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

Episode 1644 · 6 months ago

Using the Super Bowl to Distill a Complex Value Prop with Mike Goldberg

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Benji talks to Mike Goldberg, Global Director of Content Marketing at the CFA Institute.

When faced with a complex value proposition Mike pivoted to a unique content strategy. Playing off the Super Bowl, Mike created a football-themed campaign to help showcase the engineers that set the company apart. This episode is a breakdown of that campaign, with practical lessons in creativity and communication.

Hello and welcome in to be to be growth. I'm your host, Benjie Block. Today I am joined by Mike Goldberg. He's the global director of content marketing at the CFA institute. Mike, Thank you for joining me here on B Tob Growth and thanks so much for having me so just recently. You actually started at your current job and your current position, but we had connected over really an interesting campaign you guys ran at your last company. So would you just provide maybe some context, Mike, tell me a bit of your background and what led to to the project were about to discuss. Shuret thing. So you know, I've traditionally been in the marketing space in the BDB world for the past twenty years. I hate that ages me a little bit, but you know, I've always come to marketing with a background in journalism and English and storytelling was always at the heart of everything I've done. So after a couple of years working as a marketing generalists, content started exploding and it became this big buzz word and there was suddenly this big opportunity for companies to hire content specific roles. Even though I've been doing content all the time. Good marketing it's based on content. So you know, I jumped at that opportunity to leave some of the traditional event PR comes, supporting sales people behind. Don't miss much of that, but I did all in on the content part and messaging storytelling, and that's really what I love to do. So I started focusing on content rolls on the past ten years or so and it one role. I worked at Dune in Brad Street, which is a huge global data provider, information intelligence company, and that's where I came across the opportunity to do a lot around content. It was still new to them and that's where this campaign that we're going to talk about kind of came to life. HMM. So you had a problem that was basically a complicated value proposition, very data driven. So instead of honing in on what the product could do, you had to figure out like, how do we bring this to life, and maybe a different way, a unique way. Right. Walk me through the complicated value prop that you were working with before we actually dive into the solution that then came from it. Sure. Oh, the first thing I do on any content project is really put on my journalism hat and ask questions. I've really got to understand what this product is why it exists, who the audience is for, what makes it different and what are the outcomes are going to be why anyone want would want to pay money for this product. So the first thing I do on all projects is go through that list of questions with the right stakeholders, the business leaders, the product development team, the sales leaders. It's really important for me to get everyone's vision on what it is they're doing. Obviously the product people. They want to talk about features and why it's so great and what they're building on the back end. Self team. How are they going to position it? What do they need to tell their customers that will help them close that sale? So two different lines of thinking. I have to bridge that together to understand what it is I'm going to be writing about. So you know, coming into this project specifically it was around master data, which is a really nuance thing of how data is collected and cleaned and scrubbed in technology systems, and the first thing I noticed is internally everyone was confused of what it is we're actually building or selling. It's not if you're confused. No, yes,...

...bad, start right. So it took a lot of brainstorming meetings just to get everyone a line to okay, what is this product? What's the goal? So I love to create content, briefs that summarize all these main points and too distilled piece of documentation that I can then share with everyone. So combining everyone's thoughts and then I put together this document that we kind of build off from there. So, after many meetings over a couple weeks, we came to the realization and what this product does, and it turned out it was not so much about the technology or the product itself, which is obviously important, but it was really about our engineer team that we're working within this product that really made it valuable. It was their experience. They were the ones behind the scenes making things happen. So we've decided, you know, maybe we should not be talking about this in the traditional product sense. Let's really focus on our expertise and our people. And I know in the BB world, especially the the tech world, it's a little bit weird to think, well, we're not going to talk about our technology, we're going to talk about the people. But really the people, in this case, we're really the most important part of this. So that's where we said, hey, let's start with people first. HMM. Okay. Take me back to content briefs Real quick, and it's around questions you're asking, right, so you're trying to determine what is the product do? What makes it valuable in Unique and then you stumble on, okay, it's the engineers, it's the people. What are maybe some of the more strategic questions you're asking to create that kind of content brief? Yeah, you know, for me it's ultimately all those things are important, but ultimately, what will the end user get out of this? How is it going to make out their lives better, easier? How is it going to help them succeed in their job? And I feel like that's almost kind of reverse engineering the question, because it's always about now, here's the new features, here's what it does. I don't really care. I know a product person spends all their time building this, so they care, but what I care about is why would somebody say this has made my life easier? So that's kind of the things that I want to get out of whenever I talk to anyone on any project brief, is what's the real story that we can tell that someone's going to care about, right. Yeah, so you're hearing from product, how how great the product is. From sales, they're thinking, you know, how do we get our numbers up? And then you're taking all that information and seeing the common thread of this is actually how it intersects with people, how it will actually be used and help in their life. Right, exactly, awesome. Okay. So, with that in mind, you establish engineers are a key factor in our in what makes us unique, what makes us valuable? What is the decisionmaking process that leads you to this idea of what we would call an Mvee, most valuable engineer? Yeah, so when I brought up the that we should start with our engineers, everyone was a little bit not on board right away. I had to make the case and explain, you know, why the market would see that as a valuable marketing technique and messaging, obviously, and why it's so important. So basically, at once I got everyone on line to like, you know what, you're right, our engineers are the heart of this story. It was like, okay, well, what does that mean? How are we going to prop our engineers in front of the story? And you know, engineers by nature tend to be very quiet and they don't want to be the face of a product brilliant and in...

...the background and right exactly. So we had to think, all right, well, what can we do? So, you know, understanding who our audience was and when we were releasing this particular product. You know, I thought, well, they're all they skew, very male. Or releasing this product right around Super Bowl. You know, how can we news Jack Super Bowl? And I would always trying to news jack anything seasonality and hop on those bandwagons. So what can we do to jump on that and just generate some buzz and intrist so, being a huge football fan, I said, Hey, what if we treat our engineers like the NFL treats football players and the draft and teams wanting that player to be on their team because that player is going to come bared and help them win a super bowl? To me, these engineers, they would be working on our clients accounts and helping them succeed in their goals. So I said, let's let's put together an idea around this MV. I said MVP, but I like mv now that you said. Let's package that around this story. So I brought that to the table without really scoping it out. I just that was the idea and it took a lot of conversations and email follow ups before everyone agree. Okay, we like the idea. Let's begin. Hmm, what is that creative process light like? So in your head, I'm assuming, and this is just a marketer assuming a marketers brain, we often think like this grand thing in our minds of how, in this case, right like, everything's football themed, everything's like it's just hyper visual and beautiful and leans heavily in a football. Clearly, when you bring that into a more business minded, data driven context, there's probably some compromise that had to happen in order for this idea to actually work. So talk about the A. Guess where you started to then where you had to kind of end up and maybe some of the compromises that were made so that everyone was on board. Absolutely. Yeah, the first big thing that knocked me down off my excitement high hat was that I know I couldn't use the term super bowl. Obviously that trademarked and you know, these are the things I don't think about when I'm coming up in the idea. I'm just excited. So I'm like, all right, can't refer to Super Bowl, we have to say big game. In earn messaging, but really before that even started, it was understanding. Okay, we're going to have to sit down with our engineers and if we want to prop them and make them the centerpiece, I've got to talk to them. We've got to understand what their strengths are. What did they bring the table? How do we create unique per saunas for each of our engineers? And there's only a handful, obviously, that we could focus on a given time. And the first response I got from our product lea to his engineers are not going to want to talk to you. I said don't don't worry, I'm will have casual conversations and I'm going to sell this to them internally to help makes them feel like they're actually there. The mvps themselves and everyone likes a little ego boosts. So I decided let's talk to each of our engineers. I created a standard set of questions. What are your big as accomplishments? Would have been your achievements? Where did you go to school? Again, I'm thinking in terms of how does the NFL put together a perfect draft person where you know exactly? My mind, I'm seeing them presented in a video with cool icons and ESPN style sports music. But that's the first route we went to. Is like, let's talk to engineers and get some of this information. HM, okay, so I like that as a starting place. Right...

...then you have to determine, as you're having these conversations with the engineers, start think through medium, how long of like content are we going to try to create? Tell me about what was actually formulated. So what you're actually putting this thing together? At this point, you got to buy in. What is this actually start to formulate into and look like once you have the engineers on board? Right? So that was the first thing that we want. That the first hurdle to achieve is making sure we have the engineers on board and that we got some good stories from them. And then it was okay, we have this information. How are you going to package it present it? And you know, there's a lot of ways you can do video around these stories. You can interview them and do talking head videos. For me, I said, look, these engineers, they don't want to be the face, they don't want to be on camera. Let's use everything they shared with us and create a little thirty second MVP snapshots of engineer with your name, where you went to school and make it more visual with the kind of super bowl football styled theming, and then we create five or six based on the individual engineers we have and push that out on social using the right hashtags or round football super bowl MVP, and then say hey, meet some of our engineers, draft your engineer for your winning team, and it would become a it would start as a social media campaign, very trying to be very viral in nature. So that was the initial plan for how to use that information. Hey everyone, if you've been listening to be to be growth for a while, you know that we are big proponents of putting out original, organic content on Linkedin, but one thing that's always been a struggle for a team like ours is easily tracking the reach of that linkedin content. That's why we're really excited about shield analytics. Since our team started using shield, we've been able to easily track the reach and performance of our linkedin content without having to manually log it ourselves. It automatically creates reports and it generates dashboards that are incredibly useful to determining things like what content has been performing the best, what days of the week are we getting the most engagement and our average views per post. Shield has been a game changer for our entire team productivity and performance on Linkedin. I highly suggest checking out this tool if you're publishing content on Linkedin for yourselves or for your company. You can get a ten day free trial at shield APP NOTT AI, or you can get a twenty five percent discount with our Promo code be to be growth. Again, that's shield APP DOT AI and the Promo Code is be the number two be growth. All One word for a twenty five percent discount. All right, let's get back into the show. I love a particular piece of this because you have to get them on board, but then also, even if they're on board, you realize there is a potential like I don't want to say deficiency, but there their engineers are strong in other things, maybe not being on camera and maybe not being like long form interviewed and and you don't even know if you could hold someone's attention that long with that idea. But if you can bring in the creative aspect and also bring in just enough the uniqueness in in the engineer presented in like a thirty second type clip, I love the the way that you came to that conclusion and really started to drill down there. What is, I guess, the back end strategy, Mike, for these videos? So, yes, you everyone wants their video to go viral. We never know how it's actually going to play out or how it people will latch onto that. But what's the back end strategy? Someone really likes that video and then one right now. Ultimately, our goal was to have demo scheduled with the sales team. So originally it was going to be check...

...out our new product feature, here's everything it does, and it would have been your standard white paper and you could US use of master data with a lot of charts and stuff that I'm sure our end users care about, but they see so much. So this idea is really like I'm always thinking, how do we break through the noise and stop trying to be the same old, boring be to be company that everyone is? But again, ultimately it was like we need to hit a certain number of demos for ourselves team. So the videos. Really yes, we wanted these videos to go viral, but there was obviously a call to action, and that call to action was draft your winning engineer to help with your master data problems. That then directed them to a landing page where we had our featured content, and without content I think you don't have a story. So that's where this whole the original idea for the white paper of master data that was still stayed true to what it was. That something the product team wrote. What I did is kind of repackage it and make it a little bit more of a playbook and I say, Hey, let's make some visuals make it feel like the coaches playbook we tied it into. there. We include all the engineer videos we've done and put on social. We put some snapshots in their up front and then you get your traditional product story, but onto the wrapper of this whole Super Bowl type campaign that's free to download. You know, that was not gated. We wanted people to read that to understand that what is gated. What was part of the real campaign Legien was hey, you read this, get ready to get your engineer, MVP, engineer ready to help you win. Sign up for a demo. That's how we started deciding how we would track success. Okay, so let me recap that. So I'm scrolling social, I see MVP, mv add I guess, or is it is this organic social, paid social. What was the process? YEA, so it was organic to start with. Yep, there was a paid media campaign that was happening separately through an agency, and this is a great learning that I've taken and I think everyone should know, is that you need to be a hundred percent in step with what your agency is doing, because the agency was gearing up for a paid media campaign for this white paper without knowing any of this super bowl theme planning, where is a lot of silos. Cont tent marketing is sometimes left out of the loop with the paid digital media team. I make. I think it's complicated. Yeah, so then they're running non football themed ads that are leading to landing pages that have all football themed playbooks and stuff exactly. Yep, that is a great learning. I I can't tell you enough how much silos end up playing a part in it, and you have to be so strategic when you're outsourcing marketing, paid marketing, to really not like they need to know what you're doing. And this is such a great idea. They could have leaned heavy into it and over probably driven some fantastic results, but everyone's got their head down doing their job right, like the Yes, silos just happen by nature of it. And overcommunication, I can't stress that enough. Like overcommunication is huge in marketing campaigns like this. Okay, so, but from your vantage point that learning something we can all take something from. But from your vantage point, I'm scrolling social I click on an Mvee type post, then it's taking me to a landing page white paper and from and white papers free, then togated content and demo sign up. Correct. Okay, I like that. Additionally, just a nurture email...

...campaign built in, so anyone who downloaded the white paper you know we're able to capture that basic information and then not ready for dem will yet. will put them in a nurtous stream. The first email I've kind of had to make sure kept with the theme in mind, and then after that it went into our traditional nurtureus dream. That was already in built out for this campaign. So you presented one of the main takeaways from this. We've spent quite a bit on this episode going through the story aspect of it because I want people to understand the full campaign and really get into the weeds a little bit. But now I want to like come up for air in a sense. And want to go real practical. How one of the main takeaways make sure that you're not siloed as you do a marketing campaign like this. But as far as the actual learnings from a football themed campaign, hard value prop what are things that you learned, Mike, that have informed your marketing since then? And maybe for our listeners, like what would you tell them? Are Some strategies that you take away? Sure? Well, I'll have to tell the the end result of this whole campaign is that it did not go to market as perfectly scripted as I had hoped, and that is because with the videos we went very heavy in that sports center style and even though we have a creative team that I've kept in the loop, letting them know, you know, we're doing this, we're going to go out film these videos, and they were kind of on email just acknowledging it. That's it, and we go to market, it goes out and then I get an email from the creative team saying wait, what is this, and I said, Oh, remember, on that email I sent a couple months ago we're doing this, and it turned out they're like, well, this is way off brand and for video, how we go to social? We can't use this font or this style. The music is not our theme. So of course they were just like scrab it and I'm like no, let's think what can we do to save this still make it more spent a lot of money on it. So we had to re engineer some of the videos, take away a little bit more of the overthe top sports metaphors, keep it a little more basic, but the landing page, the playbook, that stayed the same. So my takeaway is, no matter how much you think everyone knows what's happening, they probably don't. So to have that stay colder by and put meetings on the table. As much as I hate meetings, you have to make sure everyone's aware of what's happening and what's planned. HMM. I think that's a huge learning and one that we can easily. I think like you can drift into seasons of time where you're very aware of that and then, like, it just gets busy again in marketing and you have your head down and content creation and then you have to come back to that lesson. So, no matter where you're at today, when you're hearing mike explain this story overcommunication is well worth it, especially if you want to see the success of a campaign long term, and so to make sure your ideas are solidified, make sure everyone's on board and you really know what you're driving at, is crucial. I still I love the heart of this campaign because I think there's a lot of listeners who are would say, man, our value prop is complicated or we talked so much about our features and we talk so much about all the little things that our product can do. There's this movement towards story that needs to happen. There's this movement towards narrative that needs to happen. Have you held onto that since that project? Mike and sort of shrets, try to be strategic with story, and that seems like it's a part of who you are. Oh, definitely, definitely. I you know, I just put myself into our customers shoes, no matter what company on me, and...

I'm thinking, what does that person want to get out of product or service and how are they going to find out about it from me? There's so much noise and your heads down and I'm working so much about what I need to do it's really hard to hear all of the sales pitches and I've sales people reach out to me all the time and I see so much on social around products that could be helpful for me. But, yeah, I just don't have time to listen to it because it all sounds the same sometimes. But when someone really tells me something interesting that like how it's going to help me personally do my job or connects with something emotional to me, then I'm like, oh my ears perke up. I'm ready to listen and I try and do that everywhere I go. It's just like, what is that story that we want to tell and how do we just be human with each other? You know, I think people get too hung up on them. Well, where be to be? We can't be an apple or, you know, coke or Nike. But why not? Of course we can. We're all human. It's human to human, be to be. I try and get away from that notion as much as possible. If you were replicating a similar project now at your current place to work, what would you outside of communication? What would you change in the process? What would you want to try? Well, you know, I don't know if I change much, other than you know that what we just discussed is that overcommunication, having everyone way in have all stay closures involved, even if they're not part of that project. I want to make sure everyone is on board with what's being planned before it goes to market. But really that idea of a content brief and how I interview different groups and different teams is really been the most successful thing I've brought to all the companies I've been at. Yeah, because you know, in the past, I've seen you know and I see it with other teams. It's a project and people just dive in and start going to work based on what one person says. But I think it's that listening and that wearing, you know, that journalism had, being able to talk to people and really hear what it is we're trying to accomplish. That's been critical. Good answer, active listening big one in marketing, and you said it several times here, but I'm going to highlight it again and said earlier when you were doing, when you were setting out to do content briefs, you brought up this idea of how it's going to help customers, right, and you have to solidify that and break that down and put it into the content brief and then we bringing it up again here at the end. That ultimately, content marketing is saying, how is this help our customers? Why? Why would they be interested? Why? Why is it entertaining to them right in some sense, or why would they keep coming back for more? And I think that's a good place to start to draw the conclusion here on this conversation. Mike, Thank you for being here on BB growth for sharing this, this campaign with us. For those that are interested in staying connected with you and the company you're now at, talk a little bit about what you do and where people can find you online. Yeah, so, as content leader at Cefa Institute, I am helping tell the CEFA institute story. So obviously it's a nonprofit organization really dedicated to building out future professionals within the investment management industry. You know, they have the CFA exam, which is what they've known for, but they're trying to branch out and create a lot of different products, certificates to really help proper investment management as a whole and get more people involved into the industry. You know, finance some times of dirty word people, but through storytelling, you know where my goal is to help share...

...why finance is going to be important and why I can really help society. So I'm trying to tell those stories and tell them in a way that our audience, who happens to skew very young, because we we want to target people starting their career. How do you do that and get their attention? Everyone is using the tick tock these days to tell, to talk, and so how do we take our story and put it on a platform where our audience is going to find it? And Yeah, so again it comes back to storytelling, right. That's that's what I love to do and no matter what I'm trying to help sell or promote, storytelling can always be used very well. M Mike, where can people connect with you online? Is Linkedin, or what's a way people could reach out? Yeah, Linkedin, and I always share some tidbits on content marketing when I can, and my portfolio is Mike Goldberg Be Tobcom, where I put up everything I've ever written. Fantastic. Well, thank you for spending time with us here on B Tob Growth. This is a really insightful conversation and great to kind of get a peek behind the curtain of of a campaign. So thanks for joining us, Mike. If thanks for letting me share the story I hope, but it's hope. It's helpful for some other people and content absolutely so. We're always having these types of conversations here on B tob growth. This was a unique one, going deep into a campaign. I loved it. If you have yet to subscribe, make sure that you do that. Wherever you're listening to this podcast, we would appreciate it and and you'll never miss an episode. And if you want to connect with me, always open to conversation over on linkedin talking about business and life and marketing. So reach out over there to search Benjie Block. Keep doing work that matters. Will be back real soon with another episode of B Tob Growth. Is Your buyer a BTB marketer? If so, you should think about sponsoring this podcast. F TOB growth gets downloaded over a hundred and thirty thousand times each month and our listeners are marketing decision makers. If it sounds interesting, Sind Logan and email logan at sweetfish Mediacom.

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