The verbatim transcript follows from an interview on SLMA Radio with Carlos Hidalgo. However, it may be as easy to listen while you work! You may quote the guest or the host but remember this is a verbatim transcript, so please edit accordingly.
Jim: Thank you Paul for the fine introduction today. We've got a really very interesting program today. As you know we are switching to the format of doing our book reviews on the radio program. We did it with Stevens a few weeks ago with her book and now we've got the author Carlos Hidalgo chief executive officer and principal at Annuitas but he has written the book Driving Demand: Transforming B2b Marketing to Meet the Needs of the Modern Buyer. Now this is a hardcover book by Pellegrini McMillan, 244 pages, it's being released October 20 almost as we speak and it's on Amazon. The hard copy is $23, $.28. The Kindle is not priced yet but I am sure it's not far behind.
Barnes & Noble gives you the $23.50, Nook is not priced yet. There are 13 figures of charts and a nice 10 pages of notes and bibliography and a demand process of glossary which I appreciated. A little bit about the author today, Carlos is an innovative thought leader with over 20 years experience of B2B marketing practitioner industry visionary which I really agree with. Carlos and I have known each other for probably six, seven years since we started the Association.
He is widely recognized for his expertise in strategic integrated marketing which is very important to this book. This demand process, demand transformation and marketing automation. He is also been named for five years in the 50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management and was named as a Who's Who in B2B marketing in 2011 and 12.
Prior to that he was the global SBM marketing manager at the BMC software and had a similar role so Carlos welcome!
Carlos: Thank you Jim it's a pleasure to be with you today. It's always good to talk to you.
Jim: Well, this is a very serious work. I get books stacked up to do reviews and I pick and choose the reviews we do and some of the books are just advertisements for services and some of the books tackle serious problems and I believe while you talk about and Annuitas in this book for the most part, you're not doing that. You talk about your process but the process really pertains to the serious nature of this book which is I look at it as marketing under siege. It's not so much the threat of marketing so much as the fact that is changing dramatically.
Now in page 173 of the back of the book Kathleen Schwab of IDC, she published some of her 10 predictions for the next three years and I'm only going to pick out two but she said 25% of CMO's will be replaced every year through 2018. By 2017, 25% of marketing automation's or organizations will solve critical skilled gaps.
Really interesting. I started reading this book and the foreword and everything and I realized how serious it is. Right in the foreword you say "We've lost control." Let's start with that. What do you mean by that?
Carlos: Well I will try to, in the foreword, I know that Joe Polizzi was kind enough to write that foreword for me.
And really when I look at marketing and when I look at where we have gone really what's the big disruption for us is the way that the buyers buy. And so when I say we have lost control, I think as marketers and even B2B salespeople, we have lost control of trying to keep pace with the buyers.
I think that very much so what we have experienced is that there is this idea that we can continue to do the same things over and over and just add some different things into that. So you see social media strategies, marketing and automation strategies, web strategies and instead of truly adapting and truly changing and doing things differently instead of just doing different things, that's what I mean by saying we've lost control. We've truly lost control of how do we connect with our buyer, engage with our buyer and make sure that we are meeting their needs from a buying process and also understanding that as a vendor we don't control this anymore. We have to adapt, we have to completely flip things on its head and I think we've lost control of that and so right now I think a lot of marketing and sales departments are running around rather rudderless because of that change.
Jim: Well you certainly hit the nail on the head, rudderless leadership issues. I mean serious decisions talk about 70% of people have made a decision or have gathered all of their information before they ever talk to a sales rep. Well great, everybody is running around saying the sky is falling, the sky is falling but nobody is telling us what the heck to do about it!
Now you talk about that in your book. What you can do about it which impresses me, it just wasn't a list of: these are the problems, oh dear you are going to lose your job. And by the way, there's a whole bunch of siloed departments and they are all running around like chickens with their heads cut off and they are creating demand and creating content and nobody is making any of it worked together. Let's get down to what do you expect to accomplish by releasing this book?
Carlos: I think for me, the book was really first and foremost again it was really a work that this is something that we talk about at Annuitas all the time, how do we help marketers? How do we truly help organizations transform and before I got on here I told you. I said I really think that everybody's name should have been on that book because there is so much contribution to the thoughts and the process and again it wasn't a book to promote us as a company but really for me, it was an outcome of what we do as a company. Our whole goal is to help marketers transform and what I was hoping to do with the book is to A: bring attention to the severity of the problem that we have within B2B marketing, within B2B sales and it's an outcome of conversations I have on a daily basis with some of our clients and some of our prospects and people that I get to meet at events.
And at the same time again say okay, nobody should lose hope, yes we are behind severely our sophisticated buyer but here is an approach that you can take to actually start to bring change into your organization and it starts with culture, it starts with changing the marketing and sales mindset. And so rather than just say: hey, here is all of the things you should do, kind of give them a guidebook and some meat around "and here is how you can do it" and I hope that some of the stories, some of the use case that I bring through the book are practical examples: here is how you apply a lot of the science that's been developed within the halls of ANNUITAS.
Jim: Now you really talk about beyond the initial engagement and getting into the step-by-step demand process which impressed me because let's face it, earlier you said on page 6 of the book, you said you were talking to a director of marketing and he said, “We've got two Ferraris parked in our parking lot; Marketo for marketing automations and Salesforce for CRM. We need someone to come in and teach us how to drive them."
Jim: And there are so many new technologies. I mean new CRM companies that are popping in that are amazing, you thought it was a settled science, it's not. New marketing automation companies. Constantly new artificial intelligence, business intelligence, it's cramming its way into the marketers' heads. I am surprised any of them know what to do when they get up in the morning.
Carlos: Yeah, I think you know as marketers, and my friend Carla Johnson talked about this, we have what we call shiny new object syndrome where marketing automation now I guess you could say it's a 15-year-old industry and finally somebody produced software for marketers and I think you and I are definitely would say old enough, experience enough to remember days where a lot of the stuff we had to do was manual.
And if you look, and actually talk about Scott Brinker in the book and he is the chief Martech super graphic and I spent some time with Scott last month. I mean the amount of technology that is pouring into our space, it's a good thing because it shows that we live in a very healthy market but at the same time I see more organizations that start with technology as the strategy, look at technology as that silver bullet. And what we unpack in the book is that it's not. I mean technology can only do what you are going to ask it to do, it's in enablement. It's not a strategy in and of itself.
Jim: Sorry Carlos for that interruption in our transmission. Let's get back to the main question, why do you say we need a demand process transformation? Don't we just need a leadership transformation?
Carlos: Well I think leadership drives the transformation but what we see in the clients that we work with is that a lot of companies; let's take content for instance more and more companies are spending money on content. There is more titles now surrounding content and they are actually producing more content than ever before.
Jim: They are educating people today. Everybody assumes that all they want is education, we will just from them full of education and I would make a sale.
Carlos: What exactly my point. So if you look at the last three years of studies that have shown this year only 30% can prove the value of our content creation. You say okay so we keep doing more content but is anything getting better? And actually over the last three years that has dropped by 12%. So when you think about the demand process approach you have to say we have to do more than just whether content or singularity around lead management or just to get better sales or better leadership and so we need to think about the pillars of people process, content, technology all working in a synchronized fashion to focus and put the buyer as the central point.
You now say okay my content works with my lead management which is the whole scoring and qualification aspect so I can actually score the content journey as that buyer goes through and then I am going to bring together my people from a marketing and sales perspective so that at every stage of that buyer's journey there is content that will be produced that maps to that stage and then when sales picks that up it's a continuity of conversation and then lastly, getting to use my technology to enable all of that so I have a complete view, a 360° view and so much more intelligence around my buyer.
So that's why we believe it's the demand process and that's what again, the book is focused on and that's what we believe so strongly. Leadership has to drive that's what I think sometimes leaderships has been vacant in driving that and is just saying all I need is more money and I can make this thing work. Well, we have seen over the last 10 years that's not proven really effective.
Jim: When I think some of this to be fixed the market management team has crept up on them.
Jim: They get a web strategy and they get a content strategy and then they get marketing automation still only about 25% of the companies have a marketing automation program in place. They are still trying to refine and reinstall their CRM system and then they get these marketing intelligence little plug-ins and processes that can also be used and pretty soon they have developed, they've got not only on exhibits department, they've got a marketing automation apartment or they've got an automation IT department. Then they've got content management and then they've got a group that's worried about nurturing and before you know it the manager turns around one day and all of a sudden he's got six different departments and nobody is talking to each other and they are not looking at the salespeople for any guidance and they are all off their own reservation.
Carlos: Right and we talked about that as well and so everybody now is focusing on their piece of the strategy instead of, which is a very insular view versus saying who is the buyer and who they need to talk to and how do they buy and who is involved in the buying process and who is part of that buying committee. And so if we don't make that change we are only going to ever look at a segment of the purchase process.
If we only look at a segment of the purchase process, we think about it from the buying experience perspective, that's a very poor buying experience. And so it has to change and so I agree with you Jim, I think it has crept up on leaders
Jim: I certainly agree. We have been speaking with the author, Carlos Hidalgo from Annuitas and his book on driving demand, it's a great book, the content, he's got 12 chapters and actually 14 chapters and I like the portion obviously about adopting the lead management process and I like managing people through change. In the first part of it you really talk about why transformation fails and what has to be done about it and then you get into the return on investment portion. When we get back, if you give us an idea of the steps in this process and then people are just going to have to read the book for themselves and understand how this process works. We will be back in just a moment.
Jim: We have been speaking with the author Carlos Hidalgo from Annuitas and his book Driving Demand: Transforming B2B Marketing to Meet the Needs of the Media Buyer. And so far we've talked about the failures, we talked about the pressures, we talked about the silos, we talked about the failures of leadership and the need for marketing people to adapt and it's all possible, it isn't that difficult, well maybe it is difficult but it takes a little bit of time. Carlos, tell us about the steps in this whole demand generation process that you talk about, this transformation.
Carlos: I think again it starts with the culture aspect and I think that marketing leaders need to understand that marketers right now are kind of like the hamster on the proverbial wheel where we are just running and running and running and running. And I think they need to start to understand that hey, we have to change some things. So really giving marketers the freedom to say, “Let's go out and be change agents in our organization and then to identify those change agents so then the marketing organization, they can help lead the change because anytime you usher in change, there seems to be some fear that comes with that. You seem to have people that bristle just because change can be hard, it can be difficult. So I think first and foremost it starts with the marketing and obviously the sales team as well.
Secondly, we have to get a really deep understanding of our buyers and really understand how they buy, what pain points, challenges they are going after. The problems they are trying to solve, how they, and this is part of our approach to demand process, how do they research their purchase? What kind of content do they consume? Where do they consume it and how do they like to consume it? And then we have to do that within the different personas that are part of that buying committee.
We have done programs for clients that have up to seven personas that are part of the purchase process. So we have to diagnose that and then take a look and say: how do we align content that engages them in top of mind discussion and helps earn their trust, nurtures them and then converts them? How do we enable marketing and sales to do that effectively? How do we align our lead management process to that and then how do we have to structure our technology to enable that?
So I would agree with you, it's not an easy thing, it's not an easy fix. There is a lot of work that goes into it but it's the only way we are going to connect with our buyer and so that's really the approach that we take in lining and out in a book and quite frankly it's the approach that Annuitas takes with our clients, it is just something that we believe so passionately and then we see to be so effective when it came time to actually write about it coupled with that cultural change that needs to occur as well.
Jim: Well, you talk about the blueprint, what we used to refer to as the roadmap, the blueprint for success and what you imply in here is if you don't make this leadership change, if you don't look at this demand generation process, taking into account all of the individual portions of marketing which are not just two or three departments today just as in media tradeshows and direct marketing, it's the whole technology bundle. You can't do this then you are going to be left uncompetitive as you go forward.
You continually talk about the revenue model in here and in a portion of it you actually talk about revenue outcome of each step of this management, this demand process where you make an estimate of how much revenue will come in depending on what you do. Is that correct?
Carlos: Yeah, I think we have to as marketers, we have to look at things from a revenue perspective. If we don't we are going to be left behind. I think as CEOs and if you look to some of the things that I talk about in the book and then you also look at a lot of these reports and you talk to any CEO today, what they want to know is what is marketing returning back to my organization? What are we driving towards? If I have given you 1 million, 2 million, 3 million, 4 million, whatever it is, what is marketing bringing back? So we have to start thinking from a revenue perspective.
I mean four years it was in a room with marketers and they would roll their eyes and they would say, “Oh my goodness our sales are so coin-operated." Well guess what? It's time for marketing to become coin-operated as well and I do believe that this approach, and we believe that this approach to demand process is truly a game changer because we have seen that work in the development approaches that we have done with our clients which we highlighted the two of them in the book, two of our clients that have seen the success in this so I do think it is a game changer absolutely.
Jim: So this demand process maturity which you have created and I notice you've got… I've got a dramatic background. I just love things that I can count, six easy ways to do this and that because I like to follow the pattern. I would've been an engineer in another life if you find actually not been dyslexic and would've conquered math. But it is neither here nor there.
You've got actually five stages. You talk about the governance level which I have never heard about before, the engagement opportunity, the maturity summary and really when you get down to the actual return on investment, who have you done this with where it works? Just don't tell me it's a book. Who have you done this model with that you can point to that says we did it and it works and this is what the results are?
Carlos: Yeah, I think probably the example which I used in the second chapter there is PR newswire. Our chief strategy officer and my colleague Adam Needles have been working with them a long time and taking that model that has been developed as part of Annuitas to say: hey, here is where you guys are in the beginning, how do we move you forward? And we have seen tremendous increase in the amount of sales accepted leads, the amount of closed win business that they are seeing across multiple segments in their organization. And the CMO there Ken Weiko, truly in a partnership fashion with Adam and they came there to say here is what we need to do and we kind of started from the ground zero approach and we build that up front from a revenue perspective, marketing can now sit down and show quantitatively what they are returning back to the organization and the growth driver they have become in the organization as a result of improving on this maturity model and improving the overall demand process.
Jim: I was surprised that the case study as I read it, maybe I was just surprised that the company. One of those that were chosen there. Now you give several other Case studies in the book, who are they?
Carlos: Are we talking about Athletics which is a division of Rubbermaid towards the end of the book so we gave to case studies, PR newswire as well as Athletics and then we do draw on other experiences that we have with our clients. We don't name them specifically but we do talk about other incidences and other stories and examples that we have drawn from our work over the years or the 10-year-old firm to help feed and kind of bring some context to what we're talking about in the book.
Jim: Well I found the book very interesting, I read it over the weekend and I just kept going back to it and as the weekend progressed because I kept getting more and more engaged in the process and I certainly liked the roadmap that you put out there. Now a little bit about Annuitas. I know you don't want to talk about this very much but you are a B2B demand strategy firm, your website is pretty clear about what you do. You have enterprise organizations transform demand generation and mainly B2B correct?
Carlos: Yes, that's correct.
Jim: And you've got marketers, a passionate team of B2B marketers; technologists which I like to see in a strategist. Mr. Needles is a big part of that I suppose. Now how does someone reach you and then how does somebody get a copy of the book if they really need a free copy can they call you?
Carlos: You are putting me on the spot there Jim. Well I will tell you, so to get a copy of the book as you mentioned you can go to Amazon, you can also go to Barnes & Noble. It is due to be released on October 20. We are having a book launch in Atlanta on October 27. It's kind of a book launch as well as kind of a celebration, we just celebrated 10 years as a company as well as just made the Inc. 5000 so we've had a good year.
You are absolutely right, Adam as our chief executive officer is the one that keeps us all between the buoys and make sure that any kind of iterations or model and any kind of changes, market changes, that he is on top of that and so if you haven't got a chance to meet Adam, he will be there on October 27 as well. So for a free copy though I am going to be speaking at a number of locations and the next one I have is The Marketing Process example. We would be giving away some of the books as well so there's an opportunity there to get some free books.
Jim: And how does someone reach you?
Carlos: You can reach me… I am on twitter @CaHidalgo. I do monitor my twitter account very closely or you can email me at CarlosHidalgo@Annuitas.com.
Jim: Thank you very much author Carlos Hidalgo from the Annuitas Group. His book great book, Driving Demand: Transforming B2B Marketing to Meet Demands of marketing.
I suggest and which marketing manager, the CMO, pick up, take a look at his department hits. Pick up six copies of the book or how many department heads he has, drop them at the next meeting and say, “I need all of you to read the first three chapters by the time we meet next week. And we will be reading three chapters every week after that. And after that I expect after these 3 to 4 or five weeks of reading this, I expect to see change in the organization because I'm going to provide the leadership. I recommend that everybody buy the book and really spend some time on it because otherwise you are liable to be one of those 25% of the CMO's who aren't going to be here next year."
Thank you Carlos, appreciate it!
Carlos: Thank you Carlos, much appreciate it!
Paul: You've been listening to the SLMA radio hour brought to you by our worldwide membership of sales lead management experts. If it has to do with the sales lead management and sales and marketing it probably starts here with the SLMA radio hour.