The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 11 months ago

Leading Marketing with Empathy and Storytelling w/ Evan Knox


Business owners are approached by so-called marketing ‘experts’ daily and pressured to buy unrealistic solutions.

This can be exhausting, costly, and valueless.

But what if that wasn’t the standard?

Marketing can be profitable, have a return on investment, and give insights to make data driven decisions.

Today, I caught up with Evan Knox, CMO at Caffeine Marketing, to discuss the power of marketing and what you should look for as a business owner.

We also talked about:

  • How Evan started his career and why Caffeine Marketing was created
  • Understanding the similarities and differences of Marketing and Sales Funnels
  • Self-sabotage and how to avoid its pitfalls as a prospect
  • Key attributes to successful marketers, business owners and clients

For the entire interview, you can listen to The B2B Revenue Executive Experience.

If you don’t use Apple Podcasts, we suggest this link.

We have this tendency to kind of like beach, cheap in the wrong areas andscared to invest, in others, you're. Listening to the BTB revenueexecutive experience, a podcast dedicated ELP EN executives train theirsales and marketing teams to optimize growth, whether you're looking fortechniques and strategies wore tools and resources, you come to the rightplace: Let's accelerate your growth in three to one: Welcome ee youyone to theB to be revenue executive experience. I'm your host Chad Sandersen todaywe're talking about a host topics ranging from sales funnelsdestructuring, your messaging, the common marketing mistakes, you're,probably making, and to help us. We have Evinknox, founder and CMO ofCaffeine Marketing Heven, thank you or taking the time and welcome to the showhey. What's up Chad, I really appreciate you have me yeah, it's ustgoing to be good, so we always like to start with a nice breaker. I'm curiousto know what people are passionate about and specifically what you'repassionate about that. Maybe our audience might be surprised to learnabout you well or earlier. We ere talking aboutmotorcycles. I used to ride a little bit of motocross and I really love that,but iventually broke to Berd Rigt, so that', not my hobby anymore, yeah, that's all right, but iteverything has a season. I guess- and I recently have picked up Brazil andJiisu, and so I really enjoyed learning I've, never done a martial art oranything like that, and it's incredible like just learn, there's so much.There's never ending to this o there's a lot of discipline ar required, and Irely like it it's fun excellent is that is that kind of your fitness routineand the way to get you know decompresse and destress. Well, interestinglyenough, I think you can definitely make pesene of Jitsu like a fitnhiss routine,but for me it doesn't feel like like a lite legiti enough workout. So I itgenerally will you know eitheir workout work out in the morning either do likea hitwork out some sort of like modified crossset workout with itwithout many weights or I'll going to run, so any of that isfun and then I'll generally go. Do you BJJ, as it's referred to in theevenings where I can or the middle of the day so okay, excellent, all right,so, let's kind of jump into the topic and I always like to start kind ofcontectually so for audience kind of help us understand your perspective,orview on marketing in general, maybe how it differs from others out there.Maybe what you you know see. Other people tend to miss. So two things cometo mind when you know you're saying that one for sure is that most peopletalk about themselves and theire marketing and as a storybrand guide. Ijust love this idea that you're really a guide in a story: You're not the hero,and so ultimately you don't have to talk about how awesome you are whatyear, your company was founded. Whatever that option is, you know, isit's a big mistake that peop make so Yay, there's that and enthe other one?Is that I'm learning there's two different camps? You know I've beendoing this for four or four years or so now on the agency side and there's theias just called the good people right. So like the Gol that are Seland want toreally care for their clients, so in the good people, space there's twodifferent branches, there's almost like a creative agency that just makeseverything Tho look really good, which is totally valuale. Often I want towork with these people when marribranding projects and in the otherside is more of a direct marketing. So I our company really tries to focus onmaking marketing profitable and getting Eur Clints the highest result that theycan. So I like Tho, Siyea that the marketing should pay for itself andshould deliver a great returnof investment. So I guess that's a littlebit more, what's important to caffeine, I love it and so what's on the other,if we got the good people on one side what's on the other? Well, I don't want to bash anybody, butthere's. Obviously this kind of two approaches one is that well, I don'tknaw some bad ful, but there's teyou offer a suite of services. Okay, so some people expect an agency andfunction as all right. I'm going to...

...come to you and I'm going to pick andshoose what I'm not say. This is a bad but thisis. Let's go middle and the badright, the middle of the ground is hey. We just offer Bucko services pickwhateverone you want and thin will just do that service for you, but there'snot a focus on delivering. He client a return on investment. There's just heythis is this: is an exchange of services you're going to pay us fordoing your social media and then you know you're going to pass Xemer Oastermoth whatever, and it's on the business owner? Who is not a marketingexpert to come up with the strategy and so they're kind of left, guessing andthrowing stuff on the wall and hoping that something is actually going to beprofitable for them, but in reality what we try to do is take a holisticapproach and build a marketing final, unique for each one of our customersand then the bad side is just people that sell snake. Will I mean it is yeah, it's kind of sad honestly and itwhat we would call in a business strategy world there's a low note. Soit's not hard to like think of a castle and a mote. It's fairly easy to start adigital market agency right. If you can get someone to start paying you to somesort of mark the antivity and you can get more clients like it's not hard toget into this space, but it's hard to be really good at it and make you knowyour clients a lot of money, and so what we find is t a irs, a lot ofpeople that essentially have burned a lot of the businesses that we've, youknow, eventually become our clients. But before this they've you know paidsomebody, thousands and thousands of dollars and not saying a single do backand I've just been told. Oh look at the clicks that were getting you or look atthe impressions or here's your search engine raking, but yet that's noactually translating to our turn avestment for them. So that makes mesad. It hurts for those business setters, because they're kind of leftin this weird spot, where it's like they don't know enough about marketingto decipher who's, the good guys who could actually deliver them mature,anmessment and then, who are re, those people that are out there just takingmoney from h. You know eventually just setting up Google analytics and sendingthem report every month d and then, of course, they burn, so they have a badtaste in their mouth. So then, any agency that works with them in thefuture has a bigger hurdle to get over I've run into that a lotwe're less than ethical individuals. edencies. I'mtrying to pick my words carefully, like you I'mthat. They have a tendency to createthis seriously negative impression, and then it's just yo almost twice as hardto get the business owners understand what is possible and that hey. This ismore of a partnership. We want to help you solve these problems, we're notjust going to throw in voices over the wall, O Yeah Yep, a hundred percent-and there was a time when I was a marketing. I was a chief marketingofficer at organization and one of the contracts that I inherited was was thissocial media agency here in Atlanta and I trid to work with them. You know I,within a for the whole month that I was like first getting on boarded into thecompany. I was like trying to work with them. Try to get some aligne trying toget them to do stuff and they would just blatenly look like do the oppositeon whatever quested and I nember just goine. What that heck and t these guyswere pretty well mad, but eventually I was frustrated because they were justadamant about holding to the contract, but yet they were not delivering it, soit was very frustrating. So I neverver wanted to be that whenever I startedcampeine yeah, absolutely so all right. So when it comes to building that sellsfun of we're not talking about ourselves, we're not screaming from theroof tops how cool we are, which I'm one hundred percent agreement with. Howdo you help these companies understand the kind of the connection betweenmarketing and sales and building that sales funnel that it sounds like needsto really mirror the buyers journey, so I often think that we can makethings as complex or simple as we want to besase all right. So it sounds like you agreeat a really really high level in my own AD. This is just the way I picture it.This is not right wrong. Is that? Well maybe it's wrong. I don't knowbuthere's in market. Let's imagine a marking funnel over simplified as threeparts, and imagine it's a you know the time of funnel that you're going topour oil into your car with or imagine... u'psitethe triangle. If you knowitthat sounds forwign to you and so at the top of the FINEL is brand awareness.The first problem that we're trying to solve is we need to make people awarethat we exist. The second phase is consideration so now that they knowthat we exist, we have to remind them what it is, the problem that we offeror what's the problem that we solve and how are we going to make their livesbetter and th s that on working with us and what's at risk, if they don't workwith us, so we have to communicate this messaging to them over and over andover often it takes people eight times just to fully digest what it is youhave to offer, and so that's just the consideration phase and then lastly,there's the conversion phase, and this is the point of where we really allwant people to get to. You know we want them to buy o product our service withthem to download the free pbm on our website, and each of these can kind ofbe switched out for whatever an what I mean by that is a free guide on yourwebsite or somebody subscribing to your youtube page or someone following youan instagram. You could consider that conversion and T it's okay. It dependson what your goals are, but at the end of the day, what we really care aboutis delivering orturn investment and making sure that your Markiti'sprofitble. So I really like to think of conversion of Sales Iwas try to focuson sales in that regard, so if we could go back and we o go back to sales andhas it integrate, I think of a sales funnel like a automated sequence aseverything: That's, not advertising, so everything above paid ad attracting newtraffic, that's the existing form in place, so you've got a marketing salesFonel, and then you actually have a true sales funnel so like, if you're asalesperson creating those automated emails. This templates, everything thatyou have like that to help people along that journey with them inthat makesense, yeah, absolutely and so part of this. When you go through awarenessconsideration conversion than into the sales funnel itself. All of thatrequires different types and structures and approaches to the messaging it is.I would assume, bringing them through this journey. Do you then use that kindof format? Those three areas on the marking side to help structure themessaging or is it? Do we go a layer deeper in kind of ways to structure anddeliver that messaging? Well, it's interesting. I think, from the salesperspective. Obviously you're very aware that you're trying to identifywhat it is, the painpoint that they're experiencing, and so, if you don't knowwhat that painpoint is often you're, not able to get this person to buy ourproducts of services, because it's not hitting a you know something enough inthem. In order to move I towards action, and ultimately people are a lot morelikely to take action to avoid pain than they are to move towards somethinggood. So I say that as a preface to go, we might have a lot of messaging in ourmarketing funel. We might try to hit a couple different audiences. We mightpain a couple of different pictures of success. We might pain a couplepictures of how we helped them avoid failure, but ultomately when you hop onthe fell with somebody or when you're on an email, conversation you're nowgetting to know what ar their actual payin points, and so we might have moreMakro level in the barketing framework. But now that we're in the sales process,we can really articulate okay well, Joe, you said you're having problems growingyour company, you feel, like you've, tried everything you paid some Seo, guythousands of dollars every month and obviously don't want that to happenagain. You want to make this profitable right. You went your website a make youa lot of money, and so I think we can tweak in the sales process, but itcomes in the same framework. We're always thinking. What's the problemthat they're experiencing, how can we uniquely solve their products or thrtheir problem and then ultimate what the success and failure look like, andthen you can use the story- rent frendwork a little bit more so whereyou can identify how to put yourself as the guide. So how can you have empathyand authority? So I love coming alongside clients and being like hey. Iunderstand your frustration when I was a seeing about this organization.Here's what I experienced it was the worst. That's why I started caffeinewas to help a hushanoors like my dad and Granddad, make marketing profitableand successful. So you can use those little bits...

...of that marketing framework in youractual sales process and it's great because if you make your marketing andsales messaging, the same you're reinforcing the same idea over and overand you're walking people through an exercise and memorization Nice Nice.And so when you look at some, you know companies today, especially given thecurrent lovely environment. What are some of the biggest mistakes you're,seeing them make ropportunities that they're missing. I would say that not tracking theiremarketing or not having any sort of analytics in place is a really bigmissed opportunity. So I'm also part of a group called Tactus and what we do iswe acquire our partner with small companies that arround a million or twomillion or so, and then we turn around in four O five Xm. But one of thethings I love doing is a a lot of these companies. Even though they're at acouple million dollars a year a they often don't have the right analytics inplace to understand how to scale their company, and so we end up putting allthe right. Google analytics. You know, install facebook Pixel, let's have atracking software and there said that we can make sure that we're trackingpeople all across the marketing sales fotel. So that's key, because if youdon't know what's broken, you can't fix it and then you're going to do a bunchof stuff to try and fix it and you're going to break some other stuff. Sothat's unportunate, that's part of the journey, though itsometimes e. sometimes you have to break something to d figure out how howbest to use it. So when you think about you know, you just mentioned a wholebunch of he atack right. So the Pot Pixel and you know, there's a wholebunch of tech out there to do this. Do you do you find that it's a big leap for those smallbusiness owners that are say million two million you'R to really wrap theirhead around? All of the data that once that stuff is deployed, can actuallyprovide, or are you also helping them, make sense of it? Yeah we're definitely haping to makesense today and it could for sure feel over women, because that's not why theystarted their company generally. They started their company because theywanted a certain lifestyle or they wanted to be just focus on their craft,like one of my partners is a flatfishing guide and his dream was tojust be out in the water every day, godding people for trips, and so hehates accounting and also you know, anyof the ene liking stuff. You know hejust wants to yey trips like thes's. Just oll wants to do and make money soyeah. We for sure help the make sense of it and because what they really needis that t they need a partner they almost, even though they can't affordto hire a true CMO in house. We function more so as the fractional CMOthat can actually execute the services that they need. If that makes sense,yeah no, and I think it's, I think it's great because I'll be one hundredpercent. I started my own business because I was tired of making money forother people as sale execative, but I also I'm greated that selling and doingyou know the marketing and that kind of stuff that we need to do. I am withyour five fishing friend I hate counting. I outsore my my back end. Iaufor Soll ov it to a fractional CFO company and let them just do it like. Idon't. I just need to know where we are cosh flow like Marchin like I don't Idon't want to. I don't do any of that, and but I also don't want to get introuble, withthe government. So yes, yes, I tell you so just keep me fromgetting in trouble and I'm happy to pay and- and we have you know- regularlyscheduled checkens and all that stuff. It's one of the things I think a lot of small business owners or just businessowners in general they're, just certain things that you're not good at and youshould focus on the things you are good at and not hesitate to bring in thepartner to bring in the support in the ars, because it's the top you're,basically getting lookd for ry on your time, and if I'm trying to do acounting, that's a crappy Roi, and it's going to take a lot of time. So I'mbetter off, focusing on the things that I'm good at in the business and findingthose trusted connections- and it sounds like that- was kind of thespirit of how you set up caffeine. If I'm capturing it right yeah, it is, andit's it's very interesting thoug. This... how you e e were asking aboutmistakes a few minutes ago. This blows my mind a this happens, but sometimespeoople or business centers will self sabotage in the weirdest ways. And whatI mean by that is one of our clients who we brought on baby four r fivemonths ago, literally is entrack to double her company and more and we're Imean hardly spending anything in advertising, maybe threethousanddollars and most of her. You know. Sales Service, like her actual services,are like fifteen thosand dollars, so she is crushing it. And yet I got anemail from her two days ago and she was like Hey. I don't know we're just kindof rethinking this whatever and then I was like, I won't say her name, but Ibasically even on her back and I was like what's up on the phone, becauseliterally the last call that we had you were like this is unreal. Couldn' haveyou know super grateful and blown away, but it's funny- and I said that not aslike trying to make her feel bad or whatever, but we have this tendency tokind of like beach, cheap in the wrong areas andscared to invest in others, and when I hear you say, oh I', like I've got theCFL. I think that's a great example of how to do it is to go. You know what Ihave somebody that I trust he's doing a good job, and this is ultimately goingto help me focus on stuff. That's going to drive our bottom in yeah and it'syou're right with the self sabotage, because I I'll even use ian go backeven further and say when, when I started this business where startedg mybusiness three plus years ago- and I started this podcast- I was smartenough to know. I didn't know what I didn't know. So I hired sweetsh mediaright and to do help me get it off the ground and then, like an idiot threemonths in, I decided we. I can figure this out. So I took two months and Iwas like I was doing all the audio processing. I was doing all theleveling. I was doing all the graphics is right in the blog post and then etjust dawne on me that I'm like this is freaking stupid. I this is notgenerating. We didn't start the PODCAST, be a revenue generator. It was IAS. Acontent ration in a way for me to feed my head, not yeah, I spending way toomuch time on t is so then Wep you know, took a two month pause from sweetfishand now we're back hes. Now your AK and I don't and I'm like okay, I learn mylesson. I've apparently sometimes you just slam my face in the brick wallbefore I realize I need to you know, get some help, but it's it's thatthinking about our time as the asset that allows us to focus ongrowing the business and where can we be the most effective? Not Everybodycan do it all the just things, Ha've gotten way too complex and diverse, andany of the fields out there for somebody to master at all and be ableto. You know juggle it all, there's just too much to do. There is andthere's almost so much information and stuff changes so quickly. I think somedays, I'm thinking man, I mean I'm very thankful where having the marketingskill set and being a master of that and really njoing that its gotten me,but like all jobs, right, there's a day where I'm like I can wish, I could justgo in some jetskis right now or something, and then I think then I say thatbecause marketing is always changing, it's always changing. You know, Googlecan release a new update. INSTAGRAM can decide it wants to do somethingdifferent tomorrow. It's going to change their API and the tracking applesays: Hey we're going to enact this new privacy thing. Youne facebook doesn'thave the same. Access to you know whatever targetin that we had before.So you have to always have a sharp edge, ind marketing and if you're not willingto continually grind that edge, I don't think thet. You should try to mastermarketing. It's really it's notof exhausting to be because I really enjoyit, but I see so many people that heard something they're all looking for thehot tip, but no one really wants to master the craft yeah. Nobody wants to.Nobody wants to do the work right and and tit's really what it comes down toand that's where I see a lot of organizations, whether they be small,you know smbs or enterprise, you run into people who just think. Okay, if Ijust show up this will happen. Well, you know what I no. It doesn't workthat way. There's a grind to everything, and in order to stay on top of stuff,you have to invest like there's. I I started my career marketing. I spentnine years in marketing. I got my advance degree in marketing that waseighteen years ago. I have no freaking...

...clow. What's going on in M, I know I know enough to be dangerousand enough to ask some intelligent questions, but I there's no way I could.I could do that. I chose to focus on the revenue on the revenue collectionside of it on the sale side of it and business development. Things like thatnow, that's my wheelhouse there, I'm good. I know enough on the marking sideto be dangerous, but I also think some of it comes down to security like selfsecurity like I'm, I secure enough to admit. I don't know that and I thinksome people struggle because the personality it takes even start abusiness. That's pretty big, you know pretty big jump for a lot of got to have some CN, have some self belief or o no other options. I guess yeah, you know what that's so fun. You saythat I don't know why. But there are some people out there and I've not mostpeople. I generally think that if you really are disciplined- and you knowhow to grind and you're willing, if you're humble and your open a feedbag,you could probably start a really good messess and there's are good indicatorsthat you could do it. But if you are don't, if you don't like working forpeople, then you would, I think, you're in a have incredibly hard time business,because most business is just not having one boss. It's like having threehundred bosest's like bu customer client is boss, yeah awesome perspective and I now'll behonest. You know W I've always been a type Ay Workholic, but sin running myown business, I'm working harder than I ever have before, although I don't findit, I don't mind it right. I because I'm passionate about what I do sothere's. Definitely some trade offsers. They call it work for a reason Ihaven't hit. Tho Learn Ye when that happens, we'll have a differentconversation, so yeah a little bit different podcast. We be a totallydifferent podcast. So when you look at next year right when we go into covidkind of change, some things we're going tointo the end of the year. Nobodyreally knows: What's going to happen, what a you, what are you seing, YourePredicting for two thousand and twenty one in terms of things or elements ofmarketing that mall business owders should be aware of or really keep aneye on. So today I was perusing like den, and Ijust have been seeing more and more of a mindset which I love, which is thatfor ashmeneurs small business owners and business leaders. This is a greattime. I mean it's obviously for certain industries, it's very very hard, and Ieven you know some of our companies actually had to shut down becausether're shelter and place order. So we there was no flyfish guiding. You knowlike that was a Nogo for these. Like forty five days or something like that,but most times of trial I think present opportunities, and so, if less peopleare spending on Google and facebook, well, then man that means that yourcostper did is going to be a lot lower and you have the Potitua to make a lotgreater return on investment. So I think there's little things like thatwere panpl are not moving, that your competition might be paralyzed, or Ithink you can really move and take action and gain ground in themarketplace, and so I feel overall really excited. Is there one particularAPP or you know, software that I'm reallyexcited about? Not Really, I think that if we look at true story base like thestorymand marketing, I think that is really incredible and I think you haveto have that now, because there's so much marketing noise out there that ifyou don't have a message that cuts directly to your customer you're, notgoing to connect your waste money and your advertising, but other than that Imean the Dret, the tracking direct marketing. All of that, I think, willstill be true a year from now an excellent right. So let's ChangeDirection here a little bit. We ask all of our guys two standard questions atthe end of the interview. First, as simply as a CMO and founder. That makesyou a prospect for a lot of sales people out there, and so I'm alwayscurious to know if somebody doesn't have a referral, Ake a trustedintroduction what works for you to capture your attention and earn earnthe right to some time on your calendar. Well, it has to feel personal, but atthe same time I know that I probably get a handful like, for example, onlinkan right. If you're going to mention my company name, that's notpersonal enough for me, but if you say something to the fact of like Hey, Ilisten to this podcast and I really... you know the Storyben framewer I'dlove to connect with you about. You know xyc that gets my ittention and youknow obviously being busy. My counter is supervival to me and even gotguardit really well. So if theyre take the time to be that personal, I thinkI'll definitely have that call, but then also, I think, if they can itdirectly on a painpoint that I have, because I will actually go on facebookand watch. I mainly facebook and instagram and just look at ads, and Ilove looking at thats because I'm looking for somebody to solve myproblem and that's probably because I'm just you know a marketing guy and Ifastenated by it. But I mean really: I bought everythingin my desk. I bought because it was an ad for the most part, and so I lovewhen someone is going to solve a problem that I have and I'm willing topay money for it. So it's just got to be there. You know you few actually aretalking to a painpoint that I experience saying then for sure calllove it all right. So last question: We call it our acceleration insight. Onepiece of advice you could give to marketing professionals that youbelieve would help them Hiterec see their targets just one. What would itbe in why? Okay, so I already said be the guide,so you can't do that one. I would say it would be to really think about making the staksclear in your marketing. So what I mean by that is: What's that stake if theydon't buy our productor service, and I know I've kind of missioned thatalready but like what's going to me one or lost what are you gon to ultimatelygain? I think if we could really pain a picture of an ideal outcome as well aswhat's at risk. I think that makes it really compelling for people toactually take action in your advertisements. I love it all right. Soif elisters interested in talking to you more about these topics or learningmore about caffeine, where would you prefer we send them? First, Caffeine,OT marketing? So now no com just caffeine, that marketing or if you wantto connect with me personally, you know Evan oxom its great to all right. I ean.I can't think en Noug, for taking time it's been an absolute pleasure to haveyou on the show thanks so Shyr me, Chatto, really appreciate it all right,everybody that does it thihis episode. You know the drill be to be real.Exactcom Shirte, we friends, family coworkers, let your kids listen to it!So they're, not looking at the IPAD all day, long and until next time. We wishyou nothing, but the greatest success you've been listening to the BTBrevenue executive experience to ensure that you never miss an episodesubscribe to the show, an itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank youso much for listening until next time.

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