Marketing Automation w/ Dave Meyer

WBSP058: Grow Your Business With Marketing Automation w/ Dave Meyer

In this episode, we have our guest Dave Meyer from BizzyWeb, who describes how marketing automation works and why that is important to understand customer journeys. He also explains how marketing automation helps engage with existing customers and find new-new prospects. Finally, he shares several stories related to growing businesses using marketing automation.

Chapter Markers

  • [0:20] Intro
  • [2:48] Personal journey and current focus
  • [4:00] Perspective on growth
  • [4:00] Is marketing automation suitable for every business?
  • [10:00] How is marketing automation different for net-new vs exisiting customers?
  • [13:23] Starting on the journey of marketing automation?
  • [21:42] How to generate net-new business from marketing automation?
  • [28:17] How marketing automation can help identify purchase signals?
  • [37:36] Closing thoughts
  • [39:09] Outro

Key Takeaways

  • The barrier to reentry is much lower than if you’re trying to work with someone that you’ve never worked with before. And in most B2B, there’s a high trust factor. And so, once I’ve built up that trust by forging an existing relationship, it makes it so much easier to resell or to add additional services and deepen relationships.
  • In a lead generation campaign, I’ve targeted a bunch of purchasing officers in a different level at a company, and almost like I’m targeting three or four different kinds of people at my target accounts, that’s called ABM, or account-based marketing.
  • If I can say that 33% of this kind of marketing results in a lead that’s actionable for us and that our sales team can dig into, that’s a much easier new sell, or it’s easier to keep doing that particular activity if I know that that’s the kind of result that I’m getting.
  • For companies that have a captive market and that are basically locked in, all they need to do is say anybody needs some, and everybody that needs some is going to say yes, inbound or automated marketing is probably overkill.
  • For businesses that have a lot of options, or for businesses that the competition is strong, or there’s not a lot of reason for that company to be the choice, that’s when you need to have a more thoughtful and conversational outreach.

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About Dave

Dave Meyer helps “high trust” businesses entering their growth phase to attract, engage and delight their audiences to close more business. His company, BizzyWeb, brings leads and sales to clients using inbound marketing, optimized websites, and digital conversion strategies. He’s a speaker for Google’s Grow With Google program, and a Certified Trainer for HubSpot. He was named 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year by the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce in Minneapolis, and since 1999 his company has helped hundreds of clients Generate Buzz Without Getting Stung!


Full Transcript

Dave Meyer 0:00  

The general rule of thumb is that people will click 80 links before they ever contact a business, whether that’s picking up the phone or submitting a Contact Us form. Our job is to give them as many of those ad clicks by letting them choose their path and having ready answers at every step.

Intro 0:20  

Growing a business requires a holistic approach that extends beyond sales and marketing. This approach needs alignment among people, processes, and technologies. So if you’re a business owner, operations, or finance leader looking to learn growth strategies from your peers and competitors, you’re tuned into the right podcast. Welcome to the WBS podcast, where scalable growth using business systems is our number one priority. Now, here is your host, Sam Gupta.

Sam Gupta 0:56  

Hey everyone, welcome back to another episode of the WBS podcast. I’m Sam Gupta, your host, and principal consultant at a digital transformation consulting firm, ElevatIQ

Have you had challenges engaging with your customers? Do you lose prospects just because you could not call them timely? Do you have challenges in finding net-new prospects? And do you have capacity issues in your sales department? How deeply do you understand how your prospects may be interacting with your website? These are the questions you will have if you are ready for marketing automation. 

In today’s episode, we have our guest, Dave Meyer from BizzyWeb, who describes how marketing automation works and why that is important to understand customer journeys. He also explains how marketing automation helps engage with existing customers and find net-new prospects. Finally, he shares several stories related to growing businesses using marketing automation. 

Let me introduce Dave to you. 

Dave Meyer helps businesses grow by finding ways to attract, engage and delight their audiences to close more business. His company BizzyWeb brings leads and sales to clients using inbound marketing, optimized websites, and digital conversion strategies. He’s a speaker for Google For Growth with the Google program and a certified trainer for HubSpot. He was named 2016, Entrepreneur of the Year by the Twin West Chamber of Commerce in Minneapolis. And since 1999, his company has helped hundreds of clients generate buzz without getting stuck with that. Let’s get to the conversation. Hey, Dave, welcome to the show.

Dave Meyer 2:46  

Thank you, Sam, so delighted to be here.

Sam Gupta 2:48  

Of course, it’s our pleasure as well. Just to kick things off, do you want to start with your personal story and your current focus these days?

Dave Meyer 2:54  

Absolutely. Well, I’m the owner of a company called BizzyWeb. We’re a marketing agency. And I’ve been doing this for 22 years. So it’s been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember, really, that businesses need help getting the connections and the leads that they need in order to sell. 

And there’s so much junk in the agency world in marketing. If you Google for SEO, or any of the big topics that people talk about in marketing, there are millions and millions of results. Not a lot of real detail. And not a lot of things are actually actionable, especially in the manufacturing world. 

And kind of that top-level where people can really get what’s happening. What it really means is it’s easy to bury the meaning of marketing and what you’re trying to do. At the end of the day, we’re just trying to get more business. We’re trying to get more leads; we’re trying to close those leads through a thoughtful process. And all of the other stuff that complicates it just frustrates the heck out of me. And that’s why I’m in business.

Sam Gupta 4:00  

Okay, amazing. So obviously, I want to dig deeper into each of them. We want to understand this at a deeper level. But before we do that, we have a standard question. And that is going to be your perspective on growth. Dave, what does growth mean to you?

Dave Meyer 4:13  

So growth, for me, is the act of moving forward in a thoughtful way that’s going to allow you to scale your business. So growth for most of my clients, right? And I’m in manufacturing, and I do the demand generation and conversion for those companies. 

Most of my companies are trying to go beyond what they’ve done in the past by doing something differently, right? What got you here isn’t going to get you there. And so they’re really looking for that inflection point. And for me, growth is that inflection point that lets me do more with the same or even less input into my system because I know that my system is doing my follow-ups for me, and I have a repeatable process. 

That I can use and that I can rely on to keep moving forward with my business through more leads through more contacts through more connections, and through better follow up. So long way to say, growth is more.

Sam Gupta 5:14  

Okay, amazing. So obviously, we are going to be talking about marketing automation in today’s episode because that’s your background, right. And we have to understand what you can do from the marketing automation perspective and how that might be able to help with the inflection point. 

But in your opinion, since you do a lot of marketing automation, and every company is going to be different, every customer is going to be different. And there is this notion of interaction with machines versus interaction with a human. Typically, sales and marketing are always best done with a human because you can provide a personalized experience. 

So why do you believe that number one, marketing automation, is going to be providing a better experience for the customers? And secondly, where is it going to be a fit? Do you believe marketing automation is going to be fit for all businesses? Or are there going to be certain businesses for which marketing automation would not make sense?

Dave Meyer 6:12  

Sure. Great question, Sam. And the answer is, you know, a couple of points as well. So I think for automation in general, it’s never going to be a one size fits all connection. 

And different businesses have different levels of interaction. They rely on conversation, right? You need to ask great questions in order to elicit the kinds of responses that are going to lead to a sales conversation. And so great automation is the act of asking those great questions and then providing information based on what those questions are. 

So I’m not setting up a chatbot that just has millions of inputs and millions of outputs. What I’m doing is I’m specifically working with my best script for my intended audiences, working from my marketing personas. And marketing persona is a fancy word for having an idealized customer in mind. 

So for a lot of manufacturing businesses, it’s probably purchasers or decision-makers in the C suite. What are those people really concerned about? And we try to get into the psychology of that.

Dave Meyer 7:29  

And based on what a CFO is looking for when they’re trying to find a better provider for one of my clients, then what do I need to ask in order to elicit that response? Those are the kinds of questions that you want to backfill. 

So what does a good sale day will look like for you? or What does the best customer you’ve ever had share with your next customer and try to figure out what those things are. And then it’s a conversation. And so my job and automation, when it’s done correctly, is asking those questions and then knowing what the answer is in advance. 

So it’s almost like choosing your own adventure. Do you remember those books when we were kids? And it was encyclopedia brown or whatever. You go to page three. And does encyclopedia brown want to go to what it does you want to open the door to the dungeon? Does he want to run screaming out of the house?

Dave Meyer 8:23  

Or does he want to insert option three? We want to have each of those three options for our customers. The customer wants to come up and say I’m interested in this tool. And then you ask them, Well, what does success look like for you? Is it more leads? Is it more connections? Or Is it saving money? Based on their answer, say if it’s saving money, you go into filling them up with information that is going to be additive instead of distractive. 

And so what I mean by that is, am I giving them more of what they’re looking for? Or am I trying to force-fit my product, my solution, into the conversation? And if you take it all the way back to let’s go to like an elementary school as an example. You know, do you want a red crayon or a blue crayon? 

Well, I want a red crayon. That’s great. Red crayons are the best for you because of XYZ. But that doesn’t really match what the customer is trying to do because I’m trying to force-fit the narrative instead. If I say that’s great, a lot of our customers have found that red crayons are helpful in these three directions. Does any of that resonate with you, and then offer up another path to go to additional engagement for most business-to-business communication? 

It’s the general rule of thumb that people will click 80 links before they ever contact a business, whether that’s picking up the phone or submitting a Contact Us form. Our job is to give them as many of those ad clicks by letting them choose their path and having ready answers at every step.

Sam Gupta 10:00  

Okay, amazing. So let’s talk about the whole journey. I think you are touching on a very important point there with respect to the journey of the customer. But let’s distinguish a bit because marketing automation could be for many customers or prospects, or it could be for the existing customers. 

And in my understanding and opinion, I think those two journeys are going to be very different, right? So let’s talk about which one are you talking about here? Are you talking about the net-new? And if you are talking about brand new, how is the net-new going to be different from the existing customer marketing automation?

Dave Meyer 10:32  

Yes, so great question. And the difference between a net new customer and someone that already knows you, perhaps an existing customer is, of course, the existing customer is ten times easier to close an additional deal on, and the traditional marketing funnel tends to forget about existing customers. 

If you think about the analogy of a funnel, what happens with the funnel, you pour lots of stuff in, and then a little bit of stuff comes out the bottom if you treat that funnel as a one and done the waters through the funnel, now I don’t care anymore, you’re missing out on a ton of opportunity. 

And so I like to try to shift with my customers. The analogy from funnel for marketing to the flywheel. And a flywheel is a matter of storing energy, right? It’s what Amazon did, by helping to lower the friction between each point, you know, they found great products, they made it easier and cheaper to get those products. And they made it easier for people to buy those products.

Dave Meyer 11:33  

And it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. We need to do the same thing with our customers. So we want to attract customers in new ways, new connections, and having the traditional marketing, the advertising, the pay per click stuff, the search engine optimization are helping you rank better on Google, all of those things fill up attract, but then you need to engage and engage where that next level the conversations start, where some of that marketing automation can help ask additional and thoughtful questions that are going to lead back to delight. 

So the three phases of the flywheel are: attract, engage, and delight and delight become magic because that treats every new customer, along with every existing customer, as someone who’s still in play, someone who you’re still interested in working with, and someone that you can still add value to.

Dave Meyer 12:29  

And so if I’m thinking about those people, if I’m asking them thoughtful questions, if I’m thinking, Okay, well, what is my best customer going to need next, after they’ve already started doing business with me, that dramatically opens up the amount of new business because it’s with existing customers. But it’s also so much easier. You don’t need to spend hundreds or 1000s or tens of 1000s of dollars on an ad campaign to reach somebody that already knows you because you have their email address. 

They already know you. The barrier to reentry is much lower than if you’re trying to work with someone that you’ve never worked with before. And in most B2B, there’s a high trust factor. And so, once I’ve built up that trust by forging an existing relationship, it makes it so much easier to resell or to add additional services and deepen relationships.

Sam Gupta 13:23  

Okay, so then, as you know, my goal in this conversation is going to be I’m actually trying to act as a CFO because that’s my target listener, right? So I’m actually trying to connect the dots for them because they are not going to have as much marketing background. For them, it might be slightly harder to follow things from the marketing perspective. 

Do you have any specific stories, so let’s say if I’m the manufacturer, right, and there is this kind of notion in the manufacturing community, and obviously, I speak to a lot of different marketers as well? And they seem to think that manufacturing companies are primarily tradeshow-driven. 

They don’t do as much either marketing automation or digital marketing, or SEO. They are not driving as much traffic from the SEO perspective. So let’s pick some stories. Because if I were a CFO and I have some sort of story or a situation, then I’ll be able to relate more. 

So let’s say if you were to answer this question in the form of a story, right? So tell me if I’m the new manufacturer, and I’ve, let’s say, never done any sort of marketing automation. I don’t have as much understanding of digital marketing, and you are trying to coach me, okay, yes. How to start on the marketing automation. What are the things that I need to know to start on the journey of marketing automation? So how would you do that?

Dave Meyer 14:46  

Perfect, yes, and absolutely. I have a fantastic example from an existing client of ours that we’ve worked with for the past three years, and that was dramatically disrupted by COVID. 

Right now, we’re talking in March 2021. We’ve been in this COVID thing for a year. And for manufacturers, in particular, this customer, they were doing everything right. You know, we had a marketing that we were doing, but they also did a ton of trade shows, and they were on the road quite a bit. 

As everyone that’s done a tradeshow knows, there’s a significant investment in travel in setting up the beautiful booths and setting up meetings. And just in handling all of the interactions that happen inside of a booth, what most manufacturers tend to think is that just being there is somehow magically going to get them the business. 

You don’t have a wonderful sales team that’s proactively going out and shaking hands and engaging, and you have great giveaways and things to engage and bring people in. The likelihood that you’re going to get real actionable leads is kind of low for a trade show. Now you’re just kind of sitting there with several dozen or several 100 other businesses that are all trying to do the same thing right alongside you.

Dave Meyer 16:02  

So how can you be more thoughtful with that, and with this particular customer, they had a Bible that they looked at, it was a manufacturing tolerance, that listed every little thing that you needed to know about the requirements for pressing, thin sheet aluminum versus thick sheet, or another example client, we have a printed circuit board maker. 

And so all of the different things that go into rapid prototyping, right, so the juxtaposition between traditional old school marketing of just going to a trade show, which trade shows or high target environments, or you know, rich target environments where there’s a lot of people that are theoretically there to buy, but there’s a lot of competition, and you need to be really thoughtful in your follow up. 

And so what we found with our customers is, especially after COVID, and they literally couldn’t meet at these trade shows anymore, because all the shows were canceled, we had to backfill that activity with something.

Dave Meyer 17:01  

And so what we did is we just came up with an email marketing campaign that took advantage of all of the existing customers and contacts that they already had in their CRM, their customer relationship management database. 

In this case, the customer was working on a tool called HubSpot, very easy to use, integrates with all kinds of other marketing and other things. We dovetailed what we knew about our customers, and we sent out a message to the people that we already knew and sent them the Bible that’s manufacturing tolerances book. 

But here’s where it gets interesting. That book was separated into several different sections on the kinds of things that you could do in precision manufacturing, were you sourcing material, were you trying to engineer new parts? Were you looking for rapid prototyping based on each of those options? We knew where that person looked at the documents. So in the tools that we have, if they downloaded that PDF, we knew how long they spent on each given page. So we know they went to the precision stamping page.

Dave Meyer 18:05  

And they stayed there for like 35 minutes that triggered an automatic deepening relationship, or we sent them another message, perhaps a blog post, or maybe even a demo video helping them break down and answer the questions that we knew they were probably asking. 

That’s much more scalable than even having a salesperson grabbing a business card and calling someone and having a conversation, right. So now, all of a sudden, our website, our marketing, our email tools, and our CRM are all working together to proactively and thoughtfully follow up with those targets. 

So that makes it much more scalable and repeatable. And on the backside as well. The Sales Team, all of a sudden, had exactly what they were looking for.

Dave Meyer 18:51  

They went from what we call marketing qualified leads, or just visits into the system to sales qualified leads, which means that our team was actively vetting each one of those contacts, are they likely to actually turn into a deal? 

And then the sales management was able to look at it and say, Okay, well, Bob on our team has been connecting with 18 people a week in this particular section in the precision manufacturing world. And so we know that Bob is doing his job, but it looks like Jim has had some trouble. 

Jim’s only made four calls in the past week, or he left four voicemails but didn’t actually get through to anyone. How can we help Jim get more information and give him more of what he needs? So we bolstered that part of that job to help Jim get what he needed. And so we gave them additional white papers or process sheets. We actually had the sales team coach him on what he needed to do.

Dave Meyer 19:50  

And so it gives you a lot more data and helps you be much more thoughtful inside of the entire sales process. So that’s kind of the new way of doing this and the way that you can use marketing materials and a CRM and an automated process to make sure that you’re not dropping any balls. 

Another example from a customer of mine is they were using post-it notes and Excel spreadsheets to keep track of all of their deals. Every month, they would have a trade show. They would get a big data dump from that trade show on everybody that attended. And they would send out the entire trade show worth of people, you know, the 2000 people that attended that show a blast email saying, Hey, we do our thing. And here’s what we do.

Dave Meyer 20:32  

And you should work with us. Yeah, not very engaging. And there’s a word for that I’m based in Minneapolis, Minneapolis, and Minnesota is actually the home state of spam, the actual food, right? 

So that spam whenever you’re sending people stuff that they haven’t asked for that they’re not interested in that spam convert, or juxtaposing that, too, I know that I’m interested in this particular thing, and someone is sending me information on that particular thing that I’ve expressed interest in, and then doing thoughtful follow up. 

It’s an entirely different conversation. And it’s very much the difference between the old school traditional car salesmen with the dancing gorilla on top of the building and trying to go in and saying, hey, you need the undercoating and all that and the juxtaposition of that with someone that takes the time to educate their customer on the benefits of doing something in the way that they can write. 

So it’s the difference between always talking about yourself as a business and meeting the needs of the customer and showing them how you can help them be successful in their world. 

Sam Gupta 21:42  

Okay, so I’m actually going to have two follow-up questions on the story, obviously, an amazing story. But let’s say if I think from the CFOs perspective, and you are comparing this situation with a trade show, in my opinion, I don’t think it’s a fair comparison. 

And I’ll tell you why. Because in this particular case, what you did is you basically targeted the existing customers in case of a trade show. If I’m going to a trade show, obviously, I’m probably going to meet some of the existing relationships. But my primary goal is to generate net new business, if I already have the relationships with somebody, then I can do dialing, and I can talk to them and do the follow-up. Right, that’s the easy part. 

But typically, net-new is going to be the slightly more difficult part. So do you have any story in which you did this with a net-new prospect as well, where let’s say you did not have their emails? And what was the process of getting them engaged on the content? And describe the whole process, from the beginning to the end. How can you generate net new business using these efforts?

Dave Meyer 22:41  

Absolutely. And you’re 100% Right. It’s easy to say: your trade shows are awful, and you can’t do them anyway. But conversely, on the flip side, doing thoughtful digital, hey, that’s the only thing you right now, but be it’s very easy to target based on who you know, you’re trying to reach. 

So in the tradeshow world, and again, if I’m a CFO, and I’m looking for what’s my biggest ROI, my biggest return on investment for spending this money to find new leads right now, it’s kind of a moot point. 

But even if it wasn’t the act of going out and trying to find people and just kind of hoping that they’re going to walk by versus a targeted LinkedIn campaign, where I’m going for exactly the right people is an entirely different conversation. And so what I’m doing a ton of with my customers right now is we’re going deep into the marketing personas, right, the idealized versions of who my best buyer is, and we’re looking at who they are. What roles do they fill in their organizations?

Dave Meyer 23:46  

What are their demographics, where are they physically located? What are their businesses? And what did those businesses do? And probably most importantly, what are the problems that we solve for those people?

So if I’m doing dedicated, thoughtful targeting using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, can be incredibly helpful on this because I know that my best customer is a purchasing officer at a Fortune 500 company that’s responsible for sourcing stamped plastics. 

So that gives me a bunch of keywords to work from, and then I can go out and specifically target that group with what I know they’re asking, you can look at keywords and keyword research and so in Google speak, you know, anything that people type into Google in order to find something about a business or a service is a keyword. 

And so if I know that people are searching for specific things, say it’s precision stamping, rapid prototyping, then I go in, and I can look for what those people are looking for. But then, most importantly, I can see what they’re doing after they interact with me.

Dave Meyer 24:52  

So if you have a tool again, my favorite is HubSpot. If someone clicks on a link that I’ve done or that I’ve created out of my link, In a lead generation campaign, you know, I’ve targeted a bunch of purchasing officers in a different level at a company, and almost like I’m targeting three or four different kinds of people at my target accounts, that’s called ABM, or account-based marketing. 

So I’m looking at specific accounts and saying, okay, for this business, I know that these three people are going to interact with my purchase, are going to be the decision-maker, the detractor, and probably the line-level person that’s going to be actually interacting with me, what are those three kinds of people looking for, I generate the content that they’re going to be searching for in my blog on my website, and I make a post on LinkedIn that backs up here are the three things that we can do. 

It’s very solution-oriented and gets them right to what we can do to solve. What I’m trying to get to for each of those accounts is they type the problem that they’re having into Google into LinkedIn, or just ask their friends and the other people that they know in the industry, and we show up as a business. And so it’s the level of detail that you can get and the measurability of all of these things that really seems to speak to CFOs in the business.

Dave Meyer 26:22  

So for finance officers that are really looking at what’s the ROI of every nickel that we spend, if I can say that 33% of this kind of marketing results in a lead that’s actionable for us and that our sales team can dig into, that’s a much easier new sell, or it’s easier to keep doing that particular activity if I know that that’s the kind of result that I’m getting.

And by the way, I can look at it and kind of broad-spectrum say, yes, this kind of interaction, the dedicated LinkedIn connections and emails followed up by our inbound marketing campaign, or the act of giving them more information and helping them do a choose your own adventure until it makes sense for us to call them proactively, that’s far more productive than just doing cold calling, or the last time we purchased a marketing list of people in our industry, we found that 23% of our links were just dead, that the people weren’t anymore at that position, or that the email bounced. It just went out and never got to anyone. Another 5% actually did click on it, but then the other 80% of folks never opened our email.

Dave Meyer 27:37  

Conversely, I can see that what I’ve been doing in other areas has either a higher or lower conversion rate. So it lets you make fact-based decisions based on the data that you’re collecting about what people are actually doing very hard to do in an in-person relationship. 

If you’re just walking around to a trade show, unless you have one of those barcode shooter scanners, and even then, you’re relying on people holding up their badges and letting you scan them. 

But when you’re interacting with them via automated email, online marketing, advertising, everything that you do is measurable and, therefore, decisional. You can actually make a decision based on the information that you’re getting. 

Sam Gupta 28:17  

Yeah, I completely agree with the measurability aspect of marketing automation. But I actually want to go back to the story. And I want to touch on one more point there. And that is going to be your comment related to the spam, right? 

So in my mind, when I look at these times when typically the way people perceive spam, if I don’t need something, and I think you mentioned this as well, right? That, you know, if I’m not looking for something right now, then that is probably going to be as bad even though it is not as spam, right. So identifying that purchase signal is always going to be difficult, irrespective of whether you are targeting the new customers or the existing customer. 

And finding the purchase signal was so easy, irrespective of whether you are cold calling or doing the marketing automation, the challenge is going to be similar. So how are you able to identify the purchase signal in the case of marketing automation when technically none of these signals can do that as confidently?

Dave Meyer 29:16  

So the part of the answer is by adjusting the number of touchpoints that you have, which gives you more data to play with. So if I send a message out, or if I’m doing an advertising campaign, and I expect that I’m going to reach 100 people, that doesn’t really give me a lot of data. 

But if I try to reach 25,000 people, that’s going to be a much more actionable set of data. One of the other things that we need to do is kind of just act in good faith and know that our people, our best prospects, are going to be searching for us at some time in the near future. 

So I teach courses for Google. I’m actually one of 12 people in the country to rise to speak on behalf of Google about search engine optimization. And here’s what the engineers at Google are actually telling me. And if we could optimize, or if I could wrap up search engine optimization, or SEO in one sentence, it’s as useful as possible to your audience whenever possible.

Dave Meyer 30:19  

So having a deep bench of helpful information is going to give you many more touchpoints, many more options, many more ways for that person to enter into your sales funnel or engage with you than it is if you just try to be super targeted every time. 

So our job as revenue drivers for our organization is simply to be as useful as possible to the people that need our services. Yeah, that’s much easier to do digitally than it ever has been before. Eventually, trade shows and things are going to come back, and we’re going to be able to do these. 

I think the way people are in or interact with trade shows is going to be different no matter what. We’re going to have a lot of different touchpoints. And everything’s going to be more measurable, more connectable, and we’re going to focus on having a fairly low bar for people to clear to start an automated conversation. 

And what I mean by a low bar to clear is you’re probably not even when we were at trade shows, we weren’t walking around and saying, Hey, can I get your credit card number? Because I want to double-check to make sure that you’re a qualified candidate or hey, can I have your social security number or whatever that is, right? What you’re asking people is if you’re interested in our services, grab this sticker, or this mug, or whatever.

Dave Meyer 31:36  

And in trade for that, I just want to be able to scan your badge so that I can send you some follow-up information later. That bar that you ask people to cross needs to be equal in value to the content that you’re giving them, right. 

So if I’m giving away a car, I can ask a lot more questions than if I’m just giving away a pencil. Or if I’m just letting them sign up for my email newsletter, right email newsletter, the best you’re going to get is their email address. If you’re giving away a car, you can probably ask a whole bunch of signals and see what they’re actually interested in. 

And you can be much more integrated and interactive right from square one. So it needs to match the value of what you’re asking for. But then you also straight just need to go right back to how can I make the process that they’re going through in their buyer’s journey, as they’re looking for and researching? 

Am I a good fit for them? How can I make it as easy as possible for them to find what they’re looking for, to understand that I’m the best solution for them, and to feel reassured that they can trust that I’m going to deliver on the promise that I’m making?

Sam Gupta 32:42  

So let’s go back to your comment about the volume. And this is probably going back to my earlier question related to where your spot is going to be fit, right. So you mentioned that the purchase signal is going to be slightly superior. If you have, let’s say a lot more data points. So let’s say if you’re sending the email to 25,000 people, right? You are probably going to be in a slightly stronger position to be able to tell which customers are going to buy. 

And if you have only 100 customers probably will not be as confident, right. So obviously, marketing automation is going to be a data game. The more data that you have, the better your campaign is probably going to perform, the more confident you are going to be in refining your campaign, aligning your campaign. So let’s go back to my question, right. 

And the question was, is HubSpot and marketing automation going to be fit in every single situation, or are there situations in cases where marketing automation may not be a fit? For example, let’s say if I’m selling to 10 customers, would marketing automation still make sense, or should I rather do the plain old cold calling because that personal touch matters a lot? We have come a long way in terms of understanding and appreciating technology. 

But we are still a long way to appreciate the bots or automated emails. So what would be your recommendation in terms of where the HubSpot is going to be a fit?

Dave Meyer 34:04  

Perfect, so for companies that have a captive market and that are basically locked in, all they need to do is say anybody needs some, and everybody that needs some is going to say yes, inbound marketing, automated marketing is probably overkill. 

If you’re going to get the business anyway, you probably don’t need to do that. However, I would probably argue that for many businesses, those doors are slowly closing. And people are being much more thoughtful, and the competition is heating up everywhere. 

I have conversations all the time when I’m doing my own prospecting for BizzyWeb, and I asked people how are you getting your leads, if you’re getting your leads through a dedicated system of people, just like everybody in the market knows me or I’m the only person that provides this particular product or service, you kind of have your market set for you, and it’s overkill.

Dave Meyer 34:59  

In that case, all you need to do is send out an email to everyone that’s on that list and give them the opportunity to keep buying, or probably at that point, you just have dedicated sales reps that call and fill orders. 

Conversely, when you do definitely need as much help as possible is when your particular product or service could be at least perceived as a commodity, or there are lots of other options in the market. 

So if there’s a lot of competition, and it’s a market where a lot of people can just enter it at any differentiation point, without there being a lot of differentiation. So if you’re an aluminum, if you’re a sheet aluminum provider, there’s a lot of places you can probably get sheet aluminum, and there’s probably not much difference between those.

Dave Meyer 35:41  

So what is the thing that’s going to get people excited about working with you? What’s probably going to be some ancillary service, some other things, that’s going to make the process of ordering that sheet aluminum much easier. Or it’s going to be a value add. And you don’t want to race to the bottom on the price whenever possible. You instead want to offer more value. 

And so for businesses that have a lot of options, or for businesses that the competition is strong, and or there’s not a lot of reason for that company to obviously be the choice, that’s when you need to have a more thoughtful and conversational outreach. We work with a customer that does Printed Circuit Boards, PCBs. And there’s a lot of people that help rapid prototype PCBs in all kinds of markets; they happen to be in Silicon Valley.

Dave Meyer 36:33  

And so it’s hot there, there’s a lot of people that are providing that service, what we had to focus on with that customer is that there’s a lot of added value that you can bring into the purchase process. And then it’s our job to identify and illustrate what that added value is because that’s probably what’s going to make that purchase decision for someone that’s the decision-maker, right? 

So if it’s the electrical engineer, that’s saying, Okay, well, we have this switch that’s on this tool, and we need a circuit board to let it work directly. How am I going to get that as quickly as possible? Well, there’s a way to do that. And so that’s what we focus on is what the added value is so short version of my long answer to your question, Sam is Yeah, if there’s no competition, you don’t need inbound marketing. 

But if there’s a lot of consideration that goes into marketing or a sales discussion, that’s when having a deep well of helpful information that will help lower the friction in the purchase process is going to really bear fruit.

Sam Gupta 37:36  

Okay, amazing. That’s great Dave, do you have any last-minute closing up by any chance,

Dave Meyer 37:40  

The only thing that I’ll leave everyone with is no one to raise your hands. A lot of times, we tend to think that we’ve got our market figured out, you know, we’ve been doing this for 50 years, and we’re doing everything that we need to. So, yeah, we just need to update our website, or you get calls from people saying, well, if you did Google ads, you would be at the top of Google search results. 

There’s a lot of noise in the market. And knowing and having a trusted advisor to help you actually convert leads can be incredibly powerful in the sales process for your business, there’s a lot of people out there, and I have an uphill battle every day whenever I contact someone because there’s a lot of people that aren’t that trustworthy in the marketing game, or they just work their system. 

And they guarantee it if you Google SEO, there are millions of results. But it’s the difference in knowing how to make this work for you. And not just having a brochure website that talks all about you and don’t focus on your customer at all. And having a thoughtful, conversational experience that’s going to let your customer warm themselves up and be ready for purchase by the time they call you. 

Sam Gupta 38:51  

Okay, amazing. And my personal takeaway from this conversation is going to be obviously in the sales and marketing world, there’s always going to be noise, but marketing, if done right, they can be incredibly powerful. So on that note, I want to thank you for your time, Dave. This has been a fascinating conversation. Thank you so much.

Dave Meyer 39:08  

Thank you, Sam.

Sam Gupta 39:09  

I cannot thank our guests enough for coming on the show for sharing their knowledge and journey. I always pick up learnings from our guests, and hopefully, you’ve learned something new today. If you want to learn more about Dave or want to sign up for one of his upcoming seminars, head over to Links and more information will also be available in the show notes. 

If anything in this podcast resonated with you and your business. You might want to check other related episodes, including the interview with Jeff White, who discusses why it is so important to identify the ideal customer profile for your offerings to streamline your growth. Also, the interview with Gil Walker, who discusses why CRM is important, and how that fits among other systems, such as ERP and e-commerce. 

Also, don’t forget to subscribe and spread the word among folks with similar backgrounds. If you have any questions or comments about the show, please review and rate us on your favorite podcasting platform or DM me on any social channels. I’ll try my best to respond personally and make sure you get help. Thank you, and I hope to catch you on the next episode of the WBS podcast.

Outro 40:26  

Thank you for listening to another episode of The WBS podcast. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform so you never miss an episode. For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, check out our community at We’ll see you next time.

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