583: How B2B Marketers Can Think Like B2C Marketers w/ Adam Kleinberg

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Adam Kleinberg, Co-Founder & CEO at Traction.

Before we get into today's interview, I want to tell you about another podcast that I think you're really going to love. It's called the marketing book podcast and it was named by Linkedin as one of ten podcasts that will make you a better marketer. It's hosted by my friend Douglas Burdette, who we've had on the podcast in the past, and Douglas does weekly interviews with authors of best selling marketing and sales books. According to an adobe survey of marketers, seventy six percent of them said that marketing has changed more in the last two years than in the previous fifty. So when you subscribe to this podcast, the marketing book podcast, you're going to be able to keep up with the quickly changing landscape of modern marketing and sales. One thing that is unique about this that I think is really interesting, is that Douglas reads every single book before every interview and you can tell that in the engagement that he is able to have with each of the authors that he interviews. You can just tell he knows this content because he's read the entire book, hasn't just read the cliff notes. So he has done over a hundred interviews. I think they're at one episode and thirty four right now. By the time you're hearing this, they might be at a hundred and thirty five, but I want you to head over. You're already in the PODCAST APP. Head over in search for the marketing book podcast. Gets subscribed, download a few episodes. You can check out the website at marketing book podcastcom. You can follow them on twitter at marketing book, but I really, really really want you to subscribe to this podcast. This is one that I get a ton of value from and I think you will as well. You're listening to the B tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. What 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. Welcome back to the baby growth show. We are here today...

...with Adam Kleinberg. He is the CO founder and CEO of traction. Adam, how you doing today, man, great, great, thanks for having me so Adam. We're going to be talking about why B tob marketers need to think like be Toc marketers. This is something I am very aligned with you on. But before we get into the topic, I'd love for you to explain to our listeners what is traction. What are you guys doing over there? So traction is a digitally focused post service creative agency in San Francisco that's really good at uncovering insights about customers and aligning them to the work that we create for brands, and we do that through branding, advertising content and digital experiences. We were named in two thousand and sixteen by the Business Marketing Association one of the top three small agency these, which they defined is under twenty five million and revenue in the United States. So a lot of parents would be to be as well as consumer. But you know, some of our clients include apple, the MOBO SAP into it Intel. Goal be fair work on with a lot of bb brands. Do the brands that we got the good fortune to help love it all right, Adam so I want to dive into the the meat of what we're going to be talking about today and as we're talking about it offline. One of the first things that you brought up was this idea of talking to people like their people. So as we're as we're thinking about. You know, why bb marketers need to think like BTC marketers? Why is this idea kind of the first thing that pops into your head, that we need to be talking to people like their people? You know, I think when I talked about why traction exists and why we have the approach that we do and why we focus so hard on really uncovering insight about customers, because across the board in advertising today, in marketing,...

...consumers are actively ignoring marketing. They're tuning it out. Not only are they, you know, inundated with messages and across just a whole host of devices, they are actively installing ad blockers, you know, skip ads on TV, you know, switching to streaming options for how they consume television. Yep. So in order to break through, marketers need to think about like creating marketing that people actually want to consume. Yeah, it's as simple as that. Like, if you don't bring it today, people just going to tune you out. Yeah, but we're really focused on creating that. And you know, sometimes that's creating utility or value and so some functional way. Sometimes that's creating content that's engaging entertaining. You know, we had a campaign we developed Robert Half internationals, one of the leading staffing firms, globbally, and their biggest subdivision as account tempts, and they had a campaign they were running. All bought them from account tempts and it was just a radio campaign that they've been running for like fifteen years and they were seeing diminishing returns on and they had tried number of times. It couldn't get any traction from other executions that they tried to do. So they approached us and we did some research. We actually uncovered that people did have an affinity. You know, Bob Buzzing wellknown, but people who knew him loved him. So we're like, okay, let's see what we can do with this and we created a series of videos and billboards and really kind of a great headlines that connected with people that were you know, Bob's payroll reports are better than big on Monday or nobody rocks spreadsheet like Bob Rocks is spreadsheet. We had videos that felt like little mini episodes of the office with people. Yes, I love of telling stories about Bob. Bob was never present in things. They were always someone...

...talking about him, but that entertaining content you could like literally sit through a really compelling two or three minute video online? Yep, but people would do our video. compatient rates were all the charts. Yep. We put that on social media. We saw a seventeen hundred percent lift an equally video. That's incredible. It's funny you mentioned that, Adam, because back in May of this year I interviewed Gary V for a virtual summit that we were doing. So I drove up to Chattanooga from Orlando, got to do an in person interview with them and and I one of the questions I asked. I said, what's the biggest growth opportunity for be to be brands? And he told me, said it's basically creative that makes your ideal buyer laugh. And I as I thought about he said, you know, think about what dollar Shave Club did and if Bob Brands started thinking like that, try thinking about who their buyer is, even though they're not be Toc, but thinking about who that buyer is. If you can make them laugh, if you can engage them with laughter, similar to what it sounds like you guys did with with the Bob Campaign, then they're going to actually want to consume the content and they're going to see your message at the at the end of it or they're going to associate that with your brand. And so I was driving back from that interview and I had I had an idea that night actually thinking about okay, if our audience is b Tob Marketers, that's who we sell our service to. All of our audience there, most of the people that are makeup me to be marketers have at least heard of Gary Vander Chuck. A lot of them love Gary V, and I'm I'm obsessed with gry V, and so I said, what if we did a funny video series that kind of made fun, poked fun at my obsession with Gary V, and so yesterday we actually launched this, this Gary v want to be video series. We released episode one on Linkedin and the responses were phenomenal. At already it's produced I think, three qualified leads for us. One is already we've already...

...got a sales call in the calendar. But it's the first type of marketing that I've done that is along the lines of what you guys did with account tips, and I just think it's so powerful that when you create creative that people actually want to consume. It doesn't feel like a commercial and have that negative connotation. People enjoy consuming it because you spent time in developing creative that your audience actually wants to consume. So I love the story of account tips. So what you guys did there Autam desert? Is there anything else kind of around that idea that that you think is important for the baby marketers listening to this to understand? Let me connect the dots for you on this, because the path to doing that, you know, it's easy to say, you know, you make something that's funny, but in order to really get people to engage, you know, there's you need a formula to be able to do that. Yeah, an ongoing cases, and the formula is to connect the dots between insight. You know, most marketers stop at position of Lenobo is one of our clients. Be To clients do their commercial marketing, is are people buying either servers or laptops by the hundreds or thousands? Right? Yeah, yeah, and you know, when we started working with them we were doing work on the first assignment they gave us was the launch the yoga pro laptop. Okay, and you know, when we did quantitative research with their customers online. We found that, you know, the perception of unique perception of the Nobo in the marketplace was kind of rund it's durability. For this product. It was about flexibility, okay, because it was a laptop that converted into a tablet type of thing. Oh, our positioning statement. It was obviously flexible, surprisingly tough, right. That was the product story that we want to tell. Yep, and most marketers, I think, kind of stop there. And what we did was we also included in this survey, which went ounced, I think, three hundred respondents, some open ended questions, right. So, okay. Well, good responses,...

...and our strategy team uncovered a trend of people, it guys telling war stories about their users. HMM. So we created a campaign called users happen. I like where this is going. We just had, like you know, I t guys telling war stories about, you know, people fumbling, bumbling with their laptops. Yep, and you know, that became the colonel for, you know, two years of ongoing creative that we produced and use that core insight. You know, some of them, of the videos. Kind of the first wave was around this users happen, but then we had, like I fixed it. You're welcome. We actually get a RAPP video it guys singing that. But did everything from you know, users happy in survival guides like PDFs. That, yeah, for lower funnel content that we had like this, really engaging. Got An illustrator, did all these numerous illustrations that kind of have that style of like an airplane, the guides that they put in the back with the exit. Yep, you know, kind of but funny illustrations, kind of bringing to life the strategic points about the product and kind of couple that with, you know, everything from like little. I fixed it. You're welcome. Coffee Monks, HM, that have your on the bottom, you know. So creating an entire sub brand around the campaign. Yeah, around that inside. Yeah, I love it. It allowed, you know, the Novo to increase the engagement Kpis on average by about three hundred percent over their benchmarks. In some instances we had four hundred percent lift over there previous benchmark Kpis for video completion rates. Then translated into a two hundred and fifty percent lift in mqus. Wow, and that's that's what we care about, right. Yeah, I think it's easy to discount...

...kind of the top of funnel, like, you know, the brand awareness pieces like that, because it's easy to say, well, you know, that's where's the Roi. Why should we be investing this heavily? And things that aren't bottom of funnel there that are that are turning into sales. That's what we're that's what we're all after. But unless you understand that, you've got to capture someone's attention and the way to do that is is exactly what you've just laid out. I mean you there's an art to figuring out how do we capture the attention of the exact people that we're trying to capture, and I love these stories that you're sharing. So one other thing that we talked about. Adam, you mentioned this idea of kind of like what makes good creative. Based on what you just said, would you say that kind of the variable to good creative is the insight? I mean there's always the execution, yeah, but I think that the foundation of good creative is the insight. It's making sure that there's something that it's going to be that moment, that it that kind of construct that lives in your prospects brain. You know, it's easier to if there's something that lives in your prospects brain thought and construct an idea, to take that and portray it in a slightly different way and leverage that to communicate your points and it is to build an idea of from scratch. Got It. Are there any things that your team does Adam to as you're working with new clients? Are there things that are helpful for you guys as you're digging into a new account and you're trying to figure out what these insights are? Any best practices or frameworks that you guys do to do that? You know, it really depends on the client and the opportunity. We've done, you know, like I described when research project that was more of an online focus. You know, we look to always have a qualitative aspect to our research so that we can probe and kind of get that free form response. Sometimes we've done things like conflict analysis groups for larger...

...projects, where we actually focus group two groups with different biometrically opposed views on something and then bring them together and watch the sparks fly. To doing things like online service. I think having that is important. I think it's also really important to have stakeholders throughout the organization have a voice in that. Another campaign that we just launched for company called Virtue Stream. You know, one of the executions that ZAC copyline, but I remember us being in a stakeholder interview and the client this the head of sales with the leading sales guys that look, when you know the APPS that they're cloud services company that does enterprise cloud, it's like when the APPS that we run go down plane, airplanes while out of the sky. Oh well, yeah. So we kind of like the creative that kind of brought that to that point to life and like talk about mission critical as a when failures just not an option. Got It. I love it and you know, I think having people throughout the organization, from the CEO, particularly the sales team, because it's so important, you know, just for the long term success and a marketing program for sales and marketing to feel like they're working together and not in silos. Yeah, not not not bumping bumping heads, but but truly aligned. You know, one of the things we've done is an agency internally. That makes us distinct, I think, is how we've kind of structured. We actually have our strategy team reports in to our executive creative director, okay, is unique. In an agency, usually their separate departments. But we've seen, and what many clients of experience is often you'll approve strategy, go off to the creative team didn't really have ownership and creating that strategy and it will not be reflected...

...in the work. So when the creative team has ownership of of what the high level strategy is, they're much more, I guess, the I'd imagine the execution ends up coming out a lot, a lot cleaner. There's one other thing that we talked about offline atom that I love to touch on with you before I let you go. Suff idea that you mentioned something about marketing automation not aligning with consumers. Can you expand on that a little bit? Yeah, you know, I think one of the challenges that market space is thinking too hard about kind of the KPIS that are associated with a marketing automation platform abstractly instead of really asking what do they mean and maybe redefining them or re architecting them. For example, you know, within marketing automation platform you're looking at how do I get something to go from, you know, being a prospect to an mql to a sales league. And when you kind of think that way, that's very brand centric. Yeah, right, and you wind up trying to you know, we've seen is like just drive engagement for engagement safe boost up that score, rather than really think about like, okay, what is the customers journey? Right? Are they have it? They identified a need within their organization? Are they in the research phase? Are they in the comparison phase? And if you think in terms of the customer, you know, then you will, you know, inherently make the right content. Yeah, and you know, I think one of the core things is often you'll have engagement drives to site and then you'll kind of have a lift in your mql's but they won't be converted. So you need to then analyze what is the content on these pages that were missing to get, you know, an Mql to become a sales league. Yeah, and that that question. It's not just about engagement at that point. It's not just up...

...clicking on stuff and, you know, taking the boxes on your marketing automation platform. It's really about thinking about, like, where is this customer in their journey and how do we make sure that we're answering the questions that they have doing an age way at this stage? Yeah, now, I love that, Adam. This has been fantastic. I want to close with one last question that I love asking because it allows our listeners to get to know our guests on another level. So, Adam, what would you say is the legacy that you want to leave? Traction made national news this summer when we introduced policy called days of action where we gave employees two days of paid the per year to participate in democracy however they seek fit interesting, regardless of their political affiliation. We felt that, you know, we were at a point in society where we need to companies, need to really kind of take on this this notion in corporate responsibility to a greater degree, and we round up getting pretty heavily trolled and we were on right Bard Fox News. It was kind of a crazy thing. Wow, that literally dozens of stories about our little agency here, and you know, our mission here is as an agency, is to be a place where the experience getting there is as great as the work itself. I think that really I want us, you know, me and the founders who graded this company all, I believe, want to leave behind a company, but just an agency, but agapany that bills that mission, that delivers great work and delivers a great experience to our team, into our employees, and does it, you know, by breaking the mold and, you know, in some cases, setting an example for others. I love it. I love it, Adam. If there's somebody listening to this, they want to stay connected with you, they want to learn...

...more about traction. What's the best way for them to go about doing both of those things? Our website is at traction codecom, traction CEOCOM, and of course you can contact us there. I'm available on Linkedin and twitter. I'm Adam Kleinberg on both, so pretty easy to find. Love it. Love it awesome, Adam. Will thank you so much for your time today. This has been fantastic and I'm really looking forward to go alive with this. Me Too, look forward to hearing it. If you've been getting valued from this podcast, you can help us reach more people by reviewing the show on itunes. Here's how you can leave a review in less than a minute. Open your podcast APP and tap the search icon in the bottom right corner. Type in fee to be growth, then select our show. Once you're there, tap the reviews tab. And tell us what you think of the show. These reviews help us out of time. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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