, two axis. You've got will call like the relationship spectrum. So like somebody was a stranger to you know, trusted source, and then you've got negative positive, and what you're trying to do is move there. The more marketing is job is to do is move that relationship kind of in this upward trajectory from stranger to positive. Ideally it's never negative. Ideally you're never fighting kind of a negative headwind, but you're always trying to move it sort of as positive as possible and from stranger to trusted source. And once you get there, that's where that in my opinion, that's where that handoff happens. Once you're sort of the trusted source to trust a brand sales comes in like their you know, takes over. Yeah, no, that's great and it's kind of interesting. And this kind of goes back to the conversation we were starting before the call and then you just said, hey, maybe we should jump on and because it'll be relevant what we're talking about. But you know, marketing is then building those relationships at scale so you can have individual sales people that understand the product and in be to be especially in the space I'm working in, manufacturing and enterprise software sales to manufacturing companies, it's traditionally been done that way where you have heavy focus on your sales team. Those people know the product, they know the customer. They're rubbing elbows with those people all the time. The challenge is you're limited to the size of your sales team. So on salesperson can only have so many conversations, they can only build that relationship. In a lot of times, one to one relationships you really can build a stronger relationship pretty quickly. You know, even just one conversation could be enough to move the needle if you're having one on one conversation. But you can't really scale that and you're limited, whereas on the marketing side that enables you to take that relationship and you might not be able to build it, depending on how good your marketing is. You might not build it quite as fast as one conversation, but you can have so many more. You know I'm doing are quotes conversations in a sense, at once, and then when those conversations are ready to go to the one...

...on one phase, then you have a smaller sales team that's able to feel those questions. Yeah, for sure. I think the you know, kind of how we were talking about first recording is I think there is the shift happening where, like, the best salespeople are going to be good marketers and I think the best marketers are going to be good salespeople. And so when you think about you know, let's take the example you're talking about on the on the enterprise side, I do think that the best salesperson is going to now know how to build their personal brand, how to create content, whether net new content or use existing stuff to kind of add their opinions on it. Thing you when we don't need to get in the details of social selling at this point. But but they are going to be good at that, not just, you know, the usual thing that most of us see day in and day out of Hey, my name is selling so from such and such company, who work with companies like you. Can I get fifteen minutes every time? NOPE, right now. Thanks, I'm not answered. I'm not responding to the phone call, I'm not responding to that email. Is No way right. It's how do you, as an individual, build a relationship and trust? And you can do that both going one to one and reach in do an outreach, and you can do that by doing by creating your content and going a little bit wider. So like a one too many, or one a few at least in terms of your your personal networks. I think that's where there's this overlap that's happening. Of To be, I think, to continue to be the top sales person, you have to know some, at least a good amount, of this, these marketing concepts and be able to create some content. Yeah, I agree, and I mean we have a few other things that we want to talk about today, but I think this is pretty interesting portion of the conversation because it kind of gets into kind of that that challenge and that balance between marketing and sales that's existed traditionally, but then, like you're talking about, a lot of things went towards attribution and metrics and things you could measure and marketing, which really got marketing much closer to what the sales side would look like, in the metrics being based on similar things. You know, and I agree with that to an extent because I've talked about this before in the show, but I live in Cincinnati. PROCTOR and gambles based out of here. That's all about branding and you know, they have established these long standing brionds, for better for worse, and people trust the PNG brand, and I mean if you don't know what PNG is, look up PG and you'll find out most people have tons of PG products. You know hide and I think Pampers diapers is PNG. You know, these established brands and so their focus has been huge and there's a lot of agencies in the area that focus on building brand. So I've had a push back to that idea because to me I'm like, that's fine if you're a fortune five hundred company, but if you're a smaller company than that or you're not as well established, you can't really measure lift on some of the advertising that they do. You know, they insure there's ways that you kind of can, but TV ads and, you know, banner ads and and so anyway, some of the traditional advertising that that we're used to and they've been around forever and they've just continue to do those, whereas it's it's more like things like social media and social selling and content marketing. I think you could just get way more bang for your buck than some of what these big conglomerates do. I know I'm kind of wandering on this thought that. So to bring it back, the point is I've kind of had a push back to that, but then I also have a pushback on the other side. Where things get so focused on attribution and measurement, do you miss out on what marketing can really do for you, which is establishing trust way before your sales team ever talks to a customer, by educating them, teaching them, entertaining them, getting in front of that audience, making them aware that you exist and even just the fact that they see your logo in the their where that you exist and they know the name of your company. That right there could be the difference between them responding to your salesperson's email or not, or response, responding to cold outreacher not, or downloading an ebook...

...or whatever, whatever method you use for reaching people, way more likely to respond if they know who you are. Yeah, for sure interesting to bring you bring a PG because one of my one of the mentors that taught me a lot was actually he was a brand manager, manage director form of the brands PNG and well and moved on to General Mills, etc. So a lot of the kind of a lot of my opinions and knowledge around branding and sort of been built on some of that. I think the difference there is, like you know the audience size and type of product, right. I mean you're if you're selling if you're the brand manager for tied, you're selling a beast. I have no idea what the dirgent detergent costs. Haven't buy like, don't pay attention. I guess I don't know. Whatever you're selling like a four dollar product, five dollar product, to tens of millions of people, hundreds of millions of people, probably billions actually around the world, as supposed because you're global. So that's a different thing versus if you're a niche be tob company and your total Dressab market is whatever, twenty fivezero companies with maybe ten people within each of those right. I mean your T it's a different ball game. But I think the general concepts, though, still play like in one of the main things you take away from a company like productor and gamble is how deeply they understand their customers. So the story I'll tell you, as I know we're going way on a tangent. But so this guy, and he was a he was an executive, you know, he's running the brand. He would tell me the story about how came up was once a quarter, at least once a year, he would literally go travel around of visiting people's homes and doing laundry with mostly those housewives, and you think, why the hell is this guy first of all? Why is it? Why is he doing it? Why isn't some lower level person doing it? But the point was is like that, that was how deep they wanted to understand their customers. They literally wanted to go and do laundry with them. HMM. So I think that's the critical thing to take away as the concept of like how do you build a brand? That's what you can take away from the proctoring games of the world, rather than it's the you know, td advertising whatever. Yeah, that's not going to be for everybody. So although again, some of that stuff is kind of changing now to with connected TV and how much more granularly some that stuff can be targeted. I mean we've all seen like, you know, gone doing their super bowl commercial and being really successful with it. So there's there's a lot of interesting stuff kind of happening in that intersection, if you will. Yeah, and it's interesting too with I've heard stories from other brands, some from books and some from people I've met in the PNG world, and one of those is is with swifterer sweeper, and they figured that out because of customer research and they found out that there was this market kind of between sweeping and mopping where people wanted something that was going to clean deeper than sweeping but was easier to do than mopping. And it took it sounds like an easy concept, but it took hundreds of hours of studying people in the way. They literally like observed people cleaning their houses and went ha ha, I wonder if there'd be a market for something in between, and they created the swift for sweeper and tested it and you know, it's been a huge market for them, and same with the febreeze products. It's actually an odor eliminator and chemically it eliminates odors. But the people who actually needed to use it, their sense of smell is kind of broken and so they wouldn't actually use the odor eliminator because they're used to the odor and sit and then the people who who wouldn't use it as much, they found they were actually using the product all the time and they would use it after they were done cleaning and it was the smell that made them feel like they had cleaned something and it was that feeling of something that was clean that made them buy for breeze and use it. And so they ended up being able to find the TART, the right target market...

...and the right messaging because of that research. This week's episode of the Strategic Marketer is brought to you by the brand compass course. If you're looking to take your marketing services side hustle to the next level, the brand compass course is for you. In the course you're going to learn how to identify your ideal customers and narrow down to serve a niche market. Then you're going to learn how to productize your offering so that it's easier for customers to understand exactly what you do for them, and then you're going to put all of this information into a one page messaging guide. That way you can use your customers language to speak exactly do their pain points and problems every single time. Check out the show notes for a link to the course. So that kind of moves us into the next question, which is how do you build relationships at skill? So to me there's towards its challenge and educate, and the way you do those things. I think there's there's three, three main concepts. I guess you can look at. You could look at building community. Now I think that's worthwhile. Maybe pausing there for a second again. Definitions are important, right. What is community? I think people have different views and what that is, but if you look at the form of definition, it's there's a couple ways talk at right. It's the people living in the same place. They have something in common, or there's this feeling of fellowship for one rings the reason or another, and then I forget where this come with, it's comes from. But there's like five types of communities, right. There's communities built on interest, so passion in something, right, so think like whatever, I don't know, passionate about crocheting or whatever. You can make a community community about that. There's all. I guess that that's a little bit different. But there's community built their own actions, so like they're trying to change something, right, so that you think of like nonprofits mostly, or any like community action type organizations. Place, so whatever. You can say a neighborhood, yeah, neighborhood, communities, exactly, all this kind of stuff. There's practice, so like activities are profession. That that's the example is given earliers more around that. And then circumstance, right, like some extenuating circumstances. For example, we had a daughter there was born really, really premature. We are now, because of that circumstance, part of the premier community, right, not for any other reason. So those are the five basic ones, if to think about like. Okay, which one of those to follow? Once again, just so we could we can interest, action, place, practice and circumstance. Those okay, perfect, and I didn't make those up. That's from I'm I forget what the sources I can find it for you later. But the question there is then, okay, which kind of community are you right? And again, a business probably falls under the practice but maybe not, like you might actually be building it. It might make sense you to build a community around action, right, some change you are trying to make, whether it might be in business, but it might be like a change. So like, if you think about some mead device manufacturers, for example, sure they could go after like a particular practice, maybe it's surgeons or whatever, but it might also be a change, like you're trying to change the way something happens in healthcare. Hmm, right, and maybe start a nonprofit, maybe if our foundation or something like. Again, there's a lot of different ways to think about community, but I think it's worthwhile thinking about first which one it falls into and then, in that same example, to just to kind of make a practical...

...for what we're talking about today. Before this conversation, we were talking about some marketing people that are trying to change the way that people perceive marketing and kind of shift some of the terms around the marketing space, you know, and so Chris Walker is somebody that comes to mind, and it's kind of a mix between the practice group and then that change oriented group, and people are attracted to Chris Walker, and if you don't know who he is, look I'm up on Linkedin and you'll find them. Yeah, but his group is really around changing the way that marketing is done and the way it's perceived and and the metrics state that you focus on in marketing. And he's built a community around that and I would a hundred percent put what he's doing under action. It's a they're that's not a he's not just simply going out there and doing giving like professional vice or or whatnot. It's yes, it's that, but it's with the purpose of changing how things get done. Yeah, so and then from there, you know, you look at like okay, what, what does that look like? And where do you build one? So, you know, yeah, they could be a slack group, but a community could also be a podcast, it could be, you know, a belief in your point of view, builds a community, right, like community doesn't always think people, I think, in my opinion at least, they mistake community for Oh, lots of people in some software talking each other. Yes, I think at some point it makes sense to get it there, but that's not all the community is. Right, a course or the series of training courses for example, could be the basis of a community certification program could be the basis for a community and one if you had a series of events, could be a serious could be a basis for a community. Yeah, and something that might separate out, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm just going to think it out loud here, though. It's separated community out from an audience. Is that a community? Talk to each other, not just to not just absorbing or communicating back and forth between the brand so, like, I don't even. I mean I think that's the end goal, like you want people to start talking to each other, but it doesn't have to happen in a place that you control. I think that's where is it better? If you can do it that way, like as a two point, oh, let's just say yes, but the reality is, like, take a but US having a conversation about Chris Walker and his ideas on this podcast is building community around I mean if we agree with them, is building community. But even US disagreeing still builds community because the people who agree are going to say, AH, these jokers, you know they're they're wrong, and it builds even more affinity than with that that group so you know the fact that there's conversations that are happening. Yes, wherever they happen kind of starts to build that community, versus the typical idea of marketing, where yet we broadcast out our message and somebody finds out they got our website, sign up and and then go to sales. You know, it's kind of more there's conversations happening. How do we get involved in those conversations and move the needle exactly? Mean it's something that causes conversation. I think is the way to think about it right and again, that conversation can happen anywhere. Doesn't have to be in a place that you control. I think that's maybe the mistake that a lot of people make. Like I was saying, so that that wasn't so. One is build a community. Right too, is you can influence people in the right communities. Right. So you if to identify who they are. Right, so you can search for Hashtags, you can use a tool like spark Toro, you can attend events and find whatever. There's a bunch of different things, right, and then from there it's invite them money your own podcast or into your community. You're trying to build. You can invite them to speak at your event or your Webinar, etc. But it's a like how can you connect with an influence, the people that have influence in the communities that you want to get access to, if you will? And then the third one is participating. Even be like, okay, well, sorry, nothing into too soon.

Maybe you're saying this next, but it's going to say that could also be trying to get invited or having enough clout yourself to be invited to speak within those groups and those communities, which you probably won't. That are exactly what number three other way around. Sorry, it still that's fine, I get it. It's not. This is not rocket science per se. Right, it's and the third one, like you said, is it's participating in the existing communities yourself. Right. So that could be speaking on podcast, speaking at events, just participating in the slack group, you know, etc. Etc. So I think it's in there's sort of and if you think about it backwards, the easiest thing to do is number three. The easiest thing to do is just get involved yourself in a community now and again. There's levels there and it's probably a little bit harder to get out to somebody else's podcast. But you get to that point by participating, how building your brand, having your voice heard. Then you can start getting on other people's podcasts. Then you're probably at a point where you can maybe start influencing other people and getting them on to your show, etc. And Yeah, you know, and one of the hardest part is buildings community conversation is an example. I've seen you posting and engaging with people's content and seeing a couple clips from your show and we've engaged back and forth a few times and then I said, Hey, I love to have you on my show. Yeah, you know, here we are and we're having this conversation and I'll post a clip of this to Linkedin and tag you in it, and then exactly maybe some people from your audience see it and find some value and listen to the show. And that's kind of starting to build those conversations, both joining in too ones that are happening and and then creating those conversations and creating a forum or a place to have those discussions. And that might be as simple as a post on linked in that people engage with and they start having conversations within a context that I've set up. Or you've set up, or whoever's working on building that community group set Yep, yeah, I love that and I think looking at it the backwards, the kind of upside down from the order that you said, it is brilliant and front of the show. Greig Michio. He just posted recently advice for how to get your sales team involved in on Linkedin, and you know he's talking about how can be extremely difficult to get people who aren't creators and maybe not even advisable in a certain sense to get people who aren't creators to be creating content on Linkedin. And you know, I think ultimately there's value in that, but it can take a really long time to get somebody who's not used to being on camera, not used to writing, not used to publishing, to get out there. So he's like, instead of starting that way and instead of just saying here, post, post all of this content from our site, those people can start engaging in conversations that are already happening. So, you know, they could search the hashtags are relevant to your audience or use sales navigator to find people you want to have a relationship with, go to their content and start engaging and not with like fire Emoji, but like write something that's thoughtful on the subject they're writing about, something that you know maybe strokes it ego of the person a little bit, just that they like you and you know they're starting to build some affinity, but then also something that adds to the conversation as relevance and will start that conversation going back and forth. And that's a great way for people who aren't used to creating content on Linkedin to get used to doing it and writing. and that could be on discord, it could be on slack, it could be on read it. You know, anywhere where there's people who are already having the conversation. Getting involved in that conversation is really the best place to start, and then you can kind of learn what people are looking for and go from there. A hundred percent. Yeah, not to I feel like we're going to go on a bunch of Tangents, but the this is also fresh. Remind me where you know we we've recently started doing more linkedin training for for our clients, just because it's it's an important channel for them to to leverage with all the content we developed them, etc. So so that one of the things to think about. Like there's there's two reasons. In my my are two main ones why people don't participate. It's they well, I guess three and they're all kind of related. It's I don't know what to write or create. Yeah, it's I'm afraid of the...

...pushback or the failure. Right, I'm afraid to look like an idiot. The third one is I just don't see I don't have the time, which I translate to I don't have time and too, I don't see in a value in doing this. I could be doing something more valuable with my time. Yes, I think the biggest thing to getting the SIM's and say like a technical organization, to become active is showing them what's in it for them, like what is it that they can get out of being active? It's not about what what's valuable to the company, it's about what's value both to them. It's you know completely, you can get recognition and you can make more money for your Salesperson Wright and again, you can tie again, depending on what your comp structure is. I mean it could be even simple like hey, you give profit charry, and guess what? If this helps US build business, you get more money right. So you can. You can. The money part is easy, but it could also be until you came from you and was generated from from you and your work on your account. But you know, your account up from Linkedin and and then you'll get a spiff on anything that comes from business you generated or you know, any there's all kinds of ways to get eether with that. That's yeah, and I think the money part is nice. I think there's other things you have to go to because some people it's again the that that fear of failure and that kind of fear the unknown, if you will, of I don't know what to do and I don't want to like stupid is oftentimes stronger than that monetary incentive. So you have to change their mindset about what's what's again, what's in it for them? It's more than just that right, and I think you have. The other big part is you have to make it easy for them. So you have to create a as like the marketing teams in those organizations, need to create an engine, a content engine, that makes it easy for these people to not think about, not having to think about all. I'm now a creator. How do I create? It's putting them into put them into situations where they're creating, not byas mosis but just creating and by happenstance whatever. It could be like recording team meetings right and pulling out a clip going hey, he said the smart thing, here's a thirty second clip you could put you can no share, you know whatever, like things like that. Now I totally agree. And actually the folks over at sweet fish media that they do podcasting, they do. They do a great job about sharing what their wins with their linkedin evangelist program and they have somebody that's ghostwriting content for some of their team members. But it's based on engagement from from that person. So if that person's committed and they've done a certain amount, then Yep, the company's going to support them by helping to write and create more content based on their ideas and you know thought. So it feels very authentic and unique to that person because the person, Emily Brady, is the one who's doing that work for them and she's been on the show before. So you can go back and listen to episode if you want to hear about what they're doing specifically. But it's a really cool way to do it too. If you have the resources. Yeah, one other piece and then we'll keep rolling here, because otherwise this episode will be like three hours long and it could be. I don't know if we'll keep people's attention quite that long. I'm not that interesting, so probably. So one other piece of this is also you can interview people on your team internally, just like what we're doing now, and and then structure some really good questions, because people in in certain departments contend to ramble. So if you want that subject matter expert, have a very clear outline and structure for the conversation. Have that conversation, but record that conversation and then you could turn that into all kinds of content, social media content, website content, frequently ask questions from customers. I mean there's a huge host of things. And then that can be the start even one hour long conversation. You could get five to ten social media video clips. You could get, you know, tons of content. You could hook that person up to post twice a week for the next three months off of one conversation. So you know, that's kind of a way way to do that. So what are something that's exactly what we do for like the the podcast that we run for clients. That's that's always our step... is, let's get your simes, the ones that are interested, if you want to go with a small pilot, but like get them in front of the camera, just talk about stuff, right, and you guide it and what none to the topics that you want to cover at such a but it's exactly that. That's always in my mind. It's almost always a phase of one, because it's easy. It's easy to get in front of the camera and top for three minutes about some totally passion and know a lot about. Yeah, and if you structure, I think the most important part is have a good outline structure of questions, yes, so that you can get that person back on track, and then you're golden at that point to really get a lot of value. So tgic marketer is brought to you in part by thrive themes. Thrive themes is a killer visual word press editor. They've also recently launched editable themes, so so you can edit every element of your word press theme. You can create amazing landing pages that are beautiful and conversion focused. They've built all of their products around helping you convert more leads into customers. You can find out more about Thrif theeds by clicking the link in the show notes. So what are some of the metrics that show whether or not you're marketing is building relationships? So there's you know, there's two two things to think about. Like, think about whatever, whatever sport of choice, whether basketball or football, doesn't matter. It's sort of the the box score versus the actual game score. Right, the game score is those are the your lagging indicators, right. Yeah, everyone talks about how do you measure we've that's actually one of the questions we ask on our show is how do you measure marketing success? And the vast majority people say, like you, is some combination of revenue and pipeline. That's that's true. That's the end goal, but those are lagging indicators. Like, if that's what you're going to measure, pipeline gets a little bit further up, but even that you're going to be too late often. So you have to look at what's the box score? Right? What are those? What are the leading indicators? Right? So it's things like are the right people engaging? So whatever, let's assume you're running. If you're if you're running ABM, it's are the right people engaging with your content. Now, that's easy if you're running paid media to a certain extent, because you're targeting the right people. So right should be, as long as you've targeted appropriately, it should be only those people that are engaging. But outside of that, like an organic on social, let's just say. And then also there's other things, like who's like people do come to your side at some point? WHO's coming? Is it the right people? Right? So, and then you could use like the you know, the IPD and automizers or whatever, and find out, like is it the accounts that I'm targeting that are then come into my site? And then how are they engaging? What are they looking at? Right? So, you know, on social you can look at comments and like such a traffic pay I mentioned traffic to the site for the right kind of from the right accounts companies. Other leading indicators would be like are the actually consuming the content? Right? So, like everybody kind of this gets this potentially takes us down to rabbit hole of gated versus ungated, but it's, you know, everybody, not everybody, but the common playbook as well. We're going to gate our most valuable content and if they download. That's good. Well, no, if they download O me, all the telling is they downloaded. You have no idea whether they read it. If I have that, ninety percent of these people are didn't read it, they downloaded it, they forgot about it, they moved on, which point it does absolutely nothing for your brand. Right. So it's again, it's comments, it's likes, it's if they come to your side, it could be things like time on site, scrolled depth. You can look at heat maps like but it's understanding of is really the main question. Showing answers. Is your content actually having an impact? Yeah, right on. These people, are they? And the last one at least, this one becomes more difficult and you have to really think through strategy. But, like the when we talk of a building relationships at scale, taking you back a bit is, you know, kind of taking a page of the jobs to be don't jobs to be done, pray were, which is what job do these people need to do?...

Like, it's not about your journey, the journey you want them to take, it's about their journey. Right. So what are their success moustones? How do they what do they need to achieve in their job? And you should be building experiences, usually content based experiences, for those success mouthstones, for their success moustones. Right, and there you could look at, you know, one of your experiences might be a course, let's just say like. So, if the one of the things they need to do is learn whatever, a new concept or a new framework or whatever, a new programming language, whatever. Right, maybe it's a course, and the way you measure whether you're being successful is what's the what's the course completion rate? Right, maybe you tie a certification to it. So again, this is if, if you think, remember this is brings us back to types of communities. Right, you tie maybe you die certification to it, and then it's what percentage of people actually complete the certification? And again, that's not those things are not for everybody. Not Everybody out there is going to build a course and every certification. But those are just examples. I think those become your leading indicators. And then you start tying that to things like, okay, x percent of people complete my course and the people that do are significantly much more likely to close. Will guess what, that's a good thing, right. So you can have start building these correlations to pipeline and revenant. Absolutely, yeah, I indicators. A couple more things that could be on that leading indicator side would be are other people starting conversation is about our company or the our ideas, or people using our ideas, you know, anything along those lines. It's the content that we're publishing creating conversation. Are Other people sharing it? Are they, you know, commenting? Are they? Is there a positive reaction among the audience that we're looking for, and you kind of mentioned that, but I think if you start seeing people have a conversation about your brand on channels that you're you don't focus on, Yep, that's an indication that what you're doing is working. You know, are people mentioning your social media or your podcast or like recently had declin on the podcast. Will probably be just a few episodes before this one. DECLIN will keen, and he said ninety percent, I think, of their customers are starting to say that they've listened and been influenced by the podcast that he hosts. That's a pretty good indication that what you're doing is influencing the market you're trying to reach. And then one other thing would be is it becoming easier for your sales team to reach out to customers or prospects and you know they have a better response rate. And then is the process of the sale becoming easier because there's less resistance from your target audience? And those are things that are can be, depending on the situation, extremely hard to measure. But that's what really good marketing is going to do, is make the sale easier, make your sales team have to answer last questions, you know, spend less time on the upfront edge, different question product. Sometimes it's not less questions, but it's different questions. Yeah, no, that's excellent. And the it just being less adversary you, I guess, in general, and if you start to see a shift in the way that your customers interact, that could be from your marketing and on those efforts. So just to kind of round it out, I know we've touched on some practical things, but what are some practical steps that marketers can use to build relationships with customers? For me, there's a for step process, one which we kind of touched out. I mean not enough is like step one is you got to build your narrative right. It's what is your point of view on your world, not the world of large but like the your little sliver of the world that you're trying to market and sell to. Right, build your narrative because, again, that what you we just talked about, is kind of making the sale easier one somebody buys into whatever your POV is. In general, you are the only game in town, right, there's not really anybody else that's going to completely because it's your Pov. Yeah, from there, it's which...

...we definitely touched on one of our tangents. It's talk to your customers. Right, what are what are they find out? What are their success moustones? Because that's what you should be building your experiences around, building your content route, and you build those experiences and then step forward to me is empower your people. Right, it's get your people build that. The will call the the employee influencer channel. That's the that. That's it for me. Yeah, and just to kind of round out on that, because we we almost got to this point earlier and I want to say something about it, but it made makes more sense here. Another piece that's so important for building that and getting your team to post or to be out there is that leadership buys into it from the company and they're encouraging it because I think that there's this fear from leadership that as people post their own personal content, that they're going to get better opportunities, and the truth is, yes, they will. You're going to have people that are going to get better opportunities than what you can offer and that's a good thing. And if you have the attitude of empowering leaders within your organization and empowering your people to grow their personal brand, you're going to benefit way more from the value these different people in your organization bring with their personal brands attached to you. And the better you get at that, the faster you get people to have an established personal brand, and then you're benefiting your employees big time for the rest of your life. You'll be able to attract better people to come to your company, but you are going to have more people that you've equipped and empowered so much that they get better opportunities and what you could offer them. And so I'm just going to say the fear is real of losing your best people, but if you are actually empowering people correctly, you're going to get way more from all of your employees because you're providing so much to them by releasing them to grow their personal brandy within your organization. No, that's it's interesting bring that up. I think yes, the fear, the fear is the fear is real because it exists. But I think the the reality is is a few, as an organization, are doing the right things. And this gets more in HR stuff, which I know we're not really is in the purpose here, but I think that if you are building the right progressions and things like that for people and you're giving in the right opportunities and you're paying them well and all those things, obviously, and I think you should. Yeah, are you going to lose some of your best people? Yes, but I think those are going to be fewer and far between and the people that do leave have because you've given them the opportunity to be themselves and build their brand and you've given them a great experience internally. They're going to be an evangelist for you. Even if there's somewhere else. I mean I've like, I've got somebody that that left and they were great but it just made sense to move on. They're going to try something completely different. Great, they still interact with all of our content. They're still putting it there. Any time we post a job, they're all over and saying, Hey, you should come work here, this is great, Blah Blah, like I can't, you know, I can't pay for that kind of evangelism. Absolutely. So I think it's yeah, the main point. Your exist, but I think it's a misfounded fear, like it's if you're if that's really your fear, you're doing something else wrong. I guess I was trying to like, I completely agree. And the point is that in the end of the day, if you have that focus of building people up and looking to really so into the people that you have, you know some people are going to leave because they've grown so much they or isn't enough opportunity and your organization for them to continue on. So that will happen at some point, most likely. But at the same time, the benefit that you get from people who love working with you because you empower them, it's going to be way, way more than what you lose in in the few and far people, few and far between, people that end up getting different opportunities and better opportunity. So you know, if you're a marketing leader or a leader and you're listening to this, take the leap. Start Publishing content and power your team to publish content, because... really goes far and building those relationships. So yeah, Mike, what are some ways that people can find out more about you and what you guys do? Linkedin's the best. Best Way. Can find me in linked in and think I'm I believe there might be one other mic Grimmerg out there, so I'm the one that's in Minneapolis. Other than that, yeah, just linked in. I follow our company page, proof play marketing, or this our podcast, which expect that. I'm not sure when this somebody coming out? We are retooling and I think we're going to we're going to be renaming it. So I'M NOT gonna I'M gonna share the new name just yet, but it's going to be different than what it is right now. Awesome. So yeah, yeah, we could put a link to that in the show notes. Just shoot me a link and we'll we'll make sure it gets in there. But yeah, awesome. Thanks so much for coming on. There's a fun conversation and look forward to continuing to have discussions on Linkedin ever go along. This is fun. Thank you for listening to this episode. Don't forget to subscribe to the strategic marketer wherever you listen to you podcast, and if you could do me a personal favor and hit five stars on the rating. You don't have to leave a full review, just hit five stars. It would really help me out. I look forward to seeing you on the next episode of the Strategic Marketer.

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