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

Episode 2100 · 10 months ago

Stop Waiting Until It’s Perfect

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, James Carbary talks with Bill Kircos, the VP of Global Marketing at Honeywell.

Marketing moves fast these days. Don’t let perfection keep you at the back of the pack.

Bill shared a framework for launching a campaign that WORKS:

  • Get it to good enough
  • Test it
  • Then, perfect it

Yeah, welcome back to be to be growth. My name is James Carberry. I'm the founder of Swedish Media and we are joined today by Bill Kirkus. He's the VP of global marketing for Honeywell Bill. I I've been looking forward to this conversation for a few weeks now. And when we when we chatted offline, we were talking about something that you were really passionate about. We were talking about this idea that we have to stop waiting until it's perfect before we get a marketing campaign to market. So I'm pumped for this conversation. Welcome to the show. Thanks James. I appreciate you having me. Yeah. Did you know the whole mantra here is don't let perfection get in the way of good enough. Yes. You know, we kind of talked about perfection almost being an enemy. But I laugh with that intro because if you're talking about your spouse, would you want to marry someone good enough or if you're talking to your kids about grades, you tell them, you know, just do good enough in school.

So it's a it's a tricky topic that that I am passionate about. I'm glad we're talking about it today. So thanks for having me. Yeah. So yeah. So tell us, just give us a little bit of context. Why is this something, you know, Honeywell for those that aren't familiar? You guys are Fortune 100, right? Yeah. So Fortune 100 brand, uh, you know, massive company. Why is this something you're so passionate about? To me, it's the evolution of marketing. And so, you know the simple way to describe that as in the old days, we are all really subjective marketers, right? I think this ad looks good. I think this color is right? I think this message might hang and now everything is digital. You can measure everything, right? And so the idea here isn't to say good enough, meaning the quality is just gonna be average and you leave it alone and let it go. The idea here is that you can launch quickly with what you have and quickly optimize based on the results of the KPs, you're getting back. And so that's kind of a, you know, the idea behind good enough is it just...

...doesn't stop. You don't launch and walk away. Like in the old days we all called it what? Pray and spray or spray and pray, right? You know, mass marketing and hope people call here. You can really fine tune and add to your campaigns almost hourly if you really wanted to. So you you were telling me on our last call, this kind of three part methodology, you know, it's good enough test and then perfect. Can you walk us through and maybe share some examples of what that methodology has looked like? Honeywell? Yeah. And so, you know, a good example is, um, so I'm just a big fan of engage and see that that I guess you could call that a buzzword, right? But you're right. So you put a campaign together and I'll preface this with you. Do kind of have to obsess about voice of the customer, right? What do they need and value proposition. Right. Those you got to, you know, spend a little bit of time. But once you have those two things, you can launch a campaign and again test it,...

...right, that we all have a B testing capabilities now. So you're getting feedback back on that advertisement or that message that you're doing. You have ways to check websites, right? Heat maps and all the where people are going and what they're surfing on and then you launch it. And then again, you add and optimized to it. And so I'm a big fan of this. So I I use it and we can talk later about even in hiring, I kind of apply this method, which again sounds a little weird, right? All this person is good enough, but I can walk you through that, but a good example would be um, we have an interesting campaign that's actually not even a sales and revenue campaign. Were experimenting again, engage in C right? And we're trying to work on a technology that lets airplanes take off and land faster, but it's an upgrade that both airports and airplanes need to do. And so, um number one, our target market here are airports governors, you know, staff, local staff government, right? It's not your typical sales job in terms of targeting a customer. And what we did there was we said, well, let's let's test this...

...thing, Right, let's start out, we did just a really kind of bytitle linked in very, very targeted campaign. And we watched how that went over the next 24 hours. And sure enough, we were really that surprised. But we were getting really good website engagement and even request for more information on some content. We gated about the topic. So, we kind of knew we were onto something. Okay? So then we're saying, okay, what else can we do besides linked in? Well, you know, there's a whole bunch of different retargeting tactics you can do uh contextual advertising a lot of those different things. So we started mixing that in. And then we said, ok, well, now, what about um what can we do pr wise? Well, what about uh contributed article that talks about the benefits both to passengers and airports, right? in terms of faster takeoffs and landings. So now we're gonna mix in an editorial and contributed article. And so you just keep going and doing these things and as you're doing them, you keep looking at the Lincoln results. Are they working, are they working better than some other types of social media or...

...contextual advertising we're doing? And then you take that and re optimize it to the audience is um, that are showing the most success in terms of engagement. So, ahead of this campaign, I'm assuming you had a pretty good idea of what success was gonna look like. Do you have that pretty well laid out? Or is it uh, is a lot of qualitative stuff that you're looking at to assess whether this is something worth continuing down? Yeah, that's what it's a good question on this one. I'm gonna, I'm gonna really tell you, we experimented and so certainly success was making sure we got that product in some local government and airport trials and to the extent that there needs to be legislation. We did that. But I'm going to tell you it was really kind of an experiment, right? We didn't sit there and say we need this many visits this many number of impressions because we were targeting audiences. We don't often do. But another campaign we did. Um, we, we've developed ultra violet wand. So think of a one that you wave over a seat, an airplane seat and it helps with germs, right? It's a great product during and post. Covid to...

...clean an airplane really quickly and really easily. But that one, again, that's a good example of where we launched the campaign added tactics. Um, had really good messaging. Like I just told you the value props pretty easy, right? It's, you know, we really quick time and low cost. You can clean your planes, um, from, you know, from germs of covid and other types of flues and bugs that we would all catch. But that one we are looking at the results and we had very specific goals. We wanted this number impressions about this number of websites, you go down the sales funnel and this is the revenue and lead opportunity pipeline we want to create. And that's actually an example of great product, great awareness. I'm sure it was great branding for us and Honeywell, but we weren't generating the leads in revenue. And so we kept optimizing and tweaking. And that's an example where we felt we ran its course and you know, and just said, look, we're gonna have to cut bait and divest in this area because we're just not generating the leads that we wanted to. So you have to have the, the guts to stop things. You know,...

...when things aren't working, you have to have the guts to stop them just as much as you want to start or optimize as well. Absolutely. So with was this approach, this idea of, you know, good enough, then let's test and then let's perfect. Was this something that you had to do a lot of coaxing to get your team on board with internally to be okay with this? Yeah, I wouldn't even say we're very good at it. I think we're okay at it. Everyone can tell you we want to do it right. But if you look at the first of all, any of us that work in marketing were perfectionist, right? You can't have a typo and add your press release has to be factual. Your website can't go down right? Five nines reliability. So we're trained from our lives to be perfect. Um, and so when you go and tell someone launch it this way, you get 80 90% of the way there and then perfected as you go along, huge culture change. And then on top of that at Honeywell, the aerospace division I represent were managed by pilots and military. Most of our managers are pilots and military...

...experience. We'll think about that, right? And you know, safety first. Don't take risks. Don't go outside the box. Just a number of things you run up against that. If you go into a meeting with some engineers, right? An engineering company and say I want to launch this because I think it's good enough. The, you know, the heresy looks you get are pretty crazy. So it's an ongoing behavior, behavior change. Yeah. So so bill for other companies folks listening to this, they're wanting to implement this approach. They know we've we've got to get more out there so that we can actually experiment more because there's probably something out there that's working that we just haven't tried yet. And unless we we really build the muscle of getting more out, then we're leaving lots of opportunity on the table. How could these companies that want to implement this methodology? That's good enough? Test perfect methodology. How how could you see them getting this wrong? I think it's something you set up front first is which is it's easy to say this...

...just opens up more, you know, we'll have more capacity to do more work. And you could fall into that trap of still watering things down so much that you're not getting tangible input. For example, the work that's being spent now is less so on the up front, but on the optimization and the analytics and all the optimizing you do when your senior analytics. That's quite a lot of work to go optimize and change your campaign is real time data is coming in. So that would be the first trap is don't think this is just a way to do more. I just think that the work shifts a little bit. Um the second thing is, is All of us can get into analysis paralysis, right? Oh, I'm seeing a trend um that this webcast is great for generating website, videos and leads. But this ad isn't running, let's go do 15 pages and you know, a deep dive on why that is well, if you're waiting to three weeks for that report on that analysis, you could have probably done two more webcast and reinvested some of...

...your money. That wasn't working really well. Right. It's just this constant optimization. And then the last one which we do struggle with is automation is your friend here. If you if you don't have automation, you're now manually pulling a bunch of reports. Right? I'm going to adobe or google analytics. I'm going to my social media sites. I'm going here, I'm going there. Salesforce Marcato. It can be heavy, heavy workloads. So automation is definitely your friend when you're trying to do this makes sense. So I want to come back to something you alluded to earlier bill around how this methodology can apply to hiring, what's that look like for you. Yeah. And it's something I learned years ago. I was I was at Intel before before Honeywell and Intel has and I still think they have it they have this amazing awards ceremony once a year and they awarded the employees that do, let's say the top 5 to 10 best results of the company, right? But at the time, the very last result was an award for someone who failed and fails, not the right word.

It was really a risk taking award, right? But literally it was someone who took a risk and try to start a business, tried to start something and it failed. And that really, that really captured me. I really thought that was a really neat thing. And so you talk about hiring, right? I think we've all probably been in interviews, especially again at the Fortune 500 level where you've got an interview with 5, 10, 15, 20 people, right? Or the HR person three times. And and that and Again, it's the focus on perfection. If I have 15 people talking, I have very little risk that I'm hiring the wrong person, right? But you know, especially right now, the way the economy is and how we're all competing for talent. If I wait two months to try and hire someone, you know, if they're that good, they're going to find another job. And so the philosophy that we have is um higher fast and fire fast and again, fires a bad word. But as long as you're setting that expectation up front, hey, we're gonna do three or four interviews in depth ones, right? We're gonna do our due diligence, but we should be able to know if we're gonna be able to make an...

...offer to you in a week or two weeks. With the understanding though, that we want to see how you perform in the job and if you're not doing well, we'll agree to part ways. Um, I just think that's a much better way to get talent on board, teach that lesson right up front, right? Hey, we're going to move fast good enough. And let's see how we optimize or go down the road. I think that's a good message right out the door to Yeah, So I've heard Sara blakely, the founder of Spanx, talk about how one of the most formative things that her father did for her was going around the dinner table every night asking all of the kids how they failed that day. And it just taught her that failure is not a bad thing, failure is the thing we're trying to, I mean the more we fail, that means more we're trying and the more like the more at bats were taking. And so I love that call back to that because I, ever since I've heard her say that I've told that story probably, I don't know, 10 or 15 times since I've heard it because it is such a powerful concept. So getting a...

...little bit more granular here when you've got a role. So you've got the job description like how granular are you getting on the metrics that you're expecting from, the person that you're hiring so that you can set clear expectations to say, hey, this is this is what success is going to look like when you're here. And if if we're not seeing these results, then you know, we're going to have to part ways pretty quick. Yeah, that's one thing I really admire about Honeywell. We call it an mos managing operating system. The company's managed really well in that fashion. Right? And so it's an easier answer for me to give you now at Honeywell because I can typically tell someone uh, this is a campaign manager job. It's in this area, let's call it business jets, right? We expect plus or minus. You know, the whole funnel, right? All the way down to sales, lead opportunity pipeline and revenue impressions, that kind of thing. So we're pretty, we're pretty nerdy. But you can set those expectations up high again, acknowledging that if the budget changes the market changes, we're not going to hold your feet to the fire to...

...a goal, that something has changed dramatically. But for the most part were pretty specific on the on the job and the very specific deliverables that are that are due on it. Bill, this has been fantastic. I really appreciate you sharing, sharing this with our listeners. If there's somebody listening to this and they want to stay connected with with you. What's the best way for them to go about doing that? I answer to just about anyone and anything. I probably, I probably just shoot me maybe, I don't know, work email. Why not? Right. It's a honey job. And so I go by William dot Kirkus said Honeywell on that Bill. Maybe they hide from people that way, But that's probably the best way. But seriously, I mean social media linkedin. However you want to find me. I'm a pretty easy guy to find wonderful. Well, Bill again, thank you so much for hanging out with us today. I know our listeners are going to get a ton of value from this. And so I really appreciate you. Well, I appreciate the tip on Spanx with my Children. Perseverance is a big deal...

...for me. Yes, learning about failures and how you persevered is awesome. So I think I've learned more from this than your listeners are going to hear from me. Thank you. I appreciate that. Awesome. Well, thank you so much. I appreciate it. Thanks James. Take care of. Mhm. Mhm. Yeah. At Sweet Fish. We're on a mission to create the most helpful content on the internet for every job function and industry on the planet. For the B two B marketing industry. This show is how we're executing on that mission. If you know a marketing leader, that would be an awesome guest for this podcast. Shoot me a text message. Don't call me because I don't answer unknown numbers, but text me at 4074 and I know 33 to 8. Just shoot me. Their name may be a link to their linkedin profile and I'd love to check them out to see if we can get them on the show. Thanks a lot.

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