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  • Podcast 12: Poor Marketing and Technology are Responsible for Business Failure

Podcast Episode: 12

Why Marketing & Technology are Responsible for Business Failures
15th October 2020

B2B Marketing Talk for CEOs

In this Episode...

Following the publication of a White Paper, Liz 'interviews' Nigel Maine to help listeners understand the rationale behind levelling the blame of business failure at the feet of marketing practitioners and their collecdtive reliance on technology to shield them from doing their jobs properly and to blindly deliver KPI's to satisfy ego's.

This podcast does not pull any punches and is a serious indictment to the marketing industry.

Key Takeaways...

Whilst the current business landscape may look bleak, entrpreneurs always rise to the occasion.  This is what separates the 'wheat-from-the-chaff'.  Businesses need to implicitly understand the importance of structured, varied content and the expectations of Google to make a business visible.

Whilst many marketers are simply 'going through the motions', Nigel provides some desperately needed advice that businesses can implement immediately.

Download your copy of the White Paper below: 

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Transcript

 [Speaker 1]: Welcome to our, our latest podcast. I'm joined of course by Liz. 

[Speaker 2]: Hello. 

[Speaker 1]: Now, this podcast is a slightly different format in that Liz is going to be driving this asking questions. And so the purpose and the point is that we've produced a white paper and this is the first promotional or, or dialogue that we've had about the White  Paper. And we want to communicate contents as best we can through a variety of different mediums. Obviously we've written it, it's on our website, we're doing this podcast and we have a video as well, and the video is of the podcast. But the point is, is that these are methods of being able to communicate this message. 

[Speaker 2]: Okay. Thank you. So you've written this white paper and the title of it is that it's a white paper for investors and directors. And so if you could just tell our listeners viewers, the reason behind producing the white paper in the first place, we just start there. 

[Speaker 1]: Okay. my belief and my research and 30 years in business has channeled or, or, or has directed me to focus on a very narrow group of people and they are the investors and directors. There's a very specific reason for this investors,  entrepreneurial or otherwise have a significant impact on startups and new businesses. Directors are either working in enterprise or larger organizations, and also they like to, and do get investment or provide investment for the startups, but also tend to provide investment for their own businesses if that's the case. So there were two, these two groups of people are significantly influential in what happens with startups. 

[Speaker 1]: However, there's a big problem that most startups go bust. And to, to, to explain the problem, there was a small group of people that can influence a change, and they are the investors and directors because everybody else are employed. So it don't have the same drivers to do something about it because they're employed, they're being paid right now to do what they're doing. And until they change companies will still keep going bust. So the, the focus is not to be sycophantic towards investors and directors. Not at all. It's identifying them as the only people that can affect a change in B2B organizations. 

[Speaker 2]: Okay. So, so where do you see the problem then? I mean, looking at the white paper, you start off with some statistics, perhaps you'd just like to share those. What, what those statistics are about startups and small business. 

[Speaker 1]: Every year, half a million new businesses start up, of those businesses. 20% go bust in the first year, 30% go bust in the second year, 50% go bust by the third year, 70% go bust by the 10th year. I mean, that's shocking in itself, but it's just, well, it's just how it is. Of businesses that start up who receive investment 40% go bust. 

[Speaker 2]: Go bust. 

[Speaker 1]: Period. So anyway, any investor that's put money into, start up, 40% of them go bust. So you've only got a 60% chance of making any money, however, 75% or every startup doesn't make their investor any money. So now we're down to 25% of the, of the, of the final remaining element, 95% of the remaining part of that, of that original figure, 95% or businesses that receive investment never reach the targets that they forecast in the first place. 

[Speaker 2]: Wow. 

[Speaker 1]: So we're looking at this thinking or anybody looking at this will go? Well, I understand about a gamble. I understand about investment and so on and so on. But with those statistics, they are shocking. I mean, they're, they're mad. You just wouldn't want to do it. Why would you want to invest in any, in a startup because, but, but it's almost like you can sense people say, well, it'll never happen to me because we're so clever. And my view on that is, well, if you are so clever as an inventor or an entrepreneur, if you're that intellectual, bearing in mind, all these statistics, why can't you stop yourself from going bust surely to goodness you, you're not like the hoy paloy, so something's going wrong here. And it's not been identified. And because I cut my teeth in sales, I moved across to marketing. Not because I wasn't any good at selling. I was extremely good at selling. I sold millions of pounds, worth of gear or technology in my own business but anybody that sold. If you can sell, you can sell. But how do you scale it? I mean, ask the juicy bit, how'd you scale selling and you know, if you want to be really, really successful, you sell something really, really big. Like, I don't know, jumbo jets, but that's not the point. The point is, is how do you scale selling? How'd you how'd, you just keep making it happen again and again, and again, you go, Oh, the internet, that's what you need. You need to get on the internet and be a, become an eCommerce millionaire, selling B2B that, that, that doesn't doesn't ring true. Because B2B requires kind of almost like intervention. It needs people to be aware of, of business problems in order to provide a solution. 

[Speaker 1]: And you can't necessarily knock it out online. Does it doesn't happen? The adage of if you want to become a millionaire, sell something for a, for a pound to a million people. Okay. Million. So when it comes to business and B2B, whether it's software as a service, whether it's SaaS, whether it's any particular hardware, you have to have people who, who get it, who understand the mechanics of business in order to recommend a product or a solution to, to alleviate your problem. So, did you do any research into the reasons why these businesses fail so spectacularly on what sort of,  what statistics did you, did you say, what statistics did you identify as being the primary causes for the failure? I mean, that's the white papers have ever giveaway because the white paper title is poor marketing and a reliance on technology. So it's marketing, poor marketing and reliance on technology causes business failure. And there are, there are people that are going to listen to this and go, you've got to be joking you're out of your mind. Yep. And there's that for people in England, you understand this expression, "come and have a go, if you think you're hard enough". And the point is is that I've got statistics coming out of my ears, ears. The reason being, you have to understand selling, to understand why marketing fails, I'll come onto the issue between sales teams and sales department or marketing to pumps in a minute, but people buy people. They always have. And we go back to like the fifties, fifties, and sixties; business technology didn't really exist on such a massive scale. You had big, you had typing pools and so on. And it wasn't until almost the mid eighties when electronic typewriters came with, with small memories, not the golf ball remember the golf ball type,. 

[Speaker 1]: But I remember the other one,. You know, with this, with it, with a memory. So you could type something and press the press return, and then it would type it up. But you had that hole that, that LCD. So technology, business technology came in, started coming to its own, quite a pace in the late eighties and nineties. And so the way of generating business was done through cold calling. So the salespeople would go out, they would, they would hunt down business. They would find people that were looking to buy and they would telephone cold call and make them to make an appointment. They would handle objections on the phone and so on. They would go and meet and chat and talk and look to get the prospect to go and look at it, a product or demonstration. And then if they were happy with the demonstration and they go back and look to get it signed up and close the deal and so on and would go back to their office, ring the bell, what a superstar. So businesses couldn't really survive without the salesperson going out and doing that, fulfilling that role. Now look at the internet, the Internet's here. So therefore there is an opportunity or a methodology to present lots of information about the product. And so if we look at the statistics now and the numbers, 70 to 80% of the research process of looking at a product is completed by the prospect before a sales person is even invited in to talk to them. So you think, okay, well, if they're doing all this work online, what's happening with the sales person only, still cold calling. They're still trying to make it happen in terms of cold calling, which is a, a 200 to one shot. And I explained that, meaning that if you want to make, if you want to try and find somebody that's interested in your product, you'd probably have to find about 80 people a day, give or take. And it's roughly one out of every 200 calls. You'll find someone that's actually interested in your product. So that's three days work to find one person interested. 

[Speaker 1]: That's really bad, a bad ratio in terms of work effort. So then you could say, well, what have we got marketing for? You go, okay, well, how are marketing doing in that respect? Well, because there's been this transition from the way that salespeople worked, they then didn't submit to marketing, but marketing people wanted people, individuals to know about marketing because of digital, because the internet. So salespeople, weren't expected to know about internet, these, these marketing people supposed to know all about that. So there was the early stage, the internet. Then there was 2000 a boom bust, and then circa mid two thousands. You started, we've got email processes. And then gradually the marketing automation platforms came into play. And so people were saying like, well this is what you need you. This is the latest, greatest thing by an automation platform, Eloqua, Marketo, Pardot, Act On and so on. These manufacturers produced this software, which meant that if someone was interested in what you had on offer, they would find you online, choose to download some information. And because they're making a choice to download some information, they'll give you their email address and then they'll download it. So it all sounds good. It'll sound plausible. But when you go back to the sales process, people buy people, the salespeople, we're seeing the whites of their eyes in the first place. Now it's just as just a piece of paper commodity, which says is it any good? Does it work? So 70%, 80% of people are, are looking to establish if the product's any good. Are you doing their research? So I don't need to speak to a salesman. 

[Speaker 2]: So do you think there's still, for some businesses, do you think there's still a focus when they bring new, when they bring salespeople into a business? So say you've got a new startup or even, you know, if you are the entrepreneur, whatever, do you think there's an emphasis on using the, the black book of the salesman? And do you think that's still got longevity within a business using a salesman's black book that he brings with him? Do you think that's, do you think that kind of thing superceeds It's a poison chalice in a way, because the difficulty with the black book is that the relationship was with the sales person, sales person, joins company, sales person owns his own black book. If he sells something that the company, the product of the company, all well and good, but when the salesman leaves he takes the black book with him, along with the other prospects that were in that company at that point in time as well, and there is a, an underhand expectation by certain companies that when you come and join us, you will bring your black book and you'll go and jump all over your old company's prospects. Which is not the way to do business. It is if it's underhand. So, so therefore you make, you, you pay your money, meaning you pay a salary, you take, you make your choice, but the trouble with that is that they there's an assumption that they've got enough, there's enough validity within the black book in the first place. But the problem, the kind of the crux of that problem is that, what do we all want? We all want success. We want to grow our businesses. We want success, but you cannot grow that black book because that black book is based upon his relationships with his old customers and older prospect. 

[Speaker 2]: So you're saying it's not sustainable,. Then he can never be. What about telesales is telesales? Or would you say that telesales is a way to, to grow a business? Or do you think even that's got a point where it stops being viable? Does anybody think it's viable right now? This is the question? Who likes to receive cold calls. Nobody how successful a cold calls? 200 to one. What about right now? When I thought I'd hate to think what a tele sales person is doing right now, because everyone's sitting at home, everyone's on their mobile at home or their company, mobile home. So you can't contact anyone now, now virtually anyone. but if 70%, 80% of the research is done by the prospect before inviting anybody in so what's the tele sales person doing. And that's kind of shifted to a point where it's becoming a BDR and they're sitting on looking at LinkedIn, looking at sales navigator on LinkedIn. Yes. So it's just a different way of doing telesales. Just tell yourselves all the same. So, but it's this group of people that are looking. And what, you know, what are they looking at? And this is where it starts to get really, I think very interesting. And that what's prompted this, what they're looking at. If they're researching, who they looking at, what are they looking at? Because if someone says, right, well, what we're going to do in order to bring this together, we're going to use marketing automation platform. We're going to create our content, but we're going to make it available in exchange for an email address, and a telephone number and a name. 

[Speaker 1]: So it's a transaction. Yeah. So you, so what you're doing is saying, okay, we're going to force you as a prospect into a transaction upfront. You'll give us your email address and your name. You can then download this information and then we're going to cold call you anyway. Yeah. So that they're not saying we're not going to cold call you course. And we're even whether it includes a telephone number or not,. They'll hunt you down. Absolutely. Yeah. The situation that you've, you've now got a company that is gatekeeping their product. They make their content. Yeah. The gatekeeper before was the receptionist or, or exec assistant that wouldn't allow you to speak to the prospect or decision maker. Now marketing is gatekeeping the content saying that if you don't give me your email address, 

[Speaker 2]: Like the roles have reversed. 

[Speaker 1]: If you look at who's doing it, marketing is doing it. Marketing are the people that are gatekeeping the content and not allowing the prospect to look at it unless they get their name and email address, which means cha-ching, they're now ringing the bell saying, look at me, we've, we've achieved a KPI. Someone's looked at it. They've given us the information and downloaded it. That's passed over to sales, knock yourself out, boys. You can now keep ringing them up and chasing them down. Mr. Customer now thinks that he's being stalked because all he wanted to do was have a read. 

[Speaker 2]: So do you think, in terms of the role now of marketing, of any kind of marketing technology, do you think that that role is redundant? Or where do you see the fault laying with this? Because I know that there are some statistics in terms of,  CMOs and that kind of thing. I mean, what have you seen of the, the, the senior people in, in businesses? Are they achieving their own the goals? 

[Speaker 2]: I mean, this is, this is what, surprise is not the right word, it's shock, business owners are the entrepreneurs. They're the ones that will take it on the chin. They can say anything. They want do anything they want because they're driving this, but these marketing, marketing people come along and go, are we going to do this? We're going to do that. We're going to do this. So there's a, there's a guy called Seth Godin. Many would have heard, would have heard of him, kind of. He's an extremely well known global marketer. And you know, he's an author of 18 books and so on and so on. And he said that what happens is that marketers promise miracles. Nobody else in the business promises miracles, except marketers, salespeople. When they take it on, I've got a previous history, marketers promise miracles. They can say anything about ROI or ROMI's return on marketing investment. Anything they like, so they're allowed to come into the business and they promise miracles. This is a fact, the average tenure of a CMO is 18 months. You think what? No, I must be wrong. And it's in the press and recruitment companies who specialize in marketing, no surprise there. Everybody knows is 18 months from fortune 500, across the board 18 months, because they promise the earth, they don't deliver, they get fired, promise the earth, don't deliver, get fired because they can't deliver. It's impossible because they're saying that what we're going to do, we're going to use all this technology. We're gonna set it up. And then this is the, almost like the stupidity of it. So they, the marketers are going to hide all of your content simply because they've been given a KPI to achieve, which is to create marketing, qualified leads for salespeople. In order to do that, they're going to hide all your great content behind a gate, behind an email form. And then you're going to pay Google to drive traffic to your landing page. So you've got pay Google per click. 

[Speaker 2]: So you get your, your, your break points. Almost it could break on the fact that your written text on your pay-per-click advert is rubbish. That's number one, number two, you might not be good enough for pay-per-click. Number three, the landing page, they go to might be really badly written with no, logos on it. No social proof. It could be multiple things, not interested, or they give you their details. And then the actual contents are rubbish, they're not worth the paper it's written on two pages. I mean, it was, I've seen recently. I saw a very, very big, not Sage, but a very, very big,  accounting platform, software, Accounts Software, a two page white paper. So if it's not the PaperClick or the, or the text or the landing page or the actual content itself, or you phone them up afterwards and upset them, you've got five, five opportunities to mess up here,. Find points of failure Five points of failure. And as the company, as the investor or director, you can look at the numbers and go, wait a second we were paying this quarterly amount of money to whether it's Marketo or Eloqua or whoever doesn't matter who it is. We're paying a lump to them. We're paying an even bigger lump to pay per click to Google, plus the whole group of people in marketing in order to provide a lead by way of a filled out form for someone in sales. 

[Speaker 2]: Do you think, I mean, going back to what Seth Godin says about the marketing people, promising miracles. I mean, I've looked at my fair view of CMO job descriptions. I mean, what's your view of that? You know, is it, are they realistic? Are they, are they just, 

[Speaker 1]: I mean, it's, it's, it's one of those things in that I read them and go, yeah, I can deal with that. No issue at all. No question at all. Don't care how long it is, because I mean, were a consultancy firm, to provide consultancy, you've got to know what the score is. You've got to know it inside, out, back to front, you've got to not argue with people, but you have to demonstrate your ability that you actually understand what's going on. Yeah. One of the recent ones I saw with it was probably about in, in, in about 10 point written in 10 point, two and a half, A4 pages long. We want you to do this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, it went on and on and on and on and on and at the bottom. It said, "and you'll report to the CMO" and it's like, you gotta be kidding me. So you'll bring in a marketing director, Who's answerable to the CMO,  and this CMO is switched on because he'll fire their proverbial for not performing. Oh, i't not my fault, it's them. So the bottom line is ,no CMOs are failing the directors and the businesses that they work for because they trying to use technology to deliver the KPIs, to deliver what they, what, what is expected of them. Therefore, they can blame it on the technology, blame it on a multitude of people, blame it on five points of failure. They can do whatever they like. 

[Speaker 2]: So it's the, the, the combination of the two then; the MarTech being, the way MarTech is being used, or the fact that it's being used at all. And the promises that the CMO makes that a very, Almost impossible to deliver because the MarTech gets in the way? 

[Speaker 1]: Yeah, it is. It is, it is an impossibility. If you, if you were to turn around and say, right, okay. We've, we've got the CMO. Who's being paid an absolute fortune. Yeah. 150 200 grand a year more, whatever, who cares Scare, the living daylights out of them say, right. I want you to write me a content, Write an article. I want you to write a long form article about this product that we sell. And I want to see it on the front page, on the first page of Google. Now! Can that be done? Every time, well I do it. And the thing is, is that there's a formula. There's a structure. There's a structure for a reason. There's a... it's not even a methodology. There's a format that Google demand. And it's not, they're not demanding it because all, we want you to pay us loads. There's no cost involved in this, but there's a format. The format's there for a reason. Google makes its money because it keeps drawing people back to it. So in order to ensure that they maintain their edge is they have to deliver up results really quickly and good results. 

[Speaker 1]: So yes, that Google could understand. What's been written. Google could understand,  the layout of a document.  if, if you create the perfect document, say it's got a video in it and, and maybe link to podcasts. And it's got always text information and bullets and bullet lists to number lists, graphs, and statistics, everything else, a bit like ours. And so Google can look our document and say, I know the title of it because there's one title and one heading on it. There are multiple H2 headings, multiple H3 headings and bullets and numbers and video. And the video has got structured data that, encloses the transcript of the video. So when this is presented to voice search, Google, Siri, and Alexa say, we know we know what this is, what this person has said within their video. So it will serve it up. A combination of writing it properly, writing for a 12 year old. So a 12 year old could understand it. So it doesn't have to be overly technical and structured in a certain way. And making sure there's been indexed, making sure that it's on a search on a site map, getting indexed on search console with Google, you're done. So how do you make That it's index that? Cause obviously there's a lot of companies out there that want to gatekeep their content. Are you able to index something that's to be gatekept? This is the madness of it, like I said earlier, that you, you know, you've got people saying, right, what we're going to you, we're going to use this technology, gatekeep our content and, and, and tell businesses if they want it, they have to give us their email address. So the company has to pay per click, has to pay to advertise its content. So there's, there's, there's a point of failure. You have your advertising and your written copy and your headlines have to be that good, that they will encourage someone to come and download something. It's a lot of effort. I mean, bear with me. So there's a lot of effort doing that. As opposed to, I mean, Google's sitting there twiddling it's thumbs, going well, listen, guys, you could, you could use us if you want. All you have to do is write a good, a good article, make sure that you come across as being a thought leader. Make sure it makes sense and it's structured properly. And here's, here's the parameters. And we'll put it on page one of Google for you for free. 

[Speaker 1]: So what you're saying, not all content is created equally than. 

[Speaker 2]: Ah no. I mean, you've got certain businesses that believe or perceive, well we've got loads of content, three, four paragraphs. We've got people, you know, we've, we've both heard people say, listen, I want you to distill everything that we do as company into four paragraphs, Chuck it out there, knock it out. It's like, you're mad Because the point is unless businesses coming back to investors and directors, this will click. This will click with loads of people, they'll go crikey. Right? I understand. You produce a great piece of content. You know, like that, like a white paper, like this, for example. Say this was about someone's product. You've got a 30 page document, three to five or 6,000 words it's in depth, it's explanatory and so on and so on. So you create this document Because of Google analytics. And because of tag manager, one tag manager will tell you that someone's downloaded something, but Google analytics will tell you, not only did someone go to that page and download it. If you convert this into an article, it's not, not a white paper, but it's an article on your website. You'll know how long someone's spent on that one specific page. You can see what they clicked on. If they did click on anything, if there's anything clickable on, on that page, you can see how long they were engaged for You can see how many people have read it, looked at it, but clicked away from it really quickly, which is your bounce rate. So there's all this informatio.n It's exactly what you do with a salesperson. Yeah. You know, salesman joins your company, promises the earth you go in, it's fine. Knock yourself out, crack on guy's. 

[Speaker 1]: And they fail within three months. So you fire them. It's standard practice. Do the same with the content. If your content is not performing, there's a reason fire it, delete it. Or if it is working, but not working very well, edit it. Look at it, review it, improve it, edit it on the fly. You know, some people go, Oh no, we can't do that. Because our people are looking at our website, really change on the fly, change it constantly go. Right. We'll change that heading. Have you got the right format? Have you got the right formula in that document? Present it. Keep making it keep adjusting it. Keep adjusting it. Yes. It's happening. Yes. It's happening. And that's, that's what's required. 

[Speaker 2]: So do you think content therefore is the key to sustainable business. It is. And it has to be. If businesses could have their time over and they would take a recommendation from me, it would be, don't start your startup until you've proven you can attract. Yeah. And the white paper that you do,  you talk about the Google experiment, perhaps you'd like to share with us what the Google experiment is. 

[Speaker 1]: Well, when I mentioned early about pay-per-click pay-per-click is very clever because if nobody clicks it, it doesn't cost you a penny. So the analogy, the scenario that the example is, the experiment is a couple of guys start a business. They love what they, what they're planning to do. And they write about it. They love it. They keep writing about it. And before they, they go to the bank or anything to do with finances, they they've got their website, their own website. They're paid. They, they spend some, they choose to spend some money on pay-per-click. They go, right? This is what we think we're going to do. And nothing much happens. And they think, but that's not very good. We know we've got a product that not many people know about, but we need to be, we need to work on this. 

[Speaker 1]: So they hone it down. They identify some key words and a specific focus on a group of businesses, some certain types of businesses, and they relaunched their pay-per-click campaign again. And it works. Oh, this good. They then change some of their content on their website to be persona and key person, key type business focused. So they've got business coming in from pay-per-click. They've got people spending time on their website, and they've got call to actions on their content. That means that people are starting to make inquiries to say, come and talk to us. We can see this is going to work for us. They start selling, it starts happening. And then they go to an angel or venture capital companies say, we want to scale this. We can prove to you that we are attractive to these businesses here, just through our Pay-Per-Click and our marketing. We're not doing anything, anything like trying to create viral videos or anything. We've, we've, we've established that we're attractive to these businesses and they keep buying from us. 

[Speaker 2]: Are there any examples that you can give where content has been used in such a way that it's not only increased the exposure of a business, but has actually had a significant impact on their revenue and that, that turnover? 

[Speaker 1]: Well, if you look at the per person bit, just to begin with the average business in the UK has about 80, 90 grand turns over 80, 90 grand per person per annum. Some more, some less, but you don't want it to be much less, hence businesses keep going out of business. If you look at Google, Google's turnover per person, per annum in 2018 was 1.2 million per person per ann a lot of money, there's, you know, we're involved in, we, we, we spend a lot of our time, you know, working with cameras and video and audio and everything else, and there's a company called Peak Design, and they kicked their approach off through lots of, engagement and so on and so on. And there's only 38 of them. And there was there's was $1.462 million per person per ann dollars, million dollars per person per annum. 

[Speaker 1]: So from an investor's point of view is like, wow. And did they do that predominantly through content? Yeah. I mean, what sort of content would they do? They would do video. They would do podcasts, lots of video, lots of YouTube stuff. They engaged with people that would use their, you know, through influencer marketing. So the bottom line, yeah, it was a good product. There's loads of camera bags, there's Lowe and there's Billingham them in his load. There's loads of different bags out there, but it's like, we're going to do this. And they had a cause which they talked about, but they were engaging. They were, they were accessible. And it just meant that they achieved what they set out to achieve, but without spending stupid money, I call it stupid money on that whole marketing infrastructure of gatekeeping content. Yes. It was B2C. Yeah. Okay. But, but at the end of the day, if B2B in the UK is, is so poor is so fractious in, or, or just on a knife edge all the time. Why is that? And it's because the ratios are out of sync. You've got too much onus on salespeople, but you've got you think more, we've got to have marketing. You know, as David Ogilvy said, you know, Oh no, no, it wasn't David Ogilvy. there was a, no!, it'll come back to me a minute. Saying, whatever we spend on marketing, only half of it works only half the budget that we spend on marketing works, but I don't know which half and it's it's is unsurprising. And my, my view is that, why, why should investors and directors know this. If you want to get an accountant, pay for an accountant or an HR person pay for an HR person, sales people get more sales people. There's no problem with any of it? You can't buy sales, you can't buy another sale. So how does it work? Well, you've got to attract people to be able to sell to them. So businesses look at getting marketers in and they think these marketers are supposed to be these technical whiz kids that can achieve this amazing integration with all these platforms. Yeah. So when I see these CV's, these ridiculous CV's serves you. Right. Serves you. Right. 

[Speaker 2]: So you're going in and go, Oh, y'all can I can make all this 

[Speaker 1]: Work. I can make it all work to get, Oh yeah, I'm your man. You know, give us the job. Oh!, he's such a great guy, but he can't write, he wouldn't know, good bit a copy of it, hit him in the face because all he's going to do is gatekeep it, chuck it behind an email form. And you'll never, you'll never see that you'd never get the exposure that you ever expected. You talk came about becoming a content first business. So what do you mean by that? And then also just following on from content, are there different types of content that businesses should be looking at? So content first and then type of, Okay. Content first, there's a methodology, there's a structure to this, virtually everybody's heard of a funnel and we have primary content, secondary content, general content and product content, turn it upside down. So you start with, start with your, your general content. That's anything you want. Anything you want, you want to write about is irrelevant it's only relevant to a very small number of people. You don't care. It could be a new hire. You could be moving, could be a set of new cars. It could be anything. It could be. Christmas jumpers is irrelevant per se, but you can put out content on your, on your website. Secondary content is news. Genuine news that people may well be interested in. The news can be picked up by Google and by Apple and by other people. So use it, but the information than the calls to action, because you're going to have your, your email on there, or you're going to have your rather your web address. 

[Speaker 1]: There are call to actions from that secondary content that will take people to your primary content. Your primary content is three to 6,000 words with bullets and lists and so on. And so on which he's written that genuinely explains how to use this product of yours or these solutions of yours in different scenarios. You know, they, they basically look to teach people as much as you possibly can about the implementation of these products. And then you got your product content. Your product is teaching them how the product actually works with video and information and downloads and instruction books, and guides. And goodness knows what. And so if you look at someone looking at your primary content, they like the primary content. The call to action. Let's look at the product content. They love the product content, what's the call to action of the product content, contact the customer, contact company! If you've ticked their boxes, They've gone wow! this company has given us everything. They've not chasing us down. Because you're not chasing them down. And you're not after an email address. It means your content becomes available to a wider audience. Every piece of content that you've got, every page you're going to have a call to action. It's going to have a telephone number, you can contact us this way. You can email us. You can go onto chat. You can go onto the, you know, even if you're producing content in different formats, which is the next part of it, which is Google recognises the written word. They also recognize video. When he's got a transcript, we also do podcasts. People like podcasts. People listen to podcasts because they can listen to them on their commute or whatever or where ever. 

[Speaker 1]: You know, you look at Sonos, Sonos now connects with, with YouTube and Spotify and Apple and so on. So therefore you can listen through any type of medium that people have got. They're going to listen to podcasts. You've also got live. So you can go live. I mean, everyone's seen people going live on their iPhones, but we're talking B2B here. We're talking about people looking to potentially invest a significant amount of money in your software or products. So you have every responsibility to demonstrate to that company that you've got the aptitude to support and communicate to them on the level in a high quality, you know, a high level of quality and not just holding up your phone in front of you, Oh!, listen, we can do this and thinking that you can knock it out. You know, we're not talking about, you know, creating a tick tock video or whatever we're talking about, demonstrating your professionalism. And that's where the shift has to happen. Do I think that the time of the sales person's been and gone? Yes, I do. Because it's a group effort, the information, and what's required by people that want to buy your product, our products, they would evaluate us from a distance. And if we're not forthcoming, they'll go somewhere else. So, do you think, now the situation that we're currently in, sort of a semi locked down situation, a lot of people working from home, what opportunities to people have now to start creating content, do you think now is a good time to start creating content? Whether whatever that might be, 

[Speaker 1]: I think it kind of boils down to the entrepreneurial spirit in people. Have a think about this, if the investors and directors have not been given this information, they're not going to make any decisions. They're not going to do anything. When you start looking at the entrepreneurial factors, I could say, well, actually, if I had my time over, you've got all these people sitting at home, we all know they're not busy, 24. They're not busy eight hours a day, but especially the marketing people get them writing, and the salespeople are probably the best people to write because they can communicate. They understand the real world problems that exist and so they can write about it. It could be cleaned up and sorted and so on. So in this point where we are now, like you said, in semi lockdown, the more content that's produced, the more opportunities your prospective customers have of finding you because they're in lockdown to. So if they, if they need to find out about information, whatever they need to do, more people are online now than, than ever, ever, ever before. I mean, I remember at the beginning of all this, people were worried about what was going to happen online. Nothing, nothing happened. The burden on the internet yeah. Nothing happened, no surprise there. So everybody can operate from home. So, you know, one of the, one of the thoughts I had was that these offices that are, are not being used at capacity, you know, go start a studio, set up a studio at the office, move some desks around, use a certain space in the office and use that for filming. Use that for podcasts, you know, make sure the sound is ok, there's a whole variety of factors involved in, in using this technology. 

[Speaker 1]: But in the same way, I mean, there was a, a story. I heard that there was a woman who produced, I think it was 20 recipes. That was it. She's not done any more since. And these recipes have had millions and millions and millions of views. So it's not about producing stuff or rate of knots, but it is about producing information that's relevant. And if it's relevant, people will keep looking at it.They'll, keep engaging with it. And that's, that's what people need to do is this is not rocket science anymore. And I think that the problem has, has been, that people always want the easy option. They always want a way out. There's nothing wrong with that. But what's happened is that for this given period of time, since kind of 2008, 2009 ish, that's when the marketing automation became available and the statistics are awful that all this technology has not moved that needle one iota. In fact, he's made it worse. Do you think that dependence on MarTech has, has kind of in, in some way stopped that creativity of the marketing departments? Yeah, I think so. I think so. Because there, there are people that advocate content, and we know, some people get it. So that gives some kind of consolation almost to the people that, that write that understand how important content is. But because it's not become mainstream, especially with B2B because the directors have looked at this and said, 'marketing', waste of time half the time. You know, We never get much business from it because it's just rubbish. We've got to have these salespeople and we've got to get them on the phone. You know, I didn't get where I am today without not getting on the phone. So these guys can do as they're told. You shift it. And you look at the, if an emphasis is put on content and good content and it's driven correctly. Yes. There might be some retraining needed for CMOs, because not to put too fine a point on it, they've done a crap job for, for a lot of years and they keep getting fired, 

[Speaker 2]: But they also keep cycling through these businesses. Don't they? I think that's what the shocking bit that I got. We watched the interview with Seth Godin and Brian Rose from London Real. And he was talking about marketing, obviously, because that's his area of expertise. But the fact that he was saying that, marketers or CMOs, and he was, I think he was talking specifically about the fortune 500 companies. But if you think about them, but think about how that trickles down, what happens in these big corporates does trickle down. And, and I think that really, that really shocked me because obviously those CMOs are going somewhere else. Or when you, you look at those job descriptions and you see what is expected, you know, it's, where does the fault line? I think it's a bit of both. I think you have to say, 

[Speaker 1]: Oh, you look at, they look at it. They say, you've got this 18 month tenure it's in all the press. I kind of joked with recruitment consultants and said, Oh well, you know, there's a churn of 18 months anyway, isn't there? Oh yeah, yeah. But that's the average, 

[Speaker 2]: But that's the average. And I think when you, when you look at average is 18 months is no time at all,. 

[Speaker 1]: But it makes sense. So they come in, they promise the earth. They say, this is what the plan is going to be. The business, no matter how big it is says, okay, we'll let you do what you want to do. Then they give them a year to go and sort it out. And then so three months to get it set up a year to try and execute it. And three months to fire them 18 months, it makes sense. But the, but the problem is, is that there are multiple reasons behind that as well, not just the ones that we've talked about, but with B2C, selling to consumers, the marketers go for safe. Yeah. They go for the safe option every time. The people that are involved and engaged in B2B marketing, they're going for the safe option. 

[Speaker 1]: It's called technology because you look at the list, the list, as long as you're on, whether you've got, you've got Marketo, integration with Salesforce, integration, with RainKing, not RainKing, DiscoverOrg, integration with Lead Forensics, integration with anything, with Adobe, if you're gonna use Adobe and the integration elements are staggering, you think what for? I mean, what makes me, it does make me smile the thought, yeah. He could kick out all the, all the marketing automation platforms. So what, just use a basic email, ISP, ESP email service provider, just use something basic, but make your content available to everyone and don't stress about it. Just allow them to read it, but monitor it, improve it, make it better if you're not sure. Ask them it's called market research is what the marketing team is supposed to be doing. I mean, there was a report, article, by CB insights it said 20 of the top, the top 20 reasons startups fail. The top 10, out of 20 were marketing related problems. 

[Speaker 2]: Yeah. Over 50%. Yeah. 

[Speaker 1]: The statistics that we got that said that 40% go bust anyway of business invested in 75 95, those statistics came from Harvard, Harvard business review. The stats are everywhere. The general startup information comes from the government. You know, the UK government, standard statistics, and nobody is sitting back going, wait a second. Why is this happening? One would be mad to go into business. It's stacked against you. Why? Because you think to arrive, you have to engage CMO. To arrive. You have to offload them, allow this, this person in a flowered shirt to go and do the work for you. 

[Speaker 2]: I think it's the conventional wisdom. Isn't it? That you, you need somebody to, to drive that. But in actual fact, what you need is somebody that knows about the business to write about the business. So in terms of where to next, what do you, what do you see as being the, the answer is a quick fix. Is it something that is going to take a while? What, what do you see as being the, the solution then? 

[Speaker 1]: I would like to think initially that the response comes from the investors and directors to think, wait a second, this guy is not pulling any punches. He's absolutely going for marketers here yet. He's a marketing consultant. All I do is join the dots and we've produced a playbook. Now, the playbook for any of, you know, in the event of nor the description exists, it's a 35 page document that says, do this. It's not complicated. Just, just do this is here's the outline. Do it, start it. And then as you increase, as that content increases and gets better and people get better at creating it. So you'll get more business in a more inquiries. It's not complicated. We're not talking money here. Just do what you're supposed to do. So as that shift change happens within the business and you create more content. You get more people engaged in doing it, it increases your engagement and you'll attract more people, happy days!  At the same time though, because you're increasing your content and getting more engagement, the numbers of salespeople and the way in which you were doing business before will decrease supply increases the other decrease. So I look at it as a long, a longer term structure in that the business becomes a purveyor of fine content. The numbers and types of people and the individuals involved, just for example, the, the, the really gregarious,  happy go lucky sales person who doesn't seem to do his target very often, but he's got a great personality. Make him a presenter, make him a researcher, make him an interviewer, start producing content. Start thinking of yourself, not just as a company that writes, but a company that produces video, start up a channel, start up a live channel, go out every Friday. 

[Speaker 1]: As in producer a show, every Friday. The tech costs next to nothing. It costs nothing to go live on YouTube, but you can buy some tech that makes it look good. So the one off, you know, get rid of one salesperson, one sales person salary, and you could buy the best kit, virtually, the best kit in the world. One person's salary! Yet your exposure exponentially increases. Get in good copywriters, but we've, we've created this, an illustration. This is what has got to look like. These are the things that you have to do. And that's what we do mean. We people call us him. We advise people, this is what you need to do. It's just about fast tracking it. If we were saying, we've got this white paper, and it's because we've produced this wonderful piece of technology now come and buy it from us. It doesn't exist, we're just saying, do it... Of half a million new businesses. Let's stop some of them from going bust. You don't want to go bust. Trust me. It's, it's a painful, long process that damages every body, everybody connected to the business, your family, it's, it's living with butterflies day and night, waking up with them. You don't want it. Yeah. And you know, unless you've been there, you don't want to go there, but to stop going there, people think that it's, you know, people think about raising money. It's the, Oh, look at us. Look how clever we are. No, no. An investor is going to come along and expect the lion share. 

[Speaker 1]: So don't be getting all indignant about why should you have so much? I only want to give you a tiny percentage. That's why the guys on Dragon's den laugh at them. Go, I'm not giving you... I value my company even more than that. Yeah. Look at the statistics. The likelihood that the Dragon's den people are going to lose their shirt on you is very, very high, so they can dictate how much the percentage they're going to take of your company. So the point is, if you can prove it, if you're, you know, if you're an investor, start telling these people, listen, we'll look at what we've got on the plate, on our plate at the moment, or lined up at the moment but these new people. Just get them to prove they can attract business. That isn't coming from a black book or, Oh, your mates or your mom's friends or anything like that. Yeah. Prove that you can attract business and you've got a deal. But if you can't prove it, there's no point, not just for the investor, but for them, you know, I'm sure as a li I know it's a lovely idea, but it ain't gonna make any money. So don't, don't put yourself through it. And so young people, the youngsters wanting to be entrepreneurs, that at the end of the day, we, everybody knows that they big themselves up because they raised the money. And look at Theranos. Yeah. So it's not a means to an end necessarily. 

[Speaker 1]: It's a bit like, Tom Cruise going "show me the money". That's, that's what the investment was for, was for you to come make some money, put 40% go buy 70%, never make any 75%, never make any so that the odds are against everybody. But it's not being convinced. I don't need to be convinced about this. The reason people don't make the money is because they don't market themselves. They forget they miss the absolute basics, which is communicate what you do, make yourself attractive. You'll succeed. That's it. 

[Speaker 2]: So that's basically that summing up the white paper then. So what you're saying is that put aside those notions, that marketing automation is going to solve all your problems. Start writing content starting now, but not just writing it, producing content. So whether that's videos or podcasts. To enjoy it,. But follow the guidelines that Google has laid out, because that will get you on the first page. And it will get you noticed un-gate your content, because there's no point keeping it gated because people can't find you, if you know, Google can't index it. If it can't see it. Correct. And basically get off that, that treadmill of, you know, the telesales treadmill, because once you stop running on that treadmill, you end up. I had just had a vision in my head there of Peter Kay, with Ronnie Corbett 

[Speaker 1]: Amarillo. Yeah. 

[Speaker 2]: All three of them on phones. And he stops and the ends up, you know, he falls off and that, and I, you know, we want to stop these businesses from going bust. 

[Speaker 2]: The thing is looking at this, how can I be pragmatic about this telling everybody to stop right away. Not a good idea if you're getting an amount of business in through that way, fine carry on, but be aware of this. Yeah. So what can salesXchange do then to help businesses achieve these goals? 

[Speaker 1]: Oh, that's the best question ever. It's quite straightforward. We provide consultancy, we provide workshops. And, and based on that consultancy and workshops, based on that, we will steer businesses. We steer businesses to fast track them to get this right. And it's not complicated. It doesn't take long, it's not complicated. And in terms of our offerings for businesses, that don't know us don't there's a consultancy, there's the workshops. We also do business evaluation. And so we'll look at everything that you have, everything that you're looking at doing and evaluate your marketing strategy as you move forward, as a one off project or we'll step in and act as your, interim CMO whilst it transitions. And the point is, is that as a business, you may well want to maintain and have somebody on the board as CMO, but the business owners and the investors have been tasked, I would say, with trying to choose them. And it's really difficult to go and choose them. And part of that problem. They, I believe they thought was getting, uh, a chief growth officer in. And again, that doesn't always work out for the best because they're sales orientated. The chief growth officer has to be as clued in, on, on marketing as they are on selling. And they don't exist now that the old sales and marketing director, if this problem has been endemic for this long, it means nobody's looking at it from this perspective. 

[Speaker 1]: And there's an article about that on our website. And it's about looking at change. And the point is, is that businesses have to change. The world changed this year in March when the lockdown happened. And if you do what you've always done, you're going to get what you've always got. You'll just be a statistic. It's just not your time yet, but it will be whether it's three one, two, three, five, seven, 10 years, you'll just be a statistic. If you carry on doing what you're doing, and that's why, the white paper is downloadable from our website, we don't want your email address, just download it, playbook is downloadable. we don't want your email address, just download it, plus everything else that we've written, books that we've written are available online, we've made ourselves accessible and someone has to demonstrate how you know that this is doable. And so that's it. That's great, thank you. Okay. Well for the readers and listeners and Watchers, thanks for watching. Thanks for listening. And we'll see you in the next one, meanwhilr, take a look through our website and hopefully there'll be a raft of documents and information and articles there who can help you in your quest to get your marketing sorted, bye for now.

About the Host

Nigel Maine is a sales and marketing veteran with over thirty years experience. He has a knack of calling it what it is without dressing it up! If you're a CEO and want to get a good handle on B2B Marketing, not because you have to do it, but to quickly learn, Nigel's your man...

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