WriterAccess Webinar Archive
Three Amigos: Content, Sales and Service
Thursday, September 25, 2014 – 1:00 PM ET
As it turns out, content marketing is intimately connected with the art of selling and the science of customer service. These three amigos together grow sales. Great content attracts leads. Quality leads drive sales. And amazing service keeps customers coming back for more.
Join host Byron White and guest David Meerman Scott, author of a new book called The New Rules of Sales and Service for the 55th content marketing webinar. David will serve up the inside story of how agile selling, real-time customer engagement, big data and killer content now combine and combust for explosive business growth. Byron will walk you through 12 sales, marketing and service strategies that landed WriterAccess on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies.
Learn All This and More:
- New Rules for Sales and Service
- How WriterAccess Made the Inc. 5000 List
- Why Surprise is the Secret Weapon
- How to Coordinate Content, Sales and Service
The slidedeck from this webinar is available for download.
Byron: Hi everyone, Byron White here, host of the 55th Content Marketing Webinar. It’s good thing I’m not counting years of my age, but pretty close actually. Happy to have everyone on board, I am here with David Scott. Can you hear me David?
David: I can Byron and hopefully you can hear me as well.
Byron: indeed yes, thanks for being with us today. So you are a bit of an icon, a mogul in book publishing. You have published 10 books, the most famous is called “The New Rules of Marketing and PR”. You published a new book called, “The New Rules of Sales and Service” and your new rules of Marketing PR is on its fourth edition. You wrote it in 2007 and wow it’s in 26 languages.
David: Yeah it’s a bit of interesting because I traveled to all those countries. I have presentations in 40 different countries, and now have 10 books in 12 years.
Byron: Now ten books in 12 years, that’s sort of factory of books, are you exhausted?
David: It’s sort of ridiculous that’s what it is. I actually need to take some time off.
Byron: Like a decade may be?
David: Yes that’s really too much. I am going to take things a little slower for the next decade. A book a year for the next decade is slowing down.
Byron: Your interest in Content marketing goes way back and arguably one of the first publishers on the topic. Can you talk about that for a second? Why did content as a marketing tool strike your fancy?
David: Really simply because I worked my entire career for content companies as a marketing person. I started off working for Dean Witter on Wall Street trading Desk. But that was really short. I switched over to economic consulting which is real time economic consulting. I did that for couple years. Then I worked for Knight-Ridder the second largest American Newspaper Company for six years. Then I was working for a company called New Surge which was also acquired by Thompson Reuters. I worked there also for six years.
so I spent my entire career in the content marketing Department of media companies. And I realized when I got out, I was actually fired, so I had to find a new gig which was writing my own books and giving speeches. I realized that the best form of marketing is to create content and low and behold I was one person out there with experience in real time electronic information and journalism. I was able to put all those things together around these ideas starting around 2002 and culminating with the first book I wrote about content marketing. It came out in 2005.
Byron: I started a content marketing company in 2006-2007. We were like not only like new kids on the block and were pre turned away by most people who couldn’t understand content marketing doing its own thing. But pretty brave for you to put the chips in and saying this is big people, please listen up. Did that first book have some success? Please tell us a little about that book.
David: The book that came out in 2005 was a little too early unfortunately or fortunately, because I drew a line on the sand. A bunch of people read it, and knew it was a wave of the future. But it wasn’t a big bunch. It sold about 3,000 copies. However, in 2007,I did a similar book called ‘The New Rules in Marketing PR.’ That one sold 350, 000 copies, hundred times as many copies. I think I hit the market right, with that one. But that first book on content marketing was a little too early. It also suffered from a terrible name, the book’s title; it does not describe what the book was all about.
Byron: Cashing in with the Content?
David: Cashing in with the content, please nobody should buy it because it is stated. Although if you want to see a historical relic of what the first content marketing book is like, then you can buy it.
Byron: We are excited with your new book the ‘The New Rules of Sales and Service.’ I think we’re going to have a lot of fun today. So let me dive in and deliver a quick presentation to everyone, in about ten or fifteen minutes, and then turn over the floor to you David.
So, couple of things, first, I like to encourage everyone to write down some questions using the fine Go to Webinar tools. I will be moderating the questions and feed them to David. So ask questions as the presentation goes on. I’m going to walk you through a simple presentation, to make you understand if possible, how these three elements of marketing and sales, really help us grow here at Writer Access, and make the Fortune 5,000 list. To start out, most of our competition have been funded by a lot of the companies out there, Text Broker, Skywalk, Scripted and others.
Most of them receive between five and twenty million, to grow these new market places that have sprouted up, and trying to represent Freelance Writers as best as any of us could, to attract new customers. We have to figure out how best to grow and beat them. Growing organically, we have an urge to do that, and to achieve our goals. We have to do things a little bit differently, and hyper focus the limited resources we have to capture market share and make it work.
1. So step one is we really joined the content marketing revolution. I did this long time ago as I mentioned. I started a content marketing agency back in 2006, 2007 working with companies like FTD, Wal-Mart, Sales Force, Iron Mountain, really great companies, and really hiring us as pioneers to help answer questions, like how much content do I need to be successful. How good does it need to be? Where do I need to publish and distribute it? What do I get from that investment?
Those are difficult questions to ask, and we are making things up and trying and experiencing different things to try to answer those difficult questions. But we got very good in content planning strategy. We started to see some impact from customers paying us a lot of money. We found most of our attraction from creating great information and guides, and helping out with webinars and workbooks and all kinds of diverse assets, that will be aimed at customers trying to orbit at great speeds.
So, step one is to join the content marketing markets in publishing contents ourselves. We did the same with Writer Access contents with 55 Webinars and guides. We have downloadable assets. We have help wanted sections, and all other things including two books I wrote which I will be giving away in this presentation deck. One on Content Marketing Road map and the other on professional writing skills guide. We went big on Content marketing, and that is really one of the reasons, why we were very successful.
2. Step two is to figure out how to support these inbound Leads, and that was to hire sales reps, to help us, with the leads pouring to us, literally hundreds a week, that we could not even imagine handling how to nurture those leads. What do we do with those leads? Should sales be an important component of content marketing strategy or inbound content marketing strategy?
It always brings a smile to my face, when I look at those HotSpot inbound wonderful assets that they put together. They kind of suggests, that cold calling is dead, sales are even dead, and even suggesting that somehow customers will come to you. In fact HotSpot have a wonderful large sales force and are making lots of calls. They are calling many people, granted they are warmer, in the funnel and have expressed interest in HotSpot’s technology, and or information they are publishing. And arguably they are better leads. But nevertheless selling certainly is in doubt. The trick is to, and certainly for us, is to tell our reps, to stop selling and start asking questions using lots of Socratic techniques that we have taught them over the years. And to listen to really, what they want, and formulate content that will answer some of their questions and problems in their interest levels. That will be beyond the scope of this sales collateral. And so, to stop selling and start listening is the model out there.
3. Step three is to really analyze customer’s uncertainty when they are hiring writers on the platform, and what their resistance and pain points are, and try to learn that in some systematic way. So we really learn how to ease this pain, by focusing our customers on our value proposition and deeper understanding of what our DNA is all about. That is, we are here to help you produce great content and offer you fanatical support. By the way, if you are not delighted you don’t pay, so this proposition really helped us connect with customers and relieve the pain of buying on a scary online platform,much different than running an ad on Craig’s List, and media Bistro, and going through many resumes and deciding the one to go with in the 3000 white paper project.
Those days are gone. We helped revolutionize that transition, which is some of our core principles. But so let me try to explain to you what I call the 12 strategies of customer sales, and customer service which is where we are.
Strategy number one is that you really need to use common sense in your business plan. From our business strategy we knew we need to be different. We quickly recognized that being transparent with our rates and pay rates for example, could provide a quick and fast and easy way to attract the best writers in the market place, who may look at us and say,at least we know what we are getting over there.
Unlike other models that we compete with, that may be on 50/50 margins, we have a very different philosophy and that helps us attract the best customers. Likewise with our customers many of our commonsense elements, like posting our transparency and ratings allow the customers to communicate with our writers and know exactly what they will be paid, removing the guess work. Like other things we have done such as posting our star ratings of our Writer’s performance, this helps our customers align price with the quality demands that our customers expect from a project. So using commonsense to develop strategies with this platform has really been a big driver for us in our success.
Strategy two is really empowering customer reps to feel like, and think in their minds that our brand is in fact the words they are saying, and how they are representing us. The attitude they have with our customers, they are our brand. We really believe that when we teach and train our customers we dig very deep, and we hire the right representatives.
There is a wonderful book that I recommend called “Who” by Randy Street. It helped us attract talents and full time employees to our company, that thinks the way we do and have expectations for their own career, that align with the goals we have in our company. That alignment is critical for success, and helps each of us hire great people, and get involved in the process, to make sure that we are empowering these representatives, to make our customers feel like they are representing our brand.
Strategy three, just this concept that customers do really come in different shapes, forms and sizes, and when you are working at a platform like ours that have attracted over ten thousand customers from that original pool of 100 customers, that we used to service with full service content marketing agency work.
That scale is only possible, when you begin to service different customers with different needs that have a different level of quality, and expectations they have in the platform. It is very difficult to build models, particularly software models around diverse customer needs. But the subtle piece we bring to the table are things like pricing rates that range from 2 cents to two dollars per word. Imagine that radical variation with prices, most of the competitors sort of land in one zone, like xyz competitor might want to be cheap and low on content and just do lots of it and high volume, and build their brand reputation there.
Other say full service agencies might want to be on two dollars per word price. You will get a lot of service along with that may be some content planning and strategy and high end worth. But we believe in building a model like where everyone will get what they want, like in the platform if so directed, like air traffic controllers that direct traffic in different runways based on what they are looking for. That’s how we build our strategy and platform and the whole approach in purchasing content through freelance writers online.
Strategy four is like managing and finishing customers and their touch points in creative ways in our world. It is kind of radical because we got to understand what a customer is spending. What writers they are using, and to see whether they are satisfied or unsatisfied with the orders being created. We got to see all of that, to evaluate how the customer is receiving and responding to our processes and procedures.
Likewise on the writer end, same story there. Are there orders being completed successfully what is their turnaround time? Are they dropping orders? There is so much great data out there that we have on our finger tips. We made the decision to build our own CRM ourselves, and to learn all of this, and learn what is working and what is not. Even our algorithms that grades writers, we got to build all of that and map out where we spend our time. That is the key factor and not just the data itself. It’s how you map out your daily activity, and where you put your limited time, and what customers do you talk to today, versus what problems you have today. Is it reactionary just putting fires out, or using technology and some methodology.
Step 5 is about Wooing Customers. I love this concept of surprise I’ve always ensured when I receive something, that I didn’t ask for from a vendor that I’m working with, that there is a power there, and I think we forget that in today’s stages of automation, hand written notes is part of the dinosaur age.
I think that is wrong, every new customer that signs up at Writer Access, we basically physically write to them, granted that I don’t write all of them I’ll confess. We physically write a thank you note to them for signing up. We deliver not only a thank you note from our team, but we also offer a signed copy of my book, with a written note on it that says ‘welcome to the content revolution.’
We send out my first book on Content marketing road map. It is put in the mail, and it’s been a good reason that we have been successful, and again, this might just be a customer spending just fifty dollars with us.
Step 6 Find your brand’s love mark. I am a big fan of Kevin Roberts. I saw him speak a little time ago about one of his books called ‘Sesame’ and I highly recommend that you take a look at. As it turns out customers like love and interaction with brands just like they do with people.
Sesame gets deeper and suggests there are three keys to the heart of potential buyer; Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy. These 3 key elements, come to life with what Kevin calls Sight, Sound and Motion, on too many screens that we look at in the course of a day, such as TVs, GPS, Phones, and Billboards, these days are sort of visual interactive screens. So all we need to do according to Kevin and his wonderful book is to catch these customers orbiting at high speeds, with information that they really want and need.
And we really do that in a variety of ways, and try to really sometimes do crazy things. I remember we set out this guide, for people who were very popular and the Stanley Cup was going on. So we did a review on the most popular hockey players on the Stanley Cup finals last year. So why not use data, why not try to build interesting and creative content, and to showcase to our customers, on how to be creative and think out of the box, to produce content relevant to engaging the browsers of your brand, to believing things you love.
Strategy Seven is really focused on creating Confidence to gain trust. I know these are really basic and sort of signals we have been communicating for many years. I do really believe that these are worth taking a look at if nothing else; to refresh your memory on how important these elements are for overall success.
Calling in when you say you will, and doing what you say you want to do, I believe our customers are looking closely, and monitoring our interaction with that, and our delivery, and tracking what we tell them and how we deliver on that. So rather than say I’ll call you next week, why not say I’ll call you next week at 3pm on Wednesday, and actually delivering on that. That is how you earn trust on prospect customers, not the murky world you know that fights on lets feel it out mentality.
Strategy 8 is actually interesting and naturally. It is about this whole concept of steps for engagement, in your business, and analyzing the steps in getting really granular, with how to really bring some creativity to those steps. So here is a challenge for you. Try to create literally a path to analyze the past, a conversion path for your business and try to basically break that down. Map out all the steps on what your customers go through, to do business with you.
Analyze each step and come up with creative ideas for betterment, to make that process go faster, easier and better, and more fun. It’s a challenge but I guarantee you if you can come up with some interesting elements here, that is aimed to test and try; you’ll have some great success. We’ve done that, and do take a look Aiken’s book it’s a great book on building customer confidence and loyalty.It has some great ideas to help you get there.
Strategy 9 is managing the details. Many viewers may have heard the same story of Van Halen. They put on their checklist for their production company. All of their incredibly details of each show they presented. One of the details was, we want only brown M&Ms in the dressing rooms. When it could have been easy, to lose sense of the details, in fact it wasn’t. It was a smash hit, and their production company was a great success, and went on to do many more concerts for many millions of dollars, because of their attention to details.
Strategy 10 is fairly simple again, but I will suggest mastering the art of recovery, is an essential element for all customers. When you push through half a million orders, which we have done in the last few years you see a lot of things happen. And a lot can conceivably go wrong. We have been blessed with ninety-eight percent success rate with the orders that go through us, 99.4% technically. The other small percentage, was the orders that require revisions. When the order doesn’t go well the way the customer wants it fix it by refunding the money and that’s our refund guarantee. But not just fix it the right way, and do it with the right attitude. We make sure there is a sense of urgency along the way, and always thank your customers for the opportunity to work for them or to give us another shot. That thank you is the most important thing, with regards to the recovery effort, that everyone needs to go through, in this fast paced business world that we are in.
Strategy 11, has helped us to understand what motivates amazingness, as it turns out is not just motivated by money. This is particularly interesting with regards to our writers and our talent pool. When we introduced endorsements to the Writer Access platform, it really seems to me that the writers that are getting endorsements, are just plain doing better work, I’m not just sure which comes in first in that regard but getting their recognition, feeling that praise from your customers, that you did a great job, that they are endorsing you for work, is a very powerful thing on a platform like ours, that we’re your brand and reputation is transparent with customers, and prospect customers visiting you. So take a close look at that. It is not just money that motivates. It’s a lot of other incredible things, when you’re stressing that you are working on a platform like this. I will suggest that it is also important with regards to employees as well.
Strategy 12, the final strategy is removing the guesswork from customer satisfaction. When we do that with a great book by Fred Reicheld and Rob Markey that talks about a little bit about one question you have to ask your customers. We ask all of our class customers on a scale of 1-10, what is the likelihood that you will refer us to a friend or colleague? That one question allows us to quickly identify who likes us and who doesn’t like us.
We can then analyze what activity happened with our customer how are they aborted. Who is our service representative? What writer they used and what were the ratings of their writers and what type of orders were placed? How complex were their orders? Big data can come into play in helping you to understand what was the right fit, and what type of customer you should be looking for and how should all this work together.
It removes the guesswork, Find out what works and what doesn’t, and quickly reach out to those customers and see if there is a way to learn from them and take their ideas for betterment and implement them. Here is a brief conclusion. Loyal customers are the secret to accelerating business growth. With that comes years of decreasing acquisition cost by referrals, and all kinds of great things that have propelled us to grow more than 120% a year for the last 3 years, and therefore making Inc’s 5000 List. Here are the links to download both of my books; the ‘Content Marketing Roadmap’ was one of my treasures that I wrote a couple years back. its popular and has a lot of tips and advice on how to be successful with the complex Content marketing process. It works well from planning to performance measurements. Next I wrote a book just a few months ago on ‘Professional Writer’s Price Guide’ and I really tried to help people understand what you really get, when you pay more for contents. What do you expect and what does it look like.
What are examples of what I expect when I pay money? I found this book is helpful not only for customers but also for writers, which is really why I wrote to get everybody in to our marketplace, and on the same page and really on a planet at least for prices as they align with the quality and the price that you demand for your investment. So I hope this helps. I will now turn everyone over to David our thanks for tuning in, we’ll be back with some FAQ’s and I will be back after Dave’s presentation. Hi David it will be a fabulous presentation look forward to some questions from everyone.
David: I am having a little problem hearing you, but I’m just going to press on. You were cutting out from me I’m not sure if you were coming out for others on the call as well.Ok I’m just going to press on here. Let’s talk about content sales in what I call the new rules of selling. There are five new rules of selling:
1. Authentic Story Telling sets the tone.
2. Content is the link between Companies and Customers.
3. Big Data enables a more Scientific Approach to Sales.
4. Agile Selling brings new business to your company.
5. Real Time Engagement keeps customers happy.
So, let’s talk about them one after the other. People like to buy, because they have far more choices than in the past. So once I figure out how to get my wife to Antarctica, I was happy to spend 20,000 dollars to get us there. It was a thrill to spend that money. I don’t want to be sold to but I was happy to buy.
Number One- Authentic Story Telling sets the tone. Back in the days 200 years ago, our great grandparents did business with companies that were located in their towns. They went to the town square to buy chickens from people they knew, and had their clothing made and fixed by people they knew. In the last 50-75 years we had this aberration of mass marketing, where companies became nameless organizations. Now we are back to the future where we were back in 100 and 200 years ago, in that you can communicate instantly with the people you want to do business with, just like I communicated with Clark Expeditions including the CEO of the company. Story telling comes from the top. I will illustrate that, while I’m with Brian Halligan Ceo of HubSpot, I’m on HubSpot Advisory Board, and Brian writes, he tweets and he writes articles and creates great content. As a result he has great search engine results for his name and Brian has his interesting bio on HubSpot.com website. Brian told me something interesting about his bio, 20% of his new customers’ viewed his bio page. That is really interesting, that says that people want to know who they are doing business with, whether it is the CEO of the company or individual sales people. That says that you have to be creating content like Quick Expeditions, like Brian CEO of HubSpot website. The idea of storytelling and content creation comes from the top and helps to drive business. By the way HubSpot is very successful as a result of this kind of strategy. They just filed for their IPO. You can achieve similar success.
Number 2. We all know about content it is truly the link between the companies and customers. The sale cycle becomes the buying cycle. This real time cycle of content marketing, my favorite examples of content marketing is real time content marketing, specifically a concept I popularized called News Jacking. Our B2b software marketing provider called B2B software and the CEO of Eloqua is John Payne noticed on his mobile device, somebody had emailed him, to tell him that his biggest competitor a company called ‘Market to Lead’ have just been acquired by Oracle, this giant Software Company.
So Joe using his mobile device went and did a search for Oracle and Market to lead to see what would pop up. This is the only thing he could find, because this announcement has just been made, minutes before the acquisition of his largest competitor. It was just only three sentences and in typical big company corporate release it says absolutely nothing.
We have acquired this company and you will like it. This looks to me like North Korean style typical announcement and there is nothing there. From a content marketing perspective Joe knew he had a tremendous opportunity because there was no information from Oracle, the company that made this acquisition, and he had an opportunity to define what this market was about. So he engaged in real time content marketing. The idea of news jacking, which is when you inject your ideas through breaking story content to generate a lot of attention for your business. That was exactly what Joe did this blog post. He did it within two hours of this announcement being made. The title of this post was ‘Oracle joins the Party’, where he talked about what this news means for the market place and automation software business.
And then because the Journalists are scrambling for information in other to write their stories, all they could find is three sentence announcements from Oracle and this wonderful blog post by Joe Payne. So he gets quoted in Bloomberg, Business Week, he gets quoted in Customers Think. He gets quoted in PC World, and he gets quoted in informational sources. I don’t know about you, but can you imagine how annoyed you would be if you are working at Oracle and the CEO of the competition broke you acquisition announcement. But that’s exactly what you will do with effective real time news creation. Specifically news jacking, injects your ideas into breaking news story but they went in further. What they did was email a link for that blog post, to their clients and prospects and then they tweeted on Tweeter and sent that information through LinkedIn. As a result of doing this one Blog Post it generated one million dollars worth of new business, to talk about the value of a piece of written content. Specifically and absolutely, can be definitely calculated that one blog post generated more than one million dollars of new business.
Actually the idea real time contents you can achieve a similar success and incidentally a punch line. Just about one year to the story, Oracle also purchased Market to Lead and Oracle also purchased Eloqua. My guess is that the tens of millions of dollars of that purchase was the result of that one Blog Post. So that’s kind of neat, educating and informing your buyers instead of interrupting and selling them.
So I became reasonably well known because I wrote this book ‘The New Rules of Marketing PR’ about how content drives Marketing and PR. My most recent book is ‘new Rules of Sales and Service’ which came out in September 2014. It is also about content and how it could be used to drive sales and service.
The differences I see is real simple marketing, reaches multiple buyers at once sales happens when a sales person curates content to deliver it to one buyer at a time based on their needs and the context of their relationships. So it’s one to many, and one to one that’s the difference and they are absolutely interrelated just like that one example I showed you with Eloqua, where they sent out one blog post to many people, and the sales department sends out via email of the one blog post, one person at a time.
I always say to sales people who have trouble with things like this don’t sell, what is the difference? Think about how different it would be, if you were to date the buyer to some people. It is like a creepy slide, and I kind of get that yes there is a big difference if you are trying to date someone. You don’t put a hard sell right away. You don’t ask them for their personal information right away.
You can casually ask them if they want to go to Starbucks. I am happily married for 24 years, so I don’t know anything about this in the modern era but you don’t try to sell to that person. You date them if that’s what you want to do with your buyers. By the way you can get a version of these slides. Actually it’s a lot more slides that I am showing right now on Slide Share the new rules of engagement. It is totally free, just go to Google and type in ‘New Rules on Selling’ if you find it. Incidentally what a great form of content. I release this on presentation deck on Slide Share one month before I took the screen shot, so in just a month and nearly a hundred and ten thousand years of slide share. In fact the screen shot I took yesterday, there have been 6 or 7 hundred more views, since I took the screen shot how cool is this as a form of content delivery. If you are not doing Slide Share now, you should be thinking about it because it is a wonderful way to deliver content.
Number Three -Big Data is a buzz word. I get that, but there are really some interesting things you can do if you harness a vast amount of data within an organization to take advantage of how you can deliver content to people, because people are interested in just finding stuff out now.
I actually call this idea sales signals using big data to predict, where prospect is in the buying process. So for example if someone visits a very particular piece of content on your site, it is possible to understand who that person is and what content they viewed. It is possible then, to create the right kind of next approach to that person, and that’s a very valuable thing.
If somebody opened the email you sent to them that is also a sale signal very valuable to understand. If you share private information with somebody I used to use this service called Post Wire and you know they visit that, it is also called personal URL or Pearl that is also valuable information. If somebody gets a new job either in their company, or they moved companies and you learned it through LinkedIn that is a sale signal. There is a number of different sales signals, that you can figure out but the data required to do this, you have to crunch the data to figure this out. It involves this concept of big data to be able to help drive the selling process.
Number 4-Actual selling. This whole idea of real time instant communications is fascinating and a decisive advantage here. I wrote that the CIA is now on Twitter this is hysterical. We can either confirm or deny this is our first tweet. If you are bored one day you may want to check out the CIA Twitter feed. This is wonderful, every day they have the Museum artifact of the week, and this is my favorite a Pigeon camera; the CIA is recruiting Pigeons to take spy photos now that is pretty cool they even answer some questions in real time. No we don’t have your password so we can’t send it to you. The reason I’m showing this is because so many people are reluctant to be in real time. So many people are reluctant to engage their market instantly when the market is ready. When the CIA can do it,you can do it. It requires a real time mindset.
5. Real Time Engagement- When I noticed as a result of my travels all over the world, delivering presentations on content marketing, is that so many organizations are mired in campaign mode. What they do is that they focus exclusively on creating marketing and sales programs for the future. It might be the email marketing campaign for next week; it might be the product launch for next month or the new office they are opening the next quarter. But it is all aimed for the future.
I think what these companies are missing is right now. They are missing what is going on right this second. And that’s where the opportunity lies. What’s happening this second, because speed and agility is absolutely decisive and competitive advantages. I have learned about them because my first job was at the Bond Trading Desk and I worked on Wall Street on my first job. And I learned how real-time content drives action.
If there is a news story on Reuters, Dow Jones or Bloomberg, that moves the market. And if you are able to take advantage of that news story quickly you can make money. If prices in Europe and Asia moved, you can take advantage of such opportunity instantly and make money. All of us have the availability of that same data for free. My company was spending 10,000 dollars every month per person, for that information back in Wall Street. Now such information is free for any of us with internet connection.
Mitch Jackson for example is a lawyer who does content marketing. Oh my God is that a contradiction? A lawyer who does content marketing? And he is fantastic, so check out Mitch’s site if you want to check out some interesting content marketing. In particular Mitch takes advantage of some real time content marketing and he also takes advantage of the concept of News Jacking.
For example one of his recent blog posts he wrote about NFL and Gordell and what he was talking about. He had a long essay in that blog post about attorney-client privileges and what is really interesting about Mitch, is that he ends up getting on the Television News. He also ends up being quoted in Newspapers, because he comments so quick on Breaking News Stories that have some legal angles and people are quoting him as an expert source, that absolutely drives new businesses to him and he is finding out that he is getting a lot more business from doing such blog posts of real time engagement stories.
The idea here is that real time is a mind set; social media and blogging right are just the tools. What we are really talking about is the mind set. When I speak about sales managers and sales people, I often believe they are not personally engaged or if they are a little bit engaged, they have, excuse the language, crappy social media sites and profiles for themselves. They just don’t put a good foot forward, on their social sites and the really need to take advantage of doing something differently.
Let me show an example of how somebody with really good social media presence can actually make a whole lot of sales. June 6, 2014, two movies are released the ‘Fault in our Stars’, and the ‘Edge of Tomorrow.’ Tom Cruise sells his movie the ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ using the traditional ways; he goes to Talk Shows while Tom Green sells his movie the ‘Fault in our Stars,’ through real time engagement on Social Networks. For example when he walked the red carpet for the premier of his film, he did a video of the movie and put it on YouTube, he tweeted a whole bunch of times.
He blogged and engages the market instantly using his social networks which netted him $58 million opening for his ‘Fault in our Stars’ three or four times more money than, Tom Cruise’s movie opening. That requires though, even if a sales company already have a presence on social media networks, and people often might say, you know I just don’t have the time and I don’t know how to do this, and they make excuses.
So what I like to say and this is what you should say to the sales people in your company, or when you interact with sales people, is that it is like action shots. If you want to be fit and want to get healthy, you have to begin an exercise and diet program. There is nothing like exercise and diet you can’t cheat your way through it. So if you want to get fit, you can’t just run a mile once a month. You have to do something every day.
You can’t just not have, that extra pizza tomorrow. You have to watch what goes into your body for ever is a mindset shift. You have to complete an utter mind set shift if you want to become healthy and I have a little bit of experience with that in 2007. Around my fiftieth birthday I weighed around 210 lbs and I decided I was going to get fit, I watched what I ate, I exercised every day, and I am down to 157 pounds. Its more than 50 pounds dropped, since the left webcam picture was taken. I have learned to become fit, the same thing is true about becoming active in social networks.
People say oh, maybe I will tweet once a week, this is not going to cut it. You don’t have to be obsessive about it, but you have to engage on a regular basis. So I have to ask people who are in sales, go to Google and type in your name and your company’s name because that’s what people do when they are trying to do business with a person. They want to know who this person they want to do business with is. You remember Brian Halligan we talked about earlier this year at HubSpot, 20 percent of the new business that his company sold, all of those people looked at Brian’s bio page at HubSpot website.
I notice many people have bad social site bios, crazy photos and some with pictures of their cat that is not going to cut it. You have to create a sort of profile that people would want to engage with because there is no better calling card than a virtual one. That brings me back to the concept of fear, because sometimes the reason that people cite for not doing so many of the kinds of things that Byron and I talked here is fear.
They are scared that doing something new is a sort of challenge. I understand that, because I have had experience with fear myself and of course we all have and the specific trip we had in a cruise ship. We had in Antarctica it’s the Ocean Diamond and my wife’s fear was crossing the Drake Passage and we did that fine. And my fear was, I wanted to jump into the Southern Ocean.I wanted to leap off our cruise ship into the water where the ice bergs were.
I cleared it off with the ship. They told me that I have to have a rope tied around my waste, so incase the water was too cold for my heart so in case my heart stopped beating they could pull me off the water. I overcame my fear and I jumped in the water. It was an amazing experience. I decided that as long as I am in the water already, I might as well do a cannon bar, and go for a swim and yes there were ice bergs there and yes it was freaking cold.
I was able to overcome my fear. That’s the challenge that you have to deliver to the sales people in your life that they need to overcome their fear. This is about convergence of marketing and sales on the web using content. This is about how marketing and sales and service work together. This is about growing your business using content. My name is David Meerman Scott, Byron back to you.
Byron: David fantastic presentation.
David: Thank you.
Byron: Fantastic presentation I saw you speak well in front of 10,000 people I might add.
David: That was a big group.
Byron: I have some questions for you.
David: yes sure.
Byron: I am concerned David, do we really need to be on the big stage some people might be asking with regards to getting social and publishing content, and finding our way around our journey in life. What is your take on that?
David: I don’t think we all need to be no. My mother doesn’t need to be, but I do think that anyone that has a customer facing job needs to be. That means if you are a sales person, I know people go to Google to check you out, and also go to LinkedIn to check you out to see if you are on Tweeter. I think there is a little bit of skepticism if you aren’t transparent about who you are.
In the future if you don’t show up in the social networks, if you don’t show up in Google except for a 20 year old arrest record when you were in college for some drunken offense, if that is the only thing that shows up under your name when people searches your record. I think that is a hindrance. So does everyone need to publish a blog or YouTube video and be active all over social media channels no of course not.
But everybody ought to understand what appears when anybody enters their name and company name. Whatever appears that’s who you are. I believe that a good sales person, a good customer service rep, a good executive, a good CEO will find that profile is something they would need to focus because it helps to drive more business.
Byron: Good answer; I had the pleasure to meet and had a long conversation with Tom Peters. We took some time off from the event we were attending and over 2 hours went by when we left when we got back, the event was over and we talked about many things and part of the book he was working on and it was this interesting concept he was working on who I’m I? And what are my beliefs? What are my values do they fit with this company I am working with? Maybe not maybe I shouldn’t be part of the mainstream. It was really an interesting book and discussion and Tom and I journeyed through content marketing and all kinds of interesting things. One of the things we talked about was the concept of how people are changing so much and why ADD was on the rise. When you talked about real time mind set it freaks me out a little bit because I am worried that my employees, may be out and looking at Tweets and Facebook pages. And may be distracted throughout the course of the day,when we need them to be focused on customer needs and wants and executing. What about real time mind set? Are you worried that we could be distracted from all the action happening on the stage around us, and feeling like we don’t want to miss anything. We are gripping our phones tightly and not letting them down in our hands, does that worry you at all?
David: It does not worry me as I mentioned in the presentation I have grown up with real time and I am now 53 at the age of 22 I had my first job at the bond trading desk at 30 years I have been living real-time life. I think it requires balance, but I tell you this here is the difference and that is why it is important. Back in the day we call it 10 years ago or call it 5 years ago, or call it what your line in the sand is, back in the days, the sales people and the company controlled the relationships with the buyers.
That was because they had and controlled the information. If you want to have access to the executives you had to go through the salesperson. If you want to get the pricing information you had to go through the sales person. If you want to get the products packed, you had to go through the sales person. Now all of that is available on the web, I can reach the CEO of the Company through LinkedIn, or twitter.
I can find out the pricing by doing a search on Google. I can find out what people are saying about your products and services through the review sites or through the forums or social networks. So that means the buyer is in charge and that is really a big difference from what it was in the past when the seller was in charge. So when the buyer is in charge and when the buyer is ready to make a decision, it is important, to act quickly to get back to the buyer and it is important to understand what the buyer already knows.
That means this idea of real-time becomes important because in the example of going to Antarctica, if I spend two months doing independent research and all of a sudden, I am ready to make a decision, you got to be ready to engage me when I am getting ready to make the buying decision because if you don’t, I might go over to the next guy.
Since we live in the world where the buyer is in charge that means that we are the people who are servicing buyers. Whether you are a marketer or salesperson or writer or whatever you are, we as people who service buyers, need to live in real time world because, I believe the concept of news jacking specifically for writers becomes interesting manifestation of this concept of real time. If there is breaking news story of the company you work for, and you could be the first person to make a commentary on that breaking news story, that has a tremendous opportunity to drive value. But if you waited to overnight it, because you didn’t see the story till the next day, or because it is Sunday and you should get it on Monday, time is lost and you missed it. You are not going to be the first person so someone else will beat you to it. That is the nature of the world we live in right now. If you don’t like it you can go and live in an Island that’s cool. That’s the way the market is going and we can succeed I believe.
Byron: Spot on, can you tell me where you think content marketing is going? I see a better quality, more people, more tools, more data, what do you think?
David: I think the future is here right now, but few people are really taking advantage of it. What we are able to do right now is at our finger tips, with even just a mobile phone just phenomena. Think back to a couple years something like Skype, or shooting a movie and putting it on YouTube instantly with a mobile phone that’s radical stuff.
I think we are living the future right now, and you know quite frankly, that I’m not just thinking what will be happening in a couple weeks or months or years. I think what we have available is and there is so much potential, and so much opportunity that people are not taking advantage of. You know that two years from now, even if you have a perfect knowledge, of what is going to be happening now other than you are making some money in the stock market what is the point of that because we have so much opportunity today.
Byron: Here is a tough question for you I know you are on the Advisory Board for HotSpot do you think this concept of inbound is different from content marketing as a solid leadership position or understanding or you think it is that of this or the other, is really sustained and supported by content marketing companies or a phase out?
David: I think it is a little bit of semantics and I mean content marketing is a term some people use and Inbound marketing is a term some other people use. I named my book the New Rules of Marketing and PR. You know arguably some people use the word new rules in there. I have seen a lot of people use the term Real-time Marketing. I wrote my first book called Real-Time marketing and PR. I think it is a lot of semantics and we have all come to see what you and I were part of the first people to see 5 or 10 years ago. We all now see there is something going on out there. Whether we call it inbound or marketing or content marketing or on the road marketing or something else I think we are all talking about pretty much the same thing. I know people have brand and other people, that I have seen throwing around other terms. like brand journalism. I think they are all pretty much the same thing. I think it is all about let’s get out there and be more successful than trying to define what it really is in my mind.
Byron: One more and I think I just can’t help myself and we are going to phase out here by default and we’ll get shut off by Go to Webinar. But talk about writing style, you are an author. We see communication happening now, like that very unusual communication between one another on Mobile Phones and text. Do you think writing is going to take a different turn on how we communicate as a subject ever going to change?
David: I don’t really see that so much. But what I am absolutely seeing is that no doubt about it is that writing is becoming much less formal. We use to be banged on the head that you have to use Chicago manual style or something like that. I mean I use to burn those books because they don’t mean anything to me anymore. If I’m going to use a contraction, I’m going to use a contraction. If I’m going to use a sentence that has one word in it with an exclamation point I’ll do that.
I think that many companies are still mired in best of breed, cutting edge mission critical corporate gobbledygook. They need to speak like human beings and talk like human beings. I think that it is actually liberating and excellent that what the web and all of this short form has done in my mind, is make writing much more like the spoken language that people use and much more informal and approachable, and much less scripted in corporate manner, than it was just a couple years back. That’s very exciting for writers because you don’t have to be bound by written and unwritten rules that we all used to be bound by. And if you get quotation marks and mistakes sometimes it makes it even better writing.
Byron: Just great to have you on today David really appreciate you!
David: Thank you! It’s good to be here, we should do it again.
Byron: Ride on. We should do it indeed. Looks like you’ll rest for a little while.
David: oh yeah.
Byron: maybe no gigs for a while?
David: No books.
Byron: I know you’ll have a monster of success with your new book and we all wish you well.
David: Thank you very much.
Byron: Have you warmed up in the sun with the big dive in?
David: That was cold, I do weird swimming things. This past Saturday I swim in the Boston Harbor about a mile and I just signed up for Alcatraz Swim to San Francisco is my next adventure. That’s an exciting one.
Byron: We look for some real-time updates on that one.
David: I’m always doing anything that involves water
Byron: I enjoyed all the questions and answers.
David: Thank you
Byron: Thanks for tuning in until next month everyone I hope you are little smarter, faster and wiser. Thanks for tuning in to the Sushi Chef we’ll see on the 56th next month and thanks for tuning in everyone.