Jason Bradwell, founder of B2B Better, joins Tara Robertson on Demand Gen Chat to discuss the relevance of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) in B2B marketing. Jason argues that MQLs are still important in certain contexts, particularly in enterprise settings with long sales cycles and complex buying committees. He emphasizes the need for a clear definition of what constitutes an MQL and aligning with sales on the criteria. They also discuss the shift towards longer buying cycles and the importance of targeting the entire buying committee. Jason advises marketers to focus on building their own platforms and email lists, as well as experimenting with AI tools to streamline productivity.
At its core, the concept of MQLs revolves around understanding how they tie into measuring success.
Imagine trying to sell a product to another business.
The challenge lies in identifying potential buyers – these are the MQLs.
Jason Bradwell has a contrarian opinion compared to how we feel about MQLs at Chili Piper, suggesting that in specific scenarios, assessing MQLs offers valuable insights into the effectiveness of marketing efforts.
"In situations of that nature, examining metrics like marketing qualified leads serves as a pertinent gauge of success. When the corridors of direct conversion narrow, the optimal route becomes priming a contact, nurturing an account, and orchestrating the seamless handoff to Sales," - Jason Bradwell
Particularly when converting marketing directly into sales becomes complex, focusing on nurturing potential customers and preparing them for sales proves to be a strategic approach.
In the current economic climate, making wise financial decisions has taken center stage.
Jason advises marketers to demonstrate the tangible value of their efforts and initiatives.
"In order for any of the individuals in our field to maintain their employment, they must contribute commercial value, whether it's in a direct or indirect manner. Therefore, when it comes to expenditure, until the desired target is achieved, my current recommendation would be to exercise restraint, particularly with regard to campaigns that are more experimental or heavily centered on brand-building." - Jason Bradwell
He proposes a cautious approach during uncertain times, favoring investments in avenues that yield swift financial returns over venturing into untested or risky territories.
In the toolkit of strategies, Jason introduces the A2E framework as a compass for decision-making.
This uncomplicated framework involves assessing the audience, idea uniqueness, creative elements, distribution channels, and expected outcomes.
"If an individual is unable to provide satisfactory responses to these five inquiries while contemplating a new concept, it might be advisable to pause momentarily and thoroughly evaluate whether it is truly the most prudent use of their time, energy, and financial resources." - Jason Bradwell
By aligning a concept with these five pillars, marketers can gauge its potential for success.
This framework encourages a measured approach, ensuring a solid foundation before proceeding.
Follow Tara Robertson on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/taraarobertson/
Follow Jason Bradwell on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonbradwell/
Check out B2B Better: https://www.b2b-better.com/
Jason’s viral LinkedIn post about events: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/jasonbradwell_you-spend-120000-on-a-booth-next-to-the-activity-7087107819891499008--8D8?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop
Listen to the B2B Better podcast episode with Kyle Lacy: https://pod.co/b2b-better-1/v1-final-m4a
Jason’s A2E prioritization framework on Marketing Powerups: https://marketingpowerups.com/podcast/jason-bradwell-a2e-framework/
Check out Descript’s AI audio tools: https://www.descript.com/?lmref=2elBZw
Follow Lucy Heskins: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lucyheskins/
Check out Grain AI: https://grain.com/
Follow Jason on Threads: https://www.threads.net/@jasonbradwell
Check out Jason’s newsletter B2B Bite: https://b2bbite.substack.com/
Welcome back to Demand Gen Chat. I'm your host Tara Robertson, head of Demand Gen at Chili Piper. I have a great guest for you today, someone who actually has a B Two B podcast of his own, Jason Bradwell from B2B Better. Jason and I chat about what's top of mind for enterprise marketers that he's working with, what metrics we should all be looking at. As B2B buying cycles get longer and even more complex and his A2E prioritization frame work. I hope you enjoy my chat with Jason.
Jason, thanks so much for joining me on Demand Gen Chat.
Real pleasure to be here, Tara. Thanks for having me.
Yeah, of course. I'd love to start off with we were just talking about you have a contrarian take, something that we've actually posted the opposite take on. So I'd love to hear what you have to say about MQLs.
Yeah, absolutely. So I think it's probably sucked up a lot of marketing B two B marketing headspace over the last three or four years. This debate around to marketing qualified lead or to not marketing qualified lead, is it still a relevant metric to be tracking and also to be building a strategy around. And I still sit very much in the camp of it is 100% a relevant marker of success in certain B two B businesses.
To kind of contextualize this, my background, I've always worked in an enterprise setting, like selling enterprise deals where you've got incredibly long sales cycles, incredibly complex buying committees. The kind of value proposition is a product maybe, but it's kind of packaged with professional and managed services. So, like, no solution is the same as the next. And in those kind of environments, the reality is there's only so much marketing can do as a function to actually drive commercial success for the business.
Because at some point there is going to be a handover where marketing are going to say, here is a contact, here is a bunch of information. Here are some indicators that this person or this company or this account is kind of ripe for pluck in sales. You need now to take it the rest of the way. Now of course, there are ways that kind of marketing can support that latter part of the journey and there are ways that sales can support the former part of the journey. But generally speaking, marketing does the kind of top and the middle of the funnel and then kind of sales starts coming in at the bottom funnel all the way through to conversion.
Now, in those kind of settings, in those kind of environments, looking at things like marketing qualified leads is a relevant marker of success. Because if as a marketing function we're limited in our ability to do some sort of activity and see a direct conversion into a deal, then the next best thing we can do is to just prime a contact, prime an account and hand them over to Sales. When they've put their hand up and said yes, we've got intent to purchase.
I think where this whole thing breaks down is when you have a really shaky definition of what a marketing qualified lead is. And I think this is where a lot of companies fall short in B. Two B. It's a contact, right? We have the email address of someone who looks like they are a potential customer, even if they've given us no indication they're in the market to buy. But we're calling them a marketing qualified lead, we're handing them over to Sales and we're saying great, we've done our job. Now that is messed up and that is where you start seeing real problems start to occur.
But if we can just rethink our definition of a marketing qualified lead and really in an aligned way with sales, determine these are the kind of attributes or the markers that we're looking for and that we all expect, to indicate that this person is a potential prospect and that they are qualified because they have done X, Y or Z that historically have proven a deal is potentially on the line, then we're in a much better space.
So long winded way of saying are marketing qualified leads still relevant? Yes, in the right way in certain contexts.
And I'm curious because obviously MQL is all about the lead. But you did speak there about passing over accounts to Sales. As I'm curious when you speak to enterprise companies now, are they typically doing some kind of lead scoring or MQL and an account score? Is that a common setup that you're seeing or is it still typically very focused on that MQL?
Yeah, no, absolutely. I think the sophisticated companies are looking at lead scoring and account scoring when determining whether or not a prospect is moving from being just kind of a subscriber or a lead to a marketing qualified lead and to a sales qualified lead and to an opportunity and so forth. And I do think that in a lot of situations people try to overcomplicate it and that leads to paralysis.
A good place to start is just by looking at two things kind of Customer Fit and Engagement Fit. That's usually where I advise clients to start if they haven't got anything when it comes to lead scoring methodology. Customer Fit does this account, does this individual fit predefined criteria that typically indicate to us that they are the right kind of fit for us? Do they work in the right kind of industry?
Are they the right kind of size? Are they using the kind of right kind of technology? Like whatever that thermographic demographic and technographic criteria is is contextual to the individual organization. And then on the Engagement fit side, it's how active are they in regards to consuming our stuff, right? Whether that's downloading our content, whether that's visiting certain pages on the website, whatever it is let's assign a score to each of those activities and once we've reached a certain threshold on both customer fit and engagement fit, we have a flag go up saying like, okay, this person deserves some attention.
There's always going to be an element in that enterprise environment where you are going to need a real life human to step in and actually analyze whether that person, even if they've hit the thresholds that have been defined by the machine, is actually the right kind of fit for our organization. I find it hard to get to a fully automated situation at that kind of like enterprise level, but I think you can take it a long way using something like HubSpot and their built in lead scoring functionality.
But again, it comes back to just making sure that sales and marketing aligned on what is the definition of these stages and what are the triggers that move a contact from one to the next.
Yeah, I think that over automation is something that a lot of us, I mean myself included, when lead scoring was first a thing, we really over indexed on that piece versus the let's look at these leads one by one. Let's talk to sales and figure out are we even sending them the right contacts at these companies, the right job titles and getting that nailed first before trying to automate every single thing.
And I mean it comes down to the context, right? Like if you're selling a high volume, low price point like SaaS product where it is really just a kind of product led, it's really kind of like a product led growth strategy where there is just a greater scale that you're operating against. You want to get to a point where as much of that is automated as possible. Just because there's only so many hours in the day, there's only so many people in the organization, it's just not practical to be analyzing every single thing by eye.
But when you're at that kind of enterprise level and you're selling six, seven, eight figure deals, the volume is going to be far lower, but the complexity of winning those deals is going to be far greater. So it really warrants that need to get in there and actually have a human or a group of humans just really analyzing where are we with this person and how can we move them to the next stage?
Yeah, that's actually one trend I've been hearing a lot from B Two B marketers right now, and even we're experiencing it ourselves is products that used to be a small buying committee, used to be a pretty simple purchase decision. Now six, seven people need to sign off that it's just a more complicated buying process. The cycle is longer. Is there anything else you're hearing from B Two B marketers? About just how things are shifting throughout this year and what's changing just generally.
In regards to kind of where are we spending our marketing dollars?
Exactly. Yeah. Last year we were very focused on a couple of key personas that we knew needed to hear about us. And now we have to think about what does the CFO know about our product, what does the greater buying committee think? And that's been a huge shift for us internally and something that I'm hearing from others too. So curious if there's any other trends like that that you've seen.
I think just to kind of extend on that. It's this idea of doing more with less. Right. So we are being asked as marketing teams, marketing functions, to go out there and just try and appeal to new sectors, to try and cater to the needs of additional members of that buying committee, to be more present, more visible, because we're trying to bring in more revenue. We're trying to kind of, in some cases, keep the lights on.
But on the other side of that equation, we're seeing budgets being kind of withdrawn or cut and that's leaving a lot of marketers in a really tight spot. I talked to one company last week, just eight, nine months ago, they hired ten marketers into the team, let's say, and then last week they ended up letting go of almost all of them. Right. The targets haven't changed. We still need to generate X amount more leads, we still need to close X amount more pipeline.
But the tools in which we thought we were going to have in order to achieve that are no longer there. And that's, I think, forcing a lot of creative decision making within these organizations on exactly how far can we stretch our marketing dollars and try to meet the demands of the organization at what is a tough time for a lot of companies?
Yeah, I mean, if you're at a high growth company, your targets are higher than they were last year when you had a team and much, probably larger budget. That kind of brings me to you had a LinkedIn post around this topic that I'd love to dig into because I know it kind of blew up with comments, but you had a post essentially saying that. Again, budgets. Are being scrutinized right now, but still marketing teams are spending one hundred K to sponsor a booth at a trade show that maybe they'll meet a couple of people at.
They're spending thousands on research papers that they want to be in to get on that grid. And they're really just having a hard time seeing not just the same results that they were seeing last year because no, I don't think anyone is seeing the same return they were last year on things like ads. So they're shifting or trying to shift their teams to things like branded content, producing more videos.
And I've seen this in my own experience. Getting input on how to spend that money from your exec team, especially now, can be tough because every dollar is scrutinized, probably more than ever. So what advice would you give B? Two B marketers that they know they need to stop spending on things like trade shows and ads that aren't converting for them, but they're having a hard time making the case for that to their executive team.
Yeah, it's interesting you say there about every kind of marketing dollar being scrutinized because I think in some scenarios that is 100% true, but in others it's completely not. So by that I mean, as I mentioned, kind of my experience working at the kind of enterprise level has also been in sectors and industries that you would consider legacy. Right. So businesses that have been around for 15, 2030 years and have done things in a certain way for a really long time and seen results, but are now struggling to kind of meet the demands of the modern day buyer.
And I think a lot of these organizations over the last kind of two or three years, as we've seen kind of more money being kind of like pumped into kind of marketing functions. You're seeing 100 million dollar companies flipping their 0.1% of revenue marketing budget. It kind of jumping up to like 2%, which is still like a big chunk of cash saying, okay, now what do we do with it? We're going to start experimenting with brand and we're going to put on our roadshow events and we're going to do podcasts, we're going to do all these kind of like cool and crazy things.
And now it's like, oh, we're feeling the economic squeeze a little bit. We're going to revert back to the kind of tactics and the channels that we've been doing for the last three decades because it just feels good and it feels comfortable and like we're familiar with it. So, yes, they're now scrutinizing every dollar spent on these kind of new age and what you and I would agree, totally essential tactics and channels, but they're not scrutinizing at a granular level. Whether that 100K investment on a trade show booth at the back of a hall next to the toilet is actually delivering any returns, like meaningfully.
So we've got this kind of like, weird contrast, I think, when it comes to organizations of that type thinking about how they're going to go out there and spend their marketing dollars. In order to prove what you think is going to work, you need to first prove that what you're currently doing doesn't work. Right. So if you see your company investing a six figure sum on a trade partnership sponsorship agreement where we're getting our logo placed in an email blast, and we're happy with that 0.2% conversion rate or the trade show booth or the research papers or whatever.
It first comes down to defining exactly what success looks like before you make that investment and getting alignment on that with the marketing team and with leadership at large. Let's not just sign a check. Let's make sure we all understand and agree on. In six months time, when we review this, these are the markers we're going to look to, to tell us whether or not it was a good idea or not. And then following through, making sure that you are doing everything you can to collect that data and package it in a way that proves to your organization that my thesis, this wasn't going to work, was right. Right? Like, we aren't able to point to any of these milestones, any of these metrics that we all agreed to and say we were able to, despite our best efforts, flip the light from red to green. So I think that's the first step is proving that just the status quo does not work.
In order to then build confidence that a new initiative, a new idea, investing in kind of brand investing in a podcast, whatever it is, is going to yield results. You need to start small. You need to grow it, iteratively, and again, you need to be really clear on what success looks like. Let's use the podcast, for example. I see and help a lot of companies build out their own branded podcasts as an account based marketing tool, right?
There's more to it than this, but essentially, let's identify our prospects. Let's find a way to co create content with them. Let's build that relationship. And that is a more natural way into starting a sales conversation than just sending through a cold pitch. Right now. If I'm trying to roll that out with a really fancy in house production studio that's going to cost 100 grand to build and I want to support the distribution of it with a half mil, kind of like paid ad spend, it's 100% going to get people in the leadership team to turn their noses up, right?
So just like if we were building a product, we need to create an MVP, we need to create a proof of concept. What does that idea look like on a zero spend budget? It's basically us putting out a few feelers into our network, getting a couple of guests to agree to jump on Zoom for an hour. Coming up, some really cool and innovative questions that they're not answering anywhere else and just publishing that piece of content out there into the world and looking for some positive qualitative indicators that it's resonating, like comments or shares or DMs or whatever it is.
Once we've got that at that micro no budget scale, we can go to the leadership team and we can say, okay, well, this is what the next iteration of this looks like. We're going to invest a little bit in getting a better mic. We're going to put a little bit of paid behind it and then just growing that initiative, that project, in a rapid Sprint based process with very clear milestones of success being tracked and reported into the organization over time. Don't try and go big from day one.
Start small, bed in and prove the concept before killing your credibility by just trying to replace 100K spend on a big trade show booth that everyone wants with 100K spend on a piece of content that people aren't sure about.
Yeah. And I love your point on I mean, this obviously has been said before, but making the content more of an ABM play than just trying to grow your reach and trying to grow your brand awareness because that's one way to see results pretty immediately or at least see what the reception is from those accounts. If the accounts don't seem to resonate with the content, doesn't seem to move the needle, then you'll know pretty quickly.
Whereas if you're trying to grow an audience, trying to grow a whole new brand, maybe you're starting a video series that isn't connected to any of your target accounts, it's going to take you a long time to see if that's working or not, right?
Absolutely. And this kind of comes to what metrics of success should we be measuring with kind of old initiatives and with new initiatives. And I think to your point there about launching a show as part of an account based marketing program, what I typically say to clients is, what do you think success looks like? And they will say downloads. Like, we want to get a huge number of downloads on this because that to us indicates that it's working.
But when you actually dig into it and you get under the hood a little bit, downloads aren't actually that relevant at all because a lot of these organizations aren't trying to be the Joe Rogan of the life sciences sector or of the construction sector or whatever. All they care about is building pipeline, opening accounts. So then you start looking at, okay, well, what are the metrics and the kind of leading indicators that will tell us we are making progress to that kind of long term objective?
It is things like, are we able to build a relationship with a prospect that otherwise we were struggling to do because they weren't responding to our cold outreach or they weren't meeting us at events, they weren't engaging with any of these old school tactics. So that's one marker of success. Another is, are we able to create a Piece of content with one of our target prospects and distribute that to 20 of their contemporaries and other accounts and get a response?
Hey, we created this piece of content with one of your peers that we think you're going to find really interesting because you face a lot of the same challenges as this company. We'd love to know what you think. They get back to you. Yeah, I love this. Thank you so much for sharing with us. For me, that's like at the enterprise level, wow, we're making progress here. We've built a relationship. So just being really clear on what those metrics are and really digging into how they map to the long term success of the business is a really important part of any kind of new initiative or new program that you may be considering launching.
Yeah, and this point that you made is a little bit meta, but even for this podcast, we found that our Outbound SDRs use clips from it sometimes to reach out to prospects. Not so much always in that same space, but sometimes they'll just say, hey, I saw you posted about what you're doing with Webinars on LinkedIn. I thought this clip was relevant to you. And it's just, again, that conversation starter that kind of gets them in the door, where historically, I wouldn't think of a podcast being used that way, but it's just another way that you can repackage that content up for not just marketing.
Yeah, absolutely. It's like a sales enablement tool, right? Like we're creating this piece of collateral, co creating this piece of collateral with the people that we really care about at a prospect level. So we can obviously do a bunch of promotion publicly and get it across our newsletter and our blog and social media and all that kind of stuff. But how can we actually cut it up and package it in a way that's going to be useful to our sales team who are selling into enterprise accounts?
Just to keep the conversation moving with some of these prospects?
That is largely the aim of the game when you're selling in enterprise. It's just to stay top of mind and just keep the conversation going. I worked in a sector before I started B to B better, where the sales cycle in some situations was like four years because we were selling into big sports entities, which was largely determined by right cycles like media, right cycles, the Olympics, let's use that as an example. Every four years it's on. So every four years there's a window to sell them a bunch of stuff and then that window is closed for the next four years.
So if we're creating all this cool content that's highly relevant to a target account, yes, we got to do the top of funnel stuff and build that brand awareness piece. But then how can we also package it up at that kind of middle of the funnel, bottom of the funnel for our sales team to go out there and just kind of keep the door open during these long stretches of time where a buyer isn't kind of in market, so to speak.
And on that note of sales cycles getting longer, are there any other metrics that you recommend marketers keep an eye on? Because as I mentioned, even for us, our sales cycles are getting longer and we're used to seeing, okay, they booked a meeting. Now we know within a month or two, it'll either close one or it won't. But now as it's getting longer, what else should we be looking at? Kind of in that I guess call it middle or bottom of funnel stage.
Yeah, absolutely. Well, kind of just sticking to the top of the funnel for a second, I think kind of like the size of your email list and the quality of that email list is still very relevant for the majority of businesses. Look at Twitter, right? Or X we're now calling it at the time when we're recording this, you could spend years building out a profile on one of these borrowed networks and literally in the course of twelve months, just see it all completely destroyed.
Right. For me personally, I spent the best part of three years building out quite a large following, relatively speaking, in the B, two B marketing sector. On Twitter, I now don't use a platform at all because it just doesn't yield any results for me anymore because of certain decisions that are made at the executive level. So we need to play on borrowed land in order to distribute our stuff to our target buyers, but don't discount the power and the security of building an audience on your own platform.
So I would look at email lists. That's kind of the first thing I look at is, do I have a growing email list of my targeted accounts that I can nurture over the long term, moving kind of more down to the kind of middle and the bottom of the funnel? Again, in the type of scenarios and kind of contexts that I've worked in, influence revenue has always been a really important metric. Yes, we want to be able to source revenue wherever we can because that builds confidence in the executive team, that we're making the money work and we're delivering value for the business.
But there are some organizations that just isn't really that possible, to say that, hey, we did this in marketing, and that resulted in like a $50 million deal. So influence revenue and having the mechanisms in place to track exactly how our efforts are contributing to those big ticket deals over those long sales cycles is one that I also look at as well.
Great. Yeah. And on the kind of borrowed channel piece, we don't know what it'll be called by the time this episode comes out. It might not be X anymore, it might be something else, but I know a lot of our listeners are much more active on LinkedIn, and we've seen, I mean, call it algorithm changes or whatever you want to call it, but the just people's reach organically on LinkedIn changes so dramatically.
So it's scary to, again, put all your eggs in one basket and not focus on growing your own channels or your own lists where you can. I think another thing that I'm curious to hear about is I know it's hard to not say do more with less right now. I've been trying not to say it every single time. But that's something that a lot of us are, I don't want to say getting used to, but are facing this year and honestly, probably going into next year, it'll be a similar situation for a lot of us.
I'm curious with the metrics that you mentioned, obviously, influenced revenue is something that a lot of us try to track. Not everyone has the cleanest reporting, but how else do you recommend marketers take a look at the channels they're currently on and paying for and things they should either pause, cut back on, maybe step away from short term? Yeah. What other metrics do you take a look at?
I would kind of start by saying, I think identifying the ratio of spend against kind of like your more kind of like, demand focused activities and your more kind of like brand focused activities. It's an evolving art, right. But at the end of the day, in order for any of us to keep our jobs, whether it's working with clients or whether it's working with employers in an organization, we need to be driving commercial value, right?
And that could either be direct commercial value or it could be indirect commercial value, depending on the specific situation. But when it comes to kind of like spending money until you've reached your target, whatever your commercial target looks like, I would advise right now to just withhold a little bit on the more kind of experimental or deeply kind of like brand focused campaigns. Because ultimately, at the end of the year, when you're sat in a boardroom with the CEO, the CFO, and the board, and they're saying to you, we gave you a million dollars, what did you kind of drive with that million dollars? And you say, oh, well, I had a really cool billboard like outside of King's Cross station here in London.
It's not going to go down. Right. You need to show that you've been investing in the tactics and the channels which are driving that kind of commercial value. Once you've reached that target, or once you've kind of forecasted that based on success last quarter, we look in good shape to reach that target. That's when you should be looking at, okay, well, now how can we carve off a little bit of that spend and use it for the experimentation and the kind of more brand focused campaigns? I did a great episode of my podcast, Be to Be Better with Kyle Lacey, the CMO of Jellyfish, a couple of months ago.
He kind of gave that percentage and again, it's a moving percentage of around like 70% on kind of like more demand focused activities, 30% on brand. But he did caveat that one, it's contextual to your individual business, and two, it's a moving target. It's based on what's happening within your organization at this time. And you need to constantly adjust to make sure that you're finding the appropriate ratio double down on the things that. Are driving the commercial value.
Anything you've got left over is the icing on the cake that right now you can then start looking at investing in more of the experimental crazy stuff.
And for people that are in that, I mean, hopefully it's a bigger group than I'm imagining, but for people that are in that sweet spot where they are hitting targets and they have some room to play with more experimental plays, do you have any tips to help them either prioritize or just organize the ideas? Because one thing we run into is we have no shortage of ideas here, but not so many people to execute on them. So that's always been a roadblock for us in just trimming that list down.
I use something called the A to E framework. It used to be called the ABCDE framework, but that was just a mouthful. So I changed it to A to E and it's basically five things audience, believe, creative, distribution, and result. And if you can identify these five things and build a compelling kind of business case against these five pillars that an initiative is worthwhile, then you have a pretty kind of good marker that something is worth at least trying.
So, audience, do we know exactly who it is that we're trying to target with this initiative? Belief? Are we saying or doing something that is kind of unique to us as an organization? Creative, what do the assets look like? What are they distribution? How do we get them in front of that target audience that we've identified? And end result, what are the kind of milestones and markers of success? And you can apply this kind of framework to an overarching kind of strategy or a campaign, or it can kind of really focus down on a specific piece of content. Like you could apply it to a blog post, theoretically, right?
But what I say to my clients when I'm talking to them about this framework is that if you're not able to answer these kind of five questions when thinking of a new idea, then you should probably take a beat for a second and just really evaluate whether or not it's going to be the best use of your time, energy and budget. Like, if we know who we're targeting, if we know what the creative is going to look like, if we know how we're going to distribute it, and we know what success ultimately is going to look like.
But we don't really feel like we've got something interesting or unique to say or do, then we maybe need to go back to the drawing board and figure that bit out. Right. Like, if we have a cool idea for a piece of creative, a great novel idea, we know who we want to target. But from a distribution perspective, we don't have the budget to really get this idea out there at the scale that we need it to.
Then again, we should probably reconsider and put our budget elsewhere. But it's a good starting point. The A to E framework, just to start culling down what I'm sure are hundreds of ideas stored on the person listening to this's trello board or ClickUp or whatever to something to the ones that are kind of a little bit more fully formed and arguably ready to drive results.
Yeah, we have an Asana board of I think I just called it backlog. It's not very exciting, but that's where we dump all of our great ideas. One thing that I think for me at least, what I've noticed is the last one is usually the tuckest is just how are we actually going to measure this? At the end of the day, what is that end result? That we'll know this succeeded. And I think that's often where our ideas tend to get stuck. So that's a good framework to just keep in mind before kind of spinning your wheels and spending time on something that might not give you the results you're looking for anyway, you'd think?
I mean, logically, I'm sure anyone listening to that framework would think that end result is probably the most important. Like, if we can't determine what success looks like, then we probably shouldn't do it. But again, like we were talking about earlier, there are thousands of brands out there that will spank hundreds of thousands of dollars on a trade show booth without really knowing whether or not we're going to be able to determine success. Like, that conversation is just never had, right? Because maybe we're doing it because we've always done it or our competitors do it, or if we don't do it this year, people will think that our business is failing because whatever, that's not in my book, good enough, right?
Especially when we're spending such a huge amount of money on certain initiatives. If a conversation isn't had with the marketing team and the wider executive team on what success looks like, something is seriously wrong within the culture of that business.
From my perspective, it's shifting. I know a lot of people were getting away with that a couple of years ago. I think it's a smaller list of companies that are blowing budgets that way now. So it's going to be a big change for a lot of people, I think.
And for that framework, if anyone wants to hear more I know, Jason, you got into much more detail about the framework on another podcast called Marketing Power Up. So I'll link that in the show notes if anyone wants to go check that out. So looking ahead to the rest of this year or maybe next year, is there anything that you're really looking forward to or something that you think will be really exciting in the B? Two b space.
The clients that I work with, I'm very fortunate in that a lot of the organizations, they have the capacity, the willingness the drive to try out new initiatives because maybe they're working in sectors that are slightly sheltered from the economic crisis that is facing a lot of businesses in tech. And I feel like it's this kind of anecdote that the best businesses are built in times of recession. For example, like Airbnb back in 2008.
I'm really excited that a lot of the companies that I'm working with, they're starting to put into place the real strong foundations for building out kind of owned media strategies for the long term, which I'm really enjoying getting my teeth stuck into. I'm also enjoying as a new business owner, kind of figuring out how AI can help me be better. I'm not in the camp of using something like Chachi PT to create content, but I am really excited to figure out ways in which it can aid me and the businesses that I work with in just kind of streamlining some of their operations.
A lot of the companies I work with are big businesses, but from a marketing spend perspective, it's still relatively early days. So we're not talking about huge budgets, we're not talking about dozens of marketers on staff. It's maybe like one marketing lead and a half a million dollar budget to do everything. So kind of if they're launching a podcast, for example, figuring out ways in which AI can just kind of almost give them like two or three additional employees, like virtual artificial intelligence employees, just to help them get more through the door is something I'm experimenting a lot with at the moment and I find really interesting and really exciting.
That's awesome. Yeah, I was definitely a skeptic, especially the people that were trying to write blog posts with AI right off the bat and got really excited about all that original content it could create. I was never on board with that, but things like a podcast recap, for example. I've been really impressed with just how much time it saves. I used to block an hour a week to do that and now it's so much quicker.
I mean, it's even just using things like Descript, for example. I was doing a podcast for a client the other day and we only realized afterwards that when they'd been recording, the microphone was next to their big developer computer. So there was quite a lot of background noise and I was thinking like, oh crap, now we're going to have to go out there and rerecord it. It's going to be a nightmare. But then you run it through Descript with their studio sound feature and it's almost like they were in a professional studio. I mean, that's a really great example of the utility of artificial intelligence in the content production process, and I'm a total advocate for that. Like, how can we do more with less?
I think where you start running into issues is when, as you rightly say, people are just creating content in totality using these tools and then publishing out there and just trying to chase that volume. I heard a story the other day of an organization that was using some tool to generate like thousands of blog posts to try and drive their rankings up on Google. They managed to do it, but within two months they'd burnt their domain and were just no longer appearing in any search. So risks and rewards, right? Like you've got to be clever with it and not do things that are going to run you afoul of getting in front of your prospective customers.
So be excited but don't let it get to your head, I guess.
Yeah, anything that seems too easy like that probably there's something wrong. Probably not sustainable.
So I'd love to move on to our rapid fire questions with you. So first, I know you speak to tons of great B Two B marketers on your own podcast, but is there someone in particular our listeners should go check out?
Yeah, I mean there's a bunch, right? But the person that immediately jumps to mind is Lucy Heskins. I interviewed Lucy on B Two. B better. Maybe four or five episodes ago. She is a kind of startup marketing and product expert. We did an episode on how to build a startup marketing strategy which far and away was like the most listened to episode of B Two B Better of All Time. She's incredibly funny, she's incredibly smart, she's just like a real cool human being and I don't think she gets enough visibility and credit for all the great work that she does. So check out Lucy. Lucy heskins awesome.
I'll put a link for her. I love finding more kind of undercover marketers to follow. And is there an under the radar? Could be either a channel or a tactic that you and other B Two B marketers you're working with are loving right now.
So this isn't like marketing focused per se, it's more like productivity focused. But I've been using kind of like two AI tools over the last couple of months which have really just kind of changed the game for me when it comes to productivity. The first is Grain AI, which I think there are similar tools on the market. But essentially what it does is it will record my conversations on Zoom or Google Meet or Teams or whatever it is and then it will provide AI generated transcripts of those conversations which then get automatically pulled into know. So if I'm doing a new prospect call, I don't need to spend time taking a bunch of notes and being distracted.
I can just have a conversation and then watch the recap or read the summary and watch the recap using this tool. So that's saved me a bunch of time.
We're testing a couple AI tools for internal meetings to take notes for us and so far they have not been very great. So I'll check them out and lastly, where can we go to follow you and find more of your content?
Jason so the best place to find me on social media is on LinkedIn. I have made the leap from Twitter X. I spend next to no time on X nowadays. So you can find me search Jason Bradwell bright yellow profile photo. That's me. I'm also on threads. Jason Bradwell and then when it comes to the content I create, I publish a weekly podcast called B Two B Better, which is all about figuring out how can we make B Two B marketing better.
I'm coming up to my hundredth episode in the next couple of months, so it'd be great to get kind of more people listening to the show. In advance of that, I also have a newsletter called The B Two B Byte, which goes out a little bit more occasionally, but you can sign up for that on substac as well.
Cool. Thanks so much Jason, for joining me.
You got it. Thanks Tara.
Thanks everybody for listening to Demand Gen Chat.
Thanks for listening to Demand Gen Chat. Demand. Gen Chat is a Chili Piper podcast hosted by Tara Robertson and produced by Me Nola McCoy. If you're enjoying the podcast, please leave us a five star rating on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcasts. It only takes 5 seconds and helps other marketers like you discover Demand Gen Chats. Also, if you'd like to have a question answered in a future episode, you can connect with Tara Robertson on LinkedIn, send her a DM with your question and it could be answered on a future episode.
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