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Q&A – Part 2

Louis Grenier

No-BS Marketer, Everyone Hates Marketers

Welcome to another special episode.

Last week I answered your questions on topics about the podcast and the Everyone Hates Marketers brand. Today’s episode is dedicated to answering your marketing questions.

You all want to know more about subjects like freelancing, networking, startup marketing, and more. Let’s dive in.

listen to this episode

We covered:

  • The number one skill everyone modern marketer should have
  • What marketing skills are most important for the future
  • How to market with a low budget in a short timeframe
  • How you can make the switch from freelancing to an in-house role
  • What the difference is when marketing to B2C vs. B2B audiences
  • How to build a network when you’re an introvert
  • The best school for learning how to start a marketing career

Full Transcript:

Louis: Bonjour and welcome to another episode of EveryoneHatesMarketers.com, the marketing podcast from marketers, founders and tech people who are just sick of shady, aggressive marketing. I’m your host, Louis Grenier.

Today’s episode is also a special episode where I answer all of your questions that you submitted throughout the last few weeks and months. Last week, I answered questions about myself and the podcast. This week, let’s answer questions about marketing, right, ’cause that’s what the podcast is about, isn’t it? Let’s get started straight away.

Question: Pete is asking, “What is the number one skill every modern marketer should have?”

And specified B2B, but I think B2B’s, B2C, whatever, it’s the same thing. The number one skill is empathy. I truly believe that. You are not your customer and you don’t know what they think.

You don’t know what they do, you don’t know why they do it. The basis of marketing, the foundation of marketing, is to understand people so well that you can sell the right thing at the right time and for the right price and at the right place. It’s always about them.

So empathy, understanding people, researching, this is by far the most valuable skill a marketer should have. Whether you’re in B2B, B2C, doesn’t matter. B2B, even if you’re selling to businesses, you’re not selling to businesses, you’re selling to people inside the business, so it is the same thing.

Question: Pete is also asking, “What is the difference between a Head of Growth and a Head of Marketing?”.

Right, I honestly still struggle to understand the difference. I know some companies have a Head of Growth and a Head of Marketing and I know Drift has that where you have a Head of Marketing and then a Head of Growth, but I think the line is very, very blurry.

One of them would focus more on doing experimentation, testing, and trying to increase conversion rates from one station to another. The other one would focus more on building the brand and campaigns and long-term making sure that people trust you and all of that. But I think that’s where the difference stops.

I do think that the good head of growth understands marketing very well and the good head of marketing understands growth and hopefully, in the future, we should see a lot of marketers that treat everything they do as experiments and that always starts with people and always tests what they’re doing in a systematic matter. So to me growth, marketing, it’s the same thing. It’s good marketing.

That’s actually a debate we had with the Ferdinand Goetzen on the podcast on how to build a marketing team. This is my view. Honestly, I’m not an expert in growth per se, I never had a role in growth. I did interview a few people there, but I do have experience in marketing and I’ve met a lot of marketers who do that naturally. So I’m not too sure what the difference is to be perfectly honest.

Another question: “What are the most important skills for marketers in the years to come?”

And Pete also asked something similar. “How do you keep the best marketer? How to do you keep to be the best marketer, whether it’s reading, listening, execution, et cetera?”

To me, the fundamental here is to focus on marketing foundations, what will never change about marketing. What will never change is that people will always try to become better at what they do, to become a better version of themselves.

What will never change is that businesses will always try to sell stuff and make money. What will never change is the way people think. Even though, yes, we have smartphones. Internet is growing at a pace unheard of and you have a lot of technology quite advancement the way people think intrinsically is the same.

We haven’t evolved in the last 100 years. Our DNA hasn’t changed at all. We are still the same primitive animal we used to be 10,000 years ago.

So with that in mind, what can you focus on as a marketer to think that you never change? The first principles. There are a few. Psychology, I mentioned. Psychology and behavior, understanding people, why they do certain things. There’s a very good book about it called Sapiens, actually, that you should definitely check out.

Number two, I would say storytelling. How do you tell stories, how do you tell stories that inspire people
and make them do something? Stories are really based on psychology 101. When you tell people a
good story, they imagine they are in the same situation. They get transported to whatever world you’re building for them. Storytelling is super important.

Data and analytics, I think what will never change is that we will always have data in front of us, whatever it is, and it’s likely to get even more in the future, so how to analyze data as a whole. How to make sense of the data you have is probably not going to change.

Research, linked to psychology, how do you understand the markets from a very high level up until the individuals? How do you understand trends, how do you understand people, how do you understand what price you need to use, etc. They all come from research about customers.

Another one would be design. Not in term of knowing how to design, but more understanding the principles behind design. That’s also linked to behavior and psychology. You know, the principle behind keeping things simple, so that people are not overwhelmed.

The principle behind having a clear one thing for them to do. There’s a few core principles that are very unlikely to change in the future that you probably need to learn as a marketer.

Another one is branding and positioning, so that’s extremely critical. How do you hold a specific place in your customer’s mind? How do you make sure that they remember you when you ask them to think about a category, such as, I don’t know, coffee?

What is the first brand that comes to mind, right? That’s branding. That links to psychology. It’s unlikely that people remember more than three brands about specific category. With that in mind, you need to learn how to make sure that people remember you and that’s branding and positioning.

Finally, copywriting. Once again, that falls into other things. It’s unlikely to change that people are not gonna stop reading things. Yes, there’s a huge rise in video and audio. But still, text is not gonna go away that fast. Copywriting and the way you write things, the way you structure things, is super valuable in whatever format you’re using, whether it’s text-based, video-based, audio-based or whatnot.

So this is kind of the biggest pet peeve I have about those growth hackers and those people who are trying to make you think you need to learn new skills as a marketer all the time or I should not be able to keep up. Yes, you need to know how to use certain tools for your job, but those tools are made so easy that you can just learn from them and then apply those foundations to them.

But I would say the first and the most important thing you need to know as a marketer is those marketing foundations. If you have them, then you have a solid base where you can build a specific expertise in a specific channel, specific format, specific part of the journey, etc.

Question: Emily is asking, “What is most important when building something on a low budget with low time?”

That’s what we discussed with Seth Godin. You need to go super niche, more niche than you’re comfortable with and super specific, so you need to pick a problem that is extremely specific that you can answer and then you need to enjoy what you’re doing. I think those are the top three things.

When you have not a lot of time and not a lot of budget, what else is gonna make you keep going when things are getting tough than your belief and your vision about it? You need to enjoy yourself.

You need to do something that you really like that energizes you instead of gives you less energy and you need to go niche because if you go too broad, you’re gonna lose yourself. Go super niche, even beyond what you’re comfortable with.

Marketer is not a niche. A digital marketer is not a niche. Digital marketer in Ireland is starting to be a niche, but it’s not that much. Maybe search optimization specialist in Ireland, maybe you’re starting to go quite niche.

I think we’re already talking about this in the episode, how to start a marketing agency as well. Maybe select 1,000 people you can reach that matches your exact description. That is what I mean to be super niche and start this way, pick a specific problem they have and do this. Just get to know them so well that you can provide something that they would pay a lot of money for. That’s what I would do.

Question: “How would you engineer your way into your ideal in-house marketing role if you’re coming from a freelance marketing consultant background?”

I think I had this exact path, so even though I didn’t start as a marketing consultant, I ended up to be a marketing consultant and a business owner before moving back to in-house marketing role for Hotjar.

But I would say before you start moving to this in-house marketing role, build a network before you leave the job. Make sure that you connect with people who have friends, make sure that you help them out, make sure that you contact people that you like to learn from, podcasters, YouTubers, marketing experts.

Build a network. Do not do it on your own, because when it’s time to find a job, once you have a network, it’s much easier. So yeah, connect with people.

And maybe start producing content as well. Whatever format, because you do need to show some credibility, as much as you have to build a network, once you create content yourself that people can consume rather than starting from nothing.

Maybe there’s a format you enjoy, maybe you like to do videos, well do something on YouTube. Maybe you, like me, you prefer audio, then do something via podcast. Maybe you like short video content and on LinkedIn, you have quite a following. Maybe start this way. Or maybe you’re much better at writing, so write articles.

It is a long-term thing. It’s not gonna produce results in the next two, three months, but this is an investment for your career, so that’s what I would go about it.

Finally, I would probably go about finding my marketing courses to show your expertise. Definitely the altMBA from Seth Godin is a foundation of marketing stuff. You have the mini MBA by Mark Ritson as well. Which is quite good but it’s small. Branding, you have a lot of niche courses you can take on many different subjects, whatever you like to specialize in. So if you do those things, I think you’ll be in a good place.

I’m gonna struggle to say this name. I’m sorry if I’m butchering your name, but I think it’s Thady, which is T-H-A-D-Y.

Question: “I will be selfish here and say, I’m someone who works on himself and struggles to find time to do marketing in my week. Which podcast have you done which you could recommend somebody in my situation to listen back and get ideas of someone in my specific situation? I loved Seth Godin podcast and want to focus on other podcasts that will give me that type of information.”

So that goes back to the marketing foundations, right? That goes back to what can you learn that are kind of the basics of marketing so that whatever you do whenever you have time, what should you focus on? So I would say the episode with Sean D’Souza on The Brain Audit. The title of the episode is, How To Convince People Without Being Pushy. Definitely a good one.

The One-Page Marketing Plan with Allan Dib is also an interesting one. But copywriting, I would probably refer you to Joanna Wiebe.

It’s difficult for me to pinpoint an episode because there are so many that I’m very proud of. What I would recommend is to identify the marketing foundations that you want to know to learn more of and find the episodes that matches that.

Question: Megan is asking, “What are the key differences in marketing and messaging strategies where targeting enterprise B2B versus B2C or small businesses?”.

This is the same thing that I mentioned in the past. I don’t believe there are major differences. If anything, you need to understand how they talk, what they need and that’s the main thing between B2B and B2C.

So yes, maybe in B2B, in large organization, people tend to me maybe a bit more serious. They need a bit more guarantee. Where if you understand them well, use their language, right? So in the messaging, use the way they talk to find what they’re looking for.

And yes, there might be differences, but you will know it this way, but regardless, you are selling to people, they’re all people and making too much of a big deal between I don’t know how to sell to enterprise between B2B and B2C, I think is gonna be counterproductive.

Focus on understanding them, how they work. In B2B, you might have a bit more gatekeepers to go through, but if you are able to understand how they work, how they buy, very much like you would do for B2C, you will know this information regardless. Once again, going back to the fundamental of research, understanding people is probably your best bet.

I actually had a chat with him recently and his listeners and he was asking how to get started as a consultant. As I said before, I made this mistake. I started as a consultant with very, very little network
and experience and credibility and I really struggled to be paid. I really struggled to convince people that
they should use my services and in fairness, I didn’t really do a good job.

When I look back at the projects we had taken care of, yes, I’m proud of a lot of things we’ve done, but there are a lot of projects we are not very proud of because I was simply lacking the expertise in what I was trying to sell.

So what I would do if I had to do it again, to get started as a consultant especially as a junior consultant, especially if you have very not a big network, not a lot of credibility, to build the credibility first. Create content, connect with people, do something that will enable you to bring credibility to your life and to your career.

Connect with people who have much more credibility than you have and create content using their knowledge. Interview them, interview them the articles, do something, put a guide together. Do something that is just gonna help you build credibility and keep at it for months until you start having people to reach out to you.

So go niche. Don’t talk about marketing. Maybe go about specific angle about it, something very specific and keep doing it, because I think as a consultant, you need to be paid to think and not to do. That’s something that I’ve learned David Baker on the episode, How To Get Started With A Marketing Agency.

Because being paid to do, you have to bill by the hour, you constantly have to execute on things, you constantly have to do what the client wants to do and it’s extremely difficult to convince them to do something else. The execution of it is very difficult. What is easier to do is to be paid to think, to give them strategies that they execute.

The ideal scenario to get somebody as a consultant is you have enough credibility, enough network is that people are begging you to work with you and that’s the difference, I think, between a successful consultant who will be able to be paid good money for what they do. And someone who’s starting, like I used to, with no credibility and not a lot of network.

Question: Here’s a long question from Gemma. She asked, “I’m in the process of moving from an executive assistant to the marketing coordinator, so I’m desperate to learn real marketing. This role is
something I’ve never really truly enjoyed. I wanted to develop my career and the marketing human side of this crazy world. One thing that stood out to me in Margot’s podcast was connecting with people and
clearly how confident she is with that.

So she said, ‘To be honest, it scared me. I’m an introvert, so connecting with people at that level feels out of my league.’ Do you have any tips on that or perhaps a previous podcast that summarizes that?”

Yeah, that’s an incredible question, Gemma. Thanks for being so open about it. I’ve already replied to
Gemma via video. I actually replied to her individually, but I thought the answer would also be beneficial for others. Even if you’re an introvert, you can pick a medium and many formats that you are comfortable with.

Email, chat, online communities are all things that you can use where you don’t have to show your face, you don’t have to talk to people directly and you can still build a network. That’s really what I would recommend.

There’s a lot of forums, Facebook groups, you can build a relationship online without ever showing your face or have to do that. One guest who actually does that is Nicole Elizabeth Demere, who I interviewed on a podcast a few months ago. She would be an introvert as well. Yet, she’s one of the most influential people in the software service world and she’s introvert.

She would use email. She would be on a lot of Slack communities and Facebook groups. There is something for everyone, but definitely building connections is kind of marketing 101. Don’t be afraid to do that. That would be my answer.

Question: Slavica is asking, “My boss wants to keep all subscribers on the list and not wanting to remove them. How to convince my boss?”

That is a question that Slavica asked me a few months ago, but I really liked it. I really wanted to reply.  So one question I would have for your boss is, would they do this to their own mother? Would they keep sending emails to their own mother that she’s clearly not interested in anymore?

That’s kind of the question. If you’re not gonna do that to your own mom or to your friends, why are you willing to do that to your customers and do you really think it’s gonna have an impact on your business? Why bother someone who doesn’t really give a shit about what you do anymore? It’s just beyond what good marketing is, really.

There are two ways to go about it. You can do a test with the segment of people who actually active and
show that results are much better than if you are emailing everyone. That’s kind of the rational way of
doing it and to show that, listen, why would you do that? People don’t want to hear from you.

There’s no reason why we should keep contacting them. Let’s clean the list. Let’s start smaller with people are much more engaged. The second solution is actually a bit more out there, but I would say maybe consider leaving the job if your boss thinks this way, because it means that they are probably not very honest about their business and the way they do things and from experience.

I know it’s incredibly difficult to change people’s minds. It’s much easier to move on. I know it’s easier said than done, but this is what I would recommend as well.

Question: Luke is asking, “Should copy reveal your true identity or should it attend to customer’s will?”

That’s an interesting question. Because do you want to talk about your language and the way you do things or do you want to connect with people the way they talk and the way they do things? I think it’s about finding the intersection of the two, what you want and what they want, right, and the way you talk versus the way they talk.

I assume that you have a vision for your business, a proper set of values and the type of people you really want to attract, it gets easier. It’s not about trying to attract everyone. It’s about trying to attract people who believe in the same thing that you do and who wants something that you can offer.

I think Basecamp is doing that super well. They are able to use language that is very inclusive, yet they have a very strong point of view that reveals their true identity, so one doesn’t go against the other. I think you can do both. And Basecamp is probably, Basecamp.com is probably one of the best examples.

Question: “What is the best school to start a career in marketing?”

If I had to select one, I would say the altMBA from Seth Godin, by far, because it’s really laser focused
and full of good marketing.

Question: And then final question, “How to get a good one sentence about my business that everyone will understand?” That’s from Daniel.

I love this question because I think there is a misunderstanding about this kind of one sentence, one
value proposition that you must nail to really be able to convince people to buy from you.

First off, don’t come up with it on your own. Steal it from customers. Look at online reviews. Look at the way they talk about your business and use that as the core language. But this is the critical point: Don’t expect it to be perfect.

Don’t expect it to be so self-explanatory that people don’t ask you any questions anymore. You shouldn’t aim with this sentence to be so perfect that people understand everything you do and everything you stand for.

What you should expect for from one sentence is curiosity. What you want people to ask when you do a
one-liner about your business is, “Oh yeah, tell me more. What do you mean?”

This is what you want. You want curiosity. So your headline shouldn’t contain everything about your business. Your headline should be there to excite people’s curiosity so they move onto the second section and then they move onto the next one and then they move onto the next one. I think this is the biggest misunderstanding.

This is why people get tripped up with this one sentence. It’s not about this one sentence. It’s about the
full flow.

For example, for Everyone Hates Marketers, the shortest way I can explain what I do with this podcast is
saying, “I fight marketing bullshit.” Then people ask me, “Oh, okay. That’s funny. What do you mean?”.

“Well, I have a podcast where I interview marketers blah blah blah.” You can see that yo don’t have to be super clever about it. What you want is curiosity. You want people to ask you, “What do you mean?”. You want people to be curious.

I think that’s it for the questions. This episode are shorter than the usual because one, it’s actually quite tough to go through that many questions. My voice is actually hard on my vocal cords quite a bit. I’ve been drinking a lot of water to prepare for that, but also because I think for such an intense episode, 20, 25 minutes was more than enough.

Next week, we are going back to the normal routine of interviews. Really looking forward to those.

I’m not going anywhere. This podcast is not going anywhere. And the last thing I would say is: Thank you from the bottom of my heart to listen to this episode every week, to subscribe to the newsletter, to send me that many emails saying that you really enjoy the episode or send me feedback.

Because it’s not always positive, but I always read those emails and I always reply to those emails.

You can head over to EveryoneHatesMarketers.com and subscribe to the newsletter if you haven’t
done so. And once again, thank you very much for spending the time on this podcast. Take care.

Next: check out the 500+ marketing resources mentioned on the podcast over the years (sorted by the number of mentions and format).

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Bonjour bonjour! I’m Louis Grenier I’m a no-fluff marketer living in Dublin, Ireland (but yeah, I’m French).

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