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

Episode 1803 · 2 months ago

Lessons in Emotional Marketing, with Jeff Biesman


In this episode, Benji talks to Jeff Biesman, the CMO at National Debt Relief and Reach Financial.

Discussed in this episode:

  1. Simplifying the market message
  2. Understanding what motivates your buyers
  3. Collecting Insights from your audience


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Conversations from the front lines of marketing. This is B two B Growth. Hello and welcome into B two be Growth. I'm your host, Benji Block, and today I have Jeff Beastman with me cmo over at National Debt Relief and Reach Financial, and Jeff, thanks for coming on the show. Hey, Benji, it's great to be here, great to be recording this with you, and excited to get going. Yes, I know. I'll just give you a peek behind the curtain real quick for things that have been happening on B two B Growth. So I've been the host for like the last twelve months or so, and I can't tell you, Jeff, how many times I've ended up in conversations where B two B and B two C end up compared and contrasted, and uh, you know, here's the similarities. Here's things we should maybe especially for us on the B two B side, like take from B to C and you and I in our pre call sort of ended up in one of those conversations. So I kind of want to go there a little bit today because you've spent time in both worlds, So talk to us a little bit about that, maybe give us some context for the work you've done on in both B two B and B two C and how that has informed you as a CMO. Yeah. Absolutely, So A quick little story to sort of set context. Um. The first I don't know, like twenty years in my career or something like that. Boy, I'm dating myself, But the first part of my career was all like D two see, you know, big big brands across the wide variety of industries. And I had an opportunity to go to work for a company called Hype, which used to be the Yellow Pages, and that was a two sided marketplace, consumer and business, and most of the revenue comes from the B two B side. And as I was thinking through the role, it's just like dawned on me that you know, there's this pyramid of the SMB to enterprise marketplace, but it's dominated by mostly small and micro businesses. Right, That's like what scent depending on the stats, and most of those people my thesis and I think it's been validated many many times. They behave like consumers. If you think about the solo preneurs, the single shingle, I'm the only employer. I have four people that work for me. Is like part kind of contractors. They may have an LC, they may not, doesn't matter. But what matters is they're making decisions the way they make decisions, purchase decisions in just about every other part of their life, like a consumer with air consumers. Right, So there's this fallacy that there's this big gap or divide it in terms of like how you approach somebody that's a consumer and somebody that's a business owner. They don't switch hats and their brain doesn't necessarily switch. And I'll explain that in a minute, in terms of how they process information and make decisions. So for me, they may be slightly asymmetrical, but there's a lot of overlap in what you know, a day TAC or a director consumer marketer can bring to be to be and there's a lot that a B two B marketer can learn by looking over at what great director consumer brands are doing. Yeah, so we'll dive into that deeper over the next several minutes, but I wonder at a base level for you, maybe could you unify our definition when you say like emotional marketing, what does that mean to Jeff? What are you imagining in your mind when you hear emotional marketing? Let me start with this. I love I'm in Sinek and I...

...love the Ted talk he did on why, and I mean it just it just hits me. I watch it like every now and then and I'm like, oh my gosh. And there's a part of when he sets up the Golden circle, what the how and the why and why the why is what you've got to focus on, and everybody focuses on the what or the how instead, which is very like and this and a septic or clinical kind of like feature driven. You know, our product is better because blah blah blah blah blah. The primitive part of our brain, which I believe is the limbic part, is the part of our brain that doesn't understand language, but it makes every decision that governs what we do, and it is driven off of emotion. So like, I work in financial services, and it's really ironic because it's just dawned on me that money isn't doesn't feel super emotional, right. It's kind of like people don't get into finance because they're go into an entertainment or something that's kind of emotionally like resting in for them. But very decision that we make, including ones that have to do with finances are emotionally driven. Period. That's the part of the brain that makes that decision. You try to rationalize it with the other party of brain, the neo cortex, but that limbic part of the brain is what does it all So to me, it's tapping into that and you don't tap into it with the water that how it's the why you've got to get people to care. You've got to get you've got to motivate them. And emotional marketing is all about understanding those psychological motivators and what is driving somebody to make a decision. And not to get too nerdy, but there's actually seven of them, and you know, knowing those levers and how to pull them and when to pull hold them and in what proportion is everything And so that's what we're talking about when we're talking about emotional marketing. You're saying seven levels of essentially that you could pull in emotional marketing. There's things like flattery, exclusivity, uh, fear is obviously one of them's salvation. Each one of those are the things that you know, if they resonate or they hit the cord, they hit that inner part of that brain, that primitive brain, and that's what gets you to act. And you may rationalize it, but it's the fear, it's the exclusivity, it's the flattery, the self, whatever it is that's literally driving that decision. And so your ability to understand that and articulate it instead of just talking about my product is better than their product because it's cheaper or faster or whatever, is not going to get it done. So you have to go deeper and begin to integrate that into how you got to market. I think that's part of where an undrum kind of confounds larger B two B companies because, like what you said, I've been in situations selling situations, not even on the marketing side where it was me maybe cold calling, in in a sales situation where it was basically me just getting to talk to the decision maker in a B two B environment and it was emotional and they could make the decision and they did have the budget and it was just like okay, sweet, sign me up for the demo or stop talking to me right like they just gave me their answer right there, Jeff. But once you get into the bigger B two B buying environments, that's where things get complicated because you're unsure oftentimes how do we bring in emotional marketing when there's things like a buying committee or the weight of the decision and the price in and of itself is much larger. So you're like, oh, maybe I need to appeal more to statistics and the how you know, and the what What would...

...you say to those larger, maybe enterprise type marketers listening right now, who are going I want to bring emotional marketing in because I know it's still people that I'm talking to, but it just seems more complicated. Yeah, I get it, And and that's a that's a valid point, Benji. And here's a couple of First of all, validate what you said. The majority of the B two B marketplaces is the bottom right, obviously, and that's where the masses live, and so you're dealing usually with the single decision maker. Sometimes it could be like a law practice with four lawyers and you've got to get all four on the same page. And that resembles a little bit more of what you see on the enterprise side. But there's gate keepers, there's influencers, and there's decision makers and all of that stuff. I haven't spent a lot of my career on the enterprise side. However, I've been on the other side of that. I've been the recipient of marketing and sales pitches and you have to put yourself and this is my best advice for somebody that's operating at an enterprise level. Put yourself in the shoes of all of those people, and what are their objectives? Some of them, I hate to say it, maybe not to get fired, right, And so there's risk in if you're a Challenger Software, right, and you're like, we're better than Brand Acts, which is your incumbent. We can do X, Y and Z, and we're gonna save your time, we're gonna save you money. What's the risk or what's the downside to that person? And how to how do I leverage that in my marketing and my sales pitch to assuage them or alleviate that concern because you've got a lot of that complexity. You know, it's still emotional, right, It's still an emotional thing. I may be looking at that and saying this all sounds great, but I have far more risk in, you know, going with you Challenger Brand than just sticking here because I'm not going to get fired for that, right, And I'm going to kind of put it keep pushing. And I know that sounds really really sad and depressing, but that's what you're dealing with. So it's sort of a different game, but it's the same idea. It's emotion, right, it's emotional, it's fear, it's uncertainty. It's like, I don't know, there's too much risk, and I'm just using one example. So that's that's how I would apply emotional marketing sort of reverse engineer. Yeah, I think it's so important because you can turn the emotion out of it just because you know you're trying to appeal to a buying committee. Yet at the same time, if you were to just do the extra work of what you're saying, put yourself in their shoes and think about what their common objections are or the mind games that they're going to be having about making a bigger decision like this, and you can speak directly to those. There is a way to infuse emotion into it, but I do I mean, just look on LinkedIn at the amount of people are advocating for emotional marketing and B two B. Now, clearly we were absent of it for a long time, and people are like, oh crap, I need to somehow get emotion back into the buying committee and into these situations where like I am. You know, it's the whole talking to humans thing that is everywhere on on LinkedIn as well, So I'm invited to that. Let's talk about some stories from your career, Jeff, where you can maybe showcase the importance of doing emotional marketing. Right, What are some specific moments where you've seen emotional marketing play itself out? Do you have any stories there? Yeah, I absolutely do. And one of them is like this transformation that I've instrumented several times be to be an and direct to consumer away from flood based marketing and or tour and flood meeting for for those of you that may not have heard that acronym clear uncertainty in doubt, which that big psychological motivators. And they work. But...

...here's what they work against. They work against people that are desperate. I kind of called them the ledge jumpers. They're right at the edge of the ledge and all you've gotta do is scare them, right, create a little bit of fear, make them feel exposed, and man, you know, they're like, where do I sign up? But that's a highly transactional approach, in my opinion, to pulling on the right emotional levers. There's a much larger audience. In my opinion, I've seen this time and time again that don't go for that, right. They're more sophisticated, they have a greater sensibility, they're more regulated in their approach, and so a couple of times I've transformed our marketing approach, our positioning, even our our language vehicles away from being just very transactionally flood driven, which by the way, isn't great for your brand anyway, to focusing on things like hope, aspiration, salvation, etcetera, etcetera. We just recently had Breen Murphy on the show, and we we actually talked through a few of your You're overlapping with it perfectly right now, Jeff, because he brought up specifically the achievement you know, at the end of that hero's journey, where it's like that is enticing specifically more than what you just said, right, more than the fund type stuff that gives people like an aspirational endpoint. I credit this paradigon a while ago when I was working at B two B that was designed to persuade a the I wire to move from the I Y to do it for me, do it with me, and some degree you've got to take them through a little bit of that fear and that emotional value. I called it. It's kind of like the bottom of your articulation of why you want somebody to adopt service is by telling them that the I Y is really easy, and in the process of telling them how easy it is, actually explaining to them without words how difficult it is and how it's going to really disrupt their lives and be too complex and everything like that. So you do and use a little bit of fear to get them to understand that the other side your solution is salvation, right, And it's almost like letting him experience a little bit of that pain or feel what that pain might feel like without doing it to get into the other side, which is all about the high point or the hero's journey, if that makes sense. So I found that worked incredibly well to motivate a d I wire to adopt a service. Yeah, totally, Okay, So let's start trying to make this applicable for the person's listening while they're let's say, out for a run doing the dishes. They're in a B two B situation where like, okay, we need to start infusing emotion into our marketing to a greater degree. What are some of the ways we could do this better quickly, Jeff for marketing teams listening to this, Well, the first thing I would do is I would go out and brush up on a few things. And I know this is going to sound It sounds like, you know, the create What we're talking about is the creative side of marketing, right, not the quantitative side. But there's science behind it, as I was mentioning earlier Simons and Acton at ted talk. So go look at what you know, starting with the why and what that looks like. It's going to be different for each of you and whatever product or service you're selling. But start there. The other things that I would absolutely rush up on up you already know it, or really deep dive into our those psychological motivators and how to apply them. Like I said, there are seven of...

...them. Do a simple Google search, understand them, look for applications. By the way, if you're hiring a copywriter, that's a great question to ask them or any kind of content person is do you understand them? How do you use them? Because it's vital. And then the last thing this is gonna sound maybe even weirder, but it's not just about words. It's also a visual design and there is a whole world of color theory that really good designers use. And there are actually certain colors that will evoke an emotion depending on what it is. Like red is an example, resin alarm color. Red is an anxiety invoking color. A lot of people use a lot of red uh in certain places, and it's good, but you've got to understand what are you trying to accomplish her? What do you think your emotional levers or motivators are. And then it's not just the words, it's believe it or not, the colors uh that have to work or interact with the words that begin to appeal to that. Like I said, that primitive part of the brain, and that's somebody to take the action you wanted to take. I recently listened to a podcast with an interior designer who was speaking to the visual side and was talking about rooms you should paint your house similar to what you just said, where even like depending on where you live, and so like for me just moving north and being in a space that's going to be cloudy most of the year, painting inside your house certain brighter colors actually changes the mood of your home and then changes how you feel in that space. And I'm I'm very big, Jeff in the aesthetic side of things, in like the creative space. So understanding colors in that context, I immediately jumped to where you went with marketing, because you apply it across the board in business and you start to understand too why certain colors just make so much sense with with a brand's message, and it communicates at another level, right subconsciously, the message that you're trying to get out into the market. When you just have that, then the color and the visual correct as well. So I'm glad you kind of highlighted that. And I love a phrase you used just now with the psychological motivators brushing up on that. I think that's a really easy thing for people to do, or at least like for me, I'm great with checklists like put this on my desk somewhere next time I'm writing copy or doing a podcast. How are we essentially hitting on one of these psychological motivators. How have you used those in your career specifically like ways that you recall them and started putting them into practice. Yeah, if you're a B two B marketer, you really got to start with what's your brand strategy? Period? And that's built out a set of directives like what are you trying to get done? I mean, I can tell you right now. And this is mostly consumer, but it also applies on the to be side. At National Debt Relief, we have three brand directors. I can't tell you what they are because they're kind of secret sauce stuff, but you could probably guess they define the positioning of our brand or a brand strategy. And then from there we have voice vehicles. Those voice vehicles are tied to these psychological motivators, and so we know like, okay, we are going to use these, and we're not going to use these, or if we are going to use like like a good I'll spill the beans. We're not a fear based brand and we live in a vertical where it's mostly fun, and so there are just certain things that we will never do because we don't think they we think they violate not just our brand strategy, but the effectiveness of how we sell, how we market, and how we sell differently than anybody else in this space. It helps give you differentiated point of view,...

...something we preach on the show all the time, right, because what you're preaching and petting into the market, then, uh, messaging wise, that does set you apart from the foot around. Yeah, and I know we're kind of deviating a little bit towards brand strategy, but this is all tied in in my opinion, right. It all hangs off of that. In the idea is that now you're consistent and your point differentiating and a lot of B two B services and software or products are highly commoditized and everybody makes the same claims, are very similar claims, and if if you don't and you've got some unique position, it ain't gonna last very long, right. So the ability to position and pitch differently, which is very much tied to that brand strategy and pulling on those emotional levels that work with it, is everything in my opinion. So I got one more kind of question for you before you wrap up, because one of the clear things to me from an emotional marketing standpoint, one of the best ways to make sure you're clear that you're not just using the psychological motivators from your own perspective going oh, I think this will resonate in the market, it would be to just go talk to customers to collect insights from the market, and then then bring in the psychological motivators. Then start to like, Okay, we're kind of crafting because we have the insights. So talk to me a little bit about that how you uniquely use and collect insights to then inform the emotional marketing, because I could see this getting disjointed if just you're trying to figure it out in theory before and then go to the market with it before talking to your end consumer. So you your your spot on. Benjie and I omitted a very important step and that is like when I've done brand and strategies in the past, we don't make them up. They don't just come out at thin air. They don't come out and get gut. They come from very systematic research. And so you nailed it. And so there's usually like two or three parts of that. There's industry research, there's cultural research. In fact, the last brand strategy that that that I developed was deeply rooted in cultural research and and and like driving at what's going on, what's deeply embedded in the psyche of like the American consumer, whoever that is. There's qualitative and quantitative stuff. There's you know, so whether it's talking to your buyers you know, one on one or a mass or whatever. And there's also talking internally to others in the company, could be the sales team, could be the product team, could be whomever, and using that to help define a brand strategy. So all of that needs to come together. Otherwise you're right, you're just shooting in the dark or you're just going with your gut, and that's not good enough. And then you go from where I was talking about before, and uh and you you know, very keenly pointed out I missed a step in that process. And I think it's good. And also it's an easy recall. Like if you're in a space where I know, I I get here, where I get my head down and I'm just like working on things, and the and the y gets muddy. You know, even though I talked to customers a couple of months back, I haven't been listening to a sales calls or haven't you know, you just aren't doing You aren't in the middle of doing the work anymore. You're just doing your marketing stuff. You can always go back and talk to a customer, listen to a call, and be reminded of the hy So I think that's a super easy way to get back the emotional marketing is just go here what they're talking about. So I'm glad that we're highlighting this here at the end. I like this conversation, Jeff. I appreciate your time, and I know I had mentioned it kind we kind of glossed over it at the beginning because I was gonna let you talk about it here at the end. Anyway, you're not CMO of just one company, CMO at two National Debt Relief and Reach Financial. So...

...as we kind of wrap up here, tell people the best way to connect with you, stay connected to you, and uh, a little bit of a spiel maybe on on the two companies that you you work for. Yeah, sure, So the best way to connect with me is please find me on LinkedIn if you've got any questions about this podcast or anything I talked about. Talk to Benji about the stuff he talked about in terms of national debt, Relief and Reach Financial I'll keep it really quick, so both are in the financial space. I'll start with National Debt Relief so NDRs in the business of helping consumers and business owners that are struggling with debt and TAM's growing like literally check your watch, probably grown since this podcast started. People are struggling significantly right now in the United States, and we're in the debt settlement or debt relief busin this. So what we do is we're agency for that person that enrolls in our program and we will negotiate directly with their creditors to reduce the amount that they owe significantly. And we also get folks out a debt in two to four years generally, which is way shorter than some other options that they have. It's not as as severe as a bankruptcy, and it may be to your advantage versus like you know, a lending solution of some kind because of interest rates or whatever. So it's a really really great offering for a lot of people, especially now that they're struggling. And then Reach Financials a sister company, same ownership, and it's a fintech, so uh, we are a personal own lender, right now with aspirations to add new products, so a little bit of a different audience than on the NDR side, and in both cases, both are great brands. To check them out you have an interest. National deck Relief dot com and Reach dot com are are the two ways you can find us. I love it well, Jeff, Thank you so much for spending time with us on B two B Growth today and I'm sure people will do that reach out and get connected. And also you can reach out if you're listening and haven't connected with me yet, I'd love to hear from you. Search Benji block Over on LinkedIn and I would love to talk to about marketing, business and life over there. You can also go to B to be Growth show dot com for all of our previous episodes and to subscribe and stay up to date on everything we're doing with the show. Thanks for listening, everybody. We'll be back real soon with another episode. B two B Growth is brought to you by the team at sweet Fish Media. Here at sweet Fish, we produced podcasts for some of the most innovative brands in the world, and we help them turn those podcasts into micro videos, LinkedIn content, blog posts and more. We're on a mission to produce every leader's favorite show. Want more information, visit sweet fish media dot com.

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