B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast
B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast

Episode 1770 · 2 months ago

B2B > B2C | The Journey

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

James and Dan provide a behind-the-scenes look into what's working and what we're trying here at Sweet Fish and B2B Growth. Today's discussion is around defining your why and identifying your villain.

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Conversations from the front lines of marketing. This is B two B growth. Welcome back to be to be growth. My name is James Carberry, I'm the founder of Sweet Fish Media and I'm joined today by Dan Sanchez, our director of audience growth, and we are always playing around with different series on B two B growth. We have started a series called the echo chamber that we're really excited about, where we just kind of riff and and throw our two cents on what B Two b marketers are talking about on the Internet. That's been a really fun series and we decided that we wanted to start another series where Dan, myself, Emily Benji, basically where our marketing team talks about the work that we're doing to really invest in B two B growth as a media property. You're seeing everybody in their mother talk about you've got to become a media company, a media company, a media company. Obviously Gary v led the charge with this type of thinking. Now you've got folks like Dave Gearhart that are really bringing this home for B Two b marketers and we are massive advocates of this strategy. I think when you have the attention, you have the leverage, and so we want to document that journey. So you're gonna start seeing at least for the next, you know, few weeks. We don't know how long we're gonna do this. We hope you're getting value from these journey episodes. But you're gonna see in the headline, just like with the Echo Chamber, you're gonna see a title, these headlines with whatever the title of the show is, and then you'll see the journey on the back end of it. So be on the lookout. But today I've got Dan on and we're gonna be talking about the why, the portion of our journey where we are really refocusing on B Two b. So Dan, take it from here. Tell us what, uh, yeah, why do we decide to go all in, especially on on a show that we've had for years where B two B is very predominant in the cover art? Give us a little bit of back story about what we were talking about. A podcast movement sitting by the pool going man, what we need to go all in? Ma'am, I think every marketer that's been in the game for a while has had these points of frustration where you're like wait, what are we even talking about? Like what are we focusing on. Why do people even want to listen to us? You go around in circles talking about the different points of view, the different angles you could take, and and then you're like wait, why do people even want to why? Why? Like five, five wise deep Simon snic origin stories, and you just kind of like get lost in this MINUTA and it becomes very Meta very fast. And if you're a marketer, I'm sure you're not on your head because, like, we've all been in these conversations even as we as we've been trying to talk through taglines and like, you know, why would somebody want to listen? TO BE TO BE GROWTH? I mean this crap is hard. It is hard, but the brands that do it well and really tap into something visceral...

...are the morning bruise of the world, they're the hustles of the world, they're the modern day media companies that truly have captivated a massive audience, and so I think getting this stuff right is big and we had a big Ah while we were in Dallas a few weeks ago. Yep, but I even just coming back to the point of this series of episodes and hopefully it becomes an ongoing thing. I mean, we even question like do people even want to hear like behind the scenes, at least our last episodes? Anytime we do behind the scenes episode it goes relatively well because people want to know what's going on. The host becomes an important part of the story. So here we are, like some of the hosts of the show and wanting to share what's actually going on, and we're sharing everything on these journey episodes as it's happening. Like everything we're sharing over the next couple of weeks has happened in the last week or two and we'll share ongoing because wouldn't it be cool if, like, you could unpack some of the stories of how they happened? You know, a lot of stories are hold in retrospect, but what if we had a documented journey of how we actually got to the place we were? You know, it would be cool to unpack some of the biggest brands today of like and have like the conversations on tape to be like, how do they decide to nuance it that way? It was really interesting. Who came up with that? Well, we're hoping to put some of that on recording for people to hear in journey with us, because unpacking these things. Like James says, it's really hard. So we're hoping to make some good content out of sharing some of our insights along the ways we try to refocus BTB growth and kind of build a bit of a narrative around it, right because you know, if you're on linkedin you're probably learning about the strategic narrative to like all of us. So it's like in all these words like strategic narrative and category creation and creating demand and all these things floating around our heads and we're trying to piece them all together like this weird puzzle and the puzzle pieces don't all quite fit super nice. That's how I feel sometimes. But here we are, we're gonna be talking about it and the way we've decided to focus BBB growth is just on B two B. I think we were sitting around like a hotel room or by the pool or something. It's like, what if we just become unapologetically about B two B, because you know, it seems like B Two b gets kind of a bad rap, and it's not even the BBC marketers, it's usually the B Two b marketers like saying Oh woe is me. We're not as cool as B two C. Yeah, the more I reflected on that it kind of hit me. Like, you know, honestly, when I was in B two C, I was looking up to be two be as doing some of the cool stuff, because they were all into the tech and the marketing automation and marketing ops before it was called that, and the way they were doing targeted ads and data driven decision making and like all this kind of stuff and cool drip sequences. And I was pulling my playbook from Silicon Valley, like the B two B SAS space like in ten to twelve. That's where I was getting my inspiration. So I was looking up to be two B and now I'm like, I think we need to make b two be cool again because honestly, it is for a lot of it. Yeah, I don't know that it's ever...

...been cool in the past. So making me to be cool again. It might not be the right phrase there, but cool to me. I was talking to Ben Bradberry from work week while we were in Dallas and he was telling me that. I think he told me that B two B as a category is not that old. I think it was actually designed in first designed in the nineties. And when he told me that, I was like, that's really interesting because I've never seen anybody talk about who created the category of B Two b. But when you think about it, of course it's a category. But it might have been late eighties, but I'm pretty sure he said it was the nineties, that whoever built that is is probably sipping my ties on an island somewhere. They, you know, clearly did a brilliant job of designing that category, because they are now. They either did or they didn't, right, because we don't know who did it, but everybody uses that term. B Two B is a is a term that now is is used across the board, but nobody owns it. The person that started it is either rode off into the sunset or there you know, they had an acquisition and they know they no longer have the need to like way that banner. And so we thought we can come in and own that. And and when we think about the category that we've already built in B two B podcasting, that I've been building since when we first pivoted into becoming a podcast agency, it worked exceptionally well for us. We've talked about you know, do we try to own the owned media category and as we continue to talk about, like what category do we really want to try to own, when it hit us in Dallas like nobody owns B two B and there's we already have. I mean, when you search B Two B and podcast players, our show POPs up, if not first, one of the very first search results when you search B two B and podcast players. So we're primed too to be the folks that really own it. Now what I want to clarify is, you know, we are still very much for the marketer. So there's a lot of folks in B two B and our content is still going to air on the side of trying to attract a marketer, just, you know, in transparency building, you know, trying to build sweet fish our business. We don't need sales reps to necessarily know about sweet fish as much as we need B Two b marketers to know about sweet fish. So our content is still very much going to be heavily geared towards B two B marketers. But the brand of the show, it's some of the elements what are going to make this show exciting and what are going to add soul to this show. is going to be our emphasis on the category of B Two B and Y B. Two b should not be this kind of redheaded step child that gets talked about like it's lesser than no, it's it's actually the superior thing. And, and we're gonna UNPACK WHY, Hashtag B two B is...

...greater than BBC. That's that's kind of like the new model we've been playing with on Linkedin. Seems like it's gotten subtraction. It's been fun. It's funny even. I think a big part of the puzzle that had US refocus on B two B was trying to find the villain. Right, if you're a fan of Donald Miller and the story, like defining the villain is almost like half the battle. The problem with marketing sometimes is you end up in these these situations where you end up defining the villain as your customer or something that your customer does, which is not good. Like you don't want to make your your prospective prospective customers the villain. You don't want to demonize, you don't want to make your customers feel stupid, and that's the problem we ran into. You. Like, Oh, like, like, like, what were some of the villains? We are coming up with like the new shiny like don't, don't change shiny objects, right, because they're distracted all the time. But we're like, oh, we're making them sound like they're distracted, which they are. They've self reported to us. Focuses their number one greatest struggle. But I don't want to have distraction, like so we demonize the thing, like like what was it? Was it all state who demonized? Um, chaos? Chaos reigns, like the dude. Yeah, right, in the commercials, because you never know where I'm coming. Chaos reigins, you know. Do we want to demonize distractions? So these are the like kind of conversations you have, and it just occurred to me. It's like, well, what if we just make B two see the villain, right? And maybe it's not like a villain, like it's US versus them, but it would be kind of like it seems like B Two b tries to beat up on itself a lot. Like what if we just put B two C on a Pinata and take some swings at it? I remember, I mean we were we were in the hotel room and I can't remember if I came up with it or you came up with it. But it was what if B two C was the villain? And it just clicked and, oh my gosh, like none of our clients are B Two c. We exclusively work with with B two B clients. And could we piss off some people at at massive brands? Well, if we're pissing off people at massive brands, that means we've we've done what we wanted to do with with our media property. We've we've grown it to the size that people at big BBC brands would actually be offended at. You know, our take on how B Two B is better than B two C. and so there was just a moment in the hotel room where it Oh man, yeah, that's gonna be our rallying cry. That's gonna be the thing that, you know, we consistently come back to. That's going to be the thing that we, you know, potentially build taglines around or teach. You know, have have merched around little things about how B two B is better, or we just like we make B Two b the thing and we can stylize it in in ways that are fun and play with it with with merch and product and I think there are a lot of people that deeply resonate with being in B two B, and nobody at Thanksgiving really knows, at least in my you know the thanksgivings I go to B Two b. What what is that? But if you know, you know it's an insider thing and everybody wants to belong to something where they're part of a crowd, they're part of a group,...

...right. So I'm like, like, if we can make B two b like like hat and t shirt worthy, where all you have is the acronym B two be on a hat and that's all you need, right, then that's that's the thing. I'm like we like, let's make it a thing, even though it's a silly little acrony and like losing the number in place of the word two has always been kind of silly in my mind. But I'm like, let's make it awesome. I like the reframing it against B two, C two, because it just makes it easier to make the fun social content. Like I gave you the illustrations of the Pinata, but I'm like, Damn, like how easy it is. It's go buy a two dollar or five dollar Pinata from the dollar store and just put the words B two, C on it. And like just take a gift of me, like swinging at it, and then out pops like a bunch of really boring B Two c items, you know, that nobody cares about. You know, like B two C, like there's a lot of sexy items, like everybody thinks of like a Porsche and like fun cars and all birds and all these fancy brands. But I'm like, Dude, B two C is just full of things. Like I remember working at a Shopper Marketing Agency and we were like fabreeze would have been a hot deal. I'm like, for freaking for breeze? I don't know, I don't want to create a creative in cap on Walmart for for breeze. I'm like, but that would have been a big job. That would have been cool, and I'm like, uh, that's B two C. so, but I think when other people think of B two s they're they're thinking about the sexy stuff. They're thinking about the brands that everybody loves and you know, Tesla and and all of these like really sexy consumer brands. They're not necessarily thinking about the item at the bottom of the grocery store like you talk about, you know, the item at the on the bottom shelf at Walmart. Like that's also B two C and that's actually the majority of B two C, but nobody wants to talk about that. Now you're seeing brands like dollar shave club get acquired for I think, if it wasn't a billion, it was close to a billion dollars a few years ago. I think Gillette bought them, and so you're seeing those, like kind of more commodity items being taken through the D two C direct to consumer like go to market motion, and those brands are are really fun. They're, you know, figuring out how to market a razor, like the most boring product ever, but they went to market in a fun way. And so that's not to say that other, you know, other things in B twoc can't be marketed better, but we can do the same thing and B two B. and I think when you look at the complexities of B Two B and how B Two B is like what we've been saying, like it's like sitting at the adult table when you look at having to manage multiple stakeholders in a deal and and managing a pipeline that is in the tens of millions of dollars. The weight that comes with the deals that you're working and responsible for as a B Two b marketer, like your impact on the business as a B two B marketer as opposed to a B two C marketer, your per deal impact is crazy, and the creativity that you can...

...inject into doing things like a b m and doing things that are hyper targeted towards the you know that Sally Works at IBM and that this product would be great for IBM and that IBM could spend seven, maybe eight figures on on your solution. Like let's get outside the box with how we try to reach Sally at IBM, and I love the creativity that can be had in B two B that I think we're just going to be waiving the flag on for the next, hopefully several years. And I can't over emphasize enough the power of finding a villain. Is Brings so much clarity. It's hard. It's hard to find the right villain because it's hard to even define what category you're going to try to go after or become known in. Like we played around with becoming known as owned media, because podcastings owned media, you know. So we're like, but do we really want to demonize paid media, considering that we need to use paid media to grow owned media. It's hard. So we're coming up. We were team and stuff on Linkedin, kind of like, oh, stop, stop begging and paying to be on other people's platforms, build your own, which is still kind of true and we still agree with that. But at the same time I didn't want to make it the villain. I didn't want to demonize all the paid marketers, knowing that we were gonna have to run some serious paid media at the same time in order to get there. So I'm like, it feels weird. It takes some time to rustle with and we've been wrestling with this for well over a year and it's finally become clear that B two B is the thing we want to we want to own, we want to celebrate, we want to make B two B marketers feel like they're part of a tribe, like we're all in it together. We're all business nerds that just love talking business. That's my one of my favorite things about it. Business is my hobby and I love work, like Work Force Fund to me. I love getting on podcasts and just talking about you know, how to villainize BBCs was a great time. Um, I love talking about profit margins and how to make Grand Slam offers, how to talk to customers and get insights from them like this is this is a good time. So we want to attract those kinds of people. We're hoping that the that you listening to the show are the kind of people that like to nerd out over business stuff, especially, of course, business marketing, because that's what this show is about and that's what we're about. But that's the kind of brand we want to create. Is Like nerds and people that really are nerd out over B two B marketing all and all its goodness and occasionally just take some chief shots of B two C just for that. And what was interesting is we're talking through this in Dallas. You know, you often talk about your BBC experience being in Higher Ed and how you were trying to attract, you know, students into the school, so very much a b two s motion and how in outlandish Lee challenging that was and how much respite you have found. And B two B because, like, I actually know who I'm marketing to now. I don't have to spray and pray and guess, and my background is actually in B TWOC to my first tech company that I started, a company called wirthday uh was a tool...

...design to help people plan really incredible days for for their loved ones, and that was a B twoc product. I think I spent like twenty grand on a credit card trying to figure out how to get this product to market. We had it built, found a developer built it. On the day that the site went live, my developer got a full time job had to bail. I tried finding folks in India to keep the product going. I just couldn't do it. But that's what got me into marketing, was trying to figure out how to market this B two C technology product. But it ended up, you know, we were charging like ten dollars one time to use the product. I knew nothing about business. I didn't. I probably couldn't have even told you the difference between B Two B and B two c back then, but it was very much a B twoc product and I graduated up to be two B and that's you know, now we've got sweet fish, you know, two timing, five thousand company and I credit all the time when I'm talking to new our entrepreneurs, they're asking me about like how we've done it. I'm like a massive part of it was figuring out that B two B was the way to go, and so I've been advocating for B to be for a long time and so this it just clicked because it's your story, it's my story, and we know this story. Story is powerful and it's what resonates with people, and so I'm super excited that we've got that, we've got locked in. We really you and I are super aligned on this Um and I think I think there's gonna be a lot of folks that are going to be attracted to it. I feel like we need to make a ritual, like when somebody graduates out of B two C and too B two B, you know, and just like find people every time we see someone on like linkedin talking about changing jobs to a B two B situation, like we have a ritual we go through of like congratulations, you've graduated, welcome to the ranks, and B two B, Yes, well done. Start creating rituals like that. Send him like a cap, like the graduation cap. I don't know something, there's something there. We need to start finding rituals for it, because there's probably they're probably all in there. But the graduation and like the coming to the adults table, like where to B Two c marketers that have that have come over to the adult table now to do you some real stuff and see superior marketing is certainly easier, more profitable and can be just as fun as B two C. It's easier in some ways and it's more complex and in other ways, but to me it's more fun because, uh, it's less lift for more impact. And that's not to say that that if you're in B two B that you're lazy. You want less lift, but you have more tools and resources at your disposal because you actually know who you're selling to. You know their names, you know their job titles, you know the companies they're at like. You know the specifics of who you're going after and when you when you know who someone is, the game gets really fun. So that's kind of wrapping it up for this week. On the beginning of this series in the journey how we're...

...refocusing it on B two B, in the back story of why we're focusing on B two B and now we're excited about it. In the next episode of the journey we want to tease the mission. What we're thinking is going to be the mission of B two B growth and this whole B Two b category that we're going to be passionately celebrating. So stay tuned for that next episode. We've got our villain. We talked in depth about our quote unquote, villain. I'm really excited, Dan, to to get into the mission and again, it was one of those things that, because a lot of the work that we've done with sweet fish, ended up bleeding into and making the mission a whole lot easier than than it was to define the villain. But I'm I'm excited next week to talk about that. If you like this episode and you want to make sure that we continue to do more episodes of the journey on B two B growth, make sure we reach out to Dan or myself on Linkedin. James Carberry, C A R B A R Y, Dan Sanchez on Linkedin, shoot us at D M or just send us a connection request with a personalized message it. It just says hey, listen to the episode. You should definitely keep doing them. That is our fuel for really letting US know if this content is resonating with you, the listener. So we are really, really excited about this particular series and we hope to talk to you soon.

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