This week on the Digital Velocity Podcast, Sean Doyle of FitzMartin joins Erik and Tim to discuss how businesses can drive sustainable growth and revenue by aligning sales and marketing operations to match buyers’ needs.
The buyer’s point of view is an integral part of the equation when evaluating sales and marketing strategy and performance. Sean says, “One of the crazy conversations that I think goes on in marketing nowadays is, well, we need to have sales and marketing alignment says a business executive. What they do is they get the salespeople together with the marketing people and they all talk. Well, who got left out? The buyer, the person with the money.”
When a brand’s intention becomes identifying and meeting buyers’ needs, sales and marketing will organically be more effective. Sean explains, “The aha moment is there's a systematic way to approach the way people buy. If you'll align sales to the buyer, if you'll align marketing to the buyer, if you'll align customer service to the buyer, and if you'll align your technology to support the buyer's needs, you'll have marketing and sales alignment. You'll have customer service alignment with the need to the buyer. All of that works out. That's the result. The way to get there has nothing to do with your three departments, sales, marketing, and customer service, or your technology. It has to do with the buyer, so deeply understand what the buyer's needs are.”
True sales and marketing power begins with knowing the customer. Then the focus can shift to tactics and implementation. Sean says, “This is just another big lever to pull by putting that mindset of let's start with insights. Let's start with the voice of the customer. Let's look at our competitors. Let's look at our company. Let's measure these things up, and then from those insights we can develop a strategy of where the markets are, of what our offerings should be, and what our position in the marketplace should be. Then, finally, tactics make sense and let's worry about efficiency and measurement. But until you have those insights, until you have that strategy, it's just not time to worry about execution. Execution is not ever gonna lever your business to scale, but insights and strategy will…So, insights plus strategy, then execution.”
Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about how focusing on the buyer will create sales and marketing alignment and bring continuous value and returns to a company.
About the Guest:
Sean M. Doyle is principal at FitzMartin Inc, a leading consultancy focused on optimizing sales and marketing investments of emerging middle-market, B2B businesses. FitzMartin has proven its ability to positively impact ROI within their clients’ currently allocated resources, earning their clients on average $287 of top-line revenue for every dollar invested.
Over a 30+ year career and more than 5,500 client engagements, Sean has found his niche in helping executives identify opportunities to achieve strategic, personal, and financial objectives.
In pursuit of a repeatable, systematic, scientifically-sound approach to sales, marketing, technology, and communications, Sean developed Centricity. The Centricity model has been proven to be effective at scale with Fortune 500 clients and, more commonly, for businesses in the $10-50MM growth stage. Sean, a man of family and faith, strives to lead selflessly. On the weekends, he’s often teaching the art of fly fishing to anyone who wants to tag along.
Tim Curtis: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to this edition of the Digital Velocity Podcast. I'm your host, Tim Curtis from CohereOne.
Erik Martinez: And I'm Erik Martinez from Blue Tangerine.
Tim Curtis: Today on the show we have Sean Doyle. He's the principal of FitzMartin Incorporated. It's a leading consultancy focused on optimizing sales and marketing investments for emerging middle-market B2B businesses.
In Sean's 30-year career, he developed a centricity model that informs sales, marketing, technology, and creative decisions. His niche is in helping executives identify opportunities that will achieve their strategic, personal, and financial objectives. Sean, welcome to the show today.
Sean Doyle: [00:01:00] Man, it's not a better day when you get to hang out with Erik and Tim. Come on.
Tim Curtis: That is true. I'm sure that's what every guest thinks when they're on the show.
Sean Doyle: Well, I'm glad to be here.
Tim Curtis: It really is good to have you here.
Sean Doyle: Well, thank you. It's fun.
Tim Curtis: So, let's start off talking a little bit about Sean and give maybe a little bit of your background and your journey to where you are today with Fitz Martin.
Sean Doyle: Absolutely. First of all, most importantly, I'm on a passionate vision. I have a passionate vision to change the way the world thinks about sales and marketing. I think it is one of the most incredibly underutilized business tools that an executive has at their hand. Why underutilized? I think it's an incredibly misunderstood tool. It's also probably misunderstood because most of the people, like the three of us, are a bunch of creative schmucks that don't understand business, right? So, we lose credit. Now, I did say the three of us. I know, Tim and Erik are probably much better than me.
You said 30 [00:02:00] years. That's French for, I'm an old man. We started our business out 30 years ago, and I'm a founding partner, and we were creatives. Just soon in that journey, we realized, you know what? There's not a business executive that ever hired us, that hired us to do marketing. They were buying strategy. They were buying culture. They were buying revenue. They were buying something, but it had nothing to do with marketing.
Marketing is just the toolset that we have to do these things to execute these business leaders' goals. So, that is what we do at Fitz Martin, and that's why we do Centricity, and that's why we're here today. I hope that gives you a little nickel tour of why it might be worth listening.
Tim Curtis: It does.
Sean Doyle: Okay.
Tim Curtis: You talked about your history and a little bit before the show. So, that 30-year history, over 5,500 client engagements, I think was the number. Out of that, you saw this need for some sort a model, or some form of a business framework to address some [00:03:00] of the inconsistencies and the repeatable tasks that you saw, which you dubbed Centricity. So, talk a little bit about that Centricity model and why you think that model is important, in particular.
Sean Doyle: Centricity is a way to think about sales, marketing, the technology that supports all of it, and customer service. But that's not the why, right? The why is in 2002, I had a business that had made impact, but it wasn't consistent impact. Occasionally we would do work for clients, and it worked, and occasionally we'd do work for clients and it maybe it didn't work as well. But what we learned was that we needed to find a way to be consistent, be repeatable, right? That's not new news in business.
Well, in 2002, I went from being a marathon runner to not able to walk the stairs of my house. It was something physically really wrong. Long journey. Got diagnosed with a chronic illness. Twenty years later, here I am, still don't run marathons, but I'm [00:04:00] in great shape. In that journey, what I uncovered was this thing called a behavioral science model. I've named it Centricity because I think any model that we use in sales and marketing and customer service has to be focused on the buyer. It's all about the buyer.
One of the crazy conversations that I think goes on in marketing nowadays is, well, we need to have sales and marketing alignment says a business executive. What they do is they get the salespeople together with the marketing people and they all talk. Well, who got left out? The buyer, the person with the money.
The aha moment is there's a systematic way to approach the way people buy. If you'll align sales to the buyer, if you'll align marketing to the buyer, if you'll align customer service to the buyer, and if you'll align your technology to support the buyer's needs, you'll have marketing and sales alignment. You'll have customer service alignment with the need to the [00:05:00] buyer. All of that works out. That's the result. The way to get there has nothing to do with your three departments, sales, marketing, and customer service, or your technology. It has to do with the buyer, so deeply understand what the buyer's needs are.
So, great, buyer's journey. This is not gonna be another podcast about buyer's journey. Everybody in the world knows buyers' journeys, right? McKenzie wrote it down for the first time. It's brilliant. Go read their stuff on it. I'm not gonna do better. The aha is that there is a behavioral science model that can be applied that is purely built around the way we, as human beings change.
We have to be enlightened to a need that might matter to me. We have to be inspired to focus on solving that thing. We have to be equipped and as a buyer, we need to have the highest priority on solving that problem. A buyer has to be confident in their ability to succeed, and then ultimately, they have to feel like they're [00:06:00] stronger today from their continued work from buying that product or service. So, if you can enlighten, inspire, equip, empower, and strengthen a buyer, and your sales, marketing, technology, and customer service all aligned to that, you've got an incredibly powerful organization.
And it had nothing to do with anything I ever invented. It's behavioral science. It's from Prochaska, Norcross, and DiClemente. It's the buyer's journey and it's this mashup of these two things. I wish I was smart enough to invent something. I just see things.
Erik Martinez: We wanna put this in a framework of marketing. You've got this model that is buyer-centric. You mentioned in your book Shift, that we need to reframe the conversation about what the marketing role or the marketing executive's role is as part of that framework. So, let's dive into a little bit about what do you mean by [00:07:00] reframing the marketing executive's role.
Sean Doyle: Okay, so we deal with a lot of emerging middle-market businesses. Typically, when we come in the time that's really effective is when an executive team is saying, we're hitting barriers, we're hitting blocks. We don't really understand what's going on. And they could be operational, they could be leadership, they could be strategic, they could be all kinds of different things that are not marketing.
But what often you see when you start hitting those blocks to growth or you hit that plateau? I rarely see an organization that doesn't say, you know what? We don't need a salesforce. Every organization says they need to sell something, so they build a salesforce. What we typically see when they hit those blocks is you've got a choice to make. You either have to try to scale by hiring more salespeople, or you bring in this lever, this powerful lever, this thing called marketing.
The way people typically do it as a first step is, they bring in a [00:08:00] craftsman. They bring in somebody to build a website, or maybe they know a little bit about demand generation and marketing automation technology. Maybe they've got an e-comm background, but they're focused on this craft, this doing work. And that's all critical that you have the ability to do things, right?
But what happens is they bring in that craft person and maybe they do one or two things really well, but they don't have a view of the entire buyer's journey. They don't have a system to approach the needs of the buyer cuz the buyer changes. They're great at building websites. Well, that's lovely. What do you do with a late-stage deal?
When you've got a big deal at the closing table, and you can't close them because you keep creating more awareness to use a common word. Well, more awareness doesn't help. That's not what the buyer needs when they're ready to close, right? What do they need when they're ready to be closed? They need to know how to be assured. They need to see that [00:09:00] there's a substitute for the way they're doing things now. They need to contextualize the environment around them and see how your product or solution would fit. And what I didn't say there was anything about a website.
So, if you hire a craft person that has a particular set of skills around doing work, then you're gonna be disappointed with their ability to help your business scale. You're gonna be disappointed with that ability to grow through that barrier. You've hired that person. You discover it's not working, and then sometimes executives just discount marketing doesn't work. I tried it. Or we hired an ad agency and that didn't work.
Again, ad agencies are great, powerful tools. They're really good at early stage in the buyer's journey work. Most agencies can talk to you about how advertising might impact website traffic or store traffic, or whatever it is you're trying to do. Very rarely can you find somebody that can close more deals and says, here, I understand. I've got a philosophy around how to help sales [00:10:00] close deals.
So, once you do that, once you can get to that type of person, that's not gonna be a craftsman. They're not gonna be the doer of marketing. They're not gonna create ads or take photographs or use ChatGPT to write a great brochure or a webpage or whatever. You know those are doers. So, you've gotta elevate. So, how do you get through this block?
Understand that your experiences with marketing may have been craft-based or they may have been non-strategic. So, what you need to consider is somebody who can come in and solve a problem, understand things like positioning. How do you understand team development? How do you understand sales process? How do you understand reporting? Are they able to sit at the executive team table and contribute? That's a very different type of marketer.
And you can hire that fractionally. You can hire that full-time. When you're scaling, when you've got the [00:11:00] smaller business, when the business doesn't need a full-time person, CMOs can be expensive, right? And you may not need that level of horsepower which is perhaps why you hired the craftsperson to do the website cuz that blog had to be updated all the time, so we need a writer on staff. All right, that's fine. And that may be true, but they're probably not gonna move you forward strategically. Bringing in that outside point of view and the benefit of that is really powerful.
Oh boy, I feel like I'm, preaching now. So, forgive me. Erik, you asked me a question. It's one of my favorites. Just think about this. If marketing's not working, do you have somebody that's a critical problem solver? Do you have somebody that you go to and say, Hey, we've got this new opportunity and I'm not sure how to capitalize on it? There are times when you need to elevate, right? You need to look at when do I need a CMO. You've got to understand that the craftsperson is gonna do valuable in a central work, but it's not the strategic thing that's [00:12:00] going to allow you to scale.
So, if you're hiring a marketer, and you're asking the question, this is whether it's a fractional CMO or an agency or bringing somebody on staff. Ask them questions like, how would you scale the business? And if it's a craftsman, they're gonna be able to tell you how to build the website or write blog posts or shoot video, but they're not gonna know how to scale the business. Ask them to share their depth of understanding around sales process.
Fitz Martin's expertise is how do we get people, we call it selling backwards. How do we get more people across the finish line that already know you? They've seen a deal, they've maybe seen the proposal, they've done the tour, they've bid on this site. They've done all of that, and you haven't been able to close them. We had a client a couple of years back, we closed 380 million dollars of business in a period of, I think it was five weeks, may have been four or five, somewhere in there. Who cares? It was 380 million. Did you hear that number?
There were two other agencies before us. The only reason we were able to help and [00:13:00] be successful was we changed the conversation to late-stage needs. We assured prospects, we helped them understand how to substitute for what they were doing now and why our solutions were better. We were able to contextualize the decision. We were able to reinforce the decision, and those were the techniques, the best practices that are found in Centricity that are effective only at the late stage.
Erik Martinez: So, what's interesting about what you're saying is you're taking this out of the realm of tactical. Everyone thinks marketing is tactical, and as there's been more or more channel opportunities, I'm gonna call them channel opportunities, whether that is paid search or email, or text messaging, so on and so forth. We can go down the litany of tactics that are available.
You're really talking about instilling process into the mix. Being really, really clear about what that process is [00:14:00] and how it works, and what things are needed in that process to either close a deal on a B2B side or even close a sale on a B2C side. It's really not that different, right? I heard you use the words, and I saw the words in your book too, right? Create buyer confidence. Maybe we can dive a little bit into what are the things that create buyer confidence when you're talking about the sales process.
Sean Doyle: Yeah, that's great. It's a really insightful question. There's an idea right now that you perhaps have heard of frictionless buyer's journey. Before we started, all three of us talked about how many years we've been married, and our marriages are long. We've all been married a long time and the one thing I can commit to without asking the question is all three of us have had some friction in our marriage.
That's okay. We can be strong because we had to work through some [00:15:00] problems. We had to work through things life threw at us. We had to work through stuff we threw at each other. I'm not advocating throwing things just for the record. There's just stuff that you have to go through in life and that friction, I think that applies to the buyer's journey too. If you create these really slick, fast, frictionless buyer's journey, what it doesn't create is confidence. Cuz if it was that easy to get into, it's gonna be that easy to get out of too.
Now, I deal with a lot of B2B business and sales and there's a lot of influencers, and there's a lot of decision-makers and it's complicated, longer buying cycles. And sometimes there's contracts, so it's a little different perhaps than consumer. But it's why would you create frictionless journeys if you could create customers who were really confident and then you were able to reinforce the decision that they made and enable them to continue to make that decision again? I think part of that confidence at the closing table comes through these [00:16:00] things like they need assurance, and they need assurance both privately and publicly.
If the three of us were making a big decision and a vendor was calling on me, what am I gonna do before I bring that vendor to the two of y'all? I'm gonna make sure I'm not gonna be embarrassed, right? I'm gonna vet them. I want a private commitment and understanding, then I'll go public internally. So, that gives me confidence. If I privately know what you're gonna do and share and say, and what you're gonna even reveal, you know?
Okay. All three of us have had pitches where some CMO asked us, I'll put you in front of the executive team, but I need to see your deck. I need to know what you're gonna say and what's that sound like. How did you guys react when you got asked that, like in your heart?
Tim Curtis: How did I react?
Erik Martinez: Yeah, that's a great question.
Tim Curtis: Yeah. I mean, anytime you're asked a question like that, I play little games. Little games that I think help keep me on my toes. An example is I do the first 90 days. You know, a couple [00:17:00] times a year I will go back and I will sort of role play I'm coming in for the first time. I'm evaluating things as if I'm coming in for the first time. What's the efficacy of what we're doing? How is the culture? Is the staff hitting on all points? Are they feeling secure and supported?
So, when you ask a question like that, I tend to go to a place of pretty deep introspection, but I've built somewhat of a framework, or a decision entry to run those questions through. So, that least I'm trying to intentionally minimize the type of bias that I could interject into that. And it's helpful to have a framework established with which to process those types of decisions. And maybe that's part of, you know, this evolving marketing executive role that you're referring to and it's a part of that makeup.
Sean Doyle: Yep.
Tim Curtis: I think when you generally ask that question, there's a higher percentage than we're probably comfortable with in terms of marketing executives today that would really struggle with an answer and might struggle with the process of getting to that answer as well. But that's just my opinion. [00:18:00]
Sean Doyle: No, I think that's really insightful. My response to that is horrible. I'm a bad human being. It's defensiveness. I wanna say why would you need me to show this to you? Well, your answer is insightful cuz it really reveals that need for safety privately. You know, I want you to do your 90-day checkup with me and it's gonna be one-to-one.
We're not gonna put you in front of the board for that, cuz I wanna know I'm hearing the right things from you and I'm saying the right things to you, and we can deal with some things privately maybe that don't need to be public. Cuz I brought you in and there's a couple of things we need to work on. Guess what? We're humans. Of course, there's a couple of things we need to work on. So, that public commitment is that assurance.
Your question was like how do you build confident customers? Giving that private time and then that becomes public commitment. And think about what happens with public commitment. Now I'm in front of the executive team saying, Tim is going to give us the report or Tim's gonna show us the deck, or Tim's gonna do whatever. I'm now [00:19:00] standing in front of the executive team taking some personal ownership of Tim and the work that Tim's done, his firm has done. And that's powerful.
Now, I'm getting more sticky as a customer because if the next week I come in and say, yeah, I had to let Tim go. Then the executive team's gonna be going, well wait a second. You put him in front of us last week and then you fired him. What's going on? So, if I make a public commitment, that's a signal of a confident customer and it creates a confident customer.
It's the same as a customer in the B2C world that wears your brand. If I wear my Atlanta Braves hat, I'm making a public commitment to a team. Now that's pretty easy to change hats cuz I'm really an Orioles fan. But who can be an Orioles fan for the last 10 years, maybe even 15 or 20?
Tim Curtis: Yeah, that's tough. That's tough.
Sean Doyle: They've been terrible. It has been tough. It has been. But Erik, I wanted to riff on one thing that you said. I think that's really smart. The tactical level of things. So many people are looking [00:20:00] for efficiency at that tactical level and that execution and looking at the metrics. And so many marketing technology companies are selling dashboards and metrics and ability to see, and that's all great. Efficiency is incredibly important in terms of execution.
Just in the same way that you would want your manufacturing plant to run efficiently. But imagine running your manufacturing plant where you weren't creating a product that was on strategy to what the market needed. Imagine you were running your manufacturing plant without any insight to the customers and who they were and your competitors. You would never, ever, ever run your manufacturing plant without strategy or insights. Marketing is no different.
This is just another big lever to pull by putting that mindset of, let's start with insights. Let's start with the voice of the customer. Let's look at our competitors. Let's look at our company. Let's measure these things up, and then from those insights we can develop a strategy [00:21:00] of where the markets are, of what our offerings should be, and what our position in the marketplace should be. Then, finally, tactics make sense and let's worry about efficiency and measurement. But until you have those insights, until you have that strategy, it's just not time to worry about execution.
Execution is not ever gonna lever your business to scale, but insights and strategy will. Can you have insights and strategy without execution? No. Well, I guess you can, and they'd be great. It'd be in a binder on a shelf. I guess you'd pull it down once in a while, but it would be pretty inefficient. It'd be a book and a library with the lights off and the door is locked. That's not good business. So, insights plus strategy, then execution.
So, the question of when do you bring this person in? How do you reframe marketing at your business? You've probably been thinking about it tactically, resources, and metrics. To change and reframe, [00:22:00] you've gotta add strategy and insights. And that can be, again, fractional, could be full-time, whatever. I would never bring in a voice of the customer person full-time. That's an easy thing to hire out. It's cheap to hire out.
Tim Curtis: Quite frankly, that's a role where you need objectivity. You don't need someone who understands your processes and will then be biased by nuances to your process. You can't have that. It's destined for failure.
Sean Doyle: Tim, that's a great insight. The word bias is spot on. Biases are such interesting things to study. But I do have a bias for that. That was a little joke, little dad joke. But biases are really interesting, and I can't tell you over the years how many CEOs, I'll say, let's do a voice of the customer program, and I want to go walk the trade show and let's evaluate your competitors. And the answer is, well, I've been running this business since I was born, and it's been a family business. I know our customers better than anybody. I know every competitor. They know me. There's no [00:23:00] need to waste that money on that. That happens a lot.
But the point is what you just said. Yes, you do know your customers, your competitors, and your company, but you have a lens that you're looking at that through and the value is that perspective. That's probably another good question to your listeners is what is that third-party perspective in your business right now?
Because if you've got a tactical person executing you're marketing and the goal is for you to scale and you've been giving that person the direction, you've left out your customers, your competition, your company, the markets, the offerings, the positioning, and then you wonder why your marketing doesn't work. So, quit throwing us out and saying that marketing doesn't work, it may be the point of view that you've been approaching it.
Erik Martinez: As I listen to that conversation, in the back of my mind, I'm sitting here going, yes, all of this makes sense. But I think the other piece that many businesses fail is to crystallize [00:24:00] their goals and objectives. You can have strategy and insights, but those strategies and insights without the goals and objectives may mean that you're still missing the mark. And I think that's where the tension comes when I'm working with some of my clients, is trying to elicit clear, understood, measurable goals and objectives that can actually be achieved. They need to be SMART goals.
So, when you're working with your clients, how do you get them to address that very clear need for a clear, concise set of goals and objectives? And then how many really make sense? Because I've seen organizations that try to take on a laundry list of things, and then I see companies who take on just a few things and do them really well. What's your perspective on that, Sean?
Sean Doyle: Erik, you're leading the witness here. Come [00:25:00] on. Yeah, great question. So, you know, I started off at least once by saying I'm a num skull, and I can give you a good demonstration of that. We had a client who we worked their website. We had gotten it to 40,000 visitors, unique visitors a month. We were pumped and we were reporting on that metric, and the client was excited.
And then somebody in my office, a woman named Anna, who's a strategy-minded person, Anna said, what if we went for 4,000 visitors a month and they were the right ones? I was like, Ugh. Man, you're right. And that's what we've done. You can pursue any metric, to your point, Erik, and you can achieve it probably. But who cares? Who cared that we had 40,000 visitors a month? it just meant we were making Google money? Well, I'm not in business to make Google money. I'm in business to make my clients money.
So, yeah, I think you do have to have those metrics and measurements that matter, and what matters I could never [00:26:00] address, cuz it's gonna be different for every business out there. Literally, every business will have a different matter. That's why you bring in consultants like Erik Martinez or Tim Curtis. Bring in somebody who can help you identify what matters.
The second part of your question is I'm a huge fan of Entrepreneurial Operating System. And if you've ever read the book Traction, it's a good introduction to that system. The system teaches something called a Vision Traction Organizer. It's a one-page plan that maps out everything you need to have clarity. I would encourage any entrepreneur that's hit barriers and they're bumping against them. I can't figure it out. Dive into EOS.
And EOS is focused a little bit on smaller businesses, and then there's another one that is focused on larger businesses called Capricorn Leadership and Rom LaPointe is the head of that organization. I use both systems with different clients and it's brilliant because [00:27:00] you have a quarterly cadence of checking in and seeing how the needles moving, and then you adjust your strategy on a quarterly basis.
I think if you adjust your strategies and your tactics should tumble out of that. If you do that more than quarterly, you're spending too much time, changing too frequently. And if you do it less than quarterly, then you probably aren't being agile enough. So, the quarterly cadence, get back together. EOS teaches you to sit down and look at that strategy quarterly, and then annually, bring in those customer insights, competitor insights, company insights, and readjust.
Erik Martinez: Tim, you guys have been implementing EOS. Our team is digging into EOS. What's your experience been so far?
Tim Curtis: One of the things that I think EOs is helpful for in terms of a framework is it gives you sort of a set of criteria, right? You've got the six elements of the EOS that you're gonna be monitoring, checking yourself, aligning yourself against. For me [00:28:00] at least, where it proved to be immensely helpful, is really clarifying at the top, and really clearly defining both the visionary and the integrator role, which is typically your CEO as the visionary, your COO as the integrator. Understanding the definition of those roles, understanding where the strengths are, and then sort of plotting out, if you will, a model that you can reliably use to address not only the strategic side, but also the tactical side. With that comes clarity.
This is not necessarily applicable to the EOS model, but when you're talking about the strategy component, which of course, EOS is really built around to help address that strategy, both in Traction and then in Rocket Fuel, where it's Rocket Fuel, really the book for the integrator and the visionary together. So, that's really kind of that focus Get A Grip is gonna be the book that's gonna be focused on your leadership team.
It's really kind of stepping back a bit and addressing that issue of strategy.[00:29:00] But for example, like strategic questions. One that should always be there is what will the industry look like in 10 years. The other one that should always be in that equation is what kind of company do we need to be to succeed in that future, that 10-year future? It needs to guide, and I think EOS really just gives you a great framework to build the team around to head down that road to whatever that eventuality is in that five, 10 years.
When people are left shooting from the hip, we get all sorts of things. We don't get the framework, we don't get the quarterly check-ins if you will. We all know, you snap your fingers and you're in the next quarter. It just happens quickly. And if there's not an intentionality around the process, you're gonna miss out. So, I completely agree that there needs to be a framework. I too am a big believer in the EOS model, and we're living it out and I'm really seeing that clarity. I think that's what it's about is seeing that clarity.
Sean Doyle: I'm gonna add one thing to what you just said. You're obviously an EOS student, Tim. I love it.
Tim Curtis: Yep. [00:30:00]
Sean Doyle: I think I would add one thing is that you probably are a visionary. I'm a visionary. I bet Erik's a visionary, and visionaries have a one consistent trait and that's, we have a lot of ideas. So, if you've got a visionary on a client if you're a CEO that's a visionary and you're leading your marketing, you may be causing whiplash with your agency. You may be causing whiplash with your execution team, and if you have a CMO, you're gonna cause whiplash cuz you have a new idea every day. And that's good. That's what you do.
Really any structure gives you the ability to stay on track for a quarter. And then the CEO is agreeing, we're not gonna change strategies. Now, I may make an argument at the end of the quarter to change, but the leadership team will have to come to that agreement.
And I can remember 15 years before I learned about EOS, I can remember meeting with executives marketing people who were saying, oh, the CEO's [00:31:00] driving me crazy. And I said, well, you just learned this sentence. I can do what you're saying, Mr. or Mrs. CEO, but I'm gonna have to drop this other thing that I'm working on. Is that okay? That's a very soft way to say, I'll take any hill you want, but I can only do one hill at a time.
So, even if you're not an EOS person, give your team at least three months to run. You won't be able to get measurements in three months to know if something's working or not, and in three months, you're gonna have 10 different ideas. So, give those three months to explore. Heck, it's your business. You can change it. You don't have to follow that rule. But if you don't follow that rule, don't fire your marketing team or agency because they didn't get the goals that you wanted.
Tim Curtis: Yeah. You end up making critical business decisions based on not achieving goals when in more careful, considerate evaluation, it's the marketing executive [00:32:00] themselves that cause the dysfunction that permeates down through the team when we're not aligned on those decisions when we're causing whiplash. That's the reality. It's not comfortable, and a lot of times people don't want to hear it.
Erik Martinez: I do think that part of the reason for that is that the marketing executive is like, we can do that, we can do that, we can do that. I know I fall into that trap. I can do anything given enough time, resources, et cetera. I think we fall into that trap, and it's the singularity of purpose that sometimes gets lost in translation. We're also sometimes getting that mixed message from the organization or the board of directors or, back to what Sean was saying, the CEO, we're getting confusion as to what the real objectives are.
Is it profit? Is it sales growth? What's the strategy behind those things that will propel your business to success or [00:33:00] failure in a very rapid way? I think that's a critical piece of it. So Sean, here's a question for you. We've talked about marketing, we've talked about a framework, we've talked about strategy and insights. How do you wrap that all together to define what a great marketer is?
You've outlined some components to that, but if you were to like to summarize that and say, Hey, wherever you are in your journey as a business, you're going to need some part of this person along that journey. What do the listeners look for to find a great marketer, and what tools should they be using to help identify that?
Sean Doyle: Open a browser window right now, Google, Erik Martinez, marketing at expert. You got it. You're done.
Erik Martinez: Oh, if that were just true.
Tim Curtis: Just a second. I'm doing that.
Sean Doyle: It's a tricky answer. I'm gonna, I'm not waffling. I'm gonna take a [00:34:00] position here. I think it depends on where you are in the journey. If you are in that emerging middle market space and you've really spent money, you've done the big CapEx stuff, you've improved your equipment, your operations, maybe you've changed your service offerings, and you've not yet seen a breakthrough to any of those barriers, I would encourage you to ask the question, have you had a point of view of executionally-minded marketing?
And if you have, you probably have imbued a certain amount of strategy just because you're a good business leader and you've probably told your execution people what to do, and you've inherently had the strategy. In fact, you may be frustrated with them when you get work back from those execution people. What do I mean when I say that?
That means the person who's building your website, writing your blog posts, doing the trade show, whatever it is that you're doing, the ads, you know, when you get that back, [00:35:00] you're like, ah, this is no good. This is no good. You people just don't get it. You're not talented. Well, probably what's happening there is the strategy is in your head. It's not articulated, it's not written down, and they're listening and they're trying.
Now, some people just aren't good, by the way. There's a lot more bad craftsmen out there than good craftsmen, but the good ones are gonna listen and try. But if they don't know it, if they don't understand the strategy, the markets, the offerings, what your position is, that may be why the stuff you're getting back is frustrating you. It's actually because they need more information. So, consider that as a first step.
So, let's say you've got strategy, you've written it down, it's articulated, each position by market is articulated, your team is executing along, and it's still not working. Then I'm gonna change my point of view of what kind of marketer I'm gonna look for. And now I'm gonna look for somebody who is totally externally, nonexecutionally [00:36:00] facing, somebody who's gonna own the customer. You might consider it like a channel manager. I'm gonna own what our competitors are doing, what our customers are doing, and what our company is doing. And all I'm gonna do is bring in insights.
So, how could you do that? There's an easy way to do that as a test. We have a whole division of our company, that sounds big, we're not a huge company, but we have a section of our company that's dedicated to research and insights. So, that's a really great thing. You could go to a company that has research and insights work and say, I just need you to do a survey. Give me a voice of the customer program, give me a competitive analysis, and then put all that in the context of what our company's doing. That's a project, that's an engagement. You might spend a hundred thousand dollars doing that. You might spend $50,000 doing that but go do that. And then that might be the type of marketer you're looking for.
So, if I was to just clump Erik into three types of marketers, if you've never had somebody to do the [00:37:00] execution, try that. But if you're at one of the larger, emerging middle market sizes, you may be frustrated and then bring in somebody that's fractionally gonna do strategy. The other day, I had a CFO challenging, we spent a lot of money with y'all. They were spending a lot of money with us, six-figure kind of money, and they were grumbling about it.
So, I gave them some context of what other people in this space were spending. But the more powerful thing I did is I put together a list of the team that works on their projects, and I did their salaries and their benefits, and the team that I was offering them was over a million dollars in annual salaries, benefits, and cost of operations. I said this is the team. So, if you want what we're doing, and you wanna do it cheaper, this is the team you're gonna need to hire to execute the way that we're executing.
Because these are specialized roles and we have top talent, and what we do is we sell it fractionally, right? You [00:38:00] don't need, maybe I'll just say a hundred thousand dollars, copywriter full-time on your staff. Well, I happen to have that level of talent and you can buy a week of it. You can get into that execution level. You may have too low of a talent pool, so talk to your agency. That's what agencies do. They give you access to high-level talent in a fractional way. Erik, that was a lot, but I think those are the three ways I'd look at it.
Tim Curtis: That's a great answer though. That's exactly how you do it to sort of show the value, and you have to do those things periodically, especially if you're have engagement with the CFO. So, it's evolving, right? It's one of those things that always happens.
Sean Doyle: Yeah, that is their job. If the CFO doesn't ask that question, you need a new CFO.
Tim Curtis: You need a new CFO. Yeah. Yeah. No doubt. Well, Sean, appreciate the time of the day. What's a great way for the listeners to reach out to you and inquire about your services?
Sean Doyle: Well, you mentioned at the top of the hour that I'm really old. I think you said it in a very nice way, but after 30 years of doing this, I've realized [00:39:00] I really can't impact every business in the country. So, we've put together a page called Free Help. So, it's fitzmartin.com/free help. F I T Z M A R T I N dot com slash free help.
On that page, you'll discover the Centricity framework. There's some videos, there's some content you can download. If you really want to make me feel good about myself, like I'm quasi-important, you can go to amazon.com and look for Sean M. Doyle, S E A N M Doyle, D O Y L E, and the book Shift is there, S H I F T, and it's 19 Practical ideas for executives who are in charge of marketing but not trained for the task.
And actually, my largest client titled the book, not me. That's the value they saw in it. I don't know if he really read it though. Who knows? Honestly, if you just want the book and you don't wanna spend the money, just shoot me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll mail you one. My publisher made me buy [00:40:00] like a million of them. So, I'm not gonna get rich on my book.
Tim Curtis: Well, again, great to have you on this show. You know, I think anytime we can get into some of these conversations where we're talking about a systemic framework to really address these issues and sort of elevate the conversation in terms of thought, it is a good day. And I think it's exactly what people need to listen to and need to take the time to consume. So, yeah. Thank you again for coming on.
Sean Doyle: Tim and Erik, thank you. I've learned a lot from y'all and y'all are obviously very credible qualified marketers and have a great point of view. I encourage people to check out y'alls' websites and content. Y'all are smart folk. Thank you for inviting me on the podcast.
Tim Curtis: You bet. Well, that's it for today's episode of the Digital Velocity Podcast. Hope you enjoyed it. My name is Tim Curtis. I'm the CEO of CohereOne.
Erik Martinez: And I'm Erik Martinez from Blue Tangerine. Have a great day. [00:41:00]