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

Episode 2035 · 7 months ago

Why Your Go-To-Market Approach Still Matters

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Lesley Crews talks with John Ledoux, of John Ledoux Consulting. The two discuss how having the wrong GTM approach can negatively affect your demand gen strategy. 

Yeah, all right, welcome back to VTB Growth.My name is Leslie Cruise with Sweet fish Media and if you're new here, wehave spent the entire month of april covering the topic of demand generation.I'm very excited to be joined today by john Ladue of Gianluigi consulting. Weconnected on linkedin and I thought he would be the perfect person to talk to.Um he is very, very knowledgeable about this topic and very passionate too. Soum john thanks so much for joining me today. Thanks for having me on.Absolutely. So the first question I always dive into when I start talkingto someone about demand generation because it is such a, I feelcontroversial topic and everybody kind of has a different definition of whatit is. My first question is always how do you, in your own words, definedemand generation? Yeah, can I give you a little bit of background on, on whereI'm coming from? So I studied marketing in psychology at University ofCalifornia Berkeley and immediately...

...after that jumped directly into two bigsales roles for about 2.5 years was picked up A couple years later by alittle start up company that adopted Marcato and this is back in 2008. So Icame from drinking the market oh kool aid right one demand generation even asa term was starting to come to the realization and so my background therewas work that startups started doing consulting fortune 500 companies andthen really owned the demand gen function for the last 12 years, 14years. So start the consulting practice about four years ago and have heard alot of opinions on what demand generation as a role is. And I willtell you in a very long winded way that it really does depend, you know,company has demand generation as a function. It's probably a relativelysmall company because to me, demand...

...generation as a role covers a fewdifferent places. First, demand creation number one, So creating demand.The second part of it is capturing that demand. And then the third part of itis essentially the enablement of the sales side to then continue that storythat you have created and then captured that audience. So to me, demandgeneration is the function of creating the demand and also shepherding thatdemand through the pipeline. And I see a lot of companies that are much biggerattempt to do this with a singular role. It doesn't really work out that wayvery well, but usually this is for companies that are much smaller,somebody's gonna wear a lot of different hats, they're involved inoperations, they're involved in sales enablement, to a certain extent,they're involved in content creation, they're involved in operations andputting the hooks out there and the carrots out there to try to capture thedemand at the right time and place.

Absolutely, and I think that's really,really good because what I always I always think about demand generation isjust generating demand and really it's like you said it's creating but alsocapturing that and then enabling sales, which is really important. I thinkpeople kind of tend to forget that especially marketers in this spacebecause it's like let me just do it all, let me do it all myself, but got tohave that sales enablement or it's not gonna work out. That's right, Yeah,absolutely. So I wanted to talk to you a little bit about what what you feelB2B marketers tend to get wrong in this space and I feel like there are a fewdifferent ways we could go here because there are a lot of you know, demandgeneration is new, it is growing and it is so broad, so what are some thingsthat baby marketers either should stop doing or should you know, really startdoing here. Very good question. I think the biggest flaw that I see in B2Bmarketing is starting your go to market strategy with limited to what you know,so what do I mean by that? It's very...

...common to see B two B marketers movedfrom one company to another, particularly here in the bay Area wherelike the revolving door of sales and marketing is one that never stopsspinning. But what I see is these individuals go to from one company toanother and what they bring is an expertise in a few different channelsand that's where they start. And it's a really big problem because it doesn'ttake into consideration that each buyer is very different for every singlecompany, even if you've got two of the same industry, two of the same product,the buyer is oftentimes different, so starting from the customer first, theprospect first and understanding how to reach that audience and how what kindof messages work, what kind of content works. One of the things that they like,the things that they enjoy, I think you should always be the very first thingthat A B two B market or does, but instead what you see, especially if youjump on length and you'll see what are the best channels to use and B two Bmarketing, it's like, you can't have an...

...answer to that question without tellingme the company that you're doing it for the audience, that you're doing it for,um etcetera. So I think to keep this short really about it's all about thecustomer and understanding what that customer journey is going to be andworking from from that point to the types of channels the types of loversthat you should be pulling. Absolutely that's that's really good because Ithink a lot of times marketers tend to focus on linkedin and it's like okaybut not everyone is on linkedin. You know not your ideal customer might notbe on linked in your ideal customer might be on reddit. You know they Mightbe somewhere else. Yeah 100%. You know it's funny there's a lot of theselength in sort of quote unquote influencers people that like to talkabout what they think marketing best practices and it's great if youraudience is marketing people if your audience and salespeople, if youraudience is recruiters they live eat and breathe on length in. But for let'ssay companies who sell into the I. T.

Space who sell to engineers uh thosefolks do not live eat and breathe in lengthen. And so while there is thepower of hey I'm on this and what you're talking about works for me. Itdoesn't necessarily work for your business. And it's very clear when yousee folks commenting and folks chiming in on that. Those people don't workwith a variety of companies in a variety of industries because thatapproach would look dramatically different. I want to shift gears alittle and talk. I really want to talk about your your consulting business andkind of you know your core areas of expertise and we talked off line alittle bit about you know those three areas are demand creation, marketingoperations and reporting. And I think the last one is what I really want totouch on because I think that the reporting aspect is very, veryimportant since demand generation is really difficult to measure sometimes,you know, oftentimes it's organic. So um can you just talk a little bit aboutthose kind of like you know, maybe...

...share some examples with clients thatyou have or something like that? Yeah, 100%. So I work with a variety ofdifferent clients from, you know, pretty series B two I. P. O. Companies.And I think the most common theme across all of these companies when itcomes to measuring marketing is doing what makes sense for the maturity ofthe marketing organization at the time. So for companies that are sort of preseries B that are really focused in on getting out there creating demandcapturing, demand building pipeline. Not that every other company doesn'twant to do that, but for those companies that are young where that isthe priority, I would say that neglecting things like multi touchattribution models, things like trying to figure out, You know, which of the50 things that you've tried is working the best and doubling down on that,because you're just not going to get those kinds of answers because you'reprobably so resource constraint that you don't have the operations in placeto scale up that kind of reporting. Uh...

...and that makes all kinds of sensebecause you really should be focusing on winning better be fit customers sothat you can go out and use the voice of the customer to show that story. Butfor companies that are much more mature in their marketing, they do have 100different things going on and they do need to know what is working and what'snot working. All of that said, sometimes these companies don't do agreat job of understanding what is the point that they need to be measuring sothat they can double down on it. And what I hope clients do is just thinkabout all the various data points, right? There's such thing as too manydata points and what are the data points that matter the most of them?And you know, some companies and say, oh we want to measure all the things.Well, uh there really aren't great tools and great operations in place thevast majority of the time to do that. So what are the few things that we wantto measure about, say, a particular...

...campaign or a particular channel thatare gonna help give us leading indicators about whether or not that isworking. So when we talk about things like multi touch attribution, you know,some companies do that very well because some companies, they don'tchange their go to market approach, they're not going to be product ledgrowth, they're going to be very sales oriented and that model is not going tochange and that's great because there's consistency over time and then they candevelop a model for, hey, we think that U shaped W shaped model might be bestfor our business. But the most important thing that comes out of thatis that it's all relative whatever it is that you're measuring is relative tothe model that you choose is relative to the metrics that you're choosing themeasure. So you have to understand that in the context of everything, when youreport it up to the C suite or you're talking about it to the individualcontributors in the marketing organization, that it's hypercontextual to the way that you're measuring it. Not that hey, this is theend all be all for how we should be...

...measuring this thing. The only rightway to be doing it. And it means everything because X data point. So Iknow that may have sounded a little meadow now that I'm thinking about it,but the truth is it is all contextual. So, a prime example of that isreporting at an individual contributor level is very different than reportingat the C suite level, the executive level, the board level, Each groupwants to see it a different way. The most important thing is that you'remeasuring it for it to make sense for that group. Absolutely. A lot of peoplethat I've talked to have said, you know, attribution is so overrated,attribution doesn't matter. What's your opinion on that? You know, I think sortof like I mentioned before in in much smaller companies where revenue impactis much more important than trying to fine tune a machine. Yeah, I totallyagree with that. That the first thing that you shouldn't be doing is probablybuilding out your reporting operations. You know, unless you have a board thatsays, hey, we need to know everything...

...that's going on. You're going to say,all right, we're going to sacrifice a lot of demand creation time to focus inon reporting operations, but for much larger companies, you know, I find thatthere's a lot of lengthen chatter, but most of those folks don't engage withcompanies that are serious C plus where we're talking about companies who haveperfected their go to market strategy and are really scaling up. You know,these are teams of 20 to 40 marketing people. It becomes very important notjust for the visibility of the business, but really to understand our theirindividual contributors within that marketing or that are pulling certainlovers, those lovers believe it or not do have some level of attribution thatneeds to be accounted for, whether that's uh click through rate or orimpressions or, you know, the lift and overall organic search, traffic,whatever that might be. There is a metric, there's a story to be toldthere whether or not it fits into this tightly packed idea of needing somesort of B two B tech software to throw...

...into the mix to say, oh, well this isthe end all be all for attribution. I don't know about that, but you know,probably something that aligns a little bit more with the role and the types ofchannels that they're pulling the leverage and for sure, what are somespecific tools that you would maybe recommend to? Someone who isimplementing demand generation into their organization? Maybe they're, youknow, they're new or they're starting their own business and they just kindof want to implement that, but they're just, they have no idea where to start.Um, what are some tools, some advice you might have, where would they evenstart? So I'll go back to my answer to your very first question about whatmatters most and B2B or demand gen marketing and that is understandingwhat are the needs of your customers, how to reach your customer. I thinkcompanies that are sort of just getting started should probably really evaluatethe technology or whatever tools they need based on costs and what the levelof impact is going to be there. I don't...

...think, I think there should be somesort of automatic, hey, you should go out and get a marketing automationplatform or an email platform or some sort of other conversion tool becauseI've seen companies that ignore a lot of that and go straight to third partyli jen, companies that are going to, you know, send, send individuals whohave consumed content may be warm leads, maybe high intent, whatever it might be.And so what I would say is listen to the customer. If the customer says, hey,we use mostly email, you're gonna reach us only an email. We don't use linkedin.You know, we don't use social channels, you know, whatever that might be thatshould really guide your decision making. Product marketing person isgoing to be really key obviously and getting a lot of that data. But in theabsence of that person, you as a demand gen person need to go out and learnyour market and then from there you can start building a go to market strategy.Your tools need to fit your go to market strategy. So if somebody sayshey linkedin and these awareness...

...channels are the only place you'regoing to be able to reach us then go out and build an engine and a musclearound you know podcasting or you know video production or media maybe somelength unpaid there. If you're talking about hey we consume most of ourcontent on vendor websites which is very common in the I. T. Space, theengineering space, then you should probably figure out tools that aregoing to optimize your website and optimize for conversion there andbuilding the kind of content that that audience is going to create. So I thinkit depends is probably the most consultant type of answer I could giveyou but it would really depend on the market and the industry. So that's howI work with my clients is figuring out what that looks like. Yeah, that'sgreat to know this. Fantastic. This has been really great, john thanks so muchfor coming on the show. Tell us where can listeners find you online ifthey're interested in learning more or may be interested in your consultingbusiness? Yeah, Great question. So two ways first on linkedin, do a search forjohn J O H N Ledoux, L E D O U X I am...

...the demand gen consultant. You can alsogo to john Ladue dot com and find out more. They're perfect. Great. Well,thanks again for joining me on GDP Growth. Thanks for the time. Lesliecheers. 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. Thank you.

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