Transcript of Focus on Existing Assets to Generate Better Marketing Results
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John Jantsch: We all want to go out there and chase that new customer, get those new leads but the truth of the matter is for most businesses, some existing assets, existing traffic, existing customers, existing email list, that’s where the money is. In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast we speak with Louis Gudema to talk about his approach called bullseye marketing, check it out.
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Hello and welcome to another episode of The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Louis Gudema. He is the president and founder of Revenue & Associates and the creator of The bullseye marketing framework and we’re going to talk about a book built on that called Bullseye Marketing: How to Grow Your Business Faster. Louis, thanks for joining me, welcome back, I should say.
Louis Gudema: Hey John, It’s great to be back. Good talking with you again.
John Jantsch: One of the things that I’m going to put out as a premise of the book is that we’re all getting excited about big data and AI and voice search and social media, but many businesses that I work with, and you certainly contend this in your book actually need to start way before that, that that stuff is actually not important to them or could be important to them, but it’s probably not a priority, is it?
Louis Gudema: Yeah. That’s real graduate level stuff, and most businesses aren’t taking care of the one or one and one or two kinds of things. I actually did a study on this a few years ago, and I looked at 351 B2B companies with 50 to 1000 employees, and there was a huge difference between the software companies and the non software companies. The software companies were by and large great marketers and the non software companies … and these are not trivialized companies, these are sizable companies. They were doing in manufacturing or medical devices or professional services, many other fields doing almost no marketing.
And it was a shock to me because I had kind of been working in this tech marketing world, and I assumed everybody knew about these tools, and yet outside of the software industry, almost no one was using them, and then I came back to this just this year, and I looked at the same 351 companies and for those non software companies, there was very little progression and I think that a big reason for that is that marketing has become so complex.
John Jantsch: Yeah. What does not marketing mean? They have a website, they probably have a sales team, is that kind of where it ends?
Louis Gudema: Yeah, pretty much and trade shows and brochures. What I did was, I had … when I’ve done business development, I had developed this digital marketing scorecard essentially and I was doing business development. I had my own agency for a dozen years and then I did business development for a couple other agencies after I sold my agency 10 years ago and so I had developed a way to look at what were companies … what were prospects doing before we talked so I could have a more intelligent conversation with them. You can tell without ever talking to someone, do they have a marketing automation program?
Are they doing search engine advertising? Are they doing anything on social media. This was more important four years ago than now, but did they have a mobile friendly website. And so there were these nine programs that I looked at and thought of it as kind of a digital marketing scorecard or maturity model, and for the software companies, the median was that they were using seven of the nine programs and for the non software companies, the median was that they were using two of the nine. And you got one point just for having Google analytics on your website, so effectively-
John Jantsch: Another point if somebody actually knew the login, would that be for good analytics[crosstalk]
Louis Gudema: I couldn’t tell if anyone ever looked at it, but if they scored a two, I kind of assume they probably didn’t. Then I also looked at those software companies and found that this actually correlated very well to revenue growth, and the companies that were using eight or nine programs regrowing about five times faster than the companies that were using zero to three programs. It was a real affirmation both of … well, it was a shock to see how different it was between software and non software companies, but it was a real affirmation that marketing does work and it does drive revenue growth when it’s done well.
John Jantsch: Does this scorecard still exist? I’d love to see it, If it does.
Louis Gudema: Yeah, absolutely. I’ll send you a copy of the report. I haven’t put out the update yet. I’m going to put that out shortly. I can send you that 2014 report and you can see it.
John Jantsch: One of the things that you talk about and I completely agree is there are so many people out there that they have customers but all their focuses on how do we get new customers and a lot of what you talk about in this book is to break down “Hey, let’s start with exploiting what we have already” our existing website customers email list. How would somebody go about … it seems so obvious but why are people not doing it, and if they aren’t doing it, they’re listening today. What’s the way to unpack that?
Louis Gudema: Yeah, so that was … as I worked with companies, I kind of realized as you have, that they were kind of jumping ahead and they weren’t taking care of the basics first and they were … “Oh, we have to do social media or we have to do advertising or we have to create a lot of content”, And they didn’t take care of what I call the marketing assets. They didn’t take advantage of the marketing assets they have already owned. That’s the center of the bullseye, and the center of the center is the customer. First of all, is just talking to customers, and a lot of what I say here will be … to some people will be “Well, of course”.
But as I was saying to much of the business world, this is not being done today. Whenever I work with a company where I’m doing consulting, and I interview their customers, the CEO or the owner always is “Oh, no, we know what our customers want, We know what they think” And yet when I come back with the results of these interviews, they’re invariably shocked and they find out all sorts of things about what their customers want or need or think about them, think about their competition, what’s important. Secondly, taking that information to create a great customer experience.
Forrester does an annual survey of 10s of thousands of consumers, asking them about their customer experience of hundreds of major brands, and that actually has gone down for the last two years. Customer experience, again, is not something we should take for granted, because many companies are not doing it well, and the ones that do, do it well really profit by it. And then the third thing about the customer is to focus more on customer retention and growth and not so much on new customer acquisition. Not that, that’s not important also, but companies over emphasize it.
And maybe it’s just a kind of holdover from when they were just starting out and they had to really, really, really work on getting those new customers, but you get to a certain size … and Salesforce knew this from the beginning. They were focused on customer success and retention and growth very early on, and it’s important for all companies because it’s so much more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain and grow an existing customer.
John Jantsch: Well, not just more expensive, I think it’s a lost opportunity a lot of times too. That customer that already trust you, that is already given you money, it’s a lot easier to ask them for 10 times the money that they’ve been giving you for a bigger service, bigger product bigger offering, then it will ever be to go out and try to sell that to the world. And I think that’s a thing that a lot of people miss, is that there’s so much more opportunity in their existing customers.
Louis Gudema: Oh, yeah, for sure, and that … one of the things about those customer interviews is they’re not sales calls, but I would say one out of five times when I conduct them, customers will say “Hey, by the way we need this, can the company do that for us?” And so they actually generate a lot of new business just from talking and listening.
John Jantsch: An existing asset that I see a lot of people missing as well is that they’re getting leads, they’re getting traffic but it’s just not turning into business. A lot of times when I go to work with a company, one of the first places I look at is their sales process or what happens when the phone rings. It may just be the way the phone’s answered even because you turn the dial up on that a percentage or two and that can have huge growth impact.
Louis Gudema: Oh absolutely. I actually had a client who … they had terrible sales and marketing collaboration and the head of marketing said that it could take two weeks for sales to respond to an actual inquiry, not just someone downloading a white paper but someone contacting the company and saying, “Hey, we want to talk about your product, possibly buying it.” Two weeks is just criminal, that’s a dead lead.
John Jantsch: Another one that I see is just you email us. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into an organization, they’ve got 2000 names of people that have bought products from and they’ve never sent him a thing.
Louis Gudema: Yeah. Well, you and I are perfectly aligned on all of these John. You get an honorary member badge, but yeah … And I’ve had the same thing. Companies who say “We’ve got 9000 emails, 20,000 emails more than that and you say, “How often do you email them” And they say, “Oh, at the holidays” And yet email marketing … you look at almost any survey of marketers about their most effective channels. Email Marketing is always number one or number two. And McKinsey actually said that it’s 40 times more effective than social media, and I believe it.
John Jantsch: In terms of certain goals, no question.
Louis Gudema: Yeah, absolutely, and so that’s another one of those marketing assets people aren’t taking advantage of, their websites because, again, in my survey, I found that about three quarters of these B2B companies had no calls to action, no conversion devices on their website, and a lot of them had pretty poor messaging too, but that’s a little more subjective, but just 99% of the people would come and go, and the company would have no idea who they were or what they wanted, or if there was any opportunity there at all.
John Jantsch: Yeah. I know I’ve gone to a website ready to buy, so it wasn’t just getting information. I wanted their phone number, I wanted to call them and buy something and I couldn’t find their phone number the[inaudible]. It was partly because it was a mobile friendly design, I think and so they made me work so hard, I finally gave up. Imagine how much that’s costing people.
Louis Gudema: Oh, yeah, absolutely. These are these center of the bullseye opportunities that first of all, they cost almost nothing to do. Companies already have these email lists, they have customer relations, they have sales and marketing people and some of these other opportunities there because there is about six or seven of them, and it is really fast, it’s really inexpensive, it’s low risk, and they start to see results really quickly. That can really start to build the confidence and the buy in to then go to the second ring and the third ring of the bullseye approach.
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I’m jumping around a little bit here because there’s some other channels or opportunities I want to cover, but I find that to me, one of the greatest reasons is because there’s a lack of data. There’s no analytics, there’s no information. They don’t know what’s making the phone ring, and so consequently, it’s hard to double down on something, if you don’t really know what’s having the impact, so you tell me, I struggle with this all the time, because it’s telling people that have to take a math class, just to talk about analytics. How do we get people using the data to make better decisions?
Louis Gudema: Well, one of the challenges actually for small and mid sized companies and I have a whole chapter on analytics and data in the book and I talk about it constantly in other chapters too. About how can you measure the impact of some of these channels, but one of the real challenges for small and mid sized companies is, they don’t have enough data. It’s not really statistically significant and they have to go by anecdote almost more than kind of the rigorous data that a P & G or a Coca Cola or a Salesforce, or someone might be able to do with huge numbers of customers.
John Jantsch: But I’m talking about simple things like if we run an ad, can we set up conversion goals and see if we got … even if the number is two, you’re going to see that you got to conversions.
Louis Gudema: Yeah, absolutely, and part of that’s culture. In a lot of these companies, where they just have not been doing much marketing, they’re just not used to it, they’re not used to looking at it, and you do have … there was a Dilbert cartoon I remember several years ago about, now we have more data that we can ignore when we make our decisions. It is part of culture, it does have to be part of what the company and the management is willing to use as part of their decision making process and not all … you do have especially in owner operated companies, people who are used to making their own decisions, and that’s what they do.
John Jantsch: Yeah, and you stole a little bit of one of my questions, so I’m going to jump right to that too. I find that marketing is a culture thing. In a lot of organizations, there’s a resistance, “It doesn’t work, I hate it, It’s too salesy”. There’s a lot of resistance to what people see as marketing, and I think the best organizations are actually very marketing driven.
Louis Gudema: Yeah. Well, I haven’t heard that it’s too salesy too much, because almost all companies are sales focused, but very few owners or SMB presidents have a marketing background. Most people who started companies are really good at their industry. They had some innovation or they thought they could deliver service better, and then they realized over time they had a whole company that had all sorts of things they weren’t thinking of before, like marketing and HR and finance and a lot of things.
But marketing is one where it’s greatly misunderstood. It’s just not in their DNA, and many people think of it as just advertising and promotion. And that is very … that’s in the outer ring of my Bullseye approach, and there’s just so much more to it that a lot of people in companies just don’t understand.
John Jantsch: Yeah, I think that’s a great point because a lot of companies even if they’ve gotten fairly successful it’s because the founder has been good at selling I think, and I think so there’s no senior marketing type of hire even.
Louis Gudema: Yeah, and they will think of marketing often as an expense and not an investment in growth.
John Jantsch: You advocate and I’m a full supporter of this, but some things that people are kind of turning a little bit of a side eye to these days is Print for example and PR. I think those are still both direct mail particularly in the print category. I think those are still fabulous channels for companies that are maybe more opportunity there now than ever.
Louis Gudema: Well, they’re in the outer ring, so they’re not a top priority. You’ve got those existing marketing assets as I mentioned in the center of the bullseye. In the second ring, you really focus on trying to identify people who are planning to buy soon and focusing your marketing around those people who plan to buy soon, because most people in your market aren’t, unless you’re selling something like food or clothes that people buy all the time, most people aren’t looking to buy and most companies aren’t looking to buy a lot of things.
So you really need to focus much more and use intent data and things like search advertising to get in front of the people who are researching and intend to buy soon. And then in the outer ring, you have these long term branding and awareness programs and Print certainly falls into there, and direct mail can. I think the wrap on Print is that it may be a little expensive for the amount of exposure you get, and so you really … and it’s not measurable in the way that digital is.
John Jantsch: Yeah, you better have your conversion part down if you’re going to spend hard dollars on driving people to your website or something, right?
Louis Gudema: Yeah, exactly.
John Jantsch: I’m sure you get this a lot. I fully on board with this idea of existing assets, but what if you’re a startup? What’s a startup to do?
Louis Gudema: Yeah. Obviously a startup doesn’t have the existing assets, but a lot of the approaches that I talk about in the book are very applicable to startups as well, and I mentor startups at MIT. I’ve worked with startups many times. The idea of understanding your customer, creating a superior customer experience, having a website that has clear messaging, and great calls to action, using remarketing. Those are all things that are really valuable for startups.
And something I talk about in the book is account based marketing or sometimes it’s called target account marketing, key account marketing, but that kind of direct sales approach being supported by marketing to help them with the research, to help them create the custom content and so forth. That’s often the way that startups have to start. They just have to get out there and pound on doors and make some sales, and marketing definitely has a role in helping them do that. And those things that are in the outer ring, things like content or inbound marketing that can take two or three years to have an impact. Things like social media, that also can take a very long time to have any sort of impact or Print, those should be delayed.
John Jantsch: Yeah. A good marketing is good marketing whether you’re a startup or existing business though, isn’t it?
Louis Gudema: Yeah, Well said.
John Jantsch: Yeah. Louis, where can people find more about you and your work and obviously Bullseye Marketing and of course we’ll have links in the show notes.
Louis Gudema: Yeah. Bullseye Marketing is available on Amazon. If you know have a Kindle or just in the introduction in the first chapter, you get a lot of information about what the approach is all about. The book website is louisgudema.com. My business website is revenueassociates.biz. People are welcome to contact me at [email protected] I’m also on Twitter @Louisgudema. I’ve got one of those names where I didn’t have to be Louis Gudema four, five one, one or anything, so would I love to hear from people and hear their feedback to the book, and their reactions and questions.
John Jantsch: Well, Louis it was great to catch up with you again, great book and I appreciate to you stop by the show and hopefully we’ll see you someday out there on the road.
Louis Gudema: All right. Thank you John.