As markets and customer behaviors change, it is imperative that the different functions within a B2B organization work together to continuously improve customer experience (CX). How should this be done? How can you get the different teams to work together?
Join us as we sit down with martech expert Dan Radu (President & Founder, Macromator) and talk about the role that digital technology can play in enhancing customer experience. During our conversation, Dan elaborates on how a company can scale with good CX, how digital technology can be leveraged, and what mistakes to avoid. He also talks about how implementing regular feedback loops, frequent communication, and the alignment of goals can help to close the gap between different business units. Dan also cites examples of situations in CX that should be handled by people and others that can be replaced by technology.
Topics discussed in episode
Companies and links mentioned
Christian Klepp, Dan Radu
Christian Klepp 00:03
Welcome to B2B Marketers on a Mission, a podcast for change makers where we question the conventional, debunk marketing myths, provide actionable tips, think differently, disrupt industries, and take your marketing to a new level, from improving your campaigns to making you a better marketer. These are the inspirational stories that will help us change the way we think and approach B2B marketing, one conversation at a time. This podcast is brought to you by EINBLICK Consulting, helping you to stand out in the market and drive revenue to your B2B business. And now your host, Christian Klepp.
Christian Klepp 00:45
Okay, welcome everyone to this episode of B2B Marketers on a Mission. This is the show where we help you to question the conventional think differently, disrupt your industry, and take your marketing to new heights. This is your host Christian Klepp. And today I am joined by someone on a mission to partner with global marketing teams looking to scale. So coming to us from Toronto, Canada, Mr. Dan Radu, welcome to the show.
Dan Radu 01:09
Hi, Christian. Thanks for having me. I’m very glad to be here. I’m very excited about your work.
Christian Klepp 01:15
Likewise. So it’s really great to have you on the show, Dan. And let’s jump straight into it. Because man, the topic we are going to talk about today, let me just say if B2B companies are not thinking about this, they should. Right?
Dan Radu 01:30
Yes, yes, globalization is upon us. And with that, it comes close customer experience enabled by technology.
Christian Klepp 01:41
Absolutely, absolutely. So let’s get started. So Dan you’re obviously an expert in the field of marketing technology. And through your company, you’ve helped a lot of B2B companies and firms to grow their business through a combination of, I’m gonna say, strategy, execution, but also technology. But as you said, let’s focus today on the topic of leveraging digital technology to improve the customer experience. And I’d like to start with two very top level questions. One being how can a company scale with good customer experience? And how can digital technology be an essential component of that scaling up?
Dan Radu 02:23
Good question, digital marketing technology, it’s a key component of the customer experience that’s being created. So think about all the interactions that you have with the company, starting with the marketing you’re exposed to is how you interact with the marketing, does it provide you the right information at the right time? And then if you are interested in buying, how, how does marketing then transform into the sale? Is that a smooth interaction? Are you still getting…. It’s an overlap. Of course, you are getting…. Are you getting the right marketing message, even though you’re interested in, you’re already a warm lead, or in the sales process of B2B companies, we work with a very long sales processes. So different strategies and techniques are required every stage. So how can companies scale the good customer experience? Well, they can certainly accelerate the sales cycle by ensuring that the tools have the same data, to track the same interaction, to track the same interest, that product or service that you’re trying to buy. There’s also companies that are global, so they can scale globally by reproducing and adjusting the customer experience for different regions. And then, like I said before, most importantly, you have to know when and what marketing tactics are required for each stage of the sales and then can you reproduce that for different product lines or business units as well?
Christian Klepp 04:04
Okay, okay. No, thanks for sharing that. I did have a follow up question for you Dan. And let me see if I can try to simplify this because I think this is a frustration that many I’m gonna say. It’s both parts of the ecosystem, the customer and also the company, at what points do you think in the customer experience process, like you require human interaction? And at what points you can just simply rely maybe on technology to do that job? And it’s really just in terms of just trying to make the process more efficient.
Dan Radu 04:43
Yeah. Well, at the moment, the biggest trend that we’ve seen in the past 10, 15 years is that a lot of customers want to do a lot of research before they even approach seller. So think about both at home and business to consumer, both in business to business cases. When you have… you do your research, you make your shortlist and then you approach those buyers. So a lot of the B2B companies, for example, I know specifically that they choose to buy on the top rated Quadrant for wave of companies. A lot of marketing can be automated in this in to help with that research. So if you request a certain information, to document read, can you get additional information that is relevant for you, that will move you down the cycle that prompt you to buy or…
Christian Klepp 05:42
Okay, okay. No, that’s, that’s absolutely right. That’s absolutely right. Moving on to the next question, which I am sure you will have no problem answering, right? The common mistakes and misconceptions that you’ve seen when it comes to leveraging digital technology to improve CX? Because I think in your field, you know that it’s never really as smooth as you want it to be. So what are some of the things that you’ve seen? First part of the question, and the second part is like, what should be done to address these issues?
Dan Radu 06:19
Well, there’s a lot of things that we see, most importantly, what’s called Tech depth. So when we having too much technologists and you become a slave to your own tools, and technology, in that case, technology becomes a drag on the business, as oppose to enabling the business. So tools should exist just to provide some functionality to help you live your life better, or do a better business process. So but if you are too much… spend too much time managing tools or troubleshooting tools, troubleshooting integrations, figure out making decisions based on bad data. It’s counter intuitive. It’s not what… it’s not what you’re trying to achieve. So it happens when marketing team want to buy the next shiny object or knowing for example, how we fit into the market stack, or what business process it supports, is the most common situation that we see.
Christian Klepp 07:23
Okay. Okay. And it’s interesting that you mentioned that, because it’s a, it’s kind of a segue to another question I had, which probably also addresses this issue. Because you see, a lot of companies becoming caught up, as you said, with increasing the pile in their tech stack or getting, you know, buying the latest software. But do you think that this problem can also be solved if the companies did research and, you know, formulate the right strategy? Before they start, like leveraging like all this digital technology to improve CX?
Dan Radu 08:02
Absolutely, yes, absolutely. But then what does it take to test strategies? There are many dedicated teams in organization to review those tools, is there a team that will manage and execute that has time to test those tools before they use them for the rest of their business or rest of the tech stack? Or let’s say you introduce a new tool, can you spend half a year testing it in vacuum for while it works before you even use it in your business? How possible is that? Yeah, executives, for example, will look more at the Gartner, the Foresters for how certain vendors are categorized, they’ll try to understand from there, how does that improve the bid how they can achieve better business outcomes? Based on that, and then the directors and the managers or even people in charge of technology, they would look at maybe specific cases, or they’ll look at demos, they’ll try to understand what’s the right solution, which products they should buy to support their business, and all of these are very long sales cycles. And the customers must have a good experience in all these stages of the cycle.
Christian Klepp 09:26
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I think it was also about last sentence, that last part that you said, which is so important, right? Because at the end of the day, how is all this technology or the software… How’s it going to impact the customer? Is it going to make their experience better? Or harder? You know?
Dan Radu 09:42
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, exactly. And you know, like, think about it. When you go to those websites. What is your experience with chatbots? For example, like, when you type to a chat, how useful did you find those, those chatbots? And when do you just want to speak to real person?
Christian Klepp 10:01
Yes, yes, yes, absolutely. I lost count of how many times I, I was going nowhere with a chatbot. And then I said, Please put me in touch with a customer service representative.
Dan Radu 10:14
Yeah. And this is where I think that this is where AI is not really gonna replace everything.
Christian Klepp 10:20
Right, right. Absolutely. I mean, that one in itself is gonna be another podcast episode.
Dan Radu 10:26
I’ll talk about that. Next.
Christian Klepp 10:27
Yeah. Staying on the topic of leveraging digital technology to improve CX. Talk to us about a challenge that you’ve helped the client to solve in the past 12 months, just one, just one case.
Dan Radu 10:42
We’ve solved many challenges. But let’s think one, the market is very interesting now. And it’s something different than what it was in the past 10-15 years that I’ve seen is there’s a lot of layoffs in tech. But then there’s still the go to market strategy, it’s still on the same timeline, it doesn’t get delayed. So how are companies going to execute their, carry out their go to market strategy without resources by doing more with less. So we’ve seen, we’ve seen a lot of companies hiring or seen a lot of companies laying off people. So it’s very strange, it’s very hard to understand what’s going on in the market. So what we saw for our private clients in that time is we want to be a digital marketing partner of record with global resources. So we work with their clients. So in this case, we can add resources, we can work in partnership with our clients to add resources to their accelerate projects, or just be an extension of their team. So if they might find a simple cost effectively, provide scalable and cost effective in the way we do it. So the challenge that we are tackling is just this, this idea of not enough resources, not enough time, not enough people, too much tech to you is the race is running too fast.
Christian Klepp 12:27
Absolutely. I mean, you know, it seems like you hear that over and over again, right? That a lot of companies out there are facing this exact same challenge. They’re probably at different stages of their of their cycle. But somehow these problems keep emerging, right?
Dan Radu 12:44
Yeah, yeah. So every time we go to a client or meet a team, I was trying to understand we sit down and we’re like, okay, is this too much technology and not enough people? Is this the go to market strategy is too high level, this way to bridge that gap to implementation? Or where’s the real value that we can add in our partnership with our clients?
Christian Klepp 13:10
Absolutely, absolutely. Okay, Dan, I mean, like, you know, you’ve mentioned some of these things already, but break it down. For us. I call this like the Lego approach, you know, you take apart the blocks. talk to us about the different components that you believe are required to effectively enhance CX with digital technology.
Dan Radu 13:32
I think you have to think about all business functions part of CX, not only sales, so it’s the marketing as an extension of sales that ties directly to sales, the support experience, the delivery, in the support experience, I think all of those are important elements of the customer experience with the company. So in order to do that, you have to make sure that they all work together, they will…. all the functions are aligned. They have the same objectives, that they support the interests of the client, they’re focused on revenue. So everything what you do when you adopt the technologies and use the technology, the the stakeholders internally that have to work the teams, the roadmapping that you do the planning, everything that goes into that has to has to take this into account on this touchpoints of the customer experience.
Christian Klepp 14:40
Yeah, yeah, no, absolutely. Absolutely. You brought up something earlier in your answer, and I want to go back to it. And I want to ask you a follow up question because I am. I’m gonna say 98% sure that you’ve encountered this. You’re talking about alignment of teams. So how, what happens if are not aligned, which I think is also a common issue. How do you get them aligned?
Dan Radu 15:07
Yeah, like sales and marketing alignment, it’s a big topic. That’s another podcast in itself. Well, like in many companies, and I’m surprised every time when you work with a new company, when I see this happening, like the proper feedback loop between marketing and sales, sales and marketing might have even the wrong idea of what the ideal customer profile is, or different things happen. Like, there’s different campaigns, the sales wants to do, the marketing just doesn’t support. Marketing has email marketing tool to send the emails and sales, they get their own tools to send the emails, and it becomes very difficult to manage the message, the audience, the subscription preferences, you know, if I want to be unsubscribed here, am I really unsubscribed there. Those things are unaligned. Maybe the sales goals are not clearly communicated to marketing. So sales organizations, whether they focus on selling certain products or groups or, or services, or they want to focus on certain regions, you want to make sure that you align the same focus and the same resources in marketing to support that. Is their revenue goal that has to be jointly worked towards that. Is there a good feedback loop between the marketing and the sales organization, their constant meetings or the review of leads? Is there… can marketing plan that campaigns that are required to support those, those sales goals, revenue goals?
Christian Klepp 16:47
See, I knew you were you’ll be able to answer that question. No problem at all. No, fantastic. Absolutely. I think there were a couple of things that you said that were that were so spot on. So first, first of all, um, there needs to be a feedback loop. And it needs to be one where that helps the teams to be aligned. Another one, I think that you said, which is also really spot on is planning that campaigns, also based on the feedback based on these conversations with the salespeople, because these are conversations most likely they’re also having with the customers. So it all it all should try to work together like a like a well oiled machine.
Dan Radu 17:24
Christian Klepp 17:26
Okay. So, you know, part of a big part of the show is talking about actionable tips. So give us something up actionable here, Dan. And let’s appreciate that. Not everything that you do in your line of work can be done in one day, right? But what do you hope B2B marketers who are listening to this conversation that you and I are having – What are you hoping they can do right now to successfully improve CX with digital technology?
Dan Radu 17:55
Make sure. So make sure you understand what business function and what experience outcome do you want to have at every stage and then which tool or technology will support that experience. I think mapping that out, it’s very important that you cannot underestimate how much… how important and how much time the mapping exercise it will take is for every single experience, every single time in the… you want to create your customers, like what is the function that will create that experience? How does it all come together? What is the streamline approach there that you can manage?
Christian Klepp 18:44
Absolutely, absolutely. And that’s a nice segue into the next question, because love it or hate it, you need to have some kind of indication of progress, that things are working. So what metrics do you think B2B marketers should be paying attention to? And why?
Dan Radu 19:02
Well, usually the biggest metrics, the main metrics is revenue, right? But then you want to dig a bit deeper, and now you want to break that down a bit. So when, when I help my clients, I say, okay, you can look at efficiency in the organization as well. Throughput, what are you? What is the organization? What can you actually get out of this? You can look at how successful the programs were, how do you measure success? What do you benchmark it against? Those things are very important. Are you you know… is measuring marketing qualified or sales qualified leads? Is that a real measurement? Does that metric work for you? or is it something more than that, or maybe you’re interested in more a acceleration of the pipeline as opposed to just the number of MQLs generating?
Christian Klepp 20:02
Absolutely, absolutely. What is the status quo in your area of expertise that you passionately disagree with? And why and some, I have a feeling you have a few.
Dan Radu 20:16
The status quo that I start this we always encounter is this idea of different goals between sales and marketing. Like I rarely see organizations that have a true revenue operations function and process where they are able to align the marketing goals with a sales goal. It is just… there’s differently leadership, there are different budgets, there’re different teams that have to do this. And it simply… it just becomes acceptable that different teams there’re different teams with different goals as opposed to thinking of themselves as one unified goal. So unfortunately, that’s the status quo.
Christian Klepp 21:03
And the way obviously, that you, you address that is going back to what you were saying earlier, right? It’s it’s getting these two, these two teams, these two groups to talk to each other, are keeping the communication line open, having these feedback loops, right?
Dan Radu 21:21
Yes, the alignment exercises.
Christian Klepp 21:24
Right. All right. Absolutely. Absolutely. Dan, it was an absolute pleasure to have you on the show today. Thank you so much for your time. So quick introduce yourself and how people can get in touch with you and I know that you’re based in Toronto, and you run a global marketing firm, and you’re originally from Romania, so you forgive me my Romanian is a bit crusty, but I know how to say “Bunvenit” and “Multumesc“.
Dan Radu 21:52
Awesome. Yeah. Yeah, thanks. Trance Christian. Yeah, Macro global marketing agency with global B2B marketing clients. So they come to us when they need specific expertise in Adobe, Marketo, HubSpot, Salesforce, and we work as a natural extension of their team.
Christian Klepp 22:12
Fantastic, fantastic. Once again, Dan, thank you so much for your time. Take care, stay safe and talk to you soon. Bye for now.
Dan Radu 22:20
Thank you so much.
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