550: Interactive Content: 2 Real-World Examples That Drove Incredible Results w/ Aaron Dun

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Aaron Dun, Sr. VP of Marketing at SnapApp.

Looking for a guaranteed way to createcontent that resonates with your audience? Start a podcast, interview your ideal clientsand let them choose the topic of the interview, because if your ideal clientscare about the topic, there's a good chance the rest of your audience willcare about it too. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening tothe B tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executivesachieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm Jonathan Green and I'm James Carberry. Let's get into the show. All Right, we are here today atthe BB Marketing Forum and I'm chatting with Aaron done. He is the SeniorVice President of marketing at snap APP are and how you doing today? I'mdoing great, James. Thanks for having me. I'm stoked the chat withyou and we're talking offline about something that I am very passionate about, thisidea that we need to start creating a two way conversation with our prospects insteadof of the marketing playbook that you and I would agree is is already dead, and some would say it's still dying because you're still seeing a lot ofbrands use it. But this marketing playbook, that is just one way push yousign up for our white paper or Ebook, and then we're just goingto blast you right with phone calls and emails until you buy my thing,hopefully, and and that's you and I obviously both agree that that that wayof doing things is dead. Talk to us about you know why you thinkit's dead and what the alternative it. Yeah, yeah, yeah, youknow, we've been doing this a long time and be be right. Sowe have this notion of okay, I'm going to put up a white paper, I'm going to put a lead. Get in front of that White Paper. I'm going to ask you for your name, Your Company, name,your company email only, please know personally mails, name of your firstborn childand maybe the title of you know,...

...your your role, and then that'sa lead for sales. Yeah, right, I'm going to hand that over tomy sales see him, and they're going to call and hammer away andemail you, etc. Etc. Until until you, as you said,I want to buy something. So we call that inbound marketing. Yep,right, and that was fine. Right, that worked very well for a longtime and you know in Kudostop spot for really transforming of how we thinkabout it. And you know the guys are the content marketing institute. I'vedone a great job sort of. Yeah, to tell a better story. Yeah, right, and people will engage with you. The problem is isthat everybody jumped on this bandwagon and the amount in the volume of content it'sbeing published has gotten to the point where it's beak basically become a commodity,very, very difficult to differentiate based on your content alone. Yeah, soyou know I'm a I'm a prospect for a company WHO's emailing me and andpushing us as content at me, and then you know that that it's acompetitive set. Right. So there's Cyrus, six other companies who also think I'ma prospect for that same target segment. They're also emailing me and calling meand bombarding me with content. And Oh, by the way, youknow, maybe I'm a prospect for five or six other different services or technologycommunities, and just gets very exponential, right. Yeah, and I alsothink the other thing that's happening here, as we did a lot of researchthat we just published a couple weeks ago and that really focuses in on therise of the monuo generation. Okay, the Mono Generation, which is hasbeen seen as a quote, B Toc Problem, is actually a b Tobproblem, but actually think it's a be to the opportunity. Right. Whatwe saw from our research is that is that the millinia generation thinks very differentlyabout how they want to engage with their with the people they want to dobusiness with, and they're very clearly signaling that there's notion of just accessing awhite paper. The content may be interesting, but there's nothing about accessing that whitepaper that says hey, I'm actually looking to buy a product. Yeah, and they don't want to Tuck the sales. So we've mismatched the opportunityhere. So we think, and we certainly seen a lot of forward thinkingcompanies are take this leap to move away from the leagated white paper as sortof that's the central focal point of the...

...marketing trategy, moving to more creatingthe experiences, two way engaging conversations to create a dialog and digital dialog withprospects then getting them to signal hey, I'm ready to talk to you.It's a shift from a seller centric model, where I'm telling you how you shouldbuy, to a bier center, which is a I'm telling you howI want to buy. We have paid lip services notion of the buyers journeyfor ten years. Yeah, right, no good market. Or would evertell you they oh it's a bierus journey. It's, of course, but thenthey deliver all of their content, all their strategy on their turn bottom. Yeah, doesn't work anymore, it's not going to work anymore and it'stime is now, or it's sort of called arms. Yeah, it's so, how do you? I mean, I feel very strongly. You know, something I say with our team a lot, and this idea of adding, adding value first, and I think the term value is weird because thatmeans different things to different people. And where I think brands are messing upis they think, oh, well, our product is the value and sowe're going to lead with our value by explaining why our product is so.That's right, but it's not perceived that way by the buyer. The buyerjust sees, Oh, you're trying to jam content down my throat so youcan sell me your product right in under the guise of I go. You'resharing how valuable your thing so your competitors right, and so figuring out away to add value to your buyer, completely independent of your product, justto get a seat at the table right, to have a conversation about what itcould look like to use your product and the value that your product brings. But if you're not willing to do that piece first, which especially inB Tob, I mean if you're if your deal sizes are thirty, forty, Fiftyzero, it's worth putting in a little extra effort to create the relationshipby adding value up front independent of your productor service. You mentioned some thingsbefore we hit record that I thought were really interesting around like quizzes and likeinteractive types of content. That's intriguing to me. We're eating our own dogfood, you know, by doing things...

...like we interview people for our PODCAST, we interview people for having to post column like we're engaging right with peoplethat could potentially have US produce a podcast for them by making them look likea rock star in our media. That's one way to do it. Tellme about the like some of the ways that people are leveraging snapapp to dothat with whizzes and these different types of interactive content. Yeah, the firstthing I would say, it's your point about value, is the value equationhas a shifted and the bar is extremely high now. It used to bemust ten years if we produce the ultimate guide and Xyz. Right, thatwas a big thing that we all did, ultimate guy in there ebooks. Nowthey're not white papers and they're very consumable. That was that was thebar for value. Yeah, okay, I have a problem. You've deliveredme the ultimate guy to solve that problem. Okay, cool that. I wantto read that. That doesn't work anymore. Now the value is asa prospect, I want to be able to engage with you to get somethingof value on my trumps. Right, I may in fact down what yourWhite Paper Book and that's fine, but as has no connection in to buyingintent from our research. Buyers are not using white papers early, early intheir buying research process just they're just not right. So we've mismatched. Youknow our strategy there. So the bar for value, for delivering value,is extremely high now and your job as a marketer is to understand your prospectso deeply that you can deliver content and experiences that is going to resonate withthem, right, and you do that in such a way. We talkedabout what is it? Experience look like, and experience creates value for both parties. It's a two way value exchange, such that you're going to give mesome information and in return for that information, I'm going to deliver yousomething of value, and that's something of value is no longer just the whitepaper. All right. So we have quite a few customers who are whoare creating an assessment, and assessments take many different flavors, but an assessmentin his most basic form is you give me a number of variables and Iwill either benchmark how you stack up against...

...a similar co wort or I willgive you some sort of preparedness assessment. Right. So we have a customercalled pay core out of at a Cincinnati which is in the HR space,and the Department of Labor came out with a rule change, a proposed realchange about how companies capitulate over time have a very profound effect on how companiesactually paid their people. Yeah, so they could have just put up awhite paper that said, hey, the ultimate to the coming rule change inthe department labor. Right, okay, they did that actually is very good. It was a very good piece of content. But what they did thatwas even more transformative, as they created an assessment that allowed you to assessthe impact of that Department of Labor will change on your business based on thecontext of your that's right way. And I am now, as the prospect, interacting with Pike or, I am giving pig or valuable insights about mybusiness. Right and when done right, they're able to use those insights todo two things. One, score and nurture better. Yeah, because Iknow you better. Ye, but they can also figure out by asking saleslevel criteria, they can understand who are the best prospects. Right. Thewe spend so much times are scoring ter trying based on activity and fromographic demographic. But most companies that I've ever worked for with and talked to what makesa good prospect for a company and what makes a good prosp for company?Right now it goes a level keeper than that. Like that sales criterias,the sales questions they bedr SDR whoever it is is having that first call ofprospect, they always ask those side as, six, seven, nine questions andthat's the data that you want to get, because that's allows you tofocus on those leads and send those leads to sales. Right now, ifyou don't deliver that content, doesn't matter how engaging in how how experiential thatcontent is, if it isn't going to resonate, if it doesn't hit onthe fears, the pains, the interest the the hopes, the dreams,et Cetera, our prospects, it's a you're no better. Often ablimate mypaper. Yep, and it's really understanding and honestly, it's going to bea lot harder for marketers because the the...

...bar so much high. Yeah,yeah, that to your to your point. I'm a millennial, so I didn'tnecessarily think that. I much why we call the focus slackers, andit's okay, we're good, but I have a I have an extremely highbar of what is what I considered to be valued today, and I lovethe example of the assessment. They built an assessment around a real time thingthat's happening in the industry. Yeah, and hey, come and see howthis is going to affect you. Not just you, one of you know, thousands of people better. You're the number of employees you have, whatpart of the country you're in? Like things are well, but was evenmore interesting along those lines. Is that the old way, like marketing onetoo, for like a better phrase, you would have been like, okay, we have a fifteen four field formed down with the White Paper, orwe're going to get all information. Yep. Okay, well, that doesn't work. We realize we got to shorten our fields, our forms. Sothen we created a progressive profile, right, which is like, okay, everytime you come back to me, I'm going to ask you a differentquestion. Yep. That's really passive and it's requiring you the prospect to comeback over and over and over and again and probably never to actually get allthat materially out. But by delivering something of value and return, they're ableto ask much more personal questions. Yeah, like they've given permission, Yep,to ask those questions, and the companies are doing this really well,or really connecting that data into their marking automation platform, and they're transforming theirscoring in their tree models as a result. and honestly, there's a there's anotherthing that's lingering here, which is, in fact, I believe firmly thatin the future are marketing. Our leads to sales charts are no longergoing to go up into the right. They're actually and go down to theright, because right now we are sending over this undifferentiated mass of leads andasking the sales team to pick through and find the goods. That's at scale, in the kind of scale we have to deliver going forward. You can'tdo that. You can't ten xt what you're doing now and expect ten xtat the bottom. Yeah, like,...

...did, you would have already donea so you have to get a lot smarter and figure how do you textthe best leads to the bottom? Yeah, and when? And when qualification isbaked into the core of the content that you're delivering. Right, you'rekilling right two birds of the eye. Yeah, that and but it hasto be authentic and it has to be done because the prospect is getting value. Otherwise they won't do it. Yet, right. So you're like, well, no one's ever going to go through a nine or twelve question assessmentprocess and filled out. They're not going to do it. Like, well, they will if, if what's at the end of it matters to that'sright. If it doesn't, well then do you have any other examples that? I love the example that you shared earlier. Any other clients that arethey're doing other creative things like that to give just to give some additional ideas? Yeah, yeah, there's well, there's countless. For those of yourlisteners who are actually still the at the the BB forum here in Boston,marketing process actually has a spirit animal assessment. There's are doing in the boot rightnow, which is really funny. But some of the company that wework with part of a BARACUTA networks, which is a large it shop.They created a assessment around they help you protect your data against security reaches andmalware and in all these various strets that are you know, ransomware, thiscome up. So they actually created an assessment that would help you gage yourreadiness to withstand a ransomware attack. They have these very clever characters called thethe data laws Gremlins, or they use those gremlins very creatively and in thein the experience. But you know, in their business it was very itwas its targeted extremely well to a very, very tight set of people. Andthen, and they would. So when you get to the end ofthat experience, it says, Hey, you are whatever X. Yeah,just a rain. I can remembept you from them. But there was likethere was a range of options, like you're like you're screwed to hey,your bulletproof. Got It with some recommendations about what to do. Gotta sothat was my next question is, once they get through that, it's thatinitial experience. They gave over very valuable...

...informations. Are you as the brand, but they also got something extremely valuable and practical, and practical that thatthey want. At that point, I would imagine there's just a matter ofthen integrating it with your marketing automation so that now you're delivering a truly customizedthat I have nurture sequence. That's right, based on the data that's right.Just collect that's right, and you can you can really take the way. You can hold the lead longer. Yeah, we focus on our teamabout getting people to take the next action. Right when someone downloads, and mostmost companies don't do this, but when someone subscribes to your blog,that's not a lead. Yeah, okay, and we don't that. Most companiesdon't treat box abscribers as the lead. You know, people are attend ofWebinarre. Most people treat those as leads. We don't retreat those aspeople just taking another what we call activation action, right, which is givingus license to send them more information that's tied to what they said and withhow they interacted with us. Yeah, with our goal of getting people tokeep taking the next action. Yeah, until they're ready to talk to oursales team. And we have we have four or five things which we callconversion actions. Like you requested. Demo on our website. We have afree product. You engage with the free products. Those are those are signalsto us that you're ready to talk to us and those are the only thingswe send the selves, I think right. So our all little case study here, you know, early days and we're testing this out. Of coursewe're much small company the many of your listeners, but you know, we'redelivered. We delivered at ten of the lead volume last month, same numberof your flat sales outcomes. So we tracking and down the front, youknow. So our conversion rate was five x would on a ten of leadline. Wow, just incredibly efficient. Right. Sales isn't having to pickthrough the you know, the chaft, find the good ones and they justfocus on the good. Yeah, we hold them accountbalt to the good ones. You know, look, we have beat our sales team up to crossall of you to be to follow up on the white paper lead. Justmake the calls, just make the calls, do the cadence and you know it'sa lot of cold calling. Yeah, I was about calls that didn't bound. So they just sort they do it, but they treat all theleads the same, so that some of the requested the demo gets treated thesame as to download a white paper and...

...in no universe of those same.And we train them not to do that. But in a volume environment, that'swhat they're that's how they're measure. You measured on the activity. SoI took all that activity off the table and so here you go, andgave them make it work. Gave them so much context for each qualified lead. That's right, right, because of the assessment that they write that theywent exactly right. So yeah, I can imagine that now you've got amuch more engaged sales person because they've got data that they can actually use tohave an intelligent conversation. Right, as opposed to yet smiling and that.And we told him these are the good leads. Yeah, and we're goingto hold you accountable, like in, these are the gun gary leads,right. Yeah, so these are the leaves that we know are going toconvert because they have told us they're ready to talk to us now. I'mnot asking you to fight through the junk anymore. So it's transformed for them. We've we had a good relationship with sales, but we have even betterrelationship sales now. But it's also freeing from my team. Right, we'renot at even when a huge team, you know, but we're focusing.We change the dynamics of what we focus in on, we change our measurementand step and I haven't fun. I love it. Aaron, if there'ssomebody listening to this, they're they're curious to maybe here more examples or learnmore. How can they connect with you? How can they learn more about snapAPP? Yeah, well, I mean snappcom is definitely the best wayand I would encourage all listeners to check out our blog. We spend aton of time really thinking about issues and topics that will resonate with our withwith our audience. Yea. So we encourage you to sign up for that. We actually published a blog post that is a hundred one interactive content ideas. So we created a list of a hundred one different ideas and then wealso said that list is there. You can search for that for using onour website. And then there's also, as part of that, we createdan idea generator. Okay, I using our products. So you basically canput in a couple of key words and then I'll come back with, hey, here's three, four ideas that you can actually did. I love it. Awesome, Aaron. Well, thank you so much for your time today. Man, this has been incredible, awesome. Thanks, James. Appreciateit. If you've been getting valued from...

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