1300% ROI using industrial Account-Based Marketing strategies? Yes! In this eye-opening podcast, expert Thad Kahlow shares invaluable insights and real success stories.
Explore the power of targeted marketing in the manufacturing world, the secrets to engaging potential clients digitally, and hear how 1300% was achieved through an ABM campaign.
Join us in this journey to transform your marketing game and drive growth. Hit play now!
Watch the Podcast Interview on Account-Based Marketing Strategies:
Want more niche marketing insights on Industrial Product Marketing?
This episode is Part 3 in a multi-part series on Industrial Product Marketing.
To continue learning on this niche, visit:
• Part 1: The ULTIMATE Overview to Marketing Industrial Products | Industrial Product Marketing with Kelly Olson
• Part 2: Content Marketing Strategy for Boring Industries | Industrial Product Marketing with Ross Simmonds
• Part 4: B2B Content Marketing and LinkedIn Advertising | Industrial Product Marketing with Jim Londeree
• Part 5: Organic SEO and Paid Search in Industrial Marketing Mastery | Industrial Product Marketing with Justin Smith
A Few Highlights on Industrial Product Industry and Account-Based Marketing and Experience:
- 00:00 – Changing Landscape of Industrial Product Marketing: The industrial product marketing landscape is evolving rapidly due to factors like digital transformation, IoT integration, and shifting buyer behaviors.
- 02:12 – Shift Towards Account-Based Marketing (ABM): Manufacturers are transitioning from traditional sales-focused approaches to account-based marketing (ABM) and customer-centric strategies. They are recognizing the need to adapt to changing buyer preferences.
- 04:20 – Importance of Customer Experience: Buyers, including millennials purchasing multi-million dollar equipment, prefer self-service options before engaging with salespeople. A superior customer experience is becoming vital, starting with upper funnel engagement tactics.
- 07:32 – ABM Approach: The approach to ABM varies based on what is being sold. For higher value products, targeting a few key functions within an organization is more effective, while complex products require a more extensive, verticalized approach.
- 09:15 – Diversifying Content: Beyond traditional content like blog posts and whitepapers, there’s an increasing focus on unique content types tailored to engage specific industries, addressing unique needs.
- 11:00 – Chat-Based AI’s Role in Personalization: Chat-based AI, like Chat GPT, plays a significant role in personalizing the buyer’s journey. It enables customized, timely, and accurate responses to buyer inquiries, enhancing the buyer experience.
- 13:30 – Impact of Chat-Based and AI-Derived Content: Chat-based AI revolutionizes marketing by offering personalized, intent-driven content, improving the velocity of the buyer’s journey. The smarter the buyer, the better the relationship and value delivered.
- 15:45 – Importance of Blogging and SEO: Blogging and SEO remain crucial for top-of-funnel engagement, ensuring manufacturers appear in search results early in the buyer’s journey. These strategies provide educational content.
- 18:00 – Leveraging Chat-Based AI for Content Strategy: Chat-based AI helps identify relevant topics and content preferences based on buyer intent, informing content strategy effectively.
- 19:30 – Brand Transformation through Content: Content is not just about tactical material; it’s about crafting a unique customer experience, which contributes to brand transformation. Brands should focus on what customers think when they think of them.
- 21:00 – Customer-Centered Branding: Modern branding is about understanding customers and delivering value to them, shifting from merely promoting products to being customer-centered.
- 24:45 – ABM and Customer Success Integration: Integrating customer success representatives into ABM strategies can be highly successful, emphasizing customer needs and value delivered.
- 26:18 – Successful Campaign with Customer-Led Approach: A customer-led approach can result in remarkable ROI. The example of a 1300% ROI campaign illustrates the effectiveness of customer-centric marketing.
- 27:50 – Paid Media Distribution: Paid media channels for industrial product marketing include programmatic advertising, paid search, and LinkedIn. Understanding intent and targeting the right accounts is crucial.
- 29:45 – Intent-Based Marketing: ABM platforms like Sixth Sense provide insights into buyer intent, allowing marketers to target specific individuals who are actively seeking relevant solutions.
- 31:20 – Opportunity in Earned Media and Social: Leveraging social media for earned media can help build communities and engage with digitally-savvy buyers, especially in the absence of traditional trade shows and events.
- 34:00 – Missed Opportunity in Demonstrating Marketing’s Impact: Industrial product marketers often miss the opportunity to demonstrate marketing’s influence on pipeline, revenue, and retention. There’s a need for irrefutable evidence of marketing’s role in driving growth.
- 36:20 – Three C’s of Marketing: The three essential elements in marketing are clarity (understanding customers), confidence (proving marketing’s impact on revenue), and consistency (delivering efficiency while driving growth).
These insights highlight the transformative shifts in industrial product marketing, emphasizing the importance of customer-centricity, personalization, and the role of technology like AI in shaping the future of the industry.
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• Unlock the power of Industrial Account-Based Marketing to drive 1300% ROI and transform your business. 💼
• In the digital age, manufacturers must shift from being product-centric to customer-centered to thrive. 🔄
• Discover the three crucial C’s for successful marketing in manufacturing: Clarity, Confidence, and Consistency. 🎯
• Want to boost growth and retention? Engage your buyers digitally before they even talk to a salesperson. 📊
• Explore the untapped potential of B2B marketing on platforms like TikTok for a smarter, savvier audience. 📱
About Host John Bertino and TAG:
A decade spent working for marketing agencies was more than enough to know that there are too many bad agencies and not enough objective marketers within them. John launched TAG in 2014 with the mission to provide brands unbiased guidance from seasoned marketing professionals at little or no cost.
TAG advises brands on marketing channel selection, resource allocation, and agency selection to ensure brands invest in the right marketing strategies, with the right expectations, and (ultimately) with the right partners.
TAG represents 200+ well-vetted agencies and consultants across the United States and Europe.
John’s professional background and areas of expertise include: Marketing Planning, Earned Media, SEO, Content Marketing, Link Acquisition, Digital PR, Thought Leadership, and B2B Lead Generation.
About Guest Expert: Thad Kahlow
Thad Kahlow is the CEO of BOL and is considered an authority in B2B marketing. His visionary leadership style has helped propel the company into the online marketing spotlight, making BOL one of the nation’s leading B2B digital marketing agencies. His philosophy fosters a focus on the alignment of business goals and user needs so that clients can make business decisions guided by data that truly matters. Thad Kahlow is a digital marketing expert, with more than 20 years of experience, who maintains fresh and forward-thinking insights into winning strategies that skillfully align business goals and solutions.
Thad has presented at over 60 industry and executive conferences including keynotes at the MAPI conference, Online Marketing Summit Keynote, EMACS, e-Marketing association (eMA), as well as speaking at DMA national, BMA National, Content Marketing World, HTMA, AMT, SEMPO and many others. He is often published in leading B2B marketing trade and business publications. Thad’s leadership at BOL has helped gain industry recognition and accolades such as BMA Agency of the Year, BMA Award of Excellence, Fortune’s “10 Great Workplaces in Advertising and Marketing,” Ad Age’s “Best Place to Work” and others.
For businesses aspiring to foster sustainable growth, BOL agency offers an array of potent B2B marketing services. The essence of successful marketing lies in a straightforward principle: understanding your customer’s requirements and addressing them comprehensively throughout their buyer’s journey. By accomplishing this, you can draw in top-tier leads, accelerate pipeline progression, and make a direct impact on revenue generation. The real obstacle is devising a means to deliver these personalized experiences to a broad customer base efficiently. This is precisely where BOL Agency steps in, bridging the gap and ensuring businesses achieve their marketing objectives at scale.
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Transcripts of Use Account-Based Marketing or FAIL! with Thad Kahlow
Note: This transcript has been provided to assist you in finding extra information specific to your needs and goals. We have not edited it line by line for grammar, spelling, punctuation, or spacing. Please forgive errors.
Thad Kahlow , CEO of BOL Agency, discusses B2B marketing challenges and buyer understanding, including account-based marketing, personalized content, and storytelling.
- 0:00:01 The Importance of Account-Based Marketing for Industrial Products
- 0:00:34 Mastering Marketing Strategies for Industrial Products
- 0:02:04 Introducing Thad Kahlow from BOL Agency in San Diego
- 0:06:02 Understanding the Different Buyers in B2B Industrial Manufacturing
- 0:10:44 The Power of Account-Based Marketing in Industrial Manufacturing
- 0:14:11 ABM Approach: Targeting Multiple Departments or Hyper-Targeted Messaging?
- 0:16:06 The Power of Chat-Based AI in Personalizing the Buyer’s Journey
- 0:18:28 Exploring the Impact of Chat-Based and AI-Derived Content
- 0:19:50 Importance of Blogging and SEO in Buyer Journey
- 0:22:02 Using Content to Affect the Customer’s Experience
- 0:24:28 ABM and the Shift in Customer Expectations
- 0:26:11 Successful Campaign with Customer-Led Approach: 1300% ROI
- 0:29:13 Targeting the right customers for effective marketing strategies
- 0:32:44 The importance of clarity, conﬁdence, and consistency in marketing
- 0:37:05 Conclusion and Contact Information
Thad Kahlow , CEO, founder, BOL Agency, industrial B2B marketing, understanding buyers, account- based marketing (ABM), personalized content, buyer’s journey, success stories, storytelling, paid media, earned media, building communities on social platforms, customer-centric marketing, consistency, driving growth, BOL Agency assistance
The Importance of Account-Based Marketing for Industrial Products
[0:01] Stop what you’re doing, do not even attempt another account-based marketing campaign without ﬁrst listening to my next guest, especially if you’re selling an industrial product.
Thad Kahlow is the CEO and founder of BOL Agency in San Diego, I love San Diego.
They’re an award-winning omni-channel B2B focused agency with 25 years of experience and a deep repertoire of experience speciﬁcally with account-based marketing, or as Thad calls with ABX, account- based experience, mm-hmm.
Mastering Marketing Strategies for Industrial Products
[0:34] Additionally, if you’re selling industrial products trying to compete on price, you’re about to get schooled, schooled, schooled.
[0:41] Fads are going to drop some serious knowledge bombs talking about marketing both horizontally and vertically throughout an organization, educating procurement on total cost of ownership versus merely total cost, duh, and how pulling your prospects’ customer success personnel into that next pitch just might be the key to winning that next bid.
And oh yeah, he has some really interesting ideas about the new age of younger procurement personnel and how they ain’t buying the shit they used to.
Guys, ditch the silly SEO blog strategy and start thinking more about account-based experience like Thad Kahlow.
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Don’t be shy, smash the like button, hit subscribe, and get ready for more great niche industry marketing content, like this killer episode with Thad Kahlow.
Introducing Thad Kahlow from BOL Agency in San Diego
[2:04] All right, and we’re back with another segment of the Niche Marketing Podcast. Today, I’m super excited to have Thad Kahlow from BOL Agency in San Diego.
Thad, thanks for being here. Great to be here, John. Fantastic.
Now, one of the many reasons we wanted to have you on the show was because of your deep experience in the industrial and manufacturing space or spaces.
[2:28] BOL Agency has worked a lot in those verticals. Before we really get into some of the nuances, Could you talk a little bit about yourself, your professional experience in the space, and then BOL as well? On my favorite topic, myself, right? For everyone.
That’s what Dale Carnegie said, right? Exactly, exactly. No, so we, you know, Business Online, which was our former name, now we go to the BOL agency, has been working in the digital marketing and performance world for over 25 years now. And an eternity.
Yeah, don’t call me old, John. Come on. I just did. I’m sorry about that, Thad.
I’m not too far behind you. And we focus on growth, bid market and enterprise clients and have a real strong niche in the industrial manufacturing space, having worked with over a hundred manufacturers over the years.
And they have unique challenges and problems these days. But I think, you know, through the lens of our world, we see it through the lens of brand demand and ABM.
And that’s how we’re gonna help to host this conversation today and share some of the insights and tips that we have.
And you’re not getting off that easy. Are you from the San Diego area originally?
I’m an East coaster by trade. So right outside the Washington DC area in Northern Virginia, okay, Redskins fans, you know, I just despite my brother my older brother I want Dallas. Oh, wow.
[3:38] Okay, NFC East showdown. That’s right hardcore Eagles. It’s a big.
It’s a big rivalry. That’s right Okay, and you open be a well you said 25 years ago almost 25 years ago. Yep.
I actually started it with my my dad He’s been a software development for 40 years before that and we were ecommerce in the cloud for about ﬁve years and we rode the boom to the bust and pivoted in professional services.
I’ve been doing the B2B performance agency ever since. Yeah, and did you start it in San Diego or move it to San Diego? You did start it in San Diego.
Not a bad place to launch and land a business. Yeah. And how about BOL these days? How big’s the agency? Yeah, we’re just under 70 folks right now.
That’s a great size. Yeah, no, it’s been great. Like, I feel incredibly fortunate about where we are today and where we’re going.
And, you know, we’ve had our ups and downs like every organization in the world, and it’s a good time right now to be in the B2B space speciﬁcally, and in the world of performance and in media and technology.
Hmm, agreed. Lots of exciting things happening. Well, again, we’re super excited to have you.
I was telling you when we were in the green room there, when you ﬁrst got here that, you know, for the many years I lived in San Diego, your reputation always preceded you as a fantastic owner, operator, and agency.
So again, super excited to have you contribute some content for us. Thanks for the kind words, John. Sure thing, all true.
[4:55] So let’s see here. Let’s start as I typically like to with mapping out the key players in the space a little bit and with that clearing up any terminology or jargon which might be confusing to someone that’s fairly new to the space.
We know that a lot of our listeners are going to be marketers, but marketers that might not necessarily understand the nuances of the space or are just trying to better understand it.
So let’s start with how something’s sourced, right? I mean, your clients are often these manufacturers who want to sell into these OEMs, which we should deﬁne.
[5:26] Let’s talk about some of of the trials, tribulations, and again, players in the space that they need to go through and ultimately sell to or market to.
Yeah, I think one of the if you think about from a macro view from 30,000 foot view, one of the largest challenges is especially for industrial manufacturers in the way you just described it, john, is they have to sell to an entire buying committee, right?
So if you come to the B2C world, you’re trying to, you know, get a transaction done, you’re selling a pair of shoes online, you’ve got one person who’s making that decision, right? Or car, maybe it’s two, it’s, you know, husband in life.
And then my case, it’s my wife making that decision.
Understanding the Different Buyers in B2B Industrial Manufacturing
[6:02] And so, but in the B2B world, speciﬁcally in industrial manufacturing, you have a multitude of buyers who have different needs in terms of how they serve the business, right?
Let’s just start with procurement. That’s the gatekeeper. They’re the folks who are wanting to know that they’re getting the best price at the best product, the most value.
And so they’re going to beat you down, but they have a different set of needs than the owner of the product, right?
Or whoever is using that particular product within, you know, whatever they’re, they’re assembling or manufacturing, right?
You have executives who are constantly focused on delivering more for less, right?
I mean, you think about the economic environment we’re in, they have a speciﬁc set of needs around how they’re trying to grow the organization, but doing it in a cost effective manner to, to drive revenue. And then you have, you know, other inﬂuencers that are a part of the buying journey that you have to get to know and understand, depending upon the industry, um, they’re going to have a real say in why they’re going to choose one manufacturer over another, if that’s helpful.
And this OEM term, could you help deﬁne that for our listeners? Original Equipment Manufacturer.
So it’s where the product essentially is sourced and assembled.
And in the manufacturing world, there’s lots of OEMs, and there’s a high level of complication around how these OEMs operate and what they need in order to be successful.
And that’s why it’s it’s such a large opportunity for folks who are selling into the OEM space.
[7:28] Okay, very good. And then I think procurement probably stands to, or warrants some additional conversation.
[7:36] You had mentioned, of course, procurement’s primary function is to buy things and to buy the right things at the right cost, but they have other types of objectives as well, right?
So what are some of the other concerns that procurement might have or other ways to kind of get the intention of procurement without strictly competing on price.
Yeah, it’s a tough situation, right? because you have.
[8:00] Many organizations that are very aggressive from a procurement perspective, the bigger they are, right, the more aggressive procurement typically is in the buying process, right?
And for folks who sell in through procurement like we do as an agency, it’s not easy. I mean, we’ve worked in environments where it’s a reverse e-auction.
Like, you’ve been a ﬁnalist, they’re gonna work with one of three companies and it’s the one who bids down the lowest for price per unit, right?
That’s a crazy thought. I mean, you literally are, you know, reducing your price.
But the point you just made, John, that’s that’s not necessarily a viable business at all times, right. So understanding, you know, a number of the facets that are important to them, one being price, the other one, I think, which typically gets overlooked is value, right?
If you can help procurement to understand, at the end of the day, that, you know, total cost of ownership, right?
It’s not just necessarily around price, you can get into a value conversation with procurement. And you typically need to bring in another function within the organization to help articulate that story.
So, you know, they’re, they’re looking for multiple multitude of things are also looking from a legality perspective, you know, are you going to meet the regulations of the industry, or the particular vertical that you’re serving?
And so understanding those facets, right, I think is super important to getting their attention in the buying process.
[9:16] Can you think of a few instances where you were helping a client a manufacturer of an end good sell into an OEM or another client and you ultimately were trying to appeal to procurement but not simply make it about price.
Can you talk about maybe some of the speciﬁc challenges that buyer had or ways you were able to convey value to them? Yeah, and I think it’s important to understand that in this process, Procurement is typically not going to be reacting to marketing
[9:48] Function, if you will, right? Someone is the end user of that product, or an executive who’s thinking about sourcing a particular manufacturer is going to most likely be the front of the line, right? The one who’s going to bring you in and begin the conversation and understand, you know, what value you can deliver to the organization.
So what we think about there, then is like an opportunity to begin to tell the story of why your product or service is going to deliver greater value than your competition, right?
So you have to think about in terms of when procurement gets involved and then how you can actually bring them in, right? So you can actually leverage, and I’m going to go back to marketing right now, because that’s where I live and that’s where we sit.
[10:30] You can bring them into understanding that through, you know, advertising and through content and through experiences as a almost like a secondary buyer as you’re, you know, moving your sales process through the buying journey. Okay, very good.
The Power of Account-Based Marketing in Industrial Manufacturing
[10:44] And then ABM, it’s the hot topic in the space.
And for good reason, because it’s very viable, if not the ideal approach to selling into an organization, could you start by kind of deﬁning ABM and why it’s why it is such a viable tactic in the space?
Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s the hottest topic right now, right? We call it account-based marketing or ABX, which people will call account-based experience, right?
[11:14] And so if you think about it and you break it down, there’s a couple of core components that are important to understand, as opposed to just jumping into some tactics within ABM.
First and foremost is, it’s about building a more personalized buyer’s journey, right? Like at the end of the day, we all are growing up on our Apple devices and have an experience with Amazon. And we have that expectation digitally.
And speciﬁcally for manufacturers, right, and industrial manufacturers, we’re not necessarily living up to that expectation, right?
So ABM, if you think about it, is ﬁrst and foremost, is understanding the needs of your buyers so you can deliver a better buying experience, ﬁrst of all. Second of all, then it’s about personalization.
How do you do that, right?
Where do you engage them? How do you engage them? What content? What utility, right? You can give information to a particular brand.
[12:02] They can, you know, soak that information in like, let’s just say like a calculator and punch something back out to tell you about the total cost of ownership or the value that is going to be delivered if you work with that particular brand.
So if you think about it from those terms, it’s not so new or different, right? It’s about personalization and it’s about building a better buyer’s experience.
And I would say the last thing to think about at the highest level from an ABM perspective is understanding who your best customers are. Now, this is where it gets interesting in my opinion. Having worked with hundreds of manufacturers and industrial manufacturers in our space, and especially with those who have larger ticket items, right? You’re buying something that costs $250,000 to $25 million, right?
Bigger buying journeys, more people involved, more budgets, more complexity.
[12:49] What we’re seeing is a lot of these folks are really challenged with doing something new like account-based marketing because sales have been the railmakers in these organizations for so long, so full stop, right?
A lot of these organizations, every dollar has been attached to folks in the sales seat, right? And that creates a certain dynamic, right?
A certain environment and culture with which that drives decisions.
Where these folks are really struggling, when I say these folks, manufacturers are really struggling, is to uncouple them, decouple themselves from that and get out of this world of just sales, right?
And the relationships those salespeople have, because that’s where they’re gonna wanna go. That’s their equity, right? That’s what they bring to the table.
But as we see these buyers growing, right, in terms of who they are, right, a lot more millennials are buying multi-million dollar pieces of equipment, how they want to buy, right?
They don’t want to talk to a salesperson. They don’t want to talk to a salesperson to start. Eventually they do, right?
And they want the right information at the right time in the right way.
But most of the buyers today, especially in complex buying journeys, want to self-serve ﬁrst before they talk to anyone, right?
So now this changes everything. And what becomes more important is the lens of marketing and building a better customer experience, right?
And that starts with, you know, what we would call upper funnel tactics around engagement with these particular buyers. And that, in my opinion, is why account-based marketing or account-based experience is so important today.
ABM Approach: Targeting Multiple Departments or Hyper- Targeted Messaging?
[14:11] My understanding of the way, the optimal way in which you want to approach ABM is by targeting numerous different departments within an organization, almost kind of surround the buyers. But I don’t, I don’t know if that’s fully accurate. Could you speak to that a little bit?
I mean, is that central to the ABM philosophy that you’re trying to hit these various departments all at once?
Or do you see it much more about just a small list of accounts to what you’re doing hyper targeted messaging?
I mean, it depends on what you’re selling, right? And it depends on the buyer group, if you will, around the products and service that you’re actually trying to sell into. So let’s think about it like this.
If you’re selling a product that has an average order value, let’s say of $100,000, you probably only have a few functions within the organization that you need to hit, maybe one or two, maybe a third as an inﬂuencer.
And you should do that from start to ﬁnish, right? And it’s a different message, it’s a different value proposition, it’s a different way to engage, right?
If you’re selling, like we do for Honeywell, multi-million dollar pieces of equipment, the number of functions within the organization grow in complexity, right?
And also you’re thinking about it from a verticalization perspective too.
So now you have two, a horizontal and a vertical approach that you need to map out in terms of building a customer experience that is unique and differentiated and delivers on their needs throughout that. So that complexity creates a challenge for most marketers.
[15:35] And then in terms of the actual content that you’re gonna create, I know it’s all over the map, but I think immediately a lot of people think of like, you know, blog posts, a written resource center, and maybe a white paper.
So kind of like written, written, written, and oh yeah, we’ve got video these days. Could you help us broaden that lens a little bit?
And ideally, if you can think of, we don’t need a client’s name, but maybe an industry vertical you were in, what they were selling, and how you use more unique types of content to execute the strategy?
The Power of Chat-Based AI in Personalizing the Buyer’s Journey
[16:06] Yeah, you know what’s really interesting, and this is gonna sound super tactical right now, but it’s a hot topic, right? And that’s chat-based AI, right?
Like, let’s think about it. Chat GPT is huge right now, right?
Microsoft wants to invest, and has invested billions of dollars just to be a part of that journey, right? That’s kind of mind-blowing to think about for one second, or an organization that large saying this is gonna be the future of our business, right?
But let’s just break that down for a second. The reason I think something like that is so interesting is because it can create this really personal dialogue that is so necessary in a buyer’s journey when we are selling complex products and services to our buyers, right?
And so if you can deliver to them answers.
[16:50] Speciﬁc answers that are pinpoint accurate as it relates to their need, think about it, it changes everything.
Because that blog post is static, right? That blog post is written by someone who probably has a strong point of view, who has lived a world and experience that’s different than maybe the buyers that are buying from them.
And while it’s necessary and valuable and we blog for ourselves and our clients, of course, that’s important in other forms of content. We’ll talk about that in a minute.
But let’s just think about this chat-based AI.
[17:19] It changes everything because now you can give an experience that is unique, that is based on intent, and that is timely.
And if you think about just that experience alone as one example, it changes everything.
It changes the velocity of the buyer’s journey because you’re giving them the answers that they’re looking for. Super custom. Yeah, and the better the answer, the better the next question. That’s what you ultimately want.
You want your buyers to be smart. I mean, well, we do.
Maybe not everyone, but we do. The smarter the buyer, the better the relationship, the more value we can deliver.
And I’ll just stop there for a second because I think that is really overlooked right now.
And for many manufacturers, especially industrial manufacturers, that’s mind blowing, right?
Like, you know, they have a hard time getting 10 blog posts out a week or doing segmentation in a data- driven way and really understanding who’s buying from them, where they are in the buyer’s journey, what needs to be served.
But adding in things like AI-driven chat, you know, changes the ballgame. And so I know when it comes to marketing, the answer it depends is not only often true, but also often frustrating, right?
Exploring the Impact of Chat-Based and AI-Derived Content
[18:28] But when you bring up chat-based or chat-derived content or AI-derived content, you touch on multiple blog posts that speak to the different audience personas.
So is it now because those tools are available, generally speaking, you look to create just more.
Importance of Blogging and SEO in Buyer Journey
[19:50] More blog-driven content? Yes. Well, that’s a good question.
And there are many instances in which a thoughtful point of view on a particular topic from a blogging perspective is incredibly important.
And frankly, let’s not diminish the fact that search, SEO, is still an enormous part of the buyer journey that folks are beginning to, the beginning, excuse me, are using in order to self-serve, if you will, right? So from that perspective, we just break that down. It’s still incredibly important, because that’s gonna help you drive search results, right? Make sure that you show up from an educational perspective early in the buyer’s journey, right? Top of funnel, if you will.
[20:33] But thinking about chat, you can actually use that as a way to harness the most relevant topics that your buyers are interested in, right?
So we’re partners with a company called Drift. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with them, John. or not, please.
You know, they’re one of the original chat-based AI technology platforms. They’re doing exceptionally well. They’ve got a great piece of technology.
A lot of our clients use them, and they integrate well into many of the, you know, platforms you use, like the ABM platforms, like Sixth Sense and Demandbase and CRM tools.
But it’s such a wealth of information, right, as you are standing up something like that to create an experience.
Because I think content, for me, and this is maybe a bit out there, especially for manufacturers, but it’s less about content. Content seems so tactical, seems so transactional, right? It’s about experience.
We’re trying to design an experience so your customers lean in, they feel educated, they feel smart, they begin to trust you as they’re making $200,000 to $20 million decisions, right?
So important. So understanding that and sculpting that from the very ﬁrst advertisement, right?
As you begin to introduce yourself and your value proposition, you pull them in all the way through to signing a contract and keeping them, right, is incredibly important. So, you know, I’d like to think about.
[21:50] The notion of that buyer’s journey from that lens than it is necessarily just about content itself or our particular blog post.
Yeah, as you talk about that, it reminds me of, you know, Marty Neumeier, right?
Using Content to Affect the Customer’s Experience
[22:02] One of the famous brand strategists or brand voices out there.
And he talks about how your brand is not what you say it is, it’s what people think of when they think of you. That’s your brand.
I’m glad you said that. Yeah. And you talk about how you can use content to affect the experience. Well, that really touches on that. This is how you build that brand equity.
This is how you differentiate yourself in a often very commoditized marketplace.
[22:25] You know what? That is such an apropos insight, John. Let me tell you why.
That’s exactly how I think about brand. Like in the past, brand is about what you wanted to tell the world who you were, what you stood for, and the products and services you deliver, right?
And in today’s world, it’s just the opposite. It’s what you know of your customer and the value you can deliver to them. And that’s what your brand is, right?
That’s where I think all of this is going. And when you think about that, it’s one of the things that is at the crux of why I think so many manufacturers and industrial manufacturers struggle with taking digital to the next level.
We should talk about digital transformation in a second. Hot topic, everyone’s all over it. There’s many facets of it. But why can’t they get there?
They’re actually, if you think about the history of these organizations, like Lincoln Electric is a former client of ours, or Honeywell, They were built on the backs of these very inventive product engineers, right?
Ethnographers that are actually studying the way we use things and saying, I got a better idea. And they take this leapfrog moment and they create it and build a beautiful, amazing business, right?
[23:28] But why aren’t they doing that in marketing? We’re so far behind B2C customers in personalization, leveraging digital, transforming, right?
And I think it’s number one, risk, right? Like we’re all risk averse, especially in our jobs.
We don’t get ﬁred for making the wrong decision. So I understand that and there’s psychology around why that inhibits us from making these decisions, right?
But I think the other big piece that we forget is that so many of these companies have been product led for so long, the geniuses, the engineers behind these products, that they haven’t made the leap to be customer centered, right?
The customer centeredness that’s so necessary in surviving in today’s world.
And so it sounds like you feel like there’s a real opportunity to tell the story of the teams behind the products, right?
And therefore that opens up a slew of different channels around like building thought leadership content or building video content that tells those stories.
Have you guys done much in that? Yeah, let me, that’s another great question. And I think that’s exactly right.
ABM and the Shift in Customer Expectations
[24:28] Baker Hughes is a client of ours, has been for a while.
And we have been doing digital marketing performance based work for them for years and years and years.
And over the last couple of years, we’ve really been focused on ABM.
And a lot of their executive management didn’t believe in it. Hey, it’s a buzzword.
[24:46] We’ve got our digital presence, we have a website. Okay, right?
That’s digital, right? And I say that tongue in cheek, and I don’t mean it that direction, one for one. But their belief is that we’re there, we exist, we’re doing SEO, and so we’re ﬁne.
And we bring to the table the fact that like, hey, it’s not ﬁne anymore, and your customers expect more, and let’s have a conversation around it.
And I’m not gonna bore you with all of the details of the work that we did for a couple of the marketing campaigns that we launched, but we launched it through the lens of ABM.
And then one of the biggest changes they made was bringing in a customer success representative into the conversation, because so many of these customers or brands are led by product, right? The beauty and brilliance of their products is what they want to put on display.
And we need to fully stop, right? Stop, that’s not the way to go forward.
The way to go forward is to tell your customers why your products are going to meet their needs, how it’s going to meet regulation hurdles, if you will, how it’s going to deliver efﬁciency, how it’s actually going to get you home earlier so you can get to your kid’s soccer game, right?
That’s where the money’s going to be made, right? not necessarily, there’s a time and a place for talking about you and why you’re great and the features and functions and how these are, you know, huge growth and advancements in technology, but, you got to start with them.
And I think that notion of being a customer-led company.
Successful Campaign with Customer-Led Approach: 1300% ROI
[26:11] Campaign made it so successful, right? And it was through the lens of ABM and within six months, I think they saw about 1300% ROI.
[26:18] And before you know it, literally the executive team said, pound for pound, this is the most successful campaign we’ve ever launched.
And now they’re fully led by this ABM motion.
Brilliant. And okay, so now let’s talk about distribution a little bit.
We talked about own media, the assets you create in the way of content, But what about the paid and earned side of things?
So starting with the paid side of things, you want to amplify the content that you have.
Where are you usually looking to do that that might be of speciﬁc importance in the industrial and manufacturing sector?
Yeah, I mean, I think there’s a couple standard places you’re going to be. One is programmatic, where you’re buying off the exchanges, right?
You understand your audience, you’re buying programmatic media. The other one is paid search, that’s intent, right?
Well, we should talk about that in a second. You’re still leveraging the fact that folks folks are looking for your products and services, you wanna show up, and then LinkedIn, right, where you need to introduce yourself to these particular functions within speciﬁc organizations, your target account list, right, and then those personas or buyer functions that you’re gonna be going after, because they may not be looking for what you have, but you have something that they need, right?
So, you know, that’s, I think, a standard way of thinking about it, right, in terms of the channels that will activate particular campaigns or engagement.
Now, obviously, you can go to email and chatbase.ai once they’re a part of your engine, I call it, your performance engine, right? When they have engaged with you, when they’ve shared information, you can certainly buy lists.
Now that’s going to be a whole different can of worms, right?
[27:42] But the thing to think about today, I think is unique and revolutionary is also this notion of intent, right?
And these ABM platforms like the Six Senses of the World have done an incredible job of working with a lot of media providers out there to understand the signals that your buyers are showing that they’re actually in market to buy.
Cuz think about this. Let me jump in there.
I have very limited exposure to Six Sense, but I’m familiar with the brand.
Could you ﬁrst deﬁne what Six Sense is and how it works? Yeah, so they’re a partner of ours and you know, I got to come clean.
It actually was started by my sister. So co-founded the company Uh, she’s my baby sister at tumbling. It’s amazing to see what this company’s done.
Um, And she has since retired Um, but you know, this company is on a tear and then last round I think they raised uh, 300 million on a 5 billion dollar valuation.
They’re killing it, right? It’s it’s it’s a real success story and essentially the the the premise and and the the
reach of this platform is is tremendous, right?
Because that’s why it’s able to, you know, deliver that type of valuation.
But I’m gonna get very tactile for a second. So put it in a way that an industrial manufacturer marketer can understand.
[28:52] Essentially, one of the biggest opportunities within a platform like 6th Sense for ABM is understanding intent.
So if you have, let’s say, a thousand customers that you can go after if you’re an industrial manufacturer, and within those thousand customers, you have six or seven functions, within those functions, you have ﬁve or six people, you know, you have a couple thousand people you can engage with, right?
Targeting the right customers for effective marketing strategies
[29:13] To introduce who you are and have them buy from you, right? Well, instead of just, you know, going out there and doing this broad-based spend, right?
Spending a lot on, let’s say, a runoff site for TechTarget, if you’re in, you know, in the tech industry, or even Thomas, right? Another strong partner of ours who we’ve had a great, great relationship with over for two decades. But, you know.
[29:34] You can understand the intent of your buyers. And based on that, there may be only 50 people that you should be spending heavily on to get in front of them, right?
And they may have never made it to your website, may never made it to your LinkedIn page or any digital asset for you to understand that.
But because these platforms and companies like 6th Sense have understood the environment within the media world and they’re buying that data and they’re assessing it and they have a big data AI play going on, you can begin to then put your message and your experience in front of your best target customers in the most appropriate way at the right time.
And that changes everything, right? Because now you’re not spending and wasting on those customers that aren’t in market, even though they may be a part of your target account list, right?
So for us, when you think about that, that level of targetability is a tremendous sea change in how I think marketers should be thinking about their programs and strategies.
It’s really powerful, and you’ve certainly piqued my interests. And then in terms of earned media, I mean, just to kind of explore all aspects of the spectrum here, do you see much opportunity?
Or how, if at all, have you guys leveraged earned media to help market the products that are your clients? You know, I think, obviously, the most powerful place for earned media is social, right? I mean…
[30:54] I think there’s a huge opportunity for these organizations to begin to build communities and engage with their buyers from a social perspective.
I think you even see people, and it’s interesting, and I don’t know where it’s come from, but over the last four or ﬁve months, you see brands begin to ask about B2B for TikTok, right?
Like, that’s kind of mind-blowing, right? Like, I don’t know, it’s kind of a bit out there, but at the same time, it makes a bit of sense, because especially those who are leaning into it and a little bit forward, there’s opportunities to create those experiences that brands need, especially from a B2B perspective, to engage, right?
And especially as our buyers are more digitally savvy, are staying home, they’re not going to conferences, right?
This whole transformation that’s happening through the lens of COVID has shifted so much of that buying experience where we used to think, especially from an industrial perspective, it’s those relationships we meet at the trade shows, where we shake hands, we take them to the golf, and we go have a couple of drinks, right?
[31:49] Think about social, it’s the opposite end that spectrum, right?
Where you actually are somewhat entertained, right? But at the same time, somewhat educated, right? And from that perspective, there’s a huge opportunity to go out there and engage with those folks who
want to learn a little bit more about how they can be more effective in their roles, their jobs, and hopefully at some point, buy from you. Do you guys do much on TikTok for your clients?
Is that a channel that you’re servicing?
At this moment, it’s very nascent. So we have a couple of customers kicking the tires on it. And there’s some interesting things that could be happening in the very near future.
But it’s brand new, and from that perspective, we’re all in, right?
I think there’s an opportunity, and I think you just have to get out there and invent a little bit, just like these manufacturers have with products, the same thing from a digital perspective.
We’ll have to have you back next time. You’ve really dug into that space and get some of your initial insights. So, okay, well, so what haven’t we covered, what jumps out at you as far as like.
The importance of clarity, conﬁdence, and consistency in marketing
[32:45] Key areas of opportunity for someone that’s in this space and is trying to market a product or service?
What haven’t we covered? Yeah, I think there’s a couple of things.
So number one being clarity, right? We talk about the three C’s at BOL, right?
[32:59] Clarity, consistency, and conﬁdence. So clarity is having a better understanding of who your best customers are today and will be tomorrow, right?
And then from there, making sure you’re asking the right questions around how you engage with them and how you solve the right problems with the business.
So we feel as though often, especially in the manufacturing world, that part is skipped over.
Like we feel like we haven’t, the brand has an understanding of who the best customers are, you know, what kind of functions and roles.
And frankly, there’s a good amount of research that can help to demystify some of those assumptions. And a lot of that being driven through sales, because they’re the rainmakers, right?
They have the biggest voice at the executive table. So that notion of clarity, I think is extremely important as you think about, you know, we’re going to be spending your dollars, what your total addressable market is and who you’re gonna go after from a target account perspective.
[33:45] Then I’m gonna talk about conﬁdence. I’ll save consistency for last. Conﬁdence is probably the most important component of this and I’ll tell you why.
B2B marketers have historically been the builders of brochures, of you know event Thanks for watching. Right, product material, like cut sheets, right? Yeah, cut sheets, you know, like they’re the make it pretty department, right?
But haven’t historically been at the business table saying I’m able to drive pipeline and revenue. And everything’s changed, this notion of digital transformation, not only through the lens of IoT and how that lands into the products that these customers sell.
I mean, think about GE, a former customer of ours, where they were more excited about the data they were selling back to their customers than the product itself, right? That’s all part of digital transformation, which is exciting, and so is marketing, right? A big part of how we engage with our buyers.
[34:39] But where we’re missing is this huge opportunity to get into this level of understanding marketing’s inﬂuence or connection to pipeline revenue and retention, right?
Because if you think about it, there’s so much more being sourced. We talked about it earlier on that these buyers want to feel smart.
They want that experience digitally ﬁrst before they’re gonna engage with a human being, more often than not, almost in so many categories and verticals.
And what we’re missing, right, from a manufacturer’s perspective is being able to go back to the board and produce irrefutable evidence that of that buyer who just purchased $2 million from us, they had 18 people engaging with our digital presence.
They spent a total of like 19 hours before they ever talked to someone in sales.
And when you think about it, they spent six months kicking the tires with us before they wanted to have any sort of kind of conversation or in-person event, right?
That’s a huge change. Now, if we can take that and talk about how we can drive and derive value, real value, pipeline, dollars, right?
[35:43] In notion of driving revenue, but also in connection to retention, right?
Because we want to make sure they stay with us and they continue to buy from us. So I think that’s probably one of the most missed opportunities that marketers in the manufacturing world are losing out on because they’re not able to have a conversation with their CEO or CFO around how they’re actually driving growth.
Powering them through doing that. That’s right. Okay. last one.
Is consistency. So there’s just an opportunity. You know, we talk about, you know, performance marketing or digital marketing or data-driven marketing and the consistency that you can deliver for your organization.
We talk about the programs, the lens of brand demand in ABM such that you can always ﬁnd a way to deliver more for less, right?
We’re in this notion of this recessionary environment, whether we’re in a recession or not, it’s kind of to be determined, right?
We’ll ﬁgure that out quarter by quarter, but it doesn’t matter. It exists because people believe it’s here, right?
And so now they’re being asked to do more with less. Well, if you have an engine stood up, right, you have an understanding of the best segments, the next best piece of content, the best channels that are producing pipeline and revenue, you’re in a much better position to drive efﬁciency while you’re continuing to drive growth.
So that notion of clarity, conﬁdence, and consistency is such an important part of marketing going forward through the lens of manufacturing.
I love that, that’s powerful.
Conclusion and Contact Information
[37:06] Okay, very good. Well, I think we’re probably up against it here. Thad, that was fantastic.
If someone wants to get in touch with you and learn more about BOL Agency or how you guys can help, what’s the best way to get in touch with you?
Sure, you can shoot me an email, email@example.com.
[37:24] Or you can hit me up on Twitter, LinkedIn, probably easy way to do it too. It’s a unique name. And I’m happy to put you in touch with the right people, we’d love to hear from you. Fantastic. Well, thank you so much, Thad. We appreciate you being here, and we’ll have you back sometime soon after you’ve explored some of these additional channels you’re looking into.
Sounds great. I had a blast, John. Thank you. Thanks, Thad.
[37:43] I hope you enjoyed this episode on industrial product marketing.
Did you know we did a whole series on how to market an industrial product? Yeah, we’ve got it covered from every angle.
Here’s a link to the next episode, and don’t forget to subscribe.
By the way, if you’re looking for a reliable marketing agency or freelancer to help market your industrial product, give me a shout. We represent a whole roster of vetted marketing teams with deep experience in the industrial products niche.
Or go to www.theagencyguide.com to learn more about how we match make brands with vetted marketing agencies at no cost. See you soon.