B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 1 year 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 many early stage and even later stage be to beat providers make is they think they're the hero, and it's not you who's the hero, it's your customer. You are listening to be tob 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, I'm rid Toisha, one of the producers of the BEATB Revenue Acceleration podcast. Today we will be airing again one of our most listen to episodes, how to tell your Beau tobes brand story. This episode was first published in two thousand and eighteen, right when we started our show, and it's as relevant as ever at this time of the year, when sales and marketing leaders prepare their go to market plans for two thousand and twenty two. And this episode you will hear from Ken Rutski, the author of launching to leading, about how you can make sure your messaging is being heard in a sea of competition and how to break through the noise and allowed and crowded market. Thanks for tuning in. We hope you enjoy welcome to be, to be a Rivan accederation. I ohne am withier and I'm here today. We can Rotski. How are you getting today? I'm doing great. Great Chat with you this morning. No Room at told where we were very keen to get shown the podcasts Ken talking about that. To pick of making your B to be messaging on a Playo cake. It's an interesting concept that with the opportunity to discuss. But before we go into the details of the way you go about and how you come up with that eight layer cake, would you mind giving us, and it's a bit more background as to can red skis and what does your company do? Yeah, absolutely, thanks and despite the topic, I'm not a pastry chef. So I'm came up through product marketing and Silicon Valley. For a couple of decades I've been working in business to business technology marketing really focused on three main areas in my career and in my consulting practice. Security infrastructure of all types, whether that's monitoring, management, storage, that kind of stuff, and then business applications, primarily in the sales and marketing automation space. And Yeah, I think what those have in common is very loud and prouded markets and getting your message to find in a way that it can be heard and it's powerful is definitely a challenge, and so my consulting practice is really focused on Buil to market excellence and achieving go to market leadership. And you know, the thing I'm really passionate about is how businesses can tell their story and build their brand message in a there can accelerate their revenue, and so it's good fit with this podcast title. I think that makes perfect sense. And Yeah, we also come across lots of startups that, you know, often of fantastic products but may not have the ability to translate...

...the technical message into business message or a message that will reasonate with the with the right to gen so, yeah, your type of activity and what you do for your clients as actually make a lot of sense for us and we owned those one where you come from. So I want to go straight into our discussion and obviously you know this is, as I mentioned only on this is a very interesting topic for us to discuss because messaging is key and messaging is at the heart of what we do here to Paratix, and I know that recently you really is an article about make your messaging and ate layer cake. But for the purpose of maybe the people that have know that the chance to come across that that article, would you maintaining a small about the concept and now you came about that concepts. Yeah, and I'm going to chat for those layers out to start with and just focus on the core for layers, and then what we will figure out how to multiply that by two and get to aid in a few minutes. But if you think about messaging, the way I think this is you have four layers of messaging that you need to develop as a b provider and, as I say, that goes from mythos to money. And what I mean by that is at the very top you've got the brand aspirational layer. You know, what is this big message that you have in a good example of that is early on in the days of Sales Forcecom, the big mythos, of the big brand aspirational message was the end to software. And but you know, people don't buy aspiration. What I actually think people buy at the end of the day is a transformational capability that you bring into their organization. So at the second layer, I call this the magical layer, and to me this is the most important of the four layers because it is the core of how you build the all that. The rest of it, and the reason I call it magic, is there's a framework called the heroes journey that a cultural anthropologist named Joseph Campbell came up with in the early S, which basically said all of our great storytelling mythologies follow this framework of the Heroes Journey. And if any of your listeners have watched any of the star wars movies or many of the Disney movies, they all follow this basic framework that essentially says the heroes living in his or her world, it gets disrupted, they have a death or neardeath experience, they need a God or goddess and get a magical gift and then they come back to their world and transform it to a better place. And if you think about the biggest mistake I think, that many early stage and even later stage bee to be providers make because they think they're the hero and it's not you who's the hero, it's your customer. But the role you want to play in that story is the magic you want to be, that transformative magic that takes the your customers reality and transforms it into a better place. I call that a viewpoint story or breakthrough marketing story, and that's a big piece...

...of it. So you kind of go from aspirational to transformational and you know, if it building on the sales for example, you know go from the end to software. But the real transformational promise to the user was will actually get crm implemented successfully for you, because back five and twenty years ago and salesforth started, people had a lot of problems with Oracle and seeble and other crm systems and actually getting them implemented to getting value out of that. So that was a pretty magical promise to that user. And then if you go to the third layer of that four layers, it's really the what I call the money layer, because people will motivate around a transformational story, but then you need to prove that there's value in what you deliver. So that's where things like value based messaging and what are your key business benefits comes in, and that's critical to define because you might get someone excited with that transformational story, but you'll never get the purchase justified without the money or without the Roi that you can provide in the value based messages. And then, last but not least, you get into how do you do it, because technical buyers especially want to understand the how, and one of the ways you get credibility in your message just to be able to very, very tightly link your how with your money messages or your method with your money, and then your method up to the magical story. So that's the four key layers that we build the whole messaging foundation up. Okay, that's definitely very interesting and it does make sense that actuate. Obviously do the way you go about in the methodigy that you put behind that is is is in a way. So yet that would say we do, but we never formulated it in such an aarticulate way. So that's pretty good. Well, one of the concept that we discussed in the passage is about B to be bios and the fact that you know, be to be BIOS are there are people like you and I, like you know, all of us listening to this podcast, but they also need to see a personal value to the approach. This is and I think it would be good, you know, because whether the opportunity dies, because that's in more details in the past, in a non podcasts environment, it would be good if you could elaborate some of the ideas that you share with me on that topic. All audience. Yeah, absolutely, and that's how we multiply the for and get to too, because I think typically we start with the business value and the business message and the business train insformation in 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 for them. We're going to turn your reputation from tactical to strategic in the organization might be an aspiration that we provide to the buyer. And then you know, what's the journey we're going to take you on as the user of this product and how are we going to make your life better? Not just provide business transformation, but personally what this is going to do for you, and then...

...what value do you get out of it? So you know, that might be something like you're seen as the expert in quickly deploying new business applications within the organization or something like that. Then we still have to answer the hill question and there's certainly overlap between you the first four and the second four layers. But I think what most providers do is they don't even think about that, you know. Second, four layers of the cake. They really just if they're smart enough to think about the first, for which many are, they really don't connect at a personal level on those. Second for messages. By the way, if you want to find out who does this, the great sales people do this all the time. In fact, sometimes great salespeople don't even need those first for all they need to do is convince the buyer that it's great thing for them personally it's okay. And so I would you advise on day bring that message, because obviously there is a few things in date layouts. Can you put that into like a one minute, a little it up pitch, or do you think he's a batter to the developed of sequence when young gage with her prospect? I'll do you spread to slay out. I would have seen this play your best pred of the time and then he velt to prospect or any any more challenge here, because people can only remember three plus or minus two things right. So I like gets us to five at best, and we're at eight here. So you know, I think the critical choice here is where do you focus in the story or that magical layer. To me is the place to focus. In recently, jody beans all, who is the founder of that dynamics, wrote a great peace and Entrepreneur magazine and he basically said a lot of companies have great ideas, and you said this earlier, so you're in good company. But yeah, the ones to succeed, the ones who convince employees, investors and customers to go on a journey with them, are the ones who tell a great story. So I always say it starts and ends with the story. One of my clients recently said to me, you know, can we've been doing this wrong. We thought the strategy should drive the story, but we we realize now is the story should drive the strategy. So I think story start. You know, it really does start and ended with story, because if you don't create the contexts for how you talk about both the personal and the business value of your solution, if I don't want to go on the attorney, if I'm not excited by your magic, then all the value in the world won't make the sale. Absolutely okay, what? That makes perfect sense. I mean, you know, from all perspective we again, as I said, we don't have the methodology of the different layoffs, but we believe in the story. We feel at the the story is what we've got to explain. We walk with lots of disruptive startups and organization at all is are coming to a new market. So when you mentioned them the name of the company, people are like, Woo, you know they don't they don't know them.

That's right and it's important tell them. Look, this is this is what the organization come from, this is how we come up with the idea, this is this is what makes us different. So we came up with that concept. This is what makes us different. This is the value we deliver. Now you know, it's about how can that value be? What would that value mean in your context? And that's the reason why we want to engage with you. And then we go through, obviously passing on to some of our clients and steam of doing it ourselves. But then you've got, I guess, from all perspective, the segon layout, which is okay. We're going to go into a bit more details, but we want that session to be interactive and people to open up so they can help us to onder some whorl we can make the magic happen. As I said, you know, I think it makes a lot of sense and what you went through, as I'm sure he's really, really at fruitful fors know, and and a pretty too. They got so insight from the way you put it to get, I guess can and my magic, you know, that I helped me, I try to bring to my customers is exactly what you said, is of methodology for telling this story in a way that going to get you attention and is proven and works and is scalable. And so, you know, I think the big challenge, you know, that you point out right exactly, is exactly that. As if I'm a new security vendor, I'm competing with probably three to four thousand other absolute years out there and if I start at, you know, my Roi, my business value, now I'm competing with everybody, because everybody who's going to do anything has good business value right, and they figured that piece out. So what I need to do is I need to move away from Rohi, is the first thing, and I need to think about return on strategy, is the first thing. I need to convince that my my customer that you know, they need to get to and if I can align my value around this story, that we're talking about. That's how I do it, and so the chapters of the story are well structured and well articulated in my book, launching to leading and a lot of the blogging I do, but in how we put it together to the customers. And you know, I think it might be worth just walking through that really quick to absolutely well, I wasn't. There was my next questions. So you're reading my mind. Taking about launching to leading. Your book, you speak about the importance of the messaging and how you positioned that message and basically, I'll do you. Come out of the crowd. I'll do you breaks through the noise, because there is a lot of noise. You just need to go to you. And we speak a lot about security, but you can do big data, you can you can look at any yea, any any the I ever think it's everywhere and it's it's got to be very, very confusing for prospects. Okay, it's less confusing for us, I think, because we are in the market and we speak with these vendors every day. We breathon live it and we've got people from the insight telling us, you know, the stories that maybe the prospect don't know. About but for the process. If I was a prospect, I think my head would be spinning about the volume of options I've got available. Coming back to my question, which is probably the most important question that I wanted to ask you today, how can you you stand out from the crowd from messaging...

...perspective? Yeah, so again I'm gonna sound a little bit like the all broken record. I think it's the story you tell, and so let me walk through why that's so important, how we do it with clients. So basically, if you think about that heroes journey metaphor that I mentioned, you apply that to a be to be messaging framework. That sounds kind of strange, but I figured if it's good enough for all our mythologies, and it's good enough for George Lucas and it's good that for Disney, it would be good enough for me. So I built off of that framework and you essentially, the story has four chapters and it goes like this. The world's change, it's become a different place. Here's what it'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, and what I'm going for there is, you know, a little bit of the old rapport building and the head not. Yeah, you know, it does look like that. And then the next part of the chapter as well. If you're trying to solve this problem and you're using solutions that were built for an old world, here's all the pain that you're going to find yourself in or the missed opportunities that you're not going to be able to take advantage of. If I do that right, then the prospect is saying, yeah, I do have that pain. Or, you know what, I never realize the source of that pain was because I was doing this wrong. I fast, you're you're so you also get yourself as a something like an ext belt, almost a Ducto, you know what? Like when you go to the ductor and you don't know why you've got back pain. That's all right, you know. And and I think when you do that right, which you just went through, yels open up, but it's a bit more and people will listen to what you've got to say because you're if you own the some that context, if you able to say what I believe that this is why it's coming from, and you can go to the next pot of digs. I mean any should, but that Leeds the would open and I think as the first about to a woman, which is trust. Books need to take is around. Are You unexpelled? I'm not. Do you own these on my wall? So, yeah, I appreciate what you are saying and definitely show your opinion on that. Yeah, and you know, forester did some research, I think about six or seven years ago, where they interviewed btv buyers and they said what do you want out of your sales rep and what do you value out of sales reps, and product knowledge was like something like number eight on that list. Number one was they understand my business and number two is that they teach me something. I don't know. So this is the opportunity for, you know, what the Challenger folks will call commercial insight or teaching. Yeah, so if I can go and do that, then I earn the right aid to tell the rest of my story but maybe, even more importantly, to engage in a conversation where I get to ask questions and learn things to it's respected, which is imported as a churn Joe Model is is is a beautiful modulist. This is what we use as a methodology. HEF So, yeah, we very familiar with des Yeah, and I think the...

...thing that challenge, you know, the thing I've always been challenged with by challenger, is it it assumes that your organization can, people in the organization can find the commercial insight when they're in the battle. And what I want to do is arm them with the right commercial insight going in that can start that process. So then we get it the next chapter and we've kind of transition from talking about the customers world to talking about solutions. And now we say, well, what if you took a different approach or had a different mindset about this problem? And then after I talk about you know, if you flip your mindset to think like this and take this different approach, what you'll realize as you need these kind of innovations in order to solve the problem for today's world. And that's where I'm starting now to very briefly get to my uniqueness as a provider. But then very quickly I want to transition now to the back to the customers world. And when you do that you get to this much better place where you're getting all this business value and now you see how the story then comes full circle back to the customers world, from the customers present to the customers transformational future, and then the value they get. I drive into my second layer or the third layer, the cake, those value messages. And so if I start with the story, I don't run the risk of coming in and, you know, as the classic saying would be, showing up and throwing up about my product. Yeah, well, we should. A few people do that in the bestaseoth mentioned. Yeah, really, so that's what's very used for. What I mean? Obvious thinking, ass of insight. I mean, I'm I'm very excited every single time I speak to you because I think we also show to some sort of value about, you know, the way we go about it, and not just on messaging but on a few as a thing. So thank you very much for sharing your ideas. I think it was definitely lots of inside apology. Its probably, as I said, you know, lots of people trying to do the right things but again sometimes putting a frame around it, reformulating with a new methodology like you do it. Is it very useful because he makes almost makes things falling into place. Yeah, I'd leave you with frame is the exact word because what I want to do is frame the market conversation that's happening and influence it and create the context where my value is going to be greater than my competitors values and I become strategic as opposed to just a tactical purchase. And that's how you break through and late. Yeah, I think that's you. Know, you preaching someone who's already converted, but I'm under person with you here now, follogens, if anyone wants to take that conversation of flying with you, reach to you. Reach out to you. On Gage with can Redski. What's the best way to discuss grows strategy on Gage with you? Took to you by your book. How do we do that? Yeah, go to can ratskycom and you can do all the about. You'll find links to where you can buy the book, you'll find request...

...a meeting linked there and you'll find all my blogs and information about events and you can always email me. That's an easy one too. It's just can take kjr as see, it'Scom, that's k they are Associatescom and it just can there. But you can find that up on Ken redskycom too. So that all the best place to connect affects and Red Skis are ut S K y. You got corrected. It absolutely is facts. Okay, good, well, can there. was really good. So thank you very much for your time and insight today. Much appreciated value your time and know you you extremely busy and involving lots of different project. As I said, Andreid let's of was autopic with you. So I'm sure we will reach out to you and then your food shot to discussos out topics, but for today, again, thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. 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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