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

Episode 2060 · 6 months ago

How to Build a Dynamic Customer Journey

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Dan Sanchez talks with Michael Baer, CMO at MJH Life Sciences, about a dynamic customer journey, and how to build one. 

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Yeah, welcome back to BBB Growth. I'm danSanchez with Sweet Fish Media and today I'm joined by Michael Bear, who's theCMO of M. J. H. Life Sciences, Michael, thank you for joining me on the showtoday. Thanks dan. Good to be here. As I think I've mentioned to you uh Iactually was on the podcast six or so years ago with James and so uh in adifferent role at the time, but it's great to be back. Thanks for having me,Yep, it's great to have you back a second time, you're now uh B2B growthalumni. So it's always good to have people back, especially as they'vegained new experiences, have learned new things and today I'm very excitedto talk to Michael about how he's working with M. J. H. To build dynamiccustomer journeys. But before we do Michael, how's it been going in yourday so far? So while it's still relatively early in the morning, my dayhas had a number of meetings that we, we have as a regular cadence everysingle day. So, uh, MJ subscribes to something called scaling Up or theRockefeller principles. And the idea is that teams have again, a cadence ofmeetings. There's a daily rhythm, there's a weekly rhythm. There aremonthly and quarterly meetings that are all designed to build up to achieve, uh,an annual objective or rock or set of rocks. And so by 8 40 every day, I'vealready had two huddles with the executive team and then my marketingleadership team. And so I've already talked to 20 odd people. Uh, and theseare very quick stand up meetings, uh, top priorities, top challenges and justkind of a cultural say hello. And, and they really do get your day off to agood start. Absolutely. We use traction at sweet fish media, but I've worked atpast companies that use the scaling up model very similar and I can say likemy life and my business life certainly changed when we got into a habit ofwell executed daily meetings or even weekly meetings. You know when you'vecome out of a well run meeting, when you have like action items, everybodyis clear on what they need to do and everybody is updated on what everybodyelse is working on. Especially like daily stand ups to kind of get a sensefor the pulse right of what's going on in organizations a powerful way to kicka day off and uh in a team M. J. H. Life sciences. That could mean a lot ofdifferent things. So tell us a little bit about like what the company is andwhat it's about. Sure. So we are a full service healthcare or medical mediacompany. In fact were the largest privately held healthcare company ormedia company in the country. So what does that mean? Well, we we servicelargely the healthcare community with education uh, and content that helpsimprove patient care, literally that's...

...our focus. And in fact, we'll talkabout probably in a little while while that's why that mission is important,uh, not just to the company and our business, but literally to thefunctioning of each and every individual on on all parts of theorganization, but certainly within marketing. So we, the key pillars ofthis media company are we've got 60 odd publications, media media publicationsthat include literally print media as well as uh, you know, digital media.And then we also have education, We have video, uh, and then we havemarketing services. So there's a full service agency that's underneath ouroverall umbrella as well as a research company and and some other parts of ourmarketing services. So to give some context to understand the customerjourney now that we understand the big picture of MJ life sciences, what aresome of the web properties you guys currently have up? So we're we service nearly everymedical or health care specialty or vertical but were very big in uhspecific markets like oncology. So uh one of our biggest brands is on Clive,which is one of the leaders for oncology uh health care professionals,largely oncologists as well as targeted oncology and cancer network. Um We alsoare big and primary care areas like we have helped HCP live. We have medicaleconomics which is over 100 year old media property. Uh and then literallyacross almost every other specialty care area from uh contagious diseases,pediatrics, cardiology, neurology uh as well as pharmacy. Um And even intoanimal health and dental, yep. So what are some of the main like websites thatyou are directing people to, yep. So like I said on Clive targeted oncology.HCP live neurology live, I missed the dot com. So I was like doctor websitesare those topics. I'm not a doctor. So I'm like a technical terms. I'm likeI'm not sure You're not a doctor but you play one on TV. Right. MedicalEconomics Cure is uh one of the few brands that actually for us targetsconsumers. So it's targeting patients with or who have had cancer. Uh Andthen Pharmacy Times is another one A. J. M. C. Which is in the area of what'sknown as managed care. Uh And even fetch or D. V. M. 3 60 in the animalhealth area. So those are a lot of web properties and as you know, there's alot of different ways you can start the customer journey, but usually it comesfrom getting them from one place over to the website. So what are the mainchannels you're using to grow the...

...audiences of those websites? Where areyou directing traffic from them to kick off the customer journey? So we use,you know, many of the traditional um traditional tools. So uh by far thenumber one driver of web traffic is uh is organic search. You know, doctorsand healthcare professionals googling topics and specialties that you knowthat they're looking for solutions and answers to. And thankfully, you know,our links performed fairly well. And our brand brands are known as valuableor valid, you know, content location. So we, you know, we get a lot of a lotof organic traffic. But in addition we have, you know, we have a lot of emailnewsletters. So email is a big driver to our web properties. Um, and then wedo surgical kind of targeted paid media efforts around specific programs,specific pages, specific content as well as um, as events uh, that that weare putting on for, you know, for doctors and for education. Yeah, thisis kind of the fun part for me is like, ok night there on your website. And forthose who are listening, you can only have been on the websites and you cankind of imagine like a web MD style site where they're answering lots ofquestions. And there's lots of great content that they're attracting peopleto this website, right? For all different kinds of ailments or diseasesor different symptoms like all these different things. People are coming tofor answers and they're pretty serious, pretty serious stuff. It's not likestuff to be taken lightly, right? So people are coming for answers andlooking for information from there. Once they hit the web pages to get thatinformation, how do you capture their, their information? And then what areyou doing to dynamically build that customer journey from there? Becausedoing the search, hitting the web page and then from there, I find that that'swhere most marketers stop right there. Like, oh, we got some traffic, maybethey click through to our pricing page. I'm like, that rarely ever happens.Right? So what do you do to build the customer journey from there? So it'sinteresting. So, first of all, you know, I use the term journey a lot. We all doand um, we as a company are also on a journey. So it's not just the customerthemselves. So we are pushing our own capabilities, developing our own dataand tech platforms and and stack and driving and growing, you know, growingour approach to all these things that you're mentioning as we speak first off,it's important to recognize that most of the people who hit our website, ourdoctors and the doctors that search for something are looking for a specificanswer. And so interestingly enough, it...

...tends to be a bit transactional. Uh,they come in, they want some information, we have a lot of, a lot ofweb use that is a single page, a single content exploration. So, our journey ishow do we dr additional time on site? How do we drive additional uh,understanding of the value that our our brand and our website can provide thesedoctors. How do we get them to come back or explore analogous or, you know,similarly relevant content. How do we get somebody who read an article onmultiple myeloma to recognize that we have had video on that of, you know,leading doctors talking about topics in that area. How do we make sure theyunderstand we have webinars or upcoming events on this topic that they can signup and register for. So there's a lot of efforts going on now to a to yourpoint, make sure we we can capture those folks have them register, log,you know, log in basically register for newsletters that that will begin tokeep them informed on the brand as well as dynamically serve content. You know,with this result they've gotten from their web search that tells themessentially if you like this, you'll like this other thing. But it is allall the journey, but we haven't for us, but we even, you know, implemented a C.D. P. You know, we've updated our CMS and we are, you know, beginning to doall these all of these things, it's fantastic to be able to captureinformation and then deliver them information based on the page wherethey converted right? I mean that starts to really get, I mean it'sdifficult to do, I've I've tried to set it up myself and it takes a lot of workon the back end to be able to deliver dynamic information based on, like evena page they've converted on. So that certainly makes a difference. It's hardto even describe how difficult the simple things seem to be. You know, wewe implement, you know, the tools and then it's still it's still requires,you know, incredible amounts of programming, coding, testing, you know,in part of testing is getting it wrong and so it's gone from getting it wrongto getting it right, and then getting it writer and writer as you dial thingsup, but we're, you know, we are on that journey and we're beginning to dothings, you know, and to your point early uh offer pop ups to those who weknow, are not known to us, the users who come in who aren't registered,saying, you know, the opportunity to get content like this in your inbox,and uh, you know, or here's another link to something else you would likeand slowly walk people or journey, you know, have people, you know, go on acontent journey that again, demonstrates the value of these brandsand these, you know, these platforms so...

...that they want to come back for moreand that we can capture, capture their information in order to Send themthings. That ultimately, the goal is to get people who will want to give ustheir information. There is particularly their email address sothat we can communicate them 1-1. So to shift the focus a little bit, let'stalk about strategy and execution, setting all this stuff up is a lot ofwork requires a lot of people and a lot of like collaboration across differenttypes of teams. You mentioned the pre interview that the team had a hard timeexecuting uh in the beginning or they were executing really well actually,but they were still missing the mark in some ways. How were they missing themark? So one of the visions I developed literally just when I came on board was,you hear the term shared service, you know, we came in and, and marketing isa shared service within the organization and I said, I want themindset to go from being a shared service to a center of excellence. Youmay ask what does that mean or what's the difference and just it's it's asmuch of mindset as it is an approach. So the idea being as a shared service,you are, you're a ticketing system, Somebody says, I need this. You know,I'm ordering uh, you know, like a restaurant, I, you know, I need burgersand fries and you punch out for burgers and fries. But I wanted, you know, ustoo strive to be to aspire to be more of a uh, center of excellence born on,you know, subject matter experts who are driven to understand the data,understand audience and be included up up front before before the burger andfries were ordered so that we could be, you know, partners in developing well,should it be a burger and fries or this customer prefers vegetarian, so tospeak, so so so that, you know, that's kind of the over setting theoverarching ambition and sometimes that alone is is a big step. But when youare a shared service and when you are a ticketing system, you, you know, youcan become very execution, all focused or even more so transactional focused.So marketing in a way can can become and had to a degree become a group ofpeople delivering on independent program. We need audience to come to aparticular webinar. So and so franchise has a program we want to get people infront of uh there's a B two B campaign. We need to drive for X. So that, youknow, I would say it was very execution all focused. And I think where you knowwhere we talked about in the pre pre conversation, there was almost a needto have people pause for a second and ask the question why develop strategicapproaches that are more holistic, more overarching than these one offindividual focus? Is that what I keep...

...saying? I still say literally every dayto people is we need to flip the lens from creating a product tounderstanding its for an audience and who that audience is. You know, I keepsaying imagine turning your mind around to the people on the other side of thatcomputer screen. You know, their eyes are on something that you're sending,what is it? How do you think about it? Where did they come from? What elsehave they seen? What have they, you know, what's been their interactionwith us? Um and all those things should play into that transactional execution.Um so basically I think you know, we needed to infuse the flawless executionwith some strategic and overarching kind of holistic vision that informedit. I mean you know, I know you're you know, I can see you and you're smilingbecause you know, we talked about also this had this belief, uh this idea ofstratification that neither are greater than the other that you need to be, youknow, both insight rich and audience focused, but you also need to beconstantly iterating and be nimble and be focused on the little things thatevery day make a difference between conversion rates and uh and success andfailure. And I think you know the team was probably focused a little more onexecution and we needed to dial it a little more towards strategy and youknow, which is interesting because my, you know my my prior life when I cameto this idea of Stratis que shin, I was probably in a world that was a littlemore beholden to this concept of strategy and almost like holding it asthe bible or liturgy like here we we need a beautiful strategy. Uh In fact,I would argue, you know, I would joke that sometimes I worked with clientswho would, you know, the strategy was almost the end state. Like let's have abeautiful strategy will put it on our wall as if the, you know, as if theconsumer, the customer would ever see your strategy, which of course theywouldn't. Um and so that was where I had this, you know, this kind of ah hamoment that like execution really make the strategy. And I think, I don't knowif it was tom peters or larry Bossidy who said strategy without execution isuseless and execution without strategy is aimless. I mean, they do have towork together. Hi dan Sanchez here with a quick break from this episode,sponsor Vidyard. If you haven't started using personal video yet to enhanceyour marketing campaigns. Your missing out, having the ability to quicklycapture video and record my computer screen or both helps me not only createmarketing assets faster, it makes them way more personable. I use personalvideos in social media, email, blast landing pages and even on our website,Vidyard makes it easy to record host in bed and share videos to more deeplyengaged with your ideal buyers...

...prospects have told me repeatedly thatthey are blown away every time they get one for me. So sign up for Vidyard freetoday by going to Vidyard dot com slash GDP growth and just like you guys, theteam at Vidyard can't keep up with all these promo codes on podcast, so theyare making signing up as easy as possible. So no promo code needed. Justgo to Vidyard dot com slash GDP growth to start using Vidyard completely freeand as a bonus, get their 2021 B two B video trans guide. It's absolutelyright. I've actually had a background where people like to have a little bitmore strategy than execution. It always drove me crazy. I'm like, we'reliterally talking about the strategy forever and not doing anything. So Itended to always be a little bit more execution focused. But now of courseyou're right, it takes an equal amount of both. Right is best. It'sinteresting that they were doing execution well and you came in, you'relike, hey everybody, we're all making separate side dishes, but we'rebringing it together in the meal. It's okay. Everything's, everything's cookedphenomenal, everything tastes good, but when you put it together, it's notworking. And the customers expecting thanksgiving, which means it's wrong.Right? All right, so you have to bring it back to what are we trying toproduce? Because everything has to actually make sense together, like athanksgiving meal. We're so used to getting the right things producedtogether, which have a certain taste and flavor. When all eating togetherright, you have to decide what our end goals here instead of us, kind of offon our own separate worlds, cooking up something that might be good in anevent of itself. But when put together, it's subpar at best, yep. I mean, it'sinteresting, it aligns perfectly with the idea of these daily weekly, monthlyquarterly cadence of meetings as well, because the idea is that at the end ofthe day, some of this should add up to something and the idea that executingshould be leading towards something that you're building towards adirection. I mean, this is one of the things like sometimes you put your headdown, you're working hard and fast and furious and then when you look up yousay, oh wow, I got somewhere, but it wasn't where I meant to be going. Imean we want to make sure we have a direction of path, but interestingly,so, so you know, when I think back to, when I came in execution was the focusand was excellent. But there was, there was opportunity there as well in thatWe needed to, you know, we continue to need to simplify and make repeatablethings that are done in in large quantities. You know, there are typesof, say webinars that we do where we'll do 150 a year. You can't start eachmarketing plan from with a blank piece of paper when you're doing 100 ofsomething. Uh The idea of beginning to...

...standardize standardized roles andresponsibilities, you know, streamline again, make repeatable is bothefficient, but it also then allows those doing the work, especially inmarketing to kind of elevate their work. They can put the focus more on thingsthat really matter. Uh you know, like content and things that drive greaterconversion and also audience understanding, like the things that cancan really drive success and failure. So so that was that was an aspect ofexecution that we've been continually trying to drive as, you know,streamline, simplify, make repeatable wherever we can. But the flip side, youknow, you get back to strategy is there, you know, there are a couple of thingsthere. Um you know, one is and I have referenced this earlier on the idea tomake sure everybody has in mind that our overarching mission as a, as acompany is actually, we've all worked at a bunch of different places and youknow, sometimes companies work really hard to come up with with uh with uh,you know, some sort of passionate mission. You know, it can be helpful,but in our case, I mean it's it's really motivating because it's it'strue. I mean, we are focused on helping to educate the health care workers sothat they can improve patient care. I mean, It's, you know, day in day out.It should stay front and center because it drives what we do and it shoulddrive marketing, it should drive the initiatives that we're doing aren'tjust let's get 150 people to come to a to an event. It's we have an event thatincludes the leading experts on a particular condition that's importantto doctors and patients nationwide. And so we are spreading spreading the word.I mean, it's tough to think about that every, you know, every day when thepressure is on to deliver and execution is a can be can be tricky. But that isat the end of the day, what we're all about and that does I think help uslift, you know, lift our our approach is absolutely. It's like with a missionlike that essentially, you're, it adds up to saving lives. You're right. Wedon't execute, people are going to die, you know who they are. But I mean, youcould look at it, it's kind of like a morbid way to look at it. Or you cansay like this many more people could be safe or live longer or at least gothrough a much more comfortable experience going through whatevertragic event they might be going through, especially with things likeoncology. Right? In advertising, the joke was always, you know, because itcan get very pressurized, you know, it's like, hey, it's not brain surgery,you know, here it is. We are talking about that some serious reading stuff,but at the same time it's important for everybody to know that their workactually matters. Right? I mean, it's kind of one of Patrick lynch owns threesigns of a miserable job is not knowing...

...if your work matters. And I'm like, oh,everybody at M. J. H. Knows their work matters because you're literally thework you're doing saves lives. It's fantastic. So to kind of spin back onto strategy and execution, you've had experience across multiple companiesand you've visited and probably consulted many more now, where do youfeel like most companies are missing it when it comes to strategy and execution?You know my my experience to date probably would say that you know Ithink many companies try to get strategy right where at the end of theday I don't think there is right and wrong. I think there's good and betterand less good and I do believe that strategy is really made right by thework and the activity you do. I am. I've always been inspired by a quotefrom Herb Kelleher where you know the founder of Southwest Airlines where hesaid we have a business strategy. It's called doing things. And I think a lota lot of companies um you know like we said get a lot of consultants or a lotof high priced thinkers to I. D. Eight for months and months and have astrategy that they fall in love with but don't then activate on it day inand day out and test it and tease it and torture it and and adapt it. Um Andthen you know the real world can be a tough can be a tough teacher as welland so you know getting you're getting your strategy into the real world andlearning as you go is really I think a strategy in and of itself. You know theidea of being in beta all the time and you know getting your strategy gettingto strategy kind of more quickly so that you can learn in the real world Ithink is it is really a better approach. It makes so much sense taking some ofthe lean startup methodologies and just applying it to your business strategy,starting with something lean and then iterating and improving as we movealong. I mean that's why a lot of people got away from business plans fora long time because you're putting so much time into the beginning of it andthen with the world would hit it and then everything would fall apart right?If only we could spend a little bit sometime certainly want to think aboutthe strategy, certainly want to think about what we're expecting to happenand then being able to modify it as we go along, which is why regular meetingsand quarterly check ins are so important. Right? 100%. I mean, andthat's not to say strategy is either unimportant or that strategy isn'tabout understanding your your user, like deeply understanding your usersand deeply understanding your market and your competitors and understandingwhat you're good at and what where you can go and where you shouldn't go andthen, you know, developing hypotheses...

...and plans. I mean, all those things arecritical, but I do think we get a little overly caught up in, you know,getting getting a strategy perfect, perfected or perfect where there isreally no such thing. Yeah. So if I'm hearing you right, and I'm trying totake some insights away for B two B marketing leaders, some things they canstart and stop doing this week so far, some of the things I'm walking awaywith personally is, yes, it's good to have a strategy but execute on itprobably a little faster than you normally would. How fast would you like?How much time should you spend thinking about strategy and how much time shouldyou be actually Iterating on to it. You know, it's kind of difficult to discern.Sometimes you're like, oh, should we change the strategy? When should wehold on to it versus when should we break away from it and change thestrategy? Because the execution we're doing is now telling us that maybe ourstrategy wasn't as solid as we thought, how do you know when to break? It's atough thing to discern because what is, you know, when does strategy stop? Youknow, you can make a strategy to develop a, an email journey for yourprospects? That is, I mean, is that strategy to say like, hey, we want tothen make this, make that email journey um dynamic to the way they respond tothe first, you know, the first contact and how many prongs should this? And Ithink not actually, now that I think about it, that's truly an execution. Soyour strategy would be develop a B two B approach that leverages contentmarketing and outbound email that blah, blah, blah. Really? So now, havingthought this through, I think your strategy should be 25% and 75% shouldbe really working through How to implement it. And you know,that's why I call it's tragic Yushin because I think there is no such thingas execution. Well, I don't know if there is no such thing, but a big partof execution is strategic execution, meaning we're going to implement a B2Bemail journey. But now, how many touch points, what are the touch points? Dowe segmented by uh type of customer? And um you know, do we require, do weget things, do we, you know, all these questions that you need to solve for?Um they are strategic strategically execution all makes sense. Almostwonder if You set these large marketing strategies. I know I said of marketingstrategy for 2021, right? Some things can be changed sooner rather than laterbecause they're short term tactics and some things are long term tactics likeI won't see the R. O. I. From some of these things for like a year and a half.Right? Especially with like search engine optimization ranking for morekeywords. Those things take a lot of time almost imagine that your strategycan be changed in small ways on a weekly levels, you're getting newinformation you're executing, but big...

...things, probably more on a quarterlylevels. Your meeting back with the senior team, right? If you're doing thewhole, especially if you're doing the Rockefeller habits and the scaling upattraction methodologies where you're having the quarterly check ins to seehow well things are going. Well, everyone's executing on their rocks.Those are big opportunities to make bigger changes to the strategy becausehonestly, sometimes the market change changes. I'm sure a lot of people areupdating their quarters after covid hit, right. There was just some big changeseverybody was making after the pandemic started becoming a thing. So there'sprobably a rhythm like that though. Of course it depends for each line item onyour on your strategy that you're trying to execute. Some things are justgoing to be different. But almost think like a weekly quarterly rhythm. And ofcourse for the 10 year executions, your annuals are what help you get realignedum, on your long term goals and priorities would you say that feelsabout right? Yeah, I think that's right. I mean, I think the one thing I wouldsay that you have to be careful of is to not overcorrect. I think people getreally nervous when measuring performance and the data suggestssomething didn't work. Or there's some, you know, negative data. Uh, and what Ialways like to say is that there is no negative data. There's just data thatconfirms, you know, confirms direction or confirmed hypothesis and and datathat says something isn't aligning or isn't jibing and each of which can helpyou either course correct or optimize. But the thing you don't want to do isreact to every every little piece of data and keep changing. You know, notonly is that you're gonna be all over the road, but also, um, if you make toomany changes, you can't even identify what the actual drivers of of, you know,of performance will be. You do have to, you do have to make sure you're you'renot doing weekly, you know, execution all shifts right. I would say small,small tweaks changes, you know, updates. I wouldn't be shifting from one thingto something completely different because of the data. Right? I even sawa graph this morning on linkedin that's kind of like because just comparingeven launching a normal marketing campaign to an A. B. M. Campaign and anormal marketing campaign, you can always expect like a loss for quite awhile before you even hit a break even and then start to see a return on theinvestment. And in this particular graph, the A B. M. Campaign took a lossfor a lot longer and then started to shoot way past a normal execution. Ofcourse. That depends on whether A B. M. Works well for your organization, howgood you executed it of course. But it certainly goes to show like, like for alot of marketing campaigns you can actually expect a negative. So don'tdon't freak out. Right. Well, that also gets into sort of the R. O. I. Questionlike how slavishly should you be looking at either R. O. I. Or even thedata to help, you know, attribution...

...being accurate and things like that.Sometimes you just have to do some things and they're contributing withoutnecessarily looking for a direct line uh connection to our Oh, I absolutelyeasy to say. I know Roo is a tricky one. Certainly. So Michael, this has been afantastic time talking to you about strategy and execution and the customerjourney on the show today. Where can people go to learn more about M. J. H.And about you? So we do have a corporate website. M. J. H. Lifesciences dot com. Um There also, as I mentioned are a number of websites andyou can see them on that site. But you know, things like ONc live and uh a J MC dot com and uh cure dot com and P E R Physicians, Education Resources, whichis go to p E R dot com. Those are just some of our websites as far as me, II'm on linkedin, Michael be a er and also had been writing a blog for anumber of years at stratification stories dot com. It's fairly outdatedso I almost hesitate but feel free to read some of the things I've written on,things like stratification and otherwise. Fantastic. Again, thank youfor joining me on GDP growth. Thanks dan. It's been great to be here. Is your buyer at BBB marketer. If so,you should think about sponsoring this podcast. BtB Growth gets downloadedover 130,000 times each month. And our listeners are marketing decision makers.If it sounds interesting, send Logan and email Logan at sweet fish Media dotcom.

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