Make The Logo Bigger Podcast Artwork Image
Make The Logo Bigger
Episode 5: Building Agency and Stakeholder Relationships
March 08, 2018 Kaleidico
Make The Logo Bigger

Episode 5: Building Agency and Stakeholder Relationships

March 08, 2018


Getting your marketing campaigns up and performing is probably more about relationships than tasks. At the core of project and campaign management is creating valuable and trusting relationships between business units. In this episode, we’re talking about how to build powerful relationships between marketing departments and agencies and stakeholders.
Getting your marketing campaigns up and performing is probably more about relationships than tasks. At the core of project and campaign management is creating valuable and trusting relationships between business units. In this episode, we’re talking about how to build powerful relationships between marketing departments and agencies and stakeholders.

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1:0:00Welcome to make the logo bigger. We're a strategy for his company, right? So as everyone should be, I mean you got to start with your objective and then kind of work your way backwards from there. The podcast that takes you behind the scenes of a marketing agency, conscience getting so much more expensive and we just got to figure out more economical ways to provide that service to clients from two guys that get paid to do this stuff on a daily basis. People love behind the scenes type stuff. They want to see how you work. You know, they want to know more about your process, so be open and honest. Here's your host, no rice. Usually the best ideas don't actually sit within where you are. They're usually come from somewhere else, and Mike, Carol, you need to design first and then create content to the design. And now the obligatory legal disclosure. Bill Rice and Mike Carol worked for Kalydeco, a marketing and design agency. All opinions expressed by bill and Mike are definitely the opinions of Kalydeco opinions expressed by guests of this podcast. Well, they could be right or wrong. Who knows, this podcast is for informational purposes and has a reasonable probability of making your marketing better. And now this week's episode.

Speaker 1:1:08All right, welcome to episode five, Building Agency and stakeholder relationships. Yeah, I'm doing well.

Speaker 2:1:17Wow. This is kind of a fun one that's a little bit different. It's not like straight up like hardcore marketing strategy, but I think it's super important to building these little relationships in between, um, you know, getting things and stakeholders and working with product managers and companies if you're an agency or a company working with an agency. But I think a lot of times we don't talk about relationships enough and how important they are to kind of getting things done. So that's what we're going to focus on today. I'm just kind of relationship building, especially in the context of sort of business to business. But before we get into that, um, let's, uh, let's talk about, you wanted to talk about pivoting from your existing core business to something new, product, new service. We people to get to know us a little

Speaker 3:2:02better in this segment of the podcast. And I think, you know, we're all into transparency here, that's all anybody learns, knowledge sharing, and so, so we're in the process of trying to, you know, transition our business a little bit when you were a lead generation agency. That's what, that's what Claudia does. We do lead generation strategy and execution and all that entails. But what we've discovered over the years over the last I'd actually say two years is that we, you know, excuse my language, we built bad ass wordpress websites, really complicated stretching the bounds of the, you know, the capability of the platform, you know, wordpress websites and it's. And so we decided not to long ago that in the new year, um, where we found some good success as being an agencies agency and partnering with the sort of Boutique design agencies and branding agencies and, and you know, more traditional advertising agencies all by the way being asked by their clients to, to redesign or, or make new websites, but lacking the development

Speaker 4:3:00resources. Not only to just execute it, but even understand like what's possible from a functionality perspective. You know.

Speaker 2:3:08Well, I think it's helping these eight, I mean, these agencies I think are in a kind of a weird spot to whereas we, we kind of came out of a software development environment and, and pivoted or transitioned or kind of expanded our capabilities into design. Um, the agencies are kind of in, in a kind of a worse position because before websites were just beautiful design and they didn't have a lot of functionality and they weren't quite as dynamic and they didn't require as much hardcore software development. So a, so a lot of our, um, our opportunities for partnership or these, these really awesome design agencies that are just finding themselves in a bit of a pickle because they don't have the software development processes and, and skill sets to do really kind of,

Speaker 4:3:53Oh yeah. So we really love doing that. And we think about, because of our lead generation background, we think about building websites much differently than your traditional sort of website design and development agency. And certainly much different, uh, you know, differently than like your offshore white labeled development services. Which, uh, anybody who's ever worked in an agency or anybody's ever worked in a company and tried to go for unquote the cheap route, excuse me, and save themselves some money in offshore, their development resources understands what kind of challenge that really is. There's the language barrier, there's the understanding of marketing tactics and execution and we have all that as a component of our DNA. Um, but anyway, this isn't a sales pitch. So, um, what it is is, is us kind of sharing with you our journey, our experience as we try to shift the focus of our agency and essentially offer a new service but like a different focus to our services.

Speaker 4:4:47And there's lots of companies that are transitioning like that. And even the story to companies of course are like 37 signals, you know, turning into base camp. And for anybody who is not familiar with that story, by the way, I highly recommend you go ahead and investigate it. Three, seven signals was a website design and development agency. They built basecamp internally to manage their own projects and then started to realize like this next example I'm going to give that the software, it was actually where the value was and Kinda like we're realizing by the way that our development talent, our approach to development strategy and all those guns is where the, you know, the real asset is in our business. Um, and so maybe you've been thinking about your business or you know, or even your marketing program and how it can kind of serve a different masters so to speak.

Speaker 4:5:30And so we just wanted to share as these episodes go on, you know, what we learned from our process, you know, what we're doing wrong and doing right and all that kind of stuff. So, so the first thing I'll say is if you go to the show notes, um, I've dropped a link to a blog article from a company that we're actually, we've been kind of closely connected to since they're a startup called [inaudible] dot io. And Stella, who is the founder, they're a, they're a services company who did sales as service at one point. Uh, in other words, they're like outsourced sales team, so if you wanted to do demand generation or you needed a sales team to do outbound phone calling or whatever you needed, they would actually supply you with that sales team a much like base camp or three, seven signals. Formerly they built a piece of software inside of their company, uh, that to facilitate their sales team to be able to manage leads better and, and you know, in and run their sales programs.

Speaker 4:6:21And what they found was that not only their own internal salespeople, but the external sales people and teams they were working with were so enamored with the software that they should start selling the software. And so this video in this blog post is actually him documenting their transition from a services business to a software business. And it's fascinating to listen to. He's a really smart guy. Um, and you know, I'm taking lessons from what he's talked about a few. I'm going to relay the same lessons that we have. So my one quick lesson, by the way, if you're, if you're thinking about doing this type of thing, is planning, planning, planning, planning. So I will admit fully we're not fully planned out for this transition in the, in the best way possible, right? We're going to facilitate it any, um, and also when you're planning you cannot force a transition like this.

Speaker 4:7:09It has to happen organically. So just like Kinda fell on their software by building something internal for their teams. We fell on our development department because we were building an internal, you know, a talent capability or capable set of capabilities to execute digital marketing programs. And then learned later on that actually this was the heart, the core of our services that we were truly best at. So, so it's got to be organic, uh, and once, once you recognize that organic change that you're willing to facilitate than it really has to be a planned out process. So, so we do have like a year long roadmap that we're trying to make the transition. But one thing you'll notice that, you know, the Stella says Bar, which I think is really interesting, and I watched this video again before we did the podcast, he reminded me, don't put a clock on it so, so, so as much as I want to finish the transition in a year, if you're not ready, you don't make the switch like you don't cut off the old core business. Um, it should be a natural kind of evolution into that to where the, your new business revenue exceeds the old business revenue pretty significantly. And then you kind of shut off the old business. So everybody's interested in checking it out.

Speaker 2:8:15Totally disagree. Video Steli does an awesome job. All his videos, you should definitely watch and be enamored with him. Uh, and again, scrape transparency. But even when we transitioned from the software company as a and we were focused in the mortgage industry as it collapsed and all of our clients for the most part went out of business, um, in that, uh, just kind of amazing moment in time. Uh, even then we didn't, when we made our pivot and our transition, it was still almost two years in the making because we, you know, we had to kind of keep one foot in and keep a little revenue going, make transitions and staff and um, and capabilities and all those sorts of things. So the, the, the whole point of not putting a date on it is super critical, although of course you want to, you know, keep some urgency behind that.

Speaker 2:9:05So, um, and it's something we should always think about. I mean, this is why you bring it up, but I mean, every business that's been around for any length of time is going to make a series of pivots overtime. I mean, I think I have this right, but Sony, you know, obviously a huge electronics maker. I think if I have this story right, they started as, as making rice cookers, right? So that's not what they do today. So it's so, so any bay, any, any business has been around for any length of time. We're, we're well over a decade old now. Um, and that feels old for, for a business these days. Facebook. Yeah, that's true. That's true. Not Quite as profitable, but close. What have we been doing with our time? Holy smokes. All right. Anyway, now that you've just raised the bar on us, they're all right.

Speaker 2:10:01Exactly. Exactly. Okay, let's go. Let's go into our kind of, our main topic and like I said, this is going to be a fun one, but just the importance of building a value from relationships. So depending on where you sit in sort of this value chain of marketing, um, uh, in your company, you may be a marketing director, you may be a stakeholder, maybe a product manager or something like that that works with marketing or maybe you're an agency, um, so depending on, maybe you're just trying to figure out marketing for your own small business or company, but wherever you're in a kind of ecosystem related to marketing as a part of our audience, this is going to vary a little bit, but the core thing is we're trying to talk about how you build relationships, uh, in collaboration and partnership and really thinking about that a little bit differently than a sort of a zero sum attitude.

Speaker 2:10:56Like if I win, they lose. If they win, then I lose. That's a really hard way to, to, to work in partnership with someone. Um, and really thinking more about like a 100 percent in for making them successful. And then hopefully there are 100 percent and for making me successful. So let's talk about that a little bit. I know internally and Kalydeco, we've been talking about this a lot, especially as we do make this transition to be an agency for an agency, which seems a little weird. Some people are like, what is it? Because you're working for your competitor and it's not like that at all. Actually. It's a. it's a awesome sort of a sort of synergy because we know what they're doing, we know what they're up against or what their environment's like. But anyway, talk about that a little bit because it's a big topic internally when you create a real. I mean with any of our clients, right? We look at it all the same. It's all about understanding like even if it's internally, right? Understanding what somebody wants to accomplish is going to help you create the of relationship

Speaker 4:11:54by facilitating that, that objective. So even if it's an internal, you know, like an internal between product manager, marketing and sales, whatever it's going to be. Everybody has to come and do their job. If you make part of your day helping them do their job, they're going to make part of their day helping you do your job. Because essentially you're all doing the same job together. So for us, when it comes to working with other agencies, you know, at the end of the day, it's both of our jobs to make sure that the client, which is technically both our clients now, um, you know, gets exactly the thing that they need to achieve the objective that they want. I think the value that in this instance that we provide from our relationship status or standpoint to the agencies that we work with, our agency partners is that so often there's this level like level of bureaucracy that exists between agency to agency.

Speaker 4:12:38You've got project manager talking to project manager. This project manager likes to do it one way that project manager likes to do it another way. And where we provide value, or at least we're trying to and, and fine tuning this process all the time is we want to retrofit ourselves to be an extension of your team. So if your team works a certain way, then we're going to put our team into that workflow so that it feels like just a number. Another employee, a colleague. Um, and even my development team, uh, Angelo who is our lead developer, he loves it because he doesn't think of them as a client either. It's actually a really comfortable relationship where you can talk really earnestly and honestly about the projects. It's limitations, challenges, you know, what's possible. Um, and we connect their designers with our developers and don't put anyone in the middle, uh, because that agency already has a project manager. Right? And so if they need extra project management help, we're here to drive the process, uh, but more often than not they don't. They want to run the process. And so we recognize how to be, I guess demure in the relationship that creates the value for them. And then that creates the trust and then when there's trust, that's when, you know, that's when true partnerships really blossom.

Speaker 2:13:46Totally, totally. Um, and one of the, um, you know, and the other thing that kind of when we found out through this processes is really leveraging the external expertise. So although we've been a design and build sort of from a, for a long time, uh, by working in a, in partnership with some of these like top notch design firms, we've improved ourselves, right? Because we've relied on their expertise, their quality and it's raised our game and it's challenged us to kind of do better at what we're doing. So, um, anytime you can get that external, uh, expertise and bring it closer to you and sort of challenge what you're doing, whether it's core or it's building a new capability or those sorts of things, I think those are really powerful. Um, and then hopefully companies do that with agencies like I know in our, our favorite clients to work with or are those who are, you know, rely and, and, um, are kind of leaning in to us for our expertise versus sort of being directive and just handing off. In fact, we've actually, um, I hesitate to use the term, but we've gotten rid of some clients are kind of worked through and out of clients that have turned us into just simply, you know, uh, in order to. Yeah, creative services department is a perfect characterization where they just kind of hand us an order and asked us to bring something back that's just, it's not a fun project to work on. And usually it's hard for us to, uh, to kind of make them happy, right? Because they've, they've, uh, they've thought through it almost

Speaker 3:15:23the real challenge there of course, and this isn't, you know, the reason why you hire an agency. So if you're a marketing director sitting out there and you're thinking about hiring agency or you're evaluating the current agency that you work with, you know, there's a couple of things you have to consider, but, but most importantly they'll point of hiring an agency isn't, you're leveraging like Vr, just like you said, someone else's expertise. That's the only reason why you never want an agency to come in and do something. It's not because you don't want to do it. It's either you don't have the resources or, or, or, you know, or time or whatever to do it. Now if you think you have the expertise internally by the way, and you just need a, as they call it, arms and legs for me on the execution and don't hire an agency, you go to upwork and hire a freelancer.

Speaker 3:16:05Yes, we should do a whole podcast on that by the way, like, you know, beer is going to kill me for this, but I've got this whole thing about never, never hire an agency again and like I'll teach you like how to not do that. Like there's no reason why what agencies are really good at, right is finding there are two things. One is the strategy component. A good agency is good at developing effective digital marketing or advertising strategy because they have the experience and dealing with so many different problems everyday with different clients across different verticals and whatever else. Which is why, by the way, I never understand companies that want to come and hire an agency that only works in one space. That's a bad decision. You want somebody that is experiencing, you know, marketing challenges across different verticals. And so that's, you know, that's the first thing I lost my train of thought a little bit, but, but the, you know, the second part of this of course is that if you want an agency to come in and do something, it's only going to do well for you to let them do their job.

Speaker 3:17:04And so if we don't need that type of thing, then, well great, then I've got a whole formula for you that'll, they'll save money or whatever else. But, but you need to know how to, you need to understand the development process and need to understand the graphic design process, the branding process, like you need to have all that expertise in house. And if you do then you could just go out and find the arms and legs to do that. And that's a different type of relationship. Right. So, um, so I think, you know, we're kind of off topic a little bit on like how to hire an agency the right way. But when it comes to building relationship value relationships, I mean, that's what you want, whether it's internal, external, everybody who's at the table needs to bring some sort of value. If there's no value there, then they don't need to be sitting at the table.

Speaker 2:17:43It's the same reason that when you're hiring teams internally, are you creating a marketing department? Um, or even just a company in general. I mean, you're, this is why diversity works, right? I mean, you get so many different perspectives. You get so many different levels of life, it's experience and um, and, and that's what brings kind of the innovation and the creativity and just kind of reiterating on the point that you made. When you bring in, say, an agency that only focuses on, uh, you know, real estate clients are only works on personal injury clients or whatever. Then guess what you're going to look like every other campaign. Website development is one of those. I love. There's a bunch of these in the real estate space and you can, you can literally actually, there's another one in the personal injury attorney space where you can just literally, you know, look through all these websites like, oh, that's the same website over and over and over and over again, and you look in the footer and exact same template.

Speaker 2:18:37There's nothing that distinguishes you from anyone else. And so that, that starts to really kind of work against you. The other component of this that I think is really important, and it kind of leans into the point you made on using them for their expertise and building a trusting relationship where you are starting with the assumption that we're there. We're all working in each other's best interest is, uh, and this kind of a recommendation. But, uh, Ray Dalio, who's a big hedge fund investor, I'm just recently wrote this book called principles and Bridgewater, which is his firm is just kind of a radical, a cultural organization on the internal. There's a few companies like Zappos, there's quicken loans, but there's a few of these companies that just have these radical cultures inside of them that had been leased from them. Base camps, probably another one that they talk about how influential that has been on their success and one of those components which we always hope to foster with our clients is this radical transparency and honesty.

Speaker 2:19:42Well, we can have sort of contentious. I'm a lively discussions about things in such a way that we're not pulling any punches because again, another one of those things, it's the worst thing that can happen between you and an agency is if an agency just goes into this sort of passive mode where they're just say, yeah, I'll do that. Yep, I'll do that. Yeah, I'll do that. And then you find out that they're actually doing things that you think you want but either are not gonna be effective or maybe even work against you. And so being able to really push back on the client and the client be able to push back on us. I mean, because there's a lot of times where they're like, hey, that just doesn't, you know, doesn't fit with us, isn't going to work for us. We can't get it approved. But having that sort of a honest conversation with us. But that whole concept of sort of radical transparency is even internally. So let's take the agency out of the equation. In previous jobs I've had just so everybody knows that worked in politics and then. And then I worked as a freelance marketing consultant for a long time that I've obviously been on stats and certain companies or whatever else it as, as bill and you know, one of the things that we run into both experience from the agency

Speaker 3:20:48side and the internal side is that let's say you're, you know, if you're a marketing director and you're sitting out there and you've got a large sales organization that is really driving the ship, right? So at any company you'll find if it's very product driven or product heavy, is that the sales teams are like the princess of the room. They're the ones, quote unquote driving revenue and then they end up treating you like creative services department inside of the agency are inside of your company and then you've got the same problem that we have now, right? You're not being leveraged for your expertise and maybe you're not leveraging the sales team for their expertise and then everything becomes rote and you're just kind of executing tactically all the time and if there's no strategy involved and you're forced to do that, then you know, you're just fulfilling orders so to speak.

Speaker 3:21:34None of it's ever going to work and then everybody's going to be upset that I would say that's how every single one of our relationships, it's kind of soured at any particular time is, you know, we proposed strategy quite a bit. It never gets approved because it's not getting approved. The company, our client comes back to us and just ask us to do x, Y, and z. We do exactly what they ask us to do. A, no matter what we have are, what's our rule bar. It's like I'm going to tell you it's wrong three times and then after that I'm going to deliver whatever it is that you're asking for, no matter what quality or its effectiveness, I think it's going to have. But that doesn't go well. Right?

Speaker 2:22:10Sound exactly how I, I put that together. So I'll tell you the background of that story. So it will be radically how, how pg we can get here. But, but this is funny and it's important. Like so early in my career I consulted for the federal government intelligence agencies in particular and one of the things that I used to always tell my project teams because we were always, again, we were kind of in an area

Speaker 3:22:36by the way. And so if everybody understands that, that bill used to be a spy hunter. Okay.

Speaker 2:22:41Yeah. Yeah. So we were, we were actually running, I can be full disclosure here. We were actually running information warfare projects and um, and so as a result of that, we were kind of innovative in the things that we return to doing and the things that we were building. A lot of it was software running in and I would tell our teams, because a lot of times the government, you know, we were an outside agency, so we had a lot of expertise, we had a lot of talent. Um, and so we were pushing and leaning forward into the things we wanted to do. Um, and it caused a lot of frustration because a lot of times, you know, government, federal employees are quite, have the same level of urgency and, and inquisitiveness and so they're always pushing back on it. So I would always tell them as like, here's the deal, this is the, this is the rule. We will tell them three times and then after the third time we will build them the biggest piece of shit that they're willing to pay for it. So that's probably, is probably not going to disclose that.

Speaker 3:23:38That was kind of, I think it's fair because you get what you ask for, right? So, so we're all human beings and we're all professionals and if you hire somebody to be professional and you don't let them do your job and then you keep telling them that you know their job better than they do, and I don't mean to be rude about this because I'm, I'm as honest with them, with our clients about this, like I don't know your business better than you do, but I tell you what, you also don't know better than I, which is digital marketing, which is why you hired me. So if you don't let me do that, then like you're, you're digging your own grave as far as I'm concerned. And the relationship's going to sour anyways. So you know, everyone's got to get paid for their time, so to speak.

Speaker 2:24:13So I'll build you what you are built to Spec the pile of crap that you asked me for.

Speaker 3:24:19Absolutely. And that's fair. That's the agreement. You know what I mean? You know, and I think that's a caution to, you know, to people who were hiring agencies and a caution by the way, the agencies that are working with clients, if you're an agency person, you know, don't let yourself get pushed around. And then also from the company side, if your agency isn't delivering value, rather than waste your money and time, you know, if you don't agree with them all the time and every single time you get on a call, you think they're wrong, fire them, right? Then they're not bringing to the table what you think that you're bringing to the table, in which case you should find a new partner,

Speaker 2:24:50right? That's that honesty. Social, you got to do this as a business. We all get it. We're in business. You know the companies are in business and so we should always lead with that, right? Whatever's adding value and generating revenue, that's what you should stick with and those things that aren't. I mean we say that all the time. If we can't, we can't generate revenue for you, then you probably should fire us. Right? I mean it's just absolutely all. Let's, so let's, uh, let's move through a that big topic and we will probably touch on it again. Relationships are so critical to any sort of business activities. I'm sure

Speaker 3:25:24the one thing I will say just to wrap up the relationship thing is it's all built on mutual respect, right? Like no one's going to give you inspect, so if internally you need somebody, the sales team to help you with something or whatever else and you need to value their time, their opinion and their expertise. Again, just to reiterate that it's all about respect. People respect each other, they work well together and then everyone's having a good time. Sorry.

Speaker 2:25:47No, no, for sure. I mean that's so, so important is that to respect and credibility and all that stuff going together and you should pick up that principles book though. It's Kinda, it's Kinda cool because that's what he lives on and, and you know, obviously he makes a lot of people mad with it, but that's what it is. It's just being honest with each other. I've never. Right, right. Yeah. Yeah. No it's good. It's a thick book, but um, but it's super interesting and it's obviously getting a press. There are no pictures, there are, there are no pictures, but there are lots of like bullet pointed list either very, very good outliner so you can actually really consume a lot of the book by jumping around. It's one of those books. This is probably why I like it. He's actually got it in two parts, uh, not to like do a whole promo for his book, but like the first part kind of gives context.

Speaker 2:26:33It's like, it's almost like a biography. It is to a degree. And then from there he was trying to give you the context of like why he came to these certain principles that now he runs his business by, um, and he's going to do a second one just on investment. So this is one that's just like core sort of cultural business and personal principles. Uh, but he gives this whole autobiography to introduce you to like, why did I end up here with these core things and why are they so important and effective? And in that part is very consumable. In fact, I've kind of, I've actually not done a linear read of it. It's kind of like jumping around just to kind of, I'm curious about this piece and I'm curious about that piece. And so it's really kind of a really cool way to organize a book. Those are the ones I'm always the most fascinated with. So when somebody does something different than dislike, tell, uh, you know, 350 page narrative. So. Sure. So this is, this is definitely a cool one. You're listening to cold [inaudible] make the logo bigger podcast. You can find us on the web at [inaudible] dot com. K A L A

Speaker Now back to the show.

Speaker 2:27:43All right, so let's jump into, since we just went down a rabbit hole. Um, I'm, we'll let you lead even though that's not the kind of the order in our show notes, but why don't you lead with your biggest challenge or rabbit hole of the week?

Speaker 3:27:53Well, so when you and I talked and went through our notes and for it, it's actually the same kind of things you're talking about and it fits nicely in to the topic of this podcast. Right? So the biggest rabbit hole problem I'm having is, is, is one of our rather large clients by the way, and we're sort of dispersed throughout the organization in different countries as well. So we work with team members in the UK, in Germany and then in the US is we're having the problem of not building value in relationships. This is an old client of ours. We've been working together for six years, but the thing that you're communicating and your notes to me is that like how do you work and communicate with these sort of like large increasingly distributed teams. So, you know, I've got people in different time zones.

Speaker 3:28:32I've got people with different priorities and so on and so forth and, and it's been a real challenge for us to bring all these disparate parts together and it's very hard to have the right hand know what the left hand is doing. And in this rare instance, the client is actually looking to us to be that glue that holds everybody together. And my problem with that of course is it like I don't work in your office. So normally I'll tell a slight, you know, anecdotal story when I came out of politics I was looking for for work and I was kinda trying to do some freelance stuff and working with nonprofit organizations and an old colleague of mine got hired at, what do you call it, an advocacy basically like company. I mean the American Society for plastic surgeons. I don't even mind saying it out loud. And she brought me in to like disrupt the how their marketing department worked. It was just a creative services department and she wanted to turn the organization one, turn it into a strategic marketing department, which is very different. And so we were able to do that of course, because I was able to create relationships with the old stakeholders in the company by becoming a pro friending them, respecting them, understanding their expertise, but also literally because I was in the building.

Speaker 4:29:43So if there was a challenge, instead of things that get lost in translation over email or slack messages or even over telephone conversations, I can literally go and stand in front of somebody and like hash out what the problem was, is we were disrupting the whole workflow of this company and we're being asked to do the same thing for this company. But again, I'm not physically in the office. And so these people don't really know me, the principals know me, but not all the people there asked me to interact with. And so there's, there's not that same connectivity.

Speaker 2:30:11No, that's cool. And you know, I kind of had a similar one on my list and I was actually looking at a different perspective as quite a co grows and gets bigger and we're getting, you know, higher quality talent. Uh, one of the things that has just been a natural outgrowth of that is more and more of our people are in different locations and working virtually and we're definitely advocates of kind of the whole rework and, and base camp sort of ethos. And we've almost kind of had to be like that over time because that's just the nature of the people that we like working with and in our company has done with her now that moved from here to California. Of course we hung onto her. We've got somebody down in Florida, he's getting ready to move for like fifth time. Right. So he's a little bit of moves all around in that kind of stuff.

Speaker 2:30:55So that's cool. But one of the things that at that I've always been probably the most, it's been more of a struggle for me than Mike can. So I'm glad Mike's kind of running the ship right now. But um, is really how to, to, to keep the creative. I mean in the early days like Mike and a few of us, like we were just sitting one literally one room and we would just constantly bang. And this actually may be filling a void that we've been missing for a while. We just bang on ideas and we. And we did some pretty cool stuff for clients. Yeah. Yeah. And so as that gets bigger, like how do you keep the culture I'm running the way you want it to, how do you keep the team connected, uh, and how do you carefully make sure you don't slip into this routine where you just kind of working through actually base camp and just feeding task and then there's nothing but just kinda like checking things off. And so, um, so, so building out, um, as the, as the organization gets larger, it gets more and more distributed. How do you keep that collaborative, creative kind of energy happening as you're executing? Same time?

Speaker 4:31:56I think the tools that the digital universe affords you allows us to do that. So, so at least ecological. But it really, I'll tell you the truth, you know, Vr, it's really on the individuals to want to be part of a team. As we get bigger and more and we acquire more talent, like you know, you would have talked about we got to have annual retreats like base camp does that, right? So at least once a year they get the whole team together and some cool place. This is something we are yet to do. I know that our employees value the flexibility that we provide, that you can work wherever they want. They can work at home, you know, are only. We have only one rule here at [inaudible]. We don't even have a vacation policy, which is probably bad, a different discussion. But is it, you know, you delivered for the client on time and you don't leave a team member.

Speaker 4:32:37Hang, right. Other than that, I don't really what you do with your day, uh, if you want to work at midnight and work at midnight like it does, it doesn't bother me as long as you're available for client. But all of our team members so far make a conscious effort to know each other. Um, and they connect by the way. Sometimes just when it's time to chat about something, you know, it doesn't have anything to do with work. Sometimes I'll get everybody on a pier and I'll be like, I saw this funny video. We should all watch it together. And it just kinda brings a team together. You have to, you don't have to force collegiality, but you have to make an effort to be collegial and I think that's really important in a distributed and slash or a remote workforce.

Speaker 2:33:13Totally. Alright. Alright, I'm gonna jump US ahead here. So hottest trend in marketing topic of the week and I'll lead with this one and this is sort of a interesting, um, again, I think I mentioned an episode or two ago about Rand Fishkin, a kind of leaving Oz and reading through that article and I would love to get him on this podcast. So maybe I'll screw up this story enough that he'll want to come fix it. Exactly. The way I read a portion of his story was, um, some of the conflict attention in their company and some of the hiccups that they've had is obviously there is an amazingly successful company. But, um, at one point they were super, super laser focused on Seo and then there was an, an assumption so to speak. And I think because of this whole growth hacking trend in inbound marketing trend, maybe a hubspot influences as well, um, that, that all of a sudden seo as a standalone sort of discipline would increasingly become less and less important and that they needed to kind of become this all encompassing inbound marketing platform.

Speaker 2:34:20And quite frankly, and this is maybe we're randall would, uh, would fix the record, but from my reading of what he said, they basically get their ass handed to them. Um, and, and they, they were, they were really struggling, right to go down that path. Um, and then they realized that that was the wrong pivot and they needed to come back to. And it looks like they're leaning back into that seo space. But the point is, and this is what it's got, as I read that, I'm like, wow, maybe this growth hacking. And I, as I kind of look around the industry, it's definitely something that people like to put on the resume they like to talk about. But in most of these cases, and even though the case studies that you read and some of the people that have done it really well and are kind of the leaders in the industry, they usually talk about a very specific campaign or need for accompany a, at a focus point in time, whether that's building social audience, whether that may be getting some traction with pr or whatever it was, but whether or not it's, it's an overall sustainable strategy, um, and, and maybe you need these other components to be more of a fixture and built out in the organization versus just kind of like everything's growth hacking could be a really interesting trend that we're looking at that maybe this whole growth hacking is a little bit cliche and, um, doesn't really deliver the longterm sustainable results that most companies need.

Speaker 2:35:46A. and it could be little, a little bit of a flash in the pan or even a distraction. Um,

Speaker 4:35:51I think, I think you're absolutely right. I'm going to, I'll even take it a step further vr, and you may disagree with me, but to me, growth hacking is a fantasy. So, so if you, if you look at the, like the big growth hacking examples and we as Kalydeco, we're paying very close attention to when it like broke the scene, right. So uh, and I remember when we worked with Qualaroo, um, which was, you know, counting themselves as kind of a growth hacking company just sort of rapidly increase conversion on your website and I think we actually helped them like show them like different ways to use their tool and they didn't even imagine before and it worked well for us, but the but the but, but not in a growth hacking sense. Like we didn't take anybody from 1000 email subscribers to 1 million in two weeks.

Speaker 4:36:35Like that's what people talk about and they say growth hacking. So if you go look at every true growth hacking story, what's behind it is actually the critical part, right? Which is like a product or piece of software that is wildly color. Like it's either disrupting a space or whatever else. So dropbox is like a typical, you know, growth hacking story. Well, dropbox was the first, you know, cloud storage thing of its kind really, you know, that, that did that. Is that accurate? And me saying that, you know, so when they came out in the marketplace, well sure, there's a bunch of early adapters and you know, if you go to Simon Sinek and he talks about it, talks about the golden circle and of course I can't remember what he calls the bell curve, right? Like you, you've got your, you know, your innovators, your early adopters, you know, and then the next set of people which are the, you know, the likely to use and, and then once you hit that tipping point then you go over that. And so that's what growth hacking really is, is like the popularity and usefulness of the, of your product and slash or service. Uh, and then, you know, it's, it's all about the product or service point. You can't attack, for example, like you can't growth hack a company that sells solar panels.

Speaker 2:37:41I can do marketing, but like I can't, I can't sell a crappy product. Right. I mean it's at the end of the day, you got to have a good product underneath whatever marketing campaign.

Speaker 4:37:52Yeah. So I think, I mean, to me growth hacking is a, is a total fantasy and if someone comes into your office, I'm going to growth hack this. I watch them carefully because that the, like the king and the Duke Man, they're selling us it totally. Alright. So what's yours? No, mine is a is a B to b marketers, you know, creating multichannel cold outreach campaigns, sort of unlikely direct opposite of growth hacking. Right? Is I see the trends that are coming back which is people using like hardcore tried and true tested, you know, cold outreach and then leveraging technology to amplify that outreach. So when I say outreach, the most basic of it would be like you get a list of people and you call them from a sales perspective and to see if they're interested in your product or service. Um, and so what B to b marketers are doing in particular is taking the data that's widely available and then leveraging it to create these sort of multichannel campaigns to amplify the outbound sales process or outbound sales strategy.

Speaker 4:38:48So in other words, if you buy a list, for example, from a data company and you want your company to your salespeople to call it, well, what you should do beforehand is take that list and match it to emails. Take those emails, create custom audiences and facebook and Linkedin, use those Ip addresses to do custom Ip targeted display, warm up that list yourself through advertising. Then run an email to it vendor. You're cold outbound calling. And so this is a very popular and new trending thing, which I will go ahead pat myself on the back because I was just reading the 2018 trends in marketing and I've been doing this for at least a year and a half. So, uh, so I think, you know, I think it, the marketing people are starting to recognize, particularly in the B to b space, is that, you know, stick with what works and do it better.

Speaker 2:39:30It's like anything else, you've got to build up the impressions, you got to soften the battlefield before you can really kind of get, get, get what you're looking for there. So just hidden somebody cold one time, then you're never going to rise above the noise, right? Get Ahold of them. All right. This week's top recommendations, what do you got?

Speaker 4:39:50This is an Oldie but a goodie. So I like entertainment that has some sort of value. We'll show an example of that would be like watching the history channel. Okay. To get to learn something, although the history channel these days seems to be like the Hitler channel a channel to Hitler all the time. I don't know what that's all about. There were other desktops that we could examine anyway. Uh, but, uh, so my recommendation is actually to watch the profit with Marcus limonus. I, I am a marcus limonus like evangelist. So the profit is a very cool show. He goes into businesses and invested them, saves them, grows them. He's kind of a Dan Gilbert like character, so he's building his own like self licking ice cream cone, so he buys a bunch of sign companies, they services other businesses, so on and so forth. But the way that he breaks it down in the show, uh, from the numbers to the P and l to like all that kind of stuff, it really teaches you what makes a good business. And he's got a, a repeatable model. People process product. And so I love listening to him. It's good entertainment. It's good.

Speaker 2:40:45Yeah. Yeah, for sure. All the most successful people I've ever been around, I mean he's, he's one of those that are written in the same mold. They have the ability to look at a really complex sort of set up and boil it down to only the most important parts and just like hammer on that until it works. Totally. It's hard. It's hard, especially in this world where everything is so complex. And we've talked about this a couple of episodes ago about sort of data. There's so wicked availability of data is just overwhelming us. So. All right, here's my recommendation. It was actually a question that, um, that I got from a friend on facebook users kind of throwing it out to all these things. How do you keep your task list? What does, what does that tool, that APP, that thing that, uh, where your task list exists?

Speaker 2:41:32Yeah, what I said to actually add this thing, it was like a kind of a fancy sort of printed piece of paper and then some people suggested some fancy journals and then of course there was a million to do list apps that were kind of put into this channel. And you know, as many things as I've tried, it always comes back down to the cheapo yellow legal tablet. I mean it's just, you know, scratching your, you know, today's to do list and any notes that come along with it and then ripping it off and then the next day starting all over and put them back down. As always, seems to pay or the best way to get that done. So

Speaker 4:42:10yeah, you can't. I will say this. You can't. You can't use paper in this day and age if you're a busy, if you have a busy, complicated job, which most everybody does, you can't run off that piece of paper for more than a week. Max. Really build does it the right way where you're just doing daily task list. I do mind that kind of lasted a week and my goal is to clear that list by the end of the week and if I don't, by the way I know I'm behind, but for longer tasks and all that kind of stuff. I mean, you know, we use base camp. There's millions of, you know, thousands of project management systems out there. You just got to find the right one for you. But, but pieces, nothing will ever replace the tactile nature of Gretchen and that's, that's always a totally. It's. So the only thing I struggle with

Speaker 2:42:52is it the end of the day. Most of these, I actually have kept his word. Whether you keep them or throw them away, I never look at them again, but that's kind of interesting. It's, it's almost hard to like because it is interesting when you burned through a legal pad and you'd go flipping back through a few little interesting artifacts in there. So I'm not to go down a whole rabbit hole, but I have a feeling that like history and storytelling have, you know, our history is going to be incredibly harder, is like our email accounts that we stopped paying for just overnight disappear and whole pieces of history just like poof into the digital. There's no, there's no, there's no like letters laying around and stuff that like actually document history.

Speaker 4:43:33Well that's really interesting. I wondered about that because I've always had delusions of grandeur that at some point I would write a book worth reading and I, maybe that's true. Maybe that's not. Um, but I always joke with myself because in college I, you know, I studied literature and then wanted to be just a writer. That's not my life turned out. But I read all the time in classes like, yeah, the, you know, the levers, Tsla, it's leveraged. Nobody does that anymore. Nobody writes a letter. But nobody, nobody writes letters anymore. And like, you get this really intimate a look inside of these genius people's lives and you know, for let's take, I don't know, take a modern genius who would've done that? I guess, uh, what's his name? Musk or steve jobs, steve jobs that make sense guys. You're never going to find their letters to their wife or their letters to their best friend or whatever else. It's all an email. And the less than one preserved as digitally.

Speaker 2:44:27There's, there's a really interesting guy who would actually another fun person to get on a podcast. He's wouldn't be kind of in the marketing bent, but a thinks about these things deeply is dave winer. And he talks about this big time and he's, he's done all kinds of little things around it to kind of think about, um, actually is one of the early kind of inventors of, of podcast, believe it or not. So we got to get him on here. But, but this is one of those things he's actually kind of dug in real deep. I was like, what do we do? Like how do we, you know, he has had some people pass away in his life and like what happens to their pictures and how does he sustain their servers and their blogs and all that kind of stuff. And so it's another person.

Speaker 2:45:07I'm writing a list of all the people that I want to talk to you now that we have. I smell it. I smell a software id in here somewhere that I had one time. Yeah, totally. Well he's actually gone down this a couple of times a he'd be a fun person to work with. But is it insurance or is it a software product or you know, I mean it's because you could kind of think of it like insurance storage is so cheap now. A, you could just arbitration insurance policy of some sort. So clever, clever. On the revenue side, my friend is right where we're going to close it down with that and maybe we'll do a whole series on like what do we do with like archive digital record. I love stuff. Alright, we're gonna end this one today. And um, we're leave us comments, feedback, a radar podcast, and hopefully we bring this thing to the top so more people will experience what we're doing here and let us know what you want hear next.

See All Episodes