The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 4 years ago

Jiri Marousek on How Building a Capable Internal Team Equals More Revenue

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

You’ve seen plenty of companies focused on pushing sales organizations hard to generate more revenue. There’s often a focus inside companies to get more out of the salespeople they have.

This is a viable plan of attack, but it’s not the only one. Over the last five years, we’ve seen an increase in marketing and services agencies, and they aren’t cheap—even if the services they provide are seen as critical.

So today, we want to talk about how building that internal capability is not only worth the investment: it can also increase revenue. To do that, we’re talking to Jiri Marousek, Chief Marketing Officer at the AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association).

Find a breakdown of this episode here.

Welcome e yeryone to the B to b revenueexecutive experience. I'm your host Chad Sanderson today we're talkingabout how building a capable internal team and reducing an overalliance onagency Egles, more revenue for the organization as a whole, so why thistopic, especially considering I spent the last ten years in agencies we'veseen companies of often focus on pushing sales organizations harder andto generate more revenue. There's often a lot of focus in side of companies toget more out of the sales people they have, and this is a viable approach.But it's far from the only plan of attack over the last five years, we'veseen an increase in marketing and services agencies and they aren't cheap,even if the services they provide. Our scene is critical in order to tacklethat topic today. We want to talk about how building that internalcapabilitieis not only worth the investment but can also increaserevenue, and to do that, we have with US Yorkamarisek chief marketing officerof the AOPA, the aircraft owners and Pilots Association, which is one of thelargest pilots organizations in the world, with over three hundred andfifty thousand members of globally you're. Listening to the BTB revenueexecutive experience, a podcast dedicated help executives train theirsales and marketing teams to optimize growth. Whether you're looking fortechniques and strategies were tools and resources. You come to the rightplace. Let's accelerate your growth in three two one before we jump into kindof the background on everything we like to start with a question give ouraudience. You know kind of a better understanding of people that we'retalking to, and so we like to look at. You know a defining moment in yourcareer, your life, that maybe change it direct trajectory of where you went wer,something that you took lessons away from that you go back to time and timeagain and if you just share h what that was and those lessons that you tookaway with us weld start there all right, that's fair, you know, and since WeeClare I didn't clearly see the ar question had a time I was thinkingabout it and- and you know the one that comes to mindand it's been coming to mine more often than Ot. Recently, I'm not sure why inmy career is a few years ago I was working in Shanghai and China settingup a new sales and marketing organization there, and the gentlemanthat was my partner in crime on setting up theteam and getting the project started. I had more background in thet market andwe were talking about how you know how to get things accomplished, and he madethis told me the story about a dinner at a restaurant that really it's funnyhow it applies in other places. Besides, China and I would kind of applies howto think about things thatd, he was telling me a story where he went to arestaurant and he had a great dinner with a couple of people and he wanted to get pie with a scoople ice cream on it, andthe menu had pie and ice cream and other desserts, but they didn't havepie with ice cream and when he asked for a pie with e balley scream on it,he created a bit of a stir in the restaurant, because you just you know in thatculture, you don't it just you don't you do not to ask for something at's,something not on the menu the manager got involved and clearly you know hewasn't getting what he wanted until he realized that he could just order bothand put one on top of the other, just order, Pie and ice cream and dumpon on top of the other. The outcome is the same, but you create a lot of loss,friction along the way and you equated that to doing business in China, and Ithink what I took from that is. It actually applies everywhere, where, ifyou're so focused on the outcome, you kind of forget that there might becreative ways of getting there. That may not be very obvious and there mightbe around a by way to get there, but if you're way too focused on whatdo you want to get at at the end? You sometimes you know, lose creativity, yeah doing business. Tina isinteresting, ex well anykaw and it doesn't apply. It really has beenapplying in a lot of places. For me, lately is, if you get so hard set on hey, you knowwe need to get this accomplished by the...

...end of the year and we need we need toget there. You almost lose creativity, you lose focus on how to get there andthe blinders go on and while thisthis lesson came out of the Chinese market,it applies in so many places where we have that bad think that bad behavior,having awareness that we are all have that bad behavior of en win, getstressed out about the outcome and forget how to get there has really being cognitento. Thad has reallyhelped me a recently just to think about that and Tak a stop and stop stopthinking about. You know where we need to be in a year and to figure out acreative path of getting getting there, and sometimes you just have to orderpion ice cream separately. It's amazing how we often miss theforest for the trees right and when you think about it, when you get Tothe Oothat story well yeah I mean when you get to Ento that story, but you go wellyeah, it's obvious, but even me sitting here, listening as you'retelling story,I'm thinking well, man how's, he going Ta get that done. Will it becomes likean almost well Du kind of moment like if you just slow down t there are otherways to accomplish the same goals like you said, to create less friction rightright right I mean I in my role, I would say, I'm a juior AF, the theexecutive game. By far a now there are people with much much more experiencethan me and and early on it was a bit of Eallino. There's a lot of pressure,a lot of things, a lot of divisions, a lot of apartents, a lot of products, alot of objectives and realizing that sometimes you do have to slow down andfocus on the alternative ways of getting to the end game. But you ask atdefining moment that that thing is has helped me along the way. Excellent,excellent, perfect! Thank you very much for that. So now, let's give alisteners a little bit more context around the AOPA and you role there allright. Well, AOPA, it's a bit of a diverse fighdt organization, as I wouldcall it I' on its surface. You know when youspell out the name or w say what iyil be a stance for our craft owners,Inpolt Association, the perception might be of serve a nonprofit in DC andit's actually quite the contrary. I think we have a lot more in common withthe Harley Davits, an owners group than we do with Reel Pikin my language nowyous Al Right, you know, were we're an organizationthat is a center of a lifestyle that is second Enoun with the amount of passionand excitement that our customers and just the entire community of aviatorshave about what they do damn day out no weare in the private side of aviation.So it's everything from you know guys N, galls, flying upside down and arobaticson the weekends to families, taking their private aircraft PAHAMAS andeverything in between and there's, there's a tremendous amount of passionand excitement, and that's why we and actually have a lot of background inthe in the motorcycle sideof things as well. Yeah, and I drawn that a lot aswe in a position. Our brand and look at our products is in know, first andforemost fear an a passion, lifestyle, business and second, we are and all theother stuff that we need to get done and we culearly have a strong advocacytame in to Washington DC. Our Foundation is doing incredible thingsin stem education and other things, and my team and really my responsibility,is what I call d, The culd cold, Hart capitalist. We are the organization that, as aresponsibleto over everything from our insurance, business, finance, business,legal, legal products, apparel membership, inclory media revenue,making sure that those business are healthy and growing. Okay, excellentexcellent. So today we want to talk about the decision to bring the made tobring you know, marketing internally, to reduce the reliance on agencies, andI have a feeling that that passion that passion lifestyle that you mentioned.It was a key to that. But can you kind of break down what you know what led tothat decision and why you felt it would be more advantageous for theorganization and when I started and I got the Mark Baker that leads theorganization on my boss started eight,...

...maybe no thing a year before I d, Yougot into the role and hired me an couple: ofther executives really tomove the organizations ot the next level and based on him, and I addingsome conversations. Even before I started, we were very much aligned onthe fact that the organization has a lot of opportunity to be the core lifestyle brand ofaviation, because the one thing that we're missing in this in our industry,particularly, is the like. So Parly Davidson thereis, not a manufacture ofairplanes. That is a passion Braan. So we need to be the passion brand, theplace of belonging, and when I came in, we really did nothave a strong marketing department. We had a strong media group that grew alout of the media revenue. We had a strong membership group, but then wewhat I would say, committed Frandom Act, O marketing within within the manydifferent divisions right. So the Insurance Group, the the finance group,ar our publications, really everybody was doing what really essentiallyanything they wanted, and the o only commonality- and even that sometimeswas with some modifications- was the old AOPA wings logo, somewhere involvedor IB being sort of the umbrella name of the organization. So it it wasreally really kind of torn and inconsistent both in terms ofexperience, but also in terms of a quality response rates, efffectiveness all those things. Sowhen I came in and mark- and I have had had long discussions on how to positionthe Organization for success and one of the things Awaus, we need a strong coreteam that is in here. Dan Daoud cares about the business, shares the goalswith all the business units and is a hundred percent focus on making surethat we are a lifestyle brand and what the product is is almost secondary.Clearly, the products are incredibly important. That's the that's! Therevenue driver by the leading inte the indicator of being a the only placethat a pilot thinks of when they need anything from training to things on theground, the things in the air they come to us because we are the in the end,the largest community of pilots in the world, and so you know Ou Dof, thatcoming about me, that's a big kind of shift. I mean when I think of when Ithink of AOPA and compareat, like said to Harley Owners Group, I obviously I'ma Harley Guy, I'm a member, a hog. I've got multiple motorcycles in the garagebut, as I think, through that affiliation well Welli Wa to a separatecall about the motorcycle thing now anytime. I love talking about him, butit's like wbut. I think about that, though, that my passion for that and itis, it is very much a lifestyle I mean I have the uniforms right. The customsuits for when I ce with clients- and I have all the leathers and everythingelse when I'm hanging out with you know my by friends with that association.When I go through that, I feel like I'm, connecting more to the motorcycleitself to the brand hartly, but with APA you don't have a specific product.What kind of challenges does that Creator have you seen come up as aresult of that? It's a loss of an attachment to a product which is apositive and a negative positive in a sense that we can focus on the factthat we are essentially brandignostic. We don't care if you fly assess now aserus or a carbon fiber cess, not F, O or some some German machine. It reallydoesn't matter what you fly, that we are the common denominator right or Iguess I would call it nondenominational and and that's a good thing in a badthing. The really the strong asset in that is is that if we provide a placewhere pilots no matter what they fly, can one get the right tools, resourcessupport, but just as importantly, a lot of our focus in the last couple yearshave been on having the community be a resource for itself as as long as theyspend the time with each other. On our turf, they're building a relationshipwith the OPA as a place of belonging,...

...which is why a lot of times we use thisin marketing overplay term, but in our case we live in Breellett a community first, our evants across the country are a bigmanifestation. Al Tat, there's a in our business. There's A and, I think in Iwould argue in most businesses there is a pentup demand for any lifestyle orany customer, and it doesn't matter if it's a beat to be or BTC to have apoint of connection and sharing with other users of the product, and itreally doesn't matter if it's cloud services or if it's or if it'smotorcycle it just the con. The context changes, but he, the desire of the userand the customer to have a Peer Group of support is always there becausethey're all human. We all have that inherrant need to learn from others andfind commonality yeah. I couldn't agree more, I mean th. The community aspectof any business is extremely powerful, especially when you look at all thedigitization that happens right. We've got all the social and everybody's gottheir faces in their phones, you kind of start to say a little bit of abacklash at times right people want to connect with people if you can givethem the opportunity to do that, that can be extremely powerful for thebusiness, so completly absoltely when you, when you started to look at okay,you've got this diversified. Business and an APA is a lot of things right,but you wanted to bring internal a marketing team that would be able tokind of be the central heartbeat for that lifestyle brand across all thesedivisions. What kind of skill sets did you identify that we're going to becritical, a marketing's gotten more and more complicated and diversified,especially with you know the advanted digital I'd kind of curious. When youstarted to scope out okay, we're going to bring this team internally, we wantto build this. You know internally, make sure that they understand thebrand, the passion and that kind of stuff. What kind of skill sets did thatyou know bring to bear? That's that's a good good question and what do welooked at as we were strong ot, the transaction ow? We had a strong teamhere on sort of the ECOMMERCE to that was ableto swipe the credit card so to say or swipe. The Card Ou knowget tho, send the envoice and then support the customer afterwards, we didnot have a problem there. Ur, our customer service are support. Ourengagement once we got the customer was fantastic. It's really before that thatwe were flaling, especially because all the business anets were kind of doingwhatever, whatever they wanted, and there was a lot of inconsistency and noreally forethought year out what experience were trying to provide inpursuit of the end saled, regardless of it's to a business, that's buying mediafrom us or to a consumer. That's financining, the eircraft with us band,everything in between and what we looked at is we were backing awaybacking out of that transaction, saying? Where are we not doing well and requireenough work that we can support head count? I guessI would put you know it's really that simple. So we set aside work, there waspeaks and valleys and first first and foremost looked up. Where do we needmuch stronger bench strength and supporting the organization and meetingit's leading indicators that all drive to revenue and things are likeengagement on devanse online engagement, brand web experience and all of thosethings that really require somebody? Forty fifty sixty hours a week andsometimes multiple people. Forty fifty six hours a week, things like n astrong website, presence, strong development of content at a cadencethat the consumer expects these days a production of high quality marketingmaterials from prints to online and everything in between. We had enough there that we were eitheroutsourcing or frankly, just not doing, because we didn't have enough Mutcet togo out of house or not were enough war...

...of it all to plan for it, and we lookedat okay, where the. Where do we need that bink strength higher up to it andreally try to get the best talent possible in here and frankly, that thathappened about three years ago, when Westi, when we started to build thatteam, and I would say we are barely halfway there really and barely halfway there from what Iwould call the an Al, the perfect oride o the ideal of, because one we'rechanging a massive organization and to as we get talent in house, we find moreopportunities where we could do things better, because there ware a lot ofplaces where we did not have enough knowledge, expertise and talent here,for example, from Web Development Perspective. So as we bring an expertsean that expertise actually helps us figure out where else weare failing soas much as you know, werestructured and built that team three years ago. Sincethen, we've probably made two rounds of changes, not necessarily in a in no waythey were like layoff rowns restructuring. There were more okaywered. These people need to sait who they need to work with and how thatteam is structured. We have made those Chane. We have changed that twice nowand a lot of that is with the input of the teams themselves, as those expertscome in and say, okay well, this is not working help us change it and reallybig part of my job is making sure that I support those tained changes and makesure that they get the resources and additional headcounter when they needit, and so, when you started this journey whe, you start this process t's.A pretty big change right. You go from having all these divisions outsorcingwith Al Wich Agencies. was there ou know what was the reaction internallywhen you said to reight we're bringing this in house and we're going Na, youknow we're going to do. This was the organization as a whole, supportive ofit was their pushback or confusion so and I'll be pretty bond here. Big pieceof the were halfway. There is the fact that the rest of the organization isstill learning how to work e hproper, Consistent Marketing Organization thatdoes marketing planning, thinks about strategy, thinks about in changes,watches metrics and makes on the fly changes to make sure we max Om Maximunis Rie, O everything we do a lot of the other. Fifty percent is really teachingthe organization from the ground up how to work properly in our world, thecomplexity an and as much as I did not have much fun back. Then it is much. Itwas much simpler. One, for example, I worked on things like Cuptin Simorpackaged goods rightcaurs. If you're you know whatever it is S. Johnson, theoperations of windeggs have no impact on operations of pledge in our world. That's not the case onour media companies were work with the entire aviation industry, impact the results and how our insurance andfinance companies can operate. They're all intertwine and if something happens with our advocacyteam on the hell that might impact the regulartory environment, of how ourlegal services plan, essentially an insurance product for pilots, to makesure that they have a law, particular legal protection if they screw up andall of those things are- are intereplying on any change in oneimpacts. The other. So then, on its own as an argument to make sure that theteam is integrated from morkgeting perspective. But we took a lot offreedom away from people that were used to just be able to sort of seat of thepants commit again commit commit random, axtomarketing throughout the year and teaching the rest of the organization.Where that's where we are halfway there. We have run into lots and lots offriction, lots and lots of debates, and the only thing that's making ussuccessful in this process is the fact that I have been lucky enough that Ihave full support of my boss, Co, the organization and collaboration of therest of my peers, the other six individuals that are at the charge ofthis organization, on the different divisions. To make sure that thishappens, but at the level of all of our teams having to worktogether, we are still teaching them to make sure that they realize that theyshare goals and it's not an adversarya...

...environment that that that what'shappening here is we're using experts for expert to work, expert type work. Imean it's a pretty significant transeferm transformative initiativeand it's working on multiple lells. I mean you have to change. You know theperception internally of the people that have done it for so long incertain ways, and you want to change that. But at the same time youmentioned you've actually as you've started. This you've already madechanges in the people and the teams that You'e brought in so y. u I meanyou'rebasically managing change on too pretty drastically different, butcritical tracks. That's not a easy task. I wouldn't imagine now and H, what'sactually been making it easier now, as we are, you kow, let', say two and ahalf years sircles to three years into it is then at this you know in livelast year year and a half we're starting to see strong results asan outcome of a lot of the changes and the processes and the the moreorganized and stricght discipline around marketing of the organization.You know we rebranded the organization we staffed up. The intronal marketingteam gave them a lot more power to own and run with what they need to get doneand as a result of that, and essentially every one of our productlines. It's exceeding its goals set by the organization. We are gaining marketchair on most of our competitors and essentially every category that we arein from media to inturance to finance. So that's starting to make it a lotsimpler because it's harder to argue with something that works. Withtat, a oubt withthaut a doubt,sorry that I've seen that so many times like no. I don't want to do this. No, Idon't want to do this and then six months later it starts a generateresults. You like no, I didn't say I didn't want to do it. I just said Ididn't want to do it then, like I now right now, I want to be a part of it acty and that support that you mentionedfrom the Co and the other executives that that's one of th things. I've runinto a lot with with clients that I work with you know if they want to do asales or marketing transformation. The first thing I ask is: How supported isit and I mean really supportive, because without that, it's just it's.You know you goin to spend a lot of money you're going to do a lot of turm,but you're not going to see the types of result. So it's great to hear thatyou guys have that type of organization, and it's like I said it's not easy,otherwise we would have done it in the first six months. I was here and atwould be. That would be obsolutey a lot quicker, but but it definitely would not happen atall if it wasn't for the support of my boss in my peers, excellent andagain I'm a lot of this, like I said, we', not only mbuilt the team, we fullyrebranded the organization we branded, everyone of the business units underlike aconsistent brand and all of those are starting to not you know they theydeliver. Those are long term investments and especially when itcomes to business, to business sales and and even consumer syles and a brandis squishy and it's not. It's brand is hard to measure. It's something youinvest in and, and the only way you're going to get return is, if you supportit for a long period of time and we're starting to see that bar food now andit's and it's really really exciting to see. I love the branding aspect ofthings like you talk, you know if you were to ask somebody like mentionedHarley's, but I also have for some reason. I'm sure t goes back to mychildhood. My psychiatist would love it, but I have this thing with Coca Colaversus Pepsi, and I don't know why. But I'm a coke guy, I'm a co Col guy alwayshave been always will be won't drink. Pepsie couldn't tell you why. I don'teven know Whi's about the brand and so you're dealing with it you're dealingwith changing an organization and going after a you know, a consumer and peoplethat you want in the community that have that type of emotional connectionto what you're providing that creates a crates, a nice tight rope. I think thatyou have to walk it's great, to hear that you guys Aare seeing those typesof rezones t and it's really fun to see- and I know a lot of your audience areand a business to business type organizations and e big chunk of ourrevenue and my as I called it.

Capitalist Part of the R organizationis a business to business organization, but in the end, in business to business,you're always selling to consumers right IG, every one of the people youtalk to is a consumer, and it's really cool to see where our business tobusiness customers and our the organizations in our industry andoutside of our industries industry that work with, for example, or media team,because they're, seeing all the vibrancy of US starting to walk andtalk like a community being really excited about. You know that it's notwork for us to be in aviation. We love being aviation. TAT is the coolestthing that h human can do until I can buy a rocket at Ma cawl into it and fly somewhere. So it's becoming much more of apassione excited organization about this business and about where we areand really creating this community, the brand really being a lot morevibrantand consistent, and if that trickles, even to business to businessrelationships caurs, it creates affinity with hey. You know this. Thisorganization is, is not just successful, but it's it'svisible. It's fibrande! It's something that business wants to work with ourorganization, because we come across as a place that is going somewhere. It'sprogressing, it's making impact even ultreaistically on the long term, weaveon the long term, health of the industry. So all of those things thatmight seem like they are consumer players are actually helping UStremendously, even in BTB sales, and I think, that's important to Hollinwithout a doubt, it's funny at Bto bbtoce. At the end of the day, it allcomes down to people buying from people right and especially, I mean you'veseen all the investment in CX. You know apple and design, and now everybody youknow on the consumer side, everybody talks about these awesome designedexperiences. You know, make them friction. Lisk give t uses what theywant, but those are your be tobe buyers and so we're seeing and BAUTB sales. Isee it a lot with the customers that we work with. How do you train your salesforus to understand that the way you used to talk about thi stuff doesn'tnecessarily work anymore right because they people are bringing thoseexpectations to the table and you by even calling it be to be sometimes putyourself at a disadvantage. It's really just about connecting with people atthe end of the day, exactly exactly blong before Arp, I spent a lot of timeworking with Harley Davits, an on their customer experience and dealerinfrastructure. So the brand delivers the right experience at the dealerlevel globally and even there right it was influencing businesses we didn'town. As Harley they were independent dealers right every Harle dealers andindependent. It's a business business relationship but they're delivering a acustomer experience a brand as something that is is a lot more viseralthan it is a checklist of horse bower and all the other things. Well, and Imean have you Soi, I'm sure you probably saw the the whatar. Theycalled the Hashtag Freedom Machine, they just unveiled the two thousand andeighteen moderats right and it was. It was a big deal. I mean I've spent a lotof time on facebook, but here I am scrolling to facebook to look for likeludicrous, and all these people talking about these motorcycles and I didn'treally give a crap with lugicrous or any of the guys had TSA want to see thebikes. I wanted to see him like that's what I was after and then you had theguy that plays Haqwaman. I don't know if you SIW A video, he gets hisbeautiful Red Street bub. What's the first thing he does, he goes and gets acan of black spray paint spray. Past O ithe video all right, well, Wai to gosorry totally off topic. You can tell it's a don worries. Mine. Imagine your board sets a target oftwenty percent revenue growth in eighteen months, so something will haveto change with your sales team. How do you beat your target value? Primesolutions can help, ensure your managers and reps are leveraging asales framework that focuses on value, not price, don't assume you have it allfigured out, don't wait until it's too late visit value, Prime Solutionscomand let them help. So all right, so let's talk aboutagencies, so I've talked to a lot of...

...executives that you know. I've seenthat over reliance on agencies that you talk about and I've seen a cause. Youknow ups and down positives and negatives, but one of the things that Iconsistently see is executives wanting to bring an agencies when they need aspark of innovation, not because they're not capable of doing itinternally, but because they're so inside their own forests right thatthey may not see the trees. So it's one of those things like I'm curious and itsounds like you're doing it anyway, but I'm curious how you're doing it,keeping that innovation happening so that you're constantly it's a constantstate of evolution, curious how you guys are tackling that were. Are youbringing an agencies occasionally for that little spark right? Well, and youknow, if one the answer is: Yes, we still bring in sometimes individuals,not necessarily agencies, but sometimes agencies, to help with that process.But I will say that one of the conscious decisions that we have made-and I am a huge proponent of as organizations a lot of times- have atendency to and excuse my buntans here leave the crap work for the internalpeople and give the cool work to the agents yeah. Ah We see that a lot. Wellthen, yes, you're going to get the creative puty from the outside agencybecause they get to work on the cool stuff right, and so our decision was that you knowthere's few strategic investments were making as an organization in a few whatI would go blow blue ocean spaces in aviation. There are few travel productswere developing and few other things that are in a massive, innovative funand people want to work on now. becaues, it's a isolated, big investment. What Icould do is take a budget large one probably handed to an agency and havethem build it, but then one I would have to pay the agency to teach theirpeople to be excited bout aviation. I would pay them a significant feed tobuild the built e product very likely have to paythem to launchhead and they would and the end have all the expertie about it,and I would have a team here internally that had to do all the and again excuselanguage all the crap work that had to go to the side to deliver the bigproduct. That's why a lot of times it's hard to have really good experts inside anorganization, because we forget that they want to work on cool stuff and wedon't let them right so giving internal people th the tools and the resourcesto to work on e cool stuff. It is AGENC and I've spend many years inagency. So I can say that agencies don't have monopoly on smart. Creativepeople know Wat. They sure want to tell you they do. I know they do. Ayo and hey'll tell you they do. Oh Yeah, Hey!I spent ten years trying to convince people that we had smart people yeah and hat's. Not the case I mean, ifyou can create the right environment, if you can create the right cultureinternally and you can keep that at the forefront, then yeah you can attract.You know just as accomplishe people as an agency's going to attract rightright, and you know in the end F, we usage agencies for a lot of thingsanyway. The one thing that IAM, really cagnisent of is that one thing I don'twant to use an agency for is develop ant expertise that I have to then keeppaying for for the rest of the organizations lifetime. Rather a developthat experience hereand then yes, if we have peaks and valleys work, if we need a unique pieceof expertise that we it's not worth for us to Bil built internally or it is,you know, there are some things that are difficult to keep in the house, nd,I'm all for using agencies. It's just. I think we have all seen the badbehavior of sometimes marketers and sales salesorganizations and farming things out to a point where the agency holds all thecards and all the expertiese and then in a one. It's a huge train onfinancial resourcees, the organization, but I don't think it then serves theshareholder or the owner. The Best of having all this drive be based out ofan agency who is not necessarily responsible for your sales and revenueand all the other things a lot of times, they're responsible for a lot of theleading indicators. You know engagement and eyeballs and all these things thatare important butonce. They get...

...converted the sales they're uselessright right. So when you look at at theagencies, you know kind of everything that you brought Inteurnali mean youguys have a very for anybody who hasn't any of theaudience who hasn't picked up an AOPA publication. I highly recommend it evenif you're not into aviation. The photography alone is stunning, but youguys have a very diverse publishing platform. You Got Prenty magazines andWeb, and you know the the new show that you guys do. I'm curious how you youknow. Do you have a way that you kind of guide the marketing team to look atall of the different media that they're putting out there and how you keep itconsistent? I mean, I know that, even with at seven with a large team, youstill got all these different Olets Ju Goin to curious what vision you put outthereis. Is it leading with the passion for the lifestyle or how do you tacklethat? Well, yes, so the simple answer is Yedam. Yes, the everything is tolead with the passion for the lifestyle, and one of the big changes for theorganization was surprisin. Surprise surprise was to learn to talk like ahuman right, because we're talking to peopleexcited about flying, not lawyers and realtors, and I have nothing againstlowrs and whilters, mostly yeah. I had a divorce, so I don't like wellyou's very much so in ow having the organization towalk and talk like an like a human talking with a level of passion,excitement about flying in aviation as a something that people love to dodoesn't matter an any day of the week. Hat was an important change for us, but yes, we rebrund it to a consistentbrand, but I will say that the other thing that has been an important focus for us isthat the organization historically was always focused on the existing customerbase and back to our parallel with Harly Davits,and I'm sorry that that's a echo here we have a. We have had a similarproblem to Harley wit in terms of a our customer base, was constant and aging so for media makes perspective and howwe create content. We actually do segment of how we walk and talk evenAur in our content and media and social media, because we are now reaching outto categories and segments of customers that are a little bit distinct. Youknow we have flaunched, another quote: UNCUALED show a video show.That's focused on a sort of the under forty crowd. TBAT is not going to watcha twenty five minute news news program right right, so it's the core message and the Co core stanceof those kind of things is exactly the same. It's about excitement foraviation, that's what we stand for, but how it manifests itself is reallyreally different. Depending on the segments we talk to yeah and reachingto pilots under forty or professional pilots or jet owners versus owners of the Sessa One, seventy two or lightaircraft how their connection to our business manifests itself does changeand our brand has to be flexible enough to adjust that taxcellent. Thank okay.So, let's, let's pit it just a little bit here and get a little bit more intothe detail. So when you look at, you know the capitalist side of theorganization, what's the largest challenge that your team is facingtoday, in terms of you know achieving those those revenue, growth goals ormembership growth goals well- and I think you actually just touched on itand the in the last question. A big challenge and challenge and anopportunity, as most motivations pope to Tellyo is, is a really balancing out the factthat we have to protect the relationship we have with our corecustomer, which is the three hundred three hundred fifty thousano or so existing customers that engagefor those day and dayout ar paying members or customers of someof our companies...

...and balanced that out of the fact that the new groups of customers that wehave- and it's not just a younger generation pilots, but it's sort of theunique segments within within our raviation segment. You K, ow backcountry, pilots that fly you know into the mountains, are a very differedifferent m mindset than a family with a jet flying to South America right,it's a besides the fact, tha, there's a different socioeconomicsstands. The waythey look at aviation is very, very different. We, the professional pilot,is very very different from them. Now we have a whole other category.That's drones, an unmandarial vehicles that is a completely differentCPATEGORY. Now they have an overlip but there's actually a level of animositybetween the two, because neither one of them was to share the air space. I can understand I I can underttand Tso,so they are. Each of them is a tremendous business opportunity for ustremendous opportunity to grow our community, but from challengeperspective, finding a common denominator between those COO consumers.So they can feel like they're part of a or ecosystem Aur community part of this.So when we have an event in the middle of the country that all pilots come to,that those three four five different groups or three or for five differenttypes of customers, when they sit down at the table, you kN W, what's theircommon denominator and finding those commenet nominators. So theorganization can stand for something that appeals to all our entire categoryis, is our biggest challenge and again to flip it an opportunity yeah withouta doubt, but then so then you got the be to Bsit, where you have sales guys that now have to talk. Youknow if they've been there a while- and I don't know the averageager of yoursales team, but they now talke about a lifestyle, and you mention touch on ita little bit, but I'm curious. Have you had to find ways to help themunderstand how to sell differently in order to support that lifestyleobrooach that absolutely and we actually rebelt? One of our sales organizationswas actually fully outsource and we insourced that as well S. all themarketing in you broght all this at the same time, well Ginh to be a six months apart. Co! Sorry, just cauht me: U That's a hellof Tatright so so, and that was for the on the media side, so bringing thathelped because we actually staffed that up. So we had to, we could bring inkind of the right profile individual, but that doesn't change the fact that alot of our sales, Business Development and industry facing folks are stillhaving to learn how to walk and talk one as human beings, O Talkd d talklike ones that are excited about aviation first and Didt. Let just talkabout you know like a legislative affairs kind of person and, of course understands all. Iunderstand all those new segments that is still a challenge for us big pieceof it is that as budgets always get tighter in everypart of the organization. I think everybody can probably commiserate withthat. The one thing that I've always protected and been really strong on isthat the sales team and the business of Olt men teams always have enough travelbudget. Not just go, and just budget in general do not just engage forh theirexisting customers and prospects, but to actually gage with the rest of theorganization to spend time here at their headquarters to go to flyins,where ar consumer customer as and engage with them in a sense inject them into thelifestyle. So they feel like a part of it, so they're not just selling theproduct, because the one that actually helps us to your point, educate thembetter aboute, the different segments of consumer that we represent, but Ithink it also makes them just better at being creative ecaus no product overfew products are stagnant, so they help us Taylor, for example, from mediaperspective. The product knowing Horhow our consumers, behave that ourebusiness to business. Customers ones...

...want access to right, Yeh, so givingthem a leeway to be part of the lifestyle not just spend hundredpercent of their time on hard sales is a big piece of making sure that theyreneck deep in this business. Excellent, excellent, all right! Let's,let's change therection, just a little bit here. I want to be respectful attime when we get to the end. I ask all of our guests kind of two standardquestions at the end of his interview in the first as a chief marketingofficer, a very large and global organization. That also makes youDenatdena a target for sales people, and so I'm serious we like to help ouraudience understand. You know, there's a lot of a lot of you know, debate oncocallings, debt or social selling is the answer I like to ask executiveslike yourself. What is it that gets your attention or would inspire you toengage with someone that you didn't already have a relationship with whatwould be the best way to get in front of you and talk to you aboutpotentially solving challenges? You may be facing right, so I I think theyretheyre two points I'll make care one that I cannot believe that in the ageof the Internet we I see that seems like every other day is business developmint and sales folksnot doing their homework right. AU know they'll reach out to me or reach out tome Bi somebody here at the organization and they make blatant mistakes thatcould be corrected with one Google search about understanding what ourbusiness does or what I do or what are were looking. What we need, or whatwerorganization is going that simple, five minute preparation, I, if they're blaking mistakes thatcould be corrective with one google search. I will very likely ignore thatcall, no matter what no matter, what it's selling right, because it'stelling me that that person just wants to pitch not doesn't want to understandhow that product fits my business right, the other one, and we did touch on thatearlier. As talk like a human right, if I get a pitch, that's overstuffed withbuzzwords, oh the latest and greatest buzzwords that you find a cover of Adagor some other magazine, big data and everything that flowersout of it in the end, just talk like a human,it's so easy, Welln, IFIT's funny and you're right. Imean a lot of the things that we hear when we ask this question is a lot ofus? Would say sitting back much like you know: Pieand ice cream CANB, if youthink about it, are common sense. But it's weird to me that sales, people andsome markers just have this tendency to get so wrapped up in. You know drinkingtheir own coolaid of products and features and big trends that theyforget you're, really talking to a human being right. You need to be ableto make that that connection right, but um all right. So last question: We callit our acceleration insight. If there was one thing right, it's cute Thi s Ilittl. I do have a little bit of a marketing background. I don't know ifthat's cool or not, but that's what we went with so all right. We called theacceleration insight. So if you had one piece of advice that you could give tosales marketing professional services, people that you believed would actuallyhelp them beat their targets. What would that advice be? Well, so the onethat I kind of- and maybe it's back to our friendly pine ice cream, but theone thing that I see even my team, sometimes do and I'm just as guilty ofit as in a lot of times when sales are not there or we are, we need, we aretrying to beat or exceed our goals. When it comes to revenue, we get reallyearly focused okay. What are we doing wrong in the sales bitch? What are wedoing wrong and presentation of our case or product, and I would say, closeto half the time. The problem is actually much earlier in the process.If the, if the sales are failing, half the time, it seems like we're actuallyfaeling somewhere completely different than it's actually in the sales processo we have failed six months earlier in positioning the product. We have failedin what the product actually is in the first place, or we have failed andcommunicating about our brands of the right people ore just selling it to thewrong people. In the first place, it's...

...not a wrong pitch as being pitchedthroughrong wrong individuals and an ow not being so laser focused on.If it has to be the salespitch, that's wrong and being being open to the factthat there might be other things you're failing at. If the sales are not there,there might be a lead leading indicator. Do Unfortunately, use a Buzzword,that's a better thing to address first butmay. If that might be the one as bbcagnisant of the fact that if sales are not there, you might actually befailing elsewhere on sales. So sales isn't isolated right. There's a lot ofother factors that play into the successful sale so be becognizad ofthat excellent right t and that's Anothi n W. that's another reason whysales couldn't and shouldn't be a separate organization. They need to bea they need to live within within the brand within theorganization. Within the lifestyle, e really understand a lot more than itthan the sales sheet and the data sheet of the product, and again it doesn'tmatter if it's cloud services, you're selling or airplanes or whateveranenthing, in between the sale steam being entrenched in the organizationand a lot more involved than just selling to t e the customer. It isreally important. Actually you can you can you can get by with a good pitchfor a while, but I think if the Gil people don't feel like trthey're partof the business at some point, that that that valve is going to break yeah,I'm without a Diimean, you want them, especially in Lysef, but like said itaffects everything you want them to feel like part of the company, becauseyou don't want them just selling products and features right. You wantte connecting with people in order to do that, delivering that passionthey've got to wriht on Eo the essence of it right. I couldn't ag right now:Yeah Yoro, if you're Harley, a sales guy, walked up to you in a suit her, no,not Avnin, exactly on Lifestyleno I'd, be like heyman you're in the wrong place, I'm here for MOTOCYC, not insurance,yeah right, I'm not looking at I'm looking for Life Insurance, I'm lookingfor the bike actuallythank you very much for thishas been great. If FA listener wanted to get into touch with you to talk moreabout these topics or learn more about AOPA, what would be the best way forthem to go about that? The Best Buti'll probably drop me an email that would bej. i Ri Dot Mar o? U Sk at AOPA DOTORG excellent, excellent. I can't think youenough for the time today, this has been great. I've really enjoyed theconversation same eral thanks much and have fun writing all right, everyonethat does it. For this episode, please check us out at BTB, revezeccom Shorthe episode with friends, families, coworkers and, of course, if you likewhat you hear, please leave us a review on high tunes. We do use those to craftthe content and figure out what guests you guys want to hear from again thankseverybody for the time and until next time we havevalue prime solutions, wishyou all nothing, but the greatest success you've been listening to the btobrevenue executive experience to ensure that you never miss an episodesubscribe to the show, an itunes for your favorite podcast player. Thank youso much for listening until next time.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (226)