Markigy: The Science of Marketing Strategy

Relationship Marketing Isn’t a Fad, It’s the Future with Mike Grinberg

Episode Summary

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a rise in companies using relationship-based marketing to connect more deeply with customers. It was used during the pandemic and it’s seeing a resurgence now, as the economy is facing a recession. But here’s the problem… companies haven’t been using it consistently. If you focus on implementing relationship marketing strategies year-round, not just when times are tough, there’s no telling how your brand (and your customers) will flourish. Better yet, you can use relationship marketing to turn your brand into a unicorn. How? Well, let’s talk about it! In this episode of Markigy Podcast, your host Leanne Dow-Weimer welcomes Mike Grinberg, Founder and CEO of Proofpoint Marketing, to share his top insights and strategies for relationship-based marketing.

Episode Notes

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a rise in companies using relationship-based marketing to connect more deeply with customers. It was used during the pandemic and it’s seeing a resurgence now, as the economy is facing a recession.  

But here’s the problem… companies haven’t been using it consistently.

If you focus on implementing relationship marketing strategies year-round, not just when times are tough, there’s no telling how your brand (and your customers) will flourish. Better yet, you can use relationship marketing to turn your brand into a unicorn.  

How? Well, let’s talk about it!

In this episode of Markigy Podcast, your host Leanne Dow-Weimer welcomes Mike Grinberg, Founder and CEO of Proofpoint Marketing, to share his top insights and strategies for relationship-based marketing.


In this episode we discuss:

Short-term vs. long-term strategies for building relationships with customers.

3 core principles for developing relationship-based marketing strategies.

The benefits of hiring marketers with business experience.

How to turn your brand into a unicorn.

When does relationship marketing fit best and where does it not work?

Why good business depends on transparency and recognizing when you’re not a good fit.


Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

The Master Marketer Show:

Mixing Business with Pleasure Podcast:


Meet the Host:

Leanne Dow-Weimer, Founder & Host of Markigy Podcast


Meet the Guest:

Mike Grinberg, Founder and CEO of Proofpoint Marketing


Links to content here:


Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Markigy: The Science of Marketing Strategy in your favorite podcast player.

This episode was produced and brought to you by Reignite Media. 

Episode Transcription

[00:00:00] Leanne: Welcome to Markigy the Science of Marketing Strategy, a biweekly podcast where all the cool marketers discuss their favorite marketing strategies. Study by study. On this show, we feature marketing risk takers who believe long-term wins for the customer equal long-term wins for the business too. How human led marketing, the combination of where science, creativity, and strategy meet, or as we also like to call it Markigy.

Let's break down the marketing trends, myths and methodologies together. I'm your host, Leanne Dow-Weimer. Let's go. Hey there. This is Leanne with Markigy Podcast, and I'm joined today by Mike Grinberg, the CEO of Proofpoint Marketing. Mike, thank you so much for joining me. Thanks for having me. And could you just tell us a little bit more about how you ended up as c e o and, and what your journey has been to this point?

[00:00:59] Mike: We have like two hours, right? No, I'm kidding. I'll give you the, the 32nd version of the founder journey story, if you will. Mean I've been, I've been in marketing for, I don't, depends on when we start counting, let's say close to 20 years at this point. And at one point we, my wife and I, who's the co-founder of the, of Proofpoint with me, we ended up in a situation where we had a daughter who was extremely premature.

That was, that was back home, and we needed to be a more flexible environment. And I had just lost my VP job at a energy startup due to some. Weird finances, let's put it that way. And we started Proofpoint. So that's how Proofpoint came to be. I've done, I mean, just about anything under the sun when it comes to marketing, digital marketing, if that's still even a term these days.

I mean, I started out with, you know, paid search and seo, that's kinda where I grew up. And then all sorts of paid media, content marketing, partner marketing, all sorts of stuff.  

[00:02:00] Leanne: Awesome. Yeah, I think the, at least I, I also picked marketing intentionally for the hopes of work-life balance and the ability to exist where you can plan ahead and you can be proactive instead of reactive.

So, you know, I I, your guys' story really resonates with me too, so I, I just gotta say that I have a lot of respect for you guys looking for a solution and creating one. Now, from what I know about you, that, that you've put out there publicly or, or you both, and, and what I've seen from your marketing materials for Proofpoint is that that impacts how, like, kind of like the framework you approach marketing with.

And could you kind of expand on, if you were to just give like, you know, a elevator amount of time, your, your marketing lens, if you will, what, what is it and, and what are the big takeaways about it? Yeah,  

[00:03:02] Mike: I think definitely. I think the backstory definitely impacts it. I don't know that it's the, I wouldn't call it the driving force behind it, per se, but I think it does, it's an input to summarize it in as few details as possible.

Really, it's, I. It's about mindsets and actually somebody just asked me about like sort of how do you differentiate what you guys do in abm? They, somebody commented on my LinkedIn post, I just responded to it. But the, I think the main difference is mindsets. It's putting the relationship at the center, meaning the relationship between the, the client and you, whether that's whether you're selling services or products doesn't matter.

And also making their relationship the unit of measure for. Go to market success. So what is the health of their relationships, how, you know, not just how profitable they are in the short term even, but what do they look like long-term? So that's sort of like comparing, you know, versus LTV to a extent. So that that core mindset that.

Creates, I think the freedom to do the right things, if you will, rather than the usual and traditional like transactional type of activity that we generally see with a heavy focus on how quickly can we get the meeting, you know, all the, all the stuff that everybody sort of complains about even though they're running the same playbook and saying that they're doing ABM and or whatever else.

[00:04:23] Leanne: Yeah, I mean, I have a bone to pick with ABM because it was really hard for me to adapt that because to me it was just marketing correctly. Like you, I mean, I understand that it's, there's nuances and there, there's, I. Details and how it's executed that quantify and qualify whether or not it's ABM or just marketing.

But I think at the gist of it is that, you know, a lot of these marketing 1 0 1 concepts get pushed to the side when there's a sense of urgency and I. What the mindset really needs to be, and this is why there's a lot of alignment between you and I and and your team. I get along with greatly. It appears is that the mindset needs to be completely different and it needs to set up the next steps in a different manner than just reacting to that.

Oh my God, right now we've gotta like push revenue, so. If you were in a meeting with your team and one of your clients had come to you saying like, ah, like, you know, we just had something happen and we, we need this new initiative. You know, to do X, Y, and Z and we need it yesterday. How do you kind of like frame that up as far as next  

[00:05:38] Mike: steps?

I mean, I think within, within any system there should be flexibility to focus, to, to do short-term and long-term. So I, I don't want it to sound like this is only the, the long-term play for five years from now. Right. So, I think the main thing still is you have to do the right thing to build the relationship.

And there are more shorter term things and there are obviously longer term things. It's like most things you do from a branding, quote unquote perspective are gonna be more longer term, but they're, you know, so in, in our case, for example, we'll do what we call relationship enablement. That's our shorter term revenue driving playbook, if you will.

And that's about, okay. We already have great affinity to the brand. We already have, you know, solid, let's say top of funnel, if you will, for lack of a better term. What can we do to improve the speed at which we build these relationships? Now, how quickly can we start conversations not, I'm not, and I'm not talking about like how quickly can we get that first sales meeting schedule, but what, how quickly can we get conversations with our best fed clients?

It's building a process and a system around the core framework principles that we have, which is how can we get the the right people excited about what we're talking about? How can we get past their skepticisms? They're inevitably going to have, and use that to start conversations, right? It's creating valuable content, et cetera.

Again, there's obviously a ton of nuance there, which we can get into if you want, but so. That's the tactical answer. I think even with that though, I do think that there's a conversation that we would have with the client around, okay, let's make sure we're talking about realistic expectations here, right?

If you've done nothing, meaning. If, if they're a brand new client, we've never worked with 'em before, we don't have a foundation in place yet, and you want to impact revenue three months from now, we're probably not gonna be the right fit. Not because we couldn't do it, it's because the things that we would have to do would go against our core framework.

We could probably. Probably we could for sure have to do something that would drive shorter term revenue, but it'll be at the expense of long-term success in long-term relationship building. And what we do is kind of in conjunction with, right. So, and obviously there's also, there's also questions we gotta talk about, you know, What's your sales cycle really like?

And then on top of that, how long did it take before somebody enters into your sales cycle to like, how long do you have to nurture them from a marketing perspective first? So if we find out that's six months and you wanna hit impact revenue three months from now, it's like, well that's an unrealistic expectation.

There's no way this is gonna happen. Nobody can solve that problem for you. This is not a marketing problem. You have a business issue. Yeah, absolutely. You've effed up somewhere beforehand and now you're trying to find the magic bulletin does exist.  

[00:08:19] Leanne: Right, and I mean, I can think of like five causes of that off the top of my head that the lowest hanging fruit is unrealistic projections from someone that's unfamiliar with marketing and even  

[00:08:30] Mike: more so than marketing, I would say.

Yeah. Like that's the thing is I, I, one of the lessons I've taken away from the last whatever say, Three to four years is you have to stop separating the two. It's, it's not even just marketing, it's, I think there's unrealistic business projections as a whole. Forget just marketing, marketing, sales, everything.

Like, I think a lot of this stuff just gets built top down and is never I. Verified from the bottom up.  

[00:08:54] Leanne: Yeah, I agree completely. And you know, my POV was that when I was in grad school and I was being mentored by like VCs, they were just like, well, you should just write in your projections, like what do you think it was gonna be?

And no one sat there and taught me like, this is how to do it. Accurately, they're like, this is the numbers that you, you should put in and you need to have this filled out. But no one was like, well, in this industry, this is where you go to find out this cycle length. And, and also metrics have come significantly, you know, have progressed where that's a possibility to have that information out where maybe it wasn't as researched 10 years ago.

But you know, if you think about academic, Learning and how far behind the curve it is. That means that, you know, for the past umpteen years, like maybe people are just now starting to get it in their MBA courses of how to, where to go for this information, how to make sure it's accurate, how to validate it, and.

On a total tangent there. I love how data science is starting to be an integrated executive need, but back to what you were saying was that it's just, it comes from the top down and people don't put in realistic projections and expectations, and they're not even aware that it's the Dunning Krueger, Krueger, Dunning, Dunning crew.

I think it's the, you don't know what you don't know, and that's the biggest problem. So, In a sense of knowing who your people are and who they aren't. The strategies that you guys use at Proofpoint that you've found to be the most successful for you and the way that you approach marketing. How, you know, we, we've kind of already described them as relationship based.

How, like if we were going to mark the characteristics in a bullet point list of what that looks like, how exactly would you do  

[00:10:54] Mike: that? I think the best way I can address that is there are three core principles or concepts I guess, that we, that we focus on to build strategies on top of. So one is the concept around that.

What you often hear is, you know, the best brands or the best companies build relationships with their customers. And our response to that is, well, yes, but not exactly. You know, people don't build relationships directly with brands. They build affinity to them through relationships with the ideas, the people in relevant groups.

So first thing is how do we build that affinity? And you know what, what I mentioned before is how can we get people excited about our ideas, our people, and the groups that we participate in or that we lead? If we talk about community and all that kinda stuff. The second concept gets into, okay, oftentimes we hear all this stuff around buyer journeys or customer journeys and all this stuff, and it's all my opinion, a whole bunch of crap because it's touchpoint focused and channel focused and all this stuff.

And, and try, people try to be predictive and you, you can't, I'm sorry, like there's no amount of, I don't think even data science at this point that can predict. I'm happy to be proven wrong by the way. For with any data science experts listening, but like predicting where somebody's gonna come in, what their preconceived notions are gonna be, what past experiences they've had, all this kind of stuff that's gonna impact how they make their decisions.

These can't do it. Here's what you can't predict. You can predict how people behave. In a general sense, and you know, you asked me in the beginning, you know, how does our back, the founder story and our backstory impact this? This is a part of it because it's all about, again, the science of relationships, if you will, right?

Like we've, because of our story, we've had to build deep relationships with people, et cetera, et cetera. So as we were thinking about this, it's okay. What do we know? We know that there are, in my mind, at least five core of these micro decisions that happen, right? It's somebody's gonna get excited, they're gonna be skeptical internally.

If they can't get past that internal skepticism, they're gonna ask somebody, right? That's questioning. Once they, if you can't get past that, Sorry, your sol. That's it. That relationship's done, or at least it's gonna maybe start over at some point, but it's gonna go backwards or never happen. If you can, great.

Now they're gonna be internally committed and then they're gonna, or sorry, convinced and then they're be, become externally committed for that team. Meaning, cuz we're talking B2B here. Hey, I'm committed to taking the next step, not making the purchase decision, but the next step. And that cycle happens with every single deci.

Every single touchpoint that we can predict happens every time. But anything else like, oh, they're gonna consume this piece of content and this piece of content, or they're gonna consume whatever it is, like you. I just think that's folly. And then last but not least, is what we call the relationship pyramid, which is you don't just focus on the decision makers for that matter.

I'll argue most people don't even realize who their actual decision makers are and then, but you have to focus on the internal influencers, external influencers, and build relationships that way. Really, it's kind of the, the concept of multi-threading that most salespeople know very well, but marketing generally for some reason seems to not acknowledge it.

[00:14:09] Leanne: Yeah, I mean, I agree that you can't literally predict what pathway of knowledge that someone is going to consume content. And then, you know, I think one of the themes that has just grown exponentially, that's that that was already in existence but it wasn't top of mind to people, is volatility is here to stay.

And that you have to, because of the volatility, you can't predict what's gonna happen next or how someone's gonna have reacted six months ago because it's an everchanging landscape. What you can predict, Is the way that you execute your marketing in creating value, you, you can predict that, okay, well, we don't know if they're going to go to this content, this content, this content because of business needs, but we can make sure that we have the key points to that decision making process available for self-serve consumption.

[00:15:10] Mike: It's funny you bring that up. Not even funny, but ironic I should say, because I just think we, humans just don't learn. Because if you look at advertising specifically, what happened when the pandemic hit, all of a sudden everybody's all. We're in this together, it's all about relationships. Once the pandemic ended, we all kind of forgot about it, and it went back to, you know, transactional messaging.

And then as soon as the, you know, all the economic hardships started happening, and then it's all about relationships again. It's like, well, no, it's about relationships all the time. If you focus on that consistently, you won't have to keep going back to it and starting from scratch every single time something hits the fan.

You know, I think we're seeing, again, certain sectors, we're seeing it again right now. I mean, you know this better than anybody. At this point, being in the financial sector, it's crazy how this happens and I, I guarantee you we're gonna start seeing the same thing again in that sector about relationships.

I guarantee all the bank, you know, banking and fin serve companies are gonna start putting out relationship based messaging. I, I'll put as much money on it as you want, but that's what will start happening. Even though they should be doing it all the time. That should be the litmus. Should be like,  

[00:16:19] Leanne: yeah, I agree.

I agree wholeheartedly that people forget what works and they wanna go to what's easy because, and I, I say this with love, is that people wanna do as little po as possible to get results and relationships take work. They take time and effort and dedication, and that's what makes them so strong, and that's what creates that deeper affinity inside of the shallow surface level.

Oh, I saw this brand, but it's interchangeable at this brand, which is interchangeable at this because they've commoditized themselves by just being transactional. And that's my soapbox that I will shout from the rooftops, just the same as my other soapbox, which is Efficiency in your capital should have always been.

How you set up your business. Yep. Efficiency is how you turn into a unicorn. If you are just growth at all costs and spending money to spend money and increasing headcounts for ego, it, the emperor has no close. You, you have to have sound business practices as your foundation.  

[00:17:21] Mike: I, I'll get on that soapbox with you.

I, I've talked about it a bunch in my, my content, which is this whole like two more with less. BS that's out there. It's like, well, you should always be trying to do more with less. That's the nature of business, right? Like that. That doesn't mean being cheap. That doesn't mean always cutting corners. What that means is, like you said, it's capital efficiency.

How can I make. You know, if I can make $3 with one versus $2 with one, why wouldn't I do that? Now, obviously there's other things that come into it in terms of like, you know, culture and other things that you need to try to quantify, which sometimes you can't. But again, those are all things that you can still take into account.


[00:18:00] Leanne: When I was looking for my next credit, I would be in interviews and people would be upset with me for not having managed a large enough paid spend. And the thing is, is that. My strengths and people, why people like me is because I'm over here on this organic side where we don't have to spend money to make revenue.

Well, I mean we do, but we do it in a different format. And you know, I'm over here with the like scrappy earlier places where there's not as much capital to go around and it's foolish to spend money on too much paid advertising when you don't have the foundation set up. Like a digital presence or you know, some sort of credibility to support those things.

You know, I had someone ask me like, Hey, why don't we do Pinterest? Because you don't have website contents. Right? You know, you can't put the cart before the horse. But, you know, coming back to the basics of creating relationships, you know, there's somewhere in between this like sales led and marketing led.

And product led kind of peripheral systems. But at the heart of it, I think that humans communicating with humans and answering needs that are appropriately defined. Is kind of that marketing 1 0 1 that so many things skip  

[00:19:21] Mike: over. Yeah. I mean that's, that's why we, we call it relationship led growth, right?

It's, and it, yeah, sure. You can make the argument that's just a fancy term. That doesn't mean anything, but in, in our minds, I think it's the, it's the mindset that matters and that sets the tone for everything. So it's, it's not sales led, it's not even marketing led. It's. Relationship LEDs. You can, you know, I think that that's the other thing I actually see.

There's almost like a, the pendulum's always swinging and I think it's very quickly approaching the other end where it's like, oh, well sales is bad and everything should be marketing led. It's like, well, First of all, not everything is SaaS. Let's remember that, which I think, you know, most marketing creator, influencer content, hope focuses very heavily there.

And yes, the SaaS industry, I would say is further ahead in most things than others. But that doesn't mean everything they do works for everything. So, you know, like one argument I have with people pretty consistently is, you know, around the gated. Content experiences all the time. It's like, well, hold on.

If you are in the SAS space, fine. I totally get it. But we've got a client who targets stealth mode biotech, emerging biotech. You cannot target them. That targeting does not exist anywhere. So my only way to be able to have communications with them long term is to actually focus on in the right way, but still collecting some sort of contact info.

Cause I can't, LinkedIn doesn't have 'em. ZoomInfo doesn't have 'em. Nobody's got it because they're in stealth mode. You literally don't know who they are. That's the point. Yeah. That's the whole and other, there's a bunch of other examples like that. I just use that because that's the extreme kind of edge case, but so I need to do some of those things or.

My team. I don't do any of that anymore, but my team needs to do those things to be able to facilitate the building of those relationships. Right, and there's ways that we have in doing that, yada yada. I don't wanna get into all the nitty gritty unless you want to, but I think that that's the one thing that to kind keep in mind is I think the pendulum is swinging way too far to the other side where it's, I think we're gonna start seeing overinvestment actually in certain aspects on some of these things and underinvestment in others, and I think it's going to impact time to revenue, honestly.

[00:21:29] Leanne: So where do you think the Overinvestment would be?  

[00:21:33] Mike: I think there's gonna be a lot of, or there are gonna be a lot of smaller companies with maybe not as aggressive of growth targets that are gonna focus too much on what we will traditionally call as branding. Yeah. Not saying it's not valuable, but I think that's the other thing too, is a lot of marketers don't have.

I think enough business acumen in general, and I think it's understanding those things like, you know, there's a huge difference between a company that's whatever, let's say is a, let's take two 10 million organizations. One has long-term, maybe they're an ESOP and they want to grow at 10 to 15% a year for the next 10 years.

Another one wants to double or triple over the next five every single year. What those two companies do are so drastically, or should do is so drastically different. I think you're gonna see some of those slower growth companies do some of these popularized things and over-invest in things like brand versus maybe building up their sales teams and things like that.

So, and you know, we, we've actually had, we literally just had a conversation with a client that's no longer a client of ours because they, they realized, and we came to the, to conclusion like, Hey, you don't have the growth targets that make sense for what we do. That's okay. Like, they've learned a lot, we've built a good foundation for them and we parted ways, amicably, but they just don't, it doesn't make sense for them.

[00:23:03] Leanne: Yeah, I mean, and I think that's totally fair. One of the hallmarks I think of good business is recognizing when you're not a good fit and. Being transparent. Transparency is, is, you know, the cornerstone of good business in my mind. But I, I've personally encountered a number of technically savvy individuals that are really great at engineering, that are really great at biotech, that are really great at their niche like business, but they aren't great at making it a business.

And that's where the go-to-market strategies do need to be from the top down and aligned and the right fit for the right place. They are in all the many different, you know, little charts that we do, right? You know what quandary are you really in today? But you're right, like there's two different ways you should go about something depending on what your goals are.

And there's no one size fits all.  

[00:24:01] Mike: Yeah. Totally. And again, that's kind the basic concept is marketing strategy flows out of business strategy, not the other way around. Yeah.  

[00:24:08] Leanne: Ugh. Just remembering all those business leaders that have no idea how marketing works.  

[00:24:13] Mike: I mean, it's, that's an interesting one. I think, you know, there's this whole thing out there.

You gonna work for a C who understands marketing. The reality is, is are there some CEOs that do? Sure. The vast majority of them come from. Finance, and I can't remember the percentage, but it's, I think it's over 70% that come from a finance background, maybe sales, and I think expecting the work only for companies where the CEO gets marketing is silly.

Could you do it? Yeah, probably if you really, really wanted to. But there's a limited number of those positions, right? So I think at the end of the day, it's the marketer's job, esp. Like if you're the cmo, it is your job to help your c e O understand marketing and, and trust that you know it and that you better yet show.

That you understand the business so that they trust your decisions on the marketing  

[00:25:02] Leanne: side. Yeah, that's what I was hoping you were gonna say, because there's definitely that managing upward and that demonstrating value, and it does seem more realistic to find a leader that trusts you to be the expert than it does to expect a leader to be expert in all things.

But the mindset, the open-mindedness, the understanding that you know, they don't know what they don't know, and the willingness to meet you with realistic needs and compromise are the skillsets and the soft skills that I think are the hallmarks of health within an  

[00:25:41] Mike: organization. And I think the thing to remember is trust is earned.

Yeah, you don't get it from day one. Now, this is where things like personal brands come into play. If you're talking about getting a new role, this is where internal marketing and communications comes into play. If you're in an existing role, this is where education and. Other types of content play if you're a consultancy or an agency, right?

You can get people to ideally trust you before you start working with them, at least to a certain extent.  

[00:26:11] Leanne: Yeah. People aren't gonna look at your resume and just hand you the keys to the kingdom. No, you shouldn't. Yeah. Because a resume can say anything until you have proof. Sometimes it is wise to be a little skeptical.

Optimistic, but skeptical.  

[00:26:24] Mike: And even if you've done it before, you haven't done it here. Right, and it is different. Every single one. I don't care if it's in the same industry, it's still different. Sure. Are you gonna be likely better prepared if you come from the same industry? Yeah. I think that's a valid statement, but it's still a different organization with different culture, with different management practices, with different people and resources.

Like it's just not the same. So you're gonna have to build up crest, trust, and credibility within that environment.  

[00:26:52] Leanne: Yeah, exactly. And if it was a cookie cutter business, would you, how would you even differentiate yourself? All of a sudden, you know, your, your competitive advantage is just diluted. But another thing that you mentioned there, oh, of course.

I'm gonna lose it now. Oh, it was so good though. So you were mentioning about the ways that once you're in an organization, the many facets that can be different, and there's something that I call the learning velocity. And I think learning velocity applies across different facets of our professional life.

But one of the benefits to hiring someone with experience, even if it wasn't a different organization or it wasn't a different, you know, set of variables, is that they're entering that velocity curve at a higher point instead of a lower one. Now there can be, you know, fake knowledge, right? Sometimes it's hard to unlearn things than it is to learn it the first time.

And so it's this really delicate balance and this learning velocity concept that I just have stuck on. That's, that's my thing that I think of a lot was how quickly can you gain the knowledge that you need, and how quickly can you iterate on that and grow it, and then make decisions based on it? So it, but it always comes back to the customer, right?

You can't have learning if you aren't talking to individuals, whether it's internal or external customers.  

[00:28:10] Mike: Yep. Totally.  

[00:28:12] Leanne: So if we look at relationship marketing, when would it be like the wrong fit? Like what are some things that you're like, Hmm, no, you really need to be doing X, Y, and Z?  

[00:28:23] Mike: Yeah, I mean, one of the main things I, main example is I always give is I think the concepts play just about everywhere the mindset does.

But if you can go the PLG route, go the PLG route, you know, I think if you are in a more commodity business also probably doesn't make that much sense. I'm sure you can, you know, not gonna make the argument that even in a commodity business relationships matter for that matter. Maybe more though, more than people think, but there's nothing you can do to get around the fact that it's a commodity business.

Right? I mean, for example, I'll give like my, my wife's aunt and uncle run a freight forwarding business for ages, shipping and all that kind of stuff is a commodity business and it's. As you know, all the stuff with the pandemic happened and whatever. They lost some, they lost some customers, not because they have bad relationships, they're great relationships, but they were literally, what they were told is like, Hey look, I know we've had great relationships, but you just can't compete with this price.

Sorry. Right. So I think in those types of situations, there's only so much you can do. On the flip side, I think where it's. Most important and fits best is with companies like ours, right? Or in pretty much any technical professional service, right? Whether that be engineering, whether that be technical consulting, whatever, it's where your people are, the product and the ACVs, like the contract values are so ridiculously high that no, like there and, and there is no, like you can't do PLG as a service, not really.

Right? So that's where it fits best. And those are some examples where it's probably not. Not the right fit or maybe not the first thing that you should be looking at. Yeah, it doesn't mean relationships are not important. It just means that some of the execution that we're talking about probably isn't for you.

[00:30:10] Leanne: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that the struggle with a lot of commodities is to try to get out of that zone where they're like, ugh. Like we're just, we're a commodity. And, and I think that relationships play a huge part in trying to flip that switch or move away from one end of the spectrum on that, the continuum, but, At the end of the day, you know, people are gonna make fiscal decisions even if they have irrational.

Buying mindset, they're, they're still gonna be swayed by, you know, Hey, I've gotta answer this line item. And that's why you should try to not be a line item. Thinking about like, the future of marketing. There's a lot going on right now with like AI and chat G B T and you know, I think that this is a, gonna be a hot topic for a long time coming.

But where do you think the future marketing is going versus where do you think it  

[00:31:02] Mike: should go? I think in the short term, we're gonna see the pendulum swing in the wrong direction. I mean, we're singing now. I mean, how many of us are insanely inundated with spam right now? More so than ever before in our lives?

Probably everybody. Definitely anybody that's in a leadership position. So that's, I think that's just going to increase in, I'd say the near term. There's unfortunately no, there's no solution to that. That's just how it always works. Like people are always looking for the quick fix and the, you know, Whatever.

I do think long term, or at least medium term, I don't, I don't claim to be a expert futurist to know what what's really gonna happen, but based on what we're testing and things like that. I would say, I think in marketing and in general, where we're going to see this technology have the most impact is in process improvement and velocity in a number of these things.

Velocity in the creative process, velocity in the research analytics process. So I think that's where it's really going and I think that's where it should go. I don't, I don't see, you know, AI replacing even, even writing, to be honest. I think at least not yet. Maybe at some point I'm not, I mean, again, I'm no AI expert.

There's probably something out there that maybe allows, that probably is gonna allow AI to come up with original. Stuff. I think when that happens, then we're gonna be having a very different conversation. I don't know if that's next year, 10 years from now or ever. I have no idea. But until then, I think, does it replace the average writer or even the average graphic designer?

Yeah, I mean, I can go to, which might call it, I might spacing on it now.  

[00:32:43] Leanne: Like mid journey camp. Hey, journey. Thank you.  

[00:32:45] Mike: I literally have an open in front of you and I couldn't think of what, uh, couldn't think of the name. Like I can gourney in, in, you know, five minutes. Have a really awesome custom image for just about anything I want, right?

But is that really enough? Like for, so what we're testing is using that for ideation, almost creating like a concept board or something like that, and sending that off to designers, right? Which is like, Hey, create something that looks like this. Here's some concepts for you that kind of deal. Make the same thing flawed in place for content and things like that.

[00:33:23] Leanne: Yeah, I mean, I think if nothing else, they're really great for breaking the tension because there's some weird stuff that comes out of AI and especially when you're trying, when you're working with more technical markets or products or services, just the wild content that comes out of there that's just so like amazingly wrong.

[00:33:44] Mike: And the average person won't know, but the expert that you're trying to put this in front and go, wait a second, they're  

[00:33:48] Leanne: gonna be like, that is not how physics happens. Right. Like, so I mean, I, I've had fun with it. I think that, you know, if all else fails, well at least get to, you know, kind of like, look at the spooky eyes on this.

Like, this gives me uncanny valley. But you know, I think that there was a number of ways that already existed that were kind of on the fringe that people are now able to apply to, you know, just general marketing needs. Right. I brought this up on a previous episode, or maybe it was just in the conversation after, was how people used to mint not used to people mint NFTs by using automation to change the variables on each layer.

And now you're gonna be able to see like, You are always gonna be able to see this, but you're gonna see that this become adopted more mainstream and agencies and everyone else are gonna be able to pump out creatives and test them faster by just using, you know, a few lines of code and you know, and I think that's gonna be integrated into some of these platforms.

I mentioned Canva, I like Adobe and Canva. I'm kind of agnostic there, but you know, Canva's really making it more accessible to do. Some of those things. Mm-hmm.  

[00:34:59] Mike: I mean, a lot of these platforms, that's kind of, I think the, what we're seeing, we've been seeing this for a while, even before. This current wave based on ai, I mean platforms like Canine Descript and all this stuff.

I mean, the reason why there's so much more noise is because the barrier to creation has become much lower, right? Like, yeah, who can't? You don't need any fancy equipment anymore or anything like that. Like who can't record something and dump it into the script and make 'em simple edits and push it out, right?

Yeah. It's. Now the quite, like, it's no different than, you know, I think the, the speed at which all this stuff happens is different. But if you look back at blogging, right at one point, just having a blog, oh my God, you have a blog? Cool. Now it's like, okay, who cares? The crap? Let's you see the same thing happening with podcasts and one of the, you know, ideas that we're playing around with.

It's like you, like the basic In certain industries, especially the basic interview podcast is no longer really a thing unless you're a big name. Right, because like how many things are you gonna listen to, right? So it's what, what else can you do in that space? Can you create a radio talk show style show?

Can you do more of a story based approach? Can you, whatever, right? I mean, there's a bunch of other things you can do. Then there's extra production value and  

[00:36:15] Leanne: Yeah. And then there's just the follow through, right? Is that just because there's a low level to entry to do it? You know, podcasts specifically, people aren't like, Consistently following through.

Mm-hmm. And they, you know, they are same with blogging, like you need to have the discipline, but you need to have the discipline to follow through on these actions and put it out consistently in a predictable manner. That being said, you know, there's a lot of exciting things going out and you have some.

Things that you guys do. You know, you were talking about the Master Marketer Show and Master Marketer live. Kind of tell me a little bit about that or like where people can find that at and you know, maybe how people should get ahold of you or find you.  

[00:37:00] Mike: Sure. Yeah. I mean, there's a number of things in the, in the hopper, if you will, both personally and with the, with our company.

So yeah, you imagine Master Marketer show, maybe We've been running that, that podcast for a while and it's been fairly recently rebranded to that. We're gonna keep doing that. That's a, that is a weekly interview style podcast where we dive into mindset, skill sets, tool sets, results. That's the general framework that we apply to pretty much everything.

I mean, we, that's how we, we have that as an overlay for goal framework for internally. Master Marketer Live. We're actually going to be rebranding that into relationship growth live since that's what we focus on. The type of content's probably gonna be similar, although we're looking at some different formats and things like that, kind of as I just mentioned.

So there's those two things that you can find me on LinkedIn and there's a bunch of other stuff that's personal level. We've gotten the opera. Gabby and I have, uh, had a podcast called, uh, mixing Business With Pleasure. We're looking at resurrecting that, and so we talked to other husband and wife.

Business owners and things like that. So that's gonna be coming back. I don't know exactly when yet, but it's, we're looking at doing those possibly live as well. Uh, there's a few other fun entertainment type things that we're looking at. So,  

[00:38:09] Leanne: Awesome. Well, I'm really excited to hear more about those and to see them come to life.

For now, this is Leanne with Markigy, and if anyone wants to reach out to Mike, he's on LinkedIn, and if you have any questions about our show, it's info, M A R K I GY .com made up word that talks about the fun, nature and the blend of science and creativity and collaboration. So thank you so much for joining me  

[00:38:39] Mike: again, Mike.

Yeah, thanks for having me. This is fun.

[00:38:46] Leanne: You've been listening to Markigy, the Science of Marketing Strategy. If any of the strategies we talked about today inspired you to learn more, try them. Remember, the perfect strategy doesn't exist, only the one that gets done. Subscribe to our show on your favorite podcast player to make sure that you never miss an episode.

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