The Virtual CMO

Using Analytics and Business Intelligence to Grow Your Business with Dan McGaw

June 17, 2021 Eric Dickmann, Dan McGaw Season 5 Episode 12
The Virtual CMO
Using Analytics and Business Intelligence to Grow Your Business with Dan McGaw
Show Notes Transcript

In episode 78, host Eric Dickmann interviews Dan McGaw. Dan is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, speaker, marketing specialist, growth hacker, and Founder and CEO of McGaw.io, an analytics and marketing technology consultancy firm. He has led the teams at Kissmetrics.com and CodeSchool.com, and served as CMO of Effin Amazing, an analytics and marketing consultancy.

In 2015, Dan was selected to be a United States Ambassador of Entrepreneurship by the United States State Department, where he had the privilege to advise universities, governments, and private corporations on how to build entrepreneur ecosystems. McGaw authored his latest book- Build Cool Sh*t: A Blueprint to Creating a Marketing Technology Stack. His book aims to help your business survive the so-called- Stackapocalyspe,  and improve your marketing efforts by making use of the right marketing tools. 

For show notes and a  list of resources mentioned in this episode, please visit: https://fiveechelon.com/using-analytics-business-intelligence-grow-businesss-s5e12/

A fractional CMO can help build out a comprehensive marketing strategy and execute targeted campaigns designed to increase awareness and generate demand for your business...without the expense of a full-time hire.

The Five Echelon Group - Fractional CMO and strategic marketing advisory services designed for SMBs looking to grow. Learn more at: 

https://fiveechelon.com


Eric Dickmann:

Welcome to The Virtual CMO podcast. I'm your host, Eric Dickmann. In this podcast, we have conversations with marketing professionals who share the strategies, tactics, and mindset you can use to improve the effectiveness of your marketing activities and grow your business. This week, I'm excited to welcome Dan McGaw to the podcast. Dan is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, speaker, marketing specialist, growth hacker. Founder and CEO of McGaw.io, an analytics and marketing technology consultancy firm. He has led teams at Kissmetrics and CodeSchool.com, and served as CMO of Effin Amazing, an analytics and marketing consultancy. McGaw has authored his latest book, Build Cool Shit, a blueprint to creating a marketing technology stack. And his book aims to help your business survive the so-called Stack Apocalypse, and improve your marketing efforts by making use of the right marketing tools. Today, we're going to talk about the power of marketing automation and data analytics. Please help me welcome Dan to the program. Dan, welcome to The Virtual CMO podcast. Really glad you could join us today.

Dan McGaw:

Thanks so much for having me. It's a pleasure to be here.

Eric Dickmann:

So just to kick things off, I'd love it if you could just share with the audience a little bit about what you and the company do

Dan McGaw:

Yeah. Great question. So yeah, I'm Dan McGaw, I'm the CEO, Founder of a company called McGaw.io, we're a marketing technology and marketing analytics agency. So what we help companies do ultimately is choose tools, integrate tools, operate them, and then set them up to grow their business. So it's a lot of solving technical problems for marketing sales teams and product teams, to help them really understand what's going on with their customers and how they can ultimately provide better experiences and get them to convert. Our team is based all over the country though, and we're old, so we're entirely remote. So there's actually only two of us that are in Orlando. I think there's four of us in Florida, but we have team members everywhere from Colorado to Washington, to New York, to California, to Texas, even Canada. So definitely all over the place.

Eric Dickmann:

I'm really excited to have you on the show today because MarTech is one of the things that I love to talk about on this show because there are so many amazing tools that are out there. I come from a CRM background working with Siebel Systems in the early days. And so I'm a big fan of CRM platforms and how marketing automation platforms have really evolved to encompass a lot more capability on the sales and service side But to kick things off here today. What do we make of this? Uh for those who are listening on the podcast what I pulled up on the screen is the MarTech 2020 landscape, and it is a slide filled with so many names and vendors and segments of capability. How does anybody make sense of any of this?

Dan McGaw:

Oh man, you just don't. I mean give up at this point. I mean whenever I see that graph it reminds me of like just imagine if we were like the world a few million years ago, right? Your place on that white space with blue, right? When the world started to separate a little bit. Uh it's what that graph reminds me of. It's definitely a great landscape. But MarTech is going to continue to keep growing, sales tech is now in a huge boom. You're going to see even more technology take over stuff, so I mean it's just going to continue to grow, uh it's going to be really fascinating to watch, there's going to be a ton of consolidation that's coming, but the evolution of technology is just I mean we've just really started. So um yeah I hate to say it like just strap in and keep going for the ride.

Eric Dickmann:

There are clearly things that automation does and does very well, and there are a lot of innovative tools that are on the marketplace, but there's so much overlap. As you start to add more and more tools to your stack, chances are you're duplicating functionality in one way or another because they're just only so many things you need tools to do. As you advise clients, how do you tell them to start you know what is the foundation that you really encourage people to have in place, and then how do they make the decisions, which of these tools to begin to add onto those foundational pieces?

Dan McGaw:

Yeah it's a really really good question, and it's definitely a popular thing that we're involved with. I think the biggest thing that people get sucked into is of course the shiny objects, right? They get sucked into the marketing or the sales. I mean naturally as marketers we enjoy marketing, so we get sucked into that. You really do have to take a step back and try to say, what is our strategy? And a strategy, right? The most distilled nature is knowing what you're going to say no to, right? So you need to understand what your strategy is first. What are the outcomes that you're trying to create that you're going to deliver on. And then you need to start building around those things. I think a lot of times companies are like Ooh I really like this tool. What can we do with it? And that's really why we see a lot of bloat. I mean most companies are paying thousands and thousands of dollars a month for tools that they don't even use. They this form because it got this magical feature, they start setting it up, and then they never get to this magical feature. So you really have to sit back and say, what are our objectives What are our key results What are the strategy that we're going to be doing here Okay Let's design our uh infrastructure around that Now You really do have to choose tools based upon that. But there's also going to be kind of the foundation that you have to build and start from, so while you may not know the tools you're going to use, there are some things that you should get started with which are what is going to be our data taxonomy? What is going to be our underlying data system that's going to help us track all of these things? And that's where whether it's a data warehouse, whether it's choosing Salesforce as your CRM, as your data hub, or using a customer data platform like Segment, You do have to figure out what is going to be kind of that data centerpiece of your stack that's going to kind of help move data around and really focus on that data taxonomy so that there's definitely always going to be overlap that's just going to be the nature of the beast But where people really get it wrong is they choose tools without a strategy Or They integrate tools without a taxonomy. And that taxonomy piece is going to set everything else up for success later.

Eric Dickmann:

Do you look at companies especially of a certain size wanting to have a dedicated data warehouse, or do you look at them saying, Well if you've got a CRM system in place, a HubSpot, a Salesforce, whatnot, that that is in fact your data warehouse?

Dan McGaw:

Yeah. So I mean I would definitely say most companies will have a CRM where they put their customer data. So whether that's a Salesforce or HubSpot, and that's usually for I would have to say 90 percent of the companies out there really all they need. In many cases you can get away with that and a Google Analytics. However if you're a more advanced company that one that's going to need a data warehouse or probably a digital product business, and you have the team that can build visualizations on a data warehouse. A data warehouse is extremely valuable, but it is also complex and most companies get it just to get it. They're like oh I'll get it, I'll use it one day. Well that that kind of makes sense, but if you throw a bunch of crap into a data warehouse, in six months or a year it doesn't matter, it's still crap. You're just paying a license for warehouse. So if you're going to get a warehouse and you're going to put data into some sort of storage system like a warehouse which requires a visualization tool, you can do it but you really have to think about it. And there's better ways to get that data so Salesforce of course has their data model and their reporting, but it's never going to provide you robust visualization. That's where uh leveraging a product like Google Analytics, or a product like Amplitude, or any of these other analytics packages um make it much easier, because they store your data and visualize your data. A warehouse is expensive because you have to store your data in a warehouse then you have to use some sort of CQL or DBT to transform that data, then you need a separate visualization tool. So um there's usually a kind of what I would say, a stepping stone to get to that point when you need a warehouse Because. It's kind of over most companies heads even have a data warehouse or a data lake.

Eric Dickmann:

I think what you said is so important there because getting the data into the system is really the first step, right? You have to have that data to be able to track it, to run your analytics against it. But I think in my conversations with many clients, one of the things that's abundantly clear is they don't know exactly what they want to track or how to track it. How do you approach clients in that way when you're saying, Okay, we're going to build your automation stack. We need to have intelligence on top of that, but first we need to figure out what it is we're trying to measure.

Dan McGaw:

Yeah. And that's where the data taxonomy, some people will call it a data dictionary or a data schema, or a taxonomy spec, I mean there's 50 names to be able to track it. But basically it's a fancy spreadsheet which tracks the actions our customers are going to do, what are we going to call that action, and then what are the attributes when that action happens that we need to know. And I'll use a really, really simple one. Somebody goes and joins and registers for your webinar, right? You might have webinar registration as an event name, but you also need to know their first name, their last name, their company name, their phone number, all that stuff. These are the attributes that we need to know about that customer when they do that action. Now when it comes down to a technical implementation, you need to very explicitly call that stuff out because what I call this in my CRM, compared to what I called it in my marketing automation tool, compared to what I call this analytics, all needs to match to make it really, really easy. So the taxonomy is kind of that critical part And that's the part that most companies miss is that they forget to start out with Hey let's do some planning, right? Instead, they just kind of like run forward and we're going to figure this out. And I hate to say it, I mean it's great for us, but it's the reason why we make so much money is because everybody's like Oh I got this, and then they go do it and then we're like, Hey you could have paid us 20 grand and we would have done it fine. But now that you messed it up you've got to pay us a hundred grand because not only do we have to like figure out what you did wrong, we didn't have to fix it, then we have to reset it up. Um That data taxonomy is the most critical part. And if you went to our website McGaw.io, and the bottom of our website, there's downloads and resources, we teach you a free and multiple webinars. There's all kinds of webinars on our site It's like this is how you build a data taxonomy, this is how you think about it, this is how you do integration. So everything I'm saying now if you went to our resources section you could learn for free, um it's not going to get you all the way, but at least it will get you started.

Eric Dickmann:

It's interesting because I think in my experience it's been, oftentimes people they just get stuck on definitions. What's the difference between a contact and a lead in a marketing qualified lead and a sales qualified lead and a prospect. There are a lot of things that mean very similar things, but once you start building out that taxonomy and how things are going to trigger workflows and and other events, it's very important to understand what each of those things mean. So how do you help customers really define what all of those things are?

Dan McGaw:

Yeah really really good question And you know it comes down to the attributes that we save around those actions, right? What do we know about the customer at this given time and help that stuff out. And I think the biggest problem that people people say gets set in stone I'm going to make this decision We're never going to change it really When you're thinking about like a marketing qualified lead or even a sales qualified lead or a marketing generated These are just rough definitions that define something at a certain moment in time and they're going to change MQL and SQL is the definition of that should be changed on a quarterly if not on a half every half basis you should be constantly modifying those and optimizing those for the future So really don't get too stuck on the details, right? Start making progress um, make sure that you have a plan like don't just wing it, but at least get started with some sort of plan. But if something's going to take you more than an hour to deliberate on, just make a decision and move on. Um it's not like in many cases it's not like you can't change this data, It's not like there's a way, that there isn't a way to fix it. Um and progress is just as important as getting started. And if you get stuck, right? That's not really a good place to be. So I would just say be flexible, uh be willing to change uh because you're going to need to. It's businesses. Business is always going to evolve.

Eric Dickmann:

Well I like that because the idea of flexibility I think is so important, but I know in many organizations there's almost this wall between marketing and sales, and sales comes down very hard and says well you promised me X number of leads and only delivered this. But as you said that definition is fluid, it changes, right? And there's the ultimate goal is how much business are your closing and that wall can get in the way oftentimes.

Dan McGaw:

Oh man I love so I so I used to be the Head of Marketing at a company called Kissmetrics We were really popular analytics company based out here in San Francisco And I remember my my uh Chief Revenue Officer was hired Uh maybe like a month before I was. We were part of a new like leadership regime, and I remember our first trip together and I said we are not going to have this problem between sales and marketing. We're going to go to Happy Hour tonight, and we're going to have a few drinks, and we're going to become buddies, uh and we're gonna run this as if we were two departments. We are both responsible for our department, but we're dependent upon each other. But we're going to work as if we're one big unit. And because of that our our sales and marketing crushed it, right? Uh we had constant communication, I was working with his department, he was working with my department, I would attend their internal meetings even it said mine. And I just think sales and marketing need to get over their egos and they need to start working more together. Um and that comes down to a culture thing, right? That comes down to a leadership say um But don't get me wrong If somebody sucks, you always want to point the finger. But at the same time, um how do you help them How do you get better with them Um so I just it always frustrates me when I see that like a sales and marketing wall Uh and it's like get over yourself, right? Like your ego is not that big. A I'm reading a great book Um I think it's called Legacy It's rugby team Uh I think it's um uh what uh it's the most winning this uh rugby team ever called the Blacks Uh and they talk all about their culture. And I wish more marketers and sales leaders would listen to that and just just come together and work together.

Eric Dickmann:

Hmm. Well you know we're living in an era of inbound marketing, of nurturing, of buyer's journeys. All of which describe a process, right? Something that takes a customer from their initial awareness all the way through up until they're ready to become a buyer. But I think oftentimes, sales is looking for buyer ready leads you know. Just give me somebody who's ready to sign the contract, and marketing is saying no no wait a minute this is a process they're going through stages, and we are providing them content to help them get to that that stage. Don't shortcut the process and don't look for me to keep moving that marketing qualified lead back further and further in that process when they're not really there. So when you talk about analytics, when you talk about the tools, how can you use your tools to help identify those points where you can really pass things off to sales intelligently. When you truly understand that they're at that point in that buyer's journey But now they're ready for more maybe a more personal interaction.

Dan McGaw:

Yeah this is this is a great uh question and you know uh in my book, Build Cool Shit, which uh we talked specifically about this Uh how do you really make sure that you can identify these leads and get them to sales at the right time. Um lead scoring is fantastic, right? So uh data enrichment which you can plug in your stack into a third party and with an email address, they can give you all the company information, all their personal information, technographic information which is really really helpful. And that lead enrichment can empower a lead scoring model to understand are we talking to the right person Uh things like that But if you are using really robust tracking and you have the ability to track your customers when they come to your website you can also build that lead scoring model on top of their behavior So how is that customer using the website When are they reading our PDFs What are they doing And that lead scoring model if you really work at designing and developing it over time Will be the trigger that helps your sales reps know when somebody is become a really really good beat And that's where Um if you build a good lead scoring model and lead scoring is not hard I mean products like active campaign and HubSpot autopilot make this extremely easy I mean of course Marquetto Pardot Eloqua Everybody has And their marketing automation platform A lead scoring model which can track user behavior and user attributes Um Thank you partner with sales and you come up with an MQL model and then you say Hey listen what about these Who else Don't you like What about these MQ What else do you like And then you constantly refine that model That's going to be able to give your sales reps um leads on a silver platter And we we we talked about this in my book Uh build cool shit If you go to our website my God that EO Oh you can get a free copy of it You just have to cover your shipping Um I'll give you a fun text bot later to check out Um but with real thread Uh they're a t-shirt printing company that works with big companies like Amazon and Dropbox and Entercom Um we they were getting a ton of leads and their problem was is what lead do I focus on How do rep To focus on anything We built progressive profiling data enrichment and then a lead scoring model that made it So the sales reps only focused on the people who were ready to buy and that had a dramatic increase in their sales Um and it's pretty straightforward and simple to do It just takes time It's not a one week thing You've got to work at that lead scoring model over a multi-month at that multi-year process To really refine it and get it to work for sales and marketing.

Eric Dickmann:

Hmmm. It's kind of a basic function in a lot of these tools, right? But it often gets pushed aside because it does require maintenance and refinement over time as you begin to see what the results are being turned out by that model, and if in fact they are really those qualified leads.

Dan McGaw:

You know, I think the best analogy that I ever heard about marketing and sales is that marketing and sales is just like going on a diet. If you do it once a quarter or once a year guess what? You're not going to lose weight. But if you're consistent with it, and you stay working on it, and you stay focused, you're going to lose weight. And in marketing and sales, if you stay consistent you're going to make money. There's nothing about this that is easy, and you can just do once and then move on, I mean I've been doing this for over 20 years, um and part of my success in all of my companies and then as well as companies that I've worked at is we've just been super consistent, right? We just we went along and we did this similar thing over and over and over again. We didn't think Christmas was going to be what made our entire year, we just stay diligent. We're consistent. I think that's a habit that marketers have really, they see a shiny object, they run that direction. They see a shiny object, they run that direction. And that's part of the problem with MarTech right now is that there's a new shiny object that's coming out every six months.

Eric Dickmann:

Hey, it's Eric here and we'll be right back to the podcast. But first, are you ready to grow, scale, and take your marketing to the next level? If so, The Five Echelon Group's Virtual CMO consulting service may be a great fit for you. We can help build a strategic marketing plan for your business and manage its execution, step-by-step. We'll focus on areas like how to attract more leads. How to create compelling messaging that resonates with your ideal customers. How to strategically package and position your products and services. How to increase lead conversion, improve your margins, and scale your business. To find out more about our consulting offerings and schedule a consultation, go to fiveechelon.com and click on Services. Now back to the podcast. So I know you know platforms like ParDot, like HubSpot, they've worked really hard over the past years to really improve their analytics capabilities. You know it was pretty elementary at first and now it's gotten much more robust, but of course the buzz word is AI, right? And kind of the way I oversimplify it is analytics is sort of backward looking, it shows you sort of what's happened and it shows you trends, where AI can think into the future, right? It can make some assumptions and it can project things out and give you some ideas about what might happen. I don't know, first of all do you agree with that simplification of it? And then second, where do you see AI fitting into marketing and helping marketers make better decisions?

Dan McGaw:

Yeah great question. I totally agree with the analogy. So the first time I heard about AI and machine learning is basically analytics is looking in the rear view mirror and AI is looking out the driver window in the car. Um so we totally agree with the analogy. I think the problem is is that uh most companies their rear view mirror, the data behind them um is what that AI is going to be based off of, right? So if you're driving down a road that's full of potholes behind you, uh chances are, there's going to be potholes in front of you as well. And that's the problem is your underlying data is where the artificial intelligence uh is building it's prediction. So if all of your data is garbage, garbage in is garbage out So um it is something where as you talked about that landscape, the biggest tools that are really driving right now that are growing like crazy, are data governance tools. How do we make it so that our data is better? Our data is cleaner because you can't use artificial intelligence or any types of machine learning if the data that it has to work with is bad. Um so data governance is really really popular. But in the future, I mean I think there's some really really creepy stuff. I just giving a private demo, a new version of a marketing automation So I'm not allowed to say the name, but I'll just say this they're there in my book, and they're also featured on a lot of my content, um they're using artificial intelligence to actually write the emails for marketers, um which is super super crazy. So when you think of I think it's GP three Three or whatever the artificial intelligence that Elon Musk backs. Um based upon you just posting blog posts on your website, it can actually read that blog post and then suggest to you, Hey maybe you ,should send a newsletter out to your audience. And here's a here's an email that I wrote for you with imagery, with call to action, with everything in it. Um so the artificial intelligence is now becoming a productivity feature not only just a prediction feature but something that is actually going to be able to help us do our jobs and do our jobs even faster, which gets really really kind of crazy, right? To think about it. So I think a lot of people don't look at artificial intelligence for the productivity factor that it's going to be able to add, they only try to focus on the prediction factor. And I think the prediction factor is the one that's going to be most expensive, least attainable, hardest to accomplish, but the productivity factor that we're able to get out of artificial intelligence, we're talking in the next year, is going to be very, very massive. And I'm actually more excited about the productivity factor of it compared to the prediction factor, just because I know with most companies the underlying data is garbage. Um so like uh The AI is not going to be nearly as effective unless you're a big brand, right? If you've got a million dollars in marketing budget, Okay Now we were moving some needles.

Eric Dickmann:

I had the chance to work with a tool called Conversica a while back, which was an AI tool for sending out emails, and it had some problems but it did its core function very well and was very believable. It was interesting to see the responses that came back sometimes from people. They absolutely thought they were talking to a real person, not an AI. And I've got a guest coming up on the show next month from Lately AI which does social media posts automatically based on blog content that you've written. So yeah some interesting things that are happening. But talking about data and the underlying assumptions that get made with these tools based on the data that you have, one thing that I've seen companies often do is they never get rid of data. Contacts get imported, they buy lists, they do other things, and that just keeps growing and growing, and really a lot of those records aren't leads that have come into the system. It's purchased data. They have nothing to do with you, your company, your products, but yet your database keeps growing and growing, and oftentimes can skew your numbers because if you look at that broader pool, it seems maybe like conversion rates are less than they are, but these people really never had anything to do with your product or brand.

Dan McGaw:

Yeah. You know I'm not going to lie I'm a data hoarder myself uh I have I have so much data It's ridiculous So I definitely will say that I get busted in that. I think data hygiene is really really important and it's also really expensive and hard to kind of do One thing in our Salesforce instance um we probably have at least 5,000 duplicates right And nobody really oversees it we don't really care that much about it in our organization Um but we do focus on like from email deliverability and things like that We do have really really good hygiene same as like our Email preferences are texting systems and stuff like that But data hygiene is really important That's another area that artificial intelligence is really helping out There's been a lot of uh Kind of governance tools that have come out with artificial intelligence that are helping you understand like Hey this is bad or helping you run a scans throughout your entire system to really kind of purge those things But I would agree with you if you have that underlying data and it's viewing your conversion numbers are what you're basing your metrics on You really do need to clean Keep it pretty good cleaning hygiene uh of all of that stuff and get rid of all that bad data Um but it's also um You never know what you're going to do with it right Usually it's nothing We just all hold onto it forever.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah and things go in cycles too, don't they? A popular technique today might not be popular tomorrow or vice versa, I was listening to a podcast the other day, and one of the marketing experts that was on there was saying that they're having great success with direct mail because everybody's sitting at home and most marketing our efforts have ceased, and so I've certainly noticed it I'm getting far less junk mail in my mailbox than I did before COVID. So they said now pieces are standing out and they're actually getting pretty good physical open rates for a mailers and things that they're sending out. I mean who would have guessed?

Dan McGaw:

Oh I love it. Direct mail It's actually cheaper direct mail is extremely effective. Um it was before COVID I mean we've been using direct mail uh for quite some time, Um So I'm a big believer in direct mail. I'm actually also and people would find this funny. I'm also a really big believer in the radio So cheap um, like if you would have asked about radio 10 years ago my decisions would have been a little bit different but the. Fact that you can get radio for $500 a month and get a good circulation on the radio, and you can buy your day parts, Uh it it is super super cheap and everybody's like oh I've got to do Google, cause I can track everything, but If you one That direct mail card that I talked about we don't put just mcgaw.io as the web domain on there, We may put get mcgaw.com Somebody goes to that domain, we have a vanity URL that we can track on the radio One of our clients uses Um I can't say their company name Uh they say their company name auto insurance.com Um everybody who goes to that URL they know is from the radio So like you've got to just learn how to make the tracking work for you because there is so many channels radio being one of them billboards are also extremely cheap now Um so you just have to really understand that marketing mix and how to effectively track it Because digital unfortunately even though I'm a digital person uh is no longer the cheap medium. Digital is extremely expensive.

Eric Dickmann:

Well, you were a part of a company that created like short URL tracking, isn't that right?

Dan McGaw:

Uh yeah so I I own another company called utm.io. Um so UTMs are like the oldest mechanism for online tracking Created by urchin which is Google analytics It stands for urgent tracking module Um and UTM Daddy-O is a data governance product that helps make sure that marketing teams can make their campaign links effectively got a hundred marketers and you're like cross multiple Uh states or multiple countries Getting all your marketing team to use The right tracking codes is really difficult and our product makes it easy for a single marketer to make their tracking codes really easy But it also works really really well for big companies So Shopify uses it Twitter uses it Uh Landry's restaurant corporation uses it to really keep all their tracking codes organized And then we also have a Branded short domain link shortener in there as well So really fantastic product Go check it out It's free Um so you signed up for the pro plan You have some options there as well But um we spent a lot of time in tracking and helping a lot of companies track online and offline

Eric Dickmann:

It's amazing to me because so few companies will even ask you how you heard about them, right? Which just seems basic. Obviously when you have tracking codes online and whatever they can automate a lot of things, and so hopefully they know behind the scenes what offer you responded to or what link you came in, but there are other ways that you meet people or become exposed to products. And I'm always surprised how few times people ask well can I ask you how you heard about us. Because that's the key, right? Once you start to see what channels are working, what campaigns are working, what is really resonating with your target audience, that's where you can accelerate those programs. And if you just don't track it, you don't have those uh those metrics in place to understand what's working, you're just spending money and and hopefully guessing it right?

Dan McGaw:

Yeah. Interesting. So we've dealt a lot with uh the tracking around like how did you hear us Um and a really really good way to improve that as a lot of companies will use a dropdown for how did you hear us Um don't use the dropdown because the consumer is most likely just going to click it and select their first value or not do that We highly recommend to use radio buttons So if you five options have it so that they use radio buttons And then if you can work with your developers so that that way every time somebody comes to that Those radio buttons are in a different spot They randomize the location of them so that when they change it's going to give you a much better output because you're going to have a considerable number of users which are always just going to select the first one Uh it's As an example if you look at your dropdown for state Uh and you say Hey what state are you located in Alabama is always the most busy state And you're like that is There's no way that I'm selling this product in Alabama's and Let's just Alabama was the first option Right So if you do a couple of little things on that you can get a little bit more accurate data We highly recommend those radio buttons uh will be it will give you a much better outcome Uh if you put those on there and if you were to go to our website and go to any of our landing pages that are on the bottom you could see how we use those Uh radio buttons compared to a dropdown because you're going to get a much more accurate response And at the end of the day you wanted to know where to throw your money Right Uh we know I think we're 50 of my ad spend is going And I don't know where the other 50 is going I just want to know where the other 50 is going Um so you have to come up a little ways to get as accurate as you can even with asking those questions.

Eric Dickmann:

You've just made a strong case to for progressive profiling where you don't try to collect it all at once, but you incrementally collect it because if there are too many fields on that screen, people just don't want to fill it in.

Dan McGaw:

Oh absolutely. And I love progressive profiling. It's actually a topic that we talk about in my book, is how do you start progressive profiling I think progressive profiling sounds like the super super advanced thing that requires all this There's know-how and it really isn't all that hard You can build progressive profiling On one simple email somebody signs up for your newsletter The first email you sent him is thanks so much for signing up for a newsletter We want to make sure that we send you great content Can you tell us just a little bit more about yourself What is your role at your company and give them five buttons to slept on with five different roles or what are you most interested in Um they'll click on that button That's immediately a progressive profile Like you can save that as an aptitude to their profile You can now send them better emails You can do other things Uh we use that a lot um in regards to our clients Um but it can be really really easy And HubSpot I mean you put five buttons in their track button they click it Do this action It's really it can be really really simple and straightforward,

Eric Dickmann:

Hmm. Dan as we're sort of working our way toward the end here, You know a lot of the people who listen to this show are small, mid-sized businesses, some probably have fairly robust marketing automation stacks within their organization, some are probably living off spreadsheets today. For those who just have not really invested a lot in marketing automation technologies, what piece of advice would you give them?What are you know, maybe two, three things that you're saying if you're going to start to make real investments in your MarTech stack, where would you start, and what are the most important things to focus on?

Dan McGaw:

Yeah, great question. Well I hate to do a shameless plug but read my book sure cause that's going to really help give you the foundation uh and really understand it's 128 pages It has colored pictures Uh definitely check out my book go to McGaw.io, you can get it It makes the stack a lot easier Uh that being said um what I would first focus on is most likely my marketing automation tool Um the most important tool that most companies have is going to be their marketing automation tool And if you're B2B of course a marketing automation tool that's attached to your CRM So sometimes you want to get an all-in-one suite but the first thing you want to do is just make sure that you can store valuable information about your customers which is going to improve their experience I think the problem that we get so focused on is we think about ourselves It's human nature I mean we've had millions of years of evolution to become selfish and to protect ourselves But at the end of the day this is really about how do I better help our customers How do we better serve them So if you can build your marketing automation platform to track that important information about how can we better serve our customers whether that be there Uh if you're in the food industry what is their dietary restriction What are their diet preferences If you're in B2B and you're selling what's to say you're selling cars as an example are they into cars Are they into trucks? Are they into SUV's? Are they a family? Try to figure out how you can store that valuable information How can you find that out How do you build that into your process And then how do you leverage that data to create a better customer experience That's always what I'm trying to get our customers to understand is how can we create a better customer experience for them How can we be proactive with their marketing How are we how can we be magical to them And many times it starts just inside of your marketing automation tool or inside of your CRM And you don't need a a part or a an Eloqua or anything fancy. You can do this stuff with MailChimp You can do this stuff with active campaign You can do this with Autopilot. Autopilot is my favorite marketing automation tool I will give uh that I do love them But you don't have to be picky Most of these tools even a agile CRM which I haven't used in a long time but I used to really love their tool They all allow you to save this data They allow you to leverage that data and then to create a better customer experience focus on how you can bring in that better customer experience by saving those key attributes about your customers

Eric Dickmann:

I love that because it really is all about the customers and the more you can do that, the more personalized you can be in your interactions, and the more trust that builds with your potential customers and yeah, that's great. And these tools have so much capability there. It's just a matter of getting the data into them, right?

Dan McGaw:

Yeah and start simple really really really simple uh companies always try to create these big lavish things Give yourself a six months or 12 months horizon on creating that lavish thing and just getting money emails I I think a common problem that we see with nurture sequences Try to get all 17 emails done before they launch it get a welcome email going And then when you have a chance at an email to to it right like um it's better to get started and make progress and get something done and shit Uh then to try to have everything perfect I think Reid Hoffman said it best in the fact that if you waited for it to be perfect you waited too long Ship early and ship often Um just just get it out there I mean half of my product if you would have seen utm.io my book. Uh, to say in the first version you would have been like, man, that was rough, but we put it out in the public and we got feedback, uh, and we continue to optimize.

Eric Dickmann:

No, I couldn't agree more. Sometimes you just got to get started. Dan, this has been fascinating, a lot of great insights you've shared here today. I know you've referred to a couple of URLs and your company, I'd love for you just to explain to people once more, where they can find you on the web, and so they can get your copy of your book as well.

Dan McGaw:

Yeah, for sure. If you go to Mcgaw.io, my book is on my website. You can get a free copy of it there. Um, also, if you go to the footer section of our website, check out the downloads and resources, it's going to be really, really helpful to kind of push your knowledge forward. But if you're interested in communicating and following along, I'm really active on LinkedIn. So if you just go to LinkedIn, look up Dan McGaw, check me out there. I'm always going to be communicating on there, that's my most active network. So looking forward to connect with you and always open to answer questions.

Eric Dickmann:

Hey, Dan, this is great. I love geeking out on this stuff. Marketing technology is a fun space, obviously restarted the show, looking at that chart. There's a ton of shiny objects out there for us all to consider. I expect there to be some consolidation in the coming years as that needs to shrink down. There's obviously not room for everybody out there. But it's an exciting time and these tools just get more and more powerful. So I'm really glad that you came on the show today. I'll make sure we have all the links that you shared in the show notes. Thanks so much.

Dan McGaw:

Yeah, thanks for having me. This has been fantastic.

Eric Dickmann:

Thank you for joining us on this episode of The Virtual CMO podcast. For more episodes, go to fiveechelon.com/podcast to subscribe through your podcast player of choice. And if you'd like to develop consistent lead flow and a highly effective marketing strategy, visit fiveechelon.com to learn more about our Virtual CMO consulting services.