How to Leverage Your Content to Stand Out in a Sea of Competitors

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Lesley Crews talks with Kaylee Edmondson, Director of Demand Gen at Chili Piper on how to leverage the content in your demand gen strategy to differentiate yourself and stand out to potential buyers.

Yeah, welcome back to BTB growth. I'm Leslie Cruise with Sweet fish media and today we are continuing our deep dive into demand generation. I'm really excited to be joined today by Caylee Edmondson, director of demand gen at chile piper kelly. Thanks so much for joining me today. Absolutely, thank you for having me. Of course I'm so excited to talk to you as you know, we're talking about all things demand gen, which is why I would love it if you could share a little bit about your role, a chilly piper and kind of explain to our listeners what a day in the life of a director of demand gen looks like. Yeah, absolutely, it's such a broad topic and I'm so glad that you're doing the steep dive into demand jin because as we know and I'm sure as all the listeners know at this point in the podcast journey that everyone seems to define demand gen quite differently. So for us a chilly piper and our current stage of growth, we are defining demand jin as I guess like two buckets or two motions primarily being a brand awareness motion and um performance marketing...

...motion. Right? So those are like are two primary buckets and a day in the life can be quite different. So it depends on the day, but primarily for us it's all about focusing on creating demand in the space for our product while also capturing the demand that already exists. And I mean based on just that very vague I level answer that means that a day in the life can range from anything from marketing automation tasks within whatever you're, you know in a platform is to optimizing Salesforce Reports, paid programs on different platforms. It's kind of all over the board, which is why I love to mansion. Yeah, absolutely. And stepping back a little and you know in your own words, can you define dimension? Yeah. So I think and I think it plays a little bit to what I just said and of course every I think it's very dependent upon where you're at with your stage of growth, right? So for us our marketing team is a total of nine people and that includes everything...

...from like product marketing over to partnerships. We all roll up to a marketing function. So the way that we define demand gen right now is all about those two motions, right? So we're focused primarily on creating demand and that can fall anything from podcasts, webinars events etcetera, to also capturing demand. So where are people in the space that are showing buying intent, Adwords, G two additional review sides etcetera. And that's kind of how we define it today now as we continue to grow and you know our our company's A. R. R. Continues to shift that definition might change right? Like we probably will get to a point where marketing ops does not roll under demand jin all of the reporting and analytics might need a dedicated human to own and operate that. But for right now it's all kind of rolled into one. It makes our it makes our cycle very seamless, right? So we're putting out the ads, we're seeing the results on those pay channels were optimizing. It's all very intuitive but again might change over time. Yeah. Yeah exactly. And that's actually segues great into my next question because I've talked to...

...several people so far about just how much marketing itself has really evolved in the past few years and obviously demand gen is a facet of that with everything going on in the world. The pandemic, but not only the pandemic just in general, I mean marketing is constantly evolving. So what trends in demand jin do you feel like may really be transforming in the next few years? Oh, that's such a good question. Yes, so quite honestly, I feel that we've moved in the last week, maybe 4 to 5 years to this huge motion around focusing on pay to play. But I think over the next few years we're going to see that trend fade slowly. Don't get me wrong, for brands that are still focused on growing brand awareness, paid to play will still be a facet or a subset of that motion. But I think that this motion around building a brand that's authentic and genuine and true to an audience that believes in what you're pushing, providing value add content, those things is going to become way more important than primarily focusing on this pay to play...

...game that I feel we've been stuck in for the last few years. Yeah. What exactly do you mean by pay to place? Do you mean like paid? Yeah, Yeah, yeah, Yeah, putting a large percentage of your marketing budget on a PPC PPC based strategy. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, you mentioned content a little bit in there, but let's talk a little bit more about content production. I think that this is extremely relevant to my role here as we fish. So I kind of wanted to know in a demand gen strategy. Why is prioritizing content production so important? Yeah, absolutely. I think it's been said forever that content is king and that's no different today. If anything, content is more important today than it ever has been differentiating yourself, especially for us. Right at chile piper were in the smart tech space where there are 8000 other vendors. So there are a lot of other competitors or even adjacent platforms that are trying to get in front of the same buyer, the same persona. And the way that you stand out and differentiate yourself amongst the crowd is through content. Right? And its content, that's actually...

...a value add to that user. At the end of the day, you should be here as a brand providing content. That's going to help these users in their day to day sell on the back end, right? That way, they know who you are and they'll come, they'll follow your brand, they'll follow your story, they'll become invested in your company and then whenever they are ready to buy, they already know who you are. So it's a much easier process, right? But its content is king above all. And I think that that's going to continue to stand out over the next couple of years. Yeah, I love that. And I love the idea of kind of making yourself to go to in that specific area, you know, and it's like they're they'll come to you essentially because you are making yourself to go to you are building those relationships. Exactly. And it's even this like new trend that we see where you know, hubspot require acquired the hustle and outreach with sales hacker, it's happening over and over again where B two B sas companies are realizing that a media company is almost the way to go. You need to think of your marketing team of course as a marketing team. You need to be doing all the marketing office, the reporting,...

...the analytics, all the things that come with it. But you also need to really prioritize thinking and acting almost as if you are an internal media company for your brand. That's good stuff. What do you think? Something is something that B two B marketers in this space tend to get wrong? Oh, that's a tough one. My most recent soapbox. If we want to dive in, I love it is around attribution, right? So I feel like I get, you know, a lot of D. M. S. I have a lot of friends that a network with that are also in a similar demand gen seat within their respective organizations. And almost always it comes up. It's like, what is your attribution model? How are you tracking success and by no means am I saying you don't need an attribution model because like use what you've got leverage, what you can, but it shouldn't be the end all be all source of truth. Especially myself. I am deep in the weeds of all of the programs that I'm running and executing and I get a much more accurate pulse and a read on if they're working or failing based on being in...

...those platforms and looking through the numbers, looking through the data, reading comments on linkedin. Like You need to dig through the weeds a little bit to get some of that qualitative feedback and not rely 100 on what your salesforce crm is telling you. Yeah. Yeah, that's that's so accurate. I completely great. Do you have any examples specifically of what that might look like? That attribution model and you know, dive a little bit more into why, why specifically you wouldn't want to use that? Yeah. So like, don't get me wrong, we have reports and sales for us. We are using a light attribution model. Last touch within hubspot. It is what it is. But at the end of the day when we run a new program, let's say that we're running an ad campaign, a new ad campaign to a link to an audience. Um, that's advertising like a new video or something for part of our product. What's not going to show up in Salesforce is all of the comments, likes, feedback that's happening on that post, Right. So we just had some one recently that took off and had tons of success and we could tell it had tons of success because the people that are liking and engaging with it have...

...titles at the exact companies that we want to get in front of and we want them to know our brand. None of that is showing up in a Salesforce report though. It's all in the program that you're, you know, that you're actually executing at that point in time. I'm sure it would be different. There are tons of scenarios where things like that could happen. But those aren't things that, you know, you're bored or your c suite are actually going to be able to see in Salesforce. Those are things that you're going to know because you're on the front lines executing these programs. Yeah. So for those who are listening and they're thinking of starting their own demands and playbook in their organization, where do you suggest they start? What is step number one? So asking for a demand gen, playbook is hard because I think that every organization is so, so different. But for me, whenever I join a new company, of course, my very first thing is to dig through whatever existing data points we do have so that we can get a general direction of if a specific channel is working, what's that messaging look like, what our target personas, etcetera. Once you have that initial foundation of who you...

...should be going after, roughly what you think you should be saying to them and on what channel you should be saying it on after that. For me, it's like building A prioritized framework, so capture the demand that's already in the space. So look to channels where people are showing active buying intent, um, those things most often end in Google, Ads G2, right, there could be a few others depending on what industry or what niche you're going after. But that's largely those things need to be in foundation and you know, like for now, while we have cookie tracking retargeting, right, if people are coming to your website and aren't converting, you know that they're not a customer, haven't requested a demo or sign up for free, etcetera, you should be getting retargeting ads out in front of them so that they continue to think about your brand and understand your value prop secondly then you can move on to more prospect testing, right? So going a little bit more broad scale for people who maybe don't know who you are yet, but that should come secondary. Um, and that should be in that motion around creating demand. Yeah, so it's,...

...it's pretty important to, you know, start with that playbook and I think you mentioned this Arlington previously but kind of start with that playbook and then from there kind of innovate adapt and learn from kind of how that's working for you. Exactly. It's a game of innovation. It's never like there is not a demanding playbook out there where you like set it and forget it. That's just not the game we're in. And especially because like for us right now, our primary persona are people that look and think much like myself, dimension marketers and those are the people that are in their own day to day, always innovating and optimizing and trying new things and testing new things. So it's even harder to stand out. And so were, you know, in this game of constant innovation. Absolutely. Yeah. So talking to somebody who is, let's say a new market, our brand new marketer in the space, really interested in demand, gen what advice would you share with them to somebody who's kind of looking to transform into that more of a demand general from just basic marketing. Yeah, absolutely. So I think for me personally I can talk real...

...quickly to like my own career progression. I started out in digital marketing, but honestly at the time had little to no idea what that actually meant. Um I just happened to be, you know, one of the newest marketing members at the time, it was for a healthcare company and they thought, okay here just take digital, we don't really know what that is, but we know we're supposed to be doing it, so dig in and learn. And quite honestly I have a degree in marketing and I can say very clearly that I did not learn anything in college that I actually do on a day to day basis from a work perspective. So for me it's like learning on the spot. So if you're trying to get your feet wet into demand jin or even into digital marketing so that you can kind of bridge that gap into a demand general, you know, start something on the side on your own, roll your sleeves up, see if you could, you know, or even if you have a friend that's like launched a book or something, see if you can dig in and help them start promoting that, get an understanding of who's going to read that book? Where do they hang out? What spaces are they living in? What words resonate with them And what words...

...absolutely don't like? That's the best way. And for me, it's always been like trial by error and learning by actually doing mm That's good advice. Yeah. Some other advice I heard was to kind of start your own e commerce, which I found really, really interesting because it's like you're using your own money and you're not using company money. That's kind of like monopoly money. You're using your own money, your own funds to do all of these things yourself. You're completely doing demanded by yourself with your money. So I thought that was exactly do Exactly. And if you find something that's working really well, it's that much more exciting because it's your own funds, but at the same time, if you find something that is an absolute money pit, you're gonna feel it much deeper than if you were playing with this corporate monopoly money from your company. Oh my gosh, Yeah, I completely agree. Well, that's awesome, Kayleigh, thank you so much. This has been so, so insightful. And where can people find you online if they're interested in learning or hearing more from you? Yeah, absolutely, I'm most active on linkedin, Caylee Edmondson. Um actually, piper, feel free to come, follow me there,...

Thank you again so much for joining me, carol beauty growth. Absolutely, thank you for having me for the longest time. I was asking people to leave a review of GDP growth in apple podcasts, but I realized that was kind of stupid because leaving a review is way harder than just leaving a simple rating. So I'm changing my tune a bit instead of asking you to leave a review, I'm just gonna ask you to go to beauty growth in apple podcasts, scroll down until you see the ratings and reviews section and just tap the number of stars you want to give us no review necessary. Super easy. And I promise it will help us out a ton. If you want a copy of my book, content based networking, just shoot me a text after you leave the rating and I'll send on your way, Text me at four 074 and I know 3, 3 - eight.

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