want better agencies? be a better client! building agency partnerships with tas bober

In this week’s episode of Digital Banter, top digital marketing voice Tas Bober joins us as we discuss her transition from in-house roles to the agency dark side. Having experienced both perspectives, Tas shares a plethora of insights on how to build effective agency partnerships that drive actual business results.

Podcast Transcript

You’re listening to the Digital Banter Podcast, the show where we tackle the challenges of B2B marketing head on and aren’t afraid to tell it like it is. Join us weekly as we talk to industry leaders, explore opportunities that impact the bottom line, and rev your company’s marketing engine with actionable insights and tips. It’s time to burn the old B2B playbook and build something that makes an impact. Here are your hosts, Andy and James.

All right. So we are back for another season, season two of the Digital Banter Podcast. James, you ready for season two? I am ready. Back better than ever. Some change is coming. Guests, that’s going to be the big thing. Guests this year, this year. Is it a year? It actually has been a year since I started this podcast before Andy was allowed to join.

Oh, okay. Yeah. Listen to that excitement in your voice. You [00:01:00] are, you are hyped, right? I am. You’re starting off strong here, but no, I am equally, well, not equally. I should say I am excited. Not equally, because otherwise then I would be very monotone in that respect. But I am, I am very excited about the fantastic lineup of guests, topics, the sharing of insights that we have done historically, but bringing it up a level I think is the best way to describe that and we’re going to kick it off with a bang by introducing our first guest of the season Tass Bober Tass welcome to the show.

Hi guys. I’m so excited to be here. I will share your level of enthusiasm. Not yours, not the monotone one, right? Let’s see what’s up with you


And so is James because, uh, of the interesting background that you have, right? You’re the former director of digital and website at Helium along with a really robust background in B2B. And you’ve recently made the jump into starting your own thing, right? [00:02:00] Thank you. Yeah, scary, but yeah. So you started basically a agency consultancy.

It’s called Delphinium Solutions, right? Yes, correct. And the name, uh, comes from the three people in my family who outnumber me. And they’re all born in July and Delphinium’s the July flower. Nice. Okay. I was wondering where it was going to come from. So. Glad you brought it up there. What’s it been like making the jump though?

Um, super scary, but it has been fun because I feel like in marketing, you own part of the funnel, right? You can only talk about sales and talk about ops and talk about all of those things. But now I have to flex all those muscles, which is I’m in charge of the sales process, the marketing. The operations, the finances, um, so I’m learning a lot.

I’ve learned a lot the last few months as well, but the thing that’s accelerated it has been [00:03:00] just meeting people on LinkedIn who have done it. And they’re just like a couple of steps ahead of me. I’m learning a lot. So it’s been, it’s been really fun. Not as much fun for my husband, but definitely fun for me.

So everybody’s dealing with it. Okay. Yeah, I think so. Um, outside of the jokes about, uh, him now being the primary breadwinner or something to that effect, but I plan to supersede that, uh, quite significantly. I just need a little runway time. So I think, uh, jokes and jabs. And now I think from what I’ve seen so far, that will happen quickly.

Hopefully, I think one of the things I wanted to kick off this conversation with too, is, Because you’ve seen both sides of the house, so to speak, the in house side, and now the agency side, I know you have a lot of thoughts about those relationships and what makes or breaks a great agency to in house relationship tasks, especially, you know, given your background and what we were talking about, kind of in our planning meeting.

[00:04:00] So to kick off that conversation, I’d love to hear a little bit more about from your angle, like what makes that agency brand side relationship really successful. Yeah, I would say that I am an exception when it comes to You know, the client agency relationship, I have always operated with lean teams, just being head of digital, typically companies don’t have a very large team.

All the companies I’ve worked at except one, um, have had digital teams of like, One to three, you know, maybe five, if you’re lucky, 13 was the highest that I was part of, but that’s totally an exception. Um, so when I bring in agency partners, they are an extension, they’re my team and I treat them like that.

Um, and from what I’ve heard from, and maybe you guys can confirm this, um. The best clients are the ones that share a lot of [00:05:00] information. You know, you have the NDA signed, you have the contract. I don’t understand when we hide information from them. Um, and so one of the things that we do every week when I’d review it with the external teams is I show them what’s behind the curtain and even if they can’t have access, you know, we’ll pull it into a manual sheet or whatever.

So they understand because something could have a high CPL or something in the platform. But then it’s actually got a higher, you know, win rate. We’re not gonna, we’re not gonna then kill that program, which if you just looked at the platform metrics, you’d kill that program. Um, so having those conversations there, the other thing is, um, yes, I’m, I’m, you know, heading up the strategy there.

But if an agency partner isn’t bringing ideas to the table, I can’t do all the thinking. I’ve been fortunate that the partners I have worked with are those people that come in, they [00:06:00] have the ideas, um, and they’re like, hey, I noticed this, we should test it. Um, some things that I just may not have, you know, visibility into because they’re more in the weeds in the platform.

So that’s the kind of relationship I’ve fostered and I give them a lot of feedback, uh, good or bad. And I don’t know if you guys saw my post, um, just a couple of days ago, where my dev agency, he had posted a review. He has my domain, he owns it, um, he’s holding it hostage for when I get really famous and then he can blackmail me for millions of dollars or whatever.

Um, but yeah, he said that one of the things I do is give them a lot of feedback, um, good and bad, you know, so. Yeah, I think that’s my, uh, my new goal being agency side is to have a, you know, a client buy my domain and write a nice review about me. It seems like, uh, it seems like a big win. Well, you could do that for your [00:07:00] clients because that’s what he did, right?

He, I’m, I was his client. And he liked the management style and he went and bought my domain. So you can do that, uh, as a fun little exercise for some of your, I’ve got, I’ve got one, one or two that I feel like are deserving of that. But, um, I don’t know, to kind of like echo your points on the, what it takes to be successful.

Cause we see this all the time as far as like clients not wanting to give us access and that’s access to data or like feedback on those results. And one thing that we. Pride ourselves as an agency is like being able to track things down to bottom line revenue metrics. Right. And, you know, I, the thing that I hate more than anything is like running a paid ad account and saying like, Oh, we got this many conversions and have no idea what actually happened.

And then the client it’s like, to your point, as far as like the next step is like trying to get strategic input from clients. Yeah. Sorry, I can’t do that unless you are giving me that level of information. [00:08:00] And, you know, I will say there’s definitely been relationships where they kind of die out over time if like you’re not, if you don’t have access to that information, because like, it’s almost like just like losing steam because like you don’t actually have the decision you need to make the data you need to make a decision.

Another piece is. Excuse me, another piece is when I have stuff that’s happening inside the company that could seemingly not be related to what my agency is doing. One of the things that I would do is give them updates on what other teams are doing, or if we have new technology and tools, even though it’s unrelated, because it.

Kickstarts, uh, Oh, okay. Um, you know, customer marketing is doing X. We should support that in Y. Um, and I may not connect the dots all the time, but if I have good partners who, you know, aren’t just doing the work, but they have that strategy mindset, they could say, Oh, we should do, you [00:09:00] know, like 10 percent of the budget and go support those efforts.

Um, so I always treat it almost like here’s my team meeting. It’s not my agency meeting, it’s like, here’s my team meeting. Even the name of our meetings was just like digital team meeting every week. And we talk about other stuff that was going on in the company and give them updates. And then they just always had the context.

And so even though a website redesign may not impact my agency, they can say, Oh, you know what, should we pause all our paid programs during this time? Well, they can plan to do that. Right. Um, and say, okay, so in May we need to pause it because that’s when the launch is going to happen and there’s a content freeze or whatever, but that context isn’t always there, you know, you’re always getting information from the client that they think is relevant.

And it’s similar to marketing strategy, which is, Oh, what I think the audience wants, but you don’t know truly. Um, so yeah, that’s another piece that I always added in. Have you [00:10:00] ever had, so one thing that we kind of look for as an agency and kind of ask her all the time, and quite frankly, never get is like, uh, speaking with sales and potentially speaking with customers.

Have you ever found the right solution for that? Because to your point, like the number one problem that I. Taking on a new account is learning the brand inside and out. Um, and as an agency, you kind of want to follow the same process of what, like a new marketing leadership would come into. And like, you know, you always say like, Oh, what would you do in your 30, 60, 90, like the token phrase is like, Oh, I’d go talk to customers.

I’d sit in on sales calls. Like agencies want to do the same thing, but seems to never get that. Access. Have you ever found something that works there? No. Um, and I, I mean, that’s the honest truth. No. And I’ll say it’s not just my agency’s not having access. I’ve worked at a lot of companies where I don’t [00:11:00] have access to that stuff, right?

I go fishing. Um, and I have to ask. And sometimes even the customer marketing people don’t really talk to the customers directly. I mean, that’s, that’s the honest truth. So one of the frustrations that I’ve shared with my agency partners is that they ask me for something like that. And I say, I’ll try.

Don’t get your hopes up because that’s something I don’t even have access to as an internal person. And, uh, and so we go back and forth on that a lot and I sense their frustration, but I’m frustrated too, that it, you know, companies, they’re not. enabling people to really go do that because they’re worried about damaging a relationship.

And actually there was this, um, interview with Dave Gerhardt and Kevin Dorsey. And he said that he would just go talk to customers without asking for permission. Um, but then. He, he [00:12:00] said that the, one of the objections was they were worried that people, like the customers would churn because he was going and talking to them and he said, well, if that’s the case, they were going to churn anyway, if the relationship was that fragile.

So I think that’s something, obviously, I’m not in house anymore, but maybe my. Next opportunity, if I ever go back, it would be something maybe where this is probably, this will probably ensuring, uh, that no one hires me, but I’m going to ask for, uh, permission less. And just, you know, reach out to customers.

Now that I have quite an engaged network on LinkedIn, I know how to find them and just say, Hey, I’m the chief happiness officer at X company. I just want to ask you like three or four questions. We can do it async, so I can just send it to you. You can just send me your answers, or if you jump on a 10 minute call with me, we just want to make sure that we’re.

You know, serving you stuff that’s more relevant and, [00:13:00] um, to people who are, who are similar to you because we value you as a customer. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Um, you know what I mean? So, yeah, it’s, it’s crazy. I mean, this is like Andy jumping right into your burn, the, uh, what’s wrong with B2B playbook idea.

I mean, it’s just like the politics sometimes can be like really crazy, like. I don’t know if we, everyone talks about like marketing sales alignment and like, Oh, you need to have the same goals. You know, sometimes it’s not about having the same goals and marketing, owning a revenue number. Like the sure.

Like all that stuff is great, but I don’t know, maybe give us access to the data we need. And like, that would be step one. Or just talk. Because I think that’s the biggest thing. I mean, there’s so many calls that we get onto with our marketing contacts on the client side. And if a salesperson or like a product person joined, it’s like the first time they’ve ever met.

There’s like these weird introductions of like, Oh, Hey, how’s it going? Blah, blah, blah. Haven’t talked to you like ever. [00:14:00] It’s like, how do you guys operate in the same organization? And try to hit the same revenue goals or alignment if there is any, but we’re the ones that are the kind of glue that’s bringing you guys all together.

Um, I think the other thing too, going back to that feedback piece task that you mentioned, I, I have found myself in many situations, having like one on one calls with our clients point of contact, maybe like the CMO, you know, CEO to CMO kind of stuff and. I get feedback and I get things that are super in the weeds.

And I, I ask like, why, why haven’t you talked to the team about this? Like the ones that are actually helping you drive the needle here. And it’s like this eyeopening experience. Like, Oh, I never thought I could have that conversation. I mean, yeah, that’s why we’re partnering. That’s, that’s what we’re trying to achieve here together.

We have to have those open lines of communication. Um, and I think that that brings up to your point, James, too, like. When we go into the political realm of things of in house and agency [00:15:00] stuff, I mean, there’s so much red tape, bureaucracy, uh, everything silos. I mean, Tess, in your experience, like obviously I’m sure you’ve run into that many different times, but how have you navigated those waters to kind of hopefully broken through to drive some change?

Well, that’s a loaded question, but there is a lot of red tape. Um, one of the reasons that I want to be out on my own is that I love what I do. I want to be able to do it for, um, and with cool people and get stuff out in the market quickly, right? Even a small iteration of something takes a lot of time, lots of people to review it, that kind of thing.

And sometimes you just got to throw something imperfect out there and see if there’s even a need before you put in a lot of work to build something perfect. Um, As far as gaining alignment internally, I do post a lot about that as well, because that is a big, [00:16:00] a big struggle. 80 percent of in house, you know, work is stakeholder alignment, leadership alignment, um, and then reporting on the stuff that you’re doing, and 20 percent is actually doing the stuff that you’re reporting on.

And so one of the things that I do on the forefront is I build business cases and it and a business case isn’t just here’s a 15 page Google Doc that you have to read through, it’s a three slide deck that says, here’s the goals and the data behind why we want to test something, here’s how we’re going to do it, here’s what The time and resources and cost it would incur, yes, no.

And now Google Docs actually has an approval function. So I would send a slide deck around and seek approval, uh, from my manager. And she loved it actually. And so she would come back and say, okay, here’s, and so it has the entire approval workflow on the corner, and then it locks the deck down after the approval’s done, so no one can go back and edit, it reopens the approval process.[00:17:00]

So that’s really cool that Google’s acknowledged that. That’s something that we have to deal with, but I gain alignment that way. The other way is, um, honestly having leadership that trusts you a little bit. Um, so I’ve had that as well, where I go in and during my one on ones and I’m like, Hey, we had this idea, this is what it’s going to take, effort, low, high.

Where is it on the priority list? And then I get a, just go do it. You know, don’t, you don’t have to ask me about these things anymore. And I think if, you know, giving someone that level of trust is important, but the problem happens when different teams own different things. And I’ll give you an example.

We wanted to start recording offline conversions, but then that needs to be a field in Marketo, which means it needs to be a field in Salesforce in order to pass that data back. Marketo is owned by a different team. Salesforce is owned by a different team. We have leadership that has to approve what [00:18:00] fields get added because there’s already too many fields.

You can’t just have any field you want added. Can we utilize an already existing field that isn’t being used? I mean, there’s so much around it, but it’s such a simple request, right? It’s like, Hey, can we have a field so we can pass the click IDs and then pass them back? Yeah, for like the, for you, it’s like a no brainer decision, right?

Like, Oh, let’s upload offline conversion data. Like, so we can track things back, do better tracking. Like it’s honestly almost, it is a best practice at this point. And yeah, silos, silos at B. Yeah. And it’s still, and you know, as far as I know, it’s still not implemented because it’s one of those things that just is caught in the web of red tape and, you know, trying to.

Get it through and get it approved and I think everybody and it’s a situation where no one has any objections. It’s just stuck in a workflow right now. I feel like some of those [00:19:00] conversations then tend to get harder given economic climate, right? Especially slower times, either perceived or reality, right?

There’s the political. Statement involved in there, but you know, if we look at today’s climate from an economic perspective and circling back to, you know, leadership tasks, like what’s leadership looking for nowadays, I think there’s that there’s a, there’s an awful connotation right now with you got to do more with less and in some ways, yes, right.

There are people who are laid off in the market. And we’re, we’re obviously very conscious of the fact that they lost their jobs and, and those things are important, but the people also left behind are now taking on those responsibilities because they’re not backfilling those lost positions. Right? Um, and even then with budgetary.

Cuts, you can’t outsource a lot of that work. So it is the people in house who are trying to do multiple things. And [00:20:00] I think, and my mom calls me blindly optimistic. So I’ll give you the bright side of having less. And I think that, one, as a marketer, if you, uh, can’t do something with a 5, 000 budget, then you have no business trying to do something with a million dollar budget.

You have to learn to be scrappy. You have a lot of tools at your disposal and it forces you to do a little more thinking and being more creative in how you’re going out there and getting the names out there. I’ll give you an example. Um, so now with less budget, 25 percent say was cut. Okay. You don’t have as much to pump into paid.

There are a lot of companies right now that if paid goes away, the entire foundation for revenue is just gone, right? They don’t have an organic foundation to build upon, but. Something that I bring up a lot is, and I love to do when I walk into companies, is go look [00:21:00] up their product or their name on Reddit.

Because Reddit is raw, okay? Reddit’s gonna tell you what they actually think about you and your product and your company. They’re gonna give live reviews to each other. They’re hiding behind anonymous names, so they are brutal. But that’s good. You get honest feedback about what they actually think about you.

You actually get to be a fly on the wall. So that’s one thing I’ve done every single time. And you know what’s really easy? Having a Reddit handle and, and entering the conversation. With, you know, the forum. So if they’re talking about you and a competitor, you can say, Hey, you know, hi, it’s Tillium here or whatever, you know, this is what we’re looking at or we’re seeing, or you can come in as an individual and provide your opinion as well in a non shady way.

Right. You’re not going to parade around. Like you don’t work for the company, but there are ways to join that conversation and guess what? It costs you nothing. Um, maybe a little bit of time, but that’s where you can [00:22:00] be a little more creative in approaching. You know, that less of the more with less attitude, um, and you also have a market backed excuse to say no to a lot of requests that come in.

Hey, I need this deck. I need this. Can you order more swag? I need support for this event. I need to do all of these. And it’s like, Hey, no, we have our three big rocks. We’re going towards that. What needs to be prioritized or, Hey, you can talk to my manager. Something needs to fall off in order for me to support you with this.

It’s great because that’s what you can use to your advantage is saying, okay, now I can look at paid and say, what are some creative things I can do with paid? So, you know, one of the things we did was look at it. Okay. Everyone’s competing with single image ads on LinkedIn. We went in with document ads. We had, you know, ridiculously low CPLs.

Quality didn’t suffer. It was great. So we double downed on that. Double downed? Is that a [00:23:00] word? Double down? Double down on that. Um, so, so that was something that we did. So it forces you to be creative with the things that you’re already doing versus adding more to your plate. My long winded answer. Well, it’s interesting.

Like, personally, I think the… Do more with less is technically impossible unless you were maybe not doing anything to begin with. And I think we’ve, I think we’ve all seen that. I mean, coming agency side, we audit people’s work all the time. And I have certainly, we were talking right before this of an example where, yeah, you probably could do more with less.

Um. You know, but that comes from like people not knowing what they’re doing in my opinion. Um, but there’s definitely like what I think the focus should be more around like efficiency and not like the do more with less concept. And that that’s the thing that’s going to get people in trouble long term [00:24:00] because do more with less almost has like this vision of.

What are like the quick wins that we need to focus on? And then you default back to all of those small demand capture gorilla type activities. Like, Oh, we’re going to do an event. We’re going to triple down on high intent, paid search keywords. And to your point, then you get in a position where. Yeah, that stuff might work well for like a short stint, but like what actually keeps business afloat long term is long term investments, SEO content, like social strategy, like that stuff is much more long term rather than.

Trying to find little efficiencies and quick wins with a minimal budget. And that’s where I think that this conversation needs to shift from more with less to efficiency. Cause that’s the reality of it. And efficiency also means that, yeah, we’re not going to have a 10 X growth goal with half the amount of [00:25:00] people.

Cause I mean, that’s just asinine, honestly. And that’s the. I mean, that’s the reality and what marketers are held to. So

I have a lot of empathy for marketers because we get a bad rap because we’re just trying to, we’re trying to hit numbers. But the, the problem is that we’re the ones, we’re not incentivized to do it any other way.

So we just keep running the same playbooks because our livelihoods kind of depend on it, right? Because you don’t hit those numbers. The company doesn’t hit their numbers. And guess who’s first on the chopping block? Marketing, HR, sales, you know, those are the groups that go first. And, um, and I’ve been, you know, I’ve been a part of that situation a couple of times.

So they don’t want to hear the long term stuff because in their minds, long term and long term may not even be that long term. It could be 60 days from now, but 60 days. Can be [00:26:00] crucial for a business, you know, I talked to one the other day and they’re like, we gotta, we gotta go from A to D in 30 days. We have 30 days.

Okay, well, if, if that kind of pressure and context is there, you’re going to take shortcuts, you’re going to hack your way.

To surviving that survivorship bias, hacking your way in 30 days using a bunch of short sprints. And then guess what? At the end of the 30 days, you’re going to say, okay, well, I just bought myself another 30 days and that’s going to be the vicious cycle that they’re going through. And I get it, you know, I empathize with them and I empathize with the marketers because I don’t actually think that marketers want to do a bad or poor job or they actually want to run these playbooks.

It’s not that it. Requires an organizational shift. And they’re just doing what, you know, they’re told or what they’re told to run and how, you know, because I’ve been internal now and I can tell you that we all discuss it all the [00:27:00] time when we think something is silly, when we think it’s not going to work, you know, they’re stressed out, we’re trying to do too much, they all are talking about the same stuff the three of us are talking about, they share the same frustrations, but That’s not going to change unless it comes from the top.

So let’s use that as a jumping off point into kind of a tangible question then. Taz, so if you could wave your magic wand and change one thing about B2B marketing these days, like what would it be? Oh, I told James earlier, I was like, can I only change one thing? Cause I have like 15 things. One to start.

One to start. Save the rest for LinkedIn. Save the rest for LinkedIn. One to start. Um, I think that it’s hard for us to. You know, to measure a channels performance based on 1 metric or 1 attribution type, you know, I, and it’s hard because we don’t actually have an answer to be honest. Um, if we had the answer, [00:28:00] some of us would be very, very rich, but, and I think companies are trying to solve that like visible and whoever, but the problem is.

You know, the buying journey isn’t linear, but we measure it like it’s linear. And so either the credit goes to the first one that sourced it, you know, sourced an opportunity. But guess what? If you’re doing like content syndication, it’s just a fancy way of buying a list, right? It’s just like one step below the shady level of buying a list.

And so content syndication is always going to be. And get credit for like first touch attribution, even though 1, 500 touch points have happened that have pushed them into the funnel. So either the first or the last touch gets the credit and nothing in between. But the thing is, if you take off some channels in between, you’re not going to see.

You know, that acceleration or whatever, if your sales cycle was 90 days, now it’s going to be 180 because you’ve taken some of those channels in between. So I, I mean, obviously the number 1 problem is just how we measure, um, [00:29:00] it, and I don’t have the answer for that, but that’s the thing is giving 1 channel credit and then saying, well, this 1 isn’t working.

Um, you can’t make that assumption, not, not with the way people buy today.

That one definitely hits home. I mean, we had, you mentioned when you were listening to other episodes that you wanted to jump into like attribution measurement stuff. We actually had like two other episodes or three, three other episodes where we had like specifically talked about attribution measurement.

Like we brought on the hockey stack guys. We brought on drew from attribute, uh, like, and at least the one thing I’ll say on that one, at least people are talking about it now. You know, I, I don’t think if there’s still, there’s very few marketing leaders left who like, at least don’t understand that it’s not a perfect world.

And that’s step one, I guess, step two is getting the sales team to figure, understand that. But, um, I always feel better about [00:30:00] that one now than I have in years past, because

You can explain that the user journey isn’t linear and we can’t give credit to one source and somebody will actually, you know, Engage in the conversation, but as marketers, like, we need to get better at telling the story of the customer journey, because what happens is when we report to the board or executives, we have to attribute in some way, shape, or form.

And this is where like us as marketers need to use our creative storytelling to map out what that customer journey actually looks like, show the value of those different touch points, rather than saying like, yeah, we got all these leads from content syndication. We got all these leads from paid search, all these from LinkedIn, because that’s where.

You know, again, doing more with less, they’re going to say, Oh, well, all of these nurture sequences seem like they’re not doing anything because they don’t, they don’t actually convert into our last nurture [00:31:00] sequence. So let’s cut out the 3 before it. Um, that’s, that’s the bad way to do more with less. I think the,

The analogy I like to use is that we are scientists, right?

You got to run nine marketing experiments in order for the 10th one to be successful. It’s almost like, it’s like slot machine, but a little more scientific where we’re identifying patterns. I always say I go for three things, right? As a marketer, my lens are patterns, testing, and then the data. What is it telling me?

And it’s hard to rely on just data because it can be. Um, but for example, and I think I talked to you guys about this last time we ran, you know, everyone says, okay, Facebook’s not great for me to be cool. Yeah, for lead generate. I mean, it’s awful. You know, we I’ve every time I try it, I don’t get anything directly, but we ran a test.

On Meta’s platform [00:32:00] and then got nothing, right? It was a hundred K in spend, got nothing, zero. But then I was dreading having to report that out to my CMO. I’m like, Oh my gosh, I’m going to get fired tomorrow. It’s a hundred thousand dollars. We got nothing. And so that’s when the storytelling aspect comes into play because now I start combing through.

Google Analytics. I’m looking at the site and what I did notice were two things. One, a blog article we wrote about our integration with Metta a year and a half ago and our integration page with Metta, um, had like a 200 percent increase in views that came in through organic and direct. And so I use the analogy of we’re like scientists connecting dementia at 85 to smoking in your twenties.

Right? You’re making those connections and [00:33:00] saying, Oh, there’s a link here because we, we created some awareness. They’re not clicking on the ads because that’s kind of the behavior, right? Like my husband is not in marketing and he’ll see, he’ll search for something and I watch him and he skips the paid stuff and goes right to the organic link or he’ll look it up separately.

And that’s how people are buying today. They’re avoiding ads, you know, we do it too intentionally, but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t see it. So the, the viewership still matters. And it’s showing, you know, and the indication is in other areas where you’re not paying attention. Um, so that’s the kind of stuff that we need to be looking at and telling that story, because then when I told that story, my CMO was like, that’s brilliant.

I would say that that worked. It may not have gotten us leads, but now people know we have the integration with Metta. They know how to use it. We’ve generated some awareness and interest and she was happy with that story.

I’m [00:34:00] curious. Do you know how that got then translated up another level? Because I feel like that’s where the real challenge lies because of it in my head, what I’m thinking is, excuse me,

We have this shift, so to speak at the marketing leadership level towards people that get it right.

They understand that. To your point, Tess, like you can’t measure everything. It’s just impossible. There’s a real challenge there that the nut will not get cracked anytime in the near future. The level above that is where there’s still an old guard, so to speak of people that are less sophisticated, less educated, and still care about the tangible.

What did this actual dollar amount get me in revenue? So I’m curious, do you know how that CMO conversation then went up a level for that a hundred K spend? No, I’ll say that it was a test. We knew we had positioned it as a pilot because it wasn’t part of our regular marketing strategy. So when we started it off, we said, okay, the [00:35:00] benchmarks are going to be wishy washy because we’ve never done this before.

So that’s setting the stage, the business case, right? So I said, here’s what our LinkedIn benchmarks are. It’s not the same audience. So we got to keep that in mind. Here’s what the industry benchmarks are based on what we’re finding. And hopefully we could get three opportunities out of this and get X amount of ROI.

That’s our hope, right? Um, obviously the results were different and we couldn’t track it all the way to, uh, an opportunity. Also, we just ran it. So our deal cycles, enterprise, SAS and stuff tends to be sometimes a couple of years long. Um, so maybe they’ll see the downstream later. Um, but. At that point, no, but she was happy with the initial results because it was something unique and different than we were expecting to happen versus the old playbook of it’s going to go from X to Y to Z.

Um, she was still happy with the pilot. Not that we ran it again, but she’s like, okay, it could be a good awareness [00:36:00] channel if we come into that money. And maybe we do a creative that’s more around education. Right, instead of saying book a demo or watch this webinar, whatever, just giving them value, case studies, that kind of stuff and generating more traffic, um, to that top of funnel.

Content on our site. Cool. I think

This is a great example of where attribution has spoiled us too. So, I mean, it’s you being able to measure over the course of the last 10 years and attribute back to channels has spoiled us, but, and they still did advertising in 1920 and newspapers and people just happened to hear about brands.

And like, there was no measurement necessarily correlated with that. We’re basically taking a step back, realizing that like, okay, maybe we took a little too far, mix in like kind of some of the old measurement techniques [00:37:00] and you’ll find something in the middle. Cause like Facebook not driving leads for B2B.

Yeah. We see that all the time. That does not mean that your audience is not on Facebook. Doesn’t mean that they’re not engaging with content. They’re just not going to engage with it in the same way that they would on LinkedIn or search when they’re in the business state of mind. Yeah, they’re not in the mindset, right?

So it’s like you’re walking into a grocery or

whatever. And then someone’s running up to you and saying, Hey, I work at Old Navy. Buy these pants. And you’re like, what? You know what I mean? It’s kind of that, but you remember it , that’s the situation. And then you go back home and you’re like, man, that was bizarre. I mean, I kind of like those pants though, so I guess I’ll look it up and, and see what the deal’s about.

But like, you’re not contextually in the right situation. Yeah. Um, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t create awareness because it’s so out there that it’s still memorable, but it was weird, you know? And then you tell other people about it. [00:38:00] Um. Wow, I just made that up and that actually made sense. Okay, cool. So, you know, so that’s kind of how I look at it too, which is on Facebook, you know, you’re busy arguing with Aunt Linda, you know, on politics.

And then suddenly you see an ad for this B2B company and you’re like, what? Okay. So you’re not clicking on it, but maybe later you’re like, Hey, you know what? I saw that weird statistic on there. Let me check it out. Um, and we have to, write, And you’re right, we’ve killed it with attribution, but we have to give users that room to breathe before we’re trying to, you know, shove a sales tactic or sequence or nurture down their throats.

We got to give them time and give them credit that they’re smart enough to do their own research and go on their own journey before they come in. And honestly, I think that the attribution problem could be solved, but what has. made, um, us take a step back, all the privacy laws, right? Because do we have the technology to [00:39:00] tag Andy’s every movement throughout his day?

Yeah, totally. We have the technology, but then there’s the user side of it, which is, well, you know, that’s an invasion of my space. You can’t, so we could solve that issue. We’re just doing the best we can with the constraints of the laws that are around, you know, which I mean, some marketers still ignore, but, um.

You know, that’s marketing one on one working within guardrails. There’s always a guardrail somewhere. I call it coloring inside the lines. Yes. James, I want to color outside the lines and give you a budget for t shirts and you just run up to people and be like, buy this t shirt we’re using Tass’s like off the cuff marketing playbook.

I’m down. That’s like the next weird thing we’re going to do at a conference. Yeah. My, my husband would totally do that. He’s all about the marketing swag, right? Cause I’m desensitized, but he’s always like. Um, yeah, size large. Um, you know, so he’s like wearing, he’s wearing like drift shirts [00:40:00] and telium shirts and, you know, qualified and yeah, all of these guys who send me stuff, my husband just has a whole wardrobe full of swag.

We had an employee. This had to be like eight years ago. And James is going to know where I go with this, that all he would wear. For work was swag t shirts. He just had like this entire closet of swag t shirts and that was his uniform, so to speak. It was, it was amazing. It was from everywhere. Um, so as we bring this episode towards a closed test, I want to ask you like in your opinion,

What are the biggest opportunities for brands as we start to crawl towards 2024 and a new year of marketing?

I think if budgets are cut right now, you have lower resources, you have to be a little more creative. I learned very late in my career, and by late I mean January of this year, um, the actual power [00:41:00] of organic because every company I’ve walked in, I’ve just been handed a paid budget. And I’ve planned a lot of marketing around that paid budget, right?

My tools, my partners, my paid engines, because again, I wasn’t incentivized for anything other than bringing leads and then driving those to revenue or just passing off to sales and then never knowing what happened after that. So I think the opportunity here is leveraging. Organic social putting more into SEO SEO is one of those things that always ends up on the back burner.

Always. I mean, every company I’ve worked at it. We don’t want to spend on a SEO agency, but they know the importance and then they say, oh, can you just do some stuff around? SEO. I’m like, that’s not how it works. I can’t just do some stuff. I can’t just have it humming along in the background. That’s just not how it works.

Um, we need to put in, in order to get out, it requires a lot of strategy. It does [00:42:00] require time. So if you can invest money, invest time, because that’s going to be your friend right now. Do the things that are the long term plays because the brands that are playing really well. And the organic space, they’re the ones that are winning right now.

And the reality is you can get thousands of leads every month in paid. And I know I’m working against you guys here because that’s what you’re offering too. But you can get a thousand leads every month in paid, but the reality is only 5 percent of your markets ever ready to buy at one time. Can you do other stuff around that?

And it also helps your paid strategy because one of the things with paid strategy is we always go heavy on the capture, capture, capture, but if you even do 10 percent of the budget towards just showcasing value, you know, that long term gain, so like don’t hold your agencies accountable to these outlandish numbers, because then they’re going to be forced to do those quick sprints, quick wins, the hacky, you know.

Strategies, [00:43:00] give them some room to say, okay, if generally our goal is a thousand, can we bring it down to 700, but they’re higher quality, you’re giving them a little more room to breathe and say, okay, let’s push some stuff towards that customer journey, which is educating them, giving them the case studies, you know, building your programs out according to that journey, um, and let them weave in and out.

And then the people who are ready are going to be more qualified and close faster. Uh, You know, then you just running out and trying to get names. I mean, you could just go to ZoomInfo and spend $30,000 and just buy names if you want, if that’s what you really wanted. Exactly. And I, it’s, I had to start this like two or three years ago, but like one of the comments I bring into discovery calls or pitches when that lead comment comes up is, I can get you 3000 leads tomorrow.

Yeah. It doesn’t mean they’re gonna close, doesn’t mean they’re gonna be quality, but if you want leads, I can get you leads. That’s not a problem. That is my favorite quote now. They’re 25 or 17 cents each if you [00:44:00] want them. Yeah. Totally. And you don’t have to then pay us. You don’t have to worry about the time and the meetings.

We’ll just send you a list tomorrow, you know, not a big deal, but then, yeah, I mean, the likelihood that they’re going to be annoyed when you reach out to them or have no idea who you are, it’s going to be a little bit high. And so I think that we. And by we, I mean, you know, sometimes companies will look at people as just numbers, but you got to look at them as people and people buy from people, not companies, right?

I don’t follow Jellyfish, the company, right? But I do follow like Kyle Lacey, CMO Jellyfish. That’s who I’m looking at. Um, same thing with Snowflake. Like Zong.

Amazing. Gong’s like one of the two company pages I follow, just because, you know, the content is not, you know, here’s my latest white paper. Okay, cool. Don’t care. The other page is Dragon 360, James. She’s just not, she’s not ready to say it. It’s all right. Dragon 360, the [00:45:00] reposts of our. Um, okay. I’m going to go check it out after this, but yeah, so just leverage people, leverage the people in your organization.

Um, and especially if you’re, if you’re a founder or category creator, like you should be doing that a hundred percent, you know, be playing that space where your competitors are not. Um, so yeah, I think that there’s a lot there, but don’t cut paid either. Everything should compliment and supplement each other, but you should leverage, you know, that.

Value first, which we, we’re solution first, product first. I hear it all the time, but by never value first, like why, you know what I mean? Cause we can’t track it. Well said. Yeah. Well said Tass. Well, Tass, thank you for joining James and I on Digital Banter today. How can people learn more about Delphinium and connect with you?

The best way is on LinkedIn. Find me, Tass Bober. My Delphinium company page is just there for decoration. I don’t [00:46:00] utilize that because PS. 30 percent less reach than an individual page. And I’m the person behind Delphinium and you’re going to be working with me. So come find me. I drop a lot of marketing knowledge daily.

Um, and a lot of sassy comments and the DMs are open. So. Tass as in sass, right? Tass as in sass. That’s right. Awesome. Well, like I let off this episode, we’re really excited about season two. We’re excited to kick it off with a bang by having Tass on today’s show. So like, subscribe, check out Dragon 360 and catch you guys next time.

Thanks for listening to the Digital Vanter podcast. Make sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts so you don’t miss an episode. For more resources and to keep up with the show, visit dragon360. com. Until next time.

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