The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 1 year ago

Better Communication Through Conversational Texting w/ Jonathan Pogact


No one likes having dinner interrupted by a phone call.


And no one buys when they are unhappy.


So, how can we reach our prospects in a manner and time that’s convenient for them?


In this episode, I’m joined by Jonathan Pogact, VP of Marketing at Drips, a company offering a conversational texting platform that helps keep you from irritating your prospects. 


What we talked about:


- The power of conversational texting


- Partnering externally and internally


- The 5 pillars of partnership


This post includes highlights of our podcast interview with Jonathan Pogact, VP of Marketing at Drips


For the entire interview, you can listen to The B2B Revenue Executive Experience. If you don’t use Apple Podcasts, we suggest this link.

Building relationships and inside if your companyis one of the biggest on locks. In my opinions, that you cando as a marketer, meaning partnering with Your Client Success Team to understand,you know, what clients are saying about our products, what the feedback is, what are we doing for them? You're listening to the BB revenue executiveexperience, a podcast dedicated to helping the executives train their sales and marketing teamsto optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies, were tools andresources, you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three,two, one. Welcome everyone to the BB revenue executive experience. I'myour host, Chad Sanderson. Today we're talking about driving more effective marketing partnerships, not only with outside partners but internally as well. We'll touch on conversationaltexting. What is it, how it impacts business and more. To helpus, we have with this Jonathan Pogat, Phebe of marketing for drips, aconversational texting platform. It also holds advisory board positions with the Ride Universityand the direct Marketing Association. Jonathan, thank you for taking time and welcometo the show. Thanks for having me. So I normally ask at the beginninga really odd questions just for people to get you, but there wassomething that was in the packet of information that was provided to me that Ijust need to know more about. Maybe it's my addiction to law and order. I don't know, but it's said in that you were an expert witnesson trial. Help me how I understand this. Yeah, that was definitelyone of the more interesting experiences in my life. But I was working atan agency, Direct Marketing Agency, in my mid S and one of theclients I was working with ended up in a lawsuit. I can't divulge toomuch about that. But he asked if I would be kind of an expertwitness to talk about just some facts around response rate and some other questions thatthey had that they were going to ask me on the stand to help buildtheir case, and it was pretty wild. So I don't know anyone else it'sbeen an expert witness and in a marketing kind of lawsuit. But somaybe this experience is uniquely my own. But so one thing about witnesses isthat you don't want to be a paid witness because that could help influence theinformation that you might provide might be biased. Right. So I was an unpaidwitness and for somebody in their mid S it was really exciting to beflown out. This case happened at the La County Court. I was putup in a, you know, a Condo, and sent of Monica.It was just a wild ride. Wow. Whole thing ended up taking about fifteenminutes on the standard so but it was just a wild experience. I'dlove to revisit myself in my early s sitting on a stand at the LaCounty Court talking about marketing. But it's a Nice Little Easter egg that Iincluded my bio. Yeah, I know it, definitely. It definitely caughtmy attention for sure. All right. So let's start with, you know, partnering across an organization with areas other than marketing. It can be sales, product, client success. This is often a challenge for organizations of allsizes, especially as they continue to grow. Right, most organizations have a tendencyto end the brother siload and segmented. So I'm curious to know how youhow you approached it, how you how you were able to come upwith a solution that drives or an approach that drives that type of alignment.Yeah, for sure. I mean this is this is a challenge everywhere.It's one that I haven't completely solved. I think it's something that's always inprogress. Right building relationships and inside if your company is one of the biggeston locks, in my opinion, that you can do as a marketer,meaning partnering with Your Client Success Team to understand, you know, what clientsare saying about our products, what the feedback is, what are we doingfor them? What are some of those interesting use cases that you can peelaway from those relationships that your ams and CSM's have created already to help tellbetter stories, and it's not just better...

...stories from marketing, it's better storiesfor sales. So likewise getting feedback from them, understanding what their feedback is, their kind of boots on the ground, so they're they're here in firsthand howprospects are reacting to our solution, are messaging even the use cases thatcame from customer and client success, and it just goes all around. It'simportant to have that feedback loop in play. Ace It's super difficult to do justbecause we're all really busy, especially if you're part of a fast growingcompany like we are, where we've got, you know, we've got a stufftwenty seven hours into a twenty four hour day somehow, and it's beensuper valuable for me. Something I'm still working on getting better at. Well, in an addition to driving, you know, that alignment and at thatunderstanding from marketing to other organizations like sales and product there's also this often overlooked, I think, relationship, and that's with the CFO. I mean salesindividuals and marketing individuals are often seen, not by all CFOS, but bymany, as a cost center, although I don't know that I necessarily agreewith that. And sales professionals are often looked at as overpaid and easily toreplace. So how do you develop that critical relationship with the with the CFO? I think you really hit on it there, right. Nobody, nomarketer, wants to be seen as a cost center. No salesperson wants tobe seen as overpaid, right, and the CFO as a lot of accessto data, and I think understanding what data they're looking at is going tohelp you be successful or not some circumstances. Right, because I think one ofthe most important things is just getting on the same page in terms ofwhat's important. You know what the expectation is. So, while the CFOhas access to these, our stars are Roy or sales forore sdashboards are expenditureswill we spend? They might not be so up to speed on what we'redoing on the branding side, with dollars are being allocated towards general branding orincreasing our reach, or with partnerships? What's long term versus short term,and just getting on the same page there. And I've learned so much from ourCFO already just in terms of like what what some of his priorities areand how we can align with them and, at the same time, just explaining, though, what our priorities are and how we could just be onthe same page. And he's backed me up on things like conference contracts,which is something that I honestly wasn't thinking about during this covid period where,you know, no conference has opt out language that allows a business to,I don't know, opt out or seek relief during this time, and somethingthat he thought of and he's been integral in that process and doing those negotiationsfor me. And just making better decisions together. I think it's been great. Then it's about it's about having that conversations, about transparency right, makingsure everybody's in alignment. That's what it is. It's about doing you know, it's about doing what's right. Not always you know who's right. It'sabout getting alignment and starting the conversation. Sometimes that's the hardest part. Now, without a doubt, but more than a few CFOs in my career wherethat conversation was very difficult to start. So let's all right. So that'sinside the company. Let's talk about partnerships outside the company and in the bioinformationand to recall it hand to hand combat marketing. It reads like a slightdifferent approach and I've seen before. So what do you what do you meanby this? What does it look like? How help our audience understand that,for sure? So a little back around on us. We're about now. We're about a four year old company. We grew out of start up andto scale up fairly quickly. We've been very grateful to do that insuch a short period of time and part of our success formula has been andhow we develop relationships with clients. That serve our ideal client profile and sometimesthose clients are, those partners are much bigger than us, which which helpsboth sides. It's not always just about us taking advantage of their brand equityin their clients. It's about them being... to take advantage of our agility, our ability to execute quickly, our ability to go to market much fasterwithout red tape. So it's been mutually beneficial. But we have we kindof look at partnerships in terms of like five pillars. One are even readyto have a partnership marketing function within Your Company, Ie, do you haveinfluence in your space? That's something you definitely have to have. When dripswas started, we focus specifically on conversational texting. Sure, we'll talk aboutwe have been an ideal client profile. That's very specific and you need tohave somebody in the marketing department and somebody that can own this. And ifwe are generating revenue, in my opinion, then it's about identifying the right partnersgiving value first. Something super important in this process is giving without expectation, and that could be hosting dinners for at conferences, inviting them to yourclient dinners, building case studies, using kind of whatever your superpower might beas a marketing organization, etc. It's always about giving without expectation at first. Then it's about scaling, you know, identifying who those partners are, butonly picking less, a handful are less, so that you can makeimpact. And then it's about operationalizing, which we define the staying in yourweight class right, like it would be amazing for us to partner, quoteunquote, with with Google, but what do we mean the Google right?A little bit difficult to make that argument right. And just having a linementacross the board. I think those I think there are five fantastic, youknow, pillars. The partnership marketing is is a challenge for many individuals,some camp I don't as somewhere is. I don't think I've ever really beenable to wrap their heads around it, quite honestly. But you did mentionthe conversational texting and I have to ask. I know texting and for I don'tknow if it's fortunate or unfortunately, but what is conversational texting? Helphelp the audence understand what it is, how's it work and and specifically ina business environment, how should you use it effectively without crossing some unknown line. Yeah, of course, conversational textings all about helping brands have conversations withtheir prospects and customers when it matters to them. At a time where brandshave questions and a time where prospects are looking for answers, it's about meetingthem in the middle with what we calling asynchronous, one to one, humanizedwill use some are quotes. Their conversations that feel like you're having a conversationdirectly with an individual in a way that can, in go on for sometimeshours, days and weeks, all with the intention of getting them back upon the phone. So it's always about at least for us, it's alwaysabout somebody that showed intent, meaning somebody went on to an insurance companies website, they felt out a quote for insurance and they've opted in. This isreally important. They've consented to receiving a call in a text from that organization. So it's not a surprise. Now the problem is, and part ofthe reason why we exist, is that those organizations, let's just call ityesterday, what they would do is they'd call you at a time when it'snot convenient for you, when it's most convenient to them from a number youdon't recognize and that typically results in that the consumer or prospect not answering thatphone call and ignoring her a phone calls, definitely, but so we just founda better way to do it, and it's not easy either. Wedo this. We hold hundreds of held hundreds of millions of conversations to date. We understand intent and dispositioning so that we're continuing conversations with consumers that wantto continue those conversations and we're stopping conversations immediately for those that prefer to havethem another channel. So it's something that we've we've been perfecting over time thatis really taking hold, not only just... brands trying to reach their prospects, but also from the customer experience side. When I think there's a really importantpoint that you that you touched on there, and that's the idea ofconsent, of opting in, especially with all of the the privacy laws.You know the California Consumer Privacy Protection Act. I mean it started with GDP ours, probably the first biggest one that was known, but I think lasttime I checked were eighteen or nineteen states that had different levels of consumer privacylegislation in play, and so that concept of I consented to this. I'veset up my marketing, my experience with my individuals so that there is atsome point, someplace where they have to consent to this. Gets over whatI think a lot of people have an initial reaction to, which is textingsomeone, and they have a tendency to think it's texting someone without their permission, because then it feels almost invasive. Exactly right, like we don't wantto recreate the cold call through the cold text. It's not what we're lookingto do. But but they're you know, there are bad actors all over theplace. Right there email marketing, right there's kind of spammers. They'reused to be a lot worse than it is today. You know, emailservice providers have found a way to curate those in boxers or in boxes.There's can't spam if you have Gmail, that basically sort your email for you, right, and the same things happening with the telephone providers are kind ofcurating the messages and calls that you receive and don't receive. You've probably,and I'm sure some of your listeners have seen the calls that have come in. That'll that'll say spam. Likely on my phone, FT mobile, Idon't even get calls and some of them are legit to unless I look intomy reasons. I don't get any notification that if somebody tried to call me, depending on when they're calling, it's it's pretty wild. So we're nottrying to create the cold call for text. This is all about people. It'sall about consumer preference. It's all about communicating in a channel that's mostconvenient to them at a time when it's most convenient to them, which Ithink is super important. Well, it's and it's the name of the gamethese days, right. I mean everybody has Amazon prime or Netflix or allof these BDC experiences which give them what they want, when they wanted,how they want it, where they want it, on their terms, andthose expectations are carrying over into the Bab space. People want the same thing. So companies have to get a little bit more creative in the ways thatare going to engage and also navigate an completely changing and evolving regulatory environment atthe same time. You really hit the nail on the head. It's aconversation that I've been having with our head of sales recently and it's all aboutgiving control back to the customer, because they have to like that. Ilike that they do have choices. They do, they are they definitely do, and so have you. Not that I want to call anybody, anycompany or bad actor out, but could you illustrate, without throwing anybody underthe bus, an example of where you may be seeing texting or an attemptat conversational texting attempted that didn't have the desired outcome? So I think thatpush SMS has its place, and here's how I'll define push SMS. It'sthe SMS message that you received from a short code phone number like one,two, three, forty five and from a brand that's looking to kind ofblast a message to you. I think a lot of those are very ineffective. I've seen. I think there's a place for him right with, let'suse a company that nobody's heard of before, chipotle. Okay. So, sochipotle sends me Tex all the time and it's typically offer based. Allright, and I might receive that offer, but most of the time I havemore questions. Right, it's receive fifty percent off on Halloween if youwear a costume. Great, does that apply to Guacamoli? Does this applyto your soft drinks? Or maybe I just want to say thanks for theoffer and if I say thanks, typically without get back from them as aauto response that reads, I'm sorry,...

I didn't quite understand that. Toopt out, please hit stop, please hit remove. Please type in stopand removed. So there are lots of moments like that and probably millions ofexamples where brands are really missing out on an opportunity to have a conversation withtheir customers. And the customers that are reaching back out are going to beyour best customers. In right now, you're not giving yourself an opportunity todo that unless you're doing something like we're doing with conversational texting. That's reallythe key misting moment is going from this push notification strategy to let's really understandwhat our customers are looking to achieve, let's listen to them and let's rewardthem for engaging with us. Yeah, and so you've been doing four years. You said you've been at this. Do you have an example of aclient success story that you can share with the aut it? Yep, soI'd say one of our better wellknown ones is liberty mutual and their use caseis super interesting right there in this space of insurance where size matters right,scale matters and we help them do something very different than some of their othercompetitors are doing and the way that they're following up with prospects that are lookingto sign up with them for auto or home insurance. So I think that'sone of our biggest use case, is one of our biggest brands that peopleinstantly recognize. Another great use case for us is on the home services sidewith a company called three day blinds. They do kind of made to order, hand measured custom blinds for your home and it's an involved process and youget an amazing quality product as a result of it. But there's many stageswithin that process where a conversation is necessary and I think a lot of companiescan learn through. It's just like insurance, to where you've inquired about their serviceright, you might have filled that a lead for then you need toschedule an appointment, then you might need to confirm that appointment. Then youmight need to follow up with that appointment. And the appointment happens and is there'sa quote, then there's a cell, there's there's so many steps in asales process. We're having that conversation could be the difference between attrition andgaining a customer. But those are two of our biggest I would say aretwo of many of our success stories that I think a lot of companies canrelate with. And so tell us a little bit more about drips, asthis is conversational texting kind of the the meat potatoes, or is their portfolioof offering? You know, how did the company come about? What's thestory there? Yeah, the story is all about finding a way to communicatewith consumers at scale in a way that helps brands and all these air quotesagain seem small, right. So when you're having a conversation with Jonathan atthe insurance company that's doing conversational texting, as a consumer, you feel heard, you're able to respond, you're able to hold long conversations over a periodof time and when we came about four years ago, there weren't any companiesdoing it like this. They were doing those chipotle text messages, using emails. Cold calling is still a thing. Most companies are using a call centerthat have a long kind of complex sales cycle to engage with consumers and peoplehave just had enough for of picking up the phone or being interrupted, havinghaving their time stolen from that just what happens when you answer a phone callfrom a number you don't recognize. They're literally stealing your time away and it'sthe most valuable asset that we have. So that's why we were bored.Conversational texting is a category that that we created, that we're doubling down on. Were super hyper focused on these types of programs and really there's so muchopportunity out there to do better by consumers by by implementing this strategy. Yeah, I love it and it is it's all about being respectful. In myopinion, it was down to respect, respect for the individual, respect forself, respect for the fact that time is the most valuable asset that wehave. All right, let's change direction here a little bit. I askall of our guests two standard questions the end of each interview. The firstas simply, as a VP of marketing, that makes you a prospect for verymany sales professionals out there. I'm...

...sure you're getting pinned all the time. I'm always curious to understand when somebody doesn't have a referral into you andsomebody doesn't have that trusted path. That makes you, you know, justopen up time on your counter? What is the most effective way for someoneto, you know, Pique your curiosity, demonstrate the credibility and earn the rightto get some time to have a conversation with you about potential solutions theymaybe you'll provide the problems you might have. Yeah, it's a great question.Interestingly, on now from the last few months, I the the amountof solicitations that I've received drastically reduced. I don't know if my inbox isjust getting better with filtering them. I don't really know what it is,honestly, but haven't received been receiving as many as I used to. ButI will say, though, as a as a marketer, you're you're you'rereally in tune when you're getting sold to right. I think you really youcan understand where they're coming from, and sometimes that's good and sometimes it's bad. So what I'll say is when the companies or the sales individuals that aresuccessful, when they get through to me, it's because they've done their homework.So they've gone, I would say, two steps beyond just your general context. Right, they've gone a little bit further than just going to mylinkedin profile and saying hey, Jonathan, looks like you have a long commuteto work. I'd love to talk to you about, you know, myproduct and service here. The ones that have gotten through of done a littlebit of homework. It might have been a website audit, where they didthey pulled a report based on the amount of keywords at our websites ranking foror they did an auditor our social media, or they did some research on ourindustry to understand where there might be more opportunity. But the net ofit is is that they did a little bit of homework to get my attentionto the point where it's almost irresistible to respond like I have to. It'slike, Oh, you got me, like here's a report of how yourwebsites performing compared to these two companies, and that the right to companies andI can rune. Okay, he got me right. or it's Hey,do you wish you could be doing better in this area of Your Business?Like I can tell that you know there's some inconsistencies here based on what I'mseeing. Right and yes or yeah, if they done that and and bythe way, that's not a huge I'm not looking for free work. Right. They decide with that little extra mile. They ran me through a little lotof thing system they I'm sure they standardize those things on their end.They know what they're doing. That's how you get through. I think yougo a little bit beyond context, two degrees beyond context, into giving somethingof value. I think is what it comes down to. Love it allright. And so last question. We call our acceleration insight. I there'sone thing you could tell sales, marketing or professional services, piece of people, one piece of advice you would given that you believe would help them hittheir targets or exceed them. What would it be, and why? Who? It's a good one. I would say do the work and ask forhelp when you need it. As a term that I think about inside myhead. I don't know if it's widely used, but there's a you don'talways need to be the hero and your organization right. I think there's there'ssomething to be said about team. It's actually one of our core values andit's I can't, but we can, and I think that applies across thebusiness and I think successful sales, marketing operations, account people. I thinkthey can all benefit from thinking about how the team can help them reach theirgoals. And even if you're a salesperson, right, you've got your own quotaright, but you're not alone. There's going to be other people thatwant the same thing. High degree of a line across the company. Ifyou're working for a good company, there's going to be people that want tohelp you out. I want to help everybody win if I can, ifI have a superpower in my tool belt that can help close the next deal, ensure the success of the next Qbr, help run a report that I knowhow to write run that they don't, whatever it might be, I'm goingto do it just because I know how much that means to me whensomebody goes out of their way to help... out with a goal so Igains. It's one of those things, I think, that are easier saidthan done, but incredibly valuable once you unlock it. Yeah, absolutely,Jonathan. For a listeners interested in talking more about these topics, talking aboutdrips or anything like that, where would you like us to send them?You can check me out on Linkedin. Jonathan Pogat Pog Act. You canalso check out our newly launched website at tripscom realex redesign website. Redesign,brand new, yes, brand excellent. I can't thank you for taking thetime to be on the show today. It's been an absolute pleasure. Ishould this was great. All right, everybody that does of this episode,you know the drill be to be REV exactcom episode. Will share it withfriends, family, Co workers. For like a JEU, leave us areview on itunes. Until next time. We have value selling associates, whichwere all nothing but the greatest success. You've been listening to the BB revenueexecutive experience. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to theshow and Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening.Until next time.

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