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 brand as a thought leader? Start a PODCAST, invite industry experts to be guests on your show and watch your brand become the prime resource for decision makers in your industry. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the BEDB growth 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'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 BB growth show. We are here today with Chris Schermer. He is the president and CEO at Schermer. Chris, how you doing today? I'm great, James. How are you doing? I am wonderful. To Chris. We're going to be talking about ten ways that buyer driven brands create business building results today, but before we dive into those ten things, I'd love for audience to understand why you're the guy to be talking about this. Can you explain what you're in your team are up to at Schermer? Sure, my agency is just finishing up our twenty 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 across the globe to help them build better fire driven experiences and on behalf of their brands 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 products and building new experiences and thinking about building those buyer driven brands. I love it. So, Chris, like I said, we've got we've got ten specific things that buyer driven brands do to create results, and so I want to dive right in because I want to make sure that we get through all of these. Is We were talking offline. You mentioned that. The first one is they make serving the buyers purpose, the brand's purpose. Can you elaborate on their force of it? Yeah, definitely. You know most we find that in be tob especially, and the Times are changing, that's for sure, 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 their brand a lot of times is to perpetuate the organizational structure, the budgeting structure and so on, or to they think revenue first and Growth, growth, first, instead of thinking buy or first. So in our experience most brands are self absorbed when we believe they should be buy or driven. And so when an organization makes equipment to being buy or driven, they make a commitment to supporting the buyers purpose and supporting the mission in the modes of that buyer and also think about the meaning that they make, not just the marketing that they do. Okay, so the second one is these buyer driven brands. They support the buyers real modes, not...

...just imaginary journeys. Tarcos about this one? Yeah, so this is really interesting, James. In Two thousand and sixteen Schermer was a partner in a new initiative called the digital be to be collaborative, and we started this collaborative with a research and strategy company called Stone Mantle who had run some digital collaboratives before on a consumer side. We partner 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 has changed their expectations and their of and their experiences with large enterprise suppliers. One of the things that we found was that the traditional model of thinking about buy our journey and aligning content to that journey connection strategy to it. It's a nice planning methodology, but it doesn't actually line up against the actual behavior of buyers. Buyers are not always in on a journey. They typically have a mission and that mission is divided into modes of behavior and modes of behavior are further boiled down into jobs to do, and so we actually found ourselves getting pretty wrapped up in the complexity of trying to manage an entire buy your journey and the amount of complexity and and money it took to try to align and our 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 this idea 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 they were trying to do, regardless of the process for the linear model of the buyer journey. What we found was we could find much more contextual and relevant places to insert the brand to help that person solve the job that they were trying to do in the mode that they're trying to accomplish. This is really interesting. Chris. Could you explain what some of those modes were, just to 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 felt comfortable defining, and they are not what I would consider be like, you know, sexy scientific terms. There was money management mode, there was forecasting mode, there was strategizing mode, there was people management mode, there was solving mode. But the one thing that was common and there is we even identified relaxation mode, training mode, all these different things, because these are the modes that people find themselves in during their day and within those modes are specific jobs that they want to accomplish. But the one thing that we found was relevant for every mode was that research is a part of a majority of those 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 and you'll use research to do it, and so that that lends so much credence to today's search driven and content driven marketing methodologies, because if you think about 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 different ways by being contextually relevant and ready with our with buire driven content, to support the job and the mode that they're in. Love it. That's that's a really interesting idea that I haven't heard someone talk about before, so I appreciate you sharing that. This third one, Chris, that we're going to talk about is these buire driven brands. They create content that buyers actually want. Talk to us about that. Yeah, so during the digital collaborative, we the research that we did the small business buyers. We actually had them rank the usefulness of different types of content that and what they reported in what the research showed us was that sixty three percent of the bought business buyers ranked industry trends as helpful content, whereas only twelve percent ranks case studies as helpful content. In the middle of those was consumer trends at fifty one percent ranking of that is helpful, and information about products and services only thirty seven percent ranked as helpful content. But what we see bb brands doing all the time is 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 they want to know what's coming at them from an industry standpoint, from a consumer standpoint, from a competitive standpoint, so they can adjust their business to meet those challenges head on. And then, if you've helped them understand those challenges of 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 content that forms, inspires, entertains or enhances their status. And so we have, we think the brands have, this unique opportunity to be a conduit to those things that they care about the most, the information, the causes that they care about. We call these things connective issues. So a lot of times again, brands are just they're in a mindset of I need to sell you something, and we're in the mindset of we're trying to tell you something and we also want you to tell us something, and it's about when you can find that connective issue, the step above that is a connective cause and that offers the rare opportunity to rally a community in a way that people can can see and celebrate and often times by not just in fluent or interacting with 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 the past 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 themselves are interesting to a few people, you know, critical care nurses and and some other people. But when you look at all of the things that medical tapes actually conditions that they can worsen or cause on their own through what's called medical adhesive related skin injuries, all of a sudden it becomes a hospital issue because this is now something that that is causing events where they have to continue caring for a person or fix the mistake that they made because they use the wrong type of adhesive tape. So kindness matters is an attempt to say that kindness and care and in the selection of the products that you use actually has a 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 not only feels good, but it has a business bottom line as well, and what we found was that people were carrying that message forward in their organization to others as well as externally, because they championed the cause. Are At this fifth one. That, Chris, open yourself to people talking openly about your brand. What's that mean? So everybody knows that that buyers are more likely to trust and engage unbiased user generator co created content. We which is why we think that branch should put buyers front and center and marketing efforts. And so we did work with Toro at too long ago, who was a little concerned about purely open social campaign where they were soliciting customer testimonials around their golf course products. So golf course maintenance and grounds keeping and they were a little leary 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 and we 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 two share those things as within campaigns themselves, and so we this actually has been one of the most utilized customer or consumer marketing and also sales, because late in the pipeline they're saying, if you don't believe me, leave other people just like you. I love it. This sixth one, Chris, share the stage and amplify your audience. I've a feeling I know where you're going to go with this one, but but take it away from here. Yeah, so, you know, I just believe that buyers, buyers, don't want just the brand to be the storytellers. In a lot of cases they want to the brand has to be story shares, because buyers, especially in be to be are actually the ones are using be to be products to do something, to achieve something, to accomplish something might even be embedded in a product. 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 we can shine a spotlight on those stories. So for a client that we worked with, Gen resound, which is the fourth largest hearing it company in the world, we created a campaign called moments that matter, and these moments were for the channel. So for hearing a professionals, you know like it retail stores, like hearing Hopkins hearing or whatever the town is, or or an audiology professional, they've collected, unconsciously and consciously, all of these different moments we're hearing mattered to the people in the patients that they see, and so we want to create something, a campaign that would help them celebrate those special life moments that they make possible for their patients. So we created microsite and a social channel and Hashtag that was make moments, and the microsite got over three hundredzero unique visitors and more than a two twenty eight hundred personal moments submitted to the via via the site and social media in just the course of a year and a half, and it was just stories about my patients eyes widened and 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 of hearing in those moments and we got an overwhelming response and saw what had been kind of a deteriorating brand loyalty metric go through the roof with their channel after this campaign. All Right, Christ the seventh one is embraced social as the new sales platform. Talk to us about this one. Yeah, so at you know, a lot of bb brands think of well, first off I got to tell you, James, a couple of years ago I was literally begging our brands to take chances and make investments in social media. And probably just within the last couple of years, be to be clients really started to recognize the channel as as a real way that they could not only engage with buyers but actually start to influence the sales process. We've been doing a lot of work, not just with brand advocacy and engagement through organic posts, but a ton of demand JEN, as well paid demand Jin. We, as I mentioned, we're working lot with three M we're doing social demand Jin in twenty 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 terms of engagement, as well as Click throughs and and sales metrics to our efforts. So number one the mediums themselves, even in some industry trees. You know, the mediums of facebook and instagram are really catching on, especially we're a 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 seeing social like facebook and instagram really perform well. In others it is twitter linkedin are a little bit better. But we are also designing. We've designed some APPS 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 stethoscope in the world, and we created a holiday gift giving APP where the selector tool for the type of stethoscope, the type of diaphragm and bell type of tubing 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 send that and post it in their feed for their loved ones to see and just click through directly to an e commerce experience. So that's where social can take some take 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 the platform, 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 up a marketing automation platform for them and we tested the serious decisions methodology utilizing that platform. We use digital media and demand gend programmatic to learn about the process, perspective, targets that we were trying to reach. We used all the different touch points and lead scoring and so on to create better content experiences for them. We use the data that we were collecting on them about their industry and 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 in corporate payments and we could tailor that and personalize it based on the type of industry that we knew they were in, if it was travel or corporate or what have you. Another thing that we're doing that's pretty interesting that I'm seeing is to utilize, you know, I'm not trying to give a plug to sales force, but there is a lot of development being done. That used to be kind of a back end system and now it's very much the front end of planning, like account based marketing programs. How to bring those to life, 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 be a very complex engineering system is now a very simple modular configuration. But in order to make this vision come to life,...

...we recommended the to them to create a configuration tool on the back end and electronic tool, whereas before they had to work with the sales engineer to configure their combustion systems. And so this 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's made possible by thinking about a data different driven platform that can help you deliver that experience from the beginning to the end. What this platform is allowed us to do is completely streamline that that experience, take out all the friction in the process and now people can order their can, their combustion tool and carry no inventory. So it's Adjustin it creates a justin time delivery system. It's all again because of digital see our M system on the back end that we're utilizing with permission based and account based permissions all the way through the marketing automation process. All Right, this ninth when Chris you talked about making mobile a mandatory mindset. Yeah, I think the market is catching up with thinking about mobile as mandatory, but it's still is. I mean everybody just has to shake their head over how many websites or how many brands are still not mobile first. And we do find actually in our research that there are a lot of 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 their primary work device. But we also know that the minute that five o'clock hits or whatever it is, or throughout the day, that mobile device is also sitting next to that desktop and they want to consume content on that, they want to flip through it, they want to watch more and more video on that, they want to check newspeeds and news sources. They want to do that 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 align ourselves to their world, which is increasingly mobile, and that is a mindset and it's a lifestyle and it's now a reality. That makes perfect sense this ten one in the last one we'll talk about today, Chris, is champion in your company's commitment to exceptional design. Talk to us about this one before I let you go. Yeah, and you know I even more specifically than exceptional design, which I I we believe in here at Sharmer, but experience design, and I mentioned this at the at the top end of our of our conversation today, that most be the organizations. They are organized around PNL's or 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 back by those very same things. And so divisions and departments are often siload with different priorities, which inhibits their collaboration, limits the ability to think, and once that happens, it limits their ability to act by or driven and so they start doing what they need to do to cross off their their checklist in their boxes or to just think exclusively. We have so many clients who think exclusively about lead generation at the extense of thinking about, well, how does that fit into a buyers experience or my customer experience? So we think that branch should be aligning their eternal organization run around the consumer, not around their functions, and every department should be responsible for working together to make the customer experience the priority. But I also think that marketing, which is historically been the voice of customer, needs to be the leader in that effort to champion experience design. All Right, Chris, if somebody's listening to this, they want 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 of those things? Well, on the web we have a website which is schermer dot CEO, sermer DOTCO, notcom. Our twitter handle is at Schermer Underscore Co. 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 at Schermer Dot Co, and that's SC er M er. Wonderful, Chris, thank you so much for trying today. This has been fantastic. I really appreciate us. All right, thank you. I appreciate a chance. There are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the beadd growth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across 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 like to 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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