Angus Nelson: A Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy

In this episode, we talk with Angus Nelson about customer-centric marketing and how to focus on what matters.

Angus talks to us about the buyer's matrix, the three why's every company should be asking and how to really leverage questions for customer-centric marketing.

Angus also talks about what companies are doing wrong and some myth's around customer-centric marketing that needs to be debunked.

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About the Expert

Angus Nelson

Angus Nelson is an award-winning author, keynote speaker, and strategy consultant. He has given workshops and talks for some of the biggest brands on the planet and is available to create a memorable and entertaining speech or workshop for your next event.

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Full Transcript

George Thomas 0:08
Ready to spend 15 minutes with the experts you admire need strategy sessions from thought leaders brought directly to your ears. Welcome to the sprocket talk 15 minute strategy podcast where every week George B Thomas uncovers the challenges that sales, marketing and service professionals face and of course, the strategies to help them overcome their biggest hurdles. So sit back and set your sights on growth with these bite sized conversations filled with your strategy goals. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 15 minute strategy pod. All right, sprockets ears. It's your boy George B. Thomas. We're back with another episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast and of course, you know what I'm about to say, Yep. I'm excited. Because today I have a friend, someone who we've hung out. We've talked, we've even created content together before and the conversation that we're going to have is really centric to your customer and to your success. You might see what I do. They're in a hot minute but before we dive into the deep end of the pool Angus, why don't you let the sprockets cheers the viewers listeners know who you are, what you do and where you

Angus Nelson 1:08
do it. Absolutely. Well, thanks so much for having me. So I'm First of all, I, I am committed to marketing as a coach and consultant, I work for a digital marketing agency focused on b2b technology marketing. So everything from FinTech to healthcare to cybersecurity, like that's our sweet spot. In addition, I help brands be able to focus on the number one person to all their marketing is the customer and I have a feeling we're going to talk about that here in just a little bit.

George Thomas 1:38
Maybe just a little bit. So today's topics Rocketeers is customer centric marketing. And what I love to do on these 15 minute strategy podcast episodes, Angus is really lay a graph ground or foundational work first. So when you say because what you mean and somebody's perception of that term might be completely different. When you say customer centric Marketing? What exactly do they need to know? What exactly do you mean?

Angus Nelson 2:05
So here at Golden spiral marketing, we have a proprietary exercise we call the buyer matrix. And all of it is focused on who is the actual buyer, your customer is first and foremost to every conversation. And what we find is, so many companies spend so much energy and time invested into building their solution and their technology, that that becomes their focal point. So when we create marketing copy, when we create sales copy, when we create our website, we want to brag about the technology, about the benefits about the solution. And the reality is when people are googling to find your brand. They're not saying hey, how can I find sprocket talk? That's not the question they're asking. They have a more specific question that says, How do I learn more about video marketing? How do I you know, how do I doubt that? I was going to try and come up with some but there's so many other things That that resolves. And so if your search engine optimization isn't surrounded by the felt need of your customer, then you are already putting yourself as a loss. In addition, we're finding that all the statistics are pointing to the fact that especially in the b2b market, again, here at Golden spiral, we're finding that customers are doing all of their research on the front end going down that funnel. So by the time they are actually making a decision to call you, you're down to like the top three of their decision already. So they've already put themselves through this exploration to find you know, a solution to their pain. And if you aren't focused on that pain when they land on your website, then you lose after all of that work. So you may have done all the SEO properly. You may have driven them to your website, probably but once they get to that domain, again, if your language isn't speaking to them with a question or a statement that says are you This dot dot dot, they are not going to say, Oh my gosh, they get me. They're just gonna swipe back. I would say so i'm not i'm not a Tinder person, I was gonna try and use that colloquialism, but they're, they're gonna jump off your page. There you go.

George Thomas 4:16
Yeah, I'm not sure if it's swipe left or swipe. I got lost in the middle of it. Yeah, I've been married way too long to worry about that app. Let's just throw that out there real quick. So, Angus, here's the thing. I want to travel back a little bit, because I totally know what you're saying. And I get where we've got to go. But you mentioned this thing as far as a buyer matrix. Can you kind of explain what the buyer matrix is and why that's important to the beginning of this kind of messaging, copy search optimization site optimization process?

Angus Nelson 4:50
Yeah. So in our buyer matrix, imagine if you would, just you know, for an example, we use a tool called mind node, which is like a mind map. So if you Use any kind of tools like that, and you don't necessarily have to do that we actually when we put some of our clients through the exercise, we just have cardboard paper, you know, colored cardboard paper, and all the colors signify a specific piece on the top end of that is who are the customers and I'm gonna use that in air quotes. For those of you who are listening can't see me, I'm gonna, you know, throw up the air quotes verbally. That is that customer could be a specific role, a specific specific company and a specific industry. And so you have multiple customers, right? And some of your solutions will reach them and it's certain way, then the next layer, which is where if we're doing a mind map, that's the second tier, so you have these little lines going to these, these next map, and that's a little harder to describe verbally, but visually it makes sense. We put out those cards on a very, you know, analog way on a table, and it says okay, what are their problems and you put in a conversational first person tone so I've just been mandated with a market goal and I don't know how to reach it. Like that could be a problem. And it doesn't really have anything to do with your solution. It's not speaking to your solution. Except if you were to articulate like, Are you trying to reach your goals faster? Now all sudden, oh, yes, I am. And so your third tier there is you speaking to that solution in a way that, again, is conversational, speaking to that pain, that challenge that that thing that they're looking for. And so in the buyer matrix, when you're all done, you've put a ton of work in this and this is where companies kind of trip over themselves, because if you do this, right, it does take a lot of work. And it can take, you know, hours, it could take weeks depending on how complex your solution is and how sophisticated your buyers are. And especially if you've got multiple people in the decision making process. You've got to be able to articulate your solution through those pain points in multiple Always, because what the CEO is struggling with may be very different from the VP of Marketing, which may be very different from your director of sales. But they're all looking at the customer from a different perspective with different motives to what kind of solution they're seeking. And so your task is to be able to articulate through that buyers journey to be able to reach those pains in a way that they identify. Yeah, I

George Thomas 7:27
love focusing on solving the problems. I'm curious though, because my mind goes to how we are as human beings, and that is we would sit there and we would have a perception and assumptions of what the problems are. I'm curious where data comes in, or what type of system that you use or that companies should use to truly uncover the true problems versus the assumed problems that you're fixing for folks.

Angus Nelson 7:59
So one of my friends favourites are going to customer success. And then second of all is your helpdesk. Because a lot of those conversations immediately give you real time data. It's not about our hypotheses. It's not about our prognosis from a leadership because again, we're biased, and we don't recognize our bias. But if you're going to the voice of your customer, you're hearing immediate pain. Furthermore, they're going to articulate it in that conversational tone I mentioned before, that you can just steal as copy because the way that they're stating their pain or stating their challenge is the way that others are likely stating it as well. And so being a customer centric and customer focused brand empowers you to be able to help the customer make their decisions to choose you faster than any other your competitors.

George Thomas 8:59
Yeah, So we know what the customer centric marketer marketing is what you mean we know about now the buyer matrix, we've heard you talk about the buyers journey we're focused in on Okay, we've we're talking to the success team and the service team and maybe even the sales team, by golly, here, here's the real problems, not our assumption or perceptions. What are the next, you know, 123 things that we should be focusing on that then leverages a culture and the actions that need to take place for customer centric marketing.

Angus Nelson 9:32
So when we do the buyer matrix, what I love about that exercise, we do it through a workshop with our clients, where we bring in eight to 10 individuals from their team, and it's going to be a SWOT from all those things you just identified. It's going to be leadership from the C suite, it's going to be marketing, it's going to be sales, it's gonna be customer success. And it may be you know, either a help desk or or something of that nature a product of product person. Their perspective Put together create a cohesion. One is we start having conversations we otherwise never would have had. We've never gotten in the room and just set dialed into, you know what we're doing. So that creates a sense of excitement and ownership that never existed before. So now that becomes a contagion so they can go to their teams and lead from a perspective of being on the same page. So the culture is one of the first pieces that changes because that all that bias starts to get washed away, does it completely dissolved? No, we have to constantly be reminded, but the essence of it is, we already have gone through the hard work of getting us all on the same page. Then the second piece of that is, how do we now articulate that through a consistent messaging of website and collateral and sales conversations and trade shows and PR and have it all complimentary, pointing to that direct need of your customer when you have that kind of congruence? people identify with you on a more rapid fashion, you've eliminated confusion, you've eliminated all of the feelings of slimy sales. And you've reached a place of connection from a very human level. And so now they can know like and trust you, even though and like I said, in our world with golden spiral marketing, it's all b2b. But at the end of the day, like their careers on the line, the decision that this marketing person is making could be the decision that is the decisive piece of whether they keep their job or not. And so we take it with that kind of value is we have to help them be successful and we help that client be successful the companies can be successful.

George Thomas 11:42
Yeah, I love the know like and trust the human element of this no matter if it's b2b, b2c btg, whatever it is human human at the end of the day, and it's funny because I heard you kind of lean into nobody wants to make a mistake. Nobody wants to get fired. Everybody wants to feel Like they're secure in what they're doing, which makes me wonder and ask the question, and guess Are there any mistakes that somebody could make when they're starting to focus in on customer centric marketing?

Angus Nelson 12:12
Yeah, so one of the first mistakes is making an assumption of what somebody is saying without actually hearing what they're saying. And what that means is, again, we have a bias. And when we hear a customer start saying something, we immediately rush to judgment. And this is a very human quality. We do it in relationship. You're a married man, I'm a married man, we do it all the time. Oh, I knew what you meant. Like, that is not what I meant. So when you're working with clients, and they come to you with a problem, the problem is so rarely the problem. It's taking the three why's, why is that a challenge? And they'll tell you, well, why why do you think that came to be? Well read this problem, etc. And why do you You think now's the time to solve that. And those are just, you know, ramped up. But the piece is to go deeper than that first initial problems. So that problems that only becomes kind of a foundation of where we start, and then you start digging, and your Whys dig to the root cause of what's really at stake.

George Thomas 13:21
That's good. That's good. sprocket tears viewers, listeners, you should rewind and listen to that part because it's going that second that third, that fourth layer deeper, truly uncovering the thing that is aggravating, not the thing that is just showing the results of the aggravation. That is that is good. So are there any myths before people get off this episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast? Angus? Are there any myths that we should debunk about customer centric marketing before we send them on their way?

Unknown Speaker 13:54
So it's okay so I'm gonna speak from my own bias. People say

Angus Nelson 14:01
A website fixes everything. If we have a great website, it's going to fix everything. So when a customer client, you know, comes to us and says, Hey, we need a new website, if a customer's coming to me and saying they needed a website, what that initially tells me is you don't have a plan. Because a plan of how you're going to reach your customer first determines on what that website is going to look like. A website is not a digital brochure. It is a vehicle. It is a tool that when manifested accurately, drives people into an experience that helps the revelation to them say you're the partner I need. And so the myth is the website solves all the website does not solve all in fact, the website can make even more problems, if not done with some intention, and some strategy set up front on the front side. And ultimately, that comes down to being customer centric and how you approach your market.

George Thomas 15:00
Love that as the last question In this episode, Angus, is there anything that we haven't covered that they should know when they go to get started or they journey through this customer centric marketing?

Unknown Speaker 15:16
empathy?

Angus Nelson 15:18
Again, with our bias, we're just trying to dig down to what makes a sale sometimes. And what we don't put ourselves in a place of is their shoes. When I state my client is trying to make a decision that could determine their career. That's such a passion of ours, and such a core value that it serves us best to be super honest. So one of our values is candor. And so we've created a culture to where we put empathy at the forefront of what we're trying to do to help our clients in the same way for you the listener so empathy becomes the most powerful piece when just like you are having a connection with a friend or with a colleague or with, you know someone that's in your sphere of influence, you take the time to listen, you take the time to commune and have a cup of coffee, and have a conversation. If you can have that kind of empathy in the way you connect with your customer, and you think through all of the different things that they say are problems and instead get to the heart of what they're feeling. Now you've got power. And to us using the buyer matrix system creates an understanding that is a cohesive glue to all of your leadership to create a culture that puts your customer first.

George Thomas 16:51
Angus, this has been an amazing episode I love there are so many actual pieces in here. If folks have questions if they want to connect with you, where do you wanna send them? How can they communicate? How can they commune with you folks as well?

Angus Nelson 17:06
Well, so two things you can find me online just about anywhere at Angus Nelson, that's just like the cattle, beef AMG, us any LS o n, you can also find our company golden spiral marketing, which will tell you a whole lot about smart philosophy and how we do what we do. And then I have a little free gift for you who are listening about your competitive analysis, like being able to be really dialed into how you can stand out from the crowd. And if you would like to acquire that you can go to golden spiral marketing.com forward slash competition. And that will help you start this path of exploring your buyers matrix.

George Thomas 17:48
sprockets ears. I hope you love this episode as much as I did, make sure you're focused on your marketing. Make sure you're focused on your conversation, your messaging, but most of all, make sure you're focused on yourself. customer and we'll see you in the next episode. Did you enjoy this episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast, we'd love to know. leave a rating and written review wherever you listen to your favorite shows and keep that learning going by visiting sprocket talk comm sign up for your free membership. And in that membership area you can find bundled episodes where we combine like strategies to help you grow better make the world better and share this episode with your friends and co workers who may be battling this same obstacle. You can always reach out to George Thomas on Twitter with questions or guest suggestions or just to talk about your favorite Marvel superhero and go out into the world and leverage this strategy for your success. And we'll see you on the next episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast.