741: How to Approach Marketing Services vs Marketing Products w/ Brendan Kavaney

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Brendan Kavaney, Global Head of Field Marketing at Mindtree.

Click here to connect with this guest on LinkedIn.

Wouldn't it be nice to have several fault leaders in your industry know and Love Your brand? Start a podcast, invite your industries thought leaders to be guests on your show and start reaping the benefits of having a network full of industry influencers? Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to be tob growth, a daily podcast for B TOB leaders. We've interviewed names you've probably heard before, like Gary Vander truck and Simon Senek, but you've probably never heard from the majority of our guests. That's because the bulk of our interviews aren't with professional speakers and authors. Most of our guests are in the trenches leading sales and marketing teams. They're implementing strategy, they're experimenting with tactics, they're building the fastest growing be tob companies in the world. My name is James Carberry. I'm the founder of sweet fish media, a podcast agency for BB brands, and I'm also one of the cohosts of this show. When we're not interviewing sales and marketing leaders, you'll hear stories from behind the scenes of our own business. Will share the ups and downs of our journey as we attempt to take over the world. Just kidding. Well, maybe let's get into the show. Welcome back to the B tob growth show. We're here today with Brendan Caviny, Global Head of field marketing at mine tree. Brendan, how are you doing today? Man, thanks, Logan. I'm doing pretty good. It's a warm day in California. Good to hear. It's usually a warm day in California right. Well, Brendon, I'm really excited to jump into this topic today of marketing services versus marketing products, and I think that you have some some tactical lessons that you've learned. That's going to be good for our audience. But before we do that, I'd love for you to just share a little bit of framework and let the listeners know today what you and the team at mine tree are up to these days. Yeah, sure, so, myne tree is nearly a billion dollar company, so we're hoping to get there really, really soon. We do it services and...

...digital consulting work, so large, large services contracts and the projects that we do for large customers all over the world, and my team in particular we do all the market facing demand generation, sales enablements, branding events, you know the kind of stuff. If you would ever see ad from mine tree or you see a booth that mine tree or if you're working one of our customers are prospects and you see a presentation from mine tree, that would be the kind of thing that my team would be running and trying to do every day. Gotcha well and it sounds like you know the market that you serve. You've got some firsthand experience on this idea of how your marketing looks different when you are marketing services versus a product, or even a narrower product, I. Service. So let's jump right in. I think the first thing we wanted to cover here, Brendon, was defining services marketing. So I think you had a great analogy that helped kind of set the framework for this conversation of marketing services versus products. If you can tell us a little bit about that. Yeah, I think I think it's pretty important logan to just understand you know your own business. There's some pretty obvious indicators, like if you were to come to a company like mine tree or, you know some other companies are industry where you have say, a sales sales to marketing ratio headcount ratio where there's a lot more sales people for marketing person, you have fewer deals in terms of transactions, but they're much, much larger. So deals can be from a million dollars to a hundred million dollars and you'll see that across our entire industry. Now when that's happening, you know that some large, complicated contract must be written with the with the clients and prospects for whatever kind of service are going to provide. So you know and how you're...

...going to market. That is going to be pretty interesting because when you think about marketing in a product company. So there's a lot of Bob companies right who are still selling products or they're mating services, but it's a prepack packaged well articulated. So when you have some well articulated it's a lot easier to market it, honestly, and I shouldn't easier, but it's different, different, like I think you brought up the analogy of you know, if you have a you have a salon and all you do is buzz cuts, how you bring that to market is way different than when you have a salon that caters to a wider audience. Right, yeah, exactly. So. So you imagine the the buzz cuts barber shop, you know, down the down the road, the kind of like my dad went to do one kind of haircut in that sit so if you're a marketer and you're like, you know what, I'm going to promote this and I'm going to get as many people in as I can, you're going to start hitting on this. You know, we're always consistent. It's speed, it's fast near to get this higgh volume of people. Now compare that to someone who's you know, oh I do hair cut, you know, I do hair designs for the stars and Hollywood and I do all this and you come in and we're going to work together, we're going to figure out exactly what you want. So every single person that goes and gets a hair cut out of there is going to have a different haircut cater to exactly what they want. The way you're going to market that is going to be different. You're going to be talking about, you know, some validating that that person, that stylist, you know for their successes and who do they work with and what have they done in the past, and here's some examples, and that's much more like the services marketing world that I live in. You know, finding consultants that we say they write logs and this guy's really great and this this woman has done this amazing data project and you know, hopefully you know, you read her and know her, clicked in the ad and got a white haper by her, and then all sudden someone's calling you to have a meeting and it's that person and they google and they search that person and there they are all over the mine tree website. So that's the kind of stuff like we're trying to do and...

I think that analogy like helps sort of understand the spectrum of just services marketing itself. Right. And the point that you made to me, is we were chatting about this little bit offline, was that you know, the broader your services go, the less kind of prepackage the product or service is, the harder it is to scale. So you're going to take a different approach with that broader spectrum of services and offerings then if you had a narrower approach. Right, yeah, that's that's that's right, because when you think about scale, just generally our operational scale, I would think in marketing you scale what's common. I mean there's a lot of excitement around machine learning and AI and but you're still sort of scaling what's Common Rights and you're scaling processes that you know work pretty well. And the more customized you're offering. You know, if you just have essentially a spectrum with customized on one end and common on the other end, your it's harder to scale the things that are customized is now. That doesn't mean there aren't aspects of the marketing process you can scale. So, for example, if you really you know, you really as a as a marketing team. We've had to do this and I've known in my career you have to understand and and accept sort of the nature of your business. So the reason I say accept this because part of our business is sales enablement and doing a lot of stuff that may not be the most exciting for marketers all the time. Right, like make up, for sure, or can you design the booth? I mean no offense because I know these designers of course will love doing that, but right, so, but you need to do those things now. In our business that's like a huge volume of the requests are like that and that just doesn't change. They're always there. They always come. And so when you design the team and design how you're going to enable your sales team, in addition to the other things you do, demanden and everything else, you need to, you know,...

...keep in mind how are you going to be as efficient as possible and delivering and honoring those requests. So in those spaces you do see a lot of scale if you sort of structure the team properly, and and you can. You can help a lot because a lot of our business once, once a lead comes in and we have new kind of a good direction going with the lead it, you know, our job as marketing team becomes very sales enablement focus. How do we help that sales team nurture and kind of, you know, bring that lead along so that the sort of handoff is never totally clean. It just sort of changes, you know. So it's a hundred percent marketing and that kind of you know, trickles down to just ten percent, but you're still sort of helping the teams as you go along, and that makes sense. You know, if you're dealing with broader, more complex, more well less common or repeatable deals than your sales team likely has longer sales cycles. So being ready for that sales enablement roll continually through those deals are probably something that you've got to be ready for as a marketing team when you're in this services marketing role. Right. So, yeah, the deal cycle is are interesting. To make a point of Logan, because that to me feels like a really strong indicator of what is sales enablement versus kind of marketing let or or marketing nurtured lead. So the deals tend to snowball a little bit in our industry. So you would have, you know, mark a market, we would run a marketing campaign. Deal would come in and maybe it's it's a very specific thing around a particular technology and then, as the conversations continue with that clients, our prospect if they would add more services or maybe it would become a bigger deal, to scope of the deal would become bigger, bigger, and that would happen. The nature of the marketing would change, right, and that's where you live in the world of you can't really scale that part. You have to be a little more responsive,...

...you know, more helpful, more focused on enablements, you know, all the way until the end and closure of the right right. Yeah, so I think those are all great points. Thinking about you know, knowing your business, realizing the roles that you're going to need to play and how those are gonna kind of ebb and flow. As you're you're running a marketing team that's focused on services. This next point you brought up was about the idea of thinking about your target list is almost entirely static and you've had conversations with folks that you work with and had to adjust your mindset here. So tell us a little bit more about that, about how you how you target differently with a broader services type of offering that you're marketing with your team. Brennan. Yeah, so this this fits a little bit with the knowing your business aspects of just being a good marketer or service of marketing, or the true for all marketing. Of course we need to know our targets, but when I think about the spectrum of services to either services complex to less complex services, or services to products or whatever, you know, we tend to know who our customer is and not know what we're going to sell to them, or cut prospect is and not know what they're we're going to sell to them, whereas most companies would be in a position where they know what they're going to sell them what they do really, really well, and then they then they go find people who they think will be interested in buying that product. Right at the whole system of agencies, the whole ecosystem is much more geared towards the ladder because it's it's kind of easier because you can sort of plug in. Yeah, that we do this in our product is this thing and that thing, and you know, we run ads and these types of people click on the ad and all these things where it's for us what we really want. And then this is where, you know, our type of advertising you would see like digital advertising or sort of outbound marketing. It tends to be, you know, PR thought, leadership articles, white papers, videos,...

...and you don't kind of grabbing onto industry trends because we know, you know, there's a certain size company that would be a sweet spot for us to get a deal right, and if and if companies aren't at that size, it's like unlikely that we would turn that turn that prospect into a customer just for the sheer scale. They don't have the scale to engage in the size of contract. We need to make our business viable and that's normal. It's I mean normal in the sense of us and competitors. But what that means in terms of targeting is there there's a number of companies that we can target. So it's take the top two thousand companies in the world by size. Okay, so that's the target list. Then within those companies there's three or four departments that we're going to hit in those companies and we know roughly who the buying group in that department is. So then you have three departments per company. So that's two thousand. That's six thousand, and then you have five per company, you know. So our five department. It's going to put those the thirtyzero people. Now, if you you know people who are listening or marketers who do a lot of digital advertising, you you go and you say thirtyzero target list. I mean that people, you think it's a possible list. Now, years ago we didn't even I mean no one really cared. No, like advertising partner pay digital media's like you know. Okay, well, how are you going to make this work? Now? Amazingly, I mean with the prices and the targeting. We can go to Linkedin or even facebook and target at that rate. But but really what it comes down to is that a set for the just getting everybody on the same page, and by this I mean not just your internal marketing teams but also your a partners. I usually tell them that, you know, for your thinking and your mindset, just assume our list is static, assume that the target list is static. Because I make that assumption, you're going to be...

...able to build better campaigns, because most will go on with the assumption of Hey, we're sort of fishing around, find this I deal profile and then we're going to do a ton of look like analysis to you know, repeat rents and a million times over, and that's how we build our audience. Yeah, and you actually had an example where that that worked against you. That that typical approach, right with with the download of a white paper and some look alikes, right. Yeah, so, yeah, that's a there's a really good example we have that really happened, where there were some students and they were doing research and they were downloading our papers, which is fine. I mean we don't discriminates. Everybody can great our papers. Were happy to have you to Filip form and download of paper, but this sort of automated algorithmic, you know, lookalike. Analysis, you know, all sudden says hey, you know, this PhD student from whatever university is your ideal prospect for this ad, for this piece of content, and they're all of a sudden were. You know, then, that diverted effort. Money really is chasing those people and that's actually not who we want. We do chase those people, but we chase them to try to hire them and become consultants. But yeah, so it can totally divert you and that's that's where the communication around the targeting list is really important. In fact, we have our own marketers. They take a lot of time to work with the sales teams and account teams to build out really good targeting lists. We Matt we mimic those lists across all channels. We promote and we try stick. We stick to them. You know, we change, of course the experiment, but yeah, we keep it as static as possible. Yeah, I mean it sounds like for all of your efforts, that that thought around your targeting and approaching it the the opposite way of you know, folks that are doing product marketing in a much narrower and niche it. That has to always be at the forefront of your team's mind right, Brendon, to take make sure that...

...that you're staying on point because you've got, you know, a fairly narrow target and you know your buyers. Even when they do move, they're probably, you know, going to a similar position in a similar company. So sometimes that sad picklist, even when it does change, it's not growing or shrinking and folks are just moving around, right. Yeah, and that's something that's been pretty interesting. If I think just over my career in this industry, I remember about maybe seven or eight years ago, a while ago, by in my team, our teammates had put together this application for an award and I was I was essentially the copy writer. I'm added to all the work. Everybody did all kinds of great work, but during the submission I was the guy like doing the final editing and kind of writing and I send it to my boss, who's a really good sort of fine tube comb kind of editor, and I really still remember I had written line in there about how see PG so consumer package goes companies are essentially the forefront of marketing because it the origins of marketing really come from them, right, like proctor and gamble and uni, labor all and then here we are and services and we're like like trickling down, you know, to the you know, sort of catching and sort of learning, you know, last since, if you row back and look, you're trying to submit this award, you guys, the team, have done a really good job. And he said, and you're writing this thing in the tone of like you're just like the last in the line to figure out how marketing works. Can and what I found interesting. I changed it. Of course, we didn't win to wars, only you, but I thought about that a lot because, as I've seen, just marketing involved and the industry evolved, especially in Tech. I mean I work in tech, right. Is that the services marketing pains we have about the complexity and then changing all the time and personalization and account base marketing, like that's all we've ever had. We've never had, not had account based marketing. That's it. So it's like cool and it's like great to talk about.

Now you shift to account base marketing, but that's that's a consumer marketing mindset, you know. So for us that's the all we ever had. So, you know, it's come around, but you know, like I mentioned earlier, you know some things like paid digital advertising. I mean we weren't. We couldn't even access it before because it was so brute force and just brought audiences. We had no you know, to add for us to even really get some value. Well, yeah, I think I think that's awesome, Brendan. I I love the ideas that that you're bringing about, you know, services based marketing. You know, so many folks are drawing the line between, you know, the similarities and differences between be tob and B Toc, but I think there are a lot of things, you know, that our audience is going to get from this conversation about, you know, whether you're marketing a narrowed set of products or product, I. Service, or a wide range of services. You know, it starts with knowing Your Business and understanding the role that you're going to play. A lot of that, you know, leading into sales enablement and then also just thinking very strategically about how you approach, you know, your target list and your account based marketing. So, Brendon, I think you brought a lot of good ideas here to our audience today. If folks want to stay connected with you, follow you, get in touch with you, what's the best way for them to go about doing that. Thanks logo. I think finding me on Linkedin is the best way, which will be posted along with this episode. Yep, YEP, we'll put a Lincoln in the show notes there. Definitely. Well, Brendan, thanks for your time, folks. Before we let you go, we want to make sure we do our our normal shout out as we're leading up to the flip my funnel conference. Our friends over at flip my funnel or putting on another great conference this year August eighth in Boston. And if you use the Promo Code that I'm going to drop here in just a second, you'll get fifty percent off, fewer tickets for the price of admission to flip my funnel. So go to flip my phonecom, use the two thousand and eighteen conference link and when you get your tickets use the...

Promo code be to be growth. Just like the show name, the letter be number two, letter be growth, no spaces, no hyphens. Use that and you get fifty percent off your tickets. Look forward to seeing you there. There are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the be tob 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 be 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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