Podcast Episodes

John Daniels – Creating An Inbound Marketing Plan

At SalesMAP we focus a lot of our efforts on the Outbound (outreach) approach to marketing. But there comes a time when you will want to ramp up 4th Gear (see the 4-Gears of Marketing methodology) to bring in more lead flow and at a cost effective ROI.

Enter John Daniels of The Lean Marketer. https://lnkd.in/dBsU733

John’s whole approach is to get the foundational elements in place over the next 90 days, you know with certainty that you will see a positive ROI from your marketing.

Let’s dig into how he achieves those goals, and when an expert will know they are ready for an Inbound approach.

Unknown Speaker 0:00

Alright, welcome back for Book of Experts TV. Today we're talking about inbound marketing. That's a little bit of a change for us because usually when we're talking SalesMAP or Book of Experts, you know, outbound is a big part of our daily conversations, It's what we do, it's why we love, but there is a time and place for your inbound marketing and we have an expert today that's going to take a deep dive in what you can do in the next 90 days to get the foundations in place to know that your marketing budget is going to be a positive ROI. I'm really excited to dig into this because I love what he is doing, how he's doing it, and I want to get into the nitty gritty for you, but first, let's welcome you all to Book of Experts TV.

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Time for Book of Experts, TV,

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brought to you by SalesMAP.me

Unknown Speaker 1:14

All right, so welcome to Book of Experts John Daniel super excited to have you are now, Yeah, I saw you were dancing to the music we I have a seven year old at home and she hears that music and she likes it. So I think we're doing something right or at least having fun with it when we play

Unknown Speaker 1:27

very catchy very

Unknown Speaker 1:29

well I appreciate you taking a little bit of time. John is joining us from Scotland and today we're talking inbound marketing and I'm very excited. John, your new guest to Book of Experts. I actually want to give a shout out to some some anyone out there if you catch a slide or you catch us in the replay. If you're new to book of experts share that in the comments. I want to give a shout out to john another john john mega mega McGlashan. I think I said if I got that last name, right. Appreciate you john chiming in as well and anyone else just tell us that you knew We'd love to meet you get to know you make that connection and introduce you to some of the experts at book of experts, because we're pretty proud of our community there and what's going on. But john, I, let's talk a little bit about you, the lean marketer, which is your brand and business, what you've been doing and how you got to this focus point of inbound marketing with a lean positive ROI approach.

Unknown Speaker 2:26

Well, thanks, Tobin. Thanks for Thanks for having me. And I think you know, the best way to explain how I got here is to talk a little about about my history, but also to say that it arrived by happy accident.

Unknown Speaker 2:35

I did not

Unknown Speaker 2:36

set out wanting to have a career in digital marketing, inbound marketing, in fact, started off in systems engineering, so I was in a building email servers and firewalls and that sort of thing. And I was really interested in how and what I noticed was that this TCP IP based information flow into our business and if soon as they didn't get access to

Unknown Speaker 2:57

internet that became super grumpy, but I got from frustrated that

Unknown Speaker 3:00

as good as I've got with the system stuff, the best I could do is get them back to two level I couldn't actually make a fundamental change. But I noticed that there was specific type of information that was running through the business called website based stuff. And I thought wow, it occurred to me that if you make it flow in just the right way, money comes off. And and you can actually make businesses fundamentally better by by having, you know, inbound relevant traffic, going to people's websites entering into the business and making more money happen. And flash forward 20 years digital marketing is great. And a lot of experience some you know, some very successful some not successful, but I became very curious about those those edge cases where the digital marketing stuff didn't work. I became super good at Google Ads but sometimes worked out okay, well, maybe maybe maybe Facebook was the secret ingredient. But super good at Facebook, but sometimes it didn't work in LA LinkedIn intimate when your favorite like SEO, I kept on thinking more stuff. more stuff, more stuff that would make it better. Exit marketing. But a couple of things happened at the same time, I came across a new startup. Okay, and that just absolutely blew my mind because it was the first time it's a diagnostic framework that actually did help, you know, if the job was to Move, move, move strangers into the business in such a way that they become customers. How about we try and think of others about doing rockiness marketing but less marketing? How do we actually get people to move from left to right with as few moving pieces as possible? This completely blew my mind in terms of how I'm thinking about what is valuable to customers and only putting those things in front of customers

Unknown Speaker 4:39

and that little dongle off

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kind of where I am now, where I'm fascinated by a very specific type of customer. And that is people that don't have inbound work and yet they've got a marketing budget, but they don't have ROI yet. And that's where I want to focus.

Unknown Speaker 4:54

So that that totally makes sense. I I did not realize that was your your background. But it makes a lot of sense. I've had a little peek in insight into your system and how you work and sort of what you do to build this up over 90 days. So this engineering sort of mindset and background totally makes sense to me. And I'm actually familiar from prior work of using the Lean Startup methodology, the the canvas and all that and so that also I love how you're applying that in the business. I do want to clarify for folks out there because I want to make sure everyone's with us on the terminology. It's, it's sometimes use differently depending on who you're listening to. So where you were using inbound and outbound, you will also hear this in so outbound is outreach or going direct, like proactively reaching out again, this is part of what we do at sales map. So it's been a big part of our conversation, but going directly to the people that you can and should be working with, and starting conversations with them. With an inbound approach. It's often content referred to as content marketing. It could be attraction marketing, it could be paid traffic ads, could be SEO, there's a number of different channels, but essentially bringing people to you. So we've got one, go get them approach. And we've got one bring them to you approach. For folks out there. If you've seen my article that I've talked about the four Gears of marketing, we talk about sort of how these how these different systems can work together and amplify each other. But john is really strong where I'm not. And so that's why I appreciate having you on to dig a little bit deeper into this, this process. There's one other thing that I think is really important here for you guys to know about, john, because we're going to dig into this in a moment. And that is that his approach like an ideal fit for john, it would be a company that you mentioned already mentioned, they're spending money on their marketing, maybe they're not yet getting the results they hope to see they don't have that positive ROI. But oftentimes, john, you're called in to work with a junior marketing person they've just hired A new marketing person, they're really happy with the person they've got. But they may not have the systems, the processes in place, the tracking mechanisms to actually know whether they're ROI positive. And so your build up is really to get that all in place and support that person that new marketing position. So they're ultimately they'll be successful. Is that was that how you would characterize that? Or would you adjust any of that?

Unknown Speaker 7:23

Yeah, no, that that is that is spot on. I mean, if I look at the at the evolution of a business, typically you've got, you know, three stages where a business has a great idea, and it's like, Can we get somebody to buy this thing and it is a very important milestone to get to. But once you start getting some sales, you start wanting to build a repeatable system. And you start getting enough enough inbound sales to have a marketing team and you employ your first marketing person. And, and the first time you have a marketing person and a marketing budget that you're expected to that person is expected to make ROI happen. There's a very specific set of challenges that that they're sitting in front of, and there's a few booby traps that have You haven't seen them before, can really trip you up. I'll give you a couple of examples. One is that if you want marketing, to deliver ROI, it's not just marketing. It's also sales. Like it's part of the definition. And I've been trapped in that way. It's like all I want to do Google ads, Google ads, Google ads, but if the traffic causes leads that aren't converting into sales, or otherwise known as little picture, so that's one of the booby traps I found. And the other one is that in order to get ROI, you need to be able to calculate it. And that's a conversation with the finance department. So yeah, so my experiences is that this poor guy who's a bill that's been tasked with creating ROI from the marketing budget is kind of trapped in a box with a puzzle. They're expected to solve the puzzle, but not all the pieces are in it with them. And that's part of the trick. And part of my process to say like, yeah, how

Unknown Speaker 8:48

do we enlist the sales guys? How do we enlist

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the assets of actually in the rest of the building to get that feedback loop going?

Unknown Speaker 8:55

And to do that to adults?

Unknown Speaker 8:58

I think that's part of what is attractive To us, john is you're looking at sales and marketing, digital sales and marketing holistically. And that's really, in sales map. You know, I have three partners. And that's why we came together because we all had that same feeling that there's, you know, for too long now, there has been this conflict, essentially this excuse making finger pointing between sales and marketing where the salespeople say these leads are junk, I can't do anything with them. And marketing folks are saying we're sending you a steady flow of leads, you've got to have you know, you got to bring these people through so we can all win together. So there's there's always that potential for I don't want to say conflict, but a little bit of friction between the two because it to make the whole system work is not always easy. And I really appreciate that part about I see how you're you're approaching that you're not specifically focused on unlike some other folks that work in the sort of lead generation or inbound marketing space. You are not just focused on Facebook ads, Google ads or just SEO you're kind of looking at how do we get the pieces in place? And then how do we test those over in 90 days? I'm going to divide it in half say the first half of that first six weeks or so is really about building those pieces that you need. And the second half is going to be what testing running these these Sprint's I think you called them to figure out, are we positive? Are we ROI positive?

Unknown Speaker 10:30

Yeah, exactly. So if I could summarize the pros of this, basically,

Unknown Speaker 10:32

I'll start off with working with businesses that make up make marketing happen before I touch Facebook. Before I touch any of that, I would say Take me to your salespeople. They're not certainly

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in the sales process and watch sales happen.

Unknown Speaker 10:44

Listen to what the customers are saying look at the evidence of who all the humans that we need to reach with our messaging. That is the fundamental starting block. Who are we reaching? From there, you've got the ability to start doing things like keyword research as a proxy for what are these people searching for? You can do your favor. But audio audience research for as a proxy for what evidence is there that the humans exist on Facebook? And what is our capacity to target them? You can go to LinkedIn Sales Navigator with advertising platform and quantify how many of these humans are there on LinkedIn. And this doesn't cost anything to just it's a diagnostic tools we can do to quantify the science and the oneness of the know the likelihood of conversion of the audiences before you spend your money. And that I found is that the critical missing step when people say, Oh, we need to Facebook well we need to do but the tools do exist to actually quantify the size of opportunity and assign different risks or as opportunities and then actually involved with strategy from inside. And right from the get go go right sales guy has, it seems like these are the top of humans that we're off to. Let's go Let's go and see where the evidences of these people put some some some useful words and pictures in front of them. And again, that can be reverse engineered from the sales conversations through building these marketing components from solid ground stuff that we already know. Working And and that way we can you get the sales team invested in the process. Because, you know, you're you're effectively I see the marketing team as soon as the strategic

Unknown Speaker 12:12

can pull the sales team

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and and that's been the basis of flooding to get that feedback. We've been evolving it from inside the organization. Again, you're building on solid ground you're you're leveraging the contacts, activities, the

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messaging that's already been validated through the

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sales process. And then we're just expanding it to say, Well these humans are responding like this Let's go find more humans look like that and give them the same message. And after that, you can then absolutely you know, build up the

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campaigns in such a way that you can you can

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strategically validate and invalidate different parts of that structure to say okay, this is working better than that. This is working better than that. Let's keep this let's keep Let's keep this Atlas Aki back so that you're actually moving strategically and almost scientifically. Testing individual To the strategy and keeping the ones that are working. And then of course, using the ones that all come in, what I found is that this is not expensive. You don't need large budgets to do this, what you mean is very, very finely calibrated instrumentation. That's the other the other part of the process. So I spoke about, like some of the vital skill sets that I found Junior don't have yet is the ability to, to accurately create experiments, ability to measure basic working knowledge of stats.

Unknown Speaker 13:29

So I'm just curious, maybe this is the nerdy side of me, john, but when folks, when they come to you, when you first have these conversations, and they're entering your world, if you were to ask 10 of them, you know, how many of the 10 could name their their cost of acquisition, their client or customer cost of acquisition? You're

Unknown Speaker 13:51

out of 10? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 13:53

so that that's sort of an indicator to you that without that critical piece of knowledge, they don't have the systems in place. Really make data driven decisions about what what's going to do next and forecasts into the future.

Unknown Speaker 14:06

Yeah, that's exactly the kind of and it is it's a challenge that the businesses that have hyper growth that are scale that have you know, working and scaled inbound systems or older or every single one of those are strategically studiously on top of those numbers. But getting on that letter requires you to go through the work of actually working that stuff out. To to, you're going to be

Unknown Speaker 14:28

perfect. I want to jump over when we bring up the lean marketer website. This is John's website for folks that are maybe seeing this for the first time you'll see the lean marketer.co.uk I want to scroll down through this john because there's a couple visuals that I want to dig into. Obviously, this is a little bit of background about john himself and what he's been doing and why. But let's focus in here. Let's start with this and then and then you guide us give us A tour of where the where folks should be focusing time.

Unknown Speaker 15:04

Whatever this is, this is typically on the left hand side, this is where I encounter businesses that they're like, yeah, okay, we've heard about this digital marketing thing, we hear that it's the new, the new hot thing. We see our competitors making money. And now we want to do digital marketing. But suddenly, you just have this, you know, this explosion of complexity, where you know, you've got LinkedIn peoples that have your LinkedIn is also everything and it's your people saying SEO is the answer to everything. And and if you scroll down a little bit, you'll see that there's this indicator there on the you know, they're you spending money, and the social media media or social media in the email, people are emailing everyone is giving you all of these stats and dashboards and things, but it's not making money. That's the challenge. And what I want to help people with is to get to the other side of that where it's like yet, we've taken we've taken that chaos and put it into manageable chunks to reduce the complexity. So yes, you are spending money, but you're spending money strategically, tactically, and you're getting measurable ROI. And that's the journey. I want to take one.

Unknown Speaker 16:03

Yeah, I think I think most of us in the entrepreneurial space, the corporate space, like most business, people are going to make a decision that if you can show, show me the numbers, and I'm going to trade, you know, $1 for two, let's just do that as often as we can. The challenge has been particularly with and I'll be honest with you, this is this is the part that has been most elusive for me. I've worked in the digital marketing space for a dozen years now, getting those positive ROI campaigns can be a challenge. So let's talk about how you do that because I think I think some folks out there will want to dig a little deeper.

Unknown Speaker 16:42

Yeah, so that was my main design challenge when I wanted to create a system is when I looked at my customers to see like, what are the challenges, I'm getting feedback from my customers or potential customers and I found I've learned a lot from the deals that I didn't get, you know, the feedback was, you know, your marketing guys don't provide any guarantees. You know, You guys keep on just saying you have to try stuff and see, you know, there's no plan. There's no guarantees, there's no, there's no tactical framework. And as you've correctly identified, you know, if I gave you a machine that you put $1 in and $2 came out, you'd you'd be putting dollars in one day. But it's one thing to put $1 into a machine like that, it's a different thing entirely to build the machine. And that's the work which we if you spending money, that first entrepreneurial offense, it was spending money, it was not making money back, that's the challenge is to build the machine in the first time. And a lot of non obvious things that that needs to happen. So I went to the drawing board, I said, Okay, how do I design you know, under what, what, what sequence of events in what timeline, that ROI become inevitable. But what would the sequence wide court launch? How would I design the process in such a way to minimize the risk and you know, slick and clean as I can get it, it still takes three months. Okay? Like this is not magic. This is not some woowoo formula. This is just the work. Alright. fundamental things like you've got to know Your customers and and and you know, it's not like everybody, you know, go into the accounting data go and look custom aged analysis and get the data. It's in the building, but when people don't look at it, you know, it's just that that human framework of looking at the data, that's the one thing I understand, you know who your customers. So when I do an exploratory meeting, it's really about understanding Do you have customers? And is there evidence of customers in the building? If you're a pre revenue tech startup marketing is a completely different animal. Right? This whole thing and you know, nobody knows. Because if you don't know your customers, you don't even know what you what you're selling it. Like, you know, it's a use case for marketing. But the ROI model again, is a completely different animal. And, you know, large corporates, you know, enterprise model into enterprises, they know who the customers are getting an ROI for Coca Cola, magic, okay. Right, because this the statistical significance of customers inside the boardroom. So what I'm interested in when I do an exploratory meeting, I want to only take one class Which I can guarantee ROI throughout the process and the key diagnostic for meeting exploratory meeting. Do you solve real problems for humans? To Do you have customers? Right? And, and that's the data collection. But of course, then we're going to work together to say, Great, what what is the likely, you know, inbound system look like for you and understand that it's going to be wrong the first time. Okay, you need to accept that the first assumption is wrong, but we're going to be wrong quickly, we're going to wrong cheaply. And we're going to be wrong strategically. And as Elon Musk explained it best he said that but having a business is about starting with a set of assumptions that are mostly wrong, and then becoming strategically less wrong over time. And so on upfront, and say, like the first version that's going to be overly sub optimal, but you iterate quickly and you can iterate strategically by taking small bets by measuring accurately and most importantly, starting on solid ground by extracting who the customer is, what their pain points are. What are the messages that work from the sales team? And the customers themselves from from your accounting, accounting systems to start with the facts, build on the facts. And then through a process or being very, very strategic and also engaging the internet marketing team. So depart, coming from outside and second, I'm going to stick my magic, you know, I'm going to stick my magic system on top of your business and everything's going to change.

Unknown Speaker 20:23

It's about getting inside the business and understand from the inside,

Unknown Speaker 20:26

what is the magic that's happening and some of the most brilliant strategies that our customers I've never seen before. But But we leveraged the stuff that was already happening inside the business. And then you involve some really, really old systems that are just

Unknown Speaker 20:42


Unknown Speaker 20:44

It's one of the things that I appreciate about you, john. Honestly, the reason why we're we're conversing right now is I'm by i by this model, which is don't over promise to me up front and I think that is one of the big challenges that I see in the marketing space. Folks are trying to break through the noise. Promising big results on short timelines, which we all want. But realistically, I'd much rather see. Like you said, we're going to be wrong out of the gate, we know that we're going to get smarter over time with each evolution with each we're going to accelerate that process that seems like a much more realistic approach to what we all know, which is you've got to try some things to this is not a one size fits all approach for everyone. The if you're buying one of those, here's the here's the five steps that work for everyone in anyone. You're probably being sold to build it.

Unknown Speaker 21:39

Yeah, no, that's important. It's actually a red flag for me to say, Ah, you know, everyone's my customer will this will work for everyone. But, you know, for the right for the right type of businesses, I wanted to design a system that would just take the mystery out of it. and say if you've got customers, you know your customers, although we can reverse engineer the marketing process for that because the information is already In a moment, you just might not know it. And, you know, we can work strategically together to do unethical, but the sickest of it, let's build a system that gets that maxes out the number of ways you can handle with as least marketing as possible, with the smallest amount of marketing as possible. It's got a kind of a novel approach, but I find it quite satisfying.

Unknown Speaker 22:19

It's it's an elegant approach that you've developed here, john, I love what you're doing. Let's do a couple call to actions here to make sure we get folks sorted. So first of all, this is john Daniels with the lean marketer, that's dot co.uk. So you can find him there, the lead marketer. If you are in the place where one you're already spending, marketing dollars, maybe you've got a marketing person, but you don't feel like like you have the right process in place. You're interested specifically in this inbound marketing approach. And as john said, you have some data you have some existing clients and customers that you can dig into that data in real refine that process, this would be a great conversation for you. If you're not at that point, and I imagine we will have some folks out there that are more on the, they're trying to launch a new offer or validate in the marketplace. I'd actually love to talk with you, I'm doing a workshop on the side. And you might be that might be a good resource for you. But that's a side conversation. It's not our focus today. And then lastly, Book of experts is sponsored by sales map. So if you're one of the experts out there, you're an expert, you have the expertise, the hard won hard fought expertise in your field, but you don't necessarily want to be chasing people on the sales side. We build sales teams for experts, and I'd love to talk with you about that as well. You can find more experts like john at book of experts.com you can go and check out use the search engine there. We have a growing and building community of folks who are experts in a lot of them in the b2b services spaces, but more there's over 60 different categories. JOHN, I really appreciate you taking some time to give us peek inside your model, what you're doing with folks. More importantly, why and how you came to this mission, any last thoughts, anything that you'd like people to know, as we close up today?

Unknown Speaker 24:10

I think if I could just leave people with a mission and and a challenge is that, you know, there's what I've seen in the industry, a massive over fascination with with marketing technology, the fundamental buy to get down to the absolute fundamentals is solve an important problem. You know, understand the problem that you're solving, and who you solving it for, and then get paid to solve problems. So you know that that's the mission. I'm on simplify marketing, solve problems for humans, and that way we can all get what we want to go.

Unknown Speaker 24:40

Love it, love it, see a need, fill a need, and keep it simple because we don't have time for all that other stuff. I think everyone feels overwhelmed in this world we're living in today, there's enough to worry about without making problems out of your marketing. So let's simplify that whole process of it. JOHN, appreciate you. Thanks for coming on. And, again, folks, check out book of experts. COMM you'll find john and many other experts there who could be the next important person. The next important connection tool or resource that helps you level up your business.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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