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

Episode 2096 · 4 months ago

Traditional Messaging Is Out, Direct Mail Is In

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, we talk to Laura Sweet, VP, Marketing at Kneat.

Yeah. Hi everyone welcome back to be to begrowth. I'm Olivia Hurley with sweet fish media and today I'm joined bylaura suite of neat. Hey laura, how you doing? I'm great. Thanks Olivia. Thanksso much for having me. Oh of course. I'm so glad we get to talk today beforewe were recording. We talked about Some things that you were thinking B2Bmarketers should start and stop doing and you were saying they should stopwith the traditional old school messaging. The companies that arewinning are the ones who are creative for humanizing their messaging. And youare saying that you think and you've seen a lot of success around directmail to support A B. M. And that its trending that way anyway. But it bringsthat 1 to 1 element. I love that and I want to unpack all of that. So let'sstart really basic. Let's start at the top. What does traditional old schoolmessaging look and sound like? Well, you know, I think that there's avariety of different elements around that, but more what I refer back to ourjust, there's still a lot of people that are coming from that almost, youknow, smiles and dial zero and it was really just activity based in aboutvolume and just like how much you can get out in a day and so you'll get alot of the repetitive copy and paste messaging or the old cadences, You know,where it's not personalized and it's often just trying to push someone downa funnel, you know, like the traditional like tofu tofu, both food,like, you know, like that we've really evolved in that era. And some of theexamples, you know that I think might resonate with some people is that youget messages where it's the wrong title, you know, like they know I'm inmarketing but they put the wrong title in there. So you know, again, I knowit's automated. You know, I get a lot of that. Did you get my last message?Like unfortunately I have not had time to read your last message, but thankyou for reaching out. You know, one of the ones that really hit me or at theend of a cadence, I see this more and more is the, you know, I see this isnot a priority for you right now. And I'm just like, no, that's that's notthe case. I'm just not not responding to your mail, you know? Um it'sactually funny directly before we started recording this today, I had anin mail come through in linkedin and you know, the poor person, we leavethem anonymous. But they started off their messaging with, I like what youguys are doing and you know, at your company and I'm pretty sure that you'reusing these types of tools which totally neglected to say what it is mycompany does or that they've even confirmed I've used one of the toolsthey're talking about. So again, these are just copy and paste messages thatare used time and time again. And so when I talk about old school, that'skind of what I'm referring back to is just that very activity based copy andpaste, cadenced messaging and marketing. So what do you think that traditionalold school messaging breeds? I'm sure mistrust. Well, I think you nailed itright there was saying mistrust, right? And it's interesting too. I always Ialways tell her and I'm not, I'm a focus group of one, right? And add ontop of that. I'm a marketer. So I do feel bad for those out there that areapproaching me, you know, when you're marketing to marketers, so there's thatcontext to consider, but yeah, exactly that like I get inundated, you know,with marketing and sales efforts daily and when I'm getting, especially as amarket or knowing what it is that they're doing in their tactics. Youknow, I'm not going to take that same time back. If you can't take the timeto reach out to me, you know, to understand my challenges, why am Igoing to take the time out of my day, especially in my role to respond backto you? You know, it's really only if you've caught me at a good time thatI'm really looking at that right now that it's going to happen so right away,it just doesn't give me that, you know, that relationship with someone whenthey do, you know, really miss the mark when it comes to say job titles orchallenges or my company, you know, it...

...does breed that mistrust like, you know,I'm not going to pay attention to you in future. Why do people generallyneglect humanizing their message? And on the topic of why people neglect thehumanization of the personalization from what I've seen? Honestly, I thinkit's twofold. I think it's just not taking the extra time thinking thatit's not necessary, right? Um people get results one way or another. Youknow, why would you take more steps to get the same results? But I think a lotof that also comes from how marketing is still measured a little bit. So, youknow, I do see that marketing BDR str activities are still very much measuredoff of volume and activity based. So when you've got people in these rulesthat need to hit those metrics, that's where again they lose the incentive todo that. Additional personalization and humanization and I think it's a bit ofhabits we gotta get out of right. We have to sort of shed that like you knowwe're in this new cycle of marketing and sales right now and so we reallyjust need to step into it um and get everybody on board. So what domarketers stand to lose by not personalizing and humanizing theirmessage? I know we mentioned trust the opportunity for trust. But what else?Well revenue really is what it comes down to. You know there's a reason thataccount based marketing is blown up in this new wave new era marketing if youwill. Um You know there's a reason that companies are moving towardspersonalization um and relationship building and creating moments forpeople. You know it's like that experiential You know marketing likeboom that we saw years ago but it's not that 1-1 basis now. Um and the reasonis because it works so you know I think we need to look back at what thebusiness results are and what drives those business results and that'srevenue for most companies. So in that case that is why we should be shiftingtowards you know this type of marketing and messaging because it does work. So how do you start humanizing yourmessaging and adding creativity that gets people's attention. So it doesjust take a little bit of time and research whether it's doing a fullblown account based marketing plan and I didn't say account based marketingand sales whatever you want to call it. You know that targeted precisionapproach, it is just taking a little bit of additional time to do theresearch to get to know not only the account but the people behind theaccount. Um and I think that's a huge miss to write. A lot of people willcreate the personas around their companies or the accounts that they'retargeting. But again you really need to think about it that it's still peopleyou're marketing to right? You know like I spent my early career and be tosee. But I take a lot of lessons out of that. It might be to be marketingbecause even though you've identified a persona for a specific account, likethe people you engage with across the different departments, decision makinglevels are all going to have their own individual motivations. Yeah. So it'sjust just taking a little bit of time to dig and find out what actuallymotivates them what their pains are and speaking to them directly as humans.I'm curious to to go down a little rabbit trail here that's with knowingit takes time with knowing that it's individualized. Can you speak to maybehow do you do that at scale? Yeah. Well, so this is sort of this new, this newworld that we're living in because relationship building and marketing andsales is not new, right? Nothing that marketers love to create new new topics,new, you know, new hip, new marketing trends, right? That's what we do. Butit all really is just cyclical back to what we've already seen. Sorelationship building is, you know, think back to the seventies eighties.That is how people sold. So this is now we've come back to this because we wentthrough a period where it was very much activity based and numbers based. Andnow we're seeing our consumers in the...

Bdb world as well as be to see ourconsumers are just a little bit immune to those tactics. So we're circlingback to that relationship. But the challenge with that is it takes time.Um you know, we can't always be face to face, we can't always be at aconference in front of people. So what's actually think enabled us tomove towards um doing that at scale. So still giving that like 1 to 1 moment orexperience to people um without having to physically be in front of them isthrough a lot of technology automation. That's that's you know, started raisedits head so that either through like A B. M. Platforms or some of the reallycool ones I've been watching are the like gifting and sending platforms thathave, you know, popped up over the last five years or so. Yeah, any greatexamples. People should check out people who are doing this companiesthat are doing this really well. Yeah. And I'll just maybe take it a bit of atangent myself because I find it funny, I spent my early career specializing indirect marketing, you know, and at that time that was when email, you know,probably aging myself a bit here. But email is like really the big thing,like email workflows and automation and oh my goodness, you know, everyone saiddirect mails is done, it's dead right like and emails, you know, big, bigthing and automation around it. And then, you know, I've been through thatphase where all of a sudden like email, you know, it's gone where we're donewith email and we just got through these waves, you know? And so I find itfunny now that we're back into this sort of account based personalizationwhere all of a sudden direct marketing and direct mail is coming back intotrend. And I'd say that's because it was kind of neglected for a long timeby a lot of companies. So what has been catching my eye because I think, youknow, I have a bit of bias from that specialization in my early career arecompanies like Sandoz, oh Alice, like, you know, they've come up in the lastfive years, both of which have raised series bees in the last year. Um Ithink Alice was just a few months ago. So that's again speaking to the factthat this is working, there's traction there. Um and I can give a personalexample and so again, speaking as a market or not even talking about someof the audiences that, You know, are more talent that are less challengingto sell to. But one of my like, things that have stood out to me in my career.So as you know, someone who's worked in B2B like high growth companies, gascompanies where I am, you know, I get pulled in multiple directions, you know,many, many days, days and hours of the week. So one that actually caught myeye in the last six years was I received a direct package sendingpackage that I don't know if I can say this on the podcast, but we'll call itthe darn it doll. Uh this is a real thing. I didn't know, I didn't knowthis existed. I received one of these darn it dolls will say and the entireconcept around this doll is that you can just like whack it like, you know,you're just having a frustrating day and you're tired and you're like justdone and you can just like whack it on the desk, whack it on the wall. And Ithought so first I thought that was hilarious, had never seen anything likethis. But the company that sent it to me sent me this dull with thepersonalization, I'm like, look, I understand that you're an executive ina fast case B two B saAS company, hypergrowth company, you probably don'thave a lot of time on your hands. We just thought we'd give you something tohelp you, you know, expend some of that, you know, registration that you mayfeel in your day to day work. And I'm definitely paraphrasing the message andthey did a much better job than what I'm saying now, but that I probablyreceived that package I want to say three year 23 years ago and that stillstands in my head as one of the best examples. They caught my attention inmarketing to me, josh, what do you think is the most irritating thing forB two B buyers right now, man, Logan, I love talking to you about this. Youknow that The # one Challenge right now is that many Customer facing teams inthe B2B space right now are forcing their potential buyers too by the waythat they want to sell, buyers don't want to buy that way. Right now. Theywant to, by the way they want to buy. We need to enable those buyers, we callthis buyer enablement at sales reach.

We need to enable those buyers to makebetter decisions quicker in a comfortable environment that's morepersonalized for them to move forward with that process. Dude, that's awesome.I couldn't agree more since I've been using sales reach in my own salesprocess. It's allowed me to really enable the buyer to move more quicklyand really two ways one, they don't have to download a bunch of attachments.I can send them to one page with the proposal case studies differentresources because let's face it, the proposal is just one part of the salesconversation and probably only one sales enablement piece of content thatyou're sending. So it makes it easier on them. And then the other thing Is,you know, we're selling to our champions and then we're making themhave to re give our pitch to the entire buying committee. So one thing I do isput a custom 2-3 minute video on the top of my sales reach page that says,hey, here's all the resources, tie it back to the conversation. Here's theproposal. Let me know if you have any questions. And it allows me to give alittle bit of kind of a mini pitch to the rest of the buying committee,introduce myself, which helps me build trust and credibility and helps thebuyer not have to repeat the entire pitch from scratch. So if anybody islooking to do the same thing in their own sales process, I'd highly suggestthey reach out to you and the team over at sales reach for anybody listening.Just go to sales reach dot Io to talk to josh and the team. So talking aboutdirect mail, I want to dig into this a little bit. So with it coming back ontrend, it's been neglected for a while. We don't want it to fall back on itsorigins in terms of traditional old school domestic. So so taking, takingdirect mail, How do you breathe life into it? And then why is it such avaluable tactic? Obviously very personalized as we just have heard fromthe darn it doll? But yeah, yeah. Just to add on as far as howthose automation and tools allow you to do this at scale. Is that through theplatform you're able now to take, you know, targeted segments and send outthose very personalized examples? It is similar to like my darn it doll example.Like I'm sure I'm not the only marketing executive that received that.But to me that was a very personalized 1-1 moment. They created thatexperience they created for me. But they were able to do that for thatsegment that they sent out, you know, through whatever methodology that theydid. And so, you know, platforms like gifting and sending platforms likeAlison Santoso. Like they they just enable you to do that 1 to 1 experiencefor someone at scale. You know, I'm not saying that it's still the most likebudget friendly channel you have, and that's why I think it is more targetedtowards account based marketing. We're doing smaller, targeted tacticalapproaches, but it enables you, instead of just having to literally do it 1 to1, you can make people feel like it's 1 to 1, but you're doing it at scale. Sothat is how I find that that's evolved from, you know, the old old days whenit was, you know, the direct mail you received in your mailbox, You know, Ilove that, I love that. So it's been neglected, it's coming back, but wedon't want it to fall into this old school messaging and tactics. Sooutside of the example you just gave, how would you breathe life into directmail in addition to the darn it doll well. And I think it comes back to thejust the the ideology behind it though. And it truly is just to remember thatyou are marketing to people because that's the thing. As soon as you findsomething that works, the immediate reaction is like double down, blow itout. Like, let's see if we can use this for other segments, other people,etcetera. And that's where I think we get into the cycle of then starting tomove towards like volume and activities and then lose that personalization. AndI think right now, like, you know, consumers businesses like I don't knowthat they're actually going to now accept marketing in the future thatdoesn't have this. I think they're...

...going to we're going to continue to seetechnology trends um for marketing tools come out that just enables usfurther, right? You can dive into conversational marketing, right? Andthe tools that exist for that now where you're really just speaking to a humanas a human. So I think that's the most important thing that marketing leadersceos just need to continue to reinforce into your team's is just remember youare marketing to people and then knowing that those people and trendsand challenges change as they're like as your business and function changes.So it is theirs, there's a lot of information available online. Anothergreat example. This was not part of any specific tactical plan. Um I workedwith an A. E who was very, very strong at what he did and he noticed, I thinkit was promised a linkedin or some social media platform for someone. Hewas he was speaking within an opportunity. Really, really liked Notredame football, like really, really liked it. And so he went on to amazonand found, you know, like this model helmet. So I do not follow football andfor college football unfortunately. So I'm not going to get this right. Butyou know, a helmet that was of some importance to Notre dame and, and, andjust sent it to him through. I was like just on his own and you know, that wasjust such a game changer an opportunity for him and really advanced it. So likethat, that it's almost a culture that you have to instill Into your companyand your, your teams is just to remember that you're speaking to humans.And then that's how you have to always come back to in anything you'replanning brilliant way to go to that 82. That's fascinating. Right? So whatresults have you seen from taking this personalized plus direct mail approach?Well, again, it's back to the result right in the business results. So wespeak a lot about leads, um, and conversion rate. So I can tell you allday, you know, there's stats out there that talk about the increasingconversions. I actually just read a report that was just released this yearthat, you know, stated that direct mail is getting 90% open rates. So thinkabout your again, you know, there's many studies out there, but I think ofyour cold email this, you know, if you're happy to get like a, you know,10 15% open rate, Whereas, you know, you're gonna 90% for direct mail. So,you know, in addition to these results were seen when it comes to say directmail. You know, I I know one of the sending platforms has said that they,you know, you see a five X increase in your conversion rates from usingpersonal gifting specifically in your A. B. M. Tactics. So those would be yes,those are the answers ever wants to hear, right? But again, it comes backto me is the opportunities you're generating, the customer experience,you're generating the ease in the customer journey that you've nowcreated for that customer and then is it converting to revenue? Right. So Ithink that that that is what everyone needs to focus on and that is what Ihave seen with the personalization. Now, I'm not saying ignore, you know,general marketing tactics or you know, more broad spread, you know, wider netbased approaches if you will, but when it comes to being able to go after aniche and a subset of companies, You know, in B two B if you're ignoringaccount base, you are going to be missing out on revenue that's sittingthere, whether it be, you know, a net new opportunity or you know, increasingthe value of that opportunity in some larger, you know, be to be enterprisedsales. So we we've definitely seen some of those increases in numbers andresults, but like I said, it turns out in just a better overall customerexperience. Um you know, right from introduction of the buyer journey on toon boarding the new customer. So at this point do you, I feel like if Iasked you for someone wanting to do what you're suggesting, what a step one,step two does that, do you feel like you've already covered that? Do youfeel like you could kind of walk...

...through some of that? Well? So this isyour college because one of the things I was going to try and fit and if itmade sense was there is a difference in who your marketing to for a B. M. And Ithink that that's something that doesn't get spoken about enough. Likeyou know when you read articles about a B. M. Programs or how to set up an A B.M. Program like I've heard people speak and it's just like well that's notgoing to work for me, right? And so I think I can get I have very twodistinct lenses because I am a marketer, they get Mark gets marketed to heavily.Right? So I see what's happening in that space. But equally I work in likea enterprise BTV SAS company that has very large deals and we're currentlynichd into an industry that's like highly regulated, not used to beingsold to. And it's very different right? How you approach that Laura forsomebody wanting to do what you're suggesting, what is step 1? Well, Ithink before we dive into step one, there's just something that's veryimportant to understand in regards to account based marketing and what Idon't think it's necessarily spoken about enough when you read about, youknow, the how twos or the steps into account based marketing or personalizedmarketing or you know, targeted market, whatever you want to call it. It'sreally the context. So I live a very interesting, you know, kind of dualityin the sense that I'm a marketer. So I get targeted quite frequently bycompanies B2B context. So you know, which I love because I get to stay upto date um you know on some of the newest tactics because you're havingmarketers market to marketers, it's wonderful from that perspective. But Iexist in my role in my function in you know, a very different world in thesense that in the last six years I worked for BTB Enterprise SAS that hassold, you know, very, very high ticket items into very highly regulatedindustries and you know the functions that we sell into in the industries andverticals are not marketers and in sales people right, they're not used tobeing sold to um you know, we sell into large companies that are very Matrixand global and you know, there's so many different complexities around it.So I don't think that there is a prescribed like step 123 that justeveryone can walk away with. I think there's great insights, you can learnthat way but really it does, you know, you do have to consider that context.So I think that a lot of the time when you, when you read about a VM it doestend to come from marketers, you know, and it's great and I do take a lot fromthat. But I think one of the things that I can add additional context tooutside of what you could just, you know, google online is that when itcomes to these very highly regulated, um you know, complex sales, it is adifferent world and you do need to think differently because they care alot about relationships, they care a lot about trust. Thought leadership isincredibly important to differentiate yourself and to gain that trust. Theystill do the face to face, they still pick up the phone in a lot of theseroles and functions. So when you're building out your plan, you really needto take that context. So it's not just doing the research, you know, likeyou'll hear the step one is okay build your account list, you know, figure outwho is the priority to go after and people have different opinions on that,right? It could be, let's go after the accounts that sales is getting notraction with. Let's go after the accounts that sales getting tractionwith. But like there's just nothing to moving along. So let's try and escalatethat. Let's target existing customers to try and expand. So you can, you know,discuss the priorities and build your list. And the next one tends to be likeresearch. Okay? So now that we've got who we're going after, let's find outeverything we can about them, Right? Do your account mapping. So there's thosevery typical steps. But I think what's most important is to understand is howthose people actually interact, right? Do they answer phone calls? Do theylike to see people face to face? Do...

...they? You know, like I've seen a greatapproach where it came to more account based tactics where, you know, youcouldn't get someone on the phone, but hey, they love to have lunch. Like, youknow, in their, in their role, they tended to go take extended lunches. Soit's like, that's great. Let's buy them lunch and chat with them over lunch.You know, you just really need to understand how they like to becommunicated to. So it's not just their pain points and messaging. It is thehow and the channel so that, you know, is part of that research phase and then,you know, you continue on from then you build out your plan and then youexecute. And I think one of the other things that's important to understandis that, you know, don't spend too much time building out those plans, right?You need to actually get things into practice so you can quickly fail fast,right? You've got to be able to figure out what actually works so that you cancontinue to iterate and optimize them until you can start to get some data.To help support some evidence. If you will does not necessarily be data, justany evidence to demonstrate what you should continue to do to optimize youryour account based marketing. So if somebody tries those steps andimplements those steps, what's a way that they could easily get it wrong orwhat's a warning sign that they're getting it wrong? So I think that ifyou do, you know, put a lot of thought into the front end and again, itdoesn't a lot of thought does not equal a lot of time. So I just do want toclarify that. But if you if you do put that thought in, you know, put yourselfin your customer's footsteps, do the research. You shouldn't get anythingoverly wrong if you will. I think it's when you skip those steps and you'retoo quick to just like build out a plan for the sake of billion a plan and just,you know, do do what you do you typically are told to do in a cavitystart. I think that's where you're going to get mistakes, right? Andyou'll see that in, you know, you're going to see your metrics across yourchannels, not not work and you're going to see, you know, conversions. So theintent is to shorten your fires, rain and increase your conversions. Soyou're going to see that not happen right. And it's again, building thatrelationship with that company is just not going to happen. So those are goingto be your triggers, but it's almost too late at that point, you put so mucheffort in. So that's why I just think it's really, really important to thinkabout who you're marketing to and make sure that you're you're on their levelfirst. Absolutely. If there was one thing that you'd want listeners to takeaway from this episode, what would it be? I I think i it truly is just toremember you're speaking to humans and I know it's easier said than done, like,you know, you can find that anywhere but to actually do it and put it intopractice. I think that that's something that that still needs work on, right?Like, I think anyone could repeat that if you were to ask them, but actuallyhaving it into practice and what you're going to see is you're going to getresults, you're going to get people engaging with you. And that's when youknow that you you got it right. So if I, if I get anything, that's it true topeople like people. Oh man, There you have it, folks, Laura, thank you somuch for joining me today. Where can people go to learn more about you andneat? Uh, you can find lots of information about need at meat dot com.And I will say it is a neat with a silent case, so it's K E A D dot com uh,to find out more about our company. Um, and for myself, you can see me acrosssocial media, either laura, sweet or laura and the sweet um, across allplatforms, you know, please feel free to reach out. I'm very happy to chatabout marketing or anything else at any time. Oh, this has been awesome. Thankyou again for joining me on the tv growth. Thanks so much for having meOlivia. I really appreciate it. Is the decision maker for your productor service at BBB marketer. Are you looking to reach those buyers throughthe medium of podcasting? Considered becoming a co host of GDP Growth. Thisshow is consistently ranked as a top 100 podcast in the marketing categoryof apple podcasts, and the show gets...

...more than 130,000 downloads each month.We've already done the work of building the audience so you can focus ondelivering incredible content to our listeners if you're interested, emailLogan at sweet Fish Media dot com.

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