Marketing Mavericks: an Interview with Brian Bennett
Published: November 13, 2015
Author: Joe Stanton
Company: Brian Bennett Consulting
Twitter handle: @Bennymon
How long have you been in your current role?
I have been an independent B2B Consultant for almost a year. Prior to this, I spent 30 years in various Sales and Marketing operational roles.
When you look back at the last six months, what were some of the biggest surprises of your job?
1) I have found that many of the strategies, best practices, and technologies that I more or less take for granted in the Hi Tech industry, cannot be assumed in industries outside of Hi Tech. I have had numerous conversations with really smart business people in traditional B2B industries who really don’t understand concepts like website marketing; content marketing; marketing automation; email nurturing, digital findability, etc. Cold calls, trade shows, and personal networking are still the primary elements of demand generation for a lot more companies than I would have thought.
2) Everybody knows that a conversation is richer if you can see each other. I have made a concerted effort to use Skype or various web conferencing tools to invite people to converse via video teleconferencing, so that we can actually see each other. The majority of people I reached out to are simply not ready for this. They don’t want to be ‘watched’. Interestingly, the resistance has been much more prevalent from women than from men. I even have some regular conversations with clients via Skype when my webcam is on so that they can see me, but they won’t turn on their webcams so that I can see them.
3) The potential effectiveness of LinkedIn as a source for augmenting a Marketing Data Base vs List buying. The biggest problem with buying Lists is that you know that data is out of date when you buy it and will become increasingly out of date very quickly. If you believe that people’s information is kept more up to date on LinkedIn then there are some really interesting ways to target your market and build your contact data base.
What are 2-3 bold predictions you’d make for the next six months?
1)Video email will begin to explode. Everybody’s inbox is so full, and Marketers are all trying to figure out how to make their message stand out and be memorable. Video email is a next big thing.
2) Twitter will begin to lose significance at an increasing rate.
3) There will be a huge battery technology breakthrough, enabling one charged smartphone battery to last for a year a more without charging.
Which company would you absolutely love to work with as a client, and why?
Uber – The crowd sourcing business model is so fascinating and Uber has already disrupted the taxi business in a very positive way. It won’t be long before “people in their cars” will kill the courier business. Any company that successfully and positively disrupts a long time, well established business with a completely new business model has got to be a cool company to have as a client.
If you had $10M, which marketing platform (e.g. Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) would you invest in, and why?
Google. Not even close. Facebook is a clear second. Twitter a very distant third.
If you had $10M, which marketing technology would you invest in, and why?
Analytics. Applied to everything. So much data is being collected and there is potentially so much valuable insight to be gained but it is still incredibly difficult to mine all of this data easily and continuously for meaningful insights. Website visitor data. Email deliverability data. Organic search data. Attribution data. We all want to make data driven decisions and analytics are supposed to help make this a reality.
What is/are the most important metric(s) you use to guide your decision making process?
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) – How much does it really cost to acquire a new customer?
Total Customer Lifetime Value – How much is a typical customer worth?
Investment split to Demand Generation vs Sales – The question to ask is “How much time does your typical sales rep spend moving qualified leads through the sales process vs time spent trying to find qualified leads?”
Which is more important, attribution or mobile? Why?
Attribution. We know we need to invest in mobile but attribution analytics helps us determine how much, and how effective it is relative to other channels/devices.
Are there any specific books that have helped shape your marketing strategy?
I’m still a big “Crossing the Chasm” guy, by Geoffrey Moore.
More about Brian:
-30 years of B2B business development leadership, with operational roles in Direct Sales, Indirect Channels, Marketing and Demand Generation.
-B2B go-to-market expert at the identification, development and generation of new revenue streams.
-Experience with early-stage, VC-funded, public and private companies; IPO with Mips, Netscape, E.piphany
-Experience with Multi-channel, online marketing solutions (PPC, SEO, Social Media, Display)
-Ad Agency experience. Developed Ad Agency channel for Conductor and worked for 3Q Digital, the Bay Area’s largest privately held, digital Ad Agency.