The Hard Corps Marketing Show
Breaking the Marketing Bubble - Brian Zaslow - Hard Corps Marketing Show - Episode #262

Breaking the Marketing Bubble - Brian Zaslow - Hard Corps Marketing Show - Episode #262

December 2, 2021

So many marketers today get stuck in the marketing silo and don’t dare to venture out to see the wide world of other wonderful things that go on in their businesses. If you’re doing this, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Here to help you break out of the marketing vacuum is Brian Zaslow, a well-tenured marketer and entrepreneur. Learn five ways to avoid staying in your own bubble, how to develop lifetime customers, and even some of the joys of owning a donut franchise!

 

Busted Myths:

  • Good marketing alone will not solve your revenue and growth problems. You can’t expect success from working in a vacuum; you have to work with the rest of your business or your client’s business. 

 

Takeaways:

  • There is much more to marketing than just marketing strategy or tactics. Marketing has to work within the larger framework of a business so that the customer has a great experience and the company can be profitable.
  • It’s important to get a deep understanding of what the rest of your business does and how that integrates with marketing.
  • The best way to learn and break out from the marketing silo is to get in the field and experience your business hands-on. This helps you see how consumers interact with your product, promotional materials, and sales efforts.
  • Track your customer experience and the journey of your product. See how it both literally and figuratively touches people and learn all the steps of the process so you can know what problems and opportunities may be present.
  • When making any changes to your business, it’s critical to get advanced buy-in from your team and customers by portraying it as a win-win for every party involved. 
  • Using warmth and competence together is a great way for companies to develop someone as a lifetime customer. These should be present in every way a customer interacts with your company.
  • Marketers need to be both skilled technical marketers and practical and realistic about business. 

 

Quote of the Show:

  • “You don’t take margins to the bank, you take dollars to the bank” - Brian Zaslow
  • “Tell people what they need to know, not what they want to hear” - Brian Zaslow

 

Book Recommendation:

  • The Human Brand: How We Relate to People, Products, and Companies by Chris Malone and Susan Fiske

 

Links:

  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianzaslow/
  • Twitter: @bzaslow
  • Company website: zaslowmarketing.com

 

Ways to Tune In

Climbing the Marketing Career Cliff - Erica Seidel - Hard Corps Marketing Show - Episode #261

Climbing the Marketing Career Cliff - Erica Seidel - Hard Corps Marketing Show - Episode #261

November 25, 2021

The hiring world has changed drastically for both employers and candidates, but many companies are still trying to hire the same old way and interview with the same old questions. Recruiting industry extraordinaire, Erica Seidel, founder of The Connective Good, joins host Casey Cheshire to discuss the best questions to ask candidates and the answers that tell you they’re the right fit. Throughout this great conversation, Erica illuminates how to talk to recruiters, how to interview better, and why the company should be pitching the candidate and not vice-versa.

 

Busted Myths:

  • It is a misperception that a recruiter’s job is to help a candidate find a job. The recruiter’s job is to help their client, a company, make the right decision and find the right person.
  • For recruiters, the market has changed dramatically from a market of abundance to a market of scarcity, and the approach recruiters take should reflect that.
  • What candidates want is different from what companies are pitching them. Candidates are looking for a company with good work, a good culture, and a good team. They also want a company that values diversity, that values marketing, and won’t make them travel as much as some CEOs think they do.

 

Takeaways:

  • For candidates, remember that there is no casual meeting with a recruiter. Make sure you have a clear idea of who you are and what you want to do before meeting with a recruiter.
  • Candidates should work on developing a “From>To” story. This provides an example of how you impacted a company and helped them get from point A to point B. 
  • Every candidate wants to work somewhere with a good culture, don’t waste the recruiter’s time by telling them this. Ask instead if it is a “get it right” environment or a “get it done” environment.
  • For interviewers, it is better to have the mindset going into an interview of both parties being on the same side of the table, rather than on opposite sides which is the way it has been.
  • Marketers specifically get stuck in the Peacemaker/Changemaker Paradox. This is when a marketer is hired to be a changemaker but they are told to do it in a diplomatic way, making it feel like they are punching jello. They’re stuck between a culture focused on “taking care of survivors” and a culture focused on “advancing”.
  • Employers are often afraid of airing out their dirty laundry during interviews, but when you make your problems known in an interview, that attracts problems solvers who want to solve those problems.
  • Stop asking “why do you want to work here?”. A much better question to ask candidates is “What are the problems that you want to solve?” This gets you closer to understanding how that person ticks and what they can really bring to the table.

 

Quote of the Show:

  • “There’s no casual meeting with a recruiter” - Erica Seidel

 

Shout Outs:

  • The Rare Find: How Great Talent Stands Out Book by George Anders
  • Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success Book by Adam Grant

 

Links

  • LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/ericaseidel
  • Twitter: @erica_seidel
  • Company website: https://theconnectivegood.com/blog/
  • Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/b2b-saas-marketing-talent-podcast-get-to-know-the-get/id1495008122?i=1000462552890

 

Ways to Tune In

Properly Adopting Product-led Growth - Fred Melanson - Hard Corps Marketing Show - Episode #260

Properly Adopting Product-led Growth - Fred Melanson - Hard Corps Marketing Show - Episode #260

November 18, 2021

There is an ongoing conceptual tug-of-war occurring between the traditional Sales-led Growth and the relatively new Product-led Growth. The sides both think that there can only be one and are therefore averse to the adoption of any ideas from the other side. Guest Fred Melanson, a visionary entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Bliinx is here to tell businesses that they can have it both ways! Learn the benefits of Product-led Growth and how to adopt some of its principles to make your sales team more effective in a hybrid approach. 

 

Busted Myths:

  • The concept of Product-led Sales does not mean you don’t need a sales team. In the B2B world, it’s important, and very effective, to adopt a hybrid model that is built on Product-led Sales ideas but still uses a sales team and introduces the sales team at the right time.

 

Takeaways

  • Product-led Growth is the idea of using your product itself as the main driver of acquisitions for your business. 
  • For software companies, having a product demo is a way to use Product-led Growth without giving your product away for free. 
  • Consumers want to experience your product before they talk to a sales rep. Companies have to find the contextual clues that tell them the right time to introduce a sales rep into a particular consumer’s buying process.
  • Companies should be trying to deliver as much value to potential customers as possible, even before the sale. This helps the customer to experience and understand the value  of the product better and gets them closer to the “aha moment.”
  • Companies can deliver value to the consumer by creating content about the product, offering free versions of the product, or providing consultative sessions.
  • Part of Product-led Growth is prioritizing potential customers based on who is engaging the most with your marketing, the free version of your product, or sending you the most buying intent signals.
  • Power is shifting from the seller to the buyer and a lot of the awareness process is done online without a sales rep. The customer is in the driver’s seat and the sales rep is in the passenger seat as the co-pilot/ navigator, doing whatever they can to help the driver get where they want to go.

 

Quote of the Show:

  • “You didn’t hear about Netflix from a sales rep” - Fred Melanson

 

Links

  • LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/fred-melanson-bliinx
  • Twitter: @FredMelanson
  • Company Twitter: @BliinxApp
  • Company website: https://bliinx.com

 

Ways to Tune In

Deciphering the SEO Enigma - Kevin Roy - Hard Corps Marketing Show - Episode #259

Deciphering the SEO Enigma - Kevin Roy - Hard Corps Marketing Show - Episode #259

November 11, 2021

Many businesses struggle with understanding SEO and trying to implement the right measures to gain value from it. Don’t respond to that sketchy email telling you how bad your site’s SEO is, listen to this episode with our amazing guest, Kevin Roy, an SEO master! Learn how to properly assess your site’s SEO, understand the principles behind SEO, and what to do to get the most out of SEO and get your site to the top of the SERP!

 

Busted Myths:

  • Unsolicited frightening emails that you get about how bad your SEO rank is are complete crap. These reports, if even accurate, are only a small part of the picture. It’s more important to look at your website’s results than its SEO rank.

 

Takeaways:

  • Latent Semantic Indexing is one of the ways that Google decides the relevance of a keyword phrase. Google looks for other keywords on a website that support the keyword phrase searched for and considers it when ranking.
  • Google has two jobs, keeping a person using google and satisfying the user, which in turn keeps them using Google. This guides everything that Google does when it comes to SEO.
  • SEO ranking can be broken down into two buckets, the Technical Bucket and the Relevance Bucket. These two buckets are what Google regards when ranking websites.
  • The Technical Bucket includes a site’s speed, mobile compatibility, security, etc. These are all things that improve a user’s experience and Google rewards sites for having a better user experience by ranking them higher.
  • The Relevance Bucket is focused on the instances of the keyword phrase, keywords that support the keyword phrase, and links pertaining to the keyword phrase and its supporting keywords.
  • Some companies panic when they hear that google updates or changes its SEO algorithm every year. About 80% of these updates are just to find fake websites and auto-generated content, so companies don’t have to worry about them.
  • It is important to understand that “buying links” or trying to cheat the system using auto-generated fake content and backlinks doesn’t actually provide relevance or real results and by engaging in this you run the risk of getting caught by Google. 
  • An interesting trend to watch is how apps like Zillow, Truly, etc., not Google, are where people are actually searching for real estate. The same idea can be seen in the world of dating apps, Airbnb, Boat Trader, etc.

 

Quote of the Show:

  • “If you understand the principles behind SEO, then the methods will start to make sense, but a lot of people try to learn the methods without understanding the principles. So understanding the principle allows you to call bullshit on a lot of the methods” -Kevin Roy 

 

Links:

  • LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/kevincharlesroy
  • Twitter: @greenbananaseo
  • Ijustmetkevin.com
  • Company website: https://www.greenbananaseo.com/

 

Ways to Tune In:

Winning Sales with Process - Valerie Cobb - Hard Corps Marketing Show - Episode #258

Winning Sales with Process - Valerie Cobb - Hard Corps Marketing Show - Episode #258

November 5, 2021

The widespread idea of what sales is is broken. Salespeople today keep trying to spew the same ‘feature-benefit vomit’ at every customer hoping something sticks. Sales extraordinaire, Valerie Cobb, a Fractional Chief Sales Officer, is here to reshape how companies think about sales. Learn how to revamp your company’s sales culture, the importance of creating good sales processes, and the best mindset for approaching sales. 

 

Busted Myths:

  • Sales is a noble profession, not a sucky job on the bottom rung of the proverbial ladder. Many people fail at sales because of poor company sales culture and training. Of all salespeople, 50% shouldn’t be in sales because their personality and or interests clash with what good sales actually is.

 

Takeaways 

  • Sales as a profession should be helpful, even if the customer does not buy on that occasion. The salesperson should be genuine in trying to actually help the customer find what they need, even if this means walking them to a competitor whose offerings better fit that customer’s needs.
  • If you are doing sales well, you don’t have to ever ask to close a deal. A good sales approach should be genuine and human and never feel pushy. 
  • When training for sales, you must check your ego and preconceived notions of people at the door. Salespeople’s first instinct should be to listen to the customer instead of assuming things about the customer and giving everyone the same ‘feature-benefit vomit’.
  • To actually make strides towards success, companies have to create better sales cultures and integrate a ‘win as one team’ mentality across the revenue, finance, and operations teams of the business.
  • To create a better sales culture, everyone must be willing to check their ego, remove obstacles so sales can sell more to create more jobs, and then continually repeat the process. 
  • No matter the size of the business, clear and defined sales processes are crucial to have in place even before going and hiring a large sales force. Sales processes provide the salespeople with the right, on brand, responses to customer questions and objections.
  • Sales Processes are how salespeople learn and embody the vision and reputation of the founder, CEO, etc.
  • Unless someone wants training and asks to be trained, the training they receive will be a waste of time, effort, and resources. When training, don’t just tell people the answers, ask them questions, let them ask their own questions, and let them search within themselves and find their own answers. 

 

Quote of the Show:

  • “Sales, as a profession, should be helpful, period, even if you don’t sell them anything.”

 

Shout Outs:

  • Catherine Brown - Author of How Good Humans Sell: The Proven Path to B2B Sales Success
  • Jim Collins - Co-Author of BE 2.0 (Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0): Turning Your Business into an Enduring Great Company

 

Links

 

Ways to Tune In

Busting “Best Practices” - Brian Coles - Hard Corps Marketing Show - Episode #257

Busting “Best Practices” - Brian Coles - Hard Corps Marketing Show - Episode #257

October 14, 2021

Companies often use the term “best practice” to describe an industry standard that employees are expected to replicate. This week’s guest, Brian Coles, SMASHES this myth entirely! Industry leaders are the best at what they do because they are constantly trying new things. Testing, researching, and innovating new strategies allow you to grow past competitors who essentially follow the shadow of another. 

 

 

Takeaways:

  • Stop following other people’s “best practices”
  • Company executives can hide behind the term “best practice”. It does not apply to your own unique company just because it’s someone else’s favorite strategy.
  • When a “best practice” fails, companies don’t hold the employee or team accountable because they instead blame the originator of the “best practice”
  • It’s all about testing.Test the crap out of everything and make your own “best practice”!
  • Stories and experiences are the best form of guidance.
  • Keep an eye on competitors or similar companies in your industry for inspiration. Don’t copy their strategy, learn from it!
  • It's really not about the tool at all. It's about the people you've got around you that can make things happen. Surround yourself with the right people and communicate with those people effectively.
  • Stay true to your company’s messaging. Be consistent. Perform yearly audits of the messaging that is going out.
  • Email marketing is the best performing channel out there and has one of the lowest ROIs.
  • Marketing automation is a disruptive force.
  • Think about people in your life and what they mean to you. Remind them of how they have impacted your life and how you appreciate them.
  • Be careful what you tolerate.Your reactions, or lack thereof, teach people how to treat you.

 

 

Shout Outs:

 

 

Links

 

 

Ways to Tune In

The Consumer Behavior Crystal Ball - Shawn Schwegman - Hard Corps Marketing Show #256

The Consumer Behavior Crystal Ball - Shawn Schwegman - Hard Corps Marketing Show #256

October 7, 2021

A Data-Driven Marketing Leader, Entrepreneur, Top 10 Internet Retailer, Top 10 Mobile App, Top 40 US Website Property, Top 5 US Mobile Site, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Shawn Schwegman, dives into the search engine optimization and how to align your content to consumer behavior.

 

Busted Myths:

  • It is not about word count; it’s about the right words. In order to rank on Google, it comes down to understanding the network of content in the buyer’s journey.
  • It does not take six months to rank for search engine optimization. It takes two and half weeks if you understand the science and the network behind SEO.

 

Takeaways:

  • “The secret sauce isn’t in the data. The secret sauce is in the math that you use to write and process the data. I need to know as a marketer how I should prioritize my content roadmap. What matters in the lens of the consumer?” ~Shawn
  • “The data outside your walls matters ten times more than the data that you have inside your walls when it comes to aligning to consumer behavior.” ~Shawn
  • Create contextual relevance and a complete network of interconnected content on your site pages to help you rank higher on Google searches.
  • If consumers care about a content topic or question, so should your team. This forms a relationship with the consumer and builds trust while creating a complete SEO network on your site.
  • Career Advice: Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, focus on the data that you don’t have, and learn to manage your work life balance.

 

Links:

  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shawnschwegman/
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/sschwegman
  • DemandJump: https://www.demandjump.com

 

Ways to Tune In:

The General of Generalists - Joanie Wang - Hard Corps Marketing Show #255

The General of Generalists - Joanie Wang - Hard Corps Marketing Show #255

May 6, 2021

A Thought Leader, Collaborator, Conversationalist, Director of Marketing & Brand at Expensify, Joanie Wang, breaks the stigma behind becoming a generalist over a specialist.

 

Takeaways:

  • “My career has been cultivating different skills because of what I am interested in. Humans are very versatile. They aren’t interested in only one thing. There are so many different things that connect with each other.”
  • The more you understand how different sections of your business work the more likely you’re able to come up with interesting plans or ideas that knock out your current goal and help solve other problems others may be facing.
  • When in the process of creating an ad, look for inspiration everywhere and from everyone on your team. For example, an engineer or designer may also be a consumer and can help brainstorm ideas.
  • The key skill of the generalist is you can pick things up really quickly and deep dive into the topic whenever you need to.
  • While creating tv ads decide what content you want to put out, is video the right medium, and how you reach your audience. Meet your audience where they are.
  • “What do we want to do with this [content]? If we want people to care we have to think more deeply about what they care about and what they want to spend their time thinking about so we can figure out a way to be a part of that conversation.” ~Joanie
  • Career Advice: Do what you need to do to prepare so that you can spot opportunities of what you want to do for your career.

 

Links:

 

Shout Out:

  • 33:15 Alexis Emond

 

Busted Myths:

  • There is a misconception that being a generalist and being good at everything means you are good at nothing. A generalist specializes in something over and over again. They are able to connect the dots each step of the way.

 

Ways to Tune In:

Stewards of Brand - Jonathan Rowe - Hard Corps Marketing Show #254

Stewards of Brand - Jonathan Rowe - Hard Corps Marketing Show #254

April 29, 2021

A Marketing Thought Leader, Author, Former Professor, CMO at nCino, Jonathan Rowe, discusses best practices for building and defining your brand internally and externally.

 

Takeaways:

  • “Before and while doing marketing activities ask yourself the question: How am I going to measure the success, the value, and impact of this?” ~Jonathan
  • Once your brand and what you want to represent is defined, turn the mission and vision into your marketing activities. Reflect it throughout your company.
  • “Marketers need to be curious, ask questions, listen, and often be creative or thoughtful because there isn’t one ecret answer.” ~Jonathan
  • Career Advice: Don’t stress about what is next. Enjoy the moment.

 

Links:

 

Busted Myths:

  • Marketing is often the first funding that gets cut during a financial crisis. However, the purpose of marketing is to help and drive revenue.
  • Marketing is more than a “make things pretty” center. It is a strategic part of the organization in making decisions for all the internal and external stakeholders.
  • Marketing does not own the brand. It belongs to and is shaped by the company, employees, customers, and the community.  Marketing communicates the values of the brand.
  • Company culture branding is a tremendous opportunity in terms of defining it, sharing that authentic culture, and turning it into action.
  • Authenticity is key to keeping your audience’s trust.

 

Ways to Tune In:

The Power of Podcasts - Mark Colgan - Hard Corps Marketing Show #253

The Power of Podcasts - Mark Colgan - Hard Corps Marketing Show #253

April 22, 2021

Podcasting is one of the best ways to grow your audience, attract inbound leads, and share a message or thoughts with people around the world. Is your company creating podcasts? 

A Thought Leader, Mentor, Entrepreneur, Podcaster, Co-founder and CRO at Speak On Podcasts, Mark Colgan, chats about the world of podcasting and why businesses should be utilizing this type of content.

 

Takeaways:

  • One podcast interview can turn into evergreen content for all different platforms including your newsletter. It is all about the relevancy of the topic for your audience.
  • Podcasts are a great way to chat with other thought leaders and corner the market without leaving your home. In general, they are free and can be recorded virtually.
  • Podcasting is great for building a brand and serving a community, whereas, ads interrupt. When you have people listening to a podcast they are saying, “I am here to listen and I am here to learn.”
  • “My sales strategy is not to sell. It’s actually to build a relationship with somebody. Have a conversation with somebody that leaves them with two things: Mark knows his stuff and I would quite like to go for a beer with Mark if he was ever in my city or town.” ~Mark
  • Podcasts are one of the best ways to learn about what is happening right now. First learn the theory from books and then listen to podcasts for the tactics and what’s working right now. 
  • Career Advice: Create an ecosystem around you. Build that value network around yourself sooner.

 

Links:

 

Busted Myths:

  • There is a misconception about podcast audience size. Your ideal audience would be more niche and targeted rather than a broader audience. Think of relevancy rather than size.
  • Podcasting is a brand building activity. It is not necessarily a demand or lead generation strategy.

 

Ways to Tune In:

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