B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 1 month ago

113: How to Tell Your B2B's Brand Story In 2022 w/ Ken Rutsky


For this episode of the B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast, we will be airing again one of our most listened to episodes: “How to Tell Your B2B’s Brand Story”.

This episode was first published in 2018 when we started our show and it’s as relevant as ever at this time of the year when Sales & Marketing leaders prepare their Go-to-Market plans for 2022.

Breaking through the noise in a loud and crowded market is tough.

How do you make sure your messaging is being heard in a sea of competition?

Ken Rutsky, the author of Launching to Leading: How B2B Market Leaders Create Flashmobs, Marshal Parades and Ignite Movements has created an 8-layer cake for B2B messaging that helps brands tell their story and stand out.

He spent many years in product marketing in Silicon Valley, and he specialized in security, infrastructure, and business applications in the sales & marketing automation space. Now he helps companies define their message clearly. Ken shows businesses how they can build their brand through storytelling to accelerate revenue.

The biggest mistake, I think, that manyearly stage and even later stage be to be providers, make as they think,they're the hero, and it's not you who's the hero. It's your customer. You are listening to be to be revenueacceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executives stay on thecutting edge of sails and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show hi, I'm Rida Isha, one of the producersof the beauty, be revenue acceleration podcast. Today we will be airing againone of our most listen to episodes. How to tell your be to be's brand story.This episode was first published in two thousand and eighteen right when westarted our show and it's as relevant as ever at this time of the year, whensales and marketing leaders prepare their go to market plans for twothousand and twenty two. In this episode, you will hear from Ken rutsthe author of launching to leading about how you can make sure yourmessaging is being heard in a sea of competition and how to break throughthe noise in a loud and crowded market. Thanks for tuning in. We hope you enjoy when come to me to be a revenueacceleration. I oenlam with her and I'm here today with Ken Rotky. How are yougeting today? I'm doing great great chat with you this morning, no programat all. Well, look. We were very keen to get shown. The podcast can talkingabout a topic of making your bit to be messaging and a player cake. It's aninteresting concept that with the opportunity to discus, but before we gointo the details of the way you go about, then how you came up with thateight layer cake. Would you mind giving also a little bit more background as tocan rotky and and what does your company do? Yeah? Absolutely thanks anddespite the topic, I'm not a pastry chef. So I'm a came up through productmarketing and Silicon Valley. For a couple of decades, I've been working inbusiness to business technology, marketing really focused on three mainareas in my career and and my consulting practice: securityinfrastructure of all types, whether that's monitoring, management, storage,that kind of stuff and then business applications, primarily in the sales ofmarketing, automation, space and yeah. I think what those have in common isvery loud and crouded markets, and so getting your message to find in a waythat it can be heard and it's powerful is definitely a challenge, and so myconsulting practice is really focused on go to market excellence andachieving go to market leadership. And you know the thing I'm reallypassionate about is how businesses can tell their story and build their brandmessage in a way that can accelerate their revenue, and so it's good fitwith this podcast title. I think that makes perfect sense and yer. We alsocome across lots of startups that no...

...often of fantastic products, but maynot have the ability to translate the technical message into business messageor a message to l resonate with the with the right O gens for Yer. Yourtype of activity and what you do for your clients as actually make a lot ofsense for us and we on Dorson, where you come from, so I want to go straightinto our discussion and obviously you know this is as a mention onor. This isa very interesting topic for us to discuss, because messaging is key andmessaging is at the heart of what we do here to paretics, and I know thatrecently, you really is an article about Makin, your messaging and eightlayer cake, but for the purpose of maybe the people that have not had thechance to come across that that article, would you maintaining a small about theconcept and how you came about the concept yeah and I'm going to chop forof those layers out to start with and just focus on the core for layers andthen what we will figure out how to multiply that by two and get to eightin a few minutes. But if you think about messaging the way I think of this,is you have four layers of messaging that you need to develop as be to beproviders and, as I say, that goes from mythos to money and what I mean by thatis at the very top. You've got the brand aspirational layer. You know whatis this big message that you have and a good example of that is early on in thedays of sales forecome. The big mythos of the big brand aspirational messagewas the end of software, and but you know, people don't buy aspiration. WhatI actually think people buy at the end of the day is a transformationalcapability that you bring into their organization. So, at the second layer Icall this the magical layer and to me this is the most important of the forelayers, because it is the core of how you build the out the rest of it andthe reason I call it magic is there's a framework called the hero's journeythat a cultural anthropologist named Joseph Campbell came up with in the Rearly S, which basically said all of our great story. Telling mythologiesfollow this framework of a hero's journey and if any of your listenershave watched any of the star wars, movies or many of the Disney movies,they all follow this basic framework that essentially says the heroes livingin his or her world. It gets disrupted. They have a death or near deathexperience, they need a God or goddess and get a magical gift, and then theycome back to their world and transform it to a better place. And if you thinkabout the biggest mistake, I think that many early stage and even later stagebe to be providers, make as they think, they're the hero. And it's not youwho's the hero, it's your customer, but the role you want to play in that storyis the magic. You want to be that transformative magic that takes theyour customers reality and transforms it into a better place. I call that aviewpoint story or a break through marketing story and that's a big pieceof it. So you kind of go from...

...aspirational to transformational, andyou know I I building on the sales first example, you know go from the endof software, but the real transformational promise to the userwas well actually get CR implemented successfully for you, because backfifteen twenty years ago, when sales were started, people had a lot ofproblems with Oracle and sable and other RM systems and actually gettingthem implemented to getting value out of that. So that was a pretty magicalpromise to that user. And then, if you go to the third layer of that forlayers, it's really the what I call the money layer, because people willmotivate around a transformational story. But then you need to prove thatthere's a value in what you deliver. So that's. Where things like value basedmessaging and what are your key business benefits comes in and that'scritical to define, because you might get someone excited with thattransformational story, but you'll never get the purchase justifiedwithout the money or without the Roi that you can provide in the value ofbased messages and then last, but at least you get into. How do you do it,because technical buyers especially want to understand the? How and one ofthe ways you get credibility in your message is to be able to very verytightly link your how with your money, messages or your method with your moneyand then your method up to the magical story. So that's the for key layersthat we build the whole Messaging Foundation, O. Okay, that's definitelyvery interesting and it does make sense Aculeo. The way you go bout in themeter yet to put beer in that is is is in a way, something that I would say wedo, but we never formulated it in such an articulate way. So that's prettygood. Well, one of the concert that we discussed in the past is is about be tobe bias and the fact that you know be to be BIOS. Other people like you and I,like you, know all of us pesents podcast, but they also need to see apersonal value to the purchases and I think it would be good. You know,because when the your pose discus Atin more details in the person of a known,podcast environment, it would be good if you could elaborate some of theideas that you showed with me on. That topic fall agence yeah, absolutely andthat's how we multiply the for and get to to, because I think typically, westart with the business value and the business message and the businesstransformation the business magic, but we also have to explain to the buyer.What's in it for him or her. What's that you know aspiration we have forthem we're going to turn your reputation from tactical to strategicand the organization might be an aspiration that we provide to the vim,and then you know once the journey we're going to take you on. As the userof this product, and how are we going to make your life better, not justprovide business transformation, but...

...personally what this is going to do foryou and then what value do you get out of it? So you know that might besomething like your seeing as the expert in quickly deploying newbusiness applications within the organization or something like that.Then we still have to answer the high question and there's certainly overlapbetween you, the first four and the second for layers, but I think whatmost providers do is they don't even think about that? You know second, fourlayers of the cake. They really just if they're smart enough to think about thefirst, for which many are they really don't connect at a personal level onthose second foreign messages? Ah, by the way, if you want to find out whodoes this the great sales people do this all the time? In fact, sometimesgreat sales people don't even need those first for all they need to do isconvince the buyer that it's a great thing for them personally, so, okay,and so how would you advise on delivering that message? Because,obviously there is a few things in the inda layers. Can you put that into likea one minute, elevator pitch, or do you think it's better to deliver that ofour sequence? When you engage with with a prospect? How do you spread theslayer or always sing play your best spread over time and then evel prospecta Gantiere challenge here, because people can only remember threePosterius, two things right so yeah. I like it's us to five at best and we'reat eight here. So you know, I think the critical choice here is: Where do youfocus in the story or that magical layer to me is the place to focus inrecently, Jodie Banza, who was the founder of AP dynamics, wrote a greatpiece, an entrepreneur magazine, and he basically said a lot of companies havegreat ideas, and you said this earlier so you're in good company but YEA. Theones who succeed the ones who convince employees, investors and customers togo on a journey with them are the ones who tell a great story. So I always sayit starts. It ends with the story. One of my clients recently said to me: YouKnow Ken we've been doing this wrong. We thought the strategy should drivethe story, but what realize now is the story should drive the strategy, so Ithink stories start. You know it really does start and end with story, becauseif you don't create the context for how you talk about both the personal andthe business value of your solution, if I don't want to go on that journey, ifI'm not excited by your magic, then all the value in the world won't make thesale absolutely okay. Well, that makes perfect sense. I mean you know from orperspective we again, as I said, we don't have the methodology of thedifferent layers, but we believe in the story. We feel that the story is whatwe've got to explain in. We walk with lots of destructive start ups andorganization at a is a coming to a new market. So when you mentioned the nameof the company, people are like who you know they? Don't they don't know thatthat and it's important tell them no.

This is this is what the organizationcome from. This is how we come up with the AD. This is this is what makes usdifferent, so we came up with that concept. This is what makes usdifferent. This is the value we deliver now. You know it's about: How can thatvalue be? What would that verue mean in your context and that's the reason whywe want to engage with you and then we go through viously passing on to someof our clients, an team or doing it ourselves, but then you've got. I guessfrom all perspective, the sagon layer, which is okay, we're going to go into abit more details, but we have that accession to be interactive and peopleto open up, so they can help us to undo one where we can make the magic happen.As I said, you know, I think it makes a lot of sense and what you went throughus. I'm sure it's really really a full for for this e, a d and o fret they gotplots of insight from the way you put it together. I guess, can my magic that I helped me I try tobring to my customers is exactly what you said: is a methodology for tellingthis story in a way that got to get you attention and is proven and works, andit's scalable and so yeah. I think the big challenge yea, that you point outright exactly as exactly that is, if I'm a new security vendor, I'mcompeting with probably three to four thousand other, absolutely is out thereand if I start at you know my Roi, my business value now, I'm competing witheverybody, because everybody who's going to do anything has good businessvalue right and they've figured that piece out. So what I need to do is Ineed to move away from. Roi Is the first thing and I need to think aboutreturn on strategy. As the first thing, I need to convince that my my customerthat you they need to get to and if I can align my value around this storythat we're talking about. That's how I do it, and so the chapters of the storyare well structured and well articulated. In my book lunch watchingto leading and a lot of the bogging I do, but in how we put it together tothe customers and yeah. I think it might be worth just walking throughthat really quick to absolutely. But I was like that was my next question. Soyou're reading my mind in about launching to leading Ye your book. Youspeak about the importance of the messaging and ow. You position thatmessage and basically I'll do you come out of the crowd out you break for thenoise, because there is a lot of noise. You just need to go to you know and wespeak a lot about security, but you can do big data, you can you can look at aNyert it's everywhere and it's got to be very, very confusing for prospect.Okay, it's less confusing for us. I think, because we are in the market andthe pick with those vendors every day we brazen live it and we've got peoplefrom the inside telling us. You know the story. Is that may be the prospectdon't know about, but for the prose. If I was a prospect, I think my my eadwould be spinning about the voluable options. I've got available. Comingback to my question, which is probably the most important question I wanted toascue today. Oh, can you you stand out...

...from the crowd from MessagingProspective Yeah. So again, I'm gonna sound a little bit like the old brokenrecord. I think it's the story, you talent, so let me walk through whythat's so important, how we do it with clients. So basically, if you thinkabout that Hero's journey metaphor that I mentioned, you now apply that to a Bto be messaging framework. That sounds kind of strange, but I figured if it'sgood enough for all our mythologies and it's good enough for George Lucas andit's good enough for Disney. It would be good enough for me, so I built offof that framework and you essentially the story has four chapters and it goeslike this. The world's changed it's become a different place. Here is whatit's like, and I'm not talking about myself. I'm talking about my customers,world, so the world that you live in, Mr Customer looks like this today andwhat I'm going for there is. You know a little bit of the old report buildingand the head, not yeah, and you know it does look like that and then the nextpart of the chapter as well. If you're trying to solve this problem and you'reusing solutions that were built for an old world, here's all the pain thatyou're going to find yourself in or the Misoponia s that you're not going to beable to take advantage of. If I do that right, then the prospect is saying yeahI do have that pain, or you know what I never realized. The source of that painwas because I was doing this wrong office. You you also you so getyourself as something like an expert. Almost a doctor, you know like when yougo to the doctor and you don't know why you've got back pain. That's all right!You know- and I think when you do that right, which you just went through elseopen up a little bit more and people will listen to what you've got to say,because if you understand that context, if you're able to say well, I believethat this is why it's coming from, and you can go to the next part of theexamination, but at least they will ones. The first battle won, which isfust box need to take, is around. Are you an expert or not? Do you an do onmy word, so yeah appreciate what you're saying and definitely share youropinion on that yeah and yeah foresters at some research, I think about six orseven years ago, where they interviewed B TB buyers and they said what do youwant out of your sales wrap? And what do you value on to sales, reps andproduct knowledge was like something like number eight on that list numberone was they understand my business and number two is that they teach mesomething I don't know so. This is the opportunity, for you know what theChallenger folks would call commercial insight or teaching yeah. So if I cango and do that, then I earn the right a to tell the rest of my story, but maybeeven more importantly, to engage in a conversation where I get cask questionsand learn things too. It's respectit, which is important as a challenge ormode is a beautiful model, is this is what we use as a mythology here. Soyeah we very familiar with that yeah...

...and I think the thing that challengeyou know the thing I've always been challenged with by Challenger. Is it itassumes that your organization can people in the Organization can fine thecommercial insight when they're in the battle and what I want to do is armthem with the right commercial insight going in that can start that process.So then we get at the next chapter and we've kind of transitioned from talkingabout the customers world to talking about solutions, and now we say wellwhat, if you took a different approach or had a different mindset about thisproblem and then after I talk about you know if you flip your mindset to thinklike this and take this different approach, what you'll realize, as youneed these kind of innovations in order to solve the problem for today's worldand that's where I'm starting now to very briefly get to my uniqueness as aprovider but then very quickly. I want to transition now to the back to thecustomers world and when you do that, you get to this much better place whereyou're getting all this business value. And now you see how the story thencomes full circle back to the customers world from the customers present to thecustomers, transformational future and then the value they get. I drive intomy second layer or the third layer, the cake, those value messages, and so, ifI start with the story, I don't run the risk of coming in, and you know, as theclassic saying would be showing up and throwing up about my product yeah. Well,we in a show people do that in the past, without mentioning a really so that was very useful, I meanobviously can clusive in sight. I mean I'm, I'm very excited to every singlethan I speak to you, because I think we also showed some sort of value about.You know the way we go by and not just on messaging, that on a fees of thing.So thank you very much for sharing your ideas. I think it was definitely a lotof infatooated. As I said, you know lots of people trying to do the rightthings, but again sometimes putting a frame around it. Reformulating with anew mythology like you do, it is very useful because he makes almost makesthings falling into place. Yeah I leave you with frame. Is the exact wordbecause what I want to do is frame the market conversation that's happeningand influence it and create the context where my value is going to be greaterthan my competitors, values and I become strategic as opposed to just atactical purchase and that's how you break through and late yeah. I think.That's you know your preaching. Someone was already converted, but I'm oneperson who is you here now for audience? If anyone wants to take thatconversation of flying with you rich to you, reach out to you, engage withcenred. What's the best way to discuss gross strategy, engage with you took toyou by your book? Oh, do we do that? Yeah go to Kenrose and you can do allthe about you'll find links to where you can buy the book. You'll findrequest a meeting link there and you'll...

...find all my blogs and information aboutevents, and you can always email me. That's an easy one too. It's just kenthat Kjartan that's Kar Associates and it just Ken there, but you can findthat up on Ken Redskin Tin, so that all the best place to connect, Bate and rodskis are out sky. Is that correct it? Absolutely? Yes fact: Okay, good! WellGen! There was really good. So thank you very much for your time and insight to day much appreciate it very your time. You know you're extremelybusy in involving lots of different projects. As I said on Redleap with you,so I'm sure we will reach out to you in ten your future to discusses our topics,but for today again. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. operaticshas re defined the meaning of revenue generation for technology companiesworldwide, while the traditional concepts of building and managinginside sales teams in house has existed for many years. Companies arestruggling with the lack of focus, agility and scale required in today'sfast and complex world of enterprise technology sales see how operatics canhelp your company accelerate pipeline, that operatics dot net you've beenlistening to be to be revenue acceleration to ensure that you nevermiss an episode subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thankyou so much for listening until next time. I.

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