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

Episode 1655 · 3 months ago

Marketing in the Metaverse with Danielle Bechtel

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Benji discusses the past, present, and future of marketing with Danielle Bechtel.

We're pondering the Metaverse, how developers and Gen Z are shaping the marketing landscape, and what we have to be excited about in this new virtual world.

Conversations from the front lines of marketing. This is be to be growth. Dan. You'll welcome into Bob Growth. Thanks for having me. So, Danielle, let me do this. I want to save the goal right up front for this episode because when I get get to talking to you, I got really excited about the future of marketing and I want to do what we were doing offline, just kind of spitballing and talking on here, because I think listeners are going to get really excited about the future of marketing. But before we we go there and can kind of give that to people as fuel. You have a very unique lens that I think lends itself well to this conversation because you're actually looking at the future of marketing through this background in developer marketing. So give me some context to your background and what you're seeing right now. This is not something that I sought out befo. I kind of fell into it and learned a lot of random stuff along the way. So I started out, yeah, started my career in technology and in different roles. I worked in more corporate America space, worked for cute, a few tech teams and then I moved into understanding how difficult it was to hire engineers. Right now, this is about when cloud computing took off, for just reference, and one of my one of my jobs was to educate everyone on cloud computing and through that I've found a startup that was later turned to my first like real position in this space. I started a startup called a cloud guru. I was the first marketer for that company. That grew from in five years we were about to under or Twentyzero when I joined. We just sold for two billion. So that's exciting. Yeah, so through that I watched the market change and now I'm working full time on just completely marketing two developers. That's what I do all day. Wow. So how do you see developers specifically starting to shape the future of marketing and where things are going? So, if you ever marketed to developers or talked with developers, what I love about them? I don't mean to generalize everyone together, but right, right, yeah, some of the strength of that community is, I would say authenticity. You they really believe in products and when it comes to marketing they have a very low BS radar, so they leads them to wanting to try products before they buy them, and it also leads to this thing that we all are aware of this word of mouth marketing. If you want to make it marketing to developers, you have to really be authentic in your message and have a product that lines the claims that you're making and you have to kind of step back out of the way and provide them a mechanism to...

...share it within their communities, so you have the authenticity and community aspect. What I think is like when I nerd out on this and like, what I think is so interesting and why I think this relates to the future of marketing is that's always been there. That's like what makes me wake up in the morning and love marketing the developers, but it I see a lot of similarities and parallels to marketing towards Gen Z in that and the next generation, not just developers, but everyone the next generation, and they're like quests for Truth and quests for ethics and and just because of the world they grew up and has a lot of similarities to marketing to developers. So specifically, authenticity and community being things that you see in the next generation and in developers. Talk a little bit more about why you think maybe this next generation coming up is is so similar what you see specifically in them. So mckinzi has a really good blog post on this. I they went out and did a lot of research on Gen Z and understanding. Like what does Gen Z value? I'm going to compare it to generations above, just for context, I would say, and it is all about to your point. Literally, how did this generation grow up? What were the social and market, like social economic situations they grew up in? But Jen why would not jen? Why? The one right before a millennial? Sorry, I can't think of what it is right now. They really bought purchase for social status. So you can think of your like role x has or fancy cars, and this research when you look at millennials, they bought more for the experiences. I totally resonate with that. Does it yeah, okay, I'm like fallen. That fucking do and it resonated with me. I was like, wait, everyone doesn't want experiences. I didn't know that. Wait, so let me clarify. So Gen x is the one thing. Yeah, so jen x comes up in a culture where it's like, let me prove that I'm I made it by the watch that I wear, by the car that I drive, by the home that I buy. Then I'm like coming. But think about when gen x came up in their parents went through the Great Depression. Their parents went through have yeah, YEP, so it's like yeah, exactly. So it's like I made it, wow, out of yeah, totally, it's it's coming out of what their parents experienced, even what they are feeling the repercussions of, and so physical stuff becomes the thing and then they reach a point where then we feel the impact right where it's like, okay, we don't want the physical stuff anymore because we saw our parents get it and that clearly wasn't really the thing, the answer. Oh my gosh, preach, we are going down like some psychology, like what is the true meaning of life? Things like yes, we're all tryings. Yeah, it is like a learned thing from your parents. Oh, I saw my parents have everything and they weren't happy, like not to the dark hair, like maybe not.

Okay, so maybe there's something else. Maybe I'm going to go out and seek experiences to find that. millennials, YEP, okay. So, but then we are at a place now where we're seeing it shift again, and I mean millennials, like the upper aged millennials, are having kids and even though we as millennials settled down a lot less quickly than our parents did. There's another generation coming underneath us, which is Gen Z. and so what do you think? Are they rebelling against the experience thing or what makes them go so far digital? Because they are way further into the digital space and that's a shift that you would identify right. Yes, I think it. I don't know if I would say rebelling against the experience thing. Experience just means something different to Gen z. If I'm like completely honest, I have so much faith in this next generation coming up because they came up in a completely digital native environment. Things that are normal to them or just not normal to the generations above. It is normal to have really real relationships with people that they have maybe never met. So digital communities, it's all so normal to be a little bit more, I would see, like open and like questioning of like what is truth. So you can take that in like gender norms, for example, if you're trying to market to Gen Z. Sorry, we're going on Gen Z now. Now I'm going in a rabbit hole. No, that's good. Yeah, like there it's a little less black and white and a little bit more open to having the conversation of just like maybe there is some different polarities here. I guess I play. But with that comes this like I would say the overarching umbrella of Gen Z is truth and it is like I want to be able to bring my true, authentic self to the world, and that's why you have some of those gender conversations, but also where this king tie into like all of the stuff we can nerd out on later about like digital world's Meta versus Lah is just like how can I be my most authentic self to in a social like social media, digital asque environment? And when I when you start going down that rabbit trill talking more to Jen z specifically, man, it gets me thinking about a couple things, one being most millennials also would fall in the category of this term you use, like digital natives. There is like I can tell you I don't remember a time in my life where I didn't have access to the Internet, but the difference would be the evolution of the Internet in my lifetime I can remember. Versus Gen Z would be like. I mean they are brought up in social media right, so it's like it's not just the Internet, it's social media specifically and really being like baptized into that type of culture where it's just it is everywhere and it's soaked into everything. I would...

...say social media is more of a millennial culture thing than the next culture. It's not looked at the same so the millennials tend to get a bad rap for being the me generation. This is totally so. What is our like? Vice Social Media? You get to put the perfect version of me out there. Gen Z's came up more in a digital native in like I think you would be really surprised at the level of technical capabilities that some of the younger folks have just because of how they brought up. So if you look on like Youtube, these twelve year olds are making these like really, really well done videos. I'm like, how do you know after effects? How are you doing this? Like they're not in marketing. It's just because of the world that they were brought up. They have different tools of different like expectations for themselves. But anyway we wind. For me, let's go back to gen x. How were they marketed at versus? Then we can, you know, fast forward maybe to us as millennials and then Gen z. But how have we seen the evolution there and marketing specifically to the generation before us. I think the key differences is the number of channels that you had to reach a customer. So the channels that you had. You had TV, you had radio, you had newspaper magazines, print, but the big differences that you had to pay to play in a channels, meaning you had to have enough capital to be able to afford a TV slot. And the people that I did have enough capital. They really were focused on brand awareness in the essence of remembering their brand. So I use Cocacola as the example. But you remember Coke's logo and they've really push the logo, and this is where some of the misconceptions of branding come from today. They really pushing the logo so that when you're walking down the supermarket isle you see Cocacola, you remember the commercial, you buy it. It's not just in marketing, like in consumer product marketing, it's also marketing in music. The reason that you had these mega stars like the Beatles or the rolling stones, etc. Is because you had to have a lot of money to get a message around the world. So there could only be so many folks. Okay, so that's what was happening before, and what completely changed all that was Internet. So with the rise of the Internet, there's so many different channels to reach customers that now it took away the big barrier to entry, which was money, but it added new difficulties, which is saturation. There's so many messages now, there's so much information coming at people that like cognitively we're not able to absorb all of it. So the the companies that stick out today currently are the companies that can break through that noise. They can do something differently, they they can resonate with a certain audience. In the immediate future, like the next one of two to three years, I would see almost all...

...be tob companies moving towards at least a product leg growth play or, better case, the ones that like really get it to a community like growth play. It makes sense now with the shift, you have to have your product leading front and center. What changed in each generation? It was the channels. The channels change. Yeah, we have all these channels now, but the the companies that are really really making it, the ones who I'm going to use wortle as an example. Are you familiar with wortle? I am familiar with worldle. I don't want to be but it's everywhere. Okay, let's use wordle before I tell you my point. wortle. No one knew what worldl was in November, and we're doing this in early February. Bortle just got bought for like a billion dollars, I think, like a be in it. No one even knew what it was four years ago. Why? The channel that matters today is word of mouth, and that's why product leg growth allows word of mouth marketing. People don't really listen to claims as much. I think this changes, though, when you get higher up in an organization, like if you're selling into a VPS, vpcto like the the traditional sales led tactics are appropriate, but for the majority through, like if you're trying to create demand, build an audience, be a household name, you have to understand word of mouth marketing and I think the first step of that is product like growth marketing. HMM, and word of mouth has always been effective, but then it's just like it kind of shifts in a way, because you word of mouth then also done online and shared globally, is so easily right that it's like it amplifies it even more. What I know doubt on and like what I do for a living, is word of mouth marketing. Sounds like it's something that you don't have control over, but you can. You do, but it's harder because what you need to do to have control over it is to have a good product that actually works and that you understand what your customers pain points are, and you have to really do the work internally and believe in it and then go out into the market like that. It's it's just it requires a little bit more soul searching and time and that space. Yeah, to really practice what you preach, I'd say. But that lines up with the future of what we're even saying generationally right, because that long ticity and ethics is like an absolute must, whereas I think, and we can talk specifically about be to be brands in the SAS space, because I think there's a reputation right now, and you can tell me if I'm wrong, but I see a lot of like cold marketing that seems still generationally out of touch now, and so that evolution has to happen and ends up lining really lining up really well word of mouth with this authenticity...

...and ethics piece. I think that, like no one wants to put out cold marketing, as you and I like that term. No one aims to do that from a marketing department, but it really sends from like the culture and the values internally that, whether your intentions are, it's what you produce at the end. Why? I think what is going to change that is with this new generation and what is coming. I think those players won't win anymore. They can win despite that, but I think less and less there is going to be any appetite for that type of marketing. So I think be too, be marketers, really need to take a look at themselves and got and not literally, but more of like ethos way think of themselves, of be Toc marketers right, which I think is happening a little bit more, as you're starting to I feel like I've ended up in a couple conversations recently where it's like be to be marketers looking at BEC world and not just being like and I wish I was over there, but like Oh, we can create our own, I don't know, sand box to play in over here too. Yeah, this one simple way I train my teams on that is it's the difference between if you're writing a piece. Even you're a beby company and you're writing a email to many people, picture one person in your mind that's going to read it. Give that person a name, give them a name, look around their world and then write it. That's the be TOC mindset and a be tob marketer. Okay, so one of the things we talked about offline that I have to bring up here. We talked about how there's this other inflection point that's that were aware of right now, and some people are maybe early adopters in this space because it's just developing, which is the announcement of the metaverse and this advancement of like digital first. Right. So we talked digital natives, but like digital first is this reality you see a need for kind of brands really think through their future strategy. Daniell, tell me what excites you the most about that and what you think we're going to start to see people trying in that space? Okay, yes, and this is the place. Definitely. I say, I'm not an expert. If anyone claims to be an expert on this, don't trust them because web three, metaverse, it hasn't even been come defined yet. It isn't be an extatic talk. Yeah, like you looks cannot be. You can just be someone that's read a lot and it's been on a lot of twitter, but we can. Let's talk about some practical changes, but more what we've been talking about the entire time. Like in this world, authenticity, ethics and community are all that matter. I would recommend anyone that is interested in this topic read a article by Matthew Ball. It's called like what is the metaverse, where to find it and who will build it? And there's some he does a really good job at explaining, like what are the tenets of this future web three, metaverse, whatever that they are building on?...

Some of those tenants that are going to impact me, to be marketing, are this concept of persistence. If you if you're familiar with gaming, I think a lot of people go to gaming to understand this. It's like I walk into one game, when I walk in an animal crossing and I'm wearing a red hat. Well, when I walk into Halo II, should also be wearing that red hat, like between these worlds, you as an entity have to be persistent. What that means for me, to be marketing is that whatever product that you're building, it will have to play by the rules that are defined when these rules are defined, which means you're going to need a lot of Dev and technical hires on your team, or or access to them if you would like donals or set to be able to build your product in a way that communicates in this web three world, just like you built a website that communicates in web too. It's the same thing, just we don't know what it is yet. It's one and the other big one, having like a fully functioning current like economy or currency in this new place, getting into crypto. I know that doesn't sound like it's a marketings job. That probably is. More operations are finance and obviously cryptos not like completely bought in yet, but like, at this point we will be moving into something that is not the same world that we are living in today. So I think that it is important that you're least educating yourself and thinking about if I'm going to be accepting currency in another form, just like if you are going to accept the Indian dollar or something like. Not Dollar, but you know what I'm saying. Yep, just another currency, like how is that going to impact my marketing strategy? Hm, both great points. I imagine, and again this is maybe the pessimist side of me, but I imagine, like be to be too often being last into this next phase where it's going to be done at like almost out of just sheer necessity. Right, like we're going to drag some of the be to be space into this world because they're like kicking and screaming, but they know that they have to do it and it'll be like half baked in it. But then there's going to be for runners who do it like really, really well and can pull it off in an authentic way, in a way that's exciting, and we all know there's like there's companies out there that are going to do this high level. I wonder what if you were like unlimited budget, Danielle, and you got to create something in this space? Is What do you think, like be to be should be trying? What would you try? Like, do you have any thoughts? There were like it'd be so exciting to do or try this thing. Oh my gosh, let's talk today. Let's be really practical and like, because I once again we don't know what it's going to be.

It's not like it's ready player one and like we're just building ready, player one like that's not though. They are. They are now accepting loans. Did you see that? They are. You can get a long property. Yeah, you can get alone to buy property in the metavers. So I'm not quite there yet, but all right, you have it. Today. Actually, what I think it's going to be, and this is whatever the data is today. Thoughts. I think it's going to be the actual world that we live in today, but with more of like a Hologram type thing. So maybe the one is you, the one you have your goggles on and you can see your friends sitting next to you and like they kind of look like a Hologram, but like you can still have a conversation with them. And then the technology evolves in the the just like think about cell phones. Cell phones were really big and now they can get really small. Well, we've got goggles right now. What if that someday moves into a contact Lens, and now I'm talking Black Mirror stuff, but it's all real, and then your friend doesn't look like a fuzzy Hologram. Your friend looks like your actual friend. It's maybe so in your world, like what you're saying is like almost like more augmented reality. It starts the lines between VR and a are start to blur a little bit more. Yes, but taking this back to beb marketing, because now I'm just getting into SCI FI convers and stunt sci fi. But you give me in the BEDB marketing some of the things that you can tantually do today, the one that exists. This is not for everyone, but if I had money, what I would do? I would host a conference in the Metaphor First World that exists today, post a conference, host meet up, have some especially if you're in a more like tech, like I work and in technology. So that makes sense for my brand. But if you are in a more innovative brand and or you're trying to connect with developers, that's a way that you probably can't mess that up. Can't do in a really unauthentic way or in authentic site. The other thing that I see a lot of big brands doing, the have a lot of money, are creating their own nfts. Yeah, I I think that there is a lot of merit in nft world and I think that it is the first tempt or the beginning of what may happen with branding. I don't think many companies can authentically create an NFT. I don't think a company can, because, if you it really has to be individual led, like these communities are people speaking on their own opinions. So if you are a bebby company and you want to try and I t's or you want to try to get in that world, I would look for a creator that you can partner with in like learn, but it has to be someone that already lives in that world for it to feel real. Like you, yeah, for the best thing you can do today is just learn about it so that it doesn't feel in authentic. Creators is such a big part of this, because one thing I will say. I don't know if you feel this way...

...too, but I think the next generation coming up, and I would I would put millennials slightly in this camp as well, but there's like a genuine sort of lack of trust of institutions, and so if beatobe companies aren't careful, they just get lumped in in that same kind of Oh, this big organization with these invisible men that sit at some table somewhere making decision. You know what I mean, like there's just a miss, there's a lack of trust. There so when you get into individuals, create creators who people are excited about and like, that's it's very grass roots, right, and it goes back to community where there is this level of like we know there's, I don't know, off the the words you were using right, community authenticity. I thinks like I end up back there. So give me maybe any more examples of and it could be in BETC or other companies that you're looking at, but are there any examples of people that you think are doing this really well right now? Yeah, right, yeah, I'll give you examples and also give you an article because I just love reading. I just found, I stumbled upon this article by like a young gentleman is his name is Duncan elder, and it was community led growth, something, something, the key to acquisition, and it was on the tribecommerce. Anyway, it articulated exactly what we're talking about so well that I would really encourage people to go read it. And it is that movement of be too be companies can feel authentic. It's because you just need to be in a community and talk about something that you like. Pick your community needs to be small and and be true to that community. So examples of ones that I think do well. I would say I just talk to the are just listen to an interview with like the growth lead from off zero. It's not a household name, but it's more in the developer side. So that's why everyone pretty much uses all zero and their websites. And like how did that happen? That happen from developers. So my world's developers, but apply this to whatever your world is. Developers Finding, oh there's a better way to do this problem, really liking the product, recommending it to other people and instead of all zero going out and in just speaking like we are all zero whatever, they created a whole bunch of resources to serve at their community of people, like they knew that's what they authentically could talk about and put all these resources out there and now pretty much everyone uses all Sero. HMM. So one of the take ones I would even get from that, like is the movement away, and I know even be to be seems a little bit slow in this, but it's getting there. Like no more pay walls for a lot of this. Yes, you know that. Yeah, the research you're doing, like that's...

...a yeah, there is no a paid I think paid ads are even kind of silly. I think paid ads should be like brand awareness only, or just like how do you want people to think about your company? Or feel, maybe feel is a better word about your company. But yeah, like put in everything behind a pay while making it. You download this Ebook, it's going to give you x points on your like mql to SQL score like. That is traditional marketing and that's the stuff that is going to hold companies back from doing what people actually want. If you do a lot of what people want and like enjoy interacting with your company, they're going to recommend your company to other people. H that's good and yeah, be kind of paying attention to their Um this I think that you need. So where the world's going is when we say community. That's so broad right. Really think small communities. So you can say, like I'm in if you own. Sorry, I just can speak for my own world a little bit better because I've thought of it. But like say, I live in the developer community. Well, there are so many sub sets of that. Where can I live and create value the most? Start there instead of trying to cover all of them, because you go into one community and then you can look around and see who are the like buddies of that community and then bring them in. That's like it. That's really a down up movement. And then your sales team, once that once a company, once you've infitrated a company with that down up movement, then your sales team can easily go sell into the people that actually have the pocketbooks. We are be to be like your VP's and above and say hey, a hundred of your people are already using my product. Would you like to learn more? Much easier cold call than have you heard of Xyz? HMM, yeah, I love that. That that motion of like these are the people in the company are already using it. Like that's then it becomes almost like a nobrainer. Right, exactly the this is everyone uses this. But, like, I was really trying to think of examples and they're very, very few. Be To be examples that I think do well. I think it's because there's this inflection in every betb company where they have the opportunity to stay in their small community and it really dive deep in it and when they have the opportunity to make a lot of money really fast, and people typically pick that one and then they start doing all of those tendencies we just talked about. Like I want to watch wortle word all. Three months from now, I bet is going to have a million ads on it. It's going to let you play like all day and get you addicted to it and like it's just going to lose that authenticity. But I think apple is the example of how to You keep standards, Hie, how...

...to make it feel like you're marketing to one person and makes them feel cool, even though when you go started a company you have two options, pc or apple. They are be tob business more than anyone else. So Hmm, yeah, I mean I'm interested to see what happens with going back to a wortle like getting bought by the New York Times. I think it's an interesting play. It'll be fun to kind of watch that what happens there. Apple is a great example. Another example that you might have mentioned last time came back to my mind just now is is canva. CANAVA is. It spans kind of multiple because it's for individual creators, but it's clearly also like I know they market specifically to teachers. They definitely do some things in like business and want social media marketers to like use their platform so I think there would be a good it has a very good like freemium type. You know, interface love that example. Yeah, can't got big quickly and they still let you use the product for free. And then you don't remove that, you could be hitting so many pay walls because you're like, Oh man, people know us now, like we're going to get more money from this. But like they so stood true to themselves, so good for them. Yeah, the number of like free templates on their fonts, like they are constantly expanding at a rate that I feel is very surprising in the in the free side of things, you need to have like sea level people with enough gumption to say I believe this is going to work, even though there's a million examples that it does work. Like it comes down to, it's a lot easier to put a pay wall or a lot easier to say let's not give them all of these templates for free. It's if logically feels right, but it doesn't work in the end and I think the next generation of people are just going to have no time for that at all. HMM. Okay, so I love talking in in theory. I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. I think as we start to wrap up here, one thing I'd want to do is go what are we telling people to focus on as they leave this conversation? Right, Daniel? So, like, is there any thing that you would want to say as you go away from this show? Be More aware of this, or be curious about this or go read this, like, what would you push people towards as a as an action item leaving this conversation? I would that's a good question. I do speak way to theoretical. Let's try and make this more changeable. If you don't have a product leg growth strategy within marketing right now, I would go explore that with your product team. If you don't have a freemium model, I would explore that with your product team as well. I would start learning about some of these trends. I would read that article about Gen Z, learn what is the metaverse, learn what is an Nft, what is cryptocurrency, so that you don't it's so they don't feel scary. These are all very easy to...

...understand once you just put in a little bit of time to research them. And then, once you have product leg growth, do the soul searching to understand what community that you want to be a part of. And the only way you can't go out in the world and try to decide that. Get to look within your company and figure out who are you actually what? What is that, and then start your strategy there. Feels like this episode comes back to three words numerous times, which I appreciate because we can leave with that in our head. But I think community, authenticity and ethics are recurring themes and things that we should be thinking about in our business right I mean obviously in our life as well, but that looking within is something that needs to happen at a personal level and a and a company level where we really know who we are, and then authenticity, ethics and community flow from that space. So, Daniel, this has been a really fun conversation. I love just getting to look into the future and see how the past informs the present and then the present is informing where we're headed. So thank you for taking time and being on be to be growth today. For those that want to stay connected to you and and some of the work you're doing, what's the best place for people to do that? Add me on Linkedin. Daniel back toll, I'll accept you. Of Let's talk more. Well, we're always having conversations like this here on BB growth. If you haven't subscribed to the show yet, be sure to do that and we're will be back real soon with another episode. You can follow me on Linkedin. I'd love to chat with you about business, marketing life. Just Search Benjie Block. Keep doing work that matters. We'll talk about this be tob growth is brought to you by the team at sweet fish media. Here at sweet fish, we produce podcasts for some of the most innovative brands in the world and we help them turn those podcasts into Microvideos, linkedin content, blog posts and more. We're on a mission to produce every leader's favorite show. Want more information, visit sweet PHISH MEDIACOM.

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