None of us have the time, treasure and talent to reach everybody. These are wise words from our guest on this episode, CEO and Author, Kirby Hasseman of Hasseman Marketing.
Listen to this information-packed session to learn why reaching the right buyers and narrowing your focus is absolutely the right thing to do. Also, learn how to overcome fears associated with limiting your marketing to a smaller audience. Afterall, it’s where your messages have more resonance.
Check out the recording now to hear about the power of targeted messaging and recommendations on media and tactics to use to build your audience and launch your demand generation engine.
[01:16] The TARGET marketing plan
[03:10] Why identifying your ideal customer profile is important
[07:17] The power of having a focused message
[08:07] Differentiating between rented and owned media
[22:20] Building enthusiasm and creating brand ambassadors
[27:16] Tracking and the use of leading and lagging measures
[30:42] Collecting and using data for informed decision-making
[31:58] Marry your data with gut feel for better results
[32:35] Key takeaways
Hey, everybody. It’s Jenny from GrowthMode Marketing. You’re listening to Demand Gen Fix, the podcast where our team of growth Moders and our guests discuss the ins and outs of demand generation and why we believe it’s the key to long term sustainable growth, especially in the HR tech industry. Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the Demand Gen Fix with GrowthMode Marketing. We are talking today about building brand awareness as we often do.
And we know that as marketers, we understand that that doesn’t just happen in this market. You’ve got to be intentional, creating strategy that becomes the playbook to high growth. So you really got to focus on your ideal customer, profile their needs and wants, how your business will address those needs. We’re super excited today because joining us on this episode of Demand Gen Fix is our guest, Kirby Hasseman.
Kirby is CEO of Hasseman Marketing and host of the Delivering Market Joy podcast. He also has a book coming out called Hit the Target, a story about marketing, business, and life. So we’re going to be talking about his target marketing plan process and how to create a playbook to reach the right buyers. Welcome to the podcast, Kirby.
Oh, man, I am so excited to be here. Thank you, guys. You know it’s funny, I had Deanna on my podcast, and when we had our conversation, I was like, we really need to continue this conversation down the road. And so I’m excited to be here for sure.
I agree. And we’re excited to have you. I know you’ve developed a process and you’ve named it the Target Marketing Plan. And Target is an acronym for the steps to mapping out a strategy. And it aligns very well with the strategy pillars of building out a demand generation engine that we talk about often on our podcast. So why don’t you kind of walk us through what does TARGET stand for.
You bet. Yeah. So I’ll give you a really quick, the 10,000 foot view. I’m one of those people who remembers things when there’s an acronym or a story behind it. TARGET. T A R G E T, the first T stands for Target, as in Identify your target. Identify your perfect customer. A stands for attract. In other words, build your list. How big is that list that you actually own? R stands for Reach. Reach across platforms and build your reach.
G stands for Go get it. It’s time to sell. I always think that marketing plans that don’t have any component of sales in it are usually incomplete. E stands for enthusiasm, because we want to build a long term brand. We want to build enthusiastic brand ambassadors. And the final T is for track because I think a lot of us do a lot of marketing and sales efforts, and we throw a bunch of stuff against the wall, but we’re not sure what’s working.
And one of the ways to do that is to track that activity on a regular basis, and then you can see what you need to double down on.
I love it. Let’s dive into each of those steps and talk about how it nicely dovetails into the process of building out that demand generation engine. So the first one, the T, the Target Your Customer. For us, and I think you actually, in your document you shared with me, it said, target your perfect customer. We look at it and we say, create an ideal customer profile. I think we’re talking about the same thing here, right? Like, you’ve got to really focus in on who your audience is.
Yeah, it’s funny. I have a marketing firm, but I’m also a small business development coach, so the SBDC and it’s fascinating with both roles, I’ll end up meeting with somebody who their marketing is not working, or they’re just trying to start an organization and I’ll say, so, okay, so who’s your perfect customer? And it’s fascinating how many people say, oh, everybody can use our service. Everybody can utilize this. And my line is always the same if everybody’s your customer, nobody’s your customer.
None of us have the time, the treasure, and the talent to reach everybody. And so by digging deep and I know you guys will agree when I push back, like, example, I was meeting with a dentist office, and they were like, everybody in our area is a customer. And I’m like, okay, cool. So do you target 50 year old guys like me? Is that who makes the decisions? No. Is it the female that you deal with? Yeah, it’s usually the mom, because if you get the mom, you get the kid. Okay. So you just aren’t being intentional about identifying that. And so one of the things that I press people on and I know you guys agree because it’s foundational in everything you do next, because you’re going to change the way you talk, you’re going to change the way you message, and it’s all got to be to that T, that target that perfect customer.
Now, some organizations have multiple personas, but you can create different campaigns for those. But honestly, most organizations, if you can just start with one and really do it well, it’s amazing how much more effective your marketing will become.
We often talk about how when you don’t have an ideal customer profile developed or figured out, your messaging is just watered down because you’re trying to be too many things to too many people.
Yeah. And I think it makes your life easier. You can actually be more creative and have more fun. I think one of the things that people get hung up on is they’re like, if I’ve got these constraints, it might limit my creativity. And I don’t know how you feel, but I find that to be exactly the opposite. Once I know the constraints, I can really have a lot of fun.
Yeah, we see this a lot. The trying to be everything to everyone in the HR tech space where we work with clients. They’ll be like, okay, our product can be sold to any company that has employees.
Do you know how crowded this market is? Do you know how much competition you have to win their attention and their dollars? You sound like everybody else. No matter how differentiated you feel like you are, a lot of times from the buyer perspective, they don’t see it that way. There always is this kind of hesitation and pushback. And we had a client recently, we were doing an exercise with them to develop out their unique point of view.
And we started talking about their ideal customer profile, and they’re like, Hold up. We don’t want to be put in a box. This is only who we work with and only who we serve. The fear factor is real for a lot of organizations, and I think they’re looking at it from the perspective of, but you’re limiting now who I can market to. And as marketers, we’re looking at it and we’re saying you can get hyper focused and have messaging that actually resonates with people and break through the clutter because no one else is doing it that way.
If you narrow down your audience, otherwise trying to be everything to everyone, to Jenni’s point, your message is very diluted and watered down and it resonates with nobody.
Yeah. I don’t know if you guys are familiar with the book The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Mccallowitz. One of his lines in there is I think everybody’s trying to be a little bit better in the marketplace, but in the minds of our customer, better isn’t better, different is better. And so it allows you to differentiate so much better in that way, if you can speak to a specific audience. And to reference to another person that I admire a great deal, Seth Godin, talks about the minimum viable audience for things. And I think so many times we think by trying to reach everybody, we’re going to reach all these millions of people.
And Seth talks about if you have 1000 customers, real customers who order on a regular basis, you’ve got something. And that seems like a much more manageable number. And it’s funny because when I say that, people say, well that’s not very many. And I’m like, how many customers do you have now? 50.
Right, 1000 would be a dream for many.
Before we started recording, we talked about one of our markets is HR professionals. And because we have honed in on it, now I know where those HR professionals who are located in our state are going. So in a month I’m going to a conference there because that’s where all our customers are going to be. And now I know it’s not wasted effort because I’m going to be able to develop real relationships there.
And it made me change. Every single email I sent was different because I’m not talking to marketers, I’m talking people in HR. Once you kind of go through this exercise, it’s the opposite of putting you in a box. It’s actually kind of freeing. If you know the market you’re trying to serve, you can speak directly to it.
You have a blueprint. You can just apply your messaging so much easier, more efficiently, and actually probably hit the mark. Let’s talk about Attract.
Yeah, Attract is the, this is actually one of the ones that I am fascinated by. When I say to people, how big is your list? I usually get kind of funny looks. As entrepreneurs, as marketers, as business leaders, we’ve gotten really comfortable with rented media. And again, nothing wrong with rented media, but if it’s all you do, then it does limit you a little bit. And rented media is essentially media. And I know you guys know this, but where you have to pay to have access to it, the radio station, the TV station, the billboard company, you have to get permission, you have to pay to have access to that audience. And I think the best marketers make a concerted effort to create audiences that are their own.
Now, one of the pushbacks I’ll get sometimes is say, well yeah, I’ve got my own audience. I’ve got a big following on Facebook or whatever. And that’s great, but it’s not your audience. You don’t own that audience because the moment that the social media platform changes, they change the algorithm, they go away. Well, then your audience goes with it, which means you don’t own it. And so we spend a lot of time trying to help people understand that, hey, when you’ve got that product launch, when you’ve got that press release, when you’ve got the new location opening, new update to your software, whatever that is, you want to be in control of that message. Now, you may still want to utilize the rented media, right? You may still want to get people to talk about it and all that sort of thing, great!
But you still don’t have control over it. So we spend a lot of time talking about building your own list, whether that’s an email list or a text based list. And we find that if you just do that, you can really impact your sales on a month to month basis.
I think your point about rented versus owned is important for people to think about because I heard some advice once that has really stuck with me. They’re like, when you are using rented land, it can go away overnight and your whole business could crumble because you lost that audience. Now, people are probably sitting there, ah Facebook isn’t going to go away, LinkedIn isn’t going to go away. We don’t know that.
Does anyone believe Twitter, now, X is stable enough that it might not go away someday? Even the best social media platforms that have been well established and have millions of people on it can become unstable or can change and overnight it’s no longer an option for you. So if your whole audience is on there, I mean, suddenly you’re screwed, quite frankly, if you don’t mix in some of your own owned media with that as well.
I point to, I think it was like a year and a half, two years ago and it was one of the first times it had happened. But Facebook and Instagram both went down for about 6 hours in the middle of the week. And a lot of business owners I know lost their ever loving minds because their entire way to communicate, their entire audience went away. And I was over here going I sent an email, I was like, hey, we’re still here, no big deal.
That’s an example. But then I’ve actually talked to other business owners who during the challenging time of the last three years, did they say something that got them banned? Did they say something that got their page blocked? Did their page get hacked? They lost that audience. It wasn’t that Facebook went away, but something happened where it left, right? And so utilizing lead magnets and different strategies to build that audience, when that happens and you say, oh, okay, we’ve changed our number. Hey, we’ve got a new Facebook page, follow us here. You have the ability to control that. One of the places where people kind of go, yeah, I mean, I get it, but I don’t do it.
This is one of the ones that has one of the biggest impacts.
I was going to say it only makes sense. Yes, everybody should be on social media. That’s just the way it is these days. But it does make sense to just, you have your ideal customer profile. Why not be able to just reach out to them directly right from the source?
And if you have that kind of omnichannel approach to things, you’re less likely to have a severe impact if one of these options goes away or the system goes down or you get banned.
Or whatever, right? And by the way, I mentioned lead magnets, right? And one of the ways to build that list is to create a lead magnet. But back to identifying that perfect customer. The way to create a lead magnet that actually is going to resonate with that audience is to know the audience, to speak to their pain. And being able to actually deliver on some of that is one of the ways that you get people to opt in. Because one of the things that people hesitate about is they’re like, oh, I’ve been spammed before and I don’t want to do that right, then don’t build a list and provide value.
I remember signing up for a groupon one time and then all of a sudden groupon emailed me literally 13 to 14 times a day. And I’m like, okay, yeah, this isn’t how to do it, but you can do it in a way where you’re respectful of the audience and honestly, that’s the best way to do it.
Exactly. And then that actually leads really nicely into the next part of the target plan, right, is the Reach because we’re talking about reaching your audience across different platforms.
The Reach part is the part that I find when internally, we get the most pushback, right. The voice in our head that tells us that we’re not good enough, we’re not smart enough, and doggone it, people don’t like us. That voice gets really loud when it’s time to reach across social platforms and do the content, right. In order to break through the noise, one of the things you’re going to have to do is post more than you think you want to.
I saw a piece of content from Gary Vaynerchuk, who somebody said, how many times should I be posting a day? And he’s like, 40 pieces of content across the eight platforms every day. I don’t know about you guys.
Every day, yeah. Now you hear that? That’s your voice, right? That’s the voice getting absolutely not right. There’s no way. Now, I’ll be candid, I don’t post 40 times a day, but the idea that he put a number on it is, A, I think really interesting. And B, to his credit, he was saying, look, there’s eight platforms, five pieces of content per day. Now, it’s still an absurd amount. But if I told you that there was this tool you could use where it was free, and you could build your business, you could build your personal brand, and it would help you sell.
But all you had to do was do a little work. Everyone would go, oh, yeah, I’ll do that, but that’s what this is. And nobody wants to do it. One of the things that I would say, and again, I think this goes to the demand generation piece, right, is that you’re building your brand, you’re building demand up. You’re making it so that people know who you are when it’s time to understand that they need your service.
Give first, provide value. This doesn’t mean 40 times a day you’re getting on there and saying, buy from me. That will get you blocked, right. But if you are answering questions and entertaining and informing in a consistent way, I find that quiets the voice a little bit and lets me push through to try and push content that’s valuable for my audience.
Yeah, it’s all about taking an omnichannel approach to distributing your content. And we talk a lot about cornerstone and cobblestone content. And I think when you talk about putting out 40 pieces of content per day as marketers, we’re like, oh, dear God, does that mean we have to write 40 articles? And that is obviously now what Gary is saying. I’ve seen his content across different platforms. There’s a lot of bite size stuff and things that get recycled and repurposed and if you’re doing content marketing smart, you are looking at how do we slice and dice this and how do we continue to stretch it?
And I think it was just last week our team was talking about on one of the podcasts, if you feel like it’s overkill, then you’re doing it, right?
Yes, I totally buy that because we know it intellectually that it takes people 13, 15, 17 times to hear your message before it even really breaks through to them. I always compare it a little bit to talking to kids, right? Like, you feel like, okay, you got to make your bed, clean your room, you say it, and over and over again, at some point it’s going to resonate. Well, the fact is, we live in this crazy, busy, noisy world.
It’s going to take a while to break through. But I think if you are providing value, like, there’s several people on social media that seem to be saying the same things over and over again, but I really like them because honestly, I’m in a space where I need to hear that message seven times a day. Maybe it’s just inspirational, maybe it’s whatever. And I’ve found in order to try and practice what I preach, I’ve started doing more shorts. So 60 second short content that I can put across TikTok, and Instagram, and LinkedIn, and Facebook, and YouTube shorts, that one piece of content, as you said, gets repurposed across those.
And the response has been really good. And so I think there are plenty of days where I’m like it’s too much, it’s too much, feels like too much. But I think in order to do it right and to break through, sometimes we got to push through that voice, too.
And you have to realize, too, that if you’re putting out 40 pieces of content in a day, the same people aren’t going to be on every single platform. And the same people and like you had mentioned about the algorithms and stuff like that, I mean, maybe only one of those is going to hit that one ideal customer. And so the more you put out there, the more likely you are to actually get your message across.
Like Deanna said, it may feel like overkill to you, but that’s because you’re the one seeing all 40 pieces. Most likely nobody else is seeing more than one.
So a couple of points about that that’s really good is that because I’m posting it across platforms, if I’d only posted on one, there are times where I’ll put it on YouTube shorts and like, three people will watch it and it’s, man, this video stunk. But on Facebook, I got 1000 or 1500 or 2000 views. I’m like, oh, it was a different platform at a different time, and it caught a little bit differently, and so the audience viewed it differently. The other thing, I like to encourage people, especially when they’re starting with the reach, with the content journey, it’s, let’s say that you’ve got a blog or a podcast and you’ve got 25 listeners, right? Every week, gosh, it’s 25.
It’s 25. It’s not the same 25. That audience is building. There might be five to seven to ten that are listening every week, right? Hi, Mom. There are people cycling in and out each week seeing new stuff. One of the places I found that out was I went to a conference and I was like, oh, my gosh, all these people are coming up and saying they watch Delivering Marketing Joy or the podcast or whatever, and I’m like, where are all these people?
They’re not all commenting, they’re not all sharing. They’re just consuming. And you don’t know it until you know it. But that’s why it’s like you have to keep showing up and being consistent.
All right, let’s continue on with the target and do the Go Get It section.
It’s funny to me because I think so many times when we start with a business or whatever, we go straight to go get it, right? And I’m a believer in sort of building some value before I’m going to take you to dinner, right? Before I ask you to marry me. And so one of the things I would say is we do need to sell, though, right? I think so many times when we think about sales, people get like this icky feeling, oh, gosh, I don’t want to take advantage of people. I don’t want to manipulate people.
And it’s kind of like I said earlier then don’t. You know the Latin term for sales is service, right? Most of the time we are meeting with a prospect or a customer that has a problem, and both they and us should be trying to find out if we’re the right solution for their problem. And Alex Hermosi, who’s a guy I’ve been following a lot of his content, speaking of people who put out a lot of content, but he said recently something that made me think, he said the goal of sales is not to get them to buy.
The goal of sales is to get them to decide. They need to decide if your solution is the right thing that solves their problems. And I think if you take it from that perspective, you’re trying to, A, educate them, but B, break down, like the fake walls of why they’re not making the decision. Just get them to a place where they get to make a decision that will hopefully put them in a better space whether they utilize your service or not.
Now, but my big thing about it is when it’s time to make an offer, just make an offer. I think one of the things that we try to let ourselves off the hook is we get kind of wishy washy. Well, maybe kind of, sort of no, I have this for sale. Here’s how much it costs. Would you like it? Which credit card would you like to use? Because I think we think that’s a really bold thing. We’re making purchasing decisions like that all the time. It’s not like we’re offended because Amazon has a purchase button, right?
And so I think that it’s that other place where that voice gets in our way. And so when it’s time to sell, just make an offer.
I think that’s great advice, Kirby. And it seems so obvious to say ask for the sale, but I think many people don’t do it. And quite frankly, let’s have a conversation. And you kind of tiptoe around it and you keep having these conversations and from the seller side you’re like, this is the sales process. I’m helping them get there. And then you get through that cycle and the answer is no. And it’s maybe if you would have asked that up front, you would have found out this is not somebody that you should be spending a lot of time on yet. Because they’re not ready to make a decision or they’re not even in market. They’re just information gathering and they’re interested in learning more. All the time and money that goes into chasing down sales at times, if you could save that effort. Nobody likes to hear no.
When you’re trying to sell, you want to hear yes every time, of course. Sometimes that no is the answer you need to hear, so that you can move on and focus on prospects that might be more ready.
Yeah, I heard early on in my career that no’s are fine. Yes’s are great. Maybes will kill you. Yeah, maybes are the worst. And I always thought, just like anybody else, when I first got into sales, final conclusion of just asking for the sale was hard. But then I realized once I have taken a half hour, 45 minutes, whatever amount of time of the prospect, if I don’t conclude by asking them for the sale, it’s disrespectful.
It’s disrespectful. You just gave me 45 minutes of your life that you’re never going to get back. Let’s conclude. And if the answer is no, if the answer is whatever, give them an opportunity. I think the same holds true for follow up. That’s still a part of that sales process, right. Like my team, I’m always like follow up. And they’re like, gosh, I feel like I’m being annoying. And I say all they have to do is tell me no, then I’ll stop.
Right? Like if they say no, I don’t want your solution. Go away. It’s not like I’m going to keep calling them and asking them to my house for Thanksgiving. They just need to be an adult and tell me no. And if so, I’ll move on, right. But if they keep going, I’m going to keep following up until they say yes or no, and then we have a path to follow.
Yeah, makes sense. You make the sale, but now it’s all about E, right? Enthusiasm and build your tribe, and I think this is a good one to think about because after you make the sale, especially if you’re in HR technology, it’s usually a subscription service. You want to have your audience be excited beyond buying from you and give them a reason to continue to follow you and engage with your content and really become an advocate for you.
Exactly. Yeah. And I think this is the piece where it falls down sometimes. One of my favorite quotes in the world is the greatest distance in the world is the distance between I know and I do. Right. So some of the stuff I say, you’ll go, yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that. Yeah. But then why do no businesses seem to do it? Right? So I kind of feel like there’s several steps to building a long term brand and building enthusiastic brand ambassadors.
And number one is the easiest, right. Just do what you say you’re going to do. And it’s funny how few actually do that. You’ve led them down a sales path where you’ve made all these promises that your software is going to do these things. It’s going to deliver these measurables, it’s going to give you these reports. It’s gonna, every Friday this is going to happen. Whatever, right. The software needs to do what you said it’s going to do.
That’s number one. Number two, give little unexpected extras. This is a concept from a buddy of mine named Stan Phelps. He wrote a book called Purple Goldfish, and he talks about the glue that holds businesses together. What I like about it is you’re giving something of value. It’s little. It isn’t something that you have to do something giant. Heck, it could be a funny email or a handwritten thank you note. It’s a little thing that shows a little bit of extra, unexpected. If you do it every time it’s expected, right. Doing something every once in a while, that just adds a little spice, and then it’s got to be something extra.
So you’ve done what you said you’re going to do. You give just a little bit unexpected extras occasionally, just surprise and delight. Think through the eyes of your as a customer, right. You’re like, oh, yeah, I love it when something like that happens. And then when things go wrong, and they inevitably sometimes will, own it. Lean in. Right. I think that’s how you turn haters into advocates is that when something goes sideways, so many organizations play the blame game and they’re like, oh, that’s your fault or you didn’t do the install right, or you didn’t do this right, or it’s operator error. Lean in and make it your mission to fix whatever that is. It’s amazing.
You want people to talk about you. That’s where they start talking about you, right, is when you lean in and fix the thing that went sideways. And then the final piece is what I like to call appreciation marketing. This is when we go to a customer when we’re not asking them for money. We’re always good at asking for money. Right? So am I. But, like, showing gratitude. A study that I read said that 69% of customers will leave you because of perceived indifference, right.
That’s a crazy statistic. Almost seven out of ten of customers who leave you, they stop using your software. They’ve done it because they just don’t think you care. And that’s scary, but it’s also exciting because it’s actually a pretty easy thing to fix. Go in front of those people on a regular basis and show some gratitude for the money they’re giving. I don’t know about the businesses you serve, but many businesses that I see, they fall under Pareto’s Law, right. The 80/20 rule, which is 80% of their revenue comes from 20% of their customers.
So make sure that 20% really knows you care. We always say do something quarterly. A quarterly piece of branded merch. A quarterly thank you note, a quarterly call, a special video, something that you’re getting in front of them to say thank you. We really appreciate you. Tell us what we can do to do better. And that can be one of those unexpected extras, by the way, right. And I think by doing that, you build enthusiastic brand ambassadors who will tell your story for you, and that’s when things really take off.
Yeah, I think that most people like to get recommendations from people they know, and that’s just one of the best ways, is if you have a lot of people that really appreciate your business and love your customer service and your product does like you said, it does what it’s supposed to do and all that kind of stuff. I mean, you can’t get better marketing than that. Word of mouth.
When you do that consistently, people are excited to share it, right. So I’ll use an example of a company in my industry. It’s a company called Common Skew. They service the branded merchandise industry, and they’re a SaaS company, right. They do order management and CRMs and stuff like that. They’re in that space. Dude, I recommend them all the time. They have their t-shirts. Like, I’m wearing their merch like I have a tattoo, right. Like, because they’ve created a tribe of people that they help people. They’ve done all those things I just talk about.
I think at one point, they did a referral program. They’re like, hey, you want to sign up for the referral program? It’s fine. I’m referring you anyway, right. Because I’m so much a brand ambassador. I’m in, and I think you can really create that when you create a tribe like that.
Yeah, and who doesn’t want brand ambassadors that are just like that, Kirby, where they’re like, I’m not looking for anything in return. I just genuinely believe what you’re doing is great.
Yeah, it’s exactly right.
So let’s talk about Tracking. This is something that I think that we all need to make sure that we’re doing as you mentioned at the beginning of our conversation. If you’re doing all of this stuff, you want to be able to have a data point to prove that what you’re doing is working. And let’s talk about what you think about tracking.
Yeah, I think, and this is going to be a little bit different for each organization. I’ve read, they say that 50% of your marketing is working. The problem is you don’t know which 50%. Right? And I think the final T helps with that. I believe in building of a dashboard for our organization. We have one, we go over it weekly. Now some of those, and this is where I talk a little bit about the difference between lead measures and lag measures. But lag measures is like, hey, I want to sell this much this week, right? So I want to sell $10,000 this week in sales.
That’s a great goal, but it’s a lag measure. At the end of the week, it’s over. You either did it or you didn’t. There’s nothing you can do to affect it, right, so the sales number is a part of my dashboard. Accounts receivable. There’s some basic things that are that, but I also like lead measures. Lead measures are the things that you can do and you have total control over whether you do them that lead you to the lag goal.
Right? So let’s use fitness as an example. Like you say, okay, I want to lose ten pounds. Great. You get to the end and when you get on the scale, you’ve either done it, you’ve either lost the ten pounds or you haven’t. And at that moment, there’s nothing you can do about it. But you know that there are certain things you can do to work on that. I’m going to eat this many calories a day. I’m going to work out 45 minutes a day or twice a day or whatever it is. Those are things I’m going to do. And I get to choose whether I do them, right.
In sales, you don’t get to choose whether the person buys, right. They have to go along for the ride on that. But I can decide how many calls I make. I can decide how many presentations I send. I have control over that. And what we’ve found is just basic activity, proactive activity. And presentations for us lead to sales. So that’s a part of our weekly number. We want to hit a specific number of presentations, a specific number of total activity or touches, and those go along with sales, accounts receivable, that sort of thing. And we look at that every week.
And one of the things I was kind of telling on myself recently, our first five months this year were really good. Now the challenge is, and you guys know this is like when you get busy, that proactive stuff is what falls off, right? And if you’re not looking at that number, then all of a sudden, about 60 to 90 days later, depending on your sales cycle, the sales numbers start to follow, and you’re like, I knew it, and I wasn’t paying as close attention as I should have been.
And so we had a June and July that weren’t as busy. August has picked up. Why? Because our proactive activity picked up in June and July, and we’re starting to see those results. And so by looking at that on a weekly basis, it can really affect, oh, gosh, something’s off track here. We can make quicker adjustments rather than waiting for that lag.
I think it’s important to call out. You don’t just track the data, you’ve got to do something with it. And I see so many teams that they will track to an obnoxious level all of the marketing metrics that they can do, but they never actually do anything with it. If you’re not looking at that data and learning from it and taking action from those learnings, then why are you actually tracking it? Because now it’s a whole lot of work.
You might be boxing yourself in because you’re over tracking things and you’re putting too much stock in the data. But any data you can collect is good data, right. But you have to look at it with perspective, and you have to figure out, okay, what are we taking away from this? What are we learning, and how is that going to change, adjust, or keep the same what we’re doing? Because we’re now more educated and informed in these decisions that we’re making.
Yeah, I love that. I love the data, right? It’s awesome. There are times when you’ve been in business for a while, there are times where I’ll come to the team and I’ll be like, I can’t put a data point on it. But things are getting better. Conversations are different. The questions I’m getting are different. It almost always happens during a challenging time, and I relate it to sort of a tidal wave, right?
The water has to go out first, and then it comes crashing in. And I think sometimes that’s not related in the data, and that’s where those human conversations play a role in forecasting and sort of knowing what’s working and what’s not working. When I started doing the shorts, I don’t know that all these numbers were amazing, but all I know is that I was having people message me through the social media platforms and see me in the grocery store and, hey, I love those videos you’re doing.
Okay, I can’t point to an order, I can’t point to this, I can’t point to that. But man, seems like the right thing to do, and I’m going to double down and keep doing it. And so I think that marrying that data with sort of your gut feel can really have some great results.
Totally agree. All right, we’ve gone through the target marketing process. So to recap to create your target marketing plan, follow these steps T, target your perfect customer. A, attract and build your list. R, reach across platforms. G, go get it; sell. E, enthusiasm; build your tribe, and T, track.
So once you give focus, you create your strategy and follow your plan. The goal is not just to reach as many people as possible. It’s about getting hyper focused to reach the right people. So Kirby, it’s been so nice having you with us today on the podcast. We love sharing your target marketing plan process with our listeners. Be sure to get Kirby’s book and listen to his podcast Delivering Marketing Joy for more marketing insights.
And join us next time on The Demand Gen Fix with GrowthMode Marketing. Thanks for joining us on the Demand Gen Fix, a podcast for HR tech marketers brought to you by GrowthMode Marketing. We sure hope you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to subscribe for more perspectives on demand generation and B2B marketing strategies. Plus, give us like tell your friends, we’ll see you next time.
At GrowthMode, we combine the unique discipline of growth marketing and the evergreen principles of traditional marketing to develop integrated strategies and measurable programs that help businesses drive growth where it matters most to their vision. We help our B2B clients focus on their specific goals and ensure that their investment is aligned with their broader strategic vision.