The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

29. Making B2B Marketing More Personal w/ Brett Chester

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Most companies forget that an actual person is on the other end of their marketing campaigns. Brett’s experience working with companies all around the globe to help them improve their marketing reminds listeners that every touchpoint is going to reach a human at some point. The better equipped you are to ask smart questions, the more effective your customer’s journey will be, and the more sales you will make. 

As a customer acquisition expert and the VP of Marketing for SiteTracker, Brett shares his secrets to making customers want to engage with your company through asking the right questions, and personalizing the marketing process.

He reflects on his experiences working with major clients around the globe and informs listeners on how they can be more effective marketers. 

...witted to be celebrating the individuals that a successful in order for us, as market has to recognize and learn from the challenges that customers are experiencing. The single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Beute. Hey, thanks so much for clicking play on this episode of the Customer Experience Podcast. Today we're talking demand Jin and growth marketing. We're talking customer acquisition and nurturing. Today's guest is a selfdescribed marketing Geek. He's launched an advertising start up and worked at traditional AD agencies in Australia. He was the customer Acquisitions Manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for a chain of online casinos, and he's presently in the Silicon Valley as vice president of marketing at site tracker, a project management platform for critical infrastructure like telecom utilities, renewable energy and smart cities. Retchester. Welcome to the customer experience podcast. Thank you so much for having and it sounds like I've had an amazing and illustratus career. It seems like it's gone past. Why so fast? That's good. That's is it is. It always looks that way in hindsight. It really is cool. I love that's one of the most fun things about doing the podcast is obviously connecting with folks like you directly and allowing other people to listen in on the conversation, but even the kind of the research phase alone and see the shape in the arc of different careers and and how people find themselves. I feel like just the way you talk about your works, I'm excited to speak about it with you than we the way you write about your work. It feels like you're absolutely doing the right thing and that it that really lights you up. Thank you so much. It does, believe...

...it another I started off at law school and I had the law so much and was sitting on a beach and Sonny, Sydney, Australia, and that's how I fell into marketing. So there's a chance for anyone out there. You know what, before we get to my standard opening question, look, what was the moment, like what was the flip there where you said I'm out in it? Who did you disappoint in that process? Did Not disappointing that process. I was on track to be the youngest barrister in Australia's history actually. So, aside from disappointing my family, I didn't really end up disappointing them over the long time actually, now that I think about it, yea. But I was literally standing at the Little Bitch in Sydney, Australia, Cold Camp Cove, which is just a harbor beach, and I was introduced to somebody who said, hey, we're looking for someone that's pretty smart to come in and think about marketing challenges, and my favorite subject at a university was a marketing subject, and I thought, okay, like, I'm going and have a chat, see what happens, and that was that was my start in online casinos. Where I stand in marketing? Back then it was really interesting. Demand Marketing meant sending a million CDs to a suburb in London and seeing how many people would respond, and that was always obviously associated with a code of some description so we could attribute it back and you'd have to wait two months before you saw some results. Nowadays, of course, we can do everything in real time and it's that discipline that I created back then that drives the success that I have now. That's awesome. I it is I call the shipping out of CDs. That's obviously the the AOL model, exactly most things. I am wonder how many millions of pieces they sent. So, before we go any farther, I like to start with with getting folks to kind of talk about customer experience. When I see customer experience, what does that mean to you? What are some of its characteristics? How do you think about it? Yeah, customer experience for me is the...

...whole life cycle of engaging with the brand. You know, there's not a single touch point or channel that we should ever ignore when it comes to customer experience. If you think about it, you've got everything from the first touch by walked part us to store and smelt it, all the way through to the follow up email after I've bought something because I wanted the receipt sent to my email rather than to me in person. I think that it's not just one single point of touch and the challenge, specifically for me as a marketer, when I think about it is, you know, how do I make sure that all of those touch points are considered when we're building campaigns anywhere? So, you know, if you're out there thinking about customer experience, just remember that there's somebody at the other end of that thought process that you're trying to not only inspire to perform an action but to engage with you at the most human level, and that's, you know, really difficult. In Betab software, which is where I work, you know, I've had a raft of experiences, obviously from online casinos, where we're speaking immediately with somebody WHO's trying to engage in an activity, all the way through to, you know, be to be marketing, where we're trying to solve for problems that those people have that they might not necessarily agree they have or want to admit having. So every single time that you touch that person is a time for you to be selling, and I think it's a golden gecko quote. who wasn't it always be selling or always be closing, something like that, but you need to remember the other person the other end of the spectrum that you're talking with. Love it. That's a that's a really popular theme in general, I've seen it for several years now, is like be to be BTC. Really it's all just age to age, human to human exactly, which is a really healthy attitude. And then the other thing you offered there in particular is that having some foresight in imagining that the touch points in advance is always really helpful. You'll never get it completely because you know it's going to people...

...touch point. But so before we go farther for context, just talk a little bit about site tracker, really interesting platform. I especially I was interested the way you talked about, you know, problem they might not know they have or one they might not not like to talk about or acknowledge. And then the other side of that too is you offer a solution that they might not know is available. It's a problem they're just going to continue suffering with. You know it not imagine that there's a solution available. So talk about site tracker in the work that you guys are doing as a team there. Yeah, it's it's a really interesting product and a really interesting space. I've had the pleasure of working across a couple of different startups and this is the first startup that I've been at where we've had not only amazing product market fit but an amazing management to aim to support it, and so obviously our growth numbers reflect that. But essentially what we do is we are a project and asset management platform. So if you imagine one of our customers as a company called Verizon, you've probably heard of them, and what we do for Verizon is allow them to deploy and maintain their network so that we can all make telephone call walls and watch Netflix on the go. So what that means is that they have mobile cell towers and along with Mobile Cell Towers they have small cells and of course that's what's supposedly going to be powering G which is the new wave of technology that's coming down the pipeline. And what we allow them to do is make sure that the deployment of all of those assets, that the small cells or the tower antennas, get put at the right place at the right time so that they can hit their road map and that they can do it efficiently and effectively. So it's a really interesting challenge and it's quite fulfilling to know that where you know powering critical infrastructure for the country, but at the same time, if you're a project manager that started out twenty years ago in the deployment of Cell Towers for verizon or any of the manifestations of...

...that company over the last twenty years, you probably would have been working in a spreadsheet of some description, and for the longest time that basically meant that you'd build out this two hundred line chart that would say I do this and you do that and maybe, if you were lucky, you had a project management software like Microsoft project and you'd assign a gang chart to it so you can share that with your boss. But in reality, the world that we're moving into now, where we're going from two hundred thousand towers that supported the infrastructure in the US to eight hundred thousand small cells over the next five years. So I'll say that again. Twenty years, two hundred thousand flowers, five years eight hundred thousand small cells. That's a lot of work. So the inevitable consequences is that people are falling behind, they're not able to do the deployments that they need to do. Thankfully, verizons one of our customers, and so they're deploying on time and on budget, most importantly on budget, and they're bringing their cell towers on a much faster than anybody else, which basically means the fulfilling their promise to their customers, and we're helping them do that. So it's quite rewarding and that's happening across all sorts of different businesses and the utility space and in Alternative Energy v Charging and, believe it or not, party cities one of our customers because they need to spring up new stores when Halloween comes around. And guess what, it's a repeatable task that's super easy for you to complete in our platform. So it's really rewarding and a great software. So good. I hear then, or I imagine, that it's a relatively complex sale and it probably has a nice medium size sales cycle soon for you, as VP of marketing, having just come off that definition of customer experience, in knowing that it's all the touch points. We're a few for a complex sale, for for a problem people might not...

...know that there's a solution for what are a handful of the key moments in the life cycle or key moments in the experience that you like to really make sure our well managed in and well delivered. Yeah, it's a great question and I think I'll answer it with the question that I ask myself all the time, which is, if there are people out there suffering with the problem and they don't know that they necessarily have that problem, how do we introduce that concept to them? And that's that's a challenge for be to be market as everywhere. Right. No one wakes up in the morning and says I need a project management solution. I've been doing this in next cell for twenty years. I need to change. Unless that's a brand new business or it's a transfer of knowledge from one company to another. It's not really the the day that somebody wakes up and goes this is what I need, I'm going to search for it in Google. So it's quite hard for you to think outside that paradigm if you're not used to it. So the way I like to think about this is in a couple of different ways. The first is let's create some awareness, let's get it out there, let's get this thought process out there, and I'm not sure when this is going to air, but we're releasing a campaign next Monday which is talking about being a hero of change and literally about empowering people at companies like the ones we're targeting to be heroes of change, to accept that they have an opportunity to help their business out and to step up and raise their hands, because one of the big barriers is is that I don't want to say anything. Why would I buck the status quote? So making people feel empowered that they can change the status quote is super important for us, and creating that awareness that there is a problem is obviously aligned with that. So what I'm thinking about there the types of marketing opportunities and challenges we have and how that relates to customer experience. I want to make sure that we have both the awareness problem checked off as...

...well as the experience checked off. And Yeah, what does that mean for us next week, on Monday, when we launch this campaign? It means that, quite literally, we're going to be at a show. We're going to have the best booth that anyone has at that showed by far, and I don't say that in an arrogant way, just that I can see the effort that we've put into it and I know that it's going to be the best booth and to the most minute detail. At that booth we've got hero packs for these heroes of changed to take away with them very, very targeted messages. Inside that pack is like a Cape, quite literally, with our logo on it, so people can run around like lunatics talking about how they're a hero of change. But, more actionably, we've actually gotten to the granular details where we've said, how can I take my learnings from this event and action them when I get back? So we've given them a step by step guide on things that they need to do. So again, what I'm thinking about is activating people to think. This is what it is that my challenge is be giving them a an experience that they can take away with actionable steps. So what I've done is actually sitting there their shoes say well, I'm at a show, I'm at an event. It could be a boondoggle where I could just sit around and have a couple of beers, or I could actually take something away from this. So, you know, we've thought about all the little details, from the shade of grass that we've got on our booth, we've got some beautiful big green walls to the fragrance that were actually putting in the booth so that we make feel people feel welcome and at home. So it's all about the experience. It's about the end to end cycle and putting yourself in the shoes of your buyer to let them know that you know there's a solution for them out there. I think one of the most valuable and important things you share there is the idea that your customer is the hero and that you are there to equip and empower them to be successful. Exactly, exactly. So, say Tres, say trackers, not the...

...hero. No, exactly. Yeah, we've got some fantastic metrics that make you the hero, but you're the one that uses our solution. You're our customer and and making sure that you can champion not only yourself but our solution to your peers and your bosses or your reports even is what's going to grow your career and it's what's going to make you successful. We have a blog series that we wrote called projects alive, and in projects a life, we interview feel as project managers, people that just getting out there and changing the game for their business, but at the same time we're also interviewing, you know, a professor from Rutga's who basically wrote the book on Project Management. And so what I'm what I'm trying to show here is is that we need to be celebrating the individuals that are successful in order for us as marketers to recognize and learn from the challenges that our customers are experiencing. Otherwise we're just going to be bashing our heads against the wall. So good. It's how I learned. So I've been I've been here at bomb on, the software company I work at, for almost eight years and over that time I've told so many customer success stories and shared use cases and things, and you really it's in that process of organizing that information and building that relationship to get not just the permission but all that details and the tactics for how they're being successful with the software that really allows you to speak to other people like them really well. So I love what you're up to there. I'm going to stay on this kind of like human to human track here, because you're right there, you know, speaking to the individual and celebrating the individual and then empowering other people to give themselves permission to be success as full as well, because a lot of people just don't want to welcome it's this. It's part of a common superhero story to just to walk out your Cape Right it's like this. Exactly. I've been given this power, but I need to you know, as part of the origin story. It's like I need to deny this...

...power. I can't accept this power. Is Too much responsive to all this stuff, right. So, yeah, exactly. So you've worked globally, obviously in Australia, across North America, Asia, Pacific, Europe, Middle East Africa with with the casinos. Talk a little bit about the differences maybe in customers or customer expectations were in customer experience across all these different regions or flip side of it, there really isn't any fundamental difference. People are people are, people are people. Like talk about that and you've truly worked globally and it in a really sounds like you've done some a lot of direct response marketing. So like there's a lot of like are there differences around the globe in your observation and experience? Yeah, definitely. Look, I think the short answer is yes, and the longer answer is obviously more nuanced. I think that if you stought to think about let's just pok language for a second. Obviously language is important if you're going into the French market or the Japanese market, you need to be in local language. So if we just assume for a second that there's a you know, we accept that local language is something that we have to do, particularly in specific market. It's I think that, at the end of the day, there are things that make it culturally different for you to communicate. You know, I was in Luxembourg a couple of weeks ago at a trade show called art summer, which is Vota phones largest supplier conference, and there I had the pleasure of meeting everyone from Nobel laureate to the Prime Minister of Luxembourg through to the average Joe who is using the software. And the reality is that, culturally, your difference is Europeans are tending to be more polite than Yanks, which is okay, but they they're also more formal at the same time. So I think respecting the cultural norms in the area that you're working in, knowing those cultural norms and obviously addressing them in advance makes sense. It's, dear, Mr something in...

Germany it's not, hey, frank, until you get to know them. So accepting those cultural norms is super important. That No side of things is that ultimately they're suffering with the same challenge as you are. They are the same person. You know, frank in Midwest Ohio or wherever it is is the same as the frank from Baden Baden. It may just be said frank or frank, it's the exact same challenge. So you know, as as a marketer, as an individual who is constantly looking for a way to know, humanize the experience, what I'm trying to do is forget about the cultural norms and cut to the root of the value of what solution we're trying to provide or the problem that they're experiencing. And that's at the core of everything that we do. And of course you then wrap that in those those subtle differences, but I think it's a yes no. Address the subtle differences, but make sure at the end of the day you're speaking to the challenges that you're solving for do I could give you loads of different examples across different businesses, from a guy called why won't share his name because he's a from unlie casinos, but he lives in Kuwait, where gaming is illegal, but he's still, to this day, has one of the largest affiliate networks in quit for this online casino chain, because we established the foundation what it means to be a casino goer in Qwait back in the day. And he's still bringing in a hundred to a hundred and fifty thousand us a month out of his affiliate network, Him and five guys. All the way through to what I just shared with you about the the PM in Luxembourg, the prime minister over there. It's yeah, I asked him, or I asked his aid, how does he like to be referred to Mr Prime Minister? And he goes no, just call him his first name. It's like, well, I'm...

...not going to do that. So there are cultural ones. You need to be sensitive to bots. Selling the value and selling the solution to the problem is always what everyone wants to hear and what they should hear. Yep, and then there's the human nature layer, where we are all a lot more similar than we think. So you are a great linkedin post on the process of process to generate in marketing, the right information to make a sale. And it was based on your effort, failed effort, and to sell a laptop bag in just a couple minutes. Can you unpack that a little bit? I found your steps just as sensible as your approach to working with people across cultures and regions. Look it was. It was the most eye opening opportunity for me. And then, to tie it back, obviously, many years later I had the fortunate experience between finishing high school and going off to university to work at what would be the equivalent of best buy in Australia. I was very lucky to start there and operations roll and then very quickly move into the head of operations position. That came with its own challenges, like how does a seventeen year old manager team of six people who have been there and done that? But yeah, once you kind of ignore that and move on. I was in a situation where there were no sales people on the floor looking to sell and the head of sales comes over to me and basically sa get out there and you know, you know all of this stuff, get out there and sell to this lady. So I walked up to her and had a chat and she told me that she was interested in a laptop bag. And by goalie did I show her every single laptop bag we had. I was so proud to know every single fixture feature, where every zip was, what color, ever is it was, whether this was napper leather or just plain old bake leather. I showed her everything that you could possibly imagine on over fifty or sixty different laptop bags. Bless her heart, forty minutes later she kind of turned around to me and said, you know what,...

...you've given me too much to think about. I am going to have to have a think on this and come back. Oh really, that's you should get choosing one of those like, why are you leaving? She's are you've just told me too many things. I need to think about this. Meanwhile, what I realize afterwards, by walking in and having a chat with Kent, who was the head of sales, you goes like what happened? You know, she was primed, ready to buy a laptop bag when I told her everything that she needed to know, and he he basically slapped me over the back of the head and said, you know, what laptop did she buy? What laptop did she need the bag for? Oh, I never asked. And tying that back to modern day marketing and even modern day sales, when we're thinking about software selling, we need to do discovery. We need to ask simple questions of the people that are visiting our website or are engaging with us in some fashion and just get to know them. Like you know, we're selling to people that are looking to buy things, but if we don't understand the paradigm in which they're operating, in which their life exists, what never going to be able to sell to them and we're just going to confuse them. So, you know, if I think about about what we're doing here at sidetracker, if I'm not asking a simple question like what is the paradigm that you operate your projects in right now, it says good a responses, not asking the lady with her laptop bag. You know, what is the fifteen inch compact that no one I've actually probably even knows what a compact is anymore. I think they got bought by Philippe Packard. But we need to ask questions, we need to diagnose in advance and remove objections by asking smart questions, by doing the discovering the diligence to understand the paradigm in which our prospects and customers are operating, and so good. I mean it's just an advocating forgetting in conversation then ultimately getting into relationship which is obviously fundamental to a longer sales cycle in a more complex sale but it obviously...

...as well lends itself to writing better content and running better ads from an Seo seem standpoint, because you know, it's not about that individual in particular, it's about that persona that you learn by talking with enough of those people. So good. I just got a few quick fun questions for you before we hit a kind of a standard close year. What do you wish more salespeople knew or understood about marketers or marketing? I think that the effort that it takes to get an answer to their request right. Yeah, I'm going to talk about events again just because it's just top of mind for me. We've got a big event next week. As I said, you know, there's three or four months of effort that goes into an event. The salespeople show up at the booth, we've got eight demo stations, they do what they have to do and they don't appreciate the eight months of or three months of effort go into it. So there's there's eight sales people standing around thinking this thing came together by some sort of miracle. Behind the scenes, there's four or five people working on all of the collateral, making sure the booth smells right, all those types of things. So I'd love for salespeople to actually appreciate the amount of effort it takes to complete tasks that they may think it's frivolous but actually requires some newance, thinking and effort. That's good. AH, how I've been there. What do you wish more? Customer success or customer support? People knew about marketing or marketers the channels through available to them to execute on their plans right? I think that you know, csms struggle with communication on mass and there's an opportunity to leverage marketing tools and marketing grunts to be able to allow that to happen. Particularly when you're dealing at scale, it's impossible for you to do that's my advice to any CSM out there is to sit down with your head of marketing or head of any department in tacketing and just basically say, you know, what can we do to have...

...you guys act as a force multiplier for us, and then what is it that we can do to provide you any content or collateral or even problem recognition or pattern recognition of problems so that I can come back and feed into the prospecting cycle. Good staff relationships are our number one core value here and I would love for you to think or mention someone who's had a positive impact on your life or career and a company that you feel is delivering really good experiences to their to their customers. Yeah, for sure. I'm a big shoe fan, so I'm a big fiend when it comes to Nike's customer experience. I think they've got all the channels covered. I never complain about them and that's why I my wife's probably taken my credit card away from me so that I can't add to my hundred and twenty pair collection and growing. So I'm big fan of Nike. The person that's made the most impact on my life and I'd always Hark back to is the Xcoo of Ogilvie Australia, the guy called Mark Bryan. He had such an amazing career and he's still got an amazing career. Is just no longer at oglev anymore, but he was hugely impactful on my life and I'm always is grateful and always think fondly of him and always reach out to him to tell him as much. That's so good. It's important to double back on those. That's why I ask the question. It's so good. I love those stories. Real kind of a practical matter here when you get into the triple digits on shoes. How much is the how much of this is I want the perfect pair for every occasion, and how much of it is this is just a straight cataloged collection eating away at some space in an oversized walk in closet. Like do you do rotate in and out of these hundred, a hundred plus shoes? Yeah, I do. It's more an esthetically pleasing thing that I'm going for. I actually like the design elements of them and I do wroteate them a lot. So...

I end up wearing any day of the way, you could a couple of different pairs or across the wake up probably where five or six different pairs of shoes. It's just I like them. They are esthetically pleasing and it's a great way for me to be comfortable whilst, yeah, just still being a little bit colder for my like a bolt head and effect that I'm pretty old. So going to keep up with these young kids. That's great. It's I mean again, this is this is impact. Nike a probably delivering you a lot of really nice purchasing and shopping experience. It delivering on the product, basic product quality itself, but empowering you to express your tape Sul your wonderful taste and ability to matches, you to Eddie outfit in any occasion. My wife disagrees, but yes, yeah, it's good, as as are all things that are subjective in nature. There's design. This has been awesome. You are just a really good spirit. I like the work that you're doing in the way that you're thinking about it and approaching it. And if someone wants to follow up on this conversation, how can they connect with you online or connect with site tracker? Yeah, for sure. Just reach out to me as an individual on twitter. You can find me as at Bretatchester, or on Linkedin at Rochester, or on facebook. At Rochester. Has a bit of a patent there. You can also email me directly the chest at site trackercom. But I'm across social if you search for Breadchester, you'll find my website and you can send me a contact us kind of note there as well. Awesome, so good. I encourage people to do so. On linked in. By the way, that story that I referenced. You need to go connect with Brett and check that story out, if only to see the repeated but varied and, I'm sure, very accurate descriptions of the sales manager at the organization O Kent. Yeah, thank you so much.

Yeah, it's fun. It was fun to read a you obviously had fun writing that one, I did. Yeah. Well, I appreciate your time so much. I know folks enjoyed this episode and if you want to hear more like this, please subscribe to the customer Experience Podcast, obviously in itunes or apple podcast. It's also available in spotify, soundcloud and a variety of other places, and if you want to see video clips and get overviews of these episodes, you can just visit Bombombcom podcast. Thanks again for listening and thank you again, Brett, for your time today. Pleasure. Thank you. Clear Communication, human connection, higher conversion. These are just some of the benefits of adding video to the messages you're sending every day. It's easy to do with just a little guidance, so pick up the official book. Rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos accelerate sales and improve customer experience. Learn more in order today at Bombombcom Book. That's bomb bombcom book. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember the single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player, or visit Bombombcom podcasts.

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