The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 3 years ago

Vince Koehler on the Power of Content Marketing


You’ve no doubt heard the phrase “content is king,” but content alone is never enough. To be a successful content marketer, especially in the B2B world, you need to be plugged in to the sales side of things, and vice versa.

Vince Kohler, VP of Marketing for SBI, sat down with us to discuss optimizing the approach to content marketing and ways to ensure it’s aiding the sales effort. SBI is a sales consulting organization and producer of top tier content, including a podcast. In fact, they created one of the first sales content blogs on the internet.

Here’s what we learned from Kohler.

We're listening to the BTB revenueexecutive experience, a podcast, dedicated elpen executives, train theirsales and marketing teams to optimize growth, whether you're looking fortechniques and strategies or tools and resources. You've come to the rightplace. Let's accelerate your growth in three to one: Welcome Eve: Yer, one tothe B tob revenue executive experience. I'm your host Chat Sanderson todaywe're talking about the power of content marketing, how to optimize yourapproach to it, ways to ensure Youra, aiding the sales effort andaccomplishing your goals to help us do this. We have with US Vince Coler, VPof marketing for SBI sales, consulting organization and also producer of topteer sales and marketing content, including the SBI podcast and videoseries. If you have not seen these yet or check them out or signed up ordownloaded the APP highly recommend, you guys do that, then. Thank you verymuch or taking a time to be on the show today, Hey appreciateet great great, tobe here so before we jump in, we like to start with a question to help ouraudience gets to know you a little bit better. If you had the ability to goback in time with all of the things H, you've learned on the wisdom you'veaccumulated until your younger marketing self one thing: What would itbe and why, if you're a be to be markeeer, get intothe sales field, go on sales calls get out there into the field and seeeverything in the sales motion happened. FIRST HAND: Ui. Think that's perfectadvice. I mean a lot of times and you know you've seen it too. I'm sure salesand marketing or never never completely aligned witer. They struggle with thator the marketing call sales. The dark side sales calls marketing the darkside. I've worked on both, so I'm not exactly sure which one is darker, butat the end of the day I think walking a mile in each other's shoes is a greatway to get an understanding of what each other's going through and what'sgoing to help each other. So let's talk marketing content. We've all heard thatcontent is king and Gary v added the next. You know: Fhor hise GIF CONTENTIS CANG context. Is God ' like to get your perspective on why you feelcontent marketing is so effective today you know when Wen done right, you'reearning brand preference and you're doing it by in a real pure way, thatt'shelpful that satisfying the information needs of your target customer s oprospect, and I mean the reason why that's so important is is you you can attract their attention,but unless you'r your understanding, what their needs are then you're justtalking at them, whereas if you're offering up content that answersquestions, they have then they're running down hill toward you. That brings up at old the joke aboutthe ball coming down H, I won't do it on the podcast. We think we've allheard that for for some reason, it just made me think of that. So when youstarted to put together SBI content strategy, you know a lot of people areproducing content. You know, there's there's a bunch of it out there thesedays, I'm curious what gaps you had identified in the market that you wereaiming to fill, so we actually were for an earlyarrival to content, and we were, we started adopting our content fretegyseven years ago. In fact you know so early we were one of thefirst sales flogs out there, and the reason why we were doing that is different. Angiation is an importantcomponent to getting noticed in the market, and wesaw content is a way to do that, and so the gap was massive, but we had to eachyear we had to keep iterating because we could be the what woul it to couldbe great. You know, seven years ago, completely changed. You know withineighteen months yeah, and so we had to keep evolving ahead ofthat, and so I would say that the biggest gap we sawwas most of the content on the sales in...

...the markeing side was provided bytechnology, vendors and a lot of was great content and they you know theywere trying to produce early stage awareness content. But whatwould happened? Is it always? You know it always led you to a trail of buyingtheir technology and there just wasn't the depth in thecontent it would. It would state the obvious and then, when we would lok atflog content, the blog would do a great job of talking about SOM. You know someneed, but then it wouldn't go deep enough. I mean even read it and if youwere a professional that had five flush years of experience, you'd read mostflog articles and go yeah, I kind of who already knew that or yeah. That waspretty obvious, but the article didn't give me anything. I didn't know andthat's what we want. That's the gap we saw is tons of this one inch. Deep, youknow, just kind of you know, is written by a junior writerthat talked to some subject matter expert and they wrote enough to get anarticle gun, but not enough to make a difference. And so we wanted to be that cuntent out there that a professional in the field they starte,they would start reading it and they would recognize man. This person thatfrektents they understthey lived in my shits. They understand. You know enough depth about thisunderstanding the problems and we would. We would actually make sure that ourcontent went way beyond the obvionse and we spent two thirds of the timetalking about. You know how you know what to look out for how to make ithappen. What to you know how to put it into action and that's how we wanted todifferente wel and so seven years ago there wasn't as much and now today doyou worry about content overload. You know it's something. Wewe're awareof and and so wwe've been content types, so, whether it's audio video fortet andmaking sure we have the right, lint and Beeng mobile and having a mobile lap.So we've we've tried to make sure that we're ahead of the market, with withhow the consumers want to actually interact with the content, and it hasbecome more difficult with crack feers because of there's so many sources outthere. But what we found is that the old you know quality content. If youcan give them fond o one of your articles, then you keep them. That'swhat were that's, what we're finding out, and so as long as we have great content, then all we have to do is have themexperience, one or two articles and they sign up for mysbi accountexcellent, and so, when you start to think about, I mean you guys have anamazing depth right. You mentioned that earlier, but it even even todayconsidering a lot of the content that I consume. SBI has a depth of content and a realness to it and authenticity to itlike Sai, because a lot of you guys have walked in thes shoes and done that I'm kind of curious how you go aboutdetermining topics for your content and ensuring that it'll resonate in thismore crowded space today and continue to keep all of those. You know eyeballsthat you've attracted over the last seven years. You know it really comes down to thediscipline of not jumping, jumping to the finish line and doing the rightlevel of fire research. So by our segmentation. This is the process of making sure weunderstand how buyers make purchase decisions and in how you win over thecompetition or how how you make sure that they choose you instead of thecompetition. When you understand that it gives you all of the tools you need... do to come up with great topics. So,for example, if you have if one of our main buyers is a co, and so we have apersona for the CEO and we know exactly, you know what their objectives are. Sowe know what Theyr Obsta are know, what their primary metrics are and in so anyof those obstacles. You can unpack any one of those and write an article aboutthat and it's going to Tom Their head, so that CEO is going to read thatarticle they're going to undertry to understand what we're what we're,recommending and they're called action. A lot oftimes is forwarded to their SALESLA for the forward it', some somewhere insidethe company and and so if we would werek developing our topics, we look atthe toner. We look at the trigger events and we look at timing of what'simportant. So, for example, right now it's Novumber twenty eight Jisil Friair sometime and in December fearly January and Sko Fales kick off comingup for most companies, and so we are currently writing articles on. You knowhow to get the most out of yourself kick off couple months ago is about how to planyourselves picked up in January February, going to be a lot of articleson on how to not let you put a lot of money into a sales kick off. How areyou woing to reinforce that? How are you going to into Mak sure your saleskick off, not a flash in the PAN. You know most most sales kickolps are flashin the Panand everyone forgets it a quarter later. So you know February. First, if there'sa article that comes out, it's titled, you know hy to make sure yourselveskick off. Wasn't a flash in the PAN that will get read and that willgenerate leads, Fars, excellent and so you've mentioned. You know, text video,all that, let's talk about kind of the current SBI stack. Can you run usthrough all the channels that you're currently using sure? So we we start at the t, the verytop of the actually consider one to one personal events in our our executivebriefing center to be at the very top of our contents? Back you maybethinking what do you mean? Why are you considering that enten? Well, we created our own set roles because weknow that looking at fires need they want as practice customize for them andso t the very top pyrmid of our o. Our content fact is an expecttive briefingcenter, where they can come in no charge as long as they pay their ownway. To get there in Dallas text, they can have personalize best practicespresented to them and have a working session to understand to solve a problem, tofigure out what their revedy growth plan can be, and- and we do that,because if we found that, if, if companies get te Nowuss, they want todo those or they tell somebody else, and so so we offer that that's at thetop of Thi fact and then from there the next higher highest engagement from acontent perfective is they get to be fart of making the CON, so they get fominto our studio at the executive, freefing center cand record a podcastrecord, a video and audio podcast, and they are the expert, and we did thatbecause our buyers told us hey we love here and from you guys, guys orconsultants. I would much rather hear from a peer salesleader talk about atopic than to have you talk about it, so we listen to that. Do we bring in alot of those leaders, Marketing Theater, EOSto e explain a year? You know a transformation. They went through theirfirst ninety days as the new Cmmo they come into the studio they participatein bring being part of the content. The next piece is where we start to roll itout and that's or our video audio and...

...text ar blong content. So we push itout in those different formats, because different persones have differentpreferences for how they want to consume the content, and so we pushthat out and each of the we pushing out V email. We fourse optimize it in andpromoted in social channels, but ultimately we try to give the each ofthe of our prospects and customers their preference for what type ofcontent they want to. They want t consume. And finally, the final piece of ourcontent is a printed magazine, and so this is something that Yeu'e frendquarterly and what we found is fires sea levels in particular they love tohave something to put in their bag to read on a flight, so they stat reading H, skymall. No that's the magazine, and so thatthat's a piece that we think forly frequency may be alittle too much so we're pulling back to two times a year and and we a that piece of the content, isprobably the most visible in the most commentent on by our fire readers. Okay, excellent and that magazine, ifanybody hasn't seen at magazine, is amazingly well done. If you haven't seen it, I sunest youguys track down a copy of that when you think about kind of thetechnology trends that we're seen to everybody's talking about Ai, forexample, right and I'm not a hundred percent sure, where it's all going toshake out other than I think we're seeing in some cases, people relying ontechnology to do their own contant curation for them for themselves. Sothey don't get that joy of discovery that I love and it's why I'm constantlyout there looking for new sources. Is that something you guys areconcerned about or something you know in terms of new technologies that youplan on leveraging, as you think about your content strategy moving forward? No, we actually love that part of welove the Darwinian aspect of Fontin Mart, and what I mean by that is isthose technologies that are out of alignment with Vire itponic and thosethat are in alignment get rewarked. So you know the water moves to the lowest point,and so you know a great example of that rightnow is is youtube, is completely ignoring the B Tob Bout and ther theiralgorithm is all set up for finding you know, jumping tigers on BTC. You know the youtube is just a completedisaster when it comes to pub and they will be punished for that someone.Some technology will come in and do it better and all B to be marketers like myself, will shift to itand and it'll happen overnight before they can stop it, and so so, actuallyhe the fluid nature of technology. W? U Love that! We just have to make sure that we'relistening. If our early indicator is our buyer, when our buyer says yeah, Istopped you know. I now listen to my. I watch my videos on like a great example.You know when I talk to CGOS now they hate our videos, because, when they'reon the treadmill they shut off, if if they, if the screen is not viewing,they can't like put it in their pocket and I'm I'm sitting there thinking wow,you know that's a use case. Youtube is not even thinking about someone elsewill and that someone else was USK. We created our phone APP where you can runthe video without having to look at it same time and someone else will comeout with a better youtube: that's failored forward, feeto, B and so and a d. what's the biggestchallenge you guys face from from a content marketing perspective kind oftoday I mean it sounds like you're keeping your pulse on, that you knowthe shifting technology trends and all...

...of that, what's the biggest challengethat you guys are wrestling with today. You know the same challenge: Wev facedthe last seven years, and that is when do you give up on something thatdoesn't seem to be gaining traction? So if you're trying something new, youknow, do you wait so great example: podcasts we got in early to podfast andstarted doing them, and you know it was more effort than it was rewarm and you know we'v. We almost gave up on itand we just knew. We just knew that it was a good fet andto keep doing it and then just out of the bloe completely out of anything wethought would ever happen. The iphone started to put the mypodcast cap on the phone, the IPON right out of the factory and thepodcast views. Just borew up just went crazy, and so you know the the biggest challenge isalways for us is when you're in early. So, for example, Fren really earlyright now for not really high quality long firm form, video. We have thirtyminute videos of sales leaders, marketing leaders cos talking aboutmajor problems and and our viewership on our videos is, you know, onred ndFiftiet of our audio podcasts, and so you know Du. Is it worth producing thevideos when you have so much more adoption by Audioo, or is that videogoing to pit them and that's the biggest on and so h? So how do youtrack and attribute Ri across the content marketing strategy? You know tofeed hat that type of decision. Like I mean you guys stuck with podcast andthen, if the bet paid off and Youan I've talked before, we both thinkvideois going to be, I mean, there's a lot left, there's a lot of landscapeleft on the video side. But how do you track each of those channels toattribute are alive? You know you have to you, have to haveenough of the marketing engine producing a strong Rli to put down somebets that are Geti going to pay off atter. So so I think you know noteverything's going to produce in Ourli, but the I think the key thing is isthere's there's two views that you want to capture the first one is: Is thisbasic table SFAKES and that's your your marketing contribution and that'spracking from the content? How many source leads? Do we have or influenceleaves that are coming into the funnel of the top wit Ger influencingthroughout the polme and and track those as they go into thefunnel and make sure you're aligned with sales to where they agree that hehad that did come from marketing and it quantifies e the impact of marketingand tells you exactly what's happened? He, the deeper level of understandingyou want to get into content marketing is to make the make the investment inrevenue attribution ind. This is where you can trace each dollar of revenue,fack to the original marketing or sales activity that source the Opportuniy,and in that way you can have a view of all sales and marketing activities thathelped influence of revenue booking and those two together give you. The themarketing countrybe contribution gives you the what what's happening. That'sbasically IIL fiks. The the advance view that you want is the revenueattribution model that gives you the? Why? Because that tells you where toinvest more and it gives the business a lot of confidence double their back andthat Wul in some cases. I would assume the ability to do that requires woulddepend on the text tack behind all of it, the ease with which you can do that. That's correct. In fact, you have toAttito step process, you'd have to put the marketing contribution in place andthe really really good at having a crm...

...where you're, tracking your your newopportunities and you're able to to Ou know source it back to marketing andtrack that all the way through and then the attribution you've got to be ableto every every marketing element every sales activity. You have to be able tosomehow track that back. Okay, Excellent Yeah! I mean it's ait's an it's an amazingly interesting and constantly evolving field in termsof the text acx. Behind all of this that make the attribution possible I'veseen multiple configurations, and I know last time we talked to Askd forthe audience. So you know this is the second time. Thank you. Scape we've hadto do this interview because the the audio quality wasn't what we wanted. So,on the other one which you won't hear Vince and I went into detail about thetext tack and, as I thought about it, more I've seen so many different typesof combinations, and I think it's more important to really understand kind ofwhat your outcome needs to be, rather than the tools that you, you knowparticularly find work for you and that revenue attribution issomething I think a lot of marketing people struggle with or get questioned on soappreciate those those insights. So, let's Change Direction here, a littlebit. I ask all of our guess kind of two standard questions towards the end ofeach interview as a VP of marketing. That makes you in sales parlands atarget ore, a potential prospect for people that are out there and I'mcurious when somebody that you don't know reaches out to you to say that they have some solution,that you should be paying attention to what captures your attention and buildstheir credibility. I do think about that a lot because thein my case I am a marketer of of sales and marketing consulting service, andso every time I mark it, I'm demoing mypric, and so I think about this lot and and so we run a SDR and ANLDR program.So we have, we have sellers out there nurturing people. We have to make surethe ten nurturing is comp not for them to even pay attention to US help themmore on that side of their Bisi. So what gets my attention is when it'sobviousnher? It's not a Wonde mini message when it's obvious it Wussomehow taler for me, but not in a fake way. I got I get. You know twenty malsa day that ar like they look customized and then, when they refer to my cut mycompany name, it refers to LLC at the end of it and you knowmelife it's coming out of a database, but you know just when they, when they filer their message and Nou, but agreat a great example: LR Fnestiar from eside sales, and hehad the best message I startd talking to him and he truly understood heunderstood who we sold to who we would try to target. He just didhis homework and I don't I mean it- couldn't have taken him more than fiveten minutes, but he just he was a thinking human that thev applied. Youknow sme some form of intelligence that I felt I cen spend some time with themand and it might actually Benefim, and so it's just e. He customization andcaring enough to you know really be relevant excellent.So last question: We call it our acceleration insife there's one thingyou could tell sales or marketing professional based on your experienceand wisdom. If there's one piece advice, you could give them today that if theyembraced it and internalized, it would make them better tomorrow. What wouldit be and why sales and marketing together need toembrace ABM- and that's been- that's been the buzz wordfor the last eighteen months, dbm, but...'s been driven by the like, but really it's not about. I mean thetechnology is important to have and it needs to be in place. But but the mostimportant aspect is sales and MARKETG comluters, sitting down figuring outhow to replace Leeds opportunie because of the foodplay work together, becausethe sales leader he just wants marketing to give him to give them new logo leads that theirsales force wouldn't have got without them and that's important, I knowthat's a part of it, but the lower hanging thruit is cross, so upsellwithin major accounts were marketing through content through one to oneevents through you know, truth customer success, Partpin and you you can harvest a lot more from thecustomer base and Itso sales and Margetin need to work together on thosecore accounts. Thos key accounts and and have have a larger portion of themarketing spen fi against helpingselves full in the largest whitepace. They can Elin abms it's one of those. You know it's one of those buzzwords and trends, hat that in order to be effective from what I've seen is.Sales and marketing are not coordinating, and I don't understand you know what each other is doing, thatyou have a tendency. What I've seen his clients end up, sending mixed messagesinto an account right: they're, not consistently representing the brand thesame way they're not going after the same personas or they're, notinteracting with those personas in the same way, and it has a tendency, if notcoordinated, to create this mixed message. Who is it I'm reallytrying to talk to what kind of company am I you know working with here andcreate some some serious challenges? I've seen sales reps especially have tokind of back petal because they weren't aware of something that marketing wasdoing theor way, that they were phrasing something, and so I think thatalignment is is extremely critical, excellent, so vince. This has beengreat if a listener wants to talk to you more about the topics we've touchedon today. What's the best way to get in touch with you, the best way to get in touch with mereally is to go o good, O our website sales bench mark indenkm and from thereany of the any of the contact dust forms will lead you back to me and Ithink that's the best way to get a taste for from the content an help youwith yheir business well as different some of its. I can't think you enoughfor taking the time today's been great having you on the show. I appreciate it now. It's been fun allright, everyone that does it for this episode, please check us out of btobrevizaccom share the episode with friends, families and Co. Workers dropUS review on itunes. Let us know what you think, so we can continue toprovide you value with each episode and until next time we avevalue primesolutions with you 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 in Itunes for your favorite podcast player. Thank youso much for listening until next time.

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