B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 4 years ago

9: Internal Evangelism as Part of Your Branding Strategy w/ John Rougeux

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Do you practice what you preach?

What about your team? Do they practice what your company preaches?

John Rougeux is the VP of Marketing at Skyfii where he has two main priorities: 1) Build his company’s presence in North America and 2) Rebuild Skyfii’s brand with a clear position in the marketplace.

John knows that he can’t accomplish his second priority by only marketing his company externally.  He has to be walking the walk and getting his team excited internally as well. It’s crucial to their success.

John joined us for this episode of B2B Revenue Acceleration to talk about internal evangelism as part of a branding strategy.

That's not sufficient. For marketers focused on externally promoting a brand. That's necessary, but it's really nice sufficient. You are listening to bb revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated to helping software executives stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi, welcome to be to be a revenew acceleration. My name is already amoutier and I'm here today with John Rougie from sky fight. How are you today, John, being read and Realian, how are you? I am very, very good. We suffering of what we would could a hit wave at the moment in the UK, but I'm blessed enough to be in a condition room, which is fantastic. So today were well. Yeah, is you John, to speak about internal evangelism as part of your brunning strategy? But before we go into the the details of it and the details of the ID behind it, could you please s tell us a little bit more about yourself, as well as sky fight or the company at your represent yeah, happy to so. I'm the VP of marketing at Skyfy and I'm currently based in Lexington, Kentucky. Among other things, I'm the proud father of four girls. But look at sky fight. We or a software and services company that helps physical venues, places like shopping centers, airports, universities, retailers. We help them understand who their visitors are and have a behave and then we give them some tools to engage with those same visitors on multiple channels based on visitor profile and visitor movement. So my role at sky fire is really focused on two things right now. First of all, you know, sky fire was a company that expanded in Australia that two thousand and twelve. So the majority of our business is based in a pack and other parts of the world. We have obvious as in UK, South Africa Brazil as well, but our focus this year and going forward is shifting a lot of our time and resources towards the North American market. So big part of my job is helping US build a presence here, build some core relationships and get some initial customers off the ground so we have a critical mass business here and then, I think secondly, you know, my role is really focused around rebuilding our brand. We've done a great job in investing in the products and are engineering over the last several years, but we've gotten to a point where we really need to kind of shore up our messaging and come up with a much clearer position in the market place. So I've been working on and kind of an internal project for the last few months that's going to take us through most of the remainder of this year just to really revise and and kind of revitalize our brand so again we've got a much clearer and succinct and consistent message with the people that were trying to do business with. Good Wells, some some some big missions and big job coming coming ahead of you, which is which is which is exciting. So to be that we want to took about, as already mentioned, is into on the evengetism, a spot of y'r Brend beings frequent cheat. Recently you probably should not see coding folds. Well, you spoke about the internal evangelism and and and the fact that it's often overlooked by bomb by markets here...

...and you please show his all audience the concept of intnot evangelism and why it's more impact important on evil. Yeah, happy to so. The idea behind internal evangelism is this pretty simple. It's just really the idea that it's not sufficient for marketers focused on externally promoting a brand. That's necessary, but it's really not sufficient to grow a company or, more actually to reach the potential growth that your company should be able to reach. So we just explain that a little bit further. You know, when you're marketing a company externally, this is true for both BBC and and bb but a big part of your message and one of the core reasons for why people buy is based on your values and the Vision for where your company is headed. You know, it's not enough to just compete on speeds and feeds and features and benefits. Those are important, but when you're looking to do business with somebody long term, your just as interested in and where they're heading and and who they are, and I think that's just that's becoming especially prevalent in the BDB space because, you know, we're a lot of us are over sold to, we're over kind of over marketed to in many ways, and I think we just start to crave more kind of human and authentic connections with the people we do business with. So a lot of that goes back to the talk that time in senected a few years ago about people not so much buying what you do, but why you do it? So the issue is, if you promote your brand solely externally and fail to kind of evangelize that same vision and the same values internally, is that if your customers start to see that your team is acting inconsistently with the way that your brands presented itself externally, then they're really just not going to want to do business with you or they'll take their business with with someone else will come across as an authentic and and really people just don't want to do business with with someone who's an authentic. So really what I'm trying to get at is, as a marketer, your job is to continue to focus on, of course, the external promotion of your brand. That doesn't go anywhere. But along with that, think, especially in the BB space, your job really has to include, many cases, an equal focus on espousing and promoting those brands are started to brand vision and his brand values with with your team, your employees, but also your partners as well. Enough, that makes delfect sense, but we has an organization of the protects. We've most of all, people that trually probably ninety nine Peroc of the people at well for us, of a client's facing role and and we want to make sure that they reprison the brand, that represent what we do correctly. You know. So it's it's something that we try to debate. I guess it's kind of leading me to the next question, which is, and based on what you say, that the most sought food and impact, full eat external promotion, if all are great, but won't maybe have a lasting effort on your customer mills off on your brain image. So how can you make sure that your team is reflecting positively the value of your company? What are the ways you suggest to do so? Yeah, sure. So, look, it's a great question and there's no perfect answer. There's not...

...a silver bullet that just, you know, allows your internal team to take on those values and then sure that that's going to be the case forever. But you know, there's some things that you'd I've seen others do and some things that I've tried myself that that help you get there. So I think really fundamentally, the first thing you recognizes as marketers you can't work in a bubble, and you know that's something I've been guilty of myself. You know, previous roles I think I tended to focus just on the pure aspect of marketing. That external promotion not enough. The the internal piece. So it really starts with there's just if you're a marketer or if you work with marketing, it's understanding and recognizing that your role needs to be something broader. I think if you started there, things will stem from that naturally. I think the second thing is leadership. Involvement is really key, you know, and some organizations marketing sits right it there on the leadership board or the the CEO himself or herself as a marketing background, but in other companies marketing takes more of a subordinate role. So in either case, though, the idea of a company's vision and its values, they need to be something that is discussed and and brought into at the leadership level. Yeah, so that's something that I worked really hard on and continue to work really hard on the sky FY. Thankfully, in our CEO and our leadership team were extremely supportive of the idea of of really shoring up our vision and our values and we've been having a lot of great discussions internally about what those mean and and how those will affect the future direction of the company. Thank you. Don't do that, then, marketing ends up working in isolation and maybe the marketing team or the head of marketing might feel really good about it, but you know, those efforts don't really extend beyond the marketing roles. I would say. You know, in some companies you HR is more of a independent function. Obviously, small companies HR sometimes blended into other departments, but I think the other pieces recognizing that. Well, in a surface they might seem like completely disparate ends of the spectrum and in many ways you need to to speak to each other, especially when it comes down to hiring. You know, I don't know if for you really and what you know, how you go through your UN hiring process, but I don't for me, obviously competencies is something that you have to look at, but you know, character and values, I think, are really even more important. You know, if you can eat for us, that's key for us. I mean we will often say to people when they come yes, look, we're not you're just looking for a job, please go straight away. If you want to discuss a cary, it's a two ways decision. You know, it's got to be a decision for us to get you on Boob, but it's sort of a decision for you to come on bold. So if you don't share the value, film on the on the value, if you don't believe in the value, it will never walk. So we will actually quite big very early on, and I'm glad you you bring it in your response because I guess as well as what I was like, I was expecting in a way to here. But I think it's very important. From the very first conversation, even from the potentially the job add you're very clear about what you are looking for. For US particularly, were not in the business of, you know, recruiting Ph d's...

...or Mbas or people who done business degrees or whatever. You know, we a bit more of we've got a flixibold type of background approach to our recruitment process. So really the value is key because if people don't believe in the value and you can't truly, you know, evaluate them based on what they've done in the past because it may not be relevant to what we do, they've got to at least stick with the value because if they don't believe in the value, is going to be a very short, short, short shot work experience with us and probably won't go one go any far. So, yeah, I get your point and up it's very important in our recruitment process. Yeah, and you know, I reference something image earlier about customer facing and non customer facing roles. In a way you can almost make an argument that almost any role is customer facing to degree. It may not be directly, but I'll use it very maybe obvious and probably or reach example, but it's being here because it'll costraight her point. You take a role like accountants, that's probably one of the least customer facing roles out there, at least in terms of how you would traditionally look at that. But if you take a classic example like Enron, you know whatever values they had, if they had in me at all, you know they were certainly reflected in the county department, in the way that they did their books, and so it I would out. The reason I mentioned me that example is it's not just the sales people in the customer service people who need to understand the company's vision and the values. Really anyone who makes a decision on the on behalf of the company, whether that's doing your accounting, whether it's, you know, determining who you you know, build a partnership with whether it's determining your privacy policy, those affect the customer at some point and so really we should all think are of ourselves as as having customer facing roles, or maybe customer influencing roles to a degree, because we're all making decision on the path of the company and if we're not making those decisions with the values and the vision of our company in mind, then we're going to go off track. So you know, in a Banan example, you're just going to, you know, create some inconsistencies in your message and that's just confusing to people and it makes it harder for you to sell. But if you take that too far, then you end up with people taking a media unethical or malicious actions, which is a different problem in of itself. But I think you can probably see aren't edited. Absolutely absolutely think I think you got you got to great example. I mean that sort of I'm a going I won't mention any name on that one, but I was chased for paying invoices. The invices walk treating current but they had on that accounts payable person or someone in the account department was basically chasing I don't know if he was an internal or an external person to that company, to be honest with you, but the way they were going about it was was not really what I was expecting. You know, I think they were just emailing for too many people. They were very aggressive about the way they were going about it. There was no explanation, it was really short response and you just kind of consider say, the business with that company because, quite frankly, I've got an issue with the invoice I received and nobody's talking to me about it. But just just lead me. You've got to pay it and I would draws up someone that talk to me and...

...even make me feel that it's the correct thing. You know, if I don't know if you know what I mean, it's just sometimes the the impacted that person adds on my perception of dub the business that I was working with. It's pretty bad because I kind of change my way of thinking about that business and maybe I keep my eyes open and the next time that I will meet my accompany joined that business, I'll probably be a little bit more close, way close, I mean, you know, not not as open with a person as I may have been if I was treating a different way. I think it's right. Every single part of the business should do it, and you know, we truly tend to do training with our guys about that, particularly when we've got people going to events. We work in sets, so there is lots of events. What people will have, drinks after the events, etc. Etc. So we want to make sure that you know our team is representing us in a very professional way. You know, the sort of events can go little bit out of hand sometimes times and people who are used to it may have a drink too many and it's okay because they are senior, but when you are the provailor, you've got to be careful. So we actually brief our guys before every single event to make sure, I they don't get out of line, if you will. But I think it's important because it makes sounds simple, but I think it's you are representing a company. You may be out of working ours, but you are still representing our brands, and our brand doesn't do that. So if you want to have fun, just go five miles away from the place where the party is at and do whatever you want, no problem. While you are representing us, make sure that you are representing US professionally and we take two steps. That's that's that's that's interesting. He helps me to kind of move on to the next question because obviously we spoke about the theory of a probably agree with you, by the way. I think it's a very interesting concept and definitely something that we do at operatics and I think that more business should do. But do you have any practical example of internal evangelism that has been walking or you've seen like very successful and and maybe some other example where you've seen it maybe not failing but being less successful? Yeah, sure, well, if you don't mine, I do want to speak to that example you mentioned about the cultural events, because you're asking me earlier about, you know, some tactics and approaches to make that successful, and I did want to hear on one more and I think it's really important and then I'll come back to your question, if that's okay. I think the last thing I wanted to mention was that really have to lead by example, and this will this will kind of lead into the specific example I share in a moment. But you know, I think the temptation is for marketers is to kind of write down these values, these vision and based on guidelines on how to talk about the business, and you've got it in a nice document, but that's really not going to be sufficient to drive those values internally. You know, I hate to say it, but you know, if you have a hundred employees, how many of those hundred are going to actually read the stylid guide or refer to it regularly? And maybe they'll read it once during the orientation, but they're not going to come back to it time and time again, at least most of them want. So what really has to happen is you have to lead by example. You have to show other people on your team what it...

...looks like to live out those values and to kind of move that vision forward in a very kind of public way. So I think that's that's probably the most important thing, is just giving those concrete examples, leading by example, showing your team that this is what it looks like. You know, it's it's we encourage it, we encourage you to act in this way and then I think the rest kind of follow suit. So again, it's not it's not just having a nice document that kind of sits there on your desk or on your internal website, but it's just living those those ideas out your actions. So yeah, so I'll come back to your question. was just some examples of companies that have done that well. So I just want to mention two that I think are probably relevant for me and the BB space at the moment. And so those those two companies are going to be drift and terminus. And the reason I'll mention these two is I think for both of them to degree. Haven't read this in their internal braining documents, but the idea of kind of a human connection, a personal connection and are authentic brand seem to be very coore to both of those businesses. You Drift, they're selling to a broad range of customers. They've even have a free product. So you could argue the SMB your that the freelancer market is something they're going towards. Terminus is more of a enterprise company. But in both cases, you know, with drift you've got their head of marketing, Dave Gerhart. He's very in a public and talking about the company he's very is kind of off the cuff. I think his personality lends itself to coming across that way, to acting that way, but he's always talking about the brain. He's talking about, you know, the new things they've developed for their customers. You know, it's not always perfectly Polish, it's not always there's not always a high production value, but you get the sense that, you know, for drift they're all about they have this idea of conversational marketing. That's kind of their their stick, and so Davis himself, and then to a degree that their CEO, Dave cancel is, is making these these conversations with people through their podcasts, with the Linkedin videas, etc. And then you also see other people on their team, people people have not met before, but you'll see other people in sales and marketing making videos themselves talking about the product, talking to each other, and you've just seen that idea of these having the conversations and the value of these conversations. You'll see that spread through the organization, which is which is really great to see. And then I'll mention terminus. You know Sangroum, their CEO. He's kind of doing this, something similar in a way, and he's in that his whole ideas account based marketing and, you know, instead of just, you know, spamming people, are prospecting people, hunting them down in some ways, just kind of like drift. It's their focus on building for authentic connections with people. So He's done a great job in the way he's talked about the company. He's always talking to other people on Linkedin, in comments, videos, things of that nature. So that's that's probably a great example of living by example. is just being very outward and very kind of public in the the personality of his brand and the values at his brain stands for. Okay, and obviously any company doing a budge abot it, it's easy to pick on on the bad guys. So look, I'll just mention I can mention a couple just because...

...they're in the public spirit already and it's not going to be new news to anyone. I'm not going to pick on someone that's that's not already been played lambasted publicly. But you know, Uber's probably the example that comes to mind for me. First, I'm like in that part world as what was in Theozole at the about recently on double he should seemed out to that, but here. Yeah, so I think in their case it wasn't so much the fact that their external brand wasn't reconciled with the internal culture. I'm not sure that they had much of a kind of value system to begin with, my think a lot of their done a great job of growing the company. And don't me wrong, they that's very smart and tellented people there. They've done a great job on kind of the performance, the growth side of marketing. You can't really argue with that. But when you look at some of the things that they've kind of gotten slapped on the wrist for, they had think greyball was one of the tactics. I don't remember the specifics, but it was the idea of kind of collecting data on people without their their consent or just maybe using that it in in ways that were not entirely above board. Obviously you have some of this sexual harassment cases that they came about and I think it's really unfortunate because you have a very kind of innovative and destructive company. That's absolutely what I think about it. Yeah, yeah, and so I think if they had kind of redefined their marketing to include not just the growth aspect but, you know, the brand aspect of their company, then they may have avoided some of those issues all together. To that point, it's also the probably the most viral compaign that could have existed. Imagine if, for the drivers, I mean how many drivers, when you take a whole back, truly complain about working for a bow? Because so I may not complain, but don't really give you a you wouldn't want them to tell you I'm really happy working for about this is a great company to give me an opportunity. How many both do you take a week? I mean that like a few and I would you would be the best way to actually portrayed the company and make everybody feel at boys the best company ever. And I think maybe I had that feel at the beginning when go was was really new, but although the years I think he just got a little bit I think there was issues in with drivers in India, in some mosop places, and you'll become a little bit confusing and almost make them look as a cheap brand from my perspective. I'm talking about my own opinion here, but I think what an opportunity they had, because the rich that they have with everybody in the market do the rich that they had was thatcom customer is is incredible. You actually spend ten, fifteen minutes with someone walking in the company in a cow probably once or tways a week. So he said, perfect opportunity to discuss with someone and yeah, to the point that you formulated before, if those guys were really in that reflecting positively on the value of Uber, wow the impact would have been could have been fantastic. That's right, and you're right. A few years ago, when you took an Uber, you would just see the Uber Sticker on the windshield and now you see is least in my experience, is there's the Uber Sticker and there's a list sticker right next to it. Yeah, when I talk to the Uber Drivers, you know, they don't, they don't feel all that closely align with the company itself,...

...at least with my experience, they're more opportunistic in terms of and I'm not vaulting me for this, I would do the exact same thing. But what I've been told is they all know one week Huber will run a special for the drivers where there's kind of a bonus rate for that period of time, and the next week lift counters it with another, you know, special or bonus that you know incentivises the drivers to work for them, and so the drivers go back and forth. And then, you know, Uber and lift in a way they're competing on price, not price to the customer, but you know, the rates that they paid paid the drivers and, like you said, real reliant. It's unfortunate because Huber did have the opportunity to create a stronger bond with the drivers and really bring them on as part of the company culture. But there's more of a rift where the drivers have distanced themselves from Uber corporate in a way and, you know, as a result, they have less quality to them as a driver. Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. Yeah, yeah, that's a great, great example. I could I feed youtube because if I think you will speak to everyone, because you know, we've all been I mean they maybe of people will listen to this, but get that I've never took a Huba in the life, but I think for the most part of us will probably spend a few, a few dollars or pounds or euros in all with a Nuba. So that makes perfect sense. Okay. Well, thank you very much for that and and for your insight and for sharing all those best practices and IDs with us today. John, I'm sure that some people in audience will want to reach out to you and it may want to, you know, discuss some of the takeaway. They may want to have a conversation with you. Pick your brain. So what is the best way for our listener to get in touch with you, John? Sure, well, I'm assuming you'll put my some of these links and the show notes consorted. Like. Like you, my last name isn't one that you'd be able to sell just by hearing it. But yeah, I couldn't for non say it's but you know that's that's the that's about it. Well, your French background certainly gave you the edge and pronouncing it. But the best way to reach me is either on email, which is John Dot Rougie as Guy Fycom, or you can also reach me on Linkedin. I'm usually pretty active there as well. Okay, wrest once effect. But again, thank you very much for your time today, John. Ready appreciate your time. Dean site that you provided today to concosaition was real interesting. So yeah, thank you very much and hopefully we see you back against soon. Let's step baking in the next book guest. My pleasure really and next for having me on the show. was great being with you. Thanks. Thank you very much. Jen operatics has redefined the meaning of revenue generation for technology companies worldwide. While the traditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams inhouse has existed for many years. Companies are struggling with a lack of focus, agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprise technology sales. See How operatics can help your company accelerate pipeline at operatics dotnet.

You've been listening to be tob revenue acceleration. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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