It’s not a secret the Chief Marketing Officer at organizations have the shortest tenure. CMO’s are dying off inside companies today, but why? Why are we witnessing the Death of the CMO?
The answer is as complicated as it is fascinating. This week on The Summit Podcast our guest Andrea Lechner-Becker sits down to discuss how the biggest branding challenge marketing faces today is an internal struggle.
Andrea and Kyle discuss:
How to say no while saying yes
Getting things done for marketing-minded CEOs
Moving marketing from a verb to a noun
Creating value for your audience
Partnering with sales
Creating unforgettable impressions across your brand
You are not going to want to miss this action-packed episode.
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Welcome to the summit. A podcast focused on bringing you the knowledge and insights for industry leaders. I’m your host Kyle Hamer, and I’m on a mission to help you exceed your potential. As a sales guy, turned marketer, I am passionate about building sustainable businesses . And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 20 years , you won’t find it overnight growth scheme, a shortcut to success or a way to hack yourself. Nope. Success is the by-product of hard work, great relationships and deep understanding done over and over. We’re here to help you unlock that success with some secrets from other people, one conversation
At a time. Thanks for tuning in this week. This week, our guests on The Summit is Andrea Lechner, Becker, the CMO at LeadMD. Indeed. I get that right, Andrea.
You did. Yeah, you did. Excellent.
Welcome to the show. We’re super excited to have you today. We’re going to talk about what’s wrong with CMOs, but before we do that, what I’d really like to know is have you, well, actually not what I’d like to know. I think what our guests would like to know is is who are you? What do you do? And why is it? Do you know so much about CMOs?
Yeah, so my job is a COO myself. So that’s my title. I’m a CMO at a marketing consultancy, which means that all of our clients are marketers. So I am a marketer marketing my marketers to other marketers. So I am completely surrounded by marketing leaders and marketing practitioners all day. It’s my job to market to them. And really because they are my customer to understand them and to talk to them about what they’re struggling with, what they’re frustrated with and all of those things, because we can help them in many ways, solution for those things and make our lives easier. So I care about their pain points because that’s what my solution solves for.
That’s fantastic. By the way, if you added one more in there, the only one I think that could have been left was marketing for marketers to help them avoid murder. Like I think you’re right . Yeah . That’s quite a number of M’s and you know, like I said, our , our convert topic of conversation today is something that you and I, you know, we, we, we have similar having been in marketing leadership and spending time helping marketers, but it is the, you know, the crazy case for the CMO kind of becoming dinosaurs and going towards extinct and anybody who’s listened to this as , like, what do you mean what’s happening to the CML , like really, really high level? What are you seeing happening in the conversations you’re having on a daily basis or even with your mentors or mentees?
Yeah. So you know, I mean, there’s this thing that has been happening for a couple of years, right? Like there’s all this research about the CMO being the C suite title that has the L the shortest tenure in the executive suite. And there’s also a lot of conversation about CMOs being replaced by C R O S the idea that somebody is going to be in charge of both marketing and sales is the concept of the CRO boiled down super unscientifically. And so, you know, I think that marketing has a branding problem. So one of the things that I love talking about is posts that Latney over at sixth sense, she’s six senses CMO that she posted. And I think it came from like a Forbes article or something. And it was this idea that, you know, the CMO title stands for chief marketing officer typically and that marketing is a verb and it’s the only C-suite title that has a verb, right. A CFO is a chief financial officer not a financing officer, right? Chief revenue officer is not, you know, chief selling officer, right.
Even old CSO, chief strategy officer or chief sales officer, chief information officer. So like none of those are the act of doing something except for chief marketing officer. And so in this article, which I don’t know how that works. Like , we’ll go look for it, Google it, I guess. I don’t know . But the, the, the concept of that article is that CMOs would be better positioned if we gave them ourselves the title of chief market officer. So it’s our job to understand the market, the buyers and the macroeconomics that are happening in the industry in which our business is like the market. And I think that that’s, that’s like a spot on kind of explanation of what’s happening to the CMO, right? Is that too many CMOs have for too long. And this is an old conversation, right. That CMOs are going into boardrooms talking about webpage visits and email opens and clicks, and like, yeah, that’s a good way to get fired.
So I think that CMOs really need to transition our brand to being about the macroeconomics of the company in which we support and things like that that give us actual value to be sitting in the boardroom. Right. Like I think that even you know, I, I tend to not love the focus on attribution as it’s kind of been bastardized through the years. I think even going into a boardroom and trying to prove that we deserve credit for the creation or the influence of leads, like I just don’t think that that has value and people understand it. So I think it’s, it’s our job as marketers to market ourselves in a much more effective way. I think that’s fundamentally, the problem is like, we’re not doing internal marketing very well.
Got it. If ever there was a branding problem that marketing had, the branding problem happens in the boardroom 99% of the time. Right. I mean, for, for a core tenant of marketing being branding, we sure fail at that inside the four walls of our company.
I mean, and, and I think, you know, there’s a lot of conversation about, you know, just creating the right relationship with your CEO or your CFO. And I, I, I often see that even new CMOs in a role in their first 90 days, they’re looking to redo the website, generate leads, re-look at their buyers, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I always encourage anybody that I talk to. That’s a new CMO to invest a ton of time creating actual relationships with your peers and your boss, right? So like, who is your boss, depending on what your board situation looks like? It’s your board and your CEO and your peers, or your CFO.
Yes. It’s sales, but like the CFO relationship is a deal killer, right? Like if they do not see the value of marketing historically, and you have to go to them and say, you need $200,000 to create a community of advocates, like you are from jump, right? Like there’s no way you get the authority or, or approval to do something like that. If you don’t have the right relationships, because you don’t have trust right away. So you have to first develop trust. And it’s the exact same thing that you say to somebody who’s trying to connect with a buyer, right? Like you have to develop trust with them. They don’t trust you to just come in and say, you’re going to solution for it. They’re not going to take a meeting with you. It’s the same with your CFO and your CEO. Like, I think it’s vastly underestimated the importance of managing your relationships with your, with your C-suite peers.
It’s, it’s, it’s fun to talk to somebody who shares a similar point of view on the world. And the reason that I say that is, I dunno , how many people that I talked to in , in your a hundred percent, right? They’re like, I’d come in and I got to drive leads, leads for what who’s your customer? Well, I know my customer because I was at this other company than other company had a different client profile. It might be similar industry, but you’re now at a different company. Do you have the same customer service team? Do you have the same sales motion?
Do you have the same accounting and business practices? Probably not. Where are you going to learn those things at? Well, you can learn them from the customers, but the shortest distance is usually by building those relationships internally and in too often, marketers are focused on arts and craft and messaging and things that are, are bigger picture versus just selling internally. Hey, does this person across the aisle, trust me to make a good decision to your point of, if I make two , if I go ask for $200,000 or $2 million, do they actually understand what I’m asking for? And, you know, being able to sell internally, you brought up something though that I think is interesting when it comes to commanding time or asking for time from your CEO, CEOs today are probably more educated as it relates to what’s required in the market. And when I say that education, I mean, the CEOs of maybe 20 years ago, it was a lot more industrial. They were focused on operations, logistics, fulfillment, you know, the some of it’s , there were still sales, definitely involved, but there wasn’t this heavy, heavy, heavy lean into digital marketing. And I can quantify where revenue came from. And these elements, the CEOs today are definitely looking at those things and consider themselves experts. How do you begin having those conversations and building those relationships when the guy across from the table feels like you smarter than you
Telling me is right. Like my big thing is like, I , I really don’t, I’m not really a confrontational person. And I, I really advocate for the idea of like in marketing and , and Jason Lumpkin has this great post on Saster about how, you know, most CEOs think they’re the real CMO and it’s your job as a CMO to drive the reporting of what worked and what didn’t and tell them ideas that you have. But he makes a great point in there where, you know, if you are going to argue with your CEO, that doing X is wrong and doing Z is right, you better be, you better not that up, be cause i f you say, I refuse to do this, because I think it’s wrong. I want to do this instead. You have to be sure you’re right. And how often can you be sure that you are right in marketing, like 0% of the time, right? Like marketing is half science and half art. And the art part of marketing is totally unpredictable. So like I personally would never put my job on the line to tell a CEO he’s wrong about this thing that he wants to do. What I would do is figure out a way to test it on the cheap versus my idea on the cheap. And then I would let the results speak for themselves because to your point, all a CEO wants is the best end result, which is always revenue, right? Like, unless you work for a nonprofit and then it’s membership, maybe, you know, but like, but for the most part for-profit companies are trying to sell more business. So if Z ends up winning, I also very, very rarely. And if you found a CEO who winsy works, doesn’t want to go all in and say, okay, yeah, X didn’t work.
Okay, great. I don’t care. Let’s go with Z. Then you have the wrong CEO. And I think that’s a totally different problem, but like, for the most part, like, I encourage people to just like, why are you arguing? Right. Like, why are you arguing with the CEO? Like, he probably is really smart. I kind of have the same approach to salespeople , frankly. Right. Like when marketers want to argue with sales, that they don’t know how to use content correctly, or they don’t know how to follow up on it. Like, why are you arguing about such stupid things? Like just embrace it. Like, if , if you just changed your mind and said like, okay, what content would work for you? Or like, what are you using instead? What do you think that the client base needs, right? Like sellers are on the front lines, way more than marketers. So I just think that sometimes marketers let our ego get in the way. And I’m, I’m just an advocate of like, be collaborative, right? Like you have a CEO who has an idea. Great. Go do it, go do it, go do it, test it. If it doesn’t work, then yeah . Don’t do it again. But like, I just think that’s a lot of wasted energy and like, it is going to ruin, it’s going to hurt your relationship with that person. So like, don’t do that. Just figure out a way to do it, figure out a way to say yes.
So it’s really interesting to hear you say that because I think one of the things that CMOs get really tired of hearing, or at least the marketing leaders in general is almost every conversation they have across the aisle at the business table starts with no . Hey, can I know? Hey, I was thinking, no. How about we try? No. And, and is there a budget for no. And yet there’s this, this idea or expectation that the arts and crafts department is going to drive revenue with conversations that start with no . How do you, how do you re-engineer those? So that, to your point where you’re used to saying yes, and they’re used to coming to you and constantly getting yes. That that’s put on flipped on its head, and now they’re giving you yeses in return as you’re asking for things.
Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, data is super powerful, right? You just have to use it in the right way. So what’s hidden in that. Yes. Concept is I might think, well, that’s never going to work. Right. But I’ve also been around the block long enough to know that things that I think have no shot in hell of returning revenue work. Awesome. Right. Like I just don’t have any ego about my ability to predict what my buyer is going to do because I’ve been proven wrong so times, right. From like small things of subject line tests to big things of major digital versus event strategies.
Right. Like I don’t, I, I just don’t think that any of us can predict what is going to work. So I’m a big proponent of testing it, measuring it. So I think that, that’s the biggest thing though. It’s like, you have to be really strong at being able to measure results and then go tell that story. So that feedback loop is also something that marketers are typically very, very bad at, right. Like if something goes well, and I think just in general, like, you know, especially in B2B, so much of, it becomes a stoic exchange of like, we went to a web, we participated in a webinar and generated 423 new leads. 200 of them have become MQL . 100 of them have become [inaudible] , you know, like who wants to sit there and listen to that story? No one, you know, like, so like it’s, again, your job as a marketer to internally market what your performance is, what’s working.
What’s not right. Like, and I think that the, the less human you are about that exchange even internally, the less buy-in that you get. So I’m a big proponent of like very quickly getting feedback on events that we do. And like hounding sellers that were there , like what is possible here to grab out of this. And then telling that story really rapidly to the people who need to know and care, which in my organization , it’s very small, right. Where 50 people it’s my CEO and my CFO, essentially my controller, like they’re the people that pay the bills and they need to know like, okay, that vendor was dog . We’re never doing that again. Instead, I’m going to go test this vendor. It’s half the price, like might as well see what that’s about, or I’m going to go test this vendor. That’s twice the price, but that one was terrible. And I’m going to ask for, you know, 20% refund or whatever I can get from that vendor, blah .
You know, and it’s just about, like, from my perspective, it’s about communication because I think that despite everyone saying, you know, like, I, I, you know, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt. I know you’re working hard. Like silence is a killer, right? Like if you’re not communicating what’s happening in marketing in a regular absorbable fun way, like ain’t nobody that everybody thinks you’re just sitting around, like not doing anything or not seeing any results. So it’s your job to tell them what’s what
Can you get other team members to agree to what yes. Looks like on the front end. And what I mean by that is in , you talked about measuring it, but to the, to the point that you made in the, in the previous answer or your previous statement earlier, you said, Oh, you know, marketers come in and we’ve got all of these vein marking metrics. Hey, look, how many people showed up to the website? And, Oh, check this out. My open rate was at 37. If it’s not impacting revenue, the boss probably doesn’t care. So there’s, there’s some level of, of buying agreement that happens on the front end. What are some strategies as the chief market officer that you can, you can take and leverage to define success on the front end?
Yeah. I mean, I do think, you know, in terms of, in terms of the creation of the right metrics to care about, I do think, you know, I’m very fortunate. My CEO is a marketer, which is also the thing that I think like is the unspoken of a lot of the people that talk about thought leadership in our space is like, how many of us, you know, work at Engagio, right? Like, okay, when John Miller is your CEO, you have a totally different scenario than when your CEO is a developer, not from MarTech , right? Like marketing and especially MarTech has this like very specific little nucleus of human beings who totally get it. And it’s a much easier conversation. So I think that in order to get the right metrics, because when I tell Justin that I’m investing in SEO, he gets it right.
Like he understands that the flow of how information is consumed in the digital age is that a lot of people are coming to our blogs months, and months, and months, and months and months ahead of when they’re actually going to be ready to purchase. And we have to invest in that now, or when they’re ready for purchase. They went to all of our competitors websites. And those are the only people that are in the deal cycle. But if you have a CEO or CFO that doesn’t understand that, which is not, you know, it’s not their discipline. Like how would they understand it? You have to educate them, like, that’s your job. So in terms of like the explicit metrics, I think you just have to be able to explain where you’re investing and what impact it has along the way. So like, and you can use tons of resources, right? Like Google’s does a ton of research about buyer journeys that you can use, obviously as a super reputable source Gartner, Forrester, like you can paint the picture using all of this third party research of I’m investing 30% of my buzz, my budget in top of funnel. Because when you look at our competitors right now, you can see that we are way behind and we need to catch up, or I’m telling you what’s happening right now in deal cycles is that people are going to those sites to get the information. And then once our competitor, competitor a has them on their website, they’re nurturing them. They’re marketing to them, they’re selling to them.
They know who they are. I can’t even tell who this person is unless I go by 6 cents. And then I know that they’re in the market for the kind of stuff that we sell, but really like, like you’re, we’re putting ourselves at a incredible competitive disadvantage by not investing here. That’s why I’m dropping 30% of my budget in that top of funnel. Cause I got to get those people to our website now stop the bleeding, our deal cycles already six months. Right. How long do you think people are looking before that they signed three-year contracts with companies like us. So they’re looking a year before their contracts up. We need to be there. So it’s just about like, and again, you can kind of tell by the way that I’m painting that story, that like, that’s how I think these conversations should go is, is very much fear-based right. Like nobody wants to, I mean, when you look at really like how a company grows, right? Like the majority of companies are looking to steal or gain in market share, right? So like using your competitors as the launching point to say, they’re doing this and they’re doing it a lot better than us and it’s costing us business. It’s a pretty easy business case, right? Like if I can take half of what that competitor is getting in market, I think that would relate that would, you know, return this amount of money for that investment, like trust me. But I also think, you know, there was this really interesting, I’m going to forget the source of it, but they did research on five CEOs that got fired and it was like four of them should’ve never gotten fired because they actually were doing the right strategic things. It just took longer than anyone expected. So I think it’s also the CMOs job to say, like some of this stuff that I do is playing the long game and the long game is not eight year. It is not two years is five years. And I think in the SAS world, that is, that is actually a fairly hard sell because most of these SAS CEOs are building businesses to sell them not, they aren’t people , most people aren’t building IBM’s and GEs anymore.
Right? Like they aren’t buying com . They aren’t building companies so that their grandchildren’s grandchildren have a job. Like that’s not what’s happening there. They’re building companies to sell it to a huge conglomerate through MNA, make their payday and then go be an angel investor or go build something else like their churn and burning these companies. So it’s like, you know, for, for a marketer that wants to try to build a business and a brand over the next five years, you’ve got to find a CEO that’s in that fruit with you.
You know , it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s really interesting to hear you talk about a couple of things. I think one of the things that’s really, really hard for arketing leaders is being comfortable in discomfort and telling people the truth, even if it’s not what somebody wants to hear. And the reason that I say that is the last, the last role I was in when I was in marketing leadership, the , the company came to me and they said, okay, here’s our situation. What’s, you know, what’s our timetable. We , we want to grow market share 20% year over year. And I looked at him and I said, that’s impossible. I said, you and your three might be able to do 20% year over year, but you have a systems problem. You have a process problem. We don’t have like the, the, the first year it’s just to stop the bleeding, like we’re losing market share this year.
Like we’re just hanging on this first year is just stop the bleeding to your point of 30% content. Right? It’s like, we just have to do these things. The second year is about getting healthy and adding these other elements to make sure that the business can absorb it. Sales knows how to use these tools and that we can actually start to hit the accelerator. And by year three, then we can really punch it. Now you’re looking at 20, 30% year over year, but logistically, unless you’re going to quadruple the size of the team and Oh, by the way, that’s probably not realistic. Right. Could just, cause there’s just some basic blocking and tackling that needs to get done. You’re looking at a three-year turnaround. And like I thought they were going to hand me a pink slip when I told them that like, it was the most uncomfortable conversation ever yet. The beginning of year four. Yeah. At the beginning of year for the, like the lead volume, the sales volume, all of those things, we’re now replicating what we had expected, but they wanted it within 90 to 120 days. And I think sometimes it’s just marketing market officers . You just say, you’ve put yourself in a position where you can’t get there. It’s like a person who might be overweight and wants to lose weight. You’re not going to lose that 40 pounds you put on by the end of the month, if you do, you’re risking the health of your body. Same thing.
I love that analogy. That was a great analogy.
You didn’t get her overnight. You’re not going to fix it overnight. You know what I mean? Yeah . You know , one of , in one of the things that I think might also be interesting, it’d be really cool to get your perspective on this is man marketing, marketing leaders really love their buzzwords, right? Whether it’s conversational marketing or inbound marketing or content marketing or, Oh my God. Account-based marketing, like, can we sprinkle a little marketing and any other adjectives, please? There’s a wake rate. What, how should a market officer make their decision on the types of strategies they deploy in order to be successful?
That’s a big question. You know, I mean, I think I always, I, I hate anything that’s cliche. Right? And the, it depends is like the most cliche consultant answer that ever existed. So I’m really trying to think of a way to say it depends without having to say it, but I just said it like three times. So I guess that failed. I would say, you know, it’s interesting because we do focus groups with marketing leaders and sales leaders. And when we did our first one, I remember just, it was very clear to me that marketing leaders do talk in buzzwords. We talk about technology a lot. And it wasn’t until the sales conversation that happened after the marketing leader conversation, where I realized that sales leaders talk a lot more about the business and actual strategy than marketing leaders typically do when you put marketing leaders together. So
If I had an applause button, like we’d have little pause cheering in the background cause you’re a hundred percent bottle spot on with that 100%.
Yeah. So, I mean, even just as like a small microcosm of, of the way that, that ends up matriculating is I got on with a bunch of marketing leaders talking about podcasting, right. And it immediately was like, what technology do you use to scale it? And blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And it was like, at what point are we going to have the conversation about what buyers resonate with podcasts, right ? Like, like who do these work for? And not just where does it convert and at what rates and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But like really like who consumes podcasts because it’s not everyone, not everyone consumes content on LinkedIn. Not everyone consumes fun content. I feel like there’s also this, this push in a lot of our little community of thought leadership, LinkedIn things being like talk to people like humans.
Just because I’m a consumer, just because I’m an , I work at an enterprise as a marketing leader doesn’t mean I want to be talk like it. Well, but you’re a marketer, right? If you’re a CFO, like a lot of CFOs are pretty serious, you know what I mean? Like putting emojis on your , if you’re trying to sell to a CFO, like, I don’t know, kind of a joke, right? Like you kind of saw even with zoom, right? Like when the pandemic happened and people started using zoom, there was a lot of people who were like, this is not a secure platform for us to do.
Right? Like, and zoom is a major company was doing good business, went through a bunch of security reviews. But like that type of customer, who’s going to look at your product with a keener eye than everyone else who’s coming into your market. That’s really different. So I think, and sellers tend to think and talk about stuff like that. So all of that, to say that in the focus groups that we have with sales, something that constantly comes up is that they appreciate marketing for brand. The number of marketers that get that sellers understand brand super well. And actually that’s where they see the most value. I barely ever hear a marketer go. My sellers love me because I build a great brand. And the reason that sellers care about brand is that they do not want to be embarrassed. When a company has a great brand, it makes their life a lot easier. You don’t have to go on to a first call and explain what the company is, where you come from, that you can be trusted who your customers are when you have a great brand that all that’s all ready done for you. So we know a lot of reps from like early Marketo days and merketto has had a great brand for almost a decade. So they were used to going into calls and people knew who they were.
They knew who John Mueller was. They knew who Phil Fernandez was. They trusted the brand to a degree that those sellers appreciated a little bit, but then they went someplace without brands in the market. And they were like, Oh wow, this sucks. Like this is now terrible. Like I have three times the work to do, like, I need marketing to work on my brand. Which what is the hardest thing for marketers to get budget for brand activities that don’t directly tie to attribution and ROI. So like there is a, there’s a big, and again, like I tend to kind of go back to like, it’s a storytelling problem, right? Like if you went to your CEO and you said, listen, sales does not want to go and be embarrassed on their first calls.
You want to know why I’m at that trade show. That doesn’t really return anything it’s because if I’m not, then people start forgetting about us. And all of our biggest competitors are, so am I generating leads there? No, but I’m having first, second, third conversations. And honestly like I’m just there and big and people remember me. And so there are things that marketers can do of course, around, you know what’s the fancy word for the surveys that you, they’re not just brand surveys, there’s like a fancier recall or something like that. No, it’s like a kind of like a recall, right? Like where you’re not necessarily talking about your brand, but you’re trying to just figure out like how much you resonate anyways. There’s a , there’s a smart marketing term that I don’t know about it.
Yeah. Speaking of buzzwords, there’s one, that’s probably sitting on that , the name of that survey. Right?
Totally. Yeah. and so there’s like lots of ways that you can like try to capture some of that squishiness. But I also just think that like, there is a lot of value and people resonate with stories right. And experiences. And so the more that marketing leaders go in with their deck of just numbers and ROI, I think that it’s important, but it’s , it’s not the whole ask . Right ?
Like you have to be able to paint why those numbers are important in a really humanistic way. And, and to some extent, you know, you can kind of feel when your marketing’s working and when you’re not, like I’ve talked to a lot of companies, you talk to a lot of companies, right? Like when you go out on the internet and you see drift in every chatbot conversation, there is a reason like they did a ton of stuff to make that brand what it is. But that brand is a brand in the market. And it has dominated that category, not the category of conversational marketing, because that’s what they created, whatever. And you gotta do, you know , you gotta play this asking, I get it. Those of us. So there’s some of us that are like, that’s so silly, you’re a chat bot. Okay. but I mean, really like they’ve done an awesome job, right? And like, it’s not really that hard to see, right? Like whatever amount David canceled put into marketing worth, it probably could’ve spent double and it still would be worth it because their brand is strong and it shows in their results.
And , and I think the part that’s really interesting about that is , is, Hey guys, drift wasn’t first on the market a long time ago, actually many, many, many years ago there was a company called Olark. They couldn’t figure out like it was a solid product, but they could figure out how to tell their message and incorporate it into what made it feel like it was a fabric of, of a website or the fabric of a sales call. Well, drift just took something that was common sense and made it go, huh? That’s right. Chat makes sense. Cause it’s part of a conversation and then they talked about everything around it and all of a sudden you were like, wow, that’s exactly right. Hubspot did the same thing when they coined the term inbound marketing. When that first came out, everybody was like, the hell are you talking about, then the second you heard inbound and you’re like, Oh, inbound leads. Oh, well my sales team is in this predictive model, always calling, they’re doing outbound. Of course marketing should be doing inbound. This makes lots of sense. Sounds to me like it’s, you know, these are two examples of companies that understood how to listen to the market and feedback to them in a very simple way, what they were asking for, which is the job of the chief market officer. Right.
I think so. I mean, I think there’s also just this, this underpinning that a lot of people don’t talk about, which is, you know, you kind of have the awareness, the consideration stage early at your top of funnel, right. That people talk about and people generally kind of talk about like, it’s your job to educate the buyer. But like the number of people that are doing that really well, you know, like content marketing has sort of moved to this place where there’s a lot of thought leadership that talks in like these high-level concepts, but not a lot of actual education talking about very specific things that people need to know in order to do their jobs better. And I just think the direct line in B2B, it, it requires a really strong viewpoint from from marketing leaders in general, not just the chief market officer, but everyone. Right. What are people struggling within their jobs? And yes, how does our product or service help them do that? But like, what else do they need to know?
Right. Like I wrote a post recently about like, what is content syndication in B2B marketing? Because I literally, when I first started trying to understand it, I was like, no, I, I like don’t get it. Like, what is this thing? And I would try to go to vendors and they like, wouldn’t just explain to me and contents indications and interesting thing. Right. Cause it’s sort of by nature, a little sneaky. Ua nd, and they like, don’t want to really explain it to you, but like, like that’s the type of thing that people actually need that like, most people aren’t doing, so everyone is doing their top five ways to get ABM in, you know, I don’t know, employed in your organization. Right. but very few articles and posts exists that like really help someone practically make the business case for ABM and like share things. Right? Like the number of times the, where people, the biggest value people get out of a conversation is like, Hey, what’s your just like, share your budget with me. Like I’m struggling with just the categories of my marketing budget. Can, can you share that with me? And then you share it and they’re like, Oh my God, this is amazing. Right? Like, there’s this weird film of like, I’m adding value to my buyer. And it’s like, but you’re not, you know, like there are very few and very specific things that kind of everybody wants, but we’re really hard to get by Googling.
Well , yeah. And , and , and by the way, so it’s funny to hear you say that the couple of things that you touched on, first of all, when it comes to budget, I mean, there’s a, there’s a thousand different things that are out there that you can pull in, but understanding how other people are looking at it, how they’re categorizing it, where things are going, what their mix is. It’s, it’s hard to pull that all together and you can go grab a template, but you’re going to get template . That’s like advertising services, software, good luck. Right. You’re , you’re kinda , you’re like what goes into the good luck bucket, but to your point of giving, giving, giving information away or creating stuff that’s valuable. The part that I think is really interesting is , is if you look at what I would call marketed, Jason, and we go into like make money online.
These people that have been doing information marketing for years, they’ve taken things that were, you know I think at one point I bought a three 95, a $3 95 cent book off of, of a guy. And it was a direct, almost a direct copy of the basic principles from good to great with his guy had his own little paragraphs and descriptions around it. Right. And so it’s really interesting. I was like, Oh, I think this is going to be really valuable because everything that I was reading, everything that I was consuming off of these sales pages off of this information was like, Oh my gosh, I need that. Oh my gosh, I need that. Oh my gosh, I need that. And then when I opened up what I was paid, $3 and 95 cents for, it was another, you know, sell me a little bit more, but it was like, Oh, well this is stuff you already told me on the sales page. Okay.
This is kind of nice. But like there was this perceived value of, I need to make, like, I need the transaction of what’s next. And too often, I think marketers take the universe perspective, which is, we’ll give you as little possible. We’ll give you as little as possible and give you those as possible. You want to come up behind sports, like no , be , be more generous, give it a wall away for free. And then they show up and they’re like, wait, you don’t have anything extra to offer. Now I told it all to you, plain and simple will , what value you’re going to add? I can show you how to do it. Cause I’ve done it. Right. Like there’s the, there’s the application part. So it’s really interesting to me how we, how we perceive the value of content. And what’s actually valuable to folks. We think of content more as an ad versus a, as an encyclopedia by the way. You’re also on mute. Yeah.
Yeah. I was yelling at my husband so muted. Yeah, I mean, I, I definitely agree that it’s you know, and I , I think that, that this again, and I don’t know, I’m, I’m workshopping how to explain this in a, in a news bite type format. But I do think that a lot of marketers, especially because, you know, we, content marketing has like a conceptual and most things probably in marketing have their conceptual value and then their nitty-gritty tactical application and how that impacts behaviors. Right? So like the philosophical reason to create, you know, if you, if you really didn’t care about money, right. And you just wanted to create content that helps people, right? Like you wanted all of your blogs to just help people do their job better and you really didn’t have any other reason to do it. Then, the way that you would do it is very different even for us, right? Like that content syndication article. Like I use the words to gather contents indication more than I would naturally do now. Why? Because I want it to rank for contents indication and I want it to rank for B2B. So I have to use the words B2B in there a little bit more than I normally would to . And so I think that, you know, to some extent how technical our job has become in order to influence, you know, sort of the street creds that we get has impacted the customer experience in a way that is pretty obvious. But I don’t know that I have a better suggestion for, you know what I mean? Like at the end of the day, like, you know, it’s the same, like we’ve pushed a bunch of our customers to G2 to give us reviews, right? Like, do I really want that? I mean, not really, like people go to G2 under, under the hope that they’re going to get a realistic perspective of who’s great to work with and who’s not, but the reality is like, we have a great review there because we’ve pushed a bunch of people there and a bunch of other people that our competitors haven’t done that. So like, are we really better than, you know what I mean?
Like, it’s, it’s not real , like a lot of the stuff in B2B is kind of like that where it’s like, and you know, Google’s algorithm and where are you placed for content, I guess is not just B2B . Of course, it’s got B to C connotations too , but but I think that there is a lot of that in our world where you’re constantly balancing the conceptual like right thing to do with the reality that if you do what you, that just feels right, you probably aren’t going to get the results you want. So it’s trying to balance how much of your soul do you give up to, to play somewhere or to do something? I mean , contents indications a lot like that too, right? Like, I mean, you’re basically just buying leads and kind of know it hopefully they have some larger interests in the contents that you provided the vendor, but like there’s a good chance that the people that you’re getting on that list never did Jack . Right? Like the bot that their it department set up clicked on that email. They didn’t even click on it. Right. So like, I mean, there’s, there’s all of that where I think you know, I’m not so purists that I, I don’t recognize that like, there’s a lot of our world that’s like that too. And it’s just your job to, I think, as a leader balance as much of it as you can while remaining innovative and figuring out what the next best thing is that can give the customer experience that you want for your buyer,
You know, and it’s, it’s really it’s really great actually to hear you touch on a couple of those things, because I think as we circle all the way back to the beginning and we’re getting close to the end here, but as we circle all the way back to the beginning, you started off by saying, it’s, it’s the only position in the company. That’s a verb and we need to make it the chief market officer. If you understand the market, you understand the dynamics, you understand where the areas that I need to buy, where are the areas I need to sell? Where are the areas that I need to provide influence and to do all of the things that help you achieve your goals. And sometimes that’s being sneaky with contents indication and keyword manipulation. We won’t say stuffing, right. Or it’s picking the strategy based on it depends. But as the chief market officer, it’s your job to understand those things and the nuance of it and , and, and keep the rest of your business leadership and team motivated and engaged. So that over time you can create that thing that you talked about that was so valuable, right ? That five letter word that 10 years ago was super important, but everybody thought of it as arts and crafts. Oh, I want to work on my brand. Oh, you mean you want to work on new colors and a new Mark. Yeah. My brain, that’s not your brand. Your brand is an extension of who you are as a company, how you behave and how you do all of these things to deliver your service. And I think that so many companies miss miss that because they’re focused on, you know, like I said, calling, marketing the arts and crafts, and to your point, the the verb, the verbally company, right. They’re the doers.
Well, and it’s, you know, it’s hard because there is so much tactical deployment that marketers have to do, right? Like one single email has, I was talking on some other podcasts about, you know, the number of technologies you need just to do a webinar, right? Like it’s not even just the webinar or you then have to integrate the form to sign up on some other platform. And then you have to capture registrations and you have to manage those leads and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And you have to record it. And then where do you put the recorded webinar once you’re done with it?
Do you go to YouTube? You know, like there’s a million different technologies and there’s a million little steps to most marketing initiatives that leave, leave the risk of getting really sucked in to the Whirlpool that is getting campaigns into market, which is a main function of the marketing department, right? Like we have to be out marketing our companies. So I think it’s just really important for for a marketing leader. And again, whether that’s the chief market officer or VPs of marketing to balance and to give themselves space and time and challenge themselves to, to think more holistically, to not get sucked in to the technology and the tactics. I think that’s our biggest charge. And then, and again, like, think about, okay, if you’re going to tell the story of your investment to someone like take the time to craft this , you know, like really like trust your team to craft those email messages and all of that stuff. And like, you spend your time crafting as a CMO, crafting the message of what your team is doing and what impact you’re having on the market and on the buyers. And like invest more time in that story. Cause it’s gonna get you more.
I was going to ask you for final thoughts, but it , you know, it feels to me like that’s a really great way to close. So I would think so. I mean, I really feel like that. So I think for , for our listeners, you know, if they want to get a hold of you, if they want to follow, if you want to find out more about what, what your about, or your insights
Snail mail, smoke signals. I’m not online postcard. Wouldn’t that be something, what a hypocrite? I was like, I don’t believe in LinkedIn. Yeah, you can connect with me on LinkedIn. Most of my stuff is all Andrea, which is a N D R a and then lb , which is the phonetic spelling of Lechner Becker, which I know isn’t confusing at all. So it’s E L like like a Spanish word, like El Matador, for example. And then be like a bumblebee lb. So that’s what all of my hashtags are. So on Twitter, I’m Andrea. I’ll be I don’t know . I probably come up if you just search Lechner, hyphen Becker to , I don’t know . I’m also on the lead D website. I’m easy to find. I think,
Come, come at me. I’m just saying know like, I, I really
Am not one of those people that’s like that. Like doesn’t connect with people on LinkedIn or like, doesn’t get back to you. I’m extremely nerdy. Right? So I just like creating relationships with tons of random people and talking about marketing or not. Like I give people advice on all sorts of things. Like I get a, Hey, look at this website, what do you think? And I give my opinion. So
Love that. I also, I also know bourbon and beer. Those are another couple of things that, you know, a couple of things about.
Yeah. That’s how you can bride me into having a conversation with you. If you’re a seller. And you’re like, how do I get Andrew on a call? Bribery, bribery works for me. And yeah, wine.com gift cards or anything where I can buy alcoholic beverages is welcome. My husband thinks of you in advance as well.
Oh, we love it. Well, thanks for, thanks for being a guest. It’s been a pleasure to have you here today and have your insights for those that have been listening. You’ve been listening to a conversation on what’s wrong with CMOs and marketing today with Andrea Lechner Beckner on The Summit Podcast until next week. I’m your host, Kyle Hamer thanks for tuning in. And we will keep on growing our businesses. Take care.
Andrea Lechner-BeckerChief Marketing Officer
Fueled by endless curiosity, Andrea has never met a problem she didn’t want to solve. This led her to manage sales and marketing at an art gallery, then loyalty and email marketing strategy for an NBA team and arena, then the delivery team at LeadMD, followed by a stint as a novelist and culminating with her current role as CMO of LeadMD. With a decade of experience in dynamic marketing roles, Andrea has had the opportunity to work with the most brilliant marketing minds at the best companies in the world. #hugemarketingdork