April 28, 2021

Why Your Go-To-Market Approach Still Matters

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In this episode, Lesley Crews talks with John Ledoux, of John Ledoux Consulting. The two discuss how having the wrong GTM approach can negatively affect your demand gen strategy. 

Transcript
WEBVTT 1 00:00:02.540 --> 00:00:02.740 Yeah, 2 00:00:04.640 --> 00:00:08.100 all right, welcome back to VTB Growth. My name is Leslie Cruise with Sweet 3 00:00:08.100 --> 00:00:11.980 fish Media and if you're new here, we have spent the entire month of april 4 00:00:11.980 --> 00:00:16.720 covering the topic of demand generation. I'm very excited to be joined today by 5 00:00:16.720 --> 00:00:20.680 john Ladue of Gianluigi consulting. We connected on linkedin and I thought he 6 00:00:20.680 --> 00:00:24.150 would be the perfect person to talk to. Um he is very, very knowledgeable about 7 00:00:24.150 --> 00:00:28.010 this topic and very passionate too. So um john thanks so much for joining me 8 00:00:28.010 --> 00:00:32.990 today. Thanks for having me on. Absolutely. So the first question I 9 00:00:32.990 --> 00:00:37.690 always dive into when I start talking to someone about demand generation 10 00:00:37.700 --> 00:00:42.950 because it is such a, I feel controversial topic and everybody kind 11 00:00:42.950 --> 00:00:47.520 of has a different definition of what it is. My first question is always how 12 00:00:47.520 --> 00:00:52.080 do you, in your own words, define demand generation? Yeah, can I give you 13 00:00:52.080 --> 00:00:56.740 a little bit of background on, on where I'm coming from? So I studied marketing 14 00:00:56.740 --> 00:01:01.410 in psychology at University of California Berkeley and immediately 15 00:01:01.410 --> 00:01:07.960 after that jumped directly into two big sales roles for about 2.5 years was 16 00:01:07.970 --> 00:01:12.820 picked up A couple years later by a little start up company that adopted 17 00:01:12.820 --> 00:01:17.740 Marcato and this is back in 2008. So I came from drinking the market oh kool 18 00:01:17.740 --> 00:01:23.680 aid right one demand generation even as a term was starting to come to the 19 00:01:23.680 --> 00:01:29.410 realization and so my background there was work that startups started doing 20 00:01:29.410 --> 00:01:34.590 consulting fortune 500 companies and then really owned the demand gen 21 00:01:34.590 --> 00:01:39.410 function for the last 12 years, 14 years. So start the consulting practice 22 00:01:39.410 --> 00:01:43.750 about four years ago and have heard a lot of opinions on what demand 23 00:01:43.750 --> 00:01:51.370 generation as a role is. And I will tell you in a very long winded way that 24 00:01:51.370 --> 00:01:55.950 it really does depend, you know, company has demand generation as a 25 00:01:55.950 --> 00:02:01.470 function. It's probably a relatively small company because to me, demand 26 00:02:01.470 --> 00:02:05.120 generation as a role covers a few different places. First, demand 27 00:02:05.120 --> 00:02:10.590 creation number one, So creating demand. The second part of it is capturing that 28 00:02:10.590 --> 00:02:16.640 demand. And then the third part of it is essentially the enablement of the 29 00:02:16.640 --> 00:02:24.350 sales side to then continue that story that you have created and then captured 30 00:02:24.350 --> 00:02:29.460 that audience. So to me, demand generation is the function of creating 31 00:02:29.460 --> 00:02:36.300 the demand and also shepherding that demand through the pipeline. And I see 32 00:02:36.300 --> 00:02:41.320 a lot of companies that are much bigger attempt to do this with a singular role. 33 00:02:41.320 --> 00:02:45.940 It doesn't really work out that way very well, but usually this is for 34 00:02:45.940 --> 00:02:49.340 companies that are much smaller, somebody's gonna wear a lot of 35 00:02:49.340 --> 00:02:52.650 different hats, they're involved in operations, they're involved in sales 36 00:02:52.650 --> 00:02:56.080 enablement, to a certain extent, they're involved in content creation, 37 00:02:56.080 --> 00:02:59.790 they're involved in operations and putting the hooks out there and the 38 00:02:59.790 --> 00:03:04.150 carrots out there to try to capture the demand at the right time and place. 39 00:03:04.540 --> 00:03:08.310 Absolutely, and I think that's really, really good because what I always I 40 00:03:08.310 --> 00:03:13.150 always think about demand generation is just generating demand and really it's 41 00:03:13.160 --> 00:03:17.450 like you said it's creating but also capturing that and then enabling sales, 42 00:03:17.450 --> 00:03:19.760 which is really important. I think people kind of tend to forget that 43 00:03:19.760 --> 00:03:22.540 especially marketers in this space because it's like let me just do it all, 44 00:03:22.540 --> 00:03:25.770 let me do it all myself, but got to have that sales enablement or it's not 45 00:03:25.770 --> 00:03:30.110 gonna work out. That's right, Yeah, absolutely. So I wanted to talk to you 46 00:03:30.110 --> 00:03:34.320 a little bit about what what you feel B2B marketers tend to get wrong in this 47 00:03:34.320 --> 00:03:37.580 space and I feel like there are a few different ways we could go here because 48 00:03:37.580 --> 00:03:41.830 there are a lot of you know, demand generation is new, it is growing and it 49 00:03:41.830 --> 00:03:45.750 is so broad, so what are some things that baby marketers either should stop 50 00:03:45.750 --> 00:03:50.720 doing or should you know, really start doing here. Very good question. I think 51 00:03:50.720 --> 00:03:57.080 the biggest flaw that I see in B2B marketing is starting your go to market 52 00:03:57.080 --> 00:04:03.840 strategy with limited to what you know, so what do I mean by that? It's very 53 00:04:03.840 --> 00:04:07.620 common to see B two B marketers moved from one company to another, 54 00:04:07.620 --> 00:04:11.750 particularly here in the bay Area where like the revolving door of sales and 55 00:04:11.750 --> 00:04:16.120 marketing is one that never stops spinning. But what I see is these 56 00:04:16.120 --> 00:04:19.709 individuals go to from one company to another and what they bring is an 57 00:04:19.709 --> 00:04:24.560 expertise in a few different channels and that's where they start. And it's a 58 00:04:24.560 --> 00:04:29.300 really big problem because it doesn't take into consideration that each buyer 59 00:04:29.310 --> 00:04:33.310 is very different for every single company, even if you've got two of the 60 00:04:33.310 --> 00:04:38.360 same industry, two of the same product, the buyer is oftentimes different, so 61 00:04:38.540 --> 00:04:43.580 starting from the customer first, the prospect first and understanding how to 62 00:04:43.580 --> 00:04:47.940 reach that audience and how what kind of messages work, what kind of content 63 00:04:47.940 --> 00:04:51.620 works. One of the things that they like, the things that they enjoy, I think you 64 00:04:51.620 --> 00:04:55.870 should always be the very first thing that A B two B market or does, but 65 00:04:55.870 --> 00:04:59.170 instead what you see, especially if you jump on length and you'll see what are 66 00:04:59.170 --> 00:05:02.720 the best channels to use and B two B marketing, it's like, you can't have an 67 00:05:02.720 --> 00:05:07.110 answer to that question without telling me the company that you're doing it for 68 00:05:07.110 --> 00:05:12.040 the audience, that you're doing it for, um etcetera. So I think to keep this 69 00:05:12.050 --> 00:05:16.680 short really about it's all about the customer and understanding what that 70 00:05:16.680 --> 00:05:21.650 customer journey is going to be and working from from that point to the 71 00:05:21.650 --> 00:05:25.640 types of channels the types of lovers that you should be pulling. Absolutely 72 00:05:25.640 --> 00:05:29.510 that's that's really good because I think a lot of times marketers tend to 73 00:05:29.510 --> 00:05:32.500 focus on linkedin and it's like okay but not everyone is on linkedin. You 74 00:05:32.500 --> 00:05:35.320 know not your ideal customer might not be on linked in your ideal customer 75 00:05:35.320 --> 00:05:41.450 might be on reddit. You know they Might be somewhere else. Yeah 100%. You know 76 00:05:41.450 --> 00:05:45.070 it's funny there's a lot of these length in sort of quote unquote 77 00:05:45.080 --> 00:05:49.120 influencers people that like to talk about what they think marketing best 78 00:05:49.120 --> 00:05:52.850 practices and it's great if your audience is marketing people if your 79 00:05:52.860 --> 00:05:57.770 audience and salespeople, if your audience is recruiters they live eat 80 00:05:57.770 --> 00:06:05.030 and breathe on length in. But for let's say companies who sell into the I. T. 81 00:06:05.030 --> 00:06:09.420 Space who sell to engineers uh those folks do not live eat and breathe in 82 00:06:09.420 --> 00:06:15.150 lengthen. And so while there is the power of hey I'm on this and what 83 00:06:15.150 --> 00:06:19.060 you're talking about works for me. It doesn't necessarily work for your 84 00:06:19.060 --> 00:06:23.820 business. And it's very clear when you see folks commenting and folks chiming 85 00:06:23.820 --> 00:06:27.100 in on that. Those people don't work with a variety of companies in a 86 00:06:27.100 --> 00:06:30.870 variety of industries because that approach would look dramatically 87 00:06:30.870 --> 00:06:34.010 different. I want to shift gears a little and talk. I really want to talk 88 00:06:34.010 --> 00:06:38.750 about your your consulting business and kind of you know your core areas of 89 00:06:38.750 --> 00:06:42.450 expertise and we talked off line a little bit about you know those three 90 00:06:42.450 --> 00:06:46.840 areas are demand creation, marketing operations and reporting. And I think 91 00:06:46.840 --> 00:06:49.770 the last one is what I really want to touch on because I think that the 92 00:06:49.770 --> 00:06:53.330 reporting aspect is very, very important since demand generation is 93 00:06:53.330 --> 00:06:59.630 really difficult to measure sometimes, you know, oftentimes it's organic. So 94 00:06:59.640 --> 00:07:03.350 um can you just talk a little bit about those kind of like you know, maybe 95 00:07:03.350 --> 00:07:06.480 share some examples with clients that you have or something like that? Yeah, 96 00:07:06.480 --> 00:07:10.670 100%. So I work with a variety of different clients from, you know, 97 00:07:10.670 --> 00:07:17.110 pretty series B two I. P. O. Companies. And I think the most common theme 98 00:07:17.110 --> 00:07:21.070 across all of these companies when it comes to measuring marketing is doing 99 00:07:21.070 --> 00:07:25.550 what makes sense for the maturity of the marketing organization at the time. 100 00:07:25.840 --> 00:07:31.260 So for companies that are sort of pre series B that are really focused in on 101 00:07:31.340 --> 00:07:35.400 getting out there creating demand capturing, demand building pipeline. 102 00:07:35.410 --> 00:07:38.740 Not that every other company doesn't want to do that, but for those 103 00:07:38.740 --> 00:07:43.740 companies that are young where that is the priority, I would say that 104 00:07:43.740 --> 00:07:48.600 neglecting things like multi touch attribution models, things like trying 105 00:07:48.600 --> 00:07:53.130 to figure out, You know, which of the 50 things that you've tried is working 106 00:07:53.130 --> 00:07:55.830 the best and doubling down on that, because you're just not going to get 107 00:07:55.830 --> 00:07:59.570 those kinds of answers because you're probably so resource constraint that 108 00:07:59.570 --> 00:08:05.470 you don't have the operations in place to scale up that kind of reporting. Uh 109 00:08:05.480 --> 00:08:08.810 and that makes all kinds of sense because you really should be focusing 110 00:08:08.810 --> 00:08:13.300 on winning better be fit customers so that you can go out and use the voice 111 00:08:13.300 --> 00:08:17.340 of the customer to show that story. But for companies that are much more mature 112 00:08:17.350 --> 00:08:23.690 in their marketing, they do have 100 different things going on and they do 113 00:08:23.690 --> 00:08:28.800 need to know what is working and what's not working. All of that said, 114 00:08:28.810 --> 00:08:33.669 sometimes these companies don't do a great job of understanding what is the 115 00:08:33.669 --> 00:08:39.650 point that they need to be measuring so that they can double down on it. And 116 00:08:39.650 --> 00:08:43.450 what I hope clients do is just think about all the various data points, 117 00:08:43.450 --> 00:08:47.010 right? There's such thing as too many data points and what are the data 118 00:08:47.010 --> 00:08:50.830 points that matter the most of them? And you know, some companies and say, 119 00:08:50.830 --> 00:08:54.360 oh we want to measure all the things. Well, uh there really aren't great 120 00:08:54.360 --> 00:08:58.590 tools and great operations in place the vast majority of the time to do that. 121 00:08:58.600 --> 00:09:02.710 So what are the few things that we want to measure about, say, a particular 122 00:09:02.710 --> 00:09:06.490 campaign or a particular channel that are gonna help give us leading 123 00:09:06.490 --> 00:09:10.550 indicators about whether or not that is working. So when we talk about things 124 00:09:10.550 --> 00:09:14.920 like multi touch attribution, you know, some companies do that very well 125 00:09:14.920 --> 00:09:19.640 because some companies, they don't change their go to market approach, 126 00:09:19.650 --> 00:09:24.010 they're not going to be product led growth, they're going to be very sales 127 00:09:24.010 --> 00:09:26.960 oriented and that model is not going to change and that's great because there's 128 00:09:26.960 --> 00:09:31.660 consistency over time and then they can develop a model for, hey, we think that 129 00:09:31.660 --> 00:09:35.800 U shaped W shaped model might be best for our business. But the most 130 00:09:35.800 --> 00:09:39.390 important thing that comes out of that is that it's all relative whatever it 131 00:09:39.390 --> 00:09:42.690 is that you're measuring is relative to the model that you choose is relative 132 00:09:42.690 --> 00:09:46.290 to the metrics that you're choosing the measure. So you have to understand that 133 00:09:46.300 --> 00:09:50.640 in the context of everything, when you report it up to the C suite or you're 134 00:09:50.640 --> 00:09:53.820 talking about it to the individual contributors in the marketing 135 00:09:53.820 --> 00:09:57.600 organization, that it's hyper contextual to the way that you're 136 00:09:57.600 --> 00:10:01.750 measuring it. Not that hey, this is the end all be all for how we should be 137 00:10:01.750 --> 00:10:05.790 measuring this thing. The only right way to be doing it. And it means 138 00:10:05.800 --> 00:10:10.590 everything because X data point. So I know that may have sounded a little 139 00:10:10.590 --> 00:10:15.020 meadow now that I'm thinking about it, but the truth is it is all contextual. 140 00:10:15.030 --> 00:10:20.800 So, a prime example of that is reporting at an individual contributor 141 00:10:20.800 --> 00:10:24.260 level is very different than reporting at the C suite level, the executive 142 00:10:24.260 --> 00:10:28.060 level, the board level, Each group wants to see it a different way. The 143 00:10:28.060 --> 00:10:31.780 most important thing is that you're measuring it for it to make sense for 144 00:10:31.780 --> 00:10:35.780 that group. Absolutely. A lot of people that I've talked to have said, you know, 145 00:10:35.780 --> 00:10:39.150 attribution is so overrated, attribution doesn't matter. What's your 146 00:10:39.150 --> 00:10:44.660 opinion on that? You know, I think sort of like I mentioned before in in much 147 00:10:44.660 --> 00:10:49.290 smaller companies where revenue impact is much more important than trying to 148 00:10:49.290 --> 00:10:55.550 fine tune a machine. Yeah, I totally agree with that. That the first thing 149 00:10:55.550 --> 00:10:59.090 that you shouldn't be doing is probably building out your reporting operations. 150 00:10:59.100 --> 00:11:02.370 You know, unless you have a board that says, hey, we need to know everything 151 00:11:02.370 --> 00:11:04.920 that's going on. You're going to say, all right, we're going to sacrifice a 152 00:11:04.920 --> 00:11:09.240 lot of demand creation time to focus in on reporting operations, but for much 153 00:11:09.240 --> 00:11:13.310 larger companies, you know, I find that there's a lot of lengthen chatter, but 154 00:11:13.310 --> 00:11:17.760 most of those folks don't engage with companies that are serious C plus where 155 00:11:17.760 --> 00:11:21.130 we're talking about companies who have perfected their go to market strategy 156 00:11:21.140 --> 00:11:26.290 and are really scaling up. You know, these are teams of 20 to 40 marketing 157 00:11:26.290 --> 00:11:31.580 people. It becomes very important not just for the visibility of the business, 158 00:11:31.580 --> 00:11:35.390 but really to understand our their individual contributors within that 159 00:11:35.390 --> 00:11:40.260 marketing or that are pulling certain lovers, those lovers believe it or not 160 00:11:40.260 --> 00:11:44.500 do have some level of attribution that needs to be accounted for, whether 161 00:11:44.500 --> 00:11:50.910 that's uh click through rate or or impressions or, you know, the lift and 162 00:11:50.910 --> 00:11:54.410 overall organic search, traffic, whatever that might be. There is a 163 00:11:54.410 --> 00:11:59.110 metric, there's a story to be told there whether or not it fits into this 164 00:11:59.110 --> 00:12:04.260 tightly packed idea of needing some sort of B two B tech software to throw 165 00:12:04.260 --> 00:12:08.760 into the mix to say, oh, well this is the end all be all for attribution. I 166 00:12:08.760 --> 00:12:12.000 don't know about that, but you know, probably something that aligns a little 167 00:12:12.000 --> 00:12:15.460 bit more with the role and the types of channels that they're pulling the 168 00:12:15.460 --> 00:12:21.370 leverage and for sure, what are some specific tools that you would maybe 169 00:12:21.370 --> 00:12:24.080 recommend to? Someone who is implementing demand generation into 170 00:12:24.080 --> 00:12:27.380 their organization? Maybe they're, you know, they're new or they're starting 171 00:12:27.380 --> 00:12:30.590 their own business and they just kind of want to implement that, but they're 172 00:12:30.590 --> 00:12:33.500 just, they have no idea where to start. Um, what are some tools, some advice 173 00:12:33.500 --> 00:12:37.790 you might have, where would they even start? So I'll go back to my answer to 174 00:12:37.790 --> 00:12:43.020 your very first question about what matters most and B2B or demand gen 175 00:12:43.030 --> 00:12:47.070 marketing and that is understanding what are the needs of your customers, 176 00:12:47.070 --> 00:12:53.240 how to reach your customer. I think companies that are sort of just getting 177 00:12:53.240 --> 00:12:58.530 started should probably really evaluate the technology or whatever tools they 178 00:12:58.530 --> 00:13:02.500 need based on costs and what the level of impact is going to be there. I don't 179 00:13:02.500 --> 00:13:05.920 think, I think there should be some sort of automatic, hey, you should go 180 00:13:05.920 --> 00:13:09.600 out and get a marketing automation platform or an email platform or some 181 00:13:09.600 --> 00:13:13.620 sort of other conversion tool because I've seen companies that ignore a lot 182 00:13:13.620 --> 00:13:18.790 of that and go straight to third party li jen, companies that are going to, 183 00:13:18.800 --> 00:13:23.460 you know, send, send individuals who have consumed content may be warm leads, 184 00:13:23.460 --> 00:13:28.690 maybe high intent, whatever it might be. And so what I would say is listen to 185 00:13:28.690 --> 00:13:33.980 the customer. If the customer says, hey, we use mostly email, you're gonna reach 186 00:13:33.980 --> 00:13:38.900 us only an email. We don't use linkedin. You know, we don't use social channels, 187 00:13:38.910 --> 00:13:42.020 you know, whatever that might be that should really guide your decision 188 00:13:42.020 --> 00:13:45.550 making. Product marketing person is going to be really key obviously and 189 00:13:45.550 --> 00:13:49.510 getting a lot of that data. But in the absence of that person, you as a demand 190 00:13:49.510 --> 00:13:52.870 gen person need to go out and learn your market and then from there you can 191 00:13:52.870 --> 00:13:56.640 start building a go to market strategy. Your tools need to fit your go to 192 00:13:56.640 --> 00:14:01.450 market strategy. So if somebody says hey linkedin and these awareness 193 00:14:01.450 --> 00:14:04.830 channels are the only place you're going to be able to reach us then go 194 00:14:04.830 --> 00:14:09.840 out and build an engine and a muscle around you know podcasting or you know 195 00:14:09.850 --> 00:14:14.960 video production or media maybe some length unpaid there. If you're talking 196 00:14:14.960 --> 00:14:19.190 about hey we consume most of our content on vendor websites which is 197 00:14:19.190 --> 00:14:23.450 very common in the I. T. Space, the engineering space, then you should 198 00:14:23.450 --> 00:14:27.130 probably figure out tools that are going to optimize your website and 199 00:14:27.130 --> 00:14:30.430 optimize for conversion there and building the kind of content that that 200 00:14:30.440 --> 00:14:36.070 audience is going to create. So I think it depends is probably the most 201 00:14:36.070 --> 00:14:40.550 consultant type of answer I could give you but it would really depend on the 202 00:14:40.560 --> 00:14:43.790 market and the industry. So that's how I work with my clients is figuring out 203 00:14:43.790 --> 00:14:47.190 what that looks like. Yeah, that's great to know this. Fantastic. This has 204 00:14:47.190 --> 00:14:50.680 been really great, john thanks so much for coming on the show. Tell us where 205 00:14:50.680 --> 00:14:53.760 can listeners find you online if they're interested in learning more or 206 00:14:53.760 --> 00:14:57.110 may be interested in your consulting business? Yeah, Great question. So two 207 00:14:57.110 --> 00:15:03.500 ways first on linkedin, do a search for john J O H N Ledoux, L E D O U X I am 208 00:15:03.500 --> 00:15:07.240 the demand gen consultant. You can also go to john Ladue dot com and find out 209 00:15:07.240 --> 00:15:10.020 more. They're perfect. Great. Well, thanks again for joining me on GDP 210 00:15:10.020 --> 00:15:12.050 Growth. Thanks for the time. Leslie cheers. 211 00:15:14.440 --> 00:15:18.450 Is the decision maker for your product or service at BBB marketer, are you 212 00:15:18.450 --> 00:15:22.660 looking to reach those buyers through the medium of podcasting? Considered 213 00:15:22.660 --> 00:15:27.880 becoming a co host of GDP Growth. This show is consistently ranked as a top 214 00:15:27.880 --> 00:15:32.030 100 podcast in the marketing category of apple podcasts, And the show gets 215 00:15:32.030 --> 00:15:37.610 more than 130,000 downloads each month. We've already done the work of building 216 00:15:37.610 --> 00:15:41.640 the audience so you can focus on delivering incredible content to our 217 00:15:41.640 --> 00:15:46.060 listeners if you're interested, email Logan at Sweet Fish Media dot com. 218 00:15:49.040 --> 00:15:49.610 Thank you.