516: Why Best Practices and Benchmarks are Dangerous w/ Andrea Kayal

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk Andrea Kayal, Chief Marketing Officer at Signpost.

There's a ton of noise out there. So how do you get decision makers to pay attention to your brand?Start a podcast and invite your ideal clients to be guests on your show.Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the BAB growth show,a podcast dedicated to helping be tob executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're lookingfor techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place.I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcomeback to the BB growth show. We are here today with Andrea Kle. She is the CMO at sign post. Andrea, how you doing today?I'm going to James. Are you done? I am wonderful. SoI'm excited to chat with you today. Andrew, we're going to be talkingabout why Best Practices and bench marks are dangerous. Before we get into thetopic, I'd love for you to explain to our listeners a little bit aboutsign post and what you guys are doing...

...over there. Sure sign post isan AI driven crm for local businesses that service their customers. So that wouldbe industries such as SPAS, or education, like cool on, all the wayup to very large businesses like learning, experience. Got It, love it. And and Andrea, we were talking offline. You're sharing a littlebit about your background. Can you can you share a little bit about whatled you to the technology space, kind of what your background was and howyou got to where you are? Sure thing? So, I actually startedmy marketing career on the BC side for very large brands like BMWA, MasterCard. I went back to school and then to get my Mba and andwhile I was there I met a really great bunch of my colleagues and myco work who were very into tack. And so, following that I joinedmy first Tech Company and I've been in BB marketing fir STASS businesses ever since. I love it. I love it,...

...and so, when we were goingback and forth kind of getting the interview set up, this idea ofbest practices and benchmarks being dangerous, it's very top of mine. For you, it's something you're thinking about a lot. Why? Why is this a topicthat you think needs to be talked about? Yeah, I I amvery passionate about this topic in particular because you know, I'm usually asked tojoin businesses and the growth stage that's either between, you know, be isto beat a D rounds and and many times that when I joined an organization, there's a lot of like preconceived notions about, you know, what ourbend mark should be or best practices should be. But really that they cavyatis that they're dangerous because when maybe working from either bench bark perspective or aboutthat's practice, a perspective, needs to be evaluated with like in the confinesof that exact environment, and the benchmark for your or may be much differentfrom like what's working at another business. So yeah, so those are thethings that you wear of. And so...

...when we were talking about this before, you'd mentioned a couple different examples, particularly around benchmarks being different. Canyou share what you know? What are some of these benchmarks that are differentfrom business to business? Yeah, definitely. Yeah. So so that's the dangerway. The benchmarks do differ between businesses. And as an example,sometimes someone will throw out a benchmark conversion funnel for me, either in thesales your marketing side, like Oh, I heard you know x, Yand Z's. You know they're converting their leads, you know their ultimate whenrate top to bottom is, you know, ten percent. Know, when youtake a deeper look into that, you know they have a fremium model. Well, obviously the fremium is going to convert at a higher rate thana model where you collecting money on the first day, and so their benchmarkis absolutely different and frankly, if you try to imper that, you maybe optimizing for things that that force bad behavior. Got It okay, andso so you're you know, conversion rates...

...being one example. You know youryou look at your channel, look at how how you sell. You'd mentionedfremium. Obviously all of these things are going to are going to make animpact. You've done this several times where you've had to go in and reallykind of challenge the bench marks and the best practices that that teams are using. Talk to us a bit about the best practice side of it. Whydo you constantly need to evaluate the best practices that you're using? Totally?Yeah, this is another hot topic. It's, you know, best practiceis age. That's that's along in the short of it, because the youknow, I'll give you a standard example that I hear. You know,every business wants to grow the way as an example, like on a martech side. That the way that help spot grow. And frankly, thosebest practices age mainly because of how they grow. They grew through content andorganic where they they basically paid a lot of people to write a lot ofcontent. So they still invested for growth,...

...it's just how they did that.Now Mar Tech is super noisy, a lot of content is being written. You know, they sort of defind the model. But you know,getting above that now and have limited resources is hard. So a best practiceto grow by con you know, BEA content marketing for one business may notbe the way you should be growing today. Yeah, and so since since you'vedone this a time or two, Andreane, you've gone in to toa team that you were new to and you challenge these best practices in thesebench marks. Just knowing that you know they need to be challenged and thatthey can be dangerous is one thing, but what do we actually do tochange our behavior? Yeah, you know, the first piece of this is istesting with smaller investments to see if you're getting auction in anyone of sortof the growth disciplines, which I believe there are six. You know,their content is obviously one of them. There's digital, there's events, there'sbuzz. You know what you do on...

...the PR side. There's a hostof Aitiaes you can do, but I suggest testing with smaller amounts of cash, not like planning huge initiatives around, you know, one tactic. Andso that's been this is going to sound sort of ironic, but that's beenmy best practice. Say there is no best practice challenge the benchmarks. Youhave to test in your own environment and with small investments. Got It.And when you say testing with smaller investments, could you share some examples of whatthat would look like? Absolutely so, you know, the digital landscape ischanging all the time. You know, I'm a firm believer in input,pull over push but, as I mentioned, like you know. Sowhat I mean by that is how do you get, you know, moreof the inbound without having to do much, too much of the push, thebrand marketing, which is like nobody is searching for this, I'm goingto push my brand at you will convert way less than if somebody's actually inthe buying cycul or searching for it, you know. So you can dothat now very easily on on Linkedin or...

...facebook now, where you know whoyour audience is and that they are likely buy Yas of your technology. Soyou can be super efficient with getting in front of them as a like thismassive campaign that runs just because you know there their industry or their function.You can say, like, this person definitely needs to get it. I'mgoing to upload this list into one of these platforms. Please serve my adto them. So so you can be super efficient with the spend. Nowyou don't have to, you know, invest tons of cash and even onthe PPC side, just that reasonable expectations and like Sudn hypothesies about what youexpect. You can do that with reasonable amounts of money. And as faras you know, like you're stepping in. You're obviously the CMO. You knowcurrently Andrea, and so you're you're at a high level in the organization. I would imagine there's there's a bit of I mean the change management sideof it. How do you, I guess, the softer side of cominginto a team and not damaging relationships by...

...basically telling people they're stupid for forlooking at these bench marks or or using these best practices? What would bethe advice that you would have to to a marketing leader maybe stepping into anew team that needs to they need to kind of handle this situation with care. Yeah, I mean it's definitely difficult to navigate. I think the firstthing is to make sure that you know the marketing leaders aligned with the Kpisto the business and that you you know you sort of have a handshakee.With Your partner on the sales side and with the CEO in terms of thegrowth you want to achieve. When you talk to your team about that,you can fanalyze like how things are currently working within that system and if you'renot meeting the objectives, that's really the opportunity to test more things with smalleramounts of for cash and then, together as a team, you can sayokay, well, we had this lever on, it's just not working aseffectively as this one that we're going to test. So I think once youyea. So the summary of that is make sure you align on Kpis,get your team aligned around that and then...

...show them the data you know betweenwhat's working and what's not. Everything is data driven out. There's no realanecdotal like feedback you're giving to each other anymore. So so I think thatwould be the best foot forward. So, Andrew, you're obviously you talk aboutthis, this topic a lot. Is there anything else around this ideaof, you know, the needing to examine best practices and bench marks thatthat you'd want to share before I let you go today? Yeah, sure. I would just say, like the last point of feedback on because Italked to a lot of CEOS in the city where like nervous because they don'tfeel like they're diversifying their their investments enough on like on the marketing side atleast. And and you know my comments and them is like listen, justdouble down where it's working. Don't just spin up a direct mail channel becauseyou're like, well, the benchmark or best practice in this company was directmail. Like look, you can working. Just keep the money where the moneyis. And so that's why I that's why I note that they're dangerous. It's because, you know, like...

...it could lead to that behavior andyou can miss opportunities within something that's working for you just because you're nervous.You're going to, you know, Miss Something. So but I think thatwould be the last piece of advice. I love it, Andrew, ifthere's somebody listening to this and they want to stay connected with you or theywant to learn more about sign post. What's the best way for them togo about doing both of those things? Sure. So, if you wantto stay connected with me, I'm on twitter Andrea M Kale, and isn'tMary, and if you want to stay connected with me the assigned post,you can simply go to the site. I see every lead that comes in, believe me, or anybody that's contacting us. I know about so,but thanks for having me, James. I appreciate it. No problem.Maybe. Thank you so much for your time. This has been fantastic.I really appreciate it. Thanks. To ensure that you never miss an episodeof the B to be growth show, subscribe to the show in Itunes oryour favorite podcast player. This guarantees that every episode will get delivered directly toyour device. If you'd like to connect with B tob executives from all overthe world, make sure to join our...

...private facebook community. There are someincredible conversations happening inside this group. To Join, Visit Bob Growth Showcom FB. Thank you so much for listening. Until next done.

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