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In this Podcast, 10 Takeaways From Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch, we discuss…

3:01Takeaway 1  – Marketing Definition and Strategy vs. Tactics
5:25Takeaway 2  – Content Publishing Model
7:37Takeaway 3 – Marketing calendar
11:40Takeaway 4 – Ideal Prospect Profile
14:35Takeaway 5 – Talking Logo
17:55Takeaway 6 – Buyer Persona
20:28Takeaway 7 – Core Marketing Message
21:20Takeaway 8 – Customer Stages
23:15Takeaway 9 – Educating
24:56Takeaway 10 – Get Your Entire Team Involved

Past Book Clubs
Managing the Professional Services Firm
Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella


Danny Ryan:Today, we’re going to talk with Austin Ryan about a book that we just went through called Duct Tape Marketing. How’s it going, Austin?


Austin Ryan:It’s going good. How about yourself?


Danny Ryan:Doing great. You’re usually behind the scenes here. You’re at now-


Austin Ryan:I am.


Danny Ryan:You and I. All right. I like this. I’m pulling in the producer. I like it.


Austin Ryan:Yup.


Danny Ryan:No behind-


Austin Ryan:Usually I’m just clicking the record button, but now I’m actually talking.


Danny Ryan:Yes, you are the subject matter expert. Now that you’ve read a book, you ever read a book before Austin?


Austin Ryan:First time for everything. Actually, nowadays I normally do audio books. It’s kind of the way the world’s going right now, but it’s always good to pick up a book and actually read it, something about the physical book, getting through it. It feels good.


Danny Ryan:Yeah, absolutely. I mean, for me, I’ve got mine sitting right in front of me and just taking notes. It’s kind of, I like the analog version for certain things. Not everything but-


Austin Ryan:Right.


Danny Ryan:Yeah, it’s kind of nice. Today to jump into it, we’re going to go through our 10 takeaways. Austin did five of them that we’ll go through, takeaways from the book and it’s by John Jantsch say that real quick, and I’ll say it so you don’t have to say it. He’s got a very nice podcast and just, I think I really liked this book cause it’s really practical. So I like the duct tape things I got, I’m a small business owner, I do all our marketing on the side along with Austin. And so, we’ve got to be very practical about what we’re doing.


Austin Ryan:You’ve actually used this book in the past haven’t you, to-


Danny Ryan:Sure have. Yeah. Yeah. I went through it a while ago and sort of took what I could from it and it was nice just sort of revisiting it with you and sort of seeing the things that we had done before in the past. I think a part of it, what’s nice is having you on the team is you’re coming and looking at things with some fresh eyes. But then I’m also trying to give some context like why do we do what we do?


Austin Ryan:Right, usually when I bring up things to you, you’re like, look at this, we did it two years ago and this is why we’re not doing it anymore.


Danny Ryan:Like Austin, go have some fun, go look for this, and when you need the answer, just come and talk to me. I’ll show you what the answer is. So no, it’s not always that way. I love having somebody to come in and it’s good for having someone challenge what you’re doing as well. Having somebody with fresh eyes take a look at it, and a different viewpoint on things.


So let’s go ahead and jump right into it. What was your first takeaway from the book?


Austin Ryan:Okay. Yeah. First takeaway was, the author gives a good definition of marketing, a general definition. He says, getting someone who has a need to know, like, and trust you, and then he says, turn that into try, buy, repeat and refer. The end goal is to actually get people to refer you business and that was kind of eye opening, just how much business we get from referrals and people that are our champions. That was interesting to read.


Then along with that, once in that process you form a strategy and he was saying how you don’t do any tactical decisions before you got your strategy. Your strategy is basically the filter for the tactical decisions. It’s really easy. I’m sure as you’re starting [inaudible 00:03:45] to think of all these tactics that you want to do and there’s, the world of marketing, there’s so much stuff that can pull you in every direction. It was good to see that there is a filter to this. Just from the perspective of maybe I want to one day start a business myself and seeing that it’s filtered through strategy and you’re get lost and on the tactical things if you aren’t careful. So.


Danny Ryan:Yep.


Austin Ryan:That was cool.


Danny Ryan:Yeah. I think the other thing that, this is like a … he calls marketing a system. That was one of the big things here with this is, sort of [inaudible 00:04:27].


Austin Ryan:Right.


Danny Ryan:Marketing is a system and so that was nice. It was good to read that and to emphasize that-


Austin Ryan:You can see that you puts a name to it, he likes to put an actual name to things so people can know that this is our just Three Wills marketing system. You can get more creative with the naming I’m sure but-


Danny Ryan:Cool.


Austin Ryan:… it’s kind of interesting. Yeah.


Danny Ryan:We actually, when we went through this [inaudible 00:04:57] our system, we tried to give it a name, which is helping clients succeed and we did produce some training out of that and we’ll get into that in a little bit here. Number two, what was your number two?


Austin Ryan:Number two kind of goes along with, there’s a lot of tactical things that you can be doing, but it’s kind of the content publishing model saying that today’s marketers must commit to producing content much as a publisher might.


Danny Ryan:Yep.


Austin Ryan:And so valuing the ability for a marketer to be a good publisher nowadays is very important. So it was interesting to see that and kind of described marketers as publishers and it makes a lot of sense. The more you get into marketing because today’s more about getting content out and not necessarily being the expert. What I’ve learned a lot through Three Will was I can’t be the expert at all this specific SharePoint and techie things. It’s kind of being the facilitator to get the content out. Realizing that we have categories of content and seeing where we can produce the content, get people scheduled for podcast or blog posts, which at ThreeWill every quarter we have each of our associates publish either a podcast or blog post. So it’s good to see that teamwork there.


Danny Ryan:Yep, you’re absolutely right. I mean, a lot of our time when we talk about marketing is all about content, creating content to share with others, and really we’ll get into more of that one of mine as well. But yeah, it’s like we’re a small publishing … we’re getting blog posts out right now. We’re producing … you know, and so it’s very important for us, and we’ll get to this in a little bit, but it’s about educating people that marketing is about education. It’s about helping people learn about something.


Austin Ryan:Right, and that’s how you get them to trust as part of the marketing definitions.


Danny Ryan:You’re absolutely correct. What’s number three for you?


Austin Ryan:Three is similar to two, its marketing calendar because the scarcest resource in anyone’s day is the time and we can get pulled in multiple directions. We’ve noticed this with our social media strategy. Trying not to get pulled too hard into the social media strategy where we actually automate some of our content. It’s automated through posts, like blog posts. We also schedule it on Hoot Suite, which is a nice tool to do. You know, every once in a while I’d go in and every Friday do a unique post from what’s happening recently just to keep the touch where it doesn’t seem as automated. We try not to make it seem automated, but nowadays you have to allocate your time towards different things more than social media.


If we got, if we got more value out of social media, I’m sure we would dedicate more time towards it. But that’s not the core way that we get new business.


Danny Ryan:Yeah, it’s interesting you mentioned that. I mean for us if on the social side of things, again with regards to strategy for your first one, we’re in the business to business, we focus in on, that’s the type of business that we’re in. You know, I think a lot of this is about education. It’s about, there’s an aspect of people giving back to the community. Sort of like what we’re learning, we’re sharing and giving back to the community.


There’s not a lot of when it comes to work, there’s some social interactions, but a lot of it is more about the conversations that happen when you meet up with people or you know, there’s a lot of things that people might, in a business to business scenario, they’re not out there talking in the social about it, but as opposed to more of like the business to consumer. When you go and buy something, you like it, you go talk with your friends about it. There’s the same type of thing, but in a business context, it’s usually a little bit more private. It’s usually done within structured secure communication. A lot reference calls and things like that that go on. It’s still a part of marketing-


Austin Ryan:Right.


Danny Ryan:… and that’s just very much like what-


Austin Ryan:Yeah.


Danny Ryan:… the thinking about sort of how do people communicate and what are the means in which they do that.


Austin Ryan:Right, and something unique about our blog post. I’m realizing how we get business through blog posts, which is kind of unique. When I discovered that IT departments use our blog posts sometimes whenever they have questions and we can actually get business from whenever the project is either out of their scope or too big for them-


Danny Ryan:Yeah.


Austin Ryan:… they can reference us because they’ve got their information and they trust us as a source of good information.


Danny Ryan:What you come to find out is a lot of these business to business. It’s not one person making the decision or like business to consumer where a consumer goes out to the store, goes and buys something. This is a group of people making a decision. I think over the course of the years we’ve been very strong about the technical, having people feeling comfortable with us from a technical standpoint.


The thing that we that’s been challenging us over the last couple of years is more of getting out, reaching out to the business side and really focusing in on what sort of business problems do we solve as opposed to talking about the technology that we use for solving those business problems.


Austin Ryan:Right.


Danny Ryan:All good stuff, good stuff. Talk to me about number four. What was your number four?


Austin Ryan:Four is the ideal prospect profile. This is a basically painting a picture of your ideal client which is, he outlines it as a physical description, plus what they want, plus their problem, plus alibi, plus the best way to communicate with them is your ideal prospect profile.


We kind of took this in maybe a step forward and created customer personas, which these are like fictionalized buyer personas that represent kind of groupings of your ideal customers. We got this, I think you got it from HubSpot, the idea to do this and we interviewed representations of each ideal client, each grouping and asked them certain questions to figure out for example, why they decided to work with us in the first place and ways we can improve and understand them better. So that was cool to see.


Danny Ryan:Wasn’t that interesting? It was based on … some of the personas don’t ever go to our website.


Austin Ryan:Yeah. Yeah. That was unique. Yeah.


Danny Ryan:One of them especially it was interesting to find out sort of like they don’t make the … they lean on somebody else within the organization for finding us. One of the interesting things that from those conversations was if you were to Google something and find a company like ThreeWill, what would you Google.


Austin Ryan:Right.


Danny Ryan:From them about what it would be. That helps us with keywords. Right? So we’re thinking about for us like finding that next ideal customer. Because what we want to do is find more of those ideal customers and man there, I think one of the things that’ll be fun for this year is we’re thinking about creating that group basically like a council and having them all together and setting up something where we’re spending more time with them. Maybe once a quarter where we’re getting together with this group of what we call our ideal customers. We also got into the concept of champions too with that, we’ll talk about that maybe in a little bit as well. Anything else with ideal prospects or anything else you want to add there?


Austin Ryan:I don’t think so.


Danny Ryan:Number five.


Austin Ryan:Yeah, number five is talking logo, which is a cool kind of elevator pitch kind of thing and so we kind of have a general talking logo. If you go to our website at the top it says we help companies craft modern digital workplaces on the Microsoft cloud and so that’s kind of like a general way that we described the company, but it’s cool to see. So we have different, we have delivery or sales, different people within our company. It’s during one of the meetings you hosted, you asked them for, I think it was for homework to come up with their own talking logo. Kind of like a short elevator pitch. That is like a sentence to describe or to get the conversation going. To kind of describe what we do but not be too wordy with it.


Danny Ryan:Yep. Yep. Yeah. It was interesting how he sort of, because it’s more of what he does is he gives a way to unfold a conversation at a dinner party or whatever or wherever you might be.


Austin Ryan:Right.


Danny Ryan:I think what we came away with was when somebody asks what ThreeWill does, we can say we help companies or teams work together better. Work together better is sort of our thing. Then they might ask, well how do you do that? Then you can sort of start to branch off into, well these are the different ways we get them all on the same platform. We build applications that help them make better decisions, and you can sort of go off into that. I think what was fun about that was sort of giving people ways of, you want to know who the audience is, who’s asking what this is.


I like it when people just jump when people go to examples of what we’ve done. One of the best cases I give to people is, when you go into the AT&T store and you go to look at a new iPhone or they have a price card beside it and then you start talking about how we built an application behind the scenes for how they get that information to the store and how is it … Where are the controls? What are the different groups that are involved with that or then talking about next time you go to the Atlanta Braves, they have a daily one pager that everybody has in the park and how does that get produced? It’s actually multiple groups that are working together to get that single page for that day available to everyone.


When you give examples, it just, it helps people I think so much more.


Austin Ryan:Right.


Danny Ryan:And, and what are we doing with … how is this helping them? It’s helping them work together better. But then you have to sort of really give a good concrete example. I think that’s an important part of this.


Those are great, good job. Way to take notes on them and all that. I’m impressed Austin, mightily impressed.


As I look through mine I think one of the big things that I got was in addition to was the buyer personas. I mean it reminded me and we spent some time meeting up with … identifying, we had the the five key personas and the one negative and then we came up with some persona for the partners that we worked with and then we came up with a persona for, we used to do a lot of work with software companies or ISVs and we created a persona for that.


Again, this is a lot like around the strategy was it was cool to look at these and sort of think through their eyes. I’m again thinking what our clients are thinking and really having a good understanding of that. I enjoyed sort of calling up folks and asking them the questions and being surprised maybe in some cases by what they had to say. Then just this whole idea of identifying your ideal client is that in the end there’s people out there … your company is not made to serve everyone. And so really trying to identify who is the ideal client for us-


Austin Ryan:Who’s the negative persona.


Danny Ryan:Yeah. The negative persona. It was funny, for people who are listening to this. What we did with each one of the personas is we described what their typical role was and we gave them a fictional name. Then we put in there a couple of examples of real examples of that persona. I think that helps people with oh this is, this is like this type of person and here’s some samples of that person.


It’s just like when it’s back to the ideal, the talking logo, if you get something you need an instance of something you need to see an example of something and that really drives it home and it was nice sort of putting real examples of people. Then behind that was putting links to their LinkedIn profile so somebody could go see what is an example of a C level executive that we would be selling to and seeing what that looks like.


What is your … I also had the core marketing message discovering what that is. I think that exercise was good and it even, it was interesting because Bruce this week talked about, I don’t know if you were in on that meeting, maybe not, but he was talking about, Danny talked with us about what our core marketing messages, but informally or unofficially I think it’s [crosstalk 00:20:11] I want to incorporate what is the unofficial, I want it to be real. If it sounds too much like marketing speak, I’d rather I look at what did people call it and be open to maybe making some changes to it. It should just come off very naturally and this all sounds very easy to do. Describe your company in a couple of sentences, but then when you do it right, ain’t nothing easy when you’re doing it for real, your head explodes. It’s something that’s really takes time and we want to reflect reality with that.


That was good for us to spend some time on that. I guess that’s our number seven was, was the core marketing message.


Austin Ryan:Okay.


Danny Ryan:I think for number eight was, I loved the exercise that we had with, where we had the different marketing types of content that we create and mapping it over to every stage. I thought that was pretty cool. Also identifying, describing what is a suspect, what is a prospect, what is a client, what is a repeat client, what is a champion? I think the big thing out of this was what do we do with our champions? What do we do with the people, also defining what a champion is.


It was cool to see how that sort of fed into this year, our wig for this year where we said ThreeWill, we are going to live and die based upon our champions referring work to us and that repeat work to us and trying to find more and more champions, because those are the folks who go out and say, Hey, I’ve worked with that Three Will company and they’re great and I trust them. This is what they did for me.


That’s better than as you and I know on the website we can talk all we want, we can talk until our head explodes about how great we think we are. It’s what our clients say, it’s the real words that they used to describe us, which is marketing gold to us. In fact it goes against one of our core values of really being humble and humble servants. We’re talking great stuff about let our clients do the talking for that.


I liked sort of mapping over the different stages and what are we doing from marketing standpoint, how are we serving each one of those stages and progressing.


Austin Ryan:Cool. Cool.


Danny Ryan:Number nine, and all of my came from part one actually. I mean I ended up getting so much from the beginning part of this book. Education, I think that might be one of the big things as well here marketing is about educating. I always say that our best clients are well educated. They understand what’s the difference from working with ThreeWill with working with other types of partners and our job within marketing is to build up that trust, which is these guys are competent, they know what they’re doing, they have expertise in an area where I need help. They can actually solve my problem. There’s part of this as well that we have to be careful because we want to educate but we don’t want to overwhelm.


We want to be easy to work with. Some of this it’s funny because I think some of the content that we create, somebody goes out there and looks at it and I’ve seen this with social sharing where people, where they looked at, they did some study about all the things that people share with you, how often they actually read what they share. It’s a very minimal amount of things that they almost want to seem like they understand what they’re doing. I think they’re doing that because it’s just easy to do that.


We need to be careful about not overwhelming people working with us, but where they feel comfortable, where they look and they say these ThreeWill guys, this ThreeWill company has expertise in this area. I don’t need to know all that expertise but I feel comfortable that they can solve my problem.


Austin Ryan:Yeah, that makes sense.


Danny Ryan:The last one, number 10 which was sort of came out of this book, which was from the chapter nine, get your entire team involved in marketing. This is where one of the things out of the book, we created this client development system and really the goal of that system is to create champions and champion to us as someone who refers business to ThreeWill. We ended up Austin and I, going through and creating, it’s almost like training content inside of ThreeWill of what do we do, what is our strategy, what’s our marketing system, and describing that to people inside of ThreeWill so that they have an understanding of what that is.


Austin Ryan:Right, and we do that, we try at least during onboarding, to get people onboard and understanding exactly what our marketing tactics are and how people should kind of talk about us and perceive us. If you were making a PowerPoint deck to follow our templates, don’t mess with the logo, things like that.


Danny Ryan:Yeah, I think it’s, and not a lot of people realize this, but let’s take I’m creating a new PowerPoint for a new client and I decide to use crazy fonts or whatever. That person sees this and they see inconsistency, whereas opposed to Threewill, we want to maintain consistency like I can rely on these guys. You have something that is, there’s something incongruent about it. This isn’t a consistent product that I’m seeing from them. That product being a presentation and it’s just, I think we are doing something inside of ThreeWill where the brand is that and so how do you make sure it’s congruent with who ThreeWill is as a brand and talking to people. I have sometimes done a, feel like I do a better job at marketing outside of ThreeWill than I do inside of Threewill.


We’re marketing ourselves, inside of ThreeWill we really got to, we’re educating them, right? We’re doing all the things that we’re doing with our clients. We’re educating them. We’re describing the benefits of what do we do when we’re doing marketing right and coming up with the training of that and coming up and teaching that to everybody inside of ThreeWill and educating them on why we do these things.


Austin Ryan:Right.


Danny Ryan:That was a part of this book. Part of this system, any system that you create is you’ve got to teach the people who are running that system, teach the people who are a part of that system.


Austin Ryan:Right. Yeah.


Danny Ryan:That was a good thing. I think you’ve done some good things with, where you did branding doesn’t just include our logo, it also includes everything from the employee profiles, our brand a consistency across profiles.


Austin Ryan:Right.


Danny Ryan:Just really I think educating people inside of ThreeWill was, that chapter was a reminder that that’s our responsibility as well.


Austin Ryan:Yeah. It’s so unique to that with the marketing that’s not necessarily, we’re not, our company isn’t marketers, but the way that we’re perceived is the way that we are perceived to do work. Even though I’m not the developer, just because maybe I’m inconsistent doesn’t mean that whatever we develop the product is not going to be a fantastic product. But it [inaudible 00:28:30] it’s kind of the core of ThreeWill. ThreeWill is consistent.


Danny Ryan:Yep. I’ve often sort of had this, we need to … usually in the past I’d just say sell like we deliver but we need to marketing and sell like we deliver. Because there’s this whole, if you could imagine when you first interact with a brand new company you’re going to associate, like if you ask for a quote or an estimate for something, if that estimate is of high quality … Let’s say somebody came over to put together an estimate to do a service, like you’re going to get your room painted or something along those lines. You’re going to associate how their website, the estimate that they put together, all of that you’re going to associate with how are they going to do when they perform the service for me. It’s got to all be congruent.


We’ve had for so many years, you know this, this past year we did the NPS score and we had every single, we had a hundred. Every single person give us a nine or 10. That’s wonderful. That’s great with delivery. But we also have to make sure our marketing and sales is as good as our delivery is and if we don’t do that, then we’re not doing our job and it’s got to be consistent. So all good stuff. Thanks for doing this with me.


You know me, I never stop learning so we’ll find some new stuff for us to go after. I might, now that I’m doing a little bit more sales, I might actually follow up with and do with the sales team, there’s a book called Duct Tape Sales.


Austin Ryan:Interesting.


Danny Ryan:[inaudible 00:30:20] principles and even he maps it over to the sales process. If you want you can sit in on that because everybody’s in sales. You probably picked that up. Once you’re doing it as part of your job, you’re doing it as part of your job. Everybody’s in marketing and sales. Maybe we could do a little similar type of thing with this and pull in some of the sales folks with this as well. So thanks for taking the time to do this. Thanks for coming up with your top five and I added mine in and thanks to everybody for listening and have a wonderful day. Take care. Bye bye.


All right, I’ll do it. Where are we? We’re at Thursday, January 9th.


Austin Ryan:Correct.


Danny Ryan:All right. Do you need to do something to prep for this or I just do it?


Austin Ryan:You’re good. I’ll mute me up myself and then you’re good.


Danny Ryan:It’s Thursday, January 9th, 2020 and today I talk with Austin Ryan about Duct Tape Marketing. We share our top 10 takeaways from the book. It’s Thursday, January 9th, 2020 and today I talk with Austin Ryan about Duct Tape Marketing. It’s Thursday, January 9th today I sit down with Austin Ryan and we give our top 10 takeaways from a book called Duct Tape Marketing. Enjoy.



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