The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 7 months ago

Unfiltered Marketing: 3 Trends Every Marketer Must Know w/ Stephen Denny

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

If you’ve been paying attention to, well, anything for the past few years, you’ll know it’s getting harder to know who you can trust.

And knowing this can make you a better marketer.

That’s one of the key insights Stephen Denny, Managing Director at Denny Leinberger Strategy, learned writing his book Unfiltered Marketing.

In today’s episode, he and I discuss the 3 key insights from his book:

  • Why trust is collapsing
  • Why people now only trust themselves
  • How brand loyalty has changed in light of these facts

This post includes highlights of our podcast interview with Stephen Denny, Managing Director at Denny Leinberger Strategy and Author of Unfiltered Marketing.

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 haven't turned off to brandmessaging. We haven't turned off to the idea that we can attach ourselves andhave loyalty to a brand. However, the biggest and boldest messages that werewilling to connect ourselves to and show loyalty to follow, be fans of arethose that align with our personal values. You're. Listening to the BTB revenueexecutive experience, a podcast, dedicated epen executives train theirsales and marketing toems 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 two one: welcome everyone to theB to b revenue executive experience. I'm your host Cha Sanderson today we'retalking about how to win back customers in a worldwere distraction is the newnormal and changees the air we breathe. How do you break through the noise and,more importantly, how do you develop trust andcredibility when the mediumitself can be suspect to help us? We have stevhen Denny managing director atDenny Linburger Strategy and Co author of unfiltered marketing, five rules towin back trust, credibility and customers in a digitally distractedworld stevhen. Thank you. So much for taking time and welcome to the show.Thank you very much thanks for inviting me on. Oh It's, my pleasure, and beforewe jump into the topic, we always like to start with an interesting questionis so our audience get to know you a little bit better and we've all had oneheck of a year so curious when you look back over this past year, what's thelargest and most impactful lesson you've taken away from it? I'll behonest with you, the the biggest lesson I've taken away from this years gotnothing to do with business, but most of US listening to this podcast have noidea how lucky we are. I've got too many friends who have lost love ones.I've got friends, I know of who are losing their businesses. Many of us,you know work for substantial companies where we consult for substantialcompanies. A lot of us are in...

...technology which is experiencing a boomtime. So I you know, you know what I mean I think you have to. We can preface this conversation withsaying what a crazy year it's been for a lot of us. It's been not too bad andI think, as a sobering realization when you think about that, I will tell youone thing that I've that I've learned in this is a little bit more on thebusiness side of the conversation w with every company that has thrown itsworkers home reflexively right everyone's gone from the office cultureof the work from home culture, it's stunning to me how so many companieshave managed to transplant the worst of office culture and sent it home right?Yes, active back meetings on zoom all day long or on teams, or on whatever,and it's like meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting, and I talkto clients who we work with, and it's like wow, we can fit you in on Friday.He's not you know, he won't be having lunch that day because he's so busy andit's like we're working from home. This was thegreatest opportunity ever to accelerate the work. We do alone the productivityside, the thinking side right and we manage to screw it up in many cases.Anyway, that's probably not the answer we were hoping to hear, but it's trueen. Maybe we can make it an exhortation to do things better if this continuesmuch further well D, I think thoe are two very, very powerful points of, andwe often with our clients. Well, do you know I gslow hem down a second and do agratitude exercise, the beginning it workshop even virtually, and there aremany people I mean I could say on the business side. Two Thousand and twentyhas been very good for my business on the personal side, just like you andmany others, the amount of loss and business of Friends of relationships ofall those things for many has been a...

...challenge, but there are industrieslike fitness equipment. Industry has gone through the roof becauseeverybody's building home gyms and tech, so there's a positive side. I think weall just kind of need to stay positive in terms of the zoom stuff. I could notagree more. You know I actually literally have got in tha point whereI've blocked that put on my counter block an time where people can'tschedule anthing. Just so, I can get a break from t e, the zoom fatigue thathappens. I now that's good to do no matter what yeah, if Tim, Barins thekey. If your listeners are working in a corporate world man, the first biggesttrend that we mind out of the research that went into unfiltered marketing.Sorry, I'm jumping ahead was called seeking control in an out of controlworld, and here we are yeah world that we absolutely positively are notcontrolling and one one of the easiest things we can do is to block time outand seize back a little bit of control, not only for our own sanity and mentalwell being, but but because that's where the meaningful work most oftengets done, it's that it's at work. We do alone, which has to be done beforewe can shift gears and do a good job at the work we do together. Yeah and let'sso, let's talk about the book. It was based on four years of quantitated data,Yeah D. that's a long mean four years a long time. So I'm curious where theidea for the project, the research o, but where Di it come from sure, onceUabou a time when my partner Paul Leineburger and I began workingtogether, I had just written a book called killing giants that was back intwo thousand and eleven when that book came out and it was a deep diveexploration into how companies aut maneuvere the giantsthey face in the marketplace, and it was a really interesting process to gothrough for me because it gave me an excuse to interview H. Ninety of reallysome of the world's most effective business people- and I interviewed Paulin the first chapter- he's a longtime...

...many many decades in the saddle as atrend researcher for the gfks and the ankoloviches and the future companiesand people like that, and we made the decision he had decided to go out onhis own hang out his own shingle, and we decided that, if we're going tocontinue this collaboration, we needed to develop our own trend framework. So from the killing giants experience wedistilled what we found were sort of three big pillars that came out of thatbook, which were- and this was feedback we were getting from clients. This isfeedback. We were getting from chief marketing officers, CEOS seniorexecutives across the board. Who would ask us questions like tell me something?What's the future of brand loyalty and CIMO would quickly wave his hands andsay: Listen, I know we all have opinions. I wasn't asking you to answerthe question. This is a rhetorical question. Everyone has an opinion. Doyou have any research on this and it's like? Okay? Now, that's that's time towrite a note and and think about it a little bit more deeply. How can we helpfortune? Five hundred chief marketing officer gets to the bottom of a reallyimponderable question in a time of a lot of change. What's the future of thedigital footprint, how do we communiccat? Do we express ourselvesthrough through a technological medium, and what does that mean to uspersonally and then Yo personally for me? What's the future of work, becausea lot of my clients, particularly in that point in time- and it holds trueto this day- are in the unified communications, endpoint collaboration space. So herewe are you kno. We are looking at these three big pillars and we were fortunate.We got a number of smart and very generous cosponsors in the corporateworld to underwrite it, get their own proprietary questions baked in to thesurvey instrument that we put together and thus begap this body of work calledthe culture in technology intersection study, and it was fascinated becausethe first year, witwo thousand and sixteen we punched it out, didn't haveany preconceptions at all and we began...

...to see some of these big macro trendsemerging from this sea of data points and over the next three years about togo into the market again, actually, probably just after the first of theyear. Some of these big ideas began to come together and self organized, sothat was the origin of the research and it's been a yearly tracking study eversince companies duck in and cosponsor it and get their own answers to theirown questions, and it's very helpful for them and we workshop around thatand provide them with data. But, more importantly, we began to see thesetrens emerge. Some of them have been well reported by respected researchorganizations which gives us a little bit of confidence that we're not crazy,but you know what I itslit's, like you know, seeking control very similar interms of the insights from Edelman's excellent trust barometer. However, wehave some slight nuances in the way that we ask our questions and ask somequestions and no one else asks, and we discovered that. Yes, in fact, it's notjust that were living in an age of collapsing, or I should say at the endof two thousand and twenty collapsed trust, but we're not willing to let itgo at that. We are seeking control in an out of control world. That was thebig macro trend. The first one that we came out with we are taking steps torest some control back of a world that we can demonsterably Tangialy, seespinning out of our control. So from that we realized there was abook to be had Paul was an author and his book came out back in the S. minecame out two thousand and eleven, so this is both of our second books, ourfirst one together and it's been a fascinating process, fascinating towrite it and fasciate to go out and interview some really incredible peopleand have them share their experiences with us yeah and that concept ofseeking control I mean, I'm sure, resonates with everybody, who'slistening right now and then one of...

...those you know very simple tactics todo that that time blocking right. We we talk about time blocking with ourclients all the time, and they some of these people will look at us like. Howis that even possible? I can't I can't control my counter. Well Yeah. Actually,yes, Syeu can just eat the elephant. One Bite at tha time, but aside from,like aside from the seeking control, what Wase, what was the next biggestyou know, insidt or takeaway that you had around you know people attemptingto Pierce this digital veil that we all have. What was the one that surprisedyou are resonated with you the most, I think the one that was the most interesting to me. It's theone that gets a lot of people, leaning forward the most was tha the macro trend. We called rawand raw really speaks to this idea that, because we're living in an age ofcollapsing trust, the only thing that we're willing to trust is now ourselveswhat we can see with our own eyes and hear with our own ears and what ourjudgment tells us his true and increasingly what that means is. I need to see the raw feed I need to see the livestream, video orthe email dump or the hidden, video or whatever it happens to be. I want tosee the data so that I know that it's in fact, true,because we no longer trust the institutions around us. We've justcaught them line to on many times too many times and as a result, we need tohave that extra layer of assurance that were not being lied to again. So we see things like what we'veexperienced in two thousand and twenty. I think it's such a vivid living casestudy or not done yet, but look at the difference between what was reportedget outside of the business framing for the moment. Just look at what'shappened in society over the course of two thousand and twenty were being toldone thing by national mainstream press, and yet we can go to twitter and seelive stream, video shot from personal...

...mobile phones. That is showing uswhat's happening in the street across major metro areas across the country,and these are not the same stories being told. So if that is in fact thetruth, what does that mean for us in a world of business? Well, it means thatthese same customers, who are consumers of news consumers of culture, are alsoconsumers of our products and services, and if we want to be persuasive withhim, if we want to come across it be truthful, which is increasinglydifficult, we have to be able to show the evidencewe have to get out of the role of always trying to be the hero, alwaystrying to be the point, and we get out of that role and stand beside ourcustomers and say: Let's look together at the evidence. Let me show you whatweare looking at and let me- and this is a role that is credible for me toplay. Let me teach you how to interpret what you're seeing so that you becomemore expert in being my customer yeah, it's e remendously powerful, it's e andit's a big, it's a it's a big shift right it almost my Undergrad was in English. So for meit's like now. Everybody wants to read Hamlett instead of e cliff notes,because they don't they don't trust the cliff notes anymore. They want theywant to get back to. Okay, show it to me. Let Me Trust Myself, whether I'm,whether I do or don't have the many faculties and and structures andframeworks to make truly insightful decisions or understand something, butat least give me that opportunity, instead of trying to spoonfeed me yourversion of the reality and that trust disappearing is a huge one. I'm curiouswhat other disital reaze impact have the digital realities had on culturethat you found aside from that lacking that disappearing trust. So, let'sbuild on that and let's, let's a briefly go into the third big macrotrend. We mignd out a number of trends fromthe study over over these last four...

...years, we focused on the first three inunfiltered marketing, for the simple reason that they they comprise a reallystrong holistic system. We felt these were the macro, as opposed to some ofthe more smaller impact trends that we've seen the third one that we mindout because we're living in this age of collapsing trust because we've had thishunger for raw the third. We call heroic credibility, which means, quitesimply, that we haven't turned off to brand messaging. We haven't turned offto the idea that we can attach ourselves and have loyalty to a brand.However, the biggest and boldest messages that were willing to connectourselves to and show loyalty to follow, be fans of are those that align withour personal values. Now there's a huge asterisk that comes in here, and thisis where a lot of brands have gone. Astrait go right back to the beginningand the collapse of trust, a brand that expresses its values needs to do so ina way that is observable, and it must be true. It must be something that canbe observed through this brand's DNA, how many brands jumped on the bandwagon in two thsantand, twenty virtue, signaling pointlessly aimlessly in hishollow fashion, pretending that they are on board with what pick pick agan any of them rightblack lives matter. You see, these brands have have made this decision topost a black square on their social profile and yet there's absolutely noevidence that they ever thought. This idea ever crossed their minds beforethis summer took place and, as a result, the market either rolls its eyes atbest or takes them to task at worst. So...

...there's an enormous fork in the roadhere and brands that truly are speaking from the heart. The Real DNA levelbrand value alignment are rewarded for it. Look at it's everyone's favoriteexample. We wrote about it extensively in the book. Paul Linburger, my co,author and partner, had a chance to interviews, Rose Marcarios. Therecently former CEO of Patagonia go research, any interview that IvonShenard found her. The company has ever conducted and he's been singing thesame song since the S he's absolutely been ruthlessly consistent in hisadvocacy for the natural world for preserving the natural environment. Heproduces a peril so that his customers can enjoy that natural environment. Sowhen he makes a statement about sustainability, about valuessurrounding protecting the natural world, he's instantly credible andthat's incredibly important and it's funny because he was he was interviewedand you can find the interview somewhere on Youtube where he was asked about values,alignment and why so many other brands come off a as not having that samedegree of credibility, and he said a lot of brands. You know come off as notstanding for anything for the simple reason that deep down inside they don'tstand for anything which is aadly right. Yehsas in thisdry dead pan way. But you know coming from him, you have to just sort of bowyour head and acknowledgment that he has. You know the Guru has just spokenon the subject: There's nothing else. We really need to say about it. It istrue. Most companies don't stand for anything, so it's very difficult for them to allof a sudden jump up and pretend that they do when that happens, they getthrown to the wolls yeah because it...

...comes off as it con of sending not truehollow. I mean other's all. The list of Anderinkan pandering, I like yeah,pandering, I mean, and it really it does. It contributes to this pcycholope.You know, I can't believe what you're saying so now that trust goes down. Youknow goes down the toilet, even some more and when we think about that, Ithink one of the things I've seen is that digital actually allows me as aconsumer to be resonate with brands on a different level. Maybe, let's see meincorporate that raw right, I'm specifically looking for control.Brandsat resonate to my view, my value framework for engagement with the world,and I can spot a fake, a mile away and that has scyncling back yeah exactlycycling back to this issue of trust yeah without Adout, it can be a selfperpetuating kind of circling the drain or, conversely, it can. It can reboundto your greater your greater glory and and brand inbrand loyalty. And so when we look at you know, we specifically mentionedgoing from B Tobnbtce, the more of a consumer to business landscape. Howdoes that all play together and work in? Well? You know technology has emergedas the most profound cultural driver in the world hasn't. It impacts absolutely everything that wedo and everything that we you know from entertainment to productivity to theway we live our lives. Now you put all of this in the framing of a customerinteraction where they control the levers now of the brand consumerrelationship. This is a hugely different way of looking at the brandconsumer relationship. Now, if the consumer in fact controls the brandrelationship because we're in a search first world rather than a televisionadvertising first world, where we have peer to peercommunication that we did not have...

...beyond word of mouth prior to theadvent of the smartphone and its main streaming, then someone a steward of abrand really needs to stop and take stock of where they are Paul.Leineburger. My partner wrote about this. This human experience design skill set where we have to putourselves in the in the shoes of our consumers. First, instead of our ownperspective, which is you know what is the sum total of my brand? Well, it'smy website in my advertising and little bit of my pr when, in fact a consumersays it's, it's your customer, serviceline and the God awful clamShell packaging that I can't open. I had this conversation before and and both as a consultant and once upon atime as a pnl manager for a fairly substantial multinational corporationand as kind of shocked when I realized I wasn't right and yeahso so it does cause you to sort of change the way you think about it. Thefunnel there are no absolutes. Let me just quickly before before I go. Tellyour listeners that it's this way now. What I mean to say is this way is also true. Now right, there's still a role for forbrand to consumer advertising, there's still a role for a top down message,particularly as a means of stimulating a conversation. That being said,there's a larger role now for the S to be mindset where it is consumer tobusiness, where consumers do control the relationship and that that causes abrand manager, chief marketing officer to really stop and think eas to itshould is cript yeah, fips the script essentially, and so, when there'sleaders out there that are struggln Itg,...

...this weather be there's those chiefmarking officor even some of the CEOS. Hopefully that are also understandingthat the landscape as changed almost fundamentally. What is it that you like?If you could tell them hey, there's this one thing you need to do to reallymake sure or maybe not do should be aware of to build trust incredibilitywith customers if they were. If they came, you and said, hey give me one or two things I need tofolcks on what would those things be? Well, if you go back to t to thepremise of unfiltered marketing, we talk about these three macro trends andeach one is really interesting and important to be considered as astandalone pillar, something that can be worshipped and implemented toimprove what we're doing. But there's an interesting wrinkle here that Ithink addresses your point when we paned back as the managers of this bodyof research, we realized that there was something more powerful than theindividual components. It really was the sum being greater than theindividual pieces, so we saw seeking control, plus rawplus heroic credibility as being a playbook, a blueprint for leadership intwo thousand, an twenty two thousand and twenty one nd beyond it's not that we have to seize on oneit's. If we can consider each one of these three as a system right considereach one of these three in a system setting, then we all of a sudden seethe power of what this framework means. How do we persuade customer? How do wepersuade employees to get on board because, again, in a C to be worldthese employees that work for us in our companies? They have the same concerns.They are the same jaded consumers, twenty four hours a day just becausethey work for us does not mean they...

...don't think. Like most people do, howcan we push control back into their hands? How can we give them visibility,enclosure that they know where they are, whether it's Kpis for an employee orwhat's the status of an order? How do I get something to work if it's notworking the way, I wanted to there's a hundred different ways. We can animatethis point of seeking control raw. How can we communicate in an effectiveunscripted in process sort of codeveloped sense? Can we work with ourcustomers work with our employees so that theyre part of this process? And,of course, you know, heroic credibility ties this up with a neat bow becausewe're giving them a north star we're giving them a goal towards which we areworking as a company, and you can jump on board and come with us or not, andeverything cycles back to trust to how we communicate that trust to how weproject that sense of leadership yeah, I love it. I love it very well said soright, let's change direction here, a little bit. We ask all of our guess twostandard questions towards the ANDEVACH interview. First, as simply as arevenue executive of yourself, that means your prospect for salesprofessionals and so, like everybody else, you're getting inindated withrequest to get on your counter, always curious to understand, when somebodydoesn't have a trusted referral into you, how do they capture your attentionand build e credibly and earn the right to time on your calendar? What worksmost effectively for you WSIT's? It's funny that you that you framed it inthat way, because the sales approace that works best is that trusted Intro,and if we put it back into sort of the language of unfiltered marketing,that's rehumonizing the digital relationship. How can we interject thatsense of that human touch of getting aroundthose barriers of trust, social selling, Covit? Whatever buzz word, you need I'mjust reflecting on my own personal. You...

...know my own personal experiences thatthat's what you want to hear about, and the thing that works. The best is whensomeone I know says you should talk to this person and really, if we view thatas the dead center of the Bullseye, what are those rings that radiate outwards? Well, I want tohear about people like me and the experiences that people like me havehad so anything I can do to get as close as possible to that Bullseye.That's what's most effective, the other thing you know, frankly speaking and it's timing, does my perspective.Vendor know where I am in whatever decision that I'm making, I don't needsomeone to come and tell me that they can redo my website when my website isdone and unless my website is time I have made some decision sent somesignal that it's time to change right, so I don't need that. So now it becomesa question of timing, so that is personalization. That is deep knowledge.That is the research that goes into this. If someone sends me a genericmessage, it's always deleted always deleted. I found you know again frompromoting unfiltered marketing to whatever consulting work that I'm doingthat. So much of this just comes back tobeing willing to overprepare being willing to overresearch what you'redoing and sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it doesn't. It doesn'tmean that when I do that, I get a hundred percent hit rihe becauseregretably I don't but it', what makes it hard its the cauit work for reasonand it's part of the game. You have to do this. I, if you're not prepared you're, going to say you get. Your riskgoes through the roof either way anyway, you slice it so all right so lastquestion: We call it our acceleration.

INSIHT is one thing you could tellsales marketing people, one piece of advice: You'd give them that youbelieve would help them hit wer exceed their targets. What would it be? Andwhy? Well you know the one thing that's going to help them hit or exceed theirtargets. Let me just dig into the the framework and mine out one trend. Ithink what we just talked about is important. Okay, so it as not somethingwe should casually dismiss. I always said that in in particularly inmarketing a book, If you do a hundred times as much as you think, isnecessary, you'll discover that you've you've managed to do the bare minimumto achieve your goals right and that, I think, is true. I think, in this dayand age at this red hot. Second, if we look at the at the at the data and thecase, studies and the reality of technology is a cultural driver. Themost important thing we can do is to remove our ego from the equation, wherewe have to be right, the customer has to surrender and if we can reallyembrace this concept of RAW, this says: I'm not here to beat down your defenses,I'm just here to show you the evidence and I'm going to stand shoulder andshoulder with you and together we're going to look out at this body of work.Whatever happens to be, and I'm going to teach you how to interpret it, I'mgoing to show you something, I'm saying this is why it's important to you, Ithink, and your customer can get on board or not I've. You know I e found this to betrue for me, and I found it me true a lot over a long period of time to take that approach and to say look,my prospect is gone. Cold they're, not returning. My calls we'reall in a BEA to be environment here right, your listeners, I don't sell aBDC product, I'm a btob practitioner and prospects go cold and what I findis I keep them in mind and I send them information. I send them data that maynot be my data. Maybe someone else's...

...data may be an article, maybe a link,maybe someone else's research. So I was thinking about this and I saw this andit absolutely relates to what we were talking about a month ago when we werelashed in touch and sooner or later they resurface, and they say thanks forsending that alone and all of a sudden, the conversations back on the on thefront burner or not, but at least it helps you get through,helps, give you a sense of ploasure right. I found it to be true, and Icouldn't I couldn't agree more. I could agree more there's it's all about,what's going to be valuable to them in the end of the day, so steven, if alistener wants to get a book, where do you want us to send them? Oh, atunfiltered, marketing, five rules to win back trust, credibility andcustomers in a digitally distracted world. It's available absolutelyeverywhere. You byou books, so you can go to Amazon and you can get itunkindled. You can get a barns and noble if you're buying for your team,and you want to get a couple of copies or AL bunch of copies. Oure, goodfriends at porchlight books used to be eight hundred. CEO Reed have verygenerous bulk discounts and they're, terrific so and there's naudio versionas well, so you can find it and if somebody's interested in gettingin touch with you to learn more about this, a learn more about the ways thatyou help support some of the pillars in the book. Where should we send them? Oh,the easiest way to find me is just come to the website, which is at d likedenny L as in Linburger DL strategycom, and that finds me, I'm very activeonlinked in I'm very active on twitter. I'm easy to find excellent. Well, Stephen, I can't thankyou enough for taking time it's been a absolute pleasure to have you on theshow Ey. I appreciate you inviting me on. I hope this is useful to yourlisteners. This really is an interesting time, and you know so oftenwhen we talk to sales executives, marketing executives about technologyand culture. The conversation just...

...devolves into a discussion of Martechstacks and really where people need to bespending time and attention is on the human side on the culture side, becausethat's where the big shift has taken place so hop eneg and it's Hart. Youknow it's funny, because we don't we don't spend enough time we all get sowe all get so caught up in Ta Tech, and I like to tell people look. IfTechnology was going to solve the problems, it would have done it by now,especially aby, to be environment, so yeah, it's all about the people again.I can't thank you for taking time it's been great having you on the show,wonderful good to talk to you. Thank you very much all right, everybody thatdoes 't this episode. You know the drill be to be revezaccom share withfriends. Family Coworkers get a copy of the book. It's well worth the readuntil next time we have ay selling associates which well nothing, but thegreatest success. You've been listening to the BTOBrevenue executive experience to ensure that you never miss an episodesubscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you somuch for listening until next time.

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