CMO Insights – Brian Carroll, Speaker, Author and Lead Generation Consultant

February 1, 2017

Jeff Pedowitz sat down with Brian Carroll, speaker, author and lead generation consultant while Brian was still in his role as Chief Evangelist with MECLABS Institute. Brian shares the importance of taking an education first approach with marketing and sales; that solving your client’s problems is critical to building a bridge and subsequently to creating a revenue relationship.

Using technology to isolate key events that show triggers of how an audience member moves through their buyers’ journey is key to creating the right content at the right time for the right people. Behavioral knowledge has increasingly become an important part of the marketing process and plays an integral role in technology acquisition.

The future o marketing requires a new set of skills for marketing professionals. When asked if he felt that students were coming out of college with the requisite skills he replied: “What we are finding, when I talk to CMOs and VPs of marketing, is that the students coming out of college today are less experienced marketers, don’t have the skills they need to embrace today’s customer and some of that has to do with the curriculum. What they are being taught isn’t connected to what’s really working in the community. The most important thing that people need to develop as a skill is really an understanding of how to put their customer first.”

Full Transcript

Jeff Pedowitz:

Good afternoon and welcome to Revenue Marketing Television, the video channel dedicated to thought leadership from the world’s top marketing executives. I’m your host, Jeff Pedowitz, President and CEO of The Pedowitz Group. Today’s guest is Brian Carroll, Chief Evangelist at MECLABS Institute. Brian is the best-selling author of Lead Generation for the Complex Sale and a well-known expert in marketing lead-generation, lead management, leadership strategy, complex selling and demand generation. Welcome to the show, Brian.

Brian Carroll:

Thanks for having me, Jeff.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So, my first question: I really was captivated by your title of Chief Evangelist. What does a Chief Evangelist do?

Brian Carroll:

Well, a number of things, but I would say really what I’m about is building the attentional friendships, and I’m doing that and I’m reaching out to thought leaders, technology companies, those who are driving change in the marketing and sales industry. And what we’re looking to do here at Mac labs is we’re looking to engage our community. And what I’m looking to do is those who have, who are serving the marketing sales community, finding ways that we can connect with them and that we can ultimately change the way people think about marketing. So what I’m doing is, is I say intentional because there’s so many people you can connect with. So I’m, I’m trying to reach those who have specific communities that are influencing marketing.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So how should people be thinking about marketing today in 2016 versus say a few years ago?

Brian Carroll:

Well, I think, you know, the more things change the more they’re the same. I, I still think that marketing at its core, especially when you have a complex sale it’s about building relationships. And so some of the core fundamentals that I think marketers really need to recognize is one right, the, the lines between B2B and B2C have been blurred. And so naturally we need to help bridge the gap in a trust that has been affecting marketers. The other thing that we need to be doing. So some of that is trust, building, sharing, thought leadership. I would say the best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing. It feels like helping.

So I think that the role of the marketer is shifting from actually trying to pitch to, to more around how do I enable the customer along their buying journey. And so those are just some of the few things that we’re seeing in terms of marketing. I think marketing automation is now being seen lasses, you know, the, the end all be all, and it’s more of an enabler. So marketers are needing to get to the foundational things. So connecting and how do we ultimately help our sales organization sell with technology, enabling us to do that better and more effectively.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Interesting. So you, you mentioned technology, you know, besides marketing automation, which of course is the main platform. How do you see marketers using technology to scale, to gain a competitive advantage, to get closer to their customers? What are they using? What’s working

Brian Carroll:

Well, there there’s a lot of tools out there. I think there’s a series of things in the playbook. One, I think marketers are using something called customer journeys and and really bedding, being able to understand the micro yeses, their customers take to ultimately make a decision internally. Part of that is developing personas. I think also marketers are using they’re using content marketing and the things that I’m seeing is people are using more predictive more predictive tools, lead scoring is now moving to predictive lead scoring. Also, the other thing that I’m seeing is that marketers are using technology to augment their understanding of the customer. So that’s collecting behavioral data and there’s so much behavioral information about our customers online, but it’s, it’s really being able to isolate what are the key events that indicate triggers that show people are moving to the next step version.

The other things that I’m seeing marketers use more and more is along with social media, that they’re using more effective listening tools and being able to bring the pieces together. So it’s a whole experience instead of just one, one particular channel I’m seeing marketers are actually developing technology stacks. And you know, what we’re seeing is that you know, Scott Brinker has shown data. That’s showing that marketers now are actually on par spending more on technology in terms of marketing than it people are in, in companies right now that they’re the biggest single drivers of it. So there’s a lot of gap though, in buying technology and then using it.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Oh, absolutely. So how though, well, first two parts to that first, all this data, now that marketing is collecting, where are they storing it and how are they getting access to it? I imagine they’re using certain types of tools. How do they get visibility into all this behavioral knowledge?

Brian Carroll:

Well there’s a lot of different tools and that’s actually part of the problem is stitching the things together. So many companies are working in the cloud and they’re storing their data in the cloud, using everything from salesforce.com to the marketing automation platform. But the other thing is, is that then they have their website analytics, then they have their customer data. Then they have a customer financial data. And in line with that, they may have a separate email system. I’ve talked to bigger companies. He might have through acquisition, have three or four unique systems, all managing customer data. So what what we’re seeing really as is that often for, for marketers, the first challenge is seeing their data is being the, the quality of your data is really indicating the quality of your relationship with your customer. And so what I really would say we need to do is address silos and look at bringing the pieces together in one spot there’s schools out there that allow marketers to analyze their data.

And so what I’m seeing is is that data science perspective, what marketers need to move from is looking in the rear view mirror to actually forward looking. And so the best data actually helps you define what your customers are going to do. And what I’m talking about prediction is is that we, we can deal with a hundred percent accuracy, treat our data like meteorologists weather forecasts, and it really allows us to have a likely understanding of what they’re going. And so we’ll help you though, as you look at three things relevancy, which is essential connecting with your customers and, and I think that’s a big gap that Mark does deal with. Is, are we communicating relevant way? The other thing that I would say is from a trust standpoint, connecting with where your customers are at on their journey, that yarn interrupted Foxy plants. And then the last thing I would say is congruency, which is keeping you and I, you and I are having a conversation. I’m not going to change the subject on you, but this happens all the time with marketing interactions. Someone looked at one piece of content, and then we’re introducing something random that doesn’t connect. So concurrency is a factor too.

Jeff Pedowitz:

You mentioned data scientist skills. So what other types of skills is needing to be successful?

Brian Carroll:

Well, I would say that you know, marketer by nature, we’re generalists and because there’s so many different things that I would say marketers need to develop skills. One is becoming more agile and using Anto approaches to how they do market. The waterfall approach no longer works in my opinion because our customers are moving too quickly. The other thing that I would say is, is that marketers need to become a lot more fluid with understanding technology. And and if you don’t have that skill, for example, it’s hard to hire something you yourself don’t understand.

And so I think a lot of marketers really need to develop an understanding of content strategy to understand technology and how that either grades with their process. And cause that’s marketers, I would say also learn a lot from the growth hacking community, which is doing two things, looking at customer data and audit that then bringing a testing and optimization mindset to their marketing. And so often we run a campaign and I think a lot of marketers believe in testing, but they need two things knowing how to task. And then the second skill is being able to develop an understanding of knowing what to test. And I would say the second skill of what the test is actually critically important, because you could be testing those things that don’t materially matter to you connecting

Jeff Pedowitz:

Customer, customer. Are you finding that kids coming out of school skills or is marketing having to train them?

Brian Carroll:

Well, I’ll start with the testing and optimization piece. And also along with that, Joe’s messaging, most students don’t seem to be coming on a skill it’s those skills. And because of that reason, West Mac labs is kind of nice. We’ve actually partners with university of Florida to develop a graduate level curriculum. It’s starting out with a certificate to help again, filling in these particular gaps. So what we’re finding is is that when I pause for CMOs repeat piece of marketing and you know, less experienced marketers who are hunting out of college, don’t have the skills they need to embrace today’s customer. And some of it just has to go with the curriculum of what they’re being taught. Isn’t connected to what’s really working in the community.

And I’m sure that you probably see some of these things as well. So what I would say is this it’s developing an onboarding and the most important thing I would say that people need to develop as a skill is really an understanding of how they put their customer first. And I think this is something marketers bring a huge amount of their value is moving out of that company logic. How do we sell more to customer logic, which is using your empathy and, and then developing an understanding of your customers, the promise they’re dealing with and in effect why they would work with you. So there’s a lot of things I could say, but those are just a few.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Do you think you’ve mentioned a couple of times getting to know the customer, how many marketers are actually spending time in acquisition marketing, be aware their activities are on the top of the funnel or are they actually really focused on a true life cycle?

Brian Carroll:

Yeah, I’m sure you, you probably see some of those too. I think that a lot of marketers spend too much of their time focused on topic funnel or at Beck labs. We often in birth the funnel because we don’t think gravity causes people to fall in. We think, we think it actually is the opposite. So we, we put up the bottom, but I would say it’s often it’s like starting a conversation with people. And you know, I, won’t usually with dating analogy other than to say that we spend a lot of time beginning the journey with people, but we don’t spend enough time understanding the aggression and the gap I see most often happening is in the middle of the funnel. And it’s, it’s what I see as there’s this gap or this grip spilled between marketing and sales, which shows how do we help progress people from being interested in our initial content, which helped them answer some level of question or detail to move them and suppress them that they, they began saying, wow, I’m actually trying to find something with that’s what you sell your products or your service, your solution.

And so we often have a lot of stuff later stages to help salespeople, customer, case studies, user success stories. That’s really great, but what’s missing is the educational content that really can help somebody do two things, federal identifying the challenges and to help enable them to have those critical conversations internally because the corporate executive board, for example, showing that the average feed of the scale has around 5.4 decision makers involved in it. And the more people you add to your decision making process, there is actually a decrease in conversion that takes place. And the reason that is, is most companies it’s easier to do nothing than it is to risk making the wrong decisions. So the status quo wins more often than people buy. So that’s why I think we need to spend a lot of time as the middle of the funnel and progression.

Jeff Pedowitz:

The funnel.

Brian Carroll:

So I would say broadly speaking, it’s understanding the concept of the nurturing and the progression. And so there’s really three parts to the customer acquisition. First step is getting customers. The second phase is keeping customers and then the third phase is growing customers. And so you can actually, you can actually have a nurturing approach for all three of those spaces. I would start. The I think you can learn a lot from starting with your existing customers and talking to their sales team about the purchasing process. What’s the content you share with our customers that you find helps progress them from interesting, interested to now starting to put together requirements and building out a plan to how they would ultimately buy from us. And you can start then I would say, so nurturing is really about progression. There’s four things you need to know with nurturing.

Brian Carroll:

Your first thing is, is understanding who your customers are. So this includes building an ideal customer profile. It also includes building personas. And I would say once you understand the personas, the third piece, that’s really important that a lot of people talk about and they rely on technology is building your customer journey. So, so that would be the first part of it. The second thing is, is content strategy, and then it would be content development. And so those are two and three. And then the fourth thing that I would say that you need to develop is an understanding child, the channels that are the best ways to share your content, whether that’s through social media, using nurture through social media, you can follow people on your list.

It’s getting engaged with online and also through LinkedIn using email. That’s one of the favorite things, something, a lot of companies coming to you, even those, I have sales development reps aren’t necessarily are enabling their insight sales team or their field sales teams to use content to help that be a valid business reason. So I find even building that enablement, the messaging of this is information. That’d be good to share at this point, here’s some of the problems that you can provide guidance about what to say, even providing templates to your team. And so those are the four things that I would say is clarity in the customer content strategy. And then from that content development, and then ultimately how you’re going to distribute that

Jeff Pedowitz:

Great, Brian, if you could leave us with one side, you know, what, what would that be?

Brian Carroll:

Well right now I’ve really been, so I’m working on my second book building off of what I originally wrote about. And I think that we, as marketers can better serve our customers by developing our empathy. And what I really mean by that is is really looking at what you do through the eyes of your customer and exercising. Empathy means you can walk in their shoes. How do you do this? I would say, get out of your building and talk to your customers to get out with your failed sales team and talk with your customer. So phone or be out in person three, I would say that marketers can also begin to looking at your data and to get an understanding. And for most of your customers, what they do you have in lakes, you have data trying to understand their world. And here’s the thing I’m going to close with this.

There was a Harvard business review report. I can share this with you, 95% of why people buy, which is unconscious. They don’t know. And so when we ask people why they buy, they can’t really tell you, so you need to do these things I’m talking about. So you use your empathy, get in their world. And because this can help you get the wisdom back better. And then the end, that’s what we want to do as marketers is connect and help. And ultimately in doing that, we’re going to sell and try and drive more rep. Absolutely

Jeff Pedowitz:

Great advice. Thank you, Brian. Thank you for being on the show today. Really appreciate it.

Brian Carroll

Thank you.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Thank you.

To learn more Brian Carroll and how he helps B2B organizations improve their lead generation capabilities, check out his website B2B Lead Blog.

You May Also Like…

REVTalks Masters: Ruben Varela

REVTalks Masters: Ruben Varela

In the new blog series, “REVTalks Masters” we sit down with a few of the speakers from our upcoming event, the REVTalks and dive into their stories to help you with your journey to revenue marketing.

read more
REVTalks Masters: Elle Woulfe

REVTalks Masters: Elle Woulfe

In the new blog series, “REVTalks Masters” we sit down with a few of the speakers from our upcoming event, the REVTalks and dive into their stories to help you with your journey to revenue marketing.

read more

Marketing Operations

Increase efficiency. Remove roadblocks.

Customer Experience

Wow Your Customers

Lead Management

Accelerate Leads to Revenue

Digital Transformation

Turn Strategy Into Action

Martech Stack

Does your MarTech Stack … Stack Up?

Inbound Marketing

Right Channel, Right Message

Account-Based Marketing

Accelerate ABM Success

Flexible
Options

Four options. One result: Greater marketing-sourced revenue.

Marketo Engage

Marketo Platinum Partner

Pardot

Accelerate Leads to Revenue

Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Salesforce Certified Silver Partner

Salesforce CRM

12 Years of Integration Experience

Partners

Additional Technology Platforms

Oracle Eloqua

Oracle Platinum Partner

Adobe Experience Manager

Provide world-class experiences

Revenue Marketing University 

Training for marketers of all skill levels.

F5 Logo

F5 Network's Case Study

How a Network Security Giant Unified Global Marketing Operations

F5 Logo

Rackspace's Case Study

How a Cloud Solutions Provider Unifed And Expanded Global Marketing Capabilities

F5 Logo

GE's Case Study

How a Global Leader Drove Transformation At Scale

TraceLink’s Case Study

How a Supply-Chain Solution Provider Built Crucial Capabilities For Revenue

Xylem's Case Study

How a Global Water Solutions Company Nailed Marketing Automation To Win

Gilbarco Veeder-Root

Gilbarco Veeder-Root's Case Study

How a Global Fueling Leader Transitioned To Win

Telecomm Case Study

How A Multi-Channel Inbound Strategy Achieved A 600% Increase In ROI

A credit card, representing a Fortune 100 client of The Pedowitz Group's

Financial Services Case Study

How a Fortune 100 Credit Card Company Closed The Loop On Revenue

Resource Hub

Read, Watch and Download

Trending Topics

Our Most Popular Content

Blog

Our Latest Articles

CMO Insights

Hear From Industry Experts

Get Timely Insights

Take an interactive assessment and get immediate results

About TPG

How are we different? Get to know us a bit better!

Careers

Learn more about working here

Case Studies

See real results from customers just like you

How We Work With You

How can we help you?

Partners

Learn about some of our Partners.

Introducing: The Loop

 

Revenue models are outdated. Here’s your update.

About TPG

How are we different? Get to know us a bit better!

Careers

Learn more about working here

Case Studies

See real results from customers just like you

How We Work With You

How can we help you?

Partners

Learn about some of our Partners.

Introducing: The Loop

 

Revenue models are outdated. Here’s your update.