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

Episode 1766 · 4 months ago

How to Structure a Modern Marketing Team, with Gaetano DiNardi


In this episode, Benji talks to Gaetano DiNardi, the VP of Growth at Aura.

Discussed in this episode:

  1. The 5 distinct Marketing units for optimal business performance
  2. Demand capture vs. demand creator
  3. How to better measure your marketing efforts

Today on B two B growth, we are sharing a featured conversation from our archive, with over two thousand episodes released. We want to resurface episodes worth another listen. Before we jump in, I just want to say I would love to connect and hear from you on Linkedin. You can search Benji block over there and that's a great place to also interact with sweet fish and B two B growth. All right, let's jump into today's featured conversation, conversations from the front lines of marketing. This is B two B growth. I'm here with Gitano Donardi. He's the VP of growth over at Aura, and welcome into the show, Gitano. Great to have you with us. Yeah, man, thanks for having me. I Love B Two B growth. You guys have a great show. I think I've done it a couple of times now and uh man, it's always it's always cool to come back and talk shop about marketing. So thanks, thanks for having me back to appreciate it. Was Jealous Because I wasn't the host that got to talk to you, so I had to get you back so that I could say that I also had a conversation with you. Now, I'm just kidding, but here we go. Okay, so I know one one interesting piece of your journey is your back in DTC land. You're not in B two B anymore. Give us the genesis of that move and and some of what you're seeing now that you've left b two be, because you have a room full of of B Two b marketers intrigued right now. Yeah, you know. Um, long story short is that I had a really good run in B two B. I bounced around from various kinds of B two B software companies selling mostly like commoditized products, to be honest with you, so like crn voice over Ip. I had long runs at companies who sell those products. And you know, the interesting thing about direct to consume is that because in B two B, if you're selling like a low cost product like crm or void, that's like kind of commoditized. It's a high volume transactional model in sales. So it's kind of similar to direct to consumer, because direct to consumer is also high volume, transactional motion, low cost product. So some things apply in principle and other things don't. Uh when we can talk about that. But the reason why I joined the B two C company is because I kind of just like ran my course at, you know, various B two B companies and I was ready to make a transition into something else. And while that transitional period was happening, I actually got hacked. Somebody stole my identity. Yeah, they hacked my phone. I was locked out of my apple account, my Gmail Account, I locked out of everything and I was in a foreign country while it happened. So, Um, this was a horrific or a deal. And the outcome is that I was interviewing with a company that actually provides online safety, Internet security protection, identitate that protection services and I'm like, Oh, this is like really timely, because this happened to me and now I can feel like the consumer, I can feel like the end user. I know the emotions, I know actually what it feels like to be scammed, Um, and it sucks. So the star is kind of aligned. And, you know, six months in I've been in B TWOC marketing. You know, no sales unit, no outbound B two B sales, nothing like that. Um, so it feels really good and I'm happy to be doing what I'm doing and I probably won't go back to be to be to be honest with you, well, I like your voice.

As one that has the experience and B two B and can from time to time we do this right on B two B growth. I'll have somebody outside of our the waters we swim in, come chat with us. Maybe they used to be in the B two B space and it just helps because it feels like a breath of fresh air in certain ways and just that mindset shift can be really wonderful. The Genesis of inviting you back on the show was that I saw a post that you had over on linkedin where you kind of were maybe like blue sky, if you were captain of your own ship, what you would do as far as a modern marketing team goes, and we're gonna discuss that over the next few minutes here. What was your thinking on on even this post? Like have you just been mulling over how to structure a marketing team or what's got you thinking in this this new direction? Yeah, I think like the evolution to B Two C marketing has definitely like caused a lot of wheels to spin in my brain and you know, it also caused me to like reflect on what are the ways that like an upcoming company would would fight back against powerful legacy brands and you know, you have this all over the place, but like in my particular world, like I have to fight against northern lifelock, McAfee a vast you know, these are like tools that, like when you buy a PC, are kind of just like built in. Their pop up window just shows up. Yeah, pop up window nails you. Like you ever, try to UNINSTALL MCAFEE and see how Hart is like it's you know, so like when you think about like all these things, you know you want to optimize the way that you kind of compartmentalize your your you know, your units, your your your marketing units, your your manpower, your man and woman power. So, like I kind of broke this down into five distinct categories. Bottom of funnel, demand capturers, demand creators that focus on mid to top of the funnel. So that's a key distinction, is that you're separating bottom of the funnel apart from all the other things and you're measuring them differently as well, which we'll talk about. then. I would have the creative unit, which is web management, designers, illustrators, developers, web project managers, and they're the support function that basically fulfills the needs of demand creators and demand capturers. Then you have like ops, enablement and a B M, which is kind of a bit of a separate unit, and then customer marketing as well, and OPS and enablement and a B M really is like a lot of this. We have a ton of conversations that kind of focus there, because that's such a b two be heavy play, but I think the five are are spot on. We tell me, and maybe this isn't right place to start, but I'm gonna start there anyway because I get to ask whatever questions I want. What makes the creative unit unit and, like Web management, that third one like a distinct team that's not just embedded in in one, in two, not in the demand creators in the bottom of funnel, demand capturers. Yeah, Um, the reason why is because the kinds of things that demand captures need are like often the kinds of things that demand creators need. So you you all need landing pages, you're going to need video content, you're going to need um illustration and creative assets, you're going to need ad, creative for social you know, the list kind of just goes on and on right and the reality is that you're better off having design and Dev kind of I hate to use this phrase, but lockstep, you know, kind of a line classic buzzword where right. But like you're better off having the creative unit and...

Development Working together as one combined team because very often these units are working in tandem anyway and a lot of things that are dependencies were dependent. So, like for a landing page, you know, unless you're using, uh, like a really quick hack tool, like an instant page, where you don't really need anything you just go. But for like big feature pages, I'm talking about like corner stone piece of your website, you definitely don't want to be using instant page or something like that. Instant page is better for like, you know, just quick lead foreign page or something like that, splash page. But like for a core pillar business page, copy design and development kind of need to be working together in harmony there. So I prefer that you have creative and development working together to fulfill all the types of business needs that the demand creators and demand captures have, because the deliverables are similar. The difference is the content, the mindset, the way you're going about distributing and delivering those content experiences across those different channels. So that is why I like creative and development kind of together and in one family makes a lot of sense. Okay, so kind of going back to maybe where I should have started, I just went right for one of the questions I had based on this post. But when I'm looking at demand creator demand capture, are you saying if you were, if we dropped you and you were like a solo marketer and you're hiring out a team, that this would be the order even that you would build your team out in? Or is it just this is a way of thinking of the five distinct groups and like where would you start, essentially, if you were building a team from s at? Yeah, when I came out with this post, I was just thinking about the five distinct groups, but I didn't necessarily think about the order of operation in which I would try to hire them. You know that that one is kind of like open to interpretation. I don't know for sure if there's any like hard and fast rule on like you know, should you? Because every startup like just you know, the needs evolved Um and there's a lot of different circumstances and I think like who you decide to hire should be kind of dependent on a lot of things that are like happening in the business and the business model overall, and I think like, Um, it all should start with like what is your how do you go to market as a company and how do you sell your product? So, like, Um, if your product is, let's say, very, very expensive and very long sales cycles and and you know, complex enterprise selling, I would probably not start with like a PPC marketer. Yeah, exactly. Situational. Yep, yeah, situational. You know, like you gotta put put the Lens, the Business Lens, on when you're like starting to think about how would you build this from scratch. You know something, I've even seen some startups just like hire one junior marketer to just go nuts like that. I think that's a bad choice, but it happens a lot. Like some startup founder will be like Hey, we need marketing, let's hire some junior person to do it all. Can't afford something crazy. You gotta start somewhere higher our somewhere. Hire just the junior marketer to just like do random marketing activities, like create content, run social do a Webinar, you know, just get something happening. Um, that's definitely not the way I would approach it, but I think, like to zoom out, would say starting to build a team, a marketing team,...

...from scratch should depend on the business model and how you saw your product. Yeah, for sure. Okay, so the thing that jumps out to me the most from this is just the idea of having, if we even just stick with those first two creators and capturers, different things that they're measured on ultimately, like that is so worth advocating for instead of lumping all this stuff together, because if you start, that's where it gets dangerous, right, it's like that everybody's measured on the exact same metrics and even though they're trying to perform different things. So give me the idea of like how you would measure differently because of this model and how you would think about measuring differently. Yeah, so, like you know, the demand capture is like very bott the funnel. So that is very close to like sales, and you measure things like conversion rate, optimization, Google, PPC, even affiliates, right, like that's all very like finance driven stuff. So it's your it's the common like how much are we spending to get a customer? What is the like cost per acquisition, like what is the value of those transactions, like revenue per user, all that stuff like just it's pure sales. All that stuff is about sales. You can even make the argument that bottom of funnel S C o should be about transactions and revenue and so forth. Where where I think it gets different is how do you measure the demand creators right? How do you? How do you measure the people that are telling the brand story through the website and through social how are you measuring product marketing? How do you measure content marketing that's not aimed at driving leads? How do you how do you measure the effectiveness of video? Do you think that's exactly why we like, and I'm just going to speak from B two B for a second, but like that's kind of why we over index on one and then we don't really go about investing as much in two being demand creators, because in B two B, like I think that's why some of our stuff is boring, or you get some of those like you know, we we say the same things about B two B marketing over and over again, but it's because you can't measure it as easily and B two B is obsessed with measurement. So we haven't spent the time to think about how to measure differently. So we just over index for one. Well said. Well said, and as you made that point I was actually even thinking, like how, how do you incentivize? Well, let's zoom out. Actually we even talk before we talk about incentivizing marketers to, you know, get engagement because, as you know, marketers are like incentivized mostly on sales, like sign ups, like how much? How many sign ups do we get? How many free trial starts do we get? You know, all that stuff. The bigger question actually is, this is maybe the most important question of this whole thing, which is if you were to remove sign ups as a measurement, remove sign ups or any revenue focused like KPI, how would you know if something is good? How would you know if a landing page is good? How would you know if video is good? How would you know if a blog article is good? How would you know if a Webinar was good? How would you know if anything is good? Emails are good, how would you how do you know if they're good? If if there's revenue out hot,...

...what do you look at? How do you know if it's good? I would be looking at resonance and shares and things like that, but not just vanity metrics, right, but like it's almost becomes word of mouth measurement, but word of mouth in this sense of like yeah, I don't know if that makes sense, but where were you going with that? That's where my brain immediately were. Yeah, yeah, now you're on, you're onto something, and I, you know, maybe I'll open it up a little bit. But, like, the thing is a lot of people in marketing are always asking what's the best performing landing pages or what what content is that is performing the best? What's what's working and what's not? which videos are working? What's you know, what's performing? You hear that all the time. which even which ads are doing the best? And you know, if you were to strip like revenue or some sign up related KPI from that, you would stump marketers, I would you would stump, indeed plus percent of them when you ask, how do you know if this is good? How do you know? How do you tell if it's good? You can't just look at it and and you know, with your own opinions say yeah, this is good because it's long, or yeah, this is good because it looks nice, or yeah, as a narrative. So it's good, you know. So that actually the way to know if something is good is to look at the engagement factors, like you were alluding to them, and every kind of different channel and content type has signals that will let you know if something is good. Now, the way to know if something is good is not just numbers based like, and this is what I think very, very missing from B two. B is the qualitative component, which means, like putting this in front of the eyeballs of potential customer or do a focused group of research and find out what do they think about this? That is a separate that is a separate thing. But just looking at the numbers for blogs, you would want to look at the average time on page, you would want to look at scroll depth, you would want to look at do they click through two more pages during the website session or do they just come and bounce it's that comes back to that resonance piece, right, like those are all signs that it's resonating with the person that's viewing it. Signs that it's resonating. Yes, the other thing is that, like if you have a seven minute time on page but bounce rate that's actually good. That means they really consumed that. So the question really becomes how do you get them to consume and then how do you get them to come back? Because buying a product is, you know, it's a multi step maze full of different timing things and and components and touch points and stuff like that. So the idea is that it requires more of a surround sound playbook in order to get people to to buy in the long run. And so, anyway, the final point on the measurement is that you look at demand creators with engagement, you know, for video, you look at things like washtime, drop off rates, subscriber counts through Youtube, right, like you need to just figure out what that's going to be. But the whole point is that you can't measure the awareness like sales, because if it was the opposite and you were measuring sales like awareness, be a mess, right. So you just you cannot complete these two areas, and this is a part of, I think, B Two b marketing that is really um in need of overhaul. Fantastic, there's so much there that we could go into even just in the first two but I think that leaves people with quite a bit to think about, because...

...if I was challenging our B Two B marketing audience to really focus in on one of these groups, I would be challenging them to focus on demand creators and how that is accurately thought about measured. The conversations that you're having there, like making separating that from how you think about demand capture, would start to change the way your team even talks. So to me that that becomes a big deal. You're you're talking to a room full of B two B marketers right now. So when you if you were to leave us with a challenge of some kind coming out of these this new way of thinking about a marketing team, these five distinct kind of pockets, or however you would think of this like any challenge, you would leave us with Um things to really be focused on. I like to say like, Um, is it a mindset shift that you would want to give us, that we could walk back into our our normal jobs and and maybe see things slightly differently? Yeah, man, I think it is that mindset shift. You know, I would start thinking about these things, the first thing I would start thinking about is, like I would question what category am I in? and M and right now, like if I'm a demand creator or a demand capture, where do I fit? Where do I belong? You know, really and if I and if my strengths as a marketer, it truly is not demand capture. But I'm being measured by demand capturing KPI S and I'm being asked to demand capturing things. But there's a misalignment to my strengths as a marketer. There's a misalignment to the channel ownership that I have. You know, I would I would start there. I would I would question your own belonging and activities and what are you doing and doesn't make sense. I would start there. And then, if it doesn't make sense, you need to like speak up and say like something's just, something feels off here. I've been going with the flow. I've been trying to be a team player. You know, I don't want to raise the alarms or, you know whatever, but you need to question that and you need to if it's not right, you need to speak up and like make a change somehow. I would I would say that if you are, let's say, properly bucketed, let's say you're a demand capture and you are properly bucketed into the activities and things that you're doing and the way you're being measured is appropriate and so forth. I would start to uh, and this is assuming you're in B two B. I would get more I would get into the mind, deeper mindset of efficiency. So, like I would want to really start knowing, like I would make it. I would be annoying about this because I've been in so many companies where this wasn't the case. But I want to know how are the meetings going? I wouldn't just look at like leads from this source are creating this much pipeline for this much revenue or whatever. I would actually want to know from the a ease themselves, you know, the leads and the and the meetings. Like, first of all, are these leads from these sources actually turning into meetings? Are there and the meetings that you're having? What are the outcomes of those meetings? I think that is just so, so lost in B two B. I've I've been in so many situations where it's just like marketing will deliver all these leads from these sources and then you look at like, all right, there's no pipeline, there's no proposals being sent Um, whatever the case may be. But there's a missing link there, and the missing link goes back to like more qualitative assessment, which is getting the insights from the eighties themselves. Are these meetings going good or bad? Are People showing up for for these meetings? And then you need to like, over time see, okay, uh, these lead needs from maybe webinars have a...

...very negative impact on our revenue machine because these people don't want to be called, they don't want to talk to us, no one's attending meetings. And then we need to decide. Should we keep doing this? Should we change our approach? Should we measure it differently? Should we chuck it all up to brand and not expect a sales R O I from this thing? So, like, those are the areas I would I would really examine after hearing a conversation like this. For sure, I think if you're a team leader listening to this clearly, like you sit in a position where you can define these buckets and that helps your marketing team know what they what results they should be driving, what they should be paying attention to. The clear picture you can paint, the better your marketing team will be, the more effective they can be because they're not all trying to judge themselves on being demand capturers, and then that automatically will help you elevate your team as a whole. I absolutely love this conversation. I loved your Linkedin Post. You said it succinctly. You still said it in a lengthy way where people could like there was a meat there, but you said it succinctly enough that I think people should go interact with it. You can. Your comments went off on this post. People had some opinions, but you are in the comments reacting and I loved reading through that as much as I loved reading through the Post. Okay, tell people how they can stay connected with you. Obviously Linkedin is a great way to do that, and then tell us a little bit where. You're working for a security company now. It's just wildly different. But yeah, what's the best way to connect? Yeah, I mean just go to my website, official Guitano DOT COM. You know, you can find everything you need there and uh, you know, stay safe out there, guys. Cyber crime is truly rising unprecedented rates. I think, like obvious, leave like a little just tip out there for like what I've been learning. That may help you personally, which is like, if you're one of those people that is guilty of reusing the same passwords, recycling passwords, using easily guessable passwords, Um, stop doing that, because those are going to all get hacked eventually through blute force or through data breaches. So you should go and change all that immediately and you should enable to factor authentication with an authenticator APP. Try not to use SMS if you can avoid it, because there's also something called Sim swapping where, uh, yeah, I'm gonna get a little crazy on you know, but there is something called Sim slapping where thieves can call your phone company, impersonate you and actually deactivate your Sim Card, get a new one and divert all your phone communications to their phone device, which means you are capital f screwed. So I would I would leave some caution out there to the listeners. On a personal life tip is just, you know, clean up your your digital hygiene if you've been ignoring it for too long. So well, thanks for spending some time with us on B two B growth and dropping this knowledge on marketing and on being safe out there. So we need it. Man, come back again see us drop some more wisdom down the road and uh, appreciate your time. All right, Benji. Thanks man. If you enjoy today's show, hit subscribe for more marketing goodness. And if you really enjoy today's show, take a second to rate and review the podcast on the platform you're listening to it on right now. If you really really enjoyed this episode, share the love by texting it to a friend who would find it insightful. Thanks for listening and thanks for Shinning.

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