How To Scale Your B2B Marketing Strategy

How To Scale Your B2B Marketing Strategy written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Louis Gudema

Louis Gudema, a guest on the Duct Tape Marketing PodcastIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Louis Gudema. Louis is a fractional CMO for B2B companies, and mentors startups at MIT.  Previously he founded and grew a marketing agency, and pivoted it into a SaaS company, growing it into one of the top three or four companies in its national market before a successful exit. The first edition of Bullseye Marketing was named One of the Best Marketing Plan Books of All Time by Book Authority. He also has a side hustle as a ghostwriter of business and marketing books.

His upcoming book is a second edition of Bullseye Marketing where he teaches how to develop, launch, and scale a successful marketing strategy for B2B companies.

Key Takeaway:

This second edition of Bullseye Marketing focuses on B2B marketing exclusively and highlights examples of how creativity can be implemented in B2B marketing strategies. Louis emphasizes the importance of the third phase of the Bullseye Marketing approach, which is to create mental availability and build up brand awareness so that you are top of mind for your customers and make your short-term marketing more effective.

Questions I ask Louis Gudema:

  • [02:11] Why’d you write a second edition? What was needed? What’s new?
  • [07:37] You talk a lot about conversion rate optimization, so tell me a little bit of your thinking on what you’ve seen when you’ve got people to focus on that.
  • [09:24] What are the significant like channel differences even, or approaches to a B2B marketer as opposed to a B2C marketer?
  • [12:44] Regarding brand marketing, how can I invest in that when I really can’t measure it?
  • [18:45] What’s your take on AI in marketing these days?
  • [21:53] You are an author of a great book: Bullseye Marketing, but you also write books with, and for other folks, I suppose, as a ghostwriter. Can you talk about your decision to do that?

More About Louis Gudema:

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  • Contact Louis

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John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Creative Elements hosted by Jay Klaus. It’s brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network. The audio destination for business professionals creative elements goes behind the scenes with today’s top creators. Through narrative interviews, Jay Klaus explores how creators like Tim Urban James Clear, Tory Dunlap and Cody Sanchez are building their audiences today. By learning how these creators make a living with their art and creativity, creative elements helps you gain the tools and confidence to do the same. In a recent episode, they talked with Kevin Perry about how he goes viral on every single platform. Listen to creative elements wherever you get your podcast.

(00:52): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch, and my guest today is Louis Gudema. He is a fractional CMO for B2B companies and mentors, startups at MIT. Previously, he founded and grew a marketing agency and pivoted into a SaaS company, growing it into one of the top three or four companies in the national market before a successful exit. The first edition of Bullseye Marketing was named one of the best marketing plan books of all time by book Authority. He also does a little side hustle as ghostwriter of business and marketing books. But we’re gonna talk today about the second edition of Bullseye Marketing. So Louis, welcome back to the show.

Louis Gudema (01:38): Hi, John. Great to be back. Good to see you

John Jantsch (01:41): Again. So every time I have an author on, oh by the way, I also should have should point out because I’m certain he’s listening that Douglas Burnett wrote the Forward for this new edition with the, uh, marketing book podcast. I, he tells me I’ve been on like six times. He’s better about that stuff than me keeping track of. But whenever I have second,

Louis Gudema (01:59): He’s telling me that you were, uh, very close neck and neck for his most, his champion for most

John Jantsch (02:04): Episode, his most episodes by one author. So I always ask second edition books, authors, why’d you write a Second Edition? What was needed? What’s new , you know what? Because obviously that it’s a lot of work to do and to update a book. So there had to be some compelling reason, I’m guessing, that you felt it needed an update.

Louis Gudema (02:25): Yeah, it turned out to be more work than I expected. So the reason I wrote, and Douglas was very encouraging, even two or three years ago, he was like, you should do a second edition. So I’ll have to ask him someday why he thought it needed improving . But first of all, the first edition was B2B and B2C, and this edition is exclusively B2B. And I, that’s really my expertise. That’s where I do, you know, almost all my work. That’s where most of my experience is. And so I really wanted to focus on that. One of the things, and I have two or three others I’ll quickly say, but one of the things is that I think B2B marketing especially lacks creativity compared to B2C. So I populate the book and tried to make a real effort to show how people, and give a lot of examples from a lot of companies of kind of really creative and excellent B2B marketing.

John Jantsch (03:13): Yeah. And I actually wanna dig in, dig into some of those differences a little bit. But uh, go ahead.

Louis Gudema (03:18): Yeah, so another thing is that I laid out in the first book that the three phases of the Bullseye Marketing approach, you know, and the first is to take advantage of your existing marketing assets for fast, inexpensive results. Secondly, use intent marketing. And thirdly, I called cast of white or net and I renamed it a more accurate scientific correct phase, which is build your brand and grow your mental availability. Because what I’ve learned between the two additions is much more of the research that it turned out really validated by bullseye approach and the real importance in the long term of the third phase of building mental availability. And I can explain what that is. Yes. And it’s something that in this era of short-termism that, that so many marketers are focused on, what can we do with this campaign? What can we do this quarter that they’ve, they miss out on the long-term growth that can be achieved through those phase three programs, which is equal to, or even greater than the, those short-term

John Jantsch (04:32): Programs. I, I was gonna bring up the phase approach cuz it’s one of the things I really liked from the first edition. I know it’s back in this and I think that I’ve been, you know, for many years talking about, you know, I call it the customer success track in my last book. That, you know, there are there certain things that have to be done first, can be done first. Maybe it’s the low hanging fruit or it’s the foundation, you know, but it’s then what’s the promise of what’s next and the promise of what’s next. And I think you maybe don’t call it the same thing, but I think there’s a little bit of that same idea. The long game, you know, goes on while the short game is played as well.

Louis Gudema (05:05): Yeah. And I realize, you know, the first edition I thought was kind of focused on people who weren’t really experienced marketers. And then it turned out some very experienced marketers like were saying this is really great and very helpful. And so there the first phase is both a foundation for success in the second and third phases, but it’s also, you know, in and of itself, it can produce a tremendous result just in three or six months.

John Jantsch (05:34): Yeah, yeah. Like here’s an idea, send an email occasionally to your 1,237 customers that haven’t heard from you. Right.

Louis Gudema (05:42): , well it, that was, so bullseye marketing grew originally from the fact that I was working with companies, you know, as a fractional CMO and things that were supposed to be like the best, you know, like inbound marketing or social media posts or other things, you know, they wouldn’t produce results in in three or six months. No. And I thought, well, what really does produce results? And that’s when, you know, bullseye Marketing grew out of that. And also from my experience as you know, I’m sure you’ve had work, I would start to work with the new client and I’d say, oh, how many email addresses, you know, do you have? And they’d say, oh, we have 12,000 or, you know, whatever the number might be, right? And I’d say, oh, how often do you, you know, email them? And they’d say, oh, around the holidays,

John Jantsch (06:31): ,

Louis Gudema (06:31): And, you know, email is marketing is such a tremendously powerful, you know, and almost free tool. And yet they weren’t taking advantage of it. And so that’s where the idea of the marketing assets that were kinda like money that people had in the shoebox under the bed, you know, and they just had to use it better.

John Jantsch (06:50): I had a client one time that, that we were doing a monthly newsletter and he was like, you know, that’s just a pain. Let’s just kill that. I just, you know, I don’t wanna do that anymore. And I was able to show him spikes in web traffic, spikes in conversions, , you know, every single time that thing went out. He was like, okay, I get it. I get it. . Yeah. So it’s awesome. Hey, you know, speaking of conversions, I also like your thinking on this. You know, a lot of times I have said before on stages that, you know, if you dropped me into your business and you said, look, you’ve got, you know, a couple weeks, what’s like the one area you would work on? And I always say it’s sales or conversion , you know, rate optimization. Cuz you, most of the time nobody really focuses on that. You like tweak the dial one half a percent and sometimes, and it can really drop to the bottom line. Can it, so you have, you talk a lot about conversion rate optimization. So tell me a little bit of your thinking on what you’ve seen when you’ve got people to focus on that.

Louis Gudema (07:46): Oh yeah, I mean it just makes a huge difference. You know, it, it’s just the idea is so simple is it’s way easier to double your conversion rate with the existing amount of traffic than it is to double the amount of traffic with the existing rate of conversion. And it, when you double your conversion rate, which you know can, it’s one of those, another one of those almost free things. Yeah. You know, you’re not only getting twice as many leads or sales or whatever your conversion is, you’re cutting the cost per conversion in half. And, and sometimes it’s, it’s really obvious stuff. Yeah. And so, you know, I I like to say that if you start to ramp up your marketing without first optimizing your for conversions, yeah. It’s like trying to full a buck fill a bucket that’s full of holes, you know, you’re just wasting a huge amount of your time and effort.

John Jantsch (08:42): Yeah. And I’ll throw one more variable in there. You get lead conversion cranked up, raise your prices , and you know, it may cut into conversions a little bit, but you know, it’s pure profit in many cases. So, you know, it’s worth the take worth taking a look at both of those, I think in a combination.

Louis Gudema (09:01): Yeah.

John Jantsch (09:03): Te tell me a little bit in your experience, um, the, what you see as the significant marketing differences between, you started already alluding a lot of B2B businesses, you know, the marketing’s very boring and because they feel like, oh, it has to be very professional or something. But talk about just the significant differences between B2B, not talking about like the tone or the messaging, but the, you know, the significant like channel differences even or approaches to, you know, a B2B marketer as opposed to a B2C marketer.

Louis Gudema (09:33): Well, and I’m gonna talk about the leading B2C companies, the p and gs and those Yeah. Right, right. Cause they, yeah, they do it so well. And there are some great B2B markers like Salesforce, you know, which really gets it also, and I give other examples in the book. But what they realize is that you have to build this idea, uh, of mental availability first of all. And that means that customers, it starts with the recognition that 95% of your market is not interested in buying from you today. Right? So it doesn’t matter what you say or what you offer, you know, they bought it six months ago, or they have a vendor they’re happy with or they, or it may be a, you know, if a, a firm has an accountant, a law firm, you know, some other, uh, service provider that they’re very happy with, they’re just got not gonna switch.

(10:28): If they bought a new crm, you know, two years ago, you know, they’d have to be really upset to switch, you know, and that’s true just of many things. The typical consumer insurance customer stays with the same company like Progressive or Geico for 11 or 12 years. And you know, and that’s the case in the B2B world too. So mental availability is building up awareness so that you are top of mind when they do want to actually buy something in your category. Because the short list is often very short. And one, sometimes just two companies, you know, I, I have in there a study in the book where someone, an analyst was surveyed their customers, their clients who had just bought new digital asset management systems. These are big enterprise expensive software system. A majority of the clients had looked at one vendor, they had done no competitive bake off at all.

(11:27): And I hear that all the time from small company, you know, companies that are selling to SMBs, you know, that they are, you know, someone hears good things about the MailChimp or about HubSpot or about Constant Contact and they’re like, they look at it, yeah, looks good, let’s go with it. And they don’t spend, you know, three months doing a competitive bake off. And if you aren’t, if you don’t haven’t built up that mental availability over the previous months and years, you don’t know about that opportunity. All the search marketing in the world and email marketing in the world will not make you aware of that opportunity cuz they’re just not gonna talk to anyone. They’ve already settled before they bought it. And so you wanna get yourself, and this is what, you know, this is why p and g and companies like that, you know, you look at the Today Show and they do their 15 second ads and it’s just to constantly be, you know, maintain that aware that mental availability, which is more than awareness, so that when you are ready to buy, when you are ready to switch, you are the one they’re thinking of.

John Jantsch (12:31): You know, I can already hear listeners saying, well, that’s great, p and g has billions, you know, somewhere, you know, how can I afford, you know, how can I invest in that type of, you know what, maybe people would’ve called brand marketing or something at one point. How can I invest in that when I really can’t measure it, you know, scientifically,

Louis Gudema (12:53): Well, I compare it, I like to make this comparison, John, brand marketing and building awareness is like exercise, you know, it’s well documented that people are healthier and live longer and live healthier, right. If they exercise, you know, five times a week, right. You know, half an hour a day, not a huge investment, but you know, if they do that they will be much healthier and live longer. And that’s like brand marketing. You know, it’s not with exercise where you can say, you know, last Tuesday I ran a 5K and that’s what made me healthy, or I got X return from it . Right. You know, it’s the doing it constantly over and over again at the same time, you know, in terms of medicine, you know, when you got an emergency, you get a, you know, chemotherapy, you get surgery, you get your covid shot, you know, those have great short-term effects. They may even save your life, but they don’t produce long-term health and wellness. And so you need ’em both. And what the researchers, what the studies show is that optimally you have a roughly 50 50 balance and spend between brand and lead generation.

John Jantsch (14:04): Yeah. And I can attest to the fact that having that long-term approach, whatever it is, however, you know, shows up, doesn’t, it’s not always running ads, you know, on the Today Show that having that brand mental availability, brand awareness out there actually makes your marketing your short-term marketing more effective. I have found. So in other words, you know, we’ve invested for years in inbound. That’s just part of what we do. I produce content, we’re on social media, I speak on stages, I do webinars. You know, those are all kind of things that in many cases are just kind of getting the name, keeping the name out there when we then decide there’s something we wanna promote and we put ads behind it. I can tell you anecdotally, but I, you know, probably could go do better than that, that we have people all the time saying, yeah, I read Tape Marketing eight years ago and then I saw your ad and it just reminded me how awesome it . You know, I mean, it, it, you know, I, again, I th I I think it’s really testament to the fact that they support each other. I think it’s not just like for the long term someday.

Louis Gudema (15:05): Oh, sure. So are you familiar with Gusto? The Oh, okay,

John Jantsch (15:08): Sure, sure. Actually, my, my, my daughter has done a lot of marketing with them or my daughter’s firm. Yeah.

Louis Gudema (15:14): Okay. So I quote the former CMO of Gusto, she was the CMO when they grew from 500 to 50,000 in customers. Yeah. So hugely successful. Now she’s the ceo. That’s what you get when you go from 500 to 50,000. You get to be CEO next time. Yeah. And of Mutiny a marketing AI firm. Ah, and she says that at Gusto, she found that whenever she turned off the brand marketing, six months later, their customer acquisition costs, their CAC went through the roof and their conversion rates tanked. And, you know, she tried it. She ran the, this experiment and other companies, Adidas found the same thing in B2C, you know, six or seven years ago, they said, oh, we’re just gonna do this, you know, digital lead gens, you know, online sales stuff, we don’t need the brand marketing. We’ll leave that to Nike. And after about three or four years, they said, oops, you know, they found out. So a lot of companies have found out in a lot of different industries that just exactly what you said, brand supports LeadGen, and you need ’em both, you know, hand in hand.

John Jantsch (16:30): This is a

Louis Gudema (16:30): Say, just one other thing, and they are fundamentally different. Yeah. Yeah. And you might even need different people or different agencies doing them because the brand is all about creative and emotion and characters and humor

John Jantsch (16:44): Message. Yeah. And

Louis Gudema (16:44): The lead gen is all about rational, 10% off sign up for our webinar conversion optimization stuff. So they are very different skills. And you may need different, you know, groups of people doing them.

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(18:35): If this next question were part of a drinking game and you had to drink every time somebody asks a question about this right now, if we all wouldn’t be getting much done, but where are you, where, what’s your take on AI in marketing these days?

Louis Gudema (18:49): Uh, I think it’s very new and I think it’s gonna have a huge impact. I actually was sitting, you know, I, until last month, I headed up a group in Boston that you’ve spoken to sales and marketing innovators. And we had a speaker today on AI in marketing, and he was making a point. So first, all the writing I see from AI today, I think is very bland and mm-hmm. Undistinguished. Yep. But who knows what it’ll be like in two or three years. But he was saying that, you know, what AI does is it brings in a huge amount of internet content and, you know, and then it generates new things from that. Now, LinkedIn itself, the LinkedIn B2B Institute says that 75% of the ads on LinkedIn are in a, and as we’ve been talking about, most B2B ads are not very good. So if you’re using an AI that’s taking in all the mediocre stuff that’s being done today and creating new things based on that, I don’t think that’s what you want. I, you know, and I think that to the degree that AI is valuable, marketers have to be better than AI or, or we won’t have jobs.

John Jantsch (20:01): Well, you know, at least what I’m telling people right now is it’s an efficiency tool. It’s a research tool. So, you know, you may ask it’s something and get 20 ideas where you would’ve thought of 10 or something. You know, I’m with you. I mean, it’s certainly not at the cut and paste stage by, by any means. Boy, I tell you, it does a good job of outlining things. It does a good job. Metadata is a perfect example. I mean, you know, for SEO purposes, keyword research for SEO purposes, it just speeds. You know, it gives us a lot of speed and efficiency in doing some of those routine tasks. And I think that’s how, if we use it that way and free up sort of those, the mental capacity, you know, to think strategically, I think it, it certainly has a place today.

Louis Gudema (20:44): Oh, for sure. Yeah. I mean, it’s great for brain, you know, brainstorming and you might get, you know, 15 or 20 ideas and you say, yeah, that one, you know that that might be a good topic. Although I heard, uh, I saw on Twitter, this guy at this agency said that they were doing a branding campaign and they asked Chad g p t and it came up with, you know, like 10 15. And then, so they immediately tossed all those out as being the obvious banal things. And their job then was to find the new innovative approach that something like ChatGPT wouldn’t come up with.

John Jantsch (21:22): Yeah. Yeah. We’ve been using it a lot for some strategic research too. You know, you develop a persona and then say, you know, what are the 20 concerns that, you know, this persona might have when buying X Service or considering X Service? And, you know, I have to say it, you know, it, it is probably the common stuff, but it just, you know, it’s, it create create in that particular case, it creates a nice framework for, you know, maybe we ought to be messaging around a few of these. Yeah. So let me shift gears a little bit. You are an author of a great book, bullseye Marketing, but you also write books with and for other folks, really, truly for, I suppose, as a ghostwriter, you, you wanna talk a little bit about your decision to do that? I find it difficult because it’s so much work to write a book. I can’t imagine writing somebody else’s book.

Louis Gudema (22:11): . Well, you know, they have to pay you to do it

John Jantsch (22:15): .

Louis Gudema (22:16): So I can help you on that part of it. So yeah, after I wrote Bullseye Marketing, I contacted a few publishers, and the thing is, I’ve been a, a ghostwriter, if you wanna call it that. Well, that’s for my entire career. Right, right. I’ve written for, you know, I’ve written for CEOs, I’ve written for clients, you know, campaigns, I’ve a hundred page manuals and videos and, you know, I’ve written for clients my entire career. So this is just a, a different form of writing.

John Jantsch (22:42): Different package, huh? Yeah. A different package. Yeah.

Louis Gudema (22:46): Yeah. And so I, I let a few publishers know, and last year one of them contacted me and said, yeah, we do need someone to write a marketing book. And it was an interesting topic. It was B2B, but it was not an area I had done a lot of work in. So it was kind of interesting. And I, I could learn the author and I got along very well. He liked, you know, what I wrote, and that helped us get along well. Right. . Um, so now in that case, I did not have a credit, and now I’m, you know, talking with a, another author who, where I would be a co-author on the book. So yeah, I am interested in doing that. And as I said, it’s kind of a, you know, it’s something I’ve done for a long time.

John Jantsch (23:28): Well, you know, ChatGPT, they’re, you know, just have it spin out books for you and then they’ll be very profitable. Right?

Louis Gudema (23:35): I think so , I think if I can just have ChatGPT write it all in the background, it’ll, you know, and I can do about 20 or 50 at a time.

John Jantsch (23:44): Yeah. , like who are some of those people? Patterson, James Patterson, that spins out, you know, like eight books a year. But I guess he’s, I guess he’s just hired an army of people that can work inside of his sort of framework model and write. Oh, is that what he does? Yeah. Yeah. Apparently. So that’s why he, that’s why he’s so prolific.

Louis Gudema (24:03): Well, Stephen King does is outrageously prolific with his novels. Yeah. I think he ha does something like, I, I read his book on writing. I think he has a goal of something like 2000 words a day.

John Jantsch (24:16): Oh, wow.

Louis Gudema (24:17): And so, you know, he sits down every morning, writes his 2000 words, and, you know, that’s,

John Jantsch (24:23): That’s how

Louis Gudema (24:24): You, he has another very

John Jantsch (24:25): Long, how to say that that’s how you get to eight, 800 pages. Right.

Louis Gudema (24:29): Yeah. .

John Jantsch (24:30): Although I will say Bullseye Marketing is no thin work there either. It’s, uh, I think you’re with the index, you’re over 400 pages and in that book and it’s really, you know, I don’t know if you see this as a compliment or not, but I think it’s a, I think it’d be an amazing textbook just because you cover so much ground and you do it in, I think in very practical ways.

Louis Gudema (24:49): Well, thank you. I have, I had a, a one reader in their Amazon review of the first edition called it an encyclopedia. Yeah, yeah. Of marketing. It’s, you know, when I kind of picked it up to do the second edition, I was like, this is ridiculously ambitious . But it’s funny you mentioned that cuz when Douglas Burett interviewed me, you know, five years ago on the Marketing Book podcast, he started off by saying, so I weighed this and it weighed 1.5 pounds. So I were you, it wasn’t what I thought was the most notable, but apparently it is longer than those

John Jantsch (25:28): Books on top of pages. You, I don’t know who, you know, Wedgewood Press got the paper from, but I just think it’s, I think it’s just a bulky, heavy book in general compared to a lot of other 400 page books. So it has something to do with the weight of the paper. I think even,

Louis Gudema (25:43): Well it’s got over a hundred full color illustrations.

John Jantsch (25:47): Well that too. Yeah. Did the first tradition, I’m forgetting, did the first tradition have color? Oh, okay.

Louis Gudema (25:52): And so, you know, wanted high quality paper.

John Jantsch (25:55): Yeah, yeah. Well you accomplished that. Well Lewis, thanks again for taking a moment to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. You wanna invite people to connect with you and find out more about Bullseye Marketing in its various forms.

Louis Gudema (26:07): Yeah, so, so the book will launch on May 2nd. I’m not sure when this will drop, but either, you know, right. Presumably

John Jantsch (26:17): It’s May 2nd, 2023 I should say. Cuz people listen to this show years later.

Louis Gudema (26:22): That’s true. May 2nd, 2023, the ebook can be advanced ordered, but the physical book for some reason cannot. But you can buy it May 2nd and you can connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter or louisgudema@gmail and would love to, you know, communicate with any of your, uh, listeners.

John Jantsch (26:42): Awesome. Well, again, thanks for stopping by and hopefully we’ll run into you again soon. One of these days out there on the road, Lu. Thank you, John. Be well. Hey, and one final thing before you go. You know how I talk about marketing strategy, strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that, what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the Marketing Strategy Assessment. You can find it,, dot co. Check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketing I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get.

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