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Podcast

Kitchen Side: Planning vs Action, the Importance of Product Marketing in Content & SEO, the 3 Keys to B2B Marketing, and Taste

Kitchen Side: Planning vs Action, the Importance of Product Marketing in Content & SEO, the 3 Keys to B2B Marketing, and Taste

A marketing strategy is a plan for how you’ll market your product. It includes the target audience, goals, and tactics you’ll use to reach those goals. Marketing strategy is important because it helps you think about the place of your product or service in the market. Marketing strategy helps you consider how to position your brand and how customers will perceive it. It also helps you think about your ideal customer and how to reach them.

In this amazing episode, the three co-founders of Omniscient Digital, Allie Decker, David Khim, and Alex Birkett, share some powerful insights on how important marketing strategies are, especially when they are done with the right strategy and in the right way. These three expert marketing strategists also shed more light on their thoughts on why the right content marketing will lead to the success of your company. Listen carefully as this episode will expound more on the right content marketing strategies and how to implement them in your company.

Topics

  • The Importance of Having a Plan
  • The Content Strategy Document
  • The Work of a Product Marketer
  • Getting Close to Customers With Case Studies
  • The Foundation of Your Company in Marketing
  • The Value of High-Volume Search Keywords
  • Marketing Is All About Timing and Trusting Your Audience
  • Cargo Cult Phenomenon of Copy
  • The Hard Stuff Is Not Crowded
  • Using Your Strength To Find the Sweet Spot in Marketing

Show Links

What is Kitchen Side?

One big benefit of running an agency or working at one is you get to see the “kitchen side” of many different businesses; their revenue, their operations, their automations, and their culture.

You understand how things look from the inside and how that differs from the outside.

You understand how the sausage is made. 

As an agency ourselves, we’re working both on growing our clients’ businesses as well as our own. This podcast is one project, but we also blog, make videos, do sales, and have quite a robust portfolio of automations and hacks to run our business.

We want to take you behind the curtain, to the kitchen side of our business, to witness our brainstorms, discussions, and internal dialogues behind the public works that we ship.

Listen to the podcast:

Key Takeaways:

[07:35] The Importance of Having a Plan

Always have the right plan and stick to it.

I also think, a plan. I saw another LinkedIn post that I commented on about this, but I think a plan is a best case scenario that you are aiming for. But you should not expect to go smoothly. And so therefore, you should plan on iterations and even bake that into part of the plan. Like, we’re going to run with this for three months and see how it goes. And we’re going to iterate on it. So you, there should be the expectation that it’s going to change. And the plan is like, here’s the best case scenario we’re going to aim for. I think where people get stuck is Oh, no, the plan didn’t work now, like, We fucked up, it’s like, no, this was gonna happen, there’s no way it was going to work perfectly. And I think that applies to more than just content, that’s just life, right? Like, come up with the best plan, best best laid plans of mice and men, whatever the phrase is, yeah. It’s never going to work out like you plan.

[12:54] The Content Strategy Document

Strategy is best when you commit to it fully.

For a variety of reasons, though, like, and this is the paradoxical nature of strategy is that it is best strategy is best when you commit to it fully. But when you commit to a bad strategy fully, you fail fully. So I think what we’re working with us in doing content strategy and SEO, like we’ve seen, so many different iterations of different strategies at different companies of different sizes, that we have a repertoire of like pattern connection that we can pull from, yeah, addition to all of the data and heuristics that we can use to predict, say, based on like domain rating, or competitive landscape, that you within a degree of accuracy are going to be able to rank for this type of keyword..”

[15:28] The Work of a Product Marketer 

Companies need to find a product-market fit because a lot of companies are building great products, but they don’t know who they’re selling to

Yeah, it’s interesting how, I’ll be honest, earlier on in my career, I was like, What the hell does a product marketer do? But now I feel like it’s the golden age of Product Marketing, like, Yeah, I mean, from my experience, I won’t name names, but it felt like product marketers were. I don’t know if it’s the right word, minimize the project managers like they were hurting all the cats and like doing all these launches, and making it. Yeah, I didn’t get to see a product marketer properly. Execute on positioning and messaging, and like, the research that goes into it, and maybe I just didn’t see that happening, but it was happening in the background. But it’s come up more and more frequently, where if a company doesn’t know their positioning, or why they’re different, or if they don’t have anything interesting to say, or new to say, we kind of tell them like you, you have nothing to work with, and you’re not going to be a good fit for us, we can’t help you until you figure out what you’re trying to say. And as I get on sales calls, I realized that a lot of companies are building a great product, but they don’t know who they’re selling to. They’re trying to sell it to many people, they don’t know what differentiates them from the market. And I’m like, This is so tough, because you have a great product, but I don’t know how to help you right now. Because, like, you need to find product market fit. And you just need to have a hypothesis on who you’re going to focus on in the short term, or at least the next one or two years, run with it, and then see if it’s a fit, until we can help you with content and SEO. Otherwise, it’s just gonna be like, spraying and praying.

[18:23] Getting Close to Customers With Case Studies

Case studies get you as close to the customer as possible, which  is a good muscle to build as a content person

Yeah, I was a content team of one. It was not very fun. But that was more indicative of poor leadership. But yeah, with like the economy, the way that it is paired with just the way that startups tend to staff early, they just do one person. It’s funny that Tracy just heard newsletter this week was about that. And I was like, This is so funny, because I was just talking about this with my ghostwriter. And then we’ve gotten some questions from clients as well. But the way that Tracy broke it down, and which I agree with as well is starting with case studies. And that just gets you as close to the customer as possible, which I think is a good muscle to build as a content person who’s typically not incredibly customer facing, usually those conversations are reserved for sales or CES. So if you can’t get with your customers, I would say get with those teams on the reg. What else she broke down and under giving her credit because this is her hierarchy is to then use the case studies in the customer interviews to highlight what’s working with the product and what’s not, or how people use the product and what they wish the product did. And then mapping those two keywords to emphasize search as a distribution channel.

[23:50] The Foundation of Your Company in Marketing

People are jumping straight to what’s the ROI before they had their foundation built

what what I’m finding like this idea of the foundation, it’s come up a lot in my conversations recently, where I’ll get on a call sales call, and the person’s like, they don’t have the foundation built out. So I explained to them, Hey, we’re gonna need to understand what your brand point of view is. product differentiation, messaging, who your ICP is, and everything, but the only thing they’re asking about is, well, when can we start seeing an ROI? And like, Dude, you don’t even know what your how to talk about your product or company yet? Like, what say, you’re gonna start running ads tomorrow, you can throw a million dollars at it. What are your ads gonna say? And they don’t have an answer. And so if I feel like maybe this just requires me stepping back and educating the person I’m speaking to a little bit, but I’m noticing, maybe it’s due to economy and all that. But people are jumping straight to what’s the ROI before they had their foundation built that oh, that will allow them to do the right things to get the ROI. And I can see why they would want to rush that process. But it’s also like, let’s make sure you’re spending money on the right thing versus just going in blindly doing things.

[30:51] The Value of High-Volume Search Keywords

High-volume keywords are like a garden that needs to be maintained from time to time

But the thing that I think people forget what those high volume keywords is, it’s a lot of maintenance like those SERPs are incredibly like, they’re moved, they move a lot, they change a lot like that the intent doesn’t necessarily change. But to compete actively to keep your post on page one, you have to refresh that every three to six months, or at least keep an eye on it. And that’s, that’s effort. You know, one of our clients or potential clients refer to it as kind of like a garden, like a lot of folks just like plant shit and leave it. And they don’t really like tend to it or refresh it, or prune it, combine it all that stuff. And that’s the thing with these high volume keywords is like, yeah, you wrote this amazing scar skyscraper posts, like, you better be ready to go back to that every three to six months, and just like touch it up, keep it alive. So it’s not just a one time effort.

[39:43] Marketing Is All About Timing and Trusting Your Audience

Trust is the hardest thing to establish and it is hard to fake

Well, it’s, it’s interesting, because like, when I think about these three things, yeah, trust is easy. I understand why it’s important. And I actually think for the three of us and our team, trust is probably the most straightforward to establish, because we know what we’re talking about, we have the experience, we have the passion, like when you guys invite me on sales calls, I just end up geeking out about stuff with people. And it’s like, it doesn’t feel like a sales call, because we genuinely enjoy what we do. So in regards to our agency, for the most part, I do feel like it’s been pretty straightforward and simple to establish trust, a trust with people. But in general in like 2023, today’s economy, etc, etc. I think trust as a part of this larger strategy is arguably one of the hardest things to establish. So it’s been an interesting way to observe how we’ve built our resources. I know you’ve talked about doing more products and services around that, which is a whole other tangent. But yeah, you said trust is easy. And I was like, Oh, I wonder Oh

no, you gotta be thinking now. So I think trust is hard to fake. And I think we’ve done probably probably our strength has been in building trust, and our weaknesses, event timing, and targeting, targeting as a matter of focus.

[44:18] Cargo Cult Phenomenon of Copy

Don’t just copy your competitors as soon as what they do is right, which is probably not. If it’s working for them, it might not work for you.

in a way where like, in a way, we’re just actually living through the experience of not copying, like, the advice that I often give people is don’t just copy your competitors as soon as what they’re doing is right, which is probably not. And if it is working for them, it’s probably not gonna work for you. I think we’re seeing it happen. But we’re on the side of people copying us. Like we saw that landing page, or website that literally copied our blog posts, and the messaging and positioning we had. And at first, I was kind of annoyed. But also, I wonder, I wonder if it’s working well, for them. A little bit of soul missing from my, there was sold missing? Yeah. So yeah, it’s, it’s pretty interesting, because those theories of like, don’t just copy your competitors, everything. We’re kind of going through that right now. And I think I mean, I tend to look at our competitors, and think a little bit about what they’re doing. But I’m not like, oh, let’s copy them more like, let’s validate if that’s a good idea for us, before we try to make any big changes.

[46:37] The Hard Stuff Is Not Crowded

The easy stuff is saturated; that stuff is crowded

Yeah, I wrote a post about that that’s in my queue about the easy stuff it like the easy stuff is saturated, like that stuff is crowded. And you’ve talked about that a lot, Alex, and it made me realize a few things. One, everyone’s going to easy stuff. So like for people listening, that hard stuff that you’ve been putting off for like low hanging fruit, like stop that and go do the hard stuff, because people are probably not doing that. And the second thing is, I realized that a lot of the things we talk about, and a lot of the things I think that people we admire, talk about, like Tracy Wallace are talking about the more difficult things to do. So there’s kind of this paradox where, like, that’s the stuff that’s working, and a lot of us are saying like, Hey, we’re doing these things, and it’s difficult, but it’s like been working. But there’s still the paradox of well, that it’s hard to do. So therefore, not many people are actually going to do it, even though everyone else is saying to do it. So it’s kind of weird. Like, I need to constantly challenge my assumption, that just because a lot of the smart people are saying to do these difficult things, that everyone’s actually doing it, and it’s crowded, but it’s actually not crowded, as we have seen going on sales calls. So just a reminder for folks, like there’s kind of two echo chambers there that that you should avoid.

[48:49] Using Your Strength To Find the Sweet Spot in Marketing

You can use your strength to break or escape certain holes.

The sweet spot is also finding the thing that is difficult for everybody else to do but is relatively less difficult for you to do and that’s just good because back to a SWOT analysis or something like that, because I was I’m getting into jujitsu, you know, I’m going like all the time now. And I’m actually going like once every month, you know, and just like relearning every time, I’m actually like cumulatively learning by going three times a week. So a lot of people in jujitsu will tell you that, like, size doesn’t matter. And like, if you’re a smaller person, like you, you have leverage, and like, it doesn’t matter if you’re like, buff and all that stuff. But strength totally matters. It’s just like, it matters less than other sports. And, you know, I’m a bulky kind of dude. That’s muscles. Can you kind of do and, you know, other people are faster than me. But I can use my strength to like break to escape certain holes and stuff. And it’s like, Yo, if that’s like, harder for other people to do, and I have that ability, fucking use it, you know?


David Khim

David is co-founder of Omniscient Digital and Head of Growth at People.ai. He previously served as head of growth at Fishtown Analytics and growth product manager at HubSpot where he worked on new user acquisition initiatives with both the marketing and product teams.