627: 10 Things Buyer-Driven Brands Do w/ Chris Schermer

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Chris Schermer, CEO of Schermer.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisschermer/

Are you trying to establish your brandas a thought leader? Start a PODCAST, invite industry experts to be guests onyour show and watch your brand become the prime resource for decision makers inyour industry. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the BEDBgrowth show, podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth.What do you're looking for? Techniques and strategies or tools and resources? You'vecome to the right place. I'm Jonathan Green and I'm James Carberry. Let'sget into the show. Welcome back to the BB growth show. We arehere today with Chris Schermer. He is the president and CEO at Schermer.Chris, how you doing today? I'm great, James. How are youdoing? I am wonderful. To Chris. We're going to be talking about tenways that buyer driven brands create business building results today, but before wedive into those ten things, I'd love for audience to understand why you're theguy to be talking about this. Can you explain what you're in your teamare up to at Schermer? Sure, my agency is just finishing up ourtwenty year in business and so we're celebrating that anniversary. We're located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but we are working with a lot of very large organizations acrossthe globe to help them build better fire driven experiences and on behalf of theirbrands and product us. So we work with companies like three M honeywell,GEATP and Eden to help them a lot of times around innovation and new productsand building new experiences and thinking about building those buyer driven brands. I loveit. So, Chris, like I said, we've got we've got tenspecific things that buyer driven brands do to create results, and so I wantto dive right in because I want to make sure that we get through allof these. Is We were talking offline. You mentioned that. The first oneis they make serving the buyers purpose, the brand's purpose. Can you elaborateon their force of it? Yeah, definitely. You know most we findthat in be tob especially, and the Times are changing, that's forsure, but a lot of the companies, the large companies that we're working with, their legacy and they are they have legacy revenue streams, likeness,legacy business model, sideload business and departmental organizations and so the purpose of theirbrand a lot of times is to perpetuate the organizational structure, the budgeting structureand so on, or to they think revenue first and Growth, growth,first, instead of thinking buy or first. So in our experience most brands areself absorbed when we believe they should be buy or driven. And sowhen an organization makes equipment to being buy or driven, they make a commitmentto supporting the buyers purpose and supporting the mission in the modes of that buyerand also think about the meaning that they make, not just the marketing thatthey do. Okay, so the second one is these buyer driven brands.They support the buyers real modes, not...

...just imaginary journeys. Tarcos about thisone? Yeah, so this is really interesting, James. In Two thousandand sixteen Schermer was a partner in a new initiative called the digital be tobe collaborative, and we started this collaborative with a research and strategy company calledStone Mantle who had run some digital collaboratives before on a consumer side. Wepartner to launch the first ever be to be digital collaborative with Cocacola, fifth, third bank, te connectivity and three M so those were our charter members. We spent a year researching small business buyers, looking at how digital haschanged their expectations and their of and their experiences with large enterprise suppliers. Oneof the things that we found was that the traditional model of thinking about buyour journey and aligning content to that journey connection strategy to it. It's anice planning methodology, but it doesn't actually line up against the actual behavior ofbuyers. Buyers are not always in on a journey. They typically have amission and that mission is divided into modes of behavior and modes of behavior arefurther boiled down into jobs to do, and so we actually found ourselves gettingpretty wrapped up in the complexity of trying to manage an entire buy your journeyand the amount of complexity and and money it took to try to align andour brand to the buyer and every step of the buyer journey. When,through the digital collaborative research and the frameworks that we developed, we discovered thisidea of modes. We've, instead of thinking about supporting the buyer journey,started thinking about supporting the modes that they were in and the jobs that theywere trying to do, regardless of the process for the linear model of thebuyer journey. What we found was we could find much more contextual and relevantplaces to insert the brand to help that person solve the job that they weretrying to do in the mode that they're trying to accomplish. This is reallyinteresting. Chris. Could you explain what some of those modes were, justto give listeners kind of an idea of what this could look like for them? Yeah, so we found probably about fifteen to twenty modes that we feltcomfortable defining, and they are not what I would consider be like, youknow, sexy scientific terms. There was money management mode, there was forecastingmode, there was strategizing mode, there was people management mode, there wassolving mode. But the one thing that was common and there is we evenidentified relaxation mode, training mode, all these different things, because these arethe modes that people find themselves in during their day and within those modes arespecific jobs that they want to accomplish. But the one thing that we foundwas relevant for every mode was that research is a part of a majority ofthose modes. So research in and of itself is not necessarily a mode.Learning might be a mode that you're in.

You want to learn about something andyou'll use research to do it, and so that that lends so muchcredence to today's search driven and content driven marketing methodologies, because if you thinkabout the mode that someone is in a constant state of research about learning,optimizing, growing and so on, we can help them in so many differentways by being contextually relevant and ready with our with buire driven content, tosupport the job and the mode that they're in. Love it. That's that'sa really interesting idea that I haven't heard someone talk about before, so Iappreciate you sharing that. This third one, Chris, that we're going to talkabout is these buire driven brands. They create content that buyers actually want. Talk to us about that. Yeah, so during the digital collaborative, wethe research that we did the small business buyers. We actually had themrank the usefulness of different types of content that and what they reported in whatthe research showed us was that sixty three percent of the bought business buyers rankedindustry trends as helpful content, whereas only twelve percent ranks case studies as helpfulcontent. In the middle of those was consumer trends at fifty one percent rankingof that is helpful, and information about products and services only thirty seven percentranked as helpful content. But what we see bb brands doing all the timeis trying to get people to consume the content about their products and services first, and that's not the content that buyers actually want. They want because theywant to know what's coming at them from an industry standpoint, from a consumerstandpoint, from a competitive standpoint, so they can adjust their business to meetthose challenges head on. And then, if you've helped them understand those challengesof those trends, that welcome your solutions to those opportunities and problems make sense. This fourth one is we want to find an amplify, a common cause. Explain this one to us, chrisp sure. So consumers are always looking, you know, be to be buyers, and customers are always looking for contentthat forms, inspires, entertains or enhances their status. And so wehave, we think the brands have, this unique opportunity to be a conduitto those things that they care about the most, the information, the causesthat they care about. We call these things connective issues. So a lotof times again, brands are just they're in a mindset of I need tosell you something, and we're in the mindset of we're trying to tell yousomething and we also want you to tell us something, and it's about whenyou can find that connective issue, the step above that is a connective causeand that offers the rare opportunity to rally a community in a way that peoplecan can see and celebrate and often times by not just in fluent or interactingwith the brand, but influencing interacting others like them on behalf of your brand. So a good example, we've been working with three on medical for thepast several years and we introduce this this cause related campaign called kindness matters,because they've been trying to sell medical tapes...

...and medical tapes in and of themselvesare interesting to a few people, you know, critical care nurses and andsome other people. But when you look at all of the things that medicaltapes actually conditions that they can worsen or cause on their own through what's calledmedical adhesive related skin injuries, all of a sudden it becomes a hospital issuebecause this is now something that that is causing events where they have to continuecaring for a person or fix the mistake that they made because they use thewrong type of adhesive tape. So kindness matters is an attempt to say thatkindness and care and in the selection of the products that you use actually hasa direct outcome on the care that you deliver and the outcomes that you produce. And so we produce all this content around kindness matters and how it's notonly feels good, but it has a business bottom line as well, andwhat we found was that people were carrying that message forward in their organization toothers as well as externally, because they championed the cause. Are At thisfifth one. That, Chris, open yourself to people talking openly about yourbrand. What's that mean? So everybody knows that that buyers are more likelyto trust and engage unbiased user generator co created content. We which is whywe think that branch should put buyers front and center and marketing efforts. Andso we did work with Toro at too long ago, who was a littleconcerned about purely open social campaign where they were soliciting customer testimonials around their golfcourse products. So golf course maintenance and grounds keeping and they were a littleleary about just going completely open, and understandably so, most brands are.What we did for them was we designed a site experience called the leaderboard,and it's specifically to let golf course superintendence share experiences and opinions on Toro products. And what we found was we were collecting all of these different quotes andwe could use data then to look at what types of products they're using,measure the sentiment of the products are around different types of products and then twoshare those things as within campaigns themselves, and so we this actually has beenone of the most utilized customer or consumer marketing and also sales, because latein the pipeline they're saying, if you don't believe me, leave other peoplejust like you. I love it. This sixth one, Chris, sharethe stage and amplify your audience. I've a feeling I know where you're goingto go with this one, but but take it away from here. Yeah, so, you know, I just believe that buyers, buyers, don'twant just the brand to be the storytellers. In a lot of cases they wantto the brand has to be story shares, because buyers, especially inbe to be are actually the ones are using be to be products to dosomething, to achieve something, to accomplish something might even be embedded in aproduct. So really sometimes the brand doesn't...

...own the story. The buyer does, the customer does, and so we want those people to share the story, but to do so we've got to create a stage for them that wecan shine a spotlight on those stories. So for a client that we workedwith, Gen resound, which is the fourth largest hearing it company in theworld, we created a campaign called moments that matter, and these moments werefor the channel. So for hearing a professionals, you know like it retailstores, like hearing Hopkins hearing or whatever the town is, or or anaudiology professional, they've collected, unconsciously and consciously, all of these different momentswe're hearing mattered to the people in the patients that they see, and sowe want to create something, a campaign that would help them celebrate those speciallife moments that they make possible for their patients. So we created microsite anda social channel and Hashtag that was make moments, and the microsite got overthree hundredzero unique visitors and more than a two twenty eight hundred personal moments submittedto the via via the site and social media in just the course of ayear and a half, and it was just stories about my patients eyes widenedand then started to tear up hearing his new baby boy crying. You know, Hashtag make moments, and so we invited people to share the joy ofhearing in those moments and we got an overwhelming response and saw what had beenkind of a deteriorating brand loyalty metric go through the roof with their channel afterthis campaign. All Right, Christ the seventh one is embraced social as thenew sales platform. Talk to us about this one. Yeah, so atyou know, a lot of bb brands think of well, first off Igot to tell you, James, a couple of years ago I was literallybegging our brands to take chances and make investments in social media. And probablyjust within the last couple of years, be to be clients really started torecognize the channel as as a real way that they could not only engage withbuyers but actually start to influence the sales process. We've been doing a lotof work, not just with brand advocacy and engagement through organic posts, buta ton of demand JEN, as well paid demand Jin. We, asI mentioned, we're working lot with three M we're doing social demand Jin intwenty seven different countries around the world, and the reason why they make,they keep continue to make these investments is because we're correlating direct data in termsof engagement, as well as Click throughs and and sales metrics to our efforts. So number one the mediums themselves, even in some industry trees. Youknow, the mediums of facebook and instagram are really catching on, especially we'rea professional product and a passion career intersect where lifestyle is part of someone's work, so medical field and teaching and those...

...types of industries and fields we're seeingsocial like facebook and instagram really perform well. In others it is twitter linkedin area little bit better. But we are also designing. We've designed someAPPS that are sit within the facebook platform themselves, like, for instance,we did one for Lipman stethoscopes, which is a m brand's number one stethoscopein the world, and we created a holiday gift giving APP where the selectortool for the type of stethoscope, the type of diaphragm and bell type oftubing and color could be selected by the person you wanted to receive the gift. Then they can post a personalized message that said wouldn't I, you know, something like wouldn't I look good in this color, and they could sendthat and post it in their feed for their loved ones to see and justclick through directly to an e commerce experience. So that's where social can take sometake out sales process directly out of the equation. No more sales,no more dealer, and the brand is actually doing socially commerce. All right, this, AL and Christy, Invest Data driven digital platforms. Yeah,so, James. The most obvious is obviously are things like crm systems,and then marketing automation platforms. Those are, you know, the kind of theplatform, so to speak, that sales and marketing organizations are running on. We just helped us bank conduct its first in their wholesale banking group,their first kind of legitimate pilot programmer on content marketing, where we stood upa marketing automation platform for them and we tested the serious decisions methodology utilizing thatplatform. We use digital media and demand gend programmatic to learn about the process, perspective, targets that we were trying to reach. We used all thedifferent touch points and lead scoring and so on to create better content experiences forthem. We use the data that we were collecting on them about their industryand their titles to actually create different landing page versions. On those landing pages, for instance, we had calculators that would help them calculate their savings incorporate payments and we could tailor that and personalize it based on the type ofindustry that we knew they were in, if it was travel or corporate orwhat have you. Another thing that we're doing that's pretty interesting that I'm seeingis to utilize, you know, I'm not trying to give a plug tosales force, but there is a lot of development being done. That usedto be kind of a back end system and now it's very much the frontend of planning, like account based marketing programs. How to bring those tolife, and we're creating we helped honey well launch a product called slate,which is the first of its kind combustion management system for large commercial buildings,and the modular system. It's all it's pretty incredible. What used to bea very complex engineering system is now a very simple modular configuration. But inorder to make this vision come to life,...

...we recommended the to them to createa configuration tool on the back end and electronic tool, whereas before theyhad to work with the sales engineer to configure their combustion systems. And sothis entire product experience now from the lead Gen through the way should say,demand creation, through the demand Gen, the content programs, the microsite,the learning about the product, all the way to registering to become dealer,through the configuration tool. It's all now part of one seamless experience and it'smade possible by thinking about a data different driven platform that can help you deliverthat experience from the beginning to the end. What this platform is allowed us todo is completely streamline that that experience, take out all the friction in theprocess and now people can order their can, their combustion tool and carryno inventory. So it's Adjustin it creates a justin time delivery system. It'sall again because of digital see our M system on the back end that we'reutilizing with permission based and account based permissions all the way through the marketing automationprocess. All Right, this ninth when Chris you talked about making mobile amandatory mindset. Yeah, I think the market is catching up with thinking aboutmobile as mandatory, but it's still is. I mean everybody just has to shaketheir head over how many websites or how many brands are still not mobilefirst. And we do find actually in our research that there are a lotof industries and a lot of professions where desktop is still the primary digital interface. And that might be in an environment where it's an engineer, for instance, and they're working at their computer all day and their mobile is not theirprimary work device. But we also know that the minute that five o'clock hitsor whatever it is, or throughout the day, that mobile device is alsositting next to that desktop and they want to consume content on that, theywant to flip through it, they want to watch more and more video onthat, they want to check newspeeds and news sources. They want to dothat both at work and at home. So even if a brand thanks well, my my user is still primarily using a desktop. We have to alignourselves to their world, which is increasingly mobile, and that is a mindsetand it's a lifestyle and it's now a reality. That makes perfect sense thisten one in the last one we'll talk about today, Chris, is championin your company's commitment to exceptional design. Talk to us about this one beforeI let you go. Yeah, and you know I even more specifically thanexceptional design, which I I we believe in here at Sharmer, but experiencedesign, and I mentioned this at the at the top end of our ofour conversation today, that most be the organizations. They are organized around PNL'sor product lines or legacy, you know,...

...revenue streams or siload departments and organizations, and they're held accountable to those things, but they're also held backby those very same things. And so divisions and departments are often siload withdifferent priorities, which inhibits their collaboration, limits the ability to think, andonce that happens, it limits their ability to act by or driven and sothey start doing what they need to do to cross off their their checklist intheir boxes or to just think exclusively. We have so many clients who thinkexclusively about lead generation at the extense of thinking about, well, how doesthat fit into a buyers experience or my customer experience? So we think thatbranch should be aligning their eternal organization run around the consumer, not around theirfunctions, and every department should be responsible for working together to make the customerexperience the priority. But I also think that marketing, which is historically beenthe voice of customer, needs to be the leader in that effort to championexperience design. All Right, Chris, if somebody's listening to this, theywant to stay connected with you, they want to learn more about your agency, Schermer. What's the best way for them to go about doing both ofthose things? Well, on the web we have a website which is schermerdot CEO, sermer DOTCO, notcom. Our twitter handle is at Schermer UnderscoreCo. Those are probably the best two ways to follow along with us,but people can always feel free to email me to at Chris Dot Schermer atSchermer Dot Co, and that's SC er M er. Wonderful, Chris,thank you so much for trying today. This has been fantastic. I reallyappreciate us. All right, thank you. I appreciate a chance. There arelots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the beaddgrowth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it'sreally hard to engage with our listeners and without engagement it's tough to build agreat community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinnersacross the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda,just great conversations with likeminded people. Will Talk Business, we'll talk family, will talk goals and dreams, will build friendships. So if you'd liketo be a part of a B tob growth dinner in a sitting near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's be to be growth dinnerscom.Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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